We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games.
As I write this week’s Monday Tip-Off, we’re still preparing to move to our new server. We’ve encountered a couple of snags, but if all goes well, we’ll be at our new home within the next couple of days, hopefully with as few interruptions as possible. My apologies for the downtime in the Forum and Downloads section in the past twenty-four hours; I had anticipated a quicker move, and did not want to jeopardise the proceedings that were already underway. There will be some further interruptions and downtime as we complete the move, but if you’re reading this, we’re either back up and running temporarily, or the move is complete.
In trying to sort out the server move over the weekend, as well as taking care of a couple of other matters, I haven’t had an opportunity to prepare a column or video feature for today. With Monday rapidly drawing to a close here in Australia, I’ve found myself scrambling to find something to write about, while I continue to take care of matters behind the scenes to get the NLSC onto its new hosting. After tossing around a few ideas, one topic came to mind that was quite obvious, given the circumstances.
What does the NLSC mean to me?
I’ll have been running the NLSC for fifteen years as of this August. It seems that every time I celebrate a milestone, I say that I’ll be running it for some time yet. I guess you could say I’ve been honest about that as here I am, almost fifteen years later. There have been some tough times when I’ve come close to giving it up, and there are times when I wonder how long “some time” will be. I’ll be thirty-two in October – I’ve been running the NLSC since I was a couple of months shy of turning seventeen – and the thought occurs that I’ll be moving on at some point, or at least, scaling back my involvement as I groom someone else to run things in my stead.
Not yet, however. Not yet.
You see, the NLSC is special to me, even though I didn’t originally create it. I’ve been around the community since the early days however, and when I discovered it all those years ago, I knew it was the best NBA Live fansite around. I’d like to think that after I took over from Tim, Lutz, and Brien, I’ve been able to keep doing great work, and that as we’ve expanded to cover NBA 2K and basketball gaming in general, we’ve lived up to that slogan that I coined for us: “Your source for basketball video games”.
One of the reasons that I’m making this server move, ensuring that we don’t disappear and that we’ll be able to keep doing what we’ve been doing for twenty years this August, is that I’m not done yet. I’ll admit that when I heard our current host would be shutting down their hosting services, it caused a bit of panic. I wondered how we’d continue on, whether we’d have to scale back, and indeed, whether that would be it for the NLSC. We’ve been around much longer than a lot of sites, and far bigger sites than us have closed up shop as recently as this year. It was an unfortunate possibility that I had to consider.
Like I said though, I’m not done yet. I’m still interested in basketball video games. I’m still interested in creating content based on basketball video games. The NLSC has been such a satisfying creative outlet for me, and I’m sure that so many other people in our community can say the same thing. It’s been a way to connect with my fellow basketball gamers and NBA fans, a place to hang out online, share our creative works, and just talk about our common interests. Through all the ups and downs, it’s been special to be a part of this community of basketball gamers and fans, and I’m proud to have made my own contributions to it.
It’s a relief to have found a solution that should suit our needs moving forward, without breaking the budget. Without getting too deep into my personal situation, at this point in time, I don’t have a lot of spare cash to pay for the dedicated hosting that the NLSC needs. We were very fortunate to have been given hosting in return for advertising space these past eight years, for which I’d like to publicly thank our host once again. Frankly, the arrangement saved the site back then, and our host has also been helpful in assisting us in finding an economical solution so that we may move on.
Going back to what I said in my announcement last week, and at the beginning of Episode #164 of the NLSC Podcast, I realise that asking for donations and financial support is controversial. To that end, I am very touched that a few people have already pledged support, and that others have indicated that they intend to do so in the near future. Once again, the decision to ask the community for support is not one that I took lightly, and I weighed up all the options before doing so. My hope is that with the arrangements we’ve made, we’ll be able to fund the NLSC’s new hosting for some time yet. Yes, there’s that phrase again.
I feel like I’ve put a lot of myself into the NLSC over the past fifteen years. I don’t want to diminish the hard work of the other NLSC Team Members, the modders in our community, or indeed, Tim, Lutz, and Brien, who founded the NLSC way back in 1996. Together, we’ve all made this a special place that has done some amazing things. We’ve grown, survived, and thrived. We’ve suffered setbacks and moved a few times here and there, but we’ve always landed on our feet. I’d like to think that I’ve done the best I can in helping those good things to happen, and I take pride in the work that I put into the NLSC from week to week.
When I went to the NBA Live 16 community event at EA Tiburon last July, it was humbling to receive compliments from the developers and my fellow attendees alike. I was proud that we were still known, still relevant, and definitely appreciated. I’m proud to be a part of a site that has such a good reputation, a community that does such good things. I’m proud of the content that I create for you each week, and eager to keep fulfilling my creative desires for such an appreciative audience. I’m proud that members of our community have been hired by EA Sports and Visual Concepts, because of the talent they possess, and the platform that this community provides.
The NLSC means a great deal to me. I don’t do this to stroke my ego, or feel powerful (despite what some banned members might insist). This certainly isn’t some grand money-making scheme, though if I could make it my fulltime job, then that would be pretty cool. What the NLSC is, however, is a creative outlet that I love, a community that I enjoy being a part of, and an endeavour that I’m very, very proud of. I didn’t create the NLSC all those years ago, but it became one of my favourite websites the moment I found it, and it’s been my privilege to run it for these past fifteen years. There’s so much more I want to do before I call it a day, and someone else takes over.
Once again, I’d like to appeal to anyone who is willing and able to provide us with financial support as we make our move to new hosting that we’re now paying the bills on. If you’re able to pledge month to month, we have a Patreon; if you’d like to make a once-off donation, or donate here and there, we have a GoFundMe. Apart from that, keep coming back again and again if you like what we’re doing. I’m determined to make sure that we keep doing it for years to come, and that it’ll keep going even when it’s time for me to bow out. I also hope that I’m just as proud of the NLSC, and have just as much affection for the site and community, when that day comes.