1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

CEO of pro basketball league (ABA) lashes out at media web site

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Central-KY-Kid, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. When I covered a minor league (World Basketball Association, based in the South) team for two years, the Web site OurSportsCentral.com was great for looking up information about other teams (especially since the WBA site sucked and still does).

    The guy that runs the site, Paul Reeths, treated me great by sending me links relevant to my team and linking my articles on there.

    Reeths and OSC is one of the few sites that actually gives a damn about the reincarnated American Basketball Association (the same league in which journalist Alexander Wolff started a team).

    That being said, I don't see why what is below is a good idea:


    Ask the CEO 01/16/08

    Question from William: "Have you read the article about the ABA on Our Sports Central?"

    Answer: William, yes I have. Personally, I think Our Sports Central is one of the most reprehensible web sites in the entire world of sports. I think OSC is to sports what the worst of tabloid journalism is to entertainment. There is nothing they won't print or write, they have no sense of proprietary and no boundaries. The idea of OSC ever calling to check or verify statements is a concept totally unknown to them. To OSC, it's "anything for a story." Facts have no meaning.

    There will be a day when there will be federal legislation stopping the this type of "journalism" and holding these web sites accountable for their actions. It cannot happen soon enough. I am a great proponent of freedom of the press. OSC is anything but the press. But, the one good thing about OSC is that you can print out their stories and wrap your garbage in it. If you have a question, email conniejoenewman@aol.com.

    OSC's response:
    A League Without a Fighting Chance?
    By Ed Gross | 01/17/08

    It didn't need to happen. Less than one month after responding to a question in regards to OurSports Central message board users, the ABA leader is at it again, using his 'Ask the CEO' column to mount another attack. In his first response, Joe Newman accused writers on the OSC message boards as being "mean-spirited," "hostile," and "shameful." He referred to their statements as "non-factual" and "distorted" and more surprisingly, they were accused of, "...working for other leagues." In one fell swoop, he stereotyped an entire group of posters as akin to sexual predators, stating he fully expects to see one of them on NBC's "To Catch A Predator" show. Amidst backlash, he found himself retracting some of what he said less the 72 hours later.
    Now in his latest diatribe, he has chosen to use OurSports Central as his target. OSC is a target which he should realize is one of the only national media outlets willing to pick up on the follies of the ABA; a target which wishes it could write more about game and player stories, and less about his newest sales pitch. Without OSC, one wonders how many fewer people would even know about the ABA. This story, however, isn't about a minor league sports website.

    Several days ago, I wrote an article regarding the behavior of ABA players and coaches at a game in Burlington, Vermont, where a full-scale melee broke out, forcing officials to call the contest with under a minute left. In my previous article, I mentioned the need for ABA leadership to step up and show it was capable of leading. Within days of the league going hands off, a mention was finally made of the incident in an 'Ask the CEO' column. In this column, Joe Newman made it clear that "There was no excuse for" this on-the-court behavior. Unfortunately, the statement was preceded by a list of excuses of why these players may have acted out in the manner in which they did. It did not address the issue that, for most of us, this type of behavior in the workplace would not only be unacceptable, but would immediately result in our termination.

    The CEO's actions in 2007-08 have spoken volumes. A league which has consistently boasted, "having over 60 teams" began this season with only 36 on the schedule, about 21 of which still have a pulse, albeit a weak one in some cases. A franchise in Reno, Nev., insisted it would begin this season, its website boasting games in cities that wouldn't even house ABA franchises. In the end, the league blamed the arena lease, moved the games to high schools, then backed out of that deal at the last minute. Another last minute franchise in Pasadena pulled up stakes, relocated to Los Angeles, and barely began the season before being forced by the league to suspend operations. The list goes on like a geography lesson. Yet the ABA still boasts it is the fastest growing league in America and maintains an ever-changing list of expansion franchises on its website. Currently at 28 teams, it holds on to at least six, which were either originally announced for 2007 or played games before quitting this year.

    This season saw other proclamations from the league. Included was one Internet television deal that boasted showing nearly 300 games of every ABA team. The deal has been limited to the home games of one franchise. Another television deal said to begin Friday night telecasts in January, has yet to materialize. The ABA Red, White and Blue Tour, a concert series, failed again to come into existence. Worse yet, it announced a major act and an opening night of December 15, 2007 in Anderson, Indiana. The date came and went without a team or concert in Anderson and no explanation from the league. A marketing deal for souvenirs has seen no products. All of these agreements have been announced, stated as fact, by the league CEO, the same CEO that blames media for league problems.

