Talking shop with ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell.
So how did you come to your position as ESPN Chicago’s Bulls reporter, where have you worked previously?
The key for me was perseverance. When I was growing up all I wanted to do was become the play-by-play man for the Cubs. I went to Syracuse and they actually offer a play by play class. I took the class and I hated it — so I started writing more in school and decided I wanted to try and make it as a writer. After I graduated, I tried to get writing jobs, but I didn’t have the experience because all my internships were on the broadcast side. I started e-mailing everyone I could think of and was introduced to a friend of a friend who worked in Bristol. We stayed in contact and I kept sending him some of my work and some ideas along the way. In the meantime, I freelanced at The Orlando Sentinel and MLB.com, then I worked at Yahoo! on some of their blogs. I stayed in touch with the people at ESPN though — when ESPNChicago launched, they already knew who I was, which was good. I applied for a job and the rest is history.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I have a passion for writing. I enjoy being able to talk to different athletes and putting together a story. I have also enjoyed the radio and television part of this job immensely. I’d say my favorite part of the job is getting paid to cover sports, though. I get paid to watch basketball and talk to players. Even on the worst days, it’s still awesome.
What are you hearing on the Luol Deng trade rumor front?
I don’t think Luol is going to get dealt for the time being. The Bulls know that he still has an injury, and I don’t think he has a lot of value right now because of it. The bigger issue for him is whether or not to have surgery on his wrist — he and Thibs both seem to think he won’t need it. I watched him play in serious pain all season, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t have it at some point soon.
Is Derrick Rose’s rehab on schedule or maybe even ahead of schedule? When do you think he’ll be back?
Everybody I’ve talked to says the rehab is right on track, maybe even ahead of schedule. I still don’t think Derrick comes back before February or March though.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too