NBPA leader Michele Roberts comments on media availability

Wednesday February 25th, 2015

Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of the NBA Players Association, commented on the NBA's media policies in an interview with ESPNW's Kate Fagan.

Roberts said that she often sees reporters standing around and staring at players instead of asking questions.


"Most of the time I go to the locker room, the players are there and there are like eight or nine reporters just standing there, just staring at them," Roberts said. "And I think to myself, 'OK, so this is media availability?' If you don't have a f---ing question, leave, because it's an incredible invasion of privacy. It's a tremendous commitment that we've made to the media -- are there ways we can tone it down? Of course. It's very dangerous to suggest any limitation on media's access to players, but let's be real about some of this stuff.

"I've asked about a couple of these guys, 'Does he ask you a question?' 'Nah, he just stands there.' And when I go in there to talk to the guys, I see them trying to listen to my conversation, and I don't think that's the point of media availability. If nothing else, I would like to have a rule imposed, 'If you have a question, ask it; if you don't, leave.' Sometimes, they're waiting for the marquee players. I get that, but there is so much standing around."

Fagan noted that the NBA tweaked its regulations on media availability prior to the 2013 season. One change was to decrease the amount of time locker rooms are open to reporters before games from 45 minutes to 30.

Roberts' comments come to light less than a month after 2013-14 MVP Kevin Durant criticized the media, saying "you guys don't really know s---," according to The Oklahoman. Durant apologized for his remarks.

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