Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Lieberman gushes on and on about Anna DeForge.

Anna's come-from-nowhere story is amazing. I thought it was a travesty that she didn't win Most Improved last year. Although I'm not quite ready to say that DeForge's game is "comparable" to those of Lisa Leslie, Katie Smith, and Sheryl Swoopes, I agree with most of what Nancy says about DeForge. Nonetheless, I'm not really sure it's a good thing for Lieberman to write this sort of article about DeForge.

I don't know the nature of their personal relationship, and it's none of my business. If they are partners in their personal life, it's fine to keep that private, but Nancy should probably just abstain from writing as a journalist about Anna.

And personal matters aside, Anna and Nancy are business partners. They run basketball camps together. They sell Mannatech together. (Mannatech is a "multilevel marketing firm" -- that's corporate-speak for "pyramid scheme.") Nancy also works as Anna's agent.

Given their relationship, is it really appropriate for Nancy to write articles like this? Isn't there some conflict of interest between Nancy's job as a journalist for ESPN and Nancy's job as Anna's personal representative? Shouldn't she at least include some sort of disclosure statement saying, "I think Anna's as good as Lisa Leslie, but by the way, I'm also her agent"?

I like most of what Nancy does. I think she and Voepel are the two great national media figures for the game, and I'm always happy for the work they do. In the debate between Barry and Mary Jo about the general merit of Lieberman's work, I come down more on Mary Jo's side.

But this is slightly absurd.