If you read this site regularly, you know one of my side-blogging efforts is the Carnival of the NBA. And since creating and writing the first one (first three, actually) in February of 2005, the Carnival has traveled around the NBA (and beyond to general sports) blogosphere to land back here for its 50th edition. I've been coordinating it that whole time, but haven't hosted in a long while. For a nice round number like 50 it seems appropriate.
There've been many different 'themes' to the editions of the Carnival over that time, from Superfriends to Infomercials. Those are all great, but I never mind a straight-laced Carnival, the normal kind you'd find in the parking lot of a suburban mall. Cause while there is fun (and traffic benefit) to hosting, it's about the links. A way for those who only check out only a couple NBA blogs (I know, it sounds weird) to see what else is out there, if only on a semi-regular basis. So if anything, the theme of Carnival #50 is the Carnival itself.
You see, for you young NBA bloggers (and blog readers)....way back before the Carnival, or Ballhype (or LowPost), it was harder for NBA bloggers to find eachother. You couldn't drop a random email to Deadspin (who hosted Carnival #28) or TrueHoop (#14) and jack up your traffic, 'cause they didn't exist. Neither did The Jones (#26), YAYSports (#21), FreeDarko or CelticsBlog (#5 and #31) for that matter. There was this site, Knickerblogger (#7), Raptorblog (#30), and a few others.
This isn't a 'it was better back then' sentiment, because it was admittedly worse. So the Carnival was set up (based off the many other blog Carnivals out there, of course) in part to help everyone find what was new. Seeing so many more sites start (and die, at my count 7 carnivals have been hosted by defunct sites) since then has been fascinating. Sure, that admiration for growth is sometimes sullied by the random abrasive 'I have an opinion, damnit!' nature of some writers, but overall I think the state of the NBA blogosphere is quite healthy, and I've heard several times that we have a more communal relationship than like-minded blogs of other sports. I'd like to think that the Carnival is a part of that, but that may just be to be self-serving. Although I just spent too many words showing off how long I've been doing this blogging game, so self-service seems to be another theme of this edition.
Blazers Edge interviews Henry Abbott of TrueHoop, talking about the Blazers (naturally) but also about Henry's journey from 'normal' writer to blogger to ESPN'er. GoldenStateofMind gets a crack at Mr. Abbott as well.
Quietly (at least to me), the Bucks blogosphere got pretty robust. Check out Bucks Diary, Boederbucks, The Bratwurst, and Just Another Bucks Fan. The Nets are getting there too, and although Nets Fan in New York is mostly about the team's future move to Brooklyn, it's always fascinating to read how team ownership and municipalities find a way to get these stadiums made. Although it's easier when the team isn't trying to leave.
Bulls fans have a hard time saying bad things about the Paxson/Skiles regime, but one that's usually said (and usually tongue-in-cheek) is the apparent over-reliance on 'intangibles' like 'grit', 'energy', and 'Andres Nocioni'. Thank You Isiah puts it all in pictures. Former Bull Jerry Sloan has a similar reputation to Paxiles, and Harpring Sucks consistently has a lot of fun with it.
Joey from Straight Bangin' was the only one to host the Carnival on two separate sites: Carnival #25 at his current site but first (#11) at a previous incarnation of MVN's End of the Bench. These days he's one of the leading depositories of Isiah Thomas lawsuit news. With Malice (#46) has more on Thomas.
Taking it to the Rack hosted a Carnival in August, and recently seems miffed at both Andrei Kirilenko for his trade demands, and Deron Williams (Illini, woohoo) for not keeping the thoughts of his teammate 'in-house'. Yet more on Kirilenko from I Want to be a Sports Agent (#45). Another Jazz(Jazz-man, Jazzer?), Carlos Boozer, is still somewhat missed by Cavalier Attitude (#38).
David Friedman's been blogging at 20 Second Timeout (and writing all over the web) for quite some time, and is one of the few who writes about the history of the league. Here's a piece on Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, but if you're like me and can't stomach too much Celtics you should go around his site and check out similar posts.
In my idealistic blogging youth, I believed the Carnival would be a great way to promote inter-blog discussions amongst NBA bloggers, and over the years there certainly seems to be more of them. Here's one such round-up the offseason hosted at The Half Court Heave. One of the grandest collaborations of all, NBA Blog Previews, will be starting up again shortly. So make sure you read that, and the next 50 Carnivals of the NBA as well.
**If bloggers reading want to get involved with the Carnival of the NBA, join our group on Ballhype. You can also get information on upcoming (and past) editions of the carnival at blogcarnival.com.**