When I took over as Managing Editor of Ridiculous Upside nearly four years ago, I was ecstatic. Still attempting to make strides in my writing career and establish my brand, I saw great value in simply joining the SB Nation family. Up until that point, I had primarily covered New York Knicks basketball. Getting my foot in the door with SB Nation and being a part of a network that I had long admired and respected as a reader meant doing so by covering the NBA D-League, which represented a new and unique challenge. I took advantage of the opportunity, seeing the obvious upside (pun intended), but I could have never predicted just how wonderful the experience has been.
For starters, I fell in love with the D-League. The opportunity to cover (and perhaps even discover) the up and coming stars of tomorrow, not just from a players standpoint, but in recognizing rising executives, coaches, agents, and others, has been awesome. It's the type of unique experience one probably can't get covering basketball anywhere else.
The access the league, the people around it, and its respective teams provide is tremendous. The D-League does so much to provide exposure for its talent across the board, and in doing so, just about everyone has been accommodating, friendly, and enjoyable to work and collaborate with --- this has made my job not only much easier, but fun as well.
Like many realize in the D-League, it's time to attack my next challenge. With that in mind, I'm thrilled to be moving over to RBA Sports as its new Media Director. This is an opportunity for me to utilize my talents to help players further their careers in a different way, all while gaining exposure to other sides of the business. In building all sorts of relationships, I've come to know BJ Bass as one of the most dedicated, passionate, and knowledgeable individuals around his craft. I can't wait to work with him and his team.
During my tenure with RU, we've covered the D-League in a professional manner that I'm very proud of. We've done things differently, pushing the envelope and trying to come up with features that haven't been done before, all while shedding light on some great individuals from all over the league.
My staff has included some amazing individuals and talented writers --- from the likes of Gino Pilato, Wendell Maxey, Scott Rafferty, Chris Reichert, Dakota Schmidt, Brian Rzeppa, Tommy Dee, and even long time D-League coach Bob MacKinnon, to newcomers like Ethan Drigtoas, Chris Priczak, Nick LeTourneau, Ryan Heuer, and so many others --- needless to say, our group has been highlighted by some of the more passionate and knowledgeable people around the D-League. I've been fortunate to work with them all.
As mentioned, there are top notch individuals from all over the minor league. The players, coaches, and executives have been great. In my capacity, I've been able to see some of the best public relations representatives shine, and even soar to new heights because of it. Thanks to the likes of Matt de Nesnera, Will McClaran, and Eli Pearlstein, all of whose excellence is evident by the way they've ascended to the NBA ranks from the D-League. I'm also grateful to ever rising stars like Gina Antoniello, Rebecca Sweat, Sean Wyatt, Katie Hatch, and Andrew Dzurita, all of whom's talent and zest for their jobs clearly signal that the NBA, or whatever follows, is clearly within full grasp.
I've made plenty of friends and close acquaintances from this opportunity, but the chance to call the team at SB Nation family has been second to none. I've grown as a writer and a person, gaining knowledge and confidence along the way. The company does an amazing job of instilling a great sense of community, a strong and supportive working environment, and the most fun of atmospheres --- complete with bringing us together each and every year during NBA Summer League inside the SB Nation Las Vegas house. Again, the chance to collaborate and spend time with unique individuals from all over is ridiculously (another pun) cool. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more talented and passionate group of writers about this game.
I have the utmost respect and gratitude for my guy Seth Pollack, who gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. This has, obviously not only provided me a special platform to move ahead with my career, but also experience new things, see the game in a different light, and earn some amazing opportunities along the way. This past season, I even had the chance to discuss and share a certain aspect of my life. At the time, I pondered what would be next in my journey. Now I know.
Moving forward, Dakota Schmidt, a great friend and RU's longest running contributor, will be serving as the site's interim Editor-in-Chief. SB Nation will be be conducting an open recruitment for the position, which you can apply for by clicking here.
Thanks to everyone for the support, interaction, collaboration, etc. It's been a very fun ride. I'm optimistic about the future of Ridiculous Upside, and looking forward to my own.