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The Overhead Compartment with Adrian Wojnarowski

The Overhead Compartment with Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski epsn

Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg.

Woj. Bomb. Two words that make heads spin, twitter trend, and basketball fans all over the world pay attention. The person that yields all that power is the highly talented, always-in-the-know, Adrian Wojnarowski, the most inside “insider” in the NBA. Starting from an early age, Woj knew he wanted to be a sportswriter. He honed his skills at various newspapers around Connecticut and one in California before eventually landing back East and finding his way to Yahoo!, where Woj was given the opportunity to thrive at what he does best: break all the biggest stories in the NBA. After a long, successful run at Yahoo!, off he went to ESPN, where he appears on all the biggest shows and still breaks all the biggest news. The Overhead Compartment was excited to take it to the rack and go one on one with Adrian Wojnarowski to learn just how Woj bombs came to be, and how he never needs a zone defense.

THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT with Adrian Wojnarowski starts now:
The Overhead Compartment with Adrian Wojnarowski
OC: You have been in the NBA Bubble at Disney World for weeks now, how would you describe what the experience has been like?

AW: Professionally, you had almost everyone you cover in a contained environment with a lot of free time to talk and visit. For what I do, that’s a huge competitive advantage — and a lot of fun. The proximity to the court for the games is rare, and you still have to do a double-take to realize you’re watching NBA playoff games with the best players in the world almost as if you’re on a spaceship. That part never stops feeling a little strange. Beyond basketball, though, there’s a tremendous amount of stress within The Bubble because of the social injustice in the country, the unrest, the hate-mongering that we are witnessing toward minorities and the poor. To witness the impact it has had on the players and personnel within The Bubble has been unforgettable and the season nearly shutting down again after the players strike is one of those stories and moments that will stay with me forever.

OC: What is a typical day for you in the bubble?

AW: Much like a typical day outside of it, except isolated from my family. Phone calls. Texts. Reporting. Writing. Television. Face-to-face conversations with players, coaches, executives and league office personnel. Some days, podcasts. Playoff games in the evenings. They did put a Peloton in our workout room recently, so that’s how I’m trying to start out my mornings now.

OC: What is the strangest thing that has happened in the bubble?

AW: Probably failing to recognize Carmelo Anthony when he said “Hey Woj, what’s up?” to me one day. (Mask, glasses, no Blazers gear and Skinny Melo. I have a lot of excuses on that one).

OC: How did the term “Woj Bomb” start?

AW: Unclear to me. I suspect someone said it on twitter, and it got repeated again, and then again. It just sort of appeared in the vernacular at some point.

OC: You started off in print and now can be found all over TV, do you prefer one over the other and why?

AW: The only reason that I am on TV is because of my reporting and writing. The guts of everything I do is built out from those elements, so it will always be where I am most comfortable. TV is just the place that people watch you without sound above a bar and then vaguely recognize you at the airport.

OC: How has social media changed your reporting style?

AW: The fundamentals of reporting don’t change. My process has to stay consistent regardless of how and where I’m going to share that information. Social media demands more of a real-time need to share the information, and almost a 24-7 pursuit of news that is sort of like feeding a bottomless pit.

OC: You’re married with two kids, how do they handle what must be an influx of calls, texts and emails you receive per day regarding work?

AW: Much better than I do. They’ve been endlessly patient for years. My kids grew up with the car pulling to the side of the road to break stories. My wife and I met on the student newspaper in college, so she’s only ever known me like this (except originally with more hair).

OC: What was the least convenient time in your life that a huge story broke?

AW: There are a bunch of those stories, here’s one that stands out: DeMarcus Cousins tore his Achilles late on a Friday or a Saturday night. I saw it on TV, and started working sources to get the diagnosis. My wife had gotten dressed for bed, and we had agreed that I would pick up our teenage daughter at a diner where she had gone after a movie with some friends. Suddenly, I begged out of the duty. Without looking up at her, I said, “Hey sorry, this is a big story!” She replied, “So when am I going to be the big story?” That one stung.
The Overhead Compartment with Adrian Wojnarowski
OC: When you travel and get recognized, what’s the first question people ask you?

AE: Is (fill in the blank) free agent signing with my team?

OC: What is the first thing you do when arriving in a hotel room?

AW: If there’s a view, I stand and look out the window. I never want to take for granted all the places this job has allowed me to travel and experience. My dad worked in the same factory for 35 years. I have been incredibly lucky.

OC Complete the following sentence: I never leave home without:

AW: An extra phone charger.

Adrian Wojnarowski, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!