It’s hard to remember a time following the Suns when Bright Side wasn’t part of my life. Like everyone, I locked in during the Steve Nash days, but most of you know I’m on the younger side (I’m only 24), so I wasn’t exactly online at that point. When I was a freshman in high school, though, I met the girl who would become my wife and her best friend. That friend, aka u/Dragic_Is_Magic, introduced me to the community here, and from there it was a match made in heaven.
I believe I first logged on during the summer of 2012, when Lon Babby and the Suns splurged on Hedo Turkoglu, Michael Beasley and Josh Childress. That was a nightmare. But it was one that still felt special and cool because I found a bunch of people who were just as obsessive as I was. That community has changed in the nearly decade since, but of course so has my relationship to it.
A few years later, Bright Side became part of my job, first as an unpaid gig I relished during spare hours in my college dorm then, eventually, a paid opportunity. I’ll never forget when I was able to switch from buying cheap tickets day-of through the Suns student plan to getting a media credential to cover games for this site. It felt impossible. Of course I am much obliged to all of you who read (and, I hope, enjoyed) the content enough that I was able to turn it from a hobby to a job over time.
Since then, I turned those early chances here and there into a legitimate career. I benefited greatly from having the flexibility in my schedule to be able to show up at games, practices and shootarounds, and from being able to commit to covering the NBA full-time after I graduated college in 2019. Through it all, Bright Side was my constant. In addition to writing multiple times a week here, I was able to edit others’ work, bring new voices into the fray, and connect with new generations of Suns fans from the Beasley days to this summer’s NBA Finals run.
It’s been a blast. But it’s coming to a close.
The pandemic, the shutdown, and the changes in all of our lives made me like many begin to reevaluate my priorities. After getting a full-time job in sports at the Global Sport Institute at ASU earlier this year, I have to admit the postseason wore me down. Doing a daily podcast while also trying to stay in the loop as a writer was far more difficult when piled onto a 40-hour work week than when covering basketball was my only job. Over the course of 2021, I pared back my freelance gigs significantly, but it felt absurd and admittedly scary that I would say goodbye to Bright Side.
I wanted to see the postseason through and experience it alongside all of you. It was incredible to be able to write the recap for the Valley Oop game and be there with multiple Bright Side generations, from Kellan Olson to Dave King to Trevor Booth, while we watched the Suns push for a title. And to see all of you here celebrating.
But as we approach the 2021-22 season, my time here has come to an end.
I just have to be honest with myself about how much bandwidth I have at this point, and life is getting busy. We have a make-up wedding coming up in November after postponing due to the pandemic. My job is only getting busier. And Locked On Suns recently added a video component in addition to the audio podcast (subscribe here, if you’d like).
This won’t fully be goodbye. I’ll remain a reader and, if we’re being honest, a comment section lurker. You all write the content that we create, after all. Gotta give the fan base what it wants. And Bright Side remains the heartbeat of the fan base.
As of Sept. 1, I’ll no longer be a contributor at Bright Side.
Thank you to everyone who read, commented, followed and enjoyed the work I’ve put out here over the years. If you ever see me at a Suns game, please say hello. There’s nothing cooler than getting to interact with folks who love this team and whose fandom I get to be part of through my work.
I will still be doing the podcast, and you can catch my basketball musings over at Dime. I may even pop over to 12 News a bit thanks to Locked On’s new integration with them.
This isn’t a goodbye to the Suns or Suns fans, but a huge thank you and a big hug to every Bright Sider. You all rock.