We’ve got the NBA covered from A to Z with this inside look at the Association from veteran journalists Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt. Great guests and gab for the hoophead in you.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt reflect on the Finals and what the latest Warriors title means, discuss the draft and all the fireworks that might come with it and dissect LeBron James' free agency options from every angle.
On this week's NBA A to Z pod, we unpack the wild Game 1 of the Finals and what it means for the Warriors and Cavs going forward with USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick, Michael Singer and A.J. Neuharth-Keusch. Will LeBron James ever forgive JR. Smith for his late-game blunder? Was this the Cavs' last, best at challenging the Warriors? So many questions, and we're here for the answers.
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick discuss the Western finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets and Eastern Conference final between the Cleveland Celtics and Boston Celtics. Both series are going at least six games. Also, USA TODAY Sports’ NBA editor Mike Singer joins the pod to discuss the NBA draft combine and its impact on the June draft.
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick discuss the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers and Western Conference finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. With a break between Games 2 and 3 in both series, Jeff and Sam dig deep and break down what’s transpired through two games.
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick talk with Mo Dakhil, a former video coordinator for the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs. Mo goes behind the scenes inside the video room and describes the role and life of a video coordinator during the regular season and playoffs. What do coaches want from the video coordinator? What do players want? Plus, Mo tells us how he found a way to stop of a Los Angeles Lakers play involving Kobe Bryant.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with Larry Coon, the league's preeminent expert on the collective bargaining agreement, a longtime NBA writer and the founder of The Sports Business Classroom event that takes place every July at Las Vegas Summer League. Sam and Larry discuss the story behind his famous CBA FAQ, the behind-the-scenes discussions he frequently has with league executives about key roster moves, and the ways in which he's paying it forward by way of The Sports Business Classroom.
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk to veteran basketball writer Ian Thomsen whose new book ‘The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk That Saved the NBA’ was just released. The book focuses on the 2010-11 season and how it revealed the NBA’s identity and its impact on the future of the league. Thomsen shares stories about LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Pat Riley, Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich, and he explains why he wanted to write the book.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the early part of the playoffs, from the mysterious Kawhi Leonard situation in San Antonio and what that might mean to the Cavs' struggles, Boston's battle against Milwaukee to the rest of the East and West matchups around the Association.
On this week's edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk with Portland Trail Blazers star and new podcast host, C.J. McCollum. The 26-year-old whose team is on the verge of the playoffs, and who graduated with a journalism degree from Lehigh University, launched a new show, "Pull Up with C.J. McCollum," to discuss life on and off the court in the NBA. He discusses this season, his new venture and how sharing his opinion stirs emotions from fans. He also talks about the media and how it covers the league.
On this week's edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick discusses the Wild West playoff race with Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. They discuss the Minnesota Timberwolves' attempt to end their league-long playoff drought, the San Antonio Spurs' hopes of continuing their two-decade-long playoff streak, and the many other subplots of this race.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with Utah Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert about their surprise season and their respective candidacies for the Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Sam and fellow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt discuss other storylines as well, from LeBron James' place in the MVP race to the Washington Wizards and why getting John Wall back is such a big deal.
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports Insider Jeff Zillgitt talks with veteran NBA writer Sam Smith, who covered Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, about Sam’s new book titled Hard Labor: The Battle That Birthed the Billion-Dollar NBA. Sam shares his insights about an era of basketball that was historical – with its share of political, racial and social issues as players fought for their rights on and off the court. He discusses the way the game was played, Oscar Robertson’s lawsuit, along with other players, that led to free agency, Spencer Haywood’s fight to leave college early and the relationships between players that helped make the game what it is today. Smith also talks about the current state of the NBA, including the Bulls’ rebuilding process and the NBA playoff races.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick shares observations from his trip to LA over the weekend to cover LeBron James' one-and-only visit to Laker Land this season. He caught up with Lakers coach Luke Walton during the trip, and discusses his team's turnaround and the integration of Isaiah Thomas into the mix as he enters free agency this summer. This week's episode also focuses on the New Orleans Pelicans, who have survived and thrived without DeMarcus Cousins after his season-ending Achilles tendon tear. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry talks with Sam about Anthony Davis' MVP-caliber play and other factors in their success. Sam also talks with Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo about his role in it all and how he sees his free agency future.
