Woj vs. Shams Becomes Fascinating Subplot of Lakers' Coaching Search

Basketball fans had fun with Adrian Wojnarowski getting one over on Shams Charania.
The battle of Woj vs. Shams came to the forefront when Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers are targeting UConn's Hurley, contradicting Charania's scoop that Redick is the frontrunner.
The battle of Woj vs. Shams came to the forefront when Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers are targeting UConn's Hurley, contradicting Charania's scoop that Redick is the frontrunner. /
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1. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most iconic franchises in all of sports. The news of who will get their head-coaching job is big. It’s important. It’s significant.

For sports media nerds like myself, though, the subplot to the Lakers' coaching job is much more fascinating. And that subplot is the battle between ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

There isn’t a reporter vs. reporter duel that gets more attention from sports fans than Woj vs. Shams.

The Woj vs. Shams grudge match came to the forefront early Thursday morning when Wojnarowski broke the news that the Lakers are targeting UConn’s Danny Hurley as their next head coach.

Just two days ago, Shams reported that the Lakers were closing in on JJ Redick as the top candidate.

Now, at the end of the day, who breaks the news is hardly that important. There’s no shame in Shams getting this one wrong. Sometimes sources aren’t accurate or a team changes its mind. Basically, s--- happens.

What made this particular Woj vs. Shams incident stand out is that ESPN’s biggest gun, Adam Schefter, even weighed in to send a message, whether it was intended or not.

Again, whether intended or not, that sentence about Hurley being at the forefront of the search from the beginning is a direct shot at Shams.

Like I said, who ultimately breaks the news of the Lakers' next coach isn’t going to change anything. But Woj coming in to throw a bomb all over Shams's earlier report makes for very entertaining tweets and memes.

2. A brand-new episode of SI Media With Jimmy Traina dropped this morning and it features an interview with The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand, who shares information and gives updates on the biggest news in sports media.

Topics covered include the latest developments with the NBA's future TV deals with ESPN, NBC and Amazon and where things stand with Warner Bros. Discovery/TNT. Marchand also reveals what he thinks NBC's plan is for a lead broadcast team, what will happen with the Inside the NBA crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal, whether Barkley could end up at ESPN and why the relationship between TNT and the NBA deteriorated.

Marchand also discusses the Pat McAfee–Caitlin Clark controversy, the media's coverage of Clark and the WNBA and Tom Brady's future at Fox.

Following Marchand, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment. This week's topics include new sports TV shows that are on the radar and the Yankees' dominance. Plus, we read the latest Apple reviews for SI Media With Jimmy Traina.

You can listen to the SI Media With Jimmy Traina below or on Apple and Spotify.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Sports Illustrated‘s YouTube channel.

3. In Tuesday’s Traina Thoughts, I wrote about the ridiculous notion by some people that you need to know about the WNBA’s history in order to opine on the WNBA.

Just as nonsensical as that take is this take.

Nope. You absolutely do not have to watch non–Caitlin Clark WNBA games if you do not want to. No sports fan or talking head has to watch anything they are not interested in. You are not required to have a “deeper sense of the league” to opine on general topics in any sport.

4. Pat McAfee WAS a punter, so it’s not totally shocking he’d have a good leg, but this was a hell of a pass.

As for J.J. Watt’s soccer prowess, well….

5. If you missed the news last week, it was announced that ESPN sold two college football playoff games to TNT. College football released its postseason schedule on Wednesday and now we know why ESPN would pass up on airing a pair of playoff games.

On Saturday, Dec. 21, TNT will air two first-round playoff games at noon and 4 p.m. ET.

It just so happens that two NFL games will take place at the same time.

Texans at Chiefs will air at 1 p.m. ET on NBC while the Steelers visit the Ravens at 4:30 p.m. on Fox.

6. Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s enjoyment of gummies is not new, but he has now brought a new phrase into our lives with “G squared.”

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: The longtime ABC news program, 20/20, debuted on this date in 1978. This seems like the perfect reason to post this clip that every old-school wrestling fan knows well.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

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Jimmy Traina


Jimmy Traina writes the daily column Traina Thoughts and hosts a weekly Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. Jimmy created the daily Hot Clicks feature in 2007, which he wrote until 2013.