LA Times columnist T.J. Simers has a reputation for being argumentative with coaches and players and is generally a press conference grand stander. I've personally witnessesed this behavior during various Suns - Lakers series. He asks questions in what has to be an intentionally provocative way and isn't shy about being downright rude and turning what should be a professional, respectful exchange into a circus.
I've seen Phil Jackson deal with Simers with humor and patience and Steve Nash with his usual Canadian politeness. Today, I had the pleasure of seeing Kirk Gibson handling Simers in his own special way.
For whatever reason, it was clear to those who see him often that Gibson wasn't in the best of moods to begin with which helped set up this exchange:
Simers: "I hear you yell at reporters who ask about awards."
Gibson: "Let's not talk about those yet. We're here to talk about what we're trying to accomplish tonight...and I wouldn't say that I yell at them."
Simers: "I'm here. I've got to write about Kennedy and Kershaw."
(to be continued...)
Gibson: "Well, I'll give you what I give everybody else. I think the performance speaks for themselves. We'll continue to lobby for our guys to be considered that are deserved. Certainly, Ian is in the talks as well as Clayton Kershaw."
Simers: "This is how you.."
Gibson: "I don't have a vote. I don't know the criteria. If you'd like to explain to me the criteria, feel free."
Simers: "This is the way you lobby?"
Gibson : "Do you vote?"
Simers :"No, I don't vote. This is the way you lobby for your players?"
Gibson : "Next question."
Gibson :"My players know I support them. I don't know what's wrong with you today, disrespect the fact that I'm up here..."
Simers :"I'm here to cover the Dodgers..."
Gibson :"Are you going to interrupt me or are you going to let me answer the question?"
Simers :"I'm trying to get answers."
Gibson :"OK, just let me finish my answer."
Gibson :"What's your name?"
Simers :"T.J. Simers, L.A. Times."
Gibson :"Where you from? Oh, you're from LA. I've heard a lot about you, you like this kind of stuff."
Gibson :"Anyway, I think it's best we move on, we'll talk about more positive production things. My player, I respect him, I support everyone of them for their cause, and he certainly should be considered for that award. Next question."
Sometimes athletes and coaches makes fools of themselves in press conferences and we hear all about it. This time it was the media member making an ass out of himself and Kirk Gibson was having no part of it.
Here's the video of the exchange via Craig Grialou, Arizona Sports.com: