Di Robinson and is right here.
How you doing, my man? Thank you so much for giving me some of your time, man.
Thanks for having me.
And I'm chilling.
How are you? I'm doing all right, man.
You know, I'm over here in California, so the weather is all right.
You know, fires were clearing up a little bit, but it's been quite the last couple weeks over here.
Where you out over there in three East Coast? Correct.
I'm a senior writer.
Heavy dot com in Manhattan.
So I've been dropped in my house off and on for a bit, but honestly, I just been using this time to just stay busy.
Yeah, And so I think it's a time a good time to rebuild.
A good time to just keep stacking and just figuring it out.
How we can put ourselves in a good spot when everything clears up, which I'm hoping at some point, so But before we get into it today, a bunch of MBA topics one, of course, shout out our sports network unwrapped sports that where you could find us on Twitter and Instagram.
Our website at unwrapped sports dot com.
Like Brandon said over there, he writes for heavy dot com.
So go check them out.
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Thank you so much to everyone that has tuned in so far.
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So, Brandon, let's get right into it.
Thank you so much again for joining us.
I want to get right into how you feel about the bubble.
Obviously, the pandemic has changed.
How we have to go about sports nowadays.
So how do you feel how the MBA has executed the bubble? How has the environment felt to you from watching games? Has it really skipped a beat? Curious to your opinions on how they've got about it? Eso the bubble to me, they've done a good job.
I personally was skeptical about it.
Just because you don't know what you don't know, right? So when you look at the MBA bubble at large, no cases, no positive cases of cove in 19 what I'm learning just from talking to other players that are in the bubble and who had participated, you know, throughout the process that they're still in a bubble or eliminating the playoffs is victor.
Rules are due to the bubble, um, roped off places.
You can go places you can go, you know, mutual ground and even the community that's on the bubble.
I had a manual moodier on the heavy levels could be show.
Um, a couple of days ago, and he was telling me about Remember the Utah Jazz? He was telling me about how, during game nights, um, players would actually have a big projector screen outside community, just old school, kicking it out with the boys, watching the biggest projector.
That's awesome. Exactly.
So I mean, from the perspective of just, um, what the bubble has to offer.
I think they've done a good job.
I think early on where players were complaining about food and I mean, that's kind of just natural when you're used to coming and going there leads, Um, but they've done a good job.
You know, it's interesting I even though basketball is my main beat, I am, you know, in tune with the NFL.
Somewhat said he was just before the bubble started.
A lot of conversations I was having with players and executives and and and Hall of Famers was like they said that the NBA was the almost like the test dummy for what they'll do.
E irony of that, I want to the funny thing.
The irony of all of that is this, though.
The NFL, in my opinion, it's the test dummy for the MBA's returning arenas.
You're 100% right.
I've been thinking the exact same thing, and with the NFL, it's completely different.
How are you supposed to bubble rosters of that sheer size? It's just one team alone is six MBA teams.
You know, 56 NBA teams, and you still have to figure out how you're going to do that.
For 17 weeks plus playoffs, it's, it seems a little more complicated than bubbling for the time that the MBA did.
But, I mean, it did also what, $200 million Somewhere up, where they had to implement the bubble and up keeping the bubble.
It I mean, it cost it a pretty penny.
But look at what they were able to do.
Yeah, I mean, look at the advances that they're able to make a Well, I've been so impressed with the virtual fans, and I do like what you said about being the test dummy now for the return because samba, I don't find that feasible to bubble again for what months and months on end.
Just half a year.
You bring your family at that point, I think that's a debate.
We could definitely have that debate, but I feel like if the NFL MLB were able to get through a season, even if it was kind of a crap show with the MLB so far, we'll see how the NFL goes.
At some point, we're gonna have to figure that out, right for sure, I think bring a couple of points one the second bubble.
I mean, I mean, there has been internal talks about that.
Like, um, do you have it in Hawaii? Do you have, like, that stuff that Kuzma said this was considered Andi? I have to give credit to Key Smith over uh, hey, rights with Celtics wire.
And I think We'll G.
Emma's well, he was all over and keep his all over always was all over that.
He was a former Disney employees and really just want archives and just uncovering a lot of different things.
I don't think he gets enough credit for that particular scoop, so I want to give him his flowers while he's living in that regard.
But a zit relates to the future as faras you know, markets and franchises I mean, do you go with the original idea when Kobe first happened? Do you remember when the Warriors and then that's what supposed to play? And at E was getting to the Oracle at Chase Center without fans? Do you? Just.
But then you think about like Election Day coming up and arenas are considered voting centers on DSO.
That's interesting to me.
You know, the the dichotomy off voting centers for everyday working class citizens, and then that transforms into the potential bubble.
You know, the Bulls are a swell as the Charlotte Hornets and and the Warriors and all those other teams have now.
Then they're voluntary or they're they're obligated version of the bubble.
And now, I mean, you still have to recover money that the MBA did not resume play.
Um, they would have lost somewhere in the ballpark of $2 billion advertising dollars and things of have a big portion.
I'm a ambassador for Xeni Optical, which is the special sponsor of the Bulls.
They were the patch, and from this research that I've done on other teams who hold to wear patches on their jerseys.
Ah, lot of that money that they that that they paid out and then the team's paid back out.
We're still allocated as if the 82 game season still happened, right? That's why when you look at the court, you have alot those sponsorships, um, on the courts, because you have to fulfill that.
I think that's why the virtual fan thing was smart, because you have the Michelob logo up on that screen and you have exactly exactly, yeah is still thinking dollars and cents.
Um, but what I find interesting is, and just kind of talking to buddies of mine who are season ticket holders in different markets.
The teams were still asking for money as it relates to the season tickets, and the thing is, if they don't have a season in the arena with fans the following year, I know one particular team.
I don't know if this applies for all teams, but I could speak to a particular market.
I know that they're crediting that money for the following year, so, like coming up this coming year than the year after that, they'll credit that money so dollars and cents are still being doled out and rolled out.
It's just a matter off getting this thing right.
