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All right, Priscilla was here, I was super excited for this Sunday podcast, sports felt like it was really back in full swing at basketball and hockey. We had an awesome PGA Championship. And then about an hour before we start this, we texted me to go, hey, we should talk about college football.


This season's probably going to be done.


So it's it's not to start the part with the rant, but take the floor. Ninety seconds on college football. Probably being down here, 90 seconds. All right.


Well, it feels like in a week where you had the Big Ten release their schedule and there was at least some planning and we already knew what the conference scheduling was going to be. And so it was all conference. And then some of these conferences are going plus one. It just it seems like it's impossible now they're going to pull this off, at least for the fall. So I don't know about the time this comes out. If we're going to have a Big Ten announcement there, certainly leading the rumor mill on punting on the fall and then maybe trying for the spring.


And people can bring up a bunch of reasons that are problems with the spring. I understand all of those, but I think the biggest thing is it comes back to is just everybody looks at basketball bill and goes, well, look what they've done. And as much as I love basketball, you love basketball. I just don't know that it's super realistic to compare the things because none of this is apples to apples, even baseball. Baseball's 30 teams trying to play 60 games with 30 players on each roster to star games every day, traveling in a normal way.


And we realize that hasn't gotten off to a great start. Now, if you look at college football, it's like one hundred and twenty teams where geographically we know the beliefs and what the coronavirus really is, is is all over the place, depending on what state you're from. So then when you think about the majority of all these states are represented and all these different beliefs and, you know, I don't blame the conferences for trying to think that this could work out and not canceling everything a couple of months ago, like I've never had a problem with anybody trying to be optimistic about it.


But this has been far worse than people would think now that we're in August and now it's coming down to these dates of can we really have students come back, athletes come back with the regular student body and think we're actually going to be able to pull this off. And you also in the final point here, as you've had so many schools spend like drunken sailors in this endless flow of TV money, whether it's facilities, staff, administrators or schools.


And the buyout market that I've talked about at length on my iPod, where the buyout numbers, how much schools are paying buyouts or contracts that they just want to move on from going whatever. We're just going to make fifty million in our TV revenue moving forward. That money is all going to be gone. And so for all the powerful programs to have enough money to have enough donors, they can get through this. There's a lot of programs they can't get through this.


And there was one nonpoor five that I read about that said we don't even have the money to do the testing. And that's why you had the Mac kind of shut this down. So I don't know that it's over over this week, but it may not. I mean, nobody really in the business seems to think that the fall is going to be realistic. It always seemed college sports and youth sports seemed exceedingly unrealistic to me. And, you know, I'm in the youth sports section of this with my daughter and the club scene and the optimism that people have.


You know, when you're in like June, July, and when know now to be fine by the time the season goes and now all of a sudden it's August 1st and people start looking around going, whoa, wait, well, nothing's different than what's happened March. And I think with colleges and with the youth sports stuff, too, there's so much liability. That, you know, the NFL can do what they want, they can get the players to sign whatever contracts they want, if somebody test positive, they move that person out, bring the next person in basketball was able to do this the best just because of the nature of the sport and how well it's run.


I think once you get to the college and below, there's too many variables. There's too many there's there's no overseer of the whole thing who makes sense. Right. Boxing in college sports have always been the two that are just completely rudderless in 90 different ways. And I never thought it was realistic because ultimately the liability is always going to be the reason not to do it. It's going to be the big deterrent.


And when you throw in the fact, like you're asking kids 18 to 20 to to make good decisions because they're not in a bubble situation, the baseball the baseball players don't stay in there, all of them.


But some eighteen to twenty two is when you're going to make your worst decisions. You know, maybe maybe if you're really a bad decider, it might stretch to twenty four. Twenty five.


But for the most part, colleges, when you make your mistakes to ask college athletes to do the right thing and you know, think of other people, they, it's, it's not happening. So I'm not surprised. But, you know, I, I know we we've talked about this. You've been on this podcast probably, I don't know, 15, 16 times since the pandemic started. And there's a historic feeling with this year for all these different reasons, right, and you think like when we're old and we'll look back at it back and remember 20, 20 enlisting all these things that happen in, one of the things would be like we didn't have college football, college football.


Has there ever been a time in the 20th century or 21st century where we didn't have college football? I don't know what was going on in like World War Two, World War One, but I'm guessing it was happening then in some form, right? Yeah, it was.


I mean, there are there are all sorts of things that I mean, you can go back historically and look at it. But there were, you know, when when people are going to fight World War Two, there were teams that were completely wiped out. So you'll actually have fans like argue about rivalries and say, well, that year we lost all of our guys to the war, you know, and then, you know, there was a time to where it was so dangerous, where, you know, they were just like, we don't even know if the future of football will exist in this country.


But this is entirely different. And I feel like I'm always in the minority on this one. And it's not just because of any personal belief, but in college football is going to take a beating from the critics this week. And I would I would counter with, like, look, line up all the jokes, all the criticism, all just I don't know if anger is the right thing because I'd love to know what the perfect solution would be.


Not even a perfect solution. A solution that's actually something you could execute, where you would get these 120 teams and really all. But he cares about the power of five. And I don't mean that to be decisive in the non power five, but the money in the TV deals like these teams are going, we can't lose this TV money. Look at all of this money that we're spending. You know, it's not three million a year for coach, it's five million.


We're building new facilities every two years because a rival built a new one last year. And now we have to have all of this stuff and we've got to expand our stadium because of all these different things. I don't know how realistic it was ever to get all of these schools, school presidents, conference commissioners and all the people that matter, N-TV signing off on it because ESPN was as big a partner and kind of some of this realignment really saving the big 12.


And I don't mean that as a negative. I mean, it is you know, ESPN was very powerful and how all of this this realignment stuff gets sorted out years ago. Yeah, I don't know who could who could outline something would go well if there was a college football commissioner.


You really. You think I mean, we can't we couldn't get Rob Manfred and the players union for like two months. Do you really think when every corner of this country is represented geographically in all the different interests and all the different traditions and all the stuff like, did you really think like one voice would be able to figure this out because you're also not negotiating with the players union? I would. I think there's a lot of optics to it to where you go, how do we have these kids come back and everybody's fighting about the lack of compensation, which I pretty much have no kids come back.


What if you know where kids are going to? I think I think more kids actually do want to play football and don't want to play football. I'm talking about the students because I think that's going to be another one where where people are deciding last minute is their virtual learning. Are we going to have twenty five percent of the campus come back? Fifty percent, whatever it seems like, all that stuff still up in the air and the like.


Would you have a problem if they said, all right, it's online and, you know, it's not going to be a normal campus situation and you're in some kind of bubble? I mean, look, even Michelle Roberts was arguing against the idea of a bubble when it was being presented like, what is this? I mean, she actually used the word incarceration, OK, to compare it to that. So that was that was a.. Solution thinking I felt at the time.


And it being wrong. She's wrong. Like, I think she admits it, too. Right. OK, that's great. But it's a whole different thing when you know, these these kids are the money makers. We can get a much bigger debate about that, that I don't want to. I've constantly said, hey, there's a way to compensate them. I'm not an NCAA anarchist by any means either.


But there's a really hard execution of that to say I you know, we need all these we need these 12000 volunteers to come back to campus and play football and you're going to get your education.


But if we do it in some messed up way, I just think there's going to be a lot of voices that say, you know, what are you really trying to do? And what they're really trying to do is save the TV money, which I can understand.


But the the biggest difference between basketball and even the NFL. In basketball, LeBron wants to come back, at least partly because he makes 30, 35 million a year whenever he makes like the biggest stars in the league, we're giving up a lot of money and that it was going be like six hundred, I think it was 600 million they were going to lose if they did that.


And it was also going to affect next year's CBA. So they had financial incentives to come back to college. Kids have no incentives other than if they think they could potentially get drafted or they're just competitive or whatever. I have two questions for you, because you're much, much, much bigger college football fan than I was expecting. Everybody would not play except for the SCC. And I thought the SCC was going to go like full NFL, like with basically with the NFL is doing a bit like, look, man, we're playing.


There's too much money at stake you're in or we'll just move on to our third stringer. And they were just going to find the bodies. Was that ever a possibility where the SEC was just going to be this outlier that had football?


I almost sent a tweet out after I had heard the rumblings about the Big Ten. It was like my playoff projections for this year's college football Bama, LSU, Georgia and Florida, you know, like sports teams. But I was like, that's not very original. So I didn't go ahead and send that one. But I don't I don't think so. I really don't. I mean, Texas, there was a I was a Texas Tech. They got months ago is a completely different mindset.


I was not upset with anybody going, hey, I think we'll be better in a couple of months because a lot of us thought we were going to be better. Some people never thought that we were. And that turns into a whole nother disagreement. We're not better and it sucks. And that's really the key factor. But it's not a lack of leadership. It's not you can not like all the decisions made along the process, but this virus is sticking around.


It's much worse than people thought when it first started. And and here we are. And until that was solved, it wasn't realistic. But I don't know. I have not heard anything where that was going to happen, even though a couple of things that have surprised you, would that have surprised if the SCC went rogue?


Yeah. Even even that, I think, would would surprise me. OK, second question. You've spent time down south, used to do these radio shows on site, now that you've seen the football life first, you know firsthand dozens of times I've seen it a couple of times. It's definitely it's its own entity. It's it's kind of unbelievable when you're actually down there and you're at a place like Auburn, LSU, Georgia, wherever, not having that this fall.


What does that mean to like the south in Texas? Like what? How does that flip those places around when it was such an essential part of their DNA? It's devastating to the businesses. I mean, it's already devastating right now, OK, but this is almost you know, you ever go to spring break like I did in Jamaica once, 20 years ago, and I I worked at this place and I would start hanging out with some of the locals and talking to them.


And I was like, how does this work? And they go our whole yearly wages are these six weeks, these six weeks of spring break from all the American kids that come here. That's it. And then we don't work like this, is it? There's no work after these six weeks. We have to make the most of it. It's it's not that extreme because we're not talking about a third world country. But when you go down south, especially for guys like us being from New England, which is maybe the the only pocket of the country where it isn't as obsessive as it is everywhere else that you roll into a Tuscaloosa, which is this historic old town with these old buildings and stuff.


But I've been there when there isn't a game and it's it's just different.


And then when you roll in, when it is a game, you get in on a Wednesday or Thursday. People are already setting up their tents, Bill, Wednesday. And they're already, you know, and I just feel like what happens here, like we don't we don't work a ton on those eight weekends. Right. It's just there's a home game. There's eight of them. So every season and it's just understood, like as game week is approaching, just just not a ton is getting done because that is the most important thing.


And that's why despite all of the concerns and I'm not saying this is the right thing to do, and I would argue with friends from Boston, I was argue with my dad about it a little bit. I said, if you open up the SCC and said, all right, we're good to go, we're kicking off at seven o'clock on Saturday, there'd be 100000 people in the stadium. There would be. I went to an Auburn game in twenty sixteen and it was like.


Like you went there? Yeah, I went there. How are you down there for that. Was it the thirty four thirty thing.


No I just went is long story but I just ended up going down in and out with a bunch of people and. You know, first of all, it was amazing. Second of all, the game ended and then everybody's just walking. You know, it's time to do the whatever the gesture. Yeah. All right. Cool. Long walk. And then it's toilet paper and the trees, whole thing. And people it was just clear everybody was going to be out all night.


And it was and it was just like we had nothing like this in New England. They had there was five different things going on that I couldn't identify with in any way. And it was just, you know, stuff that they had grown up with and been doing for decades.


I remember the first week I was on the campus of UVA. So we're talking 1993 and Vermont had this big reputation as a party school. That was something you almost took pride in when Playboy magazine would bring out its it's party school rankings. And we're in a massive auditorium class. So we're talking like one hundred plus people. And this professor, old school guy, UVM writes number three, you know, Florida State because number two, Wisconsin. And he's like number one, UVM.


