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77 minutes | 5 days ago
The NBA's Upper Class
Mike answers a litany of listener questions on a live Locker Room chat about various NBA topics, including the Nuggets post-Jamal Murray injury, the biggest threat to the Nets, and much more.
103 minutes | 19 days ago
Stuck in the Middle (Of the NBA)
Mike and Ben do another Locker Room chat, this time talking about the proliferation of the NBA's middle class, the Sacramento Kings, Zion Williamson the point guard, Stephen Curry's MVP case, and more Submit your Blue Wire Hustle application here: http://bwhustle.com/join
84 minutes | 24 days ago
Post Trade-Deadline Examination
Mike and Ben do another Locker Room chat to discuss the trade deadline. They go through the Bull's moves, Kyle Lowry not getting moved, what's going on in Houston, and so much more.
71 minutes | a month ago
What the heck is NBA Top Shot?
Freelance writer Shaker Samman (@ShakerSamman) joins the show to discuss his Sports Illustrated feature story on NBA Top Shot, the new virtual trading card service that has exploded in popularity and value over the past year. Why are people paying huge sums of money to own basketball highlights that are everywhere? How is it similar and different to physical trading cards? Is it really just about trying to make money, or are there deeper human emotions like nostalgia, ownership, and ego at play? How does the service even work? What's in it for the NBA? Is this thing a bubble, or does it have staying power? Will this conversation turn Mike into a believer or will he still be a skeptic? Most importantly: when can we buy the Top Shot our favorite classic highlights and bloopers? Here's a link to Shaker's story https://www.si.com/nba/2021/03/17/nba-top-shot-crypto-daily-cover
84 minutes | a month ago
The State of the Modern NBA
Mike and Ben join their listeners for a conversation on Locker Room about the state of the game, talking about various questions such as: Are there too many threes? How do you fix officiating? Does the NBA have stylistic diversity? And more!
71 minutes | a month ago
The 2021 NBA Enjoyment Draft
Haley O'Shaughnessy and Jordan Ligons, co-hosts of "Spinsters" on the Blue Wire Podcast Network, join Mike and Ben for a simple competition: who can put together a five-man team of players that the most people will enjoy watching and following? Not necessarily the best team, but the one that'll make the most people happy when watching. The only rule: only two players per team who have been All-Stars in any of the last three seasons.Which of the following teams would you enjoy rooting for most?HALEY: Ja Morant, De'Aaron Fox, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mitchell Robinson. Coached by Monty WilliamsBEN: Collin Sexton, Klay Thompson, Robert Covington, Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid. Coached by Stan Van GundyMIKE: Steph Curry, LaMelo Ball, Marcus Smart, Mikail Bridges, Nikola Jokic. Coached by Nick NurseJORDAN: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Christian Wood, Bam Adebayo, Jarrett Allen. Coached by Becky Hammon
67 minutes | a month ago
All-Star Weekend Recap & Second Half Preview
Mike is back on Locker Room to chat about the festivities of All-Star Sunday, and takes a look into the second half of the NBA season.
81 minutes | 2 months ago
Joel Embiid's secret skill, Lloyd Pierce's inevitable firing, and your questions
Ben and Mike join their listeners in a live Locker Room chat to talk about Joel Embiid, coach firings, and so much more.
72 minutes | 2 months ago
The WNBA, where everyone's a title contender!
