A Tribute to Blake Murphy

Today was a sad day for Raptors Republic with Blake Murphy’s stewardship for RR coming to an end. The media industry is a tough business to compete in and make a living in it is even tougher.  Unfortunately, sometimes you have to break hearts.  Think of this as a small town team not being able to retain a free agent – don’t hate the playa, hate the game.  With that in mind, here are some tributes from the RR staff for former RR Editor, Blake Murphy:

Josh Weinstein:

Thank you Blake. From producing must-read content, to inspiring countless writers with your pieces, it’s been a pleasure working with you over the past year. I’m grateful you gave me the chance to produce content for RR. Who knew reaching out through a Reddit AMA would actually amount to something? Best of luck with the next step in your career, and I look forward to reading your work this upcoming season and beyond.

Cooper Smither:

Ever since I first reached out to him in 2015 looking for feedback on a poorly written, verbose, X’s & O’s article I posted on my personal blog (that no one else read), Blake has been nothing short of an incredibly accommodating and helpful person. In an industry where the limited opportunities can breed a “dog-eat-dog” culture, Blake has consistently looked out for my best interest, even outside of his role as my editor, and for that I am extremely appreciative. While Raptors Republic should selfishly consider this a tremendous loss, I personally wish Blake nothing but the best at his new role.

Sam Folk:

Blake’s fingerprints are all over Toronto’s blogosphere, and there’s a ton of young guys like myself who look at him as Toronto’s basketball writer. You couldn’t name a more well-liked person in Toronto’s media… Thnks fr th Mmrs, Blake.

Nils Linnenbruegger:

Heartiest congratulations to Blake and thank you. Thank you for leading by example. Through your leadership and contributions over the last nine years, you helped take Raptors Republic site from group of blogging outcasts to a credible Toronto Raptors fan and news site that is highly regarded not only in Toronto & Canada but internationally now. Best of luck to you & Carly Rae in your future endeavours.

Vivek Jacob:

My first pitch to RR was a story about Patrick Patterson where I essentially clowned him. Blake could have just no. Instead, he helped me re-work it about 3-4 times till it actually resembled something respectable and I’ve learned a ton from him since. I’ve still got a ways to go but I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am without him. His work ethic combined with his passion and commitment to helping others is something I aspire to. Can’t wait for him to kick ass wherever he goes, but more importantly, establish something resembling a normal sleeping pattern.

Katie Heindl:

Blake is a really great editor, better dude, and I don’t know what I’m going to do without his reminder emails like very chill rays of sunshine in my inbox on deadline days. I hope everyone knows he’s the reason this website didn’t catch on fire.

Tamberlyn Richardson:

To think when you reached out to me on social media many moons ago that message would be the catalyst for my current journey. As you depart Raptors Republic I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and thank you for your support, insight and friendship. Michael Jordan once said “Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” In your case Blake I’m convinced there are no limits! Wishing you heartfelt congratulations as you conquer your next challenge.

William Lou:

I’m sure my colleagues can attest to Blake’s generosity when it comes to opening doors in this boy’s club business (there’s nothing really to say on that front other than I owe my whole career to him), so I’ll just speak to Blake as my dear friend. He’s a selfless and humble soul who always gives more to others than he will to himself, and I think you can see that in his work. He earned every opportunity that has come to him, and I’m truly lucky to have him in my corner. Blake’s one of the good guys.

Colin Connors:

Blake’s been everything I could possibly have asked for as an editor and mentor in the business. Ever since I’ve started writing, he’s gone above and beyond in helping me find my voice and build confidence in my abilities. I honestly don’t think I would have stuck with it if it weren’t for Blake, and for that, I’m forever grateful.

Andrew Damelin:

A Haiku:

Took a chance on me
Quick reax to him leaving
Will miss G-League pal

Joshua Howe:

I’ve spent a year now as a staff writer for Raptors Republic, and during that span I’ve come to know Blake as not only one of the most prolific and hardworking sportswriters there is, but also one of the kindest, most gracious people you’ll ever meet. He will always gift you his time, even if it doesn’t benefit him or his swamped schedule, to offer advice, encouragement, and opportunity. In so many ways, Blake Murphy is Raptors Republic, and I know that, no matter where his path takes him, he’s going to imprint his next endeavour with the same warm glow he did here. Good luck with everything, man.

Louis Zatzman:

Blake is both the hardest working and nicest-acting dude around. He’s also helped me out in so many ways. Blake deserves the best because he is the best, and I’ll miss him at RR.

Nick Reynoldson:

Blake is one of the hardest working, most humblest people I have ever met. He is talented and selfless. It’s been an absolute privilege to have enjoyed years of his amazing work for free. He’s best Raptor writer in all the land and the most handsome too.

Alex Gres:

The summer of 2018 will forever be marked as a true end of an era in Raptorland. The obvious departure of DeRozan will be the one many think of in that regard, but it isn’t the only one. Another instantly-recognizable symbol of the franchise (to a decent contingent of its fans, at least) made an earth-shattering move too – one Blake Murphy. And it’s no coincidence both moves happened around the same time, as the two share a host of similar qualities.

Both have an unrivaled work ethic and dedication to constant improvement of their craft, fuelled by an unwavering passion for the game of basketball. As excellent of a writer as Blake is (his efficiency is ridiculous considering his usage rate), he’s just as good of a human being from the short while I’ve had the pleasure to know him. The dude is synonymous with RR, and I’m proud to have been associated with him by extension in my two years writing for the site.

Blake, I wish you the absolute best as you move a step closer to your inevitable destination – becoming the premier media voice of Toronto Raptors basketball.

Sahal Abdi:

Blake, Blake, Blake. Hardest working man in the industry and my role model in this field. Thanks for allowing me to join this journey with you and this incredible team at RR. You’ve helped me grow tremendously as a writer, forge relationships with great people, accommodated me when I needed it, and put me squarely on a path where I can do what I’ve dreamed about since I was little — cover ‘sports’ and better yet, do it for my hometown team. You’re truly an amazing person, leader and writer. I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavours. Just don’t ignore me on Twitter now when you see the BatMurphy signal. All the best, brother.

Oren Weisfeld:

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to showcase my writing on Raptors Republic and for helping me create better columns that are less susceptible to fan critiques.  Wishing you the best of luck and looking forward to reading you throughout the Raptors season!

Zarar Siddiqi:

Thanks dude. You taking over the site for the last few years allowed me to spend time with my young kids and complete my MBA. For that I am forever grateful.

This chapter of RR has ended. A new one has begun.

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