On The Nba Beat



A show bringing you nuanced perspectives on the NBA's most important stories, hosted by USC alums Aaron Fischman, Joshua Jonah Fischman and Loren Lee Chen. Find us on our website at OnTheNBABeat.com or our Twitter page (@OnTheNBABeat).


  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 136: Will & Grace's David Kohan: “I Think This Is the (Clippers') Year”

    31/07/2019 Duration: 42min

    David Kohan, along with his friend Max, created the long-running hit comedy series Will & Grace. But the Emmy Award winner is also one of the biggest Clippers fans we know, and boy was he excited to preview the upcoming season in Clipperland, one which he believes will be “the year.” Boasting the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and a deep supporting cast, the Clippers are primed for a breakthrough season. Coincidentally, Will & Grace just made a big announcement of its own: the show will be ending after one final season. Following the Clippers discussion, David touches upon that as well as his sister’s stellar TV series, Orange Is the New Black. Some special clips (Clips?) have been excerpted below:    4:15-4:26: “I thought for a second when Chris Paul was joining the team, ‘Well, this is about as good as it’s gonna get as a Clipper fan.’ But I was wrong. This is about as good as it gets.” 7:36-7:43: “Suddenly, it felt like we were frontrunners, and I’ve never felt that way as

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 135: Jovan Buha: Leonard, George "Can Be Best Perimeter Pairing Since Pippen, M.J."

    11/07/2019 Duration: 46min

    Last Friday night, Los Angeles residents, among people in others places such as Las Vegas, felt a 7.1-magnitude earthquake. Within nearly two and a half hours, the Clippers had pulled off an earth-shattering pair of moves that would bring both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to Los Angeles, not too far from where either superstar was born and raised. For the occasion, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha appears On the NBA Beat to discuss how the long-suffering franchise positioned itself for such a major offseason coup, how dominant these Clippers can truly be after the earth-Kawhiuake, the question marks surrounding Paul George’s shoulders and much, much more.  8:23-10:52: “I think for the Clippers to be able to get Doc [Rivers] to basically take a demotion and not have to fire him, not have him quit, I think that was huge, because Doc still has a lot of cachet around the league, he’s still regarded as a players’ coach, he’s still someone that people want to play for. … [They] completely revamped this front office,

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 134: Jake Fischer: Top-Tier Free Agents May Need to Wait for Kawhi

    29/06/2019 Duration: 29min

    Jake Fischer joins the show on the doorstep of the official beginning to the 2019 NBA free agency period. The Sports Illustrated reporter takes us through the likeliest scenarios involving superstars Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He also explores the Los Angeles Clippers’ chances of finally landing a max free agent after years of coming away empty-handed and how their arena-mates plan to build around Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Jake’s thoughts on the 76ers’ approach to the offseason and the Rockets’ rumored interest in Jimmy Butler are featured as well, among other salient NBA storylines. Some highlights of an action-packed episode:   4:28-5:13: “While Durant might make his decision where he wants to go before Leonard, there might be teams that say, ‘We have to wait to hear what Kawhi says first.’ If I had to guess right now, I would still expect Kyrie and Kevin Durant to go to Brooklyn together. I’m not saying that’s gonna happen; that’s my guess at the moment. I just think with

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 133: Eric Nehm: With Bucks, "Is There Anything That Really Needs Fixing?"

    04/06/2019 Duration: 42min

    On the heels of a disappointing Eastern Conference finals exit at the hands of the Raptors, The Athletic’s Eric Nehm is here to talk all things Milwaukee Bucks, including Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP campaign, the Bucks’ spectacular season, Mike Budenholzer’s inaugural year at the helm, and the significant offseason looming ahead.Some noteworthy clips (Particular time stamps may vary due to dynamic advertising.): 9:02-9:15: “I guess a less mature 24-year-old would just be angry and not really thinking about exactly how he gets better, but here’s Giannis, two days later, saying, ‘You know, I gotta find a way to be more comfortable in the midrange.’” 14:58-17:04: “I think Khris [Middleton] just really understands Giannis, and Giannis really appreciates guys that play hard, show up every night and can go out and actually take care of business … Giannis can help out with some of the rim protection, Khris can switch a bunch of different things; he also can defend other team’s No. 1s. And because he can defend the l

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 132: Tom Westerholm: Giannis Will "Have to Work for Every Bucket" (Celtics-Bucks)

