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3-1-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

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March 1, 2023 6:06 am

3-1-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 1, 2023 6:06 am

MLB Insider for The Athletic Jayson Stark joins the show | An extended conversation with Jayson Stark | Are the NBA's defending Champs figuring it out?


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That's slash positive. It is a new era in Major League Baseball. Ready or not, here it comes. But, and I will tell you, I was already turning up my nose at the idea of a pitch clock and definitely think it's wacky and contrived. So I haven't changed my opinion there. This feels a lot like putting a runner on second base when you get to extra innings. To me, that's gimmicky. But, the more I watch, the more I talk to people, the more I recognize this could be a great move for baseball.

As long as it's applied uniformly, as long as players can adjust and we don't get some of the drama that we got in spring training going back to last weekend, when teams were standing around because they had no idea what had just happened to end one of the earliest spring training games. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. So, so, so excited for you to hear my conversation with Jason Stark.

So it's coming up here in mere minutes. But, we are into the second hour of the hump show. We want you to send your questions for Ask Amy Anything.

So show them, show your stuff on our show Twitter, After Hours, CBS, or on our Facebook page. So excited to get back to the routine now that producer Jay is returned from his global trotting. His global trotting, his global wandering, and also celebrated a birthday, which we'll have to talk about at some point. But it's going to have to wait, sorry, because baseball and Jason Stark come first, Jay. The other Jay. So if you were paying attention over the weekend, Braves, Red Sox, strange ending. Three balls, two strikes, two outs, three outs, 6-6 in the ninth. And he, did he go to his mouth or he took to, oh he didn't get out, he got out of the box and the game is over. Oh my goodness. He wasn't ready to hit by the pitch clock and he's called out.

Oh my. And we think the game is over, the ninth inning is over anyway and it's tied at six, wow. A crowd of 7,923 has had a good day at the ballpark here in their first Great Fruit League game. They're rising to their feet looking for one more ball or a base hit right here to win it for Atlanta. About time called, Conley took too much time, he's out. He wasn't, he didn't have his eyes on the pitcher by the eight second pitch mark on the pitch clock.

And that's going to be the ball game. From the Red Sox and Braves perspectives on their radio networks. Spring training off to a rip roaring start. Jason Stark is a long time baseball writer, reporter and insider now with the athletic.

Long time friend of mine going back to our days at a previous network. And it's wonderful to get his perspective from spring training. Jason, so far these rules changes are attracting a lot of attention. The pitch clock seems to be the one people are focused on the most.

You're in Florida, what are you seeing so far about how these rules are being implemented and received? Well Amy, we knew this would be crazy in spring training. Basically baseball actually was rooting for it to be crazy. But I was at that game on Saturday, Braves Red Sox. It ended with the pitch clock violation that with the help of my friend Mike Fern we're going to call the clock off.

And I'm going to tell you something. It's one of the strangest things I've ever been in the ballpark for. To have a game and go to pitch clock violation. And just trying to explain it made my head hurt. But this is what baseball wanted to have happen. They wanted everybody to see that the craziness is going to happen. Get used to it.

Deal with it. And hopefully it's better that it happens in North Port, Florida in Yankee Stadium in October. What was the reaction from the players themselves? Like Cal Conley who thought he had secured a walk off walk.

And then the Braves and Red Sox in their own dugouts. Yeah, that was the craziest part of it. This was the ultimate what just happened moment.

Because honestly nobody knew for a moment there what had just going on. The Cal Conley, the hitter, thought he had just drawn a game winning bases loaded walk. Even though no pitch was thrown. And the pitcher for the Red Sox thought that it was a walk.

Both managers thought it was a walk. And I talked to this guy who pitched for the Red Sox. I know I'm going to screw up his name.

Robert Korkowski I think is the way it's pronounced. And he said I honestly had no idea what had just happened. I didn't know if we'd won. I didn't know if we'd lost. I didn't know if this guy was out.

