Arts & Entertainment

New basketball podcast launches

By Will Pembroke | Staff Writer

Former ESPN analyst Bill Simmons debuted a podcast, Book of Basketball 2.0, which aims to discuss “some of the NBA’s greatest wonders” and feature analytic conversations with NBA legends like Isaiah Thomas.

CEO of theringer.com and former ESPN analyst Bill Simmons debuted a podcast, titled Book of Basketball 2.0 on Oct. 30.

            As some may remember, Simmons put his basketball knowledge into paperback form in 2010 when he wrote his New York Times bestselling novel, The Book of Basketball. In it, he detailed as much basketball history as he could fit into each of its 736 pages.

            Simmons is considered one of the founders of the podcast community, so much so that he earned the nickname “The PodFather” from his peers. His first podcast, the B.S. Report, debuted in 2007. After his dramatic exit from ESPN in 2013, he launched the website theringer.com, continuing his dream of running a popular culture website without having to bend to the whims of “the man” at ESPN.

            While The Book of Basketball has stood the test of time as one of the greatest sports books of our generation, it has been a decade since it was written. On his main podcasting outlet, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons has often discussed updating the book many times. Jokingly, he continues to claim he has “retired from writing,” still only producing content in the form of podcasts.

            The Book of Basketball 2.0 podcast series takes aim at understanding some of the NBA’s greatest wonders. The inaugural episode features a 30-minute narrative on “the secret” to winning. Simmons incorporates past remarks from NBA legends like Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird, and draws from personal experience living in and around NBA basketball his whole career.

            The new podcast will also feature guests of note. Golden State Warriors head coach and eight-time NBA champion Steve Kerr made an appearance on the second episode of the show to add his wisdom and knowledge of the so-called “secret.” NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash has been rumored to be on the podcast in the not-so-distant future.

            As with all sports, rankings are a formative part of historical discussion, and Simmons certainly does not shy away from that in his book. He introduces his Basketball Hall of Fame pyramid, which ranks 96 players, sparking much debate.

            A large focus of this new podcast is updating the rankings in the book with almost 10 more years of basketball knowledge. For example, in episode three of the series, Simmons and fellow Ringer basketball analyst Ryen Russilo break down the meteoric rise of Warriors great Stephen Curry, moving him all the way up to 24th on the Hall of Fame pyramid.

            So far, I have found myself listening to the podcast episodes many times over. I would encourage any avid hoops fans, as well as anyone looking to learn more about the game, to take a listen.

            The Book of Basketball 2.0 podcast is available now on all major podcasting platforms such as Art19, Stitcher, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

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