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Lost in the New York Times‘ release of Rachel Nichols’ private conversation was a line that disclosed that Adrian Wojnarowski called Nichols “a bad teammate.”
“Wojnarowski jumped in and called Nichols a bad teammate,” the Times writes.
I’m guessing that line is about to gain a degree of significance.
On the Dan Le Batard Show Tuesday, former ESPN NBA insider Amin Elhassan accused Wojnarowski of not only being a bad teammate himself but of — wait for it — racism.
“Are you sh-tting me?” Elhassan asks.
“This guy is going to call someone a bad teammate? For real? For real? Do we want to talk about the black careers that he put a foot on because he was threatened by? Do we want to talk about that?
“Do you wanna talk about the newsbreakers (with an -s!) of diverse background — who have rapports with players that Adrian doesn’t have — that he saw as threatening because his sources are all front office people, and assistant coaches trying to move up, and maybe a video coordinator that’s trying to get a better job somewhere else?”
What’s wild about Elhassan’s claim of racism is that Wojnarowski is known for costing Marc Stein, a white reporter, his job.
When ESPN signed Wojnarowski in 2017, it laid off Stein, who was the network’s top NBA insider at the time.
It’s not clear whether Wojnarowski personally played a role in ESPN’s decision to part ways with Stein, or whether the network just didn’t want to keep two competing insiders. Either way, Wojnarowski technically put his foot on Stein’s career.
So, here’s where the story sits:
- Someone leaked audio to damage Rachel Nichols and assist in Maria Taylor’s contract demands.
- Nichols apologized and lost her job at the NBA Finals.
- Taylor hosts ESPN’s main NBA studio show and could leave the network before Game 7.
- Taylor wants $8 million a year.
- Jalen Rose’s daughter blasted Nichols in a public video.
- Amin Elhassan has now accused Adrian Wojnarowski of ruining the careers of black colleagues.
- Former ESPN host Michelle Beadle is mocking the whole situation.
Got that? Because this ain’t a movie.