In March I found myself sitting in a cafe with my brother watching the NCAA Final Four, while our Mom sat beside us, nodding off to sleep, wanting her two kids to finish watching the game. We both looked at her and smiled. It was something that often happened in our childhood; she did her best as a single parent. Always did. The moment was all the more poignant because the three of us had not been in a room together in 9 years.
I’m stepping down as Editor In Chief at Press Basketball.
That moment along with my impending 40th birthday and other things have triggered major soul searching.
I realized that I’ve spent the last 15 years of evenings and weekends on passion projects like films, TV shows, sports radio, blogs, and most recently Press.
I’ll never get that time back.
More importantly, I deserve to be doing this work for pay.
I need to start investing time into things I have put on the back burner for long stretches of my life. Exercise. Family. Diet. Friends. Love. Travel. Sleep. Fun. And time for me to just…be.
I realized after I finished writing this recent piece on the end of Manu Ginobili’s career, that it was actually all about me.
I came to Press Basketball in February 2016 as one of the founding members; the old cowboy of the group who did my best to instill a culture of respect, creativity, and kindness. I brought in writers who I saw blossom before my eyes all season long. Its something I’m most proud of. This entire departure is oh so bitter sweet for me.
What will I do next?
I’m considering career opportunities in media and elsewhere, yet I’m grateful I have a solid day job as I decide my next move. This summer, I will begin writing my first novel, tentatively titled The Noose: How I Survived My Dad’s Suicide and Found My Way In Life. It will be equal parts self help, autobiography, and anecdotes on the roller coaster my life has been.
The great thing is that I will be leaving Press in really good hands.
Josh Howe will be taking over as Editor In Chief. He has my full blessings, respect, encouragement, and talent to thrive in the role. Josh and I are very much kindred spirits, with very similar tastes, style, and we even share the same birthday. He’s been a stalwart on our editorial team all season long, and the transition has already begun.
But really, it’s all about the team. Press, like the Spurs are built on the idea of togetherness and family. A there are a few people I very much have to thank from the last year and a half here:
John Gaudes for your endless work on editorial, and knocking out all those damn solid articles all season long.
Maddy Harris for calling my bullshit early in the season, and making me a much better editor.
Will Strickland for bringing your own unique voice.
Darren Andrade for all the wisdom.
Alan Shane Lewis for doing what you could, when you could.
Spencer Lund for stepping in and being a mentor when we needed it.
Josh Eberley for always supporting us, and always having my back.
James Holas for your extreme writing talent that I hope you continue to push.
Eric Fawcett for going out on a limb to write.
Avery Rajala for always making me chuckle with your heart and your words.
Justin Rowan for your friendship grinding out some tough Monday work with due diligence.
Andrew Miller for coming along for the ride.
Meaghan Marie for seizing and opportunity, your work ethic and hustle is tremendous.
Ilia Jivotov for giving us a home.
Charles Blouin-Gascon for the local blood.
Mike Masaya for lending a hand.
Nathan Powell for wrangling things that needed wrangling.
Tryan Servinis for creating a logo I wish cherish into perpetuity.
Daniel Rowell for throwing us some bedazzle.
Royce White for the encouragement and friendship.
Dwight Walton for the mentorship in an ocean full of sharks.
Ryan Antonio Henry for being a man of few words, but the blue-collar guy that quietly held everything together. Keep doing what you do, brother.
Andrew Hamilton for being the most solid human I know in Toronto. Nuff said.
Phil Boileau for being my basketball soul mate for the last 6 years. I’m gonna miss every moment with you.
This is a really family we have here, and I love these guys. It’s really hard to walk away from this thing we built together.
My involvement in Press next season is up in the air. I have a few things in development, and we’ll see. I’ll try and pop up on the radar every now and then. Nonetheless, I will always be there to support and cheer from afar.
A few last words.
Life is short. Do what you have a passion for. Tell someone you love them. Work on yourself. Go to the difficult corners of your soul. If you are afraid of taking a risk—it’s usually a risk worth taking.
Hire these people mentioned above—they all deserve jobs. Its criminal that we’re all doing this for free. This industry is a train wreck and we’re all shooting hoops in the dark hoping for miracles.
And finally, thank you to my Mom and Matthew.
You brought me to basketball, and I plan on spending much more time with both of you.
Much love as always,
Co-Founder and Former Editor In Chief, Press Basketball.
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
Something Out of Nothing
It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau. We’re meeting to speak about this exciting new idea I pitched to them. We were tired of spinning the wheels on our own individual internet shows, and I told them that it was time we stopped waiting for a network and became the network.
We spoke that weekend about creating a community of content creators that all loved ball and came together to make unique content with unique voices – voices we felt were never heard in the mainstream. This community was the base of Press and we’d continue to push forward from that spot. We spoke about some amazing show ideas, article ideas, social media plan. It was truly an exciting time, and still one of the best weekends of my life.
Two years later and that group is a lot smaller, and that idea is Press Basketball.
It caught fire at the beginning and we had people joining our bright shiny new plaything left, right, and center. It was exciting, but now I kind of realize that a lot of it was just that we were that “bright shiny new thing”.
