Where did Artest Rumor Start?

by Conrad Brunner

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

If you'd like to pose a Question of the Day to Conrad Brunner, submit it along with your full name and hometown to Bruno's_mailbag@pacers.com

Conrad Brunner
Q. I saw an article (originating in the New York Post) that said the Pacers were looking to trade Ron Artest to Seattle for Brent Barry. My question isn't whether this is true or not, but how do rumors like that get started? If these rumors do indeed turn out to be truthful, why is it the local media (the one's closest to the source) aren't reporting these rumors? (From Travis in Marion, IN)

A. First things first: that trade can’t happen because of NBA Base Year Compensation rules. Artest, entering the first year of a contract extension, is a base-year player until July 1, 2004, which renders him virtually un-tradeable until next summer.

As for the more complex issues you raised, I cannot speak for other forms of media, particularly to speculate on where they might get their information. As a former employee of Indianapolis Newspapers Inc., I can tell you my experience was that the editors required multiple sources, and often independent corroboration of information before an unattributed report (one quoting unidentified sources) could find its way into print. That process tends to weed out most rumors.

Speaking for this website, our policy is not to deal in rumor. There’s no need, because the only sources that matter, when it comes to information about the Pacers, are right down the hallway and readily accessible. The Internet has made more information available to more people than at any time in history. This is both a good and bad thing, because the information is both good and bad. In this case, the rumor was investigated and found to be simply wrong. Not only can that particular trade not happen because of NBA salary-cap rules, no variation of that deal has been proposed.

Because of the amount of rumor and speculation on the Internet, one of the biggest criticisms of this medium is its credibility. As the official Website of the team, we consider credibility an inviolable editorial priority.