Welcome to Should I Listen To This?, where we deep-dive into a podcast to find out what it’s about, what works, what doesn’t, and whether or not you need to make the all-important decision to hit subscribe and add it to your rotation.
Know a podcast you’d like us to consider? Send an e-mail and we’ll add it to the audio pile.
Podcast: Open Floor Podcast
Network: Sports Illustrated
What Is It?: It’s an NBA podcast hosted by Sports Illustrated writers Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver. In the past, it was hosted by Chris Mannix and Lee Jenkins. Every episode since April 14 (26 episodes as of this writing) has been hosted by Golliver and/or Sharp.
Who’s The Host?: You may recognize Sharp’s name. He used to be at Grantland, where he was an editor and co-host of their NBA podcast. Golliver has been covering the NBA for SI since 2012.
What’s a Normal Episode Like?: Sharp and Golliver discuss the NBA’s news every few days. There’s no set schedule during the season, with as many as three episodes in a week, if warranted. Since the draft, episodes have focused on Las Vegas Summer League and Team USA. The two hosts discuss issues, sometimes referencing their own Sports Illustrated stories. Since they took over full time, there has not been a guest on the show.
Who Is It For?: A smart NBA fan who cares about Draymond Green’s Snapchat and Rajon Rondo’s free throw percentage. It’s nothing that goes too far over most fans’ heads, but it isn’t a light listen, either. They never take each other too seriously and treat basketball as the game it is. But they are extremely knowledgeable, being able to recall minutiae at a moment’s notice. They definitely know more about basketball than you do, but they’re never going to rub it in.
Who Is It Not For?: People who aren’t NBA fans, obviously. But also NBA fans who view the game at a surface level. I’m talking people who play NBA 2K16 with the Lakers and cannot comprehend the idea of Kobe Bryant being anything less than a superstar.
How Many Episodes Are There?: 26 episodes since Golliver and Sharp took over full time.
Can I Jump Right In?: Since NBA news dictates the release schedule, yes. Right now is a great time because the release schedule has slowed down. It sounds like there will be new releases once basketball starts up in Rio. Neither writer makes the show about him, which keeps the show focused on basketball most of the time. A couple of exceptions are the pair discussion Sharp’s hotel room in Brazil and Golliver’s jury duty experience. But these aren’t the norm.
What’s Not Great?: They’re not in the same room, which is noticeable at times. While the audio never sounds bad, they don’t sound the same. I’m also not sure I’ve heard such a deep NBA discussion from a podcast that doesn’t involve Zach Lowe.
So, Should I Listen To This?: NBA fans should already be subscribed. It’s always a thoughtful discussion that teaches me something about the league. It has more of a Grantland NFL Podcast feel than any podcasts Sharp did for the site. They always have fun and take a 360-degree view on the NBA, especially predictions. Recent free agency discussions brought in entertainment, weather, and geographic factors that most fans would completely overlook.
Bottom Line – TL;DR: If you’re a basketball fan who wants a smart podcast that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is for you.