The Lakers Nation Postgame Show is the Future Wave or Sports Journalism
Nothing seems as enduring as sports. While the structure and form remains essentially the same as it has for decades, the way that we watch and consume them has seen countless variations and iterations. Just as the internet has effected nearly every aspect of our lives, the fandom and interaction of our favorite sports teams has assimilated to technology. For loyal fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Lakers Nation postgame show provides an access where traditional broadcast media stops. Just as notably, it is a means of connection and information for a generation which increasingly proves its preference for online dialogue. With more than three million subscribers, Lakers Nation is the biggest non-NBA basketball site in the world. This show, presented on Facebook Live with cohosts Jas Kang and Trevor Lane, is expanding the course of sports journalism…all for the love of the Lakers.
Ian Chin, owner of Medium Large (parent company of Lakers Nation), was serious about the the Lakers Nation postgame show and its potential; conducting an exhaustive search for the ideal chemistry between cohosts. For most people, the obvious choice to complement Trevor Lane may not have been a Canadian sports reporter (part of the RTDNA award-winning team at NEWS 1130) known for his work with the Vancouver Canucks but Kang’s innovative work with Fox Sports University and knowledge of hoops impressed Chin. More than fifty shows thus far reinforce that this decision was well made. It’s been an easy transition for Jas who states, “I am a basketball fan first and foremost. The Lakers have been the premiere franchise in the NBA for basically my entire life. The league is better when they’re good.”
Presenting the show on Facebook Live has been not only been informative to fans of the team, it also has increased awareness of international hot spots of interest in the NBA. Many viewers don’t have access to Spectrum Sportsnet’s local broadcast, resulting in the Lakers Nation postgame show being their only option for postgame breakdowns and analysis. Untapped pockets of loyal fans now flash prominently on the Lakers radar; locations outside the US like the Philippines and others. “Cutting the cord” has turned exclusivity into opportunity. Of course the other stark contrast to broadcast television is that Facebook Live allows this program to interact one on one in real time with fans. Instant dialogue is a requirement for the younger generations of fans as it is all they have ever known. Recognizing the attention and acclaim it received on Facebook Live; the Lakers organization approached the show to host official watch parties, such as the recent one in Long Beach on March 9th for the Celtics-Lakers game.
Jas rebukes the notion of himself and his co-host as pioneers in this latest form of sports journalism. The combination of writing, hosting, and editing, in addition to the new medium the show is delivered on, all seems to indicate that he may be wrong about this; or at least overly humble. He relates, “The days of having one specialized skill set are over in the realm of sports journalism. You have to have the same knowledge of the game that the greats have always been required to possess but must also be aware of how technology is changing the way and the pace with which we communicate. Trevor and I both have these qualities but I think a big part of what makes it work is that we can feed off each other and discuss the game on many different levels. We will have disagreements on roster moves, or coaching decisions, but we respect each other’s opinion enough that we don’t end up in screaming matches during the show.”
The Lakers Nation postgame show airs on Facebook Live after the final hour of each game.
Author: Kelly King