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Brandon Knight, Andre Drummond get testy with media

Imagine you fail at a big project at work, and minutes afterward, you have to face questions from outsiders who aren’t capable of doing what you do. They want you to analyze every mistake you made and tell them why you failed.

Sound miserable?

NBA players do it every night – and they do it with the added stress of having just completed a physically exhausting activity. The practice finally got to Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond. David Mayo of MLive:

Brandon Knight, who frequently times his post-game showers in a fashion that allows him to avoid questioning, found it difficult to do with a back-to-back and a quick getaway.  He responded when asked about his shooting struggles, then walked away muttering about the line of questioning being why he doesn’t do interviews.

Andre Drummond, asked about the game’s defining play — a JaVale McGee dunk in which the Nuggets’ center was lollygagging at midcourt until a desperation pass out to him to save possession, after which he found a wide-open lane and dribbled some 40 feet before a slam dunk — called it "an irrelevant question."

"He just came down the lane," Drummond said curtly, after his initial objection to the question.  "He came down quick and finished it quick."

I’m not excusing Knight and Drummond. They should answer questions with more courtesy than that. Their high salaries, relative to the rest of the American workforce, are due, in part, to the free advertising media gives the NBA. Sure, they can blow off reporters without changing how much coverage the NBA receives, but if all NBA players completely shut out the media, revenue would eventually decrease (or rise less quickly than it would have otherwise).

But it bothers me when reporters demand answers without sympathy to the situation players face.

Knight is shooting poorly. What is he supposed to say about it? Sometimes, there’s a good reason worth discussing. Sometimes – especially when dealing with a small sample size like in this case – there’s not. Reporters should ask Knight the question, but if he doesn’t have a good answer, that might be because there’s no good answer. If he doesn’t want to talk about it, maybe it’s because, as a player, he knows his best way to fix the problems are putting them behind him.

Drummond, and every other Piston on the court, failed on the McGee play. But Drummond might have a point. The question might have been irrelevant to him, because we all saw what happened. He likely can’t provide any more context on it, and there’s no need to discuss preventing similar plays in the future. That play was so spectacularly bad that not even the Pistons will repeat it. Sometimes irrelevant questions get quality answers, so there’s not necessarily a harm in asking them. They just come with the risk of an athlete responding about the irrelevancy.

Drummond and Knight were wrong here. But any reporting on their errors deserves more context. Drummond and Knight were wrong in a situation where many of us would have been wrong, and while that doesn’t change anything, it’s important to remember.

24 Comments

  • Nov 7, 201212:12 pm
    by Holy Crow

    Reply

    Knight’s next contract will not be affected by how many stupid questions he answers after a tough loss. I respect that these guys hate to lose. If that hurts the rporter’s feelings, they can always call their mother…

    • Nov 7, 20126:35 pm
      by michael

      Reply

      Drummond actual went out of his way to STEP OUT OF McGee’s way… Drummand occupied the space, he didn’t even have to move to get an offensive foul.  The kid was more afraid of being hurt than stopping the basket…  Bill Lambeer could show him how it’s done, but no, we got a 5’2″ coach that has never actually taken a charge in his life, so he has a problem instructing anyone on why they should risk their body – and how to take the charge without being hurt severely – Bill L. could tell em.

      As for BK7, his play has been about the same as the other slouch at the 2 guard, you know the king charger, that hopes for a trip to the free throw line #3, and shoots about 10%. 

  • Nov 7, 201212:20 pm
    by Ben Fridsma

    Reply

    i dont like what Knight is doing. Never have liked him. I understand he is getting guys shots. but shoot the ball, oh and make the shots while your at it. and i still dont like Stuckey. oh and sign Big Ben drop daye. yo u can tell me with a straight face that the D wouldnt be better with him on the team. he is playing so much better. hitting shots he wouldnt hit in 2004. this guy needs to be on the team.

  • Nov 7, 201212:28 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Most reporting is done in such a terrible way that I’m surprised how well players actually handle it most of the time.  I watch these guys…the expression on their face…  Injured, tired, pissed…they still act like professionals and give a diplomatic answer most the time.  When they get feed up, it becomes the story instead of the game. 
     
