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Saturday, November 22, 2014

My auto mechanic is now breaking NBA news about Gilbert Arenas

An NBA report circulated on Tuesday that said Gilbert Arenas was likely to join either the Lakers or Clippers if he ends up signing with an NBA team this season. The report wasn’t as notable to me because of its content, but because of the origin of report; it came from my auto mechanic.

This is a story about the way information spreads in 2012.

Gilbert Arenas, who grew up in Los Angeles and played high school basketball in North Hollywood, Calif., stopped by a 76 gas station in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday a few blocks away from where I grew up. Gil took a photo with one of the mechanics — a gentleman who has worked on my car in the past — and answered a question about his future. Arenas apparently said he was likely to sign with the Lakers or Clippers for the upcoming season.

You know how the rest of the story goes.

My mechanic tells someone who tells someone else who publishes the story on his basketball blog Hoops-Nation. From there, it ends up on a Lakers blog, and then our friends at Black Sports Online picked up on it, which is where I saw the story.

I’m not really too concerned about the accuracy of the story, but rather the amusing way it became a story. But since it’s out there, we can discuss the possibility of Arenas joining either LA team.

The Lakers were one of the teams most interested in Arenas before he signed with the Grizzlies last season. They actually worked him out before his knee was fully recovered, and things seemed to go well. But after the Grizzlies GM read a convincing blog post about Arenas, they decided to bring him in and sign him. Now he’s a free agent.

Both LA teams are pretty stocked, but they could have interest in Arenas in case of an injury. If Steve Blake takes longer to recover from his foot injury than expected, the Lakers might have some interest.

Arenas is 30 years old and scheduled to earn $43 million over the next two seasons regardless of whether or not he plays in the NBA thanks to the Magic releasing him via the amnesty clause.

Another question to ask is if it right for the mechanic to spread the information. The ultimate responsibility comes back to the player in all cases for the information they share. Someone like Arenas knows that everyone they come in contact with may have a Twitter or Facebook account, or have a connection to a blog, and that any type of information can spread quickly (remember the Jim Haslett story?). If he doesn’t want something out there, he shouldn’t say it. That being said, I think out of courtesy to the athlete, if you plan on sharing the information, you should ask them first if they will allow you to. If they told you something under the assumption that you’re harmless media-wise, then it’s probably not best to burn them by sharing the information. That’s almost like publishing something someone said off the record.

But if you’re in LA and need some good work done, the folks at the 76 station on Ventura Blvd. and Sherman Oaks Ave. do some excellent work. And you might get some good sports scoops too!



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