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Opinion

Owner of NBA franchise threatens online journalists

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April 14, 2011

Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, spouted an interesting post on his blog about internet journalism which was not good if that is something you enjoy.

Cuban wrote April 4 that NBA teams now have “reached a point where our interests are no longer aligned,” and said that “websites have become the equivalent of paparazzi rather than reporters.”

Apparently, Cuban believes that these websites bringing up trade rumors are the equivalent of the 20 photographers hiding in Britney Spears’ bushes every morning.

“Any idiot can start a rumor, at which point the writer says (and to be fair, it’s not just internet writers who ask, but its 99 percent internet writers who publish), “I hate to ask this but the rumor is out there that you are being traded to the pismo beach panthers. Can you comment?” said Cuban on his blog.

Nice Cuban, informing your fans about these trade rumors is just terrible for the league, and something nobody cares about. Sure sometimes rumors can be a little much in sports, but a good portion of these are based on some sort of fact. Why wouldn’t fans want to know if their favorite player could be leaving town?

However, this is not the end to Cuban’s ridiculous claims in this blog. He furthers these comments by stating his organization can do the same job as independent internet journalists, and therefore they should be banned from locker room access.

“Unlike TV and newspaper, I have access to reach their online audience. Not only do I have access, but so does each of my players through their own Twitter and Facebook accounts,” he wrote. “Why not just use Twitter, Facebook fan pages, Mavs.com and or our own media platforms to communicate with online Mavs customers and fans?”

In other words, with the team controlling the information, Cuban believes he can provide the same level of content to fans as independent reporters.

The problem with this is that if Cuban and his team think this information is bad, then who is to say this kind of information will get out at all?

These journalists are independent, and ask the tough questions to get the most information possible. If you were a Mavericks fan, then you definitely would want to keep this the same it is now.

If the Mavericks control the information, they are only going to put out the information that is good for the franchise, which is likely not all of the information fans want to here.

Now the NBA should provide measures which would make this situation impossible, but this makes you wonder what the future begs for independent sports journalists.

If other owners believed in this kind of change as well, then someday the only people who could be allowed full access to professional athletes would be the local paper and a few television reporters.

Blaze Fugina is a student at UW-River Falls.