    02/05/2019 Duration: 33min

    The Boston Celtics stole Game 1 in Milwaukee before the mighty Bucks answered Tuesday with a comfortable victory of their own. With the series all squared up and storylines aplenty, Tom Westerholm of MassLive delves into this fun matchup, which pits Milwaukee and Boston against each other for the second straight postseason. Only, this time, Milwaukee is coming off a 60-win season and the Celtics are able to suit up Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. The Celtics severely limited MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 1, but he responded with a strong performance in Game 2. How can Boston hope to corral the Greek Freak, and so many more questions answered inside.   Some noteworthy clips (Particular time stamps may vary due to dynamic advertising): 3:54-4:57: “This is a strategy that they’ve employed against Giannis, basically all through last year’s playoffs – let Al Horford guard him one-on-one and then everybody else can get out to shooters. It really hammers home how good Horford is at defe

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 131: Tomer Azarly: The Clippers Want to "Build (Their) Own Identity"

    07/04/2019 Duration: 51min

    Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points goes in depth and breadth on the special 2018-19 Clippers team that has exceeded expectations despite significant player turnover. The Clippers are back in the playoffs, but whom should they hope to avoid in the first round? Tomer also touches upon what's made the Clippers so effective, including super-subs Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, "unstat-able" Pat Beverley, Landry Shamet's outside shot, reinvigorated coaching from Doc Rivers, clutch play and more. Obviously, the discussion closes with some Kawhi Leonard talk. Enjoy some noteworthy clips/Clips (*Due to dynamic advertising, excerpt time stamps may vary per listener):   10:30-11:15: “That [loss to the Lakers] complicates things a bit more, because they could certainly fall to the 8 seed and see the Warriors in the first round. I think right now Portland is probably the matchup they want to see…The Rockets, I think, are a matchup they really, really do not want to see…James Harden is in the midst of the greatest

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 130: James Edwards III: Griffin, "Gritty, In Your Face, Bruising" Embodies Pistons' Identity

    30/03/2019 Duration: 39min

    The Athletic's James Edwards III informs on all things Detroit Pistons at this critical juncture for the franchise. *Due to dynamic advertising, excerpt time stamps may vary per listener:According to James, the Pistons are all in on Griffin, but that sentiment could change in a hurry (10:23-11:07):“They love him. The city loves him. I really, truly believe that he likes playing in Detroit. He likes this challenge of building an organization up and trying to get it to a height it wasn’t at before his arrival. But with that said, I would not be surprised if this team misses the playoffs…with those three guys [Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Griffin] being relatively healthy, I think that says a lot. And I would not be surprised if they capitalize on how good Blake has been, and they finally begin a rebuild and they try to trade him.” On how Blake Griffin’s stellar season has largely gone overlooked (13:45-14:22):“People just generally don’t tend to like the Pistons. I mean, it doesn’t help, too, that they ha

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 129: Joshua Recounts All-Star Weekend, Including His Joe Harris Exclusive

    25/02/2019 Duration: 28min

    Two years ago, the NBA moved the All-Star game away from Charlotte due to the passage of North Carolina's discriminatory House Bill 2. Within months, HB2 was repealed, and although many in the LGBTQ community are presently unsatisfied with the status quo, the league opted to allow Charlotte to host this season's festivities. Joshua Fischman interviewed Reggie Bullock, Stefanie Dolson, Jason Collins and others about that. He also got the chance to question Nets shooting guard Joe Harris, one day before the big event where he stunned the oddsmakers by taking down the Curry brothers, Devin Booker and the rest of the field. Right here, Josh shares the most interesting takeaways from his Charlotte experience.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 128: Howard Beck on Deadline Deals, AD & Superstars' Increasing Leverage

    12/02/2019 Duration: 56min

    Bleacher Report's Howard Beck has been covering the NBA full-time for the past couple decades, and he detects an unmistakable change in the way the league's superstars are increasingly dictating where they play. He discusses this phenomenon with regard to Anthony Davis' recent trade demand, Milwaukee's ongoing efforts to retain franchise cornerstone Giannis Antetokounmpo for the long term and how the trend impacted this season's awfully busy and entertaining trade deadline. Plus, the All-Star weekend is nearly upon us, providing an opportunity to touch on those festivities in Charlotte. *You can also find Howard hosting The Full 48 or appearing on NBA TV and NBA Radio as a wise and charismatic contributor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 127: Coral Lu: Consuming NBA Now “Part of Daily Life” in China

