Around 5/6 years ago I discovered Podcasts. It completely changed the way I followed the NBA. Being based overseas from where the action is taking place, following live radio or TV broadcasts was always difficult. Then all of a sudden, I found a treasure trove of “sports radio” style content, intentionally recorded to be listened to at a convenient time for the consumer. I started off with 1 or 2. I now listen to around 20-30 Basketball related Podcasts a week. I’ve even pushed up to double speed just to fit them all in. I find they are great to fill time alone in the car, workouts, housework – anything where your concentration can be somewhere else while you do a manual task.
What are the best NBA Podcasts? A Podcast is an audio recording, made periodically, with the intention the listener can tune in whenever they need. Over the last 5/6 years many key sports writers, especially in the NBA, have developed Podcasts as a way of reaching new audiences and supplementing their writing. With ‘The Book of Basketball 2.0’ – Bill Simmons has even tried to turn a book into Podcast form.
Below I break down some of my favourite NBA Podcast into different sections and briefly discuss some of the best Platforms to get them on. But before I get into the detail, I have put together an overview of the basketball podcasts I review below. The table below shows the genre, name of the podcast, the number of episodes and the average length of the podcast. Make sure to read on to see the reasons as to why the titles listed below are the best basketball podcasts.
|Genre||Podcast Name||Number of Episodes||Average Podcast length|
|Daily Podcast||NBA Daily Ding||175||23 Minutes|
|Daily Podcast||Locked on NBA||632||25 Minutes|
|NBA Analysis||The Lowe Post||200||70 Minutes|
|NBA Analysis||Open Floor||300||60 Minutes|
|NBA Analysis||The Miss Match|
|NBA Analysis||The Full 48||183||60 Minutes|
|NBA Speculation||The Ringer NBA Show||577||50 Minutes|
|NBA Speculation||Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective||198||45 Minutes|
|NBA Interview||The Woj Pod||200||39 Minutes|
|NBA Interview||The Crossover||220||60 Minutes|
|NBA Interview||The Breakaway||13||45 Minutes|
|NBA Players||The JJ Redick Podcast||40||45 Minutes|
|NBA Players||Winging It – Vince Carter||34||45 Minutes|
|NBA Players||Road Trippin’ – Channing Frye & Richard Jefferson||114||50 Minutes|
|NBA Comedy||No Dunks (formerly The Starters)||129||50 Minutes|
|NBA Comedy||Jalen & Jacoby||197||60 Minutes|
Best Daily NBA Podcasts:
Part of The Athletic this essential daily run down of the key scores, lines and news from each night is a great way to catch up. Always under 25mins long it’s perfect for listening to over breakfast or during your commute to work. Episodes are usually up within a few hours of the final game finishing, ready for your morning listen Monday – Friday. This became a staple for me during the 2018/19 season before it ducked behind their pay wall during the Playoffs. I was pleased to find it return for free listening at the start of the 2019/20 season.
A similar format to the Daily Ding. This allows you a quick sub 25min catch up on the nights action. Part of the wider Locked On podcast network, it’s a great summary which often features the hosts of its more franchise specific sister Podcasts for that more in depth analysis.
Best Analysis NBA Podcasts:
The Lowe Post
Hosted by ESPN’s Zach Lowe, this Podcast hits once or twice a week and will often do extra show’s when big events happen. Usually Zach and another NBA writer breaking down the detail of the on-court action. It covers everything you’d want from a modern NBA Podcast. Usually topping an hour in length this can give you some truly interesting insight into why teams are winning and losing and what that means in the wider NBA context. Zach is easily my favourite NBA writer.
Long running and Originally hosted by Ben Golliver (Washington Post, formerly SI) and Andrew Sharp (formerly SI) it has undergone a change this year. With the departure of Andrew, his replacement Michael Pina (SB Nation) hasn’t missed a beat. Keeping the great chemistry that Andrew had with Ben, he has continued to allow this Podcast to be an essential listen. Some brilliant insight, both into the on-court action and the politics around the league. If you want to catch a flavour of the original, why not support Andrew & Ben in their new venture, GOAT NBA Pod @ www.greatestofalltalk.com.
