Today marks my last day as an official editor of Clips Nation. Today is a day that I knew would come to pass eventually – all good things must come to an end, and my time at Clips Nation is certainly one of them. However, I didn’t think it would happen in this way, or so soon.
Just a few months ago (although it feels like years at this point), I, along with hundreds of other writers, got the news from Vox Media that we had lost our jobs. As we wrote about it at the time, it was completely sudden, and without warning. Like most other writers, I elected to stay on through March 31, the cutoff point that was given to us. Over time, my writing at Clips Nation waned, and then fell off entirely once our new site 213Hoops launched, and new faces took over at CN. At a seeming instant, something that had been part of my life for over five years came to an abrupt end.
I have written or contributed to somewhere over 1,300 articles for Clips Nation over the past five plus years (when you search my name, 1,433 articles come up, but some of them I was only mentioned by or linked to). During that time, I rose through the ranks at the site, from occasional contributor to steady game recapper, to regular columnist, to editor, to second-in-command, and then finally the managing editor. I took on those responsibilities, not because of pay or for career purposes, but because I loved my job (if only it paid like it!) and loved writing for this community.
My roots at Clips Nation go further back, well beyond my days as a writer, back to the early 2010s when I was still a tiny high schooler trying to figure out what on earth I wanted to do with my life (I’m now only slightly bigger, and even more marginally sure of what I want to do) and gravitated towards a well-written blog about the LA Clippers. Steve Perrin was in charge in those days, and the blog was a very different place. Still, that warmth of community and the joy of discussing basketball and the Clippers with fellow fans was always present.
I became a regular commenter on the site, in the era when CN regularly had hundreds of comments on game threads. There was a whole cadre of us who would place 30 or 40 (or more) comments on any given night, almost similar to what people do now on Twitter when they live tweet a game. While those early years with Blake Griffin and Lob City were fun, being a member of the Clips Nation community was just as memorable. Who could forget the long debates between Jax and John R, the sharp quips from boltsfan, and the lengthy, wise comments from citizen zhiv? Along the way, I became more knowledgeable about the game of basketball and developed an even deeper enjoyment of watching the Clippers play basketball.
One fateful day, Steve called for more writers. The site was scaling up rapidly, and he needed more people to cover games and write articles to match demand while he and Lucas Hann covered things like breaking news and long-form analysis. I was intrigued, but being a mostly lazy young adult, was hesitant to put my name forward. However, after a conversation with my parents, I decided that getting my name published on the internet a few times (especially relating to the NBA) couldn’t hurt, and I might just have some fun along the way. I sent in a sample, Steve said yes (he must have really been desperate), and the rest was history.
I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve graduated college, moved away from home (several times), and now live in Michigan. Clips Nation has been there the entire way. Even as I journeyed from Michigan to Los Angeles to the Bay Area and back to Michigan again, I always had Clips Nation. The past couple months, where my posting on Clips Nation has been minimal to non-existent, have been extremely odd. Even as I’ve started up 213Hoops with Lucas, it has been weird to not be double- and triple-checking Clips Nation every day to respond to comments, track stats, and edit new pieces. Moving on from Clips Nation (at least in an active writing/editing capacity) truly marks a new stage of my life.
I owe my career, in great part, to Clips Nation. I received an internship as a content marketer for a tech company due to my vast portfolio and my writing acumen. That didn’t work out, but I’ve since stepped into a new role in career services where I write for hours every day on a professional basis. If you’d asked me what I would be doing at age 25 10 years ago, when I first stumbled across Clips Nation, it would have taken me a long time to guess “writing”. My experience composing those hundreds of articles has provided me with invaluable writing experience and stimulated my growth with the proverbial pen. I’m still not very good, but I’m a hell of a lot better than I would be without Clips Nation.
Really, while I’ve probably rambled on too long about me, and my journey as a writer, this is a thank you. It’s a thank you to Steve Perrin, who took a chance on me being a semi-decent writer all those years ago. It’s a thank you to Lucas, who gave me opportunity to expand within the site as a writer, editor, analyst, and podcaster over the years. It’s a thank you to my pod pal, Shapan Debnath, who I have never met in person yet with whom I’ve conversed for hundreds of hours about the Clippers. It’s a thank you to all the other writers who I’ve worked with over the years, who have helped me as a writer and viewer of basketball and have provided absolutely wonderful content for this site. But most importantly of all, it’s a thank you to you, the reader.
You are who I do it for. Writers write so that people can read, and an unbelievable amount of people (I truly can’t believe how many) have read my work over the years. I have had great discussions with so many commenters and members of the community on the site and on Twitter, and have learned a great deal from all of you. It baffles me that you all have read my work, much less enjoyed it, and that faith and support have kept me afloat during some dark times. I have grown as a person and as a writer because of this community, and that says everything.
As I’ve grown and developed, Clips Nation has too. The modern version of the site might not have the 500 comment game threads of yore, but it still boasts an insightful community that has only grown more respectful and tight knit over time. People have come and gone, but the core of the community has expanded, and remains the best place to delve into the mindset of how Clippers fans are thinking about the team at any given moment.
This is not a permanent goodbye. I will still be lurking in the comments section, and might even come out of hiding for a particularly juicy argument or conversation. My podcasts still run on the Clips Nation feed (though probably for not much longer), and I’m still writing about the Clippers over at 213Hoops (also, our comments and login issues are finally fixed!), for those who want to continue to read my Eeyore-esque musings on the Clips. Your support over at that site has been incredible, and has really meant the world to Lucas and me. If you want to talk things over on Twitter, I’m still hanging out there too, and am always down to talk Clips.
Well, I’ve written far more than I wanted or intended to, and now seems like as good a time as any to cut this ramble off. Thank you all once again for all your support over the years, and for helping me in ways both large and small on my journey towards adulthood. I hope you and your families and loved ones stay safe during this terrible crisis, and that we all make it through to brighter days. And, of course, goooooooo Clippers!