Jason Quick, the longtime NBA voice of the Portland Blazers at the Oregonian, has left the beat and will now cover the Oregon Ducks. Quick revealed the move, as well as plenty of other terrific anecdotes, to Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge in a must-read interview if you like the NBA. Quick is a fantastic writer and reporter, and the interview offers a glimpse into his job over the last 13 years. My favorite part – narrowly over the Nic Batum story – was this one, on why he’s wanted to leave the beat for years:
Blazersedge: What were the factors that led you to ask off of the Blazers beat over the years?
From putting your heart and soul into a player and believing him when he talks about kissing his kids at night and all that, then you write that, and the next road trip you see him with somebody that’s not his wife, basically getting it on. That’s disheartening to me. There’s a lot of times where you hear a bunch of bull—- from these guys, it’s hard to believe anything.
I couldn’t help but laughing at the player being so open about his jump-off, but also about Quick for being so naive.
Which reminds me of my last time in an NBA locker room, a decade ago this November. This doesn’t pertain to Quick’s story, but as a longtime basketball fan, it definitely didn’t leave me clamoring to get in the locker room and talk to the players.
The Rockets were playing the Nets, and I was trying to write about Steve Francis, the punk from Maryland who had a decent NBA career, but was a selfish player on the court.
I was surprised to see no journalists talking to Francis, who at the time was having a nice season. Should have been a sign. Finally, I amble up to Francis, who looked at me like I broke a rule. “Oh, sorry man, I don’t know if you didn’t know, but I never talk before games. Get me after.”
Oh. Got it.
Houston won, and naturally, I waited to approach Francis afterward. As I recall it, he was giddily talking to his buddy Cuttino Mobley, who had a nice game. Other journalists waited. Francis got dressed, turned to everyone, and said something along the lines of he’d take two questions as he had to hurry up for whatever reason.
I coaxed one generic quote out of him, and spun the story into Francis and his teammate Moochie Norris, who were both from DC.
Oddly, I was a Steve Francis fan when he was in College Park playing well for the Terps.
[Photo via Blazers Edge]