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Dear Adam Silver

Dear Adam Silver

By Dear Adam Silver
This show is an artist's take on sports — I believe both art and sports have the power to translate and help us reconsider the largest social issues we face. On each episode, we will be discovering and discussing the many connections between the two alongside artists, athletes, journalists, commentators, critics and fans.
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Episode 83: Dr. Johanna Mellis on Understanding History through Sports
Dr. Johanna Mellis is an Assistant Professor of History at Ursinus College where her research focuses on international sport during the Cold War, namely in the Eastern Bloc and Hungary especially, in order to connect the local voices and experiences of Hungarian athletes to the IOC and broader international sport society. Her manuscript, Changing the Global Game: Hungarian Athletes and International Sport During the Cold War, examines Hungarian sportspeople’s interactions with the International Olympic Committee from 1948-1989. Changing the Global Game shows how Hungarian athletes, Socialist Hungarian state sport officials, and the IOC gradually realized by the 1960s that sporting cooperation with one another - and not East-West political clashes nor resistance - was the way to achieve their respective aims of sport success, career and financial stability, and political and institutional strength. Our conversation covers many different topics, but we do repeatedly come back to a consistent theme of unlearning our early understandings of world history through sport to form a better, more accurate, and historically inclusive narrative.  You can follow Dr. Mellis's amazing and well curated Twitter feed @JohannaMellis. As I share in the podcast, my eyes have been opened to a multitude of different historical perspectives on sports through Dr. Mellis's Twitter account.  Dr. Mellis also cohosts the End of Sport Podcast, a podcast on capitalist sport, labor, and justice for end times. The show features interviews with athletes, critical sports journalists, and fellow academics to explore all the ways that people use sport to harm others - i.e. through racist mascotry, the NCAA and higher ed’s exploitation of Black and Brown college athletic workers, sexual abuse and harassment, transphobia, and more. You can read Dr. Mellis's writing alongside her End of Sport cohosts in The Chronicle of Higher Ed, The Guardian, Time, The Baffler, and more. She also has sole-authored pieces with The Washington Post and Arizona State University’s Global Sport Matters. As always, thanks for listening! Please share, rate and review Dear Adam Silver wherever you get your podcasts. 
February 28, 2022
Episode 82: Mikey Yates on the Joy of Slam Ups and Painting as a Form of Witness
Mikey Yates is a painter currently based in Kansas City, MO and a resident at the Charlotte Street Foundation, where our interview took place. Mikey paints tiny moments that carry a significant weight to him, sometimes also engaging with historical world events. Basketball, his first love, comes up again in different scenes that he depicts and his rich, dynamic palette brings a glow and reverence to each of his paintings. Grateful to have the chance to talk shop with Mikey and unpack how his work, and deep appreciation for basketball, came to be.  You can see and find out about his work here and be sure to follow him on Instagram @mikey_yates.  Please rate and review Dear Adam Silver wherever you get your podcasts! Thanks for listening, as always. 
January 31, 2022
Episode 81: Blake and Giovanni on Pickup B-ball and the Instagram Community
Blake and Giovanni are on the pod today to discuss pickup basketball and the creative culture around the game. We touch on playing during COVID and post vaccines, including their personal experiences, and the ways they have used basketball and photography as a means to connect with  other likeminded people around the world. Thank you to Blake and Giovanni for coming on the show. Follow them on instagram! Blake is @sacredhoopsbook and Giovanni is @hgnext. And feel free to listen to my earlier conversations with Blake, featured in Episode 44 and Episode 48. Thank you to all you listeners out there! Please subscribe to Dear Adam Silver, and if you already are subscribed, please share, rate and review wherever you find your podcasts. Thank you so much for all of your support.
August 01, 2021
Episode 80: Whereas Hoops with Noah Cohan and John Early
Noah Cohan and John Early who are on the show to discuss their project Whereas Hoops. Noah Cohan is the Assistant Director of American Culture Studies at Washington University St. Louis and is a previous Dear Adam Silver guest from Episode 22 where he joined the show to discuss his book on fandom entitled We Average Unbeautiful Watchers. John Early is an artist and senior lecturer at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington university St. Louis. Their collective project Whereas Hoops was created to draw attention to the lack of basketball courts in Forest Park, which is located in St. Louis and is one of the biggest urban parks in the country.....but with all that space, there are still no basketball courts. Noah and John are working collaboratively to highlight this issue within its' proper historical context and hopefully correct it in the long term.  Follow Whereas Hoops on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you to John and Noah for coming on and thank you to you all for listening! Please subscribe, share, rate and review Dear Adam Silver wherever you get your podcasts.
July 12, 2021
Episode 79: Sidelined by Julie DiCaro
Episode 79 features a conversation with Julie DiCaro, author of the recently published book Sidelined: Sports, Culture and Being a Woman in America. This book unpacks sexism in sports media for fans and non-fans alike. Julie writes about her time in radio covering sports, to the harassment she has received herself from fans and listeners to her time in the sport for development world. Thank you to Julie for coming on and sharing about all that went into producing this book, including her personal experiences.  You can read more of Julie's work on Deadspin, where she is a writer and editor, and hear more on her podcast The Ladies Room, which she cohosts with Jane McManus. Every week they dive into issues surrounding women and sports. You can follow her on Twitter @JulieDiCaro.  Thank you, as always, to Bookman's Entertainment Exchange for sponsoring this episode. And you can pick up your own copy of Side Lined at Bookman's! 
May 30, 2021
Episode 78: Brian Tran on the Excitement of the Play In Tournament
Long time Dear Adam Silver supporter and returning guest Brian Tran is back on the show to discuss our feelings about the first weekend of the NBA playoffs, including the play in tournament, the long standing question of whether refs and players are coworkers or colleagues, and our recent transition to sworn enemies as the Suns vs. Lakers series begins. Thank you to Brian for joining and indulging all of my emotional/over the top takes. And Happy Playoffs to all Dear Adam Silver listeners! Thank you for your support. 
May 25, 2021
Episode 77: Glauco Adorno and Our Letters to Senda
Glacuo Adorno is back on the pod today (listen to episodes 40, 25 and 3 for more)! Long time listeners will remember that we collaborated in Lithuania on a body of artwork made about women’s basketball pioneer Senda Berenson. We met while we were both in graduate school at Louisiana State university, when I was studying fine art and Glauco was studying art history and he is now a curator based in Rio de Janeiro. He is back on the pod today to read some of the letters that we wrote to Berenson while we were Lithuania, a part of this work which we have not shared before. Thank you to Glauco for coming on and being so willing to discuss this ongoing work and the hardships of the pandemic in Brazil right now.  And thank you to you all for listening! Please share, subscribe, rate and review Dear Adam Silver wherever you get your podcasts.  Please note that we recorded this episode on Zoom and the sound quality is a bit lower than usual. 
May 01, 2021
Episode 76: Claude Johnson, Founder of the Black Fives Foundation
I am so excited to share this episode, featuring Claude Johnson, founder of the Black Fives Foundation. The Black Fives Foundation’s mission is to research, preserve, showcase, teach, and honor the pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball. The Foundation is doing incredible things around education and celebration of this history. I have been following Black Fives for the last couple of years, which is just a drop in the bucket of how long Claude has been doing this work and sharing these stories. The trajectory and development of what is now the Black Fives Foundation is a great reminder of all the good that can be done not just through your job, but through interests and subjects you find compelling that add to our shared discourse and push for change. So thank you, Claude for your work and for joining me today. You can follow the Black Fives Foundation and all the exciting things that are happening on Twitter @blackfives and on Instagram @blackfives.   Thank you all for listening! Please share, subscribe, rate and review Dear Adam Silver. Your support is so appreciated.
March 31, 2021
Episode 75: The Menschwarmers!!!