We ended up with a lot of Press Basketball “members” but when I stepped back and looked at what was happening… it wasn’t what I’d imagined. The fire burned out. The idea was gone. We had just become another thing trying to stay alive, waiting for some deus ex machina to show up with money and make everything okay.
I’ve gone through most of my life making something out of nothing. It’s never easy, but when it happens it’s always worth it… ALWAYS. Press made me feel alive at a point. It was literally all I could think about, and while it still is on my mind, it doesn’t make me feel alive. This hurts more than I can ever explain.
Changes are coming my friends. We’re not laying down and dying, and if we do it’s not going to be like this.
The core of Press will be setting fire to a lot over the next few weeks and I personally can’t wait for this to start. From the ashes something new will rise (I watched a lot of XMEN growing up).
Stay tuned, because it’s not over.
Lonzo Ball: The New Face of the Lakers
Lonzo Ball is the new face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. The new savior. The Big Baller Brand is now here to stay and LaVar Ball’s family’s future is set. But is that enough?
Lonzo Ball is a great kid and athlete who knows his talent will take him to another level. The major question mark that remains is whether or not he will take the Lakers there as well. He has the platform and skillset to do so, but with that comes the added pressure from the city and league to basically become part of the next version of Kobe and Shaq. It’s too strainful for a young kid—a rookie—to achieve.
Magic Johnson, the recently named President of Basketball of Operations for the Lakers, is taking an aggressive approach to get this team back into playoff contention his first year in. One of his first moves was sending D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick. Brook Lopez is definitely an upgrade at center, but has a couple of years already under his belt.
Lopez will provide a much needed veteran presence with a great IQ for the game at his position. The only downfall is that a couple of years under his belt doesn’t really transfer to great experience, but simply wasted miles on his body. He isn’t as quick as he used to be and doesn’t even rank in the top 10 centers in the league. In fact, Bleacher Report had him last season at exactly 15 out of the top 30 centers in the NBA. While he is has improved by adding the three-point range to his arsenal, there is no doubt that he is nearly past his prime, and although he can still contribute on a nightly basis, who knows how much and what effect it will have with Lonzo Ball running the point.
Ball has great court vision that has been often compared to that of LeBron James. Combined with his passing skills, he is a true PG with tremendous upside in the backcourt. With that being said, he will only reach a certain extent. His full potential is years from being maximized and people are buying into it early on. In fact, the pressure for him to lift a sub .500 team to the playoffs for the first time in five years is daunting.
These are Lonzo Ball’s stats during his rookie—and only—year at UCLA:
- 14.6 Points
- 7.6 Assists
- 6.0 Rebounds
- 1.8 Steals
- 0.8 Blocks
- 55.1 FG%
- 41.2 3P%
He did a tremendous job maintaining that statline and even added a triple-double in the NBA Summer League, earning him the Summer League MVP.
Don’t get me wrong, Ball seems ready for the challenge and is definitely a one-of-a-kind talent mirroring that of Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, but he is not an All-Star or MVP—at least, not yet. These way-too-early predictions that he is the Lakers’ new savior are farfetched. He has yet to face the elite NBA offensive threats and superstars that have been at it for 10-plus years. Defensively speaking he will not be able to keep up. Not in his first year. He still needs NBA experience and a more rounded roster to be able to reach the playoffs.
He is off to a good start, but being named NBA Summer League MVP doesn’t necessarily mean a spectacular season is coming as some think it does. Especially if you consider the previous Summer League MVP winners.
|2012||Damian Lillard (co-MVPs)||PG||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Josh Selby (co-MVPs)||PG||Memphis Grizzlies|
|2013||Jonas Valančiūnas||C||Toronto Raptors|
|2014||Glen Rice Jr.||SG||Washington Wizards|
|2015||Kyle Anderson||SF||San Antonio Spurs|
|2016||Tyus Jones||PG||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2017||Lonzo Ball||PG||Los Angeles Lakers|
With the exceptions of Damian Lillard in 2012 and Jonas Valanciunas in 2013, the past five Summer League MVP winners have gone on to produce very mediocre NBA careers. All I’m saying is, don’t read too much into NBA Summer League. It’s the pre-preseason that no one really watches or cares about.
The NBA season is nearing—exactly a month away—and my somewhat harsh criticism of Lonzo Ball isn’t too cruel. I am just not ready to jump on the Ball bandwagon following LaVar’s prophecies of his son being the Lakers prodigal son. He won’t be. Again, at least not yet. He needs to earn his spot and the transition will surprise him his first year in. It will hit him hard, but, despite my concerns, eventually Lonzo Ball will become a future NBA All-Star and a daring NBA point guard.
Not yet though, and until then all we can do is prepare for his official NBA debut. Until then, we can enjoy and bask in his newly released rap single paying tribute to his little brother LaMelo Ball.
If the NBA doesn’t end up being his calling in life, at least he has a back up career in mind.
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
An Ode to the 2007-2008 Warriors
USA VS EVERYBODY | The Break | Episode 17
Trading Places | The Break | Episode 18
February Fouls | The Break | Episode 16
Christmas Day Showdowns | The Break | Episode 10
Western Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 1
Eastern Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 2
NBA & More Mailbag with Josh Howe — TWT 102
Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview with Keith Parish — TWT 101
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