Sunday, May 01, 2005

Jason Williams v. Geoff Calkins

OK...before I get my 4 hours of sleep tonight for tomorrow's show, let me just recap briefly what took place in the Grizzlies locker room tonight. I was there, and I saw the whole thing--it was pretty intense.

Ron Higgins and I were standing near Jason Williams' locker as he got dressed and ready to be interviewed. Jason asked Ron, "Where's that (expletive) friend of yours--Calkins?" Ron said that he was in the main press conference room and would probably be in the locker room in a few minutes. Jason said, "Let me know when he gets here."

Before I continue, the main reason for Jason's anger with Geoff Calkins is this column, published this morning. Jason took offense to what he perceived as an insinuation that he had pretty much given up on this season, and that he didn't really, truly care as much as he should.

I could tell Jason was genuinely angry. About 15 minutes later, Geoff Calkins came in and joined a crowd of reporters interviewing Mike Miller. As soon as Geoff came in, Jason took notice and said, "Mike Miller! Mike Miller! Do not answer any (expletive) questions from this guy. You can answer TNT all you want (TNT was interviewing him as well) , but do not answer this (expletive)." Jason then took Geoff's pen and said in no uncertain terms that he wasn't going to be writing anything down. Jason was uncomfortably close to Geoff throughout this exchange. At this point, a Grizzlies security representative stepped in and separated Jason from Geoff, but Jason got away and stood next to Geoff again. They were exchanging heated words (Jason was far more heated than Geoff, to be fair), but I couldn't really make out what was being said at that point. Finally, the security representative stepped in again, and Jason left the locker room.

I should also add that most of this confrontation was captured on tape by several news stations, so they may air some of the footage. It was very uncomfortable. I can't imagine that Jerry West or anyone associated with the Grizzlies' organization will be thrilled to see their starting point guard confronting a columnist.

I'll write more on the game itself later on, and I know we'll be talking about this for the next few days. Feel free to write me or call in to the show. Good night.

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