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Stay tuned for that. Check out Higher Learning and the Ringer podcast network. Really good podcast this week. Rachel Lindsey taking a victory lap as we now have a black bachelor and a black bachelorette. Rachel's been calling this for ever. And the part was really funny this week. The victory lap was well earned and hilarious. And speaking of Van, the Y are way down in the hole there into season three now vintage Valhall. And that is for me, pound for pound, the most entertaining wire season and one of my favorite TV seasons.
Ever, and the one you know, Rocky is the best rocky, but Rocky three was the most entertaining Rocky. The wire season three is the most entertaining wire season. It just is so you can listen to them coming up in one second. Steve Kerr and Nathan Hubbard, I'm licking my wounds with the Celtics. I'm upset. I wanted the bubble season to go better for them. I don't think they've looked that good. I can't believe Brad Wannamaker semillas.
They are playing as much as their three first round picks. Last year we had cap space to find at least veteran minimum people and and Kemba hasn't played more than twenty eight minutes left. The team looks all over the place. Some of these teams look like they really haven't played basketball together in four and a half months, which is true. Other teams look like they've been playing this whole time, like Toronto. I don't know what to make of where we're going with the seating's whether all this stuff even matters you saw today, like the Clippers lose to the Suns, the bucks lose to the nets.
I don't know why you would ever bet any favorite there in this bubble of basketball ever. It feels like we are headed for the weirdest playoffs we've had in the 21st century for the NBA. Everything is on the table. I was arguing because it's all about this because he thinks that only five teams can win the title. I think you could tell me nine teams could win the title. I think this is just so weird. It's such a weird atmosphere to play in every other day.
Injuries are going to play an even bigger part than usual, because I just think we're going to have a lot of them with the frequency of these games. And then it's just it's just got a weird feel to it in a good way. I think it's going to be really unpredictable. I you have told me in the beginning of March, Otha said the only three teams that have a chance to win the title are the Bucs, the Clippers and the Lakers.
Anybody else somebody on those three teams would have had to have gotten injured to have a chance. Now, after watching bubble basketball for five, six days and I don't know, you could tell me anything's going to happen, I believe. I mean, the freaking Nets beat the Bucs today. They had dudes that I had never heard of six months ago, like their point guard. Where did that dude come from? It's it's kind of great, it's like the real life replacement's.
Remember that movie with Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves? The Nets are now the replacements. Gene Hackman, classic performance in that it's it's not quite good enough to be a very watchable and yet Gene Hackman just squinting to see the cue cards, just rattling off lines that Gene Hackman auto play, I really enjoyed that movie, but maybe like season six of the movie watchable anyway. All right. A man like Steve Kerr and Nathan Hubbard coming up in one second.
First, our friends from Pearl Jam.
All right, so we hear about everybody in the bubble, what's going on inside the bubble? We don't hear about the people trapped outside the bubble like Steve Kerr. It's not allowed. He didn't qualify to make the bubble. You're just standing outside watching games like the rest of us. This is the first NBA season or part of a season you haven't been a part of. Since when? Gosh, that's that's a good good question. Last time I was with a team that didn't make the playoffs was Phoenix, we missed the playoffs when I was a GM.
In 09, I think, oh, yeah, yeah, and then as a player, Orlando oh, you made it in Orlando, Cleveland, you made it. No, no, we didn't make it with Orlando. It was Shaq's rookie year. And that's actually a great story. I think we've talked about this. I was when we tied with Indiana and it went to like five different tiebreakers. And I've never seen this before. Like head to head was tied, conference record was tied, record versus playoff opponents was tied.
It finally got to the fifth tiebreaker, which was total score between the four between the two of us in our game against each other. Yes, this actually happened. But the score, the story gets better because Indiana ended up over the four games outscoring us by like ten points. So they get the eight seed. This was ninety two. So they get the eight seed Orlando goes to the lottery and wins the lottery. That's great. That's how Chris Webber became Penny Hardaway and three future first round picks and all that random tiebreak.
It's so weird. They just didn't have a coin flip that it was like total points in four games is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. So random because obviously nobody knows while those games are going on. You know, it's not like soccer where you know, you know exactly what you need and and, you know, you're playing at home. And the aggregate score, you know, you have to win by two, whatever it is. I mean, this is this is four random NBA games that are happening.
And then after the fact, they made the decision to to go to the tiebreak on the score. Really weird.
Yeah, that's them. All right. So since the last time you've been on this podcast, you made the finals. You lost two of your best players in the finals. One of the best players in the world left your team, went to another team. You you had your own podcast that your podcast that worked.
Flying coach. You missed the playoffs this season. Stop. There's a pandemic and now you've had more time to scout a top five draft pick than maybe any team has the history of the league. These are all just things that have happened since the last time you've been out, not to mention nine other things.
Yeah, not particularly in that order. Right. To pretty random. Pretty random. But I have to say, the you know, the Orlando thing is funny. I mean, obviously, we were we were having a really rough season, worst record in the league. And it's been it's been a grind this year. And so when the Orlando thing happened and I don't I don't think a lot of us were that disappointed to to not be invited, you know, especially the guys who who have been part of this thing the last six years, you know, Steph Draymond, Klay, you know, guys needed a rest.
They needed to get away. But now that it's going, I haven't talked to those guys about it. Actually I talked to Draymond about it but I haven't talked to Steph or Klay, but Draymond and I both kind of feel the same way, which is we kind of want to be there like we're missing out games. These games look fun. I think the NBA is doing a great job. The games are competitive, the players look great and yeah, to not be there is actually kind of painful.
Were you surprised at the quality of play? I mean, a piece of this is that the worst eight teams in the league aren't playing so that the just the quality of matchups is way better. It was like, you know, every night there's three awesome games. But at the same time, you were there in the lockout in ninety nine when guys came back and half the league was out of shape and the quality of play was really choppy, people were getting hurt.
And this time around it's the complete opposite. Why do you think it's so different this time around. Maybe because this happened during the middle of the season or late in the season, but not in the off season, so I think guys were more aware that the season could start back up. And, you know, I know we made that notion to our players that you got to stay ready for anything. We don't know what's going to happen, but, you know, and we can't practice but keep yourselves in shape.
I think, too, there's probably a dynamic today that players in general keep themselves in better condition than players did 20 years ago. I don't know if that's fair or not, but it feels like there's more of a focus and players have more resources to do so to keep themselves in the best possible shape in the off season. Yeah, I would think it was part resources, part just as social media is growing right now where you're just going to get ridiculed and you can feel that changing over the last decade.
I remember being on TV when Hardin's defense, when he got to Houston, when he just wasn't playing defense that well, one of those first 16 years. And it became like a thing on the Internet. And you think, like, he had to have seen it 20 years ago. You're getting made fun of on sports radio, maybe by the localhost, maybe a heckler is yelling at the game, but that's it. Now, it's like in your face if you're failing at all times.
So I do wonder if that's part of it. These guys, you know, they they they spotlight's on them 24/7.
It could be you know, I say all the time that I think it's never been more difficult to be a professional athlete than right now because of that. You got to find a way to either use it as motivation, which you're suggesting, you know, that judgment and that criticism and that constant sort of observance that everybody gets to make. But you also have to try to learn how to live with it and not absorb it too much, you know, because it can wear you down all that all that negativity.
And so, yeah, back then, it was easy. It was easy just to avoid stuff if you wanted to. But these days and, you know, Pete and I, a Pete Carroll and I talked about it in our podcast quite a bit, especially when we would talk to other coaches like Doc Rivers and Pop. You know, you come in before a game now or at halftime, guys are on their phones. The phones never leave players hands because it's just what they've grown up with.
And so it's a it's a different, different time. And there's just so much criticism and judgment coming their way. Well, just think, if we had all the stuff in the late 90s, your blood feud with John Stockton, it would have just gone to a completely other level. You'd have been taking shots on Twitter, really. It was it was beginning to spark. And you and John Stockton, I think the 90s, those are the two feuds I remember the most.
You can feel it. And some of the last had stuff to chippy every game. There's just no love lost.
It was chippy. Yeah. It would have been it would have been a lot bigger had we had Twitter back that you talk about guys who take shit.
So you traded for one Wiggins who is much maligned, expensive, former number one draft pick. People are always constantly disappointed with him. Then he goes to you guys and fits right in and it was clear there's some change of scenery stuff that helps. But also, like sometimes guys almost become underrated. When the expectations are way up here, you're still he's still pretty young. Were you surprised? Because I don't know what your what your thoughts on him were before that, but were you surprised when he got there, the stuff that he could do and what you saw?
