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I get this question almost daily from someone: “How’s the N.B.A. beat?” Usually I’ll hem and haw, but eventually I’ll land on the famous David Carr quote about journalism: “It beats working.”
Really, it does. There are journalists who work tirelessly every day to expose hypocrisy and hold power to account. They work. So far, getting a job to write about basketball, something I’ve followed passionately since I was 6, feels like discovering a golden ticket.
My role before this was writing for The Times’s Culture section, where I covered theater, art, film, dance, music, film, television and I’m sure I missed something. This was another gig that falls under the “it beats working” category. I mean, really? Write about theater? And get paid?
In some ways, going from Culture to the N.B.A. beat is the perfect crossover. Basketball players, maybe more so than athletes from any other sport, are deeply ingrained in our culture. Just think about how many hoops players are getting involved in film and television: LeBron James has his name on…