And what I'm apprehensive about is okay, so you get a cure or a vaccine? What does that mean for crowds of people, like, does the movie theater exist anymore? I'm I'm a little apprehensive of just people.
Why would you go to a movie right now or even just in the near future? It's just Why would you stay in a room with what? 100 people? And you're just enclosed in there for three hours? Don't they have streaming services? And you could just kick your feet up and watch that your nice home.
That's how I'm looking at it nowadays.
Fire sticks of my friend right now, my friend, my best friend.
You know what I mean? Like, you got to take advantage of that stuff, but yeah, no, I agree with you, man.
I think the bubble has been really immaculate and like you said to lose upwards towards $2 billion to spend up to $200 million to implement and keep up the bubble, it's just pocket change for them.
At that point, it's giving up a little bit to gain so much.
And like you said, It's so much more than that to you.
Get to still have Michelob Ultra with their logo up there doing the Jimmy Butler commercials and doing all the things about the bubble.
And what what do marketers do? What do smart promotion and brand er's do you learn to brand around the times and why? Why are you seeing so many commercials about staying home and the pandemic? And Jimmy Butler packing for the bubble? It's genius.
It hits you right here.
You see the logo there.
The MBA knows what they're doing.
They're I think they're probably the smartest organization currently with Adam Silver at the top, I know NFL would still be considered bigger just because it's America's for I guess you could consider that.
But I feel the MBA is ran just so well by Adam Silver.
I don't remember the last time he's really done something so controversial that it really upset the players going beyond CBS and certain kinds of business discussions and negotiations, which we're gonna be, um, heated and a little bit one sided here.
And that's that's business, of course.
But once the last time that he said something, if that's about social injustice or him going out of his way and putting players that harm or not being willing toe look through something innovative, just like making gambling partnerships and things that are still coming into fruition.
What other league around the world is taking advantage of so many things so quickly? Like the MBA Right now, I don't really think any at all, you know? So I think there are a few factors.
Cheers, brother, The MBA uh, it's won by the players more so than the NFL is absolutely theory.
You break that down masks as helmets vs you see faces.
The NBA players are more like actors or musicians in that regard.
They have the brands, even even the bench guy.
I remember back in last summer, I had Jason Caffey, who played on the Bulls last dance team on the Scooper video podcast, and he discussed how, even in championship years with the Bulls, he's still got a sneaker deal with an independent company just because he was attached to a championship team.
Red and white, black and the bulls eso.
When you look at the bubble, when you look at sponsorship when you look at just all those things, it's just digitizing the conversation.
The NASA's journalists, reporters, bloggers, podcast hosts, um, switch into, um, zumstein Yard and everything else because we're bored in the house and in the House board.
I think it was a natural progression, but But I like the second point is, when you look at the NFL, um, they are, Well, we look at the MBA and NHL, their niche.
The NFL grabs NHL fans, MBA fans, track fans.
Um, NASCAR and the NFL are kind of one and the same in that regard.
They're not niche there.
The standard, Um, but I think that the n b a benefiting post Colin Kaepernick NFL.
I agree with you.
I think the NFL dropped the ball quite a lot on a few things this last decade and with its funny too, because you you dropped the ball so hard by trying to stay kind of in the middle.
But subliminally not supporting what you should be supporting s not only lost a good chunk of good people that just because of the immoral action you lost the ignorant people too, because you didn't take a stand against it completely.
And you're letting you know some people kneel against the flag, which people don't understand why.
You know, people are kneeling still, which is extremely crazy to me.
But I feel like the NFL did such a bad job.
I mean, if you're gonna be a s***bag, I guess Go be a complete s***bag and lose us all as fans and keep your s***bag fans.
But they stayed right there.
You got war veterans that are like, Oh, they're disrespecting the flag.
They don't wanna watch anymore.
And then you have other people that are a little morally sound that don't want to really watch it, or I feel have the same dedication to watch as they used to kind of thing.
So I agree with you completely.
I think it's also what have you done for me lately kind of world.
So it leaves that taste in our mouth.
It's no longer my grandfather has been an NFL fan forever.
You're growing up in 2020 2010.
You know, throughout this last decade, and seeing all the things that we've progressed with, seeing all the problems that we've had to deal with and seeing how major leagues that we look up to and really worked with and enjoy how they handle certain things that we all find just human, you know, should be easy.
Decisions should be easy things.
And, you know, I think that's why a lot of people become MBA fans because of, like you said, how they are with players and willing.
They are toe really go.
And I think it's a nice little transition to our next topic is, Well, you know, really just how the MBA's handled the black lives matter movement, which really started with Kaepernick back, you know, when he started kneeling and has finally become so much more in the forefront.
And, of course, just the pandemic, which is why we've had the bubble to begin with.
And it's just so many things going on at once.
My question to you is really how you feel.
The MBA is handled.
Such serious and careful matters right now and still being ableto focus on a little bit more than just basketball, of course.
So I wanted to hear your opinion on how they've executed all of this.
Well, I want to say something to your last point before I directed e Also think that the n b a has a w w e effect.
Um, when you look at and in the transition into social media perfectly, when you look at the NFL, NFL films would go after you when you were post video on social Media.
Media wasn't on it like that to When you look at when I made the w w reference, I said that to an executive within the league back in, like 2015 2016.
And they looked at me like I was crazy.
But it z kind of not, because when you look at it the w w e when we were still calling it the WWF, particularly like in 97 98 99.
It was about the rock stone cold and *** with selling good good times.
Eso like when you look at the wrestling back then people were on Mike talking smack more than they were wrestling.
If you looked at Monday night, raw, raw wasn't was an hour.
32 minutes of raw was spent on the microphone.
Yeah, um, 28 minutes was spent wrestling on DSO when I look at the MBA, it's about who said what On Twitter.
Who said What on instagram about whose mother? Who Who's sleeping with who who snuck, what sweetest made into the room in the bubble Uh, it zvehr e It's very W w B.
And the thing is, W b.
