Maybe Shank has turned the corner on the professional athlete thing?
Dwight Freeney interviewed me last month. He asked me about Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, Bob Sanders, and who I liked in Major League Baseball this year."This ain't what I signed up for, damn it!"
I am not making this up.
More and more, athletes are getting into the media business. Most guys do it when their playing days are over. In 2011 some of them go to the dark side while they are still playing. No doubt they are getting ready for a work stoppage or the next career after retirement from the playing field.
I never thought stuff like this was going to happen when I got into the sportswriting game. There was a clear separation. We were newspaper guys and they were players. There was little crossover. We didn't have a lot of opportunities to appear on television or radio. And players didn't entertain the idea of joining the media.
There's also a mention of a local angle:
Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell is a commentator on the C's flagship radio station. Maxwell did not speak to the media for one entire season when I covered the Celtics, but now he occasionally asks me a question.Lest we wonder why, one reason Cedric Maxwlll might have told Shank to piss off:
“You could not print all the things we said,’’ said Cedric Maxwell, Ainge’s teammate from the 1980s and a Hall of Fame trash talker. “You could not write it all down. The families. The moms. Didn’t make any difference. We didn’t have to be politically correct. We could be asinine.
“I remember one guy, before the start of a playoff series, saying, ‘No way that bitch is getting 40 points off of me.’ Somebody wrote that down and it actually got in the paper.’’
I know. Because Max said it about Bernard King, and I (Shank - ed.) wrote it down, and it appeared in the Sunday Globe on the day of the first game of the 1984 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Celtics and Knicks. King refused to shake Max’s hand before the game. King didn’t get his 40 until Game 3, but the Celtics won the series.