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I have an action packed Bill Simmons podcast for you, I figured out the James Hardie trade that's going to happen. I talked to Joe House about Westbrook first as well and had Ryan Shazier coming on to figure out Pittsburgh can go undefeated with its million dollar picks. It's on next year. Also brought to you by the Ringer podcast network where we spun off the mismatch with Kevin O'Connor and Chris Vernon. Their first podcast on the new feed is going to be available I think either late Thursday or Friday morning.


But we have moved them off the Ringer NBC show. You can subscribe to their feed on Spotify, on Apple. Wherever you get your podcasts, go help those dudes out. They love they love the subs. They love the feedback. They're excited for those guys. They definitely earned it. It's a great show. And we'll have more announcements on what's going to happen with the ring ringer NBA NBA show feet over the next couple days. Also, speaking of basketball, the book of basketball podcast did we covered Chris Paul this week?


Ryan Rossella came on because Chris was one of his favorite players. We covered his whole career. It is called Chris Paul, the almost point guard.


Please check that one out, put a lot of time and energy in this book, a basketball podcast, I really love doing them and I think we took them up another level this season, so go check them out. Rewash Buzby did Wall Street this week, and I'm just going to tell you the movie now from Monday, the program. Me, Rosillo and Colbran. A college football movie, unlike any other that's going to be Monday night, so you have four days to watch it on your own time this weekend.


All right, let's get to the podcast project.


All right, I'm gonna have Joe House on in a second to talk about the Russell Westbrook train, something we taped last night. Also ran Shazier is joining us today to talk about the undefeated Steelers and whether that can keep going.


So I'm taping this. It is Thursday, early afternoon Pacific Time, and I've had time to digest the Wurzburg trade, talk to some people and I'm trying to figure out where James Harden is going. Houston is saying all the right things. Houston is saying, oh, no. Now, that may keep him. And you see tweets out there that Chris Mannix talking about how Jamal and James Harden are playing pickup together. They're making it seem like. This is all headed toward James Harden staying maybe Westbrook was the issue.


I don't agree. I don't think that's what's going to happen. The more I look at this, the more I talk to people. I think I think now this is a staring match. This is a leverage match. And Houston knows they have to trade James Howard and House. And I will talk about this in a second, actually. And you can hear my reaction last night, too. It was like he's not going to last the season there.


I think it's going to go sooner than that. And I wanted to lay out the landscape. Look at this. I did this whole ho ho sheet trying to figure it out like a whole blueprint. So here's the hard and Souters. If Houston is going to trade hard and which I think they will, it's really Brooklyn or Philly. But to be fair, let's start on Golden State or throw in the Clippers will throw in Sacramento as well. So Brooklyn here, their assets, Caris, Levert, Jarrett, Allen, Landry, Schmidt, all those guys are pretty young.


And Spencer Dinwiddie, who's on the last year of his contract, Levert signed a new deal. But it's pretty it's pretty palatable. Allen and Sherman are still in rookie contracts. There are some other picks and all the swap potentials, things like that. So that's great except there's no headliner in there and and this is the key. If I'm trading James Harden and this is the key thing for Houston to remember, if they're trading James Harden, who is one of the best four players the last ten years, who is still one of the best five or six players in the league, who is one of the greatest defensive players in the history of basketball and who is only thirty one years old?


You have to get something back for James Harden. That's not just a bunch of stuff in the history of the NBA. It has never worked. Ever, ever. There's not one example of creating a superstar for a bunch of pieces for doing the proverbial two dollar bill, trading that away and getting four quarters back. It's never worked. It's a terrible idea. You can't do it. You got to get an asset back. Brooklyn does not have the asset.


They don't have that wow factor player out of those guys. I like Caris Levert he's twenty six. He's been hurt a lot. That can't be the centerpiece of a trade. They could throw one hundred picks at Houston. It doesn't change the fact that they're not getting anything tangible for James Harden. So that's a problem for Brooklyn. We're going to circle back to that in a second. Philly is the other team. Ben Simmons is the obvious piece.


Ben Simmons for James Harden. Well, here's the problem with that. Houston can't trade James Harden for somebody who's not as good as James Harden straight up as good as Ben Simmons has a chance to be. I am a bigger fan of Ben Simmons. The most is the same name as my son. I think he's one of the best defensive players in the league. I want to see him on the right team. I feel like there's a version of him where somebody builds a whole team around him, built around his ability to play fast, his ability to be a point forward.


You put him around shooter, you put shooters around him, play different kind of speed and it becomes like the Ben Simmons team. Maybe it's not a team that wins the title, but it's something you have an identity. And then we can find out how good he is because last year he's playing on the same team with Embiid and Tobias Harris and Al Horford and no real point guard to take pressure off from no shooting. And it was just a really easy team to defend.


If you're getting him, you could build, you know, an identity around him and try to really, really make him succeed. Build a team that would make him succeed much like the Ravens did last year. Lamar Jackson. So Philly has Simmons. They have other picks for the next seven years. All the picks up stuff. Those are the two obvious candidates. The other teams, Golden State, they could offer Wiggins wisemen, Minnesota's top three twenty twenty one projected pick a bunch of pick swaps.


Here's a problem. If you're harden, you're not winning the title. If they do that because Klay Thompson's out for the year, so you're going to play with Steph Curry and Draymond Green and you're not going to win the title. You're in the same spot you are now.


So he'll veto that Clippers. They have no picks at all. It's just Paul. George, would you want Paul George for a year? Would you be excited about that. What do you do for the Rockets now you're training for Paul George for a year and then you have to resign him for another five. Would you want to resign Paul George for five years might be neither. So they're out. The other one's a wild card. Sacramento. So Sacramento has Marvin Bagley, who I am a big fan of, even though he's been hurt, I don't think he should have ever gone over Luka Donchak in a million years.


But I do think he's an asset. I think he has to be taken seriously. I want to see him healthy on a team that gets him the ball. They also have Halliburton, who they drafted, who fell out of the 12th pick, who I think is going to be the best player in the 2020 draft when all things are said and done and they have other picks and other swaps. So if Houston was like, fuck it, we're just going to trade James Harden.


We don't care where he goes in Sacramento, it's like, fuck it, this is our one chance to get a superstar will for Bagley and Halliburton. And here's a bunch of picks and we'll put them on Fox and Harden together and we'll see where this goes on paper. That's something to problems harden and be like, are you kidding me? I'm not going to Sacramento. And then for Sacramento, what do you winning with James Harden and Darren Fox and barely anybody else.


The only reason I mention is because Sacramento has a history of being like, yeah, fuck it and just doing whatever. I think it's Brooklyn or Philly. OK, so you're saying, well, wait a second. And research is Brooklyn and Philly? Well, as I said before, Houston has to get an available young star for four harden. They have to get a younger centerpiece that they can build something around with Christian Wood. Some of the pics they got back hope keep your fingers crossed that John Wall is good again and either keep him or trade him.


But you got to get a young centerpiece. Simmons is the best centerpiece in the league that might be available for James Harden. Here's the other possibilities. Michael Porter Junior. Hold that thought. Marvin Bagley, James Weizman. Then it drops level goes to Lauri Markkanen RJ Barrett and then Anthony Edwards which is and they're not trading in the Minnesota unavailable young stars.


This is a very important category because these are the people who will not be traded for James Harden because their teams just aren't going to do it. Jason Tatum, look at Donchak, Durant, Fox, Jamal Murray. So maybe a year ago you said, oh, maybe, maybe Jamal Murray for James Harden. Now Denver's not doing that. Devin Booker. No way. Trae Young Atlanta has decided to build the whole city around him. They'll never admit defeat on the look at that trade, which is still one of the five worst trades the last ten years.


Jaylen Brown.


I think he means too much to Boston in the city, on and off the court, the Tatum Brown thing, you have two guys who want to be in Boston who signed big contracts to stay there. You can build around those dudes for the next 10 years. The trade would be Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart for Harden. And if you're going to make up a trade, Boston's not doing it. They're not winning the title with Tatum and James Harden and a bunch of role players.


It's not happening Bradley Beal No Joel Embiid No Jamma in no way Tzion No Karl Towns No And it doesn't make sense anyway. Donovan Mitchell No DeAndre Ayton Chris Paul's on that team so no lamella ball ironically. The. I don't think he's available yet. I think Charlotte actually wants to see how that progresses. Plus, what the hell are they going to do? James? So back to the original question. Ben Simmons is the best trade piece for James Harden.


Which means James Harden is going to get traded to Philly, right? Well. I don't think so yet, because if I'm filling, I'm looking at this and I'm going, I know you're not taking Caris Levert, Jared Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie and a bunch of draft picks for James Harden. I know you're not doing that. That's not happening. So here's my offer, my offer as Ben Simmons. And then Houston goes up, we got to get pics back and figures now our offers, Ben Simmons.


And you can get 80 percent of its value for Ben Simmons. So two problems here. One is Daryl Morey, the Houston former Houston Jim went to Philly and Tilman Fertitta, who let him out of the contract. God only knows what happened with that whole thing, lets him out there, was going to spend more time with his family and two weeks later, his Phillies new running everybody got. So Houston is not going to get snookered by Philly.


They're not going to make a deal where on paper you go, wow, they traded James Harden and all they got back was Ben Simmons. Philly knows this. They also know there's no better offer out there. If Klay Thompson is healthy, if Klay Thompson ACL never happened, they'd probably be worried about Golden State because then you could talk about that. Wisemen Wiggins, the Minnesota Pick Future Picks and you could have Harden, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Steph Curry and that's a contender.


And Harden would talk himself into that but with no Klay Thompson he's not talking himself into that. So Philly's looking at this going We win Ben Simmons they're not going to get a better offer. Brooklyn's looking at this going shit, we have all these assets. But we don't have quite enough to get hard in that we need to get a second asset. All right, so what do you do if you're if you're Brooklyn, you got to get to bring a third team in there.


You go back to the available young stars, Simmons, Porter, Weismann, Baguley Markkanen. The most appealing guy on that list is Michael Porter Jr., who conflicting reports on when and whether he's completely untouchable or almost untouchable. And the Drew holiday, who knows if he got brought up. Brooklyn's Only Chance. Is to overpay for Michael Porter Jr. And then put him. Into their package. So here's how that would work, the three team trade.


Where, Denver. Just for the privilege of including Michael Porter and rerouting him to Houston. Denver would be getting back Jared Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Landry Schmidt. And to Brooklyn first, so we'll give it, let's say that the two thousand twenty one and twenty three Brooklyn first round picks. All for the for the privilege of sending Michael Porter and Gary Harris to Houston. All right, so here's here's this tradeoff, it's three teams, Brooklyn, Denver, Houston.


Brooklyn gets James Harden and PJ Tucker. Right, so now, PJ Tucker, by the way, very close friend of Kevin Durant, University of Texas guy. So they have James Harden, PJ Tucker. Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Joe Harris. You got to and some of the royal guys, they said you've got enough, you at least have your starting five and it's freakin loaded. Denver. They get Jared Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Landry Schmidt to Brooklyn first.


They could also spin Jarrett Allen if they want, if they decide, hey, we have Yokich, it would be weird to play them together. Jarrett Allen has real trade value. You could turn him into, like, let's say they call it the Celltex and they're like, hey, give us Robert Williams. Give us some. Romeo Langford in two first round picks, I don't know, you could turn Jared down into four assets if you want a lot of teams who would want him because three point nine million, he could defend the rim.


Houston. Here's what they get out of this trade Caris Levert, Michael Porter, Junior, Gary Harris. To Brooklyn first. And they get picked swaps in twenty twenty two twenty twenty four point twenty twenty six with Brooklyn. So if you're Brooklyn, you're giving up. You're giving up, Alan, you're giving up Dinwiddie giving up Shimek giving up Alan you're giving up three of your first three pick swaps off for the right to put Durant Harden Kyrie in the same team.


