About TAI & Staff
Truth About It.net (TAI) began prior to the 2007-08 Washington Wizards season, but didn’t exactly start out as a ‘Wizards blog.’ It started as simple self-publishing via Google’s Blogger. The beginning was part timing, part evolution of long email chains to friends about sports. It was always about the writing. It still is about the writing.
With basketball being a more worthy sport than any other (we have our reasons), and with the Wizards being the local team, an already reserved Internet Uniform Resource Locator (URL) intended to broadcast the “truth about it” into pixel form quickly turned into a website dedicated to those Washington Wizards. So even if the name doesn’t make outright sense, the roundabout goal remains the same. An honest assessment for the love of the sport, for the sake of the team, and for a labor of love. To be creators, to share, to document, to analyze, to photograph, to Photoshop, to video, to be an outlet, to be thought-leaders, to have fun. Most of all: to not be in a rush to engineer your repeated clicks, but to be original.
Truth About It.net (TAI) is a member of ESPN’s TrueHoop Network and features a staff of nine regular contributors. Members of the staff have covered the Wizards with media credentials since 2008, including games and other team events, as well as covering NBA league events, such as the NBA All-Star Game, the Las Vegas Summer League, the NBA Draft Lottery, and the NBA Draft.
TAI content has been featured in the online platforms of most all major outlets, including: ESPN, Yahoo (Ball Don’t Lie), the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Deadspin, SlamONLINE, Grantland, HoopsHype, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Ted’s Take (blog of Wizards/Capitals owner), and a variety of other national and local outlets.
Read below for staff bios.
John Converse Townsend
Kyle WeidieKyle founded Truth About It.net (TAI) in 2007 and has provided first-hand, media-credentialed reporting (and ‘reporting’) of the Washington Wizards since 2009. He has covered over 100 NBA games, four NBA drafts, three NBA Summer Leagues, why Gilbert Arenas once took a dump in Andray Blatche’s shoe, and other NBA-related events. He writes (blogs/self-publishes) as a labor of love, but also loves to labor over photographs, Photoshops, video, social media, #oldNBAcards, and pixels otherwise.As creator and owner of TAI, Kyle deals with all managerial aspects, including editorial, writing, original reporting, Web design, social media, template management, content management, WordPress, CSS, HTML, SEO, advertising, graphic design, and photography. He has had original work published on ESPN.com and related properties such as ESPN TrueHoop, ESPN Los Angeles, and the Heat Index; has been published in the Washington City Paper (both print and online); has had columns featured on the DCist.com; and has also provided sports blog coverage for NBCWashington.com. His work at TAI has been cited/linked by numerous nationally relevant sports websites and blogs, and he has also made several appearances on local sports radio station, 106.7 The Fan.
Kyle was born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and moved to Washington, D.C.-proper at the ripe age of 10 in 1990, at which point the Washington Bullets latched on and never let go. When the bullet turned into a wizard, things got a little awkward. There was also that time in college, suspiciously coinciding with the Michael Jordan years, when Kyle somewhat lost a close connection with the team. But otherwise, he has been immersed in the local-D.C. pro basketball franchise like a bully dunking a kid’s head into a toilet. Kyle is unsure who’s the bully, who’s the kid, and who’s the toilet; the water comes from the Potomac.
As a youth, Kyle once met Pervis Ellison and Byron Irvin at a hotel bar. Don’t worry, it was cool. It was team-sanctioned event and his dad had procured season tickets for several years, with benefits, upon moving to Washington. Kyle has attended countless NBA games in several cities since—mostly in Landover, MD and the District—and he very much appreciates his dad’s role in cultivating his love for basketball, a sport which has no other comparison in its level of universal appeal and perfection. (For a later conversation.)
Kyle lives in the Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights area of D.C., now prefers Metrobus over Metrorail, and has a regular job in the web strategy/social media/legal marketing industry. He attended Mississippi State University and traveled all around the SEC watching basketball, vis-à-vis being a manager for the men’s basketball team. He majored in marketing and minored in art as a Bulldog, and all of that was just over 10 years ago (yikes!). He likes IPA beers, calls his favorite food salsa or burgers or pizza, and he has a future wife. His last name is pronounced, “we-DIE,” as in ‘I die, you die… we die.’
Contact Kyle at: truthaboutit [at] gmail.com
Rashad MobleyRashad has been covering the NBA and the Washington Wizards since 2008—his first two years were spent at Hoops Addict before moving to Truth About It. He attended and covered the 2010 and 2011 NBA All-Star games in Dallas and Los Angeles respectively, and he also covered the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery (that would be the year the Wizards got the sixth pick, later selecting Jan Vesely). Rashad has appeared on ESPN and college radio, SportsTalk on NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C., and his articles have appeared on ESPN TrueHoop, USAToday.com, Complex Magazine, and the DCist. He considers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a hero and even got a chance to interview him in 2009.Rashad was born in Manhattan, New York City in 1975, and between then and 1987, he lived in Cleveland, Detroit, Cleveland again, and Newtown, Connecticut. In August of 1987, Rashad moved to the Washington area (Potomac, Maryland to be exact), and he instantly became an ardent follower of the Washington Bullets for two main reasons. For one, when he lived in Connecticut, he was forced to watch New York Knicks basketball on the MSG network, which meant he received a steady diet of Bernard King, who had been signed by the Bullets in October 1987. Two, he was transfixed by Steve Colter and his unstoppable behind-the-back move. (No footage of this exists on the Internet; believe us, we’ve checked.)
