Since he took over as deputy editor of ESPN.com’s NBA coverage earlier this year, Henry Abbott has been going non-stop. That’s not unusual for the founder of TrueHoop, the award-winning basketball blog that became ESPN’s TrueHoop Blog Network covering all aspects of the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat duel in NBA Finals Game 3 tonight (9 ET, ABC). Front Row caught up with Abbott for his perspective on his new role.
Now that we’re in the NBA Finals, is your job less hectic when compared to the regular season or early rounds of the playoffs?
We’re ambitious at these Finals. We have a number of big feature stories, some cool visual stuff, some special videos, as well as our most-aggressive-ever social plan. That’s a lot of content, none of which is cookie-cutter. Not to mention the wild and wooly 30-team, 60-player NBA draft is around the corner. Don’t sleep on that. Or better yet: Don’t sleep at all!
What are the most important story lines?
[ESPN NBA Insider] Marc Stein’s incredible Spurs story contains a lot of what most interests me: the real deal, every-day human qualities of the San Antonio Spurs. That’s a very private franchise, and one that does not court the spotlight. But by no means are these wooden characters. [Head coach Gregg] Popovich and [power forward Tim] Duncan are rich, fascinating characters.
Also, let’s be honest: LeBron James might be the greatest player in the history of the game. Another title and the case grows ever stronger.
What intrigues you most?
Close games. That’s all you can ask for. The work of the Finals is intense, but every once in a while somebody like [Miami swingman] Ray Allen hits a game-changing buzzer-beater and suddenly you’re a little kid again.
Who is your pick in the Finals and in how many games?
Spurs in six [games], but I promise that no matter what happens . . . everyone will say, “I told you so.”