Newly traded Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams must have been reading about his shooting percentage Thursday because at 8:30 a.m. he sent a tweet wondering why “all these nerds cover all sports,” alleging that the people writing about him have “not one athletic bone in their body.”

The problem, in Williams’ mind, is that, “they suck just like they think I do.”

A number of sportswriters responded to Williams, who absolved some of them but maintained his frustration toward a segment of media members.

To be clear, it’s totally reasonable for Williams to be annoyed at writers who boldly criticize him from behind a keyboard, especially if those slights are rude or poorly thought out. Most of us can’t even imagine what it would be like to see our livelihoods dissected in public. It must be miserable.

But the world would be just a tiny bit better if we could ditch the nerd-shaming element of media criticism. Sure, people who have played sports understand certain technical elements better than those who maxed out in rec league, but it’s foolish and ignorant to assume that people who write about sports online—even from their mothers’ basements—have nothing to contribute to the game. For several decades, basketball bloggers have added entertainment and insight to a sport that couldn’t always keep up with them. Lou Williams knows how to execute a crossover better than any blogger, but there are certainly some writers who could teach him something about, say, how to measure defensive performance. So-called “nerds” have re-shaped the game and how we evaluate it. To suggest they know nothing about is stubborn and incorrect.

The jock vs. nerd dynamic will be part of sports forever, with athletes eternally questioning how someone can criticize them without having been in their position. But maybe one day those conversations will feature a little more critical thinking and a little less name-calling.

For what it’s worth, Williams apologized for the word “nerd,” transitioning the blame to “basement bloggers.”

Well, at least that’s an improvement.

And for the record, Lou should know, I wrote this blog post from the first floor—not the basement.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.