Episode 75 (!!!) features Gabe and Jamie, also known as the Menschwarmers, of the Menschwarmers Podcast. In their own words, Gabe and Jamie are Jews. They also love sports. But most of all? They love Jews in sports. Menschwarmers is their biweekly podcast where they gab about goings-on, interview fascinating industry figures and keep you updated on everything related to Jews in sports. I was excited to have the chance to speak with them about Jewish sports stuff and beyond. You can subscribe to the Menschwarmers wherever you get your podcasts and follow them on twitter @menschwarmers. These guys are great and we had fun and I hope you all enjoy listening to this episode! And please share, rate and review Dear Adam Silver. Thank you for your support!
March 29, 2021
Episode 74: Andrew Maraniss and Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
New York Times Best selling author Andrew Maraniss is back on the pod to discuss his newest book, just out on March 2 (!!!!), entitled Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke. The book is about Glenn Burke, the first openly gay MLB Player and the inventor of the high five. This is an incredible and devastating story and couldn’t be more timely, as Democrats in the House of Representatives just passed the Equality Act, which is now on it’s way to the Senate and if passed by both chambers and signed into law by President Biden, would establish anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. In addition, there are also several states that are currently in the process of trying to pass anti trans legislation in the area of sports. The story of Glenn Burke is ever relevant as we continue to fight for equal treatment for everyone, no matter their gender or sexual identity. Thank you to Andrew for coming on again and thank you to you all for listening. Please share, subscribe, rate and review Dear Adam Silver wherever you find your podcasts.  You can follow Andrew on Twitter and Instagram. And you can buy Singled Out at Bookman's or wherever you shop locally!  Please note that this episode was recorded the same day as our first conversation from Episode 72 about Andrew's book Games of Deception, so we just jump right into the conversation about Singled Out without any of the usual formalities. We were also having some technical issues due to weather which is why it is a bit broken up in some parts of the conversation. 
March 07, 2021
Episode 73: Mapping Basketball Players with Kirk Goldsberry
Kirk Goldsberry joins the pod to discuss cartography, NBA Stats and how he has combined the two to make (stunning!) graphics that reflect recent NBA trends and the history of basketball. Kirk is a Lecturer in Management and the Associate Director of the Center for Leadership and Ethics at the University of Texas at Austin as well as a staff writer at ESPN. What I love about Kirk's work is that he brings together art and science, culminating in a visual that celebrates basketball and informs the viewer. Follow Kirk on Twitter and Instagram.  If you are interested in purchasing a Naismith International Park Map click here.  Thank you to Kirk for coming on and thank you to you all for listening. Please share, subscribe, rate and review Dear Adam Silver wherever you find your podcasts. 
February 28, 2021
Episode 72: Andrew Maraniss and Games of Deception
Author Andrew Maraniss joins the show to discuss his book Games of Deception, which focuses on the first Olympics where basketball was included as a sport (for men only). These were the 1936 olympic games played in the heart of Nazi Germany during the regime's ascension. The games were used as a way for the Nazi's to show off and receive some validation from other world powers and individuals. And in the center of all of this, we have the inventor of the modern game of basketball, James Naismith, traveling to Germany to watch the game played as an Olympic sport for the first time. This is a truly fascinating and relevant story. You can find Andrew's website here and follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Books mentioned in this podcast: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, Hitler's American Model by James Q. Whitman, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, Strong Inside by Andrew Maraniss
February 16, 2021
Episode 71: Professor Douglas Hartmann on Understanding the 1968 Olympic Protests
Douglas Hartmann, Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, is back on the show today to discuss his book Race, Culture and the Revolt of the Black Athlete: The 1968 Olympic Protests and Their Aftermath. This book encompasses the time leading up to the protests during which the Olympic Project for Human Rights, led by Professor of Sociology Harry Edwards, was attempting to organize a boycott of the 1968 games by black athletes. From there we learn about the actual moment where Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the medal stand in Mexico City and the legacy of their actions. What I appreciate so much about this book is the focus on the iconic image that was made of the protest that night and how that image has lived on and been used, for celebratory, educational and malicious reasons. Professor Hartmann is a returning guest to Dear Adam Silver and was featured in Episode 64 to discuss his book Midnight Basketball. I am grateful that he joined the pod again to share his work and thoughts, especially about how this action taken in 1968 connects to how we see athletes protesting and speaking out about racial justice today.  Books featured in this episode: Race, Culture and the Revolt of the Black Athlete: The 1968 Olympic Protests and Their Aftermath by Douglas Hartmann Midnight Basketball by Douglas Hartmann Listening to Images by Tina Campt 
February 08, 2021
Episode 70: What Basketball Means to Lawrence, KS
Back in February of 2020, I was a project based resident at Lawrence Arts Center and spent two and a half weeks researching the history and current state of basketball in Lawrence, KS. The history of the game runs deep in this college town as James Naismith, the inventor of the game, was the first basketball coach at the University Kansas (KU) and worked with many people in the town and region on the development of the game.   As I am sure you can imagine, I learned a lot while I was there and can't wait to get back to continue to working through how the game lives in this majority basketball crazed town!  I want to thank the Lawrence Arts Center for supporting this work and providing me with Jayhawks Men’s basketball tickets. Especially Kyla Strid and Justin Harbaugh for all their logistical and conceptual support. I also wanted to thank all my guests; Nick Krug, Leo Hayden, Curtis Marsh and Linda Reimond answered so many of my questions and were patient with my tight schedule. And thank you to Tim Gaddie of the DeBruce Center for all of his knowledge. And thanks to the Lawrence Public library for letting me use their recording studios! And thank you for my contacts at Haskell Indian Nations University for sitting down with me and sharing with me about the school.  And also thank you to anyone else who was willing to talk to me or gave me a ride when it was too far to walk.  And finally, thank you to my dear friend Adam Meistrell who encouraged me to come to Lawrence. He and his family opened their home to me while I was there and I couldn’t be more grateful. And thank you, to you all, for listening, and Happy New Year.
December 31, 2020
Episode 69: All Things Frustrating and Exciting in Sports w/ The Profs
Returning guests and Professors of Sociology (aka The Profs) Stephen Suh, Alex Manning and Kyle Green are back on the show to discuss recent sports news that has been on our minds. We speak about the financial impact of the pandemic on local sports teams, MLB's recent decision to recognize the statistics of the Negro Leagues as major league and breaking as an olympic sports and much more....thanks so much to The Profs for joining me on a very non-traditional Christmas Eve.  And thanks so much to you all for listening and supporting this podcast for the past year! 
December 27, 2020
Episode 68: Zoe Lambert and Adia
Tucson local Zoe Lambert is on the podcast today to discuss her documentary titled Adia, which focuses on the recent history of the University of Arizona women's basketball program and is named for the head coach of the women's basketball team, Adia Barnes. Zoe and I discuss the initial idea for this documentary, how it evolved over time and some of her favorite parts. The documentary will be streamed on The Loft's website in February, which is a local theatre here in Tucson. . Thanks to Zoe for coming on the show and all the work she put into making this doc and celebrating U of A women's basketball.  Check out The Loft's website for details about show dates and times for Adia here. 
December 27, 2020
Episode 67: Mission for Arizona Organizers Carly Berke and Ben Horowitz
As many of you already know, this election cycle I was a volunteer for Mission for Arizona, the democratic coordinated campaign for Mark Kelly and the Biden/Harris ticket that helped to flip AZ from red to blue for the first time in many decades! And today on the pod I am joined by two of the organizers from the campaign, Carly Berke and Ben Horowitz, who dedicated the past year of their life to winning the election for the democratic party. We get into the all of the work that went into making this historic change possible, their feelings on the current state of politics, both in AZ and the rest of the country, and what the future of the democratic movement might look like. I was grateful and excited to work with both Carly and Ben and I am so glad they are on the pod to share a little bit about the behind the scenes of campaigns in a crucial swing state.  Although this episode is a little different from the norm for the pod, I believe that politics and political campaigns take a huge amount of creativity and of course, fierce competitiveness, and a belief you can win no matter what. So when you come at it from a conceptual point of view, the subject matter fits right in to our larger conversation around sports and art. Thank you to Carly and Ben for joining and thank you all for listening. Please email me @ with any questions. 
