Ask A Blogger: Sean O’Connor

Welcome back to Ask A Blogger, my interview series about the #bloglife and basketball with various bloggers. To see previous interviews, go here.

Today we are joined by Sean O’Connor of SB Nation’s Philadelphia 76ers bog, Liberty Ballers. We talked before the Sixers’ wild trade deadline adventure yesterday, so we don’t have any of Sean’s thought on that. But if you go read the words he writes and follow him on Twitter dot com(@soconnor76), you can find his thoughts on those moves there.

1. In just a few sentences, can you tell us who you write for/what your job is?

*ahem* to the tune of Timber

Name is Sean, A Sixers BLOGGERRRR
Liberty Ballers, Co-Editor
(I wish I were sorry for this – but not really. Liberty Ballers is SB Nation’s Sixers website.)
2. How did you first get interested in/started with writing about basketball?

I first started writing actual stuff, consistently, back in 2010 on my own little site. The Sixers’ incompetence under the Ed Stefanski-Eddie Jordan regime, which featured the most disinterested team I can ever remember seeing, got me angry on a nightly basis. That got me started writing, though to an audience of virtually no one. With some luck I ended up writing and editing FanSided’s Sixers site, The Sixer Sense, and then eventually through grit, grind, and more luck, I ended up joining Liberty Ballers last year as a contributor and editor.


3. How does a normal day of blogging go for you?

At Liberty Ballers, we have a team of 11 fantastic writers, and also me. In addition to writing for the site, I have a full-time job, as do many of our writers. We handle almost everything collectively, splitting game coverage and covering news stories as things come up. We also have posts we generally do on a weekly or semi-weekly basis that some of the writers can call their own. Ultimately, the blog has on average about 4 posts a day when considering everything I mentioned.

A normal day for me starts with monitoring Twitter for any news related to the team. I usually check about Twitter about 4-5 times a day, at the onset of my day, during lunch, and during breaks. Usually, if something comes up, one of us has seen it and sent an email to the group. At that point, if it’s something I have time to cover, I’ll do the write-up. If not, we have so many people we can cover almost anything. On days where I have game coverage, the night before I usually write the preview. I’ll look up the opponent’s stats, watch game highlights or full games if I have League Pass access, and blogs of people I know from the internet in preparation. We also have discussion posts during and after the game, as well as a full recap. It can be exhausting when I need to get up early for work the next day, but I enjoy it so much that I can live with it.


4. Switching to basketball things, what is one low-key thing in the league (player, team, set, etc.) that you really like watching right now that casual fans may not know about?

Well, that question rules out the Sixers because they are basically unenjoyable currently. I’d have to go with Terrence Jones. Anyone who’s followed me on Twitter for a while knows of my love for him. I’m a generally a fan of the hybrid 4, based off years of rooting for Thaddeus Young and also knowing the importance of spacing. Jones is that personified, even if he could stand to improve his jumper. Honestly, to me Houston would be a difficult watch if it weren’t for Jones and Chandler Parsons (swoon).


5. Obviously, this has been a rough year for the Sixers. What has been the most entertaining thing about the team this year?

The most entertaining thing about the team, by far, was the unexpected 3-0 start. Even with all the pain and blowout losses since then, fans of the team will always have those three games to look back on. Tanking/rebuilding is painful and necessary, but it was nice to forget about the plan for a little while to start the year. Otherwise, we have the trade deadline, which is sure to be bananas, and the upcoming draft to look forward to. Things will get better, and I couldn’t be happier about that.


Bonus Question: Why should (or shouldn’t) Sixers fans be optimistic heading into next season?

Optimism comes from having Sam Hinkie lead your team, the promise of Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, and potentially two top 10 picks, along with loads of cap space and uncertainty. It’s hard not to get excited about that!


So there you have it. Thanks again to Sean for joining us, and make sure you go follow him on Twitter dot com: @soconnor76