Shea Serrano is one of the best writers in the world and a huge sports fan. We talked with Shea about the Spurs, Twitter and much more!
Shea Serrano is one of the biggest names in the sports press and is one of the editors for the website The Ringer, lead by Bill Simmons himself. Besides that, Shea allies that career with the pleasure of writing and building books and become one of the youngest men to have a Bestseller on the New York Times with a basketball book.
Fair Play: How was the transition from being a teacher to writer like? Harder than you thought?
Shea: It was weird, but also good. After about a week of being a full-time writer I remember realizing, “Oh shit. I have 50 extra hours a week now to work on things.” I, of course, miss the kids a bunch. Not having that kind of social interaction every day does suck a bit. It was such a big part of my life for those nine years I was teaching. So occasionally I do still feel that pull. But all in all, it’s gone fairly well.
Btw, would you like to thank Target and Walmart and such for not hiring you? That lead you to writing in a way, wasn’t it?
Yeah. I applied at both of those place (among others) when I was trying to find a part-time job to make some extra money. They all either ignored me or turned me down because they said I already had a full-time job and wouldn’t be able to work the hours they might need me to. Who knows how things would’ve been different if Pappadeaux’s had hired me. I probably would’ve never started writing.
You have been so successfull in your published books “Bun B’s rap Coloring and Activity Book”, “The Rap year Book” and “Basketball (and other things). Do you think your main skill is and I quote you from a interview you had with dayoneperspective.com “With the stuff that I’m writing, my main goal is I just want it to be a thing that nobody has written before or hopefully thought about before. And sometimes it works.”?
That’s definitely the goal. I just want to try and write some stuff or make some stuff that hasn’t been done yet. Sometimes I get there and it’s cool, sometimes I don’t and it sucks. But yes, that’s the goal.
Is the research of a book/article the best thing in writing for you?
I do enjoy it a lot, yes. Because at that point, all you’re really doing is learning. Learning is fun, and cool, especially if it’s about something you’re interested in.
You are now been writing for 130 weeks on the Ringer, we actually want to know how was your first meeting with Bill Simmons? And how do you deal with Kevin O’Connor working in the same place as you?
It was intimidating. I was extremely nervous. He seemed so tall in person, and so scary, which is crazy to think about now because he’s a real sweetheart. I can’t say enough nice things about him. Kevin, on the other hand…
What do you like the most to write about? Music culture, sports culture or any other stuff?
It just depends on what’s going on. I’m in a spot where I mostly only write about things that I’m interested in.
Let’s talk about and I quote you “Guerrilla Philantrophy” FOH Army that you have built on Twitter. Are you still impressed day by day of what you accomplished on Twitter in so many different situations?
Of course. It’s always wild to be on Twitter like, “Hey, go donate your money here,” and then a bunch of people, “You got it, Shea,” and then they go and donate their money there. Money is so precious. People work hard to get some. So to see them give some of it just away because they saw a tweet is pretty incredible to think about.
Getting into sports related questions, are you ready?
Do you actually feel mad at yourself that your first Spurs basketball memory is just a bad hustle play? Is this what you will cheer for in the future for your franchise? It doesn’t look that bright in San Antonio.
Of course I’m not mad at myself for that. It’s one of my favorite basketball memories of all. And you must’ve written these questions back when the Spurs were in a funk. Because now they’ve won, like, 14 of the last 16 or something like that, and are back up to 4th place in the west. This is one reason why you should never do email interviews.
What would you prefer for the rest of your life in a island. Watching all the Kobe Bryant best shots against your beloved Spurs on repeat? Or have to listen the full discography of your main man J. Cole?
Whats the player you hate the most in the league currently? We know its Karl Malone all time.
There’s not really anyone who gets me all bothered.
Which current young player you would love to have on the Spurs for the next decade?
What would it be your fav 5 all time with “not that good players”?
Vinny Del Negro, Will Perdue, 1996 Carl Herrera, Malik Rose, and 1997 Jaren Jackson.
Besides basketball what sports you like the most and what teams should be looking for if we had to follow other stuff?
The Texans in the NFL and the Aces in the WNBA and the Ducks in WCBB.
Whats the best memory you have relate to sports besides basketball?
An interception I got during a pickup game of street football. (This is another reason why you shouldn’t do email interviews. I’ve gotten tired of typing so now all the answers are just one sentence long, haha.)
The most important question I’ve written in this interview to finish it. What would it be your NBA nickname?
É com Fair Play que pretendemos trazer uma diversificada panóplia de assuntos e temas. A análise ao detalhe que definiu o jogo; a perspectiva histórica que faz sentido enquadrar; a equipa que tacticamente tem subjugado os seus concorrentes; a individualidade que teima em não deixar de brilhar – é tudo disso que é feito o Fair Play. Que o leitor poderá e deverá não só ler e acompanhar, mas dele participar, através do comentário, fomentando, assim, ainda mais o debate e a partilha.