Yesterday afternoon, after receiving a DM from my friend Susan, I posted the above Tweet about her father, the former NBA coach who passed but a few hours earlier.
Susan reached out because she knew I felt a connection with Jack McKinney, ever since I flew to Florida to interview him for my book, Showtime. And, indeed, I do. His story is heartbreaking and tragic and also triumphant and riveting. I don’t really wanna get into it right now, but a quick Google search will show you the way.
Anyhow, I was the only person in the media who knew of this, and the first to report it. And—to be 100-percent clear—I was not/am not looking for credit. I did nothing special here. A good man died. That’s heartbreaking. Who was first to “break” the news? Insignificant. Totally insignificant.
That said, as I read the myriad articles about McKinney’s death, I was surprised to see only one place (the Indianapolis Star) source the information. To be blunt and clear once again—I am neither mad nor upset. At ALL. But, as a journalist, it’s just weird. We’re taught, from the early days, to not take credit for material that you didn’t come up with yourself. We’re also taught to give credit. Yet from ESPN to Blazer’s Edge to the Delaware County Times, nobody bothered to note how the news was uncovered.
Which leads to the follow-up question: What if it was incorrect?