I was walking out of my first class of the day today when I heard that the Utah Jazz had traded Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris. I’m fairly sure it’s the first time I’d heard about a major sports trade from a normal person instead of checking ESPN or Sports Illustrated since I was in 11th grade and my math teacher told the class that the Buffalo Sabres had traded defenseman Brian Campbell to the San Jose Sharks.
Like most people, I’ve kind of come to take the ubiquity of today’s media for granted, especially in sports. I’m so used to even the smallest and most sudden free agency signings and trades being broken before they’re officially confirmed that I don’t even always click on the story announcing a deal. Why bother? The whole thing usually became news at least a couple hours beforehand and the only difference is the official story has more cliched quotes in it. Twitter, the Internet, cell phones, 24-hour sports networks and all the other staples of “new media” have allowed news to reach the public far faster than ever before. The Carmelo Anthony trade for example has been in various stages of rumors ever since LeBron James signed with Miami in July.
So how did the Deron Williams trade slip by the “24/7” media unnoticed until it was actually being completed? The closest ESPN et al. actually got to breaking the news beforehand was a rumor about Dallas trading for Devin Harris, which apparently actually was a possibility but, given that Dallas traded Harris to New Jersey three years ago for Jason Kidd and Kidd’s still playing for the Mavericks, it didn’t make much sense to me. There was nothing about the trade that actually happened. Nothing in SI’s Truth and Rumors, nothing on ESPN or NBA.com, nada. I guess the sports media were so busy covering Carmelo that they forgot there was actual you know, news going on.