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The NBA Playoffs And The Defenestration Of Boston, With Rohan Nadkarni

Brad Stevens, seen here contemplating a future in which he doesn't have to coach anymore.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

It is one among many, but one of my longstanding regrets heading into recording this week’s podcast was that I’d never broken major NBA news to someone, via Zoom, before said friend had brushed his or her teeth. I don’t really talk to anyone besides [Woj voice] my wife early in the morning, and it’s not really a big deal to her if Troy Daniels gets traded to the Hornets or whatever. Indeed, before the moment when Drew and I broke the news to Rohan Nadkarni that the Boston Celtics had radically rejiggered their organization such that Danny Ainge was out of a job, and that former head coach Brad Stevens was kinda-sorta stepping into the role Ainge had vacated, I had pretty much given up hope of ever being able to do it.

Now that I have had that experience, I can report that it was all that I’d dreamed and more. Plenty of guests have been wrong-footed by Funbag questions about fart etiquette or like The Wrong Types Of Ham, and many more will be baffled the inimitable pressure of our respective unfortunate personalities, but Rohan’s incredulous “yo what the fuck” response to the Celtics news is unlikely to be matched anytime soon. It was absolutely all I’d dreamed it would be. It’s wild to think that Woj just feels like this every day.

We also discussed the distinctive notes of Damian Lillard’s overwhelming and unassailable coolness, which Rohan wrote a fine post about at Sports Illustrated, and kept winding up talking about LeBron and all the shitty teams he carried to the NBA Finals. Our other sports-related topics on an uncharacteristically sports-oriented podcast included but were not limited to what is and isn’t valuable/useful about mandatory postgame interviews with sports people and what kind of competitive weirdo would even want to become a NBA coach in the first damn place. One thing to remember, while listening to him do such a fantastic job making our usual bullshit coherent, is that Rohan lives on the opposite side of the country and had been up late writing (about Damian Lillard) on deadline. It is downright terrifying to imagine the insights he might provide after a healthy, unhurried breakfast.

On the subject of things that are terrifying to imagine: the usual non-sports part of the podcast. Rohan deftly navigated his way through the most hideous back nine in podcasting, fielding an unusually challenging Dead Or Canceled, taking a moment to appreciate the Guy legacy and Globetrotting Deep House Lifestyle of Rony Seikaly, and braving the fragrant chunks disgorged by the Funbag. A question about the strange and strangely relatable experience of having a favorite cup led Rohan to a reverie about one of his friend’s cups and inspired Drew and me to confess to dozens of instances of pint glass-related petty theft; a question about eating pizza at every hour of the day gave Rohan an opportunity to indulge in a Proustian remembrance of ultra-hideous college pizzas of yore. I had the sense at the time, and in listening to it again, that an entire episode could have been spun out of just that last subject, but we were running out of time. It was morning, and even those of us who had just cashed in a longstanding dream still had work to do.

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