Phil Jasner Rumors

“This is going to be very difficult and incredible all at the same time,” said Andy Jasner, Phil’s son, a 1987 Haverford High School graduate who lives in Media and is also a noted sportswriter nationally. “It’s a huge honor to have this tournament named after my father. It’s the kind of dedication my father gave to people, and from my perspective, I wish my father was still here. I think about him every day, and to have this tournament named after him, it’s something I’ll never forget. “I miss my father dearly, and it’s very heartwarming to see his name up there with this tournament. I have to thank (Comcast SportsNet producer) Brian Schiff for being an important part of making this happen. But that was my dad. People loved him. They don’t put your name on something without a person giving up something and (having) done something for people.”
It didn’t matter whether it was 4 a.m. or at courtside of the NBA championship, Phil Jasner was always there for someone. The Hall of Fame Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter was there to bring a keen eye and unparalleled expertise to the game of basketball, but mostly, Jasner was the kind of top-of-the-food-chain writer that was willing to help anyone, from a rival paper to a novice covering his first game. That was Phil Jasner.There’s a reason why the late Jasner, a Havertown native, is in five sports halls of fame, and why the JCC Maccabi Games have renamed Thursday’s 16-and-under championship—scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bala Cynwyd Middle School—the Phil Jasner Memorial Basketball Tournament. One more great honor for a great man who touched many, many lives in and around basketball, who was constantly giving to basketball and giving to others.
Jasner, a longtime Sixers beat writer for the Daily News, died in December. The Jasner Award is presented by the PBWA to a member of the organization for distinguished service to the craft throughout a career. Phil Jasner was the 2001 recipient of a lifetime achievement award. “There isn’t a more suitable recipient of this award than Sam,” said Doug Smith, of the Toronto Star and president of the PBWA. “He has served his readers, the industry and our organization with distinction for decades and embodies all that is good about what we do.”
Sam Smith, the highly respected NBA columnist whose career has spanned more than quarter of a century, is being honored as the inaugural winner of the Phil Jasner Lifetime Achievement Award by the Professional Basketball Writers Association, the group announced yesterday. Smith, who has covered the NBA since 1983 and is now the columnist for, will be honored tonight during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final between the Bulls and Miami Heat.
Loving a job is an extra-tricky thing these days, especially in the newspaper business. Beyond the harsh realities of the workplace — those jobs, lest we forget, rarely love us back — there is the added risk in daily print journalism that you’ll wake up alone one day. That job will be gone. Didn’t matter to Phil Jasner, though, who loved his job as the Philadelphia Daily News’ beat writer on the Sixers and resident NBA expert. Best I could tell, based on comments about his bosses that you rarely hear (now or ever) from most sportswriters, the job loved him back. Better yet, Jasner, who moved onto the beat full-time in 1981, loved his work. My friend Phil, who died at age 68 Friday after a long battle with cancer, tackled his work as a basketball writer with a zeal and curiosity that colleagues four decades younger rarely muster. The story — the latest news, the illuminating feature — mattered and that meant not just getting it first but getting it right. Another phone call to make, another fact to check, another source to question? Fine with Phil.
Iverson before the game, on Twitter, wrote that he was going to dedicate the victory to the memory of Phil Jasner (a famous journalist from Philadelphia who covered Sixers for several years and who died few days ago). My teammates and I are about to go into war, in a very important game. I am dedicating tonights game to the memory of Phil Jasner. If I considered by some to be one of best to have played the game. He clearly was the best to have ever. covered one. This one is for you Phil. God Bless!
Even as he battled cancer, as it took his curly locks and left him jaundiced and in pain, he continued to write. Finally, a couple of weeks ago the cancer put him in a grip that he couldn’t escape. Jasner, whose coverage of the NBA for the Philadelphia Daily News earned him the Curt Gowdy Award presented to journalists for outstanding contributions by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, died Friday. He was 68. After graduating from Temple University, Jasner started his journalism career in the Philadelphia suburbs as a writer for the Pottstown Mercury, Norristown Times Herald and Trentonian. But it was after his hiring at the Daily News as a prep writer that he eventually got his opportunity to focus his work on the Sixers.
Before Charlotte met the 76ers on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center, Bobcats coach Larry Brown talked about longtime Daily News sportswriter Phil Jasner, who died Friday at 68. Jasner began covering the Sixers in 1981 and did so until cancer caused him to step back early in 2009. Brown was the team’s head coach from 1997 to 2003. “He’d been involved with the NBA for so long,” Brown said. “He loved the game. He was a real reporter. He just talked about the game, and didn’t get caught up in a lot of stuff that really doesn’t mean anything. He’s been through a lot in the last [few] years, and he’ll be missed. They love their basketball here, and a lot of that is because of the people who have written about it, and cared about it. He was way at the head of the list.”
It said it all Friday when Allen Iverson, who’s hardly speaking to anybody in the media these days, sent from Turkey on Twitter his condolences. The legendary guard, who hadn’t written anything on Twitter since arriving Nov. 16 in Turkey, sent out two messages on Jasner. In the first, Iverson wrote, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Phil Jasner. The world has truly lost a ‘great man,’ who will be surely missed.” In the second, Iverson wrote, “My condolences go out tonight to his family.”
We lost Phil Jasner, the long-time Philadelphia Daily News reporter and beat guy role model, to cancer on Friday. He lived with passion, and it was obvious in every phone call, every deadline and every morning his byline landed on a front lawn or boarded a Philadelphia train on the way to work. He was a reporter, and he did it the way it should be done, without agendas, without cynicism and without ego. He went through some tough times, but he treated everyone with genuine enthusiasm, with real, honest interest and respect, with integrity. He was a Hall of Famer (five times), but he was not only was as comfortable with the guy that would clean up after the ceremony, but he would make him feel appreciated, too.