Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Origins of The NBA Source

By Anthony Peretore

As some of you may know, Paul took the time to write an article back on December 2, 2004 that discussed, among other things, his interests in life, why he was pursuing a career in sports, and what lead him to creating this very website. So, I thought it was about time that I wrote a piece along those same lines, but instead focus primarily on how we got "The NBA Source" up and running. In the mean time, if my readers (all 10 of them) can grasp a better idea of who I am outside of the website, then all the better. Now, if your sole interest in visiting our site is to strictly gather information on the NBA, please stop and don’t waste your time reading any more of this. If you’re actually curious as to how the site came about and what kind of person I am (and that I’m not a serial killer on the weekends), well, read until you get bored.

My name is Anthony Peretore and I am originally from Connecticut. I graduated from Saint Joe’s last spring (during a great bball run) and moved back home to "save some money." Actually the only job offer I had was back home and that’s the real reason I’m here, but it has actually worked out for the better. With both of us back home and with seemingly enough free time on our hands, Paul and I collectively decided to put our sports knowledge to good use and try and spark up a website. Usually we would discuss this on a Friday or Saturday night, you know, at 3 A.M. saying stuff like: "we should definitely get started on this, it would be great, we could include this and that, man this could be sweet." Then the following day we would wake up wondering what the hell happened the night before. Eventually, these chats turned serious and we started discussing the site when we were sober (always good). Before we knew it, the preliminary stages of The NBA Source had begun.

Before I go any further, you have to understand that the majority of 23 year-old males discuss one of four things and nothing else: girls, partying, entertainment and sports, with literally no exceptions. I mean, I’m not interested in how Paul’s day went. Do I care what time he woke up or that he’s a bit cranky from constipation? No. Now, him and I do discuss the first three of the "Big 4" quite often, but most of the time it’s strictly sports. What’s important to know is that when we are talking sports it is not like your basic conversation in assessing a game or how good a player is, but more like an episode of The Sports Reporters. We’re pulling out stats left and right, Oliver Miller’s weight in grammar school, where Doug Christie met Jackie at Pepperdine, etc.—it’s insane. I honestly think we could talk sports for a month straight, if it wasn’t for that whole sleep thing. So based solely on roughly 1.4 billion sports conversations we had throughout the years, we felt confident that our knowledge of the NBA was good enough to produce (between the two of us) at least 4-5 articles a week. The problem was, how were we going to structure this whole thing?

Instead of coming up with some elaborate plan, blue prints, paper mache models, dioramas, etc., we quickly decided that the site should be exactly like our conversations, or more simply, a NBA site about nothing—not to bite off Larry David or anything. The premise was going to be to use whatever came into our heads concerning the NBA, as outrageous as it may be, and put it down on paper. If we wanted to make fun of guys like Brian Scalabrine and Robert Swift, we were going to do just that. Heck, we’re not part of the real media; we don’t have to actually see these guys ever, so we’ll say whatever we want. But even more so than just being bold and saying what was exactly on our minds, we knew we had to focus on a particular audience. So who would that audience be? That was the easy part: us. Who better to appeal to than guys (and you too Hannah) just like us? We knew that the majority of our fans were going to be our friends anyway, so why not set our sites directly on them and hope to gain other readers with similar appeal along the way. So there it was, post almost everything going on in the NBA (that only we would want to read), while simultaneously attempting to integrate a decent amount of humor. Over the last three months, we’ve done our very best to try and do just this and let you, the reader, decide how we have done. Which leads me to…

When Paul and I write that your comments are greatly appreciated, as amazing as it may seem, we actually mean it. If you truly enjoyed/hated an article, or even just a piece of it, please, PLEASE take 30-45 seconds and write, "Yo Ant, great article. Can you come out with something next week on how badly the Nuggets stink? Thanks—Rocky Mountain Raymond." We are not looking for you to kiss our butts or tell us we should be on a major website writing about the NBA (although that would be much appreciated). We simply want to know that we are connecting to some of you and that our goal, to fill your minds with NBA info while not straying from being our humorous selves, is working, and better yet, appealing. A great example is when I read Bill Simmons. Not only do I learn something about sports whenever I sit down with one of his articles, but I also get a sense of who he is outside of his job. The great thing about him that I really believe his main intention is to give his readers the sense that they are his friends. He allows them to decide if they not only like his writing style, but also if they can relate to the person behind the keyboard. Fortunately for him, 99.9% of his audience just can’t get enough. Now I don’t want to emulate Simmons and "be him when I grow up," I just want to be myself and not stray away from that when I write. All I’m really trying to say here is that Paul and I work really hard on this site (even if it’s just Blogger) and if we were assured once and a while that people were enjoying our work, it would be that much more rewarding.

