Does Stephen A Smith know what's he's talking about? Does Chris Bosh want out of Toronto?
Who the hell knows.
But, what's interesting about the fall-out of the Smith's assurance that CB4 is about the become the next Air Canada or T-Mac is how it shines a light on the modern world of sports journalism.
Smith is an acquired taste. He's loud, contrarian and, well, urban. A lot of people are rubbed the wrong way by him, sometimes for reasons that don't seem all that, um, pure of heart.
This afternoon Jack Armstrong and Doug MacLean ripped into Smith on the Fan590's The Game Plan. Missing the irony of that fact that they are on a radio station that employs about 3,842 NHL insiders, they called Smith's credibility into question.
MacLean sarcastically praised journalists that fight to get a scoop "30 seconds" before their competition (I guess he won't be in Sportsnet's studio on NHL trade deadline day then. You know, on moral grounds). Armstrong talked about people "sitting in their basement" (at least it wasn't "parent's basement" I guess) causing trouble for teams and players.
Here's the thing. "Insider" sports journalism exists because there is a market for it. Ultimately those insiders will be judged by their audience. If they are making crap up, as many are accusing Smith of doing in this case, the readers will eventually tune them out. We don't need watchdogs like Armstrong and McLean to protect us from the big, bad insiders that are out to take down our favourite player/team.
As for the rumour? The fact that Smith says that he is going doesn't mean that he is. But, the fact that Bosh and Brian Colangelo are denying it means even less.
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