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Today's episode of the Bill Simmons podcast on the Ringer podcast network is brought to you by Spotify, which has the best podcast listening experience around.


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If you love listening to music on Spotify, I would highly encourage you to listen to podcasts on Spotify as well. We're also brought to you by the Ringer podcast network. Where we had another new responsibles podcast go up on Monday night. 40 year old virgin. Yeah, that one's up there and then on Wednesday, dangerous minds because it is a teen movie week on the ring or dotcom. We got all kinds of brackets, all kinds of stories. Go to the ringer dotcom or to the Ringer's Twitter feed.


If you want to breakdown every kind of teen movie possible, if you want to vote, if you want to vote with the greatest teen movie of recent history was all that stuff.


It's good stuff all around. Coming up, a little bit of a hodgepodge podcast today at the very top. Logan Murdoch and Raja Bell, who you would normally hear on the Monday Ringer NBA show, and they're great together, they're going to do an instant react on Dallas Clippers Game five.


They're basically subbing for me just for the first 15 minutes of the pot. So that'll be the first 15 minutes that you won't hear my voice. You'll hear Logan and Raja and you'll enjoy it because they're really good together. And then we're going to have me talking to Jonathan Sharks from the wringer about OKC versus Houston, Ben Simmons trades and then what the lottery looks like for 2020. And then my old friend Seth Meyers. Yeah, he's I can't remember the first time I had him on the podcast, but it's been a while.


It was due for him to come on and we just catch up about a whole bunch of things. So really fun podcast ahead. First, our friends from Pearl Jam.


What is possibly the slogan Murdoch of the Ringer NBA live show, I am here with the curator of Vibe's, the former NBA player, the former Piedmont resident, the former amateur wrestler, the now media mogul, Raja Bell.


What is PaPeRo? How are you doing, man? I'm good, bro. I got my house shoes on of chillun. It's like a Leviev 50 East Coast.


It's all good. See, I'm on the best coast right now.


You know, you got to say I'm saying you got your little yellow sweater on and stuff, you know what I mean? You got the low vibes. You you curated it right now.


You got the little columns in the back as though I said you got the funky weight going on right now. Yeah. You see. OK, yeah. OK. Yeah. OK, I see.


And I'm just, I'm just trying to, I'm just trying to show you that you out here doing the thing, you know, coming out here, living up to your name.


We are out, we are here recording lives, tapping shout outs to everybody on Twitter and YouTube and all the Spotify world and everything like that. We are here after the Mavericks got blown out.


That was that was pretty rough. But I don't even know the score right now. You said it was like 150 to 106. We stop watching, right.


It was pretty bad. Have you ever gotten your ass kicked like this before and.


No, no, no. I mean. Well, yes, yes, yes, yes. It happens. Right.


But not to talk about a real life. I'm not talking about a fade. I'm talking about in a basketball game.


Both yes. But not in a playoff game. Right. Like, that's kind of unique.


I have I don't remember playing on a team that got rocked like this, like we, you know, twenty point maybe fifteen. But but this is a genuine forty piece. They got hung on them like I've never been apart or anything like that that I can remember.


See, I know in the media how it is we're laughing at you guys. If you all lose in and step, we'll walk down to the to the to the down by the locker room instead. We're just talking about how trash you guys are right now.


That's what we're doing in the media.


But outside of your mind, by the way, like you, right before we came on, you said like these last five minutes were trash, like they were my minutes, man.


No, don't don't like them for like four years.


When I came into the league, these were my minutes. All right. So I'm laughing at the terrible basketball that we just saw for the last six minutes. Then we're going down. We're like this team has done. What are you guys feeling like in the locker room when you get your ass kicked? How was that for you guys?


Yeah, that's a that's a shitty feeling, man. You know, the good news I could say about the bubble situation is you're not going to get you know, you're not gonna have to travel on the end of this, right. So there's no plane ride. Like, you're not going to have to be stuck with everybody, like commiserating over that loss for for much longer than, you know, it takes to get your showers, have your coach address the team and then get back to your hotel room.


So that's helpful because, you know, the plane rides can get kind of. But I'm talking about a normal service.


How are you are you paying attention to the coach? Are you even like are you parents are you looking at your phone?


What are you doing when you know you're you're you're high? Everybody's locked in because you know, you're up against it now. You're doing you know, you're down to three and most coaches.


Understand that, like when you get beat like this, there's not a whole lot that can be said after the game, like you're you know, you're not going to stand up in front of me for 15 minutes because I am going to tune out. But like for I'll give you the three minutes to make your address and say what you got to say and then we got to get out of there.


What's the phone situation like? Is there like, hello, text and stuff is like, what are you doing? Why? I didn't know y'all was this bad. Here's my favorite one.


What happened is that one of those texts go in and what are you looking at? Those.


No, they're they're they were coming in the whole game like as the game started and we and we were down on like a twenty six four run, those started coming in. So I've got to now go through the whole texturing of like forty text asking basically what happened in a multitude of ways. Right. So who do you text back.


Only fam only family like wife, mom and dad probably like, you know, like you're keeping it close to the vest.


I know cotton is getting text but no, no, no, you can't get caught up in them because real talk like LeBron is good about going into what he's called a Zero Dark Thirty or playoff mode, whatever.


You got to block the noise out, man, to the best of your ability, you got to block it out.


So, I mean, you got two phones, like one for the you know, like you got two phones for the family.


And now is it just of it's one phone, but you're just navigating through your you know, through the through your calls who you want to hit back and who you don't want to hit back. And like, let me Segway real quick allow me to do this because I'm looking at my phone, you know, who looks like they block the noise out, who's in?


And I and I think he blocked that noise out because, like, he shut off the comments, like on his IG page and all of that, and he bounced back and had himself a really good game. That's that's your boy play off P.


Oh, that was pretty good, man. You like this for a living. That was nice. OK, Michael media mogul. Oh George had thirty five points, three boards and four threes. He told you to put some respect on Palmdale. He told you to put some respect on his name. He said, I'm not here for this pandemic p I'm not here for this PG 13 percent that Sean was talking about. How did you how did you feel about him putting some respect on his name?


Because he was trash and we were putting we were putting down his name on his ringer, NBA, so that you can listen to every Monday.


Only on Spotify, but, well, did you think about that response from Paul George? No, but look, first of all, we weren't in the wrong for saying he wasn't like he was not playing well. He wasn't holding up his end of the bargain like it was it was happening. It was playing out right in front of our eyes. But he did what I expected him to do, which was to bounce back, come out, clip loaded, really forcing the issue early to get buckets and try to find his rhythm.


And, you know, it was called a doc supported him and was it was vocal about that. So was Kawhi. But that's what you have to do when your team needs you. They don't have a shot at being the Clippers that people thought could win a championship. If Paul George doesn't contribute, it doesn't have to be the 30 some every night. But it's got to be it's got to be upwards of 20.


Right, Rajon. And keep it. But I'm looking at a whole stack where we keep it real. I don't think he has earned the playoff moniker back.


I think he got P back. I think he's got the P back. That's cool.


I don't think that playoff P means over years and years and years.


I think there was a stat that he hasn't even made it past the first round like four years as a superstar.


I'm not mad at you for that. I must say he's p I must say Palmdale P because he put some respect on Palmdale.


I must say that he played well to start to start the game he played.


And what I liked about it was he wasn't settling to start the game. He missed some shots, but he was crashing boards.


Yeah, he was really active there. You could tell that that really pissed him off those first few games. And yeah, he went he went out he went out wild for these fires, for these first games and did not play well even after to Instagram where he's like we stuck his chest out. He still didn't play. Well, I'm happy he's Palmdale to me right now.


OK, well, Palmdale, he did add to your point what what what I found to be the best recipe for, like, slump busting in my NBA career right now. Clearly, I wasn't scoring what he scores, but even when I couldn't make my normal, you know, ten, eleven, twelve points a game, I was off, if you just wilt.


Kind of submit to the to the game and just play, you know, every possession and rebound the ball and hustle you tail off and play great deals and just don't trip out about the scoring or lack thereof, like really buy into doing everything else in the game and get yourself in a real flow. It usually finds its way to come back like, you know, ever just play themselves out. Percentages are what they are for a reason. Right. So you just have to kind of let go of the fact that you're not scoring and do what you just talked about, like play ball, be aggressive.


You're not on social media arousable. I don't know if I'm going to change that. I don't know what's going to happen. But you are not at the moment on social media. I don't remember you being on social media during your playing career.


However, you have been around players with social media.


How much do they pay attention to that on a day to day basis when you see them in the locker room, do they care about that?


How much are they looking at it? Because there's always the narrative of I can care about what Logan Murdoch thinks. I don't care about what the media thinks about me yet. I always see these players on their phones. And then the first one to tell me when I didn't do when I did write something.


Correct. Yeah, I'm a player's perspective. How much do you all pay attention to us?


Enough. Enough. Now, I'm I'm older school. So like the era I came up in, like CAS weren't on their phone. We didn't have social media. Some of my vets didn't even know what social media was. That younger generation that was coming in as I finished up. Yeah, they're very aware of what was going on in in the on their social media accounts and what Logan Murdoch or myself might be saying at this point. I mean, it's just the way the world like I got kids that are 12 and 13 years old and they they know more about social media than I do.


They're just locked in.


Do you do you think what about when you were an executive, right. When you're when you were in the front office, how do you tell these young guys you are in and in Cleveland?


How do you tell these young guys are Kyrie, when you were there are Dion Waiters when you were there, you'll stay off of this or this is what you need to look for. Did you have any times where you had to just be like low homie, chill.


No, no, not, not, not on social media. We've had conversations. You know, there are different conversations that you got to have regarding like, you know, what people are getting into and the timeliness of that. But not not social media. Most most guys, most guys have a pretty good grasp of, like time and place with social media. I always think less is more. I know you're building a brand and, you know, everyone's out there kind of trying to create their own, but.


You know, you got to be careful on social media, so I've always advised whenever asked by by players, you know, less is more kind of on social media.


You know, I was transitioning to something that you are well versed in. It's called beef. We saw a little bit of that. We saw a little bit of that in this game. We started when Marcus Morris I don't know his intent.


You know, I don't I don't know. I can't speak for the man, but it looked like he might have kind of like maybe intentionally stepped on. Loukia dodges his injured ankle.


He did the thing where he was like, oh, my bad. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Kamiar. You know, I was that I mean, to do that. But it looked like he may have stepped on it intentionally and then it was on a next possession. Tim Hardaway The Mavericks winds up on Paul. George gets the ball but also gets a whole bunch of face.


A lot of face. We've both been around the league. We both know the code when somebody comes at you or comes at your teammate, which you've got to do. Yes. Is that fair game with what Hardaway did?


I appreciate I appreciate his willingness to step up to bat for a teammate. Every every player like Luka needs somebody that has his back. Like you need a Kendrick Perkins on the squad. You've got to have somebody there that someone is not like necessarily a star. Correct.


Someone there to hold that down on a check in the game just to get this foul and then we can get him out. My only problem with Tim was and it's really not a problem, but like, go ahead and get go ahead and get more like don't don't like Palmdale. He wasn't even really involved in that. Right. So if if we're going to if we're going to handle that business for Luca, then it's got to be the appropriate, like perpetrator of the of the crime.


And that wasn't the case. So that was my only beef with it. But I kind of like, you know, like the Mavs, who even I question maybe a little bit of their toughness and stuff like that. You know, I like you standing up. You got to stand up.


So for the record, you think that Marcus Morris stepped on his ankle? I think that it was a look. The wait, wait, wait. Would you say, sir, would you say something? I think I thought it was inadvertent. I thought it was. So you didn't think it was intentional? I did not think it was intentional. It was to. Look, I've seen Marcus Moore's bug out. Like when you hit when he hit what's the boy's name in the head with the ball like he like what's the cat's name?


Justin. Justin Anderson. Is that his name? He kind of tapped him on the head with the ball. But this particular play, like there's nothing else going on around you, like Lucas about to be the primary ball handler. Everybody else is in the in the front court. Like, why would you choose that wide open space with every camera lens in the world on you to try to step on that man's bad ankle?


Like, I don't buy that. I feel like you can tell a lot about a team by the response that they give after after there's funk with somebody.


You know what I mean? If if I'm not talking about the players that are on the floor, off the floor and we can get to that in a second because some just came up to mine.


I need to ask you about. All right. About that. But I feel like you could tell a lot about a team by who's ready for the smoke on the floor.


Were you? Do you approve of the smoke that was happening on the floor? And in response to all this beef going up. What's what smoke would be like, what would you do when someone goes, it's your star player to other news, come and protect them? Were you. Was that a plus or what grade would you give for sticking up for a teammate?


Yeah, I thought that was with what you can get away with now in the NBA. Like, I thought I thought it was a solid eight. Like, Clippers were outraged.


You just you're not going to get away with a lot of what you're talking about. What happened to Luka or you talk about what happened to Paul? Let's do a two separate instances, bro.


So I give what happened to Luka if again and I think most mavericks thought kind of like I did that did it. You couldn't tell whether that was on purpose or not. So having said that, I probably still give it an eight because maybe, you know, Timmy came down and did what he had to do. Quick, quick trip to Junior Story. Let me sidebar real quick. We're playing in a gym down here in Miami. Hi, hot gym.


Tim Junior is probably about nine years old. Tim Senior is is locking horns with me that day. Right. And he's a little older, but we're getting after it, OK? They beat us. So a ball comes down out of the net and I catch it on a volley and I kick the shit out of it and it goes it goes screaming and hits Tim Senior in the face. Like, I'm like, oh, god, I got to fight this hard for, you know, you got to fight like I got to fight now.


