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Coming up, we're talking Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. We're talking Tom Brady and Boston fans. We're talking about The Bachelor and Taylor Swift. I promise nobody else has this combination today. It's all next. We're also brought to you by the ring of Dotcom and the Ringer podcast network, where I put up a new re watchable podcast yesterday. First Blood Me, Brian Copperman talking about, in our opinion, the first great modern action movie and how it paved the way for for basically everything to happen over the next four decades with action movies.


Go check that one out. Coming up, can talk to Jacqui McMullen about the NBA. And we talked to Nora Pinciotti about Tom Brady, The Bachelor, Taylor Swift. Oh, yeah. It's on that first project.


All right, Jacqui McManus here, we're taping this on Tuesday morning, watch Brooklyn play Milwaukee last night in a game that was shockingly ridiculously entertaining. And you could kind of see the future of the East playing out in. My big takeaway was like, holy shit, Brooklyn's not going to be able to get any stops, but nobody's going to be able to stop them. And you see them in a shootout with Yonit. Janice Middleton drew on one end and just hard and durin on the other.


It's like I just like Brooklyn's chances to score more than Malakas chances. Mark is now in trouble a little bit. And you know what jumped out at me? First of all, doesn't their gym, their court look like an ice skating rink? That's the first thing. But the second thing is Joe Harris must be like the happiest guy in America playing out there with Harden and Durant because they draw so much attention. He's getting wide open. Looks now that might change when Kyrie comes back.


But, you know, he was he had a great game and that was partly why they.


But but at some point, Bill, doesn't it matter that they can't stop people or they won't stop people? I want to say I don't even know if it's they can't. I just don't know if they don't. Well, they're not going to stop people with the lineup they had last night. They put the question. So, you know, Durant's going to be there crunch time and Harden and Joe Harris and DeAndre, I guess, because they're going to need a big Yeah.


Jarrett. So that's Jeff Greene was in that fifth spot, but Kyrie's going to be in that first spot when it comes back. So that means the three scores. Harris DeAndre and you watched the some of the positions last night. They had DeAndre Giannis spread in the four and DeAndre was guarding Giannis I'm like That's all I know that's not going to work So I think ultimately as weird as it sounds to ramp might have to be playing the five in crunch time against teams.


I don't think he minds that he did that a lot with Golden State and they were very stoic about it.


They never used their bigs down the stretch of any big game, but they still had dreams and they still had an incredible defender next to him. They did. They did. So I mean, so I was watching Houston last night and they're they're just a mess. And Oladipo seemed like the happiest guy in the world. He's going to get 30 to thirty five the rest of the year. But poor PJ Tucker is on that team just standing in the corner.


All of his skills are useless. So this team where nobody else plays defense.


And I was wondering, could that be the guy for Brooklyn where you put PJ Tucker in that fifth spot. He could do some of the dirty work. He knows Durant from Texas. And maybe that's the answer.


Well, certainly he would want to go there, I would think. I mean, they would think it was just so fun to watch Durant. It's just he's shooting forty eight percent from the three point line. I mean, my God, he's already unstoppable everywhere else. And if he's shooting forty eight percent from the three point line and you know, Harden's off to a terrible start from the three point line, he right now is shooting a career low.


I think he's around 33 percent. So he's not even anywhere near what he's going to be. You could just see if you could feel the load lifted off and fair. Unfair. He looks at me. He's an unbelievable scorer, but but in different defensively on a couple of plays there. And at some point, do they make him make them guard, you know, so. Well, you could see that Milwaukee was delighted any time he was guarding a one hundred percent.


They that cool. Right.


That's going to fight a screen now that you know, the Durant thing. So it's early. There's only been eleven games, but he's very early. He's inching toward a fifty five fifty ninety splits right now, which isn't sustainable. But you know Russell and I always makes fun of me because I'm always like he looks ninety seven percent where he was ninety three percent. So I was like where do you get these percentages.


You know, I don't care what he looks like. He's comfortable and healthy. That's all that matters. So does he look any worse than he did when he was lighting up the league before he blew out his Achilles in the nineteen playoffs? Because I feel like he looks the same.


Well, we won't know till you get into the season a bit, because when you get tired, that's when your body starts to break down and they haven't played enough games yet.


He hasn't played enough minutes yet, I don't think for us to really know for sure.


You know, my takeaway from last night is like I spent so much time after this trade, we did a podcast right after trying to figure out like, all right, the rim. Kyrie, how is this going to work? After watching last night, you think like like maybe the Chiri part doesn't even really matter because the part that matters is just the different heart and combo is historic. This is like Elgin Jerry West, this is Bird McHale. And McKeyla had two good feet.


This is right. You go right down the line, CJ and Barkley. This is a unique opportunity to have two unstoppable guys together. And the Chiri part of me is almost irrelevant. Right? He's like he's like a luxury for this. I don't know about that. I don't know if I'd go that far.


You know, you do mention Kyrie, you mentioned the podcast we were on. I would like, if you would mind, to address that.


Yeah, let's do it. Yeah. I really haven't had a chance to address this because I'm not on Twitter, although I guess from time to time someone pretends to be me on Twitter but I've never been on there and so I haven't had a chance to address that pod that we did.


And we were in the midst of a conversation where I had started a conversation about Kyrie and about a conversation I had had with him some years ago about just you would ask me what made him tick.


I think in essence we were talking about the mindset of Kyrie because everyone's wondering why has he been away? What's going on with him? Well, you are.


So you've had a ton of conversations with him over the years. I think you've got a pretty unique relationship with him.


Yeah, many conversations with them. And so I started to talk about one of the conversations we had, which was him telling me that he thought the NBA draft should be abolished because he didn't think it was fair that someone got to choose where he got to go and who he had to play for. And so we start having that conversation. And I started to explain that why that wasn't ever going to happen in the NBA. And from here, two things happen.


No. One. I used a poor choice of words that certainly I understand that now in the context at the time, because I hadn't completed my thought, I guess that was the first. So the first problem is the poor choice of words. The second part was I never did complete the thought. And this is something that offended people. And honestly, I'm mortified by it because what has been explained or come out as not at all what I intended in this conversation, if I had continued the conversation, which I didn't, was that as as a cover you and I start talking about this.


I was saying to him that the NBA would never allow players to just come in in the way and commiserated with him to some degree about the idea that if you're a great young player coming out of college, you have four years probably going to be with that team because they have your draft rights.


And that's that's how it's structured.


So, you know, that conversation that I had with Kyrie went on to many other things that day.


And what made me realize this is, I think two or almost three years ago, because one of the things I object to, as I'm hearing that people thought I was criticizing Kyrie, it was sort of the opposite, because what I learned this from this conversation with them and it was quite a long one, was him talking about the idea that he wanted to be he was very in tune with social justice, that he wanted to be an advocate. And I think he's you know, since then, you've seen his connection with his Native American culture, what he's done with the WNBA players.


We just learned now that he fought George Floyd's family house. And so what I wanted to get to or what I was wanted to explain that day was that this is something I saw a long time ago. I knew he was very passionate about this. So and that's not you know, this is long before George Floyd or Brianna Brianna Taylor or Jake Blake or any of that.


So. That's where I had hoped to take that conversation in the podcast, you know, our conversation veered from there. That's on me. And so all I really can do is, you know, to the people I offended, I hope they would accept my apology, but also my explanation, because that conversation with Chiri to me was very valuable to me. I learned a lot from him and about him that day, and that's what I was trying to.


Project, so that's a long winded explanation, but there it is, I need to get that off my chest so well, you know, and one of the things we did that I dragged you into it two minutes before because I thought I would take no excuses.


No, no, no, no. I'm not making excuses. I'm just saying we were reacting to your trade. It's jumping around all these different directions. Yeah, I regret as you were heading into that, we're just bouncing we're going to place the place. And I just wish I'd been like, wait, wait, hold on. We got to go back to that. Yes, I knew that was part one of wherever you were going with that kind of thing.


So but yeah, if people don't understand, you know, where you were coming from and also your 40 year history with with talking to these players and having really unique relationships with them.


Well, anyway, but you mentioned, Kyra, one of the things that I that I looked I look at I was looking at usage rate, and I'm not talking about this year or even the last 10 years.


I'm talking about NBA all time usage rate. OK, you know who's number one? Jordan. Right. You probably know who's number two. It's Westbrook, Kobe's number three. A's number four. I bet you won't guess who's number five, but maybe you will if you're you're probably smarter than I am. This shocked me. DeMarcus Cousins is number five all time in NBA use to trade.


Oh my God. It's incredible. That is true. I just looked it up.


But the reason I was looking this up was Harden Durant and Kyrie Irving are among three of the top sixteen players of all time in U.S. history. And that's that's incredible to me. So this then asks the question, how do they reconcile that among each other? And I think the big question becomes they do seem to me to have respect for one another, great respect for their own abilities. But I know how these guys work and so do you. They all think in their heart of hearts, they're the best.


They're the best. Even though someone might have more credentials, they all believe they're the best. So can they all find a way to.


You know, mete out this, I'm going to take the shot Pae, I'm going to have the ball in my hands because that's the one thing I noticed when I was watching last night, because it really was fun to watch who had the ball most of the time hadan.


Kyrie needs the ball to do what he does, Harden needs the ball to do what he does. So maybe, maybe what they do is what D'Antoni did when he was using Chris Paul and Harden and having one guy on for this many minutes. He comes off and the other guy comes on and D'Antoni is on their staff. So maybe they look at maybe they look at doing that and that could work well. So you figured Durant's the constant guard plays 32 minutes a game, Kyrie plays 32 minutes a game.


You really only crisscross them a couple of times and you crisscross them at the end. At the end, yeah.


The last three minutes. Last five minutes are all on the court together. And, you know, it wouldn't be the worst thing to preserve James Harden's minutes, who's played the most minutes of anybody over the last several years.


And Kyra, you as an injury history, I think I wish I had thought to call D'Antoni about it.


But, you know, he he had the whole blueprint right there. He did it and they did it pretty successfully. That was a year that was the hamstring here. You know, they almost made it.


So there's two things that make me suspicious about this play in the morning, especially after watching last night. One is we know Kyrie can float in and out of games in a good way. I don't mean that in a bad way. Where because he was with the brown, LeBron had the ball a lot. Yeah. And he figured out little tiny little pockets to take over in games. And then those Cavs teams Kyrie would have these moments where he would just get hot and LeBron would be like cool and he would just ride Kyrie for eight minutes.


Otherwise he would take over when LeBron wasn't in the game or he would take over these little pockets or if they had the right matchup or whatever and they kind of learned how to do that. And he was twenty five, twenty four, twenty five points a game that I think his last Cleveland season.


But who wasn't happy about that. Kyrie Irving. All right. So I think you have to go back to first of all, why wasn't he happy in Cleveland, all the intel we got when he showed up in Boston that first year and I know you talked to him that year, too. It's like he wanted to be the guy he didn't want to be. LeBron is little sidekick, buddy dude. He wanted to be like the franchise guy. He wanted to be the one.


They consulted on personnel decisions. I remember somebody told me a story that first year he they were figuring out like those alternate uniforms. Oh, yeah. And they kind of ran ran some of the options past Kyrie. Kyrie was giving all these notes and perspective and, and their takeaway was like this is what he wanted. It was never going to happen in Cleveland. He was never going to be the guy like, hey, what do you think of our uniforms.


I'm going to go to LeBron. LeBron is going to have the best seat on the plane. LeBron is going to have the perks. And that was the stuff that bothered him. Now he's back in that situation, but even a little bit worse because his third best player on this team. So I wonder, A, how does he handle that behind the scenes and then be from a basketball standpoint, it's much harder to float in and out when now you have these two spectacular scorers.


And is it going to be happy? And is it could it be a thing where he's happy for one year and then he would be like, I want my own team again? I don't know the answer.


And I think the one thing Doc Rivers always told me was the guys you want when you're putting guys together, the hungry guy you want, the guy that hasn't won yet, because no matter what anybody says, he's still the hungriest. Now, I would argue that a guy like LeBron James is nobody's hungrier than him year in and year out. I would argue that. But he's he's you know, he's in the one percent of all basketball players of all time in that regard.


