NBA A to Z with Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt

NBA A to Z with Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt

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We’ve got the NBA covered from A to Z with this inside look at the Association from veteran journalists Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt. Great guests and gab for the hoophead in you.


NBA Finals Recap
Jun 14, 2018 • 40 min
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…
NBA Finals Game 1 recap - JR Smith’s historical brain cramp
Jun 1, 2018 • 33 min
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…
Inside the Conference Finals and a look at the 2018 draft
May 23, 2018 • 60 min
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…
Conference Finals Breakdown
May 17, 2018 • 54 min
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…
Inside the NBA video room
May 9, 2018 • 43 min
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…
Learning how NBA teams roster moves work with Larry Coon, The Sports Business Classroom
May 1, 2018 • 38 min
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…
Ian Thomsen, basketball writer
Apr 24, 2018 • 42 min
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…
NBA First Round Playoff Breakdown
Apr 18, 2018 • 42 min
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…
C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
Apr 10, 2018 • 38 min
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…
Breaking down the playoff races; Jon Krawczynski, The Athletic
Apr 3, 2018 • 38 min
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…
Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz; Top stories from around the NBA
Mar 27, 2018 • 31 min
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…
NBA writer Sam Smith
Mar 20, 2018 • 50 min
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…
Alvin Gentry, head coach Pelicans; Rajon Rondo Pelicans PG; Luke Walton, Lakers head coach
Mar 13, 2018 • 37 min
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…
The NBA A to Z Playoff Breakdown
Mar 6, 2018 • 34 min
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.
NBA on NCAA with Jalen Rose and Michele Roberts
Feb 27, 2018 • 57 min
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…
Around the NBA with JZ and Mike Singer
Feb 26, 2018 • 59 min
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…
All Star Weekend News and Notes!
Feb 14, 2018 • 43 min
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,…
Trade Deadline Fireworks, Lakers beat writer Bill Oram, Paul George interview
Feb 9, 2018 • 40 min
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…
Blake Griffin Trade, John Wall’s knee, and a discussion with NBA officials about the rising tension with players
Jan 31, 2018 • 49 min
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…
Jason Kidd firing, All Star reserves, the trade deadline, plus an interview with Tom Thibodeau.
Jan 23, 2018 • 47 min
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…
Lou Williams, L.A. Clippers; Gary Payton NBA Hall of Famer
Jan 15, 2018 • 45 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick talks with Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams about his career year that’s coming in Season No. 13, the possibility that he might be traded by next month, the time he talked a would-be…
Kara Lawson, Former WNBA player and Current Washington Wizards TV Analyst
Jan 10, 2018 • 30 min
Jeff and Sam sit down with Kara Lawson, the color commentator for the Washington Wizards. They talk about her career in the WNBA and at the University of Tennessee, the play of the Wizards, and what’s going on around the league.
Kobe’s Retirement, New Arenas, and the Christmas Day Games
Dec 20, 2017 • 35 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the retirement of Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers jerseys and how the Lakers wish they could concentrate on the future instead of having to celebrate the past. The guys…
Kareem Abdul Jabbar, NBA Hall of Famer
Dec 12, 2017 • 25 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk to the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about everything from basketball to social issues to his new book, “Becoming Kareem,” and his work with the Coaches v. Cancer organization that…
Jamal Crawford, Minnesota Timberwolves
Dec 6, 2017 • 36 min
On this week’s edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford of the Minnesota Timberwolves on the eve of his reunion game against the LA Clippers. Crawford talks about how he wishes he was…
Who are the biggest threats to the Golden State Warriors?
Nov 28, 2017 • 50 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z, USA TODAY Sports’ Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the would-be threats to the Golden State Warriors’ throne. Can the Houston Rockets, with Chris Paul back in the fold, pose a problem for Golden State? Might San…
Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland Cavaliers; Carmelo Anthony, OKC Thunder
Nov 21, 2017 • 33 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Isaiah Thomas about his comeback, the trade that brought his time in Boston to a stunning end and the docu-series that he recently launched to document it all. He…
Hall of Famer Bernard King on his new book
Nov 14, 2017 • 62 min
Jeff and Sam break down the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, the three best teams in the NBA so far and much more. Then Jeff sits down with NBA Hall of Fame legend Bernard King to discuss his new book, his career, how he came…
Power Rankings; Chris Paul and G League president Malcolm Turner interview
Nov 7, 2017 • 48 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z, insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt are joined by our power rankings guru, AJ Neuharth-Keusch, to break down the wild start to this season and why teams are ranked so high — and the surprising low ranking of the Cleveland…
NBA early season struggles around the league, plus the inside scoop on the Bucks and Lakers
Nov 1, 2017 • 56 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the early season struggles of the Cavs and Warriors, Sam talks all things Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Matt Velazquez, and Sam also…
Week 1 of the NBA Season, The Rookie Update, and Jeff Stotts from instreetclothes.com
Oct 25, 2017 • 39 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY’s Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the start of the NBA season, including Golden State’s uneven start, Cleveland’s rotation issues and a deep rookie class led by Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball. Jeff and Sam also…
Gordon Hayward’s injury, Houston’s victory, and opening night
Oct 18, 2017 • 27 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY’s Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk season-openers between Boston-Cleveland, Houston-Golden State and Gordon Hayward’s horrific injury to his left ankle and leg. Plus, Sam and Jeff share details of life on the…
Steph Curry on the Warriors trip to China
Oct 10, 2017 • 70 min
On today’s pod, Sam checks in after returning from covering the NBA pre-season action in China and breaks down all your hoops news with Jeff. Then we listen in to an interview Sam did with Steph Curry while in the far east. Lastly, USA TODAY’s Mike Singer…
NBA Season at a glance; Jason Lloyd, The Athletic
Oct 3, 2017 • 55 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Sam and Jeff talk national anthem and potential issues for the NBA, Russell Westbrook’s long-term deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dwyane Wade’s decision to join his good friend LeBron James on the Cleveland…
NBA A to Z is Back! Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Sep 26, 2017 • 56 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Sam sits down with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George to talk about his Pacers past, the Thunder present and his free agency future. Jeff and Sam preview this coming season after all the superstar shakeup over the…
NBA Free Agency Breakdown
Jul 6, 2017 • 44 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the free agency period that was highlighted by Gordon Hayward’s exit from Utah to Boston, the blockbuster trades of Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler and Paul George, and what’s…
Lawrence Frank, LA Clippers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations
Jun 29, 2017 • 22 min
On this special edition NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports Insider Sam Amick breaks down the Chris Paul trade with Clippers executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. How did the trade with the Houston Rockets go down? What does…
Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets Head Coach
Jun 28, 2017 • 14 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insider Sam Amick talks with Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni about the Chris Paul trade that shook the NBA. The former Clippers star will be joining forces with the Rockets’ James Harden next season, and D’Antoni…
Jamal Crawford, LA Clippers guard; NBA Draft discussion
Jun 22, 2017 • 33 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z pod, USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick talks with Clippers guard and three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford about the draft (he’s close friends with prospective No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz), free agency (his Clippers have some…
NBA Finals Preview; Brandon Payne, Steph Curry trainer
May 30, 2017 • 39 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the three-match in the Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Sam talks to the longtime trainer for Warriors star Stephen Curry,…
Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder; Dan Bailey, ‘Father John Misty’ drummer and NBA Fan
May 25, 2017 • 55 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, we help pass the pre-Finals time with two very different interviews. NBA Insider Sam Amick talks to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Enes Kanter about his harrowing reality right now. The 25-year-old from Turkey was…
Jalen Rose on undercutting players
May 16, 2017 • 46 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z pod, USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the East and West Conference Finals, discuss what the Wizards do going forward after falling to Boston, and debate the controversial play that put the San Antonio…
Is this the best LeBron James has ever played?