Yeah. I didn't mean to, but I got to fight him and Tim was cool as a fan. But from behind I feel like these little like fist beat me in the back and I turned around and it was junior like beating the hell out of my back. So not I'm not surprised that he got down for Luka today. And then for Tim Hardaway, Junior and senior, by the way. Junior and senior. Yes.


And then from there, from the Clippers standpoint, like, I think what he I don't have kids, but I hope if I have a son that he just does that. If just rise for me like that. Absolutely.


It ain't going to hurt you. You know, he's a nine year running after the passing, but I need him to. Right.


Yeah. Now my dad will get down on my dad like that. Yeah. Yeah. So it was it was it was cool. It's OK.




And the quick tangent aside, though, you were, if I'm not mistaken, you were a part of a brawl that kind of changed all this shit that changes all of this.


Yeah. In the twenty seven playoffs against the Spurs. Some bullshit. Tell me about that.


Tell me about that story and your involvement and what you thought about that whole shebang.


Well, it was first of all, I didn't know this at the time, but when Robert Orrie checked Steve Nash into the like into the scores table, Steve was selling a call there. Right. So I just saw it out of the corner of my eye and thought, like, he had really got checked hella hard into the scores table. So I ran over.


It wasn't the greatest move because then two more people ran over, then, you know, if you know Borst the Al right, like I always tell the story, Boris Diaw will be more likely to run on that court. To protect Tony Parker, then he would be to run out there and fight Tony Parker like, do you know what I mean? Like that tight. So that was just ridiculous that the league took that stance and Imari took like two steps on and then got back across the line.


So for them to suspend those two dudes in a series, I think that, like the NBA deserve to see that year. I thought it was pretty. It was pretty. It was in pretty poor taste, but. Yeah, but like dog like I was saying before, when, you know, Shaun before we came on was asking like, what would would Marcus get suspended for stepping on? Like the league's going to do what the league wants to do.


They just they they suspended me for a play where like I fell down and my legs kind of went up and Andre Bargnani was standing over me like he got call for offensive foul and on film, they thought I kicked him in the balls. And Andrea was like, no, he didn't do that. And they they suspend him because they couldn't be sure that I didn't intentionally trying to do it. And then on the flip side, like Bruce Baldwin kicks Amar'e Stoudemire, like kicks his leg out from behind him in a game and they don't suspend him because they can't be sure he did it on purpose.


So they're going to do what they want to do. Yeah.


Shadow showing you are video producer who may or may not be on a future segment. Pour out some liquor with us on the Ringer NBA show on Monday. I'm going to get that plug in.


I want to quickly pivot to this. Paul George said the above quote, The bubble got the best of me. I was in a dark place. I really wasn't here. I checked out where this is right after this game right now.


This is right after this is your this is your second best player. That's the team. That's not actually Raja Bell. Wait till we get the quick reaction, Roger.


Well, I must say how I feel about this. Oh, yeah. Go ahead, please.


This is your second best player on the team. A championship contending team. This is only the first round in a series that you were favored in. And you're already checked out, at least for a stretch that you just admitted, that can't happen, bro. That can't happen, or if it does happen, you cannot admit it, in my opinion. What do you think about this, because I, I I'm just now getting this and I'm trying to figure this out while you're here, I'm kind of flabbergasted.


Yes, look, I couldn't have said that much better myself.


Today's athlete.


And as media members and fans like we want honesty rightly, we want you to bare your soul. I want you to be candid. Yes, let's keep that shit to yourself, bro. Nobody wants to hear that. Paul Pierce, the second highest.


I mean, Paul, I said I did it again. I did it on Monday. Nobody wants to hear Paul George is checked out. He's the second best player on the team, the second highest, but no one wants to hear I like that dog.


Like again, we want to hear your candid vulnerability. Everyone wants to know that. Keep it to yourself.


I will say this, though, and it is kind of my. We don't know. Also, no one through no, we don't know one through. We don't know we don't know the mental side of this regime. We don't know yourself.


If you can have it like you said it yourself, like a dog, you could be in a dark place like you could. You could have personal stuff going on. And all of that or all of those will be very valid reasons for you to not be producing like you're a human being.


I'm saying keep it to yourself. Don't nobody want to hear. So what if he says it to you, though?


Like, what if I was like, man, I just checked out like you're his teammate. What if he says that to you?


Listen, then let's let's grab a bite. Let's let's crack a bottle. Like, let's talk it out. Let's try to get you to a healthy place.


Also, mental health is a thing in this game. You know, somebody like Kevin Love, who if you've been around at the Martirosyan, guys like that, it is something to the psyche, especially in a global pandemic. I just came to mind.


I'm just like, damn you. Right. You know, time and time and place, though, bro.


Like, I have no like the Mardirossian, you know, Kav super brave man, like brave, braver than me, like kudos to you, like for being strong enough one to navigate it and then and being strong enough to, to come out and bare your soul about it. I'm just saying like as a as an excuse after the game still in the middle of the competition, like you don't if in fact it is you don't want to be given because that what you tell him is that what you tell him as your teammate.


You're right next to him. You know, we have the scrum around him and you're right next, you're like, hey, what are you behind us like?


Oh, I know. Not right now, bro.


Did did this game. Because you know you know how I've been I've been very bullish on the Clippers, you know how I feel about the Clippers right now. I think that this game showed me something a little bit more heart.


This was a game that I've been trying to get out of the Clippers, just something like show me, man, like I need you to like they've been talking about sticking their chest out. They did the thing at summer with Pat Bev, and they're walking in front of LeBron and they're like, this is our town. We run L.A., L.A. are way.


And but they carry themselves like a team that's been there before, but in a bad way, right. In a way that like we've won three four champion we can afford. We're good. This is art. This was the first game where I kind of saw them just be like, OK, y'all got us messed up. We're going to make a statement. Yeah. Happy to see that from them. Does this mean anything, though? Does this mean anything?


Yeah, it means exactly what tonight was your winning three, two and then that's a wrap. Like you have to you have to double down on that. Right. Like that's you're looking for consistent effort. These are these are best of seven game series, bro. So if you're going to show up, you know, as great as you are as a team when you have it, if you're only going to have it one or two nights in a series, then I don't it really doesn't mean anything.


Now, if they can figure out a way to start stringing them together like that, Logan, then, you know, we're talking about a different animal. But like you're Lakers, right? Like I'm. Let me ask you a question. I know we're not talking about the Lakers, but like right now, I just did a good job. Good job. Great Solway Bettag.


So, like, who, who do you feel more secure in, in, in like they've got it figured out and they've got it rolling. Lakers, the Lakers, I mean, also they have the Bills, they just have a lot going for them right now and I just feel like they figured it out before the Clippers right now. Yeah, but I'm now I'm convinced that we're going to get this Western Conference finals now.


I just see that that's happening.


I had a little bit of doubt after after game four. I had a little bit of doubt, you know, Kaluga after Loukia beat them without without Kepi, without all these things happening. But now I feel like everything is about to go as planned. Sorry, Shaun. Shaun, who is a Houston Rockets fan. I apologize, bro, but here's what it is. I think that we're still going to be set up for conference finals.


Well, you'll be right if like and the Clippers don't even have to do what they did tonight. Tonight, tonight was tonight was like their a plus effort. I mean, you had like everybody cooking. But that that energy that you saw, man, like, you know, they kept pan into their bench, like how fired up the bench was. And you could feel them just contesting everything. They were running people off every look, making, you know, putting a hand up, just making it just a little bit more comfortable than he wanted it to be as a shooter.


And that effort, if they're going to keep showing up with that, you're going to you're going to get them in the Lakers. And that effort, like if they're playing like that, you'll get a good series out of them in the league.


Are they locked in now? Are the Clippers locked in now? I don't know. Because because all year long you would have thought they'd have been locked in and they were locked in. Right. Like they were Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Ginzo.


They're only locked in against the Lakers. That's the only time that they're locked in. Now, they need to get there first. And I believe that they're going to get there.


But come on. Well, it may not even matter, right? Because if you you know, if you have a banged up Luka, you don't have Kristaps, I. I never you know, the Mavs have been a good story. But the reality is like if Kristaps don't play, Luka has to score forty plus and he's just not going to be able to do that on the leg. They were trapping him tonight getting the ball out of his hands.


They're not I wouldn't imagine doctors can watch Luka score forty four for the rest of the series. So I think is probably right. Yeah.


OK, so we got some YouTube comments, one from Matt Skuzzy, who says, is that Logan Murdoch or Gerald Henson? Gerald Henderson. Gerald Ford. He was my rook. Broke. Yes, sir. Was he, sir, or or how was that? Was he was a cuzzi. Knight was called. I got traded halfway through that season. So another YouTube comment is that Raja Bell or skinny Jared Dudley?


Yes. Oh, OK. Let's switch gears bit.


We got to we saw another great game. Jazz Nuggets.


Yeah, the Nuggets responded bro. They won 117 107 to stave off elimination.


Such a cliche line, but they staved off elimination.


They did stave off going into a game a game six. Jamal Murray balled forty two points, eight rebounds. Oh, I'm just going to go for cliche right now. Outdoing Jamal Jamal, outpolling Donovan Mitchell, who had thirty points and five rebounds.


Yeah, but the look that. Go ahead now, go ahead. I look like you muted yourself, right? No, no, no. I'm here. I'm here. I'm here. I just I just I see both of these guys are just coming into their own. It reminded me of, well, what were you going to say? I think you have something to say was that I was going to ask you who of the two of those?


Right. Because I think their trajectory kind of the same same kind of trajectory.


Right. I don't know their ages, but like I would say, same to put Donovan over them.


Right now, Donovan is definitely in the. Yeah, he was in a rookie conversation. I'm putting Donovan ahead of ahead of Jamal right now. OK, you know, he has playoffs.


I mean, they both have playoffs. So I'm still putting down I'm putting Donovan on there. Right. I got you. I got you guys. I think that especially with Donovan is done in the bubble as well. I think Donovan, we've talked about this in past shows is one of the one of the unsung stars in this in this game right now. One thing that I did want to want to pick your brain about, though, is Kenny Smith said, I'm on a Turner broadcast.


You said it's about all young players, is that they had this off season, within the season, these three months off to get better. And they're taking these leaps. I think I've seen that with Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell. Also, look, downticks. Have you seen that, though, like I have you? Is that something that you've seen, you know, during this bubble?


No. OK, I don't know. I don't listen, I know, but like real like I, I could see. I could see, like, your roll guy, that's a young player coming in and looking a lot sharper in his defined role, but like those guys, I always felt like.


Donovan Mitchell, Jamal Murray, like Luka, they I mean, they might have gotten better at something, but I don't know if they got appreciably better. Those cats were dropped 50 on you, like on any given night.


So I think the consistency, though, Roger. Yeah, but like you saw look at a night like it wasn't I mean, you know, like, you know, I mean, hey, I know he's injured and everything like that, but like, it wasn't it wasn't DeLuca that we were were crowning like the face of the NBA two nights ago. So you could make a case for that. And it is rare that you get, you know, that type of time off in the middle of a season.


It gives you great opportunity to kind of go back and say, all right, this is the way people were playing me. This is this is where I struggled with in this offense, like for us to be a better team. This is where I got to get better in this offense and really attack that. And I'm sure guys did that. So, I mean, that probably is why we're seeing such a great offensive display, like in the bubble.


You know what I mean? Roger, you almost crossed the topic and then you brought it back. So I can only respect that you only like you were like stepping on a topic like Logan.


You're stupid. What are you talking about? And you brought it back.


Yeah. So I can respect that.


I'm not into crushing dreams for like you almost did. You already crushed my dream a long time ago. You guys can go to the past episodes and check that out.


But I want to talk about shooting in the Bubalo and I think that's an interesting topic. I want I want to shout out TD four for our producer for bringing this up. When we've seen in this bubble, it's there's no fans, it's kind of like a controlled scrimmage with a lot of people write a controlled scrimmage with stakes and with that shooting has gotten a lot better, at least from my vantage point.


What do you think that is? I think because, you know, we've seen loud arenas. We've seen how an arena and fans can affect how a role player and even superstar shoot.


Do you think that that is nullified by no fans? Well, excuse me, Lil Wayne is in the bubble, sometimes time or sometimes in a bubble like Virgile and stuff. But you know what? In the bubble do you think that is affected at all?


I think it's definitely affected or. Hasn't affected that many people, right, like the distraction of the fans and the shit going on you in the arena isn't there anymore. Most guys, like once you've been in the league for a few years, that all becomes kind of white noise to you anyway. Like it shouldn't really bother you. But the reality is, like, you know, you are human and there's a lot of shit going on there. People to look at.


There's, you know, sites, there's all kinds of posts, a lot of shit.


Somebody told you from a fan, what is the while? This man? I thought, I don't know. I don't know.


I know. I really dombra it. All right. First of all, you put me on the spot with that, like, I'd have to get into, like, some real depth of thought for that one.


What is the wildest thing you're doing?


The thing where you're like, oh, man, I'll blow like, no, no, no, no, no. I blocked out a lot of noise. I was good at that. You know, I l was always wild because people told me they were going to kill me in Los Angeles.


Yeah, like people.


