The Bay Area News Group's Tim Kawakami has been honored as one of the top sports columnists in the nation by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

Kawakami, 48, a Burlingame native, joined contemporaries from the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and other large news organizations named among the top 10 columnists at APSE judging in Indianapolis this week. He has been a BANG columnist for 13 years, returning to the Bay Area after stints at the Los Angeles Times and Philadelphia Daily News.

"Tim's entry was wholly representative of what he gives our readers everyday -- unflinching commentary based on strong reporting," said Executive Sports Editor Bud Geracie. "As one of his Twitter followers said, when half the audience thinks you're a homer, and the other half thinks you're a hater, you must be doing it right."

BANG also received honorable mention (top-20 nationally) for its special section previewing the 49ers' Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans. The contest covered stories written and sections produced in 2013.

Kawakami took honors for an entry of five columns, including opinions on the 49ers' controversial decision to play Aldon Smith after his early-morning DUI arrest and the Warriors' unlikely playoff surge getting a spark from the absence of David Lee.

In mid-April, final judging of the 10 finalists' entries will be announced. There will be a top five and five honorable mentions.


Advertisement

The other finalists: Chris Gasper (Boston Globe), Matt Hayes (Sporting News), David Lennon (Newsday), Jill Painter (Los Angeles Daily News), Bill Plaschke (Los Angeles Times), Steve Rosenbloom (Chicago Tribune), Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe), Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports), Mike Wise (Washington Post).