If there’s anything the legit game-covering media hates more than players treating it poorly, it’s the unprofessional media that makes the legit media look bad—leading more players to treating everybody poorly.
That apparently is what’s been happening the past few days with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Obviously he wasn’t quite ready to address the media. Respecting his privacy, members of the media either gave him 10 feet of space or interviewed other players until he was prepared to interact.
Then all of a sudden James looked up with a baffled expression plastered on his face and signaled over a team official. Those who saw how his demeanor abruptly changed were curious to what had occurred. It turned out that James did the equivalent of a no-look pass. Even though his head was lowered, using his peripheral vision, he some somehow managed to catch one of the media delegates taking a picture of him while he was semi-bare.
“That’s not cool, man,” James said. “I don’t miss anything.”
No, that’s decidedly not cool. Reportedly, the clandestine photographer hid the picture in his phone and denied taking any shots. The next night, the Cleveland staff discovered two more media members taking pictures of James, again clad only in a towel, as he was answering questions in a media scrum, and the team officials escorted the so-called reporters out of the locker room.
As Haynes reports, the locker-room picture-taking has been a problem all season, and that blows my mind.
I’ve been in clubhouses and locker rooms of all shapes and sizes and in all major professional and college sports, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody take a photo of an athlete while he’s changing or wearing a towel (fun fact: postgame hockey locker rooms smell the worst).
While taking photos is only slightly better than asking a player for an autograph, those who use their smart phones to snap photos need to be taught that it’s never OK to do that. Especially since it’s against the league’s rules for keeping credentials.
It’s the height of unprofessionalism, and you can understand why James —who seems to get along well with the media—would be so annoyed by the unwanted intrusion.
Considering Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players union, thinks the media gets too much locker room access as it is, calling it an invasion of privacy, and that the league actually cut locker room access by 15 minutes this year, breaking locker room mores by some rogue reporters shouldn’t be welcomed by anybody in the NBA.
Hopefully, it stops now.
Photo via Keith Allison/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)