NFL reporters, analysts and personalities from rights holders are annually told by the league that they couldn’t tip draft picks on Thursday. So in came NBA insider Shams Charania from The Athletic and Stadium to scoop everyone on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who went 5th overall to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday. The pick was anticipated by some, but Charania reported it before it was officially announced:
NBA boredom: Miami is drafting Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft, sources say.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 24, 2020
“It came across my phone and I couldn’t help myself, I fell back to my instincts,” Charania told Awful Announcing over the phone.
Since the NBA’s season was suspended six weeks ago and the sports world was put on hold, people circled the first night of the NFL Draft on their collective calendar as an evening where there would be some semblance of normalcy. Charania was no different.
“I was as interested as anyone around the country as far as watching the NFL Draft,” said Charania, who roots for his hometown Chicago Bears. “I went into the night watching it as a fan, but I’m wired to work.”
Normally during the NFL Draft, the NBA postseason is in full gear, and that would’ve commanded the majority of Charania’s attention. Every year on the NBA’s draft night, Charania is wired to go to work and report on which players teams would select. Though the NFL isn’t his beat and he has great respect for insiders like Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport, Charania received texts from multiple sources who are well connected within both NBA and NFL circles that Tagovailoa was going to be the Dolphins’ pick.
“I was fortunate to be privy to some information,” said Charania, who also tweeted about Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton going to the New York Jets with the 11th pick and San Francisco taking South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw 14th.
Journalists who are insiders in a particular sport are usually fans of more than just what they cover. While Charania’s kept busy breaking NBA stories like Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert and Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant testing positive for coronavirus, he’s like most writers who are always in reporting mode and crave knowledge and inside information.
So when the Tua information came his way, he certainly wasn’t going to just sit on it. Charania did what he’d normally do with a big breaking story: He tweeted it.
“It was just in the middle of the draft, getting some information and went back to my normal instincts,” Charania said, channeling his inner Bill Belichick. “You gotta do your job.”