Doug Collins is not one to mince his words. Back in the mid 1980s, I was driving him to the airport from a game and the subject of Cleveland State came up. "They are cheating," he said. He was referring to their meteoric rise in the college basketball world that made them a media darling. "Mark my words. They will be on probation within a couple of years."
And sure enough they were caught in recruiting violations and put on probation in 1987.
It is this kind of straight-forward, candid assessment that sets Doug Collins apart from many other NBA analysts. This is also the kind of approach that has led to him, along with Peter Vecsey, being named as the recipients of the prestigious Curt Gowdy Media Award for 2009.
The Gowdy Media Award is named in honor of the legendary sports broadcaster and former Basketball Hall of Fame President, the late Curt Gowdy. This prestigious award is presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.
1997 Gowdy Media Award winner Marv Albert talks with
2009 Gowdy honoree Doug Collins during TNT's
2009 NBA All-Star Game Coverage.
Photo courtesy of Turner Sports.
Congratulations to both honorees!
Here is the official release from the Basketball Hall of Fame.
DOUG COLLINS and PETER VECSEY NAMED RECIPIENTS OF PRESTIGIOUS CURT GOWDY MEDIA AWARDS for 2009
Basketball Hall of Fame to Honor Legendary NBA and Olympic TV Commentator and longtime Pro Basketball Reporter and Columnist at 2009 Enshrinement Ceremonies, September 10-11.
SPRINGFIELD, MA - (July 13, 2009) – Doug Collins, the highly respected player and coach who is now the lead commentator for Turner Sports (TNT) and for NBC Sports’ coverage of basketball at the Olympic Games and Peter Vecsey, the longtime pro basketball writer for the New York Post have been selected to receive the 2009 Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during Enshrinement festivities scheduled for September 10-11, 2009 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Gowdy Media Award is named in honor of the legendary sports broadcaster and former Basketball Hall of Fame President, the late Curt Gowdy.. This prestigious award is presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.
“The Gowdy Media Award is an honor that is very proudly presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in memory of the late Curt Gowdy, one of the legendary figures of sports media,” said John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President & CEO. “Doug Collins and Peter Vecsey have dedicated much of their professional careers to report on the game of basketball while they entertain and educate millions of fans, readers and television viewers around the world. The Basketball Hall of Fame is very proud to recognize their extraordinary efforts.”
Former NCAA, NBA and Olympic player and NBA coach Doug Collins, the 2009 honoree for the Electronic Media, is widely recognized as the consummate NBA television color analyst. Collins brings a unique perspective and experience to the booth for Turner Sports broadcasts on TNT, providing insight from both the player’s and coach’s perspective. Following a very successful career as a player after being selected as the number one pick in the 1973 NBA Draft, Collins moved to the coaching ranks where he led the Chicago Bulls (1986-89), Detroit Pistons (1995-98) and Washington Wizards (2001-03).
In 1989, Collins first joined the Turner Sports family as its NBA color commentator.
After leaving to pursue further coaching opportunities, he returned to Turner Sports in 2003. Collins is TNT’s lead analyst for both the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA Conference Finals.
In addition, Collins was the lead analyst for NBC, for which he called four NBA Finals and three Olympic Games. Overall, for the better part of the past two decades, Collins has been a mainstay in the television coverage of the NBA, providing viewers with expert analysis and anecdotes from his experiences from the bench and on the court.
Collins, a graduate of Illinois State University, was also a member of the 1972 Olympic team, which lost the gold medal to Russia with a controversial call after Collins hit two free throws to give the US an apparent victory. He and his wife Kathy have two children, son Chris and daughter Kelly.
Peter Vecsey, The 2009 Print award winner, is a longtime resident of New York who has spent the majority of his life in that great basketball city which recognizes him as one of the most prominent sports writers to ever cover the sport of pro basketball. A native of Queens, NY, Vecsey attended academic and athletic powerhouse Archbishop Molloy High School, and upon graduating in 1961, enrolled at Hofstra University. After graduating from Hofstra, Vecsey enlisted in the Armed Forces during the most intense period of the Viet Nam war and became a sergeant with the U.S. Army's Green Beret Special Forces Unit from 1965 to 1967.
Vecsey currently writes his NBA column for the New York Post, providing insight to his many readers as he frequently breaks news of blockbuster trade details and the ‘behind the scenes’ information that pro basketball fans around the world crave on a daily basis. Vecsey has built a lifetime of valuable relationships and trustworthy sources who frequently provide him with access to confidential and newsworthy information. Vecsey is widely known for his open criticism of team executives, players and coaches, a sportswriting tactic that stirs up controversy. Vecsey has written his "Hoop du Jour" NBA column for the Post from 1976 through 1989, then covered the NBA for USA Today from October 1990 through September 1993 before returning to his New York roots at the Post.
While Vecsey is widely known for his news-breaking and reporting in print, he is no stranger to the television screen. During the 1987-88 season, he hosted a syndicated television show that highlighted the NBA with analyst and former New York Knicks coach and Hall of Famer Hubie Brown. In 1985 and 1986, he hosted a one-hour NBA talk show with Lee Zeidman on SportsChannel New York. Vecsey also worked as an “NBA Insider” on TNT, joining Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith in the award-winning studio show, as well as serving as one of "The Insiders" on NBC Sports’ pregame, halftime and postgame coverage of the game via "NBA Showtime,” where he regularly broke news stories and provided insight with player features, pregame reports, locker room gossip and sideline reporting.
Sportswriting runs in the Vecsey family, as Peter’s brother George Vecsey writes The Sports of the Times column for the The New York Times. Peter resides on Long Island with his wife, Joan, and their two children, Taylor and Joseph.
Previous Curt Gowdy Media Award Winners
Year Electronic 1990 Dick Herbert Curt Gowdy 1991 Dave Dorr Marty Glickman 1992 Sam Goldaper Chick Hearn 1993 Leonard Lewin Johnny Most 1994 Leonard Koppett Cawood Ledford 1995 Bob Hammel Dick Enberg 1996 Bob Hentzen Billy Packer 1997 Bob Ryan Marv Albert 1998 Larry Donald/Dick Weiss Dick Vitale 1999 Smith Barrier Bob Costas 2000 Dave Kindred Hubie Brown 2001 Curry Kirkpatrick Dick Stockton 2002 Jim O’Connell Jim Nantz 2003 Sid Hartman Hot Rod Hundley 2004 Phil Jasner Max Falkenstien 2005 Jack McCallum Bill Campbell 2006 Mark Heisler Bill Raftery 2007 Malcolm Moran Al McCoy 2008 David DuPree Bob Wolff