You want offseason fireworks? The WNBA gave you them this winter. So we dialed up our WNBA pals Matt Ellentuck (Here's Basketball newsletter) and Sabreena Merchant (SB Nation) to talk through the big moves and assess what could be the best title race in WNBA history. (Please stay healthy, everyone!)Topics include:Candace Parker's move from LA to Chicago. Why didn't the Sparks respect CP's greatness? Does Parker put the Sky over the top? How much fun will the Courtney Vandersloot-Candace pick-and-roll be?The Aces made the Finals riding A'ja Wilson. Are they even better now that they get Liz Cambage and Kelsey Plum back while adding Chelsea Gray? Or are there too many mouths to feed?How big a deal was Alysha Clark's decision to spurn the Storm for the Mystics? Is it enough to make Washington the favorites over Seattle?Can the Minnesota Lynx get some damn respect already after adding Kayla McBride and Aerial Powers to a core of Napheesa Collier, Sylvia Fowles, and Crystal Dangerfield?Oh yeah, Sabrina Ionescu's back! So is Diana Taurasi! So is Chennedy Carter! So is Arike Ogunbowale! So is Jonquel Jones! So is Brittney Griner, which might be kinda awkward! And hey, the Sparks still have Nneka Ogwumike, who's pretty good.Poor Indiana Fever :-(
75 minutes | 2 months ago
Seerat Sohi on Nets as NBA antiheroes, the Rockets' joyful spite, the value of defense and more
Seerat Sohi, national NBA reporter for Yahoo! Sports, joins the show for a free-form conversation on the most interesting stories of the NBA season. What kind of superteam are the Brooklyn Nets? If their stars aren't villains, what are they, exactly? Can they demonstrate that offense actually is more important than defense? Why isn't defense as cool as offense, anyway? Then, we discuss the fun vibe in Houston, the other team involved in the season's biggest star drama. How important is the motivation to prove everyone wrong? Why have the Rockets' many individual redemption stories coalesced into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts? Plus, some All-Star talk, why so many rookies are fitting in well despite not getting a real training camp, and more.
63 minutes | 3 months ago
How the Utah Jazz explain the modern NBA
The best team in the NBA right now plays in Salt Lake City. But just how good are the Utah Jazz? Can they really compete for a title, or is this just a cute early-season story. Ben Dowsett, longtime Jazz writer and creator of the Jazz Film Room subscription site, joins Mike to discuss the keys to Utah's improvement, Mike Conley's comfort, common national media misperceptions, and the underlying discussion the Shaq/Donovan Mitchell beef sadly overlooked. Plus, why the future of these Jazz will have a profound impact on the modern game.
76 minutes | 3 months ago
The most interesting players of the (early) 2020-21 NBA season
Nekias Duncan, staff writer for BasketballNews.com and the co-host of the groundbreaking "The Dunker Spot" podcast, joins the show to ponder the players that we've found most curious this season. What's going on with Ben Simmons' offense? Is Khris Middleton actually the Bucks' best player? (No but he sure seems like their closer). Are Warriors fans worrying too much? Why isn't Ja Morant on national TV more? Is Bam Adebayo the Heat's best offensive player now? Why are NBA teams still undervaluing wing size? Those topics and more on our long-overdue first episode of this new season.
72 minutes | 4 months ago
NBA Season Preview: Drafting NBA Teams
Varun Shankar, the pod's producer, joins the show to preview the NBA season. We've decided to draft the teams for this season in a sort of fantasy basketball format, but with teams instead of players. 3 people picking. 30 teams, 10 players each, it's a great time.
49 minutes | 4 months ago
Who is Giannis Antetokounmpo?
Mirin Fader, new features writer for The Ringer and the author of the upcoming book "Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP," joins the show to talk about her new project and the other big thing that happened to Giannis recently. (We're talking about his decision to sign the supermax contract to stay in Milwaukee). Mirin explains why Giannis' commitment to Milwaukee is entirely in character, shares how family obligation gives him a sense of loyalty and duty that others don't possess, and much more insight she's already gleaned from reporting the book. She also discusses her approach when profiling athletes, how she is able to connect with them, and how she avoids falling into some of sportswriting's most obvious tropes when doing so.
85 minutes | 4 months ago
The 25 best players in the NBA ... in 2025.