The real true killer winners are like that. Is Kyrie like that?


I think he may be. I think he may be but he's already won. Durant's already won. The one guy who hasn't won yet is James Harden.


So maybe James Harden is the one guy that will be willing to say, you know what, all right, I'll step two, I'll take two steps back. I'm not taking four, but I'll take two steps back because this matters to me. It matters to my legacy. I want to prove everybody wrong about all the flak I've taken, the way I shot myself out of Houston. So maybe he's the guy that'll say, all right, here, I'm going to give you the ball.


And I can you know, I don't know. I don't know the answer. Well, here's the thing. He's already hinted at this because he's talking about how he needs to be more of a playmaker in this guy who's averaged 11 assists a game in a season. Right. Right. Which which all sounds great. It's a cool, unselfish James Harden, and he'll just set it right now. So but then you watch him last night, and this is one of the best offensive players in the history of the league.


And if he has matchups and he can either shoot a wide open threes, a 40 percent shooter, or just go to the basket and either draw a foul, whatever, and he's his instinct is always going to be to do that. You know, he's not John Stockton in the middle. No, no, of course not. Yeah. So that's that's where I'm skeptical because you get in a game like yesterday where it's mano a mano and I think both teams could sense that.


All right, there's something bigger happening than just sort of playing this game on Martin Luther King Day, this is like we are now really feeling each other out as contenders in the east. And Harden got caught up in it and thought it was awesome the whole game. And Hardaway took over the game for two minutes because he could. So that's where I become skeptical.


And you know what I noticed about Harden and, you know, we were all a little tough on him after because of the way he managed this thing in Houston.


But I don't know if I don't know if you remember this play. But he somehow ended up on the weak side. There was a shot that missed it anyway, end up on the weak side, the left side of the basket. And he just banked it in.


And it was so textbook. It's so perfect, you know, and it was unexpected. Like the ball came to him unexpectedly, but there was nothing herky jerky about it. Like the dude is so fluid and you forget sometimes. And I feel that same way about Durant. I mean, when Durant rises up at four, you know, every time he shoots, I'm like, well, that's going in every time. Well, he had part in how to play, and if you want to know the difference between Hardin and Houston this season in Brooklyn, in that one game, it was this play.


He missed it. He missed a shot, but came flying in and got his own, but gave it back to him for the three.


There was a hustle aspect to it that, you know, he mailed in the three weeks in Houston or the four weeks, whatever it was.


And it's it's going to go on his legacy. I don't think it will ultimately matter because people forgive this stuff. But it was pretty egregious what he did. And he's trying to cover it up after the fact that, hey, man, I gave my heart and soul to Houston. But, you know, when when you mail it in like that. Yeah. People people in Houston aren't going to forget that. But that play, I thought was amazing.


The flip side, there is a play when he took over for a couple of minutes and then Durant had the ball and you could see on the TV Harden's way and the top of the TV because he's on the other side of the play. And this is the big fly with Harden. If he's not in the play, he's completely useless. He's 30 feet from the basket, not even pretending to be a threat like he just has no idea what to do.


That's my fear with that team in crunch time is it becomes this dueling banjos thing where it's like, all right, you get the ball this time I'll stand over here and do my thing. Yeah, he's doing that. Kyrie's doing that.


I don't I think that's going to be hard. Well, and they've got to defend.


You know, I was looking again at we always hear the same thing over and over. If you're a top five defense in up, if you can be in top five in offensive efficiency and defense fishy, you have a good chance to be one of the best teams left team stand. There's only one team in the league right now that's in the top five in both the Lakers.


They're the only team Milwaukee's close.


But it's interesting, Milwaukee defensively has taken a step back this year. Again, small sample size. It might all work itself out. And that could be as simple as Bledsoe, who was the second team. I think he was second team last year. Wasn't he all defensive player?


You know, maybe he was first team. You know, he's gone. Maybe that settles. And so I think they're nine. They're outside the top ten.


But the Lakers, the only team in and Brooklands way down there defensively. And for the Sixers, it's offensively where they fall. And then the Clippers, you know, because I'm like the Clippers are one five.


So maybe they're figuring this out.


Then you go look at their defensive numbers. I mean, they're horrendous. They're not good. They got problems. They got problems with the pick and roll. They're not really defending the three point line particularly well. And you look at it and you say, how is this possible? You have Kawhi Leonard, one of the greatest defensive players in league with the league seen in the last several years, Paul George and Pat Beverley. Like, how are they not closing out three point shooters on the perimeter?


That doesn't make sense to me. Well, see, the Clipper fans I know are all excited. They feel like the team's coming together. They have a little five game winning streak. Well, they well, they beat the hell out of Indiana this week. They did. They did. I mean, they have talent. And I picked them last year and I really thought they I really thought they were going to get it together. And it feels like they're getting something together here.


And I think Ty Lou, I think he's got their attention and I think they're responding to him. But but, you know, I think I looked at the defensive efficiency ratings are down around twenty two. Like, that's just not going to get it done. I want to talk I want to talk more about Brooklyn, but let's take a quick break.


So I was thinking about this last night, watch a Brooklyn match up with malarky. Mm hmm. Which is actually a good matchup for them. It is favors Brooklyn. I feel they probably have to improve. So the two decisions they would have to make Krunch. I'm basing all this on crunch time. I just care about the last five minutes. Right.


Just like every other NBA fan, huh?


Well, that's when the game gets decided, as we saw last night. So Jeff Green was out there and Deidre's out there. I think DeAndre has been a C minus for a couple of years now, and I'm not sure he can be out there in crunch time. To me, he's not a lot different than what the Lakers had last year, which Evalyn, Dwight Howard and people like that were. Ultimately, if you're trying to win a title, I'm not sure he's out there.


And I actually think their destiny would be different at the five with the four who can switch on D and guard bigger guys, things like that, like a PJ Tucker type. I don't think I'd say because who is that on the roster right now? It's that they don't have it right. But you almost have to think about this, the teams they have to beat. And what that five would be and whether the question is we're just going to outscore them, that's fine.


We know we're going to get killed in the other end or we're actually going to try to get stops because the legacy of this league is you need stops. Oh, that's how you win titles. That's that's the reason the Lakers won last year, wasn't because LeBron and Anthony Davis are awesome offensive players. They got stops. They ratcheted up the defense in big ways in the last two rounds. That's why they won. So Davis Davis was incredible.


Those last two rounds. Really unbelievable.


So Milwaukee. It's weird, that's that's actually a good matchup for Brooklyn, because the matchup from Walker to exploit is just Yanase against anybody. But we know Yonath last four minutes is a little shaky and he doesn't want to get fouled. So now it's like Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, they're going to win that every time.


Well, yeah, because that think about the last possession. Khris Middleton in the corner doubled and Orrible Giannis isn't even in your screen like he's. I don't have one of those huge TVs that you guys all have like he wasn't even in my screen.


Like where is he. You know you got to go to Giannis. You got to be honest they have not figured out enhancers now. He was drafted in 2013. He has not figured out the inside outside game for the last four minutes. The way that I, I just think that's a guy who should be almost be used by like Embiid. He's the biggest guy on the floor yesterday. It's like just get him the ball near the basket and but I don't think he wants to get fouled.


I really don't. I think, I think there's remember when that happened. It's on Walker. That was the worst case example of it when he was just like I don't want to get out and he starts quick shooting stuff and Janis's. And at that point you know who is the guy. Oh, so sad. All the way back to Orlando. Played in the finals with Shaq. Oh, Nick Anderson. Nick Anderson ruined. I think he was never the same player after that.


You know, it's such a good guy, too, and a good player.


But that really did them in Youness. Janis's ten free throws a game and he's under 60 percent right now, but you can really feel it in the last couple of minutes of game anyway. So I think, I think Brooklyn more. That's actually a good match up for Brooklyn right now. The one that I think worries me if I'm Brooklyn is Philly. Because you have the embed piece that that means DeAndre has to play right and Embiid is on a mission man he is if he can stay healthy and he has so far and they've done a good job.


You know his minutes aren't outrageous. He's just I'm telling you in talking with him, he's like mad, he's embarrassed. He's, he's, he's, he's on a mission. You know, it's going to be so interesting to see going forward like this.


Do they have hardened remorse?


I mean, we'll be talking about that all year, I guess. Right. Does Philly have hardened remorse? I don't know.


That was how we last week. When did the pod that was my big takeaway that I wish I covered when we did the pod. So I did my pod the next day because the twenty four hours after I kept thinking about, I was like, man, if I'm a Philly fan, you have this generational offensive player who's available and basically I'm haggling over this Tyree's maxcy need to be in this deal or not. Tyrone Maxi, Kyrie, Kyrie, Kyrie, Kyrie, Kyrie, Sfax.


There's two tie races in the first round.


He the other one's good to hit the road.


Pretty good but all. If that's the guy that held that me getting James Harden and then Simmons went out and had a terrible game over the weekend that I think got the Sixers fans, you know, definitely going to be hard and buyer's remorse. I think as far as the season goes on, there's no question, man, they're so tough on Ben Simmons in Philly.


It's just unbelievable to me how tough they are.


And because they're not like I get that he doesn't score 20 a game, he's I don't know that he ever will because I don't know that that's what he's about.


And what he impacts the game so many other ways. I mean, I think I voted him second or third for defense of a player of the year last year.


He's I think I voted second for him. Yeah. I mean, he's like really a great defensive player. And he's, you know, we we know about the shooting.


I mean, I don't even want to talk about it any more because it's you know, I feel like I jinxed him. I did a piece on him last year talking ad nauseum about it. And I don't think he took another shot the rest of the year after we wrote it.


But, you know, there are ways we've talked about it. Open floor transition. There are ways he can be he can be great.


And yeah, but you don't get open for transition in the last four games of a playoff series. Well, especially in a playoff series. Yeah. Yeah. So so yeah.


I just I just think the Sixers fans are so tough on them.


I'm surprised, you know, I wonder if he still gets traded. Wow, maybe this wasn't maybe this wasn't a trade, but maybe there is like if Washington was looking in Washington and I was going to do this later with you, but we could do this quickly. Washington's three and eight. They're one of the worst teams in the league. Mm hmm. If if they're looking at it like Bradley Beal is just going to leave in two years, what do we do with that?


Like, do you start thinking about Beal and Simmons and try to get basically 90 percent of what that half of package was? And then if you're Philly, does that solve every problem you have? Because that's a long way. Harris says the undersized for basically, yeah, it does with them, you have good guards that the the maxi piece of their whole season. I don't think anyone was expecting that. From what I heard, they didn't want to put them in the deal.


And they were they basically put their foot down and they were like, no, it's going to be Simmons', Tibo, a couple of picks and we're done. Maxi's not in this.


So the question is, will they ever pull the trigger on Bradley Beal and Bradley Beal, I think is I give him a lot of credit.


I've talked to Bradley about this before and he's he's been very good about not. You know, demanding a trade, he's he hasn't done that any, but he's honest when he says, yeah, I want to be here, but I want to win, like, I hope we're going to win at some point. And remember, Brooklyn, we thought was in the mix for Bradley Beal last year. This is before, you know, the Hardin thing.


And, you know, he was like, look, I, I'm not saying I want to leave Washington, but it's pretty cool when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are saying they want you to come. So if you're Bradley Beal, you can understand exactly where he is in all of this. So does he finally say, you know what, I've hung in here with you guys man, you just got to let me go? I mean, he has not done that as yet.


He's been I give him a lot of credit.


Hold this thought because I want to come back to it later. OK, the Philly matchup. For Brooklyn involves them slowing down a bid, which means DeAndre has to play, and again, I'm not convinced that DeAndre is a crunch time center on a team that wins the title. I think that could be a tough matchup.


But really, the team they need to think about is the Lakers, because through the Lakers are going to win the finals barring an injury, right? Yeah. Lakers are far and away the best team right now, the team that we saw yesterday. Trying to defend Anthony Davis and LeBron James at the same time, it's just a disaster. Guards who guard, what do you do? Well, I guess different guards, LeBron. Yeah, you can it we've seen Durant do it.


Oh, Durant definitely cares about, but who cares? Davis It's not going to be DeAndre Jordan.


No, I don't think. Well, you need like a three headed DeAndre Jordan.


