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Basketball Illuminati

Tired of agenda-driven basketball talk that only offers glimpses of the truth? Wish there was a place you could get the full picture? Basketball Illuminati offers you salvation. Go behind the scenes with exclusive analysis previously restricted from the general public. Fearless NBA Insiders Amin Elhassan and Tom Haberstroh peel back the curtain on why things happen in the NBA.

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Tired of agenda-driven basketball talk that only offers glimpses of the truth? Wish there was a place you could get the full picture? Basketball Illuminati offers you salvation. Go behind the scenes with exclusive analysis previously restricted from the general public. Fearless NBA Insiders Amin Elhassan and Tom Haberstroh peel back the curtain on why things happen in the NBA.

Tanking Incentives

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Be cautious, Illumination. These early season records are not what they seem. Except for the Lakers, they're going to continue to have issues unless they find a creative way out of the Russell Westbrook Category.

Truth Teller Babak Somekh joins the program to discuss the paper he co-wrote with Paolo Falco and Mauro Caselli titled 'Inside the NBA Bubble: How Black Players Performed Better without Fans'.

Finally, Amin shares his first Inconvenient Truth from the new season, concerning Adam Silver's flirtation with relegation and how to properly incentivize tanking teams.

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Oct 26 2022

1hr 1min

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Checkbook Wins

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The Basketball Illuminati generals react to the NBA's Opening Night festivities and Russell Westbrook's recent comments.

On the Agenda, we explore the implications of the Golden State Warriors' recent extensions as it pertains to the futures of their bank account and a particular mercurial linchpin, as well as informing the Illumination why Jordan Poole's contract was reported to be $140 million instead of the more accurate $123 million.

Finally, we are joined by Knicks beat writer and SNY reporter Ian Begley to discuss the latest report of the New York Knicks banning dozens of lawyers and season-ticket holders from attending MSG events, providing insight into the perpetually mediocre and petty New York franchise.

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Oct 19 2022

55mins

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A History of Violence

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The Illuminarmy generals have been dispatched to get to the bottom of PunchGate and LeakGate in Golden State.

To the naked third eye, could this actually help the Warriors in the long run? It's time to revisit some of the most notorious intra-squad scuffles in recent NBA history.

Then we are joined by Truth Teller, dad hat ambassador and senior alien correspondent Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports to declassify the secrets of Victor Wembanyama and the code of tanking.

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Oct 12 2022

1hr 13mins

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Survey Says!

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It's time to wake up, Illumination. Preseason action is here, and Return SZN is in full bloom, with Ben Simmons, Kawhi Leonard, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back on the court.

Next on the docket, an investigation into the latest Lakers drama involving LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as we offer an explanation as to why LeBron's response was so brief.

Finally, Tom Does His Own Research on the annual NBA GM survey that precedes the season. What's really going on with those ballots? We use 11 percent of our brains to reveal what's really behind these offseason content machines.

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Oct 05 2022

47mins

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Media Daze

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The Illuminati takes stock of the onslaught of Media Day content and try to ascertain just how much weight has been gained or lost this offseason.

In order to fully understand the Ime Udoka scandal, you need to hear the story within the story from this week's Truth Teller, Ethan Sherwood Strauss of House of Strauss, who unpacks what the Worldwide Leader said in the wake of the news -- and more importantly, what they didn't say.

Subscribe to Ethan's Substack: https://houseofstrauss.substack.com/

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

Instagram: @basketballilluminati

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Sep 28 2022

1hr 5mins

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David Bodzin Interview

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With the news that Robert Sarver is selling the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, the Illuminarmy generals get back in the trenches and deliver a bonus episode for the soldiers out there. We have an exclusive Truth-Teller interview with former Suns employee David Bodzin, one of the whistleblowers in the Sarver scandal, who opens some eyes about his incident with Sarver, how it was handled by his bosses and what he thinks Sarver's decision to sell the team. 

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Sep 22 2022

34mins

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NBA Jahm

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The Illuminati are eager to see how the Dennis Schröder signing impacts Russell Westbrook and his role in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile in the desert, the palace intrigue of the Phoenix Suns continues to unravel as the Robert Sarver fallout deepens. Who is Jahm Najafi and why are Colin Kaepernick and Larry Fitzgerald involved?