That seems like a lot. I don't really like this trade that much for anyone other than Houston. My point is this is the only way Brooklyn. Can trump whatever Philly has to offer if they can somehow figure out how to get Michael Porter Junior from Denver. And now Houston has multiple assets. They get the LaVert and the Porter, plus some picks and and now you're talking baby Jared Allen is in the Houston side of that trade. Guess what?


I'd still rather have Ben Simmons. So the important thing for for Houston. Try to get the Michael Porter or try to get, you know, try to get Baguley from Sacramento, try to get even Markkanen from from Chicago, try to get one more asset that Brooklyn can use some of their assets to go get. I still feel like if they paid one hundred and forty cents in the dollar for Michael Porter, Denver would have to consider it because they have a chance to win the title this year.


Portas their X Factor. Right. If you, if you build a much deeper, better team around. Yokich and Murray. Maybe you're in the mix, you know, who knows what the Lakers, maybe this is year LeBron gets old. We already know the Warriors are out. You just never know. They're not that far away. Porter's The X Factor. We don't we don't know if he can play crunch time and defend, you know, wings on the other teams.


And and whether he's going to be happy is the third option on a team. All the stuff, who knows? So that's that's Brooklyn's best chance in Brooklyn will end up with Harden and Tucker, and they would have a three to four year run and basically they would be all in the same way. The Clippers went all in the same way. The Lakers went on the same way. The Bucs kind of halfway went on. It doesn't make a ton of sense to me, but I think that's what they would have to do.


And here's why that's important. Even if there is the hint of a three T'mar Brooklands trying to get more assets to throw more at Houston, then Philly has to change their their stance. And they have to say. Looks like we got off for a little more than Simmons, and this is where I think it lands. I think Mike Scott and Terrance Ferguson go in the trade because they're expiring. PJ Tucker goes in the trade. So Philly gets hard and Tucker, they give up Ben Simmons, Mike's got in Ferguson.


They gave up to first unprotected and it picks up. And then calling it in and the reason they give up more than they thought they had to give up is because they're worried that Brooklyn is just going to say we're going to figure out how to get the assets and and we'll we'll try to get young guys from other teams. We have three potential, 14 potential. We're going to hell or high water to get this happening. And then Philly eventually says, what are we doing?


We have a chance to get James Harden and they have a chance to put James Harden with Joel Embiid. I think the trade looks something like that. I think it will happen sooner than we think because if we've learned anything about the history of the NBA, once a guy is unhappy and wants a guy wants out. It always happens sooner than later. We rarely have the wow worst month for this guy being super and happy. It usually happens, usually happens fast, and in general, we should not be surprised when there's a mega NBA trademark.


So that's my prediction. I still think James Harden is going to Philly. I felt that way the whole time, really since the draft. I felt like Westbrook was going to end up in Washington before the draft. I don't know what happened. I don't know what would held up exactly, but it eventually happened. And the Rockets want to get away from this Harden thing because it's going to be unhappy the whole year. They want to start over, start fresh.


They never want anything with them anyway. They never made the finals of them anyway. Good luck. Godspeed so long. And he goes to Philly and I think that's how this plays out. All right. Coming up, Joe House tonight talking about the Westbrooke wall trade, which we we taped last night. It's all still relevant when you change any of my pin to that. And then ranchers are doing million dollar pics. It's all coming up next.


All right, we're taping this on a Wednesday night, wanted to get houses, instant reaction to the Westbrooke John Wall trade where the Wizards also throw a number of pick. That's fine. House is a lifelong Washington fan. As anyone who's ever listened to him on this podcast knows, they've had a tortured existence. They really have not had. A great playoff moment since the late 70s have had a couple of playoff moments, one of them included John Wall jumping on the scores table after getting a big shot.


I'm sure you're running through a gamut of emotions here. I want to start with this. Your team has Russell Westbrook, a polarizing superstar who you and I have texted about a million times we've emailed about. We've been on text threads about him. You have come on this podcast. We've debated his merits, whether he was the MVP, whether we'd want to play with him, whether this is somebody we'd want to root for. And now you have to drink the Russell Westbrook Kool-Aid.


Here we are, my friend. I'm here to announce. I am a Hoopes pervert. I came on this podcast multiple times four years ago when Russell went on his tear and won the MVP, and I called everybody that voted for Russell Westbrook as MVP of the NBA hoops pervert. And I'm here to announce today that I, myself, Joe House, am a hoops pervert. So let's go backwards to the day before the draft. I think we can now tell the story, oh, I was wondering if you were going to be able to tell.


I caught wind of this trade before the draft. And I was told it was going to be done after the draft, barring something weird happen on draft day, but basically the trade was Russell Westbrook to Washington. John Wall and a pick and maybe another pick, depending on what happened in the draft. To Houston, and I called to tell you your team was getting Russell Westbrook, and it was a hilarious call. I wish I had videotaped it.


And you were kind of this was they were really no rumors about it at all other than on the Dark Web. And watching you talk yourself into it over the course of three minutes was really funny because fundamentally, he made the all NBA team last year whether he deserved to make it or not. He still did. He still respected within his peers as a top 20 guy. Whether he is or not, that's up for debate. He's not old yet.


Athletically, he looks pretty good. He looked terrible in the bubble because he got covid and he had an injury. But I. I don't think there's any reason he couldn't be back to 90 percent when he was during that pre pandemic bump he had. And you have Bradley Beal, who also would have made the NBA team if you had a good Wizards team, so they could argue they have two of the top thirty guys in the league. It's a 30 team league.


That's all you need to be. A playoff team has not only that, I expect them to make the playoffs and not not just, you know, barely squeak in. They're not a seven or eight seed. If everybody's healthy, they're four, five seed, maybe, maybe not four.


But look, the east where we are reracking the east, where the entire east is going through a reconfiguration, a recalibration. And and I agree with you. Russell Westbrook averaged twenty seven points last year. He average nine assists and seven rebounds last year. Like he can play. He's, he's, he's not over the hill. He's still in his early 30s. He's not on the front end of his career.


But you know, this is wonderful, by the way, when you realize you need gargling koolade like you are right.


When you're measuring it against a player who hasn't played fifty professional basketball games since two thousand and seventeen, then then it's valuable. Then it's valuable. And we have no proof that this version of Brad Beal, which is of a pretty mature basketball, mature, I mean sophisticated offensive presence, still got to work on some defense, but a mature, sophisticated, offensive, impactful player damn near that. The NBA in scoring last year. Yeah, that version of him paired with John Wall didn't seem like a lot of prospect for success.


Well, that plus the injury risks with John Wall that pissed him. Well, it's been persistent injury risk. We just went through it. He hasn't played fifty professional basketball games since calendar year. Two thousand and seventeen. Well, hold on. You mentioned Bradley Beal. I don't think there's any way this trade doesn't happen unless Bradley Beal was driving the car and I clearly I mentioned this on a podcast last week and there was a little push back and Jubelirer Bill, Bill specifically told them to keep the.


Let's be honest, this is a players league, Steve Nash doesn't get hired as the Brooklyn coach unless KD signs off on Steve Nash being the Brooklyn coach. This is the guy, LeBron. Whatever the Dennis Schruder trade, I guarantee they're running it by LeBron. It's the Stars League. This is what all the smart teams do. They keep their stars in the loop. The Wizards want to keep Bradley Beal. They resisted every off offer, overture, whatever to trade him during a market where Jrue Holiday is going for three first rounders do pick swaps.


They didn't want to bring the same theme back. He clearly wanted to upgrade somewhere and get a second banana that could play with him and now he's happy and now they you can win forty six forty seven games potentially, which is the whole point of this trade. And now you don't have to worry about trading him and starting over again. And the point that I want to make, it does not put a lie to the friendship, the genuine friendship that he and Paul seem to have made over the last couple of years.


Beale personally traveled down to John Wall and spent time with John Wall. When John Wall's mother died, he tried to make a flight. He could make a flight. He drove himself in his car down to John Walsh residence and stayed with him when his mother's past and wall and Bill were together here in Washington, D.C. this summer, the summer of twenty 20, working together out on the protest lines in support of the Black Lives Matter stuff. That relationship is genuine and it's real.


But that does not mean that when the team discussed with Brad Beal, what about our prospects for next year that he couldn't get behind, couldn't endorse the idea of a of a hopefully healthy Russell Westbrook here in Washington, especially with a team that is in need of a cultural reset and that as much as anything, is a compelling enough reason to to bring Russell in here. He's a notorious hard worker. His work ethic is legendary. And for a team that's going to been going through a, you know, a renovation with a brand new front office staff.


Now, Tommy Shepherd's been there forever, but they brought in all kinds of other professionals and support throughout, you know, strength and conditioning. The top tech guys, the top analytics guys, they're finally getting serious about basketball here, bringing in a player whose work ethic is unquestioned by the entire league. That's a positive, impactful kind of statement, I think. Yet I'm not saying Beal made the trade. I'm saying they do not make the trade unless he was OK with the trade.


Right. Because their number one to go, if you're if you're running the Wizards, whether you own it, whether you're the GM. You're trying to keep Bradley Beal happy because you don't want to get into a situation where you have to auction him off to the highest trade bidder in four months, six months, whatever it is they want to build around him, he's an awesome guy. He's twenty six years old. He's one of the best off the court guys in the entire league.


He's still getting better. Like if you're trading a guy like that and starting over who's under contract for two more years, where are you going? And I think they smartly saw that. Now, if somebody came in and gave them the Anthony Davis ridiculous godfather offer, like what the Lakers gave up for Davis, I'm sure they would have to at least think about it. But that trade wasn't out there. So you think like, all right, what's resprout?


You bring them in. What are we getting? Here's where you're getting everything you just said. He's going to work his ass off, is going to play every single game like it's a game seven. He's going to average twenty seven nine nine. So whoever you had at point guard last year, that's going to be better. And more importantly, you're not crossing your fingers with John Wall. So I think for The Wiz, the first round pick, it has some protections on it.


It's never really top three dangerous. It's always it's like lottery. Protect the top ten protected for The Wiz there in the playoff hunt. Now, you said they could get a five seed. I think you're wrong on that. Here's here's what's ahead of them. I would say Milwaukee. I would say the Celltex, I would say Miami. I would say, Filey. OK, that Brooklyn, Brooklyn. Maybe you tell what Chiri. Brooklyn, Toronto, indie, OK, well, so Toronto with the big question for them as they lost a lot of size, S.A.M. was terrible in the bubble.


Is that going to continue? I don't know if they're immortalise to be doing as Washington is in that class now. They're in the discussion with the Indies and the Torontos. Maybe it may be right. And who knows what version of Brooklyn we end up with and what their health situation is like. We just saw with the rockets, like when you have two guys who are putting up huge stats, you're going to be good during the regular season because every single night those guys are going to get fifty five points and now you can just fill whoever around them.


Now, if the rookie that you took of Teja, I'm just going to call him Danny. This is Danny. We know Danny. We know how to talk about Danny. Yeah. Danny, you've had a long checkered, fantastic checkered, checkered pacula checkered for the toilets. But how dare you, Danny, if he could play this year, who else do you have? Thomas Bryant. Yeah. Who was good last year. Yeah. He got, you know, energy guy Rui Rui might be somebody rotation guy.


He's a rotation guy. He can be a seventh man on a good team. That's right. Anybody else. That might be it. That's about it. From the shoot, go through the list of notables. Those are well, obviously Berton's I mean, Burtonsville invertors. No, I mean, I for whatever reason, I assume that we already that's a big three in the east. I mean, it's a big issue. Three because it Berton's can be healthy.


