Saturday, December 04, 2010

Legendary Sixers beat writer Phil Jasner passes away

By John McMullen

Phil Jasner, one of the true giants of the our industry, passed away Friday after a long and difficult battle with cancer.

The long-time Sixers beat writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, Jasner was chosen for induction by five different halls of fame; the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame; the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame; the Overbrook High School Hall of Fame; the Temple University School of Communications and Theater's Hall of Fame; and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

Growing up in south Jersey my love of basketball was largely shaped by Jasner's descriptions of the action. The Hall of Famer loved hoops until the end even though the Sixers didn't make it easy for him. I was a little uneasy a few weeks ago when I stopped seeing Jasner at games since I knew he was suffering through a Stage 4 bout with an insidious disease and basketball was always his outlet. It seems like a lot of us get caught up in the mundane aspects of life and forget the things we have. Jasner always reminded me that I really don't have a job ... I get paid to cover basketball whether the Sixers win 70 or lose 70 and that's pretty cool.

Jasner's obituary will undoubtedly lead off with Hall of Fame writing career and while that was certainly a big part of his life, it shouldn't be the lead. If I am writing on deadline, I talk about the fact that Jasner was a Hall of Fame guy and I give my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends in this trying time. J

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