Ex-NBA Player Brandon Jennings Says In-Season Podcasts Lead To Bad Karma

Brandon Jennings was a guest on “Gil’s Arena,” a podcast hosted by former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas. Jennings made it clear that he thinks there is a correlation between current NBA players that host podcasts and their teams’ or that player’s poor performance during the season.

Jennings may have a point. 

“Me personally,” said Jennings. “I think every NBA player that has a podcast, [who] is talking. It’s karma. If you look at Draymond, how the Warriors are playing it’s just bad. Every player that’s talking on the mic, that’s just talking while they’re playing basketball, it’s just karma. Patrick Beverley, all of them. They’re just having terrible seasons or it’s just not going their way.”

We at The Shadow League are as far removed from the “just play ball” crowd as anyone else. But there is something to be said for keeping the main thing the main thing. 

Do Today’s NBA Players Focus On The Wrong Thing?

Jennings’ example of the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green and the Chicago Bulls’ Patrick Beverley is cherry-picked and obviously supports his assertion as both teams are struggling. 

But there is no direct correlation to a player podcasting and said player and/or his team not performing well. This seems purely coincidental. 

Green had his podcast last year and the Warriors won the championship. 

Jennings replied to commenters on social media who suggested that you can just ignore players’ podcasts. 

“It’s disrespectful to the basketball GODS. In my eyes!!!!  Look at your blessing as a active player. And look what a media guy has to go through to get that moment. Regardless it’s your narrative you creating. Take the good with the bad! Trust me it could be deeper. 15mins.”

A particularly disjointed response but the idea of creating a narrative is where Jennings could be right. 

The proliferation of athletes with their own platforms “telling fans the truth” is dangerous and not the kind of journalism fans are looking for. 

Athlete-Centered Media Is Not The Answer

Is it true that there are members of the media with an “ax to grind”, or that conflate or misconstrue athletes’ words for clickbait? Yes, there are. 

But players telling stories on their own platforms is just their version of events. It’s their narrative. Sure they will have a first-hand account because they are present, but they also have their own biases and people and situations they want to protect. 

Current players with their own podcasts are emblematic of the current media landscape and the erosion of trust between athletes and certain media. Actual journalists who have built trust and relationships with players still produce great stories, but the prevalence of television talking heads, social media, etc., has blurred the lines.   

So athletes think they are correcting a problem, when really it’s just more of the same. 

It’s great that fans can hear directly from their favorite players on a variety of topics. But it’s important to note that if a fan is looking for objective coverage of said player or their favorite team, hearing directly from the player isn’t the place to find it.

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