I didn't know if he just walked. It was crazy. I didn't know how to act. And that was everybody. Because if people didn't see this or didn't really read about it.

Let me explain to you why it was so crazy. Okay, I expected there'd be some hitters get called for strikes. Because they weren't in the box looking at the pitcher with eight seconds to go on the pitch clock. Which is the way the rule reads. I understood that was going to happen. I understood there would be some times it could happen in this kind of situation where the winning run scored or didn't score or whatever.

But here's why this one was wild. Okay there's bases are loaded. 3-2 count. Two outs in the night. And so the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher. Which means the pitch clock starts. Then the catcher's standing pointing at the infielders saying the play's at first. It's 3-2 bases loaded two outs in the night. Just throw the ball first if it hits you.

Like all that was fine but now the clock is ticking down. And so the catcher's still standing there. The pitcher's looking at the catcher thinking I can't throw a pitch because the catcher is standing. And the hitter is supposed to be looking at the pitcher. But he's looking at the catcher because he's like three inches away from him. And so when the umpire starts waving his arms obviously everybody thought the clock had run out and Cal Conley had just walked. But what they ruled was that because he was looking at the catcher and not the pitcher. The rule says you've got to be looking at the pitcher with eight seconds to go on the clock. So that's a strike which means you're out. Okay so there was so this is one of the most confusing things I have ever seen.

Seriously I didn't and nobody quite understood it for a while. Alex Corey afterwards and he thought they had run out the clock. The clock got to zero. No pitch was thrown.

Why would you think you just got out of the league. And you know I had a long discussion with Major League Baseball about the call because they said it was the right call. I don't understand how you've got all this chaos breaking out around the hitter. But it's the hitter who's called out because he's not looking at the pitcher.

It made no sense. There's never been a situation quite like it in any game I've ever seen. And this is what baseball wants Jason? This chaos? Well I don't know if anybody wants a game to end that way.

But here's the thinking Amy. If this happens to you once there's no chance it'll happen to you twice. So does that work for you? Is that logic? Well if it happens in that particular situation yes.

But at the same time and I saw this on your Twitter as well. It's not like he's the only guy who got called for a strike. It just happened to be in an extreme situation like that one.

Yeah that's exactly right. Now in this particular game there were three violations. And two of them were first pitch of the at bat hitter didn't get in the box on time. This is a lot like Manny Machado in that Padres game last Friday. Hitter didn't get in the box on time so it's 0-1 before they'd even gotten in the box.

And then I noticed that as the game wore on they learned from that. And hitters were calling time before they ever got set before the first pitch. Because it's really bizarre when nobody's thrown a pitch but the count's 0-1. That is weird.

Goodness. I mean think about what happened to end the game. A guy recorded a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch that he never actually threw. For those people who love to score baseball games I don't even know how you scored that. We don't know how to score that.

That has never happened. And my friend Scott Fransky who does the Phillies games. He texted me a little drawing he did of a backwards K upside down like taking a nap. Because we've had strikeouts looking. This was strikeouts not looking. Not paying any attention as a matter of fact.

Right. It's something to see. Like everybody's working their way through it. But the good news is the games have really moved along. They're 22 minutes shorter on average than the games last year this time. Last year the average game in spring training took more than 3 hours. This year going into today we only had 6 games in the whole sport that took over 3 hours in spring training now. And they're all wild games with a ton of runs. And the longest of those games was 3 hours 6 minutes. So this is going to have an impact on the rhythm of games the time of games and when the games are over. And all the time that's coming out of these games is dead time. When we get to the other side of this I'm going to find it really hard to look at it and think anything about this is negative. Unless you're just one of those people who thinks nothing in baseball should ever change.

Okay. Well that's really what baseball is going for. Though we joke. They want the pace of play to speed up. They want less dead time in games. They obviously want the hours to be reduced. Though I've heard Jason that once we get into actual games with results on the line umpires are less likely to call it so black and white. Do you agree with that or do you think no actually they're going to be doing the same thing?