May 10, 2017 • 35 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z pod, reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt take a break from their playoff travels to break down the postseason to this point. Is this this the best LeBron James has ever played? Can anyone beat the Cavs or Warriors, or are we…
NBA Playoffs Round 2 Update; Ron Adams, Golden State Warriors
May 2, 2017 • 45 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff ZIllgitt break down the second round of the playoffs. Sam also talks to Golden State Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, whose team will have to chase another title without Steve Kerr. The…
David Stern, former NBA Comissioner; Playoff Update with Sam and Jeff
Apr 25, 2017 • 42 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zilgitt talk playoffs with former NBA Commissioner David Stern. He weighs in on the early postseason action, discusses why he doesn’t miss the league office after spending more than three…
Take that for data … NBA playoffs off to good start
Apr 18, 2017 • 40 min
On this week’s show, NBA Insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the early stages of the playoffs with TNT analyst and two-time champion Brent Barry. From the Cavaliers’ defensive struggles to Memphis coach David Fizdale’s “Take that for data”…
“Western Conference playoff podcast”
Apr 14, 2017 • 53 min
On this special playoff edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Sam Amick has in-depth conversations with Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian…
Oscar Robertson says he loves watching Russell Westbrook play
Apr 11, 2017 • 55 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z pod, USA TODAY Sports reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss their looming votes on regular season awards. Sam chats with the great Oscar Robertson about Russell Westbrook’s historic season and how the Oklahoma City…
Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder coach; MVP Debate Pod
Apr 4, 2017 • 37 min
On this week’s edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Sam talks to Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan about Russell Westbrook’s special season and the question of how he sizes up against the Houston Rockets’ James Harden in the MVP race. Donovan, the…
Draymond Green discusses NBA defensive player of the year
Mar 28, 2017 • 26 min
In this week’s A to Z, Sam sits down with the Warriors’ Draymond Green to debate the Defensive Player of the Year award and discuss his well-known prowess on that end of the floor. How would he judge players if he had a vote, and why shouldn’t Utah’s Rudy…
A Deep Dive into the NBA Playoff Picture
Mar 21, 2017 • 38 min
On this week’s episode of A to Z, Sam and Jeff dive deep on the playoff races in the East and the West as the regular season nears an end. Which teams have the toughest schedules? What are the MVP implications? Is an NBA Finals rematch still on tap…
Around the NBA with Sam and Jeff
Mar 14, 2017 • 52 min
In this episode, the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss who will emerge in this hotly-contested MVP race. They’ll break down the top candidates and give their assessment on why each guy has a legit shot. Does Russell Westbrook win it if he…
Tim Bontemps; NBA writer
Mar 7, 2017 • 49 min
This week on NBA A to Z, Sam Amick sits down with NBA writer Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post to talk about the Warriors’ life without Kevin Durant and what it means, the MVP race, whether or not the Cavs are in trouble, and other topics from around…
David Thorpe; ESPN analyst, coach, and author
Feb 28, 2017 • 53 min
On this week’s NBA A to Z podcast, Sam and Jeff go around the league with David Thorpe, an ESPN analyst, longtime coach to NBA players and author of the new book, “Basketball is Jazz: Stories and lessons from a basketball lifer.” From his view on the…
Lakers blow it up, and DeMarcus Cousins trade talk
Feb 21, 2017 • 40 min
The tables are turned on USA TODAY’s Sam Amick. On this episode, he is the one aswering the questions instead of asking. USA TODAY’s NBA Editor Kevin Spain comes in to talk to Sam about the Los Angeles Lakers front office shake up. They discuss how this…
Isaiah Thomas on life on and off the court
Feb 14, 2017 • 41 min
Sam Amick chats with Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas. They talk about Isaiah’s work with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Tacoma, Wash. He donated a basketball court and talked to kids about his story, how as a boy growing up he had to fight battles and…
Will Carmelo really be on the move?
