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7 of The Best Podcast Episodes of 2020

From Kobe Bryant to the life of parrots, there was a lot to reflect on this year.

Podcasts are as good a snapshot as any to dissect and reflect on the year we just had.

Below are just a few that continue to speak to me as we turn the page on a 2020 that was equal parts harrowing as it has been uplifting. 

Sifting through the rubble of some truly miserable days, there were still beautiful and poignant stories that need to be championed as we move ahead to 2021.

California Love: Parrots

Writer Walter Thompson-Hernández has been all over the world and has introduced readers to some truly fascinating people.

His California Love podcast remains an important love letter to a Los Angeles he knows, a personal account of how he sees his life and town. But the show Parrots takes things a step further, using the very real migration of parrots to further explain what so many immigrants have gone through as they come to this country.

ESPN Daily: Blackfeet Boxing

For far too long this nation has looked past Native American and the women who are increasingly enduring truly horrifying violence. ESPN Daily sheds light on the disappearances around the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana, and the boxing club that is giving confidence, support and training to those in the area.

The En Fuego Podcast: The Jarrin Legacy

Jaime Jarrín has been the Spanish voice of the Dodgers for over 60 years. He and his family are inextricably linked to some of the best moments in the club’s history. When fans think back on these moments, it’s his voice that narrates those glorious fits of nostalgia. He and his son Jorge, who he now shares a broadcast booth with, sit down to discuss the early years and the decades in between.

All the Smoke: Allen Iverson

There is perhaps no better show offering an honest discussion than the one hosted by former NBAers Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

There is also no more honest NBA legend than Allen Iverson. In a year that also saw the show speak with the likes of Kobe Bryant before his untimely passing and Shannon Sharpe, there is reason to single out this episode if not only for its emotion and honesty. 

30 For 30: March 11 2020

The world experienced a seismic shift this year when life got shoved indoors. The Covid pandemic paused so many sports and halted much of what we considered normal. We all have that moment that we recall thinking that life would be upended. In this episode, 30 For 30 recalls the day that the NBA changed things in an altogether tangible manner.

Just Women’s Sports: Nneka Ogwumike

Kelley O’Hara is doing important and engaging work by highlighting some of the best athletes in the world. 

While it’s difficult to choose just one episode, her discussion with Nneka Ogwumike rings especially salient in 2020. The WNBA star and Players Association president talks about myriad issues such as the recent CBA negotiations, last season’s bubble and her remarkable life that has led her to become among the sport's leaders.

The Lead: A Look At Kobe’s Life and Career

It’s impossible to fully encapsulate someone’s life in one show, especially a half-hour podcast episode. The Lead, however, did a great job giving context and catharsis to a death that still seems so senseless and tragic. 

Be sure to hit us up on social media and let us know what episodes spoke to you this past year.