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B.S. Report: Sugar Ray Leonard

I’ll just cut to the chase: We built a state-of-the-art podcast studio in the Grantland offices at L.A. Live. Dave Jacoby and I spent the past three months conceiving it, building it, decorating it and having arguments that included sentences like, “You can’t have another Red Sox picture in here, you already have two!” and “We need more NBA players from the early 1980s and that’s final!”

Why a podcast studio? Because I wanted a place to tape pods that didn’t sound like I was recording them from my house (which, by the way, I currently am). Because we wanted a place that would make any celebrity guests say, “Wow, this studio is pretty cool, this feels like a real thing” instead of, “Wow, I can’t believe I had to come over to this dude’s house to tape a podcast, this is weird.” Because we wanted the ability to tape complete podcasts, then edit them into “Best of …” shows with multiple guests that could run in the wee hours on ESPN and ESPN2 instead of Day 10 of the 2005 World Series of Poker. Because we’re running little 90-second snippets from some of them on the 1 a.m. SportsCenter every other Tuesday night, so it would have been weird if we didn’t have a place to tape them. And for a few other reasons that I will reveal down the road.

Our first guest in the new digs: my favorite boxer ever, Sugar Ray Leonard. This turned out to be an especially candid conversation, and I’m not entirely sure why that happened, or how we got there, but we did and that’s what matters. It’s worth a listen. Thanks so much to Ray for his time and candor.

Here’s a quick look at the new studio:

Find Tuesday’s podcast here: Podcenter

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Bill Simmons is the editor-in-chief of Grantland, the host of the BS Report and the author of the recent New York Times no. 1 best-seller The Book of Basketball. Follow him on Twitter and check out his new home on Facebook.

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