ESPN NBA reporters Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon’s credentials were pulled by the Dallas Mavericks. The news was first reported by Tim Cato of SB Nation’s Mavs Moneyball.
ESPN spokesperson Josh Krulewitz sent The Big Lead the following statement (which was also sent to Cato): “We’re committed to thoroughly covering the Mavs and the NBA.”
The Mavericks declined to comment to Cato, and the NBA issued a boilerplate statement that they were “in communication” with both the Mavs and ESPN about the matter.
Since nobody is saying anything yet, the true reason has not yet been revealed (UPDATE: per tweets below, now we have an idea), but there are some possible breadcrumbs in what Cato wrote:
MacMahon’s role at ESPN changed this year, transitioning from a full-time Mavericks beat writer to a more general NBA position that included other teams. He has covered the Mavericks’ home opener and all three road game, but will not be credentialed for games in Dallas. MacMahon is based in Dallas, as is Stein, who has been a widely known national NBA writer at ESPN.com for years.
While ESPN and MacMahon will of course not ignore the Mavs’ existence, it would make sense if they would pull back their coverage a little bit this year, given that the team just got their first win tonight, and is now 1-5. And, yeah, that decreased attention reportedly struck a nerve:
Longtime Dallas newspaperman and Around the Horn panelist Tim Cowlishaw had this to say about the news:
Meanwhile, the reporters are not outright banned from the building:
This should be a fun story tomorrow.