    It goes with the job dealing with the idiot reporters…  Most reports give the player an answer to the question while they ask…all the player does is provide color to the answer given.  It’s just so juvenile. 

  • Nov 7, 20121:07 pm
    by Keith

    Reply

    Interesting how rarely we hear stories like this coming from winning teams. Russell Westbrook is somewhat notoriously cold toward the media, but even he comes out having fun and with his friends. I’m not unaffected by Knight being anti-media, but it has to be hard too. He was drafted by a bad team, a team he may not have liked to begin with, a team filled with non-complementary players. It’s not a conducive team nor a winning atmosphere.
     
    There’s also never a right answer when the team is losing like we are. If he says, “Yeah, I’m just missing, there’s not much to say,” the media would be all over him about how little he cares and how he is disrespecting the game and hard work. If he comes out and says, “Yeah, I’m working on those shots every day to help the team,” the media will say how apparently his practice isn’t paying off and he’s just a high drafted bum. When the team is losing, and losing in convincing fashion, everything gets spun in a negative light. When we start winning or at least playing better, there may be value in talking to reporters. Right now, it’s easier to be disliked by reporters in general than give them more ammo to smear you.

  • Nov 7, 20121:12 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    Knight is not having trouble with his shot , he’s trying to become a complete point guard. He’ll figure it out. But like Prince said, Knight needs a veteran to learn from. Instead of interviewing the young players they should be interviewing the coach about why his teams defense suck and being out rebounded. And wouldn’t he think that having a 6’10 and a 6’11 players on the court would produce more rebounds than a 6’11 and 6’6 players would.

  • Nov 7, 20121:33 pm
    by Jim

    Reply

    The only reason this author has this opinion is because he is in the most biased position you can be.  Please don’t act like these players owe you anything because you think you give the NBA “free advertising.”  You must be a fool to not realize the NBA is what you advertise to get viewers to your program.  I’m going to watch sports regardless of whether or not the media is there to interview the players afterwards.  The media are worse than lawyers.

    • Nov 7, 20122:01 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “The only reason this author has this opinion is because he is in the most biased position you can be.”

      You realize ‘this author’ defended the players, right? The story on MLive is the one that blasted the players for being short with the media. Dan wrote mostly that he thinks that position taken by Mayo was unfair.

      Commenters who don’t read before responding with smart ass comments are worse than media and lawyers combined.

      • Nov 7, 20126:07 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Jim may have been referring to the MLive author.

  • Nov 7, 20122:08 pm
    by Al

    Reply

    LMAO

  • Nov 7, 20122:24 pm
    by Matt

    Reply

    Why do people forget that Dre is 19 and Knight is 20? Give them a break, if you recall your early adult years, pretty sure you did some stupid things too. Heck, Mayo did stupid things in his 30′s, or perhaps he has forgotten his “Problem” I appreciate the insight, but can we refrain from giving Mayo and sort of pub, he is a disgrace.

    • Nov 7, 20126:12 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Because they were blessed with opportunities few others can do more than dream about. We as humans are a lot more reluctant to take it easy on a person who got it all than one who got the shaft in life.

  • Nov 7, 20122:33 pm
    by DasMark

    Reply

    It’s a non-issue to me, as a fan. 

    They failed, and they let a guy who isn’t respected by many in the league to get a highlight play. I’m sure they’re embarrassed about it, like any human being would be.

    But, from a professional stand point, you don’t want your employees representing your franchise this way in public. If you’re Tim Duncan, you can get away with being short or cold towards reporters, because you’re Tim F’ing Duncan! These boys need to get along with the media, this piss poor team doesn’t need to attract any more bad press. 

  • Nov 7, 20123:27 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    You said it best, Dan. McGee was dicking around by mid-court. Drummond was doing the right thing staying home to protect the paint. If putting McGee out by the 3 pt line is all DEN needed to do to draw Drummond out of the paint, then our paint defense would’ve been even worse. McGee is no threat from outsidem thus Drummond did the right thing by leaving him out there. Once McGee got a running start towards the basket and took off from the FT line though, there wasn’t much Drummond could do to stop him. Unless ppl wanted him take out McGee mid-air and injure him.

