‘Dan Le Batard Show’ Claimed ESPN Colluded to Keep Lillard out of Miami
This NBA summer included another long-awaited trade saga. On Wednesday, Damian Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks instead of the Miami Heat. The executive producer of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz attacked ESPN for colluding to keep Lillard out of Miami.
“Working the Worldwide Leader, it worked for (Portland general manager Joe) Cronin.”
According to Ruiz, the executive producer, ESPN as well as other major sports outlets all conspired to keep Lillard out of Miami. This is an absurd claim and it isn’t backed by any real evidence. This claim seems rather biased as the show is filmed in Miami Beach and the hosts, as well as Ruiz, are Heat fans.
Although it is a bold claim, the reporting on the Damian Lillard situation was rather unusual. The big names that cover the NBA seemed to have different insider information every week and were reporting that Lillard could end up in four or five different locations.
Last week, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said that Portland was in no rush to trade to strike a deal despite other insiders saying a trade was near. After that, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said that Miami trading for Damian Lillard was not their sole focus. Just a few days ago, Marc Spears of ESPN said that Toronto was the frontrunner for Lillard.
We have also seen NBA commissioner Adam Silver speak out against stars being so vocal about trade requests. He warned teams and players about this behavior and said that fines or other repercussions would occur if it continued.
Despite all of these conflicting reports from ESPN insiders and the commissioner’s statements, nothing points to their being deliberate action against the Heat. Sure, it was one of the rare times when a superstar didn’t get their way during a trade request, but the claims from The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz need more evidence than this to convince people.
Making claims like these that are solely based on bias can really hurt your credibility. It is understandable to be upset that your team didn’t get Lillard, but the comments that Ruiz made were just flat-out dumb. The Heat still have a good roster and with Jrue Holiday expected to be traded out of Portland, the Heat still have a chance to pick up a great veteran guard.