You need Jarrett Allen is right. But without Jarrett Allen, you don't have you don't have Harden.


No, that's and I will say this about the Lakers too. When you look at them as constituted, it's those two guys. And then so who's your third option? I still don't know this answer for the Lakers. Yeah.


Who's your it seems like has been he's been really carrying himself like a third option. I don't know ultimately if that's his destiny, but I think he's been really good. I think he's been the third best player. Yeah, he right there. Definitely better the Warriors game last night. You throw it out, the Warriors do that. They're there.


And that happened in the first quarter. I mean, they were losing that game like thirty three to fourteen.


And I was like, oh, I don't know, why would I watch this game? And then all of a sudden it was thirty nine to thirty one. Incredible. You know, but that's what they do. How many times have we seen a Steph team. The game zone. They're down twelve and then all of a sudden you're like, oh, that's a tough game.


Jerry West. I always talked about that. I talked to Jerry West. What's about Steph Curry? He's like the game with with Klay too.


And of course, Clay's not even there, but it's like the game is never, ever, ever over when they're on the court. And he's right. It's kind of fun.


So so I'm throwing that game out. I still think the Lakers are the best team. I do, too. The only way for Brooklyn to beat the Lakers in a series would literally be to just outscore them where it's just they're just trading baskets. And by the way, they're making more of them.


Yeah, they could. They absolutely could. Boy, wouldn't that be some.


It'll be like one hundred and fifty four to one hundred fifty two or something, which is fine. But I've just never seen anyone win a title that way. And I think that's the key point is OK, that's how they would have to beat them as presently constituted. We don't know what trades were by our guys, all that stuff. But yeah, they constituted. That's the only way they beat the Lakers is it's one forty to one thirty six and we just never seen it when the title that way.


Right. And well except for in the ABA. But then the other thing is if I'm from the Brooklyn Nets, I don't want Kevin Durant having to guard LeBron James for thirty six minutes a night in a series final.


I don't like that. I don't like that notion. I don't think it's good. It's a good plan physically for Kevin Durant.


And again, I ask well and that but that's a really key point because he's coming off the most serious injury I've got to have as an athlete. And they're already putting a pretty big workload on him. He's doing a lot on both ends. He's been great, but we're eleven games in now.


That's it. So that's that's the other reason. If I'm Brooklyn, I have Porres up against the Lakers because LeBron I still think at this point of his career, he like, you know, it doesn't take a ton of threes anymore, but you put him in the post, you know, he he can bulbul over almost anybody, even Durant.


Even Durant. Oh, yeah. So Clippers, I think they're fine. They match up OK with that, barring some sort of trade. And then there's really nobody else. So really the three teams I think I guess we'll throw in the Clippers just for the hell of it. So the four teams they have to worry about in Milwaukee, Philly, Lakers, Clippers, I don't see how they could get ever get stops against the Lakers. And maybe it doesn't matter.


It might not. I mean, they might decide that it doesn't because they don't have the they don't have the personnel to do it. But I think to your point, I just don't think they're done. Brooklyn and PJ Tucker is a good name. They'll be other players are always is. There are always players available as we get closer to I don't even know what is the trade daylight trade deadline.


I can't move that. Then they move on like March this year.


Yeah, I think it's March, if it's so hard to keep track it and things will happen.


And, you know, one thing, one thing they have that is. Kind of an amazing trade pieces Dinwiddie contract, which is eleven point five, he can't come back anyway. It can be a free agent so it's basically you have that as an expiring contract talks making one point a shame it's making too. Wow Jeff Green's at one point six basically they could add up, they could get into the mid whatever but the reason I bring up Dinwiddie is they could just Tucker's making eight million a year and they could easily do some sort of flip with Packer and Tucker's Tucker is going to end up on a contender.


The question is who's the contender. Yeah he's, he's this year's Robert Covington.


You know, Robert Covington was who everybody wanted, Tucker. I worry about him with milage too. I mean, think of all the minutes he played at center last year.


Good. Not crazy, but he's a guy you want on your team.


They'll be a lot of guys that'll be available, I think, like, you know, for your for your Boston Celtics.


Save that huge trade exception from Gordon Hayward.


And, you know, we keep saying Aaron Gordon at some point, is Aaron Gordon actually available? You know, because Orlando, they've got they lost they've lost Marquel now for the year, Isaac South for the year, there's, you know, starting to slip a bit. They can't score. And, you know, do they move on from Eric Gordon, who really hasn't played that well this year? But actually, this is let's take a break, because this is a really good Segway into the next topic.


Come on.


And hit. All right, so I was looking at the standings. And it's early, we've everybody's played between, I don't know, 10 and 14 games, stuff like that, but shorter season, 72 games, maybe less with the covid stuff, maybe teams end up sixty nine, 70 somewhere in there. And you start thinking about. A look like a team like Miami, they barely won last night, they're five and seven, there's their hits, a point in the season where it's like, OK, we can't fuck around anymore.


Yeah, right. Like, we can't be the 12th seed. There's two weeks of the season to go. I'm not worried about them. But they have covid issues. I mean, Jimmy Butler and Bamma been offered covid, she'll be fine. Yeah, but there is a there is going to be a point with one of these contenders, whether it's New Orleans, Denver, Dallas, Dallas has been ravaged by injuries. Kobe, that one of these teams is going to be in like the 11th spot with two weeks to go going, holy shit, like we're going to be in the playing tournament.


This is and we might not even have a home game. This is bad. But the thing I want to talk about was. The the the concept of hopelessness right now, how many teams are hopeless, if you if you look at the standings, because right now Detroit is three in 10, I would say they're hopeless. Minnesota is three and nine. But the Warriors get their top three protected first round pick.


Now, you can't really guarantee you're going to be in the top three by tanking because they changed the tanking rules of Minnesota. I could start a trade add to trade the actually, you know what, let's take this one at a time. Detroit is hopeless for a variety of reasons. One is that the Blake Griffin things really sad. Oh, so it's like, oh, yeah, yeah. And I also like just how do you like Christian would go?


I mean, he's been great. Not good. Great. So yeah. What it feels like there was more there behind the scenes with somebody. Is that happy to let a young guy go. And he had a lot of issues coming out of college and who don't know some sort of thing. Yeah, I agree with you. I couldn't believe why not just pay him if you're going to play PLOMLEY Twenty five million. But the big thing. It's it's sad, it reminded me of LJ and the Knicks near the end, now, the guy that, you know, valge, was this just this dynamo?


Yeah, yeah. By the time he got to the next, he was just like basically a spot up shooter. Yeah. And down low to the ground. And that's kind of what you see from Blake now where he just shoot threes. Yeah. He's had, what, nine surgeries. And I was in the camp I would trade for him. I just come back here. He's well it's. Yeah. So no, I don't think so now.


And you know, I remember talking to Dwane Casey about it must have been last year, I guess the idea or maybe two years ago when you know the idea of extending extending Blake's range, that made sense for his inside game.


But now that's not really why it is now.


It's just extending his range because he doesn't have the lift it needs to get things done.


So it actually feels it made me feel old watching him in this respect. I remember the first year Grantland that was also the first year Lob City, and I had the Clipper tickets forever. And all of a sudden and Blake, you could see the seeds because him and Baron Davis definitely had something the year before. But then Chris Paul shows up and he was just so fucking exciting. He was above everybody a lot like what Zion's like now.


And it doesn't seem that long ago.


You know, it was a long time years ago. But I know that was a long nine years ago. But my daughter was six going to those games that she's fifteen. Anyway, Detroit's hopeless. Minnesota is an interesting one. They're three nine. They're in a brutal conference. They've had all kinds of issues. Towns has had like the year from hell. It really has. Did you know that they have the worst point differential of anyone in the league, minus ten?


That's not a good sign. No, it isn't a D'Angelo. It comes down to Kent, D'Angelo, Russell. Work it so far, you know, can you give him what they want? So far, I'm not I'm not sure at the end. I mean, he's got to fill it up form while Karl Towns is out. But can he defend you know, Ryan Saunders wants to build around defense, and that's not happening. And, you know, they just poor Karl Anthony Towns.


My goodness. It's just what a tragic, tragic story for him, his family, for everybody.


And, you know, Anthony Edwards. He needs Carl out there to help him, you know, he needs Karl to guide him, so I can't even I don't think you can even make a judgment on him, really.


But the bummer for them, I thought they should have taken wisemen had they taken with them. And they have a lot of options with towns to get like to the next giant trade package's place from the wisemen. But now now you don't have that luxury. I do like Edwards, but he shouldn't have been the first pick. But the conundrum for them is like you can't tank because it doesn't guarantee. It doesn't guarantee you're keeping the pick anyway. Right, right, right.


And if you're the Warriors, you're like, holy shit, this couldn't have worked out better. We traded a guy that didn't fit with us for any reason. We knew it immediately. We're able to spin him. We got Wiggins back who hit or miss whatever.


At least he's pretty good. Yeah, he's pretty good. He's been pretty good. And then this awesome pick. So I don't know what Minnesota does. The next team is Washington, which is three and eight. I thought Washington was going be a playoff team. Westbrook why did you think that? Because I thought Westbrook and Beal combined were fifty five a game and I thought that could get an eight seat in the east and I thought they had shooters.


I thought Robin Lopez is going to be more important. I didn't realize that Scott Brooks thing had kind of gone past the point of no return. But the real problem is the Westbrook starting to look like one of those running backs where it's like, oh God, that guy can't hit the hole anymore. What happened? And whether he's just past the point of no return athletically. So I would say watch the three and eight. I wouldn't say they're hopeless yet, but I would say there are two weeks away, and if there are two weeks away, that opens the door for a big thing.


So if I'm Denver. And Bill is the last giant trade peace and I have the Michael Porter and a bunch of picks and the West, it's one one move away from being a real contender. There's only four contenders right now. Why wouldn't that Godfather offer for Bill from Denver at least put Washington's feet to the fire, make them think about it?


Well, don't you think they already have? They probably already have. I don't know that I'm speculating, but Denver's you know, they're well, they game under 500.


What's the record? Bill out of Denver is six and seven. Yeah. So their game under 500. Porter hasn't played. You know, he got he got knocked out for covid protocol, then he actually got covid.


So he's missed nine or ten games and they miss him. Look, they one of the reasons they didn't play Jerami Grant was because they're thinking down the road, we're going to have to pay Michael Porter junior someday because he's that good.


And I just remember, you know, the thought with Denver was in this off season, they had three bigs that were all free agents, Millsap, Plumlee and Grant. And their thought was, well, we got to keep you know, we're going to lose one. Well, we'll keep two of the three. Well they they lost Plumlee and I know he's not a fan favorite because of some of the lapses that have happened with him but.


But he's a big body who fit into what they were trying to do defensively. And Denver Denver's. They've been horrible defensively.


Jokic has been an MVP candidate and he's, he's been incredible.


Yeah. And Jamal, Jamal is. I'm not surprised that Jamal hasn't started out out of the gate.


I think you and I talked to off the pot about this because if you go back and look at what what he was doing, the amount of minutes he was playing and by the way, through injuries like two or three little injuries, that kid is so tough. He's going to play through everything. And he did.


And and I think to expect him to come back like that, like what was going on between him and Donovan Mitchell is crazy.


And the truth is, they didn't need that from him.


If Michael Porter Junior got off to a great start and now you've got your three.


So I understand what you're saying about Bill, because Bill's tremendous. He's leaving the league in scoring again.


But he might be one of the few people I would trade for if I were Denver, because I still believe a Michael Porter Jr.


I still think there's so much room for growth there. I think I'm disappointed.


Russell and I talked about Jamal Murray last week. I'm a little disappointed because I just think, like Brandon Ingram made a big jump, Jaylen Brown made a big jump. We felt like Murray made the big jump in the playoffs and now he's back to where he was. Twelve months is like nineteen a game. Yeah, but but I wanted him to be an elite guy. I don't feel like he is well but we're eleven games in. He's not shooting the ball.


Great. If he starts to shoot the ball. Great. He's one of those guys. It's so much as a rhythm shooter. If you go back and look at him when he has a bad game, it's bad.