I wasn't surprised at all about what we saw because, you know, I've coached against him now for the last six years and he's had big games against us. You know, the biggest thing for us was all about what you need today to to win games. You know, the game has changed so much and it's so hard to guard. You know, I watched Houston, Dallas the other night. It was one fifty one, one forty eight. I mean, how do you guard anybody?
You know, there's nobody in the paint. You got 10 guys who can shoot threes and penetrate and kick. So you got to have size and versatility on the wings. And you think about our roster, you know, losing Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, those guys obviously for good, you know, to to retirement on to free agency. And then Klay Thompson for the year. That's basically our main wing core defensively. And those guys represented along with Draymond everything that not only we've been about over the last five, six years, but what the league has turned into, you know, multiple positional defenders who can complement one another and just guard their position, but also guard two or three other positions.
And so Andrew has the size and athleticism to do exactly that. And we knew that. And he was an excellent defender for us during that, during the last stretch and played really well offensively. And, you know, he may not be, you know, an MVP candidate, but he's a damn good player and he fits right in with what we're trying to do. And he gives us some of that defensive versatility that we lost with all those defections.
Well, you guys, so you have this bubble and everybody's here that's going to matter. And over the course of the decade, I feel like. Except for the Warriors, but this is kind of the one year next year you're going to be back if this top five pick whatever happens, whether we take somebody or trade, whatever you have, this is just kind of monitoring it, watching it. But you're kind of the shadow that's looming over these playoffs, right?
Because next year you're going to be in this mix at the same time. I remember texting with you last year as that fifth season was going. And you just kept saying every time, like people don't understand how hard this is, they don't understand five years of this. They don't understand what this is like. This is crazy. This is insane. Nobody gets it. And you had been through it a couple of times now. You had the break, the hiatus.
You've got to jump back into it next year. Did you need this? I mean, you've you've been pretty public. It's hard to talk about. Like, yeah, it's awesome that we suck this year and we had to rebuild at the same time. Like, is it possible for our basketball team to do that for more than five years? Yeah, that's that's the question and it's tough to to look back historically and find examples of that. You know, the Celtics in the 60s, obviously with Bill Russell, the Lakers in the 80s with Magic and Kareem, they went the whole decade.
But, you know, it's pretty rare in the modern era especially to for to see anybody go more than five, six years. So we're obviously hoping that we can buck that trend and, you know, get get back at it next year. And we think, you know, right now, what's that?
You're starting over the next year, basically year one of whatever this new kind of air is for you, which we are, except we're starting over with an all star backcourt, you know, the two of the two greatest shooters ever to live who technically are still, you know, in their prime. So we think we have a chance to be really good. And and, you know, we've we've added, Andrew, obviously, as we talked about, you know, Draymond still has plenty in the tank.
And we really felt felt good about some of our young guys developing this year and getting that draft pick. So and some ways we're starting over, but we have a you know, we have a head start. We're not starting from scratch, you know, but it is a different sort of iteration of of our team. And that's exciting. That's what makes it fun. You're starting over with a team that went seventy three and four years ago, but with those three guys, you're kind of back to that identity.
Yeah, I was even thinking about it watching the last dance where, you know, everyone remembers the Pépin year that's covered in that thing when Jordan goes to play baseball and the bulls are still a contender. But the year when Jordan came back, the team was not doing that well. It was a five hundred team and it was the wear and tear combined with some roster atrophy. And, you know, maybe the coach isn't resonating the way he maybe he did three or four years ago.
And that was a team that if MJ doesn't come back. I don't know, you know, maybe it's like a seven seater and I don't I don't think anything good would have happened, but yeah, it made me think like even you see with the twin Lakers oh oh oh one or two, they win 003. Duncan gets them before they had the Fisher shot, saves them, but then they get crushed in the finals and it's over and that was another five year thing.
And maybe, you know, at this hundred game seasons that maybe that's how this plays out. To do it for more than five years, I think is in this modern era with the players switching, all that stuff is going to be pretty hard and won't even talk about that. The fact that keeping your team together is harder than it's ever been, right?
Yeah, it's really hard. I mean, you know, players are more likely to to want to seek a new opportunity elsewhere, but also just the way the cap is constructed. You know, it's really hard to pay everybody. And if you have a good young team like like we did, you know, five, six years ago, you need you need a break and somewhere you got to get lucky. And where we got lucky was with Steph signing the contract when he had the ankle surgery that that made him hugely underpaid.
Yet that allowed us. And then the cap spike that came when the cap went up and that allowed us to to sign Kevin. But, you know, before long, everybody was a free agent. And and you so you got Steph Klay making Max Draymond making near Max. Kevin would have made Max and this this required an ownership group that was willing to go so far over the tax and pay, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and and they were willing to do it.
But it's it's so rare that that anybody will ever get to that point. So I think it's much more likely that you're going to see shorter windows for four teams.
We look back at that five years. You won three titles. What was the what was the number that it should have been, because three feels right, but, you know, four and five, I would say the overunder heading into that five year stretch, if you had told me they're getting different after they win the title in 15, you would have said maybe three and a half. And you win three, but three feels like kind of the right number four with how hard it is to keep guys healthy over one hundred game season.
Right. You know, you're just going to have bad luck with at least one of the year's, which finally happened to you last year.
But right now it's just hard. Yeah, it's a hard game to play because, you know, you could you could make the argument that if we had beaten Cleveland in 16, Kevin wouldn't have come. Right. You know, and if he hadn't have hadn't come, there's no way we would win, you know, won the next couple. I mean, he was the finals MVP two years in a row. Yeah. So who knows? I mean, everything kind of happens sequentially.
And I just know that it was an incredible run that we'd like to kind of, as we talked about, start anew. But, you know, as a coach, what you really want is you want to be able to have a shot at it as an organization. You just want to swing at the plate and then you kind of you kind of live with, you know, your fate. And as long as everybody is is all in and you go for it, you know, sometimes things are going to go your way.
Sometimes they're not. And you just move on. It's a good spot for a coach to be in for a rebuilding year. No pressure like they want to hurt Steve. What's he going to do an extra year? It's great. Yeah, well, you just nailed it. Yeah. Wait till next year to 2017. Where is the first Katy's first year. I spent a lot of time thinking about this because there is no basketball and I'm just watching old basketball games, which you got sucked into to you were you were watching some of the old ones.
I think we all just missed basketball. And I don't know if I wrote my book again, which I never will, because I'm too lazy, that 2017 Warriors team would be in the top five and I don't know what the place would be. But if you're just talking about hardest team to defend. With all the shooting in the way basketball is played now, but then it gets into that weird game of, well, if you take the eighty six Celtics, is McKale shooting threes or is it the eighty six Celtics themselves?
And then your brain breaks. But it's kind of hard for me to believe if we just had a time machine and threw everybody into a series that the 17 warriors with all the threes that feels like that should be worth like eight to nine extra points a game in any hypothetical matchup. Right. Do you think that team who would have been the biggest problem for that team? Historically, yeah, if you take any of the great teams, you're matching them up with the seventeen warriors who who's the team that you're like, Oh shit, they would be a problem because I would say the eighty six Celtics, but I'm biased.
And I'm biased. So I'm going to say the ninety six bulls. Yeah. I mean I think honestly when I look back at that Bulls team, that team was actually built to play today. Now minus the volume of three point shooting. But that but I think that team was capable of it. But when you're talking about the versatility that you need to defend today, if you throw if you throw out onto the court Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Tony Q Coach and Dennis Rodman, that's a 20 20 defense right now, that those five guys can guard anybody.
And and then offensively, you know, nobody can nobody ever could guard Michael Jordan. Then you can imagine now with the spacing and and the rules and and Q. Coach was was unbelievable. He was way better than than people really remember him for. And so, you know, and that's the hard part. You said it. It's so hard to to compare eras. So, like, you know, to take us against, you know, the seventeen warriors against the Lakers of eighty six, you know.
So are we really going to guard Kareem down on the block. You know, can we. Draymond Yeah. Yeah. How are you going to do that. But Tarantino Yeah. Yeah we'd have to. But then is he, is Kareem really going to come out and guard high screen and roll with Steph. You know, like there's all these things that don't match up that you can just chalk up to a completely different era, totally different style.
You know, that team never had to account for what we do and vice versa. So you literally can't even play that game. But the reason I love thinking about the Bulls in this era that ninety six ninety seven team is because I think that team fit into an era. Yeah. Well also you think like. Somebody like Ku Coach is a classic born too soon guy, right? Yeah, yeah, because nowadays he would just be a stretch for he would take probably seven, eight threes a game.
