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Friday, December 14, 2007
Up Close to a Trade


Before just about every NBA game, coaches meet the media for little last-minute chat. I like this a lot, it's a chance for a bunch of people to cram into a small office or hallway together and talk about things that are similar to what the same people talked about a few hours before at shootaround.

I was first in line to go into Sam Vincent's office. Why? Because I am a serious reporter. But also because I really wanted to get Sam Vincent to demo his electric hand whistle while we got some photos.

Sam usually talks to the press at 6:45. He was running a little late, talking to GM Rod Higgins. 

Bobcats Director of Basketball Communications B.J. Evans was in charge of keeping us reporters corraled in the hallway. But then, as I chatted with ESPN's Doris Burke -- whom I had just met -- we saw all the local writers flock around B.J. The conversation was intense. We busted over there and heard the news.

Every reporter in the huddle bolted for email and cell phones. (Complicating factor, many cell phones don't get reception in that part of the arena. So people ran in all different directions to get a signal and reach an editor.)

I couldn't help but wonder if the timing was somehow intentional, to make the most possible news with all this media here. (Does that even make sense?) Back outside the coach's office, I asked B.J. if that was the case. 

"I'll tell you this much," he said. "I sure didn't plan on doing this right now." 

He said the trade call with the league had happened at about 6 p.m., or less than an hour earlier. "That's when you saw me running here there and everywhere up and down this hall." 

Then the coach's office opened, Sam Vincent explained the thinking behind the trade to a mass of media. It was pretty serious in there. Which means we are going to have to wait for our electric hand whistle demonstration.