Posts Tagged ‘Darius Miles’

What A Day….

darius-milesYou think you know, but you have no idea. Covering the NBA when drama strikes on or off the court often means nothing but a full day, and Friday was no exception. It went a little something like this….

2am: My two-year old daughter decides it’s time to wake-up…..good times. She must have sensed the drama.

4am: After some hanging out and an episode of Sesame Street, it’s time for bed. Let’s try this again…..for me too.

7:30am: Awake to a few emails and a Sports Illustrated report about Portland Trail Blazers team president Larry Miller’s emailed memo to the rest of the league. It was the line in the sand. Stood slack jawed after reading. Twice.

7:31-8am: Swapped “what-the-hell-is-going-on-around-here” emails to fellow confused writers, sources and friends. Cursed SI’s Ian Thomsen for breaking the story.

8-9:00am: Awaited email and phone call from Blazers front office regarding the published Yahoo report that launched the whole “some-team-could-sign-Darius-Miles-just-to-mess-with-Portland’s-money” story from Thursday. Was told Thursday “meetings” delayed a response. Realized what “meetings” those actually were…..very interesting.

9:30-11:30am: Did some research. Ran errands. Avoided the Blazers practice facility and the media moshpit. After covering the whole Larry Brown – Isiah Thomas saga while in New York back in the day, I learned a quick lesson: the last thing any coach or General Manager wants is one more writer around with a voice recorder in their face. The story could wait. Like in life, avoid the drama.

Noon: A man has to eat….fed my daughter and put her down for a nap too. Caught up on emails and chuckled at the email response from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to Miller’s email memo. You can’t make this stuff up….

12:30pm: Contemplated updating Facebook status to “Wendell got the memo”…..Facebook IM fellow writers about the fall out soon to hit the Blazers.

1:15pm: Swapped a dozen emails/texts to editors explaining I was working on the story….or at least was thinking about working on the story.

2pm: Called and spoke with Blazers media relations team. Wondered if a comment or press release was forth coming from Miller and the organization – it was, just didn’t know when. Stay tuned.

2:05pm: More emails/texts to editors. No replies. Some replies. Wanted to take a nap but worked the phones instead.

3:45pm: Caught Larry Miller on John Canzano’s Bald Face Truth on 95.5 The Game….still had questions of my own.

4:05pm: Received call from Blazers media relations member informing of a 5pm conference call with Larry Miller.

5:03pm: Conference call gets underway. Know it’s a national story when writers from the New York Times, CBS Sports and TNT join myself and three other beat writers on the call. Asked Miller if he would change anything about the way the memo situation was handled. Said he wouldn’t.

5:15pm: Get word the NBAPA filed a grievance against the Blazers. Isn’t that what Portland should have done in the first place – filed their own to the league office about their concerns?

5:25pm: Processed Miller’s comments, thoughts from the conference call. Originally thought Portland was wrong for taking the low road. After the call, I came to appreciate the Blazers strong arm tactics. Wondered if the guys on the court dared to be that tough against Golden State come Saturday.

8-8:30pm: Got killed by my wife in Mario Kart.

8:45pm: Time to get to work. Knocked out 700 word feature to run Saturday morning over at HOOPSWORLD. We had a couple updates on the situation today, so my input wasn’t in dire need on Friday. Saturday is a different story….

9:35pm: Get ready to file story. Checked to see if any breaking news hit on the topic. It did. Report: Grizzlies re-sign Miles. Sat slack jawed. Sent mad texts. Cursed Ron Tillery at the Memphis Commercial Appeal for breaking the story.

9:40pm: Re-wrote my story.

10:15pm: Finished and filed story….again.

10:30-11pm: Catch up on texts and emails about Memphis signing Miles. Still can’t believe it. Brian Hendrickson from the Vancouver Columbian and I ponder the same thought via text: wonder if this day will ever end.

11:30pm: Decide to make this day even longer by writing a blog post about what the day in the life of a NBA writer/reporter looks like when a story hits…and hits….and hits.

12am: Slowly fade into the night…..with thoughts of David Stern vetoing Miles’ 10-day contract with Memphis. The story continues.

pic via: bodoglife.com

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darius1Time to save the date. Zach Randolph left Portland with a win after returning to help beat the Blazers last Friday night. Now after signing with the Memphis Grizzlies over the weekend, Darius Miles has probably already circled Wednesday, February 18th on his calendar.

That’s when Miles comes to town.

Mike Dunleavy – who is wearing two hats for the Los Angeles Clippers right now as head coach and General Manager – got a good glimpse of Miles last Tuesday when Darius worked out for the Clips. I spoke to Dunleavy before the game Friday about Miles, curious not only to see what his interest was in signing Darius but also how a front office goes about handling a player with a suspect background.

Here’s what came of that discussion with Dunleavy, holding down the Monday a.m. slot over at HOOPSWORLD.

As I wrote this story Friday night during the first half of the Blazers/Clippers game and edited it Saturday morning, Miles was getting ready to sign with Memphis. Thought I’d put my story to bed. My heart palpitations Saturday afternoon and evening reminded me otherwise. Needless to say, I left my re-write for the last minute on a snowy Sunday night around Portland just to avoid any more surprises.

Live and learn. Back to Darius real quick….

Now I’m sure plenty of die-hard Blazer fans will voice their opinions about Miles and blow-up the comment section – perhaps even more so when the Grizzlies come to town in February. That’s cool. Always curious to know what people think. Guess what I am more interested to see is how this whole storyline plays out and how it will affect Portland’s bottom line and budget if and when Miles plays 10 games for Memphis.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one….

pic via: espn.com

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