Forum Blue & Gold’s sixth birthday, but please don’t sing

Kurt —  November 10, 2010

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Six years ago this morning, I clicked on a little button that said publish and started a blog with this sentence:

Welcome to my attempt at keeping personal sanity in the midst of the swirling vortex of controversy that is the Lakers.

As I remember, 25 people read it, and they all found the site on accident stumbling through Blogger. But to this day that idea is sort of what this site remains, save it’s not just for me anymore.

Six years later, it feels all so different. The Lakers aren’t controversial, they are steady and professional (well, maybe professional isn’t the word I’d use to describe last night’s Timberwolves game). My sanity is fully up for debate, but life feels far crazier.

Forum Blue & Gold is different, but the same at its core. It’s not really mine anymore. But it still feels like home.

For those of you a little confused, my name is Troy McClure Kurt Helin, you might remember me from such posts as “Tip Off” and “Forum Blue?” I was the guy who started this little site as a hobby and had no plans for what it would become or how it would change my life. It really was my little attempt to keep some sanity and have some fun. I had gotten married and was watching more Lakers games focused in at home on a television rather than slightly blurry-eyed at a bar. Then I’d wake up the next morning and read the analysis of the game — not the Lakers beat writers, who have always been good, but the columnists — and think, “what were they watching?”

Basically, I was watching Rudy T’s painful inside-out, live-or-die by-the-three offense (which works fine with Hakeem surrounded by shooters but was a dud in LA) then picking up the paper and reading about what Shaq said about Mitch. I didn’t care. I wanted to talk basketball, and if nobody else would, I just would start my own little site. I modeled it after Dodger Thoughts. Maybe some others would find me and we could have a semi-smart conversation that didn’t involve how anybody’s ass tasted. There was no marketing plan or goals, no thoughts of monetization (which wasn’t even a word yet), no thoughts of getting into the business, there was just me writing and chatting with likeminded souls.

To me, that’s always what FB&G was and will be. It’s why it’s still home.

I wasn’t totally alone. The NBA blogsphere was just a handful of us — me, Mike at Knickerblogger, Jeff at Celtics Blog, Matt at Blog-a-Bull, Henry at TrueHoop, a few others — and all of us just doing it for fun. Just because. No corporate entities and no money. Which makes it sound far more idealistic than it was — it wasn’t all puppies and rainbows.

Things change. The site grew. FB&G became part of the TrueHoop Network at ESPN, because I liked and trusted those people. More people found the site and the conversations became more interesting. The goal was always not just growth but growth in a way that fit FB&G. That’s why no message boards, there are great Lakers message boards out there but the feel on those is different. FB&G was always seemed a little more mature and nuanced, it seemed to me.

I’ve got this new(ish) gig, a new home on the Web. But I view that as my Upper West Side place in NYC. Posh and somewhat high profile (that may be overstating it, but I’m stuck with this analogy now). Urban, and both stimulating and isolating the way a great city can be. I work hard to make it home like I remember. But it means I am rarely around the place I grew up on the Web (I read everything but rarely participate).

FB&G is that home, it is coming back to may parents place in Woodland Hills to see the Christmas lights up and smell peanut butter cookies being baked. It’s Lakers fans talking Lakers, but in a sane way. Most of the time. It’s warm and comfortable.

It’s all that more because of all of you than me. I was just the host, but the party is no fun with just a host. It took Scott, Darius, Reed, now Philip and Jeff and Bill Bridges and so many others. It took all of you. FB&G is a gathering spot, a warm and inviting one hopefully. One where we can really enjoy celebrating Lakers wins with friends.

And hopefully this season, we’ll get to celebrate another big one. Thanks for coming by and being part of the fun.



75 responses to Forum Blue & Gold’s sixth birthday, but please don’t sing

  1. Happy Birthday Forum Blue and Gold… I do not know what I would do all these years without this wonderful blog.

    Great job to everyone that is part of the FB&G family

    Thank you Kurt. I bet 6 years ago you did not expect your little idea to turn into one of the most popular and highest quality Lakers blogs out there

  2. Thanks Kurt. We miss you!

  3. Just want to give a special thanks to Kurt for writing this up. Needless to say, we’re all better off for him deciding that he needed a hobby 6 years ago.

