Baxter Holmes had one of the best months for a sports features writer in a very long time earlier this year. He published two fantastic stories at ESPN - one on the fancy dinners that San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich hosts, the other detailing the dysfunction of the Los Angeles Lakers.
On the face of it, they are two very different stories. But in his return visit to The Other 51, Baxter tells Brian how the reporting for those stories had a lot in common.
Baxter describes how he first heard about Popovich’s wine dinners and how the Lakers’ dysfunction first got on his radar. He talks about the value of talking to everybody, how writing scenes is a key part of his process, how Robert Caro’s notions of concentric circles help him report, and what it was like the day the Lakers story broke. There was a lot of coffee that day.
Baxter and Brian also discuss how writers are a lot like chefs.