We’re not exactly here to take sides, but this feud that’s brewing between The Ringer and Meadowlark Media is one worth keeping an eye on.
As Damian Lillard has put the Portland Trail Blazers in an uncomfortable position, trying to force his way to the Miami Heat, Kevin O’Connor is at odds with Mike Ryan (Ruiz) and the rest of the Le Batard Show crew. And they’re starting to get underneath his skin.
This all started when O’Connor put out what Ryan deemed as the “longest tweet in the history of the platform,” whilst the former wondered aloud if the Heat have any real assets to complete a trade for the 32-year-old Lillard. O’Connor has since penned an article, saying that any transaction between the two involving any of the assets he’s floated ” would go down as one of the worst trades in NBA history.”
So Damian Lillard has finally requested a trade. Spilling some of my thoughts on the situation after @ShamsCharania said Dame specifically wants Miami.
A Heat trade package will realistically include some combination of these pieces:
Heat 2028 and 2030 1sts
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 1, 2023
Those on The Dan Le Batard Show are no strangers to being homers for the Heat, or any professional team in the South Beach area, so it came as no surprise when Ryan chirped at O’Connor, accusing him of doing “whatever he could” to stop Lillard from being traded to Miami.
The Dan Le Batard Show has had its fun picking at The Ringer and Bill Simmons in particular, which could explain where some of this disdain from either side has trickled down from.
— Mike Ryan (Ruiz) ?? (@MichaelRyanRuiz) July 2, 2023
And after a long holiday weekend, Ryan finally had a chance to air his grievances with O’Connor and The Ringer.
“It’s also The Ringer, which I think is just a bunch of Boston Celtics fans freaking out,” Ryan said. “Kevin O’Connor sent out literally the longest tweet in the history of the platform. He’s the reason we ran into the rate limit problem. It was that tweet from Kevin O’Connor, where he was saying, Tyler Herro and a bevy of picks and I think Kyle Lowry was a terrible trade! A terrible trade! And in this terrible trade [Trail Blazers center Jusuf] Nurkić actually goes to the Heat, which is all Portland is looking to do: get someone to take Nurkić, and that makes it a good trade for Portland.”
“Kevin O’Connor sent out literally the longest tweet in the history the platform…he needs to be stopped…he’s the reason we ran into the rate limit problem.”
– The crew reacts to @KevinOConnorNBA and his “terrible trade” remarks regarding Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat.
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) July 5, 2023
“That makes it a good trade for Miami if we’re going, to be honest,” said Amin Elhassan.
There is a bit of homerism to go around here and Ryan is a self-proclaimed homer himself, but The Ringer is also largely made up of Boston sports fans. While O’Connor claims to no longer be a Celtics fan, that isn’t the case for many associated with the Spotify-owned property, like Simmons.
In a stroke of irony, Ryan called out O’Connor for proposing a deal between the Celtics and Trail Blazers, which be centered around Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, and draft picks.
“And all these people judging Miami’s [potential] trade [proposal], I think really devalues what Tyler Herro actually is,” Ryan said. “There’s this narrative out there that Tyler Herro is a bad contract and I understand the pivot that Tyler Herro is not great for Portland and their project right now. How? How is a 23-year-old on $27 million, who’s averaging over 20 points a game, who’s not this inefficient player by any stretch of the imagination; how is he a bad contract? How is he a bad player when you’re rebuilding? He’s an asset!”
Elhassan pushed back, he looked at it from a two-fold approach, where he saw both sides of the argument. And he received some praise from O’Connor, who is clearly fed up with Ryan’s critiques, in doing so.
Thank you @DarthAmin for bringing facts to the conversation. Unfortunately Heat fans can’t admit the Blazers would be taking a low value deal in comparison to recent superstar trades. Dame is an elite offensive talent, and a major steal for Miami if they get him at this price.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 5, 2023
As Portland continues to drag its feet on the Lillard trade front, it only increases the ongoing back and forth between O’Connor, Ryan, and others. Of course, this will all eventually come to a head, but it seems to be brewing a media rivalry in the process.