And you could even maybe make them point for it in some situations, like you would just play Steph off the ball with him and stuff like that. And it was I was thinking about stuff that Roselyn, I would talk about on the pot on Sunday because we're watching these old games and we were like deep diving, all these different bulls games, thinking of some guys that just don't make sense for the current era at all that we're playing big minutes.
Right. Like somebody like Adam Keefe, who was a valuable guy in a jazz team that made two finals teams. And that kind of guy is just out of the league. You know, if you have like that Bangar Bruiser, putback guy, there's no place for him. And he has to learn how to shoot threes or is out. That's it. Yeah.
Or and you can even go higher up the food chain. And, you know, I mean Adam was a really good role player. You could go to all star level players, you know, and do the same thing. Buck Williams was a hell of a player, right? Old school. You know, Foreman just he was going to knock you down. He was going to rebound. But his shooting range didn't really extend beyond about fifteen feet. So how would how would he fit into today's game?
You know, today, if you can't shoot beyond, you know, the three point line and you're a big man, it's it's really hard. You better be a lob threat because now everybody's just spacing the floor and your five man has to be a lob threat to get that vertical spacing. You know, Dallas comes to mind, you know, you're a guy like Dwight Powell is is such a good lob threat. And then they put the ball in Loukas hands and they spread the floor.
And then defensively, you know, you don't know where to go. You know, you got so much to cover. And that's the modern that's the modern game. And that's what everybody's doing, is they're putting you in these really difficult situations where you've got to cover so much more court than ever before.
What you texted me that over the weekend. I was imagining you just watching six games in a row, just as a fan for the first time in a while. And you see, I was so fascinated by some of the Portland games were great. And I watched every minute of both of them and how teams are defending Lillard now where he's thirty five forty feet from the basket. They're just trapping them because they don't want him. Everybody spread out and then he has a choice like he can just immediately get rid of the ball to the to Nurkic or whoever's out up there trying to help or just try to break it.
But when he breaks it he has the ability to go full speed into the middle, do a layup with either hand or kick out two or three. And it's like everything is being decided at the 40 foot mark of the basket that I just think if you had shown me that in the mid eighties I would have known what the fuck was going. Right. Right. You know, in the eighties it was like you're just trying to get as close to the rim as you possibly could.
That's your offense. And this is like teams going, no, no, no. We got we got to figure this out for like, where are we going? I guess is my question. I don't know.
I don't know. I remember we had a game against Cleveland in. Can't remember if it was 15 or 16, not a finals game, a regular season game, and we were we were flying to onto the next city and all the coaches have had their laptops. We're all watching the game. Same thing every team does. You you go right from the locker room. You get on the plane, you open your laptop and you're watching the game. And there was a play, you know, Steph made a couple of threes and there was a play.
I've never seen this before. He crossed half court. Draymond came up and set a screen literally at the semicircle at half court, and Kevin Love blitzed him. You know, he jumped. He jumped the screen at half court and I froze the picture. I turn it around. I showed the two coaches who are sitting across from me. I said, Have you ever seen anybody get blitzed at half court? And it was shocking because nobody ever shot the ball from out there.
But. Right, but but, you know, so you always in the past, you you would blitz kind of at the three point line. But Cleveland was understandably because Steph was Steph, they they decided to blitz Steph all the way out at half court. And I had never seen it before. And but like you said Lillard Harden's another one. Yeah Harden. I mean don't, don't you. I mean there's so many guys now Trae Young you got to, you got to think about doing something with thirty five feet from the basket.
It's crazy. Well no shooting ranges are crazy too like in that Dallas comeback Houston had Friday. Heartens at that what's that hashmark thing that sticks out, it's like thirty five feet from the basket steps made a couple of fucking threes from there just for like fun harden just in the flow. It's like, oh, I'm open. And just banks went home and cuts it from six to three. And the announcer was even like shocked. It was like a thirty five footer and he was just like, yeah, I'm going to take this.
And it just seems like the marksmanship. I think about when when you were playing in the mid 90s and people like Steve Kerr, mazing, three point shooter, you were taking like normal shots and the flow of the game, you know, wide open threes or, you know, catchin shoots. These guys now have a dude in front of them and they're doing like step backs. Thirty. I don't. What does it make sense to you that the shooting is getting better?
I think people are working so hard at it. They're just coaches and players are understanding the importance of it at every position. Yeah. So you got a guy like TJ Warren at Indiana. You know, when he came up a few years ago in Phoenix, you knew he was a bucket getter, you know, so he'd come off the bench and you really worried about him. But he seemed more like an old school scorer, you know, kind of elbows and 15, 18 feet.
And he'd score in transition, big, strong body. And, you know, the other night he had fifty three. I watched twenty three. How many threes did he make? I can't I can't remember. He made a few but it was, it was some eighteen, a lot of eighteen 15 footers mixed in there too. Just down. But he's got so now but now he's added the three to two to that game. And so I think the point is you got guys who never would have dreamt of shooting a three.
Right. You know, ten years ago even. And every single guy on the roster is now shooting a couple of hundred threes a day at least. And we have, I think, more technology, more knowledge about how to, you know, how to teach guys to shoot and things that that we can do to to help them help the process along. It's it's pretty interesting. Yeah, I I wonder about, you know, when we were growing up.
You had like the guys with the weird shots, right, like Jamaal Wilkes. Yeah, and it's just like, wow, that's that's a shot I've never seen or like Mike Evans people, Mike Evans shooting it from, like, his right shoulder. And now everybody shoots the same with perfect motion that they've learned what by like age 11, where it's like elbow move your hand release. And maybe if you're doing that for 15, 20 years and you're your mechanics are perfect by the time you're in the sixth grade, maybe that's the difference, because I'm always struck by the mechanics, how nice everybody's shots are and how little varied variation there are in shooting styles.
Now, you know, for the most part, everybody has the same shot. Well, there's and there's so much effort that goes into it day after day after day and at every level, and and of course, what you miss now is you never see a guy who comes into the league with a low post game. You know, the days of Tim Duncan coming in as a rookie and going down to the low block looking like Kevin McHale with his footwork, you know, reverse pivot, fake step through lands.
You don't see any of that because players don't grow up going down to the block. They grow up going to the three point line, and then they practice hundreds and hundreds of threes. So, you know, the game has has completely changed and and even the Spurs are doing it. You have you watch the Spurs. They've been they've been really fun to watch in the in the bubble. Yeah. It's funny. I was like, please don't make the playoffs Spurs.
I would much rather see Portland or Memphis in there. And the Spurs are just I don't know. They know how they know what they're doing at the end of the games at the Rosen, who is like much maligned now and the advanced stats community. And then if it's a tie game in the last minute like he's scoring. So it's I don't know what stat there is for that, but he knows at least how to get two points.
Well, he's now there. He's now there for man, you know, and instead of being the two, he's now the four. They're playing they're playing all their young guards. I mean, they're they're doing the smart thing. They're taking this as a chance to develop their their young guys. Right. And and their young guys look great, but they're they're playing a different style. And it looks like they're having fun and but, you know, game after game now, you just see you can see the floor opening up more and more and more.
Houston, Milwaukee was a fascinating matchup to watch. It really was. And so, yeah, the question about where where does it go and where does it end? Maybe maybe the answer is, you know, Houston, Dallas. Five men who can shoot threes, pausing, is shooting a 30 foot are out at the top of the key. That's your center. How do you how do you defend the paint when the center is out there shooting in Houston, basically saying we're just not going to play a center and having all five guys shoot threes?
If that's the if that's the future. You know, defensive coordinators have a have a tough job on their hands. Yeah. Houston was basically saying to poison gas, yeah, if you want to take seven footers like beer, gas, we're going to be taking threes on the other end, so. You know, we'll go three, four to the that's going to be in our favor, I don't know how that's going to play out from a playoff standpoint because we have no home court advantage.
Really, what we're just watching as a fan of this whole thing, this home court advantage matter at all anymore in this, or is this just like basically a weird tournament in Turkey, like a FIFA World Championships tournament? What is this? I don't know. I mean, you know, not being there, it's it's hard to to really have any feel for it. And I haven't talked to any of the coaches, you know, in the last week or so to get an idea.
I will give the NBA a lot of credit. The games come across really well. The broadcasts have been great. The sound, the the visuals, it's a really, really high quality presentation. And the players have been fantastic and energy is great. So I'm really enjoying it. But I don't know that anybody really has any idea what to expect as this all unfolds over the next couple of months.