He goes, you don't have a football team and it's two degrees outside and you're still the number one party school. Give yourself a huge round of applause. So then I bring a bunch of guys over the years to LSU games, and it's they're walking through the tailgating from my friend's place. You know, I became friends of the guy that started walk on down about Roug. And, you know, as everybody knows, I go to the Bama LSU game.


I go every single year since 2008. And I went to five LSU games last year and. Where they're walking, this is two New England kids who've never been in the sky before. We're walking through the tailgates and then we're coming through the tunnel and then we're on the sideline watching the student section go bananas before the kickoff even happens. And one of my friends turns to me, he goes, Playboy should vacate all of our party school wins because this is embarrassing that anyone would even suggest that we were on this level of it.


It's it's crazy to think far without high school football. And college football does seem like we're going to have some high school football, because at one point, I think it was about 10 days ago, they said thirty seven of the 50 states were planning on playing football, high school football. We'll see if that actually happens when it happens. But, you know, there's a lot of reasons why this has been the weirdest year, I think, either of our lifetimes.


But just removing college football and potentially high school football as well. Pretty, pretty crazy. All right. Let's talk about let's talk about the PGA tournament really quickly. We have a new next tiger. The mantle has been passed. I didn't know this. Oh, yes. Oh, it's happening again. My dad texted me next Tiger, I'm like, did we do this with Spaeth a couple of years ago? And like Rory, we went down that road with him like I couldn't believe I was prepping for this.


And I didn't realize Rory hasn't won a major since 14. Yeah. The next tiger thing has kind of turned into when that late 90s when everybody was the next Jordan for like seven years. We're just trying to will it to happen. And then finally, everybody just kind of gave up and then LeBron turned. But I will say to the kid today, ice in his veins, man made a long chip on 14 off the green and then hit this legendary, drove the green, drove the par for everybody, had been trying to do it.


And it was like you're expecting Bryson I thought was going to be able to do it. And then, you know, it turned out to be more and and perfect, just perfect bounces in the announcers like, oh, we're going to remember that for it. They just like had a fucking orgasm. But but he was the one. And what was cool about this tournament, you know, at one point, like, I think twelve guys, there are two strokes of each other.


And it was like, who's going to come out of this? And and you really didn't know. And then all of a sudden it was him. But it was really fun to have a major back. I guess the one weird thing was that no offense, it I didn't make much for Major. I missed it. Yeah. Like him getting him driving. Four and going within 10 feet, I think they would have lost their fucking minds on that shot and there was like it kind of didn't feel that much different than any other shot except for the announcers.


But other than that, I really thought it was a great tournament. And I thought at various points over the last two days, I thought, like five guys were definitely going to win and then something would happen to them. Then the next guy would go. As a female, just because I saw him in person at the L.A. tournament out here and then I followed him for a few holes. This guy's unbelievable. I've never been anti Dustin Johnson for any reason.


I checked in with a couple of people. I was like, there's a Bryson. Is he is he that bad? Because he's not coming off great. The last few weeks, a lot of anti content out there. And they're like, he's worse. No one likes him. Come on. Nobody likes him now. Nobody. And I double I double checked. So I wasn't I he's coming because I don't think he cares either. I've I've enjoyed his role, whatever it is, just to have like sometimes sports you need.


And it's not as simple as just you need a villain, but you need that extra thing. Watching him swing is hilarious. Listening to the commentators when he swings is the funniest thing ever. And he just bombs away bombs when he was in it until a couple of putts. But you're right, I actually had a harder time keeping track of this one. I was more focused on the whoops, but I had it up on the other TV and I kept thinking, how is this thing going to end?


Because everybody is in it. Like they didn't have enough room on the first page of the leaderboard because how tight it was at the top.


So, yeah, it was fun. What's happening with golf really reminds me of baseball in the late 90s where you have all these new stars and then you have this power game that feels like it's gone to another level with some of these guys, you know, like Feenan phenom Bryce and playing together on Sunday was just unbelievable. It was like McGuire and Sosa being together, you know? And I was so excited for the for that that there were two holes where you basically had a chance to drive.


But that that sixteen is the one that if you really built it, it's only like two ninety five. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. It's a faded a little bit but it's like really there you could have a hole in one little golf talk on the show.


Oh thanks. I'm really into golf this year. I don't know a couple of years. You said a text Texas morning and you go hey we'll go right after the PGA.


And I went, oh all right.


And it was kind of thrown off by that, I think to with the with the late 90s baseball thing. You have these young guys that are just really good. And it's like when we were in the late 90s and, you know, Nomar is coming up and Jeter is coming into his own. And you just had all these guys in these different teams combined with like different types of people like Pedro going into his own. You had all the home run hitters.


You had the stats getting wacky and and watching these guys. Now, what I like about it is everybody kind of has a different brings a different gimmick to the table, almost like wrestling. Right? Like Bryson and Pheno, they have their own thing. Brooks is like the fucking badass. And when, you know, he completely fell apart today, which sucked for me in house because we bet on them plus four seventy five it was over and like two holes.


But Brooks is kind of like the bouncer of these tournaments. Like even when he's not playing well you still are always accounting for I'm taking him seriously is like the talented one. You go down the line and all these different guys have the identity but then they have this new wave of these twenty four and under guys that, you know, this might be the next generation of golfers. I just think that sports in an amazing place. It reminds me a lot of this, this group that finished up and coming into the final round of the cast of St.


Elmo's Fire where you're like Jambos, like he's like the wild. He's a little bit like Rob Lowe. You're like someone like him or do we not?


And then koepka like looks like he has his shit together and you're like me out like this.


Who is your favorite out of these guys? Just as like a casual guffin.


A lot of my golf opinions were influenced by Van Pelt, you know, because he lived this world, that world is fascinating, at ease and get to know some of those guys. And not that I'm like best friends, but I had one of the caddy, Lightman's caddy, Mattie Kelly, stayed with me at the Hartford tournament. So I had met him at Augusta. We rented a house. He came over with a couple of the other caddies, pro jock, and they were telling us stories.


And my friends were like, this is the coolest thing in the world. And then when he was in Connecticut for that tournament, which is a really fun tournament to go to, he stayed with me. And then we went out to dinner and I brought in to ESPN. I was shown on the stuff. And by the way, he's not the guy that I checked in with Jimbo. I felt like, you know, since the tournament was going on.


But when they start telling you about the hustle of, you know, if my golfer isn't doing well and I've got to start figuring out cheaper flights and stay somewhere, and then Scott used to let a bunch of caddies stay with him when they came through because like this is for free nights, a room and board like this is incredible.


And so, Scott. Always told me, like you would, Dustin Johnson, his personality on the course, and when he blew, what was it, the U.S. Open and I think he had thrown up behind a porta potty. I always I always wanted him to do well after that. And I like pheno. I like pheno a lot just because of watching him swing a club, seeing it in person. It was kind of like your eye test with a young NBA player.


Yeah, go. Hey, this guy looks a little different.


When I was younger, I always had a hard time. Did you do you root against anyone or was it just Colin Montgomerie like everybody else did in the States 20 years ago?


When I was younger, I just I was way more xenophobic when I was younger. Like Seve was the only one out of all the foreign guys that I really, really for it. I just I guess Greg Norman, only because he kind of felt bad for him when he after he blew a couple. But I was just always like whoever the American was, it was where I grew up in the Cold War. So we were patriotic back there. I by the way, what's the Ryder Cup thing happens?


You kind of become anti some of those guys anyway. Oh, yeah. I think totally fair. I doubt there's a ton of Irish guys going, you know, who I really like as a so-called golfers?


Well, the ones I don't like now. And there's no reasons for really other than like Patrick Reed just because it's so much fun to hate Patrick. I don't like Justin Rose, and it just comes down to I don't like his face, there's no reason, it's just he is just one of those guys. He kind of bothers me. And I have no I have no defense for it. I have no explanation. I just, like, instinctively don't want him to do well.


He came on the set with Van Pelt and I would have been nice. Seems like a nice guy. Yeah, I'm not saying it's Rasheda, but I think with golf sometimes because you know so little about these guys, you start liking them or disliking them based on really dumb things like, oh, that guy uses a long putter. I'm out of that guy's a slow player, I'm out.


I hate that guy. And it's like, really, you're the reason. But I think this golf season, this is the first one. There's two more majors then the tour championship. And and it's really great. And I think we're going to need it because we're not going to have college football this year. And God only knows with the with the pro football. But I also I, I really like when it's West Coast being on the West Coast selfishly, when we have these tournaments that, you know, the PGA is the best because it's just on all day.


I watched all of it all week. It was ESPN plus and then today it was on ESPN. Then it went to CBS. And it's just you get to see the court eat the wide shots of San Francisco. I just loved it. A plus.


Try to think who else. Van Pelt, Van Pelts, boys. Duvall, who we had to call on on the early hours today on ESPN. So he's always been a big tall guy, but flamed out fast. Flamed out. Yeah, he he loves Ian Poulter. So Ian Poulter came by and hung out with us, and he was Ian Poulter has this look in his eyes like this crazy energy where you go. Is this guy just an absolute blast to hang out with?


And that's kind of how he came off. And it was funny to not that I think the podcast audience cares this much, but just Ian Poulter in person better looking to start it out there. I find myself always kind of liking Jason Day. I don't know if it's just the Australian demeanor or what it is, but he's just I don't know. That's kind of what I end up doing is as I look around and go, who do I think I like?


Yeah, I like I was there for Jason day to day. I one of the things we do is because we bet all weekend yesterday we had that great pull, pulled a couple of bets out of our. But then today went big on Brooks who fell apart and then try to audible to Bryson who immediately bogeyed the next two holes. And it was just like, you know you know, it's it's yeah, it's like we we felt like we put our stake.


Know, we I mean, hedge, my buddy Hedge, we had that league of dorks, that American League only fantasy baseball team. And like we we drafted a couple of guys this year and we're convinced we're singlehandedly responsible for the fact that they've sucked like Torez and the Yankees, who everybody is like this guy is going to win the MVP. Thirty six dollars on him. And he's like him, Devers, JD Martinez, like we murdered all of them.


So I don't know if you feel like you have the power to ruin people by betting on them or putting them on and finish them. I do. I feel like I do have that power sometimes and I buy the stock market. I had a stock market run where I felt like it doesn't matter what I do today, it's wrong. It doesn't matter. It's like every day, every day for about a month. The day trading where I went, they know.


They know. As soon as I put in the order, it's just, OK, let's hammer them again. And then I'm like, OK, in, I'll hold off today. My golf course went up. So those are a lot of people can relate to that. Would you just feel like there's a guy in the machine that knows. Right.


You're like a little bansuri. Yeah. One other thing with golf, I just want to mention quickly, I think they've done a really nice job over the last like seven, eight years, adding bells and whistles to the telecast. You know, initially it was just the arc of the ball. Instead of just kind of squinting to see where the ball was, you could actually see the line of the ball. Now they have like these apex stats and miles per hour of the swing and shit like that.


I really like it. I think it's fun. I like when they have that they that CBS Eye thing where it's that picture of the guy from two hundred and seventy degrees, you see his swing and the camera moves different parts. I really feel like like Goff stepped it up that that shot that matrixx shot where they they come around the guy.


Yeah. That's all they talk about when you get this.


Amazing how much power is in that swing for some of these dudes and then how far inside their hands are. And you just go, how do you how do you repeat that?


That I mean, again, that's the whole point. Why? But that's how they that's how they they end up fucking up their left knee because you see the how much power is going into their left kneecap and all these guys that's people feel like that Bryson is going to be like, you know, like a football running back that has the three three hundred ninety three seasons. And then they're done like he's putting so much talk on his left leg, like it's not sustainable.


