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Sports Journo Questions His Car Mechanic’s Media Etiquette

After a casual Tuesday conversation at a 76 gas station in Sherman Oaks turned into a hoops-nation.com report that Gilbert Arenas is hoping to join either the Lakers or Clippers, sports journalist Larry Brown ponders the media daisy chain. Partly because the source of the story is his car mechanic.

Brown grew up just a few blocks from this particular 76 station on Ventura Boulevard. He’s not surprised about the way the story was sparked, but still wonders if it was the right thing to do:

Someone like Arenas knows that everyone they come in contact with may have a Twitter or Facebook account, or have a connection to a blog, and that any type of information can spread quickly. If he doesn’t want something out there, he shouldn’t say it.

That being said, I think out of courtesy to the athlete, if you plan on sharing the information, you should ask them first if they will allow you to. If they told you something under the assumption that you’re harmless media-wise, then it’s probably not best to burn them by sharing the information. That’s almost like publishing something someone said off the record.

While FishbowlLA agrees with Brown, it’s probably too much to hope for. Among the people the auto mechanic repeated his conversation with Arenas to was the father of a friend of hoops-nation.com reporter Tony Hoops, who understandably ran with it.

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