Jan 18 • 1HR 0M

The Basketball Feelings Podcast, Episode 31: Steph Noh

Sporting News writer on growing up in the Bulls golden era, how his professional eye has changed, leading with vulnerability and Westbrook's poker skills.

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Talking around basketball with writers, media, and people closest to it.
Episode details

It does kind of ruin your life a little bit, you get this free taste of winning without experiencing any of the hardships that come with being a fan.

I have to confess that hearing Steph Noh on other shows, and reading his work, I wasn’t initially sure how he would like the rambling, circuitous, literally sometimes talking about how much dusty and old arenas are important vibe of the podcast.

But it turns out that worry was completely unfounded because the way Steph writes and talks about basketball — surgical and precise while scopey and funny — also applies to being prodded about Chicago hot dogs and his time as a professional poker player.

We talked about the Bulls — now and then. What it was like growing up in the pinnacle of fandom at its pinnacle, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman and the whole entire zeitgeist of a sport happening in front of your eyes, and whether it’s possible to be aware of it in real time. The Bulls now are less expansive, but we get there, and to DeMar DeRozan.

We also talked about the perceived barriers of authority in basketball (a.k.a. gatekeeping), how Steph’s eye as a writer has changed over time, being a Catan pro (him) and Magic Cards whiz (me), league parity, Russell Westbrook’s aptitude as a poker player and what it says about his game, giving coaches a break, and the feeling of leading with vulnerability in an interview.

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