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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brian Windhorst Comments on Frank Isola's Story (Update)

Posted By on Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 12:26 PM

The New York Daily News' Frank Isola had an odd response to Brian Windhorst's latest story about the rumors of LeBron's stay-or-go decision in July. He decided it was time to go after Windhorst, who he claims, well... he claims lots of things, mostly all silly, and some of them involve the Sopranos, so you know it's got to be good. Here's the pertinent part:

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. Three more years for you as well, buddy.

Where to even begin? Isola has already taken a Twitter beating for this strange post, but no one has even mentioned that if Windy likes the Sopranos that much, wouldn't he want to be a beat writer for the Nets? I mean, he's just getting his facts wrong there.

Either way, before I got to work on a "Windhorst Leaving Cleveland Threat Level" chart to go along with the LeBron version, I asked Windhorst what he thought of Frank's post and here's what he had to say via email:

Frank is a good guy and has been one of the best NBA writers for years. He's well known in New York for his strong reporting and I consider him a friend in the business. He likes to have fun in his blog and I've certainly had fun at the New York media's expense for years.

I do know a lot of NBA writers think I am being naive about LeBron's future, sure that I'm a homer local guy getting played. They laugh at me privately and probably would do so publicly if he does sign elsewhere this summer. Maybe they'll be right. But this is a complex story and an important story. I have tried to report on it incrementally over the last two years, whether it is LeBron's statements, details of his Nike contract, or the way the wind is blowing in April. And, of course, the reality is it could all change by July.

Color me a little sad that his response was this classy. I was all pumped up for a petty media war.

UPDATE: Don't know the full story, but Glenn Moore, who just interviewed Frank Isola, posted this tweet: "Joke is on you Cleveland.....the Frank Isola article was a joke. A little fun at Brians expense."

Perhaps this line should have been a clue as to Isola's intentions: "He's a huge "Sopranos" fan and fancies himself as LeBron's underboss."

Is a poorly executed joke that's not funny still a joke? Brian's response seems to indicate it was a joke, just one that didn't really hit its mark.

Follow me on Twitter: @vincethepolack.

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