I didn’t grow up a Lakers fan.
Sure, I knew who Kobe Bryant was and casually watched when they were in the playoffs like everyone around me apparently did, but basketball wasn’t really my thing: I played for two years, I was not very good, and as a result of my lack of patience, disinterest.
On the last day of my youth basketball season, the parent of one of my teammates graciously approached my mom and told her that I should try football. I was adamantly against it at first because I knew less about football than basketball, but eventually it became my life.
Not only was I playing on weekends, but I was spending hours a day on YouTube watching top videos of the best players in the world: Ronaldinho, Kaká, Zidane, Beckham, Ronaldo, Messi — it would take me a moment to think about the basketball. Again.
Then one day, while browsing Facebook, I saw a video of a feathery-haired basketball player juggling a ball on a half court. That player was Steve Nash, and he quickly became my favorite player.
The problem with being a Nash fan in LA, however, was that the Suns games weren’t as accessible as they are now, so outside of the nationally televised games, I couldn’t watch only Nash’s best moments on YouTube. That was until the Lakers traded him in the summer of 2012.
And that’s the story of how I became obsessed with the Lakers.
Prior to the 2021-22 season, the 2012-13 campaign was arguably the worst season in Lakers history (at least by team expectations) but for me it was my first season as a fan. engaged and found every second intoxicating. . I didn’t miss any matches, although I probably should have missed a few.
But watching wasn’t enough to fuel my obsession: I needed to read about it, tweet about it, and, if I could, write and podcast about it. Doing it for a living wasn’t even on my mind at the time; I just wanted to talk about the Lakers.
So I started applying everywhere. And by “apply” I mean sending emails to people begging to let me write for their site for free. One of the people I emailed was Drew Garrison, the editor of Silver Screen and Roll at the time.
To my surprise, Drew wrote back and told me he knew my work. That alone was enough to keep me going, which in hindsight was good because I didn’t hear from her for a year.
The next time I emailed Drew was when Harrison Faigen left SSR to write for Lakers Nation (traitor) and Anthony Irwin followed him out the door. I knew the Lakers had a busy offseason ahead, and I knew Drew was going to need some help. I was right, and Drew got me on board within days.
Since then, a lot has happened: Drew left, I briefly took over, and Harrison returned to run the site with Anthony as #2.
Harrison could have sent me back to the sun when he came back, and sometimes I’m sure there were times when he would have liked to, but he didn’t and for that I’m eternally grateful, not only because it allowed me to have a platform, but because it gave me this community.
You see, as much as I loved my job covering the Lakers, there were days that sucked — a lot of them — and the only thing that kept me going those days was that community. Are Lakers fans as vile as their reputation suggests? Sometimes, of course, and I’ve certainly been on the wrong side. But they are also some of the most supportive people in sports.
Without this community, I wouldn’t have had a career in sports media, wouldn’t have been able to live my dream of hosting a successful podcast, and I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends. I owe you all so much and the love I have for you will never fade.
But again, I’m leaving the hardwood for the pitch, as I’ll be joining Fox Sports as football editor. Words cannot express how excited I am for this next chapter in my career and I hope you follow along. This is now why I wrote this long-drawn-out goodbye, though.
I wrote this for the troubled kid in high school, not sure if his non-academic interests can be turned into a career. The answer to this question was yes.
I was a horrible high school student and had no idea what I was doing when I signed up for classes at community college. I also didn’t grow up with money or industry connections; I just fired my shot and he went in.
So whatever you do in your life or in your career, keep shooting; one of them will fall. That’s what I learned watching the highlights of Ronaldinho and Steve Nash, and I hope that’s what someone learns from it.