Lakers’ Danny Green Finds Power, Potential Future in Podcasting

LOS ANGELES -- It’s a quiet December evening in mid-city LA. This stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, known as the “Miracle Mile,” is typically teeming with activity. But with Christmas right around the corner, the only stirring around here is the line of Los Angeles Lakers fans streaming into El Rey Theatre.

No, they’re not here to catch another night of songs from Adam Lambert, the America Idol runner up-turned-solo artist and Queen frontman. Instead, these are, by and large, die-hard purple-and-gold patriots—save for special guests from the After School All-Stars and the Yeshiva University High School boys’ basketball team—who have come out for an event that’s sure to please plenty in Lakers Nation.

The hosts? Noted NBA sharpshooter Danny Green and his longtime friend, Harrison Sanford.

The guest? Another Lakers fan favorite: Kyle Kuzma.

For about an hour, those three command a space far more intimate than the expansive confines of NBA arenas to which Danny and Kuz are accustomed. They chat about the Lakers’ strong season to date and look ahead to the Christmas Day matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, before inviting audience members to join them onstage for competitive trivia.

It’s an extension of the Inside The Green Room podcast that Danny and Harrison have co-hosted and built up since the summer of 2018. So, too, are the personalities on display. While Kuz cracks jokes and Harrison implores the partisan crowd to boo the Clippers at every opportunity, Danny plays it cool. The 32-year-old switches seamlessly between interviewer and interviewee. And when it’s time to play games with attendees, Danny’s teams that come out on top to win prizes from Puma, the German apparel brand with which he signed as an endorser in 2018.

After less than two years as a bona fide media personality, Danny already looks as comfortable chopping it up in front of and interacting with a crowd as he has draining threes in the NBA Finals with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors.

He’s enjoyed plenty of success as a podcaster, too. Inside The Green Room will soon surpass six million listens since its inception, the show’s social content has attracted more than 10 million views to date, and its audience continues to grow now that Spectrum is broadcasting it into millions more homes in Southern California and across the country.

In truth, Danny has been preparing for this role for much longer than he’s had a mic of his own, and has even further to go before he’s mastered this domain.

Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Danny’s world revolved around basketball.

When his mother walked away from the family in 1999, Danny and his younger brothers, Rashad and Devonte, found refuge on the court that their father, “Big Danny,” had built in their backyard. There, he shared his knowledge of the game with his three young sons.

The sport kept the kids away from the gangs, drugs and violence that was so prevalent on their side of the highway in North Babylon. It also helped Danny get out of his hometown entirely when, after emerging as a standout athlete in both basketball and football as a freshman at North Babylon High School, he accepted a scholarship to St. Mary’s High School, a nationally-ranked hoops powerhouse in Manhasset, on Long Island’s North Shore.

When he wasn’t playing the game himself, Danny could be found glued to the television, studying his heroes at work—and not just the ones in jerseys. While watching games on TNT, he took a liking to the late Craig Sager’s colorful suits and affable demeanor on the sidelines, and admired Kenny Smith’s ability to both analyze games and keep Charles Barkley in check. He would tune into ESPN to see the late Stuart Scott narrate NBA highlights with his signature catchphrases and ineffable style. Once Rick Fox retired from the league in 2004, Danny tracked the three-time champion’s transition into the studio on NBA TV.

That most of those he calls his “founding fathers” are University of North Carolina alums was merely coincidental to Danny’s decision to become a Tar Heel himself, so he says. Here, too, basketball was the organizing principle, and as the NCAA tournament champions in 2005, head coach Roy Williams’ program offered the winning tradition and NBA pipeline that Danny sought as a McDonald’s All-American.

Still, the opportunity to study in the same communications department that had produced so many of his favorite media personalities was attractive to Danny. There were, however, aspects of the program that didn’t seem all that useful to him at the time.

“Some of it, I was, like, ‘Oh, this is pointless. I'm never gonna do this on a computer, cutting and breaking and this and that,’” Danny tells CloseUp360. “I'm probably not gonna need to do that, but it's good to know.”

