Chris Broussard’s reporting and seemingly loose usage of “sources” is a topic of fodder among many sports fans. We’ve blasted him in the past for seemingly lifting another reporter’s report and passing it off as his own a week later. Then the internet had a blast with him two years ago after he reported on news of Deron Williams’ free agent decision several minutes after Williams himself announced the news.
With the NBA trade deadline a day away, ESPN did a segment on “SportsCenter” Wednesday called the art of the trade deadline where they called upon their experts to explain how things work from people who are on the inside. First former Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies front office member Tom Penn shared what it’s like discussing deals from a team’s perspective. Then it was Broussard’s turn to share how he (attempts to) distinguishes fact from fiction when it comes to reporting with all the rumors around.
“Well it depends on the quality of your source,” Broussard began. “If you’ve got a source in that team — say Portland, just throwing out a team — and it’s a general manager, assistant GM, somebody you know that’s in the room with the decision makers, and he tells you something, that’s a good enough source to go with.
“A lot of times — more often than not — [information] comes from other teams. A team that may have spoken to Portland, or that did speak to Portland, and they heard Portland’s trying to get such and such a player or Portland’s trying to get a backup point guard or whatever the case. And so those you have to be a little more careful with because it’s second-hand information that’s when you search for other sources that can confirm that. You just have to measure the quality of your sources.”
So there you have it: if it was someone in the room, you can go with that source. If it wasn’t, then it takes some more work to confirm. No word from Broussard on what to do to determine if the source in the room is just using you to get information out there. He didn’t really get into that part.