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Forum Blue & Gold was founded a little over a decade ago with the intention of being a place where fans could discuss, and the writing would focus on, “on-the-court Laker analysis and information, not the off the court soap opera that dominates the local and national media.”

I’ve no clue if our old buddy Kurt Helin — you might know him from this other little thing he runs now —  thought his “hobby”, as he would often call it, would last this long nor that he would, eventually, pass the reigns on to some random guy who started leaving his thoughts in the comments section of the wonderful space he’d created and cultivated. Yet, here we are.

For a little over five years I have run this site, writing about and talking Lakers with a community of smart, passionate fans who want the best out of the team. We don’t always agree, but that’s part of the fun; part of what makes this site one that I am proud of. The names of the people who visit every day and whose time and effort drives the conversation have changed over that time, but I think the spirit of the venture Kurt started so long ago remains.

And so, today, I do what Kurt did to me nearly seven years ago to me — I am reaching out and asking if you would like to contribute to FB&G.

Maybe you’re a master narrator who can compose a recap for the ages for even the most lopsided blowout. Or you might be a breakdown artist who loves dissecting the X’s & O’s. Or are you a stat geek who wants to take the deep dive into advanced analytics to figure out what’s ailing the Lakers’ offense? Maybe you’re a college hoops junkie who wants to keep us up to speed on the latest prospects? A humorist who can tackle the issues facing the team with gallows humor? Or you could be someone who just wants to add thoughtful observations to our community.

If any of these things sound like you, shoot me an email at with whatever it is you think I need to see (writing samples, links, proposals, references, etc). We hope to bring on multiple people who can add to this place and keep it going for, maybe, another 10 years.

A New Partnership for FB&G

Darius Soriano —  October 30, 2013

Here at FB&G we remain committed to giving you the best content and analysis as we can. With that in mind, we’re always looking at ways to forge new partnerships that can help us deliver fresh information that can, hopefully, be found useful for everyone who visits this site.

Enter Draftstreet. Draftstreet is a fantasy games site that takes everything you love about Fantasy Sports and lets you play every night in many leagues including money leagues where you get to play fantasy sports for cash prizes. At DraftStreet, you get to choose your sport, draft style, duration, size, and entry fee.

They’re also our new partner. A couple of times a month we’ll work with Draftstreet to provide free access to one of their games — games with cash prizes! for the top finishers – while providing the type of player and team analysis you’ve come to expect from FB&G.

My hope is that this relationship will prove beneficial to everyone while also, you know, being fun in the process. After all, we all love playing armchair GM and this is your chance to do just that while, if proving good enough at it, making some money in the process.

The first game will be this Friday and can be found simply by clicking on this link. We’ll have some good information up for you related to this game soon, but right now you should go to Draftstreet, sign up for an account, and join Friday’s game. Then, come back here in the next day or so and check out our thoughts on some Lakers’ players (and maybe a few other guys) that can help you in the contest. It’s that simple.

FB&G Bracket Challenge

Darius Soriano —  March 19, 2013

Were you looking for another bracket to fill out? If so, you’re in luck!

FB&G has created a group for a March Madness Pick ‘Em contest. All you have to do is go here and enter the password (cake with kwame) and you’re in. DC Kobe 2

This year, the winner will get a fantastic print of Kobe Bryant from artist Dave Choate (pictured on your right). Basically, this is the best prize we’ve ever given away and FB&G thanks Dave (who can follow on twitter here) for generously offering up the print to our winner. You can also purchase the print, which you may just want to do anyway since *you’re likely not beating me in this challenge.

Anyways, join the challenge and get a chance at winning a great piece of Kobe art to hang on your wall. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like a no lose situation (accept for the part where *you all lose to me). So, get to it guys and gals.

*Note: I am awful at picking college games. You actually have a very good chance of beating me.

Fast Break Thoughts

Darius Soriano —  October 26, 2012

For your weekend pleasure, some random musings (and a couple of updates) from around the basketball world and, of course, the Lakers. Let’s get to it…

  • Dave captured the mood perfect in his Friday Forum, I think. We’re all a bit salty after a preseason lacking any wins. But saltiness is always best mixed with some sarcasm. Fwiw, if there were stages of worry (like there are with grieving), I’d be somewhere near the bottom of the scale right now. Over at PBT, our old buddy Kurt nailed how I’m feeling so I’ll let his words fill your screen.
  • I do have a couple of preseason thoughts, however. First, I’m more convinced now than ever that neither Andrew Goudelock nor Darius Johnson-Odom make this team. The decision was probably made before last night’s game but if it wasn’t we didn’t learn anything new about them in that contest that would change things. I wish both well and hope that they catch on somewhere. If they don’t I’d love to see them on the D-Fenders. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if my inkling is right.
  • Second, back before the NFL’s Detroit Lions were a somewhat good team me and my buddies would always note how the game they’d host on Thanksgiving was their Super Bowl. They’d play as hard and as well as they could that day in the hopes of winning and were always more competitive in that game than in their other ones. In hindsight, I feel that every opponent (but especially the Kings) treated their preseason games against the Lakers like the Lions on Thanksgiving. They wanted those wins. The Lakers clearly could have played better and have a myriad of things to clean up going into the regular season (at the top of the list is turnovers) but I also think they weren’t nearly as up for these games as their opponents.
  • Also, by the end of the preseason it really did look like the Lakers would rather just have the regular season start already. We’ll see what that translates too next week.
  • If you’re looking for some good X’s and O’s writing, you should check out the newly created HoopChalk. They’re doing good work there. In the past week, they’ve covered Kobe working off the ball and the Lakers’ 1/5 pick and roll and both were detailed and well done.
  • If you haven’t seen the work that Rare Ink has done in its partnership with the NBA to produce some stunning artwork, you should do that now. There are some great pieces on display that would look great on anyone’s wall. Being a Lakers fan I gravitated towards their work on our guys, but a couple of my other favorites were the Payton/Kemp piece and the Nets’ Dr. J one. All of them are fantastic, though. Go check them out.
  • Another reminder to check out the season preview that the writers from Hardwood Paroxysm put out. It really is fantastic and includes some original artwork that’s also very good. Also check out this year’s Basketball Prospectus season preview. Loads of good information in that publication as well.
  • In another good read, Ethan Sherwood Strauss put up a worthwhile post at TrueHoop on an overtime classic from the 90’s between the Rockets and the Sonics. Brings new meaning to the term “6th man”.
  • Lastly, in a bit of personal (as well as some site) news I have a couple of announcements to make. First, you may or may not have heard that I’ve joined the staff at NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk for the upcoming season. I’ll be doing some part-time work there on more league wide stuff, including news updates as well as some long form posts. My most recent contribution is actually Lakers’ related, focusing on Steve Nash and his fit into the offense. This will not affect my work here and I will continue to post here as often as I do now (if that was a concern for you). But FB&G will not be the only place you can find my rambling this year.

