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Enter at Fanjul dotcom slash hoops ringer age and location restrictions apply were also brought to you by the Ringer Podcast Network and the Ringer. Dotcom had a lot of good pad's this week, a lot of timely Pott's because there was you think Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. There were a lot of balls in play. Who knew what was going to happen, how is going to play out? We covered all of it on the wringer, no show. We covered it.
Bakari Sellers, his podcast, Brian Russell had Raja Bell today, the ring or no show multiple times, including an emergency pod yesterday after the Bucs decided to boycott Game five of the Orlando series. And I went on out to see two with CC Sabathia and Ryan Ryuko.
And when I went on it was it was three thirty is about two and a half hours after the Bucs had boycotted the game. And we were really pessimistic that the season was going to continue. It just felt like everything was cratering. And what happened over the next few hours, I think, is what makes the league so great and has made it such an essential point of American culture, really since the 50s from the moment Bill Russell showed up, where, you know, it starts out the bucks.
Just organically in their locker room decide they're not going to play and. The dominoes that fell, how the players handled that, they all get in a room, they talk it out, they don't do anything too rash. They clearly want to do something that clearly affected. They're clearly there for each other and a lot of different ways. And, you know, everybody decided to sleep on it instead of making some decision that 24 hours later they might regret or that they wished they had put more time into comes back today.
I think I don't want to say cooler heads prevailed, because there's I don't think any any reason to have a cooler head in this situation. I just think they probably looked at it from a big picture standpoint. What's my platform worth? What is it worth for us to be here versus if we weren't here and we canceled the season and in two weeks, everybody just moves on to football and our message could get lost in a rat race? I'm really glad that that they arrived at the point that the that the games could keep going, because I think what we saw this week was part of the reason that they wanted to have.
You know, participate in the bubble in the first place, they wanted a chance to use their platform and they used it in a way that was certainly one of the most memorable days and weeks in the history of the sport and. And it's consistently amazing to me that this league, which is filled with a lot of young people, let's be honest, you know, LeBron is considered the old veteran. He's only thirty five, not that old. I would take thirty five right now.
I think about all this shit I learned just from age thirty five to age 50, you know, and you have these decision makers who Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala, LeBron, people like that who have led full careers at least. And then you have younger people that have really led the way and in a lot of different ways. And, you know, I think the cool thing about what happened yesterday and today for me is just like they were they were kind of ready for a moment like this, maybe unprepared right away just because everything was moving so fast.
But the way they navigated it was really impressive.
And, you know, for me, it's like if if they had decided the basketball needed to go away and their hearts weren't in it or it was. You know, just not what they thought it was going to be, that their message was getting lost or whatever and it was time to go then would have been totally understandable. I think that how it played out was the right way for it to play out. And they raised a shitload of awareness where how it plays out going forward.
We're going to talk about with DeRay McKesson a little bit with Chris Mannix. And then for the first time, Shinagawa McKay, who is a favorite of Jalen and Jacoby.
So it was only natural she was going to come on at some point. This is the perfect time for her to come out and talk about some of the stuff the WNBA is doing as well.
Fascinating times and depressing times because the Jacob Blake thing, you know. We're entitled to Ray about it. Coming up. First, our friends from Jam. All right, he's the host of Podsednik people. He's done a lot of good stuff. He was on this podcast Happy 10 weeks ago and been meaning to have you on again. I didn't realize that all of a sudden we would have some timely stuff to talk about. But DeRay McKesson, first of all, how are you?
I'm good, you know, it's a wild time, it seems like it is only getting more wild, but I'm OK. I think that we have a real chance to win in this lifetime, and I believe that. So I'm like doubling down on him.
So last time you were here, you had an E you were getting they can't wait going and really had gone up a level with educating the public about different things with the police and what was going on. And you had immediate impact and success with that.
Just tell us what the last, like 10, 11 weeks have been like.
Yes, we can. We was a big success in the 100 largest cities. We've seen about eighty eighty five of the 100 largest cities adopt at least one policy or in the process of adopting a policy which is huge. You know, it's like one of those things that is unprecedented in American history. You think about the ban on chokehold and stranglehold, like a ban on all neck restraints. When we initially started there, only twenty eight cities in the United States have banned all neck restraints.
Since then, 33 more cities have either outright ban them in 26 cities in addition to that are in the process of banning them. So they only 13 cities in the hundred largest cities that have not either banned them are in the process. So it's unprecedented. This is more changes than have ever happened in American history, more changes with regard to restricting or reducing the power of the police. And it is it's a big win. We know it's a beginning, though, right?
Like this isn't this is one step. There are a host of other things that need to happen, which is why we're going to police unions now. But over 300 cities will have been impacted by it. Can't wait. It is more the federal government can only intervene. And three police departments a year. We've done three hundred cities in 60 days, which is which is wild.
So most people, they think like when when you're pushing progress like this is a man or get bogged down, it's going to take forever. How have you been able to find some shortcuts to get this to move in a much, much faster way? So we realize what these use of force policy is like.
Requiring de-escalation, making a duty to intervene, banning chokeholds, banning shooting into moving vehicles is that they're matters of policy and almost all the cities in the country.
So the mayor just has the power to do it or the police chief has the power to do it.
And there are not a whole lot of things that don't require votes or legislation.
But this is one of them. And when we started this project in 2013, that was what appealed to us, is like they can actually make this change overnight and a lot of places actually did. So there are, you know, Louisville, Louisville, you know, because we're on a like I can't believe they're actually about to vote on a set of the eight like to restrict the power of the police there. They as you know, they did ban on arcades, which is also a good thing that they did.
So so these changes can happen quickly. And they did, which is cool.
Not everything can happen this quick, but this was movable. So the stuff you're doing is obviously a little bit controversial. You're going to get criticized like all of this can't work or why they do it this way. Is there a fair criticism of anything that you've tried to do so far that made you rethink like. Oh, yeah, that's actually there's something to that or or do you feel like a lot of the stuff you're doing is just unassailable?
Well, I think that people I think that what is true is that there's no one solution that gets us to zero rate moving the money.
You know, decreasing police budgets alone won't end police violence, changing the use of force. Policies alone won't end. Police violence. Right.
Like undoing some of the carceral state won't like this is both and not either or. And I think there were some people who thought we were saying this is the fix. Right. Like this is the thing and like it's not. And we knew that going in that this is the floor, not the ceiling. This is saying like these are basic things that need to be in place. They're not in place. A lot of people think they're in place.
Like you'd be shocked about the number of people who thought chokeholds and neck restraints were banned and they weren't. Right. They just so one of the criticisms we got a heavy one. They were like, you know, chokeholds of a man in New York City and Garner still got killed.
And you're like chokeholds were banned, strangle hold, were not banned. That is why we're calling for a ban on all of them. Right. So, like, so that was you know, so if people thought that we were saying that this was the answer, then, Mike, we weren't right. We were saying this is one of the answers because we know no one strategy is is good enough to get us. So when we think about, like, this question of like, how do you eat an elephant?
It's one bite at a time. Right. Some people can interpret that to mean one by after another, which is incrementalism.
When I hear that, I think about like all these people biting at the same time. Right. It's like it is everybody, but it's like a million strategies all on this big target at one time. Like, that's what we need to do. Right.
So to fund the police is one of the one of the things that got a lot of steam this summer. And to me, I think people get caught on to funding the police versus diffusing the power of police unions. Can you explain in your opinion the difference between those two things?
Yeah, so that's the thing is, I don't think that this is a. An either or I don't think this is like a set of verses.
Well, what I would what I think is true is that the police unions have a huge amount of leverage in every aspect of discipline, accountability in what most people don't realize is with regard to the budgets themselves. So, like, I don't know if you knew that there are some of the major police unions in the country actually got pandemic money, PBP money. They got huge amounts of money from the federal government, which is wild because, like, they don't need money.
There's no layoffs happening of police departments. But even more importantly, there are a lot of contracts, police union contacts across the country that make it impossible for cities to really decrease the budget. So the Seattle City Council was they said they were going to cut the police budget by 50 percent. OK, let's do it. They started to do the cuts and realized they could not do cuts like that without engaging the police union contract. It was impossible. The reason why the officers were killed, Brianna Taylor, couldn't be suspended immediately without pay.
They're still not suspended without pay is because the contract prohibits it, right, in places like Columbus, Ohio and Columbus. The contract says that you can't civilianized the work of the police department. So you couldn't transition current police duties to civilians, to non police without engaging the police contract. So, like, when I think about defined when I think about moving the money away from police and I think about investing in alternatives, what we saw from a structural level is that in almost all the cities, it is impossible to actually do the transformative thing you want around the budget without dealing with the police union contract in the first place.
Right. Which is why we launched Nexstar six, which is the biggest database of police union contract in the country. And there are 20 states that actually have police officers bill of rights at the state level that provide protection. So, you know, Kenosha, because the latest killing that went viral was in Kenosha or the latest shooting.
It was in Kenosha, Kenosha, small town in Wisconsin. The Kenosha Police Union contract has a police officer bill of Rights that gives a police special protections during interrogations.
That's wild. So, I mean, that's that's a good test case for this, right, if we're going to make progress on all these things. How do you do it when it's right, then you have a Kenosha, which is like it's not one of the 100 biggest cities that, you know, you're dealing with. We have so many cities and towns in these places. Do you feel like it's just going to be impossible to have some sort of common framework that could deal with all cities big and small?
No, I don't think so at all. I think that, you know, this is why we focus so heavily on the data to lead us is that you think about Kenosha. What the data shows us is that the police killed more people in suburban communities and almost all other communities combined. So Kenosha is more representative of where the problem is than most of the cities you see on TV. Wauwatosa is another place in Wisconsin and Wauwatosa. There's one officer who's killed anybody in the past five years.
He has killed three people in the past five years. He got a medal for killing the first person. He got suspended for killing the second person.
And he's under investigation for the third, while Battuta has like fifty thousand people in it, I just had to call it.
The quality of the organizers last week is these towns, Kenosha, WI, with Tucson?
They are. Wauwatosa is Wauwatosa, Lord, every time I say wow with you, so people like, wow it sorry it does that. I just think all the while Windows organizers the other day is, is that these towns, these suburbs are more representative of like where the problem is most acute. So our solutions have to hit those places.
So what kind of. So this I'm trying to remember the exact week you came out, I think it was the first week of June when you were here.
Yeah, yeah. And I think your I think your profile raised in a couple of different ways over the next few weeks. And I know you have, you know, famous people, celebrities, people in positions of power that are reaching out to you, asking you to talk to small groups, spend some of your time educating different people. What out of all those interactions, what's been the most memorable or surprising to you just of different groups of people that you've talked to?
Oh, this is an easy question. So they're so in Pasco County, Florida. There's a group of women, mostly women, and a couple of guys like eight of them who emailed.
