Here’s what I wrote to the managing editor of ESPN.com in an e-mail: “As you understand from our conversations, I feel I must protect my reputation as a journalist. I have spent 24 years building it, and if I am to maintain my professional integrity, I must defend myself.”
So I rocked the boat at ESPN, my contract subsequently ended, and I no longer work there.
When Chris Sheridan left ESPN.com, I stopped visiting their NBA site basically all together. ESPN’s NBA page has steadily declined, I believe, largely due to the void left by Chris Sheridan’s consistent and excellent coverage of the NBA.
I’m probably in the extreme minority of people who feel this strongly about Sheridan’s work, but this guy is a pure hoops journalist with a very intelligent and clear style of writing, not to mention his dead on sources and integrity.
I think anybody can relate to Sheridan, who probably had a decent pay with ESPN and many of its benefits that come with working for Disney, but at the end of the day, I’ve got nothing but praise for him for standing up to what’s right. He no longer felt happy at his job and he needed to regain control of his life.
I only recently started to follow Sheridanhoops.com and its by far the basketball site on the net. Its filled a huge vacuum for me through its plethora of well written NBA articles.
I think NBA writing falls in two categories these days. There’s the blogger style of writing that is not all that well polished or professional. And most bloggers, even if they’re covering their favorite teams in the locker rooms, are not going to have the same kind of connections a well traveled journalist of 20+ years. On the other hand, professional writers tend to be limited in their discussion of either daring or interesting ideas about what’s really wrong or good about the game. Most of the better writers are working for gigantic corporations, and corporate guys tend to not want to rock the boat. Sheridan choose to rock the boat and ended up with his own site.
Stern was such a dick for calling out Sheridan during an NBA press conference. Stern should know better than to bring up a libel lawsuit that has nothing to do with NBA games, players or people employed by any of the professional basketball organizations. Sheridan decided to sue Peter Vecsey and lost his job over it. And Stern thought it would be appropriate to comment on an ongoing lawsuit during a public press conference about the NBA?