December 07, 2020
Episode 66: Stealing Home with Author Eric Nusbaum
Eric Nusbaum, author of  the recently published Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between, joins the show to share about  researching and writing this book and his personal fandom of the Dodgers.  The book focuses on the story of the Aréchiga family, who were forced out of their home and off their property by the city, like many other families living in the Mexican-American neighborhood of Palo Verde, to clear the area for Dodger Stadium to be built.  Besides the central narrative of the displacement of a multigenerational family, this book is also about the fight for public housing, the red scare and a large American city grasping for continued relevance through Major League Baseball. Stealing Home is filled with a richness in detail that defines each character and their background, as well as beautiful sketches by Adam Villacin of the people and places we are learning about. Thank you to Eric for writing a book that represents a specific time and a place but very much speaks to systemic issues and injustices that continue to this day.  Thank you all for listening and if you would like to get in touch, please email me @ 
December 01, 2020
Episode 65: Loving Sports When They Don't Love you Back with Jessica Luther and Kavitha Davidson
Jessica Luther and Kavitha Davidson join the show to discuss their recently published book Loving Sports When They Don't Love You back: Dilemmas of the Modern Fan. Luther is a freelance journalist, Davidson is a sports writer for The Athletic and they are both dedicated sports fans. This book is an incredible collection of perspectives and stories for dedicated fans who believe in the ability of sports to evolve and grow as a part of our greater culture. From loving your team when you hate the owner to an honest, thoughtful conversation about the arbitrary controversies around doping, this book explores challenging issues that the invested fan faces. It is a true document and its' relevance to this moment we are living through, as sports fans, is incredibly impactful. 
November 26, 2020
Episode 64: Midnight Basketball with Professor Douglas Hartmann
Professor Douglas Hartmann teaches sociology at the University of Minnesota and is on the show to discuss his book Midnight Basketball, which takes a deep, detailed look into the social initiative known as Midnight Basketball, developed in the late 1980s . In this episode, we unpack the racism that was built into this program, which targeted young adult African-American men who were living in large cities around the country.  It is important to use the word targeted in this case because the use of surveillance was at the root of this project that used the game of basketball as a form of control during certain hours of the day.  As we discuss, this initiative is tied to our incoming presidential administration because Joe Biden was a proponent of Midnight Basketball during the mid 1990s and the fight for the passage of the 1994 crime bill. This conversation is timely and necessary to take a close look at the motivations and results of social policy that fall in line with the systemic racism inherent to our country, even when it is dressed up as help or social support.    Thank you to Doug for coming on and for writing this educational and informative book. As always, thank you to you for listening and I hope you all enjoy this episode.
November 22, 2020
Episode 63: Brian Tran on this moment as an LA sports fan + election fears and hopes
St. Louis based writer and long time (and first!) friend of the pod Brian Tran is back on the show to discuss his championship winning LA sport teams, the magic of baseball and our concerns and hopes for the election.  Thank you all for listening! Please share, rate, and leave a review! And vote! 
October 31, 2020
Episode 62: Lori Powers and Survival Hoops
Lori Powers is a Los Angeles based artist that works with found objects collected from neighborhoods near her home to create characters that she installs on the streets where she momentarily impacts drivers to get out of their heads and into their heart while passing through her neighborhood. A passionate, senior, gold winning basketball player she lives for the day she can get back on the court with her team safely. Her art, like basketball, is a team event. On the court the thrill of receiving a lightning speed blind pass to put in a bucket never gets old.  Lori is on the pod today to discuss her recent work Survival Hoops made in collaboration with Nico Naismith. The two have created over a hundred basketball hoops out of found objects (a surfboard, a grill, a baby carriage and more) and installed them all over the streets of LA during the pandemic, when park hoops were closed off. The movement of Survival Hoops has now spread all over the world! Huge thank you to vagabond pick up basketball player, brilliant writer and previous podcast guest Isaac Eger for writing a beautiful piece about Lori and Nico's work in the LA Times and for putting me in touch with Lori as a podcast guest.  If anyone is interested in making their own survival hoop and needs help, you can email Lori at And a huge thank you to Lori for coming on the show!  Here is Isaac Eger's piece in the LA Times and here is the short documentary on Survival Hoops made by a local CBS station in LA. 
October 26, 2020
Episode 61: Ballerz 2K20 feat. Cortney Lamar Charleston, Caroline Cabrera and Zain Aslam
A Dear Adam Silver first! Live poetry on the show! Thank you to the writer and poets Cortney Lamar Charleston, Caroline Cabrera and Zain Aslam for coming on the pod to share their poems that were recently featured in Ballerz 2K20, a team of basketball poems edited by P. Scott Cunningham of O, Miami. These three poems are wonderfully rich and add to our collective understanding and narratives around the game of basketball.  You can buy your own copy of Ballerz 2K20 here!
October 13, 2020
Episode 60: P. Scott Cunningham on O, Miami and His Deep Love for the Heat
P. Scott Cunningham is a poet and essayist originally from Boca Raton, FL, now based in Miami.  He is the author of Ya Te Veo ,  selected by Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Series. Scott is a graduate of Wesleyan University and is the founder and director of O, Miami, a non-profit organization that celebrates Miami, FL through the lens of poetry. I found out about his work because he recently edited a collection of poems all about basketball entitled Ballerz 2K20 . Scott is also a longtime Miami Heat fan which made this podcast even more interesting to record right now! To learn more about O, Miami and the poetry festival they put on every year, please check out and follow them on Instagram at @Omiamifestival. The organization is truly dedicated to celebrating Miami and engaging with their community through encounters with poems. You can find the New Yorker article we reference in the episode about the poetry contest Scott organized in 2010 when Lebron joined the Heat here. 
October 06, 2020
Episode 59: Ivan Salcido on Creation Myths and Caring for Family History
Born in El Paso, TX, Ivan Salcido is a Mexican-American artist living and working in Portland, OR. He draws on personal experience, family history and an interest in Mesoamerican mythology for inspiration. His practice covers various skills and media, with formal training in fine art, carpentry and metalwork, including sculpture, drawing, and painting and the use of steel, wood and neon. His new work has shifted toward the narrative, while older works were primarily focused on abstract forms and elements subtly rooted in personal experience. Ivan came on the show to discuss the amazing basketball card he created in honor of his grandmother's playing days back in the 1950's. We also discussed his body of work entitled Creation Myth, where he makes pieces that combine elements from modern day basketball in reference to a similar game played in Mesoamerican culture.  You can view more of his work here and follow him on instagram @idsalcido. 
September 23, 2020
Episode 58: H-O-R-S-E, A Comedy by Kathleen Cahill
H-O-R-S-E, a Comedy by Kathleen Cahill featuring Peter Story and Elisabeth Nunziato. 
September 07, 2020
Episode 57: Bradley Robert Ward on the Messy Process of Making Cyanotypes and His Recent Work About Baseball
Bradley Robert Ward is back on the pod (listen to Episode 21 for our previous conversation about bball and some of his older work!!) to discuss his research and new work about the Negro Leagues and his own relationship with baseball, as a fan, former player and image maker. Our conversation was timely for many reasons, one of them being that the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers was just this past Friday, August 28. Bradley and I discussed the failures of MLB to adequately address the systemic racism that exists both in their past and contemporary existence and how this connects to a larger issue within the US, where BIPOC histories are regularly left out of the historical narrative and misremembered, romanticized or forgotten by our mainstream media.   You can view Bradley's artwork on his website and follow him on Instagram here.   Thank you to Bookman's for sponsoring this episode of Dear Adam Silver. 
