"...As of now, he [LeBron] plans to become a free agent and listen to pitches come July 1. However, as the Cavs finish off the best record in the NBA for a second consecutive year and James prepares to win his second Most Valuable Player Award, something is indeed happening. After being mostly neutral and downright noncommittal for some time, those closest to James have been altering their view recently. The vibe being sent out from James' camp -- whether it is private conversations or discussions about new business or plans for the near future -- is that James currently is leaning strongly toward re-signing with the Cavs...James has declined to talk publicly about free agency since November. But as one source said, "I have never been so sure that he's going to stay in Cleveland than I am right now." "
This morning, The New York Daily News' Frank Isola offered a series of personal printed jabs of frusteration desperately directed towards Windhorst in response to last night's article. From Isola's rant posted this morning:
"...First things first. The writer of the article, Brian Windhorst, has now known LeBron since the self proclaimed King was a high school sensation in Akron. (Brian thinks of himself as a sensation as well.) I've got Jerome James on my speed dial and Windhorst has LeBron. Okay, so life isn't fair. I also know that Brian has his resume sitting in the sports office of every New York newspaper and is ready to pounce on one of our jobs should LeBron sign with the Knicks. I sometimes think that Brian wants to come to New York more than LeBron. He's a huge "Sopranos" fan and fancies himself as LeBron's underboss. I'm guessing it absolutely killed Brian to write that LeBron is leaning toward staying. It must be true because Brian desperately wants to get out of Ohio and is essentially the best thing the Knicks have going for them: a spy on the inside working on their behalf. But it appears that LeBron's next move will be to re-sign with Cleveland for the next three years. As for Brian, it essentially means the parole board has rejected his early release from Cleveland..."
Don't be a hater Frankie, that doesn't read well. And ps - Jerome James just took you off his speed dial.
Update: For Brian Windhorst's comments on the Frank Isola story...
64 and Counting - Vince Grzegorek
Update: Glenn Moore's interview with Frank Isola from late this afternoon...
The Dugout Sports Show - Glenn Moore
And on that interview, maybe he is friends with Windy, and maybe he was joking, and maybe he's not a hack afterall. But he's also no comedian. And living in Cleveland my whole life - all the Isola v. Windy stuff aside - I particularly do not find "the parole board has rejected his early release from Cleveland" to be all that funny. But then again, maybe I just don't get the joke.
Update - Monday 4-12...Reaction / Conclusion:
Waiting For Next Year - Andrew:
"The thing about jokes is that they are rarely funny if nobody but you is in on it. That’s why the “it was a joke” defense always comes across so lame. Far too often these days we see talking heads and media members use inflammatory statements and personal attacks to draw attention and traffic their way, and then when called out on it, they proclaim “oh, I was only joking”. It’s a disturbing trend in journalism and it magnifies the extent to which mainstream media is struggling to understand how to adapt to the blogging culture...I harbor no ill will toward Frank Isola, nor do I think he’s a talentless hack. I just think he’s misguided when it comes to the blogging medium and social media in general..."
Click the link to read the rest of Andrew's piece, I thought he did a good job with it.
As far as my final thought on this - following a couple emails Frank Isola sent me earlier today in response to my post yesterday - is this: Frank Isola is not a hack writer (as I noted in my update after his interview with Glenn yesterday)...he is just a hack comedian. And you can't be good at everything.
So moving on...