Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Some good anecdotes in this long profile of Shams

Long article tracing his career, from his (very) early days, to his apprenticeship to Woj, to now:

As a teenager . . Charania started driving his mother’s Camry to cover NBA games in Milwaukee and Indianapolis, racing to make it back to Chicago for class. (He racked up enough speeding tickets to get his license suspended.)


[Ken Berger, who was a national NBA reporter at CBS Sports] eventually left NBA media for good to run a fitness studio in Queens. To help his old colleagues, he started a personal-training program tailored to helping NBA journalists survive the unhealthy lifestyle the job entailed.


But many agents and executives said there were less obvious and more private reasons to work with Charania or Wojnarowski. They can give you as much as you give them. “Woj made me a better agent,” Warren LeGarie, a longtime agent who represents coaches, told me. “If I was trying to get in on something, he would tell me, ‘You’re wasting your time, that deal is done.’” Another agent told me that if he needed to know, say, how many open roster spots a team had to see if he could land a job for one of his players, he could text Charania, who would find out and get back to him.


The longtime front-office executive told me that information from insider reporters could even help a GM save a buck. “Woj or Shams might say, ‘Hey, don’t get levered up on Player X; he’s not gonna get an offer from his team,’” the executive said. “There are times when they have information that has prevented me from making a mistake in terms of the magnitude of a contract offer or the inclusion of a specific asset in a deal.”