Golden State GM Bob Myers· The Woj Pod
Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers joins The Woj Pod for a far-reaching conversation on the Warriors burgeoning dynasty, the pressure of winning, the battle against complacency, struggling with life balance, Danny Ainge’s role in getting him his front office job, Steph Curry’s willingness to bring Kevin Durant to the Warriors, a mistake he regrets with ex-coach Mark Jackson that helped him to work with Steve Kerr, and why he cried at the final buzzer of the Warriors 2017 NBA Finals victory over Cleveland.1:17: Myers’ unorthodox career path from playing at UCLA to being an agent to being a GM.10:18: Continuing to value the small victories to battle complacency.12:26: How Myers’ job changes on a daily basis.18:43: Helping restore the Warriors become a perennial contender after decades of dysfunction.20:37: How the Warriors are trying to fight complacency, including a visit from Roger Federer.27:11: Becoming a public figure upon joining the Warriors front office.31:52: The importance of knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a GM.39:02: The things Myers doesn’t tolerate in his franchise, including selfishness.44:02: Myers’ conversation with Stephen Curry about pursuing Kevin Durant in 2016.49:22: The long-term benefits of losing the 2016 Finals.51:22: Danny Ainge’s pivotal role in Myers joining the Warriors.53:52: Why Ainge was able to quickly rebuild the Celtics over the past few seasons.56:09: The extreme financial cost it will take to keep the Warriors’ core together.59:46: Coming close to losing Andre Iguodala in free agency last summer.1:01:54: The continued toll of the job despite Golden State’s recent success.
Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert· The Woj Pod
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert joins The Woj Pod to discuss his emergence as an All-NBA center, Dion Waiters’ role in his knee injury, the loss of Gordon Hayward, the rise of French national basketball and hopes of beating Team USA in the Olympics, and much, much more.1:07: Gobert’s initial reaction to his knee injury and Dion Waiters’ role in it.3:15: The Jazz struggling without Gobert in the lineup.4:16: Building a new team identity after Gordon Hayward’s departure.6:29: Taking a step-by-step approach to becoming a star player.7:21: The start of his basketball career and playing other sports growing up.11:10: Gobert’s early friendship with Magic guard Evan Fournier.12:06: Players he looked up to while growing up.13:53: The success of the current generation’s French national team.15:02: The intensity of international basketball.16:08: Dreams of winning Olympic gold and beating Team USA.20:32: Gobert’s up and down draft stock during his final season overseas.23:58: Having one of his best pre-draft workouts for the Jazz.25:01: The mentality required to be a great shot blocker and defender.31:34: Gobert’s successful partnership with Jazz coach Quin Snyder.33:55: Taking on a bigger leadership role this season and moving the team forward.36:58: The depth of quality young centers around the NBA.39:39: Being the No. 27 pick and playing in the D-League early in his career.
ESPN's Bobby Marks and Royce Young· The Woj Pod
Royce Young and Bobby Marks of ESPN join The Woj Pod to breakdown the Oklahoma City Thunder's present and future, Brad Stevens, Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics, and much much more. 2:15: The uneven start to the season for the Thunder.3:34: Russell Westbrook making adjustments on and off the court to accommodate Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.5:32: The challenge of integrating star players to a new team.8:00: The Cavs’ early struggles giving hope to other Eastern Conference teams.11:10: The value of adding pieces for a playoff run even if a team can’t compete with the Warriors.13:25: How much better does Eric Bledsoe make the Bucks?16:10: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis capitalizing on bigger roles in Indiana.21:39: Anthony’s adjustment to not being the No. 1 option with the Thunder.23:55: The Thunder likely only having one season with this Big 3.29:08: Thunder owner Clay Bennett’s willingness to pay the luxury tax.35:14: The Celtics winning 10 straight games with an overhauled roster.39:43: Brad Stevens’ ability to develop a bench by giving minutes to young players.44:06: Coaches who consistently elevate the value of their players.47:44: Deron Williams still being a free agent.48:34: Kendrick Perkins playing in the G-League.
