As you might have seen on Twitter and Facebook, I've been going on and on about my feature story in the Dallas Observer: "Larry Brown Just Can't Stop." In fact, @TheKobeBeef told me to chill out ("Calm down, we'll read it"). Okay, point taken. I can't apologize for my enthusiasm. I've been working on this story for a little over three months. I'm glad it's finally in print. Three months. Enough time to get everything perfect, right? Two and a half months were spent attending practices and games, taking lots of notes. I interviewed players and a few other coaches, but I wasn't able to interview Larry Brown until February 13th. And at the time, I was juggling another feature with UTA Magazine and two stories about DFW Airport. Not an excuse. I'm just trying to set the scene. I was stressed. I overwrote the first draft of my Larry Brown story. What should've been in the 4,000 word range was almost 6,000 words. I worked on a new outline with my editor and then spent the weekend writing a second draft. By the third draft, we were really cutting it close, but I was happier with what we had. I appreciate the encouragement of Mike Mooney (name dropper in the house!) who reminded me to not give up towards the end, that those final rewrites are crucial. If my editor thought I was crazy, it's Mike's fault.
In the haze of editing and rewriting, I should've done a better job with the fact checking. And that's my fault entirely. I wrote, "A mere seven SMU alumni have gone on to play any sort of professional basketball." That's not true. Herman Hudson, SMU's athletics PR person, called to correct me on it.
Herman has been extremely helpful these three months. I should have gotten a media guide from him. Hell, I could've tried calling or texting him a few more times. Instead, I went with a fairly reputable stat site (i.e. not Wikipedia) and didn't double check. My mistake.
When you count the NBA, ABA, D-League, and the international leagues, there have been 30 SMU players in the pros. If you only count the NBA players, it's 10. There are other players who were drafted, but did not play.
To Charles Beasley, Brad Branson, Adrian Caldwell, Willie Davis, Papa Dia, Bamba Fall, Mouhammad Faye, Rick Herrscher, Denny Holman, Carroll Hooser, Bryan Hopkins, Jon Koncak, Jim Krebs, Gerald Lewis, Myles Luttman, Collin Mangrum, Tim Mason, Carlton McKinney, Robert Nyakundi, Ike Ofoegbu, Gene Phillips, Jay Poerner, Glenn Puddy, Roy Pugh, Jemeil Rich, Quinton Ross, Jeryl Sasser, Patrick Simpson, Ira Terrell, and Derek Williams, I apologize. While the idea that SMU's basketball program has been "mired in mediocrity" holds true, accuracy matters. And what sort of modern journalist would I be if I didn't post a long-winded retraction?
Thankfully, everything else is solid. I'm proud of this story. I'm proud of the work that Joe Tone (editor) and I put into it. Mark Graham took some great photos. I loved spending time with the team and Coach Brown. Great things await them.
And you should read the story... right here.