    14/01/2019 Duration: 48min

    From David Stern's visits to China in the '80s to every NBA Finals game being broadcast there live in 1994 to Yao Ming's thrilling rookie season with the Rockets in 2002 to LinSanity 10 years later to the explosion of social media and the league's recent rights deals (worth hundreds of millions of dollars) with Chinese tech giants, the NBA's influence in China has skyrocketed. The one and only Coral Lu of ESPN China brings her unique perspective to help break it all down for us.  Here are some highlights (*Due to dynamic advertising, time stamps may vary per listener):13:39-14:12: “I would say 90 percent or at least 85 percent of NBA fans from China are aged from 16 to 35 or late 30s, so that’s a really specific demographic. A lot of older Chinese people, they might like soccer, but they did not watch basketball [growing up]. But all the younger generation or the people around my age, we all kind of grew up with basketball, so it becomes part of our daily life.”  19:11-19:50: “I think it [Jeremy Lin

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 126: Mares: Nikola Jokic Redefining ‘MVP’ in Today’s NBA

    04/01/2019 Duration: 39min

    The Denver Nuggets are on the upswing with a talented young core and six straight months of winning basketball. They also hold the Western Conference’s No. 1 spot, one and a half games ahead of the Thunder and Warriors, and are led by MVP candidate Nikola Jokic. Adam Mares of Denver Stiffs and Locked On Nuggets breaks down what makes Denver tick.   Here are some particularly golden nuggets (*Due to dynamic advertising, time stamps may vary per listener): 7:13-7:30: “You look at the 2015 Warriors. If I said, ‘Oh, take Steph Curry off that team,’ the offense all of a sudden doesn’t look good, and everybody would understand that. They’d say, ‘OK, well, yeah, of course you miss Steph Curry.’ We don’t think about this defensively. Paul Millsap is Denver’s Steph Curry on the defensive end. He has that type of impact.”  11:12-13:14: “Isaiah Thomas [is] allegedly looming somewhere on the horizon, and he’s the one guy who has never played on this roster and whose role on this roster, I think, is no

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 125: James Ham: These Kings Are a “Breath of Fresh Air”

    03/12/2018 Duration: 50min

    The Sacramento Kings are off to a strong beginning after most expected them to finish at or near the conference's cellar. And second-year point guard De'Aaron Fox's seismic leap is a huge reason why. James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California stops by to break down the Kings' sizzling start, the organization's coach-executive drama and where the Kings go from here as they aim to get back into the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.     Here are some particularly regal clips (*Due to dynamic advertising, time stamps may vary per listener): 11:39-12:14: “He [De’Aaron Fox] is incredibly talented. The way that he’s able to change speed and change direction in traffic while people are all around him, his handles, everything else is just next level. The Kings saw it the second he stepped foot on the practice floor before training camp. He lost one game of pickup in like two or three weeks leading up to training camp. He was just dominant. And they were like, ‘Holy cow. This

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 124: The Bucks Are Scoring 122 Points Per Game!

    26/11/2018 Duration: 29min

    Aaron reviews the first quarter of the 2018-19 season, focusing on overall offensive production compared to last year and the Milwaukee Bucks' considerable improvement. While scoring is way up, offensive efficiency remains about the same as last season. Aaron explains how. He explores Denver's defensive progression under Mike Malone, as well as the unexpected offensive declines of the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics. There's much more included, but we won't give it all away. Oh, and next week, we'll be back with a brand new interview.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 123: Brad Botkin Previews West: Spurs “Not Good Enough” for Playoffs

    16/10/2018 Duration: 47min

    Brad Botkin, senior NBA writer for CBS Sports and co-author of Olympic gold medalist Dan O' Brien's memoir, "Clearing Hurdles," has strong opinions about this season's Western Conference and he's unafraid to share them. Timing will vary due to dynamic advertising, but here are the approximate time stamps of some of our favorite clips (so many good ones to choose from):7:06-7:28: "I've heard a lot of people say, 'Well that's how Kobe led. That's how Jordan led. He forced the best out of his guys.' Listen, come talk to me when Jimmy Butler is Kobe or Jordan. Jimmy Butler is not the kind of guy that singlehandedly transforms your team. He certainly makes the Timberwolves better. They're in no way a championship contender with him, nor do I think any team is a championship contender with him as a best player."14:42-15:15: "All these big-picture numbers about the Rockets, they're going to look great on paper. Look, [in] playoff games, certainly against the Warriors, if they match up, or the Jazz, if they're in a G

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 122: "It's a Terrible (Eastern) Conference" With Kelly Dwyer

