The Woj Pod

By DGital Media


Adrian Wojnarowski, the most dominant force in NBA reporting, brings you inside the league with The Woj Pod. Woj is probing the biggest newsmakers in the sport – from the commissioner, to general managers, coaches and star players – to bring listeners inside the processes, personas and stories that impact the NBA. Beyond longer sit-down interviews in our New York studios, Woj will deliver real-time podcasts with league personnel built around breaking news.


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Golden State’s Steph Curry

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry joins The Woj Pod to discuss the Warriors turbulent season, Kevin Durant, the joy of repetition and practice, his production company’s new documentary on the 2015 South Carolina church massacre, playing with Seth in the All-Star Weekend 3-point competition and much, much more. 2:22: The Curry brothers both deciding to participate in the three-point contest in Charlotte. 4:11: ‘Emanuel,’ the new movie from Curry’s production company about the 2015 mass shooting in Charleston. 7:02: What role did Curry play in the movie as an executive producer? 8:10: Placing purpose over profits with his production company. 10:40: The endless cycle of mass shootings in the United States. 14:07: Finding happiness in the process of working on his jump shot and pursuing perfection. 18:27: The craziest place he’s ever gone to get shots up. 20:27: How the shift from pick-up basketball to organized games impacts the creativity of young players. 22:58: Curry’s impact on the younger generation in terms of how they view three-pointers. 24:53: The natural progression that led to him shooting from far behind the three-point line. 25:56: The calmness that surrounds Curry on and off the court. 28:43: How growing up around the NBA helps Curry deal with the day-to-day drama that every team battles. 30:45: The November blowup between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, and how the Warriors moved past it. 32:54: Steve Kerr’s unique perspective as the Warriors chase a 3-peat. 34:42: Prioritizing winning above all as evidenced by recruiting Durant in 2016. 38:24: The discipline to keep individual frustrations to yourself. 42:17: The Warriors focusing on the current season, and not worrying about Durant’s pending free agency. 47:02: The transformation of the Warriors organization since Curry’s rookie season.


Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie joins The Woj Pod to discuss his long journey to a new $34M contract, the fight out of the G League and into the NBA, why he didn’t enroll at Harvard despite his acceptance, building his own shoe brand, and much more. 0:23: Dinwiddie’s path to signing a 3-year, $34 million extension with the Nets. 2:39: The mental strength needed to make it in the NBA. 4:09: The difference between simply putting up numbers and impacting winning. 7:21: Brooklyn having several players on their 2nd and 3rd chances. 8:15: Having doubts early in his career that he would ever get an opportunity to play. 9:21: Challenging more experienced and higher paid players for minutes. 10:32: The grind of the G League, including his worst road trip. 11:37: Entering the draft after tearing his ACL during his junior season at Colorado. 13:21: Choosing Colorado over Harvard coming out of high school. 15:52: Finding a home with the Nets after bouncing around a bit. 19:30: Injuries to other players giving him an opportunity to play with the Nets. 21:18: Creating an identity for himself in the NBA after early adversity. 24:45: Does the security of his new deal impact how he approaches the game? 26:44: The Nets persevering after Caris LeVert’s injury. 28:48: The basics of NBA shoe deals for players who aren’t stars, and why he decided to build his own brand. 35:02: Using his foundation to help young people pay for college. 36:00: Social media allowing players to create their own identity and shape the narrative around their career. 39:00: The impact of social media inside the locker room.


Memphis coach JB Bickerstaff

Memphis Grizzlies coach JB Bickerstaff joins The Woj Pod to discuss the revival of Grit-‘n-Grind, watching Marc Gasol and Mike Conley work every day, the emergence of rookie Jaren Jackson, the burden of the interim coaching tag, why he considered a move college basketball, the internal fight that a coach deals with to stay true to his principles and more. 0:37: Doc Rivers getting the most out of the Clippers, and Montrezl Harrell’s breakout start to the season. 2:12: The lack of separation between teams early in the season. 3:41: The difference between being an interim head coach and having the job full time. 5:25: Why the Grizzlies have been able to bounce back after being in the lottery last season. 7:00: The value of Jaren Jackson Jr. getting to play alongside veteran players on a good team. 8:56: The Grizzlies doubling down on their Grit-N-Grind identity. 14:24: Veteran leadership being essential to set the tone in a locker room. 16:45: How shorter contracts impact team chemistry. 18:28: The advantages of playing differently than the rest of the league. 19:58: Did Bickerstaff wonder if he would get another head-coaching opportunity after his interim stint in Houston. 21:48: Bickerstaff’s thought on the benefits of coaching in college and how he could have helped the players grow as people. 29:57: What he learned about coaching from his parents. 31:19: The advantages of growing up around the league. 33:42: Bickerstaff’s coaching principles that he won’t compromise. 35:03: The importance of building relationships with players, and how he’s bonding with Marc Gasol. 40:40: The partnership between Mike Conley Jr. and Gasol. 42:27: Deciding how much to practice during the season.


