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Bob Finnan is one of the areas more dynamic writers. Finnan, from The Morning Journal, has covered sports in Northeast Ohio since graduating from Kent State University in 1980. Bob just finished his 12th year covering the Cavaliers and has brought insight and analysis that makes him one of the best. CavsNews had a chance to catch up with Bob and he shared some insight into being a Cavalier sports reporter.
CavsNews: How many years have you been writing about the Cavaliers?
Bob Finnan: I just finished my 12th year. I covered Villa Angela-St. Joseph at the state tournament in 1995 and then switched over to the NBA when the News-Herald’s beat writer (Joe Menzer) left for another paper.
CavsNews: As a child did you always want to become a sports journalist?
Bob Finnan: No, I wanted to be an athlete. I realized in high school, that I had little talent as a jock.
CavsNews: As a child what was your favorite sport to play?
Bob Finnan: Baseball. I played JV baseball at New Philadelphia High School.
CavsNews: Do you travel with the team for away games?
Bob Finnan: The media hasn’t been allowed to travel with the Cavs since Mike Fratello was the coach. He put an end to it as soon as he came aboard. We travel commercially and get a lot of frequent-flier miles (and headaches).
CavsNews: What are the key(s) to being a successful journalist?
Bob Finnan: Being able to write, report and be able work under deadline pressure. You have to write what you believe in, and don’t back down from many who want you always to report positive news.
CavsNews: At what point before, during or after the game do you decide on what the “theme” of your article will be?
Bob Finnan: There are times I know my “lede” in the first quarter. There are other times, I don’t know it until I’ve sat down to write at 10 p.m. There have been times when I’ve started to write my story and realize I’ve buried my lede, and completely re-write 10 minutes before my deadline.
CavsNews: What is your most memorable story?
Bob Finnan: Geez, that’s a hard one. I had the jump on everyone that the Cavs were trading Shawn Kemp to Portland. My most memorable story was at the draft lottery when the Cavs got the No. 1 pick and a chance to draft LeBron James. My “Wild and Wacky 2007 season review” got a huge response from readers.
CavsNews: Do you like interviewing players, coaches, front office or owners the best?
Bob Finnan: The players have the most to offer.
CavsNews: Which cities do you enjoy visiting the most?
Bob Finnan: Charlotte, Miami, San Antonio, Boston.
CavsNews: Which city from a journalistic perspective would be the most difficult to work in?
Bob Finnan: Well, in most arenas, they are moving us up off the floor into the upper deck. We are losing out on that banter between the refs, coaches and players. I love that stuff.
CavsNews: With the national media attention during the Playoffs especially the NBA Finals, how was it like reporting about your Cavaliers?
Bob Finnan: Well, we weren’t getting as much one-on-one access as we’re used to. Instead of three or four people at practice, there were 150.
CavsNews: You’ve been to other basketball arenas around the country, how do you rate the Q and the fans?
Bob Finnan: The fans might be the loudest in the league now. Conseco Fieldhouse is my favorite in Indy.
You can read Bobâ€™s column in the Morning Journal at the morningjournal.com