We were traveling yesterday afternoon — we're back in Mattoon for the holidays — so we weren't able to give this the attention it probably deserved. So allow us to correct that now.
On Monday, when the Iverson to Denver trade finally went down, we praised ESPN for its scoop on a story everyone had been watching intently. (Even while questioning them, since ESPN has a tendency to get NBA deals wrong, unless Larry Brown is running the Cavs and we just don't know about it.) Well, as it turns out, the scoop might not have been theirs at all. Former ESPN NBA guy David Aldridge — if you don't remember him, he's pictured (the one on the left) — wrote The Big Lead to accuse the network of swiping his scoop.
The Philadelphia Inquirer broke the story about [Tuesday's] trade. I should know, because I wrote it. It was on our site about 10 minutes before ESPN "broke" it. I don't expect everyone to read every website every minute of the day, and the Four-Letter is ubiquitous, so people almost always see it first. But in this case, they weren't first. We were.
While we enjoy the odd notion that a guy at Stephen A. Smith's paper scooped Stephen A. and then had his scoop stolen by someone at ESPN who isn't Stephen A., we're still a little saddened; the network has a long history of confirming someone else's scoops and then claiming "ESPN has learned." We're still not sure that's exactly what happened here, but if it did, we'd like to cordially invite the network to "break" this story, leading to a "ESPN has learned that David Aldridge has learned that ESPN has learned that Allen Iverson has been traded to Denver, which ESPN can now confirm."
Did ESPN Really Scoop The Iverson Story [The Big Lead]