    And, again, thanks to all of you who make this site what it is. Without all of you, we wouldn’t still be at it 6 years later.

  4. Happy birthday Kurt!

  5. Happy Birthday to the Blog!

    Thanks to Kurt for starting it and to Darius, Phillip and Jeff for continuing and maintaining the high quality.

    I completely agree about it being more nuanced and mature. I read a lot of other Laker boards and sites but this is the only one I’ve bothered posting. I really appreciate the focus on smart basketball observations.

    Great stuff.


  7. As always, a thank you to Kurt for founding this wonderful site.

  8. Thanks for the opportunity to write, and I promise once this life thing slows down I’ll get back to it…

    Happy B-day, FB and G!

  9. Congrats Forum Blue & Gold! From am outsider’s perspective this site is as knowledgeable and hospitable as any. Keep up the great work.

  10. Happy birthday FB&G! Thanks Kurt! Thanks Darius for keeping it going. Thanks Zephid.

    On another topic: Regardless of what Aaron says, this is why I love Fisher on this team:

    “The way we played tonight was irresponsible and it was reckless and it was disrespectful,” Fisher said. “I can’t get any clearer than that. There was an air of complacency, of arrogance, of ‘we don’t have to play as hard as the other team to win’ that I didn’t like tonight.”

  11. Thanks Kurt! I’m glad I found this site back then, and it continues to be insightful about all things Lakers.

    I hear a threepeat coming!

  12. It’s three years and counting here for me. Happy Birthday FB&G!

  13. This site is still the best. It gives me some small hope that there still is a market for intelligence in all forms of discussion, even about silly games.

    Thanks to Kurt, Darius, Phillip and all the great commenters for keepign this place the best!

  14. Happy Born On Date!

    I will always credit Forum Blue and Gold for making me want to voice my opinion about the Lakers and it remains my favorite blog out there. When I first found it, I knew I had to say something worth while, because Kurt (and now Darius) always kept the content in depth. No BS. It has always been a benchmark, and I’m proud to say I’m a regular (even if I don’t comment nearly as much as I used to, I still read it daily).

  15. Thanks again Kurt! I’ve been following this blog since you first started, but don’t comment much. Thanks to you, and now Darius and his staff, I have a much better appreciation for the game of basketball, not just being a die-hard Lakers fan.

  16. Happy B-Day to FB&G! This is the best Lakers site on the web. It is a haven for any and everyone who loves the purple and gold.

    Great to see a post from Kurt at the top of the page.

  17. Happy birthday FB&G. Its been a great ride so far.

  18. Thanks to the writers who start the conversations off, and to the posters who make such great comments!!

  19. Happy birthday to FB&G and all its regulars! Kurt, your input is missed around here – you should make more special appearances.

  20. This is by far the best Lakers blog out there. I feel very fortunate that I can come to Kurt’s creation and read such great pieces and comments about my favorite team.


  22. Thanks Kurt. I miss your way with words. Completely honest with a touch of a Celtics hate and Lakers bias.

  23. Thanks Kurt.

    This, too, is where I call home – it is my homepage for Firefox.

    I have slowed down on my comments, but not on my attention to what is being said on this site.

    Thanks to all of you.

  24. The Lakers have the league’s best record, best uniforms, best players, best GM and best owner.

    It’s only fitting that we also have the league’s best blog. Happy birthday!

  25. Thanks to everyone involved in making this site what it is.

    Forum Blue and Gold sits at the top of my required reading list every day, and that’s been the case for me since 2007.

    Cheers to more.

  26. Happy birthday to this site. One of the best places to go for Laker news.

    Thanks Kurt and Darius and everyone else.

    Also: why I love Fisher, even though he’s “the worst point guard starter in the league”:

    “The way we played tonight was irresponsible and it was reckless and it was disrespectful,” Derek Fisher said after Tuesday’s ugly win over the Timberwolves at Staples. “I cant get any clearer than that. There was an air of complacency of arrogance of “we don’t have to play as hard as the other team to win” that I didn’t like tonight. That goes for all of us. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to play perfectly every night or that we’re going to win all 82 games, I’m not that optimistic. But it didn’t have to be that way.”

