The prolific newsbreaker takes Boardroom behind the scenes of a year-long process that culminates tonight.
“The draft, free agency, trade deadline, those moments in the league are just a culmination of the year-round conversations, touchpoints with people that you regularly have communication with.”
Shams Charania, the reporter, on-air personality, and newsbreaker for Stadium and The Athletic had just arrived in New York for NBA Draft week. But he never just pops up a few days before a major event like the draft, the trade deadline, or Summer League suddenly scrambling to get up to speed on what’s going on.
It takes and months of tracking different topics, trends, players, teams, and storylines, the 27-year-old told Boardroom.
For Charania, who has more than 1.2 million Twitter followers and another 350,000 on Instagram, building familiarity with a given year’s draft prospects requires a long-haul combination of not just watching games, but spending time communicating with scouts and other experts he trusts around the league, compiling their opinions and visions, and doing some reading between the lines. That helps him shape how much time he spends keying in on certain players in the bigger picture.
“I’ll get a text from time to time saying, ‘you should tune in to this game to watch this guy,'” Shams says, so he’s ready to go when the college season kicks off or the NCAA Tournament starts. He also spent some time at the G League bubble in Orlando over the winter and got to see G League Ignite stars (and prospective top picks) Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga up close.
“I think draft week is always a fun culmination of all that,” he said of his tireless process.
Charania will provide breaking news for Stadium’s “Inside The Association Draft Special” at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday with host Camron Smith and analysts Jeff Goodman, Pat Garrity, and Jarrett Jack, the latter of whom played with Green and Kuminga for Ignite.
The AT&T-sponsored show will also live on Stadium’s Twitter page. Last fall’s Stadium draft show generated 1.1 million views on Twitter, the company said, up from 150,000 during the 2019 draft.
Notably, the Stadium show won’t be bound by the NBA’s anti-pick-tipping rules that ESPN and NBA TV will have to adhere to. Without these league-mandated constraints, Shams and company will discuss and analyze the picks and trades literally as they happen, a real-time televised extension of NBA Twitter.
For Charania, a year-round process will all build toward this one night and this one live broadcast.
Then, in an instant, the prep for 2022 begins. And a consummate NBA insider wouldn’t have it any other way.