Dylan Dreyfuss, ‘20, founded the Forgotten Seasons NBA Instagram page (@forgottenseasonsnba) in April of 2020, a month before his graduation. Now, the account, which highlights historically under-appreciated players, teams and moments in NBA history, has 88,000 followers and an accompanying podcast owned by Showtime Basketball.
When Dreyfuss graduated Lehigh, he had a job lined up in sales. He worked at Meltwater, an IT services company, from August 2020 to May 2021 while continuing to build his Instagram account and podcast.
An economics major with a journalism minor, Dreyfuss developed certain skills that helped him with his career. However, Drefyuss credits his job in sales for preparing him to be entrepreneurial.
“Learning how to sell something is an incredibly valuable skill,” Dreyfuss said. “If you ever want to be entrepreneurial in life you either have to sell a product or sell yourself, and learning how to sell myself and sell my work was incredibly valuable.”
While working at Meltwater, Dreyfuss interviewed former Denver Nuggets head coach and Truth + Media company owner George Karl for his podcast. After the episode, Karl’s company reached out to Dreyfuss and signed him to a one season 10-episode deal, which allowed Dreyfuss to gain the necessary resources to help grow his platform.
Dreyfuss then decided to stop working at Meltwater and dedicate all of his time to Truth + Media.
During his time with Truth + Media, Dreyfuss’ own platform continued to grow, gaining followers on his Instagram and listeners for his podcast.
Once his contract expired, Dreyfuss began working with Showtime Basketball. Dreyfuss interviewed former NBA-champion and co-host of Showtime’s “All the Smoke” podcast, Matt Barnes, for his podcast, leading Barnes to recruit him to work with his team at Showtime.
Showtime Basketball currently has four podcasts. Of the four, “All The Smoke” and “What’s Burning,” are both hosted by Barnes and fellow former NBA-champion Stephen Jackson. The other two are “KG Certified,” hosted by Kevin Garnett, and now, Dreyfuss’ “Forgotten Seasons.”
Despite being the only podcaster on Showtime who has not won an NBA Championship – or even stepped foot on an NBA court – Dreyfuss said he has never felt intimidated at work.
“I’m true to myself,” Dreyfuss said. “I’m not trying to be them or emulate them, I’m just trying to be myself.”
Dreyfuss is only 24, but his page’s content spans decades of NBA history. Dreyfuss said to compensate, his page requires a lot of research.
Dreyfuss said he has a subscription to a historical newspaper archive and tries to place himself in the time period, and listen to what columnists and newspaper writers were saying about the teams and players he is covering.
He said the page is not about forming takes or creating debate, just celebrating accomplishments. Dreyfuss said in an age where sports media is transitioning, his platform will amplify players’ voices.
“I don’t think ESPN is going anywhere,” Dreyfuss said. “I think their main objective is views, and they are able to reach a bigger audience because they are talking about LeBron James and the GOAT (greatest of all time) debate. However, these players have a voice now. If they want to tell a story, they don’t have to go to ESPN. They can go to one of their friends’ podcasts. I consider myself and the platform I built (as something that) amplifies the players’ voices.”
The sports podcast market has seen an influx of current and retired NBA players creating their own platforms to tell their stories and share their wisdom about the game. LeBron James founded the UNINTERRUPTED media company, JJ Reddick founded ThreeFourTwo Productions and Lehigh journalism alum CJ McCollum, ‘13, has a podcast called “Pull Up,” where he brings on guests to tell day-to-day stories about the NBA.
“I’m not asking them to rank the five best players ever, that’s a completely subjective metric and there is no point to debate it,” Dreyfuss said. “I just want to be an outlet for players to tell stories.”