  27. Again thank you so much for creating this site. A basketball friend of mine turned me onto FB&G 5 years ago as it was a breath of fresh air to read people that actually knew basketball and wanted to talk basketball. And again the Lakers struggle to rebound against a team bigger than they are. I guess thats why size matters. Darko is bigger than Gasol, Love is bigger (although not taller) than Lamar, and Beasely is bigger than Artest.

  28. HBD FB&G. The analysis and comments are always intelligent.

  29. A very happy birthday, FB&G. Thanks for being the best Laker blog in the midst of the swirling vortex of controversy that is the internet.

    Here’s to a 3peat and many, many more years.

  30. Happy Birthday FB&G. Without a doubt the most intellectual Laker Blog on the net.

    Am I the only one who still believes the Lakers need another BIG? I know it will be different when Bynum gets back, but….. If we had trouble with Darko and Love, what will we do against Boston?! Marreese Speights anyone?

    While we’re at it….. Thaddeus Young wouldn’t hurt either for a match-up against Miami.

  31. Happy Birthday FBG!

    Two Lakers blogs have been like family for me. SSR are like my cousins (joking around, memes, lolcats).

    But the first Lakers blog I visited was FBG, and in keeping with the family theme, it is my wise uncle that keeps me grounded.

    More specifically, thank you so much for things like “journey, not destination” and “go as far as defense will take them.” It has given me amazing new perspective as a sports fan.

  32. Hey Kurt… nice to have you back for a post… we do miss you but great job on PBT… thanks for starting this site which has become a part of many of our lives… best of luck with PBT and everything else that you do… fell free to drop a post over here more often!

  33. Happy Birthday Forum Blue & Gold. Thanks to all who make this blog what it is.

  34. Guys, thank all of you. I really wish I could do more posting here, and as soon as NBC gets bought by ESPN I’ll post a lot more. Right now…

  35. Sorry for the Anonymous. It’s probably the only reason I didn’t get moderated!!!

  36. @Kurt, hey at least you can come here to read the comments as an oasis from the ones in Probasketballtalk. I occasionally make the mistake of glancing at the comments after I finish an article. Then I think, ugh Kurt has to deal with these morons?

  37. Always a place to come when I’m looking around needing to say something Laker-related to an intelligent audience. Always a place where the conversation is worth the read. A great place to be a part of.

    Happy 6 years. Thanks to everyone for the hard work and the incredible culture here at FB&G.

  38. Hands down the best basketball blog on the interwebs. Reading FB&G has taught me that a basketball season is a marathon and not a sprint. The quality from an X and O’s standpoint is incredible. I have learned so much about the basketball game simply from reading these posts. The analysis following a game is always top-notch, in addition to the in-depth examination of players, units, and particular aspects of the game. FB&G and other similar blogs have seemingly made columnists obsolete with the superior quality of writing and analysis. I would put any of you up against whatever ESPN is trotting out these days.

    Thank you Kurt for starting this beast and to Darius for continuing the greatness.

    I visit PBT religiously and Kurt you have done a brilliant job over there. FB&G and PBT are the two first things I read every morning.

  39. Love this site and the community.

  40. What’s up Kurt, you should post around these parts more often.

  41. @30. I occasionally go over to SS&R too, but this site is my Laker home. Although I do admit that this is one of the funniest Laker game headlines one can ever hope to see: “Lakers 99, Timberwolves 94: Lakers kidnapped, replaced by cardboard cutouts. Wolves still lose.”

  42. I always read everything that is written on this site. I’ve been following for 5 years, keep up the good work.

  43. I LOVE FB&G!

    I first came here after searching (googling, actually) for some solace when Kobe demanded a trade over three years ago. That was quite a year and I was grateful to have FB&G along for the ride.

    Now it is one of the first things I read every morning. I can’t imagine being a Lakers fan without it. Thanks to Kurt, Darius and the rest!

  44. Kurt, thanks for your site.

    I say, between what you started and now what it has become and maintained, it’s the most intellegent bit about the Lakers around, seriously!

    I have my wife to thank for introducing me to this site. (yes, she’s always been a keeper!)

    If there’s a better place, I don’t wanna know.