When he's hitting it, he's hitting it. And so I think he's you know, I don't know what he's shooting. I don't have it in front of me. I know he's not shooting well. And I think there's plenty of time for him to get into the rim to get to get a little healthy. I mean, I'm not saying he's not I'm not saying he's injured. I just think the wear and tear of what he did in that bubble, I think it's you know, he's one of the guys that maybe that's fair little.


Yeah. I mean, you know, so. Yeah, I'm not giving up on Murray.


I don't think they're at the point yet because I need to see Porter with this whole thing. By the way, by the way, they might be better off waiting a year because if we feel like the Lakers are prohibitive favorites in that even if they traded for Bradley Beal, they're not going to have the firepower anyway. I'd rather I'd rather play Porter for a whole year and make sure I'm not making a huge mistake trading him over or whatever, but I think it's more hopeless teams.


So I have Detroit. Yes, Minnesota, yes. But I don't know their way out. You would say yes. For Washington. You think they're hopeless? No, I don't think they're hopeless.


But I guess what we'll do, I think they're going to make the playoffs. They need to get to a ten seed to get to the play in tournaments. So if I'm Washington, whatever I'm thinking, oh, we can get to the ten seed. We just need to get healthy. But yeah, I think that's possible. I'd say that that's still possible because you got some young players that are still developing their Arkema, you know, Houston, Houston's forni.


And as we saw yesterday, it's going to be, oh, depos going to try to get a max deal the rest of the way, they have a weird team. They do have really against it. But I feel like they're pretty hopeless, even though I'm getting to 10. Seed seems unrealistic to me. Well, I just if I'm a Houston fan, I'm worried about John Wall's knee. Guy has a sore knee. He's out. How many?


He's been out a few games.


That that to me was a big red flag because he wants to be there. He bought in. He's and you know, if Oladipo buys in, as you know, that's half the battle. Sometimes it's just getting everybody to believe that it can go on.


And that's why Golden State. Such a cool story because you know, everybody wants to write them off once Klay went down, but like they're just not having it, you know, and maybe Houston could be that kind of team like, well, we're just not having that. We, you know, we'll see. So like, well, there's O'Malia.


There's an important Houston wrinkle. The Thunder have their pick. And they have the rights to swap that pick for either their own pick. Or the Miami Heat's pick, but the Rockets pick its top four protected, top four protected, it won't be top four.


I don't think I don't think it could be if the rockets are like, you know what we do not have time for.


Yeah, yeah. Well, maybe it's like gut this thing that will and that and that's that follow suit with PJ Tucker and other pieces moving along then.


Right. Yeah.


Sacramento is five and nine, but getting their ass kicked lately. Yeah. This is going three.


They score but they can't stop anybody. They can't stop anybody.


So I don't know what they do. They can't trade fox, they just sign them. They're not trading Halliburton. Barnes is. Yeah. Stability for this trade exception. He is a possibility for the trade exception. Yeah. And he you know, he's not your first option. Probably not your sec. Well, he would be he'd be your fourth option on that team. I don't I'm not going to say they're hopeless yet because I do like some of their players.


And I would I would think they would actually maybe dump Luke Walton before they it's so early to to call anybody down.


You know, you haven't mentioned Cleveland. You haven't mentioned Cleveland yet.


I'm OK. I wanted to get to Toronto first, though. Toronto's five. And yeah, it's hard to watch the plane in Tampa. Yeah.


I feel so bad for them. Think about them. They had to go a month early to the bubble. Now they're playing in Florida. And, you know, again, we you talk about the free agents.


They had a bunch of free agents.


VanVleet was a free agent Gasol Ibaka so flimsy was obviously a priority but I just thought they had to hold on to one or one or the other of Ibaka Gasol because they were so much an integral part of their culture, the way they defend of their leadership, all those things.


And it hurts my heart to watch the outcome struggle. Yeah well so here's the thing. I don't think they're a playoff team. I don't see a scenario where they get high and it's like Raptors culture, all that stuff, I just think their bigs have gone south. And Seattle is not the same guy that it was a year ago. And I think the league also kind of knows how to defend him. It reminds me a little of what happened to Antoine Tyson three range where the league just kind of figured him out.


Yeah, we know Messi is ruthless. If he feels like if he just feels like it's not happening with this team. We had our run. We won the title. I wonder what he's capable of. And they have they have the LOWRI piece where. Larry, what does he have this year and next year? Yeah, any man, he plays so hard and there are numbers on and off with him are outrageous. They are so much worse off when he leaves the floor.


He's just such a gamer. Any team can any contending teams should want Kyle Lowry.


I'm looking up his his salary stuff here. So he's 30 million this year. And I think that's it. I don't think. Oh, he's up at the end of this year. Yeah, he's up at the end of this year is the unrestricted.


Wow. So, Christine, that's a pretty, pretty juicy trade piece for some of it now. It's hard to even fit the contracts to now. It's about 30 million. But if your team like Denver. You have like the Gary Harris, you have some pics, you can add up the contracts and try to do it basically. But one of my takeaways is. I think if this goes bad for like one more week, I think Baci we've seen him do it, he's he's if they have no chance, he's going to parlay whatever assets he has into whatever he could do going forward.


And I think a week is is I think you have to be I think you have to wait a little longer. How do I know. A month. What's what's it now, what are we in January, February? Wait one more month? I don't think they have it. Well, I guess I think the outcome can. I think. I think there maybe there's some other things at work was the outcome that there was, you know, the residual from the bubble and some of the, you know, the personal struggles he had in the bubble, maybe that you still straightened and that I don't know.


I just I think the kid is young. He hasn't played a lot of basketball in his life. So maybe he is limited, as you say.


Maybe things have figured teams have figured things out. But I think he has enough intelligence, enough skill set to reinvent himself. Now, maybe it can't happen this year, but I just wouldn't give up on. Do you want to hear the case for Toronto? OK. I can't wait. They lost the Golden State, Portland on the road, back to back on the last possession by a point, and if those possessions had gone there, where there would be in a six game winning streak right now.


Yeah, yeah. So good, Coach. So to your point, it's like, yeah, let's wait a month and see what's going on. Yeah, I'm not I just wonder I, I just don't trust Messi in the sense that I think he moves fast. Hey I don't think it's like he totally is that age and then go through the rest of them. Yeah. You mentioned Cleveland and teams like that. See Cleveland. I don't ever I wouldn't call them hopeless.


Well they might be hopeless for this year. I don't think they're a playoff team for this year. But if you're Cleveland, what is your goal been? Your goal is to try to identify some young players that you can start thinking about building your team around.


And they found them and they found them. Excellent.


You know, and and Jared Allen, who was the all time high jacking, they got no cents on the dollar. So so now you have something.


Now there they're another team that I think they're. I think they're one of the like they might be dead last and offense, they're the opposite, like they're a top. Let me I think I wrote it down. Yeah, they're number two in defensive efficiency behind the Lakers.


How about that, Kevin Love yet to go down when Kevin Love goes back. I mean, and how many bigs do you need so they can make you know, they've got a plethora of big bodies. They might make a move. I think you mentioned Drummond before. I don't know if in this NBA who's going to take him on, even though, again, his numbers are like video game numbers, but the Cavs are dead last in office.


Like, they just they don't they haven't figured that out yet. And I think both Garland and Sexton have been out.


So but if you're if you're Cleveland, like, what you want to do is identify this core players that you can go on with. And I think a core I think they like what they see there. So maybe they're, you know. They're pleased with what this little nucleus they have, I guess not so much Kevin Porter, huh? No, it seems like Kevin's got a pretty decent year. Last year, I saw him in person in a game against the Celtics, and I thought he was fantastic.


Yeah. He's like just as I was like, wow, I can't believe this guy seems like he's a lottery pick. But obviously, that's why he fell out of water just from the east team's. Before before we get out of this, the fact that Cleveland that Chicago is six and eight and lingering, Cleveland six and seven, the Nexus seven and eight, it's all because of the Cauvin and how weird this is the all time weirdest record through 11 games or 12 games or whatever is OKC who is minus six, but somehow six and six.


And that's won a couple of close games of Prestes. Got to be like losing his mind.


I know, but I love that about them. I love they have some good guys. Dialo Yeah. SGA like yeah it's kind of hard for them not to be confident.


Yeah. And you know it's never good. So it's your GMES job to tank, not your coach and your players. I've always said that the GMs job is to get rid of all your great players and build up all the assets. And then you go to your team and you say play your tails off and don't, because it's not good for young players to think your team isn't winning.


It's really bad for their psyche. So I like I love that OKC is doing that. Even I relied on that.


Yeah. And Chicago. You know, Lauri Markkanen. Playing pretty well, Wendell Carter Jr playing pretty well, Zach Lavine, Zach Lavine, he's piece, you know, he's a guy you want on your team, so I don't know.


We'll see where they had a marketing, would have been marketing, would have been on my team three months ago if I was a GM. He was just sitting there waiting to be stolen. It's like actually, let's let's take one more break and I want to talk about this quick.


All right, mentioned Markkanen. The concept of distressed assets marketing to me is somebody I really liked. I think he you know, I don't want to compare him to Dirk, who's one of the 20 greatest players of all time. But there was some jerkiness to him, his ability to handle the ball, to get a rebound and actually dribble down right up. Yeah, kind of an arsenal. And he was clearly just on the wrong team with the wrong coach.


No point guard actually had a couple of injuries. Yeah. No point guard to run high screens of them, stuff like that. And I just I just want to try to trade for him. Like I actually thought if the Warriors, if there was any trade for them to make last year, if they could have done two, four, four foreign marketing, I actually would have done that as much as I liked Weismann because I feel like they can they still could have gotten a good player for because they could take it Halliburton at four and they would have Markkanen and Hillburn.


How about Markkanen was sitting there and now people are like Oh market and he's good again and it's like now he was like it was situation. Yeah. So who is the next guy like that. I think it's Marvin Bagley. I'm still, I'm still Wythenshawe. Marvin Bagley's on a weird team. He is, he's had some injuries. He only played thirteen games last year. Doesn't seem to click with his teammate. I think his dad's a handful.


There's a whole bunch of reasons why I know that. Yeah, I didn't know that.


I think there's a whole bunch of reasons you could get him for fifty cents in the dollar and about a month.


So where you put him, I was thinking for the Celtics, that's seven quarters for a dollar trade. We have orders. You just need another dollar. Yeah. Or a team like the trade or you know, these teams that are going anywhere where it's like just change of scenery and. Well, sure. Assets from OKC even. And I think that's true with so many of these guys that if you you know, 90 percent of the NBA players fit is everything.


You know, the ten percent, the LeBron and all those guys, they can go anywhere and fit in seamlessly.


And, you know, Jimmy Butler can go to Miami and fit in seamlessly.


But the rest of the guys, you need the right coach, the right team, the right system to some degree, although I think the game is so much more freewheeling now. And I really think that matters a ton. And so you put Marvin Bagley somewhere else, you might be great. Sometimes it works the other way around, you know, and I mean, Evan Turner was one of those guys, like I always like the way Evan Turner played.


But, you know, clearly he hasn't done Collins. I wasn't a good fit, you know. And so he went from these teams to teams you like. Yeah. This is a good place for Eventer. And then. Oh, wait, that's not such a good place for Evan. Turn to Portland. Really didn't work out, for instance. And I think that's just true with a lot of players. You need to first of all, you always need your coach, the coach to believe in you and not to come in with any pre notions about what you can or can't do.


Rashon Holmes was like that for me for a couple of years. I always liked them. I was the Celtics Sixers playoffs or zero, so relieved he didn't play because I think he was a terrible matchup for the Celtics. Brett Brown never side New Orleans, has a couple of guys. New Orleans, I can't understand.


They're hard for me to figure out New Orleans, what's happening there. They. I mean, do their pieces fit now, they're pieces don't fit. That's right. Yeah, well, there's a certain angle, too, like a stand. The last time stand had real success was 10 years ago. I'm a stand fan, man.


No, I mean, like we haven't seen in 10 years. Yeah, but he just but the thing that he's always done that he did 10 years ago and I'm sure he's doing now is he just tells it like it is and.


But is that a good thing in the NBA in twenty, twenty one when everybody is so frickin sensitive? It should be.


