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Marc Kestecher | NBA Radio PxP Voice

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2023 6:08 am

Marc Kestecher | NBA Radio PxP Voice

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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February 9, 2023 6:08 am

NBA Radio PxP Voice Marc Kestecher joins the show to talk about calling LeBron James' record game, the breaking Kevin Durant trade, and the NBA Trade Deadline.


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Learn more at today. And with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar here in attendance to pass the baton, LeBron James is the NBA's new all-time scoring king. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. I love that voice. Yes, the moment was iconic, but the voice belongs to my great friend Mark Kestisher, who had the national call of LeBron's big night, his historic milestone night in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

But heavens, that is old news now. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Mark Kestisher still in LA because the Lakers have got a game on Thursday that will also be on ESPN Radio.

So joining us now, and this is the perfect time. In fact, I know we weren't able to get to you on Tuesday night, and I felt bad about that. But now I don't anymore, Mark, because that kind of feels like it happened years ago compared to what we've now found out about Kevin Durant on his way to Phoenix.

You work in the NBA. What is your reaction? Well, first of all, Amy, I have four things for you. Number one, thank you for playing that because I hadn't heard it since last night. Number two, hello. It's good to hear from you. Number three, yes, that happened like a month ago, not last night.

And number four, John Moran shouldn't talk anymore because didn't he say, I don't I don't fear. I don't care about the West. Oops. The West is getting stronger as we speak.

It definitely is. So I am stunned by the four first round draft picks because it feels like Kevin Durant is bound to miss time. I know people talk about the NBA regular season being too long, but it feels like ever since the Achilles and that 2019 NBA finals that he's missed significant time, if not the whole season since then.

I don't know. What's your reaction to three players? Mikael Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jay Crowder, who's not likely to remain with Brooklyn and four first round draft picks.

Yeah, that's the stunner. I mean, the Suns received new ownership this week, just a couple of days ago, and the new owner is pushing all those tips in right away. He's making the big splash here with Kevin Durant. You know, Mikael Bridges have been maybe playing his best basketball of late, certainly. And the Nets are in rebuild mode now. You know, maybe they have something with the youngster from LSU who's been putting up 40 point games the last few nights. And now you bring in Mikael Bridges. I know I've heard some talk just in the last hour that maybe the Nets would flip him to a contender and get even more.

But you're right. The four first round picks, remember the Nets had nothing a decade ago. Remember, they had to reshift after they did the Garnett and Paul Pierce trade and they were able to get themselves in position for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to come in a few years ago in free agency.

And now after that, clearly that experiment didn't work. They're blowing it up big time. I'm a little shocked. I think, you know, first of all, we were shocked that Kyrie wanted out, Kyrie got out within two days. Kyrie went to Dallas, which surprised us all. And then the next domino was, what does Kevin Durant want? Because it's really hard to get into his mind.

And if he was going to go, it felt like Phoenix was the spot. But to answer your question in a very long way, and I apologize. Yes, four first round picks is a stunner for me. But that's what it takes these days. These last couple of years, you don't give three, four first round picks. You know, you don't have a deal. First of all, take as long as you want because we talk here on the radio.

We take the scenic route so it doesn't matter if you're direct and right to the point. But also, the whole thought of this situation with Brooklyn and the fact that three, three superstars went in and out of Brooklyn in three and a half years. And three of them, all three of them, including James Harden, asked for trades in the last year. I'm not sure what that says about the Nets, only that I feel like they were a little bit too wishy-washy. So it got to the point where anything that these stars asked for, they were getting. And that set a tone for the Nets and for their locker room.

We were asking our listeners, this goes back to Sunday, Mark. Whether or not it was worth it for the Nets at the time in 2019 to make the moves they did, to bring in Kyrie, to bring in KD. I know hindsight is 20-20, but KD and Kyrie didn't even play 74 games together in three plus seasons. Not even 74 games and now they're gone. Do you think it's worth it or was worth it?

It's so empty because I'll just lay this out here now. You know, the Lakers have LeBron James. They brought in Anthony Davis.

I know some people don't put stock in the bubble championship of 2020, but it is a championship on their record. Then you look at what Brooklyn did and you think of that second round series against Milwaukee. James Harden got hurt.