You know what story lies? The MBA is just natural progression off just everyday life.
And then you have first take supplementing.
You know, the word on the street whispered down the lane the next day.
So I wanted to bring that up because I don't think that's talked about enough within, you know, people who do***ent the league, um, to your question about black lives, matter and a pandemic, I think when a majority of your league at least player wise, is African American, how can you not address it? You know? Absolutely.
Briana Taylor is the newspaper right now in the police officer.
One of them, I believe, was charged with shooting bullets at other houses, not Briana Taylor's house.
And you know e was zoom calls with the Sixers in particular.
Um, you know, that was all Tobias Harris and others on that team work discussing you know Briana Taylor That went through a phase where other players would only make a statement about Rianna Taylor and that's it.
You know, I'm not pleased with what's going on, particularly in Louisville.
I'm also not a Louisville resident.
I don't know all the intricacies, but I do know that a black woman ah, woman, not even black a woman was killed, All right, I was from everything that's reported, you know, minding her business.
So I think that the MBA and it's players have done a good job of allowing on not, you know, uh, placating players ability to speak their minds about what? What bothers them.
I think he has done a good job.
You know, I think I have.
I spoke with Mark Cuban a t beginning of the bubble on.
I reached out to him and we talked about, um just from our ownership standpoint about black life matters is it relates Thio, you know, names on the jerseys and hey was all forward.
He thinks it's a good conversational piece, but I think one thing that gets lost in translation with all of that conversational piece not just talking about it because you feel bad, but I think that a lot of people through a 28 year old under the bus and Kyrie Irving, who you know in in conversations on zone, you know, with players and and privately players have pulled Kyrie to decide.
But I wasn't interested in playing because of Cove it and because of you know, all of the things that were going on.
And then you saw that kind of retroactively reveal itself again when for two or three days, you know, players decided they didn't want to play, um, in the bubble.
And so I think that a lot of people, Oh, carrier from an apology.
People in media Curry is a great guy to People don't realize this because he does make some outlandish statements about the world being flat and stuff, and people just kind of assume that he's not intelligent, but he is extremely intelligent, such a good guy.
If you look at what he's done for W MBA players, creating that fun for millions of dollars for people that did wanna opt out for this kind of situation for serious matters, he's not just thinking for himself.
He's not selfishly thinking like I don't want to do this, and everyone else should feel how I feel.
Like that's not how he went about this.
Whatever he said, how he felt, which you should as a leader in this league and if other people felt that some way, maybe someone didn't have that strength and courage to be able to speak up the way that Kyrie did and be ableto really put foot forward like a guy like I recon dio.
And then not just that.
See how the WNBA's dealing with something extremely similar and the WB gets nowhere close to the amount of love that they deserve.
So like that, I talk about them all the time with that lack of love, especially with my girl, is about me and her are always chatting about it, and they've been on the forefront of social justice.
They have been on the forefront of doing what they need to do to put what's important first, and I agree with you.
Guys like Kyrie are needed in this world and gets an extremely bad rep from the media because he doesn't want to just conform, you know he wants to stand for what he believes it well, and I think, you know, it's it's talked about how Kyrie did a lot for the W.
It didn't just there, um, he he is a vegan on DSO he didn't donate.
I have it in front of me.
He donated $320,000 on 250,000 in meals to New York City during Kobe 19.
Hey, Donated 200,000 beyond burgers to New York City.
Food back? Yes, he did.
In addition to the, you know, the 1.
5 million funds to support W N B.
A players who you know who did not want to participate in the level Onda.
In addition to that, he also produced justice from Rihanna Taylor T V Show, which was hosted by Common and Jemele Hill.
Uh, yeah, and he also donated $50,000 cove in 19.
Uh, let's just keeps going to, you know, like Karius.
Such a good guy.
I hate the rep that he has with the media.
Yeah, but I think personally it it did start a two beginning of the season when there was an article that was put out about him being moody.
Uh, Jackie MacMullan who? I have a great deal of respect for as a journalist.
And, you know, I think that that's where the perception of Kyrie Leader you could put something out on once enough aggregates.
You can shape it whatever way you want to shape.
It s so I think there was this campaign, you know, and part of it, I think it's his time in Boston.
But the Celtics a zit relates to just how things we went about.
And, you know, I sat down with Jalen Brown back in December and, you know, he said to me he believes that, you know, Kyrie deserve the blame that he got.
Many things were misconstrued, you know, as it relates to him.
And then, you know, Kyrie has harassed precipices that reported back in December, Um, here the shoulder And, you know, really and truly the Nets are preparing for next season.
And I think the thing that kind of will will make a clean again is if in fact, you know that that's do when you know, I think respectfully, you know, and I would say this to his face.
You know, Kyrie has been hurt a lot.
And I think until he that perception of being hurt, I think that people were gonna always find something.
You know, That's one thing you could say about Tom Brady.
Um, you know, people use the flat gate a za weapon against him, but he still won multiple super bulbs.
And I think when you win, winning does your role.
And I think that's what Z it happened in March.
I think the Nets are gonna be a serious contender next year.
I really do, and that will lead us into a future top.
I'll leave that off, but their new coach will move into, Ah, little bit of championship prediction.
A little bit of talking basketball for a quick 2nd.
1st off, I'm in Los Angeles, So not the happiest after yesterday, You know what I mean? But what is it you're playing? The Nuggets? Who are They deserve respect.
First off, the Nuggets deserve respect.
Jamal Murray deserves respect.
They've been putting in work.
They've been coming back from serious deficits historic team.
When you really put it there, no one had won three come back twice back to back, and I think that might be a little bit of that bubble, setting a little bit of that au tournament and see double a tournament kind of feel where you show up every other day.
It's just a new day and you just go out there and try and be the best team that you could be with no crowd, no external influences.
So I think that this has been really impressive from them.
I personally obviously don't think they're going to get through the Lakers here just with the team that they have on.
Obviously, that Eastern Conference Finals matchup is pretty pretty good right now.
So I'm curious to hear how you feel just really about the current state of the playoffs.