And especially when you guys got guys like Redick in the locker room backing you up, hopefully in the next few minutes. Oh yeah. Yeah, sure. Fair thing. It's a really weird team because. Yeah. To say they should be back I don't feel. But should they, like I look at their team and they're playing Adams and Zion and Brandon Ingram are all over 30 minutes a game, and I just don't feel like those three guys should be playing together.


Does it make sense to me? It's a weird front line for the way the NBA is now where you need to, you know. Yeah, because you just don't want three bigger guys altogether. I don't get it.


And Adams, I love I love the way he was in OKC. He seems to me like to be a great teammate. Play so hard. He does all the stuff you want except for does any team really want it anymore.


It goes back to that old not for 18 million a year. You don't want to know. That extension I thought was perplexing. I didn't get it. Yeah. And then they have the Bledsoe who's like the Yankee Yankee Christmas swap gift. It's like, you know that.


And then Lonzo, who the hell knows. I can't pin it on him 100 times.


Well I just want him to stay healthy so you can get a good long look at him because sometimes you look and you watch him over an extended stretch and you go, yeah this is, this works.


I can see it, you know, but I feel like we're moving closer and closer to my dream of Lonzo in the Melo on the same team. Really. There's some sort of could there be like a Regehr Lonzo? Oh, I'm of something I wouldn't do that if I was shot.


Rozzers playing really well I know but the sexiness of the Ball Brothers in Charlotte just trying to sell tickets maybe.


And certainly Jordan would. You know, Jordan knows about all that, but Charlotte's been kind of a funny team.


I mean they've had some injuries too, I guess. But, you know, rozzers played really well because he.


Yeah, he's a he's another perfect example of you've got to put him in the right spot to succeed.


And I think they've done that down there. You know, there's a lot of what ifs from the Celtics over the last few years. Mhm. The way they handled the rogier thing pretty much the whole way as is a pretty big what if because you could argue they should have traded him even before we went into that Kairys season. You could also argue that the Kyrie trade never happens. He has a really good season for them and maybe has even more value coming out of that.


Maybe he's still on the team, but certainly I you might rather want him at 19 million than Kemba with a bad knee at thirty. Yeah, Rogier, especially near the end, he gave me that great quote, he said, I feel like I went from being in the front seat to the passenger in the back, you know, because that's really what happened to him.


And he just couldn't reconcile it. He just couldn't it couldn't manage it. And I think it you know, it caused some problems in that locker room.


There's no question about that, because he wasn't the only one that felt that way. You know, those guys just all wanted more. They were all chafing for more. And so I don't think I thought they were going to trade him at that deadline, the year, you know, right before they should have. That's when they should have. That's and I don't think that's revisionist history on any of our parts. I think it just made sense to let him go.


And but they valued him, you know, they did value so to carry trades.


A pretty great weather for the Celtics because if it doesn't happen, they go into that twenty, seventeen, eighteen season. With they they have for Hayward and Horford, but they have Isaiah Thomas, they have Tatum and Brown, they have Isaiah coming off some sort of hip thing that we don't know if he come back midseason. I don't think he's the same guy. Probably you would have the same issues, but that rogier they have that eight that would ended up being the eighth pick, which would have been really important for that year.


Yeah. Or whoever.


And how it played out I think was not. I do know. But if I, if I were Danny Ainge and if I were the Celtics, I did every time do it every single, every time. Every time. So he's Kairys just.


He's complicated, man, but he could play to play. Roselyn, I always do this, the top five guys, but there's more than top five. Mm hmm. If you were going to say the elite, the elite top group. Yeah. I have space like this, LeBron, Yanase, Loka. Slight drop off Davis, Kawhi CD, Yokich Curry Harden. Tweak of a drop off to Damon Joel, you could argue we have 11 top five guys.


First question, would you put Damon Joel with the other night?


I would and I might I might even put Daim a little high.


I just I'm a huge Damian Lillard fan. And again, if you put him. On some of these other teams, he'd be even better than he is, although CJ McCollum, poor, poor guy, before he got hurt, he had made 63 threes before he got hurt, 63 like that's I think nine more than anybody else.


And that's a lot like he was really shooting the lights out of the ball.


So but so I'm a big dame fan. So we have we have 11 top five guys now because Wednesday is a top five guy. Yeah.


I hate to be able to say I never said that I'd ever say it because I don't.


Because then, you know, my son always plays this game and I go, well, those guys say because yeah, but you forgot, you know?


And I'm like, oh, you're right, I did. So what about Jayson Tatum? Next next level down. You can't give it to the next level down. Yeah, I think I think to be a top top guy, there's a consistency that goes with that. Yeah. And he isn't there yet. It's like if Jokic is on TNT, I know he's going to put up twenty six, 12 and 15. He just is but yeah. I mean you think like LeBron Yoni's Loka Davis, Kawhi Durant, Yokich, Curry, Harden, Dame Joel just those top eleven.


That's as deep as anything we've had since the early 90s when you were covering. I don't know if you're the global sports All-Star at that point, but when we had that, the Jordan class and all those guys. But then we had the new wave of guys, too, and then all of a sudden they kind of all collided and everybody had an awesome guy. And that was when the league was really fun. So I'm hoping maybe that'll be the case.


Again, the fact that the Warriors are fun, again, I think has been a huge asset. Oh, I think everybody wanted that.


And Steph steps the most lovable superstar maybe ever. He just no one gets mad at Steph. No one dislikes Steph. It's funny. He's because he and I know there's one person that dislikes him.


Was that LeBron? Oh, well, but he doesn't say I mean, I don't know. Has he ever said that? I it's a read between the lines.


Yeah. I think I read between the two MVP thing. Really. Oh yeah. Yeah. Right. And there's definitely there's there's, there's a there's an ice that's with them. I saw it in person and one of the finals games when they really went at it. Yeah. It was game one at twenty eighteen where it looked like LeBron was going to deck them. Yeah I like that about LeBron too. I like the fact that like I didn't love like the first thing LeBron said with Marc Gasol came to the Lakers was you stole my defensive player of the year where I didn't love that.


But you know, welcome to the team.


You stole my defensive player in 2015. Yeah.


It's the first thing he said to him, wow, you won that year. I feel like I voted for Marc Gasol that year. I did, too. I did, too.


No, it's just that's how LeBron rolls. It's OK with me. I mean, Curry. I think it's just such a phenomenon still, because every young kid, boy or girl, looks at him and says, I could be him. He's not super tall, super big, he shoots like crazy, but that's if I work on that, I can be him.


And I think that's one of the reasons why, also because he's so gracious to everybody, too. But, you know, what's funny is the way he's being defended now.


It's like watching a girls high school basketball game where there's one good girl on the point guard and they do the three to where they put the three people basically midcourt to to make her get rid of the ball. Right. Because they don't want her to have it over midcourt, basically. And that's the NBA teams are kind of doing variations that were where they're just sending multiple people out of court. This happened to Dame last year to just get rid of the ball.


We don't want you to have the ball. Right. But I think what happens with those guys and like the game last night, Curry started off shooting the ball poorly. But you just know, over time, a guy like him is going to find a way to get open. He's going to find his rhythm and you could throw and then once he gets there, you could throw as many guys as you want. It's not going to matter.


So. Yeah. All right. It's good to see you. Thank you. Bill, would you have a prediction for the next two weeks? Give me one prediction. Trade. All right, Descension. And yeah, well, just for fun, because you mentioned him, let's say Harrison Barnes is on the move. Why not? Let's start a rumor, sell all of as well if it's your fantasy. So sure, we'll send him to the Celtics.


You know what? He's my fantasy because I can't watch semiannually airball another three Chassidic. Everybody socity. Everybody's so down on geneology like, you know, it's funny.


The late, great Tommy Heinsohn, who loved everyone, like the one guy he just couldn't quite give his love to, was tremulously.


Isn't that funny? It's it's the wide open threes from the corner that dunk it. And then this smashed through. This was the only thing he was supposed to be able to do every time he shoots. But he looks terrified.


Well, because he's not ready. You know, it's it's some kids come in like Prichard's been a revelation, right? I mean, he's been what you thought Naismith was going to be so right. These kids, they all have to do it in their own time.


They needed to come out of one of the last two drafts with a swing guy who could play twenty minutes a game. They got him. Pritchard Oh, yeah, yeah, but he's a bench guy, but not a swing guy. They needed somebody who like when Tatum or Brown is in the game who could carry those minutes and they don't have it. Oh, yeah, they stole. So that I think that's the trade piece, whatever it is.


All right, Jacqui, good to see you. All right. Thanks, Bill.


All right, Nour Pinciotti is here from the ringer, you can hear on the Ringer NFL show, she's been doing a live podcast after the Sunday Night Games, which are really fun, the restaurants. But you're also based in Boston and you covered the Patriots once upon a time. Tom Brady. Is now two wins away for the Super Bowl. What is the mood on the on the cold Cauvery streets of Boston right now? What is the mood? A lot of conflicted feelings, I think, and I think there's some people who have been all in from the beginning and are happy to have someone else to root for in a bad patriots' year and feel like Brady's been a part of their lives for a long time.


And they want to see him win. And they're happy to have a rooting interest and a conference championship game. And then I think I think there's some bitterness and maybe a little bit of ugliness that the thing that's that's caught my attention is that Bruce Arians, I think, is really influencing the way people are feeling. And it's one of two ways I think some people would like to root for the Bucs and would like to root for Brady and just really don't like Bruce Arians and are having trouble coming to terms with rooting for Brady means rooting for Phurba.


And then I think some people there's a little bit of scapegoating where maybe they want to say that they would be rooting for Brady, but they don't they don't feel it in their heart and they're looking for a reason. And the reason that I think is being settled upon in a lot of cases is, well, the coach just isn't very good and it's an undisciplined team. And he says all these mean things about New England. And I just don't like him and it's just making it hard for me.


And it's a little bit of a spurned lover thing. But so I think a lot of mixed feelings. But overall, I do think more people that I've talked to are excited about it and just excited to have someone that they're pulling for, pulling for then than not. But it's pretty split.


So when I was in Boston in the late 90s when Jerry Callahan. Named Boston Loser Town, because we were on this unbelievable stretch of just losing and then Raybert got traded to Colorado and then the Bruins fans and the Boston fans were rooting for Burke to finally get a Stanley Cup because it wasn't going to happen. The Bruins, because they were too cheap, they screwed things up, they missed their window, all that stuff. And then I was actually at a bar in Cambridge watching him win the Stanley Cup.


And it was it was people are really happy for him. The difference is it was kind of like by proxy. We were like, we love this guy, but we're kind of winning a little bit, too. The Brady thing is so different because Boston's when so many titles, he won six with the Pats. So there's no proxy element at all. It all comes down to. Do do I appreciate what this guy did for me and my bitter at all about how he left and I have changed my mind on this a thousand times because part of me is a little bitter and I do feel like he he was wasn't one hundred percent in on last year's team and situation and knew he was leaving and went to this.


You know, the second wife is just he has a much bigger house. They have all these toys that have such a fun life. And his life with us near the end was like it was a crappy house. The toilet didn't work. There was just a lot of arguing and bitterness. And I'm mad at him because his team is better, which is a dumb reason to be mad at somebody. So I don't even know why why I have any opinion other than good luck, Tom Brady.


I'm happy for you. I don't know why I can't get there.


To use your analogy, though, I think the people who are having fun rooting for him, it's a little bit like, OK, yeah, maybe you've got a new girlfriend and maybe it didn't work out between us forever and ever and ever. But like, we've got kids, we've got six Super Bowls, we've got the whole history. You'll never be rid of me like you are going to go into the Hall of Fame. And guess what? We're not going to be talking about Tampa Bay very much.


We're going to be talking about the the main course of your romantic life was right here, buddy. So go have fun. And the second chapter is not going to be anywhere near as long as the first. So I think the people who are sort of secure in it feel that way. But there's also this like you're having you're riding off into the sunset and this one so much more fun. And Gronk, too, is talking all about like, oh, freedom, I feel so free.


And the coaching is that different here? And that that's a little bit of twisting of the knife.


I think I like how you say that each Super Bowl is a kid. That's it. That's a good way to think about it. Like the children are six kids, that Brady is super grown and Belichick is like the ex-wife, basically.