On this week's NBA A to Z pod, Sam Amick shares his Sloan Conference conversations in Boston with Michele Roberts (National Basketball Players Association executive director) and Jalen Rose (ESPN analyst, former NBA players). From the NCAA controversy to the gambling issue that is making its way into the NBA to the question of diversity in NBA front offices, they hit a number of hot topics. Sam breaks down the issues with fellow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt as well.
On this edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY basketball insiders Jeff Zillgitt and Mike Singer take a look back at All-Star Weekend, address the workplace turmoil inside the Dallas Mavericks organization and look ahead to the storylines that will dominate the finals weeks of the regular season.
On this week's edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt are joined by fellow USA TODAY Sports colleagues Michael Singer and AJ Neuharth-Keusch to talk about their forthcoming trip to Los Angeles for All-Star weekend. What to watch, what to know, and why the league's annual affair should be more entertaining than in recent years. Also, the guys look ahead to the home stretch of the season and discuss everything from the new-look Cavs to the Warriors, Rockets, Celtics, Raptors and more.
On this week's edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the trade deal that sent Isaiah Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers. The guys talk about what this means for both teams. Cleveland re-made its roster, but did it do something that can help it get back to the Finals? Did the Lakers make this move to free up space to go after LeBron James in the offseason? Sam also talks with Lakers beat writer Bill Oram of the Orange County Register, and shares his recent conversation with Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George.
On this week's edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt debate what the Blake Griffin trade means for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Detroit Pistons and discuss the fallout of John Wall's knee injury for the Washington Wizards. Sam, in a recent conference call with NBA league officials Byron Spruell, Michelle Johnson and Monty McCutchen, also explores the hot topic of rising tensions between players and officials.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the firing of Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd, the All-Star reserves and how they see them, and the Feb. 8 trade deadline that is looming large. Sam also talks with Minnesota Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau, whose team has gone from winning just 31 games in his debut season to legitimate Western Conference contenders.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick talks with Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams about his career year that's coming in Season No. 13, the possibility that he might be traded by next month, the time he talked a would-be robber out of holding him up and much more. With All-Star weekend in Los Angeles coming next month, Sam also chats with former Seattle Supersonics star Gary Payton about his All-Star picks and the major differences between today's NBA and his playing days.
Jeff and Sam sit down with Kara Lawson, the color commentator for the Washington Wizards. They talk about her career in the WNBA and at the University of Tennessee, the play of the Wizards, and what's going on around the league.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the retirement of Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers jerseys and how the Lakers wish they could concentrate on the future instead of having to celebrate the past. The guys discuss the new arenas being built in San Francisco and Milwaukee and what those will mean to the Warriors and the Bucks. They also break down the compelling Christmas Day games, including Golden State vs. Cleveland and Houston vs. Oklahoma City.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk to the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about everything from basketball to social issues to his new book, "Becoming Kareem," and his work with the Coaches v. Cancer organization that is so dear to his heart. Kareem discusses his view of the way in which today's pro athletes have learned to use the power of their voices, and a number of other topics as well.
On this week's edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford of the Minnesota Timberwolves on the eve of his reunion game against the LA Clippers. Crawford talks about how he wishes he was a bigger part of the rotation, especially since the team has been struggling of late. Crawford goes around the Association, sharing his view of title contenders and even where his own team might fit into that equation. Crawford and Sam chat about Isaiah Thomas working his way back from his hip injury and this season's rookie class and who might be the favorites to win rookie of the year.