Clippers Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger· The Woj Pod
Los Angeles Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank and GM Michael Winger visit Woj Pod to discuss how a new front office starts to build out its infrastructure, process and long-term planning. Frank and Winger discuss how they’ve approached a new partnership, share duties, bring influences from past stops and work to integrate them into a new program. Frank and Winger discuss Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers, Blake Griffin and the departure of Chris Paul in free agency.3:02: Michael Winger joining the Clippers as general manager.5:06: Lawrence Frank’s emphasis on synergy and building a positive team culture.7:22: The difference in responsibilities for a president of basketball operations and a general manager.9:59: Winger’s initial steps upon joining the Clippers.11:35: Winger’s evaluation of his own strengths and weaknesses.13:47: The Clippers’ strategic planning extending beyond player acquisition.16:29: The importance of knowing other teams’ goals to gain a competitive edge.19:03: Building out the Clippers’ scouting staff in recent years.23:35: Winger’s experience with teams rebounding after the departure of MVP caliber players.28:27: Making the Clippers a destination franchise beyond the attraction of playing in Los Angeles.33:28: How the new CBA has changed the team-building process.34:58: Star players gaining leverage over teams with short-term contracts.40:10: Do the Warriors impact how the Clippers build around Blake Griffin?44:05: The flexibility the Clippers gained from Chris Paul’s departure.46:34: Winger’s questions for the Clippers before joining the franchise.48:44: The characteristics of great franchises across sports.53:42: How Frank’s move to the front office changed his evaluation process.56:50: Winger’s quick adjustment to the Clippers.
Best-selling author Jack McCallum· The Woj Pod
Best-selling author Jack McCallum joins The Woj Pod to discuss his new book “Golden Days,” on the modern Golden State Warriors and the early 70’s Lakers, including insight into Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Jerry West, Pat Riley and more. McCallum, a Hall of Fame basketball writer, discusses covering the NBA in the glory days of Jordan’s Bulls, Bird’s Celtics and the Detroit Bad Boys.2:28: The origin of McCallum’s new book Golden Days.5:15: How the current media landscape has changed the book writing process.7:58: The rough times the Lakers experienced in the 1960s with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.10:20: Jerry West’s continued passion for the game at 80 years old.13:07: West admitting he would have left the Lakers if free agency existed.16:10: What McCallum learned about Kevin Durant while reporting the book.20:20: Stephen Curry welcoming Durant and sharing the spotlight.27:00: The tension between Steve Kerr and Mike D’Antoni during their time with the Suns.33:36: Draymond Green’s immense importance to the Warriors.37:12: Golden State GM Bob Myers’ role in building the team while not seeking any credit.42:35: Pat Riley’s reflecting on the end of his tenure as coach of the Lakers and his respect for West.50:08: Gregg Popovich and other successful coaches putting the team above themselves.54:33: Does McCallum miss covering the league on a day-to-day basis?58:05: Michael Jordan not doing interviews with Sports Illustrated.59:46: Covering the NBA’s ascension during the 1980s.1:02:40: Articles McCallum wrote that never saw the light of day.1:05:25: McCallum having a tough time trying to connect with Isiah Thomas.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Bobby Marks· The Woj Pod
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Bobby Marks join the Woj Pod to breakdown the early NBA season, Gordon Hayward’s injury, LaMarcus Aldridge’s contract extension, how the Lakers need to clear cap space to chase LeBron James and Paul George, the Rick Pitino post-scandal interview, the state of the Chicago Bulls and much more.1:55: Rick Pitino’s interview denying prior knowledge of the Louisville scandal.7:05: Assistant coaches taking the hits for head coaches.11:28: Gordon Hayward’s opening-night injury and the opportunity for other players.13:48: How a franchise responds to a season-ending injury to a star player.17:02: The extra burden placed on Kyrie Irving.21:42: LaMarcus Aldridge’s surprising contract extension with the Spurs.25:28: Aldridge’s mercurial personality and the importance of surrounding Kawhi Leonard with talent.27:54: How the Spurs structured the contracts for Aldridge and Pau Gasol.33:50: Dejounte Murray emerging as a capable successor to Tony Parker.35:57: Can Chris Paul keep up with Mike D’Antoni’s uptempo system in Houston?41:00: The Nikola Mirotic/Bobby Portis fight and the bleak outlook for the Bulls.46:08: The Lakers needing to clear cap space in order to chase LeBron James in free agency.49:55: James’ history of joining forces with other stars in free agency.
