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Farewell, Liberty Ballers

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Hello readers. It’s me, Kevin. And I’m here to make the bittersweet announcement that my time at Liberty Ballers is coming to an end. I’ve struggled to find motivation to write about basketball, and with so much recent change at the site, it really just feels like the right time to walk away.

A huge thanks to Seth Pollack, who gave me this opportunity when my resume wasn’t much more than a blank sheet of paper and I had published about five blog posts on my personal site, which were read by maybe 50 people. He saw potential and I’m forever grateful for that.

I want to thank my editorial team during my tenure. Sean Kennedy is everything you could ask for in a right hand man. Tom West teaches me something new every time I read him. Dave Early is a true friend, someone with whom basketball discussions regularly evolved into commentary on life and the existential. And of course, the entire LB staff, which is made up of talented people who share a passion for covering and discussing this team in a way that has been so much fun to be part of. Finally, tmend and Dave in NYC, who have the hero’s task of moderating this community, and Grandma Helen, author of the official unofficial LB newsletter.

A huge thanks to Eric Sidewater and BlindLoyalty. You two brought me into this world so to speak. We launched the Sixers Science podcast in the summer of 2017 and it’s not an exaggeration to say that I would have never held a position at this site if I didn’t meet you two and you didn’t expose me to a new way of thinking about sports. You made it interesting to say the least!

Most importantly, I want to thank the Liberty Ballers community of commenters. You’ve not only supported me, you’ve challenged me. Something special happens when a diverse group of people unite over a common bond with a common goal and leave the baggage at the door. For this unique and weird group, the bond has been a basketball team and the goal has been developing a marketplace of ideas to arrive at the best of them. Engaging with you all has helped me develop into what I believe is a better person than I was when I started this gig. I’ve expanded my mind, I’ve learned to not attach identity to ideas, and I’ve learned to be excited to be wrong. I’m honestly amazed at how much I’ve learned from all of you. And man, I’ve had a lot of laughs. So many great individuals have been a part of these forums. It has preserved an environment reminiscent of the golden age of internet forums. You all rule and I will miss regularly engaging with you dearly.

I started doing some social for LB in September 2017 after Jim Adair reached out looking for a hand with posting to Facebook. Before that, I lingered as a commenter. Who’d have thought that by January of 2018, I’d be the site’s managing editor. It’s been a long journey, one that I will always cherish. Following and covering this team as it blossomed out of Sam Hinkie’s glorious tenure has been such a thrill. I appreciate all who have been a part of it. I plan to write again, probably about anything but sports. For now though, I’ll take it easy and focus on other aspects of my life. I can be reached at kevin.francis.love[at]gmail.com and I’m sure I’ll continue to linger around LB. I wish the best of luck to Paul Hudrick as he carries the site into a new era, I’m very much excited to follow along as a reader. One last time, thank you, Liberty Ballers.