Man. I don’t even know where to begin. I honestly never thought I’d be doing one of these, yet here we are.
So, let’s start with the news: at the time of writing this, I’ve officially been accepted by the Denver Nuggets as their Team Writer and Digital Content Specialist. It’s an incredible honor, truly, that Denver is taking a chance on me. Not only am I finally (!!) able to cover sports full-time, I’ve also landed my dream gig—a job I’ve wanted for a year-plus. I’ll be doing all the things I’ve done here at NetsDaily—reporting, writing, film studies, maybe some videos, live-streaming, podcasting, etc.—but for an NBA team. How cool is that?! This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for.
This means that my time covering the Brooklyn Nets has come to a close. “Bittersweet” is an understatement. Covering this team has given me everything: a home, a purpose, a sense of belonging. When I moved out here five years ago from California, I didn’t know a soul. New York City itself was overwhelming, as was my dream of cracking the world of sports. The first time NYC felt like home was when I attended my first Nets game. This franchise and fanbase became family for me over these last five years.
NetsDaily will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s where I sharpened my tools as a sportswriter. It allowed me to freely explore the breadth of my creativity as a content creator, consistently challenging me along the way. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. This community gave me the feedback, encouragement, and constructive criticism I needed. I’m eternally grateful to all of you for that.
I want to thank Bob, first and foremost, for the role you’ve played in my journey. I’ll never forget the first time we sat down together. The Rockefeller Center cafeteria. You told me you loved my work and wanted me to come to NetsDaily. You were the first person to give me a shot. “Man,” I remember thinking to myself, “the head of NETSDAILY wants me to be their film guy!!” It felt like a dream.
Over the years, you’ve consistently given me advice and feedback that’s helped tremendously. You’ve pushed me to find my voice as a writer. You’ve been an excellent listener—my rock—when I’ve gone through things in my professional and personal life. You’ve given me space to explore and just flat-out try things as a creative. You’ve allowed me to work through my mistakes. You’ve been the best editor I could ask for. Shoot, Bob, you had to proofread almost 500 things I wrote. Yikes! That, in itself, is an accomplishment! It’s going to be so strange not submitting my work to you. This website wouldn’t be what it is without your tireless efforts, but I think you already know that. Without NetsDaily, I wouldn’t be in position to get this type of opportunity.
Tom, I appreciate you for being the kindest and most generous person with your time all throughout these last four years. This is a stressful industry, and there were many times that those feelings consumed me. Your encouragement and the way you speak so highly of your writers got me through those hard moments. Little things—emails, shoutouts on Twitter, even highlighting my work in things you wrote—meant the world to me. I’ve got family out in Minnesota, so the next time I get out there, we’re grabbing a beer.
Then there’s the group of guys I got the pleasure to work with over the years. Pooch, Billy, Milholen, Brian, the Glue Guys. All of you showed me the ropes, answered my questions, and lent your expertise as I attempted to navigate this challenging industry.
Pooch gave me a full walkthrough of my first credentialed game. How to not get lost at the Barclays Center (not easy!), the code of conduct within NBA locker rooms and press conferences, the ins and outs of writing up a postgame article. I appreciate you for that, Pooch, I really do. I think this community knows better than just about anyone what a great guy Pooch is. I get to call him a lifelong friend.
Milholen, man. We went through the trenches. Working with you throughout the pandemic got me through a massively isolating and difficult time. I cherished our phone calls, even if it was just splitting up quotes and postgame work. And through it, you became one of my closest friends in the city. I’m gonna miss the hell out of you, dude.
Just through collaboration on podcasts and broadcasts, Billy taught me how to speak professionally and get my points across in a way that’s engaging for listeners. Seriously, you’ve gotta listen to this dude on pods. He’s a natural. And now he’s on his way to becoming the next great sports agent. I’m proud to say I know the next Scott Boras.
Brian, you taught me time management. Because holy heck, man, I have no idea how you balance all of the incredible work you do outside of the Nets with your amazing writing. I always tell myself, “If Brian has time for this, *I* have time for this.” Moreover, you’re one hell of a role model for how to be an incredible person.
My Glue Guys! The duo that helped introduce me to the world of live-streaming! Just talking to you both weekly (if not more) during 2020 helped break those intense feelings of isolation while locked indoors. Not to mention, you’ve both been incredibly supportive about sharing my work over the years. I thank both of you for that.
Then there’s the young guys. Alec. Lucas. Ajayi. Jordan. Collin. The next era of NetsDaily is in great hands. You guys know how much I love and respect your work, and I’ve learned things from each of you that have helped improve my craft. I’ve gotten the opportunity to collaborate with Lucas and Alec extensively, and I can confidently say the sky’s the limit for the both of them. I’ve become real-life friends with you two. Jordan and Collin, though we didn’t overlap a ton, I’ve loved the work you’ve contributed to NetsDaily. Keep an eye on all three of these guys. They’re going to do—and have already done—great stuff for this site.
I’m going to miss the Nets beat. So. Dang. Much. Schiff, Lewis, Winfield, Tom, Scotto, Slater, Christian, Barb, all the rest. It’s going to be bizarre not working alongside all of you. Thanks for making these last couple of years as memorable as they have been. This year, especially, has been such a blast. I’m sad that it’s ending.
A big thank you to the YES team for providing me with my basketball education. I can confidently say I learned from the best. Just watching and listening to all of you has helped sharpen my sports mind. And an even bigger thank you to Ian, Sarah, Carrino, and Tim, especially, for consistently giving me words of encouragement throughout this entire process.
Thank you to Eli, Aaron, and the rest of Nets PR crew for being so accommodating throughout the entire process. Nets PR worked with me throughout my growing pains, trusted that I’d cover this team to the best of my ability, and I’ll miss seeing you all at games. I’m giving all a hug on Sunday.
But most of all, thank you, Nets fans. None of this would have happened without you. As mentioned, this will be my first time working in sports full-time. Staying afloat while covering the Nets has required a lot of part-time work. I’ve worked in restaurants. I’ve marketed products (I’m pretty sure my Manscaped code is still live on the internet, somewhere). It hasn’t always been easy, I’ll be honest, but your words of encouragement and endless support are why I’ve stuck through it all. I’ve become close with many of you online and offline, and I’m going to miss interacting with the fanbase about this endlessly entertaining basketball team.
This fanbase has watched my growth and has stuck through it with me through thick and thin. You guys are why I’ve taken chances on projects. You guys have given me motivation each and every day to wake up and get to work. Nets fans became family to me throughout my 20s. I knew that the first second of my first Nets game. Nets fans became my people. I’m gonna miss these fans. More than you can imagine.
What comes next for me? Well, a move, for one. I’ll be relocating to Denver to cover the end of the regular season and then a deep playoff run (!!). I can’t wait, honestly. I’m still in shock: I’m about to become a Denver Nugget.
But that doesn’t mean that I won’t miss Brooklyn. My first home as an adult. I’m going to miss the Barclays Center. I’m going to miss meeting new people from covering the Nets. I’m going to miss the energy that stems from this city. I’m going to miss the Brooklyn Nets and everything this franchise has given me.
Look, I’m not good at saying goodbyes. I never have been. So I’ll close this out quickly. Thanks for everything, Nets Nation. Catch ya’ on the flip.