And they were like, hey, they thought my account was like a fake account. So they're like, hey, you know, this is for Dre. But but, you know, if somebody can read our use of force policy because Pasco County is a collection of places with the police departments and not one of the biggest cities.
So her name is Keisha and I and I reply, I'm like, yeah, I'll do it. Like, can't wait to be there. And they're like, really? And I'm like, oh yeah. I can't wait to do it happens even with them. And when I tell you about they were ready, they got their use of force policy. They have read it all. They were like, you know, I read it to you. And I was like, here's where I think it falls on the eight.
And they were like, we disagree with you. And I'm like, I love it. Right? Like, they totally took it. They ran with it. They're fighting their police departments now about it like they were a really good example of, like build a framework. People can use it and like, they knocked it out. There's another there's a young young man, 16 year old and Needham, Massachusetts, same thing. He emails me like 11pm.
He's like, hey, I'm going to get the police you soon to help we up on the phone. We walk through the use of force policy. He wants to talk about the contract and all this other stuff, and then he just runs with it. Right. And that's how we got over 300 cities in 60 days is you because people like took the information. There was a mayor in California. She emailed us probably a week three. And she's like, to whom this may concern.
We got she's like, I got three thousand emails. You have flooded my inbox. Can you please do a petition so people stop emailing? I get it. And we're like, no, we want people to stress you out until you fix the policy.
Right. So those are by far like the best interactions we've had.
And Steve Kerr talked about how you talk to all the NBA coaches on a zoom out. He does a bit. Yeah, he talked about it on his fine coach podcast. Yeah. So you talk to you talk to all the coaches because they've been, I think, really, really not aggressive. I'm trying to think of the right word, proactive. They were they to get involved with stuff. They were great. So the coach of the Mavericks really, you know.
Great, he's great. I don't even know what to say to the Mavericks are in Dallas, OK, but he is great. I talked to him in like he he's such a good example, like he called.
And when I tell you he knows that policy, I mean, he knows it like he was like, you know, when the meeting ended it and that and it's like, you know, you don't really need me. Like, I'm mean, I'm making you feel comfortable. But what you just said is like spot on, like I mean, he just like nailed it and he he got it. I can't even I can't, like, sing his praises enough, like he really understood it.
But he was a good example of, like this work is not too complicated for anybody to learn and like we know it well because we do this all day, every day, but everybody can know it well.
And part of our responsibility is to help people understand it. And like the coach that he you know, I had a call with him probably a couple of weeks ago. We called for it. He was calling to just check in. And it was like, you got a guy like you like he has it, you know? So, yeah, he's a gold standard.
All right. So we're taping this. It's like two thirty. On Thursday afternoon, Pacific Time, the NBA decided to that they're going to resume play this weekend. It seemed a little dicey last night. I was I was actually wondering if it was, but the season was canceled.
I think a lot of those guys were in pain and they're confused and trying to figure out why they spent the last four or five weeks not only trying to bring basketball back to but to use their platform to make this huge statement. And then we get another shooting and it's like, what am I doing here? If if you had as they're trying to figure this out on Wednesday night and they have this huge meeting, all the players are in a huge ballroom with the coaches, they eventually ask the coaches to leave.
If you had just been there as conciliatory as they're trying to figure out, how do we use our platform? What should we care about here? Because it was it was obvious they want to provoke some sort of change. But as you know, in America, it's hard to just snap your fingers, make seven things happen. So if they looked at you and they said, help us, what should we care about short term and long term? What would you tell them?
Yes, the only thing I would say to frame this is I'm going to push on this idea that it's hard to snap your fingers and make change, because if Trump has showed us anything, he showed us that the government can move as quick as it wants to. Right. That's fair. Thought you could just rip off mailboxes like he's ripping up mailboxes. Right? Right. Or like banning whole people from the country on Twitter. You're like, I didn't even know that was possible.
But he has this administration has been a reminder that, like, if we want to do it, we could do it right. When I think about what I would say to the NBA players, one would be, is there a way for you, whatever the community apparatus for the team is to check in for some local demands? Because like, you know, there are 18000 police departments and most of this stuff sort of matters differently at the local level.
But in terms of things that across the board are important, there are a couple of things that I'd say. One is in the 20 states that have officer bill of Rights, we need to repeal them like they just kind of go. The oldest one is in Maryland. It's from the 70s. The newest one, you probably don't know that Georgia actually wrote, passed and voted on a law of officer bill of Rights during the last protest after George Miller got killed.
What a car. Brooks got killed. Georgia passed an officer bill of rights.
So, like, they all got to go. None of them have ever been repealed. And like, the only reason they survive is that people don't know they exist. And the clauses in them, like in Louisiana, officers get 30 days before they can be interrogated like that.
You know, in Maryland, the law says that you can't file an anonymous complaint of brutality against a police officer. So if a police officer beat somebody up to kill somebody, it cannot be an anonymous complaint. There are all these things that are bad in these laws. So that would be one is for them to publicly come out and say we should undo those for them to wherever their city is to work, to make sure that the police union doesn't have the power to intervene and discipline, accountability, those sort of frameworks.
I think we can bandeau, not Creed's. There's no need for them across the country and ending qualified immunity. We can do it at the state level. The Supreme Court is probably going to go for a long time, but all governments can do it for until we get Congress back. But the states can ban qualified immunity immediately. And those four things, I think, are things that would actually change the outcomes. Because here's the thing. The police have killed seven hundred fifty one people so far this year in two hundred thirty five days.
Right. Like it is. It's unrelenting. But those four things combined in some separately would actually help us lessen the numbers. And that's what we're trying to do, right? We're trying to get to zero.
I think what you laid out makes sense with the framework of the NBA because basically you're saying it's not some sweeping thing. That would be, oh, we'll do this and it'll be for the whole nation. You actually have to take care of your own city and your state where the players and the coaches and the owners have immense sway. You know, you look at the Celtics, they have, I don't know, four famous guys, maybe five that could be on the ground in the cities.
You have an ownership group that has a lot of money. That's all local. You have a team that's super.
Famous, and if they just try to like we're going to take care of Massachusetts, you guys worry about your things and everybody's kind of splitting up the territory would seem like that would be the easiest way to provoke change, because I still feel like the guys matter the most where they play over anywhere else. They're going to have the biggest impact there. That makes sense. Yeah, no, you're absolutely right.
So here's the thing about the criminal justice stuff. There are some things that can only be fixed nationally, like health care is a national thing. Right? Like the federal government has to do that. We think about like food stamps, like those things are national, like the federal government does that better than anybody. The criminal justice stuff is almost all local there, 18000 police departments. The federal government has very little ability to do anything to them besides give them money or restrict money like that's it.
That's really the only oversight.
And then when we think about prisons and jails, it's like there are around 250000 people incarcerated in the federal system.
There are one point eight million people incarcerated in state and local jails like it is.
This is a heavily local, like this is local, you know, so that is the single biggest thing that people can do is like we have to fight this locally to get the big wins. Mike, I do believe we can get them. I think you're right that the more and more that people focus on the local stuff, like will get it. The federal government, like the Justice and Policing Act, is more good than it's bad. But again, like the real big changes will come at the local level.
Yeah, because it was interesting reading some of the stuff that trickled out of the meetings yesterday over there. Like the players want more from the owners, they want more from the leagues, but they couldn't totally identify what they wanted. They just they know they want something. And it would seem like really they want a plan and they want advice on stuff and like some sort of strategy. And I think that's where I don't want to say they've stumbled, but it's just really complicated.
You know, it's you're talking about a local strategy. You're talking about a country wide strategy. I think one of the things that they've got momentum on is voter reform. And some of the stuff LeBron, some been great, but do you feel like voter reform and police reform should almost go hand in hand here? Yes, the voting is important, right?
We think about voting is like a tool in the toolbox. And there's no way to build the House you want without using all the tools. Right. So, well, the tool of voting build the House. No, there's no one tool that'll build the whole House. But do you need this tool to build the house you want? Absolutely right. So that's how I think about voting is like we need the end of qualified immunity. No, not the end of all that stuff.
They are all the tools in the toolbox. And if we don't use all the tools, we just won't build the House we want. And voting is one of the necessary tools. I think there were people go off, they veer off on the deep end is when they're like voting is the tool that will build the House. And you're like, my life is show me. That's not true. I voted my whole life and got dragged out of police department by my ankles, you know, like I got the first person ever permanently banned from Twitter, was banned for raising money to get me killed by voting.
Didn't stop those things. Right. I also to your to your larger point, we think about the team. The teams remind me of businesses. Right, because they are businesses. Most businesses are really good residents and really bad neighbors. Right.
And I quote a resident does is a resident says, I'm trying to take care of my house. Right. My lawn is cut like the people in my house are fair. Like people in my house are safe. When neighbors do is they say the neighborhood is good. Right. So a neighbor says, I might not even have kids, but I went to school down the street to be the best school that can be. Right. A neighbor says, I'm not gay.
I don't know queer people, but I know that that queer resource center down the street needs resources and it should be safe. And like, that's my commitment as a neighbor. I want to make sure everybody in my neighborhood has what they need and the teams have an opportunity not just to be good residents. Right.
Which most businesses do really well. They have an opportunity to be good neighbors and say that the neighbor, the only way to keep the neighborhood safe is if the police have less power. Right. If the police aren't killing people, if the police are harming people, if we transition from a system that says that you need somebody with a gun to show up every time that there's harm, right.
You don't need somebody with a gun to show up when there's a mental health crisis. Right.
Like neighbors say those sort of things. And we need we need more neighbors. What was your reaction when you heard about the boycott, which is which somehow grafted into a postponement but was a boycott, the Bucs decided not to play. And that was the third time and I think the second time in NBA history where games had just been canceled like that. What was your reaction? Just hearing that they did that.
So when I when I heard about the strike, I was I was shocked. I was like, OK, OK. Like, I saw that I thought the still on Twitter of nobody walking out. And I was like, well, you know, when I think about it.
And then I got nervous and I'm like, OK, I hope something comes out of it.
Like, you know, I hope that that that incredible amount of attention turns turns into something systemic because, you know, the police don't have good responses for anything.
You lob their way like it's not like they have some amazing response about why officers can't be interrogated immediately or something or qualified immunity like they don't have it. So. So I'm hopeful that, like a set of demands comes out because the only negative response will be the police fear mongering like that is that's it, you know. What do you say when when people throw that at you, what's your response to that? When people say all the stuff you're doing, it's making people hate the police or like if you were criticized for that, what would your response be?
So we look at poll data.
Let's be clear. People the police favorability has not decreased. People still like the police. You know, it just hasn't hasn't happened. You look at the RNC and you would think that there was some full fledged attack on the police. Remember, the leading cause of death amongst police officers is suicide. People are not out here attacking the police. Like that's not happening. And the police will tell you, you know, we did a can wait. One of the criticisms, you guys, that people like this, as a matter we've already done this.
