Wednesday was a massive day for the Bleacher Report/Turner Sports family, as B/R officially announced the addition of four of the industry's best NBA writers.
As announced in an official Turner Sports press release, Howard Beck (formerly of The New York Times), Kevin Ding (The O.C. Register), Ethan J. Skolnick (The Palm Beach Post) and Jared Zwerling (ESPN New York) will all join the company this month:
Beck, who has covered the NBA and the New York Knicks for the Times since 2004, will take over as a National NBA Lead Writer for the site.
Ding's primary area of coverage will be the Lakers, a beat he's covered since 1999 with the Register.
Skolnick will be taking over as B/R's Miami Heat Lead Writer. He has been with the Post since 2005.
Zwerling takes over as an NBA National Analyst, covering all 30 teams in the Association. He previously worked at ESPN, primarily covering the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets news beats.
Let's take a look around the social media stratosphere and see what people are saying:
First, some words from the new writing staff:
The overwhelming reaction to these hires was one of congratulations and positivity. Grantland's Zach Lowe, in congratulating the four new hires, wondered aloud whether a soon-to-be-retired commissioner would soon be joining the B/R ranks:
Bringing in respected names obviously brings in respected readership.
Not one to shy away from strong opinions, Bruce Arthur of the National Post in Canada sent out his admiration regarding the arsenal of NBA writers now on staff:
Jason Quick of The Oregonian, who covers multiple sports beats for the paper, was also impressed with the new staff:
Memphis Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger knows a bit about the industry. An early adopter of the advanced analytics movement in the NBA, he spent about a decade at Sports Illustrated and ESPN before moving into the Grizzlies front office. Hollinger went out of his way to compliment Beck as a huge hire:
John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal thought the hire of Beck showed the influence that Turner, which purchased Bleacher Report last year, has played within the company:
Two words from Turner's own Matt Winer—major score:
Last month, B/R famously added well-respected NFL columnist Mike Freeman to the fold. David Steele of the Sporting News sees Beck's hire as another step in the right direction:
Beck and Ding overlapped in Los Angeles covering the Lakers for a couple years. So did Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News. He sent out his congratulations to his former brothers in arms upon the announcement:
Mike Trudell, who covers the Lakers for their official site, complimented Ding as one of the best in the business:
Though Ding's move was announced a bit earlier, it's still been reverberating around the NBA community. Author and writer Larry Coon was one of the earliest to point out what a boon having Ding at a full-time capacity would be:
In all, though, it was the overarching scope of the hires that created the most buzz on social media; most reactions were aimed at the overall All-Star lineup feel to the situation.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports, in fact, put the quartet of writers in the same sentence as the Brooklyn Nets—a team that made a couple transactions of their own this offseason, as you may have heard:
Responding to a tweet about the quality of hires, the Bleacher Report Twitter feed made sure to point out that you'd need a pretty long slideshow to fill with all the names:
To put it in a way that should speak to every NBA fan: "Not four, not five, not six, not seven..."
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