Aug 23 • 51M

The Basketball Feelings Podcast, Episode 42 Pt. 1: Howard Beck

Former beat writer with the Lakers and journalist with the NY Times, Bleacher Report, and SI on the never-ending churn of the NBA season and reclaiming 'narrative' in sportswriting.

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Katie Heindl
Talking around basketball with writers, media, and people closest to it.
Episode details

The narrative is just story. It’s essential to what all writers do. You’re trying to find these seemingly distant points in a person’s life, or a team’s season, or a relationship between a coach and a player — what is the narrative? That’s what we’re looking for.

Bit of a delay (some day I’ll tell you about working 12 hour overnights for the Women’s World Cup) but we’re back! And back with a two-parter episode with one of the industry greats, and great person all around, Howard Beck.

Howard’s been a sportswriter for 26 years, starting with the L.A. Daily News on the Lakers beat, and has since been with The New York Times, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated and GQ. All to say there’s a pretty good chance he’s been yelled at and embraced by some of your favourite athletes.

We talked about recalibrating after a long season, and how the NBA’s efforts (and our engaging with them) to become a year-round entertainment powerhouse challenges that. We said we wouldn’t talk about the NBA’s schedule release but we did.

We also talked about Howard’s career trajectory as a journalist (almost NFL beat writer) and, later, sportswriter. And we unpacked the now disparaged colloquialism of the word ‘narrative’ in sports, which Howard and I first bonded over because everyone uses it wrong.

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