He slammed down the phone

Every opportunity for an interview is a good one.

Some people, of course, don’t want to be interviewed. Or the timing of, or topic(s), for a particular interview may be lousy.

There were rumors – perhaps wild – circulating in 1997 that Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim was going to leave New York and replace then-Arizona State men’s basketball coach Bill Frieder.

It never happened.

Yet, at the time, I wanted a reaction from Frieder himself. (I thought it would jazz up a story I planned to write on the ASU Sun Devils’ struggling basketball team.)

A phone call to his home was made at, if my memory is intact, around 11 p.m. (Generally I consider 9:30 p.m. a cutoff point to make a call for an interview unless a later time has been arranged.)

On this particular weekday, as a gung-ho college student/reporter, I was thinking about getting a response, not about the time of the call.

Frieder picked up the phone and didn’t exactly sound excited that I’d called.

“Hello,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said, or I think that’s what I remember him saying. “What is it?”

“Any truth to the rumors Jim Boeheim is replacing you?”

“If that’s true, Ed,” he said, pausing for emphasis, “I’ll come down to the State Press and work as your personal assistant for free.”

He slammed down the phone.

One of the shortest interviews I’ve ever done.

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