They say people are seasons of your life...
OK, Kanye West said that, but I am sure others said it before him. Regardless, those are very true words. Just as spring turns to summer and so on and so forth, people come into and exit your day to day life quite often. Whether they are around for a long while, or just for a short time, they almost certainly make some sort of an impact on you, in one way or another.
I have a friend who did just that and then some. When I left Memphis, he wrote an amazing goodbye for me. Now, it's my turn to try to return the favor.
When I first met Chris Faulkner, I was unsure of how it would go if I'm being honest. I never got in to blogging to make friends; I loved sports, I liked writing, and I enjoyed the idea of sharing my thoughts and opinions with a wide variety of folks who followed the same team as me. The Internet Age has led to people becoming close who may have never even met, and while I'm completely on board with that now, at the time I was tentative. It was still foreign to me, and walking in and seeing Chris and others was intimidating.
Then Chris gave me, quite honestly, one of the biggest and best hugs I have ever received.
You see, Chris Faulkner changed how I view this blogger thing. It isn't just analysis and breakdowns. It isn't just hot takes and columns. Those things have their place, but it's also about developing relationships, and being open to all. It's about growing a community, both on the site itself and through social media (which Chris did by leaps and bounds during his time running this site). It's about bringing together an eclectic group of people and making them the best staff in Grizzlies bloggerdom, and in my opinion one of the best in all of NBA blogging.
And for me in particular, it's about opportunity. Kevin Lipe brought me on this site, but Chris Faulkner made me on this site. He gave me the freedom to start GBBLive and grow it as I saw fit, and thanks in large part to his work and guidance, the podcast just finished its most successful season ever. He helped me grow as a writer, and taught me how to be a better editor for myself and others. He gave me the only thing that can truly be hoped for in this life - opportunity. For that, I am eternally grateful.
He led in a way that was true to himself, and did things in his own way. He wrote in a voice that was truly his, unique and glowing in a blogging world where a voice can easily get lost in the noise. As he announced his stepping down as GBB site manager, the sweeping comments on Twitter and here on GBB were telling of his impact. He helped so many achieve their goals as writers here at the site, and his work helped enhance the Memphis Grizzlies fan experience for a wide variety of people. That is a hell of a legacy to leave behind.
While he does not leave us completely, the time has come for him to move on from leading the site to better things for him and his family. As I take the reigns for the time being alongside Matt Bishop, I will certainly continue to depend on him for his guidance during this time of transition. Regardless of what is next for GBB, I know I will continue to call him my friend.
This blogger thing, it has helped me grow as a person. I never anticipated that happening. That is the best compliment I can give to Mr. Chris Faulkner; he has made me better for having known and continuing to know him. And this site is better for having known him as well.
Godspeed, my friend, and best of luck as you move on to the next season of your life. I have no doubt you will be successful, and I know wherever you go you will be giving out some tremendous hugs.