Everything always in the NBA depends on health. If all three of those guys are healthy all season long and they're the version of the Washington team that Scotty Brooks, I imagine, thinks this team can be, which is up tempo. Right. The version that they tried the last couple of years, which was pretty entertaining. I mean, the game against Houston and November twenty nineteen, where the two teams scored over three hundred combined points. Right. I mean, it feels like ten years ago it was just a year ago it was awesome.


And if that's the version of Washington, we're just get out and run and try and score, score, score. That's fun. That could work.


Well, we left out Robin Lopez, which was one of my favorite off season signings, did something I really wanted the Celtics get. You're laughing. I really think Robert Lopez, we had a Bulls Celtics playoff series a couple of years ago, and he was a beast. And I always feel like he's one of those guys on the right kind of team is somebody who did a playoff series. And you have size eight. It seems like you're one wing short depending on how it really is.


We thought we didn't mention Ish Smith. You have a rival NATO this year. Somehow I don't know why that happened. But there I can say that both of those guys are on the team. You can play fast. And he's got Robin Lopez, who I don't know, I actually like I wanted the Celtics to get him. They got Tristan Thompson, which I was even more excited about, but he was a good backup plan, I felt like because I've seen him have good moments on good teams like in the Bulls Celtics playoff series a couple of years ago, he was a beast.


He was a kind of destroying us. And I feel like he was kind of wasted with the teams that he picked the last couple of years. My point is you can play big and he can be the Steven Adams type of guy with Westbrook. The big the big center could set some picks, maybe roll a little bit, protect him on defense, or you could play a little faster, smaller lineup, play two point guards. There is some flexibility.


You're probably a wing short, but I think you're going to be buyers this year because I think there's going to be a lot of teams if they're not in the playoffs, trying to get rid of money because of no fans this year. And that's going to be that was why the Celtics got that big trade exception for Hayward. They know teams are going to want to get off money and there's going to be dudes available. So Lopez makes sense for what you just described as a guy that's going to bring some size.


Otherwise, the size was like Isaac Bonga and Thomas Bryant, who plays a whole variety of who can play the three. The four. Yeah, he runs. Yes, yeah. I like the team. Now, here's my favorite part of that. I have two favorite parts of the. And we'll talk about the John Walsh stuff after my two favorite things to trade. One, I said this couple weeks ago, I really wanted Westbrook to go to one of these mediocre or worse Eastern Conference teams and just be Russell Westbrook.


Just be the guy in the action movie. That is the movie. It doesn't even come out in the theater. It just is immediately on demand. But I kind of want to see it anyway. I think that's who he is. He's a best guy on a forty one win team. He could be one of the best two guys on a forty seven win team. You're not winning the title with them, but really fun. He's going to bring it every night.


He's going to bring energy swagger. So that's one thing. The second thing is. Now he's on your team. You have to watch him. I'm so excited for the Russell Westbrook roller coaster ride that your house is going to go. You're going to change your opinion on him 100 times.


He's going to have a game where he goes like 11 for 40 and misses the game, winning three. And you're just going to be like, I can't believe I talked myself out of this trade.


But it was I think I won't regret believing in the trade because there's no doubt that the John Wall's time here in Washington was had to come to an end. Yes, that's exactly right. I have every confidence that what you're describing in terms of the frustration that I will feel, because, look, I have bet on many games involving what Russell Westbrook and I've counted on him successfully to sabotage the team that I bet. And that has worked, you know, to to to to a terrific degree.


Many times in the fourth quarter, him taking ill advised shots from six minutes left in the fourth quarter onward. On the other hand, he has single handedly caused me to lose bets as well by by making insane shots, by taking games over in the last handful of minutes. Those are all regular season games. But I remember what I remember one game we bet on together when he just went full, Russell Westbrook with like three, he made like a 30 footer.


He was not even not even set. He's falling out of bounds. I know the game. Yeah, it was Houston against OKC and Houston needed to win. The game was one of the last three games of the season two seasons ago. Believe me, the gambling losses. I remember Don, because he went off in the last two minutes and he cost us a sizable wager. Well, he's almost like one of them. He's like one of those quarterbacks you don't want to bet on and you don't want to bet against.


We won last thing on Westbrook. I'm really interested to see how he resonates with DC in the DMV because. There's certain guys that have clicked in the right way, right, I think Gilbert, at that three year run when he was just absolutely beloved. Right. And in John Wall had a couple of years, which we'll talk about later. And when he clicked, I think the stuff Westbrook does is actually going to be very popular, although you'll have no fans this year.


So maybe it doesn't matter. Well, from a pure basketball standpoint, I think the city is ready for something new to be relevant, relevant again as a basketball town. I mean, we've been irrelevant for a handful of seasons now waiting out.


Well, just in terms of criticism, its walls, injuries, you know, we have the promise. Ever since the game that you mentioned, when John Wall made a game winning three in Game six of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Celtics, you know, that was the promise of something dramatic, you know, Wall and Beal as the backcourt of the future and one of the top five backcourts in the NBA. And that was the high watermark of John Wells career here in Washington and the scorers table four years ago.


Really. It really was. That's right. But it's a good Segway into into walls connection with the city. So I don't know if you're ready to start talking about John Wall and what he meant to Washington. I'm ready to do that right after this break. So, John, while in the city of Washington, you go back to 2017, which was the highlight of all this, and had him on the scorers table, game winning shot, I went to game seven.


In Boston. And it was the game two takeaways from that game, one was that it was clear Bradley Beal is going to end up really being something and it wasn't even like he was you know, he didn't have 50 points or anything like that. But it was the same way I felt about Steph Curry when I saw him play that Game seven against the Clippers. I was in person for that one, too. There was it was just so impressive how he handled the moment.


And I felt that way with Beal. He was the guy I was afraid of as a Celtics fan. On the flip side wall, I thought the Celtics just figured him out. They were just playing way off. They were they were just basically preventing him from taking off on defensive rebounds. And they and a half court, they were just kind of trying to get in his head and make them shoot. And he was really limited. And it was one of the reasons they lost the game.


And the question coming out of that series was. Can this guy ever have all the tools if he's one of your two best players, where as the playoffs get harder and harder? Does this guy have the offensive arsenal to actually make it past the final eight? Can he do it? My takeaway from that series was I'm not sure he does. How did you feel coming out of that series?


Well, the reason why you reached that conclusion and you're not wrong is because he and Bill played an unbelievable number of minutes in those playoffs. And in that series in particular, it was the only way for them to be competitive. So if you go back and look at the box scores of games, six and seven, Wall and Beal, there's a noticeable decline in their performance fourth quarter, especially because they're just exhausted. They're exhausted. And your point about what Wall's arsenal might consist of has to be thought about.


You know, in we have to run about four hypotheticals. He doesn't get hurt. They put other wing players around him to take some of the pressure off those two guys warmakers. You know, this is the thing always and we've talked about this ad nauseum when we've talked about the Washington Almost Bullets on your podcast. The thing that I've always wondered about with John Wall is his leadership DNA. He's the best player. But that doesn't necessarily make him a leader, a natural leader of men.


He for sure is a genuine guy. And that's part of why he was beloved here in Washington, who is eminently relatable. Everybody here will always remember the relationship he had with the young girl who had cancer. He went out of his way to establish a personal relationship with her and he broke down and cried on television and a game that he dedicated to her after she passed in Washington. He'll always be beloved in Washington for that. But that doesn't have anything to do with his capacity to be a basketball leader, a leader on the floor.


And and I don't know whether or not they paid him as though he was both the best player on the team and capable of being a leader. And that leader part was always the element that was missing. But I'm not going to come on tonight and say bad things about John Wall because it was 10 years that coincided with Ernie Grunfeld and it was ten years that that were wall played hurt a whole bunch of years. The guy was tough as nails and he was a crazy athlete.


I mean, that's one way that there is a kind of symmetry going from Wall to Westbrook.


You know, we're going to get kind of an athlete that's comparable to what our minds remember about Wall three years ago in in Russell Westbrook and maybe a better version of of that wall, although, you know, the efficiency stats are unfriendly to Russell Westbrook, you know. Go ahead. It is interesting they got traded for each other because those two in Rose. Early Derrick Rose pre injury from 2008 09, when those three guys came in the league and really were dialing it up, it was sensational in person and it got to the point where for the Clippers schedule, that guy always tried to see those guys at least once when they came in.


The combination of just baseline, the baseline speed that they could turn on and off in the ferocity and the talk that they had when they were driving to the basket at these weird angles where you you really kind of feared for their safety. You know, I think Pomerance like that now. He's like the next guy like that. But it's a good comp. I mean, you when Zach Lowe worked for Grantland, he did a video breakout about where maybe he was.


This was for ESPN. I don't remember the particulars, but he did a video breakout like an eight minute clip on John Wall passing ability and the position that he would put his body in driving the lane, but knowing where he was going to pass the ball out to on the wing. And he made some wing players. He made careers for some guys. Martell Webster will forever think, well, he'll be in John Wall's back pocket for the rest of my life.


That's because John Wall passed him the ball for those corner threes. Yeah, it's weird because if this happened, this happens over the course of NBA history sometimes where somebody gets a contract. That is just absurd, right? This happened to Joe Johnson 10 years ago, and they just become the contract figure. And the talent kind of goes away, and for a while that contract was so bad, especially after he got hurt. That his ability has been completely lost.


You know, I think people think he's now a sunk cost because he had the Achilles injury. He's older, not sure he's a sunk cost. So Chris Mannix tweeted about him injured and we're playing pickup basketball last few months and hard and obviously saw him. What he could do, it couldn't do.


And I think he would have thrown his body in front of this guy's watch that. God bless the Internet. There's footage. I mean, I watched some of it tonight on Twitter. You can see John Wall and Harden together on the court. Harden was checking the wall in some of the sequences that I saw. Wall had bounce, Wall had explosiveness. Now, you know, it's a pickup game. It's an NBA player pickup game. I mean, Andre Drummond was there.


There were a couple other guys, NBA players playing this thing. But Wall didn't look fat, for one thing, and he didn't look slow and he was going to the hole and he was fearless. So, like, if that's the version that you're going to get, it's it's worth the risk possibly to Houston, especially if Houston's calculus is the relationship has soured to a point where it's not resuscitator BBL. We can't salvage anything in the relationship between Russell Westbrook and this franchise.


And so just making a lateral trade, possibly with the upside of wall. Now, there is no precedent whatsoever, right, for a thirty point guard who's over the age of thirty. Yes. Had knee surgeries, multiple knee surgeries and an Achilles injury. And who hasn't played any professional basketball in two and a half years. Hasn't played fifty games of professional basketball in three years. Right. There's now no precedent for that. Well, here's the here's is Shaun Livingston, who we talking about.


I think Tiny Archibald's probably the best comparison. He blew out his Achilles in the late 70s, missed like a year and a half, came back and had like two more really good years in this. You said a year and a half, like John Wall hasn't played fifty professional basketball games since twenty seventeen. Right. He just went away in twenty eighteen. But still, here's what I would worry about if I'm, if I'm a Rockets fan trying to talk myself into this.


He's just not a very good three point shooter, and when I say he's not a very good three point shooter, I say he's a terrible three point shooter. He's thirty two percent for his career. He had in 12, 15 shot 30 percent. And then thirty five percent. Thirty three percent. Thirty seven percent. 30 percent. But you go to the playoffs, which I just think playoff three point percentage is so much more interesting to look at for a variety of reasons.


