Having to work almost exclusively on a winless NBA team over the course of a month is difficult both physically and professionally. Such is the life of a Sixers beat writer, who hasn't seen his assigned team win since last March. Add that onto deadlines and traveling and strict coverage requirements, and you'd understand the reasons why a local beat writer might not be a fan of what the Sixers organization is doing.
Such is the life of Keith Pompey and Bob Cooney, who have covered the Sixers at home and on the road since the beginning of Sam Hinkie's GM tenure, and to a lesser degree Tom Moore and Dan Gelston who cover all home games. Yesterday for Sports Illustrated, Richard Deitsch held a roundtable discussion with the four men about what it takes to covers this team day-in and day-out and the challenges constant losing poses to their work.
You should read the whole roundtable here. I've included a couple of selected questions and answers below; each of the four beat reporters responded to each question Richard asked, and I recommend reading Richard's media column every Monday and Tuesday.
Richard Deitsch: What is the biggest challenge covering a team that is not winning, and why?
Bob Cooney: The biggest challenge is just coming up with a different story angle when the result is the same night in and night out. Players aren't as open and honest when they are dealing with loss after loss after loss. It makes it tough to come up with a different view for the fans to read.
RD: How accessible have the players and front office been during the losing streak?
Dan Gelston: The players are usually always available and coach Brett Brown has shown plenty of public grace and professionalism during this three-year losing stretch. He knew the deal when he signed on, though I'm sure not even he expected the organization would still be an embarrassment three seasons into his tenure. Owner Josh Harris and team president Sam Hinkie rarely make themselves available and are content to let CEO Scott O'Neil and Brown take the lumps with fans and the media. I'm not terribly optimistic but hopefully Harris and Hinkie will talk before Tuesday's game about Okafor's personal conduct, the losing streak and the state of the franchise in yet another 0-for-the-season start. If ever this franchise needed some public leadership and accountability, it's this week.
Additionally, Richard was gracious enough to allow me to discuss my response to the article. You can find that response here, in Section 1a.