Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gasol Tries to Repair Image, No Comment from Ron-Ron

I know, people came here expecting to read about how the Grizzlies did in Houston yesterday. Maybe read a little about Kyle Lowry's great game and what that means for the point guard battle. Maybe a little comment about how good Rudy looked compared to Shane Battier and a plug for tonights game.

It's all here somewhere if you look around. Instead I am going to talk about someone who didn't play last night.

Memphis has a great player on the team. He is recognized around the world as a superstar. He is one of the most popular athletes in his country as well ranking up with Rafael Nadal in popularity. The only all-star ever in his NBA franchise's history but feels unloved in his adopted home town.

Pau Gasol can't get a break in this town.

Last night the Canadian Press released a story about Pau talking about his attempts this summer to repair that image. Pau went to Chris Wallace and asked what he could do to help the team.

Granted he has some repairing to do after last season's trade demand but as Spartacus pointed out earlier in Go Ahead, Request a Trade Pau did it with class and some sense of respect to his team and the franchise. He still caught a lot of grief from people but we have since seen from Kobe Bryant, Andrei Kirilenko and others how using the media makes the situation much worse. Pau didn't drag the franchise threw the mud in his attempt to be traded. He talked in private to the owner.

Either way, he wasn't traded. He put up with the boos and the criticisms despite posting career numbers on a bad team. He kept working even when it seemed everyone hated him.

What irriates me however is that it took a Canadian Press story for Memphis to discover how hard Gasol is working to repair his image. Just like it took our blog (Chris Wallace, Class in Session) to force the CA to write a story about how Chris Wallace was reaching out to the community. Just like it took our Mark Price blog for the CA to report that Mark Price was hired as a shooting consultant. When will our paid Grizzlies Beat Writer start breaking news instead of just recovering what other people write?

Maybe Gasol needs to do more but the CA needs to do a lot more. This is Memphis' only major league sports franchise. Show the team some love. Report on good stories and stop with the fresh off the Grizzlies press release stuff.

And Pau, those who love the team know you are doing it right. Don't stop trying to repair the image but the city hates to lose. It isn't personal. When you asked out when we were down it hurts but it isn't irreparable. Keep working and maybe Ron Tillery will finally write about it.

And no this isn't written simply because Ron Tillery refused to reply to my request for the Media Bias blog.

Well maybe a little about that...

Update (Spartacus): Click here for the Calkins' column that Keith referred to in the comments.

21 comments:

RedAl said...

What is ironic is that now that Tillery is sharing duties with Morgan he should have more time, not less for real reporting.

Keith said...

Chip,

First, let me say that "I love you, man." Keep up the good work. But I kept trying to remember where I heard this before and it was in the CA in a Calkins article on Sept. 30.

But Gasol doesn't shy away from admitting he has some significant redeeming to do. That's why he's decided to pony up his own cash to hire a community relations person, someone who can help him make a bigger impact in Memphis and, as a happy by-product, repair his relationship to the fans.

"I want to be more involved in the community," Gasol said. "I want to reach out in a number of different ways.

"I have always had a great connection to kids and I want to continue to do that. But if you look at Memphis, the most important thing I can do might be to focus on people with needs."

ChipC3 said...

I missed that Geoff caulkins story and I apologize. I should have known he would get the story, he doesn't cover the Grizzlies after all.

Geoff is by far the best writer in Memphis. It doesn't alter the fact that we didn't hear anything about this all summer from the team's beat writer. Maybe he was too busy with his babe draft to have time to look into what the team and players were doing to make things better in town.

Spartacus said...

Two points still remain valid:

1. Gasol is doing something no other high-profile player who has requested/demanded a trade recently has done -- made an effort to reconnect with his fanbase.

2. Tillery, the Grizzlies beat writer, didn't get the story out, which isn't exactly unusual.

chris said...

Just to keep the controversy going: Maybe the headline on this post should be "No comment from Tillery" since the the CA did write about it.

carry on

Chris said...

LMAO!!!

now this blog really looks wacky. Chip do you really think Caulkins and Tillery would write about the same thing? If its in the CA, its in the CA. You do a great job Chip. Get over that clown Tillery. This makes you look bad.

ChipC3 said...

Caulkins wrote a story about Memphis needing to support Gasol not about Gasol making moves to rebuild his image in Memphis. There is a difference.

