A lot has changed since Jan. 24, 2014.
While that date represents a relatively anonymous game between the Atlanta Hawks and the San Antonio Spurs, it also has special meaning to me as the day I officially joined the team at Peachtree Hoops. I wrote several posts before, during and after a 105-79 loss by the Hawks and, from what I remember, it was largely terrifying.
Before that, I wrote 1,418 posts (yes, that is the exact figure) on a personal blog that almost no one read, beginning on Jan. 16, 2008. That was far less scary and, while I’m glad much of that content is now lost to history, it was a low-pressure atmosphere to kick off a writing semi-career. From there, I joined the staff of Soaring Down South on May 6, 2012 — actually writing for an outlet other than my own Wordpress site for the first time — and that quickly morphed into a co-editor position at FanSided’s ATL All Day alongside Carlos Collazo (now of Baseball America fame).
Some of that rather anonymous investment prepared me for what was to come by giving me reps, but those writing assignments also led me to Philips Arena as a credentialed writer. Along the way, I met Kris Willis, former PTH managing editor and current managing editor of Talking Chop, and we struck up a friendship. Then, in a positive twist of fate (at least for me), Robby Kalland exited Peachtree Hoops to take a job at Hawks.com, vacating a position that needed to be filled.
Eventually, it was me who filled it. At least I tried to.
Ironically, Robby is now one of my best friends in the world and Kris is a close confidant as well. When I joined Peachtree Hoops, I certainly didn’t anticipate running the site one day but, after more than three years assisting Kris and Hawks blogging legend Jason Walker, someone at Vox had the audacity to hand me the keys to the ship on July 1, 2017.
If you’re scoring at home… Yes, I took over just as the rebuild began. I’ll take the blame for all of the losing.
Oh, I guess I buried the lede here.
Seven and a half years after arriving and four years after taking over as editor, I’m handing the reins to Zach Hood and stepping down as managing editor.
It’s been quite a ride, and I am greatly appreciative to many people. I wouldn’t be here without Kris. That’s just factual, and his fingerprints remain all over the place at PTH in the best way. The same goes for Robby, who has been an immense resource to me and snuck me in the door at various publications across the Internet, all while being a content genius.
Bret LaGree’s work at Hoopinion helped to mold my brain from Hawks fan (and season ticket holder) into Hawks analyst and writer. Martin Rickman, the editorial director at DIME, has always believed in me and he pushes me as a friend, editor and colleague to this day. The late Bo Churney, along with Robby, helped to indoctrinate me into Hawks Twitter and taught me new perspectives on many things. I really miss Bo.
The Hawks have been very good to us, and a sincere thank you to the wildly under-appreciated PR mavens like Garin Narain, Jon Steinberg, Jelani Downing, Max Strauss, and Jason Roose, in addition to Jaryd Wilson, Annie Finberg and many others.
There are too many people to name that I’ve worked with at Peachtree Hoops, so I won’t try to get through the entire list, but there are a few I must note.
Jeff Siegel, now of Klutch Sports Group, was my right hand for multiple years before exiting the public writing space, and he’s a dear friend. I can’t begin to count the words I’ve edited from writers like Graham Chapple, Glen Willis, Rashad Milligan, Sam Meredith, Wes Morton and Bob (yes, Bob), all of whom are special to me, and I can’t explain how much work they all put in for the love of the game.
Kevin Chouinard of Hawks.com and ATL and 29 fame is truly a legend, and I’ve learned so much from him. I just hope he doesn’t read this. Seth Pollack, SB Nation’s NBA editorial manager, has been an invaluable resource to me and supported Peachtree Hoops at every turn.
I could keep going, but I won’t, at least here.
A lot has changed in seven-plus years at Peachtree Hoops and nearly a decade of covering the Hawks on a daily basis. Fortunately, I won’t be stepping away from the Hawks entirely. You can’t get rid of me that easily.
I’ll still be hosting the Locked on Hawks podcast, and I’d love for you to subscribe/listen.
I’ll still be hosting the Locked on Hawks podcast, and I’d LOVE for you to subscribe/listen.
(Tell your friends, too.)
I’ll still be on Twitter. I’ll still be writing about the NBA (and probably the Hawks a little bit more) at DIME, SportsLine and other places. I’ll still be busting the chops of the PTH staff in Slack, even if most of you can’t see that.
But, well, this is the end of a chapter I’ll cherish. Without divulging too much, I wish it wasn’t this way and I could stay in the same spot on the masthead. It’s long been a running joke that I have too many jobs but, quite honestly, I have too many jobs. I’m still working full-time in the non-sports realm, with numerous commitments as a writer and podcaster. Candidly, it’s just too much to continue for this long and, as much as it pains me, it’s time to step away, even if the timing is highly unfortunate after a magical playoff run from the Hawks.
Zach Hood, who will re-introduce himself in the coming hours and days, has been the No. 2 in command for quite a while now. He’s also effectively been running the show for a few weeks, and he’s ready for this. I’d still ask you to be gentle in the comments, at least for a little while. But that’s probably a big ask knowing this group.
Thank you, sincerely, to all who have read, commented, interacted, listened and patronized the site. It’s a great community and I look forward to reading the great work that will persist in this space.
Oh, and never forget, Mike Scott will shoot.
Long live Peachtree Hoops.