The NBA seeks a “balance” in reporters’ access to locker rooms

The best news for reporters who want to regain access to the NBA’s locker rooms may be the player elected president of the National Basketball Association last summer.

While the New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum He said he was striving for a “balance”, he clearly understood the reasons why reporters wanted to return the access they had before the league closed the locker rooms to the press due to the COVID pandemic.

This is because McCollum, who last week joined the podcast I’m running with New York Post‘s Andrew Marshan, spent his career in college covering Lehigh’s sports as a beat reporter. He graduated from Lehigh with a degree in journalism.

CJ McCollum said he was looking forward to finding a solution that would make both players and reporters happy.The sports media podcast of Marshan and Uranus

“I remember what it was like to try to get quotes after matches reflecting Lehai’s sport and interviewing a coach after a heavy loss and interviewing a coach after a tough win,” he said. “Everything is difficult. But at the end of the day, we all have deadlines. “

McCollum said he covers almost every sport at school except basketball and swimming, and has even tried video editing and camera work. “Trying to track a field hockey ball in a camera storm is all difficult,” he said.

At this year’s NBA All-Star Game, Commissioner Adam Silver in essence, he said the locker rooms would remain closed for the foreseeable future. “It’s a bit of an anachronism to have reporters in the actual room where the players get dressed,” he said.

He later said: “I’m not sure we designed a system from scratch today, we would say, stand next to the players in their lockers while they get dressed, and this is the right forum to interview them.”

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McCollum said he supported closing locker rooms because of COVID, but was eager to find a solution that made both players and reporters happy.

“Relationships are important, and the only way to really maintain a relationship is to have access to the locker room,” he said. “This is important from the point of view of journalism and from the point of view of storytelling. Overall, peer interviews are better. The increase is great. We are grateful for the corrections we managed to make with it. But there is nothing like a post-match press conference. There is nothing like the immediate reactions you can get live. ”

McCollum went on to say that he hoped to find “a happy environment in which players are still happy, but journalists are still getting the information they need.”

You can contact John Urand at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Ourand_SBJ and read his weekly newsletter and listen to his weekly podcast.

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