The fact that it takes me 40 mins to get to work every day also means I have some time to burn in the car, thus my ears need me some NBA drivel! The one thing that is uber-important to me is audio quality. There are couple of podcasts that have great content, but the audio is so shit it frustrates the heck out of you. I do however realise that some are these are done by professionals out of studios (ie: they’re paid), and some of these are just super-fans doing good. I’ve only ranked the top 7, and then made brief mention of a few others. Here goes…..
1) The Basketball Jones 9/10
Pros: These guys have figured out the right blend between analysis / (OK, its fan-based observation) & humour. Skeets, Tas, Trey Kirby & Lee Ellis are great. The audio quality is pristine too, + the fact that they do 5 x podcasts per week during the season is awesome. Also stacks of Twitter interaction with listeners.
Cons: Only negative thing I've got to offer is that they could have more guests on the show (players, ex-players, analysts etc).
2) Jalen Rose (via Grantland) 8.5/10
Pros: Jalen & Jacoby do a great job & again the audio quality is great. The best parts are Jalen's inside stories from his playing days & also general insight into the life of an NBA star ("champagning & campaigning").
Cons: not as regular as fans would like (generally once per week) & sometimes they skip a week (boo Jalen).
3) NBA Today (ESPN) 8/10
Pros: You want analysis? This is the hotspot with the mainstays being Henry Abbott (True Hoop), Ryan Russillo (like a boss) & Tim Legler (Leg-time Sories). Great audio too (der, it's ESPN!)
Cons: Basically dead during offseason. Sometimes Rusillo takes a week off dammit (& then get attacked on Twitter).
4) CBS Sports Basketball Podcast 7.5/10
Pros: Recent "new-comer" this one, & I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how professionally this is done. Their season preview stuff (running right now) is really good with a blend of interviews with team analysts, beat-writers & bloggers.
Cons: They went super quiet for a while there with no new content for months, and I thought they may have died.
5) Bleacher Report (NBA) 7.3/10
Pros: This is a relatively new one to the fold. Joel & Ethan do a pretty damn good job actually. Their matter-of-fact analysis blended with differing opinions works well.
Cons: Ethan is a Laker-man, so there’s always that.
6) Bill Simmons Report 7/10
Pros: Great guests + Bill does a fantastic job of representing the average fans perspective (cos he used to be one). His buddy House is pretty cool too. They’re "over & under" episode predicating where every team will finish is one of my fav episodes of the year.
Cons: Very rarely is it NBA only, & I find myself trolling for it & usually it's NFL... blahhhhh.
7)HoopsSpeak Live 6.5/10
Pros: Content & knowledge is right up there. So are the quality of guest bloggers / analysts. These guys really know their shit & their sense of humour is well-infused too.
Cons: I really like Ethan Sherwood-Strauss & Mason Beckley so it pains me to say this, but the audio quality is terrible at times. It's just so frustrating because the podcast content is awesome. To provide a basketball anaolgy: It feels like rooting for our GSW to win 48 games this year (as we hope they can) but they end up winning 35 games. It would be so disappointing as we know how good they can be. That's this podcast being dragged down due to sound quality. Here's hoping they can rectify it & they would definatley be top 3.
Honourable mentions to a few others:
"Brewhoop" is sporadic but does a great in-depth job for Bucks fans.
Warriors World. Brand new podcast from the guys that do the Bay Area Suger Free podcast. Only 1 episode in & obviously heavy on Warriors content, but definately gonna be a winner.
ESPN NBA Fantasy is legit if you are a fantasy nut during the regular season.
Hang Time (official NBA)
Pros: Oh dear..... let me try & come up with some positives. Great audio qual. High calibre guests from time to time.
Cons: How do I say this nicely? Sikou Smith is terrible, just so bloody annoying. Laughs at his own jokes & drags Lang Whittaker down into the celler with him. To be honest, I only download this one when I've listened to everything else & I'm desperate. The NBA should be able to do so much better. Sorry fella's but you really need to reinvigorate the tired format.
Australian mentionsBeing an Aussie it would be remiss of me not to give a few shout outs to the handful of bball podcasts regularly pumped out down under. These guys all love their hoops & it shows through. Aussie Hoopla does an awesome job of NBL & international content, + they also get some high calibre guests on board. The guys at Courtside definately know & love their NBA & I particularly liked their recent Heroes vs Villains episodes. That Basketball Show is another strong aussie take on NBA happenings run by "Train" & "Pumpa". Nice job guys. Finally, the last shout-out is for a podcast called The NBA Crossover which is a Knicks / Nets specific take on things by Rusty & Pmac. If you liked this post, feel free to get after me on Twitter: @seely747 "Aussie Dub-man"