Over at ESPN, John Hollinger currently gives the Cleveland Cavaliers a 75 percent chance of outlasting the Boston Celtics in the only conference semifinal matchup still ongoing. Forgive Cleveland fans for feeling less than 75 percent confident.
The Cavs-Celtics series is tied 2–2, and even though there's no real consensus on whether the Cavs' not winning a title helps the Knicks' chances of getting LeBron, it's pretty clear that a conference semifinal flameout does the happy Ohio folks little good down the line. Considering some people's rabble-rousing, the heat's been turned up a bit in Cleveland.
Having a lot of fun with this, as usual, is Frank Isola of the Daily News, who, just to be a rascal, called Cavs beat writer Brian Windhorst with a simple question: Is he preparing for the possibility that tonight could be LeBron's last game in Cleveland as a Cavalier? Windhorst didn't take it well:
Brian Windhorst has covered LeBron since Bron-Bron was a 14-year-old kid who had a tendency to run out of bounds rather than get hit when he played prep football. When I asked Windhorst, the Cavs beat writer for the Cleveland-Plain Dealer, if he was writing about this possibly being LeBron's final home date, he erupted.
"What kind of ridiculous question is that," the man they call Windy said, before hanging up the phone.
I believe he was telling all of us to go to hell.
This is going to get nastier before it gets nicer. Trust us, after our story and the reaction to it, we're fully aware.