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Original Issue


Robert L. Miller

No, that's not Frank Sinatra roaming our halls in the wee small hours on a closing day, crooning Strangers in the Night; it's SI reporter Morin Bishop, who, when he's not covering pro basketball, could give Ol' Blue Eyes a full-court run for his money.

"I was born in the wrong decade," sighs Bishop, looking away from a page of statistics. "Who knows what might have happened if I'd come of age in the big band era. So far, the closest I've come to recording Night and Day is when I fill out my time card."

Bishop has spent his time lately shuttling between Boston and Los Angeles assisting our writers with the NBA playoffs (page 36). "This time I didn't have to bribe the ushers to let me into Boston Garden," says Bishop, thinking back to his college days at Harvard when watching the Celtics sometimes won out over attending lectures. The usher-bribing and a Rye, N.Y. childhood devoted to the Knicks of the late 1960s made Bishop a lifelong NBA fan.

He also followed baseball's Mets, though of his own Little League career he says, "As much as I'd like to, I can't say I was a catcher in Rye."

Now the 31-year-old Bishop is casting a sharp eye at pro hoops and other SI stories, checking them out for factual accuracy. He has also written several pieces for the magazine, including the May 20 story on the NBA's "Patrick Ewing" lottery.

Journalism was not Bishop's initial career choice. After Harvard, he earned a master's degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Though he chose another career, he didn't distance himself from the ministry; he married Sara Goold, a Methodist preacher with congregations in West Redding and Georgetown, Conn.

Bishop's ecclesiastical background has come in handy when SI writers have used religious allusions. When a writer compared an athlete to an obscure fourth-century theologian, writer-reporter Ivan Maisel asked Bishop for some help with verification.

"I'm not exactly sure what religion has to do with basketball," says Maisel, "but when I have questions about either, I turn to Morin."

Bishop's proficiency on the golf course is another matter. Says golfing buddy and fellow reporter Austin Murphy, "The day usually ends with Morin shaking his head, muttering about how three lousy holes on the back nine did him in, how he could have broken 90 if not for 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15...."

Or as reporter Greg Kelly puts it, "Morin has the demeanor, the elegance and the joie de vivre on the links of a P.G. Wodehouse character. Unfortunately, he has the game of a Charles Schulz character."

Well, at least he does it his way.