Kurt —  October 31, 2005

I’ve wanted a place like this for a while, kind of a Cheers on the Web for the growing number of smart and witty basketball fans looking for something different who are finding each other on the information superhighway. Well, like Cheers but you have to supply your own drink (as if Diane was going to get your order right anyway). Still, a friendly place where conventional wisdom was challenged, assumptions laid to waste, some fun poked at people and all of it that done with some style.

Enter It’s the brainchild of Mike, better known around here as Knickerblogger, and he’s not shy about saying he saw what baseball fans had at places such as Hardballtimes and Baseball Think Factory and wanted to to convert the ideas to NBA themes. To really get an idea of his vision, check out the site’s manifesto.

Log on to the Courtside Times home page and on the right side is some of the NBA news headlines of the day, followed by comments from everyone — ala Baseball Think Factory’s Primer (if you’re a baseball fan and don’t read this, you’re missing out). On the other side are fresh articles every day from some of the best NBA writers on the Web — particularly “NBA moneyball” stats writers, who appear to be going by the term APBRmetricians — with insights into everything NBA related.

What will make this a must read are the people. There’s Knickerblogger, the dean and still best of the NBA bloggers; there’s Justin Kubatko, who is the driving force behind; there’s Harlan Schreiber from Hoopsanalyst, one of my favorite hoops sites; there’s Kevin Broom, who has done some of the best work at Real GM and has done great work on defensive charting and statistics; there’s Ed Küpfer, who does some of the best statistical breakdowns on the Web (for long-time readers of this site, Ed used to have a site called Stats Pimp that I often referred to, I have no idea why he would give up that moniker); Scott from the very good Raptor Blog; and themightymjd, which, if you haven’t found it, is one of the best all-around sports blogs out there, this guy is funny and insightful. Plus there are a couple of people who may pitch in now and then who are as good or better than those mentioned.

And there’s me. I’m in way over my head with this crowd, but I’m going to bluff my way along and hope nobody figures it out. Already up are my NBA season predictions, and there is a lot more to come. Plus, you can bet I’ll be an active part of the news and notes comments daily — as you should be.

Check it out, and bookmark it. Pretty soon I think you’ll find Courtside Times as comfortable a part of your life as swinging by the bar with all your best friends.