Not satisfied, we consult with Truth Teller Domonique Foxworth of ESPN, who lends his experience as a former NFLPA and NBPA exec negotiating with owners and league executives in the room where it happens.

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Sep 21 2022

1hr 14mins

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Justice Is Sarved

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While the Illuminati can't help but acknowledge the EuroBasket legend that is Gianmarco Pozzecco, there are more pressing, important matters to discuss.

First, we parse through the NBA's 40-page report on the investigation into Suns/Mercury governor Robert Sarver to discover why the punishment was so lenient, allowing him to maintain ownership of the team.

Then we are joined by Truth Teller Matt Sullivan, who takes us behind the scenes of his Rolling Stone cover story on Stephen Curry and reveals which NBA legend's interview he cut from the final draft.

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Sep 14 2022

54mins

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Blow The Whistle

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The Donovan Mitchell saga has reached its next chapter, as he's headed out of Utah in a blockbuster trade with... the Cleveland Cavaliers?!?

What does the inability to poach a superstar mean for Leon Rose and the CAA Knicks? And who's really negotiating these deals for various teams around the league?

Sean Patrick Griffin returns to the Illuminati to dissect Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul, the Netflix documentary about Tim Donaghy. The author of Gaming The Game connects the dots on how the doc was made, declassifies some conversations he's had with a co-conspirator and reveals what crucial details were absent in our Truth Tellers segment.

Stay vigilant, Illuminarmy soldiers; don't let yourself get second-hand #sacked.

Buy Sean's Book Gaming the Game

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

Instagram: @basketballilluminati

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Sep 07 2022

1hr 7mins

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Quite Lisfrancly

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While the Illuminati continue to deliberate the new Tim Donaghy documentary on Netflix, some eyes need to be opened regarding RJ Barrett's surprising, poisonous extension with the New York Knicks. We break the code on what the reporting means for the Knicks brass and how it affects the purloining of Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz. Then we seek counsel from Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes, the grim reaper only summoned when tragedy strikes, to discuss Chet Holmgren's unfortunate foot injury and learn the truth about the Lisfranc and the top pick's future.

Subscribe to Basketball Illuminati! On Apple or Spotify

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

Instagram: @basketballilluminati

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Aug 31 2022

49mins

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I'm Gamblin' Again!

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The Illuminarmy generals react to The Boardroom -- sorry -- KD news that dropped on Tuesday and what it means for Third Eye Kai's partnership with Brooklyn. Amin connects the dots for the listeners and explains why Udonis Haslem's signing foretold the groundbreaking renewal of vows.

Speaking of groundbreaking, with the new Tim Donaghy doc coming out on Netflix, we spoke to Donaghy expert, Gaming The Game author and criminal justice professor Sean Patrick Griffin to separate the truth from the lies behind the betting scandal that rocked the NBA.

Buy Sean's Book Gaming the Game

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Aug 24 2022

56mins

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Bubble Gangsters

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This week, we explain the NBA schedule being leaked before it was released and what the Christmas Day lineup really signifies.

Shortly after our Tamper Tantrum episode, Bronaldinho James is dominating the airwaves again, dunking on the entire city of Paris. Tom Does Some More Research on his lack of college offers.

On the two-year anniversary of the greatest scoring display in playoff history, we open some third eyes on the so-called Bubble Gangsters and whether we should take Bubble performances seriously.

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Aug 17 2022

49mins

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Broken News

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Even though one of the generals enters Health and Safety Protocols, Basketball Illuminati must soldier forth because the truth waits for no one.

After picking through the scrap heap of NBA headlines at ESPN, Tom, Amin and Mayes have no choice but to phone a friend, Ethan Strauss of the House of Strauss, to see what he's been writing about lately.