You have a championship prediction.
If there's any team that you think could give the Lakers a good run right here, just curious to your thoughts.
I mean, I've gone on record all season if you don't know how long you've been paying attention or following me.
But wow, 2018 is you know, when I really started, you know, breaking down.
You know LeBron was coming to Los Angeles Space Jam? Yep, Anthony Davis, the Hawaiian and everybody likes to attach Meteo, you know, the Hawaii and Kevin Durant.
You know, situation did not happen the way it was supposed to, and, um, you know, that's fine.
But you know, there are some other intricacies there is related to Jason Kidd and J. R. Smith.
So I've been on that Lakers, um, in tow, working for a while, right? That being said, I have going on record, you know, all season saying and I wish nothing but the best for the Lakers.
I have seen them being, you know, this season's champion, But that doesn't mean that it's gonna come easy knowing on Twitter, I think maybe a week ago I said, You know, if I'm the Lakers, I'm scared of the Denver Nuggets and people got didn't understand it and I think we're upset.
And I think there's like a level right now off self righteousness that the Lakers are just gonna win it.
You know, just because they're Lakers and it doesn't work like that.
I do think that the Lakers were very lax last night.
I think Anthony Davis had about two rebounds that was insane.
To see him playing 40 plus minutes and grabbing two rebounds That's so unlike any big man, not just a d.
I think, like if they wanna win, they can't ever play like this again.
I believe legitimately do feel as if the Lakers, um, or playing the Nuggets last night as if they were the Houston Rockets.
And that was last Siri's. Andi.
I do think that Dwight Howard benefited from resting against the Rockets because the Lakers didn't need them.
You know, in a defensive minded coach, that is Frank Vogel, Um, who was coached to Paul George is Lance Stephenson's LeBron Anthony Davis.
You know Dwight Howard.
I think it could continue to be the equalizer in a serious moving forward.
But, you know, the other thing is, uh, you're not gonna always be perfect in basketball, and I think the situation with the Lakers, I think they went to bed last night.
But it's not over.
But the thing is, E said this.
One other shows, the Denver Nuggets are legitimately, uh, that bottle of pinot Grigio that's not you.
Uh, you're like, uh huh.
But I just have four or five years.
That's a beautiful ****ogy right there and they catch you slip it.
That's really how it is, have you? What team has ever came back from the last two deficits? It's really miraculously.
And also I'm a big Jamal Murray fan.
I, my Lakers fan, Absolutely, but I just I appreciate amazing talents, and I think that he has been underappreciated for quite a while.
And I think Yokich is an interesting player, very, very skilled, probably the best big man in the league right now.
I may be Joel Embiid by definitely a great conversation.
Karl Anthony Towns could even be thrown into that conversation at times.
But really, I'm just so impressed with how he's taken leadership when it really counts, when that shot needs to be taken.
When it's that clutch moment that you're looking for the eye of the tiger, it's not Yokich, even though he does have it.
Sometimes he throws up those crazy hooks and he he's on the ground and you have no idea how yoke it's just did that.
But you know exactly how Jamal Murray just did that.
He's staring at you in the eyes.
He's dribbling you up, you know, you know exactly what's coming.
He hits that and he's shipping down the court yesterday you saw him hitting that.
It was even as a Laker fan. I'm like, I see.
You know, like you.
You're out there, you're out there hitting it.
And if it wasn't for him, they wouldn't even I don't think gotten past the Jazz.
So and then in that great boy, Horace's nephews.
You know, I think that that was the biggest equalizer.
I'll add that, You know, when you talk about just the Denver Nuggets at large, you're in Southern California.
But, you know, further North, watching the Nuggets reminds me of a World Series champion in the San Francisco 49 San Francisco Giants years ago, there were a bunch of they weren't they weren't Jeter.
They weren't a Rod. They weren't.
You know, even, you know, a Seattle Mariners team from years ago with Ken Griffey Jr and J B.
On there and some of those other guys I e think they said that the last night watching the broadcast.
Jamal Worry was the highest draft pick on that team.
I think he was seventh in 2016 and it's like when you sit and you really think about it, they're not afraid.
They have nothingto lose.
Um, And if the Lakers don't clean it up and not careful, they may be watching their balloon go up into the sky.
Yeah, I think like I mentioned in the beginning, I thought this game was gonna go six.
I don't think this is gonna be a cakewalk by any means.
Um, you could even go seven.
You know, it's really one of those great Siri's.
And like you said, it's really going to depend on how the Lakers come back. React.
I think Frank Vogel is a good coach.
And I mean, I'm coming off some years of watching Luke Walton with his Aston nine rotations and just horrible control over players, and it was just a nab salute Mass, although he's a nice guy.
But now you have a guy like Frank Vogel.
It's He's a smart guy.
He's defensive minded guy.
He's rotations were good, so I have confidence that he could mix it up.
But with that being said, he's not out there on the court.
He's not lacing them up.
He's not going out there given that effort, so it's really going to depend on the kind of intensity that the Lakers bring for a full game every single time you go out like, yeah, I think, Look, we realize e think we've been spoiled over 17 years of service, that LeBron James is a natural triple double.
Like, what was it 30 10 and 10 last night? Something like that.
You know, Jason Kidd comparatively was a natural triple double.
Certain guys just That's their That's their Remember Kenny Smith said this to me last year.
He said, You know, most guys have there, go to move in the counter.
He was like, What is LeBron's? Go to what is LeBron's counter? He doesn't have one right at your throat.
Let's just go to because I feel like his goals with his counter is being a his go to was being a playmaker.
First is counter is scoring.
You lead the league in assists with double digit assists.
Yeah, and so I think that, you know, when you look a LeBron and you look at the Lakers, I mean, I think even Rondo, like Rondo Caruso, played well in that game, just didn't get it done.
Nothing at one point model had seven assists.
Um, KCP, to me has picked up the slack for Danny Green.
I think Danny Green, Um, man, Danny Green like Danielle E.
I love him to Come on, man.