It's like a we didn't do it already. But the police unions are still fighting us tooth and nail about these things. And these are basic. We're like, you shouldn't be able to choke somebody to death in New York and New York. There are like over 12 police unions that have come together to attack the mayor and the city council as they went and criminalize chokeholds. The unions are like this will hamstring us. I can't believe you would say that we can't put our hands around people's next year.
Like what? You know, so so it doesn't make sense.
And the more and more voices we have out there pushing on all of these fronts, like the better it is. So when people come to you that I'm like, you know, that doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.
The other thing I asked people is like, you know, when should the police be able to kill your child? Right. Right. Like, what is that what's the moment when, like, they should be able to kill your child? Who who is the you, the you for voter reform is there are you like all the stuff you've done other like I know me personally. I've learned so much just from the work you guys have done over the last six years that I mean, not just the last three months.
Is there a way to do that for voter reform? And do you feel like there's that kind of information as it exists? Is there a way for anybody to pull that off?
Yeah, I do think that I think I think that a lot of the groups, you know, I'm on the board of Rock the Vote, shout out to Rock the Vote. I think Rock the Vote does a great job.
I think that generally on the left well, what we haven't figured out in terms of storytelling is like how to tell stories to like our family members. I think that, like, when you turn on some of the cable news, it's like the elites. It's like FDs talking to FDs all day about voting and also the stuff not anybody talking to like.
Somebody in your house right now who, like you, trying to have real conversations, like when we talk about no knock raids, Nada, who's on our partners, you know, she said something today. She was like a. a break in. She said the police are breaking into people's house.
And I'm like, you're right. That's like the simplest way to talk about it. No, not great. They literally are breaking into people's houses. And like, of course, if somebody broke into your house, you would try and stop them from breaking in. You didn't know is a police. Right. And it's like that framing, it's a break in is something that I can tell I can tell anybody that like that is that to me is like a really good way to tell the story as opposed to being it's a raid where, like, the police officers didn't give a warning before they walked in.
And the battering ram like you already are paying attention is a break in.
Got it right. Right. And I think that we just have to be better, like telling those stories in ways that, like, really resonate.
And that makes sense. Last question. So if if Biden wins in November and we have a Democratic president. Do you think that makes some of the stuff you're trying to do easier or does it not make a difference? I think it makes it much easier because, you know, when we think about Biden, it's like Biden and Harris are obviously important. But they'll be appointing so many people to cabinet, like the hundreds of appointees across across the government, will actually have an opportunity to help us on this stuff.
And I think that it'll be a sea change. I think that there will be a lot of movement.
But again, the criminal justice stuff is pretty local. It's like still local. So Trump Trump, luckily, has not had a big influence on like local things, like with regard to criminal justice, he has reinstituted the federal death penalty, which is a real nightmare.
So the federal government will stop that.
But but Biden and Harris will make it less hard for people to do good work. But still with criminal justice, it's like heavily local.
Is that a possible evolution for you, like being part of an administration like that, having some sort of job and really and being on the inside?
Probably not a job, but them. You know, we we talk to most of the presidential campaigns during campaign season. We sent over a set of recommendations. Some of them got adopted. Some of them were still sort of pushing the administration on. So so I'm hopeful that they will do good. I think I want to stay on the outside right now, being able to push the cities, because that's where the big change is, you know.
Yeah, makes sense. Well, it was great to see you. I appreciated being educated, as always by you always. You're one of the best experts that I think we have on you. Just you just focus command. I don't know how you do it.
All right. So the Pod Save the People podcast, what else do you have to promote?
I got to nix the six tag, which is about police unions and of civil rights. And then we did this cool podcast or Gelis, I think you know Jay.
Do you know Jim. Yeah. Yep. Dennis, yeah.
We did a four part limited series podcast called The Untold Story Policing that also is about police unions. That's not boring. It's very cool. And it helps you see why this is a big issue.
So check it out and hashtag. It can't wait. It can't wait that or about that as well. Yeah. Last week on it. Thanks for coming on. I really appreciate it.
Go talk to you later. Bye bye. All right, bring it in, Chris Mannix in one second. First, Fandor, this season there's a brand new way to play fantasy football on Fandor introducing baseball contests, the simplest way to play season long fantasy in a baseball contest. I love the name, by the way. There's no lineups to set, no waivers to claim, no trades to make, simply draft 20 players at the start of the season.
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I was texting you today and I didn't realize that you had as much access as you have. You can actually feel it in the reporting from guys like you and Marc Spears. So what's the process like? How are you kind of sidling up to these guys and what kind of information are you getting?
Well, it's evolved since the very beginning. The very beginning. They said to you, like, you really can't do much in the way of one on ones. You can't do a lot of the sidling. You know, they they totally talk to you about limited access. But as time has gone on, a lot of the media rules have kind of loosened. And they've you've been able to you know, you tell a PR guy like I'd like to talk to Jaylen Brown for five minutes, they go get you Jaylen Brown.
I'd like to talk to Carmelo for five minutes. They go get you. Carmelo, I spend a lot of you like to go to games. I spend and have spent most every day in the Colorado Springs lobby where there are three practice floors and I go to every practice that's there. So teams go on and off their three hour windows that begin at about 10:00 a.m. and I might catch six times a day. And when I do that, at the bare minimum, I'm making eye contact with the coach.
I'm getting, you know, some some face time with certain players. And more often than not, I'm doing five minutes.
Ten minutes with Jason Tatum here or, you know, Jamal Murray there or, you know, you're getting like I was saying to you on text, like you, you still can't you can't walk up to LeBron and get stuff, but you couldn't do that anyway. So it's not like I'm losing. I feel like I've lost anything being down here.
Well, you also can't walk up to Jamal Murray because you might actually catch fire, because the guys, the guys, the flame ball right now is the biggest story of the bubble before everything that happened this week was what the fuck is going on with you? Bob Murray is this guy with the best players in the league all the sudden? I don't understand it.
I could watch Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell go at it for fourteen games, like give me best to fourteen with the best of fifteen with that.
He's been he's a wild and Mitchell's been great. I mean that whole series, you know, whatever this picks back up again. I hope that goes seven because because those two guys just fun going back and forth at each other. He's he's kind of answering the question for me, Jamal Murray, like, is he your superstar?
I think he is like he's the guy that you can build around and win games for you late in the fourth quarter.
Sharks and I from the ringer, he we talked on Tuesday before that game because he was talking about could that be a Ben Simmons destination? Would they have to give Obama and stuff like that? And at that point, Murray had had two great games in the series, but that's kind of the M.O. with him where, you know, in a seven game series, he'll be awesome twice. But then you look around that one game and he's four four four four fifteen or whatever.
Now he's had three career games and five. And I don't know how much of it is the just the opponent and stuff like that, but him doing it again.
In Game five made me change what I thought his ceiling might be, and I think you might be right, it's like, all right, this guy's going to do this three times in five playoff games. What's going on here, considering he's only like twenty three still.
So he's got the swagger like it's right. It's in him like he wants the ball in those situations. I don't know. I'm not as more I watch him, the more I wonder what all the questions were about it like.
Was it just that he wasn't like this kind of true blue chip guy coming out of college that you were sure was going to develop into that guy? The one question you have, and it's apparent watching the series that Murray and Michael Porter Junior have no idea how to play opposite each other at this point. Like, can they can they gain that with time? Because I think Porter is going to be a star, too. And if you have those two guys, the question about, you know, how do they get buckets late in games, it's going to be inconsequential.
Well, and then can you can you seriously compete for a title if Yokich and Murray, two best guys and both of them are below average defensively, and then you have Porter who runs around like a chicken with the side cut off on defense.
And so it's it too. He said, I love him. He's just like he said something the other day where he's like, Yeah, I'm Siano Utah.
I really go at me. He's like, well, I would do no good is like I try to do the exact same thing.
And then the Utah story where everybody just kind of wrote him off completely. And I that would not have been my pick to have turned into the best series. I want to talk about the basketball stuff in a second. I want to go backwards. So you you and Mark Spears were really the first two people that I saw because I was going to the hoop type rumors page. And I just because it's the best way to get all the tweets, I don't like to go on Twitter that much.
And both of you guys were like, something's different, something's going on. You could feel it really. I guess the Tuesday practices and just your interactions, was that the first day you knew or could you tell something was going on Monday with how the players were taking the news of the the Jacob Blake video and all that stuff?
You caught a little bit of it on Monday, but it was mostly Tuesday where it all kind of settled in to you start to really see the emotion on the faces of these guys just going from practice to practice and hearing guys talk about it. You knew this was bigger than anything that had happened up until this point. I mean, you sit there and listen to Fred VanVleet and the Raptors in particular, who just a week or so before that had to deal with the body cam footage of Missile Jeary and what happened there and seeing, you know, a police officer who they knew going in had lied about the interaction with Messi, seeing video evidence of it.
And then for these guys to have to read and hear the sheriff's department out there continue to stand by the police officer, it really got to them. And this is kind of another one of the benefits of being inside the bubble. Even guys I'm not talking to, you can tell from talking to people around them just how much they're feeling.
And then you go over and you you've talked to Boston specifically a guy, two guys, even Brown and Tatum Brown is one of the most I mean, he's going to be the president of the union someday, like he is a very passionate he's very passionate on these particular issues, hearing him speak about it, hearing Jayson Tatum get speak stronger about than I've ever heard him speak before, say stuff like what I'm doing out on the floor doesn't mean shit compared to what's happening out on the streets right now.
I mean, the language was different, the body language was different and the tone of voice was different. I mean, I've been to, like I said, all these practices for the better part of the last two months and the last two days, three days of practices have had a completely different feeling.
I said this before. It's worth say it again. It felt like going from practice to practice that the spirit inside this bubble had been broken. And that's all from the floor.
Watching the videotape from last Sunday, I didn't really feel fully realize it until Tuesday night when I saw Doc speak and some of the stuff he said that night and I had already recorded my podcast. I think I might even Minardi up at that point. I was like, oh man, I, I just didn't realize, you know. And I think part of it is the isolation of being in the bubble. But then also like these guys are in there and they feel like they're making a difference.
And then that video comes out and everybody kind of looks collectively in question. Said, did you feel like. I've I went on and Rico's podcast last night, read as this was cresting, and C.C. and I both thought this this season was going to be done, that this was kind of the moment where everybody just looked in the mirror and said, what are we doing? And it seems like that moment happened in the ballroom. And I think the smartest thing everybody did was like, hey, let's pick this up again tomorrow versus making decisions.
What did you hear about the ballroom? Like, how close was it to just completely falling apart?