Well that's not a it's not a hundred percent clear. You're I mean you're right that umpires were told coming in the spring training don't allow any slack call everything to the letter of the law. No matter who's batting no matter who's pitching no matter what the situation is even if it's bases loaded into it. I think the game ends on that call because they want everybody to get the message.

I think there's no value more powerful than shock value. Whether that's going to ease up when the season starts. I'm honestly not so sure. Jason Stark is with us from Florida. Always an honor to have him on the show.

We go way back. He's a senior baseball writer for the athletic insider with the sport for a long time and it's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. There's lots of rule changes actually. Is this the most drastic or we in store for some other drama as some of these other rules changes play out. Well the pitch clock I think is requiring the most immediate adjustment. But you know along with the pitch clock comes some rules that are going to have a big impact on base running base stealing in the game. The fact that there's a two pick off when it is a gigantic difference.

And I you know I've already seen this with my own eyes. There's a game the other day for Richard Blyer. He's got the Red Sox last year. You might remember the ball and get called the three box in one inning box Jeff McNeil around the bases. So there's a runner on first and he made a pick off move to first base. First one I've seen all spring and what happened next pitch runner took off and I was talking to him about it afterwards. You know like everybody thought that when there were two pick offs and the pitcher can't throw to first anymore unless he gets the guy out. But that's when runners would be more aggressive. But that's not how the Braves played it in this game when they thought they had an opportunity to run. They just took off. They didn't look back.

They didn't dance. And I think you're going to see a lot of that. I don't think that you're going to see anybody still 100 bases like Ricky Henderson.

But I think you're going to see a ton of guys 20 and 30 and 40. And that's you know we have one player in the whole sport still 40 bases last year. John birdie. That's a good trivia question.

This year. I mean there's no way 40 leads the league 50 60 80 70 will lead the league. And you have a lot of great athletes in the game. This is a combination of rules that is going to encourage great athletes to do their great athlete thing.

And again I'm all for that. Yeah you can imagine that fans are really digging it just because it's more action it's more speed. Even as the game is playing out. So Jason you you're there you're you're talking to managers and players. Are they in the same mindset as you where they think this will make the game more entertaining where they eventually will enjoy the changes. You know everybody's trying to figure out what they need to do to get through this.

One of the big topics with the stolen stuff that we're just talking about is OK. It's going to promote the running game if you're on defense. How do you control the running game. And I've seen more teams working on pitch outs this spring than I have in a long time. Now Brian Snicker from the Braves is telling me he only called six pitch outs all last year and a bunch of their minor league affiliates didn't call any to the point where they had some catchers in camp who had never called caught or thrown a pick off.

Before in their life that's how much the game has changed and now has to adjust back. You're seeing a lot of because the pitcher can't throw over to first more than twice. I'm seeing catchers after the pitch throwing behind the runner going over to first. You saw Max Scherzer yesterday.

Nobody on base. You know he he was just ripping through the inning at Usain Bolt pace. And then as soon as somebody got on base you saw him get into the set as soon as he could and then hold the ball until there was a fraction of a second left on the clock to mess with the hitter and the runner. So it's it's a it's such a cool new world in this sport to see guys like Max Scherzer trying to lean into these rules and how can how they can make these rules work for them. And managers are trying to figure it out front offices are are brainstorming how they're going to do the stuff that they do.

Not everybody wants to reveal their hands in spring training. So this is going to be stuff that's going to create intrigue right into the season as we see how teams are going to play this. And at least there's a whole new level of strategy for all of these rules. We haven't even talked about the shift yet. Well I was just oh my gosh you read my mind Jason.

I was just about to bring that up. You said strategy and that's where I was going. What about banning the defensive shift. How does that impact what you've seen so far or or how do you think it will impact the season.

Yeah there's going to be a lot more hits. You know first first inning of the season Matt Olson the Braves steps up there and this is a guy who's shifted on 81 percent of his plate appearances last year. Well left handed hitter good hitter but 81 percent. And you know he not also arrived in baseball at a time when the shift was already pretty prevalent.

