The relationship between beat writer and players is a very unique one that most of the world will never truly understand. I certainly do not. Both of their livelihoods are connected in a manner unlike any other in most areas of employment. Win or lose, the writers are there to ask questions. Win or lose, the players have to answer those questions. Every single day, without fail.
Such interaction builds relationships and sometimes gives us memorable moments, although why it is memorable varies greatly. Sometimes players take major issue with how a certain writer portrayed a certain event and lets them know it. Sometimes a coach like Doc Rivers can't believe he's getting asked questions by a reporter from bed and jokingly says so. Sometimes, superstars are legitimately saddened to hear a reporter is off the beat.
The last of those occurred last night, when Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted to know where Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Bucks beat reporter Matt Velazquez was. When he was informed Velazquez took a new gig in Indianapolis, Giannis couldn't believe he didn't get a good-bye message.
Velazquez saw the message and responded.
Velazquez had been at the Journal-Sentinel for over seven years and covered Giannis from the beginning, back when he was a totally unknown long-limbed rookie galloping around the court and all the way to his rise to MVP and one of the most statistically dominant players of the era. His reason for leaving is certainly worth the read.
A truly pure moment between athlete and reporter. Those are fairly rare these days.