Kyrie got hurt. And if Kevin Durant's foot is not on the three-point line at the end of regulation, they win that series. And I bet you they win the championship. Really?

I really believe it. I believe if Brooklyn wins that game seven, we can argue because who knows if Harden and Kyrie, if they have enough gas to get through the Eastern Conference Finals and then the Phoenix Suns, if it all played out in that direction. And then this looks a little different. You could say, well, they got their championship, but they didn't. So you're right.

Was it worth it? I don't know. This is what I'm thinking right now tonight. This is just an odd thought that just crossed my mind. All the star power that went through Brooklyn that you just named, is that more incredible that it happened that fast, it came and went, or the fact that Russell Westbrook had a $200 million contract and got traded four times on that contract?

That almost seems impossible, too. This is wild. What a league, right? This league, as our friend Mark Stein likes to say. Hijacking Super Bowl week. I said it going back to Sunday, and I'm sticking by that.

The Super Bowl is right now paling in comparison, though, of course, the game will take over. Mark Kestisher joining us from Los Angeles. He had the call of LeBron's iconic moment on Tuesday night.

He'll have another game on ESPN Radio with the Lakers coming up on Thursday night. So I will ask you about that momentarily. But right now we're kind of in the middle of all this trade stuff.

That's the technical word for it. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Russell Westbrook on the move again, as you point out, headed to Utah. Though I would not be surprised if he doesn't stay there.

No chance. Yeah, it doesn't feel like he fits the Danny Ainge model. Before the fans. Doesn't he know the fans in Salt Lake as well? True.

Or they all hate him. But I still think it's fascinating, though, that he stuck with the Lakers going back to the offseason. There was all this talk about him not fitting what they wanted to do.

Darvin Ham comes in. He says something different. There were times this season where it looked like it was working. But clearly that wasn't the case.

Or it was tenuous at best. Yeah, I agree. I thought I was on board with, you know, his sixth man. And we talked to Darvin Ham last night even. That came up in our discussions pregame.

I don't know if it was on tape or off tape, but it's certainly not speaking at a school. And that was that this was a perfect situation for him when he had four bench guys or maybe one started with him. And he could be the leader of that team. Go fast, get downhill, collapse the defense, and either score at the rim or pass it out to a shooter. And it seemed like it was working. But then there were times, and even last night, you could see the frustration. I mean, he threw a couple of passes early in the game that weren't even close on turnovers. And didn't finish at the rim one time. And I had the great Vince Carter who had his first radio broadcast last night with me. And I think he muttered, dunk the ball on, you know, he switched hands and tried to lay up and missed it.

And then, of course, in the break I said, well, Vince, if we all had your legs, we would just dunk the ball at the rim. But still, there was some frustration there. I didn't realize until after there was a confrontation, I guess verbally, between the coach Darvin Ham and Russell Westbrook.

I believe they sorted out. And Russell and, you know, that late comeback by the Lakers had a good run. Apparently they were good on the way out.

But that was it. 130 games and out for Russell Westbrook headed to Utah or wherever. And I actually like that trade for the Lakers. I know they're 13th in the West.

And I know 4 through 13 is only separated by a handful of games. But maybe a few more shooters, some younger bodies, you know, perhaps that can get the Lakers out of their doldrums. Hard to imagine the way things have gone this year. And they've given up all their draft assets. I think they have one more first in the decade.

But that's about it. Mark, what do you make of the West to this point? Because, and I don't have the exact number here, but it's about 7-8 teams that are within 3 or 4 games of.500 either way. Even the Lakers, well, they've dropped now to 5 games below.500. But they're still within striking distance. The defending champion, Golden State Warriors, are just a game above.500. Even teams like Dallas are only 4 games above.500. It is such a knot in the middle of the West.

It's strange. I mean, Dallas, that was a big win tonight. And Kyrie Irving looked good.

You know, that's still to be decided to see when Kyrie and Luka get together. But Dallas has 26 losses in 4th place. The Lakers have 30 losses in 13th place. So that's, what is that, 4 games back in the loss column? 4 games back in the loss column from 4th to 13th. Now, the Lakers haven't put together really an extended run all season.

So, you know, I hesitate when I keep saying, hey, one good week and the Lakers are in, you know, they're out of the playing game. But now Phoenix all of a sudden rockets in most people's minds to maybe the top in the West. I mean, Denver has the best player and the best record. Memphis has been a solid number two, but they haven't been winning of late.

