Full disclosure: it’s 8:04 in the morning my time and I’ve been up all night working on a presentation, so I won’t be able to do anything resembling justice to Brian Windhorst at the current moment.
Anyways, Brian Windhorst, along with Michael Wallace, Kevin Arnovitz (who, in the interest of fuller disclosure, has been my editor and immediate boss within the TrueHoop Network, and Sebastian Martinez-Christensen), will be covering the Miami Heat next season as a part of ESPN.com’s “Heat Index” next season.
If you’ve followed the Cavaliers at all over the past several seasons, Brian Windhorst needs no introduction. He has established himself as one of the best and hardest-working beat writers in the country. His coverage of the Cavaliers has been even-handed, intelligent, and impossibly diligent. This man broke the Mo Williams trade while returning from the hospital. He will be dearly missed by Cleveland fans, but I’m certainly happy that Brian got this opportunity and wish him all the best in this endeavor.
Given ESPN’s role in “The Decision,” I can see how the launching of the “Heat Index” might not be the most welcome news around these parts, but I’ll say two quick things:
1. The interest in this Heat team is absolutely overwhelming. I can tell you that articles that mentioned LeBron or the Heat absolutely dominated all other articles in terms of comments over on NBC all summer long. Most articles get 1-5 comments; when LeBron says something, it’s not uncommon for 40-50 people to chime in. That’s admittedly an imperfect measure of interest, but I’m of the opinion that ESPN is reacting to a demand for news here rather than creating said demand.
2. I can tell you that this website will be good. We all know what Windhorst can do and how good he is at what he does. It would be impossible for me to overstate my opinion of Kevin Arnovitz. To put things simply, they would not be participating in this project and moving from Los Angeles/Cleveland to Miami if they didn’t believe in the project. If they are involved in a project, it will be both well-written and of a high journalistic standard.
I can also tell you that ESPN’s basketball section is extremely well-run. I’ve worked for a lot of websites, both big and small. From my experience, I can tell you that everyone I have had contact with at ESPN genuinely cares about the quality of the product they put out, journalistic ethics, and the well-being of the writers that work for them. My experience with ESPN has been an absolute highlight of my career, for reasons that have nothing to do with the exposure they have given me. Henry Abbott, Kevin Arnovitz, and the higher-ups in the basketball section care about what they do, what they write, and the people that write for them. I know that for a fact. Trust me, I am far too sleep-deprived to shill.
This is bad news for Cavalier fans who have gotten used to reading Mr. Windhorst’s coverage of the team over the course of his career. But it’s good news for him, and great news for everyone who will be looking for great coverage of one of the most fascinating and polarizing basketball teams in recent memory. Once again, congratulations and good wishes to Brian and Kevin.