NBA reporter Shams Charania cleaned up after Woj got clumsy

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The swashbuckling reports surrounding Celtics coach Ime Udoka have not been journalism's finest moments.

The swashbuckling reports surrounding Celtics coach Ime Udoka have not been journalism’s finest moments.
Image: Getty Images

Around 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday night, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski dropped his first Woj Bomb of the new season. It was a misfire on impact. His vague tweet referring to the imminent suspension of Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka – for an anonymous breach of code of conduct – was a cacophony of noise from a reporter who was half awake and too eager to break something, anything. He even followed with a tweet explaining exactly who Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is. A few minutes later, he appeared on sports center with Scott Van Pelt to expand its latest non-news in a segment.

Woj even slapped his face on this sucker like an Insta model watermarking his photos to prevent catfish accounts from sprouting using it pictures. It was left and under a Scoopmaster of Woj’s prestige. Hours later, Woj added that Udoka’s job was not in jeopardy, which made it seem like Udoka’s suspension would be a minor speed bump in the Celtics’ season. Then, a little before 1 a.m., Charania came from the rafters with a tweet that was scrubbed after Woj’s desperation.

And with that, the 2023 Scoopmaster MVP race got off to a quick start. Within minutes, the conversation around Udoka shifted from the length of his suspension to whether or not he would be canned for human rights violations. Woj and Shams kicked off the NBA season, for better and for worse.

It’s hard to fathom how clumsily this is going to be discussed in barbershops and Twitter all weekend.

For Woj and Shams, this is the beginning of their season-long race to be first. If free agency was their NBA Finals, Udoka is their opening salvo of the 2022-23 season. Unfortunately, Woj shot out of the gates as if the game had passed him by. Meanwhile, Shams’ earth-shattering tweet destabilized the NBA and shook up the scoop king leaderboard. The irony of his late night tweet is that Shams may not have been aware of an incident involving Udoka if Woj hadn’t tipped him off.

Charania, 28, once told the New York Post in a profile that he spends approximately 17-18 hours per day staring at his screen. What’s life like for Woj? At 53, he’s relentlessly chasing news at a time of night when he should be spending time with his wife and kids before the season is in full-swing.This is a young man’s game.

Shams is hitting his prime. Woj’s slow start is the continuance of a trend that began at the trade deadline when he got worked by Charania on trade after trade.

To Woj’s credit, he beat Shams to the Donovan Mitchell trade, but we’re already seeing him lose his lateral quickness when pivoting from spilling trades to breaking news of consequence. At this point in his career, Woj might need to embrace load management on First Take, cryptically Windhorsting and alluding to breaking news he doesn’t quite have the details on.

The last big Celtics news Woj broke was breaking the news about Robert Williams’ arthroscopic knee surgery two days ago. Woj doesn’t need to spend his reporting bonus chasing Nothingburgers in an attempt to stay at his peak. He must choose his places.

Information brokerage is already an empty business, but his recent tweets have been emptier than usual. Last week Woj Bombs were Flash Grenades. He said the union and the NBA have agreed to lower the proposed eligibility rule to 18 in the next collective bargaining agreement.

This may be the season Woj transitions into late-career superstar mode, throwing bricks and just walking away from his inflated contract and legacy. There’s still time in the season for Woj to get off the mat, but Wednesday was a bad start.

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