A few years ago during the twilight of the Brand Era, the Clippers were struggling and the pitchforks were out. At times, the task of reading through the comments section at ClipperBlog was dispiriting and onerous — until I’d come across a gem by a writer named D.J. Foster.
Surrounded by the screeds, D.J.’s comments were composed, measured and imbued with that uniquely Clipperish brand of witty fatalism. His work was objective, but not neutral. He imparted the passion of someone who had a love affair with basketball and the Clippers, but he also understood that the contour of the franchise’s sad journey always needed to be examined in a larger context.
No corresponding email address was attached to D.J.’s handle, so I replied to one of his comments with a simple “email me.” I had just started a demanding new job and desperately needed some relief at ClipperBlog. Like many team blogs, ClipperBlog started as nothing more than a personal diary, but as more readers found the site, a larger appetite for content developed — one I could no longer satisfy by myself.
Over the past couple of years, D.J. resuscitated ClipperBlog and emerged as, Hubie Brown might put it, one of the most engaging bloggers we have in the game today.
D.J. has that rare gift of conveying basketball expertise in a completely accessible way — and his very primal love for the game in a sophisticated, clever and nuanced way. During the moments when I’ve felt my work getting bogged down in minutiae, I look to D.J. for guidance. Spitball sessions with D.J. about the Clippers and the NBA are consistently among the highlights of my day. He challenges my pet theories and tests my biases.
Over time, these conversations have expanded beyond basketball. D.J. has become a close friend, a trustworthy, wise soul whom I can go to for far more than the Clippers’ small forward issues.
Both in life and in basketball, D.J. is always judicious, fair and professional, one reason you’ve found his work at ESPN Los Angeles during the past eight months covering the Clippers, college sports and the WNBA. The Clippers have recognized these qualities and have hired D.J. as the organization’s Website Content Coordinator, in effect, as their in-house beat writer.
Great pick-up for the Clippers.
I couldn’t be more excited for and proud of D.J. He’s earned this opportunity through hard work and a dogged curiosity to learn more about the game, and about storytelling. Reading D.J. has always been a delight and now we’ll do so at Clippers.com.
As D.J. moves on to the Clippers, ClipperBlog has an enormous challenge — finding someone to replace the irreplaceable. Breene Murphy, Krai Charuwatsuntorn and the Widdoes Brothers give us a strong core, but we need more help. We need advanced stats enthusiasts, capologists, x’s & o’s mavens, basketball lyricists and romantics.
Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have the time and a burning desire to contribute to ClipperBlog. This upcoming season, ESPN Los Angeles will continue to feature ClipperBlog as part of its Clippers coverage. And, who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself following in the footsteps of D.J. Foster and several other TrueHoop Network bloggers such as Kurt Helin, Matt Moore, Royce Young, Zach McCann, Zach Lowe, Zach Harper, John Krolik, and Rob Mahoney who have found paid work writing about basketball.
Congratulations, D.J. And thank you for everything you’ve poured into ClipperBlog.
As we celebrate your success, we will miss you.