Dave McMenamin Chats About How Started in Writing for NBA.com and Shares his Memories of LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant

A lifelong love of sports turned into a career for Dave McMenamin. He is a former NBA.com writer and currently covers the league for ESPN.

“It came from my Dad being a huge sports fan, my family subscribed to magazines and always got the newspaper. Once my parents finished reading the sports section, I got it,” McMenamin said. 

McMenamin grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and attended a rival high school to Kobe Bryant. Although he missed the chance to see Bryant play basketball in high school he remembers hearing about the young athlete. Bryant and McMenamin would meet later when McMenamin began covering the NBA full time.

In college McMenamin didn’t make the Syracuse Univerity team but got his time on the court with the University of Limerick when he studied abroad in Ireland. Back at Syracuse University, he worked as the student manager for the 2003 national championship team with Carmelo Anthony. 

Shortly before graduating, he serendipitously met the NBA Deputy Commissioner’s daughter while playing Trivial Pursuit and sent his resume after graduation. He landed a job with NBA.com and later created a position for himself covering the Lakers in Los Angeles. 

“If you think this is really what you want to do, you should just give every single ounce of your energy to doing it,” McMenamin said. “It’s not like it gets easier.”

He transitioned from writing behind the scenes to doing one and a half-hour broadcasts on the Lakers TV channel for Spectrum and short webcasts for “The Triangle.” In 2014, McMenamin moved to Cleveland in the hopes that the Cleveland Cavaliers would break their 50-year drought and cover LeBron James. 

“Instead of looking at it as leaving L.A. for Ohio, I looked at it as having one of the greatest basketball stories in history,” McMenamin said.

The Cavalier’s historic championship inspired McMenamin and Brian Windhorst to write “Return of the King: LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Greatest Comeback in NBA History.” 

When James moved to the L.A. in 2018, McMenamin followed. He currently writes for ESPN covering the NBA. Both he and Andy are optimistic about a season finale for the NBA and discuss a few potential scenarios for closing out the 2020 season. 

“I think there’s a ton of motivation to find out a way to get this done,” McMenamin said about the possibility of an NBA Playoff. “I”d like to think that by some time in mid-July they would have some kind of viable option.”

McMenamin also shares his memories of the late Kobe Bryant and his hopes for the end of the NBA season. Listen to the full podcast here.

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