Get some time with Danny.
Um, do you remember back in December when the Lakers had, like, maybe a three or four, they lay off And then they played like the Hawks, the next debt like that? Like on a Sunday or Saturday, Any Danny had a basketball tournament at the Barclays Center.
I do remember that.
And he was he was talking about on his podcast.
Yeah, and so I sat down with him at the I was doing, I was actually broadcast.
I was doing color commentating for that high school basketball tournament at the booth, and I brought him over to the table and we talked for a good while, just about, like, season and large.
I mean, one of the things he said to me was, you know, I'm not where I wanna be.
I want to keep going.
I think that the expectations for Danny Green was, in my opinion, and I could be wrong, was almost like overhyped.
Well, no, I want to say that.
I think they were looking at him to be the same type of role player for the Lakers that Ron Harper was for the Bulls with Michael E.
Andi, I think, um, years from now, when we look at that Lakers team, if they win the championship this year, um, that equivalent will probably like that.
That that that type of guard we may look at Rondo is that complementary piece with Danny Green.
Um, you said even KCP who's really stepped it up, you know, with his I mean defense with him and Danny Green's always something you can bank on, but I like KCP and his aggressiveness.
You know, this playoff that I just love, how he's grabbing, he's slashing.
He's making really good cuts.
He's not just that three point shot that you expect to hang out there and hopefully make two out of five for that game.
When LeBron kicks it out to you, he's making his own shot.
He's cutting. He's moving without the ball.
That's something that KCP doesn't always do consistently.
I've been really impressed by it.
I am very impressed with KCP But I do think that Rondo doesn't get enough credit, man.
You hit it on the nose.
I mean, playoff Rondo.
When is he not stepped it up when it counts? When is he got two stories? One.
I was with Dwyane Wade.
Um, last September, A t the MBA to came launch in Los Angeles.
Oh, that's awesome.
Way talk about how valuable Rondo would be once a he got healthy, be playoffs came around.
And if you remember, Rondo and Wade definitely went toe to toe in the playoffs.
In years past, when Rondo was a Celtic way was, um, Rondo was a Celtic and Wade was a member of the Miami Heat, and then the two of them were teammates in Chicago.
And then, you know, he and Rondo and Wade what it heads with Jimmy Butler.
You know what times.
But the one thing Wade said was, man, once they get going, it's gonna be a problem on dure.
Those those words resonate now.
So there's that Brian Scalabrine E Ville, who played with Rondo in Boston, told me that region Rondo is the smartest basketball player that he's ever played with.
Scottrade is such a funny guy.
I actually chatted with him six months ago.
I do a little bit of Big Three stuff with Cuban Jeff. Everyone like that.
So I was talking to him a little bit on a media call and he hilarious kind of thing.
But I feel like Brian Scalabrine is one of the smarter basketball players that has played recently. Like it's no credit.
Obviously, he's his i Q.
Is out of this world.
Yeah, there's that.
And then Nancy Lieberman, um, I sit down with her on the scoop be radio podcast on.
I'm pulling up the quote now because of what she said to me about, um, Rondo makes so much sense, it was more about the level of accountability.
Um, it was it was a more along the lines off.
Hey, holds you just his accountable.
She would tell me how Rondo would call her late at night toe.
Just get up out of her bed to shoot, um, how this was when she was as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings, and what I found interesting about that is she goes for anybody else.
I would have taken that call, but because it was Rondo.
And just how much of they were more friends than they were, just like that coach player relationship.
I'm stalling while I'm finding this quote but actually hear that about Nancy Lieberman A lot.
Like I said with my big three stuff.
She's won a championship with the Big three since becoming a coach over there, and every single one of her players always talks about the kind of family culture that she installs and how she becomes like, ah, friend, a mentor.
A coach is so much in one, and I hear similar things about Lisa Leslie as well, who has coach less, obviously.
But it is just becoming a great coach who also won a championship this last season.
But Lieberman's awesome, she said.
My relationship with Rondo is very long and very deep.
There's a lot of respect between us.
He's one of, if not the smartest players that I've ever coached.
So if you are going to coach him, you don't You need to expect him toe, hold you accountable and he will.
With that said, LeBron James had to find appear that understood the game intellectually as he does so There's e que, which is emotional intelligence, and I cute, which is which is intellectual intelligence involved in this game.
And LeBron and Rondo have both.
So Rondo is a great mentor and role model.
I can't tell you how many times he's called me in the middle of the night, and I told him, You're gonna have to lose my number And then he said to me, Hey, and we watched film when we come in, like if I get six or seven guys and I'm like, You're unbelievable He called 234 in the morning and go coach, you watching film and I go, Yeah, then I actually get my computer.
Say, what is it that you want me to see So you can't think like you? Do you have to think that way? Landau was seeing you see the game through his eyes.
If he called and said, Hey, you want to shoot at four AM, I'd say yes.
So him read a DeMarcus cousins.
Those are my guys.
Whatever they need was my responsibility.
And that's awesome to hear about the markets cousins to because he as well, like Kyrie gets a bad rap, and I think he's a much better guy than people give him credit for us.
Well, so But grew up.
His high school coach grew up with my father and my uncles.
Andi, that high school coach, ended up becoming an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings.
I think him being in Sacramento and him having kind of risks with that reporter who wrote something about his brother or something like that.
I think that kind of gave people a bad perception.
Um, he told him, You know, you could talk about my family if you want, But you could talk about me, Don't talk about my family, right? He's very guarded.
He's very to himself.
But man, like when you get to know booking and sit down with rookie Um hmm.
He's one of the most quotable people that I have ever like.
I could turn my recorder on.
E could imagine.
He seems like such an awesome personality.
He's probably been so much fun all the time.
You know what I mean? I was so sad when he went down with the Lakers.
I just want to see him on the team all year.
I just wanted to have that vibe.
And I was like, Oh, **** it.
Like there are three people who is a riku.
Our reporters dream because they're the gift that keeps on giving boogie Donald Trump in Charles Barkley.