Quick story before I wrap this up. About a month ago a reader posted a comment saying that because of a statement I made about Jason Williams, I had lost her as a reader. Now first of all, I had no idea I had "readers." Part of me thought I just posted these articles and Paul and his brother were the only ones taking them in. But much to my surprise (and satisfaction), I did have other readers, and now I wrote some bonehead comment and lost one or all of these loyal fans. I felt terrible and wanted nothing more than to have her back reading our material. However, I was not about to write a post kissing up to her just so she would remain loyal to our site. Whatever I said about J-Will, well, that’s how I felt and that’s what I wanted to write. Sure, sometimes my attempts at humor will offend more than amuse, but hey, those kinds of things are going to happen. I wasn’t about to change who I was to appeal to one person, and I hope she has realized that. Now, I did do my best to apologize for offending her, but more so, I was really curious to why I had lost her. It turns out she’s just a die-hard Grizzlies and Williams fan and was fed up with reading all the negativity surrounding her team—very understandable. I apologized, she apologized and it appears I still have her as a loyal fan. Thank you Hannah.

Because of situations just like this, Paul and I always endorse our comment sections. If you don’t agree with what we have to say, please write it down and even more importantly, explain why you disagree. This way here, we can both learn a little more about the sport as well as get to know each other a little better. Yes, this may sound cheesy to a lot of you, but oh well. I’d love to refer to my readers by their first names, as I have here with Hannah. I’d like to know that when my articles go up, some one gets excited to sit down and read it. These are my long-term goals and please do not take any of this as a complaint. I know we have readers out there, I just want to make sure of it and improve on what we’ve done wrong and continue with what we’ve done right. All and all, Paul and I just want to know that we are succeeding with our original plans. Thank you and I hope you have all enjoyed the site thus far. Changes and improvements are on the way.


At 7:12 PM, Blogger Zach said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Zach said...

First off, I'd like to say your website is one of the things I look forward to reading when I get home from school. Your articles are insightful, and because I love the NBA and want to become a sports writer, your site has been great for me.

I'm only 14 years old, and you may ignore me because I'm so young, but I have an enormous passion for the NBA. I'm a huge Celtics fan, along with BC (I hope to go there). Thanks for the great articles, and keep it going.

(Also, an article on Shaq/Wade and the Heat's success this season would be great, I'd love to hear your opinion on their dominance of the East).

At 7:59 PM, Blogger Paul Benedict said...

Ant--Great article, even though my feedback is as meaningless as Darko Milicic's minutes off the bench. I do have one suggestion to make--the title. "Secret Origins of the NBA Source"? Sounds way too much like "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"--or were you trying to appeal to our girl Hannah?--Paaaaaaaaaaaablo!

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is really sad if I'm the only girl that reads this.

But anywho, great post (I feel important or something now). And, yes, there are no hard feelings about the whole J-Will thing.

I was wondering how long it would take for yall to realize that I was 'Jane Doe.'


At 9:45 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Zach, thanks for writing in buddy, we appreciate it. I'm happy to hear you're an aspiring writer. Even though I didn't pursue journalism in college, it's something I really wish I did. I wish you the best of luck and remember how lucky you are to be 14. And as for you Hannah, you have a big responsibility as the only female reader on this site. I hope you're up to it (whatever that means). Thanks for writing in.

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

much love to you guys!!! im a rabid bulls fan, and i just started up my first fantasy league last year. You guys have great insight into players, and how certain trades, injuries etc. will affeect the players. Keep up the good work! You've got a reader here from the Philippines



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