It's been wonderful on the West Coast. There's games coming on, there was a 10, 30 Monday, Monday morning game yesterday, it was almost like March Madness and it was a good game, you know, like and throughout the day, you know, it's like, oh, man, I like that. But I like that one. And I think we all miss basketball so much. From the social justice standpoint, you you had the coaches association, which I didn't really know about.
So we you and Pete were talking about it on your iPod, trying to figure out. What would you want to do as coaches had a mentor, your players, just what your role was in this whole evolving universe as the country is trying to figure out all these different things and the players are trying to figure out how do we fit as role models? How do we fit in as as human beings who want to make a statement or stand up for whatever.
What was your role as a coach during that whole thing?
Yeah, I mean, I think we're it's still evolving and we're and as coaches association, we're all kind of going through that all the time and sorting through it. We have conference calls frequently. I think, you know what we've what we've sort of zeroed in on his education. I mean, in the end, we're coaches, you know, and what we are trying to do is use our platform to educate ourselves, our teams, our organizations and hopefully our fans.
And we've been really blessed with a lot of help. Bryan Stevenson, the civil rights lawyer from the Equal Justice Initiative, has joined us, is basically advising us. He's an incredible person. I don't know if you saw the movie Just Mercy. Yeah, it's fantastic movie and it's based on his life. And so he's he's really been advising us. And he you know, we had a lot of discussion early on about, you know, what we can do because we're really, you know, just coaches.
We're citizens. We're American citizens who want to help. And we want to protect our players and their families and our communities. But we're basketball coaches. And so he really helped us zero in on education because as coaches, we're really just teachers. And so we're trying to educate ourselves on on a lot of different areas, black American history and politics and voting rights and. You know, there's a long list of things we all need to know more about, and those are the things we're trying to zero in on.
You have 30 coaches on a on a giant zom. Yeah, yeah, and then and we also have like, who is there a leader, how does it work? Like like is somebody leading the agenda or everybody just jams it.
So Rick Carlisle is the president of the Coaches Association. So he leads those calls. We also have a committee, a smaller committee on racial justice that's chaired by Lloyd Pierce, who's done an incredible job. And Lloyd Lloyd leads us and he leads the the conversations in the. Really, the the direction in which we're heading and and we've got a couple of former coaches in there, too, who want to help David Fizdale, Stan Van Gundy, both of them very passionate about civil rights issues.
And and so we we have calls. We had them weekly for a long time, and now we have them less frequently, but constantly keeping in touch with each other and sharing ideas. And the big, big thing that we came up with that we're trying to instill is that every coach and every team is going to partner with a local grassroots organization in each NBA city and learn about what's happening in our communities and then partner with those grassroots organizations. Because what we didn't want to do was just kind of, you know, put our put our name on something and not not actually be involved.
And so every every organization, every coach has taken it upon themselves to develop relationships on the ground with grassroots leaders and figure out an area where, you know, he wanted to help and where his team can can get involved. So it's been really, really productive. It's kind of it makes sense in the big picture with the league itself, right? You think about the 50s and 60s leading up to now, and it makes sense to me. And I think it's the way it should be that the NBA would be out of all the leagues we have, out of all the entertainment entities that we have.
Would be so omnipresent with this stuff, like, I'm not surprised at all, this is the league we grew up with, and even like you go back and read the stuff that happened in the 60s and some of the guys in that area and Russell and and Oscar, like, I was really psyched that the that some of these guys stepped up and then we had some some new younger guys emerge, like you spent some time with Jaelynn in the world championships.
So you weren't surprised to see that. But the you know, I think he's twenty three twenty three or twenty four years old and he acts like he's thirty six. He's so mature. But you saw you saw him and some of these other guys. Was there anybody that you were surprised by that became one of the leaders of this that you just didn't know anything about? Not really, like you said, I think this has become almost expected from the NBA, and I think a big part of it is the league management, you know, Adam Silver and and David Stern.
Before that, we've always felt empowered by management, by ownership. And it feels more like a partnership, you know, any kind of social justice work and commentary. The league has always been very supportive. So I think the players feel really confident. Speaking out in the younger guys are looking at LeBron James and Chris Paul and and the veteran players who have really taken upon themselves to to be the leaders of this movement. And I think it's really, really healthy because they're they're preaching really good stuff, you know, registering to vote, voter voter turnout and peaceful protest, things that our country is is supposed to be about.
And, you know, it's time that we live up to to some of those ideals. Do you think there's any of this could have happened in the 90s when you played or was the country not ready for it? No, I don't think the country was was ready for it.
And because you played it, you played with some some people who definitely thought about this stuff. And we're pretty political, and you are also, you know, you're definitely one of the people who's always thinking about this stuff, but there were different expectations really until the last decade, right?
Yeah, yeah. And maybe some of it is social media.
A lot of it is the current climate, the divisiveness that exists, but also the just the exposure of the the some of the awful things that have happened that you're staring out on your phone, you know, and it's it's now been probably a decade or so since people have really been. You know, besieged by this violence that's coming across and I think it's just whether it's conscious or subconscious, but over time it's like enough, enough, you know.
And then and then I think the the quarantine probably pushed it over the top because now you're not you're not capable of losing yourself in your job and your family. You're literally at home every day watching people get murdered on your phone and you're sitting at home thinking, what are we doing? And I think that's what sort of pushed it over the top. And and that's why so many people are so upset now and and justifiably so. And that's why so many people are trying to trying to change things.
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Not sure. The former coach, former guy, really, really good color analyst, once upon a time, used to come on the B.S. report talks with me. I think you can answer this, I don't think this is a tampering violation, I wanted to ask you about a couple of players just because you're home watching this. So start with Yoni's because I was watching him Sunday night. Yoni's is basically. A seven foot. Point guard. But he's kind of you played with Shaq, right?
You played with him ninety three. And if you go back and you watch young Shaq, young Shaq could, when he was skinny, could take a rebound. And go for court and then either dunk or dish off and people would be like, oh my God, that's amazing. I can't believe a senator just did that. How did that happen in Yanase? This is just who he is. Like, is youngness a one of one or do you think there's more coming?
There's more seven foot point centers coming?
Or is this is is this the only one we're going to have media? Steve, is is gone. Bill Media. Steve's got you can't even answer. Well, Coach Steve doesn't want to get fined. Oh, that's true.
You so you can't even talk about the players that you know, especially especially guys who are going to be free agents and all that stuff. And remember, last year didn't I think Doc got fined for.
Yeah, good point. You're right. It's a bad question by me. I miss I miss media. Steve, though. What media. Steve's thoughts on like look look at that as like people are throwing the Larry Bird thing around. I don't know how I feel about it. Like somebody said on TV, the TV guy was like, I don't take this the wrong way, but I think he's like a cross between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. I was like, whoa.
And then I was like, I can kind of see it like he's averaging 30 a game. It's not inconceivable. All right. Steve can answer this, though. We seem to have a disproportionate amount of really good players right now, which happens from time to time. Like I was doing my MVP ballot, I left off Davis and Harden. And Dame Lillard and then you think, like Embiid wasn't on there either. We have like 12 superstars right now.
It feels like the deepest talent we've had since the early 90s. You can answer that one. Yeah, I think I can answer that one without getting myself in trouble. I think it's a great time for the league because we've got a lot of stars and a lot of incredibly gifted players and and, you know, basketball's always been such a visible sport. You know, I mean, you're you're you're seeing the expressions and the emotions of the players up close.
And I think, by and large, our guys are really likable. You know, they've they've done a great job of carrying themselves and handling themselves and, you know, looking after each other and doing really good deeds in their communities. And so I'm really proud of where the NBA is right now. And I think the players take great pride in it, too. So, yeah, deep, deep talent pool and and a lot of really good people.
It's a good combination.
Yeah. Like I had Yokich, I think I had him fourth on Mandeep, which I don't think he's going to make top five. I just think I personally think he's more valuable than others. But I was watching him in the game. They beat OKC in overtime yesterday and he's throwing like Bill Walton passes from the foul line. I'm just thinking like he's probably one of the best four passing centers of all time. He's like an afterthought this season with the nine other guys everybody's talking about constantly.
It feels really loaded. I was trying to think like. I think the margin of error for things to go wrong with a superstar is the lowest it's been right now because the technology is the best, right? If you get hurt, you can come back.
Whereas, like Sabonis ruptures his Achilles in 1986, and it's just never going to be the same after that or whatever his injury was, or Bill Walton has a foot issue. And they misdiagnosed it and then all of a sudden half his career's gone. So somebody like Kareem, who was an alien, who just plays four years in college and then or three years of college and 20 years is like a complete anomaly. But now with the technology, with the way the guys take care of it themselves, with the sleep and the food and how they know what to eat.