Of greater value to Danny were the projects and group activities that gave him a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes to bring a production to life. Greater, still, was the training he got answering questions from the media as a member of the Tar Heels’ basketball team. In front of microphones and cameras, he proved to be honest and engaging—at times, more so than his coaches might have liked. Like revealing coach Williams’ colorful-but-private lingo. Or that time when he answered a question about coming off the bench by saying he thought he should start.

“I let out some secrets that I shouldn't have let out, which was silly,” Danny admits. “I was a kid and I was really dumb and I would get chastized for it, but I'm grown up now and I've learned through my times there of what not to do here, which has allowed me to be a better pro.”

Danny Green

Danny Green started preparing for a future in media as a communications major at the University of North Carolina. (Zach Schmidt)

After brief stints as a second-round draft pick with LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and in the D League (now the G League) with the Erie BayHawks during the 2009-10 season, Danny worked his way into head coach Gregg Popovich’s rotation with the San Antonio Spurs. There, he came to fit the team’s needs perfectly, both on and off the court.

As a player, Danny developed into the ideal wing. His three-point stroke struck fear into the hearts of opposing defenders, to the point that they’d dare not leave him open. On the other end, he routinely locked up the other team’s best perimeter player while flying in for blocks and steals as a helper.

He also handled the toughest assignments with the media. On a team with notoriously camera-shy stars like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, Danny became the go-to guy for quotes about that night’s game or what his more heralded teammates were thinking.

“A lot of guys didn't like to talk,” he says, “so guess who was doing the talking?”

Like a shooter sharpening his shot, Danny piled up reps as the de facto spokesperson in San Antonio’s locker room, and improved as a result. He also noticed how some Spurs, from Bruce Bowen on the sideline to Sean Elliott in the booth, seemed to transition so smoothly into broadcasting.

Coaching is cool and all, Danny thought, but I don't know if that's for me. The sideline seems more stable, less stressful. They're keeping their hair. It's not as grey as some coaches. It's a more stable job, so they make a pretty good living. 

You know what? That could be something I could do or would wanna do.

As much favor as the Spurs showed their former players working in media, they weren’t keen to encourage their current ones to explore those avenues while active. Instead, the focus in the Alamo City was solely on basketball.

“I feel like San Antonio's very professional. It's really a military-type atmosphere,” he says. “They want no distractions.”

By and large, Danny could oblige. After all, prioritizing the game and buying into the “Spurs Way” had gotten him to the brink of a championship in the 2013 NBA Finals—during which he set records for three-point shooting—and over the proverbial hump in 2014. That no-nonsense approach had also made him a millionaire and, in the summer of 2015, earned him a four-year, $40 million contract to stay in San Antonio.

With that kind of commitment from the Spurs, Danny wasn’t about to quibble with the team’s policy of running a tight PR ship and closely monitoring what its players said and did in the media.

Even so, Danny didn’t leave his broadcasting aspirations entirely dormant. In 2017, he enrolled in Sportscaster U., a three-day training camp in sports broadcasting put on by the National Basketball Players Association and Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. There, Danny learned about what he might (and might not) want to do in the media world while studying alongside fellow NBA veterans like Langston Galloway, Willie Reed and Gerald Henderson.

“The thing that struck me about him at Sportscaster U. was what a natural he was,” Steve Novak, another NBA vet who went through the program with Danny, tells CloseUp360. “I mean, he was absolutely a guy who understood the game and was able to verbalize a lot of stuff, as well as understand I think the comfort level and the way you need to express it on TV and radio.”

“Obviously, not every area of expertise or every area of media I'm going to do,” Danny says. “Radio is definitely not for me. Certain things, like I'm not ever gonna be good at that or do that. But I learned a lot.”

Danny Green

Danny participated in the NBPA's Sportscaster U. program in 2017. (Zach Schmidt)

It’s almost the end of June 2018. Harrison Sanford is inside the United Center in Chicago, fiddling with index cards. He’s here for the BIG3’s stop in the Windy City—to watch some basketball, sure, but more importantly, to pitch his podcast concept to potential co-hosts, in case his first choice doesn’t come through.

Harrison has yet to hear from that first choice: Danny Green. And since Harrison had passed along his proposal to Danny nearly a month earlier—and more than a month after the Spurs’ 2017-18 season had ended—he’s getting anxious.

“I'm very antsy and I like to work,” Harrison says. “Working keeps me happy, so I was very antsy about what was going to happen.”