Playoffs. So he made the playoffs four times, 12, 14, twenty one point nine percent, three point shooting, twenty fifteen seventeen point six percent to that, seventeen thirty four point four and then twenty eighteen nineteen percent. And I bring this up because. It seems like James Hardie didn't like certain people around him. People who could shoot three pointers and that was the big struggle with Westbrook last year, and then finally they used Westbrook as like this weird roaming offensive rebounder, the baseline foul line post up guy John was a point guard.


John was used to having the ball. Harden has the ball more than anybody in the history of the NBA and I can't see for the life of me how these two are going to play together. Well, let's go ahead and explore that a little bit, then. You're a guy who knows things. Yeah. Sitting here today, December the 2nd. Twenty twenty. How would you handicap the likelihood? What are the odds that James Harden is a Houston rocket for all of the twenty, twenty, twenty, twenty one basketball season?


Oh man. Can we bet on this because I say no chance. I thought before the draft I thought Westbrook was going to go to Houston and I thought James Harden was going to get traded for Ben Simmons picks. And something is funky with that Philly thing, and I don't know if it's a Fertitta Daryl Moore thing, I don't know if they feel like the Sixers might have it. Maybe something uncouth happened. Maybe maybe a complication that shouldn't have happened.


I don't know. Some tampering, some touching there. Definitely. There's definitely some suspicions on the Brooklyn side. Right. And now Houston's like, fuck you, we won't trade you. How about that? Yeah. So it's going to be a staring contest in. But you look the. That makes sense. Yeah, we know it's it's Ben Simmons, it's Ben Simmons and Ben Simmons then playing what I think is his best optimal position, which is a forward kind of position.


And John Wall, as a very traditional kind of point guard, can I say something that makes sense? It's your finance, your podcast. Know about that trade that I've changed my opinion on. Oh, interesting. OK, go ahead.


I don't know if I would do it yet if I was Philly because I like some of the moves they made to make the Simmons and Beard thing work better. And, you know, every a lot of people made this point. They are good advanced metrics with Simmons and Embiid together five man lineups when it's certain types of people in the lineup. They just had all the wrong people last year because they're a poorly run and they made bad decisions. Now it's, it's, it's a supporting cast that seems to fit better.


Right, where you have like even like just having Steph Curry there instead of Al Horford, sometimes it's a minor thing, right? No, it's not. You're going to have to explain to me why Dallas felt like Seth Curry was expendable. Not on this podcast. Some time, though, as we get going here, I mean, take me 10 seconds. Go ahead. Josh Richardson, distressed asset write, somebody that we all thought was really good a year ago, he's a three and guy who can do specific things, goes to Philly.


They have no point guard. He especially in the playoffs, they're asking him to, like, create his own shot. That's not what he does now. He put them on. Look, I do is worry about defense in threes and they feel like they can replace Seth Curry's offense with Tyrod Terry. And that he can grow into the Seth Curry role and now they'll have to pass instead of one, I think it's smart. OK, that's that.


That's that. That's the explanation. If you're filea the Seth Curry thing, you know, the JJ Redick real. And that's the kind of guy that always likes to have spread in the floor more all that. If I'm Philly, if Houston's like we'll do Harden for Simmons straight up. I'd probably do it because James Howard is one of the five best players in the league. I'm not throwing at picks, fuck you. Where else are you trading them?


That's right. That's right. That's no contest right here. Here's my offer. Ben Simmons. Well, we want to first and know you're not getting any of that. Guess what? I'm really happy keeping Ben Simmons. You mean he's an all the player and he's twenty four and he's not he's not had falling outs with his last three superstar teammates, which is what happened to James Harden, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and all of it ended badly.


Now, I'm not saying that there was a he didn't have a falling out with Westbrook. Westbrook got hurt for these playoffs. He wasn't ready to play playoff basketball on the bubble. That wasn't a fault of falling out. Or they they traded Westbrook. Westbrook was unhappy was a weird culture. He demanded the trade because it is a weird culture. We're not sure because of James Harden. It's a weird culture because of the instability of the franchise. Daryl Morey and and D'Antoni left and those guys were the stability that permit.


Wait a second. I know you don't play this. No, you don't believe this.


Would you want to be on James Harden's team? Does it look fun? Look. I am a Hoopes pervert. We begin this podcast, I do like going to the playoffs every year. Do you like having a chance of contending against the very best? Look, it's not like they played Golden State in all those series and just got rolled. Weird Point and Harden because he didn't deliver what we thought he was capable of delivering. I'll give you an analogy.


I think close I'll give you an analogy. When we used to play pickup basketball together a million years ago at Holy Cross, who did we always try to pick to, to run with and try to stay on the court with? We didn't go for the James Harden type where it's like, well, that guy's really good, but it's going to suck to play with them. But we might last for an hour and a half. We would try to pick guys that we would have fun playing with.


Yeah, I would think we would have picked James Harden and be like, hey, we could play with James will be on the court for two hours. We would have looked at each other and said a. So I'm just going to stand over there and not do anything and then have to guard a better grab and fuck that, I'll go play with my friends. Yeah, there's got to be something to it. He can't be fun to play with.


I don't know it it didn't seem like Russell was was shy about getting his shots, felt like he was pretty comfortable operating in that space. Wow. James Harden seems to be patient zero for all of these departures. I'll just point that out. And it does seem like the culture of that team is just geared around him how to how to get him. It's really not that much different than what happened with Westbrook and OKC. The difference is they were a championship contender with that formula and that's why you can't criticize it.


I'm just saying it doesn't seem that much fun to be a supporting cast member. And I think Westbrook with Beal it's kind of perfect because I actually really like that combo and it reminds me a little of like when you know Beal is different than Durant obviously for a variety of reasons, but it's a little Westbrook Durant's right where Beal is a guy who can create his own shot. He can stretch the floor, he can, he can carry stretches of games.


You can go to him and crunch time. Much like Durant who's the best scoring forward ever. There's a little piece of that right where he takes pressure off of Westbrook. So there's moments where it's like Hey Russ, give it to the guy who's more guaranteed. Two points, three down, one with ten seconds left. Yeah, that's the way in that respect. Sure. I mean I don't get the Bill Durant thing. I'm having a hard time wrap my head around.


I'm just, I'm just talking about scoring and reliability. I think they're complementary. I think their games are complementary. I think the style of play is complementary. I think that there is a real opportunity for this to work. And especially with Berton's, if you can get Berton's taking those open shots and he can shoot from thirty feet out. I mean, he showed immense range and there's still a piece yet for Washington. I don't know, you know, what what flexibility they have in terms of additional moves.


So they're kind of like one player away. But still, you know, you know, expertize in my house. I don't know, 80 million dollar Berton's is a Latvian laser, let it be 80, 80 million. Bert, let let the Latvian laser cook. I can't.


I'm going to have an office pool for the first time. You text me complaining about that contract that you're paying 80 million dollars for him. I'm not going to talk on my head. They pretty quickly.


And then I take my shopping center and I walk about it right now. Then I watched him play it and I wanted his bumb ass to go back to France. I mean, the the French players that made out and talked to him and Nicolas Batum. Oh, my God. That's that thievery that those two thieves, those French thieves who stole that money from those NBA teams and those two guys could give a shit about playing professional basketball. Well, that's what I'm going to say.


It was Sham's you tweeted about, but turned to the Clippers and he had a thing like Batum is expected to give the Clippers versatility and shooting from the swing positions. I'm like, he he was the worst player in the league last year. He's going to get them versatility and shooting from the handicapped stall. Yeah, that's his best his best area to operate stuff. Watch him cook in the bathroom stall. He thinks he's dunk and he's been stinking any steaks.


Well, I read a story that he's in the best shape of his life, so apparently PAGAD twenty seven million dollars a year could it could have motivated to stay in shape. Maybe they him maybe they can get Mahinmi to get all the French kids put together. All right. Before we go, you mentioned the John Walsh legacy in DC. And since I've known you so you're grown up as a kid, you get Western style and Elvin Hayes and finally win the title Bobby Dandridge.


So some really fun bullets teams. And we move into the 80s. There's a little rule in Mahorn, filthy McNasty, little Frankie Johnson, Jeff Malone, Jeff Malone. Great, but not really contenders, but at least passable. Get to the mid 80s. Moses comes in the cool. We got Moses Malone. This is amazing. But it was it was a different version of Moses. Had a cup of coffee with Bernard and you had Bernard.


So you're getting these former superstars still relevant. And it just kind of as I knew you in the late 80s and it just the wheels just started to come off. There was a Chris Webber era. There was some there was some some Googs. There was some Mitch Richmond. We go to thousands. Then Gilbert miraculously shows up. That was awesome, and it was that felt for two seasons. Yes, incredible thing. And it's just funny, like you think 40 years.


What was the highlight? It probably was that twenty seventeen coming damn close to making the conference finals.


It's the closest they've been to the conference finals in 40 years. So, yeah, that's right. But I like I like John Wall. I hope to go back. I don't mean to I don't feel like this is a good fit for him. But for you. Look, the Wizards now I think are the are the heavy favorite to be the eighth playoff team.


There are at least there are at least the six. I mean, I like them. Pencil them in now for the six and hope for the five. I just am excited to have some relevant, interesting basketball. We're going to be able to talk about Washington basketball. Yeah. For the first time in a couple of years. And you know, Bradley Beal's wife doesn't have to send out mean tweets and mean messages to all the sports writers about not giving Bradley enough love.


We give Bradley the last question, do they give zero to Westbrook if he can have whatever number he wants, whatever, whatever he wants, he can have, because it's funny, they never they never gave zero. And everybody said, Gilbert Arenas, it's like, wait a second, we're not retiring. Gilbert Arenas is Wizards number. He was in a scandal. What do you do with the number? That thing didn't end great. I don't think that's a protected number.


Thirty one second half. That's what I say to Gilbert Arenas retirement ceremony would be really something house. Congratulations, your basketball team. But again. Yeah, this is fun. I'm excited. It's going to be fun. It'll be something to talk about that much. All right. We can hear you, Fairway Ryan, you already taped it this week, but also Warren Sharp on the ringer and a foul show. You can do a little gambling breakdown you and I have, but just beginning, Soss just just crushed football.


You know, it's fun betting on covid era football where just guys are scratch last minute. I finally I'm telling you, that podcast that you that were Warren and I have been together this season was absolutely the worst possible thing for me and my my gambling. I was a guy that like would just barely dabble on football gambling. But my curiosity, all of the knowledge, hearing him talk and learning things from sharp, his sharp points every week, I'm so buoyed.


I'm like, I learned something this week. I want to go apply it. And then I do absolutely the wrong thing. And I've lost so much money on the NFL this season because I moved away from my discipline. I was disciplined. Just bet on a couple of games at most. Nope, nope. I want to try this thing and I want to try that thing.


And next thing you know, I'm done, but I'm done betting on games that are obvious public games. That's yeah. That's the one thing. I'm just not ready. I'm just would rather not that to do that anymore. The Vegas last week was the final straw for me. I understand. Like I love Vegas. Well, the public likes it now. Fuck it. I still like them. I'm not doing that again. There are some teasers out there this week, including got.


All right. It's good to see. Thanks, buddy. All right, we're going to begin our picks in a second with this guy, Ryan Shazier, you can hear him on the Ringer and our show with Cole right on Tuesdays.


He was Once upon a Time and awesome Pittsburgh Steeler. And I've been holding off having him on this podcast because I was waiting for the Steelers to lose because I didn't want him gloating. I didn't want you gloating, I didn't want to see you all happy. But now it's like December and they're still undefeated. So I had to have you on. Yeah.


You know, I didn't think that was going to happen. You know, I don't think it will happen this year, Bill. I don't think it's going to happen. We just we're too good. Obviously, yesterday we played terrible, but we were too good of a team this year, man, we might we might be one of the best teams in history.