Second, within the next couple of days there are going to be a few tweaks to the site that you’ll notice. The sidebar will be cleaned up some for easier digestion and I hope that also leads to some of the loading time issues folks have pointed out to me. A mobile site won’t yet be available but the tweaks should lead to easier reading on your handheld device.

The other change you’ll notice is that there will be some advertisements at the site. FB&G has not run ads in the past (for a variety of reasons) but that will be changing. I’ve never made a big deal about this before but the operation of this site does cost some money and that has pretty much come out of my pocket since I took over. In order to better make the site self sufficient in that way and to help out financially in general, we’re moving in this direction. I hope no one sees the ads as an intrusion and I can say for certain they will not affect the quality of the work put up at the site. But they are coming soon. I just wanted you, the readers, to know.

Some Site News…

Darius Soriano —  August 24, 2011

Later on today (at what exact time, I’m not yet sure) FB&G will be going through some server updates that will take the site off line for a bit. I’m told that it can take up to a full day to complete this work but I hope that it won’t take that long to work everything out.

I’d say more about this but my technical knowledge is equivalent to Smush Parker’s BBIQ and the less I try to explain things, the better. Just know that we’re trying to work out some bugs and that takes smarter people than me doing some behind the scene things that someone actually pays them for.

So, starting later on today/this evening, for a spell you’ll likely see some sort of server error message when trying to access the site. Don’t be concerned, we haven’t gone anywhere and will be back before you know it.

I thank you all for your patience on this.

We’re Back…

Darius Soriano —  May 23, 2011

If you tried to access the site earlier today you’d have found that the internet gods had struck with vengeance and fury to down FB&G like one of Jason Terry’s unforgiving jump shots in game 4. However, I’ve since paid my pennance and the site is now back up and ready to go.

We’ll have a post up later this afternoon – discussing the Lakers’ use of the pick and roll this past season – but for now feel free to continue the conversation on all things Lakers. If you’re looking for something to take your time until then, you could certainly do worse than venturing over to Land O’ Lakers for a great post on Kobe and aging or head over to Silver Screen & Roll for some good ol’ fashioned trade talk.

Check back with us in a bit, however. We’ll have some goodies for you soon enough. Thanks for your patience.

People may not know this about my basketball fandom, but I love a good rookie.  I watch them on draft night, choose them for my fantasy teams, and read David Thorpe’s rookie report and weekly rankings to see how this year’s crop is performing.  I figure that tomorrow’s best players are today’s rookies and watching them learn, grow, and mature as players is one of the things I enjoy most about basketball.

And while I’m high on the two Lakers’ rooks, Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks, this isn’t really about them right now.  They’re bit players on this current team and even though I think they’ve got very good chances of developing into contributors that can make an impact, they’re both probably a year or two away from cracking the rotation on a contending team like the Lakers.

Instead, this is about John Wall and your chance to see him in action next Tuesday, December 7th when the Wizards make their one and only visit to Staples to play the Lakers.  Thanks to the good folks at StubHub*, Forum Blue & Gold is giving away two tickets to the game so you can see Wall (and Arenas and the rest of the Wiz) in action and marvel at some of the things that he can do on the court (and I don’t mean doing the Dougie).  (For those wondering, the tickets are in section 107, row M at the Staples Center.  Pretty good ducats, I’d say.)

Winning the tickets is easy.  All you have to do is tell us about your favorite moment from a rookie in NBA history.  Just go into the comments of this post and relay what rookie moment you’ve found most memorable and why.  The staff here at FB&G will read them, group the best of them, and then randomly select the winner.  That person will win the tickets**.  If you’d like to know mine, it has to do with a young man from Michigan State who played a pretty good game in the playoffs against Philly, but that’s just me.  Surely you have your own moment that you’ve found to be classic or character building or truly memorable that you’d like to share.  So, comment away and we’ll announce the winner in the next couple of days.  Good luck to all!

*A truly special thanks to StubHub for providing these tickets.  If you’re ever looking for tickets for a Lakers game, you can click on the link in right hand side bar.  Or if you’re looking for tickets to any other event, just visit their site and they’ve got you covered.

**While we encourage anyone to enter to win the tickets, local readers are preferred as only the tickets will be provided. Once a winner is chosen I will reach out to you and make arrangements for you to receive the tickets.  When leaving your comment, please fill out the email address section on the commenting box (will not be published) so we have an easy way to contact you.

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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.