Episode 53: Adam McKay


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Whether it be riveting dramas like “The Big Short” and “Vice”, or legendary comedies such as “Step Brothers”, “Anchorman”, and “Talladega Nights”, director Adam McKay has covered all the bases in Hollywood. But what you may not know about him is his love for NBA basketball. A self proclaimed “NBA junkie”, Adam has now delved into the league’s darker history with his new project "Death at the Wing”. In this 7th installment of the OM3 Leadership series, he sits down with JJ and Tommy to talk about that, as well as his memories of the game as a youth, the challenges of working with Hollywood’s elite actors, prioritizing his time, and much more.


  • JJ and Adam discuss the first time they met
  • Adam talks about being an NBA junkie and what players or teams had an impact on him growing up
  • Watching Dr J as a kid, Adam describes what his game was like
  • Discusses his new podcast and why he chose such a specific topic
  • What did he learn about the Reagan era NBA through his research
  • What are some of the lasting effects in today’s society from that era
  • Is it strange to see how much the league has changed in terms of it’s players taking on politics
  • How many of the changes in the NBA coincide with flashpoint events in the league
  • On his appreciation of all the different era in the NBA
  • Adam explains the “18 month Sean Kemp era”
  • Why was getting the go-ahead to make “Anchorman” so difficult
  • Does he have a favorite Will Ferrell movie
  • How well the movie “Step Brothers” has aged
  • Does he have any “what-if” castings that never came to fruition
  • How long did it take tp pick the names for “Anchorman"
  • Is there a difference in the amount of takes between a comedic piece as compared to a dramatic film
  • On the challenges of handling an all-star cast and has it always been a strength for him
  • What his the director’s role in terms of leadership on a set
  • On creating an environment to allow the strengths of each actor to shine and how that’s similar to an NBA team
  • Touches on some of his favorite coaches and breaks down the special rule that should exist only for Alvin Gentry
  • Was the pivot to more serious content a natural evolution in his filmmaking or was it a conscious effort
  • How does he prioritize his time while working on so many projects
  • As his company has gotten bigger, was it ever hard to relinquish some control on projects

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