Goodbyes are hard. It’s with that knowledge that last year, my goodbye to Silver Screen and Roll post deliberately eschewed that word almost entirely, other than to specify that I was “not saying goodbye,” and “not just because my last attempt to leave — one that only lasted a few months — showed how futile me ever leaving this site for good is.”
Little did I know how prescient that would be.
When SSR’s own site manager equivalent of William Henry Harrison, Sabreena Merchant, left us to continue her ascent to basketball journalism superstardom with The Athletic after just about a month or so in the lead chair, I was pulled back into action as SSR’s own personal Bernie Bickerstaff. Like Bickerstaff, I did my best to serve as a caretaker, get out of the way and let the talent here cook while trying to be as successful as possible.
My interim weekend was a little longer than Bernie’s, but now it’s time to file my latest farewell, and leave you all in the very capable hands of Jacob Rude, who I trust this community is all well familiar with from his two previous seasons at the site as my (and, briefly, Sabreena’s) No. 2.
As I wrote last year, I’m not going far, but make no mistake: This time I am going. You will not see my byline here... or at least not for a while. I am going to do my best to avoid any Shadow GM accusations.
Still, I’m glad that I didn’t successfully exit after quite arguably the worst Lakers season ever. Thanks to LeBron, Anthony Davis, Rob Pelinka, the Rambii and the rest of the purple and gold brain trust, the team got good enough at midseason to let me cover my first playoff game. Like Bernie, I believe I now have the highest playoff blogging winning percentage in SSR history (the team went 1-0 in my one appearance at Game 4 of the first round)... just please ignore that a 43-39 record in my 10th year writing about this organization only raised their overall regular season record during what basketball historians will surely call The Faigen Era to 333-436.
Again, I watched a lot of bad basketball, and am excited that I can now freely flick around League Pass on the nights when this — admittedly poised to be very good — purple and gold group doesn’t have it.
Plus, I got to write about Taylor Swift a bunch on the way out, and my final blog preceding this one will always be arguing that Austin Reaves is too good to be measured by existing statistics. Over the years, I hope that whether you agreed with me or thought I was an idiot in the comments under any given post, you always appreciated my commitment to the bit.
Thanks to this community for making my dream to write about this sport I love dearly possible.
But as I said last time, this is not goodbye.
I’ll see you around.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.