So he doesn't even know a world without ships and first swing of the season. Little ground ball single right through the right side that is 100 percent and out last year because there'd be somebody playing on the outfield grass. But so you not only do you not have two three inches on one side of second base but nobody's on the outfield grass. So I you know balls that were hits for 100 years are hitting it.

And you know I've seen estimates we could see two thousand three thousand four thousand more hit this year because of the lack of the shift now averaged out over the number of games. You know Tony why hitter two extra per game. But it changes the value of the single which will change the way teams approach offense. And I think maybe over time could it could change hitters approaches.

And that's going to take a while. But you know the way teams have played it in recent years you are going to get three singles an inning off Max Scherzer. So you better try to hit the ball out of the park. Right. But now the single is more attainable. It can really change a lot of things in subtle ways. And I haven't even thought through isn't that one of the big complaints about baseball recently is there are fewer balls in play not to mention that the game seemed to drag because there's not as much action.

All right. Coming up Jason Stark we have to shift ha ha to a conversation about the San Diego Padres because they are going for broke so to speak. It's great to have Jason from spring training after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

You are listening to the After Hours podcast. Two balls and a strike to Machado. Here's the pitch from Kershaw.

Manny hammers it in the air down the left field line if it's fair it's gone and it is a home run for Manny Machado. Robert against him in the twenty twenty National League Division Series and now again in twenty twenty two hundred strike first it's won nothing. The bottom line is we're here to win a championship and we came reasonably close last year. We believe we have every chance this year. And you know the organization's objective and I know Manny's objective is every single year at this time you know non-conflicted people are saying hey the Padres got a shot.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Non-conflicted people that's Peter Seidler who is the one signing the checks and the first contract given to Manny Machado was a blockbuster then. Two thousand nineteen in fact it was four years ago ten years three hundred million dollars. But because an opt-out was coming and the Padres wanted to avoid him exercising his opt-out they go ahead and jump the gun and give him an eleven year extension for three hundred and fifty million dollars which likely will keep Machado in San Diego for the rest of his career. Before that Machado doing work a hundred plus RBI last season as yes the Padres make it to the NLCS against the Phillies. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence CBS Sports Radio. Jason Stark longtime senior writer reporter insider now with The Athletic has the Starkville podcast and we talked about the rules changes all the various ways that baseball is wreaking havoc and giggling about it. But let's talk San Diego Padres. Jason what are you seeing with this team even as they deal with some of their stars and hand out massive wads of cash. Peter side there Amy. This is incredible.

You know we've never really seen anything like this. They play in I believe it's twenty third largest media market or the seventh smallest media market is probably a better way to put it in baseball. And because they have Mexico to their south and you know L.A. Orange County to their north if they're very limited how much their market can grow and their revenues can grow. And yet Peter Seidler their owner he just decided that the way you excite your fan base and the way to win is with star power.

And you know it's time to do the math in my head today. He's got many Ramirez now extended for 350 million dollars through 2033. He's got Alexander Bogart hadn't even started his contract 11 years 20 million dollars to 2033 and the Fernando piece deal runs through 2034 for like 30 something just those three players committed for the next 11 to 12 years for close to a billion dollars. And this is before they make a run at trying to keep Juan Soto who by the way is still on their team before they make a run at trying to lure Shohei Ohtani who they would love to have on their team. And you know that it's the talk of baseball because the revenue streams as we've traditionally viewed them don't support this.

They don't have that kind of revenue. This is the owner saying we're the only big league sport in town. I want to win.

I want to draw. I want to excite my fan base. This is how it's done. It's incredible. We really have I don't think we've ever seen any team do anything like this in a market this size. And then you think about the pictures of Joe Musgrove getting his extension and you Darvish too right.