August 31, 2020
Episode 56: Thoughts on the Wildcat Strike in B-Ball with 2/3 of the Profs
Professor's of Sociology Kyle Green and Alex Manning, at SUNY Brockport and Hamilton College respectively, are back on the pod to discuss the last few days in the world of sports.  Please keep in mind that this discussion was recorded on the evening of Thursday, August 27.   You can follow Alex Manning on twitter here for discussion on the crossover between sports and sociology,  and check out Kyle Green's website here. 
August 29, 2020
Episode 55: Dwayne Mansfield on Hoops and Horticulture
Seattle based Art Director Dwayne Mansfield is on the show today to discuss his new and evolving brand Hoops and Horticulture and the concept behind his handmade basketball planters. His dedication to exploring the idea of growth through basketball and plants is at the crux of this work.  Follow Hoops and Horticulture on Instagram here and please check out his Etsy store and support his work here. The planters are elegant, thoughtfully designed and a must have for any bball fan/plant collector.  Thank you to Bookman's for sponsoring this episode of Dear Adam Silver. 
August 25, 2020
Episode 54: Ciara Ingram on Using Basketball as a Creator
Ciara Ingram a Videographer and Editor at SLAM magazine. She focuses on using filmmaking to capture life through the lens of the arts, music, and basketball culture. In this conversation, we discuss her beginnings in basketball, her time playing in college, and how she has used the game in a creative way to launch her career as an artist.  If you are interested in checking out Ciara's work, including much of the video work we reference in our discussion,  you can find it here.  Thank you to Ciara for coming on the show!
August 17, 2020
Episode 53: Abdi Farah on the Excitement and Frustrations of the Bubble
New Orleans based artist Abdi Farah is back on the show to discuss many things including the highs of bubble basketball, the lows of sideline interviews and how it all relates to current happenings around the rest of the country.  As a note, we recorded this episode before it was announced that the Big Ten and the Pac-12 will be postponing their fall athletic season.  You can view and learn more about Abdi's artwork here. 
August 12, 2020
Episode 52: The Potential of the NBA as a Space for Social Change and Some Reopening Ramblings with The Profs
Professors Kyle Green, Stephen Cho Suh and Alex Manning are on the pod to discuss their collectively written paper entitled Discursive Footwork on the Hardwood.  This piece of writing focuses on four NBA players speaking out on the topics of cultural appropriation and both systemic and individual acts of racism through essays published on The Player's Tribune. The paper unpacks the possibilities and limitations of working to address and dismantle racism within the institution of the NBA,  which is known to be a more progressive space in comparison to other major sports leagues in the United States.  The four essays that are referenced and analyzed in the paper are linked to below. Blake Griffin Jason Collins Jeremy Lin Kyle Korver We also get into ALL of the WNBA/NBA reopening news, including how players and leagues will go about continuing their activism once they are on the court. Kyle Green is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY Brockport. Check out his website and learn more about his podcast Give Theory a Chance here.  Stephen Cho Suh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s & Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.  Alex Manning is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College. 
July 30, 2020
Episode 51: The Momentum of Speak Up and Dribble
We all remember when Laura Ingraham told Lebron and KD to "Shut up and dribble." Her words, infused with racism and hate, were meant to keep two African-American men from speaking out on issues they care about, beyond their sport.  The Speak Up and Dribble movement is a direct response to those racist comments as well as the ongoing protests against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter. The organizers gather children and adults to dribble basketballs through the streets and focus on the bounce of the ball as the heartbeat of those we have lost to systemic racism.  I had the absolute pleasure to speak with the founders (six out of seven!) of this brilliant movement who have organized protests in their home city of San Francisco as well as offering support for similar happenings around the country. Please follow these wonderful groups that are using basketball to create change and foster community  @speakupdribble and @the.hooper.mentality
July 25, 2020
Episode 50: Brooklyn Film Camera, Social Unrest and Racism in Photography with Kyle Depew
Kyle Depew is an activist,  the owner of Brooklyn Film Camera, a wonderful photographer and a dear friend from my time living in New York City. Kyle and I first met when we worked together at The Impossible Project, which is a company that made new film for vintage Polaroid cameras (now known as Polaroid). After we both left Impossible, Kyle started his own company and shop called Brooklyn Film Camera in Bushwick where they sell film and film cameras of all types. In addition, BFC organizes events for image makers and film enthusiasts and their staff is available for photographing events. Kyle uses his love for photography to create and foster community and tell stories. He was a wonderful coworker and I'm grateful for his thoughtfulness and care.  Check out and support Brooklyn Film Camera for all your film and camera needs (seriously, get an SX-70)! And follow them on instagram @brooklynfilmcamera.  Please note that Kyle and I spoke over two weeks ago so, of course, much has happened since then that is not included in our discussion. 
July 20, 2020
Episode 49: Isaac Scott on Documenting the Protests
Isaac Scott is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University in Philadelphia where he is studying ceramics.  During the recent protests in response to the murder of George Floyd, Isaac turned to photography and began documenting various scenes and instances he saw unfolding in the streets. A friend of mine tagged me in a few photos of his on Instagram that showed police officers playing basketball with protesters on a hoop set up in downtown Philadelphia. His images speak to the ferventness of our current uprising and the need we have for storytellers who live in the place they are choosing to document. The photographs show the depth of how broken our system of policing is as well as the strength and resiliency of protesters. Thank you to Isaac for coming on the pod and his willingness to share his experiences during the past 7 weeks.  Your can read the New Yorker essay about his images here and an article from his hometown of Madison, WI here. Also, read more about his ceramic work featured at The Clay Studio here.  Your can follow Isaac on Instagram @thisisphotography2020 and @this_is_ceramics 
July 15, 2020
Episode 48: Sharing My First Letter to Adam Silver with Blake Gillespie
Blake Gillespie is on the pod (again!) to discuss the first letter I wrote to Adam Silver, back in the early fall of 2017, regarding the rule that the NBA had/has in place that requires players to stand for the National Anthem.  Blake Gillespie is a former journalist and current writer who thinks and makes work about basketball as a force larger than the game itself.  Blake is the writer, editor and creator behind Sacred: On Devotion to Spiritual Hoops, a publication that looks at the meditative and mental value of the game. He is based in Sacramento, CA. You can read and learn more about Sacred here and follow him on instagram here.  Blake and I reference a couple things throughout the course of the conversation. Here is a link JJ Reddick's discussion with Taylor Rooks and here is a link to a conversation between Dave Zirin and Craig Hodges (you can also find their conversation in the Edge of Sports podcast feed). Also, an article that address the portal that Blake and I spoke about can be found here.  
July 06, 2020
Episode 47: Tay Butler on Repurposing as Justice
Tay Butler is a multimedia artist based in Houston, TX. He is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he is focusing on photography.  Tay and I had the chance to discuss our frustrations with mainstream outlets using photography as an often misleading form of representation and his ongoing series of collages where he repurposes found imagery to create new narratives. And of course, we discussed the NBA reopening, predictions for the rest of the season and Tay's time playing basketball in Kosovo + beyond.  You can view his artwork here and follow him on Instagram here.
June 30, 2020
Episode 46: Noel W. Anderson on the Potential of Undoing
Noel W. Anderson is a visual artist and Area Head of Printmaking at New York University’s Steinhardt Department of Art and Art Professions. He has an MFA in Printmaking from Indiana University and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University.  Our conversation focuses on Noel's practice and work, much of it in the context of the murder of George Floyd and the mass protests that have followed. Noel's work is heavy,  both in physical material and concept.  Heavy, and also weightless as his pieces and ideas embody and span a range of time periods, critical theories and visual temptations.  You can view Anderson's artwork and find his writings here and you can follow him on Instagram here. 