It's player ranking season, which also means it's time for our semi-regular tradition of projecting the best players in the NBA in four years. We did this on SB Nation in 2011, 2013, and most recently in 2017. Now, we've decided to move it to the podcast and do an abbreviated version. Tim Cato, Kristian Winfield, Ricky O'Donnell, and Matt Ellentuck – four of the folks behind the 2017 list – joined Mike and Ben (our moderator) to perform a special live draft of the 2025 rankings list. Five people picking. 25 players. Five picks each. There was plenty of roasting and plenty of arguing. Here's our list for posterity's sake, along with their ages as of Jan. 1, 2025. 1. Luka Doncic (25) 2. Trae Young (26) 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo (30) 4. Anthony Davis (31) 5. Zion Williamson (24) 6. Jayson Tatum (26) 7. Jamal Murray (27) 8. Nikola Jokic (29) 9. LeBron James (40) 10. Kawhi Leonard (33) 11. Cade Cunningham (23) 12. James Wiseman (23) 13. Karl-Anthony Towns (29) 14. Devin Booker (28) 15. Kevin Durant (36) 16. Joel Embiid (30) 17. Ben Simmons (28) 18. Stephen Curry (36) 19. Bam Adebayo (27) 20. Jimmy Butler (35) 21. Michael Porter Jr. (26) 22. Donovan Mitchell (28) 23. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (26) 24. Damian Lillard (34) 25. Jaren Jackson Jr. (25)
82 minutes | 5 months ago
A bunch of 2020-21 NBA pre-predictions, plus the done-with-rebuilding Hawks
GQ's Michael Pina, our most frequent podcast guest, joins Ben and Mike to begin thinking about the 2020-21 NBA season that's somehow imminent. We go through some hunches about the season to come that need further examination. Call them pre-predictions, opinions we feel comfortable thinking about but aren't ready to pin ourselves down to yet. Among them: Pina's Rockets optimism, Prada's Mavericks optimism, everyone's Kevin Durant optimism, and Ben's general season pessimism. Then, we use a listener question about rebuilding as a springboard to think about the Hawks, the NBA's offseason champions. Will their new-look roster mesh?
74 minutes | 5 months ago
NBA Free Agency: Did anyone really get better?
Mike and Ben run through a hectic, but ultimately muted NBA free agency period. Did any team meaningfully improve its prospects? What do we make of the remade Bucks after the Bogdan Bogdanovic saga? Was Atlanta right to short-circuit its rebuild. Who makes up the West's second tier? Did the Lakers win the offseason? Plus, what will the Warriors look like without Klay Thompson.
69 minutes | 5 months ago
The NBA's missed opportunity
Haley O'Shaughnessy, the newest member of the Blue Wire family after her recent departure from The Ringer, joins Ben and Mike to consider the larger state of the NBA as an institution and business. Why is the league pushing forward with a "business as usual"-ish 72-game season amid a larger COVID-19 outbreak? Isn't this the ideal time to try something new? Is Adam Silver doing a good job with the league, or is he letting it run adrift? Why are TV ratings so bad, and how much does that matter? Why can't the NBA sell its own sport effectively? What can the league do to provide more on-court intimacy to its fans? We also talk about NBA media coverage and ways to further improve the marketing of the product.
70 minutes | 5 months ago
Talented Texas creative yearns to make it big in the Big Apple
Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed), our old SB Nation friend who now covers the Brooklyn Nets and NBA at large for the New York Daily News, stops by to talk about the possibility of James Harden in Brooklyn. Why would the Rockets trade Harden now? Do the Nets have enough to make a deal happen? What would this new superteam look like? What's James Harden's value around the league? Then, Ben and Mike (and briefly Kristian) wonder if the Bucks' big moves for Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic are enough to get over the top.
82 minutes | 5 months ago
It’s Finally Draft Time (After 8 months)
Ricky O’Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) of SB Nation and Western Illinois Basketball Head Coach, joins the show to discuss everything about the draft. He and Ben discuss guards, bigs, euros, and so much more. What kind of defense can LaMelo Ball play? How do you pronounce Ulm? Is James Wiseman any good? Why can’t the White Sox do anything right? What player could probably bench press less than Ricky or Ben? All that, and so much more.
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