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In 2020 my brother Michael and I finally decided to launch a podcast. We’d discussed the possibility of making a podcast for a few years, but never could nail down the what, where and how of it. We decided to go with the one thing we’ve spent the majority of our lives talking about which is Basketball. We talk on the phone everyday and though we cycle through a wide range of subjects, it always gravitates towards Basketball. We came up with the title “Viseland”, and my wife put together a logo. We tossed around a few different episode ideas and we agreed upon a date and time. We then recorded, released and put it out the world! For the last 52 weeks we have released an episode!
My brother Michael has been writing about Basketball since the moment he picked up a pencil. He used to have notebooks filled of lists: Mock Drafts, Player Rankings, Predictions. This is of course before we had laptops and Google Docs/Sheets. He would also read any piece of Basketball Literature we could get our hands on, I still remember coming home from the store with SLAM Magazine Issue #1! My brother is the definition of a Basketball Encyclopedia and since his love is the NBA Draft we all get to learn about a lot of players the rest of the world is introduced.
My first real memories of playing were 3rd grade at the Jewish Community Center. It’s the “peanut” league with lowered baskets and hockey like game scores. Lucky for me I was one of the only kids who could dribble with their head up and that got the attention of the coach of the “Rep” team. This team was under 12 and I was only 8, so to me the older kids being taller was intimidating 5’5 might as well have been 7 Feet! Luckily they saw potential and inviting me to join their practice squad. Still thankful for that opportunity as it got me playing the game and Basketball was the only sport that had my attention from that point on.
Growing up Basketball became our life! Even trips included packing a pump and a flattened ball so we could try to get our shots up! Basketball jerseys and sneakers were our definition of formal wear, in fact at Michael’s Bar Mitzvah we were wearing UCLA uniforms of the O’Bannon Brothers. Our driveway was the site of many a great battle and sadly many did end in tears from me. We’ve been lucky in our lives to have the ability to attend many great Oregon Duck, Portland Trail Blazer and Toronto Raptors games. Of course we’ve also spent a lot of time huddled around the television, NBA All-Star weekend was our favorite holiday of the year and we’d always be there for NBC(Later ABC) doubleheader games on Sundays.
Our likes of the game always had some contrast. I call Michael a recovering Shaq Addict (though he rides for LeBron currently) and I’ve always been more of a point guard guy with my favorites growing up were Magic Johnson, Penny Hardaway and Damon Stoudamire. I think the center vs point guard dynamic can be a good metaphor for a younger/older sibling dynamic as they can be very different but at the end of the day they are best when they are working together. We are beyond thankful for all of the support we’ve had and are looking forward to the future of Viseland!
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