And everybody gets never going to be out of his life. Right. Like he cannot escape them. No.


Well, here's the thing. I never thought they would actually win the Super Bowl, so I never really allowed myself to think about, oh, shit, like he might be on the podium wearing the Bucs Super Bowl champion hat and it'll be like number seven and it opens up this whole can of worms for them. We have to have the whole who is more important, Brady, Belichick, all that's that conversation, which I hate because I feel like they were both so integral to each other.


But as we got closer, I realized, like, because I'm selfish and I'm an only child. The best case scenario is Tim actually losing in the Super Bowl with the bucks or losing next round where he he got there. He was a contender. It was fun. He still has it, but he didn't actually win. And all his Super Bowls, a New England, that's just me as a selfish person rooting for that for the outcome. But I'm going to do is I'm going to bet on the bucks each round.


So if he wins, I win money on it and that's how I'm going to play it. I think this is totally rooted in having watched the Brady Patriots for a long time. I understood why it made perfect, logical sense that the Saints were favored in that game. Great defense, much better coaching. They smoked them earlier in the season. They'd beaten them twice. In my heart, the idea that the Saints were favored to win that game was ridiculous, just ridiculous.


And part of it was because Brady had been playing much better quarterback in the last month of the season than Brees was. And it was pretty obvious that Brees just. Didn't have it anymore, but still the idea that there was a chance that the Saints were going to find a way to win that game to me just felt so fundamentally wrong. And I would see all these people talking about it and kind of check myself and go, is this is this a little bit of bias?


But I think, like, he's just. He's he's who he is. It shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. I think you're right about them losing in the Super Bowl being the best thing for. The all important Patriots fan perspective on how this works out. The funny thing is, I think like looking at all the old quarterbacks are in the NFC playoffs. Brady, I think, had the most to lose, but in some ways the least to game, because even if they win the Super Bowl, it's going to be the whole Brady Belichick thing and that'll do a few news cycles and whatever.


And people use it as a talking point.


But is that really going to change? Like he's already the go rate league is another Super Bowl. It'll be a referendum on the decision to switch teams. But I don't know that it would be a referendum on Tom Brady as a quarterback where it helps.


OK, so it just adds one more. Does the goatees need help, like so goatees kind of case closed. See, this is where because I'm older than you are, this is how we felt with Jordan at the end of the 90s, the Jordan thing ended and we were like. It's over, we're never going to talk about this again, this is the best basketball player I've ever seen. And then the LeBron thing gained a little steam and then LeBron won in 2016 and it got reopened.


And all the people were like, no, we already decided. This is we're not arguing about this anymore. Jordan's the goat. And then we had to deal with this because the younger generation who didn't see LeBron, you didn't see Jordan was basically like, LeBron is our guy. LeBron is the one this is. And then and then it became a whole thing. So fast forward to twenty twenty one. Like, you can't tell me Brady's always going to be the goat because the younger generation might decide.


Oh, Justin Herberts won four Super Bowls with the Chargers and threw for five thousand every year. He's the goat. And then we have to litigate this. So if he does get the seven Super Bowl.


You know, I first of all, that that really would be incredible and I'd have to. I guess I have to sort through my feelings about it, because in a way, we always the Pats fans were defending Brady versus Manning, remember forever. Brady's better. Brady is better than Brady finally cements it with the three Super Bowls. So to have more ammo against Brady versus Manning, Brady against everybody, I would like. But at the same time, it would just be weird.


I really would have trouble wrap my head around it. I don't know, can you tell them tormented I. This is what I'm talking about with the conflicting feelings, I think it's pulling people, it was ripping these poor Patriots fans apart. They've just been through so much. But the thing that I think about is that for for Brady, OK, so he could put some more distance between him and Manning and solidify the gold case in case we're talking about Justin Herbert as the goat in 15 years or whatever, what world.


But Brady having seven instead of six and Aaron Rodgers having two instead of one. My argument is that that's a bigger deal for Rodgers than it is for Brady.


100 percent agree. I think this would be the most meaningful out of anybody who's left. Josh Allen has a whole career ahead of them. This is this could be Roger Rodgers. Yeah. Rodgers this could be his best chance is thirty seven. Who knows. Oh, I like that. Your dog's joining us here. Yeah. I was going to say this.


I started recording. I was like, crazy. Do you want to go somewhere else? And she just she declined. So we've got a buddy of the Rogers piece. Oh, wait a second. On the on the Saints Bucks game, you were saying how you couldn't beat the Saints or favorite all that stuff? I felt I was surprised that the line didn't drop when Taysom Hill went out because I did think he was important for those seven to 10 plays.


I thought it would go to like saints by two and a half. With that said and sound, I did a bad job not talking about this on Sunday night. And I'm sure you covered on your part the Jared Cook fumble. So the Saints are over midfield. They're up seven. They have momentum. And that Jared Cook fumbled changes the game as they were driving down the field. I didn't feel as comfortable with my oh, the Bucs. I really think the Bucs can win this.


I was actually pretty nervous because Brady hadn't looked at it. He hadn't connected on any long passes. And I think if they had gone down ten, I'm not sure they could have been able to come back from that. This is why football is such a frustrating sport to bet on, to follow the route, for it really sometimes can come down to one play cook fumble happens, boom, momentum shift, Brees falls apart, it's over. Even if they just get a field goal out of that drive.


I'm not positive the Bucs could have. Don, two touchdowns in a row down the stretch, just the way they're playing. I didn't feel like they were that if they kind of get it done, barely. But to put together two TD drives, I don't know, every touchdown drive they had was off a short field, was off of the track. So if you take away the turnovers, then. They would have had a really tough time winning that game because every long drive that they put together, they stalled in the red zone and settled for a field goal.


Thing is, that's where Brees was at this point. So if this is Brady Brees game, then the reason that the Saints beat them twice in the regular season is that Brady threw, I think, five of the interceptions he had this season against the Saints. And the fact that that flipped, which is so Brady. Right. Like if if all he needs to do in a playoff game is just play mistake free, that's what he's going to do and that's what he did.


And every time the Saints turn it over, they ended up scoring a touchdown. So there's totally a world when we spend all this time talking about, oh, yippee, we get to see Tom Brady and Drew Brees play a playoff game. This is going to be awesome. And then if the Saints don't get those long returns and short fields and the bucks don't get the short fields off of turnovers, this is like a 17 to 10, just like really snooze fest game.


And it's like Brady and Brees are on the field with braises kids after the game. And we're all just sort of not not saying the thing, which was this game sucked. Those guys looked bad, but. Yeah. Don't you feel that? Well, I guess don't fight. The Saints lost that game way more than the Bucs won it. That was that was I was thinking about it that night. I was driving somewhere afterwards. I was thinking I was lucky to win my bucks bet because I felt lucky after.


And it was basically the Saints were so much worse than the Bucs that that's why the Bucs won the bucks. You know, the Fournette piece was fun, I think he I think he was good, their defense made a couple of timely plays when they needed to, but for the most part and they were smart, right.


Like all they needed to do was just recognize that the Saints were not going to be pushing the ball more than like 15 yards down the field ever. So every blade of grass is not in play. But why did they clamp down to that?


Take two hours, though? Why didn't they realize that in the first quarter today?


I knew that I watched at home. They were pressing up on them a little bit.


But I mean, I think they were the the bucks were very frustrating on the offensive side, I think, because they'd been really making some changes that I had bought into in the last month of the season since their buy was in week thirteen. And since then there were just these little flickers of, OK, they are bending to what Brady is most comfortable running a little bit more like a little bit more motion, a little bit more play action using a little bit more twelve.


And then all of a sudden it's just like, oh, first down, run, first down, run, first down, run. Oh, it's third and one. We're going to try to throw it deep. And it was just like, why are we doing this again.


But with the touch pass to Gronk, the 30 yard lob pass, we're always goes off his fingers. We've seen that one enough. Although so Kevin, when we were doing the live postgame show, Kevin was saying he couldn't believe that Gronk didn't catch that. And how I felt was, you know, why he didn't catch that is because he's going to catch it in the Super Bowl. Oh, this is like that one. So you're that we're taking the Packers.


You're not worried about warm weather bucks and cold weather? Lambeau like even better.


I'm totally kidding. I don't I no, no. I'm changing topics. Warm weather, but cold weather, Lambeau Brady, whose blood is now a little thinner because he's been in Florida, it happens. It happened to me when I moved to California. So I'm less worried about it because it's the day game. So at least it'll be sunny. It's going to be cold, but it'll be sunny. And it's not that. I mean, you know what that's like as soon as it's dark out and just mentally, everything feels so much worse and colder.


So I think they'll be OK. I think Brady will get it back. I also think. It would worry me if it was going to be super windy and sleeting and gross, but they heat the sidelines like it's just going to be cold, it's just going to be a low temperature thing. So the difference to me between Tampa and Buffalo, who's in a similar situation. Sure. I don't feel like Buffalo I think Buffalo might be the best team, and I thought that we're going into the playoffs that we have, I don't feel like they played well in either in either game, which I was fine with.


It was one of the reasons I picked them last week because I thought people got too thrown off by the Colts game. The Colts played really well. And then last week I didn't play well in the first half like he missed they had perfect plays and he just Bestfoods and it was windy and all that stuff. So I feel I still feel like they have an awesome game. In the end, it could happen this week. I look at the Bucs and I'm like, that's just kind of who they were that in that Saints game, they're going to miss some open chances.


They're going to have some frustrating third ones. They might have a dumb penalty, but for the most part, they're going to be a little bit of a roller coaster ride. And I guess my question with them in Lambeau is just can you be a roller coaster ride and actually win in Lambeau? Because Rogers isn't going to help them. Rogers isn't going to throw them to PEX. They're not going to get turnovers the way they're able to get against St.


. So can they not be the roller coaster ride in Lambeau? Can they just play start to finish really good game where they don't shoot themselves in the foot? And that's my fear with picking them. I'm not sure they can. I'm not sure they can either, especially because they're and they were last week and it was fine. But they're going to be at another coaching disadvantage, I think. And that's where I get the heebie jeebies about.


You know, you can look at it and think, OK, so they get down a score.


And then the Packers, like we've seen this movie before, right. On defense, they start just playing a little bit too soft, opening the door, and then Brady does Brady stuff. And all of a sudden it's the fourth quarter and he has an opportunity for a game winning drive and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.


But I just don't feel confident that given the roller coaster of having really good players and then just making ridiculous dumb decisions, particularly in terms of how they function on offense. Yeah, I don't trust that. I trust I trust the personnel. I don't trust the coaching, really. Ironically, the way they win is an awesome Brady game. He can't play the way he did last week. But if he was like lights out in this game, I think they could win.


He'd have to be lights out. I think that's how they win. It would have to be a classic old school. Tom Brady locked in from the like what? The 04 title game against Pittsburgh. One of those like. Oh, he's got he's got it today. Oh, Tom Brady Phoebes. It's hard to rule that out. Right. Hardaway to give that up. All right. We're going to take a break and talk about more important stuff like The Bachelor.


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I will type Badshah before we do that. The Deshaun Watson thing. I'm just fascinated by sound I talked about a lot on Sunday night. It's clear if he does get traded its jets or dolphins just because I think they have they have the trump cards. The Jets have the second pick in the draft, plus whatever else the Dolphins have the two the number four in the number seventeen plus whatever else. I don't think anyone can compete with either of those offers.


How it goes. Most people seem to feel like he's done and that there's been too much damage. And this is a little different than like the James Harden situation. This is like this team is incredibly poorly run. They've handled things wrong with him over and over again. They've not treated him like a superstar. They have no input in anything. The Hopkins trade was indefensible and it's just their train wreck. They're the number one train wreck franchise somehow surpassing Washington, which I thought was impossible.


But if you if you're putting on the franchise side by side, they're the number one train wreck right now. And I hope he gets traded because I like watching him. What what intel do you have on all this stuff? Well, it was funny to watch because my probably my biggest story when I was at the Globe was being involved in the story of when it used to be when Jack used to be the character coach, he didn't really quit persay.