    As a long time reader of OurSports Central, I know it doesn't want to bash anyone. Look at the league news of just about any sport and any league. It consists of scores, player stories and franchise movements. We are sports fans, not fans of the latest ABA business news. Without games played, with teams folding, and with sales pitches that are, at best, over-statements, its hard to concentrate on competitive game play.

    One day, we can hope, the ABA sees the light and provides us with player stats, teams with histories, results of games played and franchises that consistently take the court. It may be time however for Joe Newman to remember many of his owners, players, and general managers are a part of the OSC community. Would he care to call them predators? If he feels picked on in regards to negative press, he may want to look around. No one is perfect or immune to being called out when they aren't. Teams, players and executives all make mistakes. It is time to stop playing victim and looking at others as the source of the problem. There is a solution, but only if he seeks it.

    Rather than putting all "those bloggers" into one group, why not take their suggestions as constructive criticism? Most of them would like to see the league succeed, certainly more than he may think. If the ABA wants positive press, update the schedule with active teams. Play the games as scheduled and give some sort of sensible finality to this season. At this stage, that's all we can ask. If Newman isn't interested, it may be time for current owners to rethink what their league CEO really wants to get out of his league.

    OSC's members sound off here: http://www.oursportscentral.com/boards/showthread.php?t=9835
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    This will not end well.

    For the ABA, that is.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    If a tree falls in a forest ...
  4. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    ... its mom will call to complain that it works JUST AS HARD as the other trees you've written about.
  5. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I thought it was interesting to see where the writer of this story got his information:

    Manchester's Ife Anosike was suspended for 10 games by the league, according to an ABA press release obtained through national minor league website OurSports Central. Anosike was consequently dismissed from the team. On Sunday, Manchester announced they suspended him indefinitely.
  6. CarlSpackler

    CarlSpackler Member

    There was an ABA team that moved into our coverage area during the middle of last season. The league is an utter joke. We wanted to make a big deal of it, and they never even would bother sending us scores or information or anything. They should be happy anybody says anything about them at all.
  7. bdh02

    bdh02 Member

    It seems the ABA is very loosely governed, from my experience covering a team that used to be in the area. The opportunity for even minor tension between the main office and the franchises to explode into something incredibly huge, damaging and pretty much downright hilarious is very much there. That said, something like this isn't that much of a curve ball. Might even venture to say I expect it.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    The current incarnation of the ABA is a fucking disgrace.

    Like Carl, my old paper had an ABA "franchise" set up shop in town a few years ago. We did a nice feature when they signed a (for us) big-name local player, and did a couple stories on the tryouts practices for their inaugural season.

    Then, about two weeks before the opener, they called us ... asking if we knew where they could find office space in town. ::)

    A week later, they called again ... to ask the only female writer in our department -- and the one who had written the first feature -- if she wanted to try out for the dance team. :eek:

    On the night of the opener, we assign a photographer and go out to cover the game, which was at one of the local high school's brand-new gym. ... But the other team fails to fucking show up!

    I don't know if they had a contingency plan for this or what, but after about a 45-minute delay, a bus pulls up with what the local team's owner called "an ABA all-star team" -- basically, a bunch of scrubeenies who failed the tryout. So, instead of the "inaugural season opener," they held an "all-star exhibition".

    Needless to say, that team folded quickly. Par for the course in the ABA.
  9. WazzuGrad00

    WazzuGrad00 Guest

    They're just trying to steal some of the CBA's All-Star week spotlight.
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    We had an ABA team, allegedly, move into this area too. Pretty much the same thing as Buck described happened here. They never set up an office, canceled the first game a few days before it was supposed to take place, and never started the season. Some of the TV stations did stories about the tryouts, then looked silly when everything blew up.
    I think, financially, the ABA exists solely on the expansion fees of these fly-by-night franchises. We had a guy make one team a couple years ago, did a story, and in the process discovered the league had 60-something teams. That's not a league, that's a chain.

    On the bright side, the ABA did give us perhaps the greatest nickname in the history of sports — the Atlanta Krunk Wolverines.
  11. mojo

    mojo Member

    Wandering in a slightly different direction:

    I love the ol' "I'm all for freedom, with limitations of course" bit. You're for it or against, period. Freedom of speech and the idea of a free press can be used irresponsibly and/or unethically and/or libelously, but not illegally.
  12. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    We have an ABA franchise in my neck of the woods. According to the local paper, the guy has aspirations of joining the D-League once it expands northward. Apparently, he's one of the more legit owners. We'll see if this all happens.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page