Yeah, and LaVar ball.
I love that transition to we're gonna move on with our Charles Barkley comment here.
I know you put something out with Donovan to Chicago.
Billy Donovan, ex coach from the Oklahoma City Thunder who didn't want to head a rebuild is what I was under the impression off.
Seems to be doing so here in Chicago.
I know you tweeted out yesterday.
Pretty late last night.
See her on my wavelength.
I'm a night owl s.
Oh, I see you're on that same wavelength.
I went and showed that a share.
Of course, you could check out my twitter at Perry asked.
And right below here.
And Scooby, of course.
Check out his content, but he dropped that Charles Barkley coming.
I'm gonna let you run with it about how Charles feels about Billy Donovan going to the Chicago Bulls first before we move on to Nash and how you feel about it.
But, um, what What I'll tell you is that there were the Bulls that a thorough search, a coaching E? No, that that list included, uh, Kenny Atkinson.
David Vanterpool, who was the head coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves? Um, Agent Griffin, Toronto Raptors.
A myriad of other people on this was, you know, immediately after the August 14th when Jim Boylan was fired.
Um, and you know, I conflicted about that firing on Lee because I think Boylan was very old school in his approach.
And he and I talked about that.
It's very similar to John billing, you know, over in Cleveland, very old school.
But the issue with that is, um, just in speaking with front office folks and players within the Bulls organization, they didn't like it, and and and and it reminds me so much.
And so I got my start 20 years ago with the Nets in New Jersey on Bond was around when John Calipari was the head coach and the vice president of basketball operations, right? And Calipari was loved by Keith Van Horn because Van Horn was a rookie.
But Calipari came in or it wasn't.
It was Calipari was in the second year, But at times he clashed with the Kindle gills and the Jayson Williams's and him and Sam Cassell were like oil and water.
But sometimes they really got along on and he's a head coaching.
I was gonna say you brought up Sam Cassell.
He deserves a head coaching position. Absolutely.
Eso, you know, as it relates to, um, just that level of, you know, no coaching experience in the n b A and trying to reach millionaires.
They weren't really feeling it.
And I think that Billy Donovan kind of bridges that gap because, you know, he started in Orlando then, you know, moved around, and he won a national championship.
He went to Orlando and with the O.
K. C. And now he's in Chicago.
You know, sources that I speak with within the Bulls have shared with me.
You know that their their coaching search was really a guy that you know, relatable to, you know, its players.
And I think he gives me a little bit of like a Pat Riley vibe.
When Pat Riley was a coach, just very clean cut, very charming and very relatable, like you said.
Obviously, I'm not comparing the two basketball minds Considering Pat Riley is one of, I think, the great one of the great basketball minds to ever live going from, you know, all the levels that he has.
But I really get that really cool, calm, collected, slick vibe from Billy Donovan Myself, obviously never spoken to him are really talking anyone that has that relationship with Donovan personally, but I'd see that he's also seems to get the most out of a lot of his players.
I see that he's made quite a lot with nothing.
So yes, and you saw this year with Oklahoma City? You know, they were 50 50 team Christmas, you know, played his butt off.
Someone a bull fix just shared with me during the culture so that you can check out, uh, my articles on the Bulls coaching over the heavy dot com or the senior writer I said, you know, a fixture told me for young team, it's the right personality in the right fit.
You gotta have a coach that understands the development of players while also relating to players.
The Bulls are expected to make it to the NBA playoffs this year, and they are a team that should have same trajectory, like the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns in Brooklyn and the Wizards, and they're in the 500 range.
There's no reason that the Bulls shouldn't have been there this season.
And in the bubble in Orlando, Billy Donovan fits that mold.
E don't know about the bubble this year.
Definitely not, but I agree.
I think they are better than a lot of those other teams with trajectories.
They have some serious star power there, even though exactly being by himself is one of the more underrated players in the league.
He is such a dynamic score, can be a leader, and they have a really good little nucleus there.
And they've drafted Well, I'll give him that.
You know, I'm a Kobe white fan myself.
I saw him out in summer league when I went out the last summer league.
Not this last July, but the July Prior.
I was very impressed with how he played right off the bat.
You know, there's a lot of guys that you saw there even in lorry marketing, who doesn't get any love either.
He is very good for the modern MBA.
He's a perfect peace not to rely on but a perfect complementary piece and could hit All star level.
The Bulls is third leading scorer this year and shot 34.
5% from downtown.
UM, came out of North Carolina.
I think the issue with Kobe is, Do you play him at point guard, or do you ship them to the to five? It's almost like a Ben Gordon type situation where Borden was 63 or 62 shooting guard.
Her Congress benefited by passing them the ball.
But been more than that vein is.
That's what that is, you know.
Kobe averaged about 13.
5 rebounds and 2.
7 assists per again.
Zach Lavine was very much overlooked.
A zoo old star this year on, Do you know, he and I sat down right right before the All Star break on.
One of the things he shared with me was he was disappointed, you know, that wasn't voted in, but a lot of it, you know, has to do with the fact that Chicago was not a playoff team Andi, he said.
By the end of the season, once we get team's success, everybody's going to think about that, Andi said.
I believe in myself on the court.
I know that I am and I know what I bring.
It's a little upsetting.
Uh, you think you could be in there? You know you want to play the game, obviously, but it's not going to deter from who I think I am every night and you know, I'll get there Eventually.
Levin averaged 23.
8 rebounds and 4.
2 assists and 1.
5 steals per game.
Absolutely, I was gonna tell you it's not just the offensive talent, either.
He is active defensively like he's putting an effort.
He plays a lot of minutes like I don't know what else you could really ask from a guy.
The only person I felt got snubbed harder than him this year over on the other conference now is Bradley Bradley Beal, because he's the only one in that same conference.
I mean, he was the only one on the All Star or non All Star of all time that averaged 30 points.
A game like that is absurd, but like you said, with Chicago not being a playoff team, Washington not being a playoff team has to do something with that.
