The biggest splash at the start of NBA free agency does not involve a player. After months of rumors linking Adrian Wojnarowski to ESPN, Wojnarowski is expected to make his ESPN debut as NBA free agency kicks off.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported Wojnarowski’s contract with ESPN begins on July 1. Deitsch reported the Woj bombs will start flowing shortly after midnight on Sportscenter with Scott Van Pelt.
ESPN’s Rachel Nichols reported Wojnarowski will be joining ESPN for a special episode of The Jump: Free Agency Special. Woj has remained quiet on Twitter regarding his status. On the eve of his departure, his bio still had “Editor of TheVertical.com”.
ESPN officially announced Wojnarowski was joining ESPN in a June 28 press release. Here’s how ESPN described Wojnarowski’s new role and debut:
Prolific and highly respected NBA journalist Adrian Wojnarowski is joining ESPN as an NBA Insider. Wojnarowski will break news, report stories and features and provide insights from across the NBA and around the basketball world for ESPN’s multiple media, including digital, television, audio and print. He will begin at ESPN on July 1, making his debut on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt at Midnight and will then also join the NBA Free Agency Special hosted by Rachel Nichols (ESPN2, Midnight – 2 a.m. ET).
Wojnarowski will be central in ESPN’s multimedia coverage of the NBA throughout the year, covering the league, its teams and players, free agency, the NBA Draft, the NBA Summer League and more. His reporting, insights and analysis will appear on ESPN.com and in the ESPN app (including global editions), and he will be seen on SportsCenter, NBA Countdown, The Jump, E:60, Outside the Lines and other programs to provide both news and feature reporting. He will also appear regularly on ESPN Radio programs and periodically contribute features to ESPN The Magazine. Additionally, Wojnarowski will continue to host a regular NBA-focused podcast on the DGital Media podcast network.
This time last year, Wojnarowski was doing his own live streamed free agency show on The Vertical where he broke numerous signings before ESPN. Bobby Marks will also leave Yahoo to serve as ESPN’s front office insider.
Wojnarowski has been critical of ESPN at times. There was this Twitter war with ESPN’s Amin Elhassan http://twitter.com/WojVerticalNBA/status/481436682244214784
In an interview with USA Today, Wojnarowski admitted he may have been out of line at times.
I mean, I look at it this way: I’m really competitive, and this is a competitive marketplace. And when I’m against you, I’m going against you. When I’m with you, I’m with you. Anybody who’s worked with me knows I’ve been a really good teammate through my years going back to the Fresno Bee with Andy Katz and Bergen Record for nine years, Yahoo for a decade. And I think everyone at ESPN is going to find that I’m a really good teammate and somebody who’s going to be generous with whatever I can be helpful with and competitive with the places that we’re going to compete with.
But I probably — I’m not perfect, and there’s probably a few times along the line that I probably should have spared everyone or kept to myself…