I was not planning on writing this post but when I found out that our longtime site manager, Sarah Dewberry, was moving on with her career and that I could manage one of the best Thunder platforms around was available, for me, it was a no-brainer, an opportunity that was too good to pass up.
I have been a member of this website for six years, and being site manager for WTLC is a bit of a dream come true. Having the chance to shape Welcome to Loud City as we enter a new era of Thunder basketball is something I am very excited about.
When I first started watching basketball in 2016, the game was completely new to me. I knew about Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James but at a surface level.
Growing up in the United Kingdom, basketball is not a common sport. The laws of the land are football (soccer), rugby and cricket. To this day, I am an avid Liverpool supporter but it was one day in June 2016 where basketball entered my consciousness.
The first game I ever watched was Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Thunder and Warriors. Both teams played an attractive brand of basketball, but I was drawn to Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.
Westbrook just crackled with intensity and he seemed to play all-out, with full ferocity on every single possession. He would snatch the ball away from Curry, power up the court and then finish with a thunderous dunk. Or he would drive hard into the painted area, stop on a dime and knock down the cotton shot.
Once the series moved to Oklahoma City, I was hooked on the Thunder. You could feel the energy and atmosphere of the crowd through the screen. It did not feel sanitised or sterile like some NBA arenas can be. The ‘Peake’ was raucous, passionate and undying in their support of their team.
I had to find out more on the Thunder and I had a million questions bouncing around my head. Who is the team? What is their history? Why are the fans so loud and committed? Does Russell Westbrook play every single game like this?
Those questions eventually led me to Welcome to Loud City and I have been a part of the community ever since. Watching the Thunder over the last six years has been a rollercoaster but I would not have it any other way. Russell’s MVP season, the anticipation of the ‘OK3’, ‘The Three Amigos’ and the birth of a new era. All of them have been totally brilliant.
Ever since I was a kid, I loved reading and writing about sports. I wrote about F1, MMA, football and whatever else took my interest. Eventually, my love of sportswriting and the Thunder landed me a role here.
I wrote a few preview fanposts and Kevin Nesgoda, our former site manager and all round great guy, brought me onto the staff. Since November 2019, I have tried to write articles that I would find interesting, informative and unpretentious. Basketball is a game to be enjoyed by all and this is something I try to remember when I’m writing an article.
It has been easy in all fairness. I truly believe that we have one of the best communities around. From the day I first started reading to now, there has been a culture of debate and friendliness. We all hold different opinions on our team but there’s a respect between commenters and no nastiness.
J.A Sherman, who managed this site for nine years, made the community a welcoming place and that same attitude is being carried on today. I have to give both J.A and Kevin a huge shout-out as their feedback and kind words helped me to really grow in confidence as a writer.
You do not need to worry about Welcome to Loud City, it is in safe hands. As long as I am here, this community will receive the care and attention it deserves. Welcome to Loud City is an amazing place and I want that to be the case way into the future.
I would like to end this piece with a few thank yous. Thank you Mullayo, Concierge Wiz, SoonerViking and WhyNotTyler. I have really appreciated your support over the last few years and that support has really driven me on to become a better writer and editor.
It’s been quite a ride over the last six years but I’m not ready to stop yet and believe that the best is still to come!