The voting always seems a little off At times, there's always, but it's just so loaded sometimes at that certain position that we compare a guy with particular stats at a different position and say, Well, I'm confused how that guy got in over him and you know it's It's a little little political.
And with the positions lining up, you know, it's a guard heavy league.
It's becoming a big man league again, but a different kind of big, manly.
You know, the stretch five, as you like to say and point forwards, But, you know, I think it's interesting.
There's almost too many guards toe to show love to every single one of them every year.
In the last year, I said now, with Ray Allen on, one of the things he said to me was as a shooter, Hey said that he thinks in his last year.
His shooting percentages across the league did go down somewhat, but he said that he thinks that the big man is gonna make a retired on Greg.
You see it with even, you know, Taco Fall is considered like a minority because he's a traditional big man.
But then you look at somebody like Bobo who it's almost like, built like prison.
Jas, I was going to say, Is that the Newport singing? Yeah.
Yeah, like he's just too **** tall.
But then in the same vein, like, you know, fills up the stat sheet.
You know, I think this person funny thing is I don't think Zynga's is finished growing.
I feel like he's still growing on by.
Some of these guys were so young.
I mean, you hit it on the nose.
Sometimes people stop growing when they're like 28 30 years old.
If they get a growth spurt like you look at Karl towns.
I think he's 25 now.
And so when you look at towns like he's still growing like because he's so big, you forget he's that young, you know? And then you look at what just just the league at large, like it's a lot like these young guys are way like Zach.
Lavine to me, is the way.
Like I think he's going to play in the league for like 20 years.
I think he's been great.
Hey, maybe the best dunker in the league right now.
I mean, who really put up there with him? Aaron Gordon would be up there with him. Absolutely.
But is he? You know, I don't know.
I think Zach Lavine is just a whole another level of athlete, like he's so explosive when he leaves the ground.
You expect something spectacular? Half man, half amazing, almost.
Do you expect to Vince Carter kind of showing when he's up there? And if you don't, it's like, Oh, he held it back that time for us kind of thing.
But you don't expect that for very many names in the league? No.
And so I think when it's all said and done like I do think that, uh, to go to your question about the big man like I do think that the big man in the future So you look at guys like but it's a different vein.
So you look the underage.
He looked at Karl towns.
Look at Joel Embiid.
Those are the Those are the hybrid big men almost like Amar E.
Stoudemire was ahead of his time.
That's a really good comparison.
That's a really good comparison.
And I mark study.
Mark gets no love gets absolutely no love because he was on the sons of the next.
He got the treatment, you know, And and to be honest with you, when you look at his Pierce, like in 2002 LeBron Carmelo, Lenny Cook and Amar E.
Stoudemire in that list tomorrow Stoudemire was like one and two with Lenny Cook and I think Carmelo Anthony or you look at his draft class in 2003.
LeBron Wade Bosch all have rings.
Hey, doesn't And I think he you know, I think he I think people tried to make it seem like he just was this like he was trash and, you know, he he exceeded those expectations.
I think it gets the Charles Barkley treatment.
To be honest with you, people think people think people think Barkley's dress because he kind of makes outlandish comments sometimes on with shock and stuff.
But if you go back and watch the tape, Barkley was one of the more explosive athletes that ever was in the MBA made it possible for somebody like Corliss Williamson and Clarence Weathers**** to exist.
And he's a pioneer. As you just said, Absolutely.
I got one more question for you on the coaching front here.
Steve Nash to Brooklyn like, What do you think about that? Such a modern higher, obviously a player's guy.
What do you feel about the impact that he's gonna make with the Nets? I know you already brought up the Nets and how we believe they're in for a big season next year with Carrie, who we have obviously pre alluded to earlier in the Stream.
But your thoughts on Nash, his coaching experience with Warriors in particular and how you think it will do in Brooklyn? Well, I I think that he still has to show improve.
I think many people have made it a thing about the whole white privilege.
I actually have a Steve Nash story, Um, from my childhood, I first met Steve Nash.
I don't know who the hell he waas when he was a rookie with the Phoenix Suns and that team in 97 98.
Uh, Nash was a point guard on that team, along with Jason Jason, Ken Johnson.
Kevin Johnson was also on that team.
Danny Manning was on that team.
The late Clifford Robinson was on that team.
Sean Marks was on that team record captain was on that team, and the first Mexican born player in the Make it to the N B A.
Was on that team.
His last name is Llamas.
Um, but I was on the floor pregame with sons just sitting on the bench, watching what they were doing.
They were playing the Nets at the old Meadowlands Stadium and the ball went to the stand and I went and I got it.
And then I bounced past the two Nash.
He shot it from downtown.
He pointed at me and said, Francisco's to you.
E didn't know who Steve Nash waas, um, But then one day I watched the Dallas Mavericks and I was like, You know, that's that white boy who told me that says to you, E z um, to me, just in big place and calls, you know, like Thio players, uh, agents and more, um, from everybody I talked to from even business side.
They tell me he's one of the most unselfish plays you'll ever meet, and I'll add, even from a perspective, I learned this last weekend like some people will make suggestions or will connect dots with front office people.
And then when they get credit on the back end for that deal, so they get like, a percentage from what I'm told from certain people, Nash has said.
And I don't want to name names, I want to keep that anonymous.
But what I'll say is Nash's name names with particular players, Thio, agents and thio whomever and not taking a percentage off of that at all because he just wants to see people succeed, just want to see everyone when I mean, uh, and from you know, that conversation that I had like, That's one thing that stands out from from the person who shared that with me on.
But I think that the criticism that he gets his, you know, he doesn't have had coaching experience, um, in the same market.
The Nets did the same thing with Jason Kidd and he had a pretty fast start in the N B A with no coaching experience.
And then that same market, the New York Knicks did the same Derek Fisher.
I mean, look at Nick Nurse right now, who had a lot of head coaching success outside the MBA was G League coach and EMB assistant and is now one of the most highly side eh NBA coaches in the league.
People think he's really the next Messiah.
