Over the years, Liberty Ballers has had various levels of access to the team. A game here and there, the occasional press conference, practice, draft workout, and so on.
This year, with our recent partnership with 97.3 FM ESPN in Atlantic City, Liberty Ballers will have much more consistent access to the team. As such, we've created this hub, The Liberty Beat, to serve as the unofficial home for content generated from that access.
Why is a separate hub needed? And what does that mean?
Good questions. To be honest, there's going to be a little bit of a feeling out process involved here as we try to determine the best way to bring you the content that you want. That being said, here is our current thought process.
With access comes a responsibility for more content. As we go to games, press conferences, practices, and draft workouts, it is incumbent upon us to cover those events. That's why we're there, after all. That being said, we didn't want the front page of LibertyBallers.com to only be filled with beat style coverage. LB is great because we have many writers bringing you many different opinions, each with our own style. The mix of zany, quirky, community building articles, along with covering the news, articles about analytics, and video breakdown pieces, all of that is what makes LB so compelling. We didn't want to lose that.
So, how do you balance the desire to keep the things that make LB great, while also increasing the overall output by essentially adding a beat writer role to the site? That's what we're attempting to do. Think of it as a blog within a blog.
On this hub, I'll be covering the games and events that I go to, while offering my perspective on some of the major news items as someone who is around the team on a daily basis. Some of this will be featured on the front page of Liberty Ballers, and some of it may not be, depending on whether or not that event has already been covered by one of the many other talented writers on the Liberty Ballers staff. Exactly how much will be placed both here and on the front page is still somewhat up in the air, and is something that we may tweak as the season goes on. We're playing this by ear a little bit.
As to how I will go about covering the team? My main goal isn't so much to bring you the news, as there are numerous other outlets that do that sufficiently well. That's not to say that I won't be writing about the news, though. But I'll be placing a heavy emphasis on trying to explain the news as well, to bring the necessary context around it. I'm not necessarily aiming to be the first to get the news published, but to have as much of the relevant information explained as needed to try to paint the full picture. For example, It's not enough to report that Joel Embiid hadn't yet signed a contract in mid-August: I want to go into the CBA reasons as to why that hadn't happened yet. I don't want to just report that Dario Saric's Efes deal is a 2+1 contract, but to look at the parts of the CBA that regulate what his option would be if he waits the full 3 years before coming over.
Essentially, I aim to cover the team as a beat writer would, while being able to provide the depth and context of a blogger who doesn't have to worry about word (or audience) restrictions, while continuing to sprinkle in the analysis and opinion pieces of a columnist. Being around the team provides context, while writing for an internet medium provides flexibility. I aim to combine the benefits of both.
If I had to pick a contemporary to compare it to, my goal is to make this hub the Sixers equivalent to what Birds 24/7 is for PhillyMag.
So, stick around. Bookmark the site. We'll tweet out the articles that pop up here, so follow @DerekBodnerNBA and @Liberty_Ballers if you're not already. If you have any suggestions on how you would want the team covered, either in terms of style or content, please let me know and we will take all suggestions into consideration.