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Sam Quinn, CBS Sports NBA Writer

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2024 7:12 pm

Sam Quinn, CBS Sports NBA Writer

JR Sports Brief / JR

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February 15, 2024 7:12 pm

Sam Quinn joined JR to discuss if the Lakers can be real threats in the West and how the All-Star Game could get some juice. 

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A peanut butter M&M's production. In a world where Super Bowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring, but the runners-up get nothing, one retired cop returns. That's one retired quarterback. Read the script.

Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. Um, that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter, but you're on a roll. The Ring of Comfort, coming soon to a Super Bowl new you.

Sam, thank you for taking the time to hop on. Man, absolutely. We're headed into the All-Star break, you know, get a nice little rest, get a nice little break before things really start to heat up again.

Most definitely. Talking about, you know what, before we get into the weekend, I just mentioned Isaiah Stewart, you know, punching Drew Eubanks, and we've heard that the temperature has been lowered just a little bit by his own agent as to what actually happened. What's the latest on that situation, and what type of punishment might he face? Yeah, the league is investigating it now.

I think, look, at this point we haven't seen any video. We don't really know what prompted it, so it's hard to say exactly, you know, what kind of punishment to expect, but I would expect a suspension at the very least, and I would think it would be pretty significant. The NBA doesn't even want fights on the court, right? Like, there are obviously some, and you hear about things happening in tunnels after the game. There have been very few throughout history fights taking place before games, and that's something that the NBA is not going to take sitting down.

I would imagine there will be a meaningful suspension, but until we know all the details, it's hard to actually say, oh, it'll be this many games or that many games. Sam Quinn is here with us from CBS. We know the league, as you mentioned, is heading into the All-Star break. We have some interesting festivities over the week. Sabrina UNESCO is going to take on Steph Curry. We got Matt McClung.

They drug him up from the G-League to dunk the basketball again. What are you looking forward to the most? What should we pay attention to? And obviously the game on Sunday, maybe. Alright, I'm going to make a bit of a bold prediction here. I think Sabrina is going to beat Steph, or at the very least, I personally have bet on Sabrina to beat Steph, because the odds are 2-1 plus 200. She's shooting on the WNBA three-point line, WNBA balls. If you're looking at this and saying, oh, the greatest shooter of all time, Stephen Curry, should absolutely win. Well, he doesn't win the three-point contest every single year, right? There's no reason to believe that an NBA shooter should be a WNBA shooter if they're both shooting by their own league's rules.

And with that extra money on the line, yeah, I went and I bet Sabrina. The other thing that I'm looking at is the dunk contest. Obviously, you mentioned Matt McClung. Jaylen Brown is competing. It's the first All-Star to compete in years. I think it would be a very good outcome for the league if Jaylen Brown were to win.

I don't know if he will, but I think it would be a very good outcome for the league if he did, because the hope is that we could get some superstars back into this thing, right? Matt McClung put on a great show last year. I think fans are much more interested in watching All-Stars dunk than watching G-Leagueers dunk, right? It was a story in itself that they had to go to the G-League to get a dunker last year. So my hope is that McClung and Jaylen Brown put on a show, maybe get a little bit of a rivalry going, get the All-Stars versus the G-League, or make that a theme for the next few years. But as a fan, I can admit, my hope is that Jaylen Brown wins, and that compels future All-Stars to say, you know what?

Dunk contest is pretty cool. Let me give it a try. If we should only be so lucky, we'll see what takes place on Saturday night. Well, Sam, on Sunday, it seems that Sunday comes, it goes. The interest, even for a fan like myself, has waned in the actual game. It is what it is. I know they've reverted to the rules. Do you expect a change, or is it going to be another three hours of a snorefest?

It's going to be another snorefest. Look, at this point, I think the only thing that could make this game compelling from the player's perspective would be Team USA versus the world. Now, you'd have to find ways to make it fair as far as picking it up All-Stars. That's not a matter for the game, that's a matter for the agents and the players.

You know, players want to be named All-Stars if they're among the 24 best players. You might have a little bit of an imbalance where one side has more of them than the other, but if you're trying to make a competitive game, that's how you're going to get people to care getting the USA versus the world. Not only do you have natural rivalries, you have rivalries that can be built upon in the Olympics and the World Cup and international competition. You have rivalries like maybe you have two guys who are on the same NBA team, but they're going at each other in that setting.

That just seems a lot more fun to me than, like, does the East-West divide even really matter anymore? It's not something that players really take pride in in the way that they did in the 80s, where it was the same few guys on both sides every year. I'm just of the opinion, whether it's East-West, All-Star draft, whatever it is you want to do, I don't know. It's just a random collection of players unless you tie them together in some somatic way. To me, USA versus the world is the way to do that.

Sam Quinn is here with us on CBS Sports. Do we have enough international players? I know they win in MVPs and championships, but do we have enough to fill out that 12?

