Lee JenkinsThe Woj Pod add
Lee Jenkins joins The Woj Pod to discuss his bold move to the Los Angeles Clippers front office from Sports Illustrated.
0:45: The details of his new position with the Clippers.
3:32: How did the opportunity come about to leave SI for the Clippers?
6:37: The difficulty of leaving the only career he’s ever known.
9:24: Jenkins bringing his storytelling abilities to the Clippers.
11:33: His role in helping write the narrative that surrounds the franchise as they approach the pivotal summer of 2019.
14:04: Switching from working primarily by himself to part of a larger team.
16:43: How much did the position evolve over the last few months?
18:36: Jenkins’ role being a complement to the rest of the front office.
22:22: How his skillset will translate to his new job.
24:58: Keeping a small circle while considering joining the Clippers.
26:38: His first SI cover story after struggling upon joining the magazine.
27:56: Appearing on the cover of SI continuing to be so important to athletes.
31:54: Jenkins’ relationships with Lawrence Frank and Michael Winger.
Masai UjiriThe Woj Pod add
Toronto President Masai Ujiri joins The Woj Pod to go inside the Kawhi Leonard trade, how the Raptors hope to resign the All-Star forward, DeMar DeRozan, Nick Nurse/Dwane Casey, his relationship with President Obama, his summer trip to Africa and much more.
0:53: The NBA’s passionate fan base around the globe and how the league is gaining ground on the NFL.
4:17: The difficulty of moving on from DeMar DeRozan and Dwane Casey, and the trade negotiations for Kawhi Leonard.
9:48: Measuring risk before trading for Leonard, including his pending free agency.
13:23: Completing the deal for Leonard while in Africa.
15:45: Asking RC Buford about what happened between the Spurs and Leonard during negotiations.
17:14: Ujiri’s conversation with DeRozan informing him of the trade.
19:38: Apologizing to DeRozan for the trade and the nuances of managing trade talks.
25:14: The Raptors having a year to show Leonard what their franchise is about, similar to how the Thunder had a year to show Paul George.
28:05: Is it a challenge to get to know the famously private Leonard?
29:52: Ujiri’s message to Leonard in their first meeting.
31:00: The status of Leonard’s health as training camp approaches.
33:40: Leonard elevating the Raptors on both sides of the ball.
34:54: Promoting Nick Nurse to head coach.
38:31: The challenge of a coaching search.
44:29: Being around President Barack Obama while completing the Leonard trade.
47:32: What has Ujiri learned from Obama about leadership?
49:52: Viewing Africa as home and spending time there each summer.
55:07: Basketball being a source of light and positivity around the world.
Adam SchefterThe Woj Pod add
ESPN's NFL Insider Adam Schefter joins The Woj Pod to discuss his new book, "The Man I Never Met," a memoir on his family, love and his football reporting life. They also discuss Tom Brady and the Patriots.
1:11: If the Patriots could have a do-over, would they have kept Jimmy Garoppolo?
3:33: How much patience did Garoppolo have left to wait behind Tom Brady?
5:59: The similarities between Garoppolo and James Harden as each became a star upon getting their own team.
8:17: The backstory behind Schefter’s memoir ‘The Man I Never Met’ about his wife’s late husband, Joe Maio, who died in the 9/11 attacks.
14:17: Schefter’s honesty and transparency throughout the book about his personal life.
16:37: The benefits of having Michael Rosenberg as a co-author and how he helped shape the book.
18:35: The responsibility of telling such a personal story and his wife’s approval of the book.
22:40: Schefter including intimate details of his dating life from before meeting his wife.
24:03: How Schefter’s wife has come to terms with the rigorous time demands of his career.
26:04: What Schefter learned about Joe through writing and reporting the book.
Ryen RussilloThe Woj Pod add
Ryen Russillo joins The Woj Pod to talk about the powerhouse class of 2019 NBA free agents, small market vs big market free agent challenges, the future of one-and-done and much more.
1:57: Russillo’s move to Los Angeles
5:57: His pick-up game, and Steph Curry’s impact on young players.
9:44: The massive summer of 2019 in free agency, starting with Kawhi Leonard.