OK, the wildest thing probably happened on like rodeo. We were at the Wilshire. We were there for Christmas. And I had my wife, my parents with me. We were walking down the street and somebody yelled at me and called me like a B.A. mfr, like rolling down the street. Now, I wasn't like a wild out of pocket thing to say. Like, I want a wild out of pocket thing to say in front of your wife.


But that's the thing in front of my wife during Christmas, like Christmas, the day before Christmas, it was kind of wow, OK.


All right. I meant in the but I mean in the arena but like that was that was wild to be in this in this bubble though.


Right. Do you think that you would have shot and shot better with this or do you think it might. It threw you off.


I think I would have shot better if I look, first of all, I know that venue may like my kids play in that that Orlando wide world of sports all the time, like a few tournaments. And like when you hear guys talk about shooters like gyms and stuff like that, rims have a field and some rims are tight. Like when you when you when you touch that rim up, that ball is always like cascading off somewhere in a bouncy summer, bouncy.


Some have a little bit of give to him. And like you feel like if you just get a piece of that rim, you can rattle them home. You know, like nets are really important. Like some some are like nice long like shooting. That's where they are. And then others are kind of like those. Right. But so it's all it's all personal preference. And then the other thing are like the one thing that I found a throw me off in different arenas.


And this was way, way back when I first came in the league where the cavernous buildings like the old Alamodome, when that depth perception started to kick in. Right. Like the Carrier Dome, when we play in there, like those things used to jack me up. So the NBA has done a good job of creating a small, good depth perception, like with the screens behind the stuff. And then, you know, it looks like they got some soft rims, man.


And then you subtract the sound and all of the rest of the craziness going on. That's what I feel like.


Anything can happen here basically on a soundstage.


But all right, let's let's end on this man.


Yeah, just one defensive player of the year award.


Now, he has a chance to be the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon in nineteen ninety four to sweep the MVP and defensive player of the year was.


And our producer, Ted, made sure of this, you saw this in the in the preshow meeting, that would mean he would be the last two people to sweep. If Yoni's does, this will be Nigerien Shalal to all the Nigerian homy shout out. No doubt that happens. No doubt. Also, another person that did this is only three people that have done this, if you are honest, does it? Michael Jordan also swept it. He did not win a title.


He did that in 88, though. He swept in at MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award. Do you think Giannis can sweep.


Um yeah. I had picked, I picked Milwaukee.


I don't like the way they're playing in the bubble though I'll be honest with you. Like I don't like what I've seen out of them. The NBA clearly doesn't like what they've seen of them because they give us some shitty slots like to watch their games bro is pretty bad but it would be on NBA TV under normal circumstances.


Yeah, right, right, right, right. But no, I don't I don't. I'm changing like I thought. Oh, I don't I don't think he will. And I still he's my he's my favorite player. Like we did the segment about picking like somebody start a franchise like I'm picking Giannis but so you don't, you don't get the MVP. I'm sorry. No wait. I thought you might win the championship.


No no no. It's the sweep. The defensive player. The dialogue. Yeah he's a lot. He's ok. OK. OK. OK. All right. Were you. I was the question.


No he's a lot.


I don't know if he could have gotten. I don't know if you should have got a defensive player to your play.


Oh. Who, who would have got that. There's a man by the name of Anthony Davis. Stop, stop is the name.


OK, there's a man by the name Anthony Davis who balled out defensively and carried the Lakers defense, sir.


Oh, yes, sir. There's no need right now, and we don't want to do this, I'm just saying it's really late, right this it's way past my bedtime.


But you're like you here. Right. Right, right. Right now. All right.


Now, he had a great defensive year, man, but that's the best defensive team in the league. And he was the best defender or the best defensive team in the league. I feel like. I mean, I don't know. Am I wrong for feeling like that? Agree to disagree with what the Lakers were the second best defensive team in the league, right. Fair enough that I'm just OK, my partner there.


No where no one, but be sure to watch the Monday edition of the wringer NBA show with me myself, Logan Murdoch. And Raja Bell, look at our podcasts on Spotify and wherever else you get podcasts, we're here every Monday. Sure to tune in on the Ringer NBA show, be sure to tune into all our Ringer podcast, all of them world wide, wherever you consume podcasts.


And we'll see you next time we get our name. Yet, though, have we figured that out? Also, we have that.


Yes. Yes. Good. Yes, that's the third time.


All right. We also need some help from you guys. We need a name. We have a list of names that we will put on the Twitter sphere for you to pick. Also, if you guys want to choose a name for us and we like it, we might pick that, too. So tap in. I think that that I have Twitter. Rózsa does not have social media will probably be doing calls and stuff, will probably knock on doors or something like that.


I don't know what he's going to do to try to crowdsource her name, but we're going to figure this out. So help us get a name and tap into the Ringer NBA show.


This has been the Ringer NBA show live after dark tap in. We'll see you next time.


All right. This is Bill again, thanks to Logan and Raja for that little recap of Mavs clips. Hey, before we get to Jonathan Sharks, I want you to keep playing fantasy basketball during the playoffs with our Ultimate Hoops Ringer contest. There's a Fanjul contest every day, their playoff games, five dollar entry fee per contest.


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Age and location restrictions do apply. Let's bring in sharks.


All right. We're taping this section. It is noon on Tuesday. So if anything goofy happens like it gets announced, Russell Westbrook is out for the next two rounds or something like that. Don't join us from the ring ringer. Jonathan Sharks is here. I want to talk about OKC Houston first. You wrote about it for The Ringer this week, but fascinating series where.


Houston is up to nothing. Everybody start shifting into the oh, my God, how are they going to match up with the Lakers? They look amazing, the defense, all that stuff. OKC was like plus 800 to win this series, something like that. You could have gotten really good value in them. They scrap back, they pull game three out, which could have gone either way. Then in game four, they take care of business down the stretch hard and start to look worn out because of the immortal Lou Dorte.


And there's no sign of Westbrook. How concerned should you be if you're a Rockets fan right now? I think very concerned.


So for me in the series, I was so upset at Oklahoma City in the first two games because they're playing Steven Adams, they're playing Nerlens Noel. There's just no real role for them in the series. I think in game four you saw in crunch time, they want the three point guards, Lou. Dorte Gallinari, that is a tough lineup for Houston to guard like they're playing small ball with them now.


I was shocked that it took them until game three to realize that the guy in Gallinari at Center I think is only played like eleven minutes total, but I thought that could be their lineup of of death for this series. Just because it does all the things you would want to do against Houston's defense. You broke down on the on the ringer yesterday about the way to beat Houston's defense. Is it like more size isn't. It's actually with speed because once you get by the first guy, there's nobody there.


And I don't think the Clippers have a little bit of the same problem as unbelievable as the Clippers are. There's really no second person. They're waiting for anybody once you get by them. But I think with Houston, it's even more glaring.


Would you see on that end for sure? I think we talked to like was Schroder Schroder just too fast for those guys that you put out the defense. Let's Schroder attack like with Harden right. Everyone says Oh Harden post them up is so small. I know he's a freaking tank hard doesn't look side to side. Get him on a screen attack him off the dribble I think. And the game three. You saw that Chris Paul on right by and for that game and shot for SGA.


It was just straight speed I think like with Houston they're a small team that wants you to play big. If you play small against them, you've got a chance, especially with Westbrook. He's really the X Factor for them, obviously. Yeah.


And I felt like I stayed away from the series from a gambling standpoint because I just kind of wanted to see it and I saw those first two games and as good as Houston look for some reason I really liked OKC in Game three because I thought, well, they're obviously not going to keep doing what they're doing. It didn't work. And I still really like the possibility of them with the three guards because we've seen Schreuder, you know, have have success against Houston in the past.


And in general, I remember when they traded for him not to toot my own horn here, although I'm about to guess your podcast. Do it. I'm wrong a lot. I'm the first one to admit I'm wrong a lot. Although the our staff with how we aligned on the look at Donchak pick in that draft and all of that I think will go down in immortality is one of the great things that I wanted to be honest.


Yeah. I was not aware that later the Schreuder thing never made sense to me. OK, basically get some for this Carmello contract that they had no idea what to do with. It was it was like twenty eight million bucks. They were over the tax. It was a complete disaster. Nobody else wanted it. And Atlanta is like, cool, here's Schruder. We just want to get rid of him. We'll take the twenty eight million from Karmal, we'll take a shitty pic and everybody's like, oh man, Atlanta thinking ahead.


And I'm like, I'm sorry, I like Schruder. I think he's a gamer. He used to kill the Celtics. Why in this league do people just get shoved aside like they're not good. Like here's a case where yeah. He's, he's overpaid. There's some things you want to work on. But he was super young when he came into the league. Why did people give up on this guy? I think it's just about find the right role.


I think people look at Schroeder, I said, if he's your best player, if he's your point guy running your offense, there's a ceiling on your team. He gets to OKC. It's like, OK, you're the sixth man. And he's really found the right role for himself. Like I would say, he was probably the sixth man of the year this year. He's been awesome. I voted for him second. It's weird that Atlanta was trying to, you know, obviously focused on Trae Young trying to figure out what this new identity could be and missed the part where it actually would have been cool to have Schreuder on that team.


And if I think if you go for space and shooting, that's a nice guy to have with Trae Young, at least a little bit of the time I thought I think they was where they were concerned about shooters influence on Trae Young.


They were like if Trae Young serial shooter wanted the ball because they they brought in Jeremy Lin that year. They're like Jeremy Lin. That's a good guy, solid Christian. You know, he's not going to be in the way of Trae Young, whereas if you have Schreuder, he's like, this is my team. So I think that was our concern. I think people over think that sometimes I think Schröder's concern was, can I just be on a good team?


If you have them on a shit team where he's the best guy going for his stats, he's going to look bad, like most of the most of the guys in the league are going to look. We're in that situation anyway. I don't want to belabor him, the guy that we should be talking about. People are saying, look, I might be the best player in the league, Kawhi LeBron, in my opinion, Lou Daudt is right up there.


I don't know. I don't know whether he's the best player in the league, whether he's the fifth best, but he's in the conversation now. What do you see from luchadores, man?


He's a beast, man. He's like a he's like a new Andre Roberson. Like, you can't really to save his life. But, man, he can guard and like, Harden doesn't like playing against him. He's just so strong, like Harden, usually more strong, stronger than guys. Dorsa freakin brick wall not going to throw him. Did you see the Daudt stats against Harden where harden. Basically he's in the mid to low 30s. Woodwards guarding him and he's like fifty seven percent with everybody else on the thunder and you see it, it's that guy.


When you're playing pickup you don't want any part of it like this guy. Oh man. I do think the Houston like that's the one problem that having a big man, if you got like a Steven Adams, he would screen door for Harden. Right. Get him off Harden. But they have no Dawidoff them everyone's neno not that no seven footers.


So Russell and I talked a little bit about Houston. Almost being like an NFL team where they're riding this specific gimmick, the more you see it, the more you can kind of figure it out, but you can get discombobulated at it, especially for one game or the first couple of games of a series. But the more you see it, the more you go, oh, we'll just do this. I felt like Chris Paul was starting to figure that out even during game three and then again in game four and figuring out when to assert himself when not.


Do you think that the curse of what Houston is trying to do is that over the course of two weeks, the more you see it, the more you get used to it? Like, are they ever going to get past that in your opinion? So I think for me what Houston's doing, I think, like, they don't have that much talent on their roster. Right. Like who's their best player than six six? It's probably Jeff Green.


I think that really counts available. And he's on his I think he's on his eighth team in six years and he's like, so important for them. To me, for Houston, they've never had, like, a big wing or like a six foot eight guy. There's no Draymond, right. There's no, like, other player who can make offense for Harden who has any kind of size. So I think they're always a disadvantage. They don't even have a Gallinari, they have no big guy who can score great offense.


And that's I think in a long series those kind of players become more and more valuable.


I think they were hoping Covington would be that guy and he showed flashes of it in the regular season. But I think in the playoffs there is not as much. What's interesting. You look at the stats, Gordon is the only cities only through four games scored and the only one who's just sucked, he's seven for thirty four from three, which is, you know, as we know, with threes, they can come and go. He might go 10 for 15 in the next game.


But then you look at the rest of it. Jeff Green's 13 for twenty seven from three houses, eleven for twenty eight. Tucker is eleven for twenty five, Covington's eight for twenty and Macklemore seven for seventeen. So if I'm looking at those numbers and I'm Houston and I know they didn't hit threes in game four, that's going to happen. You're going to have the playoff games are there and go in. But in general, it's like we're shooting the ball pretty well.


Harden's not. We're not getting an A plus or even an A, but it's probably been a B plus so far and it's two to two and the other team has all the momentum. What is our move? What do we do if Westbrook's not coming back? And I don't really think they have a move, it's just basically like, let's keep shooting threes. That's who we are and let's kind of hope they go in, as we've seen over and over again with this team and with that mindset in general, the longer a playoff series goes on, when there's wear and tear, when there's pressure, when you know the stakes just feel higher and higher each game, those threes don't go in as easily and you need other things.


Do you feel like this is just the curse of that team or am I overthinking it? I would say it's like this. Like Houston is designed to win and grind them out series with defensive players. And then you have James Harden scored thirty five points. Right. But if Houston can't defend, I think they really can't defend OKC small lineups. They don't have that many other scoring options. Right. Like really what is Covington Tucker going to do but shoot threes.


They're not going to dribble and drive, not going to create for others. There's not a lot of offensive dynamism on the squad outside of Harden Gordon Westbrook. So I think they're kind of limited in that respect. So they have to play good defense. The problem they're having now is OK, ok, seems like we can score on you two. This is going to be a shootout if it's a shoot out of a series. Houston's got Harden. Obviously Gordon's hit or miss you got Jeff Green is like a very important player now.


