One More Thing…

by May 14, 2008

Once again, I’m glad those of you who read the Britt Robson interview found it to be informative and enjoyable. After reading it himself-and your comments-Britt wanted to make a few clarifications…

First of all, I want to thank Myles Brown for spending a ridiculous amount of time not only talking to me but transcribing nearly every word of our two-hour talk and providing an accurate rendition of what was said. As to his kind words in the introduction, I simply want to say that the friendship is mutual.

That said, I must confess that it’s pretty jarring to have such a large and clear mirror held up in front of you. When Myles initially asked to speak with me, I had no idea that he wanted a verbatim Q&A and that everything I said would be posted. When he informed me after the interview that this was his plan, it would have been pretty hypocritical of me to object.

But I do want to take this opportunity to tell you where I winced, and sincerely regretted what I said. This in no way disputes or rebuts what Myles has reported—he quotes me accurately. But a couple things are pretty harsh and glib, and others may be confusing, and demand a little context.

I clumsily called Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan an asshole, gross shorthand for wanting to stipulate that Ryan’s comments a couple years ago about smacking around Jason Kidd’s wife was an asshole moment for him. I stated in the interview that much of what I learned about basketball and basketball writing came from Ryan. I didn’t state that when I called him last year as a source for my story on Kevin McHale, he was very helpful and engaging. Taking the low point of Ryan’s illustrious career and using it to brand him with a blanket epithet was an asshole move on my part.

I called Larry Bird “dumb as a post in life.” Well, having never met the man outside of a visitor’s NBA locker room, this is quite a reach. The clumsy reference was to Bird’s tenure as a NBA executive with the Pacers, where he has been partner to a variety of moves that I do consider dumb. Big difference.

I conflated things that are true—that Marko Jaric likes to hit the clubs and has dated Adriana Lima—with complete fabrications, like Al Jefferson having three wives, causing confusion on the part of at least one reader. What I was trying to convey is that gossip about players’ personal lives, be it true or not, is not as important to me as the way they play on the court.

In the course of answering the question about my “top 5 alltime NBA players,” I changed the context from my five “favorite” players alltime to those I consider to be the five “best” players alltime. Readers were justifiably confused. To clarify: Michael Jordan is not one of my five favorite NBA players (that would be Russell, KG, Oscar, Iverson and probably Hakeem), but I would regard him as one of the five best of all time (along with Wilt, Russell, Oscar and either Duncan or Magic Johnson).

Finally, I’m gratified—no, flabbergasted—that people seem to have gotten so much out of the interview. I’ll probably pull out some of these comments when I need to buck myself up in the future. Thanks.

Britt Robson