Did a piece on Landry Fields of the Knicks. Really liked the guy.
Haven’t written a whole lot for the Journal, but I’m genuinely excited about their new devotion to sports. Not merely because it presents another place to write, but because, hey, it’s the Wall Street Journal.
As for Fields, this was actually a difficult one. To start with, I have nothing bad to say about Landry. Polite, engaging, warm. But, like many rookies, not to best interview on the block. That’s not a criticism, just a fact. He loves basketball, he works hard, he wants to help the team. So what’s a writer to do? In my case, two things:
A. Focus on the small and expand it. He told me early on about living in White Plains, and I was intrigued. You’re a Knick rookie, making good money and playing in the world’s most exciting city … and you live in White Plains while eating at the Atlanta Bread Company. That’s terrific material.
B. Call everyone. For this piece, I interviewed Landry, two teammates, the Knicks president, both of Landry’s parents, his high school coach, his first college coach. I also wanted Johnny Dawkins, his final college coach, but he only called back today, a tad too late. I also had calls in to Brook and Robin Lopez, his Stanford teammates.
I’m not trying to brag at all. Hell, what’s to brag about? What I’m saying is, when the main subject doesn’t say all that much, never give in. Ever.