I don't think it was incredibly close. You know, the Lakers and Clippers I reported this at the time. The Lakers and Clippers did say we're ready to go home. But people in the room who I texted afterwards were telling me it didn't feel like they were about to get on a plane and go. It felt like they were making their position known, like they were going on record as saying, we're ready to go home. So it surprised no one that, you know, 12 hours later, the Lakers, LeBron James, they were ready to stay like they were willing to to stay.
So it got contentious at times. There were multiple players that were pointing the finger at the Bucs and wondering why they did this unilaterally. That's a big part of this. Yeah, I'm sitting outside that Bucs locker room. One of my big takeaways was you have to leave the locker room to go to the bathroom. Right? There's no bathroom inside the makeshift locker room. And every player that walked out in the three hours that they were inside had their uniform on.
So that told me that, you know, these guys at some point came to the arena, put on their uniforms, were getting ready to play and something changed, whether it was George Hill speaking out. First, we've heard about Sterling Brown, who's had his own serious issues with police, and then Giannis gets on board. But it was probably within the hour of tipoff that these players decided not to play and around them you've got the magic on the floor.
You've got the Miami Heat practicing up the street. You've got the Oklahoma City Thunder going through their warmups for a game that was going to take place two plus hours later.
Inside that that room, the ballroom, there were a lot of of players that were just asking Milwaukee, like, why didn't you consult us? Why didn't you bring everybody into this decision out? Jaylen Brown, from what I told him, brought against, you know, effectively told everybody to fuck off. Like I just said that, you know, these guys can do whatever, whatever they want to do. But it was some there was some consternation there about, you know, the Bucs not bringing everybody into the process because it did, Bill.
It did kind of. It kind of blocks the players in because, you know, once the Bucs did what they did, you know, there needed to be a plan, like there needed to be a next step. And at that time, when those players met, there was no plan. I think that was my favorite thing about it, though. It was completely organic. They showed up to play the game. They were all really upset.
And it seems like George Howell spoke up first and then they started having a real conversation about it and it became clear to them maybe they shouldn't play. And then they went they went through it like to me in this age, twenty twenty of there's just so much pandering to the culture and people making decisions based on how they think it's going to be received. And this was like the opposite of that. This was a bunch of guys who were just like, yeah, I don't really want to play there.
Maybe we could make a bigger statement by not playing. Maybe this feels like what we should do in it. And it comes out and they do it. And I don't think they owed anybody anything. I agree.
And no matter what happens, they change the story and they escalated the response. Like even though I don't love what the Wisconsin attorney general did afterwards, I mean, he he basically weaponized them in a way when he went out and said, oh, you know, the Bucs are doing more than these two politicians. They're like, don't do that.
Like, that's a shitty thing to do. But they they elevated the conversation. A win over Orlando in game five with some strong postgame comments doesn't make the proverbial front page of the paper. Them sitting out becomes at least a statewide story and clearly a national story. So no matter what your your feelings are on how Milwaukee did it, what they did had a significant impact and it was the right team to do it for a variety of reasons.
One is this was their state. They had a history with this stuff. I think it's crazy that they were the first game just randomly, you know, like they easily could have been the second game or the third game. But they, you know, they led the way. And then at that point, once that gets going and then Orlando, who could have taken the forfeit? That would have been probably a bad move. Once they're out, then it's that chain of events.
But it is interesting that. The I think that says more about how the NBA and how tight the players are. That people who kind of veered off that made their own decision and everybody's like, wait, I thought we're all in this together, which I think ultimately is also a good thing, that they felt like they had so much camaraderie. They felt like a tiny bit betrayed that these people kind of went off the reservation a little bit. But I'm glad they talked it out.
The one question I had about that ballroom thing is you have about 200 players in there. How how does that I mean, I've been in situations where we've been in a room with like 60 people and people like it's always chaos. How do you navigate 200 players trying to have a voice? Do you hear anything about that?
Well, there were two leaders in that room. Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala were leading that.
And what they effectively did was go around the room, ask people to if they want to speak up and say something about it. The coaches were in that room in the beginning as well. So you're adding another 50 or so people into that mix. And they spoke Doc, who you mentioned, I heard spoke extremely passionately. Armont Hill, an assistant coach on his staff, spoke John Lucas, who's got a strong voice with players. He also spoke.
And then you go right down the list of, you know, LeBron, Carmelo, Damian Lillard, Kyle Korver. I heard we had said a lot to say.
You had a lot of guys speaking out what you didn't have and what I was hearing from the room in real time, you didn't have any kind of action plan in that moment, like players were saying, like to move forward.
We need something, we need movement on the issue of police reform. We need owners to get on board, more on board with voting rights, things that have been important them throughout. They needed more from these owners to keep this going. But the people that were texting me were just saying, like there really wasn't a plan of action. They didn't they know what they wanted. But at that time, they didn't really know how to achieve it and what to ask homeowners.
And I personally and I actually had a back and forth on a quick back of the Twitter with with Jason from your place where I think owners have done a lot. Frankly, I think that they have they've been incredibly supportive, supportive, obviously, throughout this process. They when it comes to the anthem demonstrations, when it comes to the social justice messaging in the back of the jerseys, they've done all that. They've also been financially supportive.
I mean, three hundred million three hundred million, like you can say, these guys are net worth is X billion. But three hundred million is not nothing. It's just it's not nothing. Hey, quick break to talk about simply safe, here's the thing about home security companies, most trappy with high prices, tricky contracts and lousy customer support. So while there are a lot of options out there, there's only one no brainer and it's simply safe. It's got everything you need to protect your home.
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Or maybe you did listen and you're super happy. Had to simply save dot com slash B.S.. Get a free HD camera for my listeners once again ssempa save dot com b.s. to make sure that our show sent you something, gave it to us simply safe dotcom Saabs. Back to Chris Mannix. At the same time, a lot to ask for these guys who are also expected to play in a playoff series and stay in shape and, you know, the mental game of of just playing every other day in a high level series, you know, it's a lot.
And, you know, it's going to be assuming the playoffs now keeps going. I think that's a lot to ask from guys in their 20s and 30s, you know, and I do think there's going to be some some effects and it's too bad, but it's a it's an enormous ask and it's completely unfair to ask, you know, and Jaylen Brown said this like, I'm twenty three years old.
Like you're asking me to carry the mantle on these issues when people that are two and three times older than me are, you know, ignoring it or kicking the can down the road, it's an enormous ask of these players. I'm just thinking that if they're looking and I know they are, if they're looking for ways to accentuate their message and, you know, players have said this, they've said that they felt like the social justice message in the last couple of weeks has been dampened a little bit.
It hasn't had the same effect. I mean, the anthem, you know, at the very beginning, networks were showing the anthem on television. They were showing players kneeling now. And I haven't watched all the games, obviously, but now it doesn't seem like they're doing it quite as much, if at all at this point. So I know if players want to find ways to ramp up there, the conversation from there, and I think that is just one way to do it.
Yeah, it was almost I don't know if they could have done this, but it almost seems like it would have made sense to take a 48 hour break between each round to reset and use that time for, you know, whether you have maybe one team playing, playing per day or one game playing per day, something like that. But then use that time for some other stuff that is honestly going to get lost in the shuffle. When you have four games a day and you see like Saturday and Sunday with all these games, all these storylines facilitated a podcast on Sunday night.
Duca had just had this transformative game, and that's what we talked about. And that's all people want to talk about. So on the one hand, it's so great to have basketball back. But on the other hand, like the message for one of those guys, Eric, it's pretty easy to get lost as the games get better and better and the stakes get higher. And I don't really know how to manage that. I don't know either, and we know why the NBA is powering through this, they want to get out in mid-October.
They you know, they don't want this thing dragging on any longer. But but I agree with you. I mean, I think giving giving games room to breathe, the messaging room to breathe, I think it would be advantageous. I also I mean, to your point about the bubble is clearly accentuating the emotions of these guys. I mean, Paul George gave voice thought to all this, but words to all this. But what Paul George has been feeling is not unique in here for four players.
Yeah, there are a lot of guys that are going through some variation of that and seeing what happened on that video on Sunday, combined with what they've already been feeling, has created even more emotion, I think, in in a lot of these guys. It's interesting, though, like. One question I've had, and I don't know if it would made a big difference, but Adam Silver is not here and Mark Tatum is not here. The two top people within the NBA would have made a difference if they were down here and able to kind of interact face to face over the last three or four days as these as these guys have been going through it.
It's not to take away from what they've done. But I've wondered that, like every team down here, Bill. Almost every team they they send their top basketball executive, the Celtics, that they don't about Mike Zahran would kill to be down here right now, I'm sure. But the Celtics, I mean that every most every team sends a top basketball executive. You see Masayo, Jerry here you see Sam Presti here. You see Lawrence Frank here and Tim Connelly, all the top executives.
And they're here in part because if something goes wrong, if players are feeling a certain way, they want to know how they're feeling. They want to experience how they're feeling and go through the day to day of what they're going through.
And Adam Silver and Mark Tatum not being here. I just wonder if that could have had any impact, if they could have been here to walk into that room from when that ball room and had a face to face conversation.
There's been conversation, some calls, lots of them. I mean, I'm not saying that Tatum and Silver are doing their job. They are.
But I wonder how impactful it would have been if they had been able to connect visually face to face and have incredibly deep and meaningful conversations with with these guys. Well, I think everything happened so fast yesterday. If they weren't there, there was no way to get there in time, right?
Well, no, but but it's like. Yeah. Should they have been there? They won. Yeah. He's been there, though, right. He's kind of come in and out. He's popped in and out. And the plan has always been for him to be down here, I think from the conference finals on.
So he will be here just so I get just hearing it from these top executives about why they're here and and why it's important for them to be here. I think there would have been added value in having the commissioner, the deputy commissioner. And look, Qiqi, bad two ways here. Malik Rose is here. There are a lot of top level NBA executives here. But I mean, you know, Michelle Roberts is down here. I mean, she thought the same thing.
She wanted to feel what these players are going through and feel and see them face to face. They've got another union rep down here as well. I just think there probably would have been value in in experiencing this stuff over the last couple of months. I think they the mistake they made, and I felt this way before this whole thing happened, was that eight games before the bubble and all the teams they had in there and stuff like that, I think they should have had four games, Max.
And if, you know, somebody can get within three and a half games of of Memphis or whatever it had to be and do the double elimination game, whatever, but the goal should have been to move this along as fast as possible. And I said on this podcast, like a week and a half ago, I heard that they were trying to that the players were starting to get a little, you know, not totally happy in the bubble.
And they were trying to figure out ways to move stuff up so it could go faster and faster and potentially move the finals up and stuff like that. And I'm confident that I had the right information on that. And now I think what we've heard the last 10 days or so backs that up. Like it's just it's a it's a hall. It's a hall to be you're probably used to it better than most because you lived you said you've lived in New York City for how long?
The last I mean, I did I did about 13 years in New York City living in an apartment that's roughly the size of this room.
