Coolest job moments of 2019

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I had an incredible year with ESPN Social in 2019 — from traveling to Toronto for the NBA Finals to helping us become one of the top sports media accounts on TikTok. It’s been a wild ride!

Here are some of the highlights (all the following social posts are videos that I shot or things I worked on):

📈📈📈 ESPN TikTok

This was the BIGGEST SURPRISE of 2019. I started to dig into this app in the spring when our team started experimenting on it, and by the summer, once I got through leading our NBA free agency coverage, I was given the green light to take lead of the ESPN TikTok account. I saw there was so much opportunity and upside for us, and it turned into a huge success.

In less than 6 months, I helped us grow to more than 2 million followers, and, as noted in ESPN’s end-of-year review, “ESPN is among the top five sports publishers on the platform with more than 62 million total likes to date and 380 million total views in just seven months.”

This one I posted may be the most engaged ESPN social post of all time (46.7M views, 3.2M likes, 46.6K shares): Guys throwing eggs in the air (yes, you read that right).

Some other viral TikToks I’ve produced:

NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte

This was my second time at an NBA All-Star Weekend, but my first time really being involved in covering the events.

When I went to ASW in Los Angeles in 2018, I was there mostly to do one-on-one interviews at nearby events, and to blog about what was happening for For The Win. This time, I was actually on the court at various points throughout the weekend to film content for ESPN, SportsCenter and NBA on ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as for multiple sponsored Instagram Stories.

Working with designers

Part of my job involves working with ESPN social’s talented designers to come up with engaging ways to present any ideas that I think of during my shifts. It’s been a new way for me to stretch my creativity in that I could imagine something, and that someone else could bring it to life.

These designs in particular were all made by Anna Lupean, who’s now making a lot of the cool graphics you see across the Lakers’ social platforms. Shoutout to her for being so awesome to work with throughout the year. Here are just a few collabs we did:

2019 Spelling Bee

During the madness of the NBA playoffs/Finals, I was given the task of being the Spelling Bee lead, and it was a lot of fun! I brought back some older clips to help promote the competition ahead of time, and there was a stunning finish: eight co-champions.

From 2018 to 2019, I helped raise our Spelling Bee social engagement by more than +60%.

(…. still editing the rest of this post — there’s even more!)

My local breakfast burrito spot now serves root beer lattes

Food

TL;DR It’s surprisingly very very good.

Behold, the iced root beer latte.

Phanny’s Burgers in Redondo Beach is the best breakfast burrito spot in my area. Recently, they began serving Stumptown coffee, as well as other interesting concoctions such as the drink above.

This morning I went in to try one. While waiting on my order, I googled root beer lattes, and I discovered that it appears they’re fairly new, yet trendy.

Then, I got my order, took a sip, and it’s actually really good! And I don’t even like root beer!

I would’ve loved to sit there a chat about what inspired them to create this, but it was a busy Saturday morning with far too many people for me to butt in just to ask about my latte. Maybe next time.

It tastes like it also has condensed milk in it, which very nicely, weirdly complements the root beer and coffee. It’s so strange and so good. It tastes like a refreshingly sweet latte with a hint of root beer.

I’m repeating myself. I’m not sure how else to describe it, so I’ll just leave it at this: It’s good. If you’re in the area, go try one. If you’re not in the area, ask your local coffee place to consider trying it out?

I’m now realizing that not every coffee place has root beer soda sitting around, which makes this an even more perfect drink for a place like Phanny’s that serves breakfast burritos, fries, burgers and Stumptown coffee — oh, and it’s only blocks away from the beach.

I had my dad, who is in the beauty business, rate NBA hairstyles

Sports

This is my dad.

ED

(this photo was taken a while ago but I think it’s hilarious)

He went to cosmetology school, and he works for a hair-cutting scissor company. Whenever I watch TV or movies with him, he always comments on people’s hair (whether it’s a sports game or the news). With all the wacky NBA hairstyles around the league this season, I decided to have him rate some of them.