I asked Van Pelt if there's any way we could evolve to being a little bit more negative on the broadcast golf where. Yeah, because I even there's something about us in this country where hear somebody with an English accent, we just bend the knees where you go. I love being criticized by English guys. I accept your criticism, whether it's a cooking show or a talent show or anything like English accent. Yeah, just rip rip everybody. You're going to get away with it, and when I in Faldo, who would say a Shimbo screwed something up and he was he was upset about it and father's like he burns, he he burns.


He burns with a fire.


And you're like, that's it's what was that was like that's just you saying he's an asshole. But you didn't when you said it like the nice way, because it's so funny how the golf audience can do that all the time there, because it's such an incestuous sort of community. They're afraid of offending the two guys today who should have been criticized. Brooks, who talked a big game yesterday and basically was like, how many majors is everyone like basically like, you know, this tournament's running through me.


And then he just sucked and they just stopped showing them. But they never had, like, the two minute. You know, like the conversation I would have were in booth, like, wow, I can't believe brick shit the bed today. What happened to that guy that he shot?


A seventy four today was four over and they're like a rough day for Brooks. And then the other one was D.J., who basically was just playing for pars, it looked like, and he wasn't being aggressive enough and he was basically letting everybody hang around, hang around, hang around and then, you know, he got jumped. But I, I thought that could have been more critical of him, too. But you're right, they they're very rarely will criticize golfers because I think they know how hard golfers.


I mean, Mike, you know, that's everybody, right? I'm not asking everybody to jump on it, anybody. But there should be just one tournament where it's a free for all, where they just decide it's different. And then the announcers like 50 bucks. This is in and the other guy's like, no way. Not this guy. Like, I know you trust him on the 17th with the lead. No fucking way. Well, we were joking me and has said, Nathan, we're texting has the Nathan.


They have a fairway wrong coming up tonight, if you want, like the deep dive of of the tournament.


And we were joking about FENA because he's a legendary you know, he'll kind of fall apart on the back nine at some point, like he has not been able to get over the hump. And we were just kind of waiting for a waiting for it, then finally hit into the deep rough, I think, on sixteen. And that was kind of it. But it would be funny if the announcers like, man, it's going to be interesting to see which Tofino feet now self-destruct, but they'll never do that.


You're right. They'll never do it. And they don't do it on the NBA.


So they're certainly not going to do it on golf.


As we've been reminded by watching all the home announcers, the thing they're doing on the NBA now, all the local announcers are just doing this literally is the and it happened yesterday with Damian Lillard in that Portland game against the Clippers He goes the line there up one and the guy goes Damian Lillard eighty eight percent three point shooter this year He's just spent money and then Lillard misses and then the car guy like Oh you did it again and he's like You're graduating because the play by play guy put the milk on him.


That's the one time that they'll kind of fuck with the players. Yeah, that's been going on for so long that I know everybody does it, everybody does it, everybody does it. I can't believe somebody hasn't tracked it. Does the free throw percentage go down? It is like I had bet on Portland yesterday. I was mad when the guy did it. I was like, you motherfucker, I know what you're doing. And then Damasio's did that.


We'd take a break. Then we would talk hoops.


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All right. I'm going to give you your choice, what to start with, as we had a really fun bubble week. Here are the choices. Luka, these are all a kind of grainy tasers, by the way. Look, though, Loukia closest thing to Larry Bird since Larry Bird. That's one. Number two, the Phoenix Suns, a team in the future, maybe they're ready now is their future now?


Yes, sir. And then the third one. Maybe it was dame time after all. Who I want to read I want to rework your second tease. OK, got like the future is bright. In Phoenix, the future is sunnier than ever. Yeah, the sun is hot and so are your sons, Sazuka Zucca sons.


Look our Portland. Which one Loka. OK, go. He's not the next bird. I don't see the same player at all. I see a different player, but an incredible like every time you see him. I mean that's might be the best game he's ever had. I thought he looked like Harden when I watched him. And that's the best comp. That's still the best comp with him. It's a little different because it's the same in that they generate all of the offense.


But Loukia can't shoot even close to what Harden can. But the way he initiates the offense, his pace and like there's multiple example. Going to give you two really good examples here. The way you cut playing with Luka makes you more engaged is another player. So he brings everybody up. This is the best offense in the NBA. It's the best thing that could have ever happened. Important singers. And you saw there's a bunch of them, but there was one play in the first half.


He drives, right. He gets caught underneath the basket. Hardaway makes a late cut. He passes from almost out of bounds the baseline cut because everybody's playing five out and everybody's looking and trying to contest shots that some of these secondary cuts are burning defenses left and right. He had another one with right was the same deal. And then in the late run he goes left on the screen. They keep two with Donchak per Zink's is coming down the right side of the lane.


So that means to tour with Donchak. De Vincenzo leaves the corner to help unpleasing because that's really what he's supposed to do, because he's caught in the middle. And then Donchak can make that last minute pass better than anybody because of his size and his vision. Some of those passes the way he passes the corner. When you think the possession is over, he's going to just fall down to the ball and he just kicks out. It's basically one of the biggest threes, the entire game.


And so I don't think he looks I don't think Byrd played like this. I mean, you know better than anybody. I think he's just. The level this kid is at, especially we knew coming into this season, is unbelievable and he still does even shoot at that grade, I think he still is like 31 percent from three. So I don't think there's ever going to be another bird. I've said that many times, I think this stuff that Luca does in 20/20 reminds me of the stuff Byrd was doing in the mid 80s, like even that box score he had last year.


Thirty six, 19 and 14, though no one else has had that, by the way. Yeah, but those would be the games Byrd would have in the West Coast. And the thing with Loukia is the assists are not like cheap access. Like, as you said, you know, he has the typical like the James Harden type of assists where he brings second guy over and then he hits the guy in the corner or whatever, the crosscourt, all the stuff he's doing to get guys open threes.


But he's also creating these cutter passes. And like you said earlier, guys do kind of learn how to play with him and they're more active and they're more engaged when that team is doing well. There's other times where you watch them and everyone's kind of standing around. You can kind of make it so that it's Loukia one on five and that's how to beat Dallas. But when he has everybody engaged like that and they're moving and cutting, that's what reminds me of Bird, because we never got to see Bird and magic really either.


In the 80s with space, it was always cluttered paint. The goal was always to get two points to get to as close as you could to the basket to move things toward the rim. And I think if things were spread out, I really do think this is how bird magic would have played. I think they would have been trying to constantly pull a second person over so they could find whatever open thing. I think, you know, especially Bird would have been looked at as a post up like Bird Bird used to.


But I think Bird would have thrived on that with the crosscourt, knowing guys were in the corners, things like that. In the eighties, he had the two guards basically on top of the key. And then Paracha McKale in the paint like that. He didn't have the geometry that Luca has and I think bird magic would have taken advantage. My point is, I think some of the stuff Luca sees. Is at a higher level than Harden, even though they're very similar with how the effect they have on a game.


I think he's a better passer the harder it is. I think it's a really good pass, I think. Yeah, but Harden's an awesome passer.


Harden is a very, very, very good passer and a very good Krater Lucka. We'll see a couple of things. A game that I don't know who else would see it. You know what, it is going to be funny considering the red hot suns, but it reminds me of the Rubio stuff you saw before the draft and Rubio had these passes when he was playing overseas in such a young players, there's 19, I think, or something. And he wasn't as big as Luca because Luca Luca has moments where I'm like, I can't believe you didn't just go for the layup.


You had it. You're right there. One of the other games, I think, against Houston, I had a few notes where I thought, OK, I get you through the corners every time, but sometimes you're not even especially against Houston, where there's no big there that's coming over to test you at the rim. Just go and put the layup in and then you look and see what he did against Milwaukee. But Rubio would have these drives where he was probably too small to finish at the rim, especially if two people stayed with him.


And you would think, OK, he's if you hit pause, you go, how's he getting out of this? And he would do some crazy behind the back, like in air handoff to a trailer that would know to cut. So that's the point. If you know your point guard is always going to be looking for you and keeping these possessions alive where Houston's different in that it's spread out and there's kind of like one lead and you're moving a spot.


You're not reacting to the guy. And and I just think there's more chances to do something cool on Dallas. Houston, you're like, I'm moving here and Harden's going to find me, and that's really your job, you're moving here, here two spots. Once you do it a million times to it's not that hard. Like I remember the first time when the three was really taking over and seeing how LeBron would anticipate the help and he would know, OK, do you come off the corner?


Do you stay in the corner like some of these teams? You can't really leave the corner. And with Dallas, it's so hard because they're huge, like they're putting a lot of big guys out there. So they're playing small, but they're not small. It's so you can't just let us have a free rim run because he I mean, he had some dunks in that game against Milwaukee that were like, oh, that's right. Like, this guy's kind of insanely good.


You know, it's a nice reminder. It's funny moments this year where he hasn't been as good. I flip my mind on. I changed my mind on whether he's their number, the right number two for Loukia, probably once a week, because sometimes you think, like he's probably just better off playing with another swing guy, like his version of Paul George and having like a pretty empty paint so he could just kind of do whatever he wants. And then you see a game like last night and you're like, oh, person, this is the perfect guy for him.


You know, if he can unlock that by going back to the passing thing for a second, because, you know, another guy who is like this and he lost it when he got to the NBA at some point, but in college, he was like, this was Kenny Anderson. And he was a guy when people played with him and he went to the basket, guys were moving around with their hands up because they knew they might get the ball.


It's just it's a different thing. And I think people sometimes get confused with this guy as a good passer because he gets assists and he passes to the open guys versus this guy sees things that are unusual. And and that's one thing with him. The other thing is that sometimes he has these rebound games. It's another thing that reminds me of the bird like Bird would have these games where you'd have 18 rebounds, 19 rebounds, 20 rebounds, playing small forward with McHale and Parrish and Bill Walton and Byrd would get 17 rebounds.


Luca gets boards Loukas bigger than I think people kind of give him credit for, like he's probably a half inch shorter than Bird was the bird with six, nine, Loukas, six, eight and a half that. And then just how he is always just able to get by whoever is in front of him is ridiculous. I don't understand. I don't understand. Harden is able to do over and over again. These guys are just going by people whenever they want and I don't really fully understand it.


Hard to know what I would hard to fly like.


Harden has the second best handle. I think the Kyrie in the league and I don't know, they get some huge gap but just the Kyrie looks really great with it because he does some insane things. But it's not like anybody's getting the ball from Howard Jones. You always have to worry about reaching in. You have to worry about a shot because you've been easy to stick his legs out. So there's a million little minefields that you have to navigate with Harden, where it's almost like when Steve Nash was at his best, it was easier for him to dribble the hoop because people were running away from him trying to close out on passes.


Right. And he plays the round. Exactly. So Nash would get these open layups. You go, how did that happen? He's like, no, because everybody's like they're defending him different. Their headset is completely different, going, no, no. I have to like when he drives, I've got to jump in close out on a shooter because he's going to pass. So it actually looks like he's getting to the hoop easier, harder, just impossible to deal with.


And his his big hips and he's so strong and he's compact that I think it's a little different with Luka.


But Luca blows me away like look Giannis is bigger than Lukas. We realize that Giannis sometimes on a double when he tries to handle through it. It can be a problem but once he gets any momentum going if you don't find anybody, slow him down his handles fine he's going to get through everybody look at his size gets real small with his dribble he gets really.


So there, there's these big perimeter guys that can handle but you go, you know there's still science here where if a seven footer is trying to dribble through traffic, there's more opportunity to go ahead and swats this way.


Luca, his angles and his pace and the way he protects the ball, keeping the dribble alive. It's it's a different it's almost like he dribbles like he's a smaller guy.


