Rachel Nichols and DeMarcus Cousins launched an NBA podcast this week under the All the Smoke banner for Showtime Basketball.
Both hosts announced the launch of Bully Ball on their Instagram pages. The show comes after Cousins worked as a guest panelist on various Showtime podcasts this year.
Nichols said on the first episode, which dropped Monday night, that episodes will release in that time slot each week. The show description indicates Bully Ball will “sift through the 24/7 NBA news cycle and break down the stories you need to hear.”
Cousins last played in the NBA in 2022, and joining Showtime may signal the end of his playing days.
More interesting is the status of the Showtime Basketball brand. Sports Business Journal reported recently that Paramount Global would shut down Showtime Sports by the end of the year.
The All the Smoke network, which features the titular interview show as well as Headliners with Rachel Nichols and KG: Certified with Kevin Garnett (all of which air on YouTube), is run by Showtime. While All the Smoke is tied to a separate production company (The Black Effect) and licensed by iHeartMedia, the spinoff shows list Showtime as their production company on podcast platforms.
Ourand also reported “it’s likely that CBS Sports will produce documentaries for Showtime over the next several years.”
If there is a transition coming from the Showtime brand to CBS Sports, it’s unclear for now. The launch of Bully Ball indicates Paramount is still spending on basketball content.
Cousins has a chance to be a unique NBA voice and Nichols remains a consistent reporter on the sport, but the circumstances around the show are intriguing.