Marc Stein, “a beacon of information,” is a weekly New York Times columnist known for his “On Basketball” newsletter which comes out on Tuesdays. He wrote his first NBA story for the Orange County Register in 1989 and began covering the NBA fulltime for the Los Angeles Daily News when he got on the Lakers beat.
“I always say that I won the journalism lottery five times, six times, maybe 10 times,” Stein said.
In 1997, Stein joined The Dallas Morning News and covered most of Shaq and Kobe’s first season together. He focused on the Dallas Mavericks and reported on the arrival of Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. He recounts his time covering a young Mark Cuban and shares what he loves about being able to cover basketball.
“One of the things I’ve always loved about the NBA is I feel like the players are the most real…they want their stories told,” Stein said.
Despite the current pause on live events. Stein is keeping busy with NBA-related news and tracking stories related to players and coaches. Leagues are considering alternate options for quarantining players then resuming gameplay without fans.
“Obviously the NBA is at the forefront in decision-making in terms of North American sports leagues and how they’re handling the pandemic,” Stein said.
Stein also talks about his relationship with his late father and shares some of his favorite memories of the late Kobe Bryant. Stein first met Kobe while he was covering the Lakers during Kobe’s first season.
“For me, there’s no sports comparison to this terrible situation,” Stein said. “Kobe was so much bigger than sports, he transcended sports. You can’t just call him a basketball player.”
Listen to the full podcast here.