Feb 7, 2017 • 47 min
Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down some of the moves that could happen as we approach the NBA trade deadline. They talk about the possibility of Carmelo Anthony being traded and what it might take. They break down Anthony’s desire to win a title and…
Kevin McHale goes around the league with Sam Amick
Jan 31, 2017 • 36 min
Before he calls the Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics game, TNT analyst Kevin McHale joins Sam Amick to talk about the hot topics around the league. They talk about the internal strife with the Chicago Bulls and McHale discusses his thoughts from a…
The great best players debate
Jan 24, 2017 • 64 min
Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk about who should be on the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star rosters. The guys start out with who should’ve been starting, but didn’t get the nod. They then break down who should be on the reserves on the East and…
Warriors get revenge on Cavaliers; Steph Curry talks President Obama
Jan 17, 2017 • 37 min
Live from Oakland, Cal., Sam Amick is joined by Washington Post reporter Tim Bontemps to break down the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game. They talk about how great Stephen Curry was in the game and how good he has been all season. They…
Klay Thompson talks success, future, “childish” Cavs
Jan 12, 2017 • 22 min
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson sits down with USA TODAY’s Sam Amick to go behind the scenes with him and the team. They begin with how he’s not as quiet as some might think and how his father Mychal - a member of the 1980’s Showtime Lakers - is…
George Karl on his book and criticism
Jan 10, 2017 • 36 min
Former NBA coach George Karl, whose book “Furious George” is out, joins Sam and Jeff to talk about the reaction to excerpts that have been released in the past few weeks. The guys ask him to talk about regrets he might have with how he said something in…
James Harden on his historic season
Jan 6, 2017 • 13 min
Houston Rockets guard James Harden sits down with USA TODAY’s Sam Amick to discuss his amazing season and the success of the team. They talk about how Harden knew something good might be coming up with this team as far back as the preseason. Harden talks…
MVP and Rookie of the Year races shaping up
Jan 3, 2017 • 38 min
Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt go around the league, hitting on some of the big performances. They start off talking about the Rookie of the Year race and the surprising entry that is Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks. Brogdon was a second round pick…
Chris Wallace, Memphis Grizzlies GM: Going from Casino worker to NBA executive
Dec 27, 2016 • 56 min
Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace joins Sam Amick to discuss his unorthodox rise to NBA executive. They talk about how the Grizzlies have dealt with injuries and have still made the playoffs in each of the past six seasons. They talk about…
Rise of the Warriors and perspective on Griffin, Cousins, Sager
Dec 20, 2016 • 65 min
On this episode, Sam Amick talks with Golden State Warriors beat reporter Marcus Thompson about how the team rose from being one of worst teams in the league to the current dynasty. They talk about covering the team in those early days. It was a team with…
Breaking down the season at the quarter mark
Dec 13, 2016 • 43 min
Sam and Jeff break down the league at the quarter point in the season. They talk about how great Russell Westbrook has been so far and the amazing numbers he has been putting up. They discuss the New York Knicks and how they’re starting to play good ball.…
Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets Coach; Dr. David Bearman, Expert Clinical Cannabis
Dec 6, 2016 • 46 min
Sam Sits down with Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni to discuss James Harden and the state of the team, while Jeff has a lengthy discussion with Dr. David Bearman, one of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medicinal…
Ranking the NBA teams so far
Nov 29, 2016 • 53 min
Sam and Jeff take an inside look at the power rankings procedure and bring in an expert to break it all down. What goes into the weekly rankings and who votes. USA TODAY’s AJ Neuhart-Keusch joins to throw one of the voters under the bus. Then Sam and Jeff…
Blake Griffin; PF, LA Clippers and DeMar DeRozan; SG, Toronto Raptors
Nov 22, 2016 • 38 min
Not only is Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin a great basketball player, but he is also a stand up comedian. USA TODAY’s Sam Amick sat down with Griffin to talk about his comedy and the Clippers, who are off to a great start. Jeff Zillgitt then…
Taking the early pulse of the NBA season
Nov 15, 2016 • 41 min
NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt chat about the bogus rumor that Klay Thompson was going to be traded by the Golden State Warriors to the Boston Celtics. They talk about how important Thompson is to the team and why they have no plans to trade…
Luke Walton joins to talk about the exciting young Lakers
Nov 8, 2016 • 15 min
One of the surprise teams early on in the NBA season is the Los Angeles Lakers. USA TODAY’s Sam Amick caught up with first-year coach Luke Walton about the good start and the outlook. Walton talks about how the team has belief that they can compete,…
Early season observations: Are Spurs the real super team? Westbrook on fire
Nov 1, 2016 • 41 min
NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt give their analysis of the early days of the NBA season. Are the Golden State Warriors overrated? Are the San Antonio Spurs underrated? What to make about the furious start to Russell Westbrook’s season? For the…
Tom Thibodeau on building the T’Wolves and his time off
Oct 28, 2016 • 37 min
Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau joins Sam Amick to talk about his new team. They discuss how talented the young T’Wolves are, led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and the outlook for their development. The coach tells Sam that he has…
Mike Conley on being the highest paid player and virtual reality comes to the NBA
Oct 22, 2016 • 21 min
Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley joins USA TODAY’s Sam Amick at a recent workout to talk about being the highest paid player in the NBA. They also talk about how strong the Western Conference has become and the changes in the Grizzlies for this season.…
Who will win the NBA’s individual awards?
Oct 17, 2016 • 21 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down who they think will win the individual awards. Names like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard are out there for most valuable player going into the season, and the guys give…
Who should you take in your fantasy basketball draft?
Oct 15, 2016 • 29 min
You’ve done your homework, studied all the analytics and are ready for your fantasy basketball draft. But all things being equal, who should you take No. 1? Josh Lloyd from Basketball Monster and the Locked on Fantasy Basketball podcast joins USA TODAY’s…
Who goes to the NBA Finals? Picking conference, division winners
Oct 12, 2016 • 50 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down each conference, looking at what teams win the divisions and who emerges to make it to the Finals. The guys then pick who they think will win the NBA Finals. Before they get into that, they…
Are the Warriors unbeatable?
Oct 5, 2016 • 42 min
The A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt look ahead to some of the issues that could define the 2016-17 season, starting off with the dominance of the Golden State Warriors in a preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers. They talk about how the…
Stephen Curry hasn’t gotten over Game 7 loss
Sep 20, 2016 • 16 min
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry sits down with USA TODAY’s Sam Amick to discuss how that Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals will drive him this season. He recalls what it was like after losing that final game and how he…
What’s next for DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony?
Aug 29, 2016 • 34 min
Now that the Olympics are over, where do guys who have been successful in international play but not in the NBA go from here? USA TODAY’s Sam Amick, who covered the games, discusses what’s next for DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings and Carmelo…
USA Basketball got game they needed; Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan conversation
Aug 11, 2016 • 26 min
With the Olympics underway, USA TODAY NBA reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt take a look at USA Basketball and how they were pushed to the limit by Australia. The guys discuss how that game will be important to the Americans as they try to win another…
Grant Hill on being an owner and Hawks trying something new in offseason
Aug 10, 2016 • 21 min
Grant Hill and Melissa Proctor of the Atlanta Hawks join AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA TODAY to talk about a project the team is doing to better connect with the community. Hill chats about what he has always thought being an owner would be and what is…
What Klay Thompson thinks of KD affecting his game
Jul 26, 2016 • 28 min
As much as any of the Golden State Warriors, Klay Thompson could feel the effect of Kevin Durant joining the team. USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick and Kevin Spain discuss how those two players’ games can co-exist. Amick caught up with Thompson at a recent…
Jerry Colangelo on Olympics and NBA players
Jul 21, 2016 • 37 min
Jerry Colangelo, director of USA Basketball joins A to Z guys Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick in Las Vegas to talk about the U.S. team as we get closer to the Rio Olympics. Colangelo breaks down the team, discussing the defensive ability and scoring. They…
Anthony Davis on Pelicans, Team USA and NBA players’ influence
Jul 17, 2016 • 11 min
Nancy Armour, USA TODAY columnist, guest hosts and sits down with New Orleans Pelicans player Anthony Davis. They’re at a Red Bull tournament and dunk contest event and Davis talks about how NBA players have the power to make a difference in their…
What’s next for Russell Wesbrook and the Thunder without Kevin Durant?