June 22, 2020
Episode 45: Gina Adams on Broken Treaties and Confronting US History
Gina Adams is a multimedia artist who lives in Vancouver, Canada where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Adams' studio work includes the reuse of antique quilts and broken treaties between the United States and Native American tribes, sculpture, ceramics, painting, printmaking and drawing. She is a descendant of both Indigenous (Ojibwe) and colonial Americans. Her work speaks to her own identity as well as the historical and ongoing injustices preserved and perpetuated by the United States government. Adams' work has been exhibited widely throughout the U.S. and beyond and her work has been featured in many publication, including The New Yorker and Hyperallergic.  Adams' work is both delicate and heavy, stagnant and fluid, which speaks to the complexity that comes from looking back, while being present and considering the possibility of a better future.  Thank you to Gina Adams for coming on the show.  You can find more of Gina's work on her website here and you can follow her on Instagram here 
June 14, 2020
Episode 44: A Heartfelt Plea to Adam Silver and a Dispatch from Sacramento with Blake Gillespie
About a week ago, Blake Gillespie reached out to me with a letter he had written to Adam Silver regarding the reopening of basketball. The letter, written so carefully and tenderly, is about much more than the game. Blake Gillespie is a professional writer. He began his career contributing to Impose Magazine, an independent music and culture publication based in Brooklyn. He was a partner in the publication from 2012 to 2016, serving as an Associate Editor on the West Coast. He has contributed to numerous online and print publications including; Vice Sports, Bandcamp Daily, The Sacramento Bee, The East Bay Express, and The Sacramento News & Review. Blake is also the author and publisher of Sacred, a literary journal dedicated to basketball's universal language. Sacred is his first book and encompasses sports, art and spirituality. He is based in Sacramento and enjoys the game of basketball on many levels. . You can follow Blake on instagram @scaredhoopbook and @busygillespie
June 03, 2020
Episode 43: Big Game, Small World with Alexander Wolff
Long time Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff joins the podcast to discuss his book (one of my favorites ) Big Game, Small World. In 1998, after the Chicago Bulls had won their sixth title but before Michael Jordan had officially announced his retirement, Alex began a year long trip to see how basketball exists in different places all over the world. From the middle of Bhutan to the middle of Bosnia, from China to Angola, Alex gives the reader insight into how the meaning of the game can be translated, and re-translated by various cultures and peoples.  This interview was very special for me because Big Game, Small World has come to be a guidebook for my own artwork. It is a true cultural document that holds weight eighteen years after it's publishing.  To read more about Alex, his career accomplishments and his recent book The Audacity of Hoop, please click here. 
May 25, 2020
Episode 42: Unpacking The Last Dance with Brian Tran
I've been close to bursting for the past three weeks wanting to discuss The Last Dance on the pod! Thanks to Brian Tran for coming on to discuss some of his thoughts on the documentary and indulge my long list of talking points. We bounce around between the first six episodes and the most compelling themes and footage so far.   Brian Tran is an MFA candidate at Washington University in St. Louis where he studies and writes fiction. We first met at Paul ArtSpace, an art residency located just outside of St. Louis in Florrisant, MO. We bonded immediately over our shared love for basketball and podcasts so it makes sense that he was my first guest ever back in the summer of 2018. Always happy to have him on the show! 
May 07, 2020
Episode 41: An Ode to Mail with Melodie Reay
Today's episode is all about mail and the post office. Fellow artist, mail appreciator/sender and dear friend Melodie Reay is my guest. We talk about what the mail has meant to us in our art practices and the everyday excitement of receiving a handwritten postcard. This discussion stems from concerns over continued funding of USPS and our fears of our mail system becoming completely privatized. We scoff at insurance, laugh about water damage and celebrate other mail woes. And basketball shows up, because basketball is in everything.  Melodie and first met while we were both graduate students at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. She was a year ahead of me in our MFA program and was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Baton Rouge. Her wonderful artwork can be seen here. She and her husband Jim Osbourne (also a wonderful artist) run a wonderful bakery called Rosch Bakehaus (pick up only right now) out of their home in Baton Rouge's Garden District.  As someone who has eaten a lot of their sweet and savory creations, if you live in the area, they are highly recommended and a wonderful business to support. Visit their website here and follow them on instagram @rosch.bakehaus Thanks for listening! As always, please make sure you are subscribed to the show. And please leave a rating and a review! 
May 03, 2020
Episode 40: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine with Glauco Adorno
On today's podcast, my dear friend Glauco Adorno and I discuss the book Citizen: An American Lyric by award winning poet, playwright, educator and multimedia artist Claudia Rankine. This book is a masterful unpacking of how racism exists in the United States. Rankine combines poetry, pros, found images and text to express a personal meditation on how the system of white supremacy functions in this country, both in obvious and subtle ways. Specifically, a a large portion of the book is focused on Serena Williams and the hateful and unjust treatment she has experienced from the professional tennis world based on the color of her skin.  Glauco Adorno is a Brazilian curator and art historian based in Rio de Janeiro. We met each other during our time as graduate students at Louisiana State University. His website can be found here. On today's episode he also shares some of what his experience has been like during COVID-19 and how the virus is being handled in Brazil. He is also featured on episodes 3 and 25 of Dear Adam Silver.  Claudia Rankine was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1963 and received her BA from Williams College in 1986 and her MFA in poetry from Columbia Universit in 1993. She is currently the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. Her website can be found here.  If you are interested in listening to any lectures by Rankine, the links are listed below:
April 21, 2020
Episode 39: Jeremy John Kaplan and a Dispatch from NYC
Brooklyn based artist Jeremy John Kaplan is back on the pod today to discuss basketball hoops (and of course, nets) being temporarily removed from parks around New York City to discourage people from gathering together in the time of COVID-19.  Jeremy was originally a guest back on episode 20 of Dear Adam Silver where we discussed the Gold Nets Project, an ongoing body of work (est. 2005) where he spray paints basketball nets gold and then hangs them on hoops without a net or hoops that have torn, non functioning nets. This project has been a way for him to give back to the game as a dedicated fan and pickup basketball player. Now, Jeremy is going back to the parks where he has put up nets around New York City to photograph the empty, hoopless backboards that remain. We also get into a little bit of local politics in the city and the state and discuss our experiences during this pandemic and shut down.  To see more of Jeremy's work click here and to learn more about the Gold Nets Project click here.  Rebecca Solnit's essay Who Will Win the Fight for a Post-Coronavirus America? can be found here.  Please note that we recorded this episode last Wednesday, April 1. 
April 10, 2020
Episode 38: Naomi Clement and Making Art During a Pandemic
Naomi Clement is a Canadian based potter and educator. We met when we were both in the same cohort during graduate school at Louisiana State University. Naomi is an independent and working artist and the Covid-19 outbreak has hit her hard financially with event cancellations, including many opportunities to sell, share, teach and promote her work. On the podcast, we discuss the fear and frustration that exists for many working artists right now and also the role an artist can play even if it doesn't involve making in a traditional sense.  If you are interested in checking out Naomi's work you can visit her website here and you can follow her heartfelt posts on Instagram @naomikclement.  If you are interested in purchasing a piece by Naomi (and have the funds to do so), you can find her work for sale @companiongallery and @euctectic_gallery. 
March 30, 2020
Episode 37: Sam Anderson and Boom Town
Sam Anderson is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and author of Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-class Metropolis. As is made clear in this interview, I love this book.  Through my own artwork, I try to discuss intricacies of place, history and societal structures through basketball. Boom Town does just that by tracing the beginnings Oklahoma City to present day alongside the development of the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The book is filled with tiny details specific to OKC, both physical and conceptual and the writing shows a level of reverence and respect for this wildly complicated place in the middle of our country.   This is a hard time for everyone, for some more than others, and I just want to recognize anyone experiencing loss or pain right now. We are truly in this together. I recommend Boom Town as a book to add to your reading list during this time of social distancing. Once Bookman's is back open, you can pick up a copy of Boom Town at one of their six locations in Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff and Mesa. Thank you so much to Sam for coming on the show and sharing about his experiences researching in and about OKC and writing this book. Please note that this episode was recorded ten days ago.