At that point, Harrison wasn’t working much at all. After more than three years as a video journalist and associate producer at Spectrum Sports in Columbus, Ohio, his job would be ending amid a reshuffling at the station. If there’s one thing he’d learned in this industry, as much from his own experience as the wise words of his mentors along the way, it was this: Stay busy, stay active and something will come of it.

“That was just my plan: to make sure, at the very least, do a podcast, if not anything else,” Harrison says.

If the podcast was going to become something, if it was going to have real cachet, Harrison thought, it would be best for him to partner with a high-level professional athlete.

His best bet? Danny.

The two Long Islanders had known each other since high school. At Lawrence Woodmere Academy (LWA), Harrison hooped with Josh Marshall, who had played previously with Danny at St. Mary’s. Through Josh, Harrison came to know Danny on a personal level, even hosting Danny and his friends at a party in the Sanford family’s basement before leaving for college.

“He had left a hand print on my white walls because he was dancing,” Harrison chuckles.

They had come to know each other in a journalistic capacity, too. Through the newspaper club at LWA, Harrison had entered and won an essay contest in School Sports—a magazine that covered high school sports in the New York area—by writing about the growing influence of international basketball on the NBA.

The prize? A media credential to the 2003 draft, featuring LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“This is exactly what I wanna do,” Harrison said to himself after that fateful day in late June. “In some way, shape or form, I'm gonna cover sports for a living.”

From there, Harrison took a gig with a website called NYHoops.com, covering high school hoops all over the city for next to nothing.

“NYHoops never paid me,” he says, “but they did give me a cell phone, and that's all I needed. I'd just take trains and buses all around New York from Long Island. I'd leave school and I'd just go to a game.”

Those contests often included Danny’s. Harrison had hoped to continue his coverage of Danny’s career as a fellow Tar Heel, but when UNC rejected him, Harrison took his budding talents upstate, to Cornell University.

The two kept in touch from time to time, as communications majors separated by some 600 miles along the East Coast. When Danny won the national championship at North Carolina in 2009, Harrison joined a crew of Long Islanders in celebrating with him in Chapel Hill.

Danny Green Harrison Sanford

Danny and his co-host, Harrison Sanford, have known each other since their high school days in Long Island. (Zach Schmidt)

Danny and Harrison’s paths crossed occasionally over the ensuing years. They followed one another on social media, and saw each other whenever the Spurs played the Houston Rockets while Harrison was at Comcast SportsNet Houston (now AT&T SportsNet Southwest) during the 2012-13 season.

In January 2015, Danny and the Spurs were in Cleveland to play the Cavaliers on a Saturday, in prime time on ABC. By then, Harrison had passed through a job in Southern Georgia and into his role in Ohio’s capital city, which brought him to Cleveland. With a microphone in hand and a cameraman by his side, Harrison caught Danny for a pregame interview—an innocuous occurrence to most, but a fortuitous confluence for these two friends from New York.

“I think it was the first time of seeing each other actualizing, or he had seen me at least actualizing the dream that I had told him about when were teenagers,” Harrison says.

That encounter, however meaningful, didn’t spark consistent communication between them. So when, in the spring of 2018, Danny received a podcast proposal from Harrison through his then-agent, Joe Branch of Roc Nation Sports (who had known Harrison through their work together at Five Star Basketball), the contents didn’t grab his attention right away.

“I still remember Danny being caught off guard that I sent him a formal e-mail with a one-sheet,” Harrison recalls. “Like, ‘Why didn’t you just call and just talk to me?’ And I was, like, ‘Listen, man, I know you're busy. I just wanted to give you something you could read and digest.’”

“You know, a lot of things come across my desk. I don't jump on every one of them right away,” Danny says with a smirk. “So it was another thing that came across my desk. I thought it was cool, but it wasn't something that I was pressed to jump on.”

As days passed without any word from Danny, Harrison grew uneasy. In addition to shooting his shot in the Windy City, he reached out to Rashad, the middle of the three Green brothers, just to make sure Danny got the message.

“No, I think Danny would be good for it,” Rashad assured him.

Finally, after a bit of phone tag, Harrison and Danny connected. Harrison laid out his idea for a podcast to Danny, and Danny shot back with questions of his own.