On this week's NBA A to Z, USA TODAY Sports' Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the would-be threats to the Golden State Warriors' throne. Can the Houston Rockets, with Chris Paul back in the fold, pose a problem for Golden State? Might San Antonio survive the extended absence of Kawhi Leonard to truly challenge the champs? Jeff breaks down the most familiar foe of all, LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers, with beat writer Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers' Isaiah Thomas about his comeback, the trade that brought his time in Boston to a stunning end and the docu-series that he recently launched to document it all. He also talks with Carmelo Anthony about Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder's early growing pains as they attempt to become the NBA's newest super team.
Jeff and Sam break down the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, the three best teams in the NBA so far and much more. Then Jeff sits down with NBA Hall of Fame legend Bernard King to discuss his new book, his career, how he came back from a devastating knee injury at a time when that injury ended a player's career and the current state of the NBA. He discusses, as one of the greatest midrange shooters of all time, how would he fit into today's game. It's all here on NBA A to Z.
On this week's NBA A to Z, insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt are joined by our power rankings guru, AJ Neuharth-Keusch, to break down the wild start to this season and why teams are ranked so high -- and the surprising low ranking of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Later in the show, Sam has an exclusive interview with Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul about his knee injury and what he thinks of his new team. Sam also chats with G League president Malcolm Turner about the NBA's minor league season that comes with many changes.
On this week's NBA A to Z, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the early season struggles of the Cavs and Warriors, Sam talks all things Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Matt Velazquez, and Sam also breaks down the Lakers and the Lonzo Ball beat with Tania Ganguli of the LA Times and Bill Oram of the Orange County Register.
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY’s Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the start of the NBA season, including Golden State’s uneven start, Cleveland’s rotation issues and a deep rookie class led by Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball. Jeff and Sam also talk early-season injuries with certified athletic trainer Jeff Stotts, who operates the informative site instreetclothes.com.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY's Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk season-openers between Boston-Cleveland, Houston-Golden State and Gordon Hayward's horrific injury to his left ankle and leg. Plus, Sam and Jeff share details of life on the road.
On today's pod, Sam checks in after returning from covering the NBA pre-season action in China and breaks down all your hoops news with Jeff. Then we listen in to an interview Sam did with Steph Curry while in the far east. Lastly, USA TODAY's Mike Singer joins Jeff for a discussion on rookie extensions and more.
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Sam and Jeff talk national anthem and potential issues for the NBA, Russell Westbrook’s long-term deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dwyane Wade’s decision to join his good friend LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Jeff interviews The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd, who covers the Cavaliers and has a new book out detailing how the Cavs built their championship team.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Sam sits down with the Oklahoma City Thunder's Paul George to talk about his Pacers past, the Thunder present and his free agency future. Jeff and Sam preview this coming season after all the superstar shakeup over the summer.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the free agency period that was highlighted by Gordon Hayward's exit from Utah to Boston, the blockbuster trades of Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler and Paul George, and what's next when it comes to the league-wide attempt to unseat the Golden State Warriors as champs."
On this special edition NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports Insider Sam Amick breaks down the Chris Paul trade with Clippers executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. How did the trade with the Houston Rockets go down? What does life look like after Paul for the Clippers? How confident is he that free agent Blake Griffin will re-sign? Frank, who works with Doc Rivers and Jerry West and others in the Clippers' front office, dissects it all. "
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni about the Chris Paul trade that shook the NBA. The former Clippers star will be joining forces with the Rockets' James Harden next season, and D'Antoni sheds light on how he'll make it all work and how - like so many other teams - Houston plans on gaining ground on the Golden State Warriors.
On this week's NBA A to Z pod, USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick talks with Clippers guard and three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford about the draft (he's close friends with prospective No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz), free agency (his Clippers have some of the biggest in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin) and why he takes so much pride in the Seattle roots that have continued to grow during his career.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the three-match in the Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Sam talks to the longtime trainer for Warriors star Stephen Curry, Brandon Payne of Accelerate Basketball in Charlotte N.C.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, we help pass the pre-Finals time with two very different interviews. NBA Insider Sam Amick talks to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Enes Kanter about his harrowing reality right now. The 25-year-old from Turkey was detained at an airport in Romania recently and held for several hours because of - as he sees it - his outspoken views about Turkish president Recep Erdogan. His situation has shed light on the troubling situation in Turkey, with Kanter having been split from his parents back home for the last two years as a result and facing the constant fear of death threats. On a much lighter note, fellow NBA scribe Jeff Zillgitt talks to Father John Misty drummer/NBA fan Dan Bailey about the playoffs and his addiction to hoops.