They don't win the close games. Sacramento has been a great story this year in the three seed. I'm fascinated to see if these two trades by Dallas and Phoenix in the last couple of days will spur Denver and Memphis to get out of their comfort zone and maybe go after, you know, a bigger player. Maybe the two biggest fish have already gone. I think OG Anenobi in Toronto I feel is like the next big guy out there. Do they overextend?

Do they, you know, stick to their principles and not, you know, give up the farm, you know, to get one of those guys? I just think it's fascinating now that Kevin Durant is headed to Phoenix that it changes the whole dynamic in the West. Which looked top heavy with two teams, maybe three, and then who knows the rest of the conference. Mark Kestisher is with us from LA. He called LeBron's record breaking shot in his game in which he had 38 points on Tuesday night.

So we did have a couple of minutes before the top of the hour. How would you describe the atmosphere? How did you describe the atmosphere inside the arena?

You know how I described it? At the time I said it felt like some cross between an All-Star game and a Finals game. It had the buzz of a Finals and it had the A-list of an All-Star and a Finals. I mean, you know me, I don't know the culture of A-list celebrities like I used to.

And even when I did know 20 years ago, I really didn't. So I had Vince Carter to tell me who everybody was from one set of the basket to the other. And, you know, I just don't know how you could spend $70,000 on a front row ticket. But if you have that kind of money, I mean, it was billionaires next to billionaires next to athletes. And then there were the family and friends.

It was a really cool scene. And, you know, LeBron delivered, you know, and so many other historical chases. You know, you're waiting on Aaron Judge to hit a home run.

You're waiting for Trevor Hoffman to have a save opportunity. You know, those are things you really can't control. And it's, you know, ironic that LeBron, who never saw himself as a scorer or an all-time scorer, he's right. I mean, you play at a high level for a long time.

The points are just going to come. They just come a lot faster for him. And for him to get 38 at age 38 to pass the captain was pretty cool. That was a really cool night last night. So that last night, that was a year ago. I mean, yeah, I can't keep track now.

It's happening too fast. Fast and Furious. I know that you were wandering around on Sunday afternoon as the Grammys was rolling out the red carpet and people were showing up. And then I need you to compare that. So what was greater buzz? The Grammys in L.A. on Sunday or inside the arena for LeBron's big moment? Oh, it's a good one. I thought Beyoncé probably, you know, had already set the tone with her record.

But then LeBron, I think, surpassed that. I think for me, I didn't realize and I told you this off the air. I didn't realize like people show up like regular people, maybe like us, that, you know, where the guy's wearing the tux and the lady's wearing the fine dresses. And I don't even know if they have tickets. I just think they're walking in downtown Los Angeles. And I saw a whole bunch of people in the local establishment right next door where, you know, I went to grab dinner and I'm like, I think that's a thing here. But there were all kinds of tons of security that were fencing up. The president's wife was there.

So I'm sure that even added, you know, to all the security. So it was that was a different beast outside the stadium than last night. But inside, I think it would be hard to top what happened. And the NBA always does a great job with those moments. We're all of a sudden, you know, you have 100 media there surrounding the guy and all of a sudden Kareem just kind of shows up out of nowhere and hands the actual ball of a bra. I mean, it was all premeditated, but they executed so well. So it was a it was a really cool scene. But, you know, the way things have gone for the Lakers this year, cool scene, but ends up in another loss. Oh, man.

So much to think about, though, as we head toward the actual trade deadline, then all star break and you will be there in Salt Lake for all of that excitement. So find Mark on Twitter at Mark Kestisher. M.A.R.C. K.E.S.T.E.C.H.E.R.

Long time. A lot of letters, a lot of letters, my friend. I mean, I feel like people should be able to read and spell ESPN radio sportscaster play by play.

You'll hear him another game with the Lakers on Thursday. There is our music. I don't want to cut you off, but thank you so much for a couple of minutes.

I'm getting played off just like the Grammys. I like to thank my parents. I like to thank Amy. Have a good night. Rated R. Watch now on Prime Video. Learn more at today. Rated R. Watch now on Prime Video.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-09 08:14:45 / 2023-02-09 08:21:57 / 7

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