So it's not it's not all that unusual for me, but for these players. And, you know, one thing that you need to think about is the next couple of weeks, like we've heard a lot about how, you know, players miss their families and they do, they want to have people come into this bubble and and have a little bit of a sense of normalcy. But in the next couple of weeks, they're going to be an influx of people coming in here.
And something I've heard from people is that.
There's almost a sense of dread from some players about new people coming in here like they've got, they've kind of decided that they're putting their head down and they're just getting through this like this is it's all about work, going to practice, going to work with it, be with our teammates.
Like, I'm not so sure that, you know, players are looking forward to, you know, kind of seeing a bunch of people they don't know, hanging out by the pool or like, you know, people that are not here to work, you know, taking cell phone pictures of them as they're.
I'm not. Yeah, I just and that's not a I haven't heard from a lot of people, but that's just something that's hard to inch into the the water supply, so to speak, in the last couple of days, as as more people are kind of unleashed on this bubble and they're here for the first time, it's like we see like it's almost like leaving Vegas, right?
Like, you know, that escalator at McCarran Airport, they should put a camera there. We're like the people going down the escalator that are are showing up. The people going up the escalator are leaving.
It's like a picture. It's like night and day like these players. Now, at this point, you know, it's not about fishing or golfing, though. Some players still do that. It's about getting this done like this is now a full time duty or job that they're going through. And the idea of kind of these fresh faces bouncing around without kind of those same responsibilities, I think there's there's a trepidation, consternation, whatever word you want to use about that.
How many tampering incidents have you witnessed, either personally or from far away so far, like under over 10 it's under, but I don't know. I've witnessed I can't I don't know what it's like otherwise.
Like I mean, I don't know where, like, Ligeti's is the one Gabby was focused on, but I don't think he's doing anything. I just think he's just, you know, I see him again going back like the Bucks meal room is in the spot that I sit in every day.
And I see him all the time walking up and down, just grabbing a big bag, always with his brother, grabbing a big bag and going back up to his room with his knee, with his ice around his knees. Who knows what else is happening otherwise. I mean, this it's probably a wild out there.
Well, there's a lot of golf to. Right. Aren't guys playing golf? That seems like that would be another place to try to get some information. Maybe it's kind of kind of hang, maybe caddy, I maybe double bag it for somebody.
The what I would I would be happy to go caddying for anyone. Like I don't replace a lot of golf. I'd go caddy for Kyle Lowry. Kyle, if you're listening, I'll caddy for you tomorrow. But this is one of those things. It's one of those rules the NBA didn't really bend like. Yeah, they have they have kind of corralled us in an area that we can matriculate around in. It's like, you know, maybe a quarter mile tops and then the rest of the area's off limits.
Like once guys go by a certain area, our credential is not going to get us there. We can golf, which I haven't done yet, but we can only golf between like the hours like our time going to be out of six and seven a.m. on like a Thursday. So it's they're they're very strict with where we can go and when we can ultimately do it.
But that's by agreement. I suck at golf, but I would play every single day if I got a call from get some information. Yeah.
If like Chris Quinn, who golfs was his assistant golf all the time, like if Chris Quinn called me, was I going to go play a team. Like sure, I'll shake every ball into whatever hazard. But I'm with you man.
If you want to talk about Jimmy Butler's influence on your team, how what are the big bubble info people rivalries that like you and Windhorst, you're just not talking anymore, like has any any any near fights. Now, you guys are all getting along. No, no neophytes yet. I mean, just some of the hardcore information guys, you don't see all that often, right? Like Woge is doing his thing. A lot is doing his thing.
Stein and I spend I spend more time with Markstein than anybody like because he.
Oh, that's the way he'll tell you this. Like like he has embraced my philosophy of practices.
Like he started out by going to games, but then he saw me sitting in the Coronado all day long and kind of like pick my brain about it for a second. And then he's come on board with let's just hang out a practice all day.
Well, he's the he invented Citilink, so I'm I'm not surprised to hear that. All right. One one minute preview of sorts, Raptor's. Let's go eat a lot of it comes down to how the Celtics match up physically because. They dealt with them, but maybe it was a one man band there, Gasol, Abaca, those big guys there. How do they play? That's number one. Number two, Marcus Smart shooting, you know, which is which has been awful.
This is a series they miss Gordon Hayward like. Yeah. Hayward has been a little erratic, but these Raptors defenders, I mean I think they have been as locked in as any team in the bubble like. And I honestly think and the Celtics coaches disagree with me here, but I think they might have thrown that regular season game they played against Boston. Like I think they might have intentionally tanked that one. They were terrible in that game, but they were great in every other one.
So, yeah, it was suspicious. I agree with you.
It's like, did they throw that? They throw that game. And if they did, you know, what does that mean? But they have a bunch of guys that fly around and defend you. So you have to make tough Three-Point shots. And that's where smart, you know, has to come in. He's got to defend. You'll play against Lowry to play against Jochum. He'll do a great job there, but he can't go, you know, three, four, eleven, like, he can't jack up that many threes.
My two questions are, can Kemba hold up? Because Philly was an easy team for him to play. They had terrible guards. But on this team, he's going to win this series. He's going to have to play defense and they're going to have to put some real miles on him. And he looked great, that Philly series. So I'm optimistic, certainly more optimistic than I was two weeks ago, but that's one. And then, honestly, this is the best player in the series series.
This is, you know, like how Denver and Utah has turned into Donovan Mitchell versus Jamal Murray for whatever reason. That's and whoever is going to come out of that, that team's going to win. If Tatum's the best player in the series, Boston's going to win. And does he have it in him? Does he have it in him to go toe to toe with the team that just won the title? That's really proud. That's really smart.
That's exceptionally well coached. And can he be the best player in that series? And I think I actually think, again, I agree with you.
I think if that's what it comes down to, Boston wins the series. I think this is the coming out party for Jayson Tatum like this. We thought it might have been twenty eighteen when he was a rookie and he had all that success all the way to conference finals. This is it. Like he is not only doing, you know, everything offensively, but defensively. He's a menace. You know, you ask the coaches about him defensively. A lot of it is simply he's got his hands out now, like he used to play with his hands all the way down.
Now, right now, Wingspan is massive out there on the floor. If this is I think he's going to have a monster series, I think is great. But Jochum hasn't been great. You know, in this restart, Tatum has been locked in. I think he is going to play incredibly tough. That's what it comes down to. Boston will win. And if Kemba can look like he did, I'm not. Are you really worried about Kemba like physically?
I'm not worried.
I was, I was until those last three games. I thought he all of a sudden he looked at Kemba again. I'm like, I'm not going to worry anymore because you look like you.
I feel, I feel like they, they did some things with him in the restart like it's like why are you playing him as minimum minutes through the first three quarters.
Why is he not in at the end of games against the Milwaukee. And there was another game he didn't play.
I just feel like they were like so incredibly overcautious with him to get him right here, just to make sure that when he goes out there, he can just go thirty five minutes full bore. And as we saw the last three games, that's where he's at. Like physically I, I was a little concerned going in, but but now I have no concerns about him. I was delighted by how good he looked. Well we'll see what happens. It's going to be a great series.
Chris Mannix. Keep going, man. Good luck in the bubble. My pleasure, man.
All right, bringing in in one second. First, everyone knows about the risks of driving drunk. You can get in a crash, people get hurt or killed. You know what's going on, let's take a moment to look at some surprising statistics. Almost 29 people in the U.S. die every day in alcohol impaired vehicle crashes. That's one person every 50 minutes, even though drunk driving fatalities often by third in the last three decades. Drunk driving crashes still claim more than 10000 lives each year.
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We all know the consequences of driving drunk. But one thing's for sure you're wrong. If you think it's no big deal, drive sober or get pulled over. All right.
Let's bring in Jenny. All right. Also in Los Angeles, where I am today, a gunman, can I say correctly, you nailed it.
I'm very, very happy you nailed it. Most people don't at all. So. Well, I have, like, pronunciation dyslexia. So I was worried. But I actually, you know, I studied I want to make sure I got it. Let's talk about everything that's going on. I know everyone's asking, hey, what's going on, what's happening? Walk me through how you felt about the last 48 hours, first and foremost.
I'm so glad to be here because, you know, a lot of my close friends at my employer in Jaelynn forget about the pod father and populist's. And so I feel like if you're the pod father, I got to be like a niece, hopefully, like, well, those are my guys.
So if those guys love you, then I love you by proxy. So as soon as they start talking about I had my new and you started filling in for Jaelynn and I was like, wow. Jacoby trusts her to sit in the Jaylon seat. There's something's going on here.
When I go in there, I say, it's not Jay and Jay, it's me and Jay today. But but the last 48 hours. Oh, my gosh. Like, I'm still trying to process everything. Obviously, as a country, we are grieving again. But like, the news broke with the boycott while we were starting our radio show. I'm working with Junior. And so that news came at the top of our show. So we were like, whoa.
And we have only been on the air over a week. And so, like, dealing with news breaking was just a whole nother ball game, but it just felt like we were in the middle of history.
And so like this, by the way, that's that's you know, that's happened to me a couple of times, especially when I was at ESPN. It's like it's kind of when the bread gets buttered, right? It's like, holy shit, this is a momentous thing. And I have a microphone and I have to think of things to say.
Yeah, it's like it's a game day. That's when you're like, OK, it's not like you're in the game. So it just was a lot. And I think me personally, I'm a member of the executive committee of the WNBA. And so my phone is starting to blow up because they're in real time seeing the NBA's decision. And my sister is even texting me and she never texts me when I'm on air. And so she's texting me just like I'm like why she texted me.
She just needed, like a sister two minutes of like Shinagawa in this, like, we are right this moment. And so I just sort of told her I was like, Neka. We're talking about it on air. We're talking about the bucks and the magic and also the implications. And we're following the timelines of the news breaking just erm I guess internally I was like Neco focus on one message and yeah. I don't know if I mentioned that because the president of the WNBA.
So just in the middle of like breaking the news to the American public while we're on radio and my sister trying to figure out how to manage that situation in the sense of a lot of players and emotions, it was a lot and it's still ongoing right now. These conversations are being had. But one thing I'm happy about is that, like there were moments where we were scared. We're like we worked since March all the way to now to get the bubble together, you know, as a union.
And so we're like, oh, my gosh, is this the moment where the bubble bursts? Like, is this the moment where that happens? And so I feel good that the players, even though they took a day or two days, like they will go back to use their best platform and play because that's that collective platform. That's good. That's good for the moment and good for our voices. Well, it's weird that we never realized that there was going to be a moment like this, right where the bubble is either made or the bubble burst, because I got to be honest, like by the time we got to last weekend when there were real NBA subplots going, you know, like was still it was still in there, they were still raising consciousness.
