The Toronto Raptors scored a major victory last night, outlasting Golden State in overtime. As part of his job, guard Kyle Lowry took some questions from the media. And he got things off on a positive note by beginning his availability with a warning.
“Don’t ask me no dumbass questions.”
He continued, doing his very best to be as difficult as possible to the queries and reporters asking them.
Funny? Kinda. Unnecessary? Completely.
In the interest of consistency, I’ll point out that surly and standoffish behavior is just as cringe-y when a player does it as it is when a coach does it. And while Lowry has a long way to go until he steps into Gregg Popovich territory, it’s not the greatest road to be on.
The checks are going to clear either way, so it doesn’t cost anything to be magnanimous or pretend you’re not at peak annoyance. It’s not the end of the world and, yes, the media has its problems. The questions were a bit silly and there’s no good way for Lowry to answer them if his goal was to say as little as possible.
But I keep going back to this. Reporters are asking questions on the fans’ behalf. They are your representative in the locker room. So when a player blows them off or — worse — treats them like dirt, they’re doing it by extension to the viewer at home. It’s clear many who celebrate these routines either don’t appreciate that fact or don’t care.
Consider for a minute if the roles were reversed. Imagine writers starting their conversations with Lowry by imploring him not to take any “dumbass” shots or commit any “dumbass” turnovers. Imagine them belittling and scoffing at his answers in real-time. People would lose it.
So why is it okay for the player or coach to do it? Partly because there’s a weird public perception that the beat writers somehow hold the power in this situation, which couldn’t be further from the truth. They are the blue-collar grinders trying to eke out a living. It doesn’t seem necessary for them to get berated simply for doing their job.