Here's what Vitale clearly said:
"I'm going to tell you what. I'd take Horford over him. You know who told me that in confidence? Billy Donovan grabbed me all alone and said the pro scouts are making a mistake. He said there's no way I would take Noah over - he said he would never say that publicly - over Horford."
College basketball's number one cheerleader is really a yenta...a blabbermouth who can't keep a secret. Hardly suprising.
No NBA exec would take Dicky seriously. I just don't like Squawkbox-banter of NBA prospects, especially since Vitale used a credible college basketball coach to build his case.
The story should have ended there, but Vitale has to get the last (million) word(s). So he called the radio show back to deny he ever said anything about a conversation with Donovan that mentioned Noah and his NBA prospects. The host then explained that Vitale is heard talking about precisely this and that it was broadcast on the air. Next strategy: Recant, baby, recant. He was just joking around with fans like he always does. Have I got a stock tip for you? Sell Joakim Noah (Stock ticker: CHAMP).
And what did Dicky V say about Donovan commenting on Joakim Noah and his NBA prospects? Never happened.
Thankfully Donovan is far more media savvy than Vitale. Said Donovan, "I'm not going to comment on something I didn't say."
Now what? The Big Lead suggests we "patiently await ESPN’s coverage of this one." ESPN's "ombudsman" George Solomon, care to comment?