If you’re a sports fan, chances are you’ve read something written by David Aldridge. The Hall Of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award winner sits down with Andy to discuss his career in sports journalism and transition to sportscasting. David also shares some of his favorite NBA storylines to follow in the 2022 season and his thoughts on the Lakers versus the Clippers.
David’s love of sports began early in life but he knew he was not destined to be an athlete.
“I was the worst athlete in the world. I stunk and everything. I tried to play baseball…That’s when I realized I’m going to be an observer rather than a participant.”
David attended American University in Washington D.C., where he began working for The Washington Post. As a journalist, he covered Georgetown University basketball, the Washington Bullets, and the Washington Redskins. David made his transition to sports with ESPN and shares how television differs from writing.
“I remember the first time I wrote a script for and it was actually about the Lakers and Celtics rivalry, a big feature story I did for ESPN. I had kind of roughly sketched out the sound bytes I wanted, and how I was going to do it. And I sent the script in and our coordinating producer who’s of the big bosses literally laughed, he started laughing. He said ‘There’s no way we’re gonna do eight minutes on this.’
“You had to learn really quickly that you have to speak quick, fast. You really have to think about it. In a newspaper, you have time to give them the headline. You can’t really give them the story. You have to just say, ‘this happened today.’ And that’s all you know. That helped me think of it that way and really kind of got me into the notion of ‘okay, I have to speak quickly.’ My information is out very, very quickly for people to be able to absorb it.”
Andy and David discuss some of the most interesting storylines for the upcoming NBA season.
“It looks like it’s going to shape up to be a pretty interesting season with a lot of interesting storylines. I know you’ve heard this before…Could this year’s Warriors beat like the ‘88 Lakers? Are we ready to label the Warriors, a dynasty. What has or what has to happen?,” asked Andy.
“There’s no set definition of that word, you just kind of argue it…I think there’s no way they couldn’t be a dynasty. The team has a certain amount of success, I don’t know how you couldn’t label them a dynasty. They’ve won four championships. They’ve been in six finals,” David said.
“They changed the way the game was played forever. I think they’re a dynasty, sure.”
Throughout his career, David has interacted with many legendary teams and players.
He and Andy reminisce about the incomparable Kobe Bryant and his amazing athletic drive.
“Kobe first came into the league out of high school in ‘96. I was working at ESPN at the time. And I didn’t know of him. I asked people NBA scouts that I respected, ‘what do you think of Kobe Bryant?’ And they all said he’s really talented. Not sure he should come right to the NBA because everybody knew what he could. I went on TV and basically said, ‘Hey, Kobe, everybody says, you’re great. But maybe you should have gone to college.’
“So fast forward 14 years and I’m in LA for a Lakers game, and he has one of his typical brilliant Kobe games. So we’re talking to him in the locker room afterward and he’s talking, and he’s answering the question, and then he stops, and he goes, “So, I should have gone to college?’ I started laughing. The delivery was so good. I had to acknowledge that the delivery was excellent.”
Tune in to hear more from David and his Hall of Fame career in sports journalism.