Yeah, we might have a little bit of a struggle getting to 12, but we certainly get to 8 or 9 pretty comfortably. But maybe there's some things you'd have to do where, like, we pick more All-Stars, but only 12 show up for the game. You could pick a certain number of All-Stars to make sure that all the right players get recognized.

Maybe the last two players on the international bench aren't necessarily of the same caliber as the American guys. But in a few years, for all we know, that might flip. We might get to a point, as we're trending in this direction, the last five MVPs have been international, we might get to a point five, ten years from now where we're looking at the USA side and saying, oh, well, maybe we have too many international players and not enough American players. So that's something that might change on a year-to-year basis this year.

I think we'd certainly be deeper on the American side. But ultimately, if you want to make this game matter, East versus West is not something that's ever going to matter, right? Like, how many players have you heard of saying, wow, I take so much pride in representing the Eastern Conference?

No, nobody. And we certainly know that the players do feel a certain way, maybe egged on over the years by someone like Kendrick Perkins. They care about, quote unquote, the international players coming over and gaining and garnering a lot of attention and awards.

Sam Quinn is here with us on CBS Sports. You know, talking about some of these Olympians, we know the biggest name in basketball is LeBron James. Certainly been in the news a lot over the past couple of weeks before the trade deadline. Now, after the trade deadline, word leaking about interest from whether it be the Sixers or the Golden State Warriors. He has a $51 million option for next year.

His son is eligible to come out. What's the latest as we move into the summer with LeBron? What do you think is most likely to happen?

No, I'll start with the boring answer. The likeliest outcome is that LeBron James is a Laker next year. I don't know what that percentage is. It might be 70 percent.

It might be 95 percent. But the likeliest outcome is that he's a Laker. Rich Paul came out yesterday and basically said, no, we're committed to the Lakers. LeBron's committed to the Lakers. Except that's not really true because he has a player option for next season that he could theoretically pick up at any time. He got asked when he was in New York before that Knicks game, hey, are you going to pick up the player option?

And he said he didn't know. I would expect LeBron to be a Laker, but I certainly think teams are going to take a run at him. I'll just give you one team that I've kind of kept an eye on from afar is Philly. Because unlike the Warriors, unlike a lot of these teams that might want him, 76ers are going to have max cap space. They could actually go to LeBron and say, not only are we going to offer you the 55 million or whatever it is, we'll use our first round pick and we'll take Bronny. We'll give you a contender.

We'll give you your money. We'll put your son in a situation where he can develop here and grow into an NBA player and you can play with him. I think Philly's the likeliest answer if you were going to talk to an external team. But ultimately, if LeBron was really committed, I feel like he wouldn't be dropping hints at press conferences in New York.

I think he's keeping a somewhat open mind. I think Los Angeles is the most likely answer, but let's see how the rest of the season goes. Let's see if the Lakers make any significant moves in the build up to the draft. Let's see if the Lakers give him a reason to say, hey, we know you're happy in Los Angeles, but we want to make sure you're happy as a Laker.

We want to make sure that you think you can win here. If the answer to that is no, if he's concerned about that and his behavior leading up to the deadline suggested that he was, I think he'd keep an open mind if the right team picked Bronny or the right team had cap space. Well, Sam, on that other end, we heard the rumor about the inquiry into LeBron James by the Golden State Warriors. Klay Thompson expiring contract. Draymond Green just starting his contract. Steph Curry still at an amazing rate.

Kuminga improving. What's the deal with the Warriors, their contracts, and still trying to be competitive the rest of this year and into the future? Yeah, you know, Joe Laker said yesterday on the Tim Calacamis show that their goal wasn't just to duck the second apron next year, to duck the luxury tax entirely. Now, if you're going to do that, like that means substantially lower paychecks or just letting Klay Thompson and Chris Paul go. They have those big expiring contracts right now, their salaries alone before you talk about luxury taxes north of $200 million. Well, if you're going to bring the team back and you're also going to get under the tax line, that means Klay Thompson is going to take a big pay cut or he's going to be gone and Chris Paul can take a big pay cut or he's going to be gone.

I think they explored LeBron, just it would be irresponsible of them not to because you're LeBron and Steph on the same team. They don't care how old they are, they're going to seriously compete for the title. I think a lot of this is going to come down to how the rest of the year goes. They've been playing very, very well lately. Last night's loss to the Clippers aside, they've figured some things out with Draymond as their starting center, playing Kuminga and Wiggins together in the starting lineup.

Pabemski, I don't want to say he's replaced Klay Thompson, Klay's still starting, but it's pretty clear that Pods is the shooting guard of the future there. They're kind of blending the old and the young together and they're finding ways to succeed. They're still 26-26, they're a 10 seed. I think it's unlikely that they advance past the first round of the postseason, but it seems like, based on what Joe Lakeup said, the days of endless payroll and all this investment and making sure that they're going to do everything in their power to win championships, that might be coming to an end and they might be looking at a couple of leaner years.