So they've sunk a lot of money into those two guys. Do you think they're pitching rotation matches up with what they've got at the plate. I would pick them to win the division right now. Yeah well Dodgers the Dodgers aren't the same. You know I just did a big survey spring preview survey you can find it on the athletic and the Dodgers got the third most votes for least improved team in the National League because you know they've had a lot of subtractions most prominently Trey Turner who they would have missed in any case. But now Gavin Lux hurts his knee in spring training like the Dodgers are great. The Dodgers will make the playoffs but the Dodgers have more holes more questions than they've had in a long time. And the Padres are a team that could win the World Series period.

They need things to go right. It's amazing the talent level and the star power on that team all over the field. When they reach the NLCS last year that small fan base was loud vocal electric over the top. They really let their team know that they were behind them and I loved it.

Maybe a little bit of fresh blood they had it had that kind of a team in a while but also a preview of things to come. Yeah I was there for that NLCS. It was awesome. I mean that just the way the way that stadium shook game two when they came and I fell behind and came back and won.

Man that was special. And it's a little taste of what it's like there now. There's so much electricity rippling through San Diego over to that team.

I don't care what it means for their bottom line this year. It's so good for baseball to have a team like that do what they're doing because they're going to be as fun to watch as any team in the sport. All right. So we've talked about a lot of the big news for spring training but if I know you there's always some other topic something else that you've been thinking about or reading about or working on.

What else do I need to know about the pending season Jase. What. Let's see what. What is Amy Lawrence want me to say. Oh stop it. You know I love whatever you say.

Yeah. Well I look I think this season in so many ways is all about Oh Tommy. You know every season at this point the rest of our lives may be all about Oh Tommy. But what happens with him this year with that team this year with whether or not they can keep him. And if they can't where he goes we're going to talk about this every day every time he does anything like the Aaron judge story from last year. It might be bigger because he's unlike anyone we've ever watched play baseball. He's the best pitcher of their team. He's the best hitter on the team. He's one of the best hitters in baseball and he's one of the best pitchers in baseball. And I don't know how you value that.

I don't think anybody knows quite how you value that. We'll find that out if he reaches free agency. But you know hanging there if the angels don't win is do they trade them.

And I'm going to vote no. I'm going to vote that Artie Moreno will never trade show a tiny even if it means letting him walk. I understand all the baseball reasons to trade him but there's another reason that people don't talk about enough. He's where the money comes from. He's an incredible revenue generator worldwide for that franchise.

And I just don't I don't see them trading him because his value even if they don't win is greater than probably any other player globally. Is there an argument for anyone else. Not across the globe. Absolutely not. I mean there's players that transcend the sport. There's obviously a lot of Hispanic players that have entire continents behind them. But in terms of a guy who is making waves from you know one side of the globe to the other.

No. So just to clarify obviously the angels don't think it's a foregone conclusion that he leaves. You don't either because there are a lot of people who look at it as though it's just one more year with Anaheim and then he's gone somewhere else. I don't know that they can resign him if they don't win.

I don't think there's a scenario where he wants to be there. If this is another one of those years when they're not playing postseason baseball. But suppose they do. They're better. They're they're definitively better and deeper than they've been.

Their pitching staff is better. Suppose they actually get lucky with the help of with that help of somebody like Anthony Rendon. Suppose Mike Trout has another one of those years and does it in 150 games of honor. Twenty seven.

Yes please. And suppose there is another level for Shohei and it works. No they find some way to conjure up some magic. Then I don't think it's impossible. But you know we haven't seen that ever. So because we haven't seen that it's easy to assume it'll never happen. I don't assume anything baseball.

No definitely not. See I knew you would not disappoint. Honestly I want to tell you the truth about this. Oh Tony had not even crossed my mind in this conversation because I was so locked into the rules in the Padres.

So see you're right. It's gonna be a huge story this year. Oh my goodness. So much to talk about.

All right. So find Jason Stark on Twitter at Jason S.T. So it's J A Y S O N S T is now a senior baseball writer with the athletic has the Starkville podcast which is great. Always such intriguing guests and you know how I feel about you. It is a privilege to have you on the show and we can catch up. So thank you so much for a couple of minutes. And we always love talking to you.