15:02: The Lakers not trading for Leonard after missing out on Paul George in a similar situation.
17:51: How the Clippers are setting themselves up to pursue Leonard.
19:54: The cast of characters the Lakers added this summer to surround LeBron James.
25:38: Questions surrounding Kyrie Irving’s future with the Celtics even though the team is set up so well for the future.
28:13: The Knicks being in position to land an impact player in 2019.
29:08: The long list of star players who can enter free agency next summer.
32:10: How the rising salary cap has outweighed league rules that try to limit player movement in free agency.
39:26: NBA players carrying power in a way we’ve never seen in professional sports.
42:45: How player movement makes the NBA offseason an event by itself.
45:42: The added importance of drafting well in the modern NBA.
47:48: The Thunder trading for Dennis Schroder when many thought they would need to waive Carmelo Anthony.
50:20: Are NBA teams in favor changing the age limit?
52:41: NBA owners wanting to get talented young players into the G League.
Grant HillThe Woj Pod add
Grant Hill joins The Woj Pod on the cusp of his enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, opening up about his journey to Springfield – his years as part of the Duke dynasty, his early All-NBA seasons with the Pistons, the darkness and isolation of his recurring ankle injuries with Orlando, his relationships with Steve Nash, Coach K and his parents, his role as Vice Chairman of the Atlanta Hawks and why he’s still considering a future run for political office.
0:36: Hill being unsure if he would get into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
2:38: Never considering leaving Duke early for the NBA.
6:00: Hill leading the NBA in All-Star voting as a rookie.
8:11: Sharing the Rookie of the Year Award with Jason Kidd.
10:48: How Hill’s parents prepared him for a career in sports.
13:16: Double majoring in history and political science.
15:12: Focusing on fitting in during his early years at Duke before taking on a leadership role as an upperclassman.
18:39: What separates Coach K from other coaches?
20:41: Maintaining confidence before Christian Laettner’s iconic shot vs. Kentucky.
22:33: The difficulty of replicating the Duke camaraderie in the NBA.
24:05: Being uncomfortable with Michael Jordan comparisons early in his career after modeling his game on Magic Johnson.
28:21: The ankle injury that cost him years of his prime in Orlando.
30:55: Battling a staph infection after ankle surgery in 2003.
33:51: What convinced him to continue his career after years of setbacks?
35:44: The sense of isolation that came with missing so much time with injuries.
39:47: His time in Phoenix feeling like a second career, and playing all 82 games in his late 30s.
43:22: Playing with Steve Nash at the height of his powers.
45:19: Did Hill play longer to make up for lost time?
47:00: Finding fulfillment in his post-playing life and still considering a political career.
54:44: Hill’s role as Vice Chairman of the Hawks.
Jackie MacMullanThe Woj Pod add
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan discusses her revelatory five-part series on mental health in the NBA, including insights into revelations by Kevin Love, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh and others. She talks about how the league is handling these issues, and what this means for the future.
1:12: MacMullan’s 5-part series on mental health in the NBA.
3:42: Kevin Love being open about his own struggles with depression.
6:06: How the perception of mental health has changed around the league.
7:35: Players being liberated by discussing their issues publicly.
9:42: How prepared are teams and organizations to help players during difficult times?
11:44: Paul Pierce discussing his struggles and depression after being stabbed in 2000.
13:29: How childhood experiences and environments continue to impact players once they reach the NBA.
18:54: Trae Young being mindful of the negative effects of social media.
21:07: How reporting this series gave context to players from previous eras.
23:22: The Celtics being a proactive organization in terms of helping players with their mental health, and Danny Ainge’s personal story.
25:52: How the language surrounding mental health has changed.
27:22: How much better will the NBA be prepared to handle teenagers once high schoolers are allowed to enter the draft again?
28:56: Balancing player privacy with the need for teams to understand the person they are investing millions of dollars in.
31:47: Players being apprehensive about discussing their mental health for fear of how it will impact their careers.
33:00: Jalen Rose’s story about the Pacers wanting to put him on medication to help him focus.
ESPN's Jay BilasThe Woj Pod add
ESPN’s Jay Bilas to joins The Woj Pod to discuss the NCAA basketball rule changes, what makes sense, what doesn’t and how it’ll impact the NBA.
