Silver Screen and Roll is about to take center stage for SB Nation. As the Los Angeles Lakers community for SB Nation, it has the unique position of being representative for the defending champions in the network. For a team that is the most hated for everyone who isn't a Lakers fan. Chris Clark, the main writer for SS&R, recently took over that community from Josh Tucker. Clark isn't daunted by it, having been through the experience of the championship last year and gearing up for another deep run in 2010. So without further ado, let's get to know Chris Clark.
Tyler Bleszinski: You've recently taken over as the main writer at Silver Screen and Roll. Tell me about what the experience has been like thus far.
Chris Clark: Taking over SS&R has been pretty crazy. I feel like I had a pretty good idea of the time commitment from a writing perspective, but I had no clue about how much time goes into developing strategies for the site, reading up on all the best practices and group emails. My first order of business was to get some new authors for the site, because at the time all the writing was being done by myself and one other guy, DexterFishmore. I didn't want either of us to burn out, and I wanted more time to be able to write the important editorial stuff, so more help was definitely needed. We brought on three other guys to help with the writing, and while everything hasn't been perfectly smooth sailing, I'm certainly excited about what we can all produce.
Bleszinski: What's your philosophy for building a large community at SS&R?
Clark: My overall philosophy for site growth sounds so unoriginal, but I really think the best way for SS&R to grow is to do the basics better than everybody else. That boils down to more content, better analysis, and a stronger community. SS&R is blessed to be covering a team that has one of, if not the, largest fanbases in sports, so there's plenty of people out there, ready and willing to become patrons of our site. All we have to do is reach them.
Aside from that, I've also recently come to the conclusion that SS&R might be the pre-eminent advanced stats blog covering the Lakers on the net. This really wasn't part of the mission statement, it just seems to have happened. Both myself and Dex are committed to learning about the wealth of possibilities that advanced stats provide, so it just sort of naturally seeped in to everything we do, and looking around the Lakers blogosphere, nobody else seems to be doing it nearly as much or as strongly as we are.
Bleszinski: What's it like taking over from Josh Tucker? How do anticipate things being different?
Clark: I couldn't have asked for a better mentor than Josh. Josh was helping to prepare me for the possibility of taking over the blog for a while before it actually happened, and he's been a great resource as I start on the blogging path. I don't think there will be a whole lot of difference between SS&R pre and post-Josh. A big part of that is due to the fact that I played a major role in the creation of the community vibe in the first place (I actually wrote the site rules). Besides that, Josh and I never really disagreed on anything in terms of what we wanted the site to be, so despite new leadership, the vision remains unchanged.
Bleszinski: How'd you become a Lakers fan?
Clark: The Lakers were something that I was born into. My dad was a huge Lakers fan throughout the Showtime era, and my mom used to tell me that she watched Lakers games when she was pregnant with me, and I would kick when they scored. So my love of the Lakers is just like any other diehard's love of their team. I just got a bit luckier, I guess.
Bleszinski: Who is your favorite Laker of all time? How about with this current team and why?
Clark: I was really too young to appreciate the Showtime Lakers fully, so my favorite Laker of all-time is Kobe Bryant. He's produced so many incredible moments and games, played such a major role in my love of the game of basketball, that there really isn't a close second. Of the current team however, I actually like Lamar Odom the best. I identify with LO the most out of any Laker player. He does whatever the Lakers need him to, and nothing they don't. I imagine that if I were 6'10" with ridiculous agility and athelticism, I'd probably end up a lot like him, except of course for taste in women.
Bleszinski: What's your favorite Lakers moment of all time?
Clark: Game 4 of the WCF in 2002, when Robert Horry hit the 3 at the buzzer to win the game. That moment was awesome by itself, but my circumstances made it absolutely perfect. I was in my first year of college, watching the game in a dorm common room. Despite being in So Cal, I was completely surrounded and outnumbered by Kings fans. During the final mad scramble, as soon as the ball got tipped out to Horry, I was so confident he'd drain the shot that I just stood up and walked away with a smile on my face, and the groans of everybody in the room as I turned my head were the only confirmation I needed of what happened.
Bleszinski: Should the Lakers be considered the favorites going into the playoffs? Give me your predictions for the Finals and who will win in how many games.
Clark: Depends on what you mean by favorite. I think the Lakers have the highest probability of winning the championship, which means the answer is yes. But I don't actually think they'll win it. Matchups are always important in the playoffs, but this year it seems to be a pre-dominant feature of what will happen, and so far this season, it has appeared that the Lakers are on the wrong end of a couple of potentially important matchups, Denver and Cleveland. I still think the Lakers could beat either team in a 7 game series, especially Denver, but it's far from a guarantee. Then again, as we saw last year, you have to make it that far. I think the Lakers will make the Finals again, and if anybody but Cleveland comes out of the East, then I think the Lakers repeat. If it's the Cavs, and my life were on the line, I'd take the Cavs in 7.
Bleszinski: Tell me something about yourself that might surprise your readership.
Clark: I own hardly any Lakers memorabilia. I have one Kobe jersey, that's pretty much it, and that jersey was a gift. I've just never been the type to spend money on that kind of thing. Same thing with going to games. Most of the games I've been to were because a friend of mine is the daugher of a Golden State Warriors employee and she hooked me up.
Bleszinski: Thanks so much for being a part of SB Nation. We're very happy to have you.