You might not look like it, but we are settled down in history. What are you talking about? You don't believe that? Come on.


I mean, it's not about a it's not it's not about how it looks. It's about just getting the W's man.


And that's not a matter of winning the defining play of the Steelers season, in my opinion. If you could take one play to show what the season's been like, it was Ben's third and six that clinched the game yesterday that it looked like the ball was shot when it was in the air. It's there's three guys around Washington and he made an awesome play. It goes into traffic, gets it. He gets interfered with. They don't call it, pulls it down, basically game over.


But that's like a clutch that the Steelers have been making those plays for three straight months.


Yeah. To me, the play that defined the season was Benny Snell, stiff arm in Marcus Peters. Hmm. That's a good one, too. Yeah. The reason I say is because it wasn't it wasn't a big game. It wasn't a pretty play. But, you know, we just got to get the opponent out of our way and just a and just keep continue pushing, man. So, you know, it might not look, man, I look pretty.


You know, everybody loves pretty football, but, you know, we're playing old school football, just playing great defense and getting the wins. You know, I love Ben, but throwing the ball 60 times kind of scares me. But it's cool.


Yeah. You know, winning winning close games, making that two or three plays that end up swinging the game is is a certain skill. And I certainly really I don't know if you know this, but I'm a Patriot fan. Yeah. No doubt. You know, there's the twenty three, twenty four teams before your time when they won twenty one straight and just over. Sometimes there were ways that they weren't dominant, but they always got it done.


They just kind of kept the change moving. They got the big stop and they needed it. And it's a skill in its own way. And I look at the league and Pittsburgh out of all the teams seems to be the team that trusts itself the most. And I think don't you think the biggest piece of it is just when you have the same coach in the same QB for that long? There's a calmness in certain situations that you just have.


Yeah, it's definitely a calmness you guys had, you know, for all the years you were successful until now. So I'm happy that you guys are struggling right now and you're honest now. But yeah, it's definitely a communist, you know, when you're in a tough situation, but it's only two or three point seven points, you know, even fourteen points. Fourteen points is a stretch. But you always know that your coach is going to pitch you in a good position to your quarterback, trying to always find a way to keep you in the game.


You know, and I think that's the thing with the Steelers. We understand that in every game we're always going to be in. It doesn't matter what it looks like at the beginning of the end, we're going to always be in it. And you can always trust on big to make the right play in the right moment. Sometimes it might not look like the right play, but he in the right and you know, Coach Tomlin is going to find a way to get a turnover or find a way to pick our best players in a position to make plays, you know, so every time I was in the game, you know, I never felt like all of this team is better than this or this team is going to our coaches.


I always felt that we will always be in the game no matter what. Even when we had pretty, pretty bad records at the beginning of the season, we always felt that Coach Tom is going to find a way to keep us in his game, you know, so we always felt confident over there. And you always just trust the guys you're playing with. And I think that's a big component of when it comes to winning. A lot of times people just look at, you know, the depth chart.


I'm like, oh, this this is the best depth chart they're going to win. But it's not always about it. It's always about, you know, when you trust your guys selflessness and just really just going out there and just feeling comfortable and calm when you're playing well, you can do a couple of things that I like.


Right? You can you can move the ball quick because you have great receivers, especially, you know, I think that Baltimore game, the first one when they were down and they came roaring back. I just have a lot of skilled dudes and all of a sudden the Steelers can score seventeen points and ten in a ten minute stretch and, you know, the third quarter or something. So they always have that component. And then the Roethlisberger piece, even though his arm there's some throws where you're just like, oh, man, is he hurt?


And then he'll zing the next one. So it's it's almost like I don't know what to think about him anyway. I mean, you've got you obviously played with them and you've been watching them for a while. What do you think of him throwing. Throw what is there any rhyme or reason to this? No, not no all. As a teammate of Ben, you always know, like, hey, we're in this game no matter what. But he does make some throws that you're like like you're looking at a guy, like he just throw this race, you know?


And but I think he just trusted himself so much that he goes out there as Lindsey and I really have a gunslinger and somebody is going to sit back and hold the ball, you know, because we have, like you said, we do have weapons and Ben always has weapons. And, you know, as long as the weapons are actually catching the ball, like yesterday, we weren't catching the ball at all. But as long as they're actually catching the ball and making things happening, there's going to always trust them and try to keep the ball in their hands.


So, yeah, Ben does scare you sometimes, but one game he might go out there and throw a pick when you're like, man, Ben while you do that and then go back out there and throw five touchdowns. So we just you just sometimes you never know what you're going to get, but it's always good to have him on your side and the other side.


Well, you need him more than ever this year, because I think if there are two weaknesses of this team, the first one would be it's a pretty mediocre running game. And so you're up three with four minutes left and you just need a first down. Odds are you're not running for that first down. Like Ben's going to have to make a play and he's going to have to go to Claypole or Washington in traffic or if everybody stack in the line that maybe joujou deep, whatever, but it's he's going to decide that first down.


You're not just going to be able to run for it the way like Tennessee would be able to see that.


The one thing that's a misconception with the Steelers, though, is that we actually sometimes just don't even try, though, like we had like we were averaging almost three yards per carry all the way into the fourth quarter when we started running the ball more. And but we just we just weren't running the ball. Like we have 50 passes to 13 runs in 30 or 40 yards, 30, rather, 40 yards. Isn't that bad? That's not bad, because if you have it in like three and a half yards of carry, that's a first down.


Every time you run the ball like another three times, you run the ball. So we weren't really we weren't really running the ball effectively. But I think a lot of times we don't see, like, splash runs or just consistently five or ten yard run. We just get away from it extremely fast. And that's the one thing that does give me with this team. And we do need Ben for that. So can we try to do a lot of short passes and make those runs?


And you do the short passes, you know, third and four got that it down, went off the guy's hands. Like, all of a sudden you're opening all this kind of stuff and you don't really have, like, the great tight end to go to either. What would you do if you were the defensive coordinator against the Steelers team without giving too many secrets you would like? If I'm thinking like a Belichick was playing this team in a playoff game, which actually conceivably could happen, it's going to happen.


I don't see it could be a two seven. Just give me that. Come on. I could be six and six after this weekend. I'm still entertaining.


I thought he was terrible. You're going have to win. You're not to win a playoff game in the playoffs. Well, I'm saying if Kate Casey catches, you know, we're not losing any games, OK? I'm talking it out. Belichick plays you in the playoffs. And he's basically going to be like, I'm not letting you throw the ball and I'm not letting it get big place. So if you want to rush Connor and Snel forty five times for four to five yards a pop, go ahead, be my guest.


But what I'm not going to do is let you throw the thing is, if you actually look at James's stats, well, he gets like 15 to 20 plus carries. He always have a monster game always. But it just we never really especially this year, we really never have been let him get to that. So they're saving him. I don't know if they're saving them. I don't I don't think they're saving them. But we need to run the ball more.


Yeah, I think we did, too, especially now in December. January. This is when you have to establish it.


Yeah, we need to run the ball more. But I feel if a team is just like. First of all, beer is not the type of person that's going to let you be like you're not going to throw it on me, like that's like saying to the homes, we're not going to let you throw it on me. Right. Right. I'm not saying Ben is Mahomes, but he has that type of mentality. He's like, yeah, you're not you're not going to try me as a quarterback like that.


So he's going to tip. He's going to tip to try to be a good passer. But we're going to have to run the ball better. We're going to have to run the ball better. And I really feel if somebody trying to put us in a running match like we have to run the ball, I think we can, because James is still a good enough running back. If you go on Nurk personnel and we're in a process that he's still a good enough runner, that he's going to get five yards and then but if you start stacking the box, that's what I feel is going to be a problem for us running.


Well, the other issue I mentioned, you had one issue, which was the running game. The other one is you two terrible injuries. Yeah. You lose that Bush and then this week you lose Bud Dupree. And I would say you had four truly elite defensive players and now you're now you have to.


Yeah, that really hurt. That really hurt. Losing, losing. But it's huge because him and limited your running mates. You seen in the stats, he said that he had the most sex between the two people this season. And it just sucks to see that he got hurt. Man, he's been having two monster years. Last year, he had a great year. This year, he was just doing exactly the same as last year. And it really makes it hard for me because me a of friends and and I feel I feel sad because he had a he has a huge contract coming up.


And I know we have when you get injured, it always it always pays down to your mind if you're going to get a contract that you're supposed to get. But I think he is because.


Well, it's even worse than that, though, because the franchise tag them. Yeah. This is the problem in the franchise tag, right. Where the team is basically saying, yeah, we're going to roll it over, but you still don't have the security of the long term deal. You get paid for one year. But the risk is I could get hurt. And now it's it's like Dak Prescott had the same thing, obviously. But but that's what sucks to me.


I always felt that that the Steelers were going to resign. But me personally. Yeah, but, you know, if you were a free agency, he'll probably get more money. But now we have to see how that works. I feel like now they're definitely going to restart them just for less.


I mean, is that going to get he's not going to have like Arizona come in and over the top or some other team being like, hey, here's a check? I don't know.


You know, you don't think so because he got hurt. He was last year. He had eleven and a half sacks. This year he had nine, you know, so he was on he was on track to get ten plus again. So he is that will be considered a pass rusher. You don't think you saw.


But when do you when do you get him back though. Because even HlV even if it's like ten months, that's still taking you like six weeks into the season. So you're paying this premium price. The other thing I think is, you know, the cap might go backwards next year because they didn't get really from the other side, do you think?


I bet my guess would be the Steelers would take care of them, because I think they're pretty. I would say out of all the NFL franchises, one of the stand up franchises, and they probably do right by them. But it's a bummer because I think he would have been one of the marquee guys.


Yeah, he probably if if if not, he probably been top five highest paid for you to see players if he went to a free agency next year, one percent.


You've talked about Tomlin on her NFL show, but not on this podcast. What I have to say, one of the most special coaches we've had last twenty years and whatever the twenty first century, Mount Rushmore as he's on it, he's got to be on it. It's got to be him. About Jack and Andy Reid. And is it Pekoe?


And Jim Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, right, for the fourth. I mean, Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, I meant the Ravens. Yeah, me personally, I would take Pete Carroll because I feel like he's been more consistent winning since he's been here. You know, John Harbaugh, like you have like like three or four, like really spectacular years that he I fall off and then he come back and then I fall off a little bit to me.


Yeah, I think that's fair. It's probably for A for B, but I think I agree with you, Carol, since you got to Seattle every year there. So what give us one thing that makes Tomlin special that I wouldn't know just from watching TV from my couch every week.


So I think a lot of people know that he seems like a really sociable guy. Well, his players I feel the one thing that he does really well is that he understands how each of his players react to criticism, reacts to coaching, and he's trying to coach each of them different. You know, so, for instance, like Antonio Brown, he's a character, you know, so and he was obviously the best receiver at the time. So you have to coach Antonio on the different because the way he takes criticism is totally different than how I took criticism.


You know, like for me, you can't help me in front of everybody. He's going to make me mad. And I'm like, dang, but I'm going to be OK, you know, when Antonio or something, he's going to get more into his feelings. Like if you Albian being he's more of a type of person. He was more than one criticism. And then, you know, it didn't just talk about it amongst yourselves while some other people, they need to be said in front of the team and this guy isn't playing well.


And then you see he performs better. So we're just like every player is a little bit different. So I think he does that. He does a really, really well. Another thing he does really well is when he sees that a group is struggling or in in he's in his team. So, for instance, if you see the linebackers are struggling this year or he sees the tight ends, are receivers struggling this year, he actually starts to put more emphasis on that group to try to help them propel.


