Dallas Mavericks Ban Bloggers From Locker Room

By: Joe Strupp

The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks have banned bloggers from the team’s locker room, according to a Dallas Morning News blogger, who contends that the move is a reaction, at least in part, to his past postings.

“I’m told that the timing is a coincidence, but the Mavs decided to ban bloggers from the locker room Feb. 29, the day after Jason Kidd watched the final 34 seconds in San Antonio and hours after I wrote [a post] reacting to some fans’ Fire Avery crusade,” News blogger Tim MacMahon wrote Monday.

He reports that, a week later, the team released the following new policy:

“The Dallas Mavericks will not allow ANY writer into the locker room areas pre-game and post-game whose primary purpose is to blog no matter what affiliation. They may still represent their respective publication at games but will not be granted locker room access.

Furthermore, if a blog writer is coming to cover a game, the publication must inform the Mavericks PR staff they are sending a blogger. In order to enforce this policy, we must know this information.

We have gone this route because we did not want to give preferential treatment to any blogger, whether they are an individual or from a large media outlet. We just do not have enough room in the locker room, nor enough media passes to fairly accommodate everyone.”

MacMahon’s online reaction: “I understand that some of my blog posts might perturb the men in that locker room. That’s one major reason that the Mavs should allow me the access stated on my season media pass. If a player, coach or owner doesn’t like something I’ve written, he should be able to confront me about it face-to-face if he wants. Locker room access leads to accountability, as well as more informed coverage.

“I will continue to blog from most Mavs home games and from the couch for big road games. Per a Mavs PR official, I am still allowed to attend shoot-arounds and practices, so I will still get the limited access that occurs at the end of those team functions. I have not been banned from Avery Johnson’s post-game press conferences, so you’ll still get pre-game thoughts and post-game reaction from the coach. But my interaction with the players — the guys you pay money to watch and want to hear from most — will be extremely limited.”

The ban is somewhat ironic since Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is known for a lively and opinionated blog of his own, www.blogmaverick.com.

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