It's kind of hard to fuck that up, you know, if you're fucking him down 20, 20, you're you're really looking to screw it up, whereas like in the 80s, like you didn't play in the 80s. But cocaine comes in there for six years. Right. It's just this big wild card and takes out all these dudes every decade. Had something until right now. Right now it's like that. And then all these younger guys, as you pointed out, are learning from the LeBron Chris Paul guys like how to be an adult.
But meanwhile, they're twenty three. You've played on a whole bunch of different teams. You played with a lot of non adults who were like twenty five, twenty seven year old stars and we're completely immature. Doesn't seem like we have that as much anymore and I have no idea why. What do you think. Well, there's a lot of money at stake, more than more than there's ever been before, so that's always a motivator. But you mentioned earlier just the shaming of social media.
There's, you know, these guys have they've never had a bigger microscope on them. So it's you know, it's pretty tough to go out and, you know, getting a lot of trouble these days when you know that somebody can just pick up their phone and and film you goodbye. So I think, guys, more and more now just stay in their hotel. And to be honest, we have such bigger staffs now to help the players than we ever did before when my first year in the NBA was 88.
So I did play in the 80s briefly, but we had we had our whole staff basically on in the traveling party was a trainer and equipment manager, two assistant coaches and a head coach, and that was it. We didn't have a video coordinator. We didn't have a weight coach. If you wanted a lift, they gave you it gave you a membership at a gym across the street from the arena. And it was like you just literally go in and just lift on your own or get on the treadmill was kind of a weight coach.
So now we've got a cast of thousands. You know, we've got nutritionists, we've got, you know, chefs. I mean, these guys have every every single bit of knowledge and advantage in there, and they're using it wisely. It makes sense, I still don't understand how guys like Jaylen and Tatum come into the league as these fully formed adults who could give good interviews and have the right thing to say where I just remember what I was like at that age and I just could not have pulled it off and over and over again.
These did come in like, look at something like this. The Janis's twenty five or twenty six. He's grew up in a different country. And then you see him in these interviews and he's just like out of like central casting. It's like how did how did these dudes do this? I'm constantly amazed over and over. Can you think about like you're the Blazers team. You were out in the early the early 2000s. Like, imagine that team with social media.
That would have been interesting. That probably wouldn't have gone well. Probably not.
Probably not. And to be honest, there's not there's not a single team I've played for the that it would have gone well for Rodman would have been tough. It would have been a disaster. It would have been a disaster. But, yeah, it was it was a completely different, different time and era. And a lot of ways I feel sorry for the guys today just because it's there's very little freedom and and privacy for them. And they've just had to adjust and they've done a good job of it.
But it's you know, it's kind of sad that they just can't can't go out and enjoy themselves, you know, without having camera phones stuck in their faces everywhere. Plus, they're tall to they stand out to begin with. And then on top of being famous, how did the last dance change your life or did it? It didn't change my life, you know, maybe maybe a handful of people who thought of me as a coach realized that I actually played, so I got some of that.
But but for the most part, you know, it was it was mostly just a trip down memory lane and really fun to watch, especially with my kids. You know, they were all toddlers at the time. So it's really fun to watch with them. I didn't get any street cred. I don't know what that means. I mean, I don't want to point out, I don't think people you didn't play for twenty two. Twenty three, twenty four years.
I don't think people realize you were actually in these games in big ways. You know, like somebody like my son just knows you as the Warriors coach. He's the guy you're untuk. It's like there's video of Steve Kerr coaching whatever. He had no idea you played Steve Kerr played him like. Yeah, he won some titles. So for that, did you learn anything from the doc? Was there anything you didn't know? There was a lot of stuff that I had just forgotten.
I couldn't remember what happened and in what year, like I remember Scotty's injury, but I had the details wrong. And and I remember Dennis was going off to to be in a wrestling match. I forgot that that was in the finals, which is insane. Even I was shocked. Yeah. The finals. Yeah. So there was stuff that that I hadn't thought about in a long time, but. But yeah, it was it was all there and they did they did a great job with it, it was it was a little disappointing that a couple of guys, Luc Longley and Ron Harper, didn't get a whole lot of coverage.
But, you know, you can only you can only do so much, obviously. And Luke lives in remote Western Australia. So I don't you know, I still talk with him. He's still a good friend and know I don't know what the budget was for the last dance, but it wasn't big enough to fly to remote Western Australia, I think, and go interview him. But I would have liked to have seen him and Ron get a little more love just because they were starters and huge, huge players on on those teams.
It was a big win for you and I, because I remember one of the first times you came on the podcast, and this was last decade when I was on ESPN and you did your whole there will never be another Jordan thing. And I think it got picked up by news outlets and stuff where you were just like, it'll never happen again. He's the best ever. Like, this guy literally wouldn't let us lose ten times. You had your whole thing.
And as the years pass, everybody just wants whoever the current guy is to be the guy. So there's this whole bit, the cutoffs, basically late twenties. I think everyone in their late twenties is like, no, LeBron is the best ever because that's who they saw. So then the last dance gets dropped. And you could kind of feel it where people like, oh, shit, yeah, I didn't wait, he did that. Oh, you know, he made the last shot of the finals and then retired like they literally didn't know that stuff.
And it's stuff you and I, you lived it. I watched it. Like, we just kind of took it for granted. So that was eye opening to me. You know what?
I remember that that that definitely was a good reminder. Watching the last chance was that everybody in the arena was afraid of Michael, like he would walk in and it felt like the other team knew the game was over and it felt like the the fans knew it was over. Yeah. And and that was that was something I've never felt before or since. You know, it's I mean, there's obviously guys who garner incredible respect from from opponents and from fans and officials.
But there was a different aura with Michael Weir. And I think Judd Boosler even said it during the during the show. During the last dance, he had one of the best lines of the whole thing. He said he said, you know, everybody was afraid of said fans. The officials, the other team, hell, even we were afraid of, you know, and I thought it was hilarious, but it was it was it was kind of true.
Like Michael just hovered over the proceedings. Yeah. And was such an alpha that even amongst the, you know, these incredible athletes in the NBA, it's like nobody really had a chance when when he was playing. That's what it felt like.
Yeah, I think. I wish they had been at home a little more, because that's my memory of that team, like especially going to see you guys the 96 97 range when you just went from city to city and it was like the fucking Rolling Stones were in town. Right. And that's never really happened since, I think Miami for a couple of years there. I don't wanna say approached it, but dabbled in it. And I think your team spent the seventy three win season just because people go in and watch Curry early.
When that started happening, I was like, oh, this reminds me a little of what it was like during the Imja and then the twenty seventeen team, or just was like this juggernaut I, I just have never had this sensation before and or sense of that team coming to your town. And it just felt different and it was different because of Michael, but it was also like that then daring thing for me was always Michael and Scottie together, where he had just trained.
He basically willed this other amazing athlete to kind of think and act and do all the things he needed him to do. And they just kind of moved together in this way. That was just I've never seen anything like it. And I don't think that's happened since where you had these two guys that were like linked like that. You know, I thought the doc did a good job of capturing that piece. Yeah, yeah. Scotty was was such a devastating player and devastating for she was so smart defensively.
He was just a genius defensively and guarded everybody and covered up so much of the floor. And he was really our point guard point forward, basically. Yes. A guy who kind of set the table and got everybody involved. And you're right, the two of them together were athletically were you know, it was just shocking to see that that kind of speed and force. And I think the difference you mentioned the Warriors, the similarity was that you'd see a lot of red jerseys in ninety six, ninety seven on the road.
You know, you just before the game we'd be out shooting and you'd see a lot of Bulls jerseys and then same thing. And like fifteen, sixteen you'd see a lot of a lot of warriors jerseys on the road. But honestly it felt, it felt like they were dominated by children in encouragers. Yeah, I think Steph had has this allure for kids because they can identify with him because he doesn't look, you know, like somebody they could never be.
You know, you can look at Scottie Pippen and go, yeah, I'm never going to look like Scottie Pippen. I mean, he succeed. He's got these massive arms and, you know, just just a freak of nature athletically. And Michael, you know, and here's Steph. Steph walks in at six three, one eighty. And every kid can kind of look at him and go, hey, you know what, I, I could actually be him, even though they're not going to be, but they can dream about it.
And so I saw over the years I've seen so many children wearing curry jerseys and that that's a big difference in the in the dynamics.
Well, I think that was always the thing with Durant, right. He's the seven foot. Guy with three point range in every shot in the book and nobody he's a one on one, nobody's going back some day. And for Kevin Durant, I know you're not you're never there will never be another Kevin Durant. Probably like there's never been another honest I. The thing with Curry that has always interested me and I don't know how much you've followed this, but the other superstars.
