Cleveland Cavaliers: Beat Writer Brian Windhorst Bolts, Joins ESPN's LeBron-Fest

Tom DelamaterAnalyst IOctober 4, 2010

We're all invited to join in the fun at ESPN.com's new "Heat Index."
We're all invited to join in the fun at ESPN.com's new "Heat Index."Marc Serota/Getty Images

In an unprecedented move, ESPN.com announced plans to launch “The Heat Index,” a special section “devoted specifically to daily, season-long coverage of the Miami Heat and their new superstar core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh,” according to a news release.

Yes, fans, the people who brought you “The Decision” now bring you all-LeBron, all the time.

Can’t get enough of the Heat, you say? Well, this will be the site for you.

According to the release, it will include “breaking news surrounding the Miami Heat,” along with coverage of every game and practice, a “Chase for 72” feature that will regularly update and forecast how many games the Heat will win, and another special feature, “Tracking the Big Three.”

No, they don’t mean Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen.

Imagine: “Heat Tweets,” regurgitating tweets from Heat players and fans; a “Triple-Double Tracker” devoted to LeBron and his “progress toward averaging a triple double”; and “The Scene,” covering “the culture, scene, and lifestyle angles tied to South Beach as it relates to the Heat and the buzz surrounding the team.”

At last, I can die happy.

Meanwhile, Brian Windhorst, who had the good fortune of arriving as a Cavaliers beat writer at the Akron Beacon Journal and then the Cleveland Plain Dealer just as LeBron’s star ascended in Northeast Ohio, is listed as one of the contributors to the new venture. The release indicates that he’s leaving the Plain Dealer to join “The Index.”

ESPN.com calls him “one of the leading authorities on LeBron James,” but regular readers knew him as a fine beat writer, arguably one of the NBA’s best. His reporting and insights were a joy for Cavs fans to read.

However, money talks, and, in the media biz, exposure equals money. Windhorst will get more of both, one presumes. At least he’s deserving.

Surely he knows, however, that few Cleveland loyalists will follow his prose to Miami. His decision to grab a seat on the LeBron James Express out of town will puzzle and probably disappoint the most ardent Cavs fans, many of whom found their voice in his observations and analysis.

Such is the sports world in which we live.

“The Heat Index” is scheduled to debut Oct. 11th.

There’s no word, however, on whether ESPN plans a Cavaliers page to cover Mo Williams’ tweets or Ryan Hollins’ pursuit of the occasional rebound.