Where Are They Now: John Crotty
Where are you now?
I do radio work for the Heat. I also do television studio work for the Heat, so, just, it’s a great situation. I cover really the en–you know, every game and when they go out on the road, I do primarily just the TV out of a, out of the Fox studio here down in South Florida.
On his journey to the NBA and the Jazz
It [was] frustrating [not getting drafted after a good college career]. I got cut the last day by the Charlotte Hornets as a free agent-type situation, and was 24 hours from getting on the plane to go play the Boston Celtics with the Charlotte Hornets and see my, one of my idols, Larry Bird, and it didn’t work out. It was crushing.
I had to go play in a minor league for a year, but put my head down and just, you know, got to work, improved my game and came back. Over the course of the summer had an opportunity to try out with the Jazz in the summer league, and you know, basically from there, you know, had a great opportunity to play in the NBA for 11 years. Had five one-year deals my first five years, which certainly keeps you on the edge.
So you know, I have great memories of being in Utah playing for Coach [Jerry] Sloan, who I still, you know, have just the utmost respect for and care about. And you know, the players I still stay in touch with, and it’s a small world, the NBA world.
I just saw Jeff Hornacek, obviously who’s coaching the New York Knicks and you know, trying to maintain his sanity there. And you know, touch base with the rest of the guys who I see along the way, whether it’s an Adam Keefe or a John Stockton or Karl Malone.
You know, all kinds of people. Mark Eaton, who’s on the public-speaking servi–circuit along with a guy named Walter Bond, who I crossed over with there who’s a good friend. So, so many different players who, you know, I run into and continue to stay in contact with.
How did you break into broadcasting?
It’s kind of a natural extension of, you know, as a player, y–talking about the game and from a point guard position, thinking it and talking about it. Exp–you know, seeing some of the things happen maybe before they do. So, towards the end of my career — the NBA has great programs. They have internship programs that they allow you to, if you reach out and actually take advantage of these programs, they’re amazing.
And I did. And I had a chance actually — I was living in Miami. I actually did an internship with the Miami Heat on a broadcasting capacity. I was able to meet with the play-by-play TV broadcaster, Eric Reid, who’s actually still here. And we actually broadcast some games from a TV broadcast of the past season and I helped, it hel–I helped learn — he worked with me to teach me how to properly do it.
I was able to make some, basically some resume tapes from that and then send them out to some people. And it wound up coming back to me later on when they had an opening, they reached out to me. They knew I was in town and it worked out.
So that’s, you know, that’s one aspect of my life. I’ve also, I’m also, I sell commercial real estate. I sell larger office buildings and retail centers. Been doing that now for just about 14 years, and you know, that was through a similar internship program where I shadowed and followed someone who was very good at that.
And it’s a great way to learn if you’re a young person or you’re trying to get into a new business. You know, you shadow someone who’s really good at it already and you can learn a lot from that and how to model yourself after what you’re doing, whether it’s, you know, watching John Stockton and what he do–does in his work ethic and how he approaches his game, or you know, a guy like Eric Reid who’s the play-by-play guy for the Miami Heat and see what he does on the broadcasting side to really learn.
** John Crotty on playoff seeding, UDQM: That’s the frustrating thing, when it’s not completely in your hands. (KALL)