This will be one of the more difficult blog posts to write because I have nothing but great things to say about my three-plus seasons on the 76ers beat.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, will be my last day at the Inquirer and my last day covering the Sixers. As of tomorrow, this blog -- Deep Sixer -- will belong to John Mitchell, who will be taking over the beat for the Inquirer. John will also take over the Twitter handle of @DeepSixer3. Because I'm leaving for a new job at ESPN (one not involving much NBA coverage), I'll be keeping my Twitter account, but changing the username. (That's still undecided, but if you follow me now, you'll follow me when I change the username!)
I just wanted to thank everyone for all of their correspondence -- both complimentary, constructive, and critical -- throughout the last three years. Although there were many difficult times, there were just as many great moments.
My first blog post, I believe, included a rather elementary mistake (I see that now) regarding the Sixers' roster going into the 2008-09 season. I took some heat for the error, but those same readers were willing to stick with the coverage as the Sixers started training camp at Penn State.
I think what I learned throughout the last three years is that Philly is looking for only one thing: passion and effort. I made a lot of mistakes, some more noticeable than others, but I can say that nearly all Sixers' fans were willing to forgive those errors if it came accompanied with additional effort: a long blog post after a crucial win or loss -- one at least attempting to explain some of the things that had happened on the court that night.
Thanks to all the e-mailers and posters who took the time to add to the discussion, especially here on Deep Sixer. I was grateful the dialogue rarely devolved; it was always my goal to talk basketball and X's and O's.
So, again, thanks to everyone for following the coverage. I don't want to write too long because, well, this part has absolutely nothing to do with basketball. And that was never what this blog was about.
Thank you for a wonderful three years,