Rashad frequently visited the dimly-lit Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, but it was mostly to see Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, and superstars on the other team—which is exactly how Team President Susan O’Malley and Owner Abe Pollin drew fans to their arena. Every now and then, Ledell Eackles, Jeff Malone, Harvey Grant, LaBradford Smith or Tom Hammonds would do yeoman’s work and make the opposing team work for victories. But for the most part, the 1980s and early-1990s were depressing for Rashad and Bullets fans all around the world … OK, the D.C. area. Not even an occasional flash of brilliance from Charles “Secret Weapon” Jones could hide that. You can imagine how difficult it was for Rashad to tell his fellow dorm members at Hampton University (class of 1996) that he was a Bullets fan.
Since the late-1990s, Rashad has watched the team’s name change from Bullets to Wizards, the venue change from Landover to Chinatown, and the expectations change from hoping they’d be competitive on a nightly basis, to exciting Gilbert Arenas-led playoff series, and new beginnings with John Wall. He generously throws around Tony Kornheiser’s “The Curse of Les Boulez” phrase like he invented it; he has successfully brainwashed both his children into being fans of the Wizards; and because he’s the oldest member of TAI, he still buys and collects vinyl (mostly jazz).
Follow Rashad on Twitter (@rashad20) and nowhere else.
Contact Rashad at: rashad20 [at] gmail.com
John Converse Townsend
John did not grow up as a fan of the Washington Wizards. He was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and spent his childhood years running around the streets of New Delhi, India, at a time when the Wizards were still called the Bullets. He would tell you that Washington, D.C.’s pro basketball franchise during the ’90s, despite fielding a roster that included Gheorghe Mursesan, Juwan Howard and Chris Webber, wasn’t much more than a team to skip over in NBA Hangtime. John’s NBA fandom was driven by real star power and a stylistic bias toward players like Charles Barkley, John Starks, and, of course, Michael Jordan. But in 1998, the Townsends moved to a sunny suburb of D.C. and the newly-named Wizards began to command his attention. Assimilation can be a bitch.
Today, John lives in Brooklyn, New York, and writes about some of the world’s best social innovations when not riffing about roundball. He joined Truth About It in the spring of 2010 and his sports writing has been featured on ESPN.com, Yahoo!’s Ball Don’t Lie, SI.com, and the Huffington Post, among other places.
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnCTownsend).
Contact John at: jctowns [at] gmail.com
Adam McGinnisAdam grew up in the Midwest and has lived in the District of Columbia for a dozen years. He possesses a journalism degree from the University of Iowa and was immersed in the infancy of sports blogs culture rise to popularity and relevancy in the mid 2000’s.Adam’s Wizards fan street cred was most earned when he sat in the second row at the infamous Michael Ruffin game and actually recorded the bonehead play on his piece of crap cell phone. WHY, MICHAEL, WHY? A Gilbert Arenas jersey and shoe continues to be displayed prominently at his Mount Pleasant residence. He attended Agent Zero’s MLK Day walk-off game winner against the Jazz, but his connection with the franchise was cemented at the 2006 “Cinco De Mayo” playoff series-clinching loss to the Cavs. The disappointing overtime defeat still haunts him today and the mere mention of Damon Jones causes visceral unpleasant reactions.
Adam met Kyle where all strong relationships begin, online. (A Bullets Forever comment section to be exact.) They shared a fondness for oysters, craft beer, talking smack and the Washington Wizards. Adam and Kyle often disagree over the Wizards, with their mini-feuds sometimes spilling over into Twitter and Google Plus Hangouts, but unlike PTI duo of Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser, both of them actually like D.C. sports.
In March of 2010, Adam began contributing to TAI and covered his first Wizards game as a member of the credentialed media. Since then, he has performed various duties for the site, such as creating videos, shooting pictures, conducting interviews, writing blog posts and managing multiple social media accounts. Adam’s Wizard perspective has been featured on several radio shows and has been recognized by team owner Ted Leonsis. His inquisitive style has elicited some famous quotes and bloggables–Jordan Crawford’s “Who Else Gonna Shoot,” Andray Blatche’s “I’m willing to die for this,” and Ernie Grunfeld on deserving a contract extension, “The important thing is that Ted felt that.” His three part video series, “Andray Blatche Masterpiece Theater” will never be amnestied from #SoWizards lore.