Well, he is putting together. This is, I think, one of the greatest second year NBA seasons ever. You know, this is a year he's having a year that somebody should have like it would be the best year of his career. And meanwhile, he's like twenty one, right? This is I don't know, it just turned right to the next level for him, I guess, would be to improve the three point shooting and get that over 20 percent, because that's the third one is game right now.




I mean, and that's that's a bad number for some of the shots he takes too, but. Well, but he some of those are saving the shot clock shots. So if he's taking a hundred out of every hundred threes, I bet four of them are I have to get this up or we're going to get a shot clock violation.


He he's about a one in every three three point shooter. But that should be like forty, forty one eventually.


I don't know that he's going to do that. Lillard is a good example of that. I can't imagine what Lillard shooting numbers would be if he didn't have to do some of these bailout thirty footers and he could hit it. So we'll take it and sometimes he just in rhythm. But the more I've I've watched Lillard on the restart I go his if he had granted C.J.. Imagine reading of C.J. how much worse it would be. But there's, there's some shots in there that I'm sure he doesn't even really want to take because they're not great ones.


I think Luca does dribble in to some 30 footers with 17 seconds left on the shot clock that you don't necessarily want if somebody at thirty one percent. But yeah again, twenty one in February, I just looked it up. So it wasn't the other day.


But this year he's almost an irrational confidence guy, but with like. A superstar who has irrational confidence, which is another thing that reminds me a bird like that, I haven't seen a game where he doesn't think any shot he's taken in any moment of the game is going it like he carries himself like a 10 year NBA superstar. And you think like, well, what you know, LeBron is example. LeBron came in the league a little younger, but LeBron had this four year kind of indoctrination before we got to 2007 playoffs.


And it's like, oh, man, he's all grown up. Lucas should be going through that like a year or two from now, not right now, and he's going to be in this situation. You know, they're playing the Clippers in round one. It's a miserable matchup for them. They've gotten completely overmatched and they've played them during the season. They had these two amazing defenders to throw at him. If he can solve them and turn even that into a seven game series and go toe to toe with those guys, that that is that's something a 21 year old kid should be able to do.


And I'm not ruling them out.


That was the other thing. When you watch it before the draft, though, there was no fear. I'm saying this is somebody that's watched enough of the European players and international players. Probably better way to put it, but forever. A lot of those international guys are like, OK, skilled handler can shoot, where's your edge? Where's your edge? And I really think this next generation of international players that we've seen the last few years have come into the league with some edge.


And Donchak absolutely has. He gets pissed off in moments. Yeah, that's a stretch in that game against Milwaukee where he didn't get the call. He does complain, but so does every single superstar. I mean, he's not at Lowry level, but he's he's definitely a complainer. But he got hit.


He was mad. And then the next play he kind of initiated the contact, touched his face and they show the replay and he didn't really even get hit. And I think Van Gundy even said, hey, that's not even a foul. But in his mind, he was so pissed off about two physical things that had happened. You could see like a little bit of a switch that was turned up the next time you got the ball where he was like are now taking this out on you guys.


And that's the way he played as a teenager against grown men in the best competition. And that's something you're moving forward. You just have to put more stock on. Hey, is there any six, nine guy or six, eight guy that's completely unafraid of adults while he's eighteen, putting up massive numbers of top league that maybe that's something we should factor in here a little bit, because I think a lot of the guys in previous generations came over and a lot of the American players were like, these guys are soft.


That's what made it so outrageous when he went basically three teams passed on him because I count the third team traded him. Three teams, you're right. You know, the 82nd thing, it was defensible, I wouldn't have done it, but I at least get it. It's the center. The guy people really did think he was going to be good. It's been born. He's playing. He's good. Yeah, he's good.


The Baguley one was indefensible and the Atlanta trade was indefensible, was indefensible. And it happened because Loukia did it. He did it on the biggest level was the second biggest league we have. And he is playing against people that were 10, 12 years older than him. And he was the best player in the league. And it wasn't like he was lighting up the G league, you know? No, it's just crazy. It's grandnephew like the other three.


And you liked him? I don't know when you did your trade.


Well, you don't write anymore, but you did. And did you do did you do your trade value where you said to me we were doing a pod last year, like, I think I'd have them what, two behind Yoni's? Well, I was getting I was like I was like, whoa, whoa.


You know, I'm always yeah, I was let's at least see something here and turn out that you're right. Like, I'm I'm a little bit harder to impress when it comes to stuff. And I wasn't even anti him at all. I just to see this this soon.


And I just wish they were better defensively, they suck in close games, so that's why the Milwaukee win was so big. They've had so many losses on one possession eight and then their record and five point games is brutal.


It was a team that was supposed to do this this year. They were supposed to be a team that, like had a puncher's chance of beating one of the three best teams in the league in a playoff series, I think it just kind of happened like I think they were putting their roster in place for next year, in the year after, we're going to be the year's. Would you I'll give you one guy for the next 10 years, Janice or Loka?


Who would you rather have? I'm going to go, Janice, because of the defense. I think I would go, Luca, because there's a track record of transcended offensive players translating to guaranteed titles. What does Janet Stamp? He's in. You don't think he's there? You don't think he's a transcendent you're talking like creating shots for everybody seeing the floor, like that's where you're giving.


Look at the edge of P.A., obviously, because I think it's I think it's like one A, one B, but I the fact that he's younger than Yoni's by like four years and I'm getting him from age 21 to thirty one. I know I'm getting somebody who every year is going to be like one of the three best offensive players in the league. I can build a team around him and also somebody that I think will stand in one place. Whereas Janice, I don't know I don't know what his next eight to 10 years look like.


Where does he go? Does he go to Miami in two years? Does he go to Golden State? Does then he flip again three years later? Like, I don't have a feel for that with Luke. I just think he just is going to be happy and Dallas is going to stay there. And that's where he is. Speaking of though, that's what I love about Giannis is he'll fight like he'll go. I love it when somebody messes with him.


He's like I'm not afraid of this and not that he should be. But you know look there's certain guys that like it and like that confrontation, like the conflict and Giannis likes those things and some of those Sixers games. I was like this guy just he wants to dunk on and beat it. He's, he wants to go out these guys. He wants to think of them.


Last night they they clinched the one seat. They have nothing to play for. I mean the only thing they had to play for yesterday was hey cool. Eric Bledsoe is back. We kind of have our team. They were going all out and I think, you know, Giannis is still younger and LeBron was like this too in 2009, 2010, 2011. So it's hard to compare LeBron at a different stage of his career. But LeBron is doing the man I got to get used to being an empty gym.


It's really hard.


I really miss the fans Giannis is just like Who is playing I'm going all out I'm going to put up thirty five fifteen an eight and that's the difference. He's he is the best player in the league. Luca I think will be the best player in the league and I don't know what year that's going to be, but I think he will be. Do you think, don't you think at some point the next five years he would be the best player in the league?


We're we're definitely ruling out Lonzo Ball, right? And Ben Simmons, OK. All right. You know, Janice is going to be but 30, so. The thing with Janice is I don't feel like he's a finished product yet, which is the scary thing for him, and that's so the case for Janice Overlake would be. China still has room to get better offensively. There are still things that he could add. And that would be it.


Let's take a break and we'll talk about Phoenix. Paula. Let's take a break to talk about CBS all access, I'm a subscriber, you know, I'm a subscriber because they have nanotube now. They have Melrose Place, which if you remember from the first month of the pandemic, I talked about how I watched the first Four Seasons of Melrose Place. Yeah, that was on CBS All Access. Now they have MTV's The Challenge, which I think they have seasons 11 through 31.


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Now you won't want to miss it. OK, let's do Phoenix because. We've given them a hard time, they've been some really head scratching moves, they're not well run. They've changed their coaches a lot of times. We gave that or I gave Devin Booker shit last year for not playing in the world championships team. You could feel this happening before the pandemic 82nd and came back from his suspension or whatever it was, there's masking agent suspension and all of a sudden they start to look pretty good and then the pandemic happened.


Come back. It's like, why are they in the bubble? They shouldn't be there. This is stupid. We should only have 20 teams, 19 teams. They have looked like a team that would be like a fourth or fifth seed in the east. They are sophisticated at the end of games. Offensively they can protect the rim. Ayton is like a legitimate problem now. I like the way they play together. They have shooters who would have thought that Cam Johnson pick wasn't going to be a disaster.


I certainly thought it was going to be terrible. He's pretty good.


Has more to do with it. Really go. Yeah. Bridges has been really good. It's a team that makes sense when you watch them. And if we can somehow and I don't know how realistic it is, if we could somehow get Phoenix, Portland for the eight nine game, that would be fantastic. I don't think we're going to get it, but it's it's not inconceivable right now. Phoenix still has three games left there. Thirty one and thirty nine.


Memphis is thirty three and thirty eight with Boston and Milwaukee left so they could leapfrog them. San Antonio has thirty one and thirty eight with only Houston and Utah left and then Portland's thirty three and thirty nine in Dallas. Brooklyn, not so Portland. Phoenix. Isn't it conceivable. But are you on a scale of one to ten, how surprised are you that this Suns team actually has a legit future now? Well, I looked at the roster for, like, you know, whatever year this team in this mode, all you want to do is do we have like two guys that give us a chance moving forward?


And sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. Look where Minnesota was just two years ago, thinking we have Karl Anthony Towns, you have Andrew Wiggins like we're good and we can build around this. We have some other picks in. Wiggins is gone and towns went from the number one player that NBA GMs would start their team with two years ago to now. He wouldn't even crack the top ten.


It's Booker. Booker is someone at times that I even though I liked him because I do like like we definitely think all of us that love basketball, we love young scorers.


You know, once you become Melo and you're north of thirty in your score as I go along, that guy does is, you know, whatever. Even though Melo used to rebound to so Booker would scare me because I remember doing a radio segment where I took young players and everybody was freaked out about like what their ceiling could be. And I said, well, what if Devin Booker is Ben Gordon? Like, look at Prime Ben Gordon years. There's some monster monster years and it's not out of the realm of possibility.


That's what could happen pre everybody turning on Wiggins. I'm like, what if Wiggins is Jason Richardson?


That's not terrible, but it's not what you're thinking when you're taking somebody's number one. And what we first thought of Wiggins athleticism, it just I think it's that years. What's that. He might be Jason Richardson. Yeah, right. I mean, you're going to play a long time. Everybody would want you to some degree. But I see Booker having this next level of scoring ability. The funny thing is, is everybody else is hitting shots on this team from outside, except for Booker during this five game win streak, which is the longest win streak the Suns have had in six years, he's at thirty one percent.


But everybody else I mean DeAndre Ayton at 43 percent. Rubio of all people is a forty seven percent from three Saric is forty six percent. Cam Johnson hitting shots but they have a very on.


Carter had six threes yesterday.


What they have is two guys that you think give you a chance if they reach their ceilings in eight in Booker. So that part I liked. I don't know if people are taking them lightly in the bubble. They're clearly not missing any shots, but they have a very defined group of eight guys. Would you agree with that? Like when you watch their substitution patterns, you OK? Kendalls, he's coming in to mess some guy's up Bridges's guy that you can switch with.


OK, they're going to use eight. And here in this camp, Johns's attacking the hoop and driving a little bit more.


A little Baner Booker is your Get US Out of Trouble scorer. And he is that special of a score. You know, I know we get really obsessed with the list thing, but are there ten guys that can get their own shot like Booker can? Well, the thing with him two years ago, I remember one of the pods KD was on. I was talk about what young player do you think really has a chance? Who has, you know, who's who's young?


And he immediately said Booker. And he was like, that guy's got something. And you've heard, you know, the great current stars, sometimes they will anoint these younger guys because they can see it. It's like when the you know, when like the great chefs know that there's some sous chef coming. Exactly. That guy's a fucking awesome cook. And with Booker, you can get there. Yeah, you can see they all felt that way about him.


