No one reading this blog is likely to know the name Bill Kreifeldt. Which is too bad.
Everyone should have known him.
I got an e-mail from a friend of both mine and Bill’s, yesterday. It said the former Jazz p.r. director had passed away in Arizona.
Bill was good guy and a fine publicity rep. He worked for the Detroit Pistons, L.A. Clippers, NBA office and the Jazz.
During his Detroit years, he would hand-deliver game notes to the papers . He worked the same way with the Salt Lake media. The first Jazz piece I ever wrote was in the 1980s. I was a beat writer covering colleges, but had been invited to write a column on the side, every couple of weeks.
So I called Bill.
He set me up with Carey Scurry and couldn’t have been more helpful. At that point, my experience interviewing NBA players was nil. I remember more about how Bill treated me than the interview with Scurry.
Bill was old school. He would tip us off to good story angles, arrange interviews and — after I had become a columnist — give me random stats or anecdotes, some of which nowadays might be called “analytics.”
They were interesting, offbeat and original.
His resume proved he was good at what he did. He served in the world’s best basketball league in several different markets. But he was the last person would would ever go “New York” on a reporter.
On a more personal note, Bill was a good person. I took my daughters to the haunted house at the Grand Theater at Salt Lake Community College, one year in the 1990s. As we advanced — with my girls squealing in delight and fear — a ghoulish figure in the shadows said to us, “Hello…Rockmonster!”
I squinted through the dim light.
“Bill?” I said.
He just laughed and wished us a Happy Halloween. My daughters were baffled how a crypt-keeper would know my name. Bill later told me volunteered annually, simply because he enjoyed entertaining kids on Halloween.
His passing is a loss to the NBA media, teams and friends alike.