“He gave me some ideas, came back, circled back again, like, ‘Okay cool, it looks cool. Alright, what do I have to do?’” Danny says. “When I figure out what I exactly have to do, then it's, like, ‘Alright, it's not that bad, it's not that time consuming.’”

Danny was in. From there, the plan was to meet up and record a pilot episode. That way, they could develop a bit of chemistry before sharing content with the public.

Then, on July 18, 2018—mere days after Danny committed to the podcast—the Spurs traded him and Kawhi to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and the first-round pick that became Keldon Johnson.

Suddenly, this podcast idea could serve as a first draft of NBA history, written (or, rather, spoken) by someone who was living it. Forget the test run—Danny and Harrison were going to release whatever they recorded.

“I wasn't mentally prepared, in terms of equipment, in terms of knowing exactly what to do with the podcast. I wasn't prepared to put it out to the masses,” Harrison says. “But then, once you realized the iron [was hot] and we had to strike, then we just went into overdrive and put it together.”

Where once Danny might have hesitated to tell his story under the Spurs’ watchful eyes, he felt free to speak his mind now that he was on his way to Toronto.

“That's probably when it was more so, like, ‘Alright, I'm more open to it. I'm not in San Antonio anymore. This is something new, fresh start,” he says. “I don't have to worry about if they're going to be okay with it at this point.”

At that moment, Danny thought back to a line he’d heard from Jalen Rose, the NBA veteran-turned-ESPN star and fellow Roc Nation client.

If you don’t tell your own story, they’ll tell it for you.

Amjed Osman didn’t know what to expect when he arrived at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury, New York, in late July 2018. All he knew was that Harrison needed a photographer to help with his podcast, and that some guy named Danny was involved.

Amjed had met Harrison while the former was a student at Ohio State and the latter was working in Columbus. They became friends, hung out and kept in touch after Amjed graduated and left Ohio to pursue an uncertain future in content creation (and whatever else would pay his bills) in New York.

Here, courtesy of a call from Harrison, was another opportunity for Amjed to work on his craft and see where it went.

“I show up on the first day to record and this guy walks in,” Amjed says. “I'm, like, ‘Oh, do you play for the Spurs?’ He's, like, ‘Yeah, yeah.” I was, like, ‘Oh yeah, I think I've seen you before.’”

Danny was laid back, relaxed, even-keeled—not unexpected for seasoned pro who’d been a champion in college and the NBA. His readiness, though, caught Amjed by surprise.

“It wasn't like he had just come to this conversation and he just wanted to just do it just to do it,” Amjed says. “He came with some things on his heart that he wanted to address. I really respected that about him because he valued our time and came prepared.”

For nearly an hour, Danny and Harrison dove into the New York native’s eight years in San Antonio, the mechanics of the trade that moved him and Kawhi to Toronto, what else had gone down in the NBA during the summer of 2018, and the story of how Danny dapped up LeBron and Drake after his Spurs lost to the Miami Heat in the 2013 Finals.

On the morning of Monday, July 23, the first episode of Inside The Green Room dropped. Within hours, the pod went viral. Seemingly every major sports media outlet, including ESPN and FOX Sports, had picked it up and shared it.

“You know why,” Danny says.

Indeed, it was the closest anyone had come, in both time and space, to cracking the code behind the Kawhi trade at that point. For Danny, it was eye-opening to see how he could seize a league-wide narrative to share his own story. For Harrison, it was gratifying that he and his friend had sent shockwaves through the basketball world on their very first try.

“I thought we couldn't have had a better start because one of my worries was, it's Danny Green,” Harrison says. “It's not Kawhi Leonard, it's not LeBron James, it's not Kevin Durant's podcast. It's Danny Green's podcast. So what the hell can we do with this first episode to actually make people care?

“And obviously, the timing was beautiful.”

Between that increased exposure and Danny’s own knack for connecting with his peers, Inside The Green Room took off. The 2018-19 season brought guests ranging from Raptors players (Jonas Valanciunas, Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell) and coaches (Nick Nurse, Phil Handy) to visiting opponents (Kuz, Josh Hart, Jeremy Lin and Rudy Gay, among others).

“I think just because of the nature of Danny being a player, it helps players open up,” Harrison says.

