ESPN rips off a Lakers reporter's column

We've long respected Kevin Ding's fine work in covering the Lakers beat for the Orange County Register. The defending champs have long been this league's most-scrutinized team, even with Miami's recent ascension, and Ding (pictured to the right, courtesy of the OCR) does a fantastic and energetic job with this crew. We're big fans.

And we're not the only ones.

Apparently ESPN News anchor Will Selva liked Ding's recent column on the Lakers so much that he decided to lift the opening few lines from it for his on-air copy Tuesday night. Without attribution. And you don't need a journalism degree to know that this is wrong, in so many ways.

Let's attribute Kevin, as he tells the rest of the story:

I got back to my hotel room late Tuesday night after the Lakers-Spurs game and turned on ESPNEWS' "Highlight Express" show. Imagine my shock when anchor Will Selva proceeded to use the first several paragraphs of my column looking forward to the game as his lead-in to the highlights.

I mean, word for word.

Ding goes on to quote the words that Selva ripped off, which we'd quote, but you've probably already heard them on ESPN a dozen times today. These are the crazy chances in life that you take when you decide to board the Highlight Express, I suppose. Choo-choo, mamajammas.

The OCR is still waiting to hear back from ESPN representatives.

UPDATE: FanHouse is reporting that Selva has been suspended by ESPN.

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