Depends on how you think of you know Nick nurse and how he goes about coaching and stuff.
But like you said, I don't think head coaching experience in the N.
A is absolutely necessary In today's game.
You bring in a guy you're bringing in Boylan and John Beilein from with not much, you know, head coaching experience at that level of with old school kind of mentality.
If you're gonna go with a guy without a head coaching experience, you want a guy that's a little bit more like you said, relatable someone that the players can understand.
He understands how the culture said he understands how the game is played nowadays.
How you see things differently.
I think the Nets, especially with big name personalities like Kyrie, K D and everyone else that's there, who's really made a name for themselves while these guys have been out.
I think Nash is perfect. I really do.
I think there were other guys, too, but I think that Nash is kind of prototypical like players like you said, intelligence relates, Great guy puts people first.
I think he's gonna be a great head coach.
Well, I'll have this, UM, e.
I had lunch with Chi about 56 years ago when he was still remember the calves, and this was right after he participated in Steve Nash's kickball tournament.
That he would have every year in Manhattan makes it.
Plumley was part of it back when he was a member of the Nets and hey, just marveled at, You know, he told me back then that, you know, Nash was one of his favorite point guards and he was a huge fan of Russell Westbrook back then in Oklahoma.
And what I'll say is as it relates to Steve Nash is hiring.
Um, yeah, it couldn't necessarily be white privilege in this situation that was actually star privilege because K D and Steve Nash had their own relationship when Nash was hired as a consultant with the Warriors, I was gonna say that the time of the Warriors has to stick with Katie and Chi.
Um was playing against Steve Nash, you know, was guarding Steve Nash back.
You know, his rookie year national, I believe, was still a member of the Phoenix Suns and then later his career.
You know, he was a Laker, so, you know, there was.
There was the relationship there.
So, you know, I think it's show improved.
I think that if he's not successful, then then you know Jacque Vaughn is, you know, the lead assistant.
The other thing is, the Nets are still filling out their their coaching staff has, You know, I've reported since March.
Phil Handy is a guy who was considered even for the head coaching position he's coached.
Carry Irving in in in Cleveland on won a championship with that team is an assistant in 2016.
Rod Strickland, who is N B legend and also Kyrie, Irving's godfather, is another potential, you know, assistant coaching candidates.
So they're still filling out that that that roster Aziz, you know the coaching staff.
So, um you know, usually when you have these hires with head coaches.
Yeah, you have the name.
But you also have the guy who was the excess and those guy.
So we'll see who you know who that is.
You know, moving forward a point guards an extension of a coach on the floor.
So absolutely guys like Chris Paul, you're seeing it right now.
He's gonna be an absolutely phenomenal coach one day.
It's just how you hold people accountable on the court.
Like you said, setting other people up for success.
Not just yourself.
Chris Paul is a very Steve Nash like player, Not necessarily their game, but in their leadership style.
On the court, I think a guy that doesn't get enough credit is Isaiah Thomas.
He actually reminds me of Isaiah Thomas.
Isaiah is a brilliant basketball mind.
I think I'd say it is villainized because of his relationship with Michael Jordan and absolutely, but I will also add this.
Another name that you will see in the coaching ranks when he does retire is in fact region.
Rondo, I I know that Rondo was a guy that will be expedited as the head coaching candidate in the same vein that kid Waas that Nash Waas that their official waas.
I completely agree.
And hearing your stories even further with Nancy Lieberman about him and his work ethic and holding his coaches accountable.
He's already that guy.
It's just a matter of time when he doesn't have anything left in the tank to play.
What's next? He's not going in the booth.
He's going to stay on.
That court is keeping his heart in the game.
That's just guys like Rondo and Chris Paul.
That's exactly how they are. Nash.
Like I completely agree with you on that.
All right, so I'm not gonna keep you here too much longer.
Brandon, I so much appreciate your time as always, my friend.
Uh, little Brandon Life update for you want to just tell our people what you got going on? I know he's one of the senior writers at heavy dot com.
Just some amazing work.
Just check out the scoop.
You see Brandon? Scooby Robinson? Of course.
Check out the Scooby Twitter.
He's all over it, but yeah, there's some life update with our people.
What you got going on heavy Live with Scooby Eyes a digital platform that we are.
We've been running since August.
We've had Jay Williams from ESPN.
We've had Stefan Marbury on the N beside Antoine Walker.
Ryan Holland's Jalen Mills of the Philadelphia Eagles has job by Carl Banks, two time Super Bowl champion with giants.
Uh, Chris Broussard will be on on Monday from ESPN.
Excuse me from Fox Sports Eso I mean heavy live with Scooby once a week.
Um, digital show actually doing two shows next week, but yeah, man.
Heavy level school being no less than 10,000 views per episode, uh, heavy dot com.
We had Emmanuel Mudiay on this week.
So we've just been, you know, I was I was listening.
That too, with his brother, right? That was fun with the moody.
Is that was fun.
So, honestly, I'm having fun, you know, it doesn't feel like work when you love what you dio you said it best.
And the money we'll always be there.
Eso anybody who's paying attention and listening.
Just continue to do you be you and, uh, don't lose the thing that makes you you I tweeted that earlier today and I mean it.
Check out Scooby Radio Heavy. Live with Scooby.
Check out all my written work and heavy dot com.
Um, yeah, that's it. Awesome.
Yeah, you heard Scoop.
Just keep doing what you're doing.
I'm so thankful for Brandon, Of course, giving you some of his time today, my man.
I hope we could eventually do this again in the future.
You know, spend some time again.
I know you got a crazy week coming up, so just stay safe for me.
I know some crazy times in 2020 but, you know, just having fun conversations like this is, you know, keeping me up.
Keep me happy talking about the things that we love, Of course.
So, Brendan, it's been an absolute pleasure today.
Thank you so much, brother.
Again. Go check us out at Perry.
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We're having some fun, but yeah.
Thank you so much again, Brandon.
So much love to you, my friend.
We're gonna catch you guys soon.
Thanks so much. Stay safe, guys.