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Pete Thamel’s True Weakness: Fact Checking

eww

If you read the Pete Thamel article on Enes Kanter yesterday (and dont worry, you wont be giving him hits by clicking the link), you saw a couple of interesting claims made about the Turkish club Fenerbache. A poster named “Dennis Reynolds” on the Cats Pause noticed those claims and made an interesting point:

Anyway, Thamel does another interview with the Turkish GM to refute Kanter’s dad, and quotes him as saying:

“Karakas said the club was wealthy enough that it did not need the fee, which European basketball observers estimated at less than $500,000. Karakas said the club has an annual income of $275 million and is building a sports center in Istanbul that will cost more than $300 million.”

$275 million. $275 million. Remember that number. Because a quick google search will tell you that the NBA grossed a combined $3.5 billion in 09-10, which comes to about $117 million per team on average.

The LA Lakers, likely the highest grossing team in the league, had revenues of $190 million (per Forbes).

So we are supposed to believe that some 3rd world country basketball team makes over 2.5x the average NBA team revenue and almost 50% more than the freaking LA Lakers? Really?

Did Pete even THINK about what an exaggeration the GM was telling him? Actually, that goes beyond exaggeration, the GM was flat out lying about their income. Yet, once again, Pete does zero diligence on his subjects, simply taking them at their word – as long as what they say is bad for Calipari.

Taking it up on Dennis’s point, our intern on the radio station looked into the claims a bit more. He found out that the ENTIRE FENERBACHE SPORTS SYSTEM only has a budget of $195 million a year. That includes the budget for soccer, basketball and other club sports. While I guess it is theoretically possible that the system could have brought in $275 million in profit, a HUGE portion of that would be from its soccer team (which is the 19th most profitable team in Europe). Thamel takes the GM at his word and acts as if the money comes from basketball…which clearly cant be true.

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.

So the one thing that is clear about Pete Thamel….the only thing that matches his hate for Calipari is his dislike for factual accuracy.

Article written by Matt Jones