NY Times Reporter on Covering the NBA Lockout: ‘Survivor: Lockout Edition’

Howard Beck takes a spirited approach to lockout coverage

For all those NBA fans that thought the lockout, possibly ending in a lost season, was a painful experience, just imagine being a reporter covering it.

The New York Times’ Howard Beck described the experience as “Survivor: Lockout Edition” in Thursday’s paper, detailing his “156 hours” in assorted New York hotels where he felt “like a hostage.”

He was subject to stale pizza, news conferences in the middle of the night and frigid, uncomfortable writing positions. It was, in his words, a “twisted reality show” and a “thankless task” for the reporters who covered every second of it.

Beck’s travails are obviously unsubstantial when compared to any number of other journalists stuck overseas. He writes about the NBA – poor guy — and was stuck in the Waldorf-Astoria for days on end – sounds like a vacation!

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But one can assume Beck, a very good reporter and writer, wrote this as hyperbole and with that in mind, it’s a great inside look at how unglamorous such a seemingly glamorous situation can be – kind of like writing about Hollywood.

Beck collected his share of stories, from Bill Clinton greeting NBA union president Derek Fisher to Betty White strolling through the lobby.

He watched lots of “Seinfeld.”

And he made all kinds of new friends – or at least Twitter followers.

Above all, he spent a lot of time waiting, making endless phone calls and waiting some more.

And now that’s over, NBA reporteres are as thrilled as anyone the season is actually going to happen. No chilled lobbies, no stuffy conferences rooms, no days without sleep.

Unfortunately for Beck, he may have to spend the next couple weeks reporting on rumors that Chris Paul is getting traded to the New York Knicks. So long as it doesn't involve any more luxury hotels.