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USA TODAY: NBA A to Z

USA Today

Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt, two of the best and most respected journalists covering the NBA for the USA TODAY Network, get fans inside the game with this weekly podcast series, NBA A to Z. On each show, you will hear about what’s going on behind the scenes about the league and your favorite teams. Sam and Jeff interview the top people in the game – players, coaches, executives – to give you more of the story. They also break down the league, discussing who’s hot and who’s not, what trends you should be aware of and answer your questions.

Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt, two of the best and most respected journalists covering the NBA for the USA TODAY Network, get fans inside the game with this weekly podcast series, NBA A to Z. On each show, you will hear about what’s going on behind the scenes about the league and your favorite teams. Sam and Jeff interview the top people in the game – players, coaches, executives – to give you more of the story. They also break down the league, discussing who’s hot and who’s not, what trends you should be aware of and answer your questions.
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Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

USA Today

Description:

Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt, two of the best and most respected journalists covering the NBA for the USA TODAY Network, get fans inside the game with this weekly podcast series, NBA A to Z. On each show, you will hear about what’s going on behind the scenes about the league and your favorite teams. Sam and Jeff interview the top people in the game – players, coaches, executives – to give you more of the story. They also break down the league, discussing who’s hot and who’s not, what trends you should be aware of and answer your questions.

Language:

English


Episodes

NBA Finals Recap

6/14/2018
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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.

Duration:00:40:39

NBA Finals Game 1 recap - JR Smith's historical brain cramp

6/1/2018
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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.

Duration:00:33:44

Inside the Conference Finals and a look at the 2018 draft

5/23/2018
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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.

Duration:01:00:09

Conference Finals Breakdown

5/17/2018
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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.

Duration:00:54:04

Inside the NBA video room

5/9/2018
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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.

Duration:00:43:24

Learning how NBA teams roster moves work with Larry Coon, The Sports Business Classroom

5/1/2018
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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...

Duration:00:38:09

Ian Thomsen, basketball writer

4/24/2018
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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...

Duration:00:42:39

NBA First Round Playoff Breakdown

4/18/2018
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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.

Duration:00:42:11

C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers

4/10/2018
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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...

Duration:00:38:55

Breaking down the playoff races; Jon Krawczynski, The Athletic

4/3/2018
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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.

Duration:00:38:05

Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz; Top stories from around the NBA

3/27/2018
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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.

Duration:00:31:53

NBA writer Sam Smith

3/20/2018
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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...

Duration:00:50:30

Alvin Gentry, head coach Pelicans; Rajon Rondo Pelicans PG; Luke Walton, Lakers head coach

3/13/2018
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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...

Duration:00:37:33

The NBA A to Z Playoff Breakdown

3/6/2018
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On this week's NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the wild playoff races in the East and the West and discuss all the possible ramifications of these final five weeks.

Duration:00:34:21

NBA on NCAA with Jalen Rose and Michele Roberts

2/27/2018
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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.

Duration:00:57:50

Around the NBA with JZ and Mike Singer

2/26/2018
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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.

Duration:00:59:31

All Star Weekend News and Notes!

2/14/2018
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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,...

Duration:00:43:38

Trade Deadline Fireworks, Lakers beat writer Bill Oram, Paul George interview

2/9/2018
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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...

Duration:00:40:40

Blake Griffin Trade, John Wall's knee, and a discussion with NBA officials about the rising tension with players

1/31/2018
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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.

Duration:00:49:54

Jason Kidd firing, All Star reserves, the trade deadline, plus an interview with Tom Thibodeau.

1/23/2018
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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.

Duration:00:46:37