Subscribe to Ethan's Substack: https://houseofstrauss.substack.com/

Subscribe to Basketball Illuminati! On Apple or Spotify

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

Instagram: @basketballilluminati

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Aug 10 2022

48mins

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Tamper Tantrum

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While the mainstream media wonders about LeBron James' future with the Lakers, the Illuminarmy generals urge its soldiers to instead pay close attention to the stars aligning in Sin City. What do college coaches know about Bronny James that they won't tell us? Tom connects the dots and investigates what's really going on with the James'.

Speaking of investigations, just as predicted by Basketball Illuminati, the NBA has opened up investigations into the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers on tampering charges before Amin ambushes The Agenda with an Inconvenient Truth about tampering.

Finally, Tom Does His Own Research on the late, great Bill Russell's career before Amin urges you to look more closely at the famous picture of Russell with all his rings.

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Aug 03 2022

41mins

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The Professor

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The Illuminati soldier forth shorthanded as Tom enjoys a much deserved vacation, leaving Amin and Mayes to forage for scraps of NBA news in the summer wasteland. Is there any substance to the latest batch of Kevin Durant trade discussions?

Then legendary Truth Teller J.A. Adande sets aside his professorial tweed jacket and dons the Basketball Illuminati robes once again, guiding us through the Joe Smith saga, the most severe punishment in NBA history, and just how Sterny former commissioner David Stern could get.

Adande's LA Times Article from October 2000

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Jul 27 2022

51mins

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Code Breakers

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As the rest of the media tries to sneak in a vacation, the Illuminati are working tirelessly, clarifying why the offer sheet extended to Deandre Ayton by the Indiana Pacers was matched by the Phoenix Suns. When a strange statement was cryptically released by Russell Westbrook's former agent, the new segment Code Breakers was born to decipher its true meaning. Finally Truth Teller Travonne Edwards from The Athletic takes us inside the Drew League, explains why everyone thought Kyrie Irving would be there with LeBron, that Kevin Durant is not gonna let his summer get messed up, and the social currency that comes with suiting up for the Lakers.

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Jul 20 2022

59mins

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Master Of Destruction

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Tom and Amin take the Illuminati show on the road, all the way out to the desert of Las Vegas, where they were able to track down Truth Teller Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. The specter of the Slim Reaper continues to haunt the league, as Kevin Durant's future is inextricably bound to his partner in dysfunction Third Eye Kai's. Tom also managed to find time to Do His Own Research on the effectiveness of a five year max extension to retain a superstar on your team, and Vinnie shares his favorite NBA conspiracy.

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Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Jul 13 2022

53mins

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The Deal Zone

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Kevin Durant's trade demand sent shockwaves throughout the league, and the Winds of Change emanating from this colossal event traveled all the way across the country, leading to major questions.

What's going on in Utah?

How is Ben Simmons continuing to complicate things off the court for the Nets?

What future deals were brokered at Michael Rubin's palatial party last weekend?

And just who exactly was Jeanie Buss talking about that can't hold a candle to KB?

Basketball Illuminati Investigates.

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Jul 06 2022

40mins

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The Phanatic

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Third Eye Kai continues to manipulate his media pawns in the offseason chess game, but he's not the only point guard with an agenda; John Wall's defied the CBA by hopping aboard the Clipper's ship. After taking a victory lap at news of the Charlotte Hornets' family reunion, the Illuminati are joined by Truth Teller Yaron Weitzman of Fox Sports, who shares details from his exclusive interview with NBA powerbroker Michael Rubin now that he has been liberated from his 'impractical' ownership stake in the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Jun 29 2022

56mins

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Through The Wire

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As we bid farewell to Parade 4 Klay and his championship hat, it’s time to welcome in the NBA’s misdirection season. Third-Eye Kai Irving is sending out cryptic tweets to kick off Draft week and the Illuminarmy generals decrypt it for the masses. Who's really pulling the Strings in Brooklyn? Then B/R’s newsbreaker Jake Fischer joins us for Truth Tellers and expands our minds with trade rumors and the truth behind league spin-cycling. And lastly, Tom Did His Own Research about draft intel they don’t want you to know about, which quickly turns into Amin’s Inconvenient Truth.

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Email us: basketballilluminati@gmail.com

Twitter: @bballilluminati

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Jun 22 2022

1hr 9mins

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