The thing that's really, really, really fascinating to me is I think if this didn't happen for them, I think he would have become a supplier. I know he's got a contract, all that stuff. But there's a reason Draymond said that stuff on TNT. It wasn't an accident. All these guys talk to each other, and I don't think Booker was that happy in Phoenix. They haven't been successful. Why would you why would he be happy that he's had five coaches?


Is a terrible owner, is, you know. So I do think there was a sense when we got to the summer that him and towns where the two guys that we're going to start, maybe Simmons and Embiid the rumor mill starts going people could get this guy. Could this guy happen. Maybe Ben Simmons gets traded for Devin Booker. Like who the fuck knows. But now if you're Phoenix and you're looking at this, even if these five games you're going kind of like our team.


Hey, let's let's keep this going, let's add to this, let's get one more wing and build around Booker and Ayten, you know, could eight and be at twenty two and 12 guy who protects the rim and stretches a little bit like being cool enough.


Yeah. From the outside I think you could.


I think he's really been impressive, like really shooting. Really impressive. His shooting touch in Arizona and then you're you go again this in this movement of getting away from the traditional five which is I'm not arguing against it, then it becomes, hey, can we find a five that's traditionally like that big and can do some of those old school things, but then we can keep out there when everybody else goes small, like, can we do that? And that's where some of these guys could still stay on the court and his shooting touch, even in Arizona, like there's this kid's got a really good feel.


Well, the thing with him was they were always like he has the defensive tools, but he has no idea what he's doing. But that was the rap on him in college. It's like, well, if he ever puts it together and now there's some of the stuff that he's doing in these games are pretty advanced to where he was two years ago. And it's funny because I was looking at our NBA draft guy two years ago. Our guys do an awesome job and I want to see where Gary Trent Junior was.


And your new favorite player? Where do you rank him, what are your five top five bubble guys right now, Diable Trent Junior?


Is there anyone, even the best players in the league? Luka Trent Junior? Janice, I think is the top three right now, although Trent Junior, there were signs of him crashing back to earth today in the Philly get finally missed a couple.


But I looked at our ringer draft guide and I'm reading the thing and it's like weakness is not very athletic. Defensively, everybody went at him. This guy is a bad defender. And I texted Casey because Casey and Vernon and I, we text about different stuff. And I texted Casey. I'm like, I'm like, wow. And he's like, yeah, he didn't show any sign of any of this Portland stuff. This is why we had him.


Thirty seventh. And it makes you think like, all right, we're judging these guys in these draft guys and stuff. These guys are 18 and 19. He went to Duke. Not mixed results with the Duke guys defensively, I think, over the last 15 years, fair to say, and then that guy goes thirty seven, the draft, he's better than all of the guys the Celtics have taken in the last couple of years. The first and second round.


Right. You just don't fucking know. And with Ayton it was like, oh you know, he's got the tools but who knows. And now you're seeing this guy who actually kind of knows where to go and what to do. I don't know. He's an asset. They still should take an Lukáš, but it's not Sam Bowie. Eighteen was it was it was interesting, kind of going back and talking to people before he was drafted because I had a lot of people going, he sucks on defense.


And then at my first thing after a while.


I used to do fulled when I do my Cinergy breakdowns, I would do hundreds of clips on defense and I was like, this is such a waste of time because most everybody sucks. You're young, you don't know what you're doing. You can get away with stuff. And then I don't like on draft night when he goes, you know, has trouble staying in front of this. And how are you going to stay in front of these guys? The Lakers didn't have anybody.


You could stay in front of anybody then that OKC game, Chris Paul, do whatever he wanted they got to switch it against Kuzma Shergill just can get by anybody. There's there's a bunch of players I don't care who you are. So then to ask a kid coming right out of college like Hey how are you going to stay in front of this guy. Like thirty year olds. Don't brothers do all right.


Yeah but with eight and I thought when I watched him at Arizona he was always trying to help for somebody else to screw up so it would look like it was on him. So he's perfect. But there was more to the defensive problems than just he was bad on defense and was lost. There were times where you could see he was actually trying to do the right thing. This is the way I saw it. And I would check with other people.


And it was very it was very split. It was very split between the. Yeah, it's kind of a mess.


You know, he's not that for somebody we need is a five to come out and meet the guard and stay with the guard and at least kind of just push him to the side, which doesn't I don't think it happens as much as it used to, but I think there eight games under five hundred and four.


That is a huge win. That's a huge win for the Phoenix Suns. What's really weird is if you look at the history of the sons. It's a team that always manages to regain relevance every like four or five or six years, but something bad has to happen and then they'll scramble back and all of a sudden it's good again. But you go back like. Go back and look at them in basketball reference like they made the seventy six finals out of nowhere to play it, to be almost beat the Celtics.


Late 70s, early 80s, like they're in it, it's like them in Seattle and Portland are the three best teams in the West. They have all the you know, they had Walter Davis, Paul Westfall, they had guys who were first team, all NBA guys, then cocaine scandal completely falls apart. Then the late 80s, all of a sudden, they're good again and they're like relevant again and they're in the mix, it dips for a year, they trade for Berkeley, they have a whole run with him that falls apart.


Then all of a sudden they have Jason Kidd on their team and they have this whole other they're kind of fun in the late 90s that really happens. Trade him for Marberry. They have a Marberry Stottlemyre year that falls apart. And then I'll send Steve Nash shows up and they have another run for like five, you know, five, six years. Bardash That finally ends. It's like, oh man, that sucks. Then they have that weird year with Dragic Isaiah Thomas and remember they won forty eight games, they won four games and I think one of my favorite.


They didn't make the playoffs, they in my class, they won 48, they didn't make the playoffs, and Hornacek was the head coach and the set came by because, you know, when you're a coach in Phoenix, you really have to start planning on your new home after you go there. And I asked him and he'd said it somewhere else, too. I go, what happened? And he goes, you know, it was just one of those series or seasons where we just caught a lot of the teams on the right night.


We were a lot of back. He was basically saying, like we weren't really that good.


It was on a schedule schedule because they were supposed to be good at all.


They went forty eight. And you had all those teams bottled up there that won a lot of games like eight, nine and ten. And he basically is a guy. We weren't that good. We just we beat a lot of teams that well, they've had whoredom of the right times. They've had a lot of great players on that team over the years, like a lot. And Booker is the next great one, I think. So you're back.


That's great. I think he's potentially really I think he's potentially like a second team on big. I don't think he's there yet, but I think we're seeing the seeds of somebody who could be the best guy on like a second round playoff team. But I think why this was so important is. I think this summer there would have been rumors about stuff like you look at the guys running the next now, Leon and West, like those guys, like Calipari is their guy.


They know all the Kentucky guys, every Kentucky guy from this point on going forward is going to be rumored to be going to the Knicks at some point. Davis Towns, Booker, you name it, anyone who pass through the Calipari pipeline. But Booker was one that if he had said, I want out of here, get me the fuck out, I'm done, like, what do you do if you're the Suns? Like, you kind of have to accommodate him or look around for a trade.


And now I feel like they bought some time with that. And also, I think they're fun to watch. I'm I'm glad that they've been able to turn around, but it was a long haul. I still think they're poorly run. But, you know, they did some good things over the last year. Maybe James Jones maybe has. That's the latest guy, right? James Jones? Yeah. I mean, the TJ Warren thing is tough for them, considering they gave him up for nothing.


And T.J. Warren, that was top of the bubble. But they did do that to get Rubio, though, to be fair. But I mean, just like. No, you're right, TJ Warren makes no sense in a vacuum. It's like if you're if you want Rubio, keep TJ Warren. Now you try to get both.


It's kind of like when you talk about the Tobias Harris one hundred eighty million and you go, well, why would you do that?


You know, like, well you do it because you don't want to. Well it's funny. I remember talking to somebody with the Delana. It was like, oh you know, we just you got to just pay Joe Johnson that you got to. And then I was younger. I was more impressionable. And so I definitely kind of just repeated that when I was doing the old NBA today pods. And it was it was in your face. No, I just quit.




You know, you got to kind of try to just go ahead and do that. And I remember thinking back, like, do you have to though? But Philadelphia with Harris. Because I was looking at their numbers, can I just throw a couple of quick numbers at you? I just before you do this, I am never of the opinion that you should overpay guys that degree.


It just there's even when you're over the cap, even when you're over the cap and you're protecting the asset and you want to make sure that you have something to move later.


I just think that Harry's contract, the moment they did it, he's untradeable. Like you now had that guy for five years, that no one's untradeable, I'm not sure if you're taking some of these bad contract back to get rid of that. There's every time we say a contract untradeable and somehow it ends up getting move, maybe not with three years remaining and that kind of money. But I was looking at with all of the concerns about what the cap could be in the loss of revenue and all these different things, the tax, is it one thirty nine now.


And I think it's we're at one hundred nine in the cap. The Sixers are one hundred and forty seven million next year. One hundred and forty seven million in two years.


And three years from now there are four teams that are over one hundred million and committed salaries and the other three are kind of just over one hundred million. The Sixers are earning on the books three seasons from now for one hundred and thirty eight million and that is horrifying.


The preferred contract is. Yeah that, that, that's the killer. Yeah. Because I don't even know, you know, not only is he a bad fit for them, but there's no way you can trade that contract unless you took somebody else's mistake back. And Al Horford is not bad. It's not like he's a bad basketball player, but for what they are and what they have. And you could see like even today's game they lose Embiid in the first half they don't have Simmons and Horford actually kind of looked like Horford They look good and it's like Yeah because this is you know he's playing the position he's supposed to play doing the things that he's been doing for the last five years.


He's not a stretch six. Which is basically how they're using them. Let's stretch six, I have not stretch six. Well, we'll take a break and then we will talk about filling one more break to talk about blue apron. Home cooking matters now more than ever. That is for damn sure. With Blue Apron, you can have peace of mind by getting fresh quality ingredients delivered straight to your door so you can cook delicious, easy meals and the comfort of home blue apron takes the guesswork at a dinner more than deciding what to eat.


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When you visit Blue Apron Netcom Simmons Blue Apron Feed Your Soul So Philly loses Simmons looks like for the year.


Embiid gets hurt today, we're taping this right now It is seven thirty Sunday night Pacific Time So I don't know what the Embiid injury is and and they were able to unleash this small ball team with. With Alec Burks, my guy, Sayable, my favorite player in the league. Horford a rejuvenated Josh Richardson who Richardson Yeah, he was like I thought he was shots now he was in a coma in the bubble until today for some reason but but they actually had some energy.


And you know, as always, the body language doctor Bill Simmons is going to look at this and go, what's going on here? Why are you guys playing so much harder without your two best players? And why have you looked so lethargic and some of these other games? And not to overthink the whole thing, but it just is clear that their roster is just too weird. It's not the right mix of guys, and even like removing Embiid and Simmons, which should be a death blow, like if Dallas was his poison gas and looka that teams that competing Philly loses their two best guys and they're kind of like, All right guys, we got this ad and they actually have like a hop in their step and they're flying around and it's just a weird team.


And if on the Celtics.


I am delighted I'm playing them in round one. I don't know if the Celtics are much better, but I would much rather play them to Miami and Indiana. With no simmons', even though we can talk about the challenges, but it felt a little optimistic, maybe a little too optimistic for me that the Shake Milton thing was just going to fix everything. And now Ben Simmons is the force going to be great. But it did look early, early on, at least in the scrimmages.


And some of that stuff is look pretty good. And when they lost the Pacers, I thought they were a mess defensively. When they lost to San Antonio, I actually thought it was Rudy gained to Martirosyan. We're hitting amazing shots, by the way. They didn't lose to him shaken and hit the game, winning three. It looked like they were going to San Antonio. That wasn't bad defense. That was guys hitting great shots. Pacers was terrible defense and I have this thought now with a couple of days to go that there are a handful of teams that are supposed to be pretty good, or at least we have expectations of they still don't really know who they are.