Sometimes I wonder if there always seemed like there glass half empty on him, a little bit like they yosfiah these little petty, you can even feel that they're in the playoffs and stuff where even though I think he was one of the best three or four players of that decade, by any calculation, I think he's one of the best twenty five of all time. It's you don't hear the other superstars raving about him like that, whereas like they'll rave about LeBron, somebody like that.
What do you do you sense that as the coach that is that something about his style with all the threes or whatever like that he's not seen as this incredible franchise player, like somebody like LeBron or Kawhi is seen. I don't really sense it as a coach, I mean, I just sense that there's there's just a big difference in what he does compared to most of those other guys. You know, you you you go to an all star game and Bob Myers talks about this.
You go to an all star game and you sit courtside. And generally you're looking at the just most incredible athletes on the face of the earth. Yeah, they're all six, seven riped jump out of the gym fast. Just amazing athletes. And then there's, you know, there's stuff and there's Kyrie, you know, there's like two, two, six, three guys who have this otherworldly skill that nobody else on the floor does yet. And so I think that's probably what it is, is that it's it's just it looks so different.
You know, the the vast majority of superstars are like almost superhuman. Yeah. And guys like Steph or Kyrie or just, you know, just normal sized, normal looking guys who happen to just be amazing with the ball in their hands. This is the nastiest issue, too, I think. Yeah. Yeah. When people are like, oh, that guy's going to win back that. I remember writing it like back to back AVP Steve Nash, this white guy with with weird hair.
Come on. Are you done reviewing your top five picks of the draft or do you just are you just on YouTube until 3:00 in the morning every night? Just studying jump shots? Jumper No, I mean, we.
We are still evaluating, but the problem is, is there's you know, there's nothing left to evaluate. And we need we need in-person interviews. We need in-person workouts just like everybody else does. You can't do that on Zimm. You can do it on on Zoom, but, you know, there's nothing that beats sitting down with somebody, you know, and and looking them in the eye and getting to know them a little bit. And then and then, of course, watching them work out, putting them through a workout.
So we're still hoping for that, just like all the teams are. But especially if you're in the top five, you're committing so much money. It's such a huge decision. It's a decision that will will affect the organization one way or the other for the next decade, potentially. So you've got to get it right. And, you know, we're left with very little information and it's frustrating. But but everybody is in the same boat. I like that you're involved in another draft like this is when we got to know each other.
You're running those sons drafts. And I don't know, it's just it's got to be fun to throw yourself into a draft where, you know, you're getting one of the top five picks which you've never had before, where you're literally like in the fantasy draft with the most money, basically, where you could just kind of it's really fun. It's really fun.
And Bob does a great job and it's been fun to watch him work and see our scouts and be part of the, you know, the various calls and scouting reports and mock drafts. And, you know, we've had a lot of fun with the project. So I'm I'm really it's the first time I've been involved at all because the finals have gone right up to the last few days.
It's like three days before the draft sometimes. So I've never really known anybody in in the five years that I've been around for the draft. I've never known any of the guys that we were considering. So this is a lot more fun. So you're like you're weighing in there like, hey, Steve, settle down. We've got this. We got this. Yeah, we don't do it. What kind of feedback do you get for flying coach? Really good.
Really good. A lot of people, I think, really liked the concept of of two coaches from different sports comparing notes. And then, you know, we as you know, we brought in other coaches. That was fun to talk to, you know, talk to Dave Roberts or Pop or Doc, you know, compare notes, talk, talk strategy, talk about our our respective sports. And, of course, with everything that's that's happened with the social justice movement over the last few months, I thought.
You know, Doc Rivers and Pob were were both just amazing to speak with and get their perspectives on life in America. So we had a blast doing it. And Pete and I have been good friends over the years and we we really enjoyed each other's company. So a lot of fun. Well, we loved having it. But the best part for me was the two of you trying to get ready to actually do the podcast really should have been its own podcast, especially so when when Pete figured it out.
But you still couldn't figure out the Zune recording thing. And Pete was so delighted that he did better than you. Yeah. And he was like, you guys are competing with each other. I totally could be less worse with technology. But it was it was a basic we pulled it off. I got to say, if you told me six months ago, we're going to be doing this podcast with Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll in two separate cities by Zoome, and they're going to be recording it and sending the files.
I would have been like, no way to one odds. Yeah, but it happened. Yeah, it happened. It happened. We had a fitting fitting conclusion with Cory Booker joining. Yes. And he was awesome. And I've had a lot of great feedback and a lot of a lot of people have have commented and and told me how much they enjoyed. It was the closest. We're going to get to media, Steve. I feel like media.
Steve's like in the garage is in the garage. Hopefully media. Steve won't won't be around for a while. But another couple of seasons like this one media, Steve, might be back a little sooner than expected.
Steve might be feeling the heat, this top five pack, all your guys coming back. Plus you get Klay Thompson back in your life. You must claim that that was the toughest thing with this season. Yeah, not only is he an incredible player, but he just adds a levity to the situation every day, loves playing basketball. And and I've seen him a few times this summer and he's doing great. So he's ready to roll. All right, well, good luck.
It was good seeing you. We missed we missed not having the warriors involved in this awesome basketball experience, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing them for the rest of the decade. But we'll be we'll be back. All right. Good to see you. Thanks for doing this to us. Thanks for having me. Bye, Steve. See you later. All right, we're bringing in Nathan Hubbard in one second, wanted to mention a new Archibald's went up on Monday night.
We did the sandlot, Mallory and Menagh, and then Wednesday night, Teen Wolf. That's coming midweek. Oh, yeah. We're doing two week for this month in August. Meanwhile, I don't know if you knew the sports are finally back. The only way to celebrate their return is that Buffalo Wild Wings with. A favorite of my son's wing bundles for takeout or delivery. You won't see any fans in the crowd on TV, but it doesn't mean we're not here.
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A delivery delivery through Buffalo Wild Wings app or website not viewed with any other offer. So I've been friends with Nathan Hubbard for a long time. He was a big deal in the music business and the ticketing business and still is. And lately he's been moonlighting as Joe has co-host on Fareway Relin and they're excellent together. So nobody better to talk about golf and Taylor Swift. Don't ask why that's the combo for him. The perfect combo. But it's just this my friend Nathan Hubbard areas.
All right. When I want to talk about Taylor Swift and the PGA Championship, there's only one place I go. It's my friend Nathan Hubbard, who is on Fairway Rolling every week with Joe Haas. We have a big fan duel contest that we're really excited about. It's called Fairway Rolling Dough, right then. Yes, yeah. The Fairway Rolando Leaderboard Series Invitational.
Yeah. So it's the four majors are the three majors plus the tour championship. Yeah. And whoever does the best, they win some stuff, including this jacket that we think is going to become more valuable than the MasterChef could be. Good to go against me and House and Nathan and a couple other winger favorites.
So there you go. You wanted to Taylor Swift first there, PGA Championship first. We better do PJ first because we can talk about Taylor forever. OK, your bro on the tour.
It's been a fun subplot of knowing you the last few years. Mark Hubbard. More importantly, it's made you care much more about golf. I feel like you're on the top of your game. Your bro is in this tournament and his odds are not great. Really, they're not great. I'm scrolling. You should keep scrolling. Scrolling. John Daly with Drew. Where the hell is he? He's low. Jesus, you can't get good value. I couldn't find him.
What are his odds, not good. All right. Well, he was in the mix like, what, four weeks ago, he's been in the mix a lot since the restart and really all year I mean, he's 30 something on the on the FedEx Cup points list right now. He's been playing great, you know, took the last two weeks off. But this is his first major. So I got it as an esteemed. What are they?
It looks like 400 to one. Yeah, so I'm putting money on that, but nobody else should. As an esteemed member of the media, I have a I have a credential to this week's PGA, so I will be on site walking a million miles, watching a bunch of the guys play and maybe maybe watching my brother play, too.
Do you have to quarantine or you just get to walk in and do your thing? No, you get into the bubble. You've got to keep your distance and wear a mask and sign a waiver and all those things. But I am not going to get a cotton swab to the back of the brain, as far as I know. All right. Without stepping on Fairway Row and give us three guys to watch for the PGA Championship. I love the fact that we're cheating on House, by the way.
And we didn't even invite him to this.
