It was a challenging pleasure to be on the scenes daily as four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James guided the Miami Heat to four consecutive trips to the Finals, which resulted in championships 2012 and 2013. 


Credit: Reuters

Grambling coach Eddie Robinson won an NCAA record 408 games in a career that spanned six decades. Covering Robinson’s final seasons, including his historic 400th win in 1995, was an enlightening journey through U.S. history. 

Photo Credit: AP File

Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal led Miami to a title in 2006. But injuries rendered the two stars as spectators for much of the controversial 2006-07 season, which made for an intriguing first year on the beat. 

Photo Credit: Joe Iverson

Sylvester Croom’s hiring in 2003 as the SEC’s first African-American football coach made him a national figure. He insisted maroon, Mississippi State’s primary color, is the only color that mattered. 

Photo Credit: Jan-Michael Stump/Birmingham Post-Herald

The 2006 arrival of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush provided New Orleans Saints fans a diversion after Hurricane Katrina. Chronicling the rebuilding efforts of the team and region was a career-defining assignment. 

Photo Credit: Doug Benc/Getty Images

Eli Manning, the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, emerged a bit from big brother Peyton’s shadow in his three seasons at the University of Mississippi. The stories from Manning’s record-breaking run would be published in a book. 

Photo Credit: Gamble

Michael Jordan was the greatest athlete Wallace has ever interviewed. But that interview came in 2001, well after Jordan’s prime with the Bulls and while he was finishing up with the Wizards. 

Photo Credit: NBA

Doug Williams led the Redskins to the 1987 Super Bowl as the first African-American quarterback to accomplish that feat. Detailing his return to his alma mater at Grambling to replace Robinson as coach in 1997 made for a seamless transition. 

Photo Credit: AP

An unexpected meeting with Hall of Fame runningback O.J. Simpson at a hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana led to a story that was picked up nationally in 1997, two years after Simpson’s controversial acquittal on murder charges in the Trial of the Century.

One of the most fascinating interview experiences was Tony Dungy’s 90-minute media session after his Indianapolis Colts won the 2007 AFC title game. One game later, he became the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl. 

Photo Credit: AP

As was the case with Michael Jordan, catching up with former boxing champ Mike Tyson at the end of his career – and on the night of his final victory in Memphis in 2003 – was surreal, considering it was fun growing up watching as a huge fan.

There are no limits to where covering sports, breaking news and politics can lead. On this particular day in 2013, those three angles intersected in the East Room of the White House, where President Obama welcomed the NBA champions. 

Photo Credit: AP