Lakers, rest of the NBA are caught in its communication problem

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 10: Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets have words after Irving was called for a foul against Schroder in the third quarter at Barclays Center on April 10, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

On Saturday night, Dennis Schröder of the Los Angeles Lakers got into a skirmish with Kyrie Irving. As usual, the NBA players did the typical face-to-face “hellos” and the referees gave them an early trip to the showers. There was an alleged slur exchanged that caused a Tweet from Irving on the following day.

As if things could not get worse, Irving’s teammate, Kevin Durant, got into a Twitter spat with Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe. For both sides and entities involved, it was embarrassing. In the social media era, there’s persistence to never admit when one is wrong. On top of that, no one can seem to grasp when enough commentary is enough commentary.

This all started with Sharpe being duped by a fake tweet. As professionals, sourcing, and citing is an early rule you learn. At some point, we have to let rules be the rules and do our due diligence. The false information understandably upset Durant.

I beat a dead horse with this, but I wish that we could get a hold of this analysis and player-media relationship. The discourse is just corny and nasty. I think we wax poetically when we talk about the old days of the NBA and commentary. There was never a time when all we did was meet the problem at a head. We’ve always talked about rumors and hot takes. This time, it’s just created a boom due to the expansion of NBA platforms.

Unfortunately, the NBA is going to have to step in and attempt to police both sides. What that means is a possibility of skewed understanding. Especially when you consider the Schröder-Irving situation. You NEVER want to police this specific type of alleged language. You begin to toe a line that is exhausting to toe. As far as the networks and their constant reaches to NBA superstars, it’s their job to discuss them. The networks will be tasked with determining what’s sports and what’s bullshit.  Are you discussing basketball discourse or being a cornball?

But who am I kidding? It’s about ratings and the nonsense gets the numbers. Even the NBA loves stirring the pot to get us to tune in.

I hope that both sides walk away today and hash this out. I hate to end this all kumbaya, but we deserve better as NBA consumers. It’s already enough conflict from miscommunications as is. We don’t need to add this to our methods of escapism.

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