One-time ESPN NBA insider Ric Bucher still serves as a reporter on all things hoops, albeit in a more low key fashion than when he was with the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
Because of his history at prominent sports media institutions, he has built up a sizeable following of hoops fans. With that many fans, when he reports something – it inevitably goes viral.
This week, it happened again.
First he reported that Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons abruptly left a team group chat last year when his teammates asked him about whether he’d return from an injury for a playoff game. Then he revealed some pretty odd alleged demands from Kyrie Irving for the Nets.
Now, both Nets players are coming up out and accusing him of lying about them.
Shortly after Bucher’s statement about him blew up, Irving respond:
— A11Even (@KyrieIrving) August 11, 2022
Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving Responds to Ric Bucher Second Fake Story under twitter repost pic.twitter.com/A0lWOGjlel
— NetsKingdom 👑🗽 (@NetsKingdomAJ) August 11, 2022
‘The Athletic’ NBA insider Shams Charania also confirmed that the Simmons story never happened.
“This NEVER happened.. it’s an amazing story but it didn’t happen”@ShamsCharania on the rumors that Ben Simmons left the Nets group chat after they asked him to play in game 4 against the Celtics #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/wzWShQzG9m
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 9, 2022
That in turn spurred this strong rebuttal from Bucher:
“I’ve been assured that this is correct in spite of another report that says it never happened,” Bucher said.
“And that’s as far as I’ll go with that, too. I’m not going to punch down. Ben Simmons was in a group chat with some of the other teams players. And on it, they asked Ben if he was playing in game four. And not only did he not answer, he dropped out of the chat.
“Now, as I said, there’s another reporter out there who suggested the event never happened. I’m well aware that that reporter has, let’s say he has vested interests in painting things a certain way. And again, I will leave it at that his comments prompted me to go back and double check with my source. And that source insists that it did indeed happen, and explain why someone might report it another way. So I’m sticking with it.”
Unfortunately for him, Nets insider Kristian Winfield also reportedly suggested the story didn’t happen.
So make of that what you will.
That’s quite the boat party. https://t.co/BZH2kpGabB
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 10, 2022
Will this team be able to get its affairs sorted in time for the regular season?
Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.