I am asked many times what it’s like travel with the teams and visit such great cities. The truth be told, I actually spend 90% of my time in the hotel room either reading or prepping for the upcoming game.
Preparing for a game such as Phoenix vs Dallas is quite a lot of work. (NBAE Photos)
For example, last night I worked until about 1:30am and then today in Dallas I woke-up and immediately hit the internet(okay, after grabbing a 3 shot grande gingerbread latte at the downstairs Starbucks!). The best sites for hoop junkies are “Hoops Hype”, ESPN.com NBA, NBA.com and of course our very own Phoenix Suns website. I also jump on azcentral.com to see what Paul Coro has written about the team. We also receive daily clips from Julie Fie, the Suns Media Relations Director. Then it’s onto the local papers(Dallas Morning News this morning) along with USA Today, which had a great spread on Grant Hill written by Greg Boeck. All of that reading and note-taking eats-up about 2 hours of my morning.
It was then onto a quick lunch across the street at one of the best sandwich shops in the country: Potbelly’s. Awesome sandwiches! Today I had lunch with our producer Bob Adlhoch, who turned *#&% today(sorry, he’s sensitive about his age). We talked shop and shopping–ideas for the game tonight and if we had finished our holiday shopping. Hah!
Then back to the hotel room for 3 more hours of prep. I have a jam-packed file on every team in the league. It’s stuffed with notes and various articles I have clipped over the past few years. It’s a great resource and includes more than just the numbers that you would find in the game notes. I put my two, large roster sheets together with those notes, anecdotes and pertinent stats. Then I compile a list of “topical cards” with some sideline stories. For instance, tonight I have one on Paul Westphal, the new assistant for the Mavs and the man who coached the Suns to the Finals in ’93. I also have one on the hot topic here in Dallas: “Romo’s Romance.” Funny stuff with Cowboys QB Tony Romo and his new flame Jessica Simpson. She was at the Cowboys’ last game and he bombed, so fans and even Terrell Owens want her out of the picture. That’s sure to get a comment from Dan Majerle. I always try to come-up with a couple “unique” topics that Dan can run with!
So after about 5 hours of prep in the room, it’s off to the fitness enter to clear the head. Then I’ll pack-up and head off to the arena where it’s time to talk to some of the broadcasters, coaches and players for last-minute material. Hope you all enjoy the show. The Suns and Mavs never disappoint!