Seasoned sportscaster Jason Jackson has documented the ups and downs of the Miami Heat organization for the last nine years. A major up came earlier this year, when the scrutinized Big Three (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh) and their stellar teammates were crowned NBA Champions. Being a part of the historic title win was surely a highlight of Jackson’s decorated career—which has already included Emmy wins for his Inside the Heat series, hosting The Jax Show radio program, and anchoring stints on ESPN. “I am blessed to be one of the members of the franchise that was here in 2006, so this is my second team championship experience … I am honored to be the messenger who delivers this wondrous tale,” said Jackson of his work. Here, we get more insight on Jackson’s relationship with the team and its unpredictable players.
What are you looking forward to this season?
JASON JACKSON: The new journey with new members. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has hammered home the message that this is a different run with a different team. He doesn’t want his team to think anything will be the same, or that the title will be handed to them. I am looking forward to seeing how the team challenges itself nightly, while integrating new members such as Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. The games and cities for the most part are the same, but the stories that emerge from the contests always have their own DNA. I am looking forward to chronicling them all.
What is the key to success in sports reporting?
JJ: The answer is simple and complex and provided in a single word: preparation. While in school, you have to intern at a paper, magazine, radio, or TV station to learn the building blocks of the craft. After landing a gig, never stop reading, listening, and probing the subject matter. I have been doing this for over 20 years, but I still watch every show back every night to make sure I am growing and learning.
Who's your favorite player to interview?
JJ: Right now Chris Bosh is my favorite. He is funny and thoughtful and expansive and insightful all in the same interview, let alone day-to-day. He is also the king of the video bomb. Some [bombs] are better than others, but nothing tops a special night in Milwaukee that the true Heat fans will never forget.
JJ: The Heat had struggled to get past the Bucks all season, but finally did. I was conducting a post-game interview with LeBron James when Chris Bosh came crashing into the interview, which is commonplace with James, Bosh, and Wade. Bosh took it to another level when his silliness included dropping one of our favorite expletives, which begins with the letter S. I had to pause and apologize to the viewers while James was doubled over laughing. Bosh felt terrible but it was funny.
How do you spend your downtime in the off season?
JJ: Most off seasons are filled with golf at The Biltmore Hotel, but this one was extra special. This year I was able to take my family to The Baseball Hall of Fame. My favorite baseball player of all time, Barry Larkin, was inducted into the Hall, so we made the trek to Cooperstown, New York for the enshrinement.
Do you have any Miami haunts?
JJ: Favorite music venue, The Stage. For food, The Grove Spot, Morton’s steakhouse in Coral Gables, and the Ale House in Doral and Coral Gables. For cigars, Cuban Crafters and El Clique. To chill out, The News Lounge, Four Seasons, and Tobacco Road.
What keeps you sane on the road?
JJ: I am a Blackberry guy through-and-through, but I have to have my iPod Touch for movies, music, and Words with Friends.