What was just a discussion between two parties a few weeks ago appears to be confirmed: Brian Windhorst will be leaving Cleveland’s Plain Dealer to cover the Miami Heat exclusively for ESPN and ESPN.com.
The man affectionately known as “Windy” has been a staple among Cavaliers coverage since breaking in with the Akron Beacon-Journal from 2003 to 2008, subsequently transitioning over to the PD during what was effectively the peak of the LeBron James tenure with the team. Frequently appearing on ESPN.com in the past, Windhorst had been covering James when the two-time MVP was still in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary. Also a St. V’s alum, it is commonly said that the two men have had parallels within the basketball media universe.
Windhorst is largely considered to be among the upper echelon in NBA beat writers, being the youngest in “the game” when he started with the ABJ in 2003. Alas, said parallels will continue on to Miami where James will play for the foreseeable future after leaving Cleveland during the most recent free agency period with Windhorst there to keep his finger on the proverbial pulse.
ESPN.com will be rolling out a “Heat Index,” which will chronicle everything from the team’s practices (yes, recaps of practice) to the scene on Miami’s South Beach.
“It’s been a long-term goal to be on their NBA staff,” Windhorst told CNBC’s Darren Rovell. “I have a long history [with] LeBron, but I will cover him as a member of the Heat, not as an ex-Cav.”
(Update: Check out Vince G’s Q&A with Brian about the subject at hand)