And I know a lot of times if a coach just see a group struggling, they might want to make a change on their coaching or something like that dude's fault. But that group might just be having a bad year or those guys aren't just playing well at this time. So he could come in and start adjusting more to help that group out.


BELICHICK that, too. That's it. That's at the highest level coaching when they can just kind of come in almost like the guest chef in the kitchen and just make a couple of suggestions and fix up, because at any day a coach or a coach is supposed to delegate to the other coaches bad day, whatever they put out on the field is your product, you know, so he wants to make sure that they're playing the way he wants to play.


And if they're not, he's going to try to make some changes or fix it up so that guys start playing better and it looks the way he wants it to look. And I know he does that a lot. And I know from talking to my friends when I was playing in the NFL, they'll say their coaches aren't as hands on. Another thing that I used to do with Coach Tomlin and I know Coach told me he loves football. He's in there so early in the morning.


I used to be in there five, six in the morning, watch a film and our meetings went to nine. But at five, six in the morning, Coach Thomas is still one of the first people at a facility. And when I will be in a facility, you know, me and him got really close because if if it's only five people in the facility, you know, at 6:00 in the morning, you're going to start bumping into each other every day.


Now, you're starting actually just talking about what's going on. And me and him start having meetings every single morning. And when he sees that somebody is truly dedicated to being great, he puts more effort into that player. And you see like if you see guys that aren't like dudes doing a nine to five just clocking in and clocking out, he understands those guys. He still coaches those guys to try to help those guys. But the guys that he sees that actually put in that extra effort, he puts the extra effort into.


So were you always a 6:00 a.m. guy? Like even in college? So in college, I was always later I would stay up later and watch film. After that, I'll have to during and after the tutoring, I just go back and just see what the teams are doing so I can just be prepared. But then when I got to the NFL, I'm not I'm not going to lie my first few years unless I was slacking. But I was just like, you know, I'm just figuring things out and know how things go.


And then I end up getting a personal trainer and then mayhem, just trying to figure out what was the right time to start working out together, because it was kind of hard to do it after workouts because I was doing the treatments and then we started working out. At 7:00 in the morning, and when I come in at 7:00 am morning, Mike Mitchell, who used to be the safety there and will get he'll be watching film and eat. So I was like, oh, man, I can get an hour with them and still go to the meeting and get out so I could be prepared before everybody else.


And then I started liking me so much I was like, man, I'm spending so much time with these DHBs. We're only watching defensive back stuff. You start watching Laubach and stuff to know to run game better. So then I thought try and I was like, man, how do you think you can go in? Like, we can wake up? And he's like, man, how old do you want to go in there? So we went at six.


So we start working out at six. And it was like, how about how about working at five? So we worked out at 5:00, I'll get a six and then from six to nine I'll just be watching film, but I'll get that two hours to actually watch what I want to watch. Because by the time everybody else come in, you know, once people start coming into the building, you just start talking and you watching film, but then you start getting sidetracked in this and that.


But if you're in there for two hours by yourself, it's no sidetrack.


So, you know, I think that's why the draft is such an inexact science. Right, because you're drafting these kids who are 20 and 21 and 22 years old. And even you you were a high pick, but it maybe it took until you were twenty five before you really realized that last thing you needed to do to make you great. And I don't know how you evaluate that with somebody who's twenty one because they might not they might never get it all said they might get belated, they get it.


I don't know.


I don't know how. You can't, you can't really, you can't really evaluate. A lot of times the way to evaluate that is like when you're talking to somebody and you're just like, hey, what is your vision? A lot of times. And then if you see a guy say something like, Yeah, I want to be great or something like a lot of guys, like I talk to a lot of guys. And it was like and I was like, man, I want to make the Hall of Fame like.


My goal is to make the Hall of Fame and those like me and me and God knows, like I don't write, I don't think I ever play with anybody. That said, I want to be the Hall of Fame. Everybody's buddies play football. And I was like, well, my goal is to make the Hall of Fame, but I'm trying to be one of the best people to play. And if you see guys that say stuff like that or you see guys like when you're talking to them and other people are always saying, like they're working out extra or you see them in here more, I feel like those guys are the ones that you see people.


But when you're just trying to go strictly off a talent or just what you see is a lot harder because like Aaron Donald, I'm in Pittsburgh. He lives in L.A. If I was in L.A., I'll be trained in off in L.A., you know, not in Pittsburgh because we just got a gallon of snow just dumped on us today. So, you know, but he will be he will be here if it's the offseason and he's training inside our facility, not in the storage facility, because pit in the pit in the Steelers facility right next to each other.


And we share the same indoor. So we'll be in there. He'll be in there. You see him is snow outside and he's doing drills, working it. And it is in a dog and is nobody you see nobody else but Aaron Donovan there. But that shows you why he's the best player while these other guys, you know, that say, hey, I want to be great, but they're at home eating pizza and it's like, man, it's the offices.


I'm not doing anything right now, you know, so. Right.


But, you know, I think about this a lot with the NBA. And I know you're you're a Spurs fan, which I was. You told me that I was surprised. But, you know, there is trying to evaluate these lottery picks and these whoever. And over and over again, it's the same kind of guys who make it. It's seems due to your gym rats and you talk to college coaches like this dude is just he shooting every day.


All he wants to do is be great. And then you see somebody like Dame Lillard who I messed on because I want everybody to. Yeah it's like he's twenty two, he's got to Weber State whatever the fuck it was and he said get out of here. And then you actually read what he was like and from where he grew up and the stuff he overcame and then how much he put into it and just he wasn't going to be denied in Portland saw it was like we get this guy, we can this guy could be a franchise guy for us potentially, because he actually gives a shit.


And it seems like in the NBA, teams are starting to look at that more. I know that's a big thing for the Celtics with Tatum, but they were just like guys, an amazing athlete. But he's a gym rat, which means sky's the limit because he's really going to put in that time in the work football. I guess it's a little harder to figure out, especially these guys are grown in their bodies, all that stuff.


The reason I feel like it's hard with football, like basketball, you have to be a gym rat. If you're not in a shooting, your shot is the shot is going to be broke. You have to always practice, like always practice shooting. But sometimes with football, some guys are just naturally God gifted to Earth, you know, like Martavis Bryant for Martavis like he looked like Calvin Johnson but he just wasn't as like two thirty. But he had all the attributes, he had everything you can imagine.


But he was a guy that always wanted to miss practice, never want to do nothing, just wanted to go out there and play football. Yeah. Like you know it's a and it's a lot of guys like an NFL in their phenomenal. Players and they might be some of the best players, you know, but any day, the it's so it's kind of harder with football, with basketball. If if your main guy is not in there shooting, that means he doesn't really love it or conditioning it.


Yeah, if he's 15 pounds overweight, all that stuff. Yeah, it's hard to hide.


Yes, it's hard to hide in hoops, but like with football is a little bit easier because, you know, it takes more time to actually start back up your season. You know, you have training camp and things like that. And some guys are just just naturally gifted. Like, I don't know why I was able to just be born and be able to jump a 40 to adverting, run a four three and be two and a half pounds.


I have no control of that, you know, so but I still work my ass off. But it's guys that are my size that don't work the ass off, but it's still all I'm going to say, all pro. But yeah, I got a little bowl of talent players, you know. So last time back to Tom on one second. He seems like a guy pregame speech, halftime speech kind of guy that you would actually get fired up.


And I think there's a couple of coaches like that, like I know he carries like that, but there's a couple of coaches where it's like when you watch the sports movie like Al Pacino in any given Sunday and he gives that perfect speech to get the team fired up. And it doesn't actually happen in real life. But Tomlin seems like somebody who would actually be able to do it. Was it was he like that?


You know, so coach, that he is what Coach Tomlin, he he would give you a speech like he would like whenever he gave me the pregame speech. I'm like, man, I'm ready to play football. I'm ready to play like. But the thing is, it's so crazy because his pregame speech might not even be like like, you know, Al Pacino in any given side that he's like and we have to go out here like he would be like, man, you know, yesterday I was at my son's game.


It is something that happened inside. And then it just like, why does this relate with me? You know, I want to go play football in his head like he he would talk about stuff like that. He would talk about stuff that really relates with you. Well, it related with me and I always want to play, but I have time coach telling me, which just pretty much be like, you know, like we're playing like ass like, you know, we got to figure this shit out.


Like he's more about that and trying to, like, try to hype you back up. He's like trying to hype y'all ass up is over. Now, we need to go out here and play football like he's more about football than than anything else. And I think that's another reason he still has a really successful. Like I remember a friend of mine was like, man, when I was at a Giants man, they would they would make me I would be fine if I was on my phone in the locker room.


I'm like you. So you are having no meetings. You weren't doing anything. And it was like, nah, I just I'm like I was like the Steelers. And Coach Tom is like, man, I don't bring the phones upstairs, but do you. But when it's time to work, work, you know, be grown man about it. And I feel like that's another reason he's he's a great coach. And when it comes to football is only about football that really matters.


Well, here's what you have for the Steelers in five games left. Week 13, Washington at home to at five o'clock on a Monday. Weird because they had that weird Monday schedule.


So you got to I'm I'm tired of them. Just turn up our schedules. It just is crazy. Yeah.


We're going to talk about that in a second. Week 14, Buffalo, Sunday night at Buffalo, so that would be the hard one in Buffalo. On paper, it seems like they're playing better, I'll go into some reasons why I think they might be in trouble in that Niners game, but that's going to be a tough one. That'll be the game of the year for Buffalo, their home. They have a chance to maybe get a three seed and lock down the AFC East, beat the number one seed.


All that stuff is the last time. When is the last time Buffalo had a Sunday night game at home? Oh, my God, it's been I can't even imagine it's kind of have been a long time, right. And then you got week 15 at Cincinnati.


They don't have borough, so you'll be at least, you know, eleven point favorites in that game. Week 16, home for Indy. Who indeed seems like the good, bad team and a lot of ways, as long as they're playing somebody who's mediocre or worse, they look great. But if they're playing a really good team, I don't know about them. And then Cleveland at Cleveland, week 17. Now, that game might not mean anything.


The honestly. I think that game is not going to mean anything because I think the chiefs will lose another one. Right. So if you're 15, you know what it's time to do. Do you think? Coton is all about winning, right, so you go for the 60 now, because that's what Boucek was like. Balzac's like we're we're not rolling over for a game. Let's go for it. Yeah, especially if the game doesn't mean anything.


It's going to be hard, but. You know, and if you're going for, like the record books, too, it's kind of hard not to go for it. You know, I think you're to go for it. Yeah, you have you have to go for it, because if you win all your games and your territory goes 16, you know, then you have the playoffs, which you go to. You know, if you win every game night, it would be 19, you know, because you get to buy the first round in those three playoff games.


Yeah. So I feel if you don't, you'll be the only team to ever go 19 in history. And you beat me personally. If I'm the coach, I'm going for it, you know, go for it.


So you know what I'll say if you go 19 or no, I'll say asterisk season. It was the Kovik season.


Oh my gosh. Oh. So is it like that for the Lakers? Is like that for the Lakers?


Yeah. That's where I've settled into is something I've decided to put an asterisk that's to win the million dollar picks in a second.


Let's take a break. All right, so before we do the pics, you mentioned this goofy schedule with the games getting yanked around. We saw with Pittsburgh where they thought they were playing Monday and then it was Tuesday, then it was Wednesday. As a player, don't you have to start peaking mentally a couple of days before the game to get ready for the game? How do you do that if it keeps moving?


Yeah, it's extremely frustrating. I was talking to Venus Williams, who was playing, and I know he said something before it was about I mean, we're just trying to play. We'll play whenever they do want to play whenever. But I talked to him the day before on Wednesday, and he was talking about how he's super excited about playing on Thanksgiving. You know, that's a that's an amazing moment. You get to play on Thanksgiving, obviously, instead of spending Thanksgiving a few times.


