The biggest sports story of the weekend was the news that the NBA has hired an independent law firm to see if they can prove the Lakers tampered with Paul George. This was broken by longtime NBA writer Peter Vecsey, whom I profiled in-depth last year, on his $5/month Patreon page. He had the story alone from Saturday night until Sunday afternoon, a timeframe that is extremely rare in today’s world, when Woj and Ramona Shelburne published a follow-up.
How could this have happened? The answer lies at the end of Vecsey’s initial story:
"Postscript: I did not try to contact anyone from the Lakers, the Pacers or the NBA regarding its tampering investigation, which would’ve virtually guaranteed leakage before I had the chance to break the story … a story I unswervingly stand by."
So, not only could any of the affected parties even attempt to leak the news first to somebody who they may have felt could soften it, but they apparently had no forewarning that it would even be published. The result was a story that only Vecsey’s ~100 subscribers at the time could read in full.
You can debate the journalistic ethics of not contacting an organization that you’re about to report is under investigation, but the fact of the matter is Vecsey’s ethos has always been to “break news or break balls,” and he’s working for himself as opposed to any publication that could impose editorial regulations on him.
It would be a fun, anarchic world if he lands some more of these.