As a fresh college grad, Adam moved to the nation’s capital in order to change the world. While his professional background includes solving problems and making websites pretty for a variety of solid organizations, he now scours Instagram for funny photos & video clips of twenty-something professional basketball players. He was recognized as top 20 sports twitter user to follow in Washington area by Ball Hogs Radio. Adam’s personal passions are coaching a youth boys basketball team, ranting on social networks, finding the end of internet on a daily basis, depicting D.C. life with photographs, and yelling at TV’s during sporting contests. He looks forward to the day the nickname of his favorite hoops team does not involve a make-believe sorcerer.
Follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamMcGinnis).
Contact Adam at: adammcginnis [at] gmail.com
Sean FaganSean has been covering the Washington Wizards since Gilbert Arenas’ last season with the team. After he broke the news about Arenas faking an injury to allow Nick Young to start, Sean realized that he was reporting on a team that was “unique” in its social dynamic and its loyal, yet beleaguered fanbase. His writing has been featured in Yahoo, SI.com and all other major outlets that provide the best basketball coverage.Sean came to TAI because he believes in the power of writing to inform and entertain the reader with the assumption that all people who read about the Wizards need to also possess a good sense of humor in order to continue following the team. Now based in Brooklyn, Sean continues to provide reporting to TAI while simultaneously attempting to get Brooklynites to jump aboard the Blatche Bandwagon. Because someone else needs to suffer.
Follow Sean on Twitter (@McCarrick).
Contact Sean at: mccarricksean [at] gmail.com
Lukas is TAI’s Czech correspondent, a.k.a. all things Jan Vesely and Tomas Satoransky-related. He was born and raised in Czechoslovakia, which he still considers his home country, even though it was split into Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Lukas has been monitoring Czech media coverage of Jan Vesely since the NBA Draft 2011. He’s a longtime San Antonio Spurs fan (Tim Duncan and David Robinson are his favorite players ever), a basketball junkie (he once traveled six hours by train to watch a random NBA game in a Czech sports TV studio), and a founder of the unofficial Czechoslovak-American Basketball Hall of Fame Facebook page (John Havlicek! Jeff Hornacek! Jon Koncak!).
The Washington Wizards have, obviously, grabbed a tiny piece of Lukas’ heart over the last few years. After the 2011 Draft, he embarked on a ‘Honza-to-the-world’ journey, reviving his dead blog with a translated post of an interview that Vesely gave to the Czech media. By the dawn of the morning in Washington, D.C., the DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg unearthed the post and wrote about it. And so began the continued coverage of a fellow called “Honza.” A couple of weeks later, Lukas found himself as the Czech correspondent for Truth About It.net. And as long as Czech-mates Jan “The Airwolf” and Saty are Wizards, Lukas’ unbridled passion for them and NBA basketball (and translations!) will continue.
Follow Lukas on Twitter (@Luke_Mellow).
Contact Lukas at: lukaskuba85 [at] gmail.com
Conor DirksConor was born in Washington, D.C (around the time the Bullets were scouting the late, great Manute Bol) and raised in Annapolis, Maryland after a brief stint on Turkey Point Island. Although his basketball game could best be described as “annoying” or “old Bruce Bowen without the defense or basketball ability,” he nevertheless found another way to love the sport. Through pretend! And much later, through the intramural B-League championship at a small liberal arts college.The Washington basketball team has been an assiduous companion throughout the years. Whether it’s been Dave Johnson’s radio coverage in Conor’s dorm room at Kenyon College, bootlegged Armed Forces Network sports coverage while volunteering in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, cheap seats while living in Woodley Park, or suffering through the invariable looks of confusion and pity from friends in Atlanta when delaying social activities until after “the game,” Conor’s unilateral relationship with the Wizards is Rock of Gibraltar-ish. A Rock of Gibraltar that rolls its eyes and grinds its teeth and tries to eat all of the potato chips.Sometimes Conor wears the signed XL Gilbert Arenas jersey he acquired on the eve of Gungate, and he is still willing to reward all tips leading to information about the Awvee Storey autographed photo he misplaced in D.C. after the 2012 draft.
Conor met Kyle Weidie and Adam McGinnis during the 2011-12 NBA Finals, where he managed to call Darius Songaila by the name of former Caps defenseman Sergei Gonchar. He’s been a contributor at TAI since November 2012, after attending an Atlanta Hawks-Washington Wizards tilt in Atlanta, Georgia, and writing about the experience. Conor recently graduated from Emory University School of Law, and moved from Atlanta’s Cabbagetown neighborhood back to Washington to take a job at a D.C. law firm. He likes French fries, recognizes a variety of Elven dialects, and looks forward to the day that a form of artificial intelligence becomes sentient and requires an attorney.
Contact Conor at: conordirks [at] gmail.com
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.
Even though it has been over 30 years since Washington has won more than 45 games in a season, Adam believes that one day it will happen again. Maybe even in his lifetime.For some unknown reason Adam enjoys writing, talking and thinking about the Bullets. His first NBA-related journalistic endeavor was a rare 1995 sit down interview with Manute Bol at his short-lived U Street club Manute Bol’s Spotlight. Adam began contributing to Truth About It during the 2012-13 season.
Follow Adam on Twitter (@LedellsPlace).