The Diss was born in Jacob’s head, but it is only fitting that the first time I heard about it was through GChat. The above conversation took place on March 31, 2011. It took us a couple of months to get everything together—Jacob had to finish up and get out of his PhD program, I had to get a job—and we ended up launching June 21, 2011. For those of you with access to a calendar, you’ll realize that means not only is this the first day of the NBA offseason, but it’s also the second anniversary of The Diss. L’Chaim.
You mostly see Jacob and my name around this place, but we’ve had a variety of contributors this year who have offered their pieces, participated in a roundtable, or maybe swatted stuff around on The Diss e-mail list. They have written too many pieces during the last year to list them all here (29 by my count), so go click on those author names to your right and check them out. Thanks to Alex Maki, Andrew Snyder, Andy Cochrane, Gregg Gethard, Hans Peterson, Joe Bernardo, Jordan Durlester, Kurt Scott, Long Bui, Symbol Lai, Jairo Martinez, Kenji Spielman, John Nguyen and Dave Gold for all of your contributions.
The season is over, which means the pace will slow down a bit around here. Instead of new content six days a week, you’ll probably see new content three or four days a week. Just like LeBron James is taking a few weeks off, we’ve got some vacations lined up too. Just like Dwight Howard will work on his post game with Hakeem Olajuwon, we have some skills to hone too.
In case you’re new to the program, or a front runner who only likes popular stuff, here are the ten most read Diss pieces this year, according to an incredibly flawed pageview metric. Hey, I’m (not) paid to write, not to track statistics.
Thanks for reading.
- Kevin Draper
I think this is where I’m supposed to say: “Wow, I never thought the Diss would last for two years! What a surprise!” And sure, I suppose a small part of me is actually surprised. Far more blogs fail over the long term than succeed. Moreover, most efforts that have no financial backing and generate little to no revenue don’t seem to last very long, and in that regard, The Diss has been an exception to the rule. I am proud the site remains ad-free, and unattached to any major media outlet like ESPN, SBNation or Fansided. I am proud we own our own content, and have not yet fallen prey to a larger blog networks that would use our labor for cheap content to drive up their own pageview numbers. These have always been, and still remain the basic tenets of the project, and I’m glad we haven’t altered our thinking in those regards.
Perhaps my confidence some 730 days after founding the site is off-putting. For that, I apologize, but not profusely. You see, The Diss is built upon a foundation whose strength has been proven many times over. The Diss operates on a singular assertion: that evidence-based analysis carries multiple purposes in a myriad of disciplines, and that professional basketball can be used as a lens to observe society at-large. It is this staunch belief in the beauty of knowledge that allows us to tackle issues of race, religion, gender, politics, economics, culture and class, without straying too far from the real reason all of us are here: the NBA.
There will come a day when I leave The Diss, and get back to the days where I just watched the games be played by the players I admire so deeply. It is interesting to read the blurb above, and remember the days when I was sure I could craft a career as a blogger. At this point, that desire couldn’t be farther from my mind. For me, basketball has always been sacred; something treated with the utmost respect since I would (and could) deploy it for a variety of analytic and entertainment purposes. I truly doubt I’d ever find a job that is as rewarding as The Diss is, and would allow me to create personal connections to close and distant friends, many of whom watch little or no basketball at all. I doubt I’d be able to convince an editor that the commodification of bodies, as well as the capturing of minds, are themes that the average reader are willing to take a bite out of and slowly chew, trying to get every flavor imaginable. I doubt I’d ever be able to truly own my own words, and would be able to escape the panoptical nature of corporate media.
But I’ll always watch the games. You probably will too. That’s why we’re here, after all. And as long as I’m feeling up to it, I’ll write about them. And there are no words — none, whatsoever — that could properly convey how totally, utterly grateful I am for each and every one of you, who read, write, and participate in this humble little project which emerged from the lowest intellectual point I have experienced to date; when I felt I still had more to say, but I needed a new venue in which to say it. You all supported me through a really tough time, whether you know it or not, and as a result, I feel whole. I will never be able to thank you all enough.
As long as it’s funky-fresh-dressed-to-impress-ready-to-party, and, most importantly, making people stop and think, both about basketball, and the big, strange world around them, The Diss is all in. And as long as The Diss is all in, well, I’m all in, too.
Happy birthday to us. Long live The Diss.
Founder & Co-Editor
- Amir Johnson, Stop Touching the Ball!
- Your Favorite Basketball Writer Is Probably a Little Bit Racist
- Monday Media: The Evolution of Blake Griffin’s Image
- Monday Media: Examining the TrueHoop Network on its Fourth Anniversary, part two
- Monday Media: Surprising fans everywhere, Macklemore sells out even faster than Flavor Flav
- The 2010 Draft Class: Not as Bad as You Think
- Tuesday Media: Examining the TrueHoop Network on its Fourth Anniversary
- The Diss Interviews: Terry Park, Academic, Activist and Jeremy Lin Public Intellectual (Part One).
- Content Without Character.
- Your Favorite Form of Analysis Is Probably a Little Racist. So Now What?