The Miss Match
Probably my favourite NBA Podcast. I look forward to the Tuesday and Friday episodes. Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor rarely see eye to eye, but underneath it both have great knowledge and respect for the game of basketball. Chris will always champion players with heart and talent, Kevin has a great grasp of modern analytics and will often bring a viewpoint that I just hadn’t considered before about a player I’ve watched play dozens of games. Part of The Ringers NBA Show feed, this pod makes me feel like I’m just hanging with 2 friends talking basketball.
The Full 48
Howard Beck (Bleacher Report) has been writing about the NBA for a long time. His Podcast really brings that experience to bear. Always able to offer something that TVs talking heads can’t quite get to. This Pod will focus on different things depending who his guests are. Whenever he crosses over with Zach Lowe it’s always going to be a great listen. “What up Beck”.
Best NBA Speculation Podcasts
The Ringer NBA Show
Heat Check, Group Chat – The rest of the week on the Ringer NBA Show is taken up by a rotating cast of Ringer Staff writers. Depending on who is on you’ll get a different level of fiery takes, analysis and wild speculation on the future of the NBA. Just remember, Basketball is very good.
Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective
Brian Windhorst (ESPN) has his finger on the Pulse. If he’s talking about something that might happen, it’s with good reason. I wouldn’t bet my house on it, but I’d sure drop it into conversation with my friends to sound knowledgeable. A good way to get into some of ESPNs insiders’ content as they are often guests. This pod tends to focus on the machinations of the NBA, rather than the X’s and O’s. A good one for the offseason and is you approach trade deadlines.
Best NBA Interview Podcasts
The Woj Pod
Hosted by Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN, formerly Yahoo!) this pod largely focuses on getting NBA players/guests on to share some great inside information. If you’re listening to get some Woj Bombs, don’t bother tough. He does his news breaking strictly on Twitter.
Chris Mannix has many jobs including breaking NBA news for Sorts Illustrated. He brings this Podcast out weekly and it’s a good hour listen. It’s at it’s best when Chris has a guest on that he can pick the brain of. Although Chris himself is not short of a fiery take or two!
Currently on hiatus, this Rob Mahoney/Sports Illustrated Pod had some of the best host on player interviews around. Rob has since taken his talents to The Ringer and can be heard on the various ringer Pods. There’s some great archived things on this feed worth listening to. Hopefully this offseason he can get back to doing some more in depth player interviews for his new employer.
Best NBA Player Podcasts
There’s been a rise over the last couple of years of active players hosting a podcast. Often the source of many twitter beefs between NBA greats who should know better. Some of the best are listed below.
The JJ Redick Podcast – JJ Redick
Winging It – Vince Carter
Road Trippin’ – Channing Frye & Richard Jefferson
Best NBA comedy Podcasts:
No Dunks (formerly The Starters)
You may know these guys from NBA TV. Always fun, always insightful they recently moved over to The Athletic and are strictly audio only at present. Bringing an hour + content every week, No Dunks is great fun and you might just learn something.
Jalen & Jacoby
Jalen Rose isn’t just the guy Kobe dropped 81 on. Or they guy that “Jalen Rosed” the Mamba back in the day. He’s a TV presenter and analyst for ESPN. Mostly though he’s great at being the co-host on this brilliant little pop-culture Pod. NBA heavy, it drifts around. Jacoby keeps Jalen on the tracks while dropping some pearls of life wisdom himself. Jalen doesn’t always come across as the most knowledgeable, but after years of listening I guarantee he knows things that are coming before they actually happen. He called Westbrooks first triple double season before a ball had been tipped. Come for the comedy, stay for the insight. It’s time to pop the trunk!
Best platforms for NBA Podcasts
I tend to use Stitcher. It generally hosts all the content I want, queues them up in order of release with the newest episode able to auto download and erase when it’s been listened to or a new episode comes out. Another great feature is to queue up what plays next, brilliant if you’re hitting the road. It has variable speeds up to x2 – which is plenty for me, although some apps do go faster. One small drawback is content is sometimes available elsewhere a few hours earlier – which I only ever notice if I’m desperate for a particular pod to drop. I also use Spotify, Google Podcasts and occasionally Liminary, which is a pay for service that has some great premium content.