So I suspected as much, but thought I’d wait for confirmation prior to posting it, but Chad Lucas is one of those people who will be let go as a result of the massive lay offs at the Chronicle Herald.
The newspaper business is in dire straights for various reasons and people more qualified to comment on it have typed a great many words on the subject – use google and you’ll find some good commentary I am sure. In Halifax we’ve seen the loss of a number of good reporters and it’s unfortunate that Chad is among those being let go. The Herald had a number of reporters like Chad who represented a dying breed of reporter: the beat reporter. In many ways it’s a miracle that the Herald had a basketball reporter at all, but as basketball fans we were blessed to have regular updates on high school, university, college and pro ball from someone who spent most of their time covering these stories rather than covering a half dozen other things. Being immersed in the context of the stories and having a bit more time to dig around and fit pieces together shows in the writing and it’s sad as a basketball fan to lose the kind of in depth reporting that we’re all used to. (It’s perhaps even more sad that we’re likely to lose the remaining beat reporters at the court house and other places as well)
Lucas was always very friendly with me, and never saw me as the enemy or competetition. I think he saw this blog the same way I do: an adjunct to the newspaper reporting where I gave unqualified opinions, shared unsourced gossip and provided a place for fans to talk about the team (and often discuss the things Lucas wrote about in the paper).
He is an excellent writer and he was never scared to dig into the business side of the Rainmen, the ABA and the PBL which I felt pushed him to another level. Often reporters (usually due to time constraints) take people 100% at their word and don’t dig around, I don’t think Lucas could ever be accused of that. His actual analysis of basketball was excellent and while he rarely got into details in print, his blog often broke down the strengths and weaknesses of the Rainmen with more clarity than I ever have.
The Rainmen have benefited from media coverage that has been unparalled in the minor leagues over the last two years and halfway through their first season they suffered a blow when the Daily News shut down, the loss of Lucas as a beat reporter will no doubt continue to erode the amount and quality of coverage they get.
It is really too bad that Lucas will no longer be writing for the Herald – both due to the loss of excellent coverage of basketball, and because he’s a good person who lost his job due to no fault of his own. I hope he can quickly find a new job (I think a book on the post-2000 ABA still needs to be written) and he’s more than welcome to come sit in sections 22 and 23 with all of us. Heck, I know some folks in the section have extra seats that often go unused and I am sure he’s more than welcome to make use of them.