Dwyane Wade clobbered Lance Stephenson of the Pacers with this flying elbow late in Game 2 – WWF wrestlers from the 80s would have been proud – and surprisingly, didn’t even get whistled for a flagrant foul. A day later, the NBA determined it was worthy of a flagrant.
Some wondered whether or not Wade might be suspended for Game 3. Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star wrote a very good column about it. Then Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports took the sensationalist angle – one he has increasingly gone to in the last year – because to call Wade a dirty player wasn’t enough. Doyel said Wade was a “bad guy,” whatever that means. Bad human being? Evil person? Stay away from that Dwyane Wade, he’s a bad guy! CBS slapped a silly headline on the column and boom, Doyel has inserted himself in the conversation!
Let’s not act like the Wade-is-dirty angle is a new one. An intern for this website had an exhaustive breakdown on the topic in December after Wade kicked Ramon Sessions on the court.
But Dan Le Batard decided to read Doyel’s column on air Monday (audio here, starts around 10:30), slammed him (15:45), and boom, we’ve got a nerdy sports media twitter squabble.
Le Batard goes from columnist to radio to TV, and he’s a sellout. Pay attention folks – that’s how you get someone to engage when you’re looking for a fight!
That read like a Tyson uppercut. And we’re off!
Kid you not – by this point, I received a couple texts and direct messages on twitter from media types asking ‘are you watching this?’ [I was not.] Sports fans watch media members on TV, read them online and hear them on the radio and eat this stuff up.
Remember Richard Deitsch vs. Darren Rovell last summer? That was fun … for a minute, but when one side remains obsessed over the other, it dilutes the squabble. Anyway, this brief, geeky, twitter war of words between Le Batard and Doyel appeared to have ended … and then … Whitlock came in off the top rope!
I blame the Grizzlies. If they had been remotely competitive with the Spurs … nope, actually, I blame Russell Westbrook’s injury. If he doesn’t get hurt against Houston, the Thunder play the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, and win 4-2 again.
But alas, in the sad, current state of the sports media, in an era of aggregation and slideshows and SEO content farms, Doyel wins. ESPN’s Mike & Mike spent 30 minutes talking about Doyel’s column this morning, which means more clicks and more pats on the back from his superiors.
* Obligatory editor’s note: Dan Le Batard has written for this website before. And I had him on my podcast this month. Also, yes, that is a Paulina Gretzky slideshow up top!