If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that Wi-Fi is a necessity.
A strong wireless internet connection was always going to be a requirement for ESPN and all of the NBA prospects that were waiting to hear their names called on Wednesday night from their homes. But for the rest of us, we should have known that Twitter would be where all the action would take place.
When the NFL did their virtual draft back in April, football insiders were a pick or two ahead of the telecast at most. That wasn’t the case on Wednesday night as Adrian Wojnarowski used the night to affirm that he’s the best news breaker in the business.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania started things out by breaking the first pick of the night as the Timberwolves went with Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 overall pick. Seconds later, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes and Woj followed up with the same news.
But while the ESPN telecast was discussing Edwards, Woj was already tweeting two picks ahead. He told us that James Wiseman was going to Golden State at No. 2 and that LaMelo Ball was headed to Charlotte at No. 3 before Edwards was even done with his interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
The telecast never had a chance. Woj alerted us that Killian Hayes was going to Detroit at No. 7 as ESPN was telling us that the Bulls were taking Patrick Williams at No. 4.
This is what happens when the network that broadcasts the draft has the best insider in the game on payroll. And it’s not like ESPN didn’t know what they were doing when Woj came aboard, given that his abilities to break news are why they signed him, as he used to tweet picks ahead of their telecasts in his days working at ESPN’s rival, Yahoo Sports.
According to the Indianapolis Star, two years ago there was an “agreement” amongst reporters from ESPN, Turner, and Yahoo not to tweet out the picks before the broadcasts did. By the fourth pick, Woj was over it.
Earlier this week, Forbes reported that ESPN wouldn’t spoil the picks as “a continuation of past trends of both the NBA and NFL having ‘protected’ telecasts.
The rules don’t apply to Woj.
Hopefully, this will be the last year we have virtual drafts. But if it isn’t, at least we know that Twitter will always be there.