Ian Begley· The Woj Pod
Ian Begley, the Knicks beat writer for ESPN.com, joins the Woj Pod to discuss the totality and residual damage of the Phil Jackson regime, the Carmelo Anthony exit, the issues surrounding Kristaps Porzingis’ future in New York and the pathway for the Knicks to resurrect the franchise’s credibility and standing in the NBA.1:38: How Carmelo Anthony’s departure has changed the atmosphere around the Knicks.2:52: What finally caused Anthony to waive his no-trade clause?5:55: Phil Jackson’s decision to publicly criticize Anthony instead of doing it privately.7:55: The negative impact of the triangle offense during Jackson’s tenure.11:05: Jackson setting the Knicks back with his decisions.14:07: How much autonomy did Jackson have under Jim Dolan?16:30: Jackson’s lack of success in trades and free agency.19:37: The failed acquisition of Derrick Rose.23:44: How worried should fans be about Kristaps Porzingis’ future with the Knicks?29:40: Did players view Jeff Hornacek as Jackson’s puppet last season?33:53: The mentality of Knicks fans entering this season.35:18: The franchise’s previous reluctance to go through a rebuild.39:49: Could the Knicks have gotten more in a trade if they brought Anthony to training camp?
Tim Connelly· The Woj Pod
Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly joins The Woj Pod to discuss the discovery and emergence of Nikola Jokic, evaluating skill vs. athleticism in the draft process, why trades are hard to make in the NBA, the East-West balance of power and his favorite amusement park vacations as a kid.
Gary Parrish· The Woj Pod
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports joins the Woj Pod to discuss the criminal scandal that has rocked the basketball industry, including its impact on the future of college and pro basketball, elite basketball prospects, the possibility of USA Basketball and the NBA taking a greater roll in amateur basketball, Rick Pitino's past, present and future, and much more. 1:08: The wide-ranging impact of the scandal across all levels of basketball.3:38: Will the sneaker companies need to reassess their grass-roots strategies?6:37: Would paying players solve the corruption problem?11:42: The potential benefits of players signing with agents while in college.14:00: How people around the players currently benefit more than the players.16:31: How the NBA and USA Basketball could change the structure of youth basketball.21:34: The educational value of the NBA’s overseas academies.23:55: How Rick Pitino’s repeated scandals will impact his legacy.27:38: The lack of interest in Pitino from NBA teams.
Mitch Kupchak· The Woj Pod
Mitch Kupchak joins The Woj Pod to discuss his storied career as Los Angeles Lakers general manager, his dismissal in February, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson and David Stern’s veto of the Chris Paul trade.1:02: Kupchak’s early basketball career and the impact of AAU basketball on young players.3:57: How he was persuaded to focus on basketball instead of baseball.8:59: Being recruited by some of the great college coaches of all-time.11:30: Choosing UNC and playing for Dean Smith, including the bond between former Tar Heels.17:27: Not being part of a basketball team for the first time since he was a child.19:59: Kupchak’s abrupt exit from the Lakers.26:15: The criticism that Kupchak’s adherence to league rules hurt the Lakers in free agency.31:16: 34:40: The sense of urgency to return to the playoffs, which led to signing Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov.37:19: Navigating the family dynamics of the Buss family.42:57: Why the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson in 2012.47:51: Acquiring Pau Gasol in 2008.50:13: Kobe Bryant’s trade request in 2007.55:02: The vetoed Chris Paul trade in 2011 and the decision to trade Lamar Odom shortly after.1:06:26: The opportunity to learn from other front offices during his time off.
Jared Dudley joins The Woj Pod· The Woj Pod
Jared Dudley of the Phoenix Suns joins The Woj Pod for a terrific visit on the state of the modern NBA, salaries, the impact of the Golden State Warriors on NBA locker rooms, free agency, playing ball with an old Michael Jordan and a young Greek Freak.0:51: How Dudley uses Twitter to engage with fans and whether players have alternate accounts.2:18: Shaquille O’Neal’s role in Dudley’s early adoption of social media.4:14: Pros and cons of gambling on team planes.6:20: How smartphones have changed the way players communicate.9:52: The impact of social media on a player’s psyche.11:31: Embracing his role as a veteran leader.13:36: Giannis Antetokounmpo's initial adjustment to the NBA as a rookie.18:06: How the AAU basketball culture compares to the system overseas.24:46: The importance of veteran leadership to young teams.28:36: How Kevin Durant’s move to the Warriors dramatically changed the league.31:14: Dudley’s luck to be a free agent in 2016 during the cap spike.33:18: Shorter contracts impacting player mentalities.40:09: The traits of successful front offices.43:07: The chemistry issues that plagued the Clippers over the last few seasons.45:44: Playing for Michael Jordan in Charlotte.51:26: How coaching strategies have changed during Dudley’s career.57:06: Dudley’s preferred post-playing career.
