Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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ESPN made two key hires in the basketball world recently, although one is receiving a lot more attention than the other.
The Worldwide Leader announced the hiring of Brian Windhorst, who covered the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and maintains a close relationship with LeBron James.
Windhorst is part of a four-man team that comprises ESPN’s new “Heat Index,” “devoted specifically to daily, season-long coverage of the Miami Heat and their new superstar core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.”
Michael Wallace, the Heat beat writer for the Miami Herald for the past three years, is also part of the group.
In following James out of Cleveland to South Beach, Windhorst has taken heat from Cavs fans, but he defended himself in an interview with Cleveland radio host Bob Frantz:
“LeBron’s people never trusted me. They still don’t trust me. They don’t want me there because they know they can’t control me. If you look at the big stories that are done on LeBron they are written by GQ or from Vogue, or people like that they can control.”
Jason McIntyre at The Big Lead makes the good point that Windhorst is setting himself up to be the national authority on LeBron, much the way Sam Smith, author of “The Jordan Rules,”was on Michael Jordan.
ESPN also signed a deal with Dave Telep, the founder of Scout.com who is considered the preeminent national high school recruiting expert.
This is a clear indication that ESPN is serious about improving its coverage of high school hoops and college recruiting.
And you have to wonder how Scout will fare in his absence.
“I know Scout.com will continue at a high level,” he wrote on his Twitter.
Also, troubled former AOL Fanhouse columnist Jay Mariotti Tweeted that he’s leaving to focus on “other ventures,” including a “book project.”
“Column writing has been a labor of love for 25 years, allowing me to see the world and cover some of the greatest athletes and events in sports. But it’s time to step back from the daily sportswriting grind and focus on my other media ventures, including a book project.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.