Monday, August 18, 2014

Donald Sterling's Gone and a New Era Begins

The Clippers are hosting their Fan Fest today and seeing the images of celebration along the birth of the Steve Ballmer era has left me feeling a bit confused. Not that I'm not pleased Donald Sterling is finally removed from the NBA but because the team is going to have a change in identity.

I've grown up with the Clippers as the junior varsity team. They've had a year or two of success but it was never sustained. Even with this 3-year run they've been on, I had a feeling Sterling would find a way to screw it up because he always has. Whether it was by being cheap to pay quality coaches, free agents or running his mouth, he's been a poison to ruin any momentum.

Now that he's gone, I've wondered if the Clippers' new identity means that their old legacy isn't coming back and what that means longterm. I wrote about that last week over at Bro Jackson but I think to explain my confusion more, I can compare it to USC and UCLA.*

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NABJ14: Gratitude, Love and Growth in Boston

“It's so free, this kind of feeling
It's like life, it's so appealing
When you've got so much to say
It's called gratitude, and that's right” - Beastie Boys “Gratitude”

Last week was my third time attending the annual National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair. Yet this time was different than the last two. The first was a mix of nerves, blind faith and excitement to visit my father’s hometown of New Orleans. The second felt like taking the training wheels off a bicycle and riding more confidently in looking for jobs and networking. 

This year? I vowed to return with a job and I did. I said I would meet my great friend Sam for the first time in 8 years and I did. I knew what to expect and yet I was open for something new. But I felt as comfortable as my flight to Boston was and it’s a sign that I wasn’t a new guy anymore. 

That’s why I want to give back as much as I received. Express gratitude to people like Michael Smith, who told me last year to get better at being myself as much as my craft. Thank Yahoo’s Marc Spears for telling me to focus this blog on local content as much as I can. Thank former Sporting News editor Garry Howard for critiquing my resume (and thank him in advance for reading some of my clips).

I also wanted to reach out to younger journalists and offer any tips I could. There were a ton of college kids and I was happy to listen to them as well as share some of my experiences. Plus nothing says NABJ like friendly debates on the NBA/NFL with folks around the country.