March 23, 2020
Episode 36: Coronavirus Nerves and Saying See Ya Soon to Basketball with Abdi Farah
New Orleans based artist Abdi Farah is back on the pod to discuss the coronavirus and it's impact on basketball and beyond.  To see Abdi's artwork, click here  To all those listening to and following the podcast, if you can, please stay home.  As always, Dear Adam Silver is sponsored by Bookman's. 
March 17, 2020
Episode 35: Emily Stamey and To the Hoop
Emily Stamey is the curator of exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. For this episode, we discussed her current exhibition To the Hoop, which is made up of art work produced by over 20 artists in response to basketball. The pieces vary in their subject matter, some related to the objects used in the game, some related to social issues tried to the game and some are about  the spirituality of the game. I am very grateful to Emily for coming on the podcast to discuss the development of the exhibition and if any of you listening are near Greensboro, NC in the coming months, please check out the show. It will be up until June 7. To read more about the exhibition please click here
February 29, 2020
Episode 34: Brian Tran and Isaac Eger on Kobe Bryant
The sudden death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant has had the basketball world reeling for the last month. At first, I was unsure how to handle their deaths on the podcast. And to be honest, I still am. I am not used to speaking about death and loss, especially on a public platform and about people I did not know personally.  I want this space to be for thoughtful responses, not quick reactions. So this episode is an attempt to discuss what I have heard, read and felt in the past few weeks. Today’s podcast includes two separate conversations: one with writer and Lakers’ fan Brian Tran and the other with Isaac Eger, who is also a writer and pick up basketball player. I also want to make sure that I acknowledge the seven others who died that morning.  Sarah Chester Payton Chester Ara Zobayan Christina Mauser John Altobelli Keri Altobelli Alyssa Altobelli  Here are some articles I have read that I think are valuable: And for interesting podcast conversations:  Rest in Peace, The Right Time with Bomani Jones  Remembering Kobe Bryant, Inside the Green Room with Danny Green  Ramona Shelburne and Rachel Nichols, The Lowe Post
February 25, 2020
Episode 33: Abdi Farah on the All-Star Game and Reimagining Group Exhibitions
New Orleans based artist Abdi Farah is back on the pod to discuss the NBA season so far, conceptual art and camaraderie at the All-Star game and our desire to be part of a team, through art. Abdi is a regular on the podcast and I am so excited to share our most recent conversation.  To view Abdi's artwork, click here.  In the middle of this episode I mention Steven Adam's autobiography, but I forgot the name of it while we were recording. For anyone who is interested, it is called My Life, My Fight and I very much recommend it.  Thank you as always for subscribing and sharing, as well as your ratings and reviews. 
February 21, 2020
Episode 32: Maria Molteni and Basketball Magic
Maria Molteni is a Boston based socially engaged artist whose process and work defies any one category of art.  Our interview covers Maria's own time as a basketball player, the process of painting basketball courts as a way to create a conversation with the cosmos, and New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA), an artist collective that she is a founding member of which pushes back on traditional notions of the objects and people who contribute to sports.  Maria and I both share a fascination with the history of basketball and use the game as a starting point for far reaching discussions.  If you would like to see more of Maria's work, please visit her website here and follow her on Instagram @strega_maria. You can also learn more about NCAA  and their recent work here. 
February 15, 2020
Episode 31: Brandon Juan Surtain on Stillness in Painting and Football
Brandon Juan Surtain is an artist and former defensive back for the Louisiana State University Tigers football team. He is now currently pursuing a Master's in Architecture from Tulane University in New Orleans. We met when we were both studying art at LSU. For today's episode,  we had the chance to discuss his development as an athlete and an artist, the impact Hurricane Katrina had on his life, and his ongoing series Just Trash. Thank you to Brandon for coming on the show and sharing his thoughts and process. You can view his  artwork here. 
February 08, 2020
Episode 30: Linus Schief on the Origins of Yolk Jammer
Tucson based artist Linus Schief is on the podcast to discuss the Venn diagram of her current work that includes nuns, basketball and eggs.  You can follow Linus on instagram at @yolkjammer Thank you to KXCI for providing studio space and as always, thank you to my sponsor Bookmans. 
February 02, 2020
Episode 29: Gail Buckland and Who Shot Sports
Gail Buckland is an author, educator and curator of photography. She has held the position of curator of the Royal Photographic society of Great Britain as well as the Benjamin Menschel Distinguished Visiting Professor at Cooper Union. She is the author and collaborator on fourteen books of photography and history and the curator of a number of photography exhibitions. Her book Who Shot Sports is paired with an exhibition of the same name that was first shown at the Brooklyn museum. Who Shot Sports is a survey of sports photography from the invention of the camera to almost present day. Gail Buckland honors the men and women from around the world who make compelling imagery of sports, often exerting themselves, thinking critically, and always composing the most thoughtful images. The pictures in the bookrange from portraits of athletes to abandoned Olympic sites to the pensive inbetween moments of preparation and recovery. The collection of images is both beautiful and educational and makes you think more about the artists behind the each photograph.  Please don't forget, if you are local to Southern Arizona, you can pick up a copy of Who Shot Sports at any of the six Bookman's locations.  To read more about Gail and see more of her work, click here
January 30, 2020
Episode 28: Maryam Amirvaghefi on Winning and Losing in Art
Maryam Amirvaghefi is an artist and educator based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Originally from Iran, Maryam's work encompasses her cultural identity without explaining it; her work speaks to where she comes from but she does not feel the need to indulge the viewer's expectations and stereotypes about art that an Iranian woman might make.  She shows humor and appreciation towards games and sports as a place where true winners and losers exist.  To view her work please visit  her website and follow her on instagram @marivaghefi More information about her work can be found here 
January 27, 2020
Episode 27: Sinda Karklina and Responding to Basketball Through Pottery
Sinda Karklina is the artist behind Sissy Moon Ceramics. For much of her recent work, basketball is her muse and she responds to the game thoughtfully through the pottery she makes. We had the chance to discuss how she became a fan of the game, her design process, any why we both are hesitant to actually play.......sometimes!  Thanks so much to Sinda for joining to discuss her work and ideas! Sissy Moon Arts and Crafts is based in Portland, OR.  To see and learn more about Sinda's work, visit her website You can follow her @ sissy.moon on Instagram 
January 23, 2020
Episode 26: Sean Feeney on the Aesthetics of Choice in Basketball
Sean Feeney is a long time fan of the game of basketball and happens to be the President of Bookman's Entertainment Exchange, the company that sponsors this podcast! With a background in film criticism, his way of thinking about and approaching sports is a near to perfect fit for Dear Adam Silver. For this episode, we did a deep dive on two NBA games from last week, the Houston Rockets vs. the Atlanta Hawks and the Denver Nuggets vs. the Dallas Mavericks. We unpacked the aesthetic choices that were made by individuals and the teams throughout the games and talked through why we like the visual style of basketball that we do.  Thanks so much to Sean for joining the podcast! I am looking forward to many more collaborations with Bookmans in the future.  For more information about Bookmans, please visit  Here are links to two recently written pieces that I recommend in the introduction of this episode about David Stern, the long time commissioner of the NBA who recently passed away.
January 13, 2020
Episode 25: Caring about sports as a non fan with Glauco Adorno
Brazilian based curator Glauco Adorno joins the show to discuss our experiences as artists-in-residence at Kaunas Photography Gallery in Kaunas, Lithuania earlier this year. Glauco and I make up a two person art collective called No Look Pass where we engage in researched based projects involving sports, political identity and the body. Our time spent in Kaunas, researching and making work about the story of Senda Berenson, an early women's basketball pioneer born in what is now the village of Butrimonys, was the first major work we undertook together. As a someone who is not a fan of basketball, Glauco's perspective on our work and time spent in Lithuania is unique and incredibly important.  From making cyanotypes in the village square to sitting court side at professional games, we did it all.  Glauco's work and writing can be seen at and read more about No Look Pass at  This episode was produced and edited by Eliseo Casiano. 
