It's no secret within the industry that Bleacher Report's NBA section has experienced its share of internal problems this past year. With the departure of Jimmy Spencer, another NBA full-timer who was brought in from the outside, Tom Ziller of SB Nation felt prompted to create a Tumblr post that brought the section's high churn rate to the public's attention.
Jimmy Spencer just parted ways with Bleacher Report after six months as its NBA Lead Writer. And sadly, he’s not the first great NBA writer to be ushered into that chair only to disappear quickly. Bethlehem Shoals, my old Works writing partner at FanHouse, fled. Zach Harper. Holly MacKenzie. Rob Mahoney. Ethan Sherwood Strauss. And now Jimmy. I honestly don’t know the situations surrounding how most of them left — there’s little I hate more* than talking business with internet friends. But I know that they are all talented writers who have built careers (before and after B/R) on the strength of their talent, hard work and, most of all, original voices.
The hiring of Kevin Ding doesn't exactly hush those criticisms, but it serves as another example of Bleacher Report being extremely capable of quickly replacing its unhappy talent.
A source outside of the company with knowledge on the situation also confirmed the hire, explaining that while Ding's content will remain focused on the Lakers, he'll also be used as a national NBA columnist on the site while probably being groomed for television.
Whether or not Bleacher Report can keep Ding happy will be worth keeping an eye on over the course of the next year, as Turner continues to pressure the company to focus its finances even less on promotions from within and more on expensive name-brand hires like this one.