Zach Lowe joins The Woj Pod· The Woj Pod
Zach Lowe joins The Woj Pod to discuss NBA Draft Lottery reform, Carmelo Anthony, the Cavaliers plan with the 2018 first-round pick via Brooklyn/Boston, NBA tampering, and Harvey Araton’s Hall of Fame weekend in Springfield, Mass.1:07: The renewed push for draft lottery reform.4:38: The impact of the 76ers’ “process” under Sam Hinkie and the failed push for reform in 2014.8:37: Smaller-market teams being opposed to lottery reform.17:20: Potential unintended effects of the latest proposal.19:51: How the conference imbalance dramatically impacts team building strategies.23:18: Lowe suggests incentivizing making the playoffs.28:51: The latest on Carmelo Anthony’s future, including Portland’s continued interest in him.34:20: When teams don’t call a player for their bluffing in the pre-draft process.38:24: The near-misses in draft history, particularly 2009.41:16: What should Cleveland do with Brooklyn’s 2018 draft pick?46:46: How interference is a bigger problem than tampering.51:10: Longtime New York Times writer Harvey Araton’s Hall of Fame induction.
ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks· The Woj Pod
ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks joins the Woj Pod to breakdown the finality of the Celtics-Cavaliers blockbuster trade, examine the behind-the-scenes of the deal, Boston’s magnificent rebuild, Cleveland’s road in LeBron James’ final year and how Isaiah Thomas’ future free agency could unfold.0:30: Boston refusing to give another first round pick to Cleveland.2:40: The high risk for each team if the deal had fallen apart.4:55: The Cavs placing the highest value on the Brooklyn draft pick.8:45: Trying to get value in a deal after a player demands a trade.10:27: The Celtics’ rebuild being complete in many ways.12:05: The creative lengths teams go to while conducting trades.18:16: Danny Ainge’s rapid rebuild of the Celtics.21:10: The Celtics likely needing another star player to compete with the Warriors.22:47: Kyrie Irving’s fit with the Celtics.24:22: LeBron James having to take on even more playmaking duties.25:53: The Cavs prioritizing the future as LeBron James approaches free agency.28:02: How an Irving trade could have been different if James was committed long-term to Cleveland.31:20: The impact of the past week on Isaiah Thomas’ next contract.35:50: Thomas being motivated to prove people wrong.
Doris Burke· The Woj Pod
Doris Burke joins The Woj Pod and discusses the Cavaliers quagmire, Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, social consciousness in the NBA vs NFL and much more on the show.0:52: Jeff Van Gundy’s return to coaching with USA Basketball.4:35: The challenge of getting a team ready for international competition with a limited amount of prep time.8:39: Van Gundy’s effectiveness relating to his players.11:39: How James Harden and Chris Paul will play together as they try to catch the Warriors.14:52: The Warriors setting an example for making sacrifices for the good of the team.18:58: NBA players finding their voices to take social and political stands.22:49: The difference between NBA and NFL fan bases that gives players confidence to use their voice in the NBA.27:37: Cleveland’s desire to trade Kyrie Irving before the season starts.31:47: LeBron James’ uncertain future with the Cavaliers past this season.33:15: Kevin Love not having high value on the trade market.34:50: Concerns teams have about acquiring Irving.40:07: The Spurs’ flexibility around Kawhi Leonard, and Dejounte Murray’s emergence.43:46: LaMarcus Aldridge not being a classic Spurs player from a personality standpoint.47:48: What separates superstars from the rest of the league.
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey· The Woj Pod
Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey joins The Woj Pod to discuss James Harden, Chris Paul, the Rockets ownership sale, risk-taking as a GM, NBA awards, and much more.1:12: The sale of the Rockets and Morey’s gratitude to Leslie Alexander.2:57: The traits of a successful NBA owner, including holding front offices accountable.6:40: The most important decision of Morey’s tenure with Alexander.8:47: His philosophy on accumulating assets to acquire a star player.10:48: James Harden immediately proving to be an All-Star caliber player in his first game with the Rockets.12:25: Harden’s recruitment of Chris Paul.13:56: How Paul’s opt-in deadline facilitated his trade to Houston.18:40: Has increased media coverage and criticism made it harder to get trades done?22:08: Houston’s success in adding star players in free agency.25:06: How much time does Morey think about ways to compete with the Warriors?27:30: The Rockets not having the option of waiting out Golden State.30:56: The role of the media in determining some player contracts through All-NBA voting.33:57: Adding Paul to decrease Harden’s playmaking burden.33:25: The Western Conference almost being a different league than the East.