December 29, 2019
Episode 24: Brian Tran, Charles Barkley, Hot Takes and Unfiltered Content
Brian Tran, my first guest ever on the podcast, is back to help me discuss my inclusion of iconic words by Charles Barkley in the opening credits of every Dear Adam Silver episode. Brian is a writer and a dedicated basketball and baseball fan. He is based in St. Louis, MO where he is pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis.  This episode was produced and edited by Eliseo Casiano. 
December 24, 2019
Episode 23: Brandon Donahue on Blooms, Hoops and Transformation
Brandon Donahue is a multi-media artist based in College Park, MD and the current artist-in-residence at the David C. Driscell Center. Brandon's "blooms" or assemblages using found basketballs and footballs is the work that initially drew me in, especially in relation to my own work with basketball nets. But throughout our interview it was clear that Brandon't first art related loves- airbrushing and painting murals- are where his career as an artist began when he very young and both are still processes he uses regularly. He is a collector who uses the objects he lives, plays and works around to create alternative understandings of purpose. The "blooms", and finding various definitions for the spaces and objects associated with sports, are just recent iterations of work he has been developing through different mediums for years. His works spans the space of existing both inside and outside and the studio and engagement with his surrounding community is a common theme. His practice is transformational, rethinking the objects we see and use everyday.  You can see more of Brandon's work at You can read more about his work here:
December 20, 2019
Episode 22: Noah Cohan and We Average Unbeautiful Watchers
Noah Cohan is a Lecturer of American Culture at Washington University in St. Louis. His book, published earlier this year, entitled We Average Unbeautiful Watchers, is a critical unpacking of sports fandom in relation to larger societal issues. Noah engages this subject as a fan himself and rethinks ways that fans and spectators can have a healthier, more productive relationship with both sports and players.  A couple of the books that Noah mentions on the podcast and references in his book directly that I can also recommend: The Heritage by Howard Bryant Hoop Roots by John Edgar Wideman Best Seat in the House by Spike Lee If you are a person who cares about sports and their evolvement, We Average Unbeautiful Watchers is an alternative perspective that highlights our social responsibility as spectators. I definitely recommend picking up a copy of the book at the local bookstore of your choice!  This episode was recorded in Tucson, AZ  and edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano. 
December 13, 2019
Episode 21: Bradley Robert Ward on Michael Jordan vs. Michelangelo and Recreating Iconic Imagery
Bradley Robert Ward is a multi-media artist based in Houston, TX.  Ward's work touches on his relationship with the basketball players that have impacted him the most and the culture around the game, both from present time and the past few decades. He uses the techniques of image transfer and collage to recreate iconic imagery with his own hand,  in a way that forces the viewer to redefine where basketball, as an art form, belongs. His work can be found at  As always, please rate and review this episode!  This episode was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano. 
November 22, 2019
Episode 20: Jeremy John Kaplan on Giving Back to Basketball
Jeremy John Kaplan is a Brooklyn based artist and longtime fan and player of the game of basketball. His Gold Nets Project, where he hangs gold spray painted basketball nets on hoops that are without or have unusable nets, has spread far and wide, starting in Philadelphia, moving to New York City, along the US-Mexico border and in other countries. He sees the gesture of hanging the net as a way of giving back to the game of basketball, a game that has given him incredible experiences and joy since he was a child. This Gold Nets project, spanning the boundaries of art and sports, was recently featured in both Hyper Allergic and SLAM Magazine (see links below for both of those pieces). Jeremy and I share a lot in common; a love for basketball in combination with a love for cyanotypes (say what?!), a desire to engage with communities through our art, and keeping "net change kits" on hand as much as possible. The opportunity to speak about the similarities (and differences) of our processes felt good! And I believe it will benefit us both as we continue on. To see Jeremy's work click Read about his work here: And here: Follow him on Instagram @jeremyjohnkaplan and @goldnetsproject And for the love of all things ball/ art related, please rate and review this (d*mn) podcast. Thank you!! This podcast was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano. 
November 13, 2019
Episode 19: Strong Feelings About the NBA's First Few Weeks with Abdi Farah 2/2
This is part 2/2 with Abdi Farah ( on the pod to discuss the beginning of the NBA season. Intro bonus, I read the letter I received from Bill of NBA Fan Relations, in response to the artwork I sent to Adam Silver earlier this year!  Thanks for listening! And please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. Every bit helps.  This episode was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano (
November 07, 2019
Episode 18: Catching Up with Abdi Farah, Part 1 of 2
New Orleans based artist Abdi Farah is back on the pod! Last time we spoke I was extremely worried about the Warriors losing in the finals.....a lot has happened since then.  We catch up on recent happenings in our artwork and also continue to unpack the China-NBA controversy and how it might have been handle differently.  Our discussion will be released in two parts, with our analysis of the first two weeks of the NBA coming out later this week.  You can see more of Abdi's work at This podcast was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano. 
November 04, 2019
Episode 17: Eloquently Stumbling Through China vs. the NBA ft. Myself
Adam Silver has been in the news a lot lately because of a recent controversy involving free speech, Daryl Morey, pro democracy protestors in Hong Kong, Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Warren, and of course, the Chinese government. As the podcast is centered around my attempt to engage with Silver through my artwork, it felt important to discuss this ongoing situation on my first ever solo pod....will be covering this situation on future episodes as it continues to unfold. Thanks for listening! If you have a moment, please rate and review this podcast.
October 25, 2019
Episode 16: Keep Our Courts with Joele Newman, Jenn Arens and Amy Silver
On the corner of Main and Schiller in Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood in downtown Cincinnati, there are two public basketball courts and a garden; located across the street from an elementary school, this is a spot for neighborhood kids and adults to play basketball, work in the garden, or just hang out. Since 2015, outside developers have been interested in buying this property from the city and their intentions and plans for the land do not put the needs or desires of the community first. Over-the-Rhine has faced rapid gentrification since the beginning of the 2000s with many longtime residents being pushed out as the cost of living has gone up. Keep Our Courts is an ongoing community(and kid!!)driven campaign developed to save the basketball courts and garden; the movement creates a space for the voice of local residents in the dialogue about what happens in their own neighborhood. During my time as an artist-in-residence at Wave Pool Gallery in Cincinnati, I had the chance to sit down with Joele Newman, Jenn Arens and Amy Silver at the Peaslee Neighborhood Center, which is the meeting place and center point for the Keep Our Courts campaign. While Keep Our Courts is one of many battles being fought to preserve the integrity and affordability of the area, I was immediately drawn into this story because my belief that basketball is more than a game. Joele, Jenn and Amy also encourage everyone who is listening to pay attention to any issues of injustice arising from gentrification in their own neighborhood and city. For more information about the Keep Our Courts campaign, visit the link below: This episode was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano.
October 23, 2019
Episode 15: Coleman Collins on Learning About Place, Playing Basketball and Making Art
Coleman Collins is an artist and former professional basketball player. He played in college at Virginia Tech University and has since played for teams both at home in the States and abroad, with squads in Germany, France and the Ukraine, winning championships in Bosnia and Bahrain. He received his masters of fine art from UCLA and just completed the studio arts Independent Studies Program at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City. His writings have been published by ESPN and Huffington Post. A huge thank you to Coleman for coming on the podcast and giving some true insight on his experience as an athlete and artist. This episode was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano.
