For the last few weeks or so I've got my own private intern covering the Cavs. His name is Jordan Zirm and he's a senior at Cleveland Heights High School. I've known him for about two years and, for some odd reason I can't explain, he actually wants to be a sportswriter. So for his senior project, he's been doing some of my dirty work, er, learning the trade.
Part of the deal was Jordan gets to write a blog entry (or two) so here it is:
Hi, my name is Jordan Zirm and I am a senior at Cleveland Heights High School. For my senior project, Brian has been kind enough to let me follow him everywhere for a few games this season. He asked me to share my thoughts on things that went on, so here they are…
--First off, I would like to say that I am 6 foot 2. I have been taller than most kids all of my life, and not much shorter than the basketball players at my high school. The first time I walked into the Cavs locker room, I felt like that kid who hit 5 feet in middle school and then never grew again. Every single Cavs player is tall. Even Damon Jones is taller than me, and I definitely thought he was only like 6 feet. Daniel Gibson may look like he is 12 years old, but he is still taller than me. It is like basketball players are a different breed of human. All are huge, all are ripped, and all seem to have deeper voices than normal. I have also decided that Z reminds me of the giant in the movie Big Fish.
--Watching the Cavaliers from a fan’s perspective and a sportswriter’s perspective have led me to the same conclusion. The Cavs can be the most frustrating team in the NBA. Honestly, is there another team in the NBA that one night can force columnists to write that they are a legit title contender then the next night play like a lottery team? The only team I could think of that might come close to that would be the Denver Nuggets, with Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, but they refuse to play defense. When the Cavs win, they play good defense, score a lot of points in the paint, and do not settle for outside jumpers. When they Cavs lose, they hoist up bad outside shots and fall in love with the three pointer. They forget to feed Drew and Z the ball. It seems so simple, yet it appears to be so hard for the Cavs to find that consistent, winning form of play night in and night out.
--I found it funny how, while waiting outside the Cavs locker room for Mike Brown to come out and address the media, all the members of the media are standing around, mingling with each other. As soon as Brown comes out though, the reporters are gone in a flash, immediately forming a circle around Brown. I was not prepared and ended up in the back of the circle of reporters. Those guys are quick.
--While recording Mike Brown’s post game speech, my arm started killing me from trying to stretch the voice recorder near him. So I switched arms, but to no avail. I almost had to just turn the thing off and walkway because my arm was on fire. So props to all the sports reporters who reach their arms out and wait while Mike talks for five or minutes or so. I know their arms are on fire, but they show no signs of pain. Budweiser should make a song about them.
--I walked past the Cavalier girls down by the locker room, and any question you may have about them, the answer is probably yes.
--The transition of going from a hardcore Cavs fan to trying to be an objective viewer has been a challenge that I have thoroughly enjoyed. It is a different experience sitting next to Brian and actually focusing on the game, watching plays develop, watching the defensive sets that Mike Brown calls in. Sometimes I wished I could get up and cheer as the Cavs mounted a late run, but I loved the different view of things.
--Damon Jones really is the best dressed man in the NBA because he can pull off a pink sweater. He may not be so much on the defensive end, but off the court he is the epitome of smooth.
--I have come to fear deadlines already, and I am just a high school senior. Writers hate 8 o clock, nationally televised games because they will be running to meet their deadlines. If Mike Brown takes too long to come out of the locker room and address the media, you hear complaints of, “Doesn’t he know I have to meet deadline in a half hour?” Deadlines are not their friends.