  45. Happy Birthday FB&G!

    Thanks Kurt and Darius and all who make this site so awesome. I’ve been visiting this site daily for the last 4-5 yrs and go through withdrawal when it’s down. Thanks for indulging my Laker love and contributing to my basketball knowledge and maturity about the game.

  46. Busboys4me,
    I think we can use a back up Center also even when Bynum comes back. Theo just isn’t a capable back up anymore. With Bynum back we of course have agreat back up PF in Odom…. but nobody to back up Bynum. In big games its OK to have Gasol as the back up Center… but for an 82 game season? That said a quality back up Center is the hardest thing to find. It would have been nice to have kept Marc Gasol as our back up Center. Man we have great problems in Lakerland. We want a better back up Center who will play 15 minutes a game.

  47. Happy Bday FB&G!

    Been a follower since May 2005 and haven’t turned back since….

    Keep up the good work and big heartfelt thanks for a job well done the past 6 years (now if we can only update the side columns:)

  48. Happy Birthday FB&G!!

    I don’t post much but I know this, I always sound much more intelligent when talking Lakers thanks to FB&G and all who participate on the site. A definite must read. Thank you Kurt, Darius, Philip and more I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Keep it up.

  49. Happy Birthday to FB&G, and congratulations to Kurt.

    Just goes to prove, you never know how far you can get if you simply do what you love to the best of your ability.

  50. Happy Birthday! Obviously we’re all still around… It is also our “home”! 🙂

  51. Happy Birthday!

    I remember that when Gasol was transfered I read a reference to an article from this site in a popular sports paper from my country, Spain. And well, I’ve sticked around since and have to say it’s been a great trip. Please, just remember Lakers are NBA Champions not World Champions hehe.

  52. Congratulations to FB&G, and many thanks to all you wonderful contributors for making it a great place to find comfort, joy and occasional angst. 🙂

    @25 ray – Amen. I thought exactly the same thing when I heard that from Fish.


    And I almost ignored you and started singing anyway, just because i can. 🙂

    This is my main source of Lakers news and info, and one of the best aspects of this blog is how much I’ve learned about basketball since I started reading the posts and comments here. I’m actually starting to understand the game now… an extra big thank you to everyone here for that!

  54. @45 Aaron

    That’s why I made the statement. Theo is bringing nothing, Caracter won’t be ready for another couple years plus he is undersized as a center and Odom and Pau are too vital to over use.

    Speights’ burn is getting cut and he would at least get that 10-15 a game with us. Read the articles that I linked. I’ve seen a couple other good write-ups on him too. The guy is young and would an excellent depth addition or a replacement if Bynum can’t get healthy. Make Bynum the back-up.

  55. #53. I’m not too keen on adding another big. First of all, when Bynum does return he will take all the available minutes save for a few garbage time minutes that will go to Theo or Caracter. Remember, Theo is the equivalent of Mbenga. How much did the Lakers need him last year?

    Also, while I’m all for looking at young pieces that could end up being contributors, I think the Lakers have their guy in Caracter. He’s got good enough size to be a bit player as a Center. I mean, it’s not like teams are flush with big men that are much bigger and/or better than Caracter when talking about the 12-15 men on the roster.

  56. Hi Kurt,

    I believe that all of us know that this will always be your home–and we’ll keep the light on for you.

  57. Thanks for kicking this all off Kurt. FB&G is easily (IMHO) the best NBA blog on the web, and all the contributors bring something to the table. All the regulars whose comments I look out for, and all the extra insight that this site offers are second to none.

    And on a personal note, big thanks to Kurt for helping me get Lakers tickets at the end of last year so that I could see my 2nd game in person (and first since my last trip to the US of A during Kobe’s rookie season). Without FB&G I doubt that I would’ve had the contacts to help me snare such good seats. Thanks again.

    Here’s to 6 more years (and quite a few more titles!).

  58. You can continue to talk site stuff here, but Phillip has some fast break thoughts/links up in a new post.

  59. Found site about 2 years ago when I was working on 2nd shift browsing the net. Great analysis after games and in between has kept me coming back every since. It is hard being a Laker fan on the east coast, with the 3 hour time difference, but this site has kept me in touch and following the ride of the last two championships. Thanks to all that has made this my home away from home.

