This has been one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make, but after four years, I have decided to retire as the Managing Editor of Liberty Ballers.
When I started my own blog in 2008, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was just a 19-year-old kid, writing about the Sixers, in my mom's basement, in my underwear (not my mom's underwear, though). Now, I'm a 23-year-old kid, still writing about the Sixers, in my mom's basement, in my underwear. So, that hasn't changed.
However; four years, and a couple pairs of underwear later, I've realized how blessed I am to do the things I did – things that would've made 10-year-old Jordan poop his pants and eat his Snack Pack with a fork.
Those things include: appearances on radio shows, interviews with General Managers, shared text messages with players, articles linked to on ESPN.com, and my name published in multiple books. I did all of this while getting paid to write about my favorite basketball team. I often tell people that I'm "livin' the dream", and that's exactly what I was doing for the past four years.
At first glance, my decision to hang up the keyboard comes at a curious time. The Sixers just traded for Andrew Bynum, SB Nation is evolving into a media powerhouse, and I love the people I work with. That said, there are other goals I want to accomplish in my life, and writing about sports was always meant to be a hobby – nothing more. Lately, it's become a job. I always promised myself, the day this became "a job", is the day I would call it quits. That day is today.
Believe me, it's beyond difficult to "walk away" from SB Nation – a phenomenal company, run by a phenomenal group of people, headed toward phenomenal accomplishments. Same goes for Liberty Ballers – in my biased opinion, you won't find a more well-rounded, entertaining, high-quality basketball blog on the internet. Now that the Sixers actually have an interesting team, I'm convinced that 2012-13 is the year Liberty Ballers officially arrives – and that will happen with, or without me.
Speaking of Liberty Ballers, I'm leaving the blog in great hands. Mike, Tanner, Derek and Dave are people I hand-picked for their positions on the site, and couldn't be any more thrilled with the blog's direction.
I want to thank everyone at SB Nation, for all of their hard work, and more importantly, the opportunity they blessed me with four years ago. Specifically, I must thank Tyler Bleszinski, Seth Pollack and Matt Bernhardt, for everything they've done for me. I also want to extend a thanks to anyone who has ever linked to an article of mine, or re-tweeted me. I've had everyone, from Playboy Bunnies, to Bowling For Soup, re-tweet my Sixers articles, and it blows my mind. A special thanks goes out to Michael Preston, head of the Sixers PR department, who went out of his way for bloggers, like myself.
Last, but not least, the biggest thanks of all goes to the readers of the site. I cannot express to you how flattered and grateful I am for all of you – whether you intentionally visited the site, or mistakenly stumbled upon an article by Google'ing "Best WWF Tag-Teams". Same goes for anyone who has commented on the site, purchased a t-shirt, followed me on Twitter, or e-mailed me. None of this would have been possible without any of you, and for that, I cannot thank you enough.
So, what's next? I'm still going to live-tweet Sixers games, re-tweet Sixers articles, and vehemently debate other bloggers on why Andre Iguodala is more valuable than Carmelo Anthony. In other words, you better believe I'll have 140 characters ready for the first Bynum Smash of the season.
I still want to write occasionally, but on my own terms, and I don't want to be limited to just basketball. I may also casually contribute to my favorite Cowboys and Astros blogs. I may pursue writing on my mom's natural health blog. I may write a book on The Friend Zone. Lately, I've been writing humorous previews and recaps for my fantasy football league – everything is in play.
Once again, I cannot thank you all enough. Not only do I leave with this incredible experience, but a handful of lifelong friendships, to boot. Find me on Facebook. Hit me up on Twitter. E-mail me. This isn't good-bye – it's I'll see ya around. I love and cherish you all.