Thanks for having me. Jason initially said to me that we could have talked for an hour alone about the new pitch clock but we managed to work in a lot in that what 25 minutes or so. And yes there's plenty more with baseball on the horizon and the infinite possibilities but I hope you enjoy that conversation with Jason his insight about the pitch clock but also about the shift being banned as well as the limit on pick off moves.

One I hadn't really thought about and the impact of that as well. So good stuff. It'll be part of our podcast if you missed it or if you want to listen to it again maybe share it with people. We always post the link to our podcast every weekday morning on both Twitter and Facebook or you can find it directly on the Web site and all of our interviews all of our guests get their own little link on the podcast.

All right. You've got inside of an hour now to send your questions for ask Amy anything on our show Twitter after our CBS on our Facebook page fairly soon within hours we will see Kevin Durant in a new uniform as he prepares to make his debut with the Suns after rehabbing his latest injury and also the Gold State Warriors his well one of his former teams are they finally putting it together might they actually put up a defense for their title. You are listening to the after hours podcast.

Boys get tired. Take the lead. This will be the third time they've been able to do that. Jerome with the ball. Master Thompson fires away.

Got it. Right sideline triple the Warriors had their first lead of the game. Thompson catches same spot shot up and got a three sharp the rookie got there and you could see his shoulder slump as he saw the ball go through the net pool catches from lamb takes a three. Nailed it pools on fire right now, 90 to 80 to the Warriors lead by a frame on the diva Chad zone catch and shoot three on the right sideline. Like he does it every day of the week. Getting you to the good half of your week. It's the hump show on after hours middle show of the work week, not middle of the NBA season. No, we're way past that.

It's in the rearview mirror. Maybe just maybe we're seeing the Warriors start to play like they've got something to play for a huge second half against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. In fact, they scored 75 points in the second half and they win going away. Now this is after Damian Lillard has a 15 point first quarter. Remember last time we saw Dame he was putting up 71 hit 13 triples and he was blowing the doors off the Houston Rockets.

So then turn around and travel to San Francisco and you take on the Warriors at the Chase Center. Well, it's a big first quarter for Dame except the defense got to him and the Warriors were the ones who were able to find that groove late. I said, damn, it's gonna be a long night. I really thought that I thought we were doing a really good job and I looked up and he had 15 and that's what I said to myself.

But you know, everybody else, you know, stepped up and locked in and you know, we weathered the storm. Like I said in the second half was phenomenal. Dante DiVincenzo had 21 in this game while Jordan Poole had 29. Damian Lillard ends up with just another 10 after that first quarter finishes with 25 and saw a bit of a high school defense. At least that's how I always think about the box in one because that's a lot of times what high school coaches will use when it comes to a great player on the other team. You don't generally have to worry about a high school team going five deep and being able to hurt you at all five positions. And so a lot of times you get one player who will shadow the best player on the team and the rest will kind of fade back into a box into a zone and it worked against Dame. I tried to take my opportunities in between there and you know attacking opportunities in between but like I said they completely sold out in that that coverage.

You know I was just making the right plays and when I did try to find opportunities it wasn't as clean a look. So for the ability to limit the Portland Trail Blazers and Dame specifically the Warriors get brownie points in the defense in the defensive arena where they've often been criticized by their head coach this season. Now Draymond Green was back so that certainly helps. A dozen points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two blocked shots for Draymond Green and he is not only the emotional leader of this team but he's heart and soul of that defense and it just looks better and it functions better when he is out there. But the entire starting lineup ends up in double figures including Klay Thompson who had another 23 though not a huge shooting night only goes eight for 21.

They also get 16 points off the bench from Kaminga. And so for these Warriors now even though they're still missing Steph Curry they've won three in a row and head coach likes what he's seeing. It just feels like we're coming together.