But we've got to we we put down a really good putt that goes up tomorrow with Justin Ray, who is an absolute numbers maestro on a lot of these things. And one of the things that we talked about on the pod is, look, I talked to Mark from his practice round today. So the rough is really patchy. None of it is horrible. But there are spots where it's seven out of 10 of difficulty and then one foot away. It's two out of ten difficulty.
But the greens are really big and flat. It's super cold there. It's going to play super long. And so the sneaky stat we think this week is guys who can putt from fifteen to twenty five feet. Our guys are going to be the ones who really compete here. Yes. You know, the guys who dink and dunk around are going to struggle a bit because it is certainly a course for long hitters. But the second shot is going to be long and so the fifteen to twenty five foot putters are going to be great.
And when you look at those stats, right, the guys who do that well know Webb Simpson is second on tour. Fifteen to twenty five feet from fifteen, twenty five feet. He's first in putts over ten feet. He who shall not be named our boy Jordan Spieth is great in those categories. Another guy who was awesome in those categories is Gary Woodland, and he was runner up at the match play event that Rory won on this course five years ago.
So this is traditionally build one of those tournaments. It's always kind of been the stepchild of the majors, but it's got a little bit more juice this year, I think, because, you know, we haven't had a major in a year. But it's also been a tournament in which a lot of young guys sometimes break through and when they're first major. And so we got a ton of noise about the locomotive that is Brooks Koepka. We got a ton of noise about beefy Bryson, but I'm looking at a couple of guys who I think could break through for their first one this week, and that is Daniel Berger, who in his last seven starts has a first eighty two.
Eighty three. Eighty four or five and a nine. So he's playing well. And Xander Softly, who's a California boy who he's won a tour championship before, has been playing well, just not totally gotten over the hump the last couple of tourneys. But I think if we're going to see a breakout winner, it's going to come from those two guys. So big greens and fifteen to twenty five putt putts. Not great for beefy Bressan. Not great for beefy Bryson.
You know, we talked about on the pod, the best joke that the PGA played is they paired him with Adam Scott. And and the reason that's hilarious is because Adam Scott has not been seen or heard from since the quarantine started. He disappeared. He hasn't played a top ten player in the world. This is the first tournament that he's played and he's like been in his basement. Probably didn't even know that golf was back until last week. And now he's going to show up on the first tee with Bryson DeChambeau, who he probably will not recognize and who could introduce himself as like a club pro.
And Adam Scott would think, yeah, he just must have qualified. So it's not great for Bryce. And although, look, that Bryson's problem has been the short game by short wedges, his driving has been unbelievable. He's actually putting really well. The question this week is just can he keep his head on straight? I mean, last week he got derailed by fire hands. And, you know, two weeks before that, he literally pulled a tin cup and made a ten just because he stubbornly was hitting three woods out at a Jack Nicklaus is super long, rough at the memorial.
We just don't know if all of the eating and all the weight gain in the club head speed has fixed what Bryson's issue seems to be at the moment, which is what's between his ears.
How about two of my guys that I was beat up, four majors, my guy, John Brown, who is now sixteen to one. And then my guy, Tommy Fleetwood, who hurts my feelings every major, when I put something on him and then he falls apart, should I not do that? Should I stay away from those guys?
Finally, I feel like Fleetwood had his chance in Minnesota to show us that he was one of the big guys. It was a super diluted field there. Two weeks ago, Jay showed it just Tommy Fleetwood did not show up there. And that's my concern. The good news, if you're a Tommy Fleetwood fan, is the weather seems like, you know, the English coast. There's going to be low fog and it's going to be cool and that ball's not going to fly that far.
But Tommy Fleetwood, he's played well in majors, but he just hasn't shown us that he's got the stuff. As far as John Rahm, you know, was like we had Jon Rahm week when he was world number one for about 13 seconds before J.T. took it back last week. And then everybody stopped talking about him. Yeah. And this week he's in a pairing with Sergio, his countrymen, and Phil, you know, the Arizona buddies. So he's got a good pairing.
He's nobody's talking about him because of the great finish that we saw between J.T. and Brooks last week. And obviously, Tiger's back in it and, you know, not a whole lot of chatter about Rahm, but the last time we saw all the best players in the world competing on a major type setup was at the memorial. And Jon Rahm won and he won pretty handily. Brooks is favorite right now or is one of the favorites, 12 to one.
I mean, he is talking like the brooks of old the first up until two weeks ago. You could tell he just didn't have his mojo. His confidence wasn't there. He was owning it. He was saying, yeah, I'm just not playing well enough. He wasn't using the NIE as an excuse. And then last week, somebody pissed him off, I think, because he was defending champ there and they said, you know, hey, you've been struggling lately.
Is it different defending when you're not at your best? And he said, remind me, am I the defending champ or not? And, you know, you went out and damn near won the tournament. Probably should have won the tournament. JT got super lucky. He had, as he said, he had massive horseshoes up his ass to win that tournament last week. And, Brooke, save for a pull into the water, you know, probably wins that tournament this week.
He just he looks like he's a guy on the mission. He looks like he's a guy who's ready to three peat. That hasn't been done since Walter Hagen or whatever, which means it basically hasn't been done in the modern era. So I think he has as good a chance as anybody to win this week. But Brooks has not been consistent. Up until last week, the best golfer in the Kapooka family was Chase Koepka. And so we're going to have to see Brooks really come back and do it two weeks in a row, Tiger.
I mean, you know how like when you and I go play golf around the 13th, 14th hole, you start complaining about your back and how much it hurts and you start wondering if maybe we should pick up tennis instead. Yeah, like, it's not untrue. It's seventy five degrees in L.A. It's going to be fifty five degrees in Harding Park. And so I don't feel great about Tiger's ability to get loose and activate the glutes and get flexible and so forth.
That said, I've been watching his practice rounds. He's playing good, good golf. I just think at this point in his career, Tiger Woods is going to win when he can outthink the rest of the field. And if you watch his his practice round work, he's been thinking, where does the ball going to collect? What happens if it spins off this hill? Let me see where the putts could end up and let me try those putts, which is great.
It's just I'm not sure that Harding Park is a course that is like a thinking man's course. This feels more like a course that you bully because it's seventy two hundred yards and a par seventy and and those guys who can putt fifteen to twenty five feet are going to do it. And that's frankly been a weakness of Tiger's. He just seems to have put in a new putter today, which may bode well, maybe poorly. What I want from Tiger is from the make a cut from the show.
Well, I'm not expecting Tiger to compete for the win this week. A lot of personalities and stars and emerging stars in this particular tournament, I think often a nice spot right now. Golf reminds me of the NBA like some some older legends, some in their prime guys and some up and comers. And there's just more than usual. So the odds are when we sometimes at the PGA, you have it's like Sunday on the eighth hole and they show the leaderboard and six of the guys, this is going to be the greatest moment of their decade.
Just being one of the one of the final seven this year. Pretty hard to imagine Sunday around whatever Atholl and they show the leaderboard. Two of the guys I feel like will be famous, I think, almost for sure.
The good news about the restart was the cool thing about the restart was it was the only thing there. So gave us a chance to get to know some of the guys outside of the top five, top 10 who we don't normally see on a regular cadence. And like you said, there's a lot of great young personalities on tour. You, I think about Max Haoma, who he's got his own podcast. He's awesome on Twitter, staying with my brother this week.
You know, he he's just around the corner. He went to school at Cal. He knows this course super well. He's a guy who five years ago, we didn't know who Max Haoma was. And it's making golf a lot more fun. By the way, we've just talked about golf for however many minutes.
We haven't talked about Dustin Johnson, who's or Rory or Rory McIlroy, who, you know, has not played his best golf since the restart. But he's the guy who won the last tournament that was played on this course and he's had won a major in six years. At some point, you've got to figure if Rory is going to go down as one of the greats, he's going to shift it back into gear. And this is a good week for him.
Good driver of the golf ball. He can putt his face off. There's no reason why he shouldn't be able to compete this week. Rory's 15, 20, just 20 to one. I haven't decided what I'm doing yet, but I do. I do. I do like the thought of my guy, John Rahmat, 16 to one. I got a little tiny bit like one percent choked up him and old Jack Nicklaus kind of having their moment there when he won the Nicklaus tournament.
And and Nicholas was doing he did a great job. They kind of went for the for the handshake, realized it was a bad idea and settled down like a awkward fist bump. It was the awkwardness I needed.
It was everything it was. I mean, John Ross is not quite a Greg Oden all star, but he looks like he's older than twenty five and we forget that.
Is that how old he is? Yes. He's 25. Yes, he's younger because he looks like Chris Noth. He's like he should be dating Carrie Bradshaw.