September 07, 2019
Episode 14: Breanne Trammell on Dennis Rodman, Responding to Sports and Bodies as Activism
Breanne Trammell is a multi-media artist often making work in response to pop-culture icons, including sports figures. We had the chance to discuss her practice and some specific pieces during my time as an artist-in-residence at Wave Pool Gallery in Cincinnati. Please check out more of Breanne's work at and follow her on Instagram @breanne_ This episode was produced and edited by Eliseo Casiano.
August 22, 2019
Episode 13: Bill Bamberger on the Beauty of Basketball Hoops
Bill Bamberger is a fine art and documentary photographer based in Durham, NC. While visiting Washington DC earlier this year, I saw an exhibition of Bill's work at the National Building Museum entitled HOOPS; this work included photographs of basketball hoops from all over the world. Our conversation spans the idea behind the work overall as well as specific stories of his time searching for hoops. More information about the museum and the work can be viewed here: More information about Bill and his other bodies of work can be seen here: This episode was produced and edited by Eliseo Casiano.
August 07, 2019
Episode 12: Isaac Eger on the Art of Playing Pickup Basketball
Isaac Eger writes about many different subjects, including the ins and outs of pickup basketball. Two years ago, I read an essay he wrote for Los Angeles Magazine entitled What Pickup Basketball Reveals About L.A.. I immediately felt the need to reach out and tell him how much I appreciated his piece. It was exciting to discover Eger's work; he learns about different places all over the world through the process of playing basketball with locals and then translates those experiences into accessible and compelling stories. It was wonderful to have him on the podcast to discuss being a writer and player. Please check out more of Isaac's work here: Here: And here: This episode was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano.
July 23, 2019
Episode 11: Shea Serrano on Art and Basketball
Shea Serrano is a staff writer for The Ringer and author of The New York Times Best Seller Basketball (and Other Things): A Collection of Questions Asked, Answered, Illustrated. We had the chance to discuss his collaborative relationship with Arturo Torres, the artist who created all of the drawings for the book. Shea is also the author of The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed. His new book entitled Movies (and Other Things) will be published in October of 2019. You can follow Shea on twitter @SheaSerrano Please note that this podcast was recorded while the NBA Finals were still going on, just after Klay Thompson had suffered his first injury of the series. This podcast was produced by Eliseo Casiano.
June 20, 2019
Episode 10: Overthinking Basketball (and loving it!)with Abdi Farah
New Orleans based artist Abdi Farah is back on the pod to discuss the outcome of the NBA playoffs, the ongoing finals and the real reason why Anthony Davis wants to leave the Pelicans (note: it has to do with their name). Abdi's work can be found at
June 10, 2019
Episode 9: Tema Smith on the Term "Passing"
Tema is a Toronto based freelance writer and Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple. Recently, she wrote an article for the Jewish Daily Forward entitled "Are Jews White? American History Says It's Complicated." This piece takes a deep dive into the term "passing" and how it has been used and misused historically. Although this conversation does not touch directly on sports, dissecting the language that we use to describe our bodies, as well as the bodies of other people, is crucial to breaking down stereotypes and misrepresentation. Thank you so much to Tema for coming on the pod and sharing her thoughts. You can read the article we discuss by clicking the link below. You can also follow Tema on twitter @Temasmith and check out her website at This episode was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano.
May 29, 2019
Episode 8: NBA Playoff Preview/How We Make Art with Abdi Farah
Abdi Farah is a New Orleans based artist and educator. We had the chance to talk about the upcoming NBA playoffs, his deep love for Allen Iverson, and his practice rooted in the appreciation and critique of the culture surrounding football. This is my longest episode to date, but truly filled with the most crossover between sports and visual art(!). Abdi's work can be seen at Please subscribe to Dear Adam Silver on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud. This episode was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano.
April 10, 2019
Episode 7: Dana Bassett of Bad at Sports
Dana Bassett is a Chicago based curator. She is a host and producer of Bad at Sports, a contemporary art podcast that focuses on artists and exhibitions in the Midwest region. Please do not forget to subscribe to Dear Adam Silver on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud. This episode was produced by Eliseo Casiano.
March 31, 2019
Episode 6: Seph Rodney on the Possibilities of Words and Art
"Organized sports may be one of the great achievements of the modern state: they provide a means of public release of frustration, and they model the achievements of a supposedly meritocratic society. They also locate and inscribe a tribal identity that at times appears to transcend race and social class. But the awful truth is that is doesn’t. And now I understand why audiences are so enraged by athletes taking a knee: because these men and women are our dreams, manifesting a grace that the rest of us lack, a grace we expect to stay aloft, in the air." --Seph Rodney, from The Political Truths That Ground Our Athletic Heroes Seph Rodney, PhD, is an art and culture critic based in New York City. He is a staff writer and editor for Hyper Allergic and is also a member of the faculty at Parsons School of Design. More information about Seph can be found on his website: His writing can be found on Hyper Allergic: He is also one of the hosts of the The American Age podcast. Make sure to listen and subscribe: This episode was produced by Eliseo Casiano (
March 01, 2019
Episode 5: Visual Artist Ronny Quevedo
Ronny Quevedo is a visual artist based in The Bronx. His work offers us a non-traditional approach to the spaces where sports are played while alluding to pre-colonial Latin American symbolism in much of his mark making. Through his work, basketball courts become both celebratory and spiritual, soccer balls are brought into question as a tool of oppression and the audience is called upon to rethink the rules and confines that exist in sports and ultimately, the rest of our culture. Quevedo's work can be seen at Seph Rodney's review of Quevedo's piece "no hay media tiempo" can be read in full at This episode of Dear Adam Silver was edited and produced by Eliseo Casiano.
February 01, 2019
Episode 4: Baseball as Poetry with Carrie Ann Welsh
Carrie Ann Welsh is a writer for ESPNW. She approaches the game of baseball through the lens of a poet, searching for meaning beyond physical boundaries. We discussed what formed her sense of the game as well as our own perception of athletes playing at the highest levels. You can read Carrie's essays on baseball by clicking on the following links: This episode was produced by Eliseo Casiano.
December 08, 2018
Episode 3: The body, the body, the body with Glauco Adorno
Glauco Adorno(a dear friend of mine) is an art historian and curator based in New Orleans, LA. For this episode we adjusted our original topic of tennis to discuss the recent shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and Kroger's in Jeffersontown, KY. We discuss these two horrific events through the lens of artists and focus on fear around the body, racism, religion and empathy. This episode was produced by Eliseo Casiano. Theme song is by Eliseo Casiano and Aaron Sumpter.
November 01, 2018
Episode 2: Making Art About the Body with R. Eric McMaster
R. Eric McMaster is an artist making work about the most physically practiced and trained people: athletes. Through his practice he disrupts their normal routine. We also speak about his work that uses sports to highlight our social hierarchy and the use and control of the body. I hope you enjoy our discussion; please subscribe and share with friends and family. I am currently in the process of moving to Tucson, AZ. Very exciting! Once I am there and as I get settled, podcast episodes will be more and more frequent. In the meantime, thank you for listening and supporting! This episode was produced by Ed Cirimele and Eliseo Casiano. Cover art is made in collaboration with my grandmother Edith Grossman.
October 02, 2018
Episode 1: Our Favorite Players and People with Brian Tran
Brian Tran, writer, die hard Dodgers and Lakers fan and MFA candidate at Washington University in St. Louis, joins the first episode of Dear Adam Silver to discuss why we both love basketball, critique and analyze some of our favorite(and most famous)players and begin to break down our relationships with representation of athletes (this subject is too big for just one episode, more to come). This episode was produced by Eliseo Casiano, with music by Eliseo Casiano and Aaron Sumpter. Cover art made in collaboration with my grandmother, Edith Grossman.
August 23, 2018
Dear Adam Silver Teaser
This show is an artist's take on sports — I believe both art and sports have the power to translate and help us reconsider the largest social issues we face. On each episode, we will be discovering and discussing the many connections between the two alongside artists, athletes, journalists, commentators, critics and fans.
August 14, 2018