That became particularly clear when Kyle Lowry came on the pod. While the All-Star point guard was known locally for his ornery approach to media obligations, with Danny and Harrison, he cracked jokes and showed the world a more relaxed and easy-going side.

“You might say that people in the media and reporters are going to be better at doing an interview because that's their job, right? That's what we're trained to do,” says Howard Beck, Bleacher Report’s senior NBA writer and the host of the Full 48 podcast. “That's what we've worked on for years, is how to do a good interview. That's fine, but I could ask the same question to a given player or former player that Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson would, and they're probably going to get a better answer a lot of the time because it's just a different vibe between players when they're talking as peers.”

Inside The Green Room: The Early Episodes

By the end of the 2018-19 campaign, Danny had himself another championship and a hit podcast, thanks in part to his move to Canada. Four days after dispatching the dynastic Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, he and the Raptors were parading through the streets of Toronto with the Larry O’Brien Trophy (and Harrison) in tow.

While most of the players left town shortly thereafter—to enjoy their truncated offseasons and, in some cases, prepare for free agency—Danny stuck around. He and some of his friends from Long Island embarked on an eight-city tour of basketball camps, from Halifax in the east to Vancouver in the west.

“I think he really values community and really values giving back,” Amjed says, “and he did it with his best friends.”

But first, Danny celebrated his 32nd birthday in Toronto like many an NBA player would: by renting out a fancy venue and filling it with revelers.

Except, he, Harrison and Amjed booked the Queen Elizabeth Theatre not for a party, but rather a live podcast. Instead of a guest list, they had nearly 1,000 fans purchase tickets and fill seats to see Danny and Harrison chop it up with Fred VanVleet and Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia. Even Toronto’s in-arena announcer showed up to provide proper introductions.

“That's when we started to realize we could go another level as a product,” Harrison says, “because obviously we had gotten the audio thing down, we got the in-studio video thing down and we had gotten some fan engagement opportunities. But we actually put on a show, and that was exciting to all of us as a trio.”

It’s a winter Wednesday in LA’s South Bay. Harrison and Amjed trickle into the actual green room at Spectrum’s studios in El Segundo—a literal stone’s throw from the UCLA Health Training Center, where the Lakers practice—ahead of an afternoon taping of Inside The Green Room.

Harrison may not be a boisterous NBA father, but he’s nonetheless spoken things into existence as far as the podcast is concerned. After he assured his partners that a media partnership would be coming, Harrison and company signed with Yahoo Sports Canada.

In December 2018, Harrison saw a video of Road Trippin’, the podcast hosted by former NBA veterans Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, that had aired on Spectrum SportsNet in LA.

“I remember sending that video to Danny and Amjed saying, ‘Next year, we're gonna be on TV,’” Harrison recalls, “not realizing that we would actually be on TV at the exact same station that I said we were gonna be on. So it's pretty cool to have stated those goals and achieved them.”

But Harrison and Amjed aren’t here to rest on their laurels. After all, they’ve got a show to produce.

Their process begins well before they arrive at the studio. Danny, Harrison and Amjed will usually discuss potential topics and storylines, based in part on what’s trending. Once Danny has had his say, Harrison and Amjed take that input and brainstorm potential guests before returning to Danny with options.

“He'll give us direction,” says Amjed, who’s now the executive producer of Inside The Green Room. “He has a vision for what he would like the show to look like, and so we always try to make sure we incorporate his vision and we allow him to have a voice.”

Once they’ve solidified the core stories, Harrison and Amjed do their own research and build rundowns for shows around the topics they’ve chosen. Booking guests often depends on who has the strongest relationship. If it’s someone outside of Danny’s network—like, say, Donovan Carter from HBO’s Ballers—Harrison and Amjed will handle outreach, occasionally through social media. But if it’s a player whom Danny knows, he will often handle outreach.

For this episode Danny has put in most of the calls, since his guests off the top are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, his Lakers teammate, and Chris Matthews, the popular shooting coach known on Instagram as “Lethal Shooter,” who works with both of them. They arrive at Spectrum before Danny does, and have been through makeup and directed into the studio by the time their host walks in.

