With Ron Artest’s track record, hard not to think there’s more to the story today about why he will miss the Lakers game at Sacramento.
Artest reportedly received treatment for his injuries at the UCLA Medical Center, the same facility where Michael Jackson died. TMZ.com was first to report Jacko croaking, so if there is indeed more to the story about Artest, I’m guessing Harvey Levin & Co. will be first to know.
The Artest scenario is precisely why TMZSports.com is going to work - and work in a big way. Artest’s injury has a material impact on a game, team and league. (And Vegas betting lines.) If TMZ is able to dig up something other than the Lakers’ line about why he’s missing, that’s going to force outlets like ESPN, the L.A. TIMES and the ASSOCIATED PRESS to report TMZ’s scoop.
Many high-profile sports media types, including some at ESPN, have scoffed - off the record - to me about TMZSports.com’s prospects. Ironic when considering that a lot of those same people know about the scandalous behavior of athletes that never gets reported. Behavior that could have a material impact on games, teams and leagues.
Honestly, from what I’m hearing, the current sports media is in denial about TMZSports.com. Instead of pretending that TMZSports.com won’t make an impact, organizations like ESPN should be making plans right now to set up measures to combat the kind of coverage TMZSports.com is going to provide.
But I don’t see that happening, at least from the numerous, high-level industry sources I’ve talked to.