ESPN Draft Analysts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz

ESPN NBA Draft analysts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz join the Woj Pod to discuss Duke’s freshmen class of RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish who could go 1-2-3 in the June Draft, the surging NBA rookie class -- including Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Memphis’ Jaren Jackson, the impasse in NBA-NBPA negotiations on ending the one-and-done rule, and much, much more. 1:30: Duke freshmen R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson dominating Kentucky in their first game. 4:00: NBA scouts loving Barrett’s competitive drive.  6:24: Will Barrett, Williamson and Cam Reddish competing to be the No. 1 pick have an impact on Duke? 8:06: Why it will be a difficult choice for whichever team has the No. 1 pick. 12:14: How the changing style of play in the NBA impacts the draft. 15:38: The strengths and weaknesses of the 2019 draft. 17:47: The impressive start to Luka Doncic’s career in Dallas. 21:19: Jaren Jackson Jr. moving into the starting lineup and producing for the Grizzlies. 24:53: Negotiations for the end of the one-and-done rule stalled because of agents wanting to keep control over player medical records.  32:30: The importance of ownership in team building and how the G League could factor into age-limit negotiations. 36:29: Players and front office members not really wanting the age limit to change. 39:23: The NCAA wanting everyone else to change so they don’t have to change their business. 40:11: The upcoming games and tournaments that NBA teams will be scouting.


Masai Ujiri

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.


Grant Hill

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 MacMullan

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.


Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego

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 Budenholzer

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 agency

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.


Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell

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 McCollum

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?


Ian Begley

ESPN’s Ian Begley joins The Woj Pod to discuss the New York Knicks hiring of David Fizdale, the process leading to his four-year deal, its impact on Kristaps Porzingis’ future, and the Celtics and Sixers rapidly moving toward years of dominance in the Eastern Conference – and perhaps the NBA. 1:06: The Knicks hiring David Fizdale as their next head coach. 2:22: Fizdale wanting to be in New York and having his choice among the open jobs around the league. 3:25: His plans to build a strong relationship with Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, including a trip to Latvia. 6:14: The Knicks needing Fizdale to be a face of the franchise and to establish a winning culture. 9:41: Porzingis and the Knicks being cautious with his return from injury next season. 11:21: Knicks GM Scott Perry cementing himself as the leader of the front office with the Fizdale hiring. 13:42: Were the Knicks under pressure to hire Fizdale before another team did? 20:37: The ACL tear making Porzingis more likely to sign an extension with the Knicks. 21:09: The Celtics and 76ers being poised to swing the balance of power to the Eastern Conference. 23:52: Danny Ainge’s tremendous patience while rebuilding the Celtics in the post-Big 3 era and having the assets to acquire any star that comes on the market. 27:00: Sam Hinkie’s success finding players like Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell during his tenure with the 76ers. 28:46: The Knicks front office placing an emphasis on Frank Ntilikina’s development.


Steve Clifford

Steve Clifford joins The Woj Pod to discuss his dismissal as the Charlotte Hornets coach, Kemba Walker, earning players’ respect in the NBA, the loss of practice time in the NBA, coaching Yao Ming. 0:39: Clifford’s days recruiting players in the northeast as a college coach. 3:19: His exit from the Hornets after five seasons and a change in the front office. 4:57: The Hornets lacking consistency this season and a mentality of wanting to improve. 8:15: The changing role of big men like Dwight Howard in the modern NBA. 10:45: Kemba Walker being fully invested in Clifford’s vision for the team. 16:30: The traits of successful players that are harder to find today than in previous generations. 20:28: How Clifford built relationships with his players when they have many people in their ears. 24:45: The evolution of how head coaches lead and interact with their players. 26:13: The successful coaches that Clifford worked with as an assistant during his career. 30:58: What are the hardest decisions that head coaches have to make in the NBA today? 32:55: Clifford showing his players what he wants from them instead of merely yelling at them. 35:12: Balancing the need for rest with the need to practice and how players view practice. 41:45: How great Yao Ming could have been if he stayed healthy. 43:29: Yao’s sense of duty and obligation to represent China in international competition, particularly the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 45:34: Yao’s global impact on the game.

The Woj Pod Podcast


Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey


Utah Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey joins The Woj Pod to discuss the Western Conference playoff chase, post-trade deadline fallout in the NBA, Rudy Tomjanovich’s Hall of Fame candidacy, dealing with leaked trade talks and much more.