The NBA world was shocked Wednesday when news broke that the Portland Trail Blazers were sending Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team trade.
The NBA world was also a bit confused because while everyone else was reporting that deal, NBA insider Shams Charania initially reported that Lillard had been traded to the Toronto Raptors.
ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski was first to announce the breaking news at 2:16 p.m. ET.
BREAKING: The Portland Trail Blazers are trading guard Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/FRgQyDVjQG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 27, 2023
One minute later, Woj would add the details, noting that Lillard was en route to Milwaukee as part of a three-team deal that was also sending Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, and Toumani Camara to Portland while Jusuf Nurkic, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little, and Keon Johnson were heading to Phoenix.
Charania, who is constantly in competition with Wojnarowski for breaking news dominance, sent his initial tweet/post at 2:17 p.m. ET. However, the NBA insider for The Athletic and Stadium incorrectly tabbed the Raptors as part of the three-team deal instead of the Bucks.
it will live forever pic.twitter.com/EmxTXWjwBB
— John Chick (@roofthatpeach) September 27, 2023
Charania quickly deleted the post and then put up the revised version at 2:18 p.m. ET.
Sources: Portland, Milwaukee and Phoenix have agreed to a three-team trade:
Bucks get: Damian Lillard
Suns: Jusuf Nurkic
Blazers: Deandre Ayton
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 27, 2023
What’s the big deal? Well, for one, it confused the heck out of a lot of NBA fans and gave Toronto fans a jolt of false hope before they came crashing back down to reality.
Shams will never be forgiven pic.twitter.com/8bQgYPDeXN
— Vivek Jacob (@vivekmjacob) September 27, 2023
Literally SHOOK me pic.twitter.com/8HSii8RWxQ
— BetMGM Canada (@BetMGMCanada) September 27, 2023
Shams initially had the Raptors getting Damian Lillard in his first tweet and I have still not recovered.
— LC (@LucasCasaletto) September 27, 2023
Listen, I love this trade, and the Bucks are gonna be so fun, but that Raptors notification is nasty work by Shams. pic.twitter.com/d20Q1MSdlC
— Wolfgang Ruck (@KooshieF) September 27, 2023
Second, it’s a stark reminder of how the “insider” game can go awry when speed trumps accuracy. Insiders like Shams, Woj, Adam Schefter, and Ian Rapoport have built their reporting empires on their ability to mix both, but it only takes a few wrong reports and bad sources for fans to sour on you. While social media turned their job into a speed competition, a reporter still lives and dies by their trustworthiness.
As many noted, score this round for Woj. However, while Charania probably won’t comment on the incorrect report, he might be able to save face if he breaks the story on just how close Toronto came to getting Lillard. Clearly, they were close enough for him to prep the tweet.