Usually, the story of Troy Murphy signing with an NBA team after being bought out would not be an interesting subject for AA.  But, when two of the leading NBA reporters tweet conflicting reports regarding Murphy’s landing place, that makes for a brief, but amusing sports media story.  As the story played out on Twitter, ESPN and Yahoo reporters had conflicting scoops.  As always, these are Real Tweets from Real People…

First, Yahoo NBA writer Marc Spears tweeted this scoop on Murphy:

  Free agent forward-center Troy Murphy has agreed to sign with the Heat, sources tell Y! Sports. Murphy also turned down Celtics.

Seemingly seconds later, ESPN NBA writer Marc Stein had his own take on the story:

  Just filed to Troy Murphy chooses Boston over Miami. Link on the way

All right!  Now the Twitter media fight was on!   NBA fans around the country were wondering which Eastern Conference leader Troy Murphy had signed with, and more importantly, who was right?  Spears or Stein?  ESPN or Yahoo?  Would the loser be forced to spell their name Marc with a “k” instead of a “c”?  There was so much at stake that even PTI got in on the duel:

  Toss Up! Who’s got the correct Troy Murphy report: Spears or Stein?

Stein laid down the gauntlet and answered the challenge with a seemingly decisive knockout blow in the 1st Round:

  Troy Murphy HIMSELF confirms to that he is going to Boston. B-O-S-T-O-N

Well, that seemed rather concrete, and aggressive.   The confidence exuding from Stein’s all caps tweet was unmistakable.  With Stein delivering a staggering blow, it was Spears who conceded defeat, deleting the original tweet and then posting these:

  Murphy’s agent Dan Fegan on Y! Sports report: “This is my fault. I was getting dozens of texts and responded ‘yes’ on Miami when I meant to…

  Fegan cont. on Y! report: “respond to ‘yes’ on Boston. I apologize for the mistake.”

Stein 1, Spears 0.  ESPN 1, Yahoo Sports 0.

I find it interesting that in admitting the mistake, Spears basically threw Murphy’s agent under the bus and outed him as the “sources” from the original tweet.  I do give Spears credit for the transparency shown, but it is interesting that he claims the errant tweet as a “Y! Sports report” instead of owning up to what he posted.  Interestingly, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski also commented on Twitter taking responsibility for what was posted by Yahoo writers, but those tweets have also been deleted.  ESPN has been losing out on some reporting races recently, especially on the NFL side to Jay Glazer, but at least they can claim a victory in this Twitter duel.  Competition for the leader in grabbing scoops and sports reporting is nothing but good news for sports fans, as long as the stories are correct of course.  If nothing else, the Stein/Spears smackdown made for an interesting display of sports reporting in the Twitter age and what can happen when competing reporters tweet different scoops.  That was only the beginning to yesterday’s exciting day on Twitter.  

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.