When Adam Zagoria, a writer for SNY.tv and ZagsBlog.com, broke the news last Tuesday night about super-recruit Kyrie Irving‘s committing to Duke (note: initial report did not have Irving’s denial and had Chris Collins named in place of “[a Duke assistant]”) reaction across the blogosphere varied from ecstatic to negative after Irving denied Zagoria’s reports. After Irving eventually officially committed to Duke on an orchestrated ESPNU ceremony less than 48 hours after his initial denials and told multiple media outlets that he had decided on Duke long before he went on ESPNU several media members (Seth Davis and Gary Parrish being the most prominent) felt that Irving owed Zagoria an apology. We were a little more measured and felt that the entire episode reflected more of the circus that is college basketball recruiting. Since that time, the issue of the interaction between Zagoria (the journalist) and Irving (the recruit) has grown increasingly contentious on message boards across the Internet so we decided to go to Mr. Zagoria and get his take on it.
Rush the Court: What kind of background do you have doing this type of stuff [covering recruiting]?
Adam Zagoria: I’ve been a sportswriter for about 15 years and I’ve been doing basketball recruiting for I guess about 5 years. I was at a newspaper, The Bergen Record and The Herald News, in New Jersey for 10 years and I’ve been at SNY for about 2 years.
RTC: I don’t know if you have been reading what they have been saying on the Duke message boards and other places like that. Have you been keeping up with that at all or do you try to avoid that stuff?
AZ: I’ve read some of it. I’m pretty busy with my other job duties, but I’m aware of it.
RTC: Ok. Could you talk a little bit about how you developed a relationship with Kyrie Irving and his family and how that came about happening?
AZ: I cover metropolitan-area basketball and I know the players and coaches at the local high schools–St. Anthony’s, St. Patrick’s, and St. Benedict’s–for a number of years so I met Kyrie going to his team’s games and going to different events.
RTC: So your relationship with him was no different than the typical star recruit in the area? Or was it a little closer than that?
AZ: I have a lot respect for Kyrie and his family. I think they’re great people and he’s a tremendous player and person. I wish him nothing, but the best going forward.
RTC: Could you tell us a little bit about what happened when you broke the story [about his commitment]?
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