Jul 11, 2016 • 22 min
Now that Kevin Durant has left Oklahoma City and joined the Golden State Warriors, where does that leave his former running mate Russell Westbrook? USA TODAY Sports Sam Amick breaks it all down with Anthony Slater, Thunder beat reporter for the Oklahoman.…
Why Kevin Durant is going to the Warriors
Jul 4, 2016 • 24 min
How did the Golden State Warriors land Kevin Durant in free agency? Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY NBA reporters walk you through the behind the scenes and discuss the meetings that were had that led to his decision. They also discuss what…
Jamal Crawford breaks down this year’s free agency class
Jun 29, 2016 • 27 min
Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford joins NBA A to Z guy Sam Amick to break down free agency. As a player, Crawford has a unique perspective on where guys might go and what the market is for other players. They discuss Kevin Durant’s situation and how…
What will Kevin Durant do and other free agency talk
Jun 28, 2016 • 54 min
The Kevin Durant sweepstakes is on. Where will this summer’s top free agent going to sign? The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt take a deep dive into what the Oklahoma City Thunder star’s options are and when he might do. A team that could lose…
Rachel Nichols, Paul Flannery on Cavs incredible run
Jun 20, 2016 • 44 min
The NBA A to Z guys wrap up the NBA season in the wee hours following Game 7 of the Finals. They break down how the Cleveland Cavaliers won an improbable title, coming from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Warriors 4-3. They hit on the surprising good…
There’ll be a Game 7 in the NBA Finals
Jun 17, 2016 • 23 min
In the late hours following Game 6, NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down what happened in the Cavaliers’ big win. The guys assess the problems the Warriors ran into and what they’ll need to address as the series heads back to Oakland for…
Kyrie Irving, LeBron James were amazing as Cavs force Game 6
Jun 14, 2016 • 15 min
From the parking lot of Oracle Arena, NBA A to Z’s Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt breakdown the 41 point performances from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. It was the first time teammates scored more than 40 points in an NBA Finals game. By winning Game 5, the…
Welcome back Splash Brothers as Warriors ready to eliminate LeBron and Cavs
Jun 11, 2016 • 15 min
Remember Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson? Yeah, we do too. Especially after they broke out of their slump to lead the Golden State Warriors to an NBA Finals Game 4 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down…
Cavaliers make it a series as LeBron goes off
Jun 9, 2016 • 20 min
So where did this Cleveland Cavaliers team come from? After looking overmatched in the first two games of the NBA Finals, the Cavs come alive and blow out the Golden State Warriors. A to Z guys Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick break it down from an empty…
Mychal Thompson says Warriors would beat Showtime Lakers
Jun 6, 2016 • 19 min
Mychal Thompson, member of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Showtime era and father of Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, agrees with his son that this Warriors team would beat his. Mychal Thompson joined Sam Amick for a quick chat about why and…
Is this series over?
Jun 6, 2016 • 18 min
Now that the Golden State Warriors are up 2-0 in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt ask if the series is over. They discuss how poorly the Cavs have played in the series so far, how good the…
Warriors dominate Cavaliers in Game 1 of NBA Finals
Jun 3, 2016 • 15 min
Game 1 of the NBA Finals goes to the Golden State Warriors in convincing fashion and the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break it down with USA TODAY’s Kevin Spain. While the guys are talking, they are joined by ESPN’s Amin Elhassan, who gives his…
Cavaliers get rematch with Warriors in NBA Finals
Jun 1, 2016 • 41 min
The Cleveland Cavaliers get another shot at the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals and the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break it down. The guys look at the how the two teams got there and their season matchups. They make their predictions…
Draft talk, breaking down the frontcourt guys
May 31, 2016 • 34 min
USA TODAY’s Michael Singer and draft guru Derek Bodner break down why the Philadelphia 76ers could very well take LSU’s Ben Simmons with the top pick in the upcoming NBA draft. They also break down the game of Duke’s Brandon Ingram and why he has an…
The other Curry, Seth, on his breakout season and his future
May 21, 2016 • 27 min
The NBA game is evolving into a spread the floor and going outside in. Guys like Stephen Curry have helped revolutionize the game. His brother Seth Curry took a step forward in his development as an NBA player last season with the Sacramento Kings,…
Going inside the Golden State Warriors
May 19, 2016 • 34 min
Ever wonder what it’s like to be on the inside of a championship team? USA TODAY’s Sam Amick talks to Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk. They discuss everything from how life is with the team on the road, what it’s like after…
Breaking down Cavaliers vs. Raptors in Eastern Conference Finals
May 15, 2016 • 21 min
The Toronto Raptors have gone farther in the playoffs than ever in franchise history by moving to the Eastern Conference finals. NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down Toronto’s matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Zillgitt, who is…
Stopping the champs: a West Finals preview with OKC’s Billy Donovan
May 15, 2016 • 39 min
As his team moves on to the Western Conference finals, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan has matched wits with veteran coaches Rick Carlisle in Dallas and Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and won. He talks about going up against those guys and the…
Stephen Curry talks about the MVP award and the season
May 12, 2016 • 8 min
In the minutes after giving his speech for winning the NBA’s most valuable player award, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry joined USA TODAY’s Sam Amick on the phone. The two discuss his award, the first time a player ever got all first place…
Grant Hill on why Steph Curry is so good and the NBA playoffs
May 11, 2016 • 20 min
Former NBA player and TNT personality Grant Hill and USA TODAY’s Sam Amick have a phone conversation to talk about the top current stories in the NBA. They discuss Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry being the unanimous choice for league most valuable…
