Pete Zayas was one of the dozens of writers laid off by The Athletic in early June. Zayas is the creator of Laker Film Room, a YouTube channel that breaks down games, players, and more, which eventually led to Zayas joining The Athletic in 2018.
I got laid off by The Athletic today. Looking forward to getting the YouTube channel back up and running, I really miss making videos anyway and things should work out. Here's my Patreon if you wanna support the work I've done and will be doing. Go Lakers. https://t.co/Mht81RDCy0
— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) June 5, 2020
Now, less than two weeks later, Zayas will indeed be producing more Lakers-related videos. Now, though, he’ll be doing it in an official capacity.
It is the honor of a lifetime to announce that I will be producing videos and other content for the @Lakers. What a dream come true.
Picked me up off the buyout market after I cleared waivers ????
— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) June 15, 2020
The official Lakers account also broadcast the news, along with Lakers president Jeannie Buss.
Whaaaaaaaat's up, Laker Fans? https://t.co/pDM4JjWyKd
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 15, 2020
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) June 15, 2020
It’s become somewhat trendy in recent years for professional teams across sports to hire media members or analysts for team positions, it’s somewhat less common for it to happen so quickly after losing a job. It has to be even more rewarding for Zayas; it’s fun to think about the work that went into something like this lengthy breakdown of Larry Nance Jr.’s 2016 Summer League performance knowing that in 2020, Zayas will be doing a lot more work for the Lakers than Nance will.
It’s a nice example of a team not stifling a creator, too, but instead embracing the content and then bringing it in-house as a way to reach an audience. That’s a refreshing approach considering so many leagues and teams routinely file DMCA’s in an effort to prevent people from sharing.