3 min read

A new beginning for Daily Thunder

A new beginning for Daily Thunder

Hey y’all. It’s been a minute.

I don’t want this to be too self indulgent, so let’s just get right to the important part: Daily Thunder is now under new ownership.

The website has been purchased by two extremely dedicated, smart and passionate people: Cray Allred and John Napier. They will take over operating Daily Thunder and everything that comes with that. They’re going to do awesome.

Before I get a little indulgent-y, I do want to thank Weston Shepherd for his stewardship of the site the last couple years. It’s a labor of love running the site as a secondary hobby. It can be far more frustrating than rewarding, but Weston did a great job despite some challenging circumstances. Salute to him.

When I started Daily Thunder back in 2009, it was really the extension of an accident. My first blog — www.thethunderworld.blogspot.com, please don’t visit it — was born out of frustration. I hated the name Thunder and had to tell someone about it.

Prior to the Sonics moving to OKC, I was in college at the University of Oklahoma and part of the student newspaper. I was majoring in journalism and wanted that for a career, but was very unsure of how to accomplish that, or if I wanted to embrace the grind required to do it. My last semester, the team moved to OKC and I had stopped writing for the paper, one, because I had gotten married and two, because I was anticipating getting a real job and needed to start looking. They chose the name Thunder and unveiled it by playing Thunderstruck. I was aghast. A singular name? That’s the logo they came up with? I had to write something just to get it off my chest.

I’m a Cubs fan and enjoyed following the team through Bleed Cubbie Blue, a team blog. I thought, “no one really has one of those for the Thunder yet… I’ll start one I guess.” It was essentially a personal journal of sorts as I tried to make sense of the NBA. It somehow grabbed a small readership — mostly people from Seattle that really liked making fun of me — and by some small miracle, Henry Abbott read a post I did and linked it in his TrueHoop bullets.

ESPN was starting an independent blog network, and wanted one for each team. Kevin Arnovitz was tasked with recruiting bloggers, and he sent me a Facebook message. I was excited to join the TrueHoop Network. It meant I got an ESPN logo at the top of my blog and could tell my friends I had a website affiliated with ESPN. It was very exciting.

But the real motivation for the site from the very beginning was to use it as a vehicle to become a professional writer. And by some extremely good fortune, that happened. I’ve always felt a soft spot for Daily Thunder — Mrs. Young and I used to joke it’s our first born child — but realized four or five years ago I couldn’t progress and evolve in my career trying to do both things. Someone else needed to take over.

Not writing for DT has always made me sad, because I feel like it’s where I’ve done some of my best work. It’s always represented my tone and voice more than anything else and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing. It’s where I learned how to be a writer. It’s where I found my passion. It means a lot to me.

Today, though, the URL is officially changing hands. I no longer own Daily Thunder. It’s not my website anymore. John and Cray are taking over and I am absolutely stoked that they are. They are super guys with big ideas and a committed vision. They’re going to make Daily Thunder better and restore it to the premier destination for Thunder fans. I truly, truly believe that and have immense confidence in them.

The past few years, while I haven’t written for DT, I’ve kept one eye on it and maintained ownership and ultimate editorial control. But I certainly wasn’t an active participant and really knew very little of what the temperature was for the site. That wasn’t the best thing. A full transfer is what DT needs.

And as the team transitions into a new era itself, it kind of aligns perfectly. The Thunder fanbase needs fresh perspective and there’s an opportunity for new authoritative voices to emerge. I think John, Cray and everyone else that becomes part of this can be that as the fanbase embarks on an unknown journey into tanking.

Most of all, I want to say a sincere thank you to all of you. The commenters, the readers, the lurkers, the contributors — everyone that played a part. I have always marveled at the fact this little website had such an impact on the team, but more than that, on me. It changed my life.

Now it’s time to say goodbye and send my baby off to college. Godspeed, DT.