He's he's younger than JT. He's younger than a bunch of these stars that we have out there who we just assume are the next wave. And, you know, the differences. Obviously, Rahm has in his moment in the sun in a major. But, man, he really is. I mean, he really is a man among boys out there when you see him in person. Yeah. He's got a long way to go. All right, well, I'm excited for the PGA, excited to hear you and house and Fairway wrong, excited to enter the fairway.
So what's the title?
Good Fairway Rolando Leaderboard Series Invitational.
The main thing is you win a jacket, so we should just call it give us that jacket and some ringer stuff, too, but we'll all be in there, so feel free to come kick my ass. I've been working on my lineup. All right. Taylor Swift, you've been a Taylor file for a while. We wrote about it on the Ringer. We had some podcasts on it, but we have not heard from Nathan Hubbard, the the the Taylor Whisperer.
You really like this album?
I love this album. I think this is maybe not even arguably her third best album.
Third best album. What were the top ten.
I think I think it's nineteen eighty nine and red, although for me and I really just sang red so that the horde doesn't come after me for not including red. I actually think Red was a little bit schizophrenic because she was this weird, weirdly straddling between country. You know, with the hints at Pop it sort of was the precursor to, to nineteen eighty nine. But this is an awesome album and I mean the funniest part of this record is of course Taylor, you know, she got sort of spurned a bit by the country music scene when she went pop.
She never was sort of fully embraced in the pop world by some who felt like, you know, I mean all of the old and now sort of tired knocks on Taylor, maybe not being authentic in that format or so forth. But this record, she's basically made like a dad indie rock album and everybody's embracing her because there's plenty of space on dad indie Rock Island. Come on in. The water's warm like, oh, my God, Taylor, you actually obsess over the national and pony.
They're like, we love you, get in here. And that's what this record is. I mean, I think, you know, I'm not going to tell you that sonically it is massively innovative. If you go listen to the Nationals album, I am easy to find and you listen to the the collaboration between Aaron Jessner and Justin Vernon on the Big Red Machine Album and then go watch the movie. There's a short film called I'm Easy to Find that Mike Mills of RTM directed the kind of tracks the biography of a woman from life to Death.
And we know Taylor was pretty obsessed with that album. The imagery that she's put out around this record is super reminiscent of of of that film. But those two albums, the Big Red Machine Album, and I'm easy to find, have a lot of what you hear instrumentally sonically on this album. But it's it's a format that she's really poured herself into and written awesome, awesome songs. She's put her voice out front, you know, in the way that that from Reputation and 1989 and love her.
A lot of those songs were pretty heavily produced. Right. And what we've always known is that the bones of those songs are really great. And that's what this record is. What kind of career? Would you compare her to at this point, because, you know, she starts out as a teen. She has that whole kind of arc and then it's like, wow, she might act this this kid might actually stick around. But now she's in her early 30s and it felt like she had just put out the other album.
But I guess that was, what, two years ago? Every two every 18 to 24 months. It seems like she's doing something musically relevant. I don't follow it. Which is why you're on the podcast right now. Who is her who is her doppelganger from a previous ER? Does that person even exist? I'm not sure.
I mean, the closest thing that you might compare it to is, is Madonna, because Madonna constantly was able to reinvent herself. Yeah, but, you know, this is her eighth album. YouTube's eighth album was Zooropa. Madonna's eighth album was music. Like historically the great ones, for whatever reason on their eighth record have pivoted to try some new genre. It hasn't always worked, right? I'm not sure I love zero, but not sure. A lot of people said they love music, but this one she just sort of intuitively knew it was time.
I mean, you, me and Zane Lowe, we're talking not too many months ago about what we expected from our next record. And we sort of had the sense that she was going to do something a little more stripped down. The fan base was calling for her to go back and do a country album. Well, she's not a country artist. She never has been. But this was this was enough of a thing where she clearly had a bunch of music that she listens to and has been obsessed over for a while.
So it was pretty easy, again, for her to sort of pour herself into that format. And it really unlocked an authenticity in her voice that she's been criticized for not having before. She's a massive fan of folk music. Her voice in so many parts of this album sounds like it was lifted off of Joni Mitchell's Blue album. And, you know, she lives up in the canyons of L.A. just where Joni lived. You can just hear those influences running through the way she bounces from the upper to the lower register and her melodies.
And again, say what you will about about the absolute originality of what this album is sonically. But the songs are great. Wow, high praise from you. Taylor Swift banging it out, she's like and halfway through a decade, too.
I mean, remember, she was supposed to a year ago before the quarantine, she was literally last week going to open up the new stadium in L.A. with her lover fest, a massive tour, which, you know, in her I think the way she thought about it from a business perspective was a different way to tour, a way to introduce people to new artists, a way for her to maybe not have to go all the way around the world, but economically to basically own a series of festivals.
She was going to do big basically stadium, you know, pop and rock songs. This couldn't be further from the truth. There's no way to play this album in a stadium. It just doesn't work. This is an album that gets played, you know, at Carnegie Hall or, you know, at some indie venue or the Greek theater in L.A. or something. Yeah. And you know, what's going to be interesting is when hopefully if and when we get back to those large venue concerts, what the hell is she going to do?
Because she's now got two records that couldn't be more diametrically opposed in terms of how you would perform them, that are sitting on top of each other, that nobody's heard or do loves. Bonus question. Do you think the post pandemic world, whenever we get there and people start going to stadiums and arenas again, but people are still going to be conscious and wary of who's going into those arenas, are we headed toward a world which we've talked about on this podcast before?
Of just much more accountability for who enters an arena in a stadium and a much different series of checkpoints. Yeah, more elaborate, too, I think so, I mean, you know, just the liability alone at this point of large scale live events is a huge part of why, you know, we're not seeing them come back. But I think we're moving towards a place. I mean, the problem in live events has always been we don't know who those fans are.
It's been a problem for everybody. It's a problem for the artist because they don't have a direct relationship with their customer who is literally standing right in front of them. It's been a problem for the venues because, hey, historically there's been a security issue, right? There's one hundred people getting on an airplane. There's one hundred thousand people walking into a stadium right at super vulnerable. And by the way, in the case of sports, they're on national television.
Right. And it's a problem for the fan because we haven't been able to really serve the fan in a way that provides the best possible life experience. And so the digitization of the industry has accelerated towards digitizing what that ticket is and really more acutely like tying your access to your identity and so that we know who you are. Because if we know everything about a hundred people getting on an airplane, we should probably know something about one hundred thousand people walking into a stadium.
And now, more than anything, whether it's for contact tracing or to make sure that you're not a super spreader walking into a stadium full of people, I think you're going to see a lot more constraints and controls over how live events happen. And that isn't to say that it's going to be a big brother experience or that it's going to change. You know, that the fact that we're all chemically wired to be together, like it's it's why we're all so restless right now, like human beings are wired to have that experience.
But I think it's got to be done in a way that keeps people safe. And that's going to include offering up your identity, number one, so that we know it's you who's buying the ticket, not a scalper taking advantage of an artist selling a ticket at a lower price, but also making sure that that artist can provide a great experience to you. And God forbid, in the event that somebody's sick or is a bad actor, that you can discourage that kind of behavior.
Feels like all that stuff is going to combine when we start really thinking about what that world is going to look like, all these different issues we have. This is an excuse that to try to solve them. Yeah, the live event industry's got to do that in a way that makes it seamless to the fan. But what we know is there's so much pent up demand right now. People want these opportunities. So the problem isn't going to be how do we get people back into stadiums?
It's going to be how do we space out all these events so that you don't blow all of your life savings on live events in the first two months when we're back. Right. But I think a lot of the work and thinking that's going on behind the scenes right now is how do we incorporate the security and safety from a health standpoint and obviously also from a security standpoint, so that when live events come back that it vaults back into that sort of future vision that, frankly, you and I have been talking about on this pod for a couple of years.
I'm excited for. All right. Have fun at the golf tournament. Best of luck to all subs. Give them our best 400 to one. I think it's a bargain. And the Fairway Roland leaderboard contest is on Fandor. Now, you can join you can try to beat us. You can try to get in for that jacket and everything else. Nathan Hubbard, have enjoyed hearing you on Fairway.
Ron, good to see you. All right, thanks to Spotify, thanks to Buffalo Wild Wings, thanks to Blue Apron, thanks to Steve Kerr and Nathan Hubbard. This podcast is coming back on Thursday night. If you missed me, you can listen to the Bee Watch. HBO's The Sandlot is already up and we have on Wednesday night, Wolf is coming.
And not to mention a whole bunch of awesome podcasts on the Ringer podcast network.
Check them all out and see on Thursday.