Still stinging from a retraction he had to print about a ridiculous (and damaging) story about Sam Mitchell, Vecsey once again rushed a story to print without taking the time to verify actual facts. Today, Vecsey led off his column with a sad tale about how Derrick Coleman was in dire need of a heart transplant.
Some information is better left unlearned. Yet I wouldn't be doing my job justice if I didn't report that Derrick Coleman, 41 come June 21, is in urgent need of a heart transplant. Details are scarce, but the few collected are scary.Actually, Peter, you wouldn't be doing your job if you simply re-printed rumor without verifying the facts. While it's true that has been hospitalized for the last 10 days with an irregular heart beat, his situation is hardly serious, let alone dire. Terry Foster of the Detroit News contacted Coleman to get his reaction, who said he was shocked to hear that he was apparently on his deathbed.
Toward the end of Coleman's 10-year NBA career, he was diagnosed as suffering from arrhythmia. The disorder was treated with medication and it stopped his heart from skipping a beat and alleviated his shortness of breath, etc.
For whatever reason, Coleman's condition severely worsened lately, hospitalizing one of the toughest hombres in league history. Only a couple of his closest friends - Charles Oakley and Ricky Mahorn - have been able to see him.
"Do I sound like I need a heart transplant," Coleman said Friday "I don't know how this stuff gets started. I appreciate the love, but please tell everybody that I am fine."If Foster was able to get in touch with Coleman, why couldn't Vecsey? To be fair, Vecsey is such a prolific writer that he's always going to get stuck telling his share of rumors that don't pan out (just ask the Atlanta Hawks), but you'd think that he'd be extra careful with his sources just days after getting caught with egg on his face with the Mitchell story.
[...] Coleman said he nearly jumped out of his hospital bed when he saw a local television report he needed a heart transplant. "If I needed one I would be calling a press conference begging for one," he said. "This ain't that serious."