Danny Green Kentavious Caldwell Pope Chris Matthews Harrison Sanford

Danny recently hosted his teammate, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and his shooting coach, Chris Matthews (a.k.a. "Lethal Shooter"), on his podcast with Harrison. (Zach Schmidt)

Danny is as gracious as he is relaxed. He’s just come from an event for Lakers fans, where Harrison figures he’s been delayed by all the handshakes and goodbyes he’s given out upon departure.

On set, Danny takes the time to greet everyone—reporters, publicists and crewmembers alike. It’s a carryover of a pregame ritual he picked up in Slovenia, where he played during the 2011 lockout. It’s also a reflection of his genuine concern as a dutiful older brother in Long Island and the Southern hospitality he picked up in North Carolina.

Danny settles into his seat and skims through the rundown with KCP and Harrison. After more warmup chatter, the cameras start rolling, and Danny and Harrison are off and running with KCP. They have a lot to get into with the Georgia native, from the Lakers’ scintillating season to trade rumors and his own shifting role.

But rather than get right into on-court questions, Danny and Harrison ply Kentavious with questions about his young son, Kenzo, and end up talking about why so many members of his family have first names that end in “-ious.”

“I always learn new stuff, even about my teammates,” Danny says.

Where Danny is more cautious about prying into the personal lives of his co-workers, Harrison, as a longtime reporter and journalist, is ready and willing to dig into matters of family and business with guests, no matter how close they may be to Danny. There’s some good cop-bad cop to it, without the intimidation tactics, and Danny plays his part to a tee.

“It's just becoming easier and smoother for me,” Danny says. “And honestly, it helps me to have a guy that you grow up with like Harrison, who makes it easy. I can just come in and talk and ask some questions.”

With Danny’s hectic travel schedule, he, Harrison and Amjed pack in as much content as possible into each of the two or three studio sessions they’re able to arrange each month. That’s why they make sure to fit Chris in for a segment alongside KCP. It’s also why Danny and Harrison hustle through a quick costume change before welcoming in Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed to talk about the NFL playoffs and his own Super Bowl experiences with the Buffalo Bills. Even though the guest and the subject matter are entirely different, the conversation flows just as smoothly.

“[Danny]'s a natural up there, man,” Chris says. “He needs to have something. You know how Kobe [Bryant] has that one show where he speaks about basketball? I can see Danny doing something like that when he retires to talk about shooters or something, man. He's great.”

Danny has spent the better part of the last two years building toward a career in media. During NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte last year, he was everywhere in the Tar Heel-friendly town. He hosted a live podcast with Michael Rapaport and Dallas Mavericks assistant coach (and fellow Puma endorser) God Shammgod, contributed to features for TSN and Sportsnet, provided color commentary during the Rising Stars game and even shot in the Three-Point Contest. He’s considered sideline reporting and done plenty of studio work for his podcast.

The move to LA has helped, on multiple fronts. For one, it set the stage for Inside The Green Room to find a new home on Spectrum, following discussions with a number of media outlets, including NBA TV, Yahoo! Sports and Uninterrupted, LeBron’s platform.

Landing in LA also opened doors for Danny individually. Since signing with the Lakers, he’s added Delta Air Lines and Natreve Premium Wellness to his sponsorship portfolio, and he now has his own line of grapes—appropriately dubbed “Green Ranger Grapes”—from Pristine Grapes. The podcast isn’t the only reason for that growth on the business side, but the exposure and experience has helped Danny’s marketability.

“The fact that he's a personality on TV on top of just being a basketball player, it adds more of a dimension to who he is,” Amjed says.

Andre Reed Harrison Sanford Danny Green

Danny and Harrison will often record multiple episodes in the same session, as they did when they welcomed Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed on to the podcast. (Zach Schmidt)

In time, Danny and his partners hope to line up sponsorships specifically for the podcast. They’re looking to produce more live events and have a long list of dream guests that includes Snoop Dogg, Will Smith, Barack Obama and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts.

Where exactly this path leads, Danny isn’t sure just yet. Nor is there any rush to find out. He’s under contract with the Lakers until the summer of 2021 and hopes to play in the NBA beyond that, health permitting.

Whenever his retirement from basketball comes, Danny, as always, will be prepared for what’s next.

“Hopefully, it'll be some time before I actually fully transition to it,” he says, “but it's good to jump on it sooner than later.”

 

Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.