ESPN to Station Crew Outside Miami Heat Training Camp
Typically, ESPN sends reporters to a few media days around the league. The Lakers generally receive top billing, even in years in which Kobe Bryant isn't on the trade block. (Lakers' media day 2007 is legend for the media crush.) One would imagine teams in cities where ESPN has local sites (L.A., Boston, Dallas, New York and Chicago) will receive personal attention as well.
But nothing like what Miami -- err, Ft. Walton Beach -- will see. Hiestand writes that coverage will likely "outdo anything it did on Brett Favre's annual summer soul-searching." That's really saying something, considering ESPN ran live helicopter footage of Favre's SUV ride from the airport to training camp. So I suppose we can look forward to seeing Da'Sean Butler picking up the team's donuts via shopping center surveillance camera, or something.
The twist is that it's unlikely Heat boss Pat Riley will open up more than a few minutes of actual training camp practice to the media, ESPN or otherwise. So Jon Barry and Jalen Rose will be at Eglin to ... analyze exactly what they analyzed during LeBron James' one-hour televised unveil in July.
Of course, ESPN is not alone in its Heat obsession; everyone will be paying close attention to that team from Monday through June. And far be it from me to smite hoops obsession, as a guy who hangs on every second of preseason basketball. The problem is that when ESPN goes Defcon-1, it tends to veer toward celebrity journalism instead of sports analysis. Its Favre coverage was all bluster and no substance. I fear it will be the same in Miami, which is too bad considering there are myriad fascinating questions surrounding the Heat.
(Hat tip to Andrew Sharp at SBNation.com)