ESPN.com's TrueHoop Network informed its writers Thursday that the network of affiliated NBA blogs will no longer pursue a 30-team coverage model and that a number of longtime affiliate sites will be losing their association with ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network.
The network's Portland Trail Blazers affiliate Portland Roundball Society is one of the sites that is losing its ESPN/TrueHoop Network association, but the site will continue independently under the guidance of lead writer/editor Joe Swide and returning writers Grady O'Brien and Sunny Ahluwalia. The site will keep its current name and URL.
It's not yet clear whether the TrueHoop Network will have a Blazers site during the 2013-14 season, although that decision is expected shortly.
Portland Roundball Society launched in 2010.
Swide, who wrote a nice think piece about Meyers Leonard back in March, offered this statement to Blazersedge about his background as a writer and his future plans for the site.
I grew up in Southwest Portland and I've been a Blazer fan for most of my life (probably since the J.R. Rider/Kenny Anderson squad of 1996 if I had to put a number on it). I moved to Seattle in 2006 to attend the University of Washington and after graduating in 2010, I've spent the last 3 years working at Ebbets Field Flannels, making authentic reproductions of vintage baseball uniforms and working with other brands on custom garments. As a writer, I've been contributing to the Portland Roundball Society since last season and I also do reporting for Real Change News, a street newspaper focused on social justice and urban poverty issues (or the Seattle equivalent of Portland's Street Roots).
My immediate plan for the Portland Roundball Society is to refresh our site design and continue to strengthen our readership through smart, creative coverage from a diverse community of contributors. We'll have two writers returning from last season (not counting me), plus the additions of two professional journalists, an analytics-minded blogger, and a local artist. Editorially, I want us to focus heavily on the narrative of the season and then build the analysis and other elements outward from there. Our new renovated website, which should be up by the season opener, will be designed to emphasize those same editorial goals (in the meantime, we'll have a more minimalist design that should be up by early next week). I'm really excited about the potential of Blazers basketball this season and I'm even more excited about the position we'll have to cover the hell out of it!
In other Blazers media news, The Oregonian is still searching for a Blazers beat writer after Jason Quick moved to the paper's University of Oregon's football beat, and The Vancouver Columbian is also looking for a Blazers writer after Candace Buckner moved on to the Indianapolis Star.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter