On Basketball

Not to bury the lede: I’m not going to write about the Grizzlies, at least not this season.

When I left the Memphis Flyer to come to the Daily Memphian, there was a certain amount of relief involved around backing away from the NBA grind. I’ve been writing about the Grizzlies since the summer of 2011, and I’ve been covering them as credentialed media since the summer of 2012. In all that time, I’ve been the only person in my organization in that role (both at the Flyer and previously at Grizzly Bear Blues), so I’ve been to a lot of games in that time period.

Things have changed for me since I started doing this, younger and dumber and with way better hair. I have two small kids. I’m in a different, albeit very exciting, “day job” role that requires a lot more mental energy. For at least a season and a half, I haven’t been having fun, and I think it’s come across in the work. There were whole weeks last season where I physically couldn’t make myself write anything, even though I was technically on deadline. The last post I wrote at the Flyer sounds a lot more like a goodbye than I realized at the time, and it took me two weeks to write. I’ve written hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words about a basketball team, two handfuls of Flyer covers, two Memphis magazine cover features, done probably a thousand radio appearances…

…and I finally feel like I don’t have anything else to say. Like I don’t have anything interesting to add to the conversation around this team, and like forcing it out of a sense of obligation would only mean I’m not doing my best work, which isn’t fair to other people and other voices who would otherwise get that attention.

Since I’m blessed enough to be in a position where I have the option, I’m going to bow out now. Better to leave on a high note, right?

I’ve made some great friends doing this work, and those friendships will no doubt continue (though Herrington might be a little mad that he has to think about renaming “Turn Four”). There are thousands of you that I know by Twitter handle only, and I like all of you, except that one guy (you know who you are).

All of this is to say: so long, for now. Thanks for reading. Thanks for making my life brighter and more fun all these seasons. I may be back, but I’m not going to promise anything other than my undying gratitude for the support you’ve all given me–far more than I deserve.

Author: Kevin Lipe

Futuristic rowdy bounty hunter.