It was still in everybody's mind. But then you really start thinking about, like, holy shit, look at Donchak, stuff like that. And then then the last three days happen and it's like. Oh, yeah, that's that's why we're here, I think everybody kind of felt that way to some degree. Oh, this is this is why they wanted to have this platform. And I was nervous yesterday seeing how I was going to fold because it seemed like it was going to combust there for about four hours where it's just all of a sudden the emotions were so raw, got people in ballrooms.
You have WNBA players about to play games deciding whether they're going to, you know, do protest actually as the games are happening or they're not going to play. But it was a fascinating day in American sports history. It really was. It really was.
And I always tell people, like in real time, it felt like we're literally living through history. And it's like all these worlds collide, especially like for me in this moment, just because, you know, there are situations in our communities that we are trying to advocate for. And then you have a mike in your face and then you have a sister in the bubble and you're on air and you're trying to do justice in service to all people that you care about.
And so, yeah, the last few days has been it's been interesting and it's just it's just crazy because, like, because of the situation that we're in, I was already texting a number of players in both bubbles in the NBA and the WNBA and just checking on them. Yeah. And in those instances, it's like now you're dealing with a whole nother layer and then you're trying to figure out are you going to play? And so these things like even yesterday after finishing our show, I get a call from my agent, Allison Janney Necas on air right now.
It's like, what are you talking about? So I'm like, Don on air. And the neck is there. And there's a video of her talking to all of the NBA players. And then she gets interviewed and the SC puts out a message today and I don't know how we date. I'm sorry if it's going up today. Now, it just is like it almost feels all surreal, like because in real time, like I was at home in Houston, Texas, when George Floyd happened and George Floyd is a Houston native.
And so, like, it took me weeks to get comfortable with helping negotiate, returning to play myself for my own spirit. And so now it's like people are like, oh, what's going to happen? If it took me weeks, then imagine having a day or two now in real time to like sort of process. And that has been like checking on the players and checking on my sister. And I let you know, like check on yourself, you check on your neighbor.
It just does a lot.
What have you what have you heard from everybody about life there in the bubble after? I don't know how many weeks have been four or five and you know. After after, I would say about two weeks, you go back to the same hotel room with the same stuff in the corner and try to side whether or not you're starting to lose a little bit anyway, like what's happened? Like, I'm not going lie.
I'm not going lie. It started off and, you know, I think I started off a little rocky. I think some people saw some videos, but we fix those problems. And it started off where there was so much intention, like we want to go and play and play for a purpose. And then, like, I'm hitting some of our people and they're just like, who does Bolani play? It's so easy anymore. It's really not. Yeah.
And I think when all these things happen, it's a combination of being in that bubble and being confined, which everyone is confined in their own homes right now. But you're being confined and you're competing against the guy next door and then you're seeing that person in the elevator and then you're dealing with watching another video that sort of creates just so much emotional trauma for you. Like this is unprecedented. And so the bubble is there. And it's funny because when when the bubble started, I was like, the only reason I'm going this is bubbles, if I have a chance.
When we heard that with Damian Lillard, we heard that with my my sister actually literally said that to me, like we didn't do all this to just come in here and just play like we want to play and win, which is why I think I'm glad like everyone's coming back to the point of playing both the NBA and the WNBA. But it is a lot in the moment. And I know a lot of people see them as celebrities, as athletes, as influencers, but they're also human beings that are like processing things in real time.
Their families are just now entering the bubbles. And that's something that they've needed to help feel better in this situation. We're in a society. So at least I think they've made it through the hardest moment in the sense of that initial stage of shock, anger, grief, and now there's clarity, understanding. And now they're going to be like, OK, I'm going to use this platform for what we exactly intended to do, like my my talents give me this gift.
And hopefully that creates an opportunity to use this platform for a message.
Plus, you're out of your comfort zone, too, right? I mean, that's one of the reasons when you're when you're playing on the road. The road records aren't as good because of the travel, but also you just don't have your stuff, you're not in your bed. You know, like if you're LeBron James, you don't have your two million dollars worth of exercise equipment, all that whatever the the crowd genic chamber and all the shit.
He has this basement chamber in the WNBA, actually, which is funny. Is there really there is one there. There is. You have to sign up like it's like, can I have the two slot.
I think that's a no. It's a player, a player in a team.
Shout out to the Seattle storm superbrands doing oh, they always cutting edge, always thinking a little differently. So they brought in the chamber. And that's that's a huge competitive advantage. Right. Wow.
So that means there must be like ten, ten cryogenic chambers in the side there. Sure.
LeBron probably has one in his suite. Pretty much. Probably like the bathtub. Probably. They're probably right there. You're right. But what would that be like just as an athlete, to not have your stuff, not be in your place for that long? It's it's funny. So I like being in college.
Right. But almost worse because you don't even have a college dorm.
Well, I would say it's better than college because in college we didn't have money to buy stuff to ship into the boat. So like, oh, good point. So my sister, when she got in there, the first Amazon purchase she got was like, they don't have a tub in her in her room. And so it's like a mobile tub.
It's like one of those Amazon like, you know, I don't know, private, but it's like a balloon circle. And she's using it as like a bathtub funeral for old people. Yeah, yeah. Pretty much pretty much like one of those commercials. And even I like today I sent Chick fil A to our team, the Los Angeles Sparks. It's like little things like that matter so much. And also sending my sister and her team a lot of hyper ice.
Have you ever used one of those things? Hyperbolic, hyperbolic?
No, I don't know about that.
It's like that like tool that you use it like vibrates and like, oh, the self massage. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
So like sending those like it's like Christmas Day for these, you know, the players in the bubble because like it's back to the basics. That's how we were training in quarantine and like you have limited supplies in the bubble. So but they're happy, they're happy to still be able to play. But it's like you're doing a lot of things to adapt.
Do you feel like the WNBA has found its footing in a lot of ways these last couple of years because of how they've embraced not just the social justice stuff, but all the different gender politics, all this stuff where they just seem like I don't know what the year was, but all of a sudden they're at the forefront of different things. What was the change? What was the key moment?
I think there have been a number of key moments. But like this is who consistently the WNBA has kind of like people are just now realizing that more and more a couple of years ago stepped away from the game to help advocate for a man that was wrongfully convicted. And she freed him. He was in jail for twenty two years. People are just realizing that, like the WNBA back in Minnesota with Blando Castillo, where one of the few people to really use their post game pressers and sports to speak the same way we're seeing Doc Rivers speak in front of all those.
So the WNBA has consistently been that. And I think now we're at a point in society where, like, we have new eyes, like I hate this part, saying like we have 20/20 vision, like but we're now starting to appreciate things that before we sort of looked past or just didn't care to see or acknowledge.
Now those things are brought to the forefront. And it's our league that I mean, why do you have one of these stories?
What is it, the WNBA? How do you haven't you seen it like the orange? No, but my daughter would wear that probably OK, 90 percent of the time. That's a good one. Yeah. I can hook you up.
I mean, would you wear one bill. Would you would. I don't I don't want hoodies like that. I'm an old man.
What's what's wrong with those vehicles. I don't know. Yeah.
I guess we call them sweatshirts. Bye generation. You're born.
You come on. You're a Boston Stan. I love Boston. I got cold all the time. I know you wear hoodies.
I know. I don't know. I hit this point that when I turned 50, I was like, now, no, actually, no. I got to say the pandemic now it's just been t shirts and shorts because it's like, who am I trying to impress? I don't see anybody. Amen to that.
Like, honest, I'm probably getting way too TMI, but, you know, I like this, OK? I'm just going to lean in there like a bra doesn't feel the same anymore. Like after being brollies for a couple of months. I know this is too much, so I'm sorry, but this has been good for us to sort of realize that we don't have to be all dolled up all the time. So I understand that energy.
Yeah. My wife, we were doing something where I actually had a nice shirt and a good pair of shorts on and she kind of looked at me and she's like. It's nice to see. Nice to see you dressed up for once, and I'm like, what am I like a bum like? But then I'm thinking like, Yeah, I guess I kind of have I just wear a t shirt and shorts every day.
The first day I put on makeup. No, not put on makeup. I had someone do my makeup for because we're simulcast on ESPN News to do it. I was like I windermere's like who is this. However long it was it is states that have to impress anybody.
Just day after day one of the only pandemic benefits that one of the very few.
One of the very few. It's a short list.
Give me give me like two WNBA subplots to watch for the actual basketball here as we head down the homestretch.
OK, that I should care about. OK, this is OK. Yeah. Too that you should care about. I don't. Last year, our Los Angeles sports team lost and very infamous fashion. We got swept. It was horrible. I read all the stories.
There was like there was like crazy reporting and all kinds of stuff about that. It was kind of ugly.
Yeah, it got it got bad. It got really bad. And I remember after this because my sister was like, welcome to L.A., like L.A. But you stepped into this. Derek Fisher is our head coach. He's done a tremendous job this year. But like, imagine all the stories you read last year and now the sparks are like, I think on a seven game, eight game win streak. Candace Parker is playing like an MVP, what she is previously.
And so does that whole story of going from zero last year where we got swept to now, you know, having and even think with the same coach, think about Coach Fisher, the like leaving New York and then choosing to coach a WNBA team. A lot of people probably don't even know he's the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. So I might be totally biased, but we're allowed to be like a little play, a little favorite bowling following on the sparks would be really interesting.
And then also, I think there's there's just so many cool stories.
I mean, Las Vegas is a really cool team to watch as well. They're missing a number of key players. But Asia, Wilson could potentially be the MVP of the league. Seattle is flying high per usual. So there are a lot of cool stories. And I know a lot of people like sort of the here WNBA. I think we're like conditioned to think like. Right. And I think hopefully people will now give us a different opportunity because you're seeing us in different lights.
Like we don't dunk as frequently as the guys. I mean, we do dunk guys like this does happen. We have Brittney Griner in our league. We have Laurie Johnson. We have Jonquil Jones, who's not currently playing, but like we have women that can do it. It just is our game is different. But we also are like the best women's basketball players in the world doing what we do. And so if people sort of just instead of being conditioned to be like, oh, the W like maybe just take a second, take a B and give it a try.
And I think you have you have you been to a game? Both. Probably four years ago, I've taken my daughter a couple of times, I was an early detractor, I came around. It's an emotional story.
Hey, I am so proud of you, because early on I felt like it was being force fed to me like broccoli. And the NBA was promoting it so hard. I'm just like, well, I don't really I don't want to watch this league like, sorry. And it was just in your face all the time. But once I had it, my daughter was born in 05 when she started playing sports. You know, I'm not that that's an excuse, but it just it did make me think about things differently and take it into the game.
But more importantly, like Taurasi was so fucking good, that was kind of the thing that won me over. And I always find myself drifting even now, like she's obviously the goat. But even even at this advanced age, she can still bring in a real and I don't even know what her NBA equivalent is. I guess it would be LeBron.
