USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach previews Rio 2016 and Team USA Swimming; USA Men’s Basketball w/ Steve Carp; Astros w/ Jake Kaplan

Welcome to this very exciting 54th episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. We welcome in USA Today sportswriter Nicole Auerbach, Houston Chronicle Astros beat reporter Jake Kaplan (a two-time guest) and five-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year, Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

First, Auerbach dives (HA!) into Team USA Swimming, which she will be covering at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She offers some insight into the preparation and mentality of Olympic veterans like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, as well as detailing why everyone will be talking about Katie Ledecky after the Games this summer. Auerbach also shares how she got into sportswriting, and how pioneers like Lisa Olson and Christine Brennan paved the way for women in sports media today.

Next, Jake Kaplan calls in to talk about the Astros. When last Kaplan and the BrewCast spoke, the Astros were struggling through a very tough April, but since his last call, the ‘Stros are one of the hottest teams in baseball (despite the rough weekend in Detroit). What sparked the turnaround, and can the Astros sustain the momentum into the playoffs? Kaplan encourages fans not to worry about Alex Bregman’s slow start in the majors and offers a timeline for when Yulieski Gurriel can be expected to contribute, after the Astros signed him to a five-year $47.5 million contract.

Finally, Steve Carp, who watched Team USA Basketball train and compete in their first exhibition in Las Vegas, calls in to talk about this year’s squad, including a look at why DeMarcus Cousins is so unstoppable in international play and why Kevin Durant was booed in his first 2016 international game. Carp also covers the NHL, and provides a look at what the NHL expansion into Las Vegas might mean for leagues like the NBA, MLB and NFL putting a team in Sin City.

No new reviews this week! It is immeasurably disappointing, to Kevin in particular, who has taken it pretty hard. It would be so easy to brighten his day. Just go to iTunes, click “Ratings and Review” and leave a nice, little 5-star review with a blurb and he will read it ON THE AIR to THOUSANDS, if not MILLIONS, of listeners. As Spike Lee said: do the right thing.

But thank you, as always, for listening, and be sure to share this with your friends. If you don’t have any, maybe you can make some by introducing them to this awesome show. We’re happy to help.

And remember: no matter who you are, where you go or what you do this week, always, ALWAYS, brew responsibly.

Nice Attacks, Pokemon Go, Aaron Bruski on the NBA & Rockets discussion with Alykhan Bijani

Welcome to the 52nd episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. You might think that, it being a weekly podcast, and this being the 52nd episode, that this would be a birthday episode for us, but that is NOT THE CASE. Since we had some bonus episodes thrown in along the way, you’ll have to wait till the week of August 11th for us to celebrate our podiversary. But nevertheless, we do have a terrific show for you this week.

A terrorist, driving a 20-ton truck, killed 84 people in Nice this week, and friend of the show Jason Lawrence calls us from France, where he was staying only blocks away from the massacre, to discuss the city’s response to the tragedy and its efforts to return to normal, day-to-day life.

Austin, Jeremy and Kevin launch into some discussion of the worldwide phenomenon of Pokemon Go, which Kevin plays but is very ashamed of and secretive about, and Kevin shares some shocking information he learned from the Iraqi General Security Directorate about the hidden meaning behind some of the Pokemon names.

Aaron Bruski, founder of Hoop-Ball.com, cohost of the Koz and Bru Show and an award-winning basketball writer, joins us to take a look at the NBA landscape following Kevin Durant’s move to Golden State, and whether the creation of the latest NBA superteam will have any ramification on the CBA, which both parties may opt out of before December of this year. Bruski enlightens us on where Blake Griffin is likely to wind up (hint: not Los Angeles) and we discuss whether LeBron, having now fulfilled his promise to bring home a championship to Cleveland, is a Cavs lifer or whether he is free to pursue an on-court reunion with his Banana Boat crew elsewhere.

Finally, Alykhan Bijani, otherwise known as @Rockets_Insider on Twitter, a writer for ClutchFans.net and Hardwood Paroxysm and one of Houston’s own resident basketball gurus, calls in to discuss the Rockets’ offseason. The team’s biggest move, re-upping James Harden to a 4-year $118 million deal, means stability and a continued opportunity to build around the league’s best two-guard. Ryan Anderson fits Morey’s system perfectly and Eric Gordon’s injury history may not be as worrisome as advertised.

We have a new iTunes review, which means this week’s favorite listener is Sgker! Congratulations – that is quite an honor. And to everyone else, that honor can easily be yours! Kevin outlines how to leave reviews on a mobile device (a riveting discussion), and all you have to do is go to iTunes and leave us a 5-star review with a blurb and you’ll get a shoutout to our billions thousands of listeners.

And remember, no matter who you are, where you go or what you do this week, always, ALWAYS brew responsibly.