    15/10/2018 Duration: 33min

    In the wake of LeBron James' departure, Kelly Dwyer discusses his Eastern favorites and why the conference is overall so bad. The online basketball writing pioneer who wrote for Yahoo!'s Ball Don't Lie blog for nearly a decade, among multiple notable gigs, is currently shining for The Second Arrangement, a project to which you can subscribe for as low as $5 per month.    Timing will vary due to dynamic advertising, but here are the approximate time stamps of some of our favorite clips (so many good ones to choose from):7:29-7:39 on the Boston Celtics' immense depth: “There’s so many arms on this monster that this could be something that lasts for a while, that really eases Kyrie [Irving] into his drop-off years.”9:49-10:08: “I think Leonard has to be more of a…he can’t be a let-the-game-come-to-him, 'look-at-me-how-sensible-and-savvy-I-am' guy. There’s got to be a whole bunch of ‘Kawhi Leonard’s looking to score this year’ stories happening. He’s gotta be the guy that turns them over.”17:18-17:

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 121: "The (Clippers) Curse" Book Special With Mick Minas

    08/09/2018 Duration: 59min

    Mick Minas, author of "The Curse: The Colorful & Chaotic History of the LA Clippers," is here to discuss his comprehensive book that chronicles the wild history of the Clippers. Plagued by penny-pinching ownership, questionable management, terrible luck, and a well earned abysmal reputation, the franchise experiences so many low lows, but optimism is somehow rarely too far away. Even with a new era of Clippers basketball beginning, there is reason for hope. For those interested, Mick's book can be purchased on Amazon. For more information, visit the book's website or follow Mick on Twitter.     Enjoy some clips (The time stamps are approximate, given the presence of dynamic advertising):7:51-8:20: “So when the players are in that type of environment, it’s easy to see how the effort level would drop off, and I don’t think it takes a lot in a super-competitive environment like the NBA. If you’ve got players operating at 85, 80 percent effort level, that’s obviously gonna lead to terrible resu

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 120: LeBron's Lakers With Harrison Faigen, Eric Pincus

    29/08/2018 Duration: 48min

    Following a five-year playoff drought, come July, the Los Angeles Lakers and their fan base could exhale. That’s when they landed LeBron James, the most dominant and versatile player in today’s NBA. To discuss these Lakers, Aaron and Loren are joined by Harrison Faigen of SB Nation’s Silver Screen & Roll and Eric Pincus, Lakers reporter for Bleacher Report, cohost of the Hollywood Hoops Podcast and Capologist for Basketball Insiders and NBATV. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 119: Around the League in 80 Days Book Special With Bill, Gabe Allen

    25/07/2018 Duration: 43min

    A soon-to-be college graduate and his dad, a recently retired professor, set out on an 80-day journey around the NBA, stopping by all 29 arenas over a nearly three-month period. That's the backdrop for "Around the League in 80 Days," a 2015 memoir penned by William and Gabriel Allen. The father-son duo was gracious enough to join Aaron for a detailed, behind-the-scenes discussion on the book and their underlying adventure. If interested, the book can be purchased here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 118: Harvey: “Which Rockets Team Will We See?"

    18/05/2018 Duration: 36min

    We’ve brought back Randy Harvey, former sports editor of the Houston Chronicle, to discuss the Houston Rockets’ Western Conference finals run. Since retiring on March 1st, Randy and his wife moved to Pasadena where he’s continued to follow the Rockets from afar. With the series tied at one, the Rockets stand three wins away from their first NBA Finals berth in 23 years. Standing in their way, the mighty Warriors who have won two of the past three titles. This season’s Rockets won a league-best 65 games after adding superstar point guard Chris Paul, who had never appeared in a conference final, along with 3-and-D wings P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute. Of course, the team is centered around James Harden, whose MVP-caliber season has vaulted his team into this position. As the Western Conference finals has effectively turned into a best-of-five series, without further ado, let’s check in with Mr. Harvey for more on this heavyweight matchup.        Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • On the NBA Beat Ep. 117: Grizz Gaming GM Lang Whitaker: “It’s Like Real Sports”

    24/02/2018 Duration: 35min

    Lang Whitaker is back for another exhilarating appearance, this time informing us on the brand new NBA 2K League and his role as general manager of Grizz Gaming, the Memphis Grizzlies’ representative team. Whitaker, who also serves as a contributor to Grind City Media and GQ Magazine, cannot wait for the 2K League’s inaugural season, and he’s here to tell us why. There’s no chance you’ll need to grit or grind through these interview highlights below: 6:40-8:33: “I cohosted the Hang Time Podcast for NBA.com the last few years, and one of my cohosts was Rick Fox. And I was just sitting next to Rick the last few years as he was putting together what became Echo Fox, which is now one of the big teams in eSports. So I watched him as he kind of learned about it and figured out what he wanted Echo Fox to become and so that was sort of my introduction to this thing. But look, eSports probably had around 400 million viewers in 2017. They’re projecting revenues of $1.5 billion by 2020, so this is a huge thing. I think

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