When the NBA Draft Combine rolled through Chicago this week, you could have mistaken the Second City for Beverly Hills. Strolling through Michigan Avenue’s Westin Hotel where the draft combine’s media activities were held, we encountered some of basketball’s heaviest hitters, including the entire Chicago Bulls front office, Detroit Pistons GM Joe Dumars, NBA coaches Mike D’Antoni and Mike Dunleavy, legendary talk show host Larry King (twice) and former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. And that was just the first hour.
During the actual interview sessions, a draft combine reporter gets up close and personal with every former college basketball star soon to be drafted in a couple weeks. Each player gets his own table in the conference room and journalists rotate like speed daters to obtain quality face time with everyone. Conversation is much more in-depth than post-game press conferences. It’s about the big picture here — no time to waste on the boringly banal queries from newspaper beat writers.