0:40: Sean McDonough’s golf tournament which included Bill Raftery and Charles Barkley.
2:58: Barkley being one of the most accessible athletes in terms of interacting with the public.
5:08: Barkley’s famous quote while at Auburn: ‘I didn’t pay for the car. I’m not paying for the tickets.’
7:05: The NCAA’s latest attempt at reform, which included some common-sense changes, but didn’t address the amateurism model.
10:36: Players having the option to return to college if they go undrafted.
12:04: Why undrafted players might be unlikely to return to school.
15:13: The benefits of keeping the door open to undrafted players.
19:06: Why paying players won’t single-handedly end the ‘corruption’ surrounding the sport.
25:04: The likelihood of high school players returning to the NBA draft, and how it will impact college basketball.
29:20: USA Basketball being blindsided by the NCAA’s announcement on Wednesday.
35:16: The difficulty of being a professional player for marginal prospects, including low salaries and arduous travel in the G League.
39:46: Owners wanting to lower the age limit as a way to increase interest and revenue in the G League.
ESPN's Cassidy HubbarthThe Woj Pod add
ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth joins The Woj Pod to discuss the impact legalized gambling will have on the NBA, sideline reporting, NBA twitter and much more --- including ESPN NFL reporter Dianna Russini joining them in studio.
1:06: Hubbarth covering college football in addition to the NBA.
2:36: The grind of covering summer league.
5:58: The challenges of being a successful sideline reporter, including interviewing Gregg Popovich.
9:43: How the legalization of gambling will impact the league.
15:17: The league’s tanking problem and how Sam Hinkie sold his vision to the media during the Process.
18:01: The Suns going through a multi-season rebuild after missing out in free agency.
20:35: Draft lottery reform and the league wanting to further even out the odds.
25:26: Russini’s unique Instagram account and turning down a chance to connect with Woj a decade ago.
29:38: Gambling being more associated with the NFL than the NBA and how media reports can change betting lines.
32:26: How the influx of money from gambling will impact the pro leagues.
33:32: Referees facing harsher criticism as leagues embrace gambling.
38:20: The already toxic relationship between players and officials in the NBA.
43:13: Players having power in the NBA, while owners have the power in the NFL.
47:58: Hubbarth and Russini’s friendship.
54:08: How the NBA and its players show respect to women covering the game.
Brooklyn Nets’ Jared DudleyThe Woj Pod add
Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley returns to The Woj Pod to discuss his move back to the Eastern Conference, what NBA superstars want in free agency, why referee-players relations are so poor, and much, much more.
1:04: The trade to the Nets giving Dudley a chance to get playing time again after the Suns went young last season.
3:32: Not being interested in giving up money in a buyout from the Suns.
4:37: The importance of veteran mentorship.
6:17: Fans wanting teams to bottom out for high draft picks.
8:35: How players being willing to take less money hurts smaller market teams.
12:58: Star players being more willing to change teams via free agency or by forcing a trade.
14:29: Players recruiting during the season and how common tampering is across the league.
15:39: Players being more aware of a franchise’s reputation from the coaching staff to the front office.
18:22: Star players having significant power and influence on the league in ways NFL players don’t.
21:00: The lasting impact of the NBPA rejecting the league’s cap smoothing proposal.
23:42: Teams not showing restraint with their cap space in 2016 and 2017.
26:53: The tremendous talent imbalance between the East and West.
29:11: Do players believe the league pushes for certain things to happen behind the scenes?
30:08: The relationship between players and refs being at an all-time low.
32:06: New refs not knowing how to interact with players.
Charlotte Hornets coach James BorregoThe Woj Pod add
Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego joins The Woj Pod to discuss leaving the Spurs for his first head coaching job, signing Tony Parker, building a relationship with Kemba Walker, the process of becoming a head coach in the NBA, what he learned under Gregg Popovich, growing up with a single mom in New Mexico, and much more.
0:44: The prestige that comes with being 1 of the 30 head coaches in the NBA.
2:42: Tony Parker’s role in bringing the Spurs culture to the Hornets.
4:02: Kemba Walker’s eagerness to learn from Parker.