The Canadian article talked about what Gasol is doing to improve his image around town. All Caulkins said was that Gasol had hired a PR guy.

Bottom line is that both stories are correct. The Canadian story was great to hear what Gasol is doing to rebond with the city and the Caulkins article talks about why the city should be receptive to it.

ChipC3 said...

And no I don't expect Tillery and Calkins to write about the same thing.

I don't expect Tillery to go out of his way to find any stories about the Grizzlies.

scott_7713 said...

Chip, this story is so self-serving how you guys repeatedly refer back to what you broke or how you mentioned it before the CA. I like what you are doing, BUT you are falling into the Sports56 way of self promotion. You like to think you changed the course of something only to brag about it. Just do your thing and get off Ron. You think they'll fire him because of your rants? If they did fire him, you'd focus on how YOU got something changed. Don't be that guy.

And people got on Gasol BECAUSE he was injured, missed a bunch of games, and requested a trade after the team stunk without him. I get all the Heisley/West/sale/etc., but your average fan (not a die hard on a board or a blog) focuses on the players...not the behind the scene admin BS. That's why Gasol got killed...and is he repairing his image cause he genuinely thinks he screwed up, or is he hiring the PR rep for his own self interests. You can bet your ace there will be people on both sides of that fence.

ChipC3 said...

1st paragraph is fair criticism. I did blow my own horn (as well as the Canadian Press and other sites) but that was my point. Why are other people doing the work of the beat writer? Still it is a fair argument to say I may have overdone it in this article.

I have no idea what you are ranting on in the 2nd paragraph. Are you trying to imply it is somehow wrong for Gasol to try and mend his image? REGARDLESS of who was at fault, He is doing it.

Of course if a professional athlete does something good and the press isn't there to report it does it matter what he does?

The press can get these stories out and help build support for the betterment of the whole. By failing to cover these stories people don't know overall what the team and its players are doing to reconnect with them.

I think the paper has a responsibility to the community to help promote the major symbols of Memphis to the nation and the world and right now that includes the Memphis Grizzlies.

But it is just my opinion. Thanks for coming over and reading Scott. I know how hard this must be for you to admit to doing.

Anonymous said...

What is good about this site? It just takes old information we could read anywhere else and puts it here without a unique spin or perspective. Also, it is only about one team, and the smallest market team in the league I might add. If you guys truly want to have a successful site you need to think about expanding your information and hiring some writers who actually understand what it takes to write a successful blog that people want to read. Otherwise, people will just go about reading ESPN and their local paper.

ChipC3 said...

Well thanks for the constructive criticism Anonymous. However since we do this for free I doubt you will see any increase in expenses for new blog writers.

As for expanding our coverage we are looking into that but at this time it isn't imminent.

People are free to check out ESPN, their local paper and other sources but Shades of Blue did break the story on Mark Price being hired as the new shooting coach (ESPN even referenced the blog when they reported it) and as this blog pointed out, the local paper doesn't exactly find news stories.

Thanks for reading. We will try and create new content as often as possible and definately put our opinions to the stories already available.

scott_7713 said...

"I know how hard this must be for you to admit to doing."

I really hope this was a joke. I don't know why you would think this. I personally have no problem with what you guys are doing and I don't mind reading here. I just hate that you guys have turned into media whores. At least try to be humble. Anonymous has a great point about you blogging on ONE team in the smallest market. And Chris Herington and the CA have blogs as well, which I guess is why you guys pimp yours so hard. "Act like you've been there", and this would be much more enjoyable for your readers, who mostly come from the Grizz board anyway.

I wish you guys all the success in whatever it is you are trying to do here, whether it's fun or making benjamins.

Spartacus said...

First, I've really got to add emoticons to the comments section so Scott will know when we are joking -- which Chip was.

Second, Scott, you've already admitted that you aren't well-versed in the business of blogging. Let me give you a short lesson in how you get your name out there: you pimp yourself out like a street corner prostitute. We kept our mouths shut about our blog for 5 months and got virtually no traffic. As soon as we started to let people know about what we were doing, people started reading us.

Finally, you're asking us to be humble? We weren't humble on the Message Boards, so why would you have expected a change here? (Add winking emoticon here to indicate an attempt at being facetious) ;-)

scott_7713 said...