What to make of the coaching moves
May 8, 2016 • 34 min
What to make of the coaching changes that have happened in the NBA? Breaking it down is Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick, USA TODAY NBA reporters and A to Z guys. They take a look at the latest moves involving Dave Jeerer and Frank Vogel, but they also break…
Billy Donovan joins to talk about his rookie year
Apr 28, 2016 • 18 min
Not many coaches have made the leap from college to the NBA and been successful right off the bat. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY NBA reporter, sat down with one of those guys, Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The two discuss the move Donovan made,…
Injuries hitting key players in playoffs: talking Warriors/Clippers crises
Apr 26, 2016 • 57 min
Injuries are starting to again be the story of the NBA playoffs. Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin … key players missing time. What has this done to the playoffs? NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk about that with USA TODAY’s Kevin…
Jamal Crawford on Sixth Man award, Clippers
Apr 19, 2016 • 15 min
Los Angeles Clippers Jamal Crawford was voted Sixth Man of the Year, the third time he’s won the award, and nobody in the history of the NBA has done that. A to Z man Sam Amick caught up with Crawford after the award was announced to chat about that, the…
Breaking down NBA awards, part 2 and Kawhi Leonard interview
Apr 18, 2016 • 22 min
With NBA awards season underway, NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt look at their picks in the second part of the two-part episode. The Defensive Player of the Year award was given out, won by Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, the guys…
Stephen Curry on how he has changed basketball
Apr 15, 2016 • 26 min
Steph Curry talks to USA TODAY’s Sam Amick about his incredible three-point shooting and how he has changed the game. They discuss how other teams are trying to space the floor and open up shooters, emulating what he and the Golden State Warriors are…
The Kobe Files
Apr 13, 2016 • 25 min
With Kobe Bryant’s retirement looming, USA TODAY put together a project called “The Kobe Files”. The six-part series takes a look at the Lakers star from his days at Lower Merion High School, his off the court visitation with a family of a terminally ill…
Chronicling Kobe, legendary Lakers photographer Andy Bernstein and beat writer Mark Medina
Apr 13, 2016 • 61 min
As Kobe Bryant’s career winds down, Getty News Services photographer Andy Bernstein joins Sam Amick to discuss shooting photos of the Lakers star for the past 20 years. They also discuss other photos Bernstein shot, including the iconic Michael Jordan…
Breaking down NBA post season awards, Part 1
Apr 9, 2016 • 34 min
As the NBA season winds down, the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt take a look at postseason awards, starting with Sixth Man of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Sam is joined by Enes Kanter of the Oklahoma City Thunder for his take on being a…
Why 76ers’ Sam Hinkie resigned and he’s still polarizing
Apr 7, 2016 • 39 min
When Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie resigned recently, he wrote a 13-page letter to the owners of the team. That letter was leaked to the public and it had quotes attributed to people like Warren Buffett and Abraham Lincolin. NBA A to Z…
Covering Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons: Free Press reporter Vince Ellis
Apr 7, 2016 • 22 min
Can the Detroit Pistons end the longest playoff drought in the Eastern Conference and make the playoffs? NBA A to Z guy Jeff Zillgitt welcomes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press to talk about how the team has their best shot at the playoffs since 2008.…
The Warriors and the push for 73
Apr 5, 2016 • 19 min
With the Golden State Warriors closing in on the NBA’s best regular season record, USA TODAY NBA reporter Sam Amick caught up with assistant coach Ron Adams and head coach Steve Kerr. Adams, a noted basketball defensive guru, talks about the pressures of…
D’Angelo Russell’s antics takes away from Kobe’s farewell tour
Mar 31, 2016 • 36 min
The crazy story of Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell taping teammate Nick Young talking about some personal issues and the tape getting out has been the big story in the NBA the past couple of days. It has overshadowed the Kobe Bryant farewell tour. Lamar…
Why New York Times’ Scott Cacciola prefers covering Warriors than Knicks
Mar 30, 2016 • 41 min
Scott Cacciola of the New York Times joins the NBA A to Z podcast to discuss covering the Golden State Warriors with Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt. They talk about how Stephen Curry is even better this season than last. It also seems like at times that…
Why is Ben Simmons No. 1 in mock draft boards?
Mar 25, 2016 • 36 min
The first USA TODAY NBA mock draft is out and the man who put it together, Derek Bodner, joins Kevin Spain to discuss. They talk about possible top pick Ben Simmons from LSU and how his game fits into the NBA. They break down other players in the Top 10 —…
Dwight Howard says Houston can win a title, talks James Harden, free agency
Mar 22, 2016 • 47 min
There are few NBA players who evoke reaction from the public than Dwight Howard. The Houston Rockets big man sat down with USA TODAY NBA reporter Sam Amick to discuss the season, the Rockets’ style of play and his future. They also talk about why he…
Luol Deng on the Heat’s chances to knock off Cleveland and free agency
Mar 15, 2016 • 22 min
Miami Heat forward Luol Deng joins the NBA A to Z podcast to discuss the chances of his team knocking off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference with USA TODAY reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt. They talk about how the Heat’s style of play…
Jared Dudley on free agency, today’s players and best food cities in the NBA
Mar 11, 2016 • 45 min
Jared Dudley of the Washington Wizards joins NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt to talk about the evolution of the game and how his position of stretch four has changed. They also discuss free agency and Dudley’s opinion that the mid-level…
Kevin Durant talks Thunder, free agency; Talking Warriors-OKC-Cavs-LeBron and more
Mar 4, 2016 • 50 min
Kevin Durant talks to NBA A to Z guy Sam Amick to discuss the Oklahoma City Thunder’s recent struggles, not only on the floor but off. And, of course, Durant discusses his forthcoming free agency that will be the top story when July rolls around. As…
Is Steph Curry unstoppable? Can Raps catch Cavs? Is Terry Stotts coach of the year?