5:40: Borrego’s first steps upon joining the Hornets.
8:42: Going through the interview process for head-coaching jobs with fellow Spurs assistants.
10:46: The transition from the video room to being an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich and the Spurs.
13:32: What he learned by leaving San Antonio and coaching in other organizations.
17:44: How NBA coaches gain respect from their players.
19:18: Growing up in a single-parent home in New Mexico.
22:21: The University of San Diego developing a string of NBA head coaches.
23:41: The level of discipline in the Spurs organization that he noticed from Day 1, and how Popovich empowers his coaching staff.
27:22: The passion and energy from the city of Charlotte for the Hornets.
29:30: Inheriting a team that was competitive last season under Steve Clifford.
30:59: Walker setting an example for younger players and being a true franchise player for the Hornets.
Mike BudenholzerThe Woj Pod add
Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer joins The Woj Pod to discuss Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks future, the Hawks years, LeBron leaving the East, where and how he gets ideas and getting the courage up as a young assistant to raise a point with Gregg Popovich in a Spurs coach’s meeting.
1:48: How much different is Budenholzer's approach to his second head-coaching job?
3:29: Learning about Giannis Antetokounmpo’s tremendous work ethic.
5:47: The uniqueness of Antetokounmpo’s skillset and the appeal of coaching him.
8:41: The stressful situations that come with being a first-time head coach.
10:58: Reflecting on his 5-year tenure with the Hawks, including the 60-win season.
14:10: Danny Ferry’s role building the Hawks and his qualifications for another front-office job.
16:54: Losing Al Horford in free agency in 2016 and bringing in Dwight Howard.
18:55: The difficulty of balancing the short- and long-term while being both coach and team president.
23:06: What Budenholzer learned from Gregg Popovich about holding multiple titles.
25:42: The importance of alignment between ownership and the front office.
28:34: Growing up as the son of a successful coach and the value of playing multiple sports.
34:34: Starting in the video room for the Spurs and developing his own voice as a coach.
39:57: What role do coaches have in motivating players?
41:13: Staying in the Eastern Conference and the opening presented by LeBron James going to the West.
42:45: How James single-handedly challenges opposing teams in the playoffs.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Part 2: DeMarcus Cousins and the rest of summer free agencyThe Woj Pod add
ESPN Front Office Insider Bobby Marks joins The Woj Pod for a discussion on DeMarcus Cousins’ move to the Warriors, and the storylines and moves still left to play out in July free agency.
0:51: Trae Young struggling to start summer league, and how former Nets executive Rod Thorn would have reacted.
3:50: The limited amount of cap space around the league giving teams tremendous leverage over players.
5:40: The limited market for players in restricted free agency.
7:17: Dante Exum re-signing with the Jazz and still having a chance to be a good player despite a string of injuries during his career.
8:50: Tony Parker’s uncertain future with the Spurs and potential interest from the Hornets.
9:32: The Bucks having a hard cap next season, which sets a limit on their potential offer to Jabari Parker.
10:46: The lack of player movement on the trade market.
12:54: Nerlens Noel and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope turning down much larger contracts last summer.
14:47: The biggest contract a player turned down while Marks was with the Nets.
17:00: How is a locker room impacted by a roster full of 1-year contracts?
20:07: DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Warriors and trying to fix his health and his reputation.
23:56: The Warriors having the luxury of patience to bring Cousins back slowly.
25:10: Why Marks and the Nets chose Derrick Favors over Cousins in 2010.
27:05: Every team having the opportunity to sign Cousins.
28:08: The Suns getting important veteran leadership in Trevor Ariza.
29:06: The Magic constructing a roster of long, athletic big men.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks: LeBron James, the Lakers and Kawhi LeonardThe Woj Pod add
ESPN Front Office Insider Bobby Marks joins the Woj Pod for the first of a two-part delve into NBA free agency, including LeBron James’ move to the Lakers and the future of Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio.
2:06: The Lakers signing Lance Stephenson, who has only had success playing for the Pacers.
4:37: James wanting to surround himself with high IQ players.
6:07: Luke Walton facing a challenge with the new-look roster next season.
9:30: The belief that news of Lonzo Ball’s knee injury was leaked to try and prevent his inclusion in trade talks.
