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Kevin Broom on True Hoop: When there are guns in the locker room, call a reporter

Kevin Broom, who has contributed to Real GM and is a noted figure in the advanced stat community, argues that the Wizards should have done way more to control the way the Gilbert Arenas guns story got out. In a guest post on True Hoop, Broom suggests the Wizards should have either announced the whole story themselves or leaked it to a friendly reporter so they could take ownership of the story's direction. Had the Wizards and Arenas gotten the story out first, they would have been in control of the narrative and their version of the facts would have established the lasting impression. Plus, the act of coming forward voluntarily would have created the impression of openness and transparency, which are extremely important factors in establishing public credibility. Letting Vecsey break the story was a huge mistake. The "stay silent and hope no one finds out about it" approach often comes from relying too heavily on the advice of lawyers. Attorneys almost always prefer for nothing to be said to reporters, because they fear that any public statement could ultimately hurt them in legal proceedings. These concerns become particularly strong in criminal cases, such as this one. But, for pro sports teams, public perception is critical, and that perception should be managed aggressively, even during a criminal investigation. Announcing the basic facts, coupled with tangible actions (more on that in a minute) would have gone a long way toward softening the P.R. blow.

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