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Book of Basketball 2.0


Bill Simmons’s new podcast breaks down the NBA's most important games, players, and teams, extending and reinventing his New York Times no. 1 bestselling book from 2009. Playing off the NBA’s dramatic changes during the past decade, Bill uses new commentary and fresh interviews with players and topRead more

Popular episodes

7. “It Just Feels Like Loss” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Jul 14 • 39:11

In the finale, we examine how the passing of time has changed the way we process the memory of Len Bias, what his death meant to the city of Boston and the Celtics franchise, and why his story lingers for sports fans and non-sports fans alike....

6. “Who Can You Trust?” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Jul 7 • 37:23

By the summer of 1986, America’s relationship with drugs was already at the brink of combustion. And in the highly publicized death of Len Bias, policymakers found a spark to light the flame. The draconian legislation introduced on Capitol Hill thereafter, especially the ratification of mandatory minimum sentences, disproportionately targeted Black citizens — one of whom, ...

5. “Someone Had to Pay” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Jun 30 • 34:39

Despite the ongoing Brian Tribble investigation, there was still a question the press and public had no answer for: Who was to blame for the tragic cocaine intoxication of Maryland’s star basketball player? The spotlight shifted to Maryland University and the man who had built the basketball program up in his image: Lefty Driesell....

4. “They Weren’t Grown Men” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Jun 23 • 30:48

Before the fallout from Len Bias’s death could ripple through society, the facts surrounding the night of his death had to be established. So why was that so difficult? In this episode, we examine Brian Tribble’s trial on charges of cocaine distribution, the public’s need to assign immediate blame for Bias’s death, and the ensuing chaos caused by that need....

3. “One Time, I Was Gone” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Jun 16 • 35:18

In this episode, we examine the life and career of Spencer Haywood, a basketball Hall of Famer and one of the sport’s biggest stars of the 1970s. Haywood spent the latter half of his career battling a cocaine addiction at a time when the league lacked both an understanding and a policy for how to deal with a growing drug problem. We explore the climate around cocaine in ba...

2. “He’s Gone” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Jun 9 • 35:46

On June 17, 1986, Len Bias was picked second overall in the NBA draft. He was the next chapter in the book that was the 1980s Boston Celtics dynasty. Then, just two days later on June 19, 1986, he was dead of cocaine intoxication. In this episode, we talk about the 48 hours leading up to one of the sports world’s most crushing losses....

1. "Just About Superman” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Jun 9 • 32:01

By his senior year at the University of Maryland, Len Bias was thriving. He was perhaps the best college basketball player in the country, earning burgeoning Michael Jordan comparisons, and going second overall to the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA draft. In this episode, we set the stage for how Len Bias, the Maryland kid, became Len Bias, the basketball phenom; how a dar...

Introducing ‘What If? The Len Bias Story’

Jun 2 • 01:00

From The Ringer and Spotify, this is the story of Len Bias: University of Maryland phenom, second pick of the 1986 draft to the Celtics, and just two days later, one of the most tragic and shocking deaths in sports history. Over the next seven episodes, we’ll investigate how Bias’s death changed the trajectory of NBA history, sparked America’s cocaine panic, and made a las...

Chris Webber: The Star-Crossed Superstar

Dec 17 • 01:25:01

In the sixth episode of Season 3, Bill Simmons and Joe House explain why Chris Webber should have been one of the best power forwards of all time had bad luck, bad timing, and bad decisions not conspired against him. He may have one of the ultimate “What If?” careers of all time, yet wasn’t he memorable and talented enough to make the basketball Hall of Fame anyway?...

Rick Barry: The Disagreeable Superstar (With Malcolm Gladwell and Tony Kornheiser)

Dec 10 • 01:38:00

In the fifth episode of Season 3, Bill Simmons, Malcolm Gladwell, and Tony Kornheiser explain why Rick Barry was one of the 35 greatest players ever, as well as one of the most influential stars of the league’s first 40 years. However, his prickly personality and a few unfortunate mistakes somehow overshadowed much of his basketball legacy....

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