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Thanks, CelticsBlog

It’s bittersweet, but all good things must come to an end

NBA: Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

When learning how to write again (after not writing anything of significance since college), one piece of advice that stuck was: “Stories aren’t about you. Don’t use “I” so much. Just write about the subject.”

I am going to fail at that here. I sincerely hope you’ll indulge me in that failure.

I won’t bury the lede. This is my last season covering the Boston Celtics for CelticsBlog.

I’m sharing this now, because it’s as good a time as any. And because I don’t want to distract at all from the upcoming playoff run by dropping in a random piece in the middle of the best part of the season. I’m selfish, but not that selfish. And for the season to end and simply not write here anymore after that last game, seems weird and disingenuous. So, here we are.

For those who love drama, I hate to disappoint, but there’s no nefarious reason. It’s just time for me to move on. I’m still going to be covering the NBA. I’ll be doing even more writing about the salary cap, rosters, transactions and all that sort of stuff on Spotrac moving forward. Of course, that will still mean some Celtics stuff.

What I won’t be doing is covering the Celtics day-to-day anymore. And that’s really, really bittersweet.

My niche in the NBA world is the cap, the CBA and roster stuff. Outside of games, it’s what I love the most about the league. It’s also, by far, what I’m best at writing about. It’s time to lean into that more, and we’ve got some really cool projects planned that I’m excited about.

But to do that, it means I won’t have time to cover the Celtics the way I have for almost seven years now. And that means leaving CelticsBlog.

That part sucks.

My first article on CelticsBlog posted on August 20, 2016. It was about Boston signing Marcus Georges-Hunt. My second article? It was about the Celtics renouncing the draft rights to Colton Iverson. So, yeah, miscellaneous transactions have always been my game.

Since then, I’ve written over 1,000 other articles. And I’m hoping there are still a whole lot more to come before this season is said and done.

None of it happens without the support of some truly special people. People who don’t get nearly enough love or shine for what they bring Celtics fans here with CelticsBlog.

Jeff Clark is called “The Blogfather” for a reason. He’s the best, most supportive boss anyone could hope to have. His mantra is “Life first, blog second” and he truly means it. Whenever any of us have needed anything that has nothing to do with basketball, Jeff has always been there with whatever support he can offer. And when it’s time to work, Jeff encourages each of us to run with whatever we want, as long as we put our best effort and heart into it. That’s rare in a world where writers get pigeon-holed early on.

Bill Sy is someone I’m proud to have worked with for this long, but I’m even prouder to call him my friend. There have been way too many 2:00 AM ET crisis of faith where Bill has patiently listened, before offering some sage advice. Sometimes it’s about writing, but it’s more often about life. There is nothing more you can ask for in an editor, or, more importantly, a friend.

I’m nowhere near naïve enough to believe that I’m an easy person to work with. I’m stubborn, I love a good fight and I’m sometimes happy to wallow in misery of my own creation. I place an outsized importance on sports, especially basketball and the Celtics. And that drives too much of my mood, including in our virtual CelticsBlog workspace.

I also think I’m loyal to those who are loyal to me. I try to be helpful. I forgive and forget pretty quickly. I’ll go to battle with my CelticsBlog family any day. That even includes when I’m ready to lead the charge and rest of the crew is wondering where that charge is even headed.

In short: you can take the boy out of Boston, but you can’t take Boston out of the boy.

It hasn’t always been easy covering the Celtics from afar as I have over nearly seven years. I’m not around the team enough to really do it properly. I don’t have the relationships with the players and coaches that others have built. My relationships with those who cover the team in the media are almost solely virtual too.

To compensate for those missing pieces, I’ve tried to work really hard. I’ve dipped into my schooling to try to educate. I’ve tried to create a lane for myself in the Celtics media world, and then to stay mostly in it.

Jeff and Bill have allowed for that. And they’ve allowed for me go outside of that lane when I felt I need to. Twice, my family lost beloved dogs and twice I took to CelticsBlog to write about it. I still get emails, tweets and comments about the Bernie and Matty articles to this day. More than about anything else I’ve ever written about. That’s how you know this place is special.

Jeff, Bill and the SB Nation guys also kept me going during the pandemic. For those who don’t know my backstory, I quit my full-time career of nearly 20 years with The Walt Disney Company to cover the NBA…three weeks before the season shut down in 2020. Good timing, huh?

Throughout that months-long stretch without games, I was kept afloat by CelticsBlog. I wrote about all kinds of stuff during that stretch that was only tangentially basketball-related. But we kept going and it all ended up alright in the end.

I also owe thanks to Kevin O’Connor for making this whole thing happen in the first place. Kevin and I bonded over Blake Griffin rumors, Russell Westbrook rumors and dead whales in San Diego. What a weird summer that was.

When Kevin moved on, he was the one who recommended for me to take his spot. My immediate go-to guy on the CelticsBlog team became Jared Weiss. I’ll never forget Jared’s advice to me when I was unsure about writing a piece: “Just write it, man.”

My CelticsBlog family has changed and morphed throughout my time here, but they’ve always been here. There are way too many others to thank, but they all know how much I love and appreciate their friendship, talent and passion for this team.

That family also includes you, Dear Reader. You are the reason I write, the reason I tweet, the reason I podcast and the reason I yap on the radio. Yes, this is my job now (mostly because of your support), but before that, I did all of this for you.

Despite it occasionally seeming otherwise around social media, I love Celtics fans. The passion you bring always challenged me to be better. To find a different angle. To dig something out that no one else had. To bring as much to you as you expect.

Sure, that sometimes resulted in battles. But, as long as they didn’t get personal and insulting, I never forgot where it was all coming from. We all just wanted to see the guys in green to do their best.

Mostly, I love the section of Celtics fans that live here on CelticsBlog. They say you shouldn’t read the comments, because it’s a cesspool of unhappiness. But I never felt that way here. Sometimes, someone overly negative or outright mean would creep in, but they’d be virtually shouted down pretty quickly.

You, Dear Reader, have lifted me and my work with your kindness and challenges. More times than I could ever hope to count. You make me want to be better at this, because that’s what you deserve. I hope I met you expectations more often than not.

This has already been far more self-serving than I intended, so I’m going to cut things off here. There’s a lot more work to be done. For me, for all of us here at CelticsBlog and for the Celtics themselves.

So, I’ll end with this with two simple thoughts:

First: Thanks, for everything, CelticsBlog.

Second: It’s been far too long since Boston hung a new banner. It’s time. It’s time for Banner 18. Let’s go Celtics!

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