For the first time in my young adult life, I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my family. It’s weird, but I’m a fully functioning adult now. While my mom and sister prepared our meal today, I had some time to sit back and reflect on why I’m thankful this year.
In a few hours, I’m going to pile a heaping serving of macaroni and cheese on a plate, and a whole bunch of other things on another. I’ll pour myself a glass of orange juice because it’s delicious and I’ll sit down at an Ikea desk that my roommate and I have converted into a dinner table. Next to me will be a collection of my favorite people in the world, and I’m thankful for this.
My mother is the reason I write for a living and my father is the reason I write about sports. My mom has survived breast cancer and my father prostate cancer, both are healthy and cancer free, and I’m thankful for this. My sister doubles as one of my best friends, which is something that can’t be said for a lot of siblings. My sister has also provided me with my nephew, who at age five, is a constant reminder that all kids aren’t so bad. I’ve yet to meet a more charismatic kid, but it’s good to know that they’re out there. I’m thankful for him as he’s the best addition to my life in the last decade.
My grandparents will be joining us today. They’re stereotypically old, but everyone needs an old person in their life. Old people bake you cookies. Old people help you through college. Old people provide you with advice — at least my old people do — and I’m thankful for this.
I currently live with one of my best friends from high school in an apartment that’s a two minute walk to my office. Travis has been one of the most supportive people throughout my endeavors since graduation. And for him I am thankful. There’s also Dhevin who is always great for putting me down when I need it and Celia who is currently producing phenomenal features for ESPN Game Day. Even with Dhevin three hours away and Celia on the other side of the country, I still talk to both of them constantly, and I’m thankful for them.
Then there are the friends who have guided me along the way and the reason why I’m typing these words. Zach Harper was the first to give me a platform to write about hoops on the internet, and Darius Soriano who helped me refine and focus my writing. I don’t tell them enough, but I appreciate everything they’ve done for me over the years. The phone calls. The invites into their homes. The advice. I couldn’t have asked for two better guys to help me break into sports writing, and for them I’m thankful.
We have an incredible team that has put Lakers Nation where it is today. Serena Winters, Ryan Ward and Ross Gasmer are everything for this site. The breaking news, the video content, the editorials all couldn’t be possible without them. They’re incredibly hard workers and do a phenomenal job with this website. They make the work I do possible, and they make it easier, and they make it available to you. I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with on a daily basis, and I’ve never been a part of a better office environment. For them, I’m thankful.
We also have a great group of interns who have been with us since February and May. Ryan, Dan and Corey are a triumvirate of smart, hilarious and hard working guys who will run the internet one day, I’m sure of it. These guys are an incredible group with great sports minds. It’s been fun watching their growth over the course of this year, and for them I’m thankful.
Lastly, we have our readers. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for those who have supported Lakers Nation over the years — and there are a lot of you (no seriously, millions). While I can’t take any credit for growing this following (read: this guy), but during my tenure here, it’s been really fun interacting with you all, hearing your opinions about this Lakers team.
There are, at the very least, 16 reasons to be thankful as a fan of the Lakers (see photo above). And while I’m the one sharing with all of you, the whole team at Lakers Nation are a collection of Lakers fans just like you. The discourse between us and yourself is the only reason we have this platform to disseminate any and all Lakers news, stories and ideas. Without you, there is no Lakers Nation, and for that I’m thankful.