And that's always kind of Jeff Green.


Austin Rivers like OKC as four points. OKC has Chris Paul Schroder Gallinari. That's for legit weapons Houston only really has three and come back. So to me it's going to have to be either Westbrook comes back or Harden gets forty forty five points. It's interesting, OK, see right now, and it's only been four games, but they basically have four games at 19 points it up. And Chris, what is that? Twenty one and a half, yeah, four guys, so.


They've stumbled on on something good here, the guy who has not gotten go and really it is Gallo and Gallo even, you know, his stats aren't that bad.


It's gotten.


I always look at free throws with him because I like when he gets to the line and he is twenty five for twenty five from the free throw line in general.


All the all the good guys on OKC are really good free throw shooters, which I think helps them in these crunch time games. I think that's why they've been an effective team. But Gallo is the X Factor and he's somebody that I feel like I like him more than most. I always felt like he was undervalued. I got to watch him in person on the Clippers and just I enjoyed how competitive is. He's not he's not a puss like he's he gets in there.


He's a little feisty. He kind of enjoys the moment. He'll take big shots. And if he gets going and they can get through this series and you start thinking Lakers in round two, I think he becomes the key guy for the next round for them because their guards are going to be able to create some stuff. And, you know, with the Lakers backcourt, what a disaster that is where Caruso is this hugely important guy for them. So they'll be able to do some one on one stuff.


But then if Gallo just gets destroyed by Anthony Davis, it's not going to matter what. What do you see from Gallo? Gallo, I like we're just talking about like he's just very versatile, right? He's got a six ton guy who just shoots threes. He's hard to guard because you can do everything. He's a very well rounded player, and I think he's he's got a ton of game. His question is going to be in another series.


Is his defense right? Because he's guarding Anthony Davis. Like, that's a really big ask the guard, Anthony Davis or Gallinari.


It's turned out amazing for this Lakers team. You got we're going into the playoffs and we're like, holy shit, what a terrible draw for these guys to get Portland. This is this is like such a frisky ETSI in Portland has this dude who is going to go into this series thinking he's the best guy. This is like, what a pain in the ass the series is going to be. The Portland wins game one. It's like, holy shit.


And then the Lakers just completely destroy them and do all the things we thought they were going to do, Lillard looks exhausted. McCollum's got a broken bone in his back No Zach Collins They're relying on Carmelo to like astonishing degrees. Mahasen is playing He's going down They're playing Nurkic and Whiteside together They're like this There's been over for two games for sure they get that gift And now in this next series Houston with Westbrook I don't know when he's coming back or what his condition is going to be.


Houston has no chance against the Lakers that Westbrook and then this OKC team where you know they can throw Adams a little Gallinari a little no. Well but for the most part would get overpowered and it really come down to could their guards take this series over the Chris Paul thing. Things like that. But I would say, wouldn't you say even though I don't love this Lakers team, that this is a pretty easy road to them to round three now for sure.


I mean, I think the Davis matchup is huge for them and they're asking Luchador to guard LeBron like maybe you can do. That's a big task, obviously. And then the Clippers are struggling in round one. If the Clippers lose, the Lakers are sitting pretty right.


So. All right. Back to the Houston series one second. Harden just needs to have two incredible hard games and yeah, and this is it, I don't see another roadmap for them to win the series and I thought Harden looked pretty tired by the end of game four. But, you know, the thing that sucks about getting better, it's Houston. Whether you do it with your money or just thinking like, oh, OK, he's going to advances is Harden has the fifty five point game or whatever.


Let's say they lose this series.


And now we're talking about. Dating back to 2013. A litany of playoff like, oh, man. Oh, yeah, that sucked, too, and that like, at what point do we just accept Harden is who he is if he gets knocked out here in round one? I think if they lose a serious D'Antoni is gone for sure, right, that's going to happen. It is who he is now. I think the question is, how do you build around him?


Right. To me, it's like what I was saying earlier about having a front court player. I just wish he had a six. Like to me, if I was Houston, I went for Jimmy Butler last year. I want a big six, seven, six, eight front court wing. The pair with Harden. I think a pardon is your best player and he has no front court help. You're not going to win a title this last seven years is proof of that.


How do you get that frontcourt player? They basically need Westbrook to be that frontcourt player, right? If your best two players are six, three and six five, I mean, it doesn't mean that you're at a disadvantage no matter what. They got to make it up in their roster. I mean, it's hard to say that because you're right. Not changing now. So my thought would be, I think I could talk myself into we didn't have Westbrooke and if we had had him.


The ceiling of this season is a lot higher because Westbrook was he was their best player for the last 20 games before the pandemic. When you see a team for sure. Yeah. And just added so many things. So I, I think my thing would be I wouldn't panic, but I'd be trying to improve their record and spot who I think they just signed. I gave them a big extension.


Yeah. Just like the summer. The problem for them is they don't have any picks to do stuff. Also, their owner doesn't spend any money that's also very tough to win that way. Their owner might be over leveraged knows and money as do. Our friend of the ring, or Daryl Morey, like, I don't know if he becomes the fall guy in this situation, which I think would personally be unfair because Westbrook got her and I think of any team loses.


If any team is built around two guys and loses one of the two guys, you have to assess that accordingly. At the same time, you know, listening to the quotes after game four, we're like, we had the great shots, they just didn't go in.


It's like, well, that's kind of the team you built. And year after year we get these playoffs and guys get more and more tired. And then it's like, yeah, we had those threes that didn't go. And it's like that seems like that happens every year to two or three teams. So unfortunately for you, that might be the hand you dealt yourself. So I don't I don't really know the answer, but I think they kind of maximized with the potential this roster was, especially with like Rivers, Macklemore House and Green.


You look at those four guys and the four Mavs guys that the Mavs kind of stumbled into. Right trademark. Who's on the Sixers? He's been killing it. My gosh. And then Seth Curry, who is just sitting there for free agency for anybody, Boban, who is like basically the guy from John Wick and nobody was thinking about and like a real basketball, we didn't play for Philly last year at all in the playoffs. And these two teams, kind of MacGyver, the supporting cast, I don't know.


I just could be the end of end of the road for Houston as a major contender, because you think like. 18 and 19, and now this year, there's how often do title contenders have like three years, four years. If they don't do it this year and now heartens 31 next year, Westbrook would be in his 30s, like and so on and so on. It's like, I don't know.


Now you're really I think you have heart and I think you like really. You reset the whole team with Westbrook. This is year to one of Harden Westbrook Harden's only thirty one. His game should age pretty well right. Not really a high flyer. So if Westbrook can stay healthy the question is is this the beginning of him getting hurt right or wrong. As Russ I've left my big contract where he plays. Is that style of play going to work in his 30s.


If Russ breaks down this is over. Well, and it's almost like a football running back, right where somebody plays that those guys in the NFL like the running backs of the receivers who are just hitting guys every game and taking punishment over and over again. And you start looking at them going, I don't know how that person's going to remember there. Thirty five, the cowboys running back like. Oh, yeah.


And years ago, perfect example we had in the 90s, we had Ben Coates, the best Patriots, tight end ever until Gronk and every every play where he caught a pass, three guys took him down. And also, I mean, it was like it was done in Gronk was like that. Yeah, perfect example. Yeah, it is like, oh man, man, this isn't going to last that long. And then it was over immediately.


The Westbrooke thing, he plays so hard, he is so physical and he's constantly bouncing off dudes and flying and stuff like that.


I can't imagine this is somebody is going to be playing until his 40s, you know, got his 40s, the physical toll on him hard. And I think that's the one where I just have no idea how long he can do this. You can keep doing this five years from now. Yeah. And I think this is effective. I believe it because his game is all off speed.


It's change of pace using a size, getting off tough shots, passing his game, I think will last a long time. The question for me is like, what he ever leave Houston? Where would he go? I'd be fun to watch Harden with somebody else or a different team.


Well, do you think Dallas and Houston. Basically have the same objective with what they want from their roster. Dallas has the piece of the poor piece where they actually have somebody who's seven foot three who can stick his hands up on defense. But for the most part, they're fishing in the same pool for role players. Right. They want to be Seth Curry, Trey Burke, Maxi Kleber type guys who first things first know how to shoot if somebody passes than the ball quickly.


Yeah, I would say the Mavs role players are better shooters. The Rockets guys are better defenders. But the way the league is now, if you guys aren't shooting really well, it's almost like shooting over everything else. Kind of feels like now. What would you do if you're Occy? Let's say they go through this series, let's say they win this series and they lose to the Lakers in five. They're a luxury tax time next year. Small market, there's always been rumors about the affordability of the team.


They have all that stuff. Chris Paul with a huge salary the next couple of years. Do you keep this team together and try to add to you, of all these picks, do you try to attach the picks with Adams to dump his contract? Do you feel like you could contend with the with three of the guys that you have? Plus, I think Allanah is a free agent. Yes, I believe he's a. But do you feel like you could actually do stuff with this team, or do you just blow it up and rebuild around it?


Yeah, here, here's my thought. I wrote about this, I think, like in February to me. I'm saying I'm going to count on being a star now. I'm going to go start hunting for a second young star because I have like a trillion pics I have. You know, if you're OK, we're never signing a star here. He's got to be a trade. So if I have, like, eight first round picks and I have to say maybe Kat comes free one summer, maybe Booker comes free Bradley Beal I'm going to start a parathas and I'm building around that and I'm going to gamble my cultural keep them in Oklahoma City long term.


I think you've got to go in on a star now and not rebuild because you got to have a good team if you have a good team. I think if this team had one more real lead player, that could be a serious squad with all the picks they have. Let's go for somebody who was free. Let's take a quick break to talk about our old friends and zip schruder when it comes to scoring great highs for your business, you may be up against some obstacles like lots of applicants, but difficulty finding the right ones for your job or finding time to hire while running your business, plus trying to ensure workplace safety.


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Kyle, tell the video team to get ready for this one. This is a clip, instant breakout clip. Charles.


The Clippers can press the reset button and do the Paul George trade right down to Adam Silver has made a rule we can undo this trade, you can have all your picks back, and you could have SGA and Gallo for the rest of the playoffs and give Paul George back to the Thunder. It's under the wire. So you could return him with the Clippers. Where he's playing right now would be hard not to do it right. But hopefully you can turn it around.


But I don't know. I mean, how was he so bad? It's unbelievable, really. I don't understand. That he can't figure out how to have like that Pippen kind of impact in these games if his shot's not going, you know, like I think the really great players who can vacillate between being a lead guy in a game versus like being an awesome complementary player, they'll just go get 13 rebounds, their block, five shots, or they'll just fill up the box score.


Basically, they'll have 10 points, but they'll have seven assists, 13 rebounds, five steals. And it's like I still had an impact anyway. The weird thing about him is he'll just disappear for shot's not going in and he doesn't have the impact. And you would have thought, like, especially in that Loka game on Sunday, that he would have been looking at it going. I've got to get more involved. I got to help out. I'm going to be just flying around like an athletic maniac.


And he just wasn't. And that's that's where it gets confusing for me with him as well. This is a guy who I voted for third for MVP last year. I thought he was incredible. And I don't understand why it comes and goes with him like that. He's the only elite player that you would say you just don't know what you're getting game to game.


See, my thought with that is I think this is a test of his leadership. Right? You chose this guy. He's your number two. You're the star. Can you build him up? Right. Can you give him his confidence? Can you crazy shots for him? Can you just talk to him? Right. Kawhi is always going to be Mr. Quiet Guy. Do my own thing. You'll figure it out. Well, right now, you're number two guy is dying out there.


You've got to be the leader. You've got to get him going. And yeah, like Paul, George should go to the lane. The Mavs don't play defense, get to the rim, distribute the ball, finish inside, get to the foul line, get some shots, go, and then you get your threes right. If your shots not falling, don't go inside. And he has the ability to do he just has to do it. So to me, yeah.


Like Kawhi Leonard said, I want to tell George I'm trading like eight first round picks for him. He's my guy. Well, if he's your guy and he's struggling, build him up and get him going. That's the test of like a real leader, right? You want to be a champion, you get the best of all your teammates. Don't let him just die out there struggling. Paul George and zaibatsu for Embiid. And bed was not great in these playoffs I'm worried about, and B, I'm too I would be happy shopping him like if I was Philly.


I'm keeping Simmons and Embiid I'm getting them out of here. I think Priscilla and I we litigated that on Sunday. We that was the decision we came to pretty quickly that it's the safer bet to train and be. That is not going to come back to haunt you. The Simmons I think. Yeah I think it has way more hot today. Potential for sure with Embiid too. I think he has to get traded to wake up. Be like all right I got to stay in shape, I got to be serious about basketball.


I think he needs that kick in the pants of being traded somewhere else. I think if he stays in Philly is all his bad habits never change.


Well there are a lot of Popovich rumors flying around which I have been flying around honestly for two months about him in the nets, him and the Sixers. Maybe it's the perfect time. I think the exit plan for Popovich, if he left the Spurs, which I think he should, because I think that team, he took them as the rebuilding go twenty years, all that stuff, and maybe he finagles it.


So Becky Hammon is the next coach or however he does it like I'm sure he'll have some awesome exit from there. Him going to Philly would be so reminiscent of when Phil Jackson took over those super disappointing Laker teams in the late 90s when, you know, I think they got swept two of the three years they owe it. The season's always ended badly. People are always disappointed in Shaq for whatever reason. And then Phil Jackson came in and immediately righted the ship.


