Damian Lillard made his Milwaukee Bucks debut against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. After the game, a controversial post was published by an international sports media giant. ESPN’s SportsCenter account on X, formerly known as Twitter, posted a video of Lillard supposedly talking about his arrival in Milwaukee, saying he did not come to the club to waste time.
However, the video was fake. ESPN took a video from the 2020 NBA bubble and digitally edited it to make it look like the postgame interview was done after the last game against the Sixers.
Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers jersey was changed to that of the Bucks, the courtside referee was removed, and the Bucks logo was added on the court. In addition, the ESPN logo was imprinted on the microphone of the Lillard interview, even though the interview was conducted by TNT.
This is super weird. For those who aren’t aware, it’s not a real clip from Milwaukee – it’s a Bucks jersey thrown over the top of a clip from the Bubble as a Blazer.
Doesn’t feel like this kind of thing should be there w/o a disclaimer. https://t.co/Lv34DSbDpv
– Danny Marang (@DannyMarang) October 27, 2023
This technique is often used to increase post engagement, but it is usually employed by smaller or distinctly parody accounts. This time it was the world’s largest sports company that did it. Following the severe backlash, ESPN issued a statement of apology through Sports Media Watch.
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