    And most of the McGee breakdowns were the guards and Jerebkos fault. Drummond had to keep stepping up to block off penetration, from the porous perimeter D by our guards. And Jerebko was responsible for rotating over to guard McGee.

     

  • Nov 7, 20123:29 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    As for the players being short with the media, I couldn’t care less. 

    • Nov 7, 20123:31 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      They are 0-4. They should be in a bad mood. If they were laughing and telling stories with the media, then I’d be concerned.

    • Nov 7, 20123:40 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      As a fan, I don’t care whether they talk to the media or not either.

      But from a team perspective, it can be a bad look, specifically what Mayo describes Knight doing — ducking out before media availability. The NBA makes teams open their locker rooms to media. If guys who don’t want to do it are ducking out, it leaves the same players with that responsibility every night, and I’m sure that could get annoying. Knight, whether he pans out or not, is treated by the organization as a cornerstone-type player. Part of that responsibility is dealing with media — he’s on the court a lot, so obviously he’s a person that media would seek out to talk to.

      If you follow the Tigers, we saw this creep up with them — Miguel Cabrera kept ducking out of the locker room after losses in the playoffs and not talking to media. His teammate, Octavio Dotel, got mad about it and actually called Cabrera out for not talking.

      It’s not that it’s super important — postgame quotes rarely yield anything interesting, and that’s mostly because media routinely ask uninteresting questions. But it’s still a league-wide rule that every team must do. If one of your star players is avoiding it, that’s not great leadership and it’s putting an undue strain on players who are in the locker room to talk more. 

      • Nov 7, 20124:27 pm
        by Mark

        Reply

        yeah, you make a good point about Knight setting a bad example. Hadn’t really thought of that. Some players just don’t like doing interviews though. Sheed was like that too, it never really seemed to both the other players too much. I think if we start winning some games he will be more willing to give interviews. He’s probably embaressed to talk with the way they are performing and literally has nothing else to say. You can only give so many cliches after losses. 

      • Nov 7, 20125:12 pm
        by rick

        Reply

        Gotta call you out on this one Hayes. Dotel was mad at Cabrera and Fielder(leaders of team) for not showing any emotion in those last decisive innings of the final games. I do not recall him saying anything about the media side of it other than he wished they showed more fire. Thought I’d throw that out there because I read it in the Freep and somewhere else.

        • Nov 7, 201210:05 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I’ll call you out right back:

          But the mood in the clubhouse took a serious turn and tension surfaced when veteran Octavio Dotel told [Miguel] Cabrera to address the media because it was his job as the leader of the team[.] Cabrera turned down all interview requests and sat at one of the tables in his dress clothes with his arms crossed. Dotel, still in uniform, sat at the other table and shook his head. 

  • Nov 7, 20125:50 pm
    by MNM

    Reply

    The media sessions after the games wont get any easier if BK doesn’t start putting the ball in the basket more.. What it always comes down to is basically this.. If you want better, then play better. Lack of scoring from Brandon and turnovers are both issues right now. Yea, he’ll be 21 in December, but still, he’s gotta show something better than this..

  • Nov 7, 201211:03 pm
    by theCouncilofNine

    Reply

    Where do I start ? Monroes matador defense ? Annie Drummonds tuck tail and run move ? 

    First Monroe, imo before he’s annointed to be an allstar he should really put some, any type of effort into playing defense, and please dont anyone tell me ” he’s just not a good defensive player” how can you not be a good defensive player ? thats like telling me he’s not good at tying his shoes. Defense is all about effort either you play hard, with passion or you dont.  The L.A. game was disgusting, and I’m talking about the whole team effort or lack thereof. Have some pride, play hard show me that you want to a professional basketball player.

    Now Annie Drummond, what a joke now I know why there were questions about his motor in college. Allowing a player to drive from the 3 point line and go in for a uncontested dunk. Will someone please tell this kid to grow a pair and at least pretend he’s in the NBA now ? sheesh !!!!!!!!!!!!

    L Frank please keep this child on the bench until he earns the right to play professional basketball. Heres some advice, put in Viacheslav Kravstslov maby he’ll play like a man should play, with passion/force and pride.

    Let the Kwame comparisions began ,ughhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     

  • Aug 17, 20136:29 am
    by sleep aids

    Reply

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this matter here on your blog.

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