It was more that his contract was expiring. And he told the Patriots, I'm not coming back. And it's just been really fascinating to watch this because at that time they wanted him to come back. And I think that was the beginning of of some real deterioration of that relationship. But when he was in the role that he was hired to be in, which was before he went on, this wasn't entirely before he'd started laying the groundwork for this accrual of power and to be a personnel guy in the NFL, which just came completely out of left field.


But when he was in his role as character, coach, team chaplain, mentor, confidant to a lot of those players, he did really well. Like everybody there really, really, really liked him. And then somewhere down the line, and it was completely it still is frankly inexplicable to me where this came from. He hires Bluemont. Who's a really high powered coaching and executive agent? And all of a sudden, he wants to be a personnel guy, and I think this if you're Bill Belichick.


That's just not not how you do things. I mean, Bill wants to see the guy who was grinding tape and was an area scout for five years and works his way up the chain and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that's how they've done a lot of things. And so then this guy who had a really good reputation in the role that he was in all of a sudden is like, I want to be a personnel executive.


And it's just like, well, that's not going to happen. And so then all of a sudden just it's like, oh, it's like Christmas and Christmas and hosting the nightly news for ABC.


Right. So this is a bachelor host Chris Harrison calls like, you know, the head honchos there and goes, hey, so just half way. I like my contract's coming up pretty soon and things are great. Love the job, love the organization. Just want to flag this for you. I would really like to become a news anchor. I would like to be doing political news. I want to do the ABC World Report, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.


And on the other end of the phone, they're just like, OK, so that's not going to happen.


But then. To extend this metaphor, then, Chris Harrison, I don't know, goes that Chris Harrison jumps to Siesta Key and then just absolutely blows up Siesta Key as a television show that my daughter mysterious, my daughter would be absolutely furious if that happened.


I'll just say, yeah, that the whole Easter Bunny thing reminds me of stuff that used to happen in the NBA in like the 70s when somebody would become a GM because he was the radio announcer and got along with the owner. And they're like, hey, why don't you be the GM? And then all of sudden, radio announcer was the GM. If this doesn't happen in 2020, this I don't understand how a team chaplain becomes the most powerful person on the Texans and it there was stuff over the weekend about how he might Souci for that for that take that he wrote about his thinking of it.




That he made people see the rumors. All I know is Jenny Francis was one of the people that wrote that story, and she's great. And I'm going to believe her every time over the team chaplain who became the GM. And it seems like he's on a power trip. But the whole thing is nuts, and I hope they treat him. And it would be really fun if he was on Miami or the Jets over this really fucked up team that has no draft picks this year because they traded all of them and they fired the coach.


They're just going to waste Deshaun Watson seasons. What what would be a more fun team for you, Miami or the Jets, if you could pick one?


I think Miami better because they wouldn't be quite so. So the thing that he probably and this isn't the worst thing in the world, but the thing that he probably should try to avoid is basically going somewhere and putting them in the same situation, which is not his fault at all, but putting them in the same situation that the Texans are in, which is having absolutely no draft capital. But since Miami already has a lot of the Texans on draft capital truly kind of give it back.


Right. And they wouldn't be so hamstrung in terms of what they can add going forward. I mean, that's not the best offensive line. I think theoretically in New York, if they fixed quarterback, not by going through the draft and they'd probably have to give up there, they certainly have to give up their top pick. So that's going to take them out of the running for someone like Minnesota. But they still have some really high quality pieces on the offensive line.


So there's at least more potential for that to be really, really good for the protection to be really, really good there. But, you know, there's the tax benefit to being in Florida, too. So I feel like that's more logical. Yeah, that'll be more fun, I guess, if I'm looking at it from Houston and God knows how they would even look at this, because they have a team chaplain running the running the running the team.


I guess it comes down to how much you like Fields'. And if you think Fields is like a herbut level talent, that you could build your whole franchise around and will make the fans you have right now hate you, that you're traded, Deshaun Watson is, but they own owners jerseys, all that stuff. And fields can come in and just kind of be the guy right away versus rolling the dice with two who really sucked the last four or five weeks of the year like he just did.


And you could talk yourself into the hip thing. He was trying to get back. They weren't using him. Right. All that stuff. But I think the unknown of Fields's potential versus the the fear that, too, is who he showed those last five games that would steer me toward the Jets. That makes sense, the thing that I I try to keep in mind here is. It depends how you feel about fields, but it also depends how you feel about drafting quarterbacks.


Right. And the uncertainty that comes with even a really, really, really high pick, because Tuell was like one of the greatest college quarterbacks that people have ever watched and. If if those last four games are legit, what it comes down to could have a lot to do with the injury, could be they don't have the greatest offensive line like we just talking about. There's a lot of different factors. But one of the factors that I don't think should go unmentioned is that.


People are not always good at drafting quarterbacks. The NFL is not that great all the time at figuring out which college quarterbacks are going to be great NFL quarterbacks. Yes. So you can feel awesome about Justin Fields and still acknowledge that Deshaun Watson has a track record in the NFL of being one of the absolutely top five, maybe top like three or four quarterbacks in the entire game. And that, to me, is just so much more of a sure thing than taking even a guy you feel like was incredible in college, because we've just we've seen it so many times.


It does not always work out the way that people think it's going to work out.


Well, the homerun trade would be two for 17 next year's first.


You take the you take the Heisman guy for. You cross your fingers and then, too, it turns into the tool we thought he was going to be two years from now. Now it's like, wow, you just made the greatest trade of all time. Maybe the team chaplain will pray for that trade today as he's praying bachelor. I hear that episode was terrible. I think it's been a bad season and I really like The Bachelor, I, I don't know if the producers are over orchestrating this stuff.


I don't know if it's because they're trapped in this wherever. Where are they staying? La La Mirada? No, Nemacolin, whatever. Yeah. But they do this thing, and I think they tell the contestants to do this where it's like we need some drama, why don't you go tell Matt James? Why don't you go Crash's group date, even though you're not in the group, you should go, you should go tell them how you feel that you might leave do that and they try to orchestrate this stuff.


But all these people have seen the show. If you've seen the show, you know, like there are things you don't do. One is you don't crash the other group date. You don't you know, you don't tattle on the other ladies in the house because that never works. There's certain things that are just no knows if you actually want to stay on the show. I just feel this feels very orchestrated this year. And I don't like it.


And I really like Matt James. I think he was a good pick, but I don't think it's been a good season.


So I was enjoying it up until last night and I'm sure that I will enjoy I'm very excited. For what of whatever this escort narrative that has been teased that we're going to get going forward. I'm sure that'll be fine. I just felt like and Sarah, the girl who crashed the group date like she did, she did not do herself any favors by not coming downstairs and and just sort of dealing with the fallout from crashing the group date.


Yes, there was a real piling on that got gross to me like that could have been fun if everyone was like. Thirty five percent less mean, yeah, they were thirty five percent to mean, and it just was not I did not enjoy watching that.


It was just like girl madness in a way that is not fun for me to see on television. So I found that I didn't enjoy that episode at all. I also think they have to I don't want to tell people what to do with their lives, but the I have a terminally ill parent at home thing that we kind of got with Claire and then are having with Sarah. I don't know, man, that is a lot that is a lot to deal with and be on reality television at the same time, and I don't know if you can make that decision when you're casting, like, again, people should be able to do what they want to do.


But that just seems like a little too much.


It's a reality trope that always bothers me when people have something back home that they have to mention. And it's we're supposed to favor them differently on the show. This is what happens in the MTV, the challenge to where it's like Corey's got two kids at home. He's you know, he's playing he's playing for more than the game. He's got two kids at home. It's like, I don't know these two kids at home. Why isn't he with his two kids at home?


Right. Well, he had the challenge of it. Same thing. Like you're on a reality show. You've made this choice to leave everyone in your life to be on this stupid reality show. Why do I feel bad for you?


I don't know. Yeah, and it just it you don't because we have an incomplete picture, right? So we basically assume that none of the other women in the house know what's going on with her, really. But we don't end up seeing. OK, so Katie comes down and says, look, you don't know what's going on with people. Here's this whole thing. But then the thing that was weird to me was that Katie, who, by the way, real emotional development from night one vibrator girl to being the person who went and had the meaningful conversation with what, Rick?


Really just what incredible range, incredible range out of Katie. I mean, I am going to like her.


But then she gets the final word on it, and then the other thing is that Sarah's probably going to come back at some point, like being set up for this. I said that to my wife and woke Zoe last night that there's no doubt Sarah's coming back two or three episodes from now. There's going to be the knock on the door that she is going to pretend to be surprised, even though there's a camera crew inside his house. I was it was like, how do they do that?


Where they have to pretend they have no idea somebody is going to show up, but they're like, hey, Matt, about nine thirty, we're just going to have a camera crew and just, you know, just just tell her about it.


Yeah. For the hell of it. Also, don't these people have to quarantine before they come back to life, it takes a lot of premeditation here. This happened. The challenge, they brought somebody back who had been gone for like eight, nine days because somebody else had to leave. And it was like, wait a sec. I thought, you're in Iceland. How was she just available to snap of the fingers to come back? So, yeah, there's a lot of orchestration about it, just like that.


James is a master. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, absolutely. He's a big hit in my house. Yeah. He's almost overqualified to be the bachelor. And I don't understand why he just needed to go on a reality show to find some. He's one of those where it's like, dude, you could have found whoever you wanted your your great need to be on the show.


So I would like to hear a little bit and I have not Googled. I'm sure I could find this on the Internet if I really cared to. But I would like to hear a little bit more about his prior dating history, because he did drop the my last relationship was four months long and just wasn't really going to get serious. And my friend Bridget, I was like, OK, if that's the last thing that was a part of your life, like, whatever, my friend Bridget, just immediately it was like, oh, red flag, great up, fucked by energy, like, what are we doing here?


So I'm I'm interested. Hmm. I'm going to give you one of the best theories I've come up with in twenty twenty one a year. That's only a couple of weeks, so. How the bachelor is like the NFL this season, specifically in the coverture. The NFL, you didn't really realize how much fun fans were and you feel more with basketball, but, you know, like the full Lambo, the full buffalo with these playoff games, right.


In these playoff games are happening. They're basically these televised events. They're fine. You don't really have to think about the fans because the cameras are. But you missed the wide shots. And even when they had the Buffalo game, it was so fun just to see fans. And you realize, like, oh, yeah, fans are really fun. We needed the fans with The Bachelor because they can't travel and do locations. I guess I had never realized how important.


The travel and the dates were to the enjoyment of the show because not a lot happens on the show, it's basically like. It's an escape, we're all in our living room and you're like, oh, they're in Bali or oh, now, now he took he took her to Aspen for their date or they flew to, you know, Catalina. They're going all these places and you're kind of along for the ride like, oh, that's what that looks like.


Oh, they're in Spain. Cool, but kind of interested in Spain. And now they're just in some hotel complex. And the dates are they're reading literature. But it's like I think they I didn't realize how important that stuff was to a show that's really not that great. You know, because it really is it you need the I can't do stuff on top, all the other stuff. So it makes sense, that makes sense, although I will say it hasn't bothered me, it I found aesthetically the look into a little bit, it was like two.


Everything looked the same. Yeah. I didn't think that it was boring. I just thought that it actually made some things a little bit hard to follow. Like I couldn't remember when something happened because it was all just the same color palette, same like. Yeah, everything's a blur.


I don't I think this one's been fine so far. But I also one thing that I wonder how we will look back on twenty twenty early twenty twenty one. However long this this you know, our national nightmare lasts internationally. AmeriGas is if our standards are kind of lower like I also it's funny because I was also thinking about this in relation to the Brady Pats fan thing. Yeah. I think some people are just grateful that if this has to be the year where Brady is doing his thing and the Patriots are bad, I think people are like, I'm glad it's this one because I'm not going to games and I'm just kind of like blah.


And I wonder how that will influence, like the content, TV, music, movies, whatever that was generated during this time. Because I do think that there are some situations where I'm just like. I don't know. I'm happy to have it, man, like, I'll take Nemacolin, that's fine. Go forward with some donkeys. That's good enough for me.


