Vol. 57, No. 2 • January 2020 • .pdf version
INSIDE THIS ISSUE ...
Mike Waters: Reaching out to NABJ, AWSM and beyond
Malcolm Moran: Let's recognize best schools that allow media do its job
Five Hall of Famers: two centuries of experience
Mitch selected to Hall of Fame he helped originate
Wendy Parker: A pioneer for women's coverage
Reynolds a Rhode Island institution
Quick typing, quicker wit
Wilkinson stayed for the love of the game
Join the USBWA or renew your membership

Reynolds a Rhode Island institution
By KEVIN McNAMARA

Bookmark and Share  

The call usually came at an ungodly early hour and always with the same question.

"Meet you at the usual place? Ten minutes?"

Ugh. It was time for breakfast in New York City with Bill Reynolds. Big East tournament time. The usual place? Howard Johnson's, just off Times Square.

For years that was the spot Reynolds and myself would dine while covering Big John, Boeheim, Calhoun and oh so many great players. HoJo's was typical Reynolds, laid back, no frills.

When it came time to write, however, Bill Reynolds was more like the 21 Club and Peter Luger's. A stylist, a wordsmith who could turn a phrase like a dream. Anyone who read Reynolds instantly noticed the talent dripping off the pages of the Providence Journal and out of the nearly dozen books he authored in a nearly 40­year career in Rhode Island.

Reynolds lived a different journalistic life. He never really covered a team, didn't worry about recruiting or the coaching carousel. A few years after he was hired, he shot right into a columnist role and never left. He criss­crossed the country following the Larry Bird Celtics and saw the ball go through Buckner's legs in Shea Stadium but rarely missed a Providence, Brown or Rhode Island college basketball game.

While the games were great, Reynolds' best work came when focused on the human side of sports. "Losing locker rooms were better stories than winning locker rooms," Reynolds said.

Reynolds' reputation grew national in 1989 when he wrote "Born to Coach," a biography on the rise of Rick Pitino at Providence and with the New York Knicks. That platform took him to "Fall River Dreams," a season inside a local high school power. Other books included a season inside the Big East, a remembrance of the 1967 Red Sox and a book with Bob Cousy, Mr. Basketball himself.

As the years writing columns on Tom Brady, Pedro Martinez and his "For What It's Worth" Saturday roundup of one-liners and shots at politicians and society in general, Reynolds became a Rhode Island institution. Two of his most gripping books centered on local basketball. There was "Hope," a look at a dysfunctional Providence inner-city high school team. Then "Basketball Junkie," a remarkably frank, frightening look at Chris Herren's battle with addiction through his NBA and European pro career. It was so good, ESPN adapted it into an award-winning 30-for-30 film.

"He covered me in my teen years as I was growing up in basketball," Herren said, "but he was with me in my worst years."

Reynolds is joining an illustrious group of USBWA Hall of Famers, but he likely has everyone beat in one category. He could actually play the game, to the point that anyone who really knows the 6-foot-4 Bill calls him "Shooter." Reynolds was a star at Brown University in the 1960s, matching up against some of Pete Carril's earliest Princeton teams.

Look it up, right there in the Brown record books. William W. Reynolds. Hall of Famer.

June 2020
January 2020
November 2019
May 2019
March 2019
January 2019
November 2018
May 2018
March 2018
January 2018
November 2017
May 2017
March 2017
January 2017
November 2016
May 2016
March 2016
January 2016
November 2015
May 2015
March 2015
January 2015
November 2014
May 2014
March 2014
January 2014
November 2013
May 2013
March 2013
January 2013
November 2012
May 2012
March 2012
January 2012
November 2011
August 2011
May 2011
March 2011
February 2011
November 2010
May 2010
March 2010
February 2010
November 2009
May 2009
April 2009
February 2009
November 2008
May 2008
April 2008
February 2008
November 2007
May 2007
March 2007
February 2007
November 2006
May 2006
March 2006
January 2006
November 2005
May 2005 (.pdf)
March 2005 (.pdf)
January 2005 (.pdf)
November 2004 (.pdf)
May 2004 (.pdf)
March 2004 (.pdf)
January 2004 (.pdf)
November 2003 (.pdf)
May 2003 (.pdf)
March 2003 (.pdf)
January 2003 (.pdf)
November 2002 (.pdf)
January 2002 (.pdf)
November 2001 (.pdf)
.PDF'S BEST VIEWED WITH ADOBE READER X | EDITOR: JOHN AKERS