It’s just ESPN being ESPN. And it’s choosing to keep Stephen A. Smith employed while cutting dozens of other reporters and writers.
ESPN has fired Houston Rockets beat writer Calvin Watkins during a forced exodus today:
After seven great years at ESPN I've been let go. Much respect to all the people.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) April 26, 2017
Watkins was the Houston media market’s lone NBA MVP vote this season, he voted Harden. The NBA reduced voting allowing each NBA media market a single vote. Since the Houston Chronicle doesn’t allow reporters to vote on such awards the duty fell to Watkins.
The firings appear to be effective immediately, meaning the Houston media market will have one less voice following the team everyday despite the team’s ongoing playoff run. Warriors writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss suffered the same fate, as did high-profile names across all sports.
Goodbye, Calvin. Considering he recently made the move to Houston after years of covering the Dallas Cowboys, it’s unclear if Watkins would remain in Houston or relocate.
Watkins last piece may be this short story about Les Alexander yelling at referee Bill Kennedy. It included this epic James Harden quote:
You can find a compiled list of known ESPN layoffs through Deadspin here.