During his Friday afternoon presser, Pat Riley discussed the Miami Heat’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He said that “they have the greatest player in the game today in LeBron, and Anthony Davis.” He added, “They beat us fair and square, they were the best team.” But then he said, “There’s always going to be that asterisk, that caveat” about the injuries to Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic and the potential of forcing a Game 7.
Because he uttered the word “asterisk,” people on Twitter seized on the comment and took it out of context. Even the official ESPN Twitter account included two ellipses in an image of the edited quote, erasing that Riley said “that asterisk, that caveat.”
Pat Riley thinks the Finals would've gone to seven games if Bam and Goran were 100% pic.twitter.com/HK1Vopchpu— ESPN (@espn) October 25, 2020
For what it’s worth, Riley clarified his comment Sunday.
Pat Riley, on how his words Friday have been wildly twisted out of context: “The asterisk is next to the Heat’s name, not the Lakers. Their title is legitimate. Our loss has an asterisk (next) to it. The Lakers were the better team. Period.”— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 25, 2020
This controversy reveals how media actors on Twitter take a quote wholly out of context and use it to drum up stories and clicks. It was even worse that the official ESPN account ran with it. Anytime you see two ellipses in a quote that short, red flags should go up in your head.
Riley even used the example of how he coached 2 Lakers teams that dealt with injuries and got swept.— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) October 25, 2020
We need to do better, when doing this.
There’s no wonder there is a mistrust of those in our profession