Want to watch the NBA draft Thursday, secure in the knowledge that you’ll have no knowledge of the picks before they’re announced from the podium? You’re in luck this year, because ESPN reporters, as well as those from other outlets that cover the league, have agreed to refrain from trumpeting their scoops on upcoming draft selections.
That’s right, there will be no “Woj bombs” during the draft this year. That makes sense, given that Adrian Wojnarowski, the reporter whose consistent ability to break NBA news led to the admiring creation of the term, has joined ESPN, which happens to be televising the draft.
According to Awful Announcing, ESPN has instructed all of its reporters to not tweet out picks ahead of time, should they learn of them. Previously, only those actually covering the draft for the network were barred from giving anything away, but others not involved directly with the live coverage could use social media to share their insights.
Another league broadcasting partner, Turner Sports, which will have its own live draft show on NBA TV, has also agreed to refrain from revealing picks ahead of time (per The Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps). So has Yahoo Sports, which previously employed Wojnarowski and which has a reporter, Shams Charania, who has developed into a font of breaking NBA news in his own right.
“We spoke with our media partners about our preference that ESPN’s exclusive broadcast rights be honored,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Tuesday, “but each organization will make its own editorial decisions.”
In this way, NBA draft coverage will resemble that of the NFL draft, which for the past few years has featured ESPN and NFL Network reporters declining to reveal picks before they are officially announced. That has been a huge relief for some football fans who want to revel in the suspense, but it remains to be seen how it goes over with fans of the NBA, particularly those who participate in its robust Twitter community.
At least NBA fans won’t have much about which to complain in terms of draft coverage options. ESPN will have two live telecasts, one on its main channel hosted by Rece Davis and featuring analysts such as Wojnarowski, Chauncey Billups and Jay Bilas, and a special edition of “The Jump,” hosted by Rachel Nichols and featuring many of that program’s regular contributors, that will air ESPN2.
NBA TV will be at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, site of the draft, as well with coverage hosted by Casey Stern and featuring analysts such as David Griffin, Steve Smith and Seth Davis. ESPN will also have a Twitter-based show called “On the Clock,” in which the likes of Ryen Russillo, David Jacoby and Ryan Hollins will provide instant reactions to the picks as they come in.
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