And I wonder, like Popovich in Philly, could that be the one way you save all this? Because from a contract standpoint, they're fucked. They either have to trade Ambassador Simmons or just hire a coach and hope the coach can fix this. But so taking over that team, what a I mean, if he actually pulled off the Philly thing and got in and beat engaged and turned him into the dominant guy that we think he could be game after game, that would be as impressive as all the titles in San Antonio.


If you were pop, would you do Brooklyn or Philly? You could choose. I wouldn't go near Brooklyn. I just want to go Kyrie. I wouldn't go near him. I just feel like with KDDI, if you have Kadiatu, you always have a chance. He's just so good. If I can get him, these guys will figure it out.


I would do Filey. Good, good engaged fan base. I have two of the best, like 16 or 17 guys in the league. With possible trade opportunities, I feel like they can dump Horford. I think they can take somebody else's problem back. The more I look at it, it's going to be somebody else's shitty contract. But at least you can flip it so you can take somebody else's bad thing back. And it's not somebody who plays the same position as Embiid, but to me if I'm Popovich it's like I would be looking and it's like if I can unlock Embiid.


I have one of the three guys that matters in the league going forward, Luke. Yes, yes.


And B, third, I feel like I found Pop that I could say if I could get KD going, I could have the number one player in the league next year. Right. He can come back somewhat healthy. Forget two of the top 15 can be the number one guy, five number one guy in some town around to make it work. But then you're like, I'm going to do a Chiri deep dive. Let me make some calls. You start like, oh, really?


He did what? Wait a second. That happened over and over again. I just wouldn't go near him. I don't think it's worth it. He's too old to. I'd worry about Pop's health coaching his age, Brad Stevens, by, like, five years last year.


I'm telling you, coaching bonanza is no joke either, though.


Speaking of trades, you threw out Ben Simmons for Denver, which I loved, which is the other reason I wanted to have you on, other than to talk about how Lou Dawod is one of the best. If I personally.


You're that you're saying Ben Simmons with Denver. Solves a variety of problems for them. Yeah, expound on that.


OK, so my thought, Denver is if you have Nikola Jokic, you know this guy is realistically never going to guard anyone, right. You've got to hire him on defense all the time. So that means if he's going to be hidden constantly, you've got to have somebody who's going to be able to defend centers, defend power forwards, defend point guards on switches. You basically the best defensive player in the league next to him. Well, is Ben Simmons not a top three defender?


And so that alone makes it worth it, right, having that. So you're saying like it's for offense. Simmons for defense, kind of a combination. So like the Utah series, you'd put Simmons on Gobert. Yeah and they can't do the Mitchell Gobert pick and roll with that front. Exactly. I think they've run it two hundred times and have scored on one hundred ninety eight of them. So I had to stat in that.


When Mitchell goes at Yokich the pick and roll he scores more points than JJ Redick catch and shoot threes unguarded like it's automatic money every single time they've got to change up.


Well, I will I'd like to you in this series, and the only thing I was ready to bet on them before the series. I couldn't believe Denver was favorite. I didn't really know what Denver was. And then Connally missed the first couple of games. I got scared off, but so I started beating a game by game and.


I just don't think Mike Malone's a very good coach. The stuff that they're. Some of the stuff they're doing, especially defensively in this series, like you wrote in the wringer piece, which I think is a really good point, Yokich just has to be on the worst player in the other team all the time. You have to put them on race, O'Neal, because he's he's Utah's version of Paul Millsap. He's the guy you put you put somebody on if you either he's in foul trouble or you're trying to hide them.


Yeah. And they're not doing it. And I watch that. I watch how they kind of missed the boat on Porter Junior this year, who I think we both think is really talented. He never got enough reps during the season. And then in the playoffs he looks lost, which I can't say is shocking, and they lose out this candidate. And the reality is Murray had to like career games in the first four to career games and they're still if they still felt he had three to one.


So to me, that tells me regardless, we're taping this before a game five today. But to me, that tells me that they just they're not going to win the series. Well, what you're saying about Malone, right, like getting Yokich on O'Neal is a game two adjustment. It's a game five now. He's doing it twice in three games. Like you've got to make faster adjustments, like Scott Brooks is telling them, adjust faster, please.


Come on. Ben Simmons for Jamal Murray threw that out there. It's weird, but I think Ben Simmons has more value. I really do like Jamal Murray with Yokich, and I think he's young enough that you could grow into that if I were them, I'd be doing everything possible to get the third star while keeping Murray. But affiliates like. We want Murray, that's the guy we want, we'll do Simmons for Murray, throw in Bulbul and like a pick.


Mm hmm. I think Denver would have to bite the bullet and do that, I just look at it like you can't have your best two players both be really bad defenders. It just puts a ceiling on your team. So to me, like, you've got to have a little more balance around Yokich. If he was a good defender, you can have Jamal Murray at that or whatever, but he's so bad on defense. Murray's going to be a very good defender.


You just got to switch that up for the stewardship of your team. I think he's got to do it. My dream bensimon scenario as a as a Ben Simmons true author in the sense of I want I just want Ben Simmons to have his own team that's built around somebody who's like, we're just going to do every possible thing to put Ben Simmons in a position to succeed. I like the thought of him going in New Orleans. With Mike D'Antoni and like a Jrue Holiday and Lonzo and whatever else for Ben Simmons, and then D'Antoni joins him and he's basically like, here, the car keys.


I am turning you into a Ben Simmons Testarossa. We are going, going, going, going all the time. Let's do this. Let's go.


My question is, is Simmons and Zion in the same spot? Right. Because they're both non shooting bigs. You want to attack the rim? Oh, you just threw water on me. That's the question, right? Because you want Zion to be Simmons two, they're both kind of in that same spot on the floor again to the rim. Could you play them as like no other centres, anything where it's just basically like those are your guys and you'd have to get in there?


Yeah, I think I could do that part. Question of the tzion, like he hasn't looked as good, he didn't defend it all this year, he was ground defense in college. I'm worried about him a little bit, just physically. Hopefully he's OK. I'm writing this year off for him. Yeah, Mike gets hurt before the year. I think he fell out of shape. I think that a weird coach situation, the pandemic happens, right, as he's like getting his feet back.


And he looked completely out of shape to me in a disturbing way. And, you know, to me, him and Beard are my two guys where you just you just want to put your arms around them and try to explain to them, you know, especially me. I'm 50 like, hey, dudes, I've I've I've been down this road before with NBA stars. I like like, you guys got to get in shape. You just have to.


Yeah, yeah. And be exhausted in the third game theory of a playoff series. It's like, what are you doing? What did you do for the last five months before we go, even though this is before Clippers Mavs Game five. So God knows what's going to happen today. I was talking about. I think the ceiling for Luca. For me, officially, as this guy has a chance to be one of the best 10 or 12 guys ever, which is not something I would say flippantly, I just think he said I laid out the whole case on Sundays at every checkpoint you'd ever want to hit.


He's doing things we've never seen from anybody at this age before. When you're you're in Texas, you've been watching this. You're going to the games. When did you realize that that was in play with him, how how long ago? I mean, I I feel like I always thought that going back to Europe, but when I knew for sure it was actually game one against the Clippers, when he pushed Kawhi out of the way at the rim, I was like, oh, it's over.


If this guy at twenty one can bully Kawhi, like, who's guarding him? Knowing that what was the last thing I need to say was like Loukia dominating the best defender in the world when he can do that. Like to me this series, it reminds me of the 07 Pistons series when LeBron had like 50 points in game five. It's like I'm here, I'm unstoppable. It doesn't matter who you are. Get out of my way. I'm scoring forty five fifty points a game.


Yeah, and the thing is, he's not even really that good of a three point shooter. And if that ever comes. Yeah. Oh my gosh, yeah. When you start thinking, you start doing the math of how he gets better because there's no way somebody peaks at twenty one, it's impossible that he should peak like twenty six, twenty seven.


But if he gets to, if he becomes like a fifty, forty, ninety guy on top of the way he sees basketball, he's going to be in my opinion, the best offensive perimeter player of all time because there will be nobody who can. He's basically combining the best skills of like three all time guys, you know.


So my thought is like he's got LeBron kind of strength and all all around game with Harden's offensive skill set. Right. So imagine if LeBron could hit step back threes regularly. Right. And I would throw in the the bird magic passing gene because I do think he has it. I think he sees stuff that for his age is is just completely unusual, like the creativity he has with some of these plays. You're talking a handful of guys in the history of the league that some of the stuff he sees and the effect it has on his teammates, too.


I think that's the part people mess with great passers is. When you're playing basketball and you're one of the other four guys and you feel like you're in the play, even though it doesn't seem like you are, that's when it goes to another level. And I think when Dallas got bogged down this year, it would be when when they fell into that one on five stuff because and everybody's just kind of standing there when their own little action and and people are moving around and it's a little more unpredictable.


That's to me, that's the future of that team. And I think Houston and Harden have realized that a little bit, too, that if it's just one on five with everybody standing there, eventually the other team figures it out.


I mean, I think for Dallas, like it's a small thing, but having Trey Burke having a second ball handler, that just destroys the defense because against Dallas this year, I always look at dribbling four guys jump shooting, but having that second playmaker can play off of a little bit that it's unstoppable. Like sometimes if you can get a guy who can give Luka open shots, you can play off the ball and maybe like 10 percent of the time.


I think that's the final step for Luke is just playing a little bit of one to action because really play keeps. And number three, he's a spot up shooter, post player. I want one more guy who can play off the dribble to give Luca easy shots.


Sometimes I'm psyched that Seth Curry realized his full potential as like a valuable role. He's killing it. I've liked him for I never understood why he wasn't playing three years ago. And in general, like when somebody can shoot like that and he's a little trickier around the rim than I think people realize. He's definitely not, you know, like some of these guys they can shoot, but around the rim they'll just get their shit blocked.


I mean, Steph, the same thing. Those crazy brothers got that gene for sure. I think with shooters. They seem to make sure, you know, you're basically like you have somebody like Schmidt, right, who's young. Yeah, but I think if you look at the history of how these shooters go, they really kind of figure out who they are and what they are and the little tricks.


And there's just these subtle things from age like twenty seven to twenty nine where they go up a level. It happened with JJ too, and JJ was an amazing scorer in college, but it took him years and years to kind of harness that and figure out all the little tricks and stuff.


Even somebody like Doug McDermott on Indiana who nobody kind of knew what to do with forever, but now it's turned into a role. I was going to say Bradley Beal Bradley Beal gets better every year like for like four or five years and I keep what he is but he's really good though. I am. Yeah. OK, I'm up here shooters. OK, I'm talking like everybody's looking for the four shooting in the league but but for some reason these guys can hit this kind of purgatory where they've been around for a couple of years and people kind of think they are what they are.


But really the history says you're five years, six or seven year eight, they'll make a leap. And it definitely happened with Curry. Curry was sitting there for everybody for a week in free agency.


Right. The Mavs, the Mavs try it on pretty early because he was in Dallas three years ago. It's actually kind of funny. So I had a big future for Sath like three years ago in Dallas. Then he gets hurt the entire season. We got to kill the feature. He goes to Portland, gets himself healthy, has a big year. Last year, Dallas came along for four thirty two, so they knew he was good. And with sat like you got a shooter with handles, a shooter with Dallas unguardable.


Right. Can get that shot. You got to guard on that. He can dribble three or four times. Get shot again. There's a guy in the draft like that I've been doing some draft homework. Oh, nice. Who's your guy? Well, the guy from Stanford, I think, has potential like that. That's guy he loves Tyrell Terry, that's Cassie's guy for sure. He's 62, so the knock on him as well is six two, and it's like this guy can already fuckin fill it now.


I think the Carsen Edwards is kind of the cut off line for because I watch it with the Celtics like he's just two. He's too short. Like, you have to be like one of the greater shooters of all time to overcome. He's probably like five nine five, nine and a half. Dana Barris was able to do it. But Dana Bash is somebody who scored at every level. He came into the pros and was able to do it, too.


But yeah, I like the Stanford kid. I have a favorite guy, though. I'm just I'm an announcement in the podcast for you. Oh, here we go. You got. I love Halliburton, that's my guy. Love, love. OK, great, but he should be the guy Minnesota takes and they won't, though they'll probably take Edwards and I think we got Edwards and Russell look at the shooting we have and it's like they should just take Halliburton, Halliburton.


So I did a big profile on him before the season. He's like a freakin genius. He's one of the smartest I ever talked to. One of his coaches told me it's kind of a weird quote, said Tyree's Halliburton. He'll be the president of the union one day. The players union. That's the kind of guy he is, just unselfish. Oh, wow. That's great. Yeah. Yeah, right. And he's just like, wait, he thinks the game is just next level.


He's really big. He has what, goofy looking a shot. But it goes in. He's like six to me. He's like Lonzo. I feel like he's the real younger ball brother plays more like Lonzo Romello does. Well he's six five. It the granite, I'm just watching an hour of YouTube clips. Yeah, there's a field of the game it reminded me a little of. Evan Turner, who I still feel like if his goes to a different team and I think his career would have been a little differently gone, gone a little differently, I think Halliburton's is going to be Halliburton is going to be better than Evan Turner.


But same kind of thing where he's he's tall.