Lakers have no idea. They've changed up their rotation. Again, they're the worst offensive team in the bubble since this restart by a pretty healthy margin. Some weird, weird quotes from them, too. Yep. The teams make when they know something's not right.


The Clippers on paper. I think you and I both like them to come out of the West. But I don't I don't I don't.


Afine feels really like that group has never done anything quite done something. The group has never done anything. Doc has done something, but the group has never done anything. And then Denver is trying to figure this thing out for the port or wildcard thing.


Right now he's he's like the best big wing in the league, which is obviously. Did you watch that? Do you watch that Denver, Utah game? Yeah, it was insane. Was so much fun. It was like a little reminder to who Donovan Mitchell is to.


Yeah. Because I think, myself included, Utah was kind of the cross off team. We just look at everybody from three through six and everybody wanted to play Utah and then you watch them in that game. And the guy, well, Utah is not going to roll over. It's not going to be an easy I don't think they're going to roll over.


Quin's too good, but I would put them in. The group is still trying to figure out who they are. And the bad thing for that, though, is Denver. They beat them all three times now this year and the Jokic numbers against Gobert like as much as they hey they have this big body like nobody can do anything with Jokic He just he you see. Do you see the McKale he did on Gobert.


I thought that was edited where it was like a boomerang video where it was just one move but it was the McKale doubled up.


He he did like three. McHale had the menu of thirteen moves and sometimes he would combo them like a Chinese food restaurant. I'm like I'm going to have the number one with the number three and can I get the number five two? And he would just put three together. Yokich did. He kind of ended up with the McKale up and under, but he had done two other McKale moves leading up to it. It was amazing he was abusing Gobert Abubakar.


The numbers are significant. You go you go and look at him. In you go. All right, so he just does whatever he wants against him. And that's why, you know, whenever we kind of talk about these different teams, Philly had problems. It's still don't know who they were when they had everybody. So I know this has been a constant season long fight about Embiid Simmons as it worked. They figure it out. Was this new thing going to work out better.


Harris doesn't take enough threes Embiid And maybe it's just the Orlando game and it's like Hey it's markelle Fultz Who cares I'm not going to show but Embiid has bad habits his bad defensive habits for as capable as he can be.


He had some habits in some moments in there and then when you look at Embiid on the court with no Simmons was cleaning the glass. It's over twelve hundred possessions and there plus twelve on offense.


I don't know what the thing with Embiid I don't like is when there is a game the other day where he just was going through the motions the first half and clearly somebody said something and he came out third quarter was awesome like whoa a different Joel Embiid this half. I feel like we've seen that too many times with them. I don't when I'm watching the box, I'm not worried about which version of Yoni's is going to show up for the game. It's just going to be honest.


Right. Same thing with Luka. I don't like when younger players can kind of come and go depending on what the situation is. And I know as senators, they're probably more prone to male and a half or whatever. I know it fucking sucks to be seven foot three and you're near the basket. Guys are clubbing you from behind and there's a beating that I would get after a while I would probably suck. But sometimes it just doesn't look like he really wants to be out there.


And it's just the fact. And that seems happy. Yeah, I try not to put too much into some guys that I know are special and how they've looked because we could do a whole thing on the lake is like what's happening at the Cape.


They think that it would really matter all these six games. In Boston was playing hard today and still almost lost to Orlando and had to go to overtime and they had all their guys out there and I would much rather see a team that's good, putting all their guys out there and going, OK, we start the playoffs here in a week. So let's go to some of these teams are still trying to figure this stuff out. And I go upstairs to pick you up here in the series.


Yeah, Boston should have punted that game today because you know, the game that day because they clinched number three. I want all these guys to be healthy. But clearly, Stephens, you're knocking it. Stephen is looking at it like but Stevens is looking at it like we don't know who we are yet. We need if we need every quarter.


That's what I like about it. Yeah, I just made sense.


I like the teams that are going, like you said, about Milwaukee. You know, Dallas, I think knows who they are right now. Portland actually knows who they are and they have to play their asses off for specific reasons. The Pacers know who they are. I don't know for sure knows who they are because they're still playing his own.


You're the worst player in basketball. OK, so the one guy in the rotation that doesn't make a lot of sense, I mean, the Lakers, the Lakers today, the Lakers went with three different rotation guys in that Pacers game.


They Kuzma they put they have Quinn Cook in.


I was like, you know what I've seen him hit big shots for Golden State. The Lakers are at the point where if Quinn Cook was closing playoff games for them, I wouldn't be shocked. I'm not be shocked. I wouldn't be shocked at all. It's like, oh yeah. Quinn cooks now their point guard closer. He wasn't even playing two games ago. Yeah, I agree with you.


I think so. That's the back to the Sixers point. Like, what am I supposed to do with the team now, even if I don't always love the fitness all the same shit we keep talking about all the time now they have no idea who they are. I think it actually is an out for the whole thing to go, hey, let's just bring this whole deal back and then see what happens in a normal setting. If it's a normal setting, but it may be a different coach, which a different coach would mean.


They're definitely not going to change much on the roster because he'd say, OK, we need the right guy to unlock these guys and get it all worked out. And, you know, Simmons, clearly you're better with Simmons and without.


I'm not that dumb. New Orleans is going to have a different coach. Yeah, that didn't work out. The quotes after the game, JJ had a quote where he's basically like. We didn't come out ready to play. Nobody was talking like I said it best. Something's wrong with that team. It just I have no inside info. This is just me reading the tea leaves if that team feels like Tyler waiting to happen. Griffin says, you know, Griffin's there, he loves Tilo, he saw Tilo can do firsthand that team needs like an alpha dog.


I remember him telling me why he hired Lou once where he was just like our team needed, like somebody with balls to stand up. And basically we needed we needed a coach who, you know, was an adult who was going to stand up to the most important player in the league when he had to a couple of times a year. That New Orleans team seems like they need an adult. Because I just can't believe how bad it got on defense after the fact, because there's some pieces there, if that roster's healthy, it's a disappointment.


If it's a normal season with that roster healthy, that has to be a playoff team. It's a nice roster.


What do you do with Lonzo? He's been pretty bad since he came back pretty bad, yeah, yeah, terrible, but, you know, let's let's balance it out with where we felt like it was becoming a feel good story that he figured out the shot. He was a guy you had to guard. Now the Lonzo the the real regular season Lonzo versus the bubbles Lonzo or two different guys.


Bubba Lonzo is atrocious. I don't know what happened to that guy. I'm not writing them off but man he's he's been one of the most disappointing players to me and then I know it's, there's been discourse all over the place. I think everybody has the same reaction. Watch them like that. Just looks too big. What happened to those Bayen photos where he lost 25 pounds, put on twenty five pounds of muscle? Do people have to stop freaking out about Internet photos at the right angle or the wrong angle?


He looks too big. He just does it. This is not an opinion. It looks like he's carrying too much weight. And I don't think it's sustainable. And he's got to get in better shape. And, you know, we're times we're in a pandemic. We don't people don't have gyms. I know he had some personal shit going on, hurt his knee like he's out of shape. But this is when somebody really seriously gets hurt, when they're carrying too much weight in their body with the way that he plays, he's going to get, like, really hurt.


They have to monitor that. And if they can't monitor it and control it, he's going to have problems his whole career. I'm too old. I've seen too many NBA seasons in my life. This guy is going to get hurt unless he gets in shape, the way he plays, the way his body, the amount of pressure he puts on his lower body when he runs and walks, he is not going to stay healthy. He's not. I'll admit, I was watching him shoot free throws the other day and they kind of did a great real artistic here stuff where they did kind of a shot at his feet and then a pan up and the way his knees were turned in just standing there.


And I went, oh, my God, that looks weird. Just doesn't look right. And I think that leads to Gwaii at certain times, the way he runs around and everything. But their defense sucks.


Their defense was so bad when they came back and played. That's the number one thing. But you're right, George's comments and then you and Tzion had some stuff. I was surprised for a guy that young going like, yeah, I don't know what's going on here. We're just not really locked in.


But Zion's defense has been singularly atrocious in the bubble. And it's a bummer because at Duke, I thought he played really hard on defense, that it was conceivable to me that he could be used like Draymond Green as a pro someday in his career because of how hard he played on defense at Duke. And now he doesn't play hard on defense. So either that team, the coach lost the team or there's something going on with that team or he's not healthy or what's going on.


But I, I think it's really disappointing. And I know he put up points, but whatever. This is why I have two eyes and I've been watching basketball my whole life. Something's not right with that team and with him, and they've got to figure it out. He's got to come whenever the season starts next year. That dude cannot be at the way that now, period. Yeah, I just think everybody lost their minds. We saw that photo of them, everybody was like, oh my gosh, like he put in the work and then the ball, they roll the balls.


Out you go. What happened? I mean, it happens.


No fat Derek Jeter. I thought we thought Eddie Lacy one time was 300 pounds because the Internet is that bad.




There's some angles of me that aren't flattering, believe it or not, Bill, I have a couple more small points for oh, we got to talk about Portland. We know we didn't get to that yet. All right. You got the Portland thing because I have a Paul George thing after it, OK? Because it ties in perfectly well. I've talked about Portland for the last two weeks in the pot. I have nothing else to add on them other than I love that.


Dame Lillard is one of the last ties to the 70s and 80s. This guy who has. Really kind of PC relationships with other stars. He's like the one outlier, he really doesn't like Westbrook like you could feel it. Why should he. Why should it. Westbrook all condemning the game. Yeah. Yeah in games he's always been an asshole. And then this Paul George Beverly thing and the little aftermath of that that was kind of unbelievable with those guys taking shots and then he telling Paul George.


I'm just I'm just here doing work. You just keep running away from that grind, that's like the ultimate NBA insult. When the going gets tough, you get going to your next team. I stay here in my team and we're winning. I loved it. I love that. I'm all in on David.


I loved it because he wanted Paul George, all right, because we're going to do a little Paul George history lesson here. Yeah, and we all know Paul George, incredibly talented guy. Everybody would want him to give him Max money. I don't ever like to say about anybody. That person's incapable of winning a title because I think it's very dismissive. I think it's easy to say the odds are in your favor to say that because it is that hard to win a title.


And look, he may win one this year, but it's going to be Kawaii. Or maybe George has this epic run. But this dude hasn't been out of the first round since 2014. Let's go backwards. Lost in the first round of Portland last year, by the way who put him away Lillard that jumper and George although it wasn't but he's like Well it's a bad shot he just got caught. And if you go over the record of George's quotes at times about some things you like, what are you talking about.


All right, so they lose in the first round to Portland. He did put up some big numbers, lost the first round of Utah, game six. He played 45 minutes.


He and Westbrook lost to Utah, who really only had Donovan Mitchell as a rookie, as a rookie, and Paul George in game six, 45 minutes, five points to a sixteen three boards.


OK, wasn't he hurt or like a little bit hurt? I think of everybody a bit hurt. Actually, I forgot that rule was passed a couple of years ago, that anybody that has like thirteen games six and then has less games in game seven, it's because they were hurt somewhere. So like, hey, I was tired. You're averaging thirty eight a game, you're out there. Right. That's exactly when I got tired though was the next one.


All right, so you're about to lose. Twenty seventeen. Swept in the first round against Cleveland game for elimination game. Fifteen points five to twenty one. He fell down on the last possession. I'm not going to get knock him for not tying or hitting a game tying three game for twenty sixteen. They lost in seven games to two raptors. Right. He had twenty six but he finished the game two of eight. He had a turnover then missed a three and then after the game said Hey I'm really tired.


