1. Friday, March 28, 2008

    bloggers win again 

    ; aka: up yours, mark cuban

    earlier this month i had the pleasure of meeting dallas mavericks owner mark cuban at the Digg party at sxsw. i had about 30 seconds of his attention so the first thing i asked him to do was take a look at kareem abdul-jabbars blog on the LA Times, and when he didnt immediately walk away i asked him to buy my chicago cubs. he said he would do both things if sam zell would open the books for the cubs.

    but then almost the very next day cuban wrote some crud in his blog about how bloggers arent kewl enough to be in the mavs’ locker room, although he would let the espn.com blogger in there.

    i sorta ignored it, figuring the commish would fine him or talk with him or something. but when the lakers came into town, sure enough cuban cockblocked lakers blogger andy kamenetzky. our complaints joined the chorus of criticisms from other pro bloggers and today the league is forcing cuban to do the right thing. Dallas Morning News:

    The NBA has instructed the Mavericks to re-open the team’s home locker room to properly credentialed full-time bloggers who were banned earlier this month.

    Bloggers, including The Dallas Morning News’ Tim MacMahon, again will be allowed locker room access when the team returns to American Airlines Center for Wednesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

    MacMahon, who primarily blogs for The News’ Web site dallasnews.com, was barred earlier this month. Bloggers from ESPN.com’s TrueHoop and the Los Angeles Times also have been turned away. The visitors’ locker room at AAC has remained open to all credentialed media.

    “It’s a new media age, and there are more ways for people to get information than ever before,” said Brian McIntyre, the NBA’s senior vice president for basketball communications. “That creates a lot of challenges for all of us who deal with the media, but we will deal with it.”

    because the owner needs to have the last word on everything, he pouted in only the way he knows how, by blowing it out of proportion:

    Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who contended the team’s locker room was not large enough to accommodate all bloggers, accepted the league’s edict but added a caveat. Via e-mail, Cuban said the Mavericks will open their locker room to all credentialed bloggers, regardless of affiliation. Mavericks credentials are issued by the team.

    Cuban indicated he believes bloggers should be treated equally, regardless of affiliation.

    “Which means we will encourage all bloggers to apply, whether they be someone on blogspot who has been posting for a couple weeks, kids blogging for their middle school Web site or those that work for big companies,” wrote Cuban, a blogger himself. “We won’t discriminate at all.”

    He then cautioned that locker room time, which translates to access to players, may be divided.

    “We will try to work it out so that all bloggers come in as a group after credentialed media,” Cuban wrote. “This will help us manage the crowds should there be quite a few bloggers.”

    Cuban’s position was challenged by Mike Fannin, president of the Associated Press Sports Editors.

    “With all due respect for the potential journalism talent in the middle school ranks, this rebuttal smacks with the tartness of sour grapes,” Fannin, managing editor for sports and features at the Kansas City Star wrote in an e-mail. “Is this really the standard the NBA wants to set for blogging?