My Stint As A Fantasy Writer
I started following the NBA way back in the early 90s. Michael Jordan was on his ascent, and Florida was getting in on the NBA action. With two brand new franchises coming to the panhandle state just as I was getting into basketball I decided to hop on board of one of the new teams in the state I was living in.
So began my journey following the Orlando Magic.
It was a fun ride in the middle of the decade, when the Magic drafted a giant kid by the name of Shaq, and with the help of Penny Hardaway brought the team from Orlando it’s first taste of the Finals.
On route to those Finals they actually beat MJ and the Bulls the season when Jordan made his return, with the help of his former teammate, Horace Grant. Ultimately they lost to the Houston Rockets in the Finals, but I was hooked.
For almost the last 30 years I’ve followed the drama of the league, becoming a fan of the Grizzlies as the NBA expanded into Canada, then shifting to the Raptors once the Grizzlies got stolen and moved to Memphis(that’s a story for another time).
Around the 2007 season I discovered what is called “Fantasy Basketball” on Yahoo. It’s a game where we get to draft a team of NBA(or most other sport)players, and as they put up stats on the season we tally up all the numbers and compete to see who built the best squad. It brought my love of the league to a whole new level, and I’ve been playing fantasy hoops ever since.
After playing with a decent amount of success over the years, I stumbled across a new podcast being started along with a new site called www.hoop-ball.com. It’s a great resource for new and established fantasy players to get info on the league and strategies for wining at the game we love.
I stayed engaged with the site and a few seasons ago reached out to the owner Aaron Bruski about being a contributor. I was brought on board, and for the season I had a Saturday night blurb shift, as well as an article that went up on Sunday doing a more in depth recap.
The experience was good and bad. The good was getting to write about basketball, albeit it with certain restrictions. It also put me in a position to know more about the players who don’t get a lot of screen time, which helped me be a better fantasy player, especially that season.
The downside was having to be at the computer on Saturday night for four or so hours. At the time it was my only time at home with my young son, so it put a strain on that relationship because he wanted his dad’s attention.
Ultimately I could only commit for the one season because it was hard to justify the time when I wasn’t getting paid for the work but the experience I gained with writing was invaluable. It no doubt has and will continue to help me on my Medium journey.
So, what was the point of writing all this? To practice writing of course.
I don’t expect to get much engagement on this, but the important thing is to write. I might keep up with the NBA\fantasy basketball writing on here to see if there’s any interest in that kind of thing, and as I progress into writing more personal things it might be nice to write about something a little different.
If there is a “lesson” to be gained from that experience it’s that you never know what will end up helping you down the line, so even if the work is unpaid, so long as it’s not exploitative there can be value in it…
So give it a shot.
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