So there you go. And he's like, I'm not Superman. Eastern Conference Finals 2014. He put up big numbers, easier conference finals game seven, 2013. He had seven points in Game seven, 2013 first round game six. It was a clinching game the same year, but he had four points against Atlanta. I'm not going to use twelve and eleven against him because in eleven he was the seventh leading scorer in the Pacers. In twelve, he's the fourth leading scorer.


The point is this. If you're going to come a Dame Lillard have a slightly better playoff resume than what I just read you. You haven't been out of the first round since 2014 and there is a trend that you disappear in some of these massive games throughout your playoff career. He's an extremely talented guy, but Dame who doesn't exactly have a massive playoff resume himself, is the guy that eliminated last year and at least shows up in some of these massive games and who brought a team to Western Finals that didn't have Nurkic and when you see how important Nurkic is this year.


It's kind of amazing they made the Western Finals without him because you could argue he's the second most valuable player in this year's team. Yeah, because when you really realize how bad they were when Golden State without Durant, like Golden State, almost wanted to lose one of those games, and then it was like, oh, I guess why don't we just take care of this now and get it over with? They made they made the Western Finals without the which Gary Trent, my friend Henry calls Gary Trent the witch.


He thinks he's a witch because because he's made 28 threes in five games. He's like something something goes happen here. It's like the which the witches it threes again. But Gary Trent turned into which they rejuvenated Melo and Nurkic came back. Those are three guys they didn't have last year in the Western Finals and they're three of their best six guys. I mean they had cancer last year. Not having to play.


Whiteside, by the way is a big deal.


Yeah but you know what with Whiteside when they play the Lakers they're going to need Whiteside. If they, if they end up in that series they're going to have all these fouls that they're going to have to throw at Davis. Right. They're just going try to wear them down. You're, you're going to need you more than thirty minutes with Nurkic is probably unrealistic because I think he will get in foul trouble. They're going to need Whiteside is my point.


Yeah that may be right. I just, I'm horrified at the idea of Whiteside having to make the decision on a drive lob against a ball handler with those guys because he's going to be like well how do I, does it count as a block with Whiteside.


You probably just try to try to put him against Dwight Howard as much as you can just neutralize each other.


But that would be, that would be that. You're right though. That would be the assignment, even though the jovial stuff has been a little weird. But, you know, that's that's not what I'm going to freak out about. Like, oh, the Lakers and drills not as good. The whole point would be to keep their bodies away. Like, don't let these guys get free. RIM runs on a LeBron drive because that's where Gibbsville and Dwight have had this incredible resurgence because of those plays.


But can I defend Patrick Beverley? I didn't go at Patrick Beverley, you want to know why? Because I actually respect him more. I like Patrick Beverley. I felt like Patrick Beverley was on Brand and I like that he yelled damn time after the tube did to free throw where a choke like four massive lower deserves to get that. If you're going to walk the walk as a super duper star, you got to come through in the end. I like that Beverly stayed true to character Beverly feuds with everybody.


That's who he is when Paul George starts yapping that I had the same reaction as you like. Why are you in this? Where did you come from? That was a really bad I thought that was the worst loss of the bubble. The Lakers, it was because they'd be playing Portland like the Clippers clearly were taking to get Portland in there to mess with the Lakers. They finished with a group, Paul George played in that game. Kawhi was already resting.


Beverly and they sat there. George the last eight minutes. They didn't play him the closing group. At one point it was Morris and they took him out for Patrick Patterson. Magruder was out there. MacGruber was a man. Terence Mann was out there mixing it up with dude Schmidt. They let stay out there and then Portland still gives the game away so that considering everything was on the line and it looked like the Clippers were trying to lose, I thought that's the worst loss I've seen so far.


Doc screwed up because he had Joakim Noah sitting there. If you're if you're really trying to, like, secretly stealth, take the game, you've got to be known for the last five minutes and run some like high screens to them, like run to Joe, come out on screen and roll. Now you're the pop. Yeah, whatever. Searching for three. You've got to get involved because it was clear what they were trying to do. And, you know, that was I thought Portland looked tired in that game.


I unfortunately wagered on them and then came fighting back with the Suns over Miami to win the money back. But did you get that at four and a half or three? Is somebody in Portland because it was just before. Yeah, right. Because there was like Kawhi once they sat quiet for a bit, it was like, oh, they're throwing this game because they want to play the Lakers. And by the way, that's fucking smart. They should want to do that, because if Portland plays the Lakers, that could be a six or seven game series in round one.


And you're just putting miles on LeBron. And I think we're already seen in the bubble like these. These guys are getting worn out. It's hard. They're playing every other day. The times are weird. No games ever. At the same time, you're playing at one o'clock, you're playing at three, you're playing. I played at nine on Friday night. All these things are all over the map. And, you know, if they can put those miles on the Lakers, good for them.


OK, but counterpoint to that, you're not on a flight for three plus months. You basically are covering how much work you have to walk to work or there's a shuttle. I just takes you.


I just think it's abnormal. I think that I think it may be I'm not in your normal experience for these guys, that's fine. But I mean, if you're tired now, the conditions are not normal. But I would think this is you're going to stay way fresher in this condensed thing.


Live in Portland, Portland's been basically outplayed six playoff games. That I'll concede there's an intensity to the games they're playing that's different than everybody else in the bubble because they're and I think Phoenix to some degree. But some teams like Philadelphia played hard not because the fit was better post Simmons and Embiid they played hard because got Josh Richards is like All right now I got shots Orlando didn't have Gordon Isaac, Michael Carter Williams or Fournier against the Celtics and took them to overtime.


Tatum had to hit a three and a two just to get to overtime. You want to know why. Because the rest of those guys want to play their asses off in a real game and prove something. So that is something that consistently keeps happening, too, is that type of bullets as teams are trying to figure out closing groups or even decisions next year? This is almost become like NFL preseason for some of these rosters. And you're running into some teams playing really hard because of desperation, not even based on what their playoff chances are, desperation for their own careers.


One last point thing. I've enjoyed the fact that Melo has been redeemed. As at least a planned rotation guy and who brings stuff to the table like he, you know, he can box out, he can hit open shots when he's trying to post a Bible, that's when it gets a little dicey or it's like you're not winning this carella. But he's a nine man rotation guy still. And I think it's cool because he was out of the league.


And it's pretty unusual. We've seen these guys. Kind of be out of the league, but then come back like TMac on the Spurs, that kind of stuff these days. Oh no, no, he's going to play and then they never play. This is a case where they actually needed him and he's actually playing. And there's not a lot of examples in NBA history of a belated rejuvenation like this. You're right. I love it.


I'm happy for him. And they do need him at times because, you know, he's going to be a guy in a big spot in the first round. And this is something you've said for years where he doesn't look at LeBron as a guy, that he can't hit a shot in his face, you know?


Well, that'll be the irony, right? That Portland Laker series, Carmelo the Lakers could have signed him for how many months there and they just weren't interested for whatever reason. LeBron has I don't think it's even sneaky, Ben, not interested in Melo, but remember, I remember I got in trouble at ESPN because somebody had said, oh, there's some talk about Kevin Love for Melo. And I checked on it and I think it was off that day.


And I tweeted out like, hey, this isn't happening. Yeah, I knew it was like I had it was like, this isn't happening. And then I get a call from the news desk. It was like our reporters work so hard. I'm like, I know they do. But like, you have a guy on TV screaming that they're going to trade Kevin Love for Melo. And I just felt like I sent a tweet saying it's definitely not going to happen because it was more of if Melo wants to do a buyout and come to Cleveland.


Yeah, you do that. But you know, what we're not doing is trading Kevin Love for him. Let's quickly mention Lebanon's. Struggling with the no fans thing, how quick, because I know this bothered you. It's always something. I think he's the second or third best forever. He's the one person in the whole league is having trouble without the fans. Not a problem for everybody else, but for this guy who's one of the three best players of all time, it's like, yeah, you know, it's been hard to deal with.


Like, just admit you have a weird team right now and you're not a lock to win the NBA title like you thought you were in March, like stop with every time and said excuse. This is the roster you picked, you convinced your team to trade basically everything for Anthony Davis. You OK, but that's you're not anti that, right? No, on that report, we're sitting here, right? He he picked he bought the house. He picked all the furniture.


And now he's in the house, and that's it, you can't be that guy. It's been weird. I got to get used to it, that the fans it's like this is your team. You knew it was going to be a little weird. You knew you're going to be relying on Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma. You knew it was going to be hodgepodge with your backcourt dudes and that there is a chance and you know, right after the playoffs started that you might be looking at Quinn Cook and going, all right I guess you're, I guess it's you like this is what happens when you go all in for the Anthony Davis trade, like you're going to lose out on some other things.


You have a new coach. But it didn't look this bad, though, before is the weird part. So all the things you're saying are right, but yet none of that would have been some counterpoint to what they were doing because they were rolling in towards the end. You know, that Milwaukee win. They won a few games.


I know they lost last night against the Nets, Bradley and Rondo, where were a little more important than I think people realized. And even, you know, people people have gone glass half empty with Bradley for a while, including me. But he brought some stuff to the table that they're going to need to plaster's. He has the ability to guard people like Dame Lillard and at least like make them work a little bit. They don't have anybody like that now.


So are you seeing that comment is kind of hindcast light. I have a new topic for you, by the way, Lakers, just to put it. I'll leave you with this Celtics and Portland number one. And number two, bubble offense right now, Boston's one hundred and twenty one points per 100 possessions. That's an insane number. It's like six better than one forty nine against Brooklyn. Right. So it's a little skewed here. So we could do all small sample size and we want one.


Twenty one is a massive number. You never sustain that all time. Lakers are at ninety eight points per 100 possessions. Well, that was where they sat LeBron on Thursday night. I think they wanted to try out these different lineups and see because they're having so much trouble. And he was in the game. I have another topic for you. Tomato growers and the Alex Smith of two guards. That's coming up next. No, you can't you can't give it away, though, like if Alex Smith played in the NBA and was traded a lot and people said he's kind of overrated, but he was underrated, who would he be?


That's next. Well, I'm not throwing her next I'm just starting to see right now to Bardwell's and they are expensive to guards. Explain. You go 10 and six, 11 and five of them, you never feel great about it. He's better than a lot of the options you might have, you don't really want to admit it. You always feel like there's somebody better coming down the pike. But then, you know. The Rosen, who is not a not a lot of fans, the advanced metrics community, no, no, they'll bring up some plus minus that will bring a plus minus stuff.


They'll talk about how he can't shoot threes and this and that. And then you watch these games. And in the last five minutes, he's just putting up to to to his team's now up three. One more basket. They win. He just got another 15 footer. The game's over. And it's like, all right. Well, are there advanced metrics, stats for that, that when this guy has the ball, when he's up three, he can create a fifteen footer and make it, which gives him something in common with like 12 guys in the league.


I think sometimes we do this thing with basketball players where we're either all out or we're all in and there's no in between and the rows brings good stuff to the table. I don't oh, they're in bad shape if he's on your team and people make it seem like. But this is why I said Alex Smith, Alex Smith, there's another one. It's like it was I mean, I, I do better than expected. It's like, well, they just won 12 and four.


He can't be all that bad. I'm that. A good start, bad finish, I'll tell you why, if he were the Alex Smith, if you were the Alex Smith, what he would do is you'd be down three, five seconds left and Smith would pull up from to make it you lose by one and you covered. But Smith would be like fucking made it. Still made it. Alex Smith, if you really want to dig in and do the Alex Smith thing, and I've never been on Alex Smith guy, he's only been benched almost every time he's gone somewhere.


