What "ESPN thing," you ask? This one: "ESPN, TrueHoop, and many of the best independent basketball blogs out there are now officially working hand in hand as the TrueHoop Network. The TrueHoop Network, as fueled by the efforts of a growing list of favorite basketball bloggers and newly hired ESPN editor, and top-notch blogger, Kevin Arnovitz, will find and foster excellence in online basketball writing."
Follow the link provided above for the full scoop, but pretty cool, huh? And it so happens that I'm one of the founding members of the TrueHoop Network. But before you get the wrong idea, allow me to answer a few potential questions:
1. Does this mean Basketbawful is in the TrueHoop Network? No. I was offered the chance to migrate Basketbawful over to the Network but chose not to. I've said it before but allow me to reiterate: I feel a strong sense of responsibility to this blog and to its loyal readers. So, after 48 hours of furious internal debate, I decided that Basketbawful should remain unchanged and pure (or as pure as a site with recurring fart and man love jokes can be).
2. So...what are you doing for the Network then? I started a new blog called By The Horns. It's a fan blog covering Chicago Bulls.
3. Why in the name of the Green Goblin would you do that? Well, if I was going to join the Network but not as Basketbawful, I wanted to do something completely different than what I do here (or, for that matter, what I did while covering the NBA for Deadspin). I've never covered an individual team before, so it seemed like a fun new challenge for me, both personally as a fan and pseudo-professionally as a blogger.
4. Okay. But why the Chicago Bulls? I was given the choice of few different teams, including my beloved Celtics. But, in the end, I went with the Bulls because I live in Chicago. That makes the Bullies more accessible. I can attend games. I can read about the team, in detail, in the local papers. I can discuss it with people on the street. Quite simply, my physical location makes the process of running the blog, from a logistical standpoint, much easier.
Moreover, by landing Derrick Rose with the first pick in the 2008 draft, I'd like to believe that the Bulls are a team on the rise. Hopefully, I'll get to watch this team grow and greatly improve over the next few years. The Celtics? They're already on top. That means, unfortunately, there's nowhere for them to go but down. I don't want to record the eventual descent of a team in which I'm deeply emotionally invested. I'd rather chronicle the maturation of a young team with a budding (potential) superstar.
5. Is the new site going to be all serious and stuff? Yes and no. There will be more analysis and fewer one-liners. But at this point in my blogging "career," I am what I am. (Or, more accurately, I am who you thought I was.) By The Horns will feature the same wacky, sarcastic, off-beat humor complete with out-of-left-field references to cult movies, professional wrestling and video games. I'll probably reserve the man love posts for Basketbawful -- actually, Henry Abbott told me I pretty much have to -- but, let me put it this way, if you end up following By The Horns, there won't be any question in your mind that I'm writing it.
But remember that, as noted above, I'm new to this whole covering an individual team thing. Just as was the case with Basketbawful, it's going to take me a little time to develop a personality for By The Horns. To that end, I'd be open to any and all suggestions. If you want to take a few minute out of your time to help me out, let me know what kinds of things you like to see and read about on a team blog. Cool suggestions will help me run a cool site.
6. That's great and all, but how's this going to effect Basketbawful? I probably should have stated this up front, but Basketbawful will continue unaltered and unabated. I still plan to do Worst of the Nights and Weekends, Word of the Days, articles on pickup basketball, and posts about whatever else deserves to be mocked with prejudice. I will not abandon you!
However, at the moment, I'm not sure how the new workload is going to effect me. Statbuster, bless his dark soul, has been kind enough to stand in for me a couple times recently, and Chris, of course, has been handling the lacktion reports. There might also be some blips over the next few weeks, a missed post here or there. But I would like to think that I can and will continue to bring you the best of the worst of professional basketball...just as I have since 2005.
7. Promise? I promise. And thanks to everybody to has followed and contributed to this site (and hopefully will continue to do so). This wouldn't have happened without your support. If I've missed any questions, feel free to leave 'em in the comments section. I will answer them all. (Unless it's about my Gwen Stefani obsession. Please just accept that about me, okay?)