Warriors refute Adrian Wojnarowski’s report on Stephen Curry

Early Friday afternoon, Mercury News reporter Shayna Rubin announced the news that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry will not have his injured left foot reevaluated until the end of the regular season. The implication of the tweet is obvious: Curry will miss the rest of the regular season (five games), which calls into question whether he’ll be ready for the playoffs.

The immediate and overwhelming reaction to Rubin’s tweet was a flood of Warriors fans asking if it was an April Fool’s Day joke. It wasn’t, of course, because she’s covering the team for a living and making an April Fool’s Day joke about the team you’re covering would be incomprehensibly short-sighted. But some of the fan skepticism likely has to do with the unfortunate reality of breaking NBA news in 2022: the vast majority of the big news is delivered by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Stadium’s Shams Charania.

Woj and Charania dominate the scoop game, with the scoop outcome being their only interest. Their sourcing methods have been questioned, as they and a few other domestic scoop hunters have shown a willingness to frame stories as their sources—usually agents or squad executives—would like.

But Woj in particular has a huge following of 5.2 million people on Twitter, so on the rare occasion he’s beaten to death over a story, his inevitable follow-up tweet is often seen as the final word on the matter. Fifteen minutes after Rubin’s tweet on Friday, Woj delved into the Curry saga, tagging fellow member Kendra Andrews with a quite different assessment Situation: Curry could still return during the regular season, and he will be re-evaluated in a week, which is still just before the end of the regular season.

Wojnarowski’s report, like Rubin’s, cites several unnamed sources. So, who is right ?

Rubin, not Woj. Minutes after Woj’s tweet, the Warriors issued a statement confirming that there will be no updates from Curry until April 11, which is after the end of the regular season. There’s no cover in the Dubs’ statement, just like there was no cover in Rubin’s, or other journalists who quickly intervened on the situation: Curry is out for the rest of the regular season, and there is no indication that he will be re-evaluated in “a week”, which is April 8 and not April 11.

Nonetheless, at 1:01 p.m., Wojnarowski and Andrews co-signed an article confirming the Warriors’ announcement that Curry will miss the remainder of the regular season. They did not cite Rubin for leaking the story, nor did Wojnarowski attempt to explain his change in information within a 40-minute time frame. ESPN’s article also vaguely reiterates that Curry will be re-evaluated in “one week,” even though that doesn’t coincide with the Dubs’ April 11 date.

In the end, it’s not a big deal; you might even call him ‘fussy’, and I wouldn’t argue with your assessment. But here’s the thing: When Rubin, a local reporter, published a now-correct story, she was greeted with disbelief and even hostility of people who quickly sided with Wojnarowski, the national scoop-getter. So let this serve as a friendly reminder: National sports scoopers aren’t infallible, and when they’re wrong (even a small mistake like this!), they’re not going to go out of their way to alter the record – even if they should.