And I know everybody loves them now and what he had to go through, this is an entire side, but if we're just talking about the player himself, it was there were numbers that is whatever you needed to throw to third down marker for Alex Smith, he'd be last. And then he had a weird run where he actually started throwing the ball down the field more, which was kind of like, oh, that's a little surprising, but. I don't think it's a mistake when I went out when when Hardball was like, I'm going to Kaepernick here because they kicked a million field goals that year, were the San Francisco team was pretty good.


But I'm now doing my Alex Smith segment that I've done a million times in radio. So I guess I get your argument, but I'm just trying to make a point at the end of it.


So I'm going to spend the last five years in the Chiefs, who's 50 and 26. Cool. And they drafted a quarterback in the first round.


Yeah, OK. Because they knew I'm just saying to Rosen, if he's your to guard, people are like, how the fuck are the Spurs, how are they doing this? How are they still alive?


It's like well. They they're very well coached, they have a bunch of guys to do what they're doing and at the end of the game to Rosen can get them two points and that's why they keep hanging around and beating these teams. I mean, the Alex, I got you I got you back to us, and I don't think you're that bad. I don't care what the nerds say. I got one more topic for you. Did Magic Johnson taking Lonzo over Tatum?


Make up for the junior skyhook in 1987. That junior skyhook gives me nightmares not because of the game, but because my father did it to me in our one on one battles for about three years after he just stick that elbow right in my head, in the throat. And it wasn't fun to deal with because he's six five. I used to get so mad I'd want to start punching him. So that specific hook shot is is haunting to me.


You could make a case they would have lost that finals anyway. There were still two more games in L.A. If Boston wins that game, it's still two to game five in Boston, the last two in L.A. If Magic takes Lonzo over Tatum which he did and the Celtics are able to do the flip trade get Tatum. Now we have 15 years of Tatum, I would trade the junior skyhook for Tatum, is my point. Were you saying 15 years of Tatum, 15 years that Tatum?


Yeah, now you want 15 years of Tatum instead of that miss yeah, and by the way, you're downplaying that the Celtics probably still lose. They probably were going to lose. They were going to lose. That's what they're going to lose. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I'm cool with it. I mean, it doesn't bother me as much as it does you. I just. Didn't really like playing my dad back then that much.


Well, you you know, it's tough for you because not having the fans there, you the fans, your whole life, but.


But LeBron had he did have another quote, I don't know, I think it was somebody from the athletic where he had said, you know, things that are going on right off the court, but I'm not going to get into those. You're like, dude, you just brought it up. And then I think this writer has a really good relationship with LeBron. And he said he wrote down he actually was in the story. Was it Joe Varden?


I think it was. I hate when I get it wrong and then I don't want to not credit somebody. I thought it was Joe Barton. Yeah. And he's the writer said he went up to LeBron and wrote down what he thought he was speculating and he wrote it down on a piece of paper and showed it to LeBron was like, hey, is this what you're talking about? And he said, LeBron shook his head. So big mystery.


But hey, LeBron is a very theatrical guy, OK? He I've said this for twenty years now about him, almost twenty years. He is a theatrical guy. He he plays up to the audience. And so, you know, he's adding a little mystery to the whole thing. I narrowed it down to two things that he was upset about. One. Dan Rivers, has anyone made it a full year with Dwight Howard without being like Jesus Christ?


Kind of get away from this guy. Because they're now. How many months now with Dwight dating going back to October, they get a break for four months now they're in the bubble with them. Is Dwight Howard. He's had more team, more teammates have turned on him over the last 12 years than anybody else in the recent history. That was that was one instinct I had. And then the other one was I was wondering if he was lobbying, lobbying Avery Bradley to come back.


That's not a terrible theory on the second one at all. Yeah, because what if they struggle and Bradley goes, you know what? Maybe I can go down now, maybe treated like NFL pre-season. I know Bradley has some stuff with the family and some health concerns there. So and I was never criticizing Bradley for not coming down.


Me neither. But but it's now been six weeks later. Maybe Bradley's looking at it and, you know, I'm sure I'm sure they've put it this way. I'm sure they've kept in touch with him. Because you can always change your hand and go into the bar. Yeah, yeah, I mean, you got to in your job if you're not checking and saying, hey, you watch the games or whatever, and it's kind of like a weird thing, but I don't know his personality well enough to be like, can you get on the phone with him or is he turned off by the idea like, hey, I said what I said.


And so that means I'm not going to ever come down there. The Dwight theory, though, I love I'd like to play with this for a little bit. Thank you. Think do you think Dwight shows up and like all the guys are leaving the taco place and Dwight's like, oh, we thought we told you five thirty.


Yeah. What you guys for thirty. They get to text. Dwight's talking to his buddies.


It's like I keep missing the meals. I think I have I think there's a set, there's two text change, there's a team text chain and then there's another one that Dwight's not on where they're like, all right, who's hanging out Dwight today?


Kuzma you're up He's got got to go play ping pong with him for like an hour I couldn't stand the irony of Malik Andrews bubble story right when everybody first got there on ESPN Dotcom and I interviewed her about it and I guess so there was a D.J. and there were lights and everything was going and it was kind of dead and the only guy that showed up was Dwight. Did the Dwight has a history of this? Teammates get tired of them. Nobody this is like when I was writing my book.


You read these old Sports Illustrated and you read these different books, and there's just certain guys that there's just a shitload of quotes about them from people that either played with them or played against them. And they're just all murdering the guy like Rick Perry was like that. You could go find a million negative. Rick Perry quotes. Wilt Chamberlain was another one. Walt Bellamy, you got in the 70s like Spencer Haywood. That was a guy that, you know, got torched by everybody, so on and so on.


And Dwight was just one of those guys for the last 12 years. Have you heard about anything that's going on? Because I have not. I thought when the situation was a big deal for 48 hours and it kind of went away and you heard people were calling it and then it's turned into leaders of teams are going to Adam Silver. Right. And I was wondering, I got to love that. Yeah.


Because that's the deal, I guess, is he wants everyone to call him directly, which is really saying even wait.


I want that. Really. That's well, good challenge on your part. What is the wrong word? He wants people to think he's that accessible, but he probably doesn't enjoy all of it. That must be brutal. Imagine he's like who he play for and he's like, what?


He's like Gabriel who Teemu on bunkers on the Vargas on the phone for you, Adam Scott's of thoughts about the Wizards he wanted. He gets the question about the thread count on the sheets, like whether they're not going to be in the bubble long.


I, I want I can't I hope it happens, but I really hope somebody does. Five years from now, a removed here's some of the shit that was going down and some of the arguments and some of the clicks and some of the fighting. The tampering thing is like people that are going, oh man, is it really going to lead to tampering unless you're going to outlaw phones? It's just it's I know Draymond says it on TV. The league has to find him 50 grand for saying what he said about Booker having to get the hell out of Phoenix.


But people that spend time complaining about player on player tampering is just find better battles because that one's pointless. With that said, drayman had to know news getting fined when he did that book or thing, I think it was intentional. And by the way, I watched the whole drama thing. I thought he was great. Like, he's definitely a future TV guy. No, he's perfect, I think. Yeah, I used to feel this way about Berkeley in the 90s and even wrote about it on my website that barely anybody read at that point.


But it was like Berkeley was clearly the next guy and it was going to be amazing. Oh, my God, I can't wait. Wait till he's a TV guy and I feel that way about Draymond. I think he's going to be amazing. If he actually commits to it. I think he'll start fights constantly and say stuff and do it the right way, like the way Perkins is doing it right now is maybe a path I would not advise.


But I think with Draymond, I like the way Inter played with Kenny and Charles, like he was doing some advance TV stuff, even like, oh he was, he was so comfortable with me.


He beat Kenny to the big picture thing. He sprinted and beat him like he, it was just like he had done it for ten years. I was really impressed. Yeah. Very, very impressive. Perkins he's just yells at me every day and I don't know what to do about it.


I can't tell if it's a bit with him or not. I don't think they really believe everything he's saying, though. You know, it's weird about the TV business is the athlete, because, you know, perched on a star but perk. Kind of like the Rasheed Wallace, where when I first started asking about Rasheed and every teammate would tell you how much you love Rasheed when Monty McCutchen was on the Potteiger, which player did you not like to officiate?


He goes, Rashid, but it wasn't because he was always getting technicals. He knew the rulebook better than all of us. I'm like Rashid because Rashid was one of the smartest guys I've ever officiated. Rashid knew the rulebook inside and out, and I've always heard these great things about Rashid as a teammate, and I've heard the same things about Perkin's. I would not say about the officiating part of it, but as far as teammates loving him and so that that's always the important thing to me.


But when you first get to and I think you're in agreement, when you first get to an ESPN and you stand out by saying a ton of stuff, and sometimes it's crazy shit, too, that's like the best way to win early. But if you want to do it for 10 years. Sometimes you can, like, burn really bright and then people can be like, wait, does he does he always really believe that shit? Like I thought Skip Bayless believe the thing he said that decade it's worked out fine for him.


So and I did a couple of hits with before I had left ESPN and I really, really liked him.


And I like him too, because, yeah, when he does the CELTA Games, he doesn't do it. So that's why I think it's shtick on ESPN, because in the South, the games, he's he's way more thoughtful. I think he's definitely playing a character on the ESPN stuff, and it plays early because it gets you noticed it does. And I've seen like I've seen some analysts that came in and maybe had one or two years and things didn't really go their way.


And then year three, they're like, all right, it's on. And they just start saying outlandish stuff. And sometimes it works and then sometimes it can kind of burn. It burns out a little bit, you know, because it's like too much everything. And I'm not saying personally doing that, but, you know, somebody who sat at all these desks with all these different people, it's something I definitely always watch, you know, think about.


Well, I thought even though we didn't have fans, that I thought you did a great job and I thought your energy was really high. I feel great and I could take another one, right, I could be very watchable right now on anything, name it.


We have and we have last the Mohicans coming tomorrow.


Sorry, Miss Ellen. That's OK, I'll pass on that and pass them on my out of the remarkable rotation now because I'm worried about minutes, I don't know how to talk. You're not out of it. Sorry. You have to you have to podcast coming this week. I do, and I'm for either one yet, so I have to work. I'm in this week and we will see you next Sunday. Oh, before we go, I want to do this quickly.


You know, I was upset about how I had to hand in my word out early, yes. In my MVP early, and I was like, fuck, that sucked. I would have the same first team, I would have the same second team. Third team, this is why you don't hand in the ballot early, Ben Simmons was barely my third team guard, but now he wouldn't be because he got hurt and out at Booker or Lowry in their.


Who would you have Booker Lowry at 30 Mahabir, it's Lowry is better team, he's the best player in a really good team. Yeah, so I feel bad. I can't change that now. But my final picks next week. Next week. So this baseball season ends Friday. And then and then we head to the bubble playoffs, so when we come back on Sunday, we will have. We'll just be into it, we'll be doing our whole whole playoff thing, I don't do you know what day the playoff starts?


I guess one 17 elimination games. Right. So the bubbly events Friday and then the then we'll have the double elimination game, whatever that is, I guess, on Sunday night. So maybe our next podcast will be right after that.


So we'll see you. Next Sunday at Roselyn, I could see you as always. All right, thanks, buddy. All right, thanks to Spotify, thanks to Salau. Don't forget to check out CBS All Access and thanks to Home Depot with the Home Depot decorating, your home is now easier than there before. Free delivery and select items, 45 dollars or more. Good deal. And now for a limited time, you get 10 percent off the stores you love when you use code.


Bill Simmons 10 one zero at checkout valid on select items online. Only Bill Simmons can find exactly what you're looking for. And more at Home Depot dot com slash decor. Rewash was this coming Monday night last the Mohicans. Two more podcasts here this week on the best pod, including a surprise guest.


There's a celebrity that you wouldn't expect would be on this podcast, but when you listen to it, you're going to be glad he was. That's all coming up to more of this week. Enjoy the start of your week. Stay safe out there.