After a dalliance with Sports Illustrated, NBA reporter extraordinaire Adrian Wojnarowski is staying with Yahoo Sports according to The Big Lead and Eric Fisher of SBJ.

Throughout the process, Wojnarowski’s own free agency story centered around the creation of an MMQB or Grantland like vertical that he would lead.  Yahoo, SI, and other big players in the sports media were reportedly in discussions to make it happen.

Wojnarowski at Sports Illustrated would have been an intriguing storyline to see if the company could have duplicated the success of The MMQB for basketball and just how Woj would have been used for the magazine.  While he has written a number of interesting (and some very biting) columns over the years, Wojnarowski is best known for breaking NBA news on Twitter.  While the visions of Peter King and Bill Simmons (and even Nate Silver) are clearly seen in their personality and writing, it’s a bit more of an unknown what a Woj-vertical would look like in full fruition.

Now we see if Yahoo affords Wojnarowski that opportunity.  Yahoo does have their own blog network which is foundational to the sports blogosphere ecosystem, but I’m not sure Woj is just looking to take over Ball Don’t Lie.  We may see Yahoo go in a completely new direction with their sports coverage if they go the Woj-vertical route that fits somewhere between their more traditional and blog-based coverage of the NBA.  And if that does take place, what’s to stop the likes of Dan Wetzel or Pat Forde for doing something similar?  It could be the beginning of Yahoo trying some new things with their online coverage to emphasize their top writers a little more and give them more to work with.

With all of the free agent wheeling and dealings in sports media, Yahoo has been very, very quiet on the whole.  Keeping Wojnarowski was very important to the company as it’s a statement of intent that the online giant isn’t going anywhere with their sports coverage.

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