You know it feels like there's some chemistry, some energy that's forming. We've been battling all season and without Steph and Wiggs for so much of the season and you know these guys have done a great job of just keeping our heads above water and I think we can feel the finish line. We know Steph's going to be back before too long. Hopefully Wiggs, hopefully Gary so you know we've got reinforcements coming and in the meantime these guys are doing a hell of a job. So it feels like there's some grit and some toughness and the guys are really coming together. It's fun to watch.

Well it's that time of the year. It's put up or shut up time and as we've emphasized over and over about the Western Conference there's no room for error. Now right now because they've won three in a row the Warriors are up into fifth place in the West.

But it's a precarious perch if you will. Suns are directly ahead of them. Not more than a full game ahead of them though.

And so with the Suns going for broke and now bringing in Kevin Durant and waiting for his debut, much anticipated debut on Wednesday night will they get a push and maybe put some pressure on the Kings who are sitting in third place. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Love to hear from you. Coming up oh goodness 45 minutes from now your chance to ask Amy anything since producer Jay is back we'll revert to the original tried and true formula.

So on this hump show ask Amy anything you can send your questions to Twitter After Hours CBS or you know how to find our Facebook page so many of you know how to find our Facebook page. Yes Kevin Durant following practice was speaking after practice with a scrum of reporters on Tuesday cannot wait to get back on the court and will make his Suns debut against Charlotte. Just getting comfortable with everybody has been key just getting to know all the guys on and off the floor having conversations with everybody about just what they see out there. Everybody loves hoop here. Everybody loves hoop in the league.

I think it's not nothing special that we do is just that we just enjoy coming to work and still learning each other and every rep is important so looking forward to it tomorrow. He has not played since early January so he's been off the court at least in terms of games for seven weeks though he's been going five on five with his new teammates for the past week at least. He's had some real good practices and Kevin Durant's one of those chameleons when it comes to basketball he can fit any system. Now granted it takes time to get to know your teammates he and Chris Paul go way back they've played before on USA teams and so I can imagine that for the most part the rest of the Suns are going to defer at least initially. So I would say the biggest challenge will be for Devin Booker and Kevin Durant because Booker gets the bulk of the shots DeAndre Ayton plays a wing as well but a lot of times we see him up close and he's not. I don't want to say he's not a scoring threat but scoring is not necessary. He's probably the third option on the team on most nights. So you're going to see a lot of these guys defer Chris Paul trying to set up KD to get him comfortable and it's about he and Devin Booker not Kevin Booker he and Devin Booker figuring out who takes the shot when but also how to work together in terms of spacing. So KD a veteran player he's played in a lot of different systems now not to mention with a bunch of All-Stars in either the actual All-Star game or USA basketball.

He does have his ETC podcast his etc podcast and he continues to talk about what happened with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn and how it affected him when Kyrie asked for a trade. I'm disappointed that we didn't finish the season but I also know we're all our own separate entities we all move and do the things that we want to do for our careers and like I can't fault somebody for doing that even though it might have been at our expense as a team. That's who he is and that's what he wanted to do and it's like I can't have a problem with that.

Like I said I don't want to act like I wasn't upset that we didn't finish the season because I love playing with Kyrie. I wanted to see where we can go with that. We haven't had a conversation but eventually we will.

A lot of stuff is moving fast. He's figuring out his situation in Dallas and I'm figuring out my situation here but yeah at some point I'm sure we'll have a conversation and kick back and reflect on all of it. But it's like after the initially I was like all right it is what it is and I try to move forward. So they haven't spoken yet. You can read into that what you will because I am much more communicative and chatty if I had gone this long without speaking to a former teammate after he derailed what we had going on. And with that trade request coming so abruptly once he decided that he wasn't going to get the contract extension he wanted from the Nets.

Once he felt disrespected he asked for it and that was it. He was away from the team. So it would be a big deal for me to not speak to my former teammate. That would speak volumes actually. But I don't know about Kyrie and KD. It was always a tenuous relationship at best. It's After Hours, CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-01 08:37:22 / 2023-03-01 08:52:38 / 15

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