12:43: The difficult pathway to a Kawhi Leonard trade for the Lakers, and how the Spurs handle trade offers.
18:07: The low returns in trades for All-Star players over the last few years after reaching an apex with the Carmelo Anthony trade in 2011.
20:51: Teams not getting an advantage by offering an extra year to their players in free agency.
23:51: How much additional value does Kawhi Leonard have from a marketing standpoint if he lands in Los Angeles?
25:02: The Clippers losing appeal to Leonard because of James signing with the Lakers.
26:17: How much leverage do the Spurs have in Leonard negotiations and when should they make a move?
27:17: The weight of the Leonard drama on the Spurs organization.
28:37: Teams being worried about Leonard’s health.
Utah Jazz star Donovan MitchellThe Woj Pod add
Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell joins The Woj Pod to discuss his breakout rookie season, his battle with Ben Simmons, learning how to become a franchise player, Quin Snyder, and why he believes he can be a recruiter to bring star talent to the Jazz.
1:38: The whirlwind of the last two months for Mitchell, including leading Utah’s playoff run.
2:52: How much has changed for Mitchell after being doubtful whether he should turn pro last year.
3:58: The Jazz going on a phenomenal run once Rudy Gobert returned from injury
5:01: Mitchell’s relationship with Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who gave him more responsibilities throughout the season.
8:21: Leaving Louisville before the program became entangled in controversy.
9:03: Mitchell’s Jazz teammates helping him in his transition to stardom.
10:43: Learning the responsibilities of being a star player, including the ferocity and energy it requires each game.
16:53: The Jazz not thinking about rebuilding after losing Gordon Hayward.
18:22: What Mitchell learned from growing up around the Mets clubhouse about how young players should interact with veterans.
19:56: Attending Greenwich Country Day School and the benefits of being a late bloomer on the court.
23:21: Going to the EuroLeague playoffs in Serbia and seeing how much the entire country loves the sport.
26:48: Mitchell emulating the mentalities of Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook.
29:46: With Mitchell and Gobert in place, the Jazz being an attractive destination for free agents looking to win.
31:46: Staying the same person after achieving success.
33:25: The adidas sweatshirts trolling Ben Simmons and his Rookie of the Year candidacy.
38:19: Other players being willing to answer Mitchell’s questions about the league.
Trail Blazers star CJ McCollumThe Woj Pod add
Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum joins The Woj Pod to discuss the Blazers playoff exit and future, building an identity in an NBA small market, growing up a LeBron James fan outside Cleveland, his new Pull Up podcast, the league’s salary cap and much, much more.
1:26: C.J. McCollum’s new podcast Pull Up.
3:07: Damian Lillard and McCollum having large brands despite playing in a relatively smaller market.
4:52: Being recognized for his podcast instead of being a basketball player.
6:26: Growing up in Ohio while LeBron James became a global star, and the evolution of his game.
9:58: Championships being the measure for how James’ free agency will be judged.
11:32: James’ game showing no signs of slippage in his 15thseason.
12:37: McCollum leading the league in miles run per game.
14:20: The potential impact of legalized gambling on the NBA.
17:50: Is McCollum happy that his Cleveland Browns drafted Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield?
19:30: How would Cleveland react if the Browns won a Super Bowl?
20:28: McCollum’s brother Errick playing professionally in Europe.
21:22: Gaining an appreciation for the European game by watching his brother play.
23:02: The Trail Blazers being shocked by the Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs.
25:57: Does Portland need a star swingman, like Paul George or Kawhi Leonard, to take the next step?
27:48: McCollum’s go-to drill to start his workouts.
30:15: Why McCollum picked the Cavs to win the series vs. the Celtics.
30:56: The potential for a woman to become a head coach in the NBA.
32:08: How do trades impact the locker room?
ESPN draft analysts Jonathan Givony and Mike SchmitzThe Woj Pod add
ESPN draft analysts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz join The Woj Pod to discuss the aftermath of the NBA Draft lottery, how Phoenix, Sacramento and Atlanta will view their picks, the politics of the draft combine process for players, and how Danny Ainge and Boston has managed to have so much success in the evaluation of players.