Hopefully you’ll hear more about Chris Mullin from me, but he hit me here and he hit me now, and here’s why. Been thinking about this stuff I’m writing on this here blog, and invariably, something may happen … you know, someone may take offense. Someone may say what I wrote was untrue. Or maybe I’ll inadvertently betray a confidence.
All that got me to thinking about Chris Mullin, and the whole “on the record,” and “off the record” stuff. On the one hand, this is my blog, I’ve been around, I can write what I want. And as my dad would say … “let the chips fall.”
But trust me, the whole thing’s a nightmare. When you spend 90 percent of your life talking basketball, and it’s with basketball people, and it becomes your entire life, and don’t get me wrong, you love it, it does get difficult what to share and what to conceal, what to acknowledge and what to deny … what to say to whom and when and what not to say … if you know what I mean.
BTW, this isn’t about Mullin thinking I wrote something I shouldn’t have. Or Mullin getting mad at me for something. No this is about Mullin’s “philosophy” or “view” about loyalty, keeping secrets and the only way two people can ensure privacy.
Mullin and I were talking about confidences, etc., and he said, “Let me tell you what (former St. John’s coach) Lou Carnessecca told me a long time ago. He said there’s only one way to tell something to someone in confidence. First, you have to go to the beach with the person you want to confide in. Then you walk out into the Atlantic Ocean together until the water comes up to your chin. Then, and only then, do you know it’s a private conversation.”
It was also Mullin’s way of saying … “If I tell you something and we’re not in the Atlantic Ocean, then I’m trusting you with information and I’ll take my chances.” With Mullin you always erred on the side of caution … as in don’t ever tell anyone anything Mullin ever told me.
hard to remember what to reveal and what to conceal, what you want to share and what you don’t
and to whom and when, where why, and all of it.
the whole “on the record,” and “off the record” stuff. I was a journalist, covered the NBA for 15-20 years. Still go to games, still talk to many involved in the game. Text with basketball guys all the time: real NBA people, former NBA people, friends and colleagues I respect, friends from back home I respect
What you can write, what you can say on the radio, what you can tell someone else, what you can say you saw vs. what you heard or overheard.
Whole thing’s a nightmare if all you want to do is basketball.