Feb 29, 2016 • 52 min
Since there’s not much discussion of Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, the NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk about his season with USA TODAY’s Kevin Spain. The guys also discuss the race in the Eastern Conference and if the…
Jeanie Buss on state of the Lakers, Phil Jackson & jersey ads
Feb 22, 2016 • 52 min
Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss joins NBA A to Z to discuss Kobe Bryant’s future with NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt. She also talks about her stance on ads on jerseys and what it’s like in the owners meetings. They talk about being…
Karl-Anthony Towns on greatness, Rookie of the Year race & Kristaps Porzingis
Feb 20, 2016 • 14 min
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie center, joins NBA A to Z guy Sam Amick for a quick conversation after practice. Towns is the leading candidate for NBA rookie of the year, an award he says that he’s not necessarily chasing, but that he…
Breaking down the trades at NBA trade deadline
Feb 18, 2016 • 33 min
NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down the trades made at NBA trade deadline. There’s more to the story of Jeff Green being shipped out of Memphis. What to make of Lance Stephenson with the Grizzlies. How did the Wizards make out in their…
The dunking dynamo in jeans from All-Star weekend speaks, & a convo with DeMar DeRozan
Feb 18, 2016 • 37 min
NBA A to Z guy Sam Amick talks to Jordan Kilganon, who is a professional dunker from Canada. Kilganon was the guy who came out of the stands in jeans at the NBA All-Star Game and performed a no-look dunk that sent everyone - including the NBA players -…
Goodbye Canada as we look ahead to second half
Feb 15, 2016 • 35 min
Now that the NBA All-Star weekend is over, NBA A to Z guy Jeff Zillgitt breaks down the best of the festivities — which seemed to be all about Kobe Bryant and the great Slam Dunk contest — with USA TODAY’s Kevin Spain. They then look ahead to LeBron James…
Kobe Bryant’s big weekend and James Hinchcliffe’s All-Star adventure
Feb 13, 2016 • 19 min
Just like the regular season, the NBA All-Star weekend is a farewell tour for Kobe Bryant. The 20-year Lakers veteran has been praised by everyone in Toronto and flanked by hordes of media members from all over the world. NBA A to Z guy Sam Amick talks to…
Al Horford’s future in Atlanta and why Chris Bosh pulled out of All-Star game
Feb 13, 2016 • 10 min
In an All-Star edition of the NBA A to Z podcast, Sam Amick discusses with Kevin Spain Al Horford’s future in Atlanta and talks to Horford after Eastern Conference practice. Amick then talks to Chris Bosh, who was a late scratch from Sunday’s game, in the…
Draymond Green talks Warriors, style, and Kevin Durant
Feb 12, 2016 • 18 min
New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis has a good relationship with new coach Kurt Rambis and has adjusted well to the changes, NBA A to Z guy Sam Amick reports from Toronto. Sam also talks to Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green about his first trip…
Adam Silver on possible work stoppage, Hack-A-Shaq and his booming business
Feb 5, 2016 • 35 min
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joins the NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt to discuss how players are now moving to markets for opportunity and how there is starting to be more parity. They talk about the growth of basketball globally and some…
Jeff Van Gundy cries foul on Hack-A-Shaq
Feb 4, 2016 • 27 min
NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the practice of intentionally fouling players who are poor free throw shooters and NBA commissioner Adam Silver saying a rule is going to be changed. Later in the show, Sam Amick has a phone conversation…
Why isn’t Kevin Love an All-Star?
Jan 31, 2016 • 40 min
With the Cleveland Cavaliers being the best team in the Eastern Conference, why didn’t they get more than one player on the All-Star team? USA TODAY’s Jeff Zillgitt breaks down why Kevin Love didn’t make the roster with Kevin Spain. The guys also discuss…
Jalen Rose on his book, the NBA and Michigan hoops
Jan 22, 2016 • 42 min
NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt to talk about his book “Got to Give the People What They Want” and what inspired him to take on the project. The guys discuss Rose’s career in media, a lot of which he writes about…
Why Brett Brown is upbeat about the Philadelphia 76ers
Jan 21, 2016 • 45 min
Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown, who endured the ultimate culture shock after leaving the San Antonio Spurs to take on a monumental challenge of leading the Sixers, calls in to chat with the NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt to discuss the…
Where do Warriors, Cavaliers go now?
Jan 19, 2016 • 45 min
Does the Cleveland Cavaliers blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors mean they’re in trouble come playoff time? Does it mean the Warriors are unstoppable? The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break it down with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain.…
Damian Lillard discusses his hip-hop video, Blazers
Jan 18, 2016 • 40 min
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard joins the NBA A to Z podcast to discuss his video and song called “Bigger Than Us” that is available on iTunes at www.itunes.com/damedolla. Lillard talks about his inspiration for writing the song and what went…
Mikhail Prokhorov and the Nets; Cavs, Spurs, Warriors pulling away from pack
Jan 11, 2016 • 48 min
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov fired his coach, Lionel Hollins and reassigned his general manager, Billy King, after the team got off to a poor start. NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss these moves with former Nets beat reporter…
Alvin Gentry interview; DrayMagic and the Spurs
Jan 5, 2016 • 56 min
Alvin Gentry discusses what has gone right and wrong with the New Orleans Pelicans this season and his outlook for the second half with USA TODAY’s Sam Amick. He talks about what kind of player he has in Anthony Davis. They also discuss Gentry’s old team,…
Curry hurting game? What’s up with the Suns?
Dec 28, 2015 • 44 min
What’s up with Mark Jackson saying that Stephen Curry is hurting the NBA? The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss that with USA TODAY’s Kevin Spain. The guys talk about the Warriors vs. Cavaliers on Christmas, and how it was a good, but…
Kyrie Irving’s return and early MVP voting
Dec 21, 2015 • 51 min
Kyrie Irving is back with Cleveland and the NBA A to Z guys discuss what that means. The guys also talk about the Rajon Rondo situation and why Rondo hasn’t been more remorseful about what he said to referee Bill Kennedy. Jimmy Butler’s comments about…
Warriors streak ends, Celtics, Thunder on a roll
Dec 14, 2015 • 38 min
The Golden State Warriors long winning streak ends, but there is still plenty to talk about regarding this team. NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the streak and what’s next for the Warriors with Kevin Spain of USA TODAY Sports. The guys…
Andrew Bogut on the Warriors winning streak
Dec 10, 2015 • 34 min
USA TODAY Sports Sam Amick talks to Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut in a phone interview and they discuss the winning streak and what he’s doing during off time on the road. Bogut talks about what the team has to put up with in other cities as…
Big changes in Philly, Spurs rolling and LeBron’s shoe deal
Dec 8, 2015 • 42 min
As the Philadelphia 76ers continue to flounder, the fans, the team and the league have decided a change is needed. Longtime NBA executive and current director of Team USA basketball Jerry Colangelo takes over as chairman of basketball operations and the A…
Chronicling the Golden State Warriors
Dec 3, 2015 • 40 min
With the Golden State Warriors off to a record-breaking 20–0 start, NBA A to Z guy Sam Amick chats with San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Rusty Simmons about covering the team. Will they remain undefeated on this seven-long road trip, and might they…
Kobe Bryant makes it official and what’s up with Jahlil Okafor?
Nov 30, 2015 • 64 min
Kobe Bryant made official what we’ve known for a while that this will be his final season in the NBA. The A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss what Bryant means to the game and how this year’s poor play shouldn’t affect his legacy. The guys…
Can the Warriors or Kristaps Porzingis be stopped?
Nov 23, 2015 • 42 min
The Golden State Warriors keep piling up wins and the NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt weigh in with Kevin Spain on how good they are and how impressive Luke Walton has been as interim coach. They also look at how good Kristaps Porzingis looks…
Why the Houston Rockets fired coach Kevin McHale
Nov 18, 2015 • 7 min
USA TODAY Sports NBA reporter Sam Amick joins Kevin Spain to discuss why the Houston Rockets fired coach Kevin McHale 11 games into the season. The team was in the Western Conference finals last season, gave McHale a contract extension, and will have to…
J.J. Redick on Clippers and his new tattoo
Nov 17, 2015 • 37 min
Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick joins USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick by phone to talk about the team and the rivalry with the Golden State Warriors. They also discuss Redick’s appreciation for good sports writing and his new tattoo.
