Patrick Beverley had a scoop for Twitter: He’d been traded.
On Thursday, amid the NBA trade deadline, Beverley had an insight he managed to share before ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski or The Athletic’s Shams Charania beat him to it; the Sixers guard had been dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks ahead of the league’s 3 p.m. ET deadline. The news, tweeted by Beverley’s podcast, The Pat Bev Show, came out roughly five minutes before the league’s insiders reported the deal, adding that Bucks guard Cameron Payne was part of the return headed to Philadelphia in the transaction. Before the announcement, Beverley’s name hadn’t been floated as a potential trade candidate throughout the rumor mill, and some of the first responses to the 35-year-old’s tweet questioned his own reporting—despite being the subject.
Before the rise of social media, players usually got the heads-up they were getting dealt with or knew before the rest of the public. There were always exceptions: Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams learned he had been traded to the then New Jersey Nets in 2011 while watching SportsCenter on ESPN. Now, trades hardly make it to television first, with social media being the primary ecosystem for breaking news.
They say if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, and Beverley appears to have done just that. These days, multiple NBA players have their own podcasts, and Beverley’s is an example of “new media,” a phrase by Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, who have their own respective podcasts, as a way for players to control their own narrative as opposed to traditional media. While player podcasts allow them to do just that, it doesn’t mean they prefer to or will break their own news in the world of league insiders.
Beverley’s actions could open the door for what is next in a world of player empowerment coupled with an evolving media landscape. Will players expecting to be dealt livestream their day as they await the fateful call? Will they chronicle their journey switching teams for a self-produced minidoc of sorts?
Maybe the biggest sign of the times wasn’t the tweet announcing Beverley got traded, but the one that followed it. After announcing his own trade, Beverley’s podcast put out a message that tends to follow breaking news from modern media: “Emergency Podcast.”
Beverley has earned more than $82 million during his 13 years, according to Spotrac.