For, arguably, the best NBA Insider in the business, life isn't as easy as it looks. From his humble beginnings on Yahoo! Sports to becoming a prominent face of The Athletic, Shams Charania has exploded in credibility and fame over just a few short years.
The price of such a monumental climb? Fear of being out-scooped, which has led to the journalist totaling 17-18 hours per day on his phone:
As far as what Charania will say directly about the relationship between himself and Woj, the answer is nothing — he politely declines to comment on the matter. Through an ESPN spokesperson, Wojnarowski also declined to comment for this story. While we can’t know what either believes about the other in their heart of hearts, both of them clearly relish the competition. They work relentlessly at all hours of the day and night — and neither publicly acknowledges the other.
Even if he won’t discuss his rivals, Charania lives in perpetual fear of getting scooped.
He tries to play basketball, one of his scant hobbies, at times when he believes nothing might break.
Asked about his screen time, Charania answered that the typical amount is 17-18 hours per day — and that it climbs over 20 hours during frenetic periods of the NBA Draft and free agency.
It makes his “heart sink” when he is on a flight where the Wi-Fi doesn’t work. He mostly forgoes driving for ride-shares — his trips from the suburbs into Stadium’s offices adjoining the United Center are about 40 minutes each way, a couple times a week — lest he miss a scoop while behind the wheel. “I remember every story I’ve gotten, and I definitely remember every story I haven’t gotten,” he said, in an aside when we were discussing his heart pounding in the process of obtaining the Gobert scoop.
Charania has been grinding at this profession since his early college days. This has meant that at an age where many of his contemporaries are partying on the weekends, he was off to various events, or otherwise glued to his phone and computer.
Charan's rise to fame is certainly impressive. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make it as far as he has, and not everyone is cut out for it.
But it's hard not to worry that Shams could be taking things too far. With most of his day spent staring at a screen, it seems he has little time for himself or for his family. One has to wonder how he has been able to handle being online for so many hours at a time.
Nevertheless, it's the price he chooses to pay in order to keep his status as one of the best in the business. So far, he hasn't complained.