He kind of he needs the ball. He has a sense of where everybody is. But there's an intelligence with him that made me think like, man, if he ends up on Golden State, they don't trade the pick. I still think they're going to trade the pick. But if they don't and you're putting him with Curry and Klay in these three guard lineups that everybody's doing now, but you have somebody who really sees the floor, who knows what he is, who's a great passer.


That would be such a fun wrinkle for those two guys. So with Halliburton, so last summer he played the team, the Under Nineteens with like all these great younger guys like Kate Cunningham. And he had like one of the most efficient, I think, had the numbers on it. He had the most efficient 019 ever in the history of the tournament. He was like at sixty five percent shooting. He's are good players playing off those guys. He's so smart.


The question of the jumpshot is kind of goofy. Do you believe in that? If you believe him, that is going to be great. But you know, so we're looking shot. It didn't it didn't jump out at me too much. It's a little weird, you know, it doesn't look like Bradley Beal's jump shot, but he seemed comfortable shooting and didn't have, like, that Foltz hitch or anything like that.


I was OK with it. The old Alonzo question, to give him the shot, Lonzo's shot.


I've never liked I never felt like that was a normal shot. And, you know, I know it was one game, but what was that game? Who's gonna kick his ass in college? When you went to get the air attacks, Darren Fox in the tournament, I never got over that game with him as much as I liked Lonzo. I never understood. I remember he kept it. They would inbound the bottom and he kept giving it up because they didn't want to dribble up against Fox.


And I thought that was so weird. It was so like an anti alpha dog thing and Fox was just like I'm better than this guy. And he carried himself like that the whole time.


I love watching those games for college guys. Let me see your game, because the best players forget the average college players, the other NBA guys. That really tells the whole tale. I think a lot of times I like the other KFC guy that I'm down with is vessel. He's good, he's a very he's a very solid player. Here's the thing with the way the draft is, there's too many guards at the top. It never works. Not everybody's going to need guards.


And one of these guys, one of these teams will prioritize just having a wing and they'll take them three spots higher than OK.


So I can assure you, Bill, my skipper is Vessel's teammate, Patrick Williams sort of state. I think he got a chance to be really special player. I'm doing a big profile on him. He's like six, eight to 30, pretty athletic, pretty smart, decent jumpshot. I think he has the tools to be really possibly one of the top players in the last two years. He's also the youngest player in the draft, which is also a plus.


Who do you think Minnesota is going to take? My guess is Edwards, I think they can ignore the tools he has, the flashes he has, but they just go for it. If the if the new owner called you and said sharks, who should we take, who would you tell Chase? I think I would do Edwards knowing it's a risk, but he's got so much talent mean he's really young, too, but he's got so much talent, I think I would go for it.


He's so big, he can shoot it. I would Pego Edwards, even though I know it's a risk. It seems like he makes more sense for Charlotte. To trade up to one and maybe give up like some small asset, and then if you're Minnesota, you could still end up with Halliburton at three. And see, my thought was that I think it'd be like it'd be like Jaylen Brown in Boston, where he goes somewhere where there's other other good players.


He plays off those guys for a year and kind of commits the defense and grows into a bigger role over time, because in Georgia this year, he was just jacking shots constantly. He was like one scout over the waiters comp. And I was like, Oh, man. So you think playing with towns and DLO would be a great outcome for him, he'd get a lot of space, play with cat, play with Cat, you can get to the rim very easy, right?


DLO can give them open shots. He's a decent point guard. I think that makes sense to me as a third option with two guys, you can shoot because at Georgia they had no spacing around him. So he was constantly just jacking jump shots. He'd had where to go. And Minnesota, no one will play. Defense will score a ton of points. He might fit there maybe. OK. All right, well, we'll have you back on as it gets closer, but so who is your big sleeper?


Patrick Williams, Florida State. I'm in on Halliburton, Halliburton, if you're listening, I'm in on you sharks pleasure. We'll see you on the ringroad outcome. Thanks for having me on. All right.


We're bringing in Seth Meyers. And one second first, during this time of social distancing, connecting with friends over a beer today may look a little different as the original light beer. Miller Lite has always been there to bring people together through Miller time. But in a world where can't always be other people, Miller time might be a moment on a resume called Quick Porch Beer. It's your neighbors masking up for a socially distant hangout outside.


Whether you Tostin friends near or far great taste is always close by. And I got to say there's no better summer beer. The Miller Lite. Just especially as Joe has talked about a couple weeks on the golf course, it's the beer you want right now, enjoying a meal with friends, maybe it looks different for everybody, but staying connected is just as important. I did this a couple of days ago, actually had had a couple of drinks with some friends of mine.


We were just on zum. Got used to it, kind of surprised how gotten used to it I've gotten, but it was a great time for Miller time from online, happy hours to social distance picnics and every 500 piece puzzle in between.


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All right, Seth Meyers is here, one of the big winners of the pandemic. People writing pieces that I saw on the Internet about Dear Seth Meyers, please keep your Hair was the actual title of a vulture piece. Your hair has been a breakout star of the pandemic. I mean, it's the longest it's ever been. But did you expect this?


No, I didn't say it early on. I tried very hard to tame it, to make it look shorter than it was and full credit to my wife who said, look, you know, it's the last week. Let it fly. Let people see exactly what you've been working with these past six months. And a very, very kind piece by Meg Wright over Vulture. And I mean, we're not going to let it. We are going to cut it, but we're going to keep it a little longer than where we usually started.


If you had a baseball cap, you would look like one of the dudes. And everybody wants some. The Richard Linklater baseball movie from the early 80s, I think.


Yeah, the best movie, the most conflict free to air movie of the last decade.


One hundred percent. We've been we've been circling it for the REWASH rebels for a while. It's probably going to happen. It's just like an enjoyable romp.


The best thing about that movie is they go to that like the drama Kids Party and you just having watched movies from the 80s, you know, when the jocks go to that party, something goes wrong and everybody just has a perfectly fine time.


Everybody gets along just great. Well, it's it's like Mart with the baseball cap. It's very Mark Fidrych. Oh, yeah. And like flies it gets very wingy. So you must have been like us, right, this the Democrats, yeah, like, well, how am I going to do my job? Yeah. And then you kind of try to figure it out on the fly and it's fucking weird. Yeah. But then eventually you kind of figure out how to do it.


When when did you at what month did you figure out how to do it.


Well, we had a weird thing where we first we sort of had to figure out where to do it. And we popped around a little bit in that first couple of weeks. And then we ended up in my attic, which ended up especially with two little kids, ended up being the best place because it was the hardest for them to get to. And of course, you're doing it in the middle of the day and they don't have school. And then we moved again for the summer to my in-laws place and it was easier the second time to to figure it out.


But it was also kind of good for the creative juices to not get to be in a groove. You never want to get in an attic.


But I would say about, you know, two months and I felt like we had figured out at least how to do it at the level people saw it on TV.


Well, when you're used to just staring into a camera and delivering stuff, yeah, pretty much the biggest issue is we never really went HD like a lot of people gently suggested we make the camera better and when we try and make it the camera better, the lighting, of course, was way worse because good cameras need better lighting. And I was sort of a one man band. And so we ultimately decided, let's just stick with the lower level camera.


And I think people at home will appreciate and forgive us for our faults.


How did you handle a writing staff where you can't see anybody ever?


It was totally fine. I mean, like credit to them for doing really good writing. We would do a closer look meeting every day so we would have face time with that group of people where we would read through it and just mostly just to read through it out loud so that people could hear it. And then we do one writer's meeting a week where people would pitch new ideas. But ultimately the monologue jokes. That is usually a face to face meeting where I sit in the room with everybody writes those and we read them out loud.


We kind of just skip that process and the work did not suffer for it.


That's good. Yeah, you've I mean, thousand twenty, all the weird shit that's going on. A lot of it is in your wheelhouse to four things to talk about, like the Steve Bannon thing I saw the other day that that just falls out of the sky.


It's like claiming the timing of when it fell out of the sky wasn't ideal because we had a whole nother closer look at it then. And those things and straps sometimes, you know, thirty, thirty five pages. And then Steve Bannon happens at around ten thirty in the morning. And it's your last show of the summer. And you know, if you don't talk about Stebenne now, it's not like it's going to be a story when we get back.


And so we ultimately did decide to rip it up because Steve Bannon getting arrested on a boat with his current haircut. Again, I realize I'm in a glass house here with haircuts, but we did enjoy talking about that as a send off to the summer.


His was great because the look he had going was really like about 20 different action movie villains that show up an hour into the movie where it's like, oh, this is the guy in charge of the hostel.


Yeah, he's the guy, right? He's the money guy. Like you thought another guy was the bad guy, but he just works for the money guy.


And then it turns out he's the bad guy and then he's, you know.


Yeah, yeah. And also you met him early in the movie on the train and he like helps you look at a map to get to the hospital.


And then he really you liked him but didn't totally trust him then.


And somebody one of the four people in the group said he was friendly, just dismissed it.


What do you expect from everything the next two months? Because, you know, you're in Kimmel's in the same boat all the way that guys are to some degree, you're you're more a little more hyper focused on the politics and all that stuff.


But we're about to enter.


I would say the most contentious time since we've been alive, we're already here, but it's just going to go up a notch. And how do you handle that on your show?


Well, you know, we're not trying to. At this point, I don't feel like anybody is watching our show on the fence about the current administration, and so we're basically trying to provide information with jokes to make it a little bit more of a cathartic experience.


And, you know, I don't really have much expectation except that hopefully our approach to how we write will will maintain its value, like things are going to happen really quickly. And and I think, you know, I don't want to be a pessimist, but I do think it's going to get a little scary, especially when you just see polling about how you know. And again, I don't know how the question was asked, but do you think one hundred seventy five thousand dead Americans is OK?


And you just realize Republicans, the majority think it's OK, which I think is only a thing you answer if you're so smitten with the current president that he can just do no wrong in your mind. So that's a really scary thing to be living through. And but the weeks we have the show are easier to get through than the weeks we're on hiatus. Like, I don't even want to watch the RNC this week because, one, we can't tell jokes about it.


And without the jokes part of it, it'll just feel like bone on bone.


Right. Well, then you have the other thing of, you know, how do you handle the Biden piece of this case on paper? This is the perfect SNL guy to have a parody guy of. Right. This is like, yeah, every single piece you would want to unleash somebody like Sudeikis on and just be like, just go, man, make them become super out of it. And then all of a sudden lucid and and but now we're at a point where it's like if you really care about the future of the country, you don't want to mock the person who is probably the best chance to change the country and for for the better.


I certainly am. That argument is presented to me on Twitter. Any time we tell a joke about Joe Biden, the only thing I'd say is if mockery was effective insofar as how it affected people's choices at the voting booth. Like like Donald Trump wouldn't win a state. Right. It's a great point.


You know, it's like, well, you know, look, if you're the refs or home team refs, if you're if you're a Biden guy right now, but they're going to every now and then a whistle is going to get blown against you. Like, that's just go. And I think we lose all our values. If nobody if nobody makes jokes about Joe Biden, that's how I feel, too.


Like I had my buddy Jack on two weeks ago and we were talking about the election and we were joking about Biden and a couple of people on my left for like, hey, man, you can't. Can't really do that right now, and I'm like, well, if we're if we're not going to poke fun at people, then our society is just going to collapse. If if if there's just certain segments of the population, certain people that are just completely hands off and we can't figure out any way to navigate that.


I don't know what happens. Comedy's been part of our lives really since human beings existed. I don't know how we just flip that switch off.


And it's one of the reasons why 20/20 has turned into such a complicated time, because a lot of the people just don't want to have a sense of humor about anything. And I don't know how you navigate that.


It is I mean, ultimately, you just kind of lean into what you still think is funny and hope that there's an audience for it. I do think that even Biden, because he's presenting himself as the antidote to Trump as opposed to and again, I'm sure Biden people will be angry to hear me say that. I don't think he has a grand vision in the way that some politicians would. I think he's saying like, hey, we got to get back to the decency of this country, which I think is a really effective message when you're running against Donald Trump.


And I don't think anyone's making jokes that are taking issue with that and saying, I think when you put them side by side, they're both the same in terms of character. I don't think any of those shows are doing that. And would be it would be a really tough argument to make comedically, certainly as well.


How would you have handled the Trump thing the last four years if you were the head writer of SNL?


I think it would have been just I think they've done a really nice job, but I think it just would have been a slog, because I think back to the Palin being the head writer during the Palin times, and there was that light. We got out right. Like we sold high in that we did six sketches with Sarah Palin. And then because she wasn't she liked it and she went away and everybody like looks back and goes, oh, those are so good.


As opposed to, you know, if we were doing our fiftieth or sixtieth one, I think obviously the level of difficulty gets a lot higher. But I think they you know, they've I've been I've been relieved not to have had to take that on, especially, you know, I I think that even when I went back to host, I realized, like, oh, is it as it was a young man's game? You're not possible anymore.


Yeah. What was that like? I haven't talked to you since you did that.


It was so surreal because I think my ego is such that I thought, like, no one knows more about how this place works than me. This year, 12 and a half years, I was head writer. I was an update anchor. There's no underbelly of this place that I don't understand, except then you look you do it from a house side and you realize, oh, the one thing I always underestimated is how hard it is to be a host, mostly just because you're so busy the whole time.


There's so many things to do. And, you know, I mostly retroactively felt all this shame about the times that I should talk talked hosts behind their back, you know, because someone would call you and say, you know, that sketch you wrote, they don't like this joke. And it would just in your head and think, oh, they don't understand comedy.


