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Off-Day Open Thread: Where Dedication Happens

Last night, Eddy Rivera covered the Orlando Magic's game against the New York Knicks for us. The word "cover" doesn't really do it justice; I mean, he was all over that game, mostly because he loves doing it, but partly because it was his last chance to cover a game or practice live for a while. Going out with a bang, as the saying goes.

And bang he did. A ton of quotes from six players after the game, a recap, coach Stan Van Gundy's pre-game media session, and a report from the previous day's practice. That practice also afforded him the opportunity to chat with J.J. Redick for a while, which produced an interview worthy of publication in any legitimate hoops media outlet you care to name.

This is what Eddy does, because he wants to make a living of it. The reason he's leaving Orlando is so he can get his graduate degree in journalism from Northwestern. He has to leave now, a few weeks before the term starts, to get settled. In his last few months of relative freedom, he wrote countless stories and comments; conducted several interviews; made some nifty graphics (like this one) in Photoshop; and pored over scads of data; all for free, while scheduling his late-night, part-time job around the Magic's calendar. And while having to pay $10 a night to park his car at the games he covered. Totally and utterly selfless, and all so we might better appreciate Marcin Gortat's production relative to his contract, or understand how Magic history might have been different if Grant Hill's left ankle weren't made of duct tape and balsa sticks.

In the practice report linked above, Eddy mentioned that he would in fact be taking a lesser role with the site as he moves forward with his post-graduate education. He received an outpouring of thanks from the community, so perhaps this post is redundant. I just wanted to reiterate that Eddy's absolutely killed it for us since last December, for no money at all. This site could not have grown as it has over the last year (traffic is up more than 500% since last November) without his help, and I wish him the best as he moves on.