Better Know a Blogger: CelticsBlog's Jeff Clark

With this week featuring a ton of content from the SB Nation bloggers at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, I figured it'd be a good time to feature one of the biggest and best NBA blogs on the planet, SB Nation's CelticsBlog.  Jeff Clark follows the winningest franchise in NBA history and he has a blog to match that pedigree with a ridiculous level of traffic, community interaction and general coverage.  He's the type of blogger that is perfect for a team with a legacy of names like Russell, Bird and Auerbach.  Without further ado, let's get to know Jeff Clark.

Blez:  How would you describe the CelticsBlog community?

Jeff Clark:  The greatest franchise in NBA history has what I think is the greatest fanbase.  We have a wonderful cross section of those fans in our community.  We bleed when the team fails and rejoice when they succeed.  We love to overreact and over-analyze and over-think every game and offseason move.  We love to debate and we love to have a few laughs along the way.  And the best thing is that it really has become a community in the true sense of the word.  There are a number of people that I've never met in real life that I love dearly.  We're there for each other and we always know that a friend is just a few clicks away.  I couldn't be happier.

Blez:  Tell me how you became such a big Celtics fan.

Clark:  I suppose fate decided it since I've always been tall and skinny.  I was ok as a player, but never good enough to get a sniff from colleges.  Those who can't do, ...blog I guess.  Besides, growing up in the 80's I was spoiled by good sports teams but the Celtics were just the best of the bunch.

Blez:  Who is your all-time favorite Celtics player?

Clark:  I have to go with Bill Russell.  I never had the privilege of watching him play except in grainy old footage, but how can you not love a guy with 11 rings?  Besides, he gave us a great interview a few years ago.

Blez:  What made basketball more appealing to you over other sports?

Clark:  Well, aside from being a stickboy, I guess it was the constant motion and high scoring.  Football is great for short bursts but there's also a lot of standing around.  Soccer has constant motion, but too many one-nil scores.  I understand the attraction to baseball, but usually I get bored with it quickly.  Basketball just made so much sense to me.

Blez:  Do you play basketball yourself or did you ever?

Clark:  I do play, though nothing more involved than church league at this point.  I always say I play like Antoine Walker (without the gambling debts but WITH the shimmy).  Jack of all trades, master of none, never met a shot I didn't like.  I'll do something brilliant one play and two bone-headed moves the next two trips down the court.  I'm that guy.

Blez:  You have one of the largest team communities on the Internet.  How tough is it to regulate it and make sure that the quality of the conversation remains high?

Clark:  It would be impossible for one person, which is why I'm so thankful to have a fantastic team of moderators to rely on.  All I ask everyone to do is show respect to one another.  It is a thankless job but the mods really do a tremendous job of creating an environment where people feel like they can debate and exchange ideas without being flamed or harassed.

Blez:  Your community has gotten to the point where you're getting access to press conferences and interviews with players.  How tough is it to balance your fandom with having an insider's view of the team?  Does it dampen it at all?

Clark:  Not too hard, really.  I still don't consider myself an "insider" at all.  I have a little more access but I don't use it much because I don't aspire to be a beat writer or the next Chad Ford.  I'm just following my favorite team and sharing what I can with anyone who will listen.  If I pick up a rumor or scoop, that's a thrill, but it isn't my primary directive.

Blez:  Tell me something about yourself that would surprise your readers.

Clark:  Not sure how much of a surprise it is, but I'm a devout Christian.  I try to let my Faith guide my actions (I'm far from perfect but working on it) but I do my best to not use my blog as a platform for it.  People come to talk about the Celtics, not to be preached at.  With that said, I owe everything to Christ and I'm thankful for the many blessings in my life.  So I hope that much comes through.

Blez:  Finally, do you think the Celtics have had a good offseason and do you think they will be contenders in 2009-2010?

Clark:  I think they've had a great offseason thus far and I like our chances a lot to win it all again this year (and the next for that matter).  Rasheed seems like a perfect fit and I'm quite pleased with the Marquis Daniels addition as well.  If we get Baby back or sign-and-trade him for more help, we'll have a very, very solid bench backing up one of the best starting lineups in the league.  Last offseason was a bit of a step back.  This one seems to be a step forward.  I like it.

Blez:  Thanks for your time.

Clark:  Thanks to you too.  And thanks for creating a wonderful blogging network that gives bloggers like me a chance to grow and do what we love doing.

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