But the Sunday night game on Thanksgiving, I mean, the Thursday night game on Thanksgiving is probably like the biggest football game of the year when everybody's watching. True. True. Yeah. You know, so and so those guys were hyped up and ready to play. But just in general, you are pretty hyped up and just like it's time to go. And the day before the game, you're always like, all right, we got a game tomorrow.


But for you to keep moving like that, it does throw you off because it moved on the still four times or three times. So when they when they were on Saturday, on Sunday, they told them it won't be on Monday. No, but it's always will be on Monday then. So the Sunday before, you know, we get ready, then you thinking about going to the hotel, but then they move it back again. So now you don't go to the hotel.


The next day you go to the hotel and then they didn't move it again. It's like, all right, now you're thinking, when am I going to play this football game? Because, like, mentally, it's kind of draining because you just you like hyping yourself up, not even hyping yourself up, but is preparing yourself for a moment. But it ended up happening literally a week later than you actually prepared, which is crazy. Ridiculous.


All right. So I'm going to go through some games I like. I'm going to bounce them off you. And then I'll decide at the end when I'm doing our first one, so I'm lumping three games together. But the most important piece of it is Titans minus six over the Browns. So Tennessee's Tennessee's 12th, the DOA, Cleveland's 20 second and DVOA. Myles Garrett is back for the Browns. And that has to be factored in because you could say he's somewhere between the second and fourth most impactful defensive player when he actually plays.


You also have everybody likes Tennessee again, because they've won a couple of times. There was like, oh, Derrick Henry, MVP. Here we go. And that's always a red flag. Two really good running games, and it's one of those games where whoever goes up 10 to three, you'll just feel like that team is going to win. So it's almost like who gets the lead first. The thing I keep coming back to Cleveland's rushing DVOA for their Rushdi twenty seventh out of thirty two so you can like really really really run on them.


And that's what Tennessee loves to do more than anything. And I keep thinking about this like I was thinking about the Browns in general, right. Where somehow they're eight and three every year. There's a team right around now we're like how the fuck are those guys?


Three is confusing. Week six, they get killed by Pittsburgh. Thirty eight, seven, it's a demolition. They get destroyed and then they lose. Odell, they barely beat Cincinnati. They lose to Vegas six and six bad weather. And then by week and then they beat Houston by three. They beat that crap Eagles team by five, they beat Jacksonville by two. And now people like the Browns eight three. And it's like those wins, you know, who are they about?


I never thought about you actually going back and talking about every single when they have it. It makes me not think they're like they don't deserve to be eighty three teams like what you said. Well, let's listen to this.


Hear their wins. They beat Cincy twice. They beat Washington and Dallas. They beat Indiana, Indianapolis, that's probably their one decent win. And then they beat the Houston, Philly, Jacksonville Gauntlett for the last three. I mean, really, Indianapolis is their best win, and I feel like if I like and I actually bet on the Browns a few times because I do think against bad teams, they can run the ball, get the lead defense.


He's a good coach. He'll he'll be really careful how he uses Mayfield. The question for me is like, what happens if they're behind? What happens if the other team can start running on them? And I actually think they have a chance to get beaten up pretty badly. So we're in a market that game. Second one. This is every week, the rest of the year. I am just putting in a bet together the two teams that are playing the Jets and the Jaguars because Trevor Lawrence is waiting.


Neither team has any incentive to win. And this week, we had the Vikings by 10 and a half of the Jaguars and the Raiders by nine and a half over the Jets, so mark those down because we're going to come back to them because what I think I'm going to do. Are you familiar with teasers, Mr..


So you can teach me a little bit more about Betty? Because the reason I haven't really got into it is because I feel that I will start betting too much.


Oh, this is this is a dream come true to teach you about gambling. So here's what here's one of the things you can do. You do a three team, ten points. You can move the line ten points for each game, but all of them have to win. So I can move the Vikings to a half point. All they have to do is beat the Jaguars. OK, I can move the Raiders to Raiders two plus half point.


All they have to do is beat the Jets and then I can use that 10 points with the Titans and make them plus four.


So they have to do is win it. All they have to do is lose by three and I win my bet so they can actually lose by field goal. I still win. So I was thinking about teasing those three together. I have a little love for the Titans, so mark that one down. But the real reason is the Jaguars don't want to win anymore. The Jets fans will riot if they win a game like the Jets. Fans are like, can we just can we just do this correctly?


Could we go with sixty one year? Have you thought about what would it be like to be on a team that the fans want them to lose every week?


I wouldn't be surprised if the Jets win this week. Really? Why give you that made the case.


The reason. The reason I say that is because the Raiders are so up and down as a football team. Yeah. And that's the only reason I feel I don't have like a strong case for them at all.


I don't have a strong case, so they don't let it go. Is that the case against that would be the Raiders had their shit game last week. So now this is the Zig and then next week they'll suck again. There might be one of those teams, right? The team that just every week they're up. And then this is my question for you. If you Trevor Lawrence, would you go to the Jets? We have to think of the upside of I am and I am a New York City quarterback.


I think if Herbert was on the Jets right now, New York fans would be so excited for him, but they'll still be on the left and right.


You're going to a bad organization. So what would you do if you're Lawrence?


I would do what Eli Manning did and John Elway. You know, that's that's the NBA player move right with the NBA players are just like, no, I'm going to play where I'd like to play. And that's what be like.


And I think he has enough leverage. I feel like he has enough leverage to do it. Like they're saying, he's the next coming of a great quarterback. I don't see why not. The funny thing is, Eli did that and I was I'm old enough to remember and Elway did it, everybody lost their fucking minds, it was like he's not going to play for Baltimore. What would it. Oh, my God, what a jerk. And it's I guess what nobody remembers that now.


Thirty seven years later, not one person remembers he did that.


The thing is, when you do Manningtree in football, you become a villain like, yeah, people hate you. If you demand a trade of basketball, everybody's like he's just trying to better his career. Right.


And so he only has so many years to earn money to do what he wants.


Because I thought what Anthony Davis did to New Orleans was like really genuinely lousy. He signed this five year extension. And then halfway through it, it was like, yeah, I want you guys trading now. And it can only trade me to the Lakers, take no other offers. And everybody say, no, no, he's using his leverage. I've never sat right with me.


All right. Next game. Colts', I don't know if I'm going to do anything with this one, but I just want to talk about Kotzer minus three and a half over the Texans. All of the public money is on Indianapolis, and here's what that means the public always loses in gambling. Every week there's like two or three bets and oh, that looks easy. And then they lose. And that's why they keep building casinos in Vegas. Indianapolis by a seventh, Houston is 17th.


Houston, had they lost, will falter. And they lost another guy to PDS.


Who's the other guy that lost one of my best friends, Brandon Roli. Yeah. Yeah, that's what my best friend was like.


What are you doing so well? It's always an accident when it happens. They saying they don't know. They know is there. So two guys. So now everybody's like, oh, the Colts obviously win. Well, the Colts look like dogshit last week and the Colts are a team that you can watch them in the first quarter and kind of know what's going to happen. I don't know. This game is suspicious to me. There are only three and a half point favorites.


The Texans are playing for nothing.


It's a four game winning streak or some other three game winning streak. Three game winning streak in Deshaun has been cooking. So I, I kind of want to take the Texans, but I don't have the balls to do it.


So that means that the Texans lost to receivers this week. Yeah. Hmm, yeah, I might go to coach, I know, because the reason I'm going to coach is their defense is one, the top five teams in league with no one. But last week they looked terrible. And and it's hard to play quarterback when you have as many receivers. Brandin cooks as good, but. I don't know if the other guys can do it. Well, the other thing with the Colts, Jonathan Taylor coming back this week, the rookie running back, he was on the cover this year.


And so they have all their weapons back. I don't see something fishy about the game. I'm going to mark it down. Here's a game that I love. You're going to laugh. Patriots minus one against the Chargers taking Chargers. Oh, this is great, let's talk it out. So DVOA they're about the same Pats have a very good secretariats. It's the one good piece of the defense against Herbaria Belichick, against rookie quarterback. I just like he loves to do that.


Chargers defense. Thirty first. Thirty first. There's only thirty two teams. Thirty first in rushing DVOA meaning they're terrible against the rush. What is your first offense. All right, we can run the ball. We can't throw it, so we're like in the top seven or eight rushing and then. Who is the best coach of all time, sorry, Mike Tomlin. No, you would even admit there is also a master at close games, type games, whatever the little things, the extra things against the Chargers and Anthony Lin, who week after league, they lose the dumbest game possible and do five dumb things.


This just feels like a classic Patriots game where it's like, man, I can't believe we won that game. But thank God the Chargers did those five dumb things and Herbert threw that picking in traffic and somehow we won. And Cam only had 70 yards passing. And I can't believe we're six and six. That's my that's my that's my angle. The fact that they had a 35 year age difference and you guys are a tough top 10 scares me.


So I think because because one thing that Bill Belichick is going to do, if you guys are doing something where he's going to stick to it so he's not going to run the ball. So that scares me. But I do. I like Herbert and I think he has weapons. I don't I think you guys won the game that you weren't supposed to win last week, so that's why I feel like you're going to lose it this week.


You just don't want to see us in the past. Can you give you a quick can you do a quick 90 seconds on what you think is wrong with Cam?


To me, I feel like Cam doesn't have as much confidence as he used to have when he used to be Superman Cam. You know, you couldn't stop him. You know, he didn't really he used to get hit, but he didn't really care about it as much. Now he's complaining a lot about him. And then also, I think his arm is shot like I mean, when we played against him, when we were still in the Cardinals, I mean, he's at the Panthers.


And I remember, like our scouts told us, he can't throw the ball past 40 yards. So we pretty much were like underplaying everything he threw. He I think he threw like three picks that game, like two, four, six. It was great. So I think the fact that he everybody understands he can't throw in there pretty much about to beat us with your arm. And I think it mentally is messing up his psyche. So I don't that's why I think he's he's not playing well.


You know, you mentioned the Superman thing. He in that Seattle game, the night game, when he was awesome, when he had that against Wilson and he was throwing the ball really well. And more importantly, at that swagger and his chest was out and he was doing all the cam stuff. And me and my Pats fans, friends, we were so excited. We were like, holy shit, yeah. We live this is like camp from five years ago.


This is unbelievable. And something's different. He had you know, they kicked the game winning field goal last week and it looked like he was going to start crying on the sidelines and they were like consoling him. And he was so upset by how he played. And it was like watching not Superman, but Clark Kent is like the fucking glasses on. It was like, wow, what happened to this guy? I think they can win this week and then next week.


So they have to stay in L.A. because it's Chargers and Rams so they can fly back and for losing they're losing the Rams one.


So that's so my feeling is six and six, then the Rams game is the one that falls apart. And then Aaron, Donald just destroys Cam and all things. All right.


Yeah. Next one, this is another Koshy matchup, Rams minus three Cardinals for DVOA, Rams are six, Arizona's 13. Two things I don't like about this game for the Cardinals and I like the Cardinals. Murray didn't look great last week against the Pats. He looked her, didn't look like he wanted to scramble. They had specific spots where it felt like he could have taken off. And I have them both my fantasy leagues. I've watched a lot of them.


He takes off like he's aggressive, he's aggressive. He in the Pats game. He was really passive. And it made me think he was hurt. I didn't think he threw the ball that well either. And and the Rams obviously have a really good pass rush against the red teams. The other pieces, the coaching. Sean McVay on one side. Kliff, Kingsbury and the other one who are there, they're basically the NFC Chargers, they just do dumb shit games, they they game management stuff.


