Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The TrueHoop Expansion
There have been some big events in TrueHoop's history, from the day of launch in 2005, to winning an award from Forbes, moving to ESPN, the launch of the TrueHoop Network, and -- of course -- the post that launched a thousand trips to the Cheesecake Factory.
Today marks one more.
Many great people have contributed to TrueHoop through the years. The esteemed Kevin Arnovitz, of course, but also Marc Stein, Coleman Collins, Maurice Brooks, Kurt Helin, Timothy Varner, Gregory Dole, Jason Terry, Roland Lazenby, Kirven Blount (you have to read this), Kelly Dwyer and many others.
That's about to happen more than ever, and here's why.
ESPN.com has a formidable team of NBA reporters. Guys like Marc Stein, Chad Ford, Chris Sheridan, J.A. Adande, John Hollinger and Chris Broussard are stars. They break big news stories routinely -- the kinds of stories that lead the NBA page, and Page 1 of ESPN.com.
With their contacts and reporting chops, those writers can't help but come across far more stories than can lead a website. There are days (trade deadline, draft day) when those writers may come across dozens of interesting stories. What happens when those writers have real and valuable insights that do not quite rise to the "stop the presses" level? What if Marc Stein knows that Steve Nash is going to miss a game? What if Chris Sheridan learns that Isiah Thomas is holding meetings about joining an NBA team? What if J.A. Adande has word of Laker trade talks?
These are the kinds of pieces of information that hardcore NBA fans are dying to know, but these are not really lead stories.
Did you follow this year's NBA draft on ESPN.com? You may recall a "buzz file" where these writers contributed these kinds of insights throughout the day and night. That's something of an inspiration for this.
So, if you run ESPN.com, where do you stick those stories?
After asking that question a zillion different ways, and talking to ESPN.com's editors, I'm convinced the best place for them is right here on TrueHoop. As in, give TrueHoop new contributing writers. That's what we're doing, starting now.
Those writers won't be edited by me and they won't be at my beck and call. What they do won't really change. Similarly (and just like when I moved to ESPN) what I do on TrueHoop won't change in any way. But there will be more, new, high-quality content on TrueHoop than ever. These writers will pop up with reports as they see fit. I think of it as a little like the TV news model: There's an anchor in the studio who takes a backseat to hear from the reporters in the field again and again throughout the broadcast, and it's good.
Yes, it's a change. Yes, some long-time TrueHoop readers -- the most important customers! -- will insist that the new Coke doesn't taste as good. Fear not. If all you ever wanted was for TrueHoop to stay as it was ... we have you covered. Over there on the right, you will be able to click to see TrueHoop's contents by author. If you want to see the Henry Abbott content, click that button and you'll have the same TrueHoop as ever. Likewise if you're a Chad Ford or a Marc Stein fan, unsure of this odd place called TrueHoop, you can bookmark whichever version of TrueHoop you like best.
But before you do that, do me a favor and give the whole gang a real open-minded try. I predict that a month from now you'll be pleased.