And then, you know, when you're on the host side and all of a sudden you realize, I don't really love this joke, you know. You know that you're going to tell them. And then, you know, the ironic outcome of it is they're going to go mutter about you behind their back. But it was so it was a really especially having worked there as a writer. It was the worst week. And then it was absolutely the most fun I've ever had on a Saturday there.


You should have you should have gone in and done all the things that you hated when hosted. Like you should come in with three of your own writers and been like, we've written our own stuff.


We did like three things. And then every time they pitched me an idea, like lay my idea on top of it, because I stopped doing on Tuesday night, I was just talking to just about this. Like, I think that you grow into not wanting to meet the host ahead of time. I think you find a comfort where you think I don't want to explain on Tuesday what I'm thinking of writing for them, because a couple of things could happen.


One, they could say, I don't like that idea and then you feel bad writing it. Or they could say, oh, my God, that's so funny. I should also do this. And then you feel like you almost have to put their idea in whether or not it fits. So I just stop meeting with hosts. But when I went back, writers wanted to meet with you and it was lovely because I got to meet a lot of young writers and people whose stuff I like.


But, you know, they'd say, what do you think about this idea? And I don't do I would do exactly what I would want me to do. And I'd say, whatever you think, just write it. However, I will be on board. But ultimately, then when that was over, I was like, I just spent four hours, like literally wasted four hours because I gave no guidance to anyone in my efforts to be, you know, not a speed bump for the process.


Did you pull off the after party because you have two small kids, you're in a different body clock now?


It was I went my my wife went home. My parents and my brother had come to. And so we went it also was a little bit like a 20th college reunion versus the five.


Yeah, the five is the best one. It gets worse every year after that.


And I felt like, again, maybe it was I also, you know, again, I feel like I'm really hating in it here. Like felt like we went a little harder than the kids these days. Either that or they might be going harder, not at the party, like they might be like I'm going to go I'm not going to go to the after party. Right. But it was like it was not it was like in a Mexican restaurant and felt a little like not quite not the joyous ness that I remember as an SNL historian.


The Edie the Edie episode, would you take first of all, you didn't it's something that you always wondered what happened probably when you were there for an entire almost the decade. Never. But then you figure like, oh, that'll never happen. Never happened. And then it actually happened.


Did you were you even thinking leading up to the episode that it was going to happen?


Kind of. And then, you know, I think my first reaction when it started, I don't know if you felt this way was just that relief because again, his SNL fortieth, it was like you couldn't quite tell. What his vibe was right? He went out, kind of kept fainting towards doing, he wouldn't commit to it. Yeah, so that was it was like, will you commit to it? And so when the minute started, it was like this huge relief of like always committing to it.


And then it was just that realization of one. He's the best that ever did it. And yet you kind of forgot, like, oh, all of his characters are in a good mood.


Like, I think you think of his character is is yelling at people or raising their voice and they're just all so happy and in that, like, cake boss sketch where he made a bad cake and he was so he knew is a cake with a smile on his face. And so it was just the nicest. I felt it was like the nicest 90 minutes. And then I think that Elstein was maybe the last sketch and probably my favorite of all of them, just because it was like white hot, pure Eddie Murphy.


I was nervous because I just didn't want it to go terribly. Yeah. And, you know, there's an alternate episode where it's just awful and and say, oh, man, let's never talk about that again.


But it was the opposite. It was actually really cool that he did it. And, you know, just makes you wonder, like, what was this guy sitting on the last. Thirty years where he where he still has all this talent and ability to do this, but just now I'm going to shut that switch off and then he could just turn the switch back on. It's kind of surreal.


Also, it was surreal how well all his characters age like whatever was whether the the core idea of what was funny about all his characters was still funny. I mean, which I guess makes sense because Gumby was exactly as insane an idea now as it was then. It wasn't like, well, you have to remember. And, you know, in the 80s, a lot of people were talking about Gumby.


It's like now, right? So, yeah, it was just it was just a delight. And again, I keep asking cast members and writers who were there about it because I'm as desperate for Intel as you are. And the nicest thing is everybody said it was like watching a fighter work his way back into game shape, a little tentative at the table, you know, and then all of a sudden it calling everybody my name. It's a team effort.


Everybody's excited. You know, the writers again, they had to assign different writers to take on these old old characters. And of course, everyone's doing it with incredible reverence. And I think everybody felt really appreciated and just seemed like it was such a it was such an a plus.


When when did you make the decision? At what what what year of your show where you started to really lean in on using your writers and bringing them on and trying to turn them into characters?


Well, it's weird because we I think immediately out of the gates we tried it and it didn't work because we thought, oh, we'll bring them on like update characters, because coming from the update desk, I felt, oh, you know, one of my strengths is being like a straight man and somebody like Bill or Bobby or Kate. And the reality was it was really hard for a writer who wasn't known by the audience to come out as a big character and have people be invested in it.


So and we actually like, you know, pretty it was one of the few notes we got from the network in the early days was, hey, we really like it to be a little bit more your show. Yeah. So then we leaned into that. But ultimately what happened is we started bringing our writers in to like, give commentary as themselves. I would say the only writer who really excelled playing characters was Conor O'Malley, who. Social media legend.


Social media legend. I mean, again, Vine Star.


Yeah, but Connor was the was unique in his ability to sort of score as a character. But other than that, most came your Chris Elliott basically.


Like what Letterman that I mean, have you ever it should be noted, if he would if Connor was on, he'd probably want to talk about Chris Elliott. That's right. More than anything else. I mean, most comedy writers you get on a late night show are very disappointed at first to find out it's not Letterman in 1986.


Right. Or like in ninety two. You know, that's I think they all and by the way, I don't blame them, but they all kind of think, hey, so we can do that really like whimsical, I don't know, meta comedy. And it's a lot harder to pull it off now. Well, yeah, I mean, I was in that situation with Kimmo for the first year, the the show you think you're joining versus the show, it becomes once everybody realizes the show, it becomes is going to be the show.


It's interesting how that plays out, but. You know, almost every time the show that it becomes that happens for a reason, I think, for you. You had that Daily Show shadow, the show you knew you should do, you couldn't really do, because it just would have been to close The Daily Show and you kind of had to wait it out and try to do, you know, not you behind the desk all the time, stuff like that.


But then you eventually grew into that, and that's when the show took off.


Yeah, it was weird because Shoemaker and I, Mike Shoemaker, our producer, like I remember when it first started, we'd be like, oh my God, can you imagine how hard it must be to do The Daily Show and have to talk about the news every day?


And then you realize, you know, we would do a few things like that, and that would be the thing people would say, I really like that.


And it was so it was kind of against our better judgment in the beginning that we thought, oh, we will never do that. And then again, ultimately, I think these shows, like you said, like they ultimately dovetail and meet up with the the skill set of the people and especially the host.


Do people know how close it was to you doing an ESPN late night show? I guess we could talk about that. That's been a million years later about that.


It was we talked about. Yeah, you were you were counseled during that time. I it's like an unpaid consiglieri.


You were you were very I would say that is an excellent definition of what I was. Yeah. It was right around the same time as I get offered late night, ESPN sort of reached out talking about doing it because I hosted a couple of sports and had had good relationships with everybody over there. And I told you not to do the second time.


Yeah. And you were right. But it was you know what else to say is I learned a very valuable lesson. If you're going to learn not to go back to your greatest hits like The Aspies, the softest way of doing it. Right. Like other that I learned not to do the correspondents dinner or the Golden Globes or any like. So at least it was the Aspies. And because the first Aspies had gone, well, ESPN let us do whatever we wanted, which of course, whenever you like, comedy writers do whatever they want, it's noticeably worse.


Well, I remember at that point in time, whenever that was when you almost. What was that like?


Probably 2011 renge 11 and 12 were my ass 12 times.


Yeah, it was it was right around the time when I had a lot of sway at ESPN and they were asking me about it. And I was just like, yes, like the most undervalued guy right now, like. If you were ever going to do this, do with him, but I could not figure out the scheduling part, I couldn't figure out like for you because I wanted you to succeed. And they were like, what's your biggest concern?


I said this to you, too. Like, I just I don't see how you pull off the regularity that a late night show needs, because everything I knew about late night habits dating back to even when I worked on Kimmel's show is that the audience just wants to know they turned the TV on. It's 11, 30, it's 12. It's 12 thirty. There's the person I'm used to seeing. I'm in my bed. I'm comfortable. Don't take me by too much surprise, but keep me keep me intrigued.


Keep me interested. And if you don't have that day to day or you're not there week to week, whatever it is. And it's like I thought Seth was going to be there. Was there a college basketball game on?


Yeah. You're kind of dead out of the gate. Especially because the energy it's one thing if you if because of NFL football on NBC, it pushes late night and maybe you like Fallon's on for 11 more minutes or so, but it's the late night show as opposed to like college basketball and screaming fans and things you don't want to see at that hour. The other thing was that and I think it was the right instinct, which is if you were going to do a late night comedy show about sports, it had to be up to date.


And that was I remember it was presented to me that it would have to be a live show and especially now with children. First thing in the world would be if I was doing a live show sports network at midnight, even if it was out of New York. So it was it was certainly an interesting offer. And the people over there at the time I really liked. But it was nice that sort of NBC sort of started sniffing around at the same time.


And it probably didn't hurt, by the way, that there was. Oh, yeah.


Yeah, no, I'm glad ESPN could help as kind of the the second second suitor. That was a really fun time at ESPN because I do feel like, you know, I look back fondly at that year just because we were doing stuff like trying to hire you for our show and trying to get Nate Silver. And they just they were succeeding in every conceivable way and actually spending the money on good things, you know, and like paying for third party and stuff like that.


It was just I just have there's like a two year window there on my man. That was a really fun place to work.


It was interesting because it was also it was like this saturation of the market, like there were only so many homes. Right. And you just realized that they got a lot happen with cable and ask for it. But, you know, I think the other thing about those years was it was the crest of ESPN being everywhere. And ultimately, at some point, you can't be in more houses when you're in all the houses. True. Good point.


You did that space for two years with more. We should probably talk about it for a sec. I mean, that was one of the sad outcomes at twenty 20 more that executive producer, she passed away.


I guess and to February was right before the pandemic, and she was a I mean, I feel like it's OK to say that she was like a bulldog. She was everything you want out of a producer in that she was so tenacious and especially in advocating for the host. I mean, there were times because she would sort of go back and forth between the network and me and and she just took such good care of myself in the writing staff. And she genuinely wanted it to be a great show.


And, you know, over the years, the SBS has had some really exceptionally good shows. And it should. Well, is that it does. But I you know, if you even just, like, pulled out the comedy bits from the last 20 years of the SBS, I'd put them up against any other award show. And it was the other fun thing about doing that show that she understood. Was it nobody took it that seriously because no one in the audience genuinely cared that much whether or not they won.


Right. I think the thing I always appreciated about her and I've always clicked well with people like this is she was all in one hundred percent at the craziest level of trying to make something succeed. So like she treated the SP's like it was the single most important two hours anybody was doing on television that year. Whether that was true is debatable, but she really treated it that way.


And I've always I've just always enjoyed working with people like that who were just like, for lack of a better word, insane about the work available at all times. And every year you would see her after the SP's.


And she it was like seeing LeBron after a triple overtime, you know, game seven words like who were wearing a cocktail dress, which is completely, you know, she has no energy at all and she's smokin.


And I don't know, I just I really liked working with her.


She also should be noted, it was two hours of her year and the rest of the time she was working contacts and relationships and ability the day before to say you what about Blake Griffin? I can get Blake Griffin to shoot a thing. And that was really amazing. Yeah.


I don't know if I ever tell you a story because we were staying we were all staying in the W Hotel in L.A. and I went to the gym the morning of the Aspies. And Maura was just the had the treadmill jacked up like a 45 degree angle. And it was like as fast as it could go to go. And she was just running. I was like, that's how that's like all the time.


Like when she's not that that's what's happening in her head, which is like just up to ear and like running as fast as she could. And and she did it, she genuinely did it to get the best possible outcome for that job.


She was one of the ten most important ESPN people when I was there, because they had there was no replacement for you. But it was she was like Liam Neeson in taken. She brought a particular set of skills. Yeah. Nobody else had them. She had all of these connections to show business and all of these and athletes and all these different people. And it's not like like how do you know she passes away tragically. And then it's like, well, how do you replace her?


It's like we just don't it's not like getting another head coach for an NFL team. It's like there's no way to replace you'd need five people to replace all the things that she was doing.


It was funny, too, how often I remember. I think my first year I shot something with Peyton Manning and I was just like, you know, again, I'm probably putting words in his mouth.


But you always would say, like, how did you and what thanks for doing this. He's like, Oh, I couldn't say no to more. And like across the sporting world, like you never I just feel like there are very few people that across all the sports who can't work, I think just out of a place of work, the relationship. And people cared about him. She got a tons of favors every year and made the show so good.


Well, she she was in that classic wheelhouse of. You had to return a call because you wanted to, but you also knew if you didn't return a call, she was going to call again and get you on the phone and it was going to happen. So you might as well call her back the first time otherwise. And then she'd be mad if you didn't call, you know, after the second time. So I don't know. I just it's hard for somebody to earn respect like that from hundreds of people that are in their lives where it's like she caused, like, fuck bars on the phone.


I got to go like I'd be with my wife and phone would ring and I would just show my wife because I'm going to go to break here.


And I would if she got Shoemaker's number and there were definitely days where one of us would hold up a phone and the other would understand that the next hour you would know right away you came.


