ESPN.com Recruits Team of Basketball Bloggers to Launch the TrueHoop Blog Network
ESPN.com today announced eighteen basketball blog sites as its charter members of the newly formed TrueHoop Blog Network, a collection of local-market blogs that will grow to represent a specific, local voice for each of the 30 professional teams in the NBA in addition to 4 general interest basketball blogs. The Network is anchored and hosted by ESPN.com’s popular and award-winning TrueHoop blog (http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop), written by pioneering blogger Henry Abbott. To help run the TrueHoop Blog Network day-to-day, ESPN has hired Kevin Arnovitz, editor and blogger of ClipperBlog.com.
The launch of the Network will prompt a newly redesigned TrueHoop homepage, which includes a blog roll on the page and as well as in a TrueHoop module in the NBA section on ESPN.com. Bloggers will also be featured in modules on the NBA clubhouse pages on ESPN.com. RSS feeds will also be available throughout these sections.
As a member of the TrueHoop Blog Network, bloggers will be featuring an ESPN navigation bar, which includes links to Page One, the NBA page and NBA clubhouse pages on ESPN.com, ESPN Search, the TrueHoop homepage and the TrueHoop blog roll. The blogs will also be able to prominently feature ESPN.com video and offer NBA tickets to readers via ESPN’s relationship with StubHub (http://www.stubhub.com/sites/corpsite/?gsec=news&gact=press&article_id=9018).
Each blog will maintain editorial independence and continue to own and operate as its own site. Each blog will contribute a unique localized voice that will speak to basketball fans for each team.
“If you want to find the best timely basketball content anywhere in the world, you simply have to include blogs in the mix,” said Abbott. “The TrueHoop Blog Network will work with its members to foster journalistic excellence, unite the best in the hoops blogosphere with their passionate readers and offer scale and reach to the online basketball community.”
The first seventeen blogs joining TrueHoop, rounding out half of the total 34 for the Network, include:
- Atlanta Hawks: Since 2007, Hoopinion (www.hoopinionblog.com) has focused exclusively on providing analysis of and a place to discuss the Atlanta Hawks. Hoopinion was created and is operated by Bret LaGree who has written about professional and college basketball for several web outlets.
- Charlotte Bobcats: QueenCityHoops (www.queencityhoops.com) is a source of statistical analysis and discourse on the Charlotte Bobcats. Brett Hainline started the site as the first of his internet ventures, but it remains his primary passion.
- Chicago Bulls: Bulls By The Horns (www.bullsbythehorns.com) provides detailed insight into the Chicago Bulls from the perspective of an impassioned fan. It was founded by Matt McHale, who has covered the NBA for both his personal blog Basketbawful and Deadspin.
- Dallas Mavericks: The Two Man Game (www.thetwomangame.com), founded by Rob Mahoney, promises biased and unbalanced Mavericks information. Mahoney, a University of Texas student, has written for the blogs Upside and Motor and Hardwood Paroxysm.
- Denver Nuggets: Roundball Mining Company (www.roundballminingcompany.com) focuses on game strategies and player strengths and weaknesses. It was created by Jeremy Wagner who has been a Nuggets observer for over 20 years.
- Detroit Pistons: Piston Powered (www.pistonpowered.com) covers the Detroit Pistons. Dan Feldman, a sportswriter for The Michigan Daily, started the blog this year.
- Los Angeles Clippers: Clipperblog (www.clipperblog.com) offers in-depth analysis and discussion of the Los Angeles Clippers. It was founded in 2006 by Kevin Arnovitz, now ESPN editor for TrueHoop.
- Los Angeles Lakers: Forum Blue and Gold (www.forumblueandgold.com) focuses on the on-the-court issues and highlights of the Lakers. It was developed by Kurt Helin, a professional journalist from Long Beach, CA, who has written for a number of publications from NBC online to Entrepreneur.
- New Orleans Hornets: Hornets247 (www.hornets247.com) aims to spread information, provide analysis and encourage discussion for the New Orleans Hornets. Launched in 2003, Hornets247 features the personalities of Niall Doherty and Ryan Schwan, and a knowledgeable community of Hornets fans.
- New York Knicks: Since 2004, Knickerblogger (www.knickerblogger.net) has offered statistic-based analysis of the New York Knicks and the NBA. The site features an advanced stats page and a half dozen writers, including its founder Mike Kurylo, who provide comprehensive reports about the latest happenings of the team.
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Daily Thunder (www.dailythunder.com) offers in-depth analysis and discussion of the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was founded by Royce Young, who recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a journalism degree and has covered Oklahoma Sooner sports for the Oklahoma Daily.
- Phoenix Suns: Valley of the Suns (www.valleyofthesuns.com) is the home of commentary, analysis and news updates on anything and everything Phoenix Suns basketball. It was founded by Michael Schwartz, who has covered Arizona Wildcats basketball for the Arizona Daily Wildcat and the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers for MLB.com.
- San Antonio Spurs: 48 Minutes of Hell (www.48minutesofhell.com) offers in-depth commentary on the San Antonio Spurs and their D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros. It was founded by Graydon Gordian in 2008 and is currently coauthored by both Graydon and Timothy Varner.
- Toronto Raptors: Raptors Republic (www.raptorsrepublic.com) is the online community for Toronto Raptors fans everywhere, providing unbiased analysis, podcasts, interviews, events and exclusive tools. RR is the collaboration of five “day one” Raptors fans and veteran bloggers AltRaps, Arsenalist, Dinosty, Raps Fan and Realizar.
- General Interest: The Wizznutzz (www.wizznutzz.com) are among the funniest sports satirists on the web. They have chronicled the fate of basketball in their own ludicrous and iconoclastic way since 2002.
- General Interest: Hardwood Paroxysm (www.hardwoodparoxysm.com) discusses the wide expanse of the NBA, providing insight, analysis, humor, and perspective on everything in the Association. It was founded by Matt Moore and Matthew Cornelius.
- General Interest: The Painted Area (www.thepaintedarea.wordpress.com) celebrates basketball in all its forms, with a focus on league-wide analysis of the NBA as well as in-depth coverage of major FIBA international competitions. It is run by the team of M. Haubs and Jay Aych.
About Henry Abbott and TrueHoop
Founded by Abbott in May 2005 and acquired by ESPN in February 2007, TrueHoop sets the table for NBA fans on ESPN.com each day, giving users an around-the-clock mix of NBA news, commentary, analysis, wit and wisdom in an easily consumed format. The blog offers up-to-the-minute input from across the Web with the immediacy, community, and a distinct style. Powered by Abbott, TrueHoop delivers multiple NBA-related posts each weekday, featuring RSS feeds and outbound links. Average monthly unique users for the blog increased 255% since it joined ESPN, according to comScore. In 2008 (Jan-Nov), TrueHoop averaged nearly a quarter million readers.
Prior to TrueHoop, Abbott has written more than a dozen cover stories and more than a hundred feature articles. He has written for HOOP, Inside Stuff, Men’s Journal, the official NBA Finals program, and contributed to CBS’s national radio network. and various national and local television and radio programs. He has interviewed many of the League’s highest profile players, coaches and executives since he began covering the NBA in 1998.
About Kevin Arnovitz
Prior to joining ESPN, Arnovitz was an editor for public radio’s Marketplace. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and Slate.com, to name a few. He and Abbott will oversee the Network and facilitate support between its members.