CRAWFORD | Kids at press conferences? Bring 'em on (within reason)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — I like kids. I have three of of them, and they're good. They're fun. When my daughter, Katie, was born, I used to put her in one of those pouch things and haul her to basketball practice, where University of Evansville basketball players would pass her around while I was doing interviews.
I took my son, Jack, to cover a University of Louisville road game at Pittsburgh this past season. After writing “The One-Day Contract” with Rick Pitino, my kids wanted to go meet him, or at least two of them did. The youngest, Henry, showed up wearing his University of Kentucky hat. Because that's what BBN does. It represents. Even at age 9, or however old he was. I brought him once when I sat in for Jody Demling to host the Afternoon Underdogs radio show and he tried to tell the whole listening area that I'm a UK fan.
Look, I like UK. I like U of L. I've got nothing against either place. I'm happy when either one wins. But come on, kid. I get enough of that from the fan bases!
My point is, you never know what's going to happen when you bring your kids along. You do so at your own risk. I haven't made a habit of it, but it's nice once in a while. It doesn't hurt anybody.
Which is why I'm surprised that Steph Curry got a hard time for bringing his 2-year-old daughter, Riley, with him to the news conference after the Warriors beat Houston in Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals Tuesday night.
There was something of a firestorm criticizing Curry for bringing the little one to the news conference. Something about media members on deadline not being able to ask their questions.
First, the game was on the West Coast. Don't talk to me about deadlines. And second, it's not exactly Watergate when a player gets up to the podium after a win. Knowing athletes as I do, it's entirely possible that the kid will say something more quotable than the player. No offense to anyone.
Now, if you're a coach facing tough questions, if you know the thing could be contentious and you bring your kid up there as some kind of adorable human shield, I have a problem with that.
But come on. Curry's daughter got UNDER THE TABLE and PEEKED OUT from BEHIND THE COVER! (@warriors Twitter photo)
You're going to get on Twitter and complain about THAT? Proof, again, that people on Twitter will ravage anything they can get a screen shot of.
Sure, there are occasions when it can backfire. When Derrick Rose brought his kid to a news conference and the kid was wearing Chicago Cubs gear, that was a faux pas. Bulls' owner Jerry Reinsdorf also owns the Chicago White Sox. If you know Chicago, that's not an insignificant detail.
We've had plenty of examples locally of coaches bringing kids into the act.
U of L women's coach Jeff Walz brought his daughter Lola to a news conference last summer. I have no idea what he said, but I got some really good shots of her.
Or, look, Rick Pitino with his granddaughter Audrey. The Cards had scored a big win over Florida State on the road, and he brought her in. No big deal.
I loved it when Tim Duncan brought his kids into a post-game news conference.
And as far as I'm concerned, Bubba Watson should be required to bring his kid to The Masters every year, whether he's in it or not. And, yes, put him in those little child size caddie outfits. To quote Gale Snopes from Raising Arizona, upon seeing the toddler Nathan Arizona Jr., "My Lord, he's cute." (AP photo)
Shoot, even Tiger Woods. Look at his kids. (AP photo)
Wait. What was I talking about?
Right. Kids at news conferences. Why not? I mean, you wouldn't want it every day. But I'm far more offended by cheering boosters at news conferences than I am anyone's kids.
Sometimes we need to lighten up a little. Especially where kids are concerned.
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