Welcome back: To new days, new beginnings, and a fresh start

Welcome to the new and improved Smooth’s Hoops. If you haven’t visited for a while, things may look different. I changed the site format sometime back in December (or thereabouts) and made things look a little more tidy and professional. Back then, when I was ready to commit to this site and its content, I began grouping posts into respective categories. Those will remain along with the Encyclopedic articles. I can’t help it. I’m crazy.

What to expect moving forward:

First, not every post is going to be about me. However, in the interim, a few of these posts will be a referendum of the things I’ve said and put forward in the preseason. Because, let’s face it, a lot of people want me to eat crow. And I will. To a point.

That said, I have settled on a Monday/Thursday writing schedule. Posts could become more recurrent, however, I don’t want to bite off anymore than I can chew. Especially considering there are twelve total articles (including this one) in the archive of a site two years old this June.

The overriding emphasis of this blog will remain based on the Denver Nuggets. However, I do have plans of branching out my coverage to include both the entire NBA and NCAA when the need arises. Potential topics for future Smooth’s Hoops articles include: Kosta Koufos’ team MVP status, Ty Lawson’s incredible turnaround, Wilson Chandler’s role in Denver’s mid-season and post-All Star break surge, JaVale McGee’s wrong career choice (though, he has improved his play over the last few games), Arron Afflalo, Tobias Harris, and the Orlando Magic’s forthcoming resurgence, Royce White and the perils of forecasting player development without the use of pre-draft interviews, Mason Plumlee’s NBA Draft stock, and Anthony Davis’ rookie season and who I most closely see him resembling moving forward.

I also plan to take a look at players of the past and how they impact my view on the game today — a retrospective piece on Brian Williams/Bison Dele is currently in the pipeline. I will more than likely wait to go down that road until the offseason, however.

That’s just a warm-up.

Coming on Thursday, I will be closely scrutinizing my preseason predictions: where I went wrong, where I went right, and where I foresee Denver moving forward. Everything is liquid, especially in the National Basketball Association. However, there are some glaring areas where I was right and even more glaring areas where I was very, very wrong. The Nuggets only need five more victories over their final eighteen games to force a formal apology from myself to Arturo Galletti of the Wages of Wins Network and, ultimately, to the organization itself. The chances of Denver finishing with 47-wins is slightly more likely than me walking outside and getting struck by lightning (something I’m sure many of you wouldn’t mind seeing). That said, I wasn’t wrong about the team or its basic components. I was wrong in overestimating the rest of the league.

However, I want Smooth’s Hoops to be more than a referendum on myself. I want Smooth’s Hoops to be more than a numbers site. I want Smooth’s Hoops to be more than a recap site, or a grades site, or a film site. I want Smooth’s Hoops to be all-encompassing. Because neglecting any one piece of the basketball equation is to neglect all of it.

Whether it’s in the front office or on the playing floor, basketball is impossible to master. Even the game’s greatest maestros would agree. And that’s why I love it so much. It’s an impossible mountain to climb, where obstacles are always changing. Those who settle and remain satisfied with their lot, will stagnate. Those who hold themselves to a higher standard than even their most ardent fans espouse, will prosper beyond their wildest imagination.

The tagline at the top of my blog says it all: Either get the game, or the game gets you.

Welcome to Smooth’s Hoops.

- J.R.

A brief word on my Twitter account and my public “persona” because people have been curious:

I put persona in quotations because I do not have one. I have what everyone thinks of me and then I have my views of myself. It is only the latter that matters. Do not get me wrong. I certainly take the opinions of others under advisement. However, I do not let them define me.

My Twitter account became as much a fiber of my being as the skin off my back. Because it represented a hint of redemption. When I opened that account three years ago after moving back to Denver from California, I did it to meet people in the area and maybe make some new friends, as all of mine had left after college. I did not have any clue what Twitter was or the powers it possessed.

Then I discovered the basketball community and fell in love. It wasn’t until George Karl’s cancer scare that I became aware of its overwhelming influence. Twitter allowed Nuggets fans from across the globe to reach out and grieve and hope and pray for a brighter tomorrow. It allowed people to come together who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance or motivation to do so.

Twitter also helped me through some incredibly difficult times in my personal life. In retrospect, I probably should not have divulged the things I did, however, it seemed okay at that time. Twitter became a friend in and of itself. Whether or not people were listening or reading my tweets, the sounding board was always there. It worked as a point of therapy where none existed. It helped keep me alive. It helped keep me hopeful. And for that, I am forever in its debt.

That is why deleting my account was such a painful experience. The level of acclaim I was able to reach after being a whiny, self-absorbed, jerk was downright remarkable. I did not deserve the following I had built. It wasn’t until the last eight months had passed where I began to feel content with who I was and what I had become. My Twitter account typified this as much as anything.

I miss it. I miss my friends. I miss the laughs, the smiles, the arguments, and the potential for rants in all caps. I miss sharing experiences. I miss sharing disappointment. And I miss sharing jubilation. Because that’s what Twitter is ultimately for: sharing experiences with a community of people across the globe — truly your best of friends.

I will be back soon. You can count on that. It just won’t be with my previous handle. It’s time for a re-branding. It’s time for a new beginning. Not so much talk about myself. More talk about the team, the league, and the players and fans that make it great.

Until then, see you Thursday.

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About J.R.
I have been watching basketball for over twenty years. I like to think I've learned a thing or two in that time. Truth is, I've learned just one thing: I love this game.

2 Responses to Welcome back: To new days, new beginnings, and a fresh start

  1. King829 says:

    There is a back to the future marathon on tonight.

    • J.R. Hoops says:

      You know what’s really funny is you caught me while I was writing. And I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before.

      How are you? How have you been?

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