If you know my dad at all, you’ll know why I thought this would be fun. I spent about 10 minutes showing him photos and getting feedback. This is the result, in no particular order.

1. George Hill

I told him to just say what he thinks for these. After showing him a photo of Hill, he eventually settled for “sheep’s wool,” and he left it at that.

2. Jeremy Lin

Without missing a beat: “the Beatles.”

My dad is convinced Kobe lies about his height, so for Jeremy Lin’s spikes, he said that Lin probably is just trying to add inches to make himself appear taller.

3. Lance Stephenson

View this post on Instagram

Late night work

A post shared by Lance Stephenson (@stephensonlance) on

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed, but Lance Stephenson is totally rocking a bowl cut. After chuckling at Hill and Lin, my dad said he actually likes Stephenson’s style. He called it very trendy and lovingly coined the term “shelf cut.” He added that you could also call Stephenson a “Chinese G” because his hair looks like the guys from old Chinese gangster movies.

4. Nick Young

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NY Talk To Me #NYInNY

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

“Cheetos. Women love the Cheetos.” This is a real quote.

5. LeBron’s hairline

He laughed and said LeBron definitely had transplants because hair doesn’t reappear that quickly.

6. Kelly Olynyk

“He’s probably from Wisconsin or something. ’70s rocker. Modern day hippie. The NBA’s Fabio.” (Note: Olynyk is from Toronto. Apologies to Wisconsin and Canada for any offense, nothing against you guys, it’s just a hair thing.)

7. Kevin Love

“Antonio Banderas in Zorro.” He also added that it reminds him of Bill Walton’s hair, and it is similar!

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

“Everyone’s going retro,” he said, wisely.

Bonus: Carlos Boozer

There have been so many jokes made about Boozer’s sharpie-esque hair that I thought I’d spare Boozer from this list, but my dad brought him up without me even asking. AND SURPRISE!

My dad is probably the only person on the planet who genuinely likes Boozer’s marker hair. He described it as a Japanese hair dye (no idea if that’s 100 percent true), and he said it makes Boozer look like a “cool superhero.”

He said that NBA players should start wearing swim-type caps on their heads, so that then they could wear whatever hair they want. Essentially he proposed that NBA players should wear wigs while they play.

That concludes this edition of “My dad Ed rates NBA hairstyles.” Not sure if there will be more of these, but if you see weird hair and would like my dad to comment on it for some strange reason, feel free to let me know.

Pepperdine is nice but this is a straight disrespect to Space Jam

Pepperdine

I’d like to start by saying Pepperdine journalism was amazing for me. It gave me a foundation, lifelong friends and taught me valuable lessons. Pepperdine’s International Programs are also legendary. London IP was by far the highlight of my college experience.

HOWEVER, this is not OK.

Pepperdine’s New Student Orientation this year was space themed, so for decorations they used “Space Jam” on signs. Initially I was really excited — wow! SPACE JAM THIS IS AWESOME I LOVE YOU ALMA MATER. But no. In this context, “Space Jam” is a space-themed dance. Far from this:

giphy (1)

TRAVESTY. SCANDAL. We must not let Michael Jordan’s Space Jam die. I grew up running around the house singing, “I Believe I Can Fly.” It doesn’t matter that I haven’t seen the movie in 10-plus years.

If you’re thinking, “Well, maybe those girls simply weren’t dressed for the occasion,” I confirmed with other students that this is indeed space-themed with no correlation to the film. Others are in space tights and one of my friends texted me: “All those in space suits are worthy of expulsion FROM THE PLANET.” Yes, apparently there are people running around in space. suits.

The logos are far too similar for this mistake to have been made. Someone knew

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 1.54.57 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-29 at 1.54.40 PM

What’s done is done. I just wanted to vent and get this out there — to make people aware of what is happening. Even if the 1996 cartoon sports flick wasn’t the greatest movie of all time, it was a great movie at the time for a little kid. Don’t let it die. Please.

I’ll leave you with more Pepperdine social media things. Maybe this adds context. Maybe it’s not their fault (?):

(as seen on Instagram)

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