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?)

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Blogger eileen said...
Conrgatulations. Were you at all tempted to name the new blog By The Keith Van Horns?

Blogger chris said...
I assume the Gwen Stefani shout-outs, kinda like your Kobe & Walton featurettes, also got put in the "Bafwul only, please" pile by the fine folks at the Worldwide Leader.

Blogger Trev said...
Congrats! I have to admit when I read Truehoop this morning I skipped over the team specific entries and went straight to league wide and was a little miffed to see no mention of basketbawful. I should probably cancel that hit put out on Henry.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
OK, I just have to know: what is Henry Abbott really like?!!!

Congrats again. Hopefully they are, or soon will be, paying you enough so that By The Horns can become your Clark Kent job.

I did ask you this once before, about who you'd root for when the Pacers played the Celtics, but I'm curious what your writing over there will be like in regards to both Boston and Indiana. Will you be expected to be a heavily slanted Chicago shill, or will the faithful Bulls readers be forced to acknowledge and accept that when Boston comes to town you might be rooting for them instead just because they have a better shot at winning it all this year?

With your new team access I look forward to your forthcoming series on dating every single member of the Luv-A-Bulls dancers :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
well done and congrats. Great to hear all the good news

Anonymous Anonymous said...
as a bulls fan, i reccommend posting long narratives about how much andres nocioni sucks, and possibly a long analysis of how someone so bad could somehow have the best +/- on the team (i saw your initial post on that and was floored by it). also, any posts oozing with love for tyrus thomas are encouraged as well

Blogger chris said...
I hope Larry Hughes's bench time becomes a centerpiece of the new blog, too. Assuming he's still in Chicago within a week or two.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Damn! I really wanted to know more about that whole Gwen Stefani thing you got goin there...Anyway since youre blogging about the Bulls now heres an awesome Jordan video theres many, many plays where Dick Stockon wouldve called him a whirling dervish in there so im sure you will hate it Congratulations

Blogger Victor said...
zomg Basketbawful sold out again! I knew you were always doing it for those checks.

I'll be glad to add another blog to my feed list. I expect plenty of raging over Mr. Noah and Mr. Thomas.

Also, you can totally do better than Gweni Stefani. Like, srsly, man. Set the bar higher.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
maybe you could do a "roll call" on by the horns, like the guys from do.

i enjoy reading those, and i´m not even a raps fan.

all the best for your new blog

Blogger Junior said...
ow, crongrats man, that's good to know that bloggers can someday achieve the dream

and for the team blog, you can write a good profile of all the players and some of the plays

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
When I saw the list, I was actually really hoping and not hoping Basketball wouldn't be on there. It would have been great to see this blog go big, but incorporating into ESPN would have killed so much of the great commentary and jokes here.

So with Deadspin, occasionally Hardwood Paroxysm, Basketbawful, Footbawful, and now By the Horns, I have to reiterate questions 6. and 7. Are you really going to keep up with this free, not-as-publicly-in-the-spotlight blog as much as a blog (you're paid to write?) for an international sports media force?

Your answer in 7. sounds like you just gave us a bittersweet promise ring. As you're surrounded by supermodels and loose college girls, will you keep us, faithful high-school girlfriend, in your mind? Go for your dreams, congrats on your recognition and success, you can come home for dinner anytime.

Blogger Josh Willis(9) said...
I'm really looking forward to reading By The Horns as rabidly as I read this site. You're gonna be covering a team with Larry Hughes, Joakim Noah, and Tyrus Thomas, the jokes will write themselves for you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
When does Golfawful start?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
eileen -- Where were you when I was naming the site??!

chris -- That was the suggestion, yeah...

Trev -- Yes, please go easy on Henry. I swear, he called me very early on in the process! I just love you humanoids too much to turn over our little community to ESPN.

Wild Yams -- Well, Henry's...hey, you're joshing me, aren't you?? Anyway, I don't have to be slanted towards the Bulls. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, and neither is ESPN. So, fortunately, I don't have to tear myself apart over loyalties. :)

kazam92 -- Thanks, dude.

Anonymous -- I'll see what I can do about T-Time. Just heard Stacey King say: "Tyrus teases you with his athleticism." Not sure I'll be able to relate that on By The Horns.

chris -- I have a feeling Big Shot Larry is about to become Forwarding Address Larry.

Axel Foley -- Yeah, I'm gonna have to come to terms with my feelings for Mike now, I guess.

Victor -- Look, could I do better than Gwen? Maybe. But I always follow my heart. That's just how I roll.

JJ -- I love RaptorsRepublic, so I might just have to do that. I might need to ask Zarar permission to copy him, tho'.

Junior -- Thanks. I do indeed plan to do a scouting report on all the Bulls players. I might hold off on Big Shot Larry, though, just in case.

AnacondaHL -- I've had several people tell me I should have migrated Basketbawful to the network. But I would have felt like I was cheating myself and my readers. I would have had to edit myself to the point that you'd be getting New Coke instead of Coca Cola Classic. Yeah, it'd be pretty much the same...just missing something critical.

I will absolutely, positively keep up with Basketbawful. Remember, I used to do the NBA Closer for Deadspin every day in addition to Basketbawful. Now, instead of recapping every game and every team, I'm covering only one. No bittersweet promises here. If I would have honestly thought I couldn't do both, I wouldn't have started the new blog...I just would've moved Basketbawful. I'll always want a little somethin' somethin' from my high school flame. (Only not the real one. She's got, like, 7 kids now and is highly religious.)

Josh Willis(9) -- Much appreciated, man. You're right those jokes do write themselves, but I'll try to get creative anyway.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yeah you might wanna, you know watch what you say about MJ now since youre now bigtime, you know unless you think you can take on Oakley you know.

Blogger chris said...
You may not be able to mention the girl that was the only reason to ever pay attention to No Doubt, but I hope you continue to popularize the lacktion glossary (Mario, trillion, suck differential) in your new avenue to the outside world. You'll have done your work once the ESPN boxscores start including a trillion count! :D

Blogger Flud said...
I'm wearing a 'Gwen crew' T-shirt right now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is great! You should get a big tattoo from shoulder to elbow that says "Bawful," like Amare's "Poverty" tat, just to remind yourself.

And a "Mario" script on your neck.

Blogger dunkfu said...
FINALLY the reason for the Kobe Hatred comes out

"including my beloved Celtics."

I thought you had alluded to it before but I wasn't sure. Now that I know the reason I can just ignore your Laker comments cause I know they are made out of spite.

Congrats on the gig, don't become boring like Abbott.

Blogger starang said...
You've joined the enemy! Slap Simmons in the junk for me if you ever see him.

Blogger lordhenry said...
I've enjoyed this blog since 2006 and I'm glad to see you are getting recognition.
I've always admired the fact that you fearlessly give your opinion and usually give a reason to back it up. The humor, combined with the statistical analysis, makes this one of the best places to go for basketball, awful or otherwise. Keep it up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Tbh I might move over to Around The Horn as the primary blog of yours as I'm really interested to see you get your teeth into something meaty. I've got a feeling the jokes will flow even funnier on the back of serious analysis and interesting viewpoints...