Mark Heisler's return to LA Times' NBA beat lasts one column

heisler-forbes.jpgA surprising byline decorated the Los Angeles Times' coverage of the NBA's opening night last week. That would be Mark Heisler, a marquee name for the Times' Sports section for many years until he was laid off with some other stars in 2011. That separation was hardly clean and easy after 32 years at the paper — Heisler learned of his layoff while on vacation, and came back to find his parking card turned off and his computer log-in locked. He went on to write about basketball for the New York Times and the Orange County Register, then suddenly last week he was back with the LA Times writing about LeBron James' homecoming in Cleveland.

It seemed like Heisler's own surprise homecoming. He took to Twitter to celebrate:

But it didn't last. Heisler's column did not run this past Sunday. He tweeted that he was dropped without explanation. The internal gossip mill at the Times blames top editor Davan Maharaj for simply deciding it wasn't going to work. There currently is no permanent editor at the Times sports department.

Heisler still has a gig writing for the Forbes website. He also has written several books, including on the Lakers, and in 2007 received the Naismith Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Award.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Power out Monday across Malibu
Put Jamal Khashoggi Square outside the Saudi consulate on Sawtelle
Here's who the LA Times has newly hired*
Recent LAT stories on LA Observed:
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Here's who the LA Times has newly hired*
New seasons of SoCal Connected, Lost LA on KCET
LA Observed Notes: Times hiring binge, LA Weekly investor sues, media tidbits
LA Observed Notes: Editor moves, NYT steps on JGold turf, jobs and more
Jonathan Gold, LA's preeminent food writer, has died at 57
New LA Times editor Pearlstine picks his deputies
LA Observed Notes: Long Beach, LAist, Soon-Shiong and much more