Sam Quinn is here with us from CBS Sports. You know, as the season goes into the break and then we come out on the other side of it, we go to the stretch, there seems to be so much parity in the league right now. There isn't one team that you look at and just go, oh man, they're going to destroy everybody. Even a Boston Celtics, looking like the best team in the league. You know, if Porzingis falls down and breaks a nail, it could be curtains for them and they get dropped down a notch. What should we look for with the remainder of the season?

This is really going to be a free for all. Yeah, I mean, Boston takes 43s a game. Like, all it takes for the Celtics to get eliminated is, if they go cold for six days, that could be three losses in the second round. Poof, their 60-win season is gone.

There's not one favorite right now. And even some of the teams that have gotten really hot in the Clippers were, you know, incredible lately until this week when they get blown up the doors off by the Timberwolves and they lose to the Earth. They have Kawhi, or they're missing Kawhi last night, they win.

But you're seeing that every single team has some significant weakness. The Clippers were too small for the Timberwolves. You know, the Nuggets have, frankly, been playing apathetic basketball for a lot of the year. The Celtics are so three-point dependent. The Timberwolves have so many bench offense issues. They tried to solve that with Monty Morris as the deadline. Every single team this year has some major weakness, and every single team this year has one or two teams that they just don't want to see in the playoffs.

I hate to say it, it's kind of a cop-out answer. I sort of think the teams that make the Finals are going to be the teams that avoid the pitfalls, like avoid the bad matchups. I can't sit here and say any single team in either conference is significantly better than any of the others, but the Clippers have a problem with Minnesota size.

Right? And the Thunder have a problem with size as well. Denver has a problem with teams that can really spread them out and play high-pick and roll against them. Every single team has some major weakness that's exploitable, and what I'm watching for is how is the bracket going to play out and which teams are going to get the lucky matchups.

Well, having said that, Sam, I'm going to put you on the spot. By the time we get to June, what team has the best chance to go ahead and hoist that Larry O'Brien? I mean, best chance, I'd probably say Boston, just because I think the East is weaker than the West, and 90% of the battle is just getting there. If you ask me who I think the single best team in the NBA is, I think sooner or later the Nuggets are going to stop playing possum and they're just going to look a lot more like the team that won the championship last year.

They haven't looked like that lately, but I think they're the team with the fifth gear that the rest of the league probably can't match. But that being said, if you ask me to assign a percentage chance that any single team is going to win the title, nobody's above like 20% right now. I might say the Nuggets have the best chance.

I'd still say they're like a 15-20% chance to win the title. There are 7 or 8 teams that should feel like they have a real chance, so going into the postseason, you're right, there's more parity now than there's maybe ever been. That should make for some good viewing, and we also know we have to get through playing tournaments and reseating.

The NBA certainly always keeping things interesting. Hey Sam, you going to be out enjoying Indianapolis? Are you taking a break? I'm not taking the weekend off, I'll be working, but I did not want to make the trip out to Indianapolis. Other than St. Elmo's, I don't know what the real... I've never been to Indy, I'm sorry, but there's nothing there that really appeals to me enough to make that trip. You don't want the spicy, what is that, horseradish sauce?

I'll try it at some point. I will find a reason to get out to Indianapolis at some point. I do want to try the St. Elmo's shrimp cocktail. Other than that though, I almost feel like I could go to Chicago, just drive out to Indy for once one day, and then drive back. That's the only thing in that city that really appeals to me.

Hey listen, Sam, I've had that St. Elmo's shrimp cocktail. It ain't worth the trip, bro, I'll just put it that way. Yeah, I'm not going to force it. If I find a reason to get to Indianapolis at some point, I'll try it. But yeah, I don't see much of the appeal.

I don't want to go out of my way to go to Indiana. I hear that. Well Sam, I look forward to chatting with you down the line. Hopefully we get some good stuff over the All-Star Weekend. Where can people follow you in all your work with CBS Sports? You have Twitter, SamQuinnCBS, just read CBSSports.com. We put out a lot of good stuff, some of it's mine, but yeah, just keep an eye on CBS Sports.

We do a lot of great stuff. A Peanut Butter M&M's production. In a world where Super Bowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring, but the runners-up get nothing, one retired cop returns... That's one retired quarterback. Read the script.

Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. Um, that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter, but you're on a roll. The Ring of Comfort, coming soon to a Super Bowl new you.

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2024 Santa Fe available early 2024. I'm Tony and this is the Tony Kornheiser show. Wow, that makes it sound a bit more serious than it really is. So what exactly is the show about? It's been almost 30 years and I still don't know. Right now we have some of the best voices in football come on to explain to us what we need to know in the college and pro world.

And we get weekly picks from a monkey. Do you really need more than that? I might just tell you about my bunker game of the latest failed entry in my quest to find the best coffee ice cream. No schmutz please. Listen on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-15 21:09:13 / 2024-02-15 21:17:25 / 8

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