I’m not really sure how I got here. I think I have Matt Moore to thank for it, though. I’m also not really sure where “here” is. I can probably thank Matt for that, too. If you ask roughly 100% of basketball writers, they’ll probably say that they have to thank Matt Moore for helping them get wherever they are. That’s because every single one of them started writing at Hardwood Paroxysm (don’t Google that, just trust it). More seriously though, just look through the names of people who wrote posts for HP today. It’s as if Matt joined a Basketball Writer Fantasy League and was the only one who showed up to the draft. Whether HP helps groom fantastic basketball minds or just acts as hub that these people naturally gravitate towards (spoiler: it’s a combination of both), the results speak for themselves. And somehow, I ended up writing here.
Apparently Hardwood Paroxysm has been around for five years now. So if you want to feel old, I was entering my sophomore year of high school when Matt started this site. A couple years later, I got to college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But I knew I liked basketball. And I knew I liked talking about basketball. And I knew I liked assuming I was right about everything. So I started a crappy Cleveland Cavaliers blog and wrote about the terrible basketball player that is JJ Hickson. I became more active on Twitter and I plugged my blog posts to my 13 followers and hoped someone besides my mom read it. One day, I wrote something that wasn’t Cavs related and tweeted that I needed somewhere to post it. Within seconds, this blue grizzly bear tweeted at me and said he’d read it and possibly post it on his site.
Who the hell are you? I knew nothing about @HPBasketball. I knew nothing about Matt’s work at CBS. I had no idea that he was hoarding all of these great young writers, but after checking his number of followers I figured he’d be helpful for me to reach a larger audience. Somehow, Matt thought my post was worth putting on his site. That post got circulated on ESPN’s Daily Dime Live and within a couple of days, the folks at SBNation reached out to me to contribute to their Cavaliers blog. A few months later, I took over FearTheSword.com and was a semi-regular contributor to HP.
Here’s Matt Moore — professional NBA bloggissist/Louis C.K. look-a-like. He’s about 10,000 Twitter followers are the time and I’ve done nothing to earn his following, much less him reading my work. The natural reaction for a person in his position would be to see some kid’s independent blog and just ignore it. I had nothing to offer him. But that’s not how Matt Moore thinks. He didn’t care that I had been writing about basketball for a month. He didn’t care that I wrote everything through Wine and Gold-colored glasses. All he cared about was the fact that I shared the same passion that he did.
This isn’t supposed to be a big article about how Matt and Hardwood Paroxysm changed my life or anything. But when we started talking about the 5-year anniversary and Matt asked us to write something, this is immediately what came to mind. I did nothing to deserve this opportunity, but I’m damn thankful that I got it. As HP starts the next 5 years, I hope Jared and Amin continue the model that Matt has used to build this site. We make jokes about how many people write for this site and the more, the better. It’s not necessarily about COUNT DA PAGE VIEWZ or really spectacular paragraphs– but rather just the love of basketball and the opportunity to share that passion with others. That’s how I got here.