Patrick Beverley· The Woj Pod
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley joins The Woj Pod to discuss his challenge with the Clippers, his years with Houston, why he wanted a trade from the Rockets, how the NBA has evolved on the court, summer free agency and why he thinks so many players don't play hard enough. 2:11: Beverley’s request for a trade from the Rockets.3:46: Bringing his signature toughness to the Clippers.4:45: Identifying ways to improve the team’s chemistry.5:55: Will the James Harden-Chris Paul partnership work?7:04: How the Warriors have changed the league and impacted player movement.8:55: The benefits of playing overseas before coming to the NBA.10:35: How the game has shifted with the increased emphasis on analytics.13:58: How playing for the Rockets changed his game to be more efficient.15:08: His friendship with new Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic.17:07: The 2016 free agency class getting most of the benefits of the salary cap spike.21:10: The increased power that players have gained in the last few years.24:46: The essential traits a coach needs to succeed in the league.27:27: Why playing hard is a skill in the modern NBA.29:27: Young players following his example of how to build a lasting career.
D'Angelo Russell· The Woj Pod
Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell joins The Woj Pod to discuss his arrival with the Nets, his exit from the Lakers, the ups-and-downs of his brief L.A. career, Magic Johnson’s comments upon his departure and much, much more.0:55: Being in Los Angeles while not being a member of the Lakers.1:36: How quickly things changed during his tenure with the Lakers.2:48: Russell’s initial reaction to being traded to the Nets.3:52: The welcoming culture in Brooklyn.5:55: What he learned in his first two seasons.8:16: Playing off the ball last season with the Lakers.8:56: His relationship with the new Lakers front office, including Magic Johnson.10:31: Hearing his name in trade talks last season.13:47: Learning from Rajon Rondo about the importance of confidence.15:37: The added structure in the Nets organization and the opportunity in front of him.20:51: Magic Johnson’s comments questioning his leadership.21:48: The pressure of playing under the spotlight in Los Angeles.23:25: Moving to the Eastern Conference and getting away from the loaded West.25:20: Thad Matta’s exit from Ohio State.28:00: The depth at the point guard position across the league.
Gordon Hayward· The Woj Pod
All-Star forward Gordon Hayward sits down with Adrian Wojnarowski for an exclusive and introspective study of the free agent process that led him to leave the Utah Jazz for the Boston Celtics. Hayward goes into great detail about the meetings with Pat Riley and Miami, Brad Stevens and Boston and an emotional final visit with his Jazz teammates. Hayward discusses how he left the Miami visit thinking that he might sign with them, left Boston even more torn and spent the final 24 hours going back and forth between Utah and Boston. Hayward also opens up about how leaving the Western Conference for the East opens up possibilities to become a consistent All-Star.2:52: Hayward’s expectations vs. the reality of free agency.6:57: How Miami emerged as a possible landing spot.8:33: Communicating with the Jazz before July 1, including the Ricky Rubio trade.14:05: The timeline of his meeting with the Heat.16:30: Hayward’s experience being recruited by Pat Riley.18:25: Not having any prior relationships in the Heat organization.22:02: Hayward’s thoughts after leaving Miami.24:05: Brad Stevens picking up Hayward and his wife at the airport and their relationship.28:27: The intensity and pressures facing athletes in Boston.32:40: Hayward’s limited relationship with Isaiah Thomas before free agency began.34:14: Al Horford’s role in his recruitment and Hayward’s thoughts after the entire visit.36:14: The emotion of his meeting with the Jazz.40:04: The Jazz’s final message in their pitch.45:48: How the stacked Western Conference factored into his decision.49:08: When Hayward began leaning towards the Celtics.52:13: The call to inform Utah of his decision.54:33: The Jazz not offering him a max deal in restricted free agency in 2014.56:12: Why he ultimately chose Boston.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer· The Woj Pod
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer joins Adrian Wojnarowski for an extended SportsCenter interview on the Woj Pod. Ballmer discusses the departure of Chris Paul, the Clippers culpability in losing him and the decision to trade the All-Star guards for assets instead of losing him in free agency. Ballmer discusses the lessons learned as an NBA owner, the hiring of Jerry West, competing against the Lakers and the restructuring of his front office around President and Coach Doc Rivers.
Orlando Magic President Jeff Weltman· The Woj Pod
Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman joins Adrian Wojnarowski to discuss the reshaping of the Magic franchise, the evolution of the GM position, growing up the son of two NBA executives, life in the locker room of the St. Louis Spirits as a kid, and much more.