(Preface: I realize this probably isnt the normal use of FanPosts, but I feel this is something I need to do)
Hey man, it's Andrew, and I know we haven't talked in a while and im sorry man. I was just showering and thinking about how Sloan is coming up soon, and then I remembered last years, my first time there, and while the panels discussions were incredible, I was so happy I finally got to meet you in person. We had known each other for three years before that though, on the weird corner of the internet where Australians run NBA forums, I was just some 15 year old kid who knew just enough about stats and players to be a total dick about it, and battling with demons of my own. But for some reason you put up with my antics and adolescent love of caps lock and crude jokes and talked to me about the game we both truly loved, and when we got tired of that we talked about anything we wanted, and eventually I talked to you about stuff that nobody ever wants to talk about, but at the time I really needed to. You never told me about the struggles you had in your life, you just listened (er... read) to me rant and probably sound insane, and you always said it would get better.
And you know what? it did Tim, and when I finally was happy, I never thanked you. I mean yeah we talked about how everything in my life was unicorns and puppy breath now, but I never thanked you for being there to listen to a kid who had no idea what to do with his life. Then you told me why you were there for me, the struggles you had and continued to deal with in your life, and that you got through thanks to friends being there for him. And it was then I realized that you were not just one of my "e-friends" you were a friend, no need for explanation around it.
And as I became semi-knowledgable about the NBA your smarts and wit got you here at CH. And Tim, I am not a Timberwolves fan by any stretch, but I paid more attention to CH than I ever will be able to at PtR. I rarely commented on an article you wrote, you were always on Facebook, and later on Twitter, and you always answered me, whether it was a serious question about sports or life, if I wanted to talk about what the best worst music was, or to talk about some of the more.... colorful people on your FaceBook wall, you were there. When I told you I was thinking of going to school to try to get a job in basketball, you told me I was an idiot, but that if I really wanted to go for it I should.
And then I was able to get a ticket to Sloan last year without even knowing you would be there, and when I found out you would be there, and that we would end up actually meeting in person for the first time, I was indeed excite. So excited that I ended up probably being the most under-dressed person there and likely the only one who still was choosing what college to go too. But you didn't care I was the 18 year old who stuck out like a sore thumb, because you were you, and we talked and shook hands, and by the time the conference was over, it finally sunk in that we hung out at the sports equivalent of Dragon-Con (Dragon-Con is awesome).
Then the Summer happened, and while you hinted at things at times, I never expected what would happen until one of those damn Australians told me the news. I was in shock, I read things on your wall, posts on Canis Hoopus and people's personal blogs, gave more money than I could reasonably afford to the Humane society in your name, and actually used those dreadful embroidery services at lids to get TA on the side of my wolves hat, but it still didn't really sink in that you were gone. It did not really hit me until I was off at college and opening night happened, and you still were not there, and I finally came to terms that my friend is dead.
So yeah Tim, I miss you, and when I am alone in a hotel room in Boston in a few weeks I am probably cry again. I never really let you know how important you were for me, for a mix of self consciousness of the internet and my age and the stupidity that comes with my age, and for that I am sorry. But Tim I don't want to forget you, and I remember the good times we shared, even if most of them were over a monitor. I hope the Wolves go 82-0 at some point, and if I end up getting a job with a team or if I don't, I wan't to thank you for telling a kid with a stupid dream to follow it.
And Tim? Whenever I see a hot tub I always think of those days screwing around on the internet with you, and I wouldn't change that for anything.
Thanks SB Nation and Canis Hoopus for existing and being a place for me to write this stupid letter to a friend.