NBA players and the media have had a complex relationship since always. Different factors can lead both parties to cut communication or start a war using their tools to make the rival look bad.
This is not new, as vintage legends have suffered this, engaging in back and forths with reporters and entire companies trying to defend themselves. One of the greatest point guards ever, Oscar Robertson, didn't have the best relationship with the media.
Whenever he had the chance, he took some shots at them, and in 2014, Robertson went off on the people creating the narratives about players. "The Big O" sat down with Chris Webber 8 years ago, firing at the media for their bias. He recalled a story of when he just won a title and one writer was already taking out of the league.
"I'm in Milwaukee. We won a championship. And I see in a big magazine, the cover, a picture of me fading. Then the damn guy, the writer who wrote that wanted to do an interview. I said, 'man, you get the hell away from me. I don't even speak to you.'
"They resent you being a star. They resent you going home, living with your wife and your kids. They resent you going to the ballet and the opera, and being able to conduct yourself around kings and queens. They don't know what to say about you... I didn't like it, because they try to get advantage of you, because they could..."
Robertson is one of the best players of all time, often considered the GOAT for the generations that came after him, including Michael Jordan. Mr. Triple Double was really great during his active days, making history in Milwaukee and Sacramento, where he left a huge mark.
That feeling about the press isn't new for NBA stars and it's crazy to see that players suffered that a lot of time ago. Nowadays, players aren't afraid to call out reporters when they ask eyebrow-raising questions. You can call Robertson a pioneer in many aspects of the game, including calling out toxic reporters.