Screenshot: HBO

Have you seen some cryptic and not-so-cryptic tweets and subtweets from some sports bloggers about who invented the special and not-at-all generic idea of comparing NBA teams to TV shows and movies? Are you wondering who first came up with this innovative and original idea that nobody else could have thought of? Would you like to know why anyone would fight over something like this?

If so, you’ve come to the right place, because I’m going to lay out the great NBA Season Preview Beef that is already extremely embarrassing for everyone involved. It started a few days ago when Mike Prada of SB Nation announced SB Nation’s TV-themed NBA preview:

Maybe you thought the whole “The NBA, but as TV!” schtick got stale five years ago when everyone was obsessively comparing the sport to Game Of Thrones, but here we are.

Then, ESPN published its own lazy version of “NBA as TV shows” AND wrote a strained blog to go along with it. Prada saw this, and was not mad online about it at all (you can tell by the winky face that he is actually laughing):

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But when the Ringer ALSO rolled out their NBA season preview as TV shows idea, things got testy!

Ringer NBA writer Jason Concepcion responded with an obvious subtweet. I don’t think he meant to imply the Ringer stole SB Nation’s idea, but he kind of did:

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Would you believe that things only got even more interesting after that, and that by “interesting” I mean “prepare to die from the second-hand embarrassment on behalf of all involved”? Because it turns out someone else wanted to jump into the fray and wrestle for this old scrap of meat. This guy who does something at USA Today is also aggrieved over having a completely basic idea that no one even wants to look at anyhow stolen from him.

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Anyone else?

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Oh, good. The thing about this that’s just so devastating is that there’s likely no way anybody actually stole the idea; it’s clear these have all been in the works for a while (the Ringer made 30 goddamn videos). And the thing to feel when it turns out multiple websites all came up with the exact same gimmick isn’t jealousy or protectiveness. It’s shame.