It probably is, because what is it? You're 16 for Tuross. You think you're 17 for LeBron. But like Bill, I'm here to tell you, you I don't know what. I'm sorry. I don't know my my history in the sense of your comments on the WNBA. But you are right, it was being force fed and it was force fed in an inauthentic way. And that's it.
That's how I felt. And that was my big criticism. Let me decide on my own whether I like this league. Don't force me to watch it. And, you know, I, I look back and obviously we change a million things about things I've written and passed things like that. But in that case, it was like it was unfair, you know, it shouldn't have had it shouldn't have taken me having a daughter to re-examine like something. But, you know, I remember the first time I took her to a Sparks game and we sat courtside.
It was great and was just really impressed, especially by Taurasi. And that was and then she came on great basketball, our I think twenty fifteen. Yeah. And she was one of the best guests we had like for a couple of years. Like she was so authentic to her, like she didn't, she didn't have like this media personality and she could break down the NBA guys in a way we Jaylen I were like what the hell is going on?
Oh yeah. She's she's awesome.
You know, it's funny because what you were impressed by, you're like, oh, wow. Like, this is cool. A lot of people make judgments on the West, but like, they haven't seen it in person. And when you see in person, like, oh, this is different. And I had the same situation where a couple of, you know, like courts and you don't know how long it was because I have no idea what month it is.
Yeah. Donovan Mitchell, I met him for the first time through Adidas.
I didn't an that with him in New York because I think he's from Connecticut and I hosted the event. And at that event I was brought to a private room and they showed him his shoe and I was like so excited to be there. That's where we first bonded and connected. He actually went to the Newark Liberty game the next day and we were playing the sparks were playing the liberty. And after the game he hits me like, hey, like what?
He's like, no, I didn't know, like, you bang like that. I was like, what are you talking about? Like, y'all go hard, you go, all right.
I'm like, yeah, like this is just what I do.
Like I'm not I'm only like, well, I guess I'm I'm six too. But it was meant to explore and, you know, seeing it in person, even for like NBA players that are exchange it for the first time.
That's why you hear them talk a lot about it, because they they get it and they respect it. And so, like, I guess I can understand why. Maybe you at first thought, like, yeah, this is being force fed in a way, but now it's different. Like Diana is going to be Diana and you're going to see it in her most authentic ways due to social media, due to technology. Now, like, I'm going to be myself and my following might be bigger than what you might see a big game otherwise, like things are coming from our league now authentically.
And so I think people are resonating with that now. And it wasn't like that before. I would say like before they're trying to make us like Disney princesses and like, you know, we're here to save the world. I'm like, no, we're just women out here just trying to do our thing and and hope so.
That's what they've it's feels authentic now. And I don't think it felt that way the first ten years. And even like I just think that made some tactical mistakes, even like playing an NBA arena is where you have fifteen hundred fans and stuff like that, like when you watch women's basketball in college, part of what's great is the crowds, you know, and I think they had their crowds are as good as the men's college crowds and they have not been able to replicate that, partly because I don't know why they're playing in NBA arenas.
Like I always felt like the L.A. Sparks should play it like, you know, play two games at Pepperdine, something like that. Just pack it, make it like super excited and give it like a really crazy amount of energy. Yeah, I just I just like the energy of it. I think that would really help versus these big arenas.
You know, I do love staples. I'm not lot. I love playing on stage. Yeah. Have you done you know what the drive is driving so long I don't want to be on a bus.
Well give me another call. Or like USC, whatever, like somewhere that's like I don't know, four thousand. Five thousand or something like that. But now in the bubble it doesn't matter because there's no fence anywhere. I know.
But see, the thing is, is I think even four thousand our season ticket holder. I know that it may sound crazy compared to the guys, but like for us to average six thousand seven thousand eight thousand per team, that's growth. And we want to still show opportunity for growth and like, come on.
So that I know that's pretty good. That is the start of the. That's kind of. Yeah, it sounds good. Yeah.
That's not bad. But, you know, it's funny because you mentioned Staples and when I was at Staples the first time I went there was actually for the PAC 10 tournament. So I was like a PAC tener my freshman year. And those are where those tournaments are weird.
It's it's just. All the energy is just bizarre in those games, it's just games all day, different little tiny fan bases. I never got used to it.
But, you know, it's funny because we're talking about Staples. And I was just thinking about, like the arenas. And the first time I was there and the first time I was there actually was interesting because my best memory is not even from winning and Staples yet, hopefully as a spark. But when I was a freshman, that was my first time playing in Staples with the tournament. And so I go in there my freshman year and I'm like freshman.
We're just like corny and awkward and all that type of stuff. So I go in there and I'm like my sister and my team is just two years older than me. And I'm like, yeah, we want to turn them. I'm going to leave a note for Kobe Bryant because the Lakers is the home of the Laker and they're like, oh, yeah, like she's just doing the most. I was like, I like, come on out.
And so we go we win the tournament. And when we're about to leave, that one reminds me, like, you know, you say you won't even know for Kobe. And so, like this is that youthful, like innocence and all that stuff. So, like, everyone's waiting for me on the bus. And so I rip up like, you know, like the nasty scouting reports, like coaches are holding it in, being poured drinks on it.
And so I rip off, like the bottom of the only paper I see, which is like the corner of a scouting report. And I write this note. Dear Kobe, thank you so much for letting us your locker room. Like I feel like I'm like a five year old know, saying these things now. And, you know, we here at Stanford Men's Basketball, we are big fans. We support you. Sincerely, Janelle Gammick, you know, it's everyone's basketball team.
Our coach before we started that whole tournament said, do you guys know which ones? Kobe's locker, we can figure it out, but like, it's the only one with a lock on it in there. And so once that locker and my hands are too big at the times, like, well, my hands are big. I'm so, so open up the lock. And so I found our little point guard who's smaller and has more dainty hands and like, opened it.
And I slid this nasty little note in there. And then we go back to the Bay Area at Stanford. And a couple of days later, maybe two days later, after after the end of practice, coach, toward the end of your Hall of Fame coach that coaches us at Stanford pause. And we thought, we're all done with practice. And then she goes, and when the huddle, she's like today. And I'm like, oh, God, what I do.
Because, like, I'm that type of person that way. Always forget to fill out of paperwork that got us to like maybe made us have to run and all that type of stuff. And she's like she. Did you leave a note for Kobe after we won? And I was like, what?
And our whole team says, you're like, No, no, that's the bottom.
I'm like, yes, oh yes, I did it.
So everyone's jumping up because they knew I did it. And so she's like Kobe, one of their athletic trainers, which I believe I'm forgetting her name. She's a trainer that went to Stanford. He connected with her who reached out to our team at Stanford to send on the message that congratulations on winning the tournament, proud of everything you do, strive for excellence, excellence in everything that you do. And I'm rooting for you guys moving forward in March Madness.
And that's what Kobe Bryant did for me.
How does a lot of stories about him like that, which I had no idea until after he died, and it's it sucks that it had to for that to happen for like literally hundreds of stories like that to come out.
And, you know, it's crazy. I didn't even remember that because my previous memory was like the immediate one. We saw Kobe at the US women's national team. You know, like how they going for this? Should she believes saw. Yeah, yeah. We saw him there and we had head coach Derek Fisher. I told you how our season ended, kind of. So we were like trying to figure out how to get the fish and all that stuff.
And we thought we're just going in at the suite where he was with his daughters to take a photo op and he stays and talks to us for an hour and a half like, OK, tell Fish this, and this is how you can improve here. Like, he was just the most warm guy. So I didn't even remember that PAC ten story until a couple of days after the tragedy of his passing. I was like, oh, my gosh.
Like Kobe didn't know who I was. I was like a nineteen year old. I wasn't a number one pick in the NBA yet, like he had no reason to take a tiny piece of no and care about that. And that's what I did. And so, like we talk about staples, like that's why I'm still so happy to play there, because it's like he was a huge champion for our game. And so having us there now I feel like is is just is everything that makes sense.
Are you going to feel that way about the new Clippers arena and Inglewood or. No, in five years.
So I was like really blown away because when I first came to L.A., your girl has to get her hair done. And so, you know, I was looking for four people to get my hair done. And one lady that has hooked me up is in Inglewood. So I go and get my hair done in Inglewood. I turn around because of what is that? And they're like, oh, that's the development for the Clippers. And I think I think they deserve they're like, it's I feel like it's weird letting stadium time or splitting arena or court time, don't you?
I think it's it's the right move because they were always going to be like the the foster child of of the Staples Center, basically. Oh, yeah, you can live here, but you'll get as a Clippers season ticket holder, like it's always the worst day. It's it's the New Year's Eve game. It's the Sun one o'clock game during the NFL playoffs. Like, that's those are the dates they get. So now they can control their own destiny.
And what will be cool is if there's L.A. versus L.A., same night, stuff like that, you know that. Hey, I'm not I'm not a huge Staples Center fan from a basketball. Going to the game standpoint, because I felt like I felt like it was built like 10 years too early. Oh, really?
Like, they just kind of figured out stadiums the last 10 years and a whole bunch of different ways because the the one in Boston has the same issues like that. The ones that were built in the 90s and early 2000s were like, oh yeah, we'll do that. And now it's like you would probably not do 90 percent of the things they did. But you definitely you probably wouldn't have as many people. Yeah. You would figure out much better ways for people to get in and out and things like that, like the staples, like waiting for a half hour to get into the arena.
It's ridiculous to be guarding.
You think it's a little oh, that's ready to go. It's like twenty five years old.
So my first media job was working on the NBA side with Celtics dot com because when I left. Yeah, I know, right.
So I was playing for the Connecticut Sun at the time and so I was starting my, like, broadcasting stuff and like I got to go on and sort of and it's cool because that's what I love about Boston sports fans like I played. And not many people like know of the WNBA. But once you start like being exposed to the sports culture, I will never forget that first time I left the first Celtics game, I worked. I had a guy like driving by on the street, like today.
I'm like, whoa, y'all y'all are really role different. But you're right. Like going through that side entrance, that media entrance, it's not really the most convenient. And then plus it's like the soap. What do you call it? Is it the subway. Like the destination. Like the metro hub. Yeah. All that stuff's gone now. They blew it out, but it's just like, I don't know, we know so much more, especially like the kind of arena you would build now and how you'd use Wi-Fi in it and, you know, all these subtle things.
So I'm excited to have Ballmer, who just has more money than he knows what to do with trying to figure out. All right. I'm going to try to build the best possible arena. I mean, who knows? We may not be going to basketball games for two years.
God only knows. I know, but at least he has enough money to like. Oh, this may not work out for the immediate future profit wise, but I'm still I'm still fun.