Thanks for the reply Spartacus. I hate to read the desparation of the street corner-like comments, but I guess I'll have to endure them as that is definately the approach being taken.

Sidenote...I noticed Chip actually said something about one of the media members responding to his season outlook question and noted the editor used a bunch of words and said nothing. Chip, that is YOU made over. I almost spit my drink out. Set a word limit and get to the point.

I like most of what you guys have done here except for the waste of reading in patting yourselves on the back and chip's rambling and interpreting what those columists meant instead of letting their words stand alone. I think that would have been a better approach.

Keep the info coming and I'll keep shooting holes and occasionally commend your work.

Sean said...

Just wanted to say I really appreciate what you're doing and check this site every day (and I don't read the Grizzlies board). You guys are the only consistent, everyday Grizzlies presence in the world of sports blogs. The people who are saying you should cover more than one team don't know what they're talking about. To have a successful sports blog these days, you have to fill a niche--just look at the popular team blogs for the Celtics, Bulls, Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, etc. The NBA blog scene is already really crowded and if you guys wrote about the whole league, you'd get lost in the sea. As it is, you've carved out a nice little place for yourselves. It seems like you've become the go-to blog when people like Henry Abbott want to link to Grizzlies stories. And I love that you're ruffling some feathers. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

The ones who are saying they should cover more than one team are just saying that for the fact if they want to actually MAKE MONEY off of this site. As it is, this site couldnt buy a Big Mac Combo a week. It is mediocre at best, but more on the horrible side. They should hand the reigns over to people who actually know how to write instead of stealing other peoples information and using references to fill their site. There are thousands of sites out there like this that provide the EXACT same information. If this is just for fun, then yes it is a GOOD site, but if it is a potential business venture, then the idea is horrific and a waste of time. Have a coke and a smile............on the revenue from ad traffic.

zack said...

I've stayed out of this debate thus far...but I want to interject something...

The purpose of blogs...although I can't yet say this as concise and elegant as I want, I feel I should elaborate on what function blogs serve...

while it is reasonable to thinkg blogs are trying to be competition to traditional media, that is somewhat off-base...blogs are more like a compliment to traditional media....

here is a laundry list of purposes I think blogs serve:

--Clearing house for information about the subject being covered...One constant most blogs do is collect information (news and opinion from traditional media as well as non-traditional internet sites)

--some blogs are unbiased (such as power house sports blogs like AOL Fanhouse or profootballtalk), some blogs are biased, written from a fans perspective....both are acceptable and serve a niche...

--blogs have traditional acted as a checks and balance to the mainstream media...if anyone read profootballtalk's coverage of the micheal vick case, you understand what I mean...mainstream media need this checks and balance....blogs have been the place to do it....it is also evident in most political blogs.....

--instant analysis....blogs provide analysis of events....traditional media might report that there is a new quarterback....blogs then can wax and wane on the implications of such a decision...blogs can also do this instantly without the need to pass something by an editor for next day's print....AOL Fanhouse is an excellent example of having a commentary on the implication of sports news...they will quote, ESPN for instance, then give their take on what that news means....

I could go on and on and maybe someday I will be able to sum up elegantly the purpose of a blog....

for now I will say that blogs can co-exist with traditional media (and with messageboards)....it is a place for someone to give their views on sports news and events...sometimes a blog may break news, but most of the time they are there to give analysis of the events in question...and sometimes (like when I write) that will be done from a biased point of view (i.e., I'm happy that Oden got hurt...haha)...

zack said...

oh ya, one more thing....

if there is one things a blog isn't, that would be a money making venture...

this is a hobby done on spare-time...

Anonymous said...

Spare time? Wow you guys must not have jobs/wives/school then. The purveyors of this site, Chip and Spartacus are on here 24/7!

Sean said...

Yea, I think people just aren't understanding the point of a sports blog. The fact that it collects information and links from across the internet is a good thing. They're not "stealing other people's information"... they're providing a way for Grizzlies fans to keep up with what's being written about the team.

Granted, it's usually not a good thing for a blog to become a series of link dumps and nothing else. But there is plenty of analysis and commentary here too. And there aren't many other places to find a lot of Grizzlies-specific links, so it's a nice service.

And yeah, outside of monoliths like Deadspin or FanHouse, blogs just aren't moneymaking ventures.