In addition to being a Director of Information Technology at the University of California Irvine, Larry is a nationally recognized NBA expert and contributor to ESPN.com and Basketball Insiders, and has also written for HoopsWorld.com and The New York Times. Specializing in all facets of the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, salary cap issues, trade and free agency issues, and general business operations of the NBA, Larry created and maintains the foremost source on these issues, cbafaq.com. We were lucky enough to have a chance to hang out with Larry and discuss his career, his personal style, and the upcoming 2016 NBA season.
How and why did you begin covering the NBA and its operations?
You could say I first got serious about it in 1999, when I wrote the first version of the FAQ. I was already an active participant in Internet discussion groups and a voracious reader. It really started out with me simply not being able to find the information I wanted to know so I set about creating a source myself. Then after several years of discussions with ESPN and several other media outlets I began expand my reach. So now I have multiple outlets – Twitter, my blog, the FAQ, ESPN.com, and chats I do for BasketballInsiders.com, each with its own place, and they all fit together into one coherent picture.
How would you describe your personal style?
In my day-to-day I’m business casual but when I travel or am doing media-related activities I think it’s important to look sharp. When I first started out I was a total clothes horse, I loved Armani, and since I’m lucky enough to be involved with one of the coolest sports/entertainment industries on the planet I want my wardrobe to look interesting. When I travel I always pack a suit or two and try to look good and I like a wardrobe where I can achieve many looks, without having to lug around a huge suitcase of clothes.
What’s your go-to cocktail or beverage after a long day?
I’m a red wine aficionado, and am especially partial to pinot noirs from Burgundy and from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. My other love is Scotch; I’m especially partial to Lagavulin and Laphroaig.
Best/worst moves by a team this past off season?
The Spurs had a great offseason. They were already a top contender, and they still managed to add a top free agent in LaMarcus Aldridge without losing any of their core players. On the other end of the spectrum, the Sacramento Kings made a lot of moves that were puzzling. It seems like they assembled some pieces without a clear picture of who they were as a team and where they were going. Plus, they gave up a lot of future draft assets in the process.
Favorite all-time player and why?
Magic Johnson, no question. I’m a lifelong Laker fan and to see him lead the Showtime fast break, with those no-look passes, it was pure nirvana.
Predictions for next year’s finals?
The West is always tough. The champion Warriors are still right up there, and Spurs will be right there with them, but don’t discount the LA Clippers. In the East, Cleveland is still the cream of the crop, and likely will continue to be so for as long as LeBron James is there and at the top of his game. It’s going to be a shootout.