Coaches on the hot seat already
Nov 13, 2015 • 50 min
The drama in Sacramento is only one of several teams who might have coaches on the hot seat. USA TODAY’s Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break that down with NBA Editor Kevin Spain. Are George Karl, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins in trouble? Who else might…
Kevin Durant’s free agency period is on?
Nov 10, 2015 • 57 min
As the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Washington Wizards, it sparks the beginning of the Kevin Durant free agency period that will go through next summer. NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break it down with Kevin Spain from USA TODAY Sports.…
Early season overreactions
Nov 2, 2015 • 40 min
The NBA season is just getting started and yet, we know everything that’s going to happen — or, the early season overreactions. Stephen Curry will breeze to MVP, the Rockets and James Harden aren’t good, the Pistons and Andre Drummond are great. Oh, and…
Craig Sager interview; Warriors play at San Quentin
Oct 27, 2015 • 33 min
USA TODAY Sports Sam Amick and Kevin Spain discuss the death of Flip Saunders and how that will affect the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. Amick sits down with TNT’s Craig Sager, who is coming back for the second time after being treated for cancer.…
NBA players and racial profiling
Oct 22, 2015 • 53 min
USA TODAY’s Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the unfortunate Thabo Sefolosha and John Henson situations and how NBA players can face real racism. They talk about some interesting preseason performances and look ahead to the start of the season. They…
Who you should pick for your fantasy basketball team
Oct 16, 2015 • 36 min
Josh Lloyd from RedRockBasketball.com joins USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain to cut through the noise and give you advice on who you should take in your fantasy basketball draft. They discuss who’s underrated, overrated, rookies, guys on new teams and who…
Lamar Odom clings to life in Nevada hospital
Oct 15, 2015 • 16 min
NBA reporter Sam Amick talks with USA TODAY Sports Martin Rogers, who is in Las Vegas covering the sad saga of Lamar Odom, who is fighting for his life after passing out in a Nevada brothel recently.
Surprise teams for this season; Alvin Gentry and David West interviews
Oct 13, 2015 • 44 min
Thabo Sefolosha won his case against the New York City Police Department and that could lead to a civil suit, and USA TODAY Sports Jeff Zillgitt and Kevin Spain discuss. New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry and general manager Dell Demps talk about…
Gordon Hayward, Metta World Peace and Serena Winters interviews
Oct 9, 2015 • 58 min
USA TODAY Sports Sam Amick and Kevin Spain discuss the crazy situation with New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher and Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes. Amick interviews Utah Jazz Gordon Hayward and Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace and…
Kobe Bryant returns
Oct 5, 2015 • 33 min
Kobe Bryant is coming off another rehab and is on the floor as the Los Angeles Lakers get things going in the preseason. USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick is at Lakers camp in Hawaii and he and Kevin Spain discuss Bryant’s return and how the team is bullish on…
Paul George talks about his return to the Pacers
Sep 27, 2015 • 40 min
Training camps are opening and several key players who were injured last season are returning. USA TODAY Sports reporter Sam Amick talks to Paul George about returning from a horrible injury, his new role with the team, and his rating on 2K16. Amick and…
Kevin Durant will be at camp, what does this do for OKC?
Sep 23, 2015 • 20 min
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced that superstar Kevin Durant will be ready when the team opens training camp on Sept. 28. USA TODAY Sports NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break down what this means for the Thunder and…
Eastern Conference preview: Cavaliers poised to dominate
Sep 21, 2015 • 32 min
In this episode of NBA A to Z, Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports look ahead to the Eastern Conference. Will it be the Cleveland Cavaliers’ conference to lose? Can the Chicago Bulls, or Washington Wizards or Milwaukee Bucks offer a challenge.…
Western Conference preview: Will Warriors repeat?
Sep 18, 2015 • 31 min
Will the Golden State Warriors win the Western Conference again this season? Will a new and improved San Antonio Spurs get back to the top? Can another team sneak in there? The NBA A to Z guys Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick break it down. They look at what…
Draymond Green’s summer; NBA changes playoffs
Sep 10, 2015 • 43 min
With the NBA season nearing, Golden State Warriors forward and resident NBA champion Draymond Green joined Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt on the NBA A to Z to discuss, among other things, his decision to donate $3.1 million to his alma mater, Michigan State.…
Will this really be Kobe Bryant’s last season?
Sep 2, 2015 • 22 min
With the NBA season still a few weeks away, we ask the question, is this really the final season for Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant? NBA A to Z’s Sam Amick talks to Bill Oram from the Orange County Register and Mark Medina from the LA Daily News…
Who will be the starting five for Team USA?
