Did an ESPN Anchor Plagiarize Orange County Register Columnist?

Lakers beat reporter alleges ESPNEWS anchor lifted his column

Did an ESPN anchor plagiarize an Orange County Register columnist? It would certainly appear that way.

Kevin Ding, the Register's Los Angeles Lakers beat reporter, noticed that an ESPNEWS anchor repeated the beginning of one of his columns verbatim during a report broadcast Tuesday.

Via Ding's blog post:

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.

A spokesperson for ESPN did not immediately return a request for comment. But Ding appears to have a legitimate beef. Here's the lede from his column:

Christmas isn’t over yet, Lakers fans.

The big game, it turns out, will be the game after the supposed Game of the Year.

In San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Lakers will be out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.

And here, via a blog called Sports by Brooks, is the ESPNEWS lead-in to the game highlights:

Christmas isn’t over yet.

The big game, it turns out, is the game after the supposed game of the year.

In San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Lakers were out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.

One note here: I'm not sure how these scripts are created, though it could've been a copy/paste situation that was bungled by an intern without Selva's knowledge. (Yes, I just blamed a potentially innocent or nonexistent intern.) Or he could've intentionally lifted Ding's prose, figuring no one watches ESPNEWS anyway.

[Photo via ESPN]