By now, chances are you've read or at least skimmed through the Pete Thamel's latest piece regarding the stagnant Enes Kanter saga. It's unclear if Thamel has built-up a tremendous amount of klout with Fenerbache Ulker's general manager, Nedim Karakas, to secure a second interview, or if Karakas simply likes seeing his name in a major U.S newspaper. Regardless, there's some fact-fudging regarding Fenerbache's profitability and Kanter's love of learning that isn't sitting well with the Bluegrass State, as outlined by Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio:
Then even worse, Thamel actually misquotes the Mike Decourcy article on Kanter’s father.. The original verison of the article (which we put on the site) says this:
Mehmet Kanter told The Sporting News that his son aimed to come to the United States to further his education. "He is very smart and academic and loves to study," Kanter told The Sporting News.
Thamel wrote that qoute in his article about Enes…..the one problem of course is that the quote wasnt about Enes, but was about his brother. After being told of the problem, Thamel took the quote out of the story…but of course made no mention of its original incorrect usage.
Jones is outraged in the amount of time and effort Thamel has spent this off-season offering jarring articles on Kentucky athletics that aren't entirely correct. Couldn't he go bother Jim Calhoun, or poke around Bruce Pearl's dirty laundry down in Knoxville? It's almost as though Pete aims to be some sort of vigilante, intent on delivering John Calipari to the NCAA. Today on KSR - actually an enjoyable radio show, and that's coming from a New England kid far removed from the Midwest - Jones spent the good part of two hours (Hour 1; Hour 2) calling Thamel out, calling Thamel's cell phone, and interviewing CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel to bash Thamel some more. It was sort of funny, but also voracious.
Thamel actually gave me the time of day when I sat next to him on press row last winter, so since then I have been partial to him, but he seems to be creating a track record of picking enemies. He's done great work showing off Cornell hoops but questioned the academic standards being placed upon Harvard's basketball players. He's written a number of glowing pieces on Tim Tebow, but not a whole lot about the high volume of arrests under Urban Meyer. Additionally, he ticked off Tennessee football fans last winter.
For "Free Enes" to come on the heels of Eric Bledsoe's Transcriptgate, it's easy to scream that Thamel is out to get Cal. He might be, but also keep in mind that Thamel broke the Kanter story while in Istanbul, Turkey covering the FIBA World Championships. I don't know the situation, but perhaps it was simply a case of right-place, right-time.
I hope I am not over my head here and don't know what I am dipping my toes in, but if his bosses in Manhattan have no problem with it, it would be nice for Thamel to give Jones a call back and provide a sort of postmortem on his two Kanter pieces.