I should know that. I think one of the last time I saw her, she came to the door when I hosted the Globes, she came to the after party because we invited her.


And it was I always mean, she was the first person who asked me to host something. And I learned you've got again, those are such unique things. But, you know, as different as an Aspies is from a Golden Globes, like you do learn a process of I just like when you write the jokes, how do you try the jokes out? Like, how do you do the bits?


And and so I always felt in debt to her for for that she was really good at jumping on somebody as their arrow was pointing up and, you know, getting getting in a little bit early and then rightfully being super proud as their career would kind of ascend and go to a couple other levels and kind of not that she was responsible for it, but just being like, I'm just so happy it's working out in this way for this person because I felt like this was going to happen years ago when I asked them to do whatever and she was usually more kimlin.


LeBron did it together. Six. Yes, that was like Karen did SNL, do you think? Ah, yeah, it was. But it was before.


Yeah. Because I mean that was a I mean that was a I think the first time. And now of course I think it's pretty obvious how funny LeBron is. But that was seemed very bold at the time and was such a cool choice.


The thing that was the Blake Griffin being funny was something I didn't fully realize until he did a couple Grantland things. But then he was on the Spicewood with Drake, I think, in 2014, because I always had a thing about athlete. Funny, when people say athletes are funny, they're not actually funny. They're just funny compared to other athletes. But then there's a couple athletes who are actually legitimately funny or and Blake was one of those guys was like, oh, this guy is legitimately funny.


Yeah, yeah. It's that it's not a long list. I think Shaq is legitimately funny, but I think there's a whole funny side of Shaq that we probably don't see is the public. But it's not a long list.


I have Blake and Kevin Love are really funny in this basketball lockout thing we did. And I meant to text Neil Brennan today that they were both mentioned as having a very hard to trade contracts on your podcast this morning.


Oh, that's true. Well, I mean, everybody over thirty million dollars is.


Yeah, it turns out like that being secretly funny doesn't help that much to help with it with a big contract or or maybe it makes teams want to pay you more because I have the room and it's like I don't know, I feel like this would be a more fun situation.


How do you think about the whole like you grew up in this certain era? On SNL in the mid 2000s. And all of these people from this specific era are all doing these great things across the board, and not just people like hater, but even like behind the scenes people and people like Mike Shaw and all this stuff, like when you look back at that mid to thousands and all the people you were involved with in some way, like, did you have any idea that was going to happen in the mid 2000s?


I think by like 07, 08, there was a sense because it was a guy the cast got really small and the shows got really good. And I think that only happens when that small cast is as good as they were. And so there was a sense and also most of us were at the same place in our life, which I think was really helpful. Like most of us were single. We were around the same age. We hung out a lot together outside the show.


And so, yeah, I mean, because I think it was at one point, maybe nine.


And when you think it was Sanberg Forte, Fred is Kristen Wiig, Kenan Wiig, Maya Poehler, me. I mean, that's a I mean, it's really stunning how well and how many shows have just but then you see some the behind the scenes people too.


Yeah. I mean Simon's going to do all kinds of stuff.


Melanie, when you think about the fact that John Mulaney was not on camera and is now as good a stand up comedian as there is in the universe, Yang was there for a year.


Yang wasn't there. Oh, I thought he wrote for SNL for a year and think, was it a Carson Daly?


We didn't have not to there. It felt like he was there, that we would give him credit anyway, even though he was a wonderful guy.


But yeah, it was it was a nuts group. Paula Pell, who's really funny, and Jon Lawrence, who writes for us now. And I mean, it was a very, very deep I wouldn't like it wasn't that deep bench because there were that many of us, but it was a very strong group. And the lonely island, the fact that the Kievan normal with everybody. Andy, now, major movie streaming star. So did you see the surprise?


I thought it was good. I had him on. I love I loved what they did because I was so worried it was going to be a Groundhog Day rip off.


And I really I think the nice thing about that is a movie with that structure is feeling is going to make me feel like curmudgeonly. I like an eighty five minute movie with no big plot. Like just give me two leads that I care about. I don't need to see like other people finding love because they were adjacent to this and I just thought was great. And Milioti was so charming as well. I did. I sort of live in perpetual charm and Sandburg's so it was nice to see the two of them together.


Yeah, we did Caddyshack for the We watch HBO's Last Week. It's like ninety seven minutes and it just flies by and it's over. Yeah. The golf course pulls up and it's done. It was, it was just refreshing to see it. So what are your next five years look like. I don't know.


I mean I kind of went into, I remember this show started thinking, oh, let's just get through the first five and now we're February was six. And I mean, I hopefully just continue to do this. I'm really happy with the gig. And I, I like the people we work with. And it's nice to do a little side things with people like Bill and Fred and John like documentary now. So hopefully like that, you know, finding space to do something other than late night.


But ultimately I don't have any complaints. Well, you have two small kids, so it's like having a torn ACL and a herniated disc in your back as an athlete, that you're never the same.


They also I feel like when I go back to the office, because they now I feel like especially the four year old is acutely aware that everything I said I had to go to work for, I've been able to do at home and.


Right. So that she's suspicious of you. Yeah. Yeah. He's just spent the whole day saying, like, way OK. But the ratings were the same. Right.


So that must have been awesome though, because I know it's been awesome for us mostly to to be at home with our kids a lot. But to have that with two young kids, when you would have been on the go and at work all the time, like all this time, you never would have had.


Yeah. And especially out of necessity, we had to film everything earlier because basically I was just sending it via in-home Internet to us to basically the graphics people. And and you just had to build in more time to make sure you could get it to the networks in time to put it on TV. And so most days I was down by four, 30 or five as opposed to eight, eight thirty. And I never finished the show before. My kids are in bed.


So it's been you know, I know it's that weird thing of constantly having to couch things have been there have been a silver lining in this awful time we've lived through. But I it has been a special time with our kids. All right, before we go, any last words for Tom Brady, your guy who kicked your ass for two decades?


I'm not upset he's gone. I mean, I am I wish him nothing but the best. Again, he only mentioned that really that one week when he was just a delightful as a down person to be around.


First of all, I don't believe you. I don't think you wish him the best. I think he caused a lot of pain and hard for you and the other Steelers that that reflects badly on me like I am now.


I wouldn't wish him the best if he was still on the Patriots. And I wish nothing but ill to Cam Newton now.


But but I realize that that is a bad reflection on me as a person as opposed to anything bad that Cam or Tom used to do. I feel like to me, Tom is one of those people who work for Trump and then left and wrote a book. And now I'm trying to accept that he's seen the error.


And so now you're directing your sports hatred for Cam Newton.


Now, it's hard that he's now the new guy, charming. But again, you know, I would like to say there's a very easy way for Cam Newton, the Patriots, than any of the Patriots to escape my ire, which is just to be a mediocre football team for a year.


Everybody else does it just a year or two, so I can start feeling bad for them.


But as of right now, what are you expecting from Ben Roethlisberger? Good things.


I mean, there's I mean, do you really expect good things? Like deep down, really?


OK, I do. I'm yeah. OK, again, eight and eight with Hodges and Mason. Rudolph. Right. So I kind of felt if we had if we'd gone for in 12, I wouldn't feel that good. But I do think we have a really good defense and I, I do expect good things. And there's so little there's so little to be optimistic about right now. Like I'm about to go back to a studio with no audience.


Right. Part of me is like, just give me the one that I mean, how if if I mean, you would just be gutted if it all fell apart. Right. It's all of a sudden they were they called it off.


I'm I still have my guard up. I have not done any fantasy football homework yet or anything. I just think they're going to plow through it. Yeah, and if if there are covid people that pop up, they'll just kind of move them aside like like on the injury cart when they're carrying an injured guy off.


It'll be the big picture equivalent of that. Or it's like, yeah, they lost 10 guys, wheel them out, bring in 10 more and just keep the money train going, I think is going to be the attitude, which is a bummer. But it's that's how we know the sausage is made with football. They don't care about their players. They never have. I don't see why this would change.


No, my conflicted feelings about the NFL are made no easier by this moment. We're living a hundred percent.


Yet I cannot I would be lying through my teeth if I said I would be. I mean, I would be so gutted if it fell apart.


Listen, if we were going to quit the NFL, it would have happened already. Exactly. This is kind of the terrible spouse we have. But I will say, though, like, I've been shocked by the baseball thing and I don't really know how to reconcile that.


And I know you're a Red Sox fan. And, yeah, I don't I don't know if it's because we won four titles. The team's bad.


It sucks to watch baseball without fans. But this is the first Red Sox season in my life where I'm just not watching.


Yeah, I have no, I'm literally not watching at all. I barely know what's going on and I don't really feel bad about it.


Yeah, it does feel again, we got really spoiled and all the itches were scratched. And now like just the combination of a Mookie and how it looks and how they're playing it, maybe it's helpful to take a breath and and just let them win us back to Mookie.


Things making it worse for me. It's like pouring gasoline on an open wound because, you know, it was so horrible when it was happening and now he's doing great in the Dodger. Fans love him. And I have to fucking live here and see the t shirt jerseys. And it's just every day it's worse than the Red Sox are sellers already. They've already traded two relievers, occlude their closers, and they're acting like they're the Kansas City Royals. And it's like, what happened?


We yeah, we used to spend top five bucks, buddy, and now we're the royals.


Where do we go wrong with you? I bet you are. I mean, obviously, you're engaged with it. The NBA has done a very nice job and there's been great.


But I think the NBA thing is almost shown that fans as part of the TV spectacle were probably a little overrated. Yeah, you know where the only time I really felt it was yesterday when Luka made that shot, that was like, oh, man, that would've been cool if Dallas fans were there in Sunday's game. But for the most part, they've been able to replicate what it sounds like to have a crowd and in a way that makes you think like, oh, yeah, this was kind of a lot of this was forced anyway, like a lot of the musical cues were kind of telling the fans how to behave.


Yeah. Whereas, like with the stuff I grew up with where the crowd we basically had an organ and the organist played some fight songs. And other than that, it was just fans applauding and booing and that's it. And now everything is kind of orchestrated. So the fact that they could replicate that, I think was kind of weirdly disturbing.


Yeah, I was watching as I was watching the Celtics series, at no point did I think I'm less I care less. I care the same. I felt like that was an accomplishment.


Well, ironically, you're going to probably feel it with your show and you're back in the studio with no people reacting. I don't I've watched some of the Bill Maher shows, and it's so funny how he's trying to do his thing. And he's got it's almost like in wrestling, like the professional wrestlers when they do the entrances and they're playing off the fans who are there. And he's just he's like, I'm just going to do it the same way I've always done it.


But there's no people there. And he's turning the left and the right and he's looking at like a plant.


It'll be weird. I mean, it's one thing like not having an audience in your attic is fine because there was never an audience in your. So I think that will be the weird thing is going back to the room, there was an audience and I was figuring out because I feel like we did figure out how to perform without an audience in our makeshift studios. The real question will be, how do you perform without an audience in the room where you're facing the empty seats they used to sit in?


You'll be fine. What's the what's the best movie you watch during the pandemic?


I really like Palm Springs.


Just really watch Bugsy really enjoyed Bugsy Putsy. Wow. Yeah.


What else did I really like? I feel like I haven't watched a ton. I mean I may destroy you has been the best thing I've seen and and normal people was a really good horror show.


A lot of people my mom really like normal people, which I thought was disturbing to tell you that.


I think it's at one point I, I didn't know I was. Is this just The O.C. that I think is classy because they have Irish accents and I just. But I think it was better than that. And I got I'm trying to think of. I like the old guard on Netflix. I thought that was fun times. What else am I missing? What was what was your big one?


What was your eye caught up on? Stuff like I had never watched Ozark, so. Oh, yeah. Like a month into the pandemic, I was just already feeling weird and then cranking out Ozarks and just is going to a dark place.


Wafa is watching. I mentioned this Michelle Dawson's Creek, which is a show I never watched. And I am like, I'm I'm like it's jarring to like now find out like how much about sex that show us, I think. Yeah, I just had to push the envelope idea of what that show was about.


I did because I, I'm just trying to replace all the sports stuff I used to watch, especially in the mornings, because I would wake up, do emails and put some game on that I taped them for. I was doing like Melrose Place in its place first couple of Melrose Place, MTV.


The challenge was throwing that on there like anything that was kind of interesting, but not really, but not too interesting. Try to find that warehouse. But yeah, I'm running out of stuff. Yeah, it's getting dark and. Yeah, and no good movies are coming out. It's basically all like these straight to videos with a few exceptions, and it feels like they're stacking them. They're waiting until December. And all the money come out at the same time, and it's what the fuck like we're going to have a hundred of these.


So anyway, good luck in the Emmys next month. Thanks, buddy. Good luck back in the studio in a couple of weeks. It was good to see you. Don't cut your hair.


Oh, it's great. We'll talk to Linklater about working you and everybody wants some to maybe a cameo. Got to realize that I was the best. All right. Good seeing you. Thank you. All right.


Great seeing you, too. All right. Thanks to Spotify. Thanks to Seth Meyers, thanks to Jonathan Sharks. Thanks to Raja Bell and Logan Murdoch for their little cameo at the top of the pod. Don't forget about the rewash troubles. Which we had 40 year old virgin. That's up there today and then Wednesday, dangerous minds as part of Teen Movie Week on the ring or dotcom, I hope you're enjoying all the pieces that we did for that and the bracket.


Vote for your favorite movies. Go to the Wringers social feed right now and we will see you on Thursday night. Looking forward to it.