WHEN THE FUTURE STAR ARRIVED
Sometimes in TV you call on anyone you can to get what you need.
In 2003 Carmelo Anthony was drafted third overall by the Denver Nuggets. It was a huge deal. Carmelo was seen as the guy who could turn around a team.
I think it was the night of the draft, or the next night, that Melo was arriving in Denver for the first time. I was working at KWGN-TV (then known as WB2) in Denver as a reporter and a fill-in anchor. I was either at or very near Denver International Airport on my news assignment for the night. I don't remember what the story was.
Our Sports Director at 2 got word through his contacts that Carmelo Anthony would be arriving at the airport within the hour for his official media introduction the next day as a Nugget. He quickly got in touch with me and the photographer I was working with. We were far enough along with our own story that we were able to head over to the DIA baggage area to look for the Syracuse superstar who was moving to the Mile High City.
We spotted him. One other Denver station had a crew there, but I think it was a photographer and an intern. I wasn't really up to speed on Carmelo's situation. I am a big sports fan, but I've always been a news reporter. I knew it would be up to me to ask the questions, or at least the first one. I also knew that if I asked something pretty open-ended it would get him rolling. He had just led Syracuse to the National Championship so he had done plenty of interviews.
I was nervous because I wanted it to be something our sports guy could use, I didn't want to let him down. Since we were a CNN affiliate I also knew it would go up on their national feed for anyone who wanted to use it.
With tape rolling we chatted briefly about his success and his potential as an NBA star and then I asked Carmelo Anthony something along the lines of.."What can a player like you do for a team like the Nuggets."
It worked, He gave a good, "star-rookie-arriving-in-his-new-town-to-help-the-team" kind of answer. We chatted a little more then he left.
We sent the interview back to the station by fiber-optic cable. (The denver TV stations have several built-in drop spots within DIA to feed back video and even live signals) The sports guy seemed happy with it.
The next day I heard my qustion and Melo's answer to it on lots of different sports outlets...until it was replaced later by the actual "Here's Melo" Nuggets news conference.
It was nice to meet him, and to do his first interview in Denver for his "Welcome to Colorado" moment. It was nice to watch him play so well for the Nuggets for a long time. He really did help the team...for a while.
I'm guessing the "Welcome to New York" moment won't be quite so mellow for Melo!
We'll talk again soon.
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