NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news this morning that Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic will receive his second consecutive MVP award later this week. This was an expected outcome to anyone who spent any time paying attention to what MVP voters have actually been saying in public about their ballots, but the news may have come as a shock to people who instead get their NBA news from what we'll call the Some Guy Zone.
What is the Some Guy Zone? It exists mostly on Twitter, and is populated by basketbloggers who have blue check marks, somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000 followers, and some variation of "NBA writer. Storyteller. @Fansided, @sbnation, @FoxSports" in their bio. Occasionally, these guys will attempt to report some news, but almost always in a way that conveys low-stakes information that can't really be refuted. Sources telling me that the Los Angeles Lakers would be willing to trade Russell Westbrook this offseason. Thanks for the inside info, guy!
And yet every now and then, one of these guys takes too big of a swing, and ends up reporting something so self-evidently wrong that it cannot escape notice. That's what happened on May 4, when Fox Sports Topics Editor Justin Morris tweeted and then eventually deleted the following extremely wrong report: "SOURCES: Several NBA reps are expected to be in attendance for Game 3 of the 76ers-Heat series in Philadelphia Friday. By all accounts, it appears as if their purpose will be to ceremoniously announce Joel Embiid as the winner of the 2021-22 Kia NBA MVP."
So some false news percolated out of the Some Guy Zone. This wouldn't have been all that noteworthy on its own, save for the fact that Morris's fuckup eventually made its way into the Radio Freak Sector and was regurgitated by 97.5 The Fanatic radio host Anthony Gargano:
There are many differences between the denizens of the Some Guy Zone and Radio Freak Sector, and one of them is that radio freaks are far less likely to sheepishly delete their false reports and pretend like nothing ever happened. These guys know how to stick to their guns. Well, to an extent:
Once a piece of unsubstantiated news gains a foothold in both the Some Guy Zone and the Radio Freak Sector, there's no telling where it will pop up next. It has broken containment, and from that point on all are at risk of becoming infected. Even people who work for ESPN:
The lesson, as always, is that if something is being reported by some guy or a radio freak, that report is almost certainly incorrect.