Aug 16, 2015 • 33 min
With Team USA mini-camp over, Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports discusses how things went in Las Vegas with Kevin Spain, USA TODAY NBA editor. With all the talent on this team, can any other country put together a roster to compete with them? Amick picks his…
NBA schedule breakdown
Aug 14, 2015 • 40 min
The NBA schedule was released and Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports and Kevin Spain, NBA Editor for USA TODAY take a look at how the league wanted to reduce the number of back to back games and how many times teams play four games in five nights. They…
LeBron James going to Team USA camp and players, owners shouldn’t opt out
Aug 5, 2015 • 53 min
USA TODAY Sports NBA editor Kevin Spain talks to reporter Jeff Zillgitt about what it means that LeBron James says he’ll work out with Team USA at the minicap in mid-August. The guys also discuss how James’ teammates Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith…
Bucks will get new arena; Cavaliers load up in offseason
Jul 28, 2015 • 63 min
The Milwaukee Bucks will stay in Wisconsin after the state passed a bill approving a new arena. USA TODAY Sports NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt and NBA editor Kevin Spain discuss what that means for the city, the team and the league. They also talk about the…
Becky Hammon interview and Summer League wrap up
Jul 20, 2015 • 40 min
As NBA Summer League wraps up, USA TODAY Sports Sam Amick discusses some post league moves, including the Ty Lawson trade with Kevin Spain. Amick has an interview with San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, who talks about working with Gregg…
Summer League drama
Jul 14, 2015 • 42 min
The best part of the NBA offseason is the drama that goes with it. USA TODAY Sports Sam Amick discusses how some of the rookies at the Las Vegas Summer League are not off to a great start with Kevin Spain. The guys also talk about some of the big news…
NBA free agency, the rich get richer
Jul 6, 2015 • 45 min
As some of the big names in free agency agree to deals, it’s apparent that some of the teams that were already among the best in the league, just got better. Kevin Spain and Sam Amick from USA TODAY Sports discuss the bargain agreement former All-Star…
Free agency frenzy
Jul 3, 2015 • 40 min
As free agency tips off, the NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt analyze what has happened so far with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. The guys discuss the Kevin Love deal, Dwyane Wade and Greg Monroe and talk about how Anthony Davis and Kawhi…
Draft preview; DeMarcus Cousins discussion
Jun 23, 2015 • 40 min
The NBA draft is approaching the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk about some of their recent interviews of potential draftees with Kevin Spain of USA TODAY Sports. They discuss Phil Jackson’s first draft with the New York Knicks and what he’s…
Finals wrapup and look ahead to next season
Jun 17, 2015 • 35 min
Quick look back at the NBA Finals with Kevin Spain of USA TODAY Sports and the NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt. The guys discuss the MVP voting and ask could the Cavaliers and Warriors meet in the Finals again next season. They also take an…
Golden State takes back control of NBA Finals
Jun 12, 2015 • 26 min
Kevin Spain of USA TODAY Sports discusses with NBA reporter Sam Amick how the Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr made a key adjustment in the NBA Finals, starting a smaller lineup that turned the tide against the Cleveland Cavaliers and go into Game 5…
Cavaliers flipping the script on NBA Finals
Jun 8, 2015 • 22 min
USA TODAY Sports Kevin Spain talks to NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt, while he’s in the Denver Airport on his way from Oakland to Cleveland, about the amazing defensive performance by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The guys discuss…
Kyrie Irving’s injury
Jun 6, 2015 • 16 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the devastating fractured kneecap injury suffered by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. They break down how this affects the Cavs and how it changes things for…
NBA Finals preview and Fred Hoiberg discussion
Jun 1, 2015 • 57 min
As the NBA Finals approach the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss Klay Thompson’s concussion, Kyrie Irving’s injury and how the two coaches match up against each other with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. Zillgitt has a one-on-one discussion…
Tom Thibodeau is fired; first looks at NBA Finals
May 28, 2015 • 46 min
In a move that wasn’t a surprise, but should be, the Chicago Bulls fired coach Tom Thibodeau after he won 65 percent of his games. The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss that with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. The guys also take a first…
Kobe Bryant; playoff performances; mock draft; D’Angelo Russell interview
May 22, 2015 • 53 min
Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said in a radio interview that this will be Kobe Bryant’s last season with the Lakers. The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss that with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. The guys also talk about some of…
Draft talk, Justise Winslow interview
May 19, 2015 • 28 min
USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain talks with Scott Gleeson about some of the top players at the upcoming NBA draft. Gleeson catches up with Duke’s Justise Winslow, who talks about how his experience with Coach K prepared him for the NBA. Spain talks to Derek…
Conference finals preview; lookahead to the draft lottery
May 18, 2015 • 39 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the matchups in the conference finals with Kevin Spain from USA TODAY Sports. Spain and Zillgitt look ahead to the draft lottery, one of the most anticipated in its history.
Buzzer beaters: Jimmy Butler interview; draft talk
May 11, 2015 • 39 min
It’s the buzzer-beater playoffs in the conference semifinals and the NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss that with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. Jeff Zillgitt caught up with Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler and talked to him about how his…
Is home court advantage not sacred anymore?
May 6, 2015 • 33 min
Is home court advantage not sacred? Road teams have won in each of the conference semifinals of the NBA playoffs and the A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss that with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. The guys break down a gutty performance by…
Breaking down Billy Donovan to OKC; what’s Kevin Love’s future?
Apr 30, 2015 • 30 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain the Oklahoma City Thunder’s hiring of University of Florida coach Billy Donovan to replace Scott Brooks. They also talk about Kevin Love’s future after the shoulder…
Kevin Love injury update and who goes to OKC?
Apr 28, 2015 • 39 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss what the Kevin Love injury will mean to the Cleveland Cavaliers and to Love’s future with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. The guys also talk about some surprises in the playoffs, who are the Oklahoma…
Good playoff performances; Lou Williams interview; Adam Silver, Anthony Davis audio
Apr 21, 2015 • 62 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk about some great performances of the playoffs so far with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. They also discuss the schedule reform and owners’ discussion of playoff reform and we hear from commissioner Adam…
NBA playoffs are here!
Apr 16, 2015 • 41 min
The seedings are set and the NBA playoffs are about to begin. The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt break it all down with Kevin Spain of USA TODAY Sports. They take a look at the first round, what are some of the compelling matchups and then…
It’s awards time, who is the MVP, Rookie and Coach of the Year
Apr 16, 2015 • 54 min
It’s awards time and NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss how they voted with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. The guys discuss the most valuable player, rookie of the year, coach of the year, sixth man, most improved and executive of the…
The West is brutal; Andrew Bogut interview
Apr 8, 2015 • 89 min
The teams in the Western Conference who are in the playoffs are fighting for position as we move into the final week of the season and A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss that with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. Sam Amick talks to Andrew Bogut…
Great guard play and a look at the draft
Mar 31, 2015 • 41 min
A current and a former teammate of LeBron James are playing their best basketball in the final weeks of the season and A to Z guy Jeff Zillgitt discusses that with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. James Harden talks to Sam Amick about his season. Kevin…
The Cavaliers are rolling; Steve Nash retires
Mar 25, 2015 • 52 min
The NBA A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss the Cleveland Cavaliers being the team we thought they would be with USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Spain. LeBron James has a couple comments on how he feels and when he knew the team was locked in. The…
Should the NBA change it’s playoff format?
Mar 17, 2015 • 66 min
Should the NBA change the playoffs format to put the top 16 teams in regardless of conference? The A to Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt discuss with Kevin Spain from USA TODAY Sports. The always opinionated Jeff Van Gundy weighs in as well. Amick talks…
Battle for the Playoffs; Vlade Divac interview
Mar 10, 2015 • 53 min
USA TODAY Sports reporters Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick discuss the battle for the bottom seeds in each conference with USAT’s Kevin Spain. Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel and Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford talk to Jeff Zillgitt about what their…
Who is the MVP?; Kobe interview
Mar 4, 2015 • 48 min
USA TODAY Sports NBA reporters Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt pick their favorites for this year’s most valuable player with USAT’s Kevin Spain. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard weighs in on who he thinks should get the nod. Sam Amick interviews…
NBA A to Z podcast: Steve Clifford interview
Oct 28, 2013 • 27 min
In the NBA A to Z debut podcast, USA TODAY Sports writers Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt talk to Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford about his where he learned his coaching philosophy, his new team and how he thought the Los Angeles Lakers, who he was an…