Can I ask you, a young female athlete question before we go? Absolutely. So my daughter, who's now starting 10th grade, who plays competitive soccer and has not played now for six months. The season just abruptly stopped like it did for everybody else, but now she's in this position where it might not even come back for, I don't know, next spring and she's going to lose like half of 10th grade stuff like that. What would you do if you were like, think about 10th grade you?
And I guess basketball's a little different because you can play basketball on your own and whereas soccer, you you can't really but like, what would you do?
What would be like three things you would do to kind of keep your brain knowing what you know now to keep your brain, like, locked into it? Sure.
So the first sport I actually played was soccer. And I don't know if I like actually playing because I went out there and I was so much taller than everyone else.
I would score like seven goals a game because it was like we're young and the kids like to stay out of our way. So they run out and be like, yeah, I was like, why am I so great? And I was like, oh, you know, I'm like a foot taller than everyone. It was different. But I think the thing that's that's really challenging for a lot of people that have to transition, like to even virtually virtual schooling and that type of stuff.
As an athlete, I think what has helped me, especially during quarantine or even not being able to like go to practice as much, is just like going back to the basics, sort of the small fundamental drills like using your wall in your backyard. Are you are you that type of parent that lets your daughter kick at the ball at the wall?
I'm just excited when she's doing the basics because sometimes kids, they don't.
Life is so easy for kids now. They don't want to just be like, hey, I'm just going to go outside and juggle for a half hour so I could be that much fun. It's true, but it's just kind of what you have to do.
It's true because, like, I feel like I was born in 92, so I was like the last few years where you could go play outside.
And I was like the ultimate pre social media. Yes, precisely. Pre social media. But for her, I think it's like back to the basics, like what I used the time was like to work on my balance and my footwork and all those technical aspects that I normally wouldn't have time to do. Also, I know it's like soccer, but like, is she into yoga? Because there are so many different things that you could be doing that you'd be surprised actually help like.
So that's what she's been doing. She's been doing a lot of like she's in crazy shape. But I think the thing that a lot of pallotta is an obsession and stuff like that. But the thing that you just can't replicate is not being on a team. Yeah. And it's been it's been in her life since she was like five and she'd been doing this year round year after year and just was used to competing and not being able to compete I think has been really weird.
It's I don't think she realized what a big part of her life it was.
You know, I think everyone had that kind of realization because, like, I've had two major injuries. I've had microfracture surgery left Achilles. And like I had that reality that like, oh, snap. Like, I have to recover for a year and a half. And that happened to me twice and like three, four years now, like through those situations of us being confined at home now, everyone's having that that, you know, reality. But I guess what I would tell her is like I'm very careful and particularly so like if I'm going to go and work out with a couple of people because I miss that environment.
I'm a pick for people that I know. They're not doing too much in the streets. I'm saying, all right.
Now, that's what you're saying is so funny because all the parents we have this you have like your kids have these two or three friends that are kind of vetted where you're like, OK, they can come in. And then there's some other ones.
Right now, they're not coming in over the bed. What is the vetting? Actually, it's it's embarrassing. But like, I kind of want to know the parents because kids kids are going to put themselves into some situations. But ultimately, it's the parents that are going to be the ones controlling what situations they're in. And if so, if we know the parents and we're friends of the parents, that makes me, you know, a little feel a little better about it.
That's really funny.
That's very like a parent angle, because me, you know, in quarantine, it's been funny, like being like having time for myself, like I've been trying to do some things. And it's funny because when you when you talk about parents and even relationships, because, like, I was navigating a space with a guy and my parents were like, oh, like I don't care about what his parents are doing. I was like, Mom. But like, what about the guy right here that that's the tunnel ends up parents.
I was like, no, he's going to turn into his parents. He's going to act like it's parents. I think that is kind of funny.
Parents are incredibly judgmental. That's what we do. We just judge stuff constantly. We judge people. We we judge the impact it might have on our kid. That's that's that's why we're here for judge our kids. You constantly give them tips. They don't want advice that they never ask for. That's what we do. But yeah, it's been weird for me as a parent, not going to the games. It's I didn't realize how big of a part of of.
Yeah, I'm not just going to like pro sporting events, but just going to like youth sports and watching my kids play. And it's just like gone.
You know, I didn't even think about that because we always think about the other way around, like the athletes and the players being our kids, being myself, our peers. You your job is you talk about such, but now it's sort of like you. How do you feel not having this like this boy? Well, because I only have so many years left. Right. It's the same thing where, like, we. Your kid goes to college and you're just painfully aware, like, all right, and three years from now she's going away, I don't know where she's going.
She's going to go somewhere. But either you just start thinking about I think around ninth grade, you just start thinking about like only so many years after this, only so many days of this. And then she started dating a guy. And it's like, oh, man, it's just it goes so fucking fast.
And I'm totally babbling, but no, but you know what's good about it?
Because by the time she goes to college, even though it's hard for you, that's when you start having an appreciation for her parents.
Oh, that'd be great. You look forward to that. I felt like she should have appreciated all the driving, at least by now.
No, no, we don't. Sorry.
Yeah, as long as she has her phone and a driver, she's freakin happy. And food and food and food and food after the games.
All right. This is fun. Thanks for updating us on everything. It was good to see you. Were everything is advertize from from Jaylen and Jacoby. My guys, by the way, we played at Staples a few times, the three of us.
I need to go into the archives like what's what's your game like. We well it's I was effectively washed up at that point, but my game evolved over the years. Here's the thing about Jalen, though, and this is Jalen is in much better shape. You know, he met Molly and of course, he got a kick ass shape. That's how it goes.
Right. But Jalen, when we were playing with a. You just forget he's like a six, eight and a half guy who has a good handle, who whenever he wants can score and he's playing against these dudes, sort of like these frustrated high school athletes and college athletes who are like us by one chance, go against Jalen. And any time he wanted, he could just make a three or do his rotating spin move thing. And then all sudden he's at the rim.
And it was just like, oh, yeah, you made 18 million a year doing this once upon a time. This makes sense that you're still good at this.
Look, it's more impressive that you're on the court with him than he's on the court with you. So that's a win. You've got a standard there. That's nice. And also, by the way, you be happy to know that every day I'm at ESPN, at least pre pandemic when I go to New York. And Jacoby would update me on his his pickup games, and I'm still working to get him to shoot the ball. He still has anxiety shooting.
He came in. So crowd like going, I think had ten points, which he prides himself as a screener, you know, and a rebounder. So I'm going to stay on it so that he will be better next time you guys.
You know, Jacoby, that was my one last great run with him for two years at USC. That was my guy. We had something really special. You have people in your life for you, just like I did something really special. Pick wise with that person. He had a I he knew where to go, what to do. Super competitive. The only thing with Jacoby is like if he got an elbow in the face or something, he saw red for like a split second and it was like Artest melee potential.
But then he would calm down. But for a split second, his eyes would just go vacant and people's eyes go back and you're like, oh, my God, everyone's going to die. But then it would go away. But it would be like a split second. The lesson is, don't elbow Kobe in the face.
I didn't know that yet because he's a sprinter. So he was doing everything for you so that you could shoot and score.
The problem with Jacoby is when he would deviate from what his the three great things he was good at when he said, I'm going to lead that I'm going to throw a no look on this fastbreak if I know Jacoby. Oh, you know, now Jacoby Jacoby was really good and really fun to play with. I keep telling him, though, he's going to be washed up now because now he's you know, this is when you get your food, you lose something every year.
It you have a long way to go before you hit your 40s. Every year you lose one thing with basketball and then nothing is left but your shot by age forty five.
That's how it goes as long as you have your shot, you're good, though, right? That's the thing. And so what I would learn is I just do what I could do. I knew all the spots I could shoot from. And that's just kind of you become Kyle Korver, you know. I know I can do these three things, though, and don't ask me to do anything else about.
Yeah, not not many. Vince Carter is out there plus 40, but more Kyle Korver. That is true.
But the Vince Carter stuff, I thought that was an amazing story the last two years. Like I actually feel like he could have been a ninth man for a decent team.
Yes, I agree. Didn't he like there was this one crazy play where, like, he still dunk the same way he dunked like his second year in the way I was just like, how is it possible some people are just.
Like, physically different, like for him to be able to play like what LeBron is doing now with all the miles that dude has and there's like, you know, subtle signs of slippage, but, you know, Carmelo is another and some things are just meant to. Do this, I think, is like that, too, I don't see any scenario where Yanase like. Starts to decay as a basketball player. The guy's a freak and freak, and I think it's because, like, he's built a little bit more sustainably, less weight, leaner muscle.
And just like that's why we're seeing him like Blossom and like going from Mickey to MVP to MVP like. I voted for him for everything, I didn't understand the LeBron argument. How are you enjoying your show before we go? That's another topic for another day. Yeah. How are you enjoying your show? Oh, I love it.
You know, I love radio radio because for so long I was like NBA endless women's basketball analyst. But now I get to be today and just have a good time. And I was like, Junior Gulik is awesome. His family is awesome and his dad is amazing and has taught us so much. So I'm liking it.
But like, you're you're great at this. And I've always thought that was nice, but like talking for an extended period of time is work.
And that's what I'm just realizing, that the hard part is doing it for the ESPN radio with the breaks because, like, we could just go and we don't and we're hitting a good spot near like in the middle of your story about Kobe at the at the Staples Center. And then it's like, hold on, hold on, hold that thought we could talk about subway bah bah bah and then throw it. And then five minutes later you come back and you're like, all right, now I got to finish that story that has no momentum.
Now, this is why you the part that you like, read my mind, because today I was talking and it was ten seconds left before the show ended. I was like, oh, man. I started screaming. I missed it, missed the dismount.
TV was even crazier, like doing countdown and shows like that where they're just like twenty seconds left and you just feel like there's like a bomb.
It's going to go off for ten seconds, five and like wrapping up some point about the Lakers and they're talking in your ear, you're mentally listening while you're also trying to stay coherent on your argument.
It's it's way harder than people realize. I actually got used to it, but the first because they just threw me out that I had been on PTI like 15 times and we're doing this thing and somebody is in your ear and they're like, hey, man, we got an audible to the next highlights. And you're just like, oh, no, I'm on TV. I got to look straight, people. Yeah, it's great. You pick up chicks.
Well, good luck with that. It was great to have you on. It's nice to finally meet you. Virtually, yes.
Nice to meet The Godfather. So definitely like if you ever need me, I'm here. I got you. Especially when fans come back, I'll make sure you have a courtside front row seat to the sparks. All right.
You shut down my Pepperdine idea, but I think you won that argument. I appreciate that many season ticket holders.
We do. But also my little sister went to Pepperdine, so I'm not opposed because the views there, I'm not.
I just like the gym. It's just fun to go there and say it's just like feels like different. I thought the Merrymount gym's good, too. I like that. Alemu is nice. Yeah. We keep waiting for them to come back.
All right. Thanks for coming on. Appreciate it. Thank you so much.
I can say thank you to.
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