  60. I’ve been reading this blog for about four years but have never commented. Being FB&G’s sixth birthday, I really can’t hold my silence any longer. Amen to the high quality of this Lakers blog. Like what other folks have remarked: There are quite a few Lakers blogs, but none as intelligent (and may I say civilized?) as Forum Blue & Gold. I am definitely a fan!

  61. Kurt, Darius, Philip, Reed and all,

    Thankyou. This is the best site for Lakers, basketball and just good old fashioned conversation. I’ve been reading and commenting for a little over 4 1/2 years and this place truly is home. Again, thank you! And Go Lakers!!

  62. Happy Born Day FB&G. I became a Reader and Commenter last season and there’s not a day that goes by in which I don’t regret not being a part of this ‘Family’ from the very beginning. Much respect to Kurt for being the foundation and to Darius, Philip and the rest of the Team for building upon it. And to the rest of the Commenters, let’s sit back and enjoy the Journey to another Championship.

    Lakers 4 Life.

  63. @54 Darius

    Better than Caracter on Boston only:
    Jermaine O
    Big Baby

    Of those, Caracter may be able to handle Big Baby in a couple years. Shaq and JO will be gone.

    Speights at 6’10” can give all but maybe a healthy KG a run for their money. He’s still young and I would be more than willing to give up both the rookies for this kid. As I said, he would be insurance for Bynum also so his playing time may not come right now but later on down the line. He’s not getting burn now so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being on a winner and practicing instead of being with Philly.

    Additionally, if Odom gets into foul trouble like he did last night, there would be no reason to rush Pau or Bynum back into a game if we had someone capable.

    Last point, Bynum had to play in pain last year because there was no one to bring in. Mbenga was totally lost out there and got burned the whole time he was out there. Would you rather strengthen a weakness or hope that it never comes to that? The Lakers did the later in the off-season why not continue?

  64. Thanks and kudos to FB&G, I wear my FB&G t-shirt proudly!

  65. Happy Birthday FB&G from Philippines! 🙂 Here’s to a 55-point 3rd quarter for LA against Denver. 🙂

  66. @62. Actually, Mbenga did very well for us last season when Pau was out. He even provided effective, winning post play at both ends in two victories when both Drew and Pau were out injured. People complain about his gunning, but that was usually when he was in the game at the same time as the rest of our lousy bench. When he played with some of the other starters, he was usually effective.

  67. I remember reading FB&G in its early days and blogging in general was just so much different then. It’s amazing how it’s exploded, also refreshing how this site still remains true to straight talk and smart analysis ( I say this as someone who’s rarely gotten anything straight or smart, haha).

  68. @65 The Dude

    I agree whole heartedly. But that was during the season. In the finals he looked lost. I also agree that he was better suited for the Lakers than Theo is. Theo is bringing nothing to the table. I wanted the guy way back when we had Kwame, but now age has caught up and the guy is barely serviceable.

    Mbenga was said to have wanted more burn and I believe it because he was never happy looking on the bench (even in victory). I never wanted to let the guy go, but business is business. He got his wish and now he is on the only other undefeated team in the league. Should we be worried that it wasn’t really Ammo but Congo Cash????!!!!!

  69. Happy Birthday FB&G with Kurt, the last few years have just been great here. Yeah, we will keep the light on for you Kurt.

    “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” – Mark Twain

  70. Thanks fb&g, I love this site! Thanks to all of you who make this site a daily visit for me.

  71. 67. @busboy – he’s only getting a little more PT for the Hornets, although he’s getting some burn just about every game. They might end up cutting him so they can try out other bigs, though I hope they don’t for his sake.

  72. hey Kurt,
    I think I’ve been here since you started, or very shortly after you “opened” for business.
    and thanks for the shoes! (haven’t worn them, but they’re fun to look at!)

    what ever happened to John R?
    I kind of miss that ol’ crumudgeon

  73. Great work, I too stumbled into this place by accident – These days, it’s a bookmarked stop to fill me in on all Lakers news.

    Here’s to many more!


  74. Nice to see so many familiar writers in the comments. I don’t post as much but I read and appreciate this site every day. Thanks a ton Kurt.

  75. Happy belated Birthday and thank you to everyone who contributes to the site!