Hi, I’m Max Rappaport. You may remember me from such social media accounts as @Sixers and facebook.com/Sixers. I’m super excited to announce that effective today I’ll be bringing my lukewarm takes and incredibly basic understanding of statistics to Liberty Ballers!
For those of you who have no idea who I am, I’ve spent the past four seasons writing for Sixers.com, co-managing the team’s social media accounts, and defending The Process™ whenever it’s come under fire. I’m also the guy who once wrote the words "Evan Turner has arrived" after a 24-point, 15-rebound performance against the Knicks in March 2012 as well as the words "Kwame Brown has quietly become one of the NBA’s more reliable post defenders" after Doug Collins signed him in July of that year.
What can I say? I’m a pretty optimistic guy by nature.
Like many of you, I really wanted to believe that the Summer of Andrew was the beginning of long, beautiful run of contention for my beloved Sixers. Instead, it put the franchise in such a desperate state of disrepair that the team parted ways with its head coach, general manager, CEO, and Royal Ivey.
That experience taught me two things: that life is simply an endless series of disappointments broken only by dark spells of depression and that there are no shortcuts to contention in the NBA. Unless you’re the Lakers. And fuck the Lakers.
The night Jrue Holiday was traded to the Pelicans, I accepted that the immediate future would likely be difficult to bear. But in reality, I’ve had more fun following the Sixers these past two years than in any season since my casual fandom ripened into full-blown obsession in 2008. For the first time in a long time, the team has a discernible plan to emerge from the doldrums of prolonged mediocrity, and during these inevitable lean years I’ve come to love the bizarre cult that’s developed within the fan base.
If you had asked me about Liberty Ballers a few years back, I probably would have said something like, "Oh yeah, that guy Mike Levin writes there. He wrote a whole article about how @Sixers is the worst Twitter account in pro sports. He’s an asshole." And while Mike is still an asshole (and @Sixers did suck pretty hard back then) [ed note: It did. -ML], he and the LB crew have become like brothers to me these past two years.
When I made the decision this fall to leave my job with the Sixers and do something completely different with my life (I’m starting a master’s program in counseling psychology at Northwestern in January!), one of the first things I did was reach out to Mike, Jake P. and the crew to see if they’d have any interest in me writing for the blog. They were cool enough to give me my own section on the site and let me call it Rapp Genius, which is pretty neat.
I’m not entirely sure what this will look like yet. Most likely, it’ll be some combination of basketball analysis, stupid fun stuff, and Bill Simmons shit-talking, but I’ll feel it out as it goes. I’ll also be doing some tweeting from the @Liberty_Ballers account, so get ready for some really weird JaKarr photoshops. Can’t wait to get started!