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Ending my chapter at Silver Screen and Roll

It’s time to say goodbye to my home.

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Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Dear Basketblog,

My first published article on Silver Screen and Roll was on Aug. 27, 2012. The clock began ticking from that moment, and I’ve now piled up over 2000 days and 4000 pieces of content under the Vox Media banner. It’s been a helluva ride, but I’ve decided it’s time for me to switch lanes away from sports digital media.

I never thought I’d amount to anything more than a hobbyist Internet writer at best. I wrote words on my own for a bit, garnering a small amount of Twitter recognition in the early days of “sports blogging” in the Lakers community. A shot-in-the-dark direct message to Ben Rosales would link me up with Dexter Fishmore, who finalized getting me on the staff as a volunteer once the great C.A. Clark gave the nod. Nothing but respect and admiration to the forefathers who built the community and pulse of what Silver Screen and Roll has represented in Lakers coverage. They set an example and level of quality I patterned my game after relentlessly.

Things progressed quickly from there once I found my footing as a content creator. I was making money on the side for a hobby I loved while working a full-time office job, steadily growing my belief that this was something I could do on a larger scale. I shot my shot again a few months after that, throwing my name into the hat to work with the NBA news desk as a test run around the trade deadline. Eventually it all came together and I found my niche within Vox Media, running Silver Screen and Roll while doing all things digital media with the main SB Nation site.

Seth Pollack, SB Nation NBA League Manager through all these years, allowed me the space, patience and guidance to grow this space into something tangible. I’ll forever be grateful for the lessons he taught me in patience, consistency, trust, management and communication. I remember sitting down with him at a Hawaiian barbecue restaurant during Las Vegas Summer League years ago and telling him my goal was to make Silver Screen and Roll the top-trafficked NBA blog in the network. Achieving that goal over the proceeding few years was the thrill, and challenge, of a lifetime.

Working with incredible talent like Mike Prada — another career maker and biggest influence on my writing — Ricky O’Donnell, Brian Floyd, Spencer Hall, Michael Katz, Bill Hanstock, Rodger Sherman, Tom Ziller, Paul Flannery, Kurt Mensching, Conrad Kaczmarek, Jason Patt, Satchel Price and Seth Rosenthal (to name just a few of the incredible people I had a chance to work with at SB Nation) was a blessing. I worked my tail off and grew with the most driven and talented group of people I’ve ever been in orbit of. I wanted to carry my own weight among giants, a driving factor in improving each day. I had to learn fast to keep up. I had to learn lessons to grow.

My home has always been Silver Screen and Roll, though. The Great Mambino inspired me to be a better writer as he always voiced an appreciation to the nuance in my word patterns. He also always reminded me of my love for music (more on that later) along the way. That’s my guy. Ben Rosales taught me how to understand basketball and statistics at the next level. SoCalGal was a measuring stick who never shied away from letting me know when work was sloppy, and always had the best interest of the community at heart. C.A. Clark let me go buck wild as a young content creator during his watch, never slowing down my rapid growth. Harrison Faigen’s drive and rise was incredible. I’m grateful to have been a part of that, and to have worked with him so closely for so long. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked with so many talented people over the years, so here’s a digital standing ovation to everyone who’s contributed at Silver Screen and Roll. We did great things together, and we know that.

People like Darius Soriano, Serena Winters, Daniel Buerge, Phillip Barnett, Jabari Davis, Sean Highkin, Zach Lowe, Ty Nowell, Mike Trudell, Matt Moore... the list truly goes on and on outside of the Vox Media tree... all helped inspire what I wanted to accomplish in my career in various ways.

It’s hard to put into words the appreciation I have for the community and anyone who’s ever supported me. I only ever wanted to write for the love of writing, but it became a life-changing opportunity. For everyone who’s ever read a single word I’ve ever written — the “dream” in high school was to be a writer, but I always wondered why anyone would ever want to read anything I had to say — thank you. Seeing my content spread always drove me to become even better at my craft. I hope my legacy here is setting a lofty bar of quantity, quality and innovation.

Christian Rivas will be stepping into a larger interim role with the site as I transition out, and Vox Media is making this position a full-time job with benefits. Click here for more information and to apply.

Christian deserves an opportunity to spread his wings in this field, and I’m excited for the path in front of him. SB Nation cares tremendously about being home to one of the top Lakers communities in the world, and I have no doubt Seth is going to steer things in the right direction as the beat goes on.

I’ve had some amazing experiences covering the Lakers. The countless memories are enough to last a lifetime and then some. This chapter in my life, however, has come to an end. My last day with Vox Media is Mar. 12, and I will be joining the Merchbar team as of Mar. 13. I’m excited to work with an ambitious team that’s centered around the music industry, is partnered with Spotify (if you use Spotify and see vinyl and/or merchandise on an artist page, it’ll take you to their site to make your purchase), and will provide a fresh canvas for me to use my entire toolbox of skills. Music is my primary passion in life, and once again I find myself with an opportunity of a lifetime in front of me.

It’s bittersweet to walk away from what I’ve always felt was my home, a place I could write my thoughts out every single day over the last five-plus years. Explaining to friends and family that I’m voluntarily leaving this position has been something, but I’m absolutely certain this is my time to pivot to something new. I’ll forever be grateful for having the chance I did to make something of myself here. Vox Media put my life into motion when I was a 24-year-old trying to find his way, and it’s time to take the next step to carry forward what my time here has taught me. Thank you.

Let’s get it.

Andrew, out.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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