On this week's NBA A to Z pod, USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the East and West Conference Finals, discuss what the Wizards do going forward after falling to Boston, and debate the controversial play that put the San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard on the sideline. Sam also talks with ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, who once infamously admitted to intentionally hurting Kobe Bryant on a similar play in the 2000 Finals.
On this week's NBA A to Z pod, reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt take a break from their playoff travels to break down the postseason to this point. Is this this the best LeBron James has ever played? Can anyone beat the Cavs or Warriors, or are we headed toward an unprecedented third consecutive rematch in the Finals? Which teams pose the biggest threat? What's next for Toronto after they fell to Cleveland, and Utah after losing to the Warriors?
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff ZIllgitt break down the second round of the playoffs. Sam also talks to Golden State Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, whose team will have to chase another title without Steve Kerr. The Warriors' ailing head coach is out indefinitely because of complications from back surgery he underwent two summers ago, and he isn't expected to return until the agonizing symptoms subside. Adams, who has been an NBA assistant since 1992 and is one of the league's most respected defensive gurus, offers insight on how the Warriors will function without Kerr.
On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zilgitt talk playoffs with former NBA Commissioner David Stern. He weighs in on the early postseason action, discusses why he doesn't miss the league office after spending more than three decades there, and even admonishes one particular team for resting its players late in the season. Then Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down what's going on in the NBA playoffs as the first round starts to wrap up.
On this week's show, NBA Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the early stages of the playoffs with TNT analyst and two-time champion Brent Barry. From the Cavaliers' defensive struggles to Memphis coach David Fizdale's "Take that for data" drop the mic moment and Barry's view of a possible Warriors-Spurs faceoff, they dive deep on the postseason. Barry also pulls the curtain back on his life as a jet-setting broadcaster who is widely respected for his dedication to the craft and the always-insightful research that complements his commentary.
On this special playoff edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Sam Amick has in-depth conversations with Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard. They discuss it all heading into the postseason, from the stories of their respective regular seasons to the question of whether anyone will be able to beat the juggernaut Golden State Warriors.
On this week's NBA A to Z pod, USA TODAY Sports reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss their looming votes on regular season awards. Sam chats with the great Oscar Robertson about Russell Westbrook's historic season and how the Oklahoma City Thunder star caught him on the triple-double front. Sam also talks to Brian Kopp of Catapult Sports, an industry leader on the sports science front who has a lot to say about the value of rest and recovery in today's NBA. Lastly, Sam debates the Defensive Player of the Year award with the Utah Jazz big man who believes it should be his, Rudy Gobert.
On this week's edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Sam talks to Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan about Russell Westbrook's special season and the question of how he sizes up against the Houston Rockets' James Harden in the MVP race. Donovan, the former Florida coach who joined the Thunder two summers ago, shares behind-the-scenes stories of Westbrook's winning ways and why his impact goes well beyond his numbers."
In this week's A to Z, Sam sits down with the Warriors' Draymond Green to debate the Defensive Player of the Year award and discuss his well-known prowess on that end of the floor. How would he judge players if he had a vote, and why shouldn't Utah's Rudy Gobert or back-to-back winner Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs win it? The two-time All-Star has been close to winning this honor the past two seasons, only to lose out to Leonard. But this year, with the Warriors again among the top defensive squads in the NBA even after losing Kevin Durant to injury recently, it may finally be Green's year to win it. And as always, the 27-year-old Green isn't afraid to speak his mind.
On this week's episode of A to Z, Sam and Jeff dive deep on the playoff races in the East and the West as the regular season nears an end. Which teams have the toughest schedules? What are the MVP implications? Is an NBA Finals rematch still on tap between the Warriors and Cavs?"