We will talk about this at my house a lot, where we watch. We like to watch movies where they're on location just because we feel like we're going somewhere, like Adam Sandler's made some good ol vacation movies where it's like he's in Hawaii and just go with it. It's like in Hawaii for a week and things like that where you kind of escaping through the movie, one of the best ones. So on New Year's Day, because I had a little bit too much wine on New Year's Eve, I watched Mamma Mia one and Mamma Mia two back to back.


And that's the best, particularly to because everything just looks great in that movie. Like one you're singing ABBA songs and you're having fun, but like Lily James looks incredible. You're in Greece. All the colors are beautiful. Like the ocean's just spectacular. Everyone's having a good time. Share shows up. Like that was one of the best choices of how to spend like two hours of. I guess twenty twenty one now that I've made, because that felt like an escape and I was just like lying on the couch being like, well, what good thing happened for you in the in the covid now or in month 11 to Taylor Swift albums?


Hepcat But that's OK. This is also. This plays into this, too, because here's the thing is I like both of those albums. I like both of them a good amount. I do think and I've been really conflicted about this, she could have made one album and called some of the songs that aren't the best songs from both folklore and evermore, and made an absolutely just Nails awesome album. And it would have been super, super, super impressive.


Instead, she chose to make two pretty long albums and drop them in surprise releases. And again, I like both of them, but there are some songs that are filler on each one and I have gone back and forth on which I would prefer because of course I am a huge Taylor Swift fan and I want her to be canonized as as great as she possibly can be. So if she had made one record that was just spectacular, then maybe that is a means to that end.


That's a little bit more effective. At the same time, if I were empowered to choose between either outcome. You think I'm saying when I can have two Taylor Swift albums, I just want one like heck no. I want both of them.


There's more of just songs for me to, like, sit in my apartment and listen to, because that's actually a thing that's of real value right now so that I've gone gone back and forth on a lot. But it's it's funny just to think about the ways in which quarantine in the last 11 months and whatever have affected how we take things in, because I don't know if I would feel quite the same way if that weren't the case. Yeah, but.


I go back and forth on this because I think it's partly the playlist era where. Maybe that's the smart move and she's smarter than all of us show Swift like she nobody has figured it out better than her show, so she'd figure it out. I'll put out more songs and people can you know, they'll have more to choose from. They could take the eight, nine, 10, 11 they like just make, you know, do whatever, make a playlist.


It's funny. How much does this change, though? Because like, you go back to roomers Fleetwood Mac, like the one of the greatest albums ever made. Yeah. They leave out Silver Spring. The Stevie Nicks song, because at that point, it's like now we can only have 10, 11, it's got to be like 30 minutes on each side and they cut it out. And it's it's the most indefensible cut song of any album because there's actually specific points you could put it in where it would be like this would now go from one of the greatest albums to arguably the greatest album, if you put that in there.


But that is just not how they thought back then. I remember when this shifted when Smashing Pumpkins put out Siamese Dream, which was like ninety four, ninety five, and it was a double album. And he was so that Nirvana Kurt Cobain was dead. He was so determined to be the biggest band in the world. He put out this giant album and it was like did she just picked like 10, 11 songs? And this would have been like the better than your last album.


But he he kind of word dumped all of them. And then it started happening in hip hop and rap, too. And then it just kind of became the way people did it, like here. Twenty two songs you're going to argue. I like I like when they select the songs personally, but I'm older. I mean, that's just what I'm used to. But I like I like being escorted through the taste of the musician. Like I have specifically selected these 11 songs for you and they relate in this way.


Now it's like a giant playlist.


One of the eternal mysteries of Taylor Swift, however, is song selection, because her the argument for her being as great as I think she is stems from volume consistency. Like every album is a really good album, in my opinion. And for someone who's been at it this long, that's really, really, really impressive without that specific vibe and theme.


Right. Which I think is really good, that has changed more than most musicians of that caliber and that level of fame would and takes risks. And all that stuff is really cool. One thing that is always a little confounding with her is which songs are the lead singles? Which songs get left off the regular album and just end up on like a deluxe edition, like my literal number one favorite Taylor Swift song in the World is a song called New Romantics.


It is only on the Target deluxe edition of 1989. It's Bananas and that song so that when does that album come out? In the fall. And so they release the album. They do all the singles. And that album had singles like for instance, OK, Shake It Off is both an incredible song and an incredible earworm. And like musically, not that interesting. So but I get the choice of a single there and they do that and it's all fine, whatever.


In the spring of that year, I think they released new romantics as a single like way past the end of the album cycle, because the only thing that I can think of is that somebody recognizes, like, hey, this song is incredible and people love it.


And it got I think it got into the 40s or maybe the 30s on the charts. So it had a moment. But that song, I will die on this hill, that song could have been huge. And you can tell that they kind of know it because when she tours, they'll always use it in a good place or they'll vamp with it when people are like entering an arena. And it's very clear that they know that that song is a tone setter and that it's really, really, really friggin good.


Target Deluxe Edition.


Unbelievable. You know, that's when somebody hits either as an artist or as a band, and they last over a decade, which now tailors well over a decade at this point, it is funny how they all have those songs. Like all my favorite bands had the two or three songs. Even Springsteen has been doing it for 50 years. He has like two or three. That in concert means so much more than they did when the song was actually released.


Because the fans I also think fans kind of gravitate to a couple songs with an artist that didn't make it for whatever reason or they didn't get the same shine or whatever. No, no, no. That's the band.


And they they kind of over kind of oversell it in a way. But then it takes a life of its own. That album, nineteen eighty nine for her, I think is the one where that has started to happen the most. Yeah, because since that was the first just like full completely country is gone mainstream. Pop, pop, pop. We're working with Max Martin having a good time. There's lots of Glitter album. That's one where the singles and the songs that people blank spaces incredible, I think that's one of her best songs so that that can go both ways but bad blood and shake it off.


Were these big songs that were on the radio a ton? Yeah, but I don't think now that we have some space from that album, people are like, oh, those songs are really, really awesome songs. So then there are a couple tracks from that album like I think Wildest Dreams and a song called I Know Places that have started to take on that thing with fans where it's like knowing in hindsight, those are going to be really big, important Taylor Swift songs.


But they just got drowned out by these singles that you couldn't turn the radio on without hearing six times in a row. And it's funny because I don't know that the earlier albums. I think the big songs from the earlier albums have kind of stayed the big songs. Yeah, and a lot of cases, you could maybe make an argument for something like Holy Ground off of red. But I love story was big at the beginning and is big now.


Like a lot of those, the trajectory is kind of answer.


Great song, great song, even the rerecorded love story, those songs, she has like five or six that are going to. You know, that were pets at the time that will remain hits 20 years from now. Sure. Right. But it's the once she'd started changing gears really dramatically. I think it leaves more room for there to be kind of distance between what was huge at the time and and what lasts because there was such a reaction to, whoa, this is new, this is different.


And that's what people focus on immediately. But now that it's closing in on, we have a few years before it'll be a decade, but the better part of a decade later, there's the hindsight takes over and it's like, OK, now that we are used to this flavor from her, which songs do we notice? A little bit more than we did at the beginning. I don't want to step too much on the podcast, we're going to do with Nathan Hubbard on this feed the the All Taylor podcast, because both of you have strong thoughts on this.


I have it down. So I have this emergency plan for NFL season ends, NBA gets shut down because it covid for three weeks and there's literally nothing to talk about. And that's when I hit the bat signal for, oh, it's time for the two and a half hour. And Nathan Taylor Swift's career retrospective part. It's on the list of Beretti. And the funny thing about that, I'm ready. I'll just tell you, like what, ten minutes before, hey, it's time bat signal has been activated.


You guys will be ready to go. We'll cover it because my whole life for that.


So I don't want to step on that. But I will say I. I think if you compare her career. To the other iconic pop singers, and I have no problem calling her a pop singer. She makes pop music. Correct. She has exceeded the overunder in a really unusual way, this. They're supposed to last seven, eight years and then people get tired and they move on, they could still last after that, but it's usually a seven, eight year run.


It's not supposed to be 14, 15, what she's doing, I actually think is incredible and doesn't really have a lot of correlation to. Other things that have happened in popular music. How about that? I'm in a great mood, I didn't even I didn't know we were going to get to get another conversation in here. Well, just watching it through the lens of my daughter who liked her from the moment she really started liking music when we would be driving to soccer games that she's like seven, eight.


The fact that she's still relevant to my daughter is like amazing to me. It's my daughter. Everything she liked when she was seven, eight, nine, she no longer likes terrorists. It's the one thing that she still like. She really like folklore. She still listens to it. You know, she.


What was the last album that came out? Ever more issues like foreclosure, more than ever more, but the fact that she remained relevant, I think is relevant and still doing good work and still pushing the envelope. And she might be secretly married, who knows? There's like Mystique with her that I think is really hard to maintain on the Internet. Right. She might have a husband. We don't know. Does she does she have a husband? I don't know.


My daughter is fascinated by it. She's Googled all of it. She thinks Taylor might be married. Maybe. Who knows? I can buy it, I would I would bet on no, but I could buy it. I also think she would totally love to elope like she has such I would like to elope energy as a person. The documentary. Which is mostly a waste of time, had a couple of really great moments in it. And I don't know if they're orchestrated or not, but I was really fascinated by them.


But the best one was when she found out that whatever album it was didn't get nominated and she kind of processed it like. Schwarzenegger in the Terminator for eight seconds, and you could see she was rattled and then she was just like. OK, I got to make a better album and and you could just see, like, the seeds being planted. I don't know if that was a completely orchestrated moment that they talked out beforehand or whether that was organic.


But either way, I was interested.


I think that was I think it's organic. I think the thing is, I think some of the stuff that people think is contrived with her, I don't think it is. I just think that it can be sometimes uncomfortable to watch a person who has real strong people pleaser mentality, like very thoroughly ingrained within them, have to try to be a celebrity and have to try to keep people interested in her and do that.


I think it can be uncomfortable, but I don't I am firmly on the side of that was a real thing that really upset her.


Ninety percent. Agree with you, but there's that 10 percent where there is just like you don't know, it was like when she would have all those relationships with one famous celebrity after another. And you're just like, is this real? It seems like, oh, we're on the beach. We didn't realize that photographer was there. And it's five times in a row. You're just like, what is real and what's not? I don't know what to believe.


That's fair. I remember once having a very funny standing in the middle of the Patriots locker room, just very animatedly explaining to someone that Hitler Swift was fake. And Brian Hoyer, like, laughed, overheard this in the corner of the room and laughed so hard that he was like snarfing something out of his nose. And I was like, if I if I somehow injure Brian Hoyer or upset him through yelling hitlist, which was fake in the middle of this weird room, like, that's not going to be not going to be my proudest moment as to be a writer here.


But yeah, I don't know.


But some people date a lot. So I always am suspicious when one of the people they're dating isn't like some bartender they met or, you know, her valet or her somebody who is a producer on one of her albums, they went on a couple of dates when it's like just A-list, A-list, A-list. Arminda So it's A-list. It's the Tom Cruise thing. It just I am suspicious. First of all, that was very generous to Taylor Lautner.


She did have a minus sign.


That was nice of you.


There was a guy named Steven Now who is the namesake of the song, Hey, Steven, who I feel was involved in her work life in some way, but I would have to.


You go. I think that's fair. But so she her type clearly is this like mostly British blonde sort of young looking thing. Yeah. And that's a lot of actors. Fair, this is this is why this is why you're the expert, you have an answer for all of this stuff. All right. We'll save the rest of it for the emergency. Part that we hopefully never have to do, because I never want the NBA to go away.


I thought the fact that you were able to weave in the Patriots locker room into an organic Taylor Swift conversation is why you're the best at this. Excellent.


Thank you. I mean, I don't really know what else your resume needs. It was it was just seamless. You just pulled it in. Brian Hoyer.


I don't know how you do it, nor we will swear it was fake, nor will we hear you next Sunday night or you're going to be on center Sunday night, maybe sooner.


But I think Sunday night and we're going to go live again after the games and and we'll see if I can get Kevin to say anything else. Like I'm a goofy goober, but.


No promises, good luck, thanks for coming out. Good to see you. That's it for the best podcast. We have the red hot meals and our picks come in on Thursday along with some other fun stuff assuming.


That we're all still safe on Thursday. God, I hope we are stay safe out there during the next couple of days that there's.