by Lang Whitaker

We begin today with a bit of good news. (Hey, it’s Monday, when good news is always looked upon favorably. Particularly by Falcons fans.)

On Friday afternoon, I took Sam and our two SLAMonline summer interns, Ben Collins and Jon Weiner, out to lunch. As we sat there at Le Bernadin, I took a long, thoughtful glance around the table. It wasn’t so long ago that SLAMonline was a one-man show, when if I didn’t update The Links using Dreamweaver, guile and as much patience as I could muster, SLAMonline wasn’t getting updated.

Now, I realized, we’ve got a full-fledged team working on this site. OK, so we’re not much of a crack technical team — I’m sure the basketball staff at ESPN.com would take us in a battle royale, only because they’d have a huge personnel advantage; and also because Chris Sheridan, when angered, is a man possessed — but the four of us definitely know way more about football and baseball than any other basketball site. We also all have really good attitudes. Except for Collins. (To the left is a picture I snapped the other day of Sam explaining some technical mumbo-jumbo to Jon.)

Anyway, what made me appreciate our staff even more was some news I was recently given: For the month of July, SLAMonline.com had our biggest month, ever. And I don’t mean in terms of just hits, although we had more hits in July than we ever had. I’m talking about the holy grail of internet statistics: unique users. Which means that even though Ryan Jones and White Hot Eboy each must log onto SLAMonline 1,000 times a day to make sure they are the most recent person to comment on any given post, for the purposes of unique users, they each count as one hit. Not to mention that July, August and September are usually our slowest months as far as visitors go.

This means more new people than ever are logging on and checking out SLAMonline.com. And for that, I want to say thank you to you the readers, whether you’ve been down with us since The Links went live back in July of 2001 or you just started checking out all of our great content. We’re still working on the site, trying to make it better and more interactive and timely, not because we want it to be better for us, but because we want to make it better for you guys.

So, thanks again. For real.

Now, with that out of the way, my other motive in posting this was to tell you that we need your help. The actual reason for our online lunch was to observe the impending departures of Collins and Jon, who are each about to head back off to school for their fall semesters, each hopefully wiser and better at moderating comments in a Word Press blog. And with them gone, we need a couple of new interns.

The qualifications are pretty simple: know a lot about basketball; be willing to come into the SLAM Dome a couple of days each week; be willing work hard and work free. That’s about it — we’ll teach you everything else you need to know. You’ll be able to write for the site and the magazine, and if you keep your head down and your eyes up, you may be able to turn your internship into a job one of these days (Sam, stand up).

If you are interested, email me by clicking on my name at the top. And if you know someone that might be interested, let them know about it. It’s the toughest job they’ll ever love. Or something like that.