In late July, Michael McCarthy of Sporting News reported that ESPN insider Chris Haynes would be hitting “free agency” in the sports media world. The intrepid reporter’s contract was reportedly expiring before the start of the 2018-19 season and, with the recent move of Shams Charania from Yahoo Sports to The Athletic, there was already significant movement occurring in the NBA reporting space.
On Wednesday morning, a seemingly unlikely source broke news about Haynes, as Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard was the first to note that Haynes is taking his talents to Yahoo.
Given the departure of Charania, it makes all the sense in the world that Yahoo would be eager to find a reporter with sources of the quality of Haynes and he has been a mainstay in the space in recent years. As for the Lillard connection (and how he might have uncovered this tidbit of information), Haynes broke into the industry with his first full-time job covering the Blazers (where Lillard has spent his entire career) for NBC Sports Northwest before moving to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and, eventually, ESPN.
It is certainly amusing and, frankly, bizarre to see a high-profile player “breaking news” about a reporter changing “teams” but this is also a very interesting move to monitor when it comes to the great race for NBA content. As of now, there has been no formal announcement concerning Haynes and his reported move to a new home but, if this comes to fruition, no one will be able to take Lillard’s scoop away from him.