So much for home court advantage…
One would think living large in the Cradle of College Basketball that the Lawrence Journal World would have a huge reporting leg up on what’s left of the Kansas City Star. At least when it came to celebrating the life and times of basketball deity Dean Smith.
The Emporia, Kansas native who played on KU’s 1952 NCCA championship team – the Jayhawk’s first – died Saturday at the age of 83.
But no, the Star’s sportswriters “who want something controversial to write” that a Journal World editorial recently dissed schooled the homeowners in Lawrence by unleashing not only a front page, top-of-the-fold commentary on Smith, but a front page Sports Daily story documenting his life and a third story documenting the lessons Smith learned as a scrub, backup player on the “KU bench.”
All three stories by the way, were written by the Star’s top sportswriters and columnists.
And what did the Journal World have to offer?
A front page banner referring readers to a “B Section” story composed largely of “wire reports” and a canned quote from current KU coach Bill Self that also ran on Fox 4 in Kansas City. That and a column by sports editor Tom Keegan lamenting Smith’s losing his battle to Alzheimer’s.
Make no mistake, the newsroom of the Star is a ghost town on Sunday’s and with a fraction of the staffing, the Journal World’s is undoubtedly far less populated, nonetheless the sports scribes at 18th and Grand did a far better job covering a story that the Jayhawks’ hometown newspaper of record should have owned…but did not.