And I feel like it's cost them two to three games already this year.


Yeah, they lost that game last week. Now, listen, I lost the game last week.


And by the way, they should have lost the bills game that they shouldn't have. That was another one they should have lost. But then they end up stealing the Hail Mary. But that was the other one. Where had they lost? That would be like, oh, my God, how did you lose that? So I just think I just think they're too sloppy. And it's frustrating because I do think that the talent I think they have as much talent as anyone in the division.


But the two sloppy last one. This is my favorite one. The bills are at the Niners, we did the game started to be played in San Francisco, I think they have to go to San Diego is I think that's where they said they're going somewhere else. A lot of people on the bill's bandwagon right now. They're a Hail Mary away from a five game winning streak. They looked really good last week and their defense looks better. I don't know how much you've seen in the last couple of weeks, but they have a pass rush again, which I don't know where it was first two months.


Here, here's what I don't like, the DVOA is about even Buffalo's 11, synthesisers 14. So two things I don't like. The Bills have Pittsburgh next week. And I have that theory of when you have that monster game a week away, it's kind of lingers out there, right? There's a shadow that you're thinking about, right. OK, good. I'm glad you agree.


Second one, Cisco's skill, guys. Debow is back last week. Depos awesome in the in the Rams game is the best guy in the field. They also got Moster back and Brandon EIU, the rookie receiver. So even though there have Kitto, they can move the ball. And I just like this spot for them. Everybody likes the bills. It's the same for Texas. Had a lot of weirdness that they're moving the location of the game. They don't know where they're playing.


All that stuff is in charge of stadium. Not not chargers. The old one. No, to the Cardinals Stadium of the Cardinals Stadium. OK, so. One thing I think with this, because I was reading pieces about San Francisco this week, there's a weird resilience with that team down a good way. You hear like the stuff Shanahan talks about. They've had all these injuries, right? They've had covid stuff that grapplers been hurt. Kato broke his foot.


They lost Boza just over and over again, just some sort of adversity. And they should basically three weeks guy like they're done write him off and they they're still kind of scrapping. And I feel like they've found this identity. But you must that must resonate with you as somebody who's been on probably at least one team like that where it's just like, all right, what's next? What's the next obstacle? You start as a group, you start thinking, all right, bring on the next thing we know we could do this.


We know we can get through stuff. And it feels like San Francisco is like that right now.


That's all the still were last year when they got hurt. It was like we started off really bad and everyone was like, oh, snap, this is about to be a long season. And then you start winning games and you're like, hey, man, like we have a great coach, we have a good pieces. We just can't lose the killer. We can't we can't cause ourselves to lose these games. As long we're in these games, we can win them.


And I think that's the mindset that San Francisco has. And distiller's we were knocking off teams like the bills because of the fact that the bills didn't think we were good enough. Like I'm not saying that. I'm just saying I like the bills. That's why we were knocking them off last year.


Yeah, because they they assumed it was a walkover because you guys are banged up.


Yeah, we're back. And so you say that in them having all those pieces back, I can see San Francisco winning this game.


But you like it seems like you like Buffalo just in general. I do. I do like Buffalo just in general. I think they deserve a better team. And to me, I think they have a better coach because, you know, Shanahan is a really good coach. I feel like Shanahan does need some time that put them in bad positions like the Super Bowl to lose. So I think I always said that I feel that San Francisco is going to make the playoffs at the beginning of season.


I think four teams can possibly make the playoffs from the NSW. Right. And for them to do that, I think they'll have to win this week. So that's why I'm going to. So there yeah, the big thing with this game. It's an absolute must win for San Francisco. You mentioned that where you look at the conference right now. So we have. Basically, New Orleans, Seattle, Green Bay Rams and then the Bucs at seven and five Cardinals, six and five, but then the Vikings in the Niners are both five and six.


So nine and sevens probably going to make it so they have potentially one loss left, but I don't feel like it could be this week. Oh, wait, I screwed that up because the NFC East has to be in there. So actually, it's NFC East, St. Seahawks, Packers and then Rams bucks. So Cardinals their game behind the Cardinals in that last spot saga. Oh, long shot parlay possibility. So I didn't like the long shots this week.


I had to throw out Washington plus three fifteen over Pittsburgh. So what is the plus three. Fifteen. I mean when I see that it's better and be like me.


All right. So that means Washington's basically three to one underdog. So if you bet one hundred dollars on Washington and they win, you win three hundred and fifty dollars plus your dog. All right. But you're not losing to Washington, though, right? No, I'm not happy. You sure? Because you guys get sloppy. We get sloppy. But we had a sloppy game, so we're good. The only thing that scares me with Washington is they have a really good pass rush.


So, you know, our line is kind of beat up a little bit, but I still think we're going to win this game.


So the other one so I was thinking if I did a long shot because I like to put two together and then you get crazy, adds the other one was giant. Seattle Giants are plus three eighty five over Seattle. Subasic almost four to one odds by every metric the Giants are better. Two things. Seattle's twenty six DVOA on defense. So that always tells me like if your defense is bad you can stay in the game and you're a high favorite.


I always feel like the other team can hang around. The other thing is Daniel Jones is hurt. So you go, oh man, they don't have their quarterback. Well, with Daniel Jones, good luck. I think the worst thing in the world to not have Daniel Jones. No, not at all. Not a so called McCoy is replacing him. But you look at the Giants the last seven weeks, they lose to the they lose to the Rams by eight, Lewis to Dallas on a last second field goal, beat Washington by one, lose to Philly by one, lose to Tampa by two, almost tied that game, beat Washington by three, beat Philly by ten, beat Cincinnati by two.


They really have been playing well for two months, are not playing well, but playing OK. Yeah.


Every game, as long as you can stay in the game you can win. And and the Giants. What you say the three game winning streak. No, no.


Yeah. Three game winning streak. There's a possibility to win this game because I didn't like Seattle's defense this whole season, and that's why I didn't I never had him as a Super Bowl favorite. Their defense is just so bad. So I think the Giants, as long as they pass away just to stay in the game, they can win it.


So if we put Washington and the Giants together, that's 19 to one. Here's the case for Washington beating you. You don't take the game seriously. Huge pass rush. Terry McClaren and and and Gibson are two very good offensive players. And it's just one of those games they get like a block punt or something stupid to punt, return, fumble, touchdown. And it's like, let's go to Washington or the Washington is up thirteen to three. What's going on there now?


I can't see it happening. OK, you promise me. I can't see, I can't see happening.


OK, I really can't do with you Seattle. Well I'm going to put a little on the jacket. I see, I see Seattle but I can't see the Steelers losing. I can see this is a game. It's gonna be hard for me to say they're going to lose their game to of all teams to Washington. It's hard for me to set it.


All right. Million dollar pics for week thirteen. Last week we won one hundred and twenty three thousand fake dollars. We are up two hundred and ninety nine thousand dollars for the season. So I'm actually up. I'm doing these pics on Thursday. All right. I don't know what's happening with covid. You know, any guys can get injured last second. I'm so proud of myself. Franchisor anyway, nearly picks week thirteen. First one doing a three team ten point TS Titans minus six down to plus four against the Browns Vikings half point over the Jags Raiders plus a half over the Jets.


All three have to win three hundred and sixty thousand to win three hundred thousand. On that I'm skipping the Colts game. Next one, Patriots, minus one against the Chargers, the classic Bill Belichick. I can't believe this team is six and six when we have the quarterback game. I am putting three hundred thirty thousand dollars to win three hundred thousand over the Chargers or next next one Rams, minus three against the Cardinals, mostly because calamari doesn't look right to me putting three hundred and thirty thousand to win three hundred on that.


I think coaching Battle of the Somme is just a bit coach. That's why he's going to win this game.


I'm with the last one Niners plus one over the bills. We putting three hundred thirty thousand three hundred on that and then just for fun, fifty K on the Giants plus three eighty five to beat Seattle with Colt McCoy, who hasn't won a game in six years. That's why you get that's why you get the odds. That's why I get for it. But that is our belief. Oh my gosh, that is there are a million of our picks for a week, 13.


Before we go, tell us about the Ryan Shazier Foundation and everything you're doing. You just launched it. You had a little Instagram thing the other day, but you're putting a lot of time and energy into this. So tell the people that. Tell them how to donate.


Yeah. So I started to Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation. For all those who know who I am. Obviously I got hurt through a spinal cord injury playing football and I was treated amazingly. I had so much support from across the country when it came to my, you know, the NFL, my family and people I didn't know. They all were very supportive. But it's a lot of people with spinal cord issues that are going through the same things I went through.


But they didn't they don't have the same type of support. And, you know, it's really hard to try to come back to some type of normalcy, some type of independent lifestyle, because you become very dependent on people. And I wanted to create this foundation to allow us to give people more support, give the caregivers more support, because when you go through this, you always feel like you're alone. So we wanted to be somebody that there for them.


But the caregivers, they don't understand how to deal with this situation. Never, because you never dealt with somebody that dealt with this. So we want to be able to help them and the caregivers and just provide people, you know, some support, something that they know that, hey, I'm going through this, but I have somebody that can help me get through this and just allow people to get back to some type of normalcy. So I just thought it would be amazing to give what I was receiving.


The best way to connect with the foundation is you can go to Ryan Shazier Fund Doug or you can go to my Instagram on my Instagram. Also has the links on there that you can go to so you can donate and there's other ways to get involved. So I really just saw something.


This is something you had been thinking about and thinking about how to put together for a long time. Yes, yes.


It is a very long time. When I got hurt, I would just I would be in my room and I would just see that I was able to have people around and get some support. But then I would go to go to other rooms and talk to other people. But then also when I would be walking to my rehab or in my wheelchair, went to my rehab, I see other people in their rooms and it just felt like they were extremely isolated.


It almost felt like it was covid before Kovar when you're in the hospital. And, you know, I just see how difficult it was for a lot of people. And I just I just was like, man, when I get the opportunity to be able to come back and help people the way I was, I thought it would be the only thing to do. And that's that's what that's when I started thinking about it and officially announced it last Monday.


Do you think the science with trying to fix spinal cord injuries? Yeah. How far away away from just being able to solve this? Because it seems like they've made a lot of strides in the last like 40, 50 years. But where like where are we now? Big picture.


They're making a lot of strides. But, you know, it's still a long process because, you know, the nervous system is so in. The spinal cord system is so delicate. So we just, you know, one little thing, one little bump of your spine can just change so many things that's going on in your body. So we're doing really well. People are definitely getting a lot better compared to when they were. But it's still a long process and they're doing a lot of research for.


But every every year, every day, you're finding new things out and people are starting to get a lot better.


All right. So Ryan Shazier Fun Dog that and people could go there and you have all the information on there and if they want to donate even better it's good stuff you're doing. Ryan Shazier we can hear you on Tuesdays on the Ringer NFL Show. Worst of luck for the Steelers going sixty.


You know I'm rooting against you and I hope we see you in round one somehow we're not going to see you around one but I appreciate you you know and when we go to the Super Bowl Bill, I know you might be there, so I want you to be rooting for us when we have these 19 or no championship ring. So let me tell you something.


If you go to the Super Bowl, definitely not going to be there right now. The Steeler fans. That's that's terrible. It's good to see you. Thank you.


Good to see you, man. That's it for the podcast, don't forget about my newest episode on Book of Basketball, it's about Chris Paul. It's with Ryan Rosillo also did a new responsibles this week, Wall Street. And don't forget to subscribe to the mismatch with Chris Vernon and Kevin O'Connor on their new feed.


They are doing it twice a week talking NBA like always. Good luck to those guys. Good luck to everybody out there. Stay safe. See you on Sunday.