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Antonio Daniels, NBA Champion

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2024 6:47 pm

Antonio Daniels, NBA Champion

JR Sports Brief / JR

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May 10, 2024 6:47 pm

Antonio Daniels joined JR to discuss why the Timberwolves have looked like world beaters so far this postseason and if Mike Budenholzer can elevate the Suns more than Frank Vogel did. 

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Without a shadow of a doubt, it's good to have you on again. What has captured your ascension the most so far in this round of the postseason? Honestly, and I know it sounds simplistic, but two guys. The play of Jaylen Bruns and Anthony Edwards to me is incredible. It's incredible. And just think like we're literally, and I say we as the collective we meaning the media are comparing Anthony Edwards to Michael Jordan. Literally comparing Anthony Edwards to Michael Jordan, we watched Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves completely dismantle the Denver Nuggets in the first two games.

Obviously the series not over, but those first two games are pretty telling. And then Jaylen Brunson is doing something we haven't seen anybody do in quite some time. And that really put that that entire franchise on his shoulders. He is doing this without a second best player, without his best shot, without a second best shooter, and back down a bit, without his best shot blocker, and Mr. Robinson, and he may have to do it without his best defender in Oceana. What these guys have done in the postseason to completely enhance the narrative surrounding to them to me is utterly incredible. Antonio Daniels is here with us. The JR sport we show Infinity Sports Network.

Well, let's stick with the Jaylen Brunson. We know the New York Knicks. They have an opportunity tonight to go up 3-0 against the Pacers. You just discussed how undermanned they are.

At what point is this going to catch up? Do you still think that they can win this series or would you favor the Pacers right now? I mean, the thing that's very, very difficult to do, no matter what, it's very difficult to win four out of five times. Getting down an 0-2 hole is any way you look at it, undermanned or not, that's tough. Because if you're the Indiana Pacers, you have to win four of the next five. And that means you have to defeat Jaylen Brunson, Daunte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, undermanned for sure. But to defeat the New York Knicks four of the next five times when the Knicks still have two of those games in Madison Square Garden, again, just like Never Nuggets.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I'm saying that's going to be very, very, very tough to do. Well, we know that the coach of the New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau, he gets a lot of crap. He's gotten a lot of crap, whatever you want to call it, over the past 10 years about his usage and stars and players and driving them into the ground.

What say you about Coach Thips? Here's my thing. This is the part that I don't understand.

We discussed this on our Sirius XM show yesterday. People got to make up their mind because on one hand, what people are saying about the league is it's soft. Guys don't want to play anymore. You know, there's a 65-game player participation policy for a reason, you know, load management, you know, all these other kind of things.

And then you have a coach that actually goes out there and plays players, and he's wrong too. So where's the gray area here? Because if guys don't play, then people are mad at him.

And if guys do play, then people are mad at him. Where's the gray area? Help me understand this part. I see no issue in what Thips is doing, because you know what the alternative is? JR, the alternative is losing. That's the alternative. If I don't play these guys, like I do in the regular season, do you think they actually make it up to the number two seed in the Eastern Conference? Not a chance.

Not a chance. He did what he had to do. And I will say this, though. There is a particular type of player that works for Thips. That's right. Perfect for Thips. Dante DiVincenzo. Perfect for Thips. Salem Brunson.

Perfect for Thips. Like, when the whole poll came out of players that would love to play for this particular coach, didn't they receive any votes? What that tells you, I think, is more about the league than it does about the particular coach.

He's doing exactly what he needs to do to be successful. That's what this league should be about. Because when you acquiesce to the players, what ends up happening is you're Adrian Griffin and you're fired for winning 70% of your games. Or you're Darvin' Ham and you're fired for two seasons for being put in a championship or bust situation. Or you're Frank Vogel and you're fired after one year.

NBA vet, current analyst, radio and TV, Antonio Daniels is here with us. You talk about Frank Vogel getting the boot. We've heard about Mike Bootenholzer likely to take that job for the Phoenix Suns. Do you think the coach is going to make a difference? It's the roster, no?

Well, see, this is my issue with that. With the whole situation in Milwaukee, the whole situation in LA, the whole situation now in Phoenix, is it's roster construction. I don't care who goes to Los Angeles Lakers. You could have put Phil Jackson there. You could have put Red R back there.

You could have put John Wooden there. They were not defeating the Denver Nuggets. Last year, they weren't defeating the Denver Nuggets this year, the way those rosters were constructed. It wasn't happening.

Plain and simple. All year, you heard about Frank Vogel acquiescing, talking to the front office about getting a point guard. You know what they said? No, no, no, no, no.

You don't need one. But then when it doesn't work, Frank Vogel has to fall on the sword. So what he wanted, he didn't have. So they're asking him to make guys a version of themselves that never existed. You know what Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, and Devin Booker never did? They never played the point guard position. That's not who they are. They were put on this world to do a lot of different things. But when you talk about being in between those four lines, they were put there to score.

That's it. They were put in there to score the basketball. And what Frank Vogel wanted was a point guard to facilitate, understand time score, situation, where the ball needed to be, and how to get the ball to those particular guys. The front office said, nah, you know what? You're OK.

So then when they get swept in the first round, Frank Vogel is the guy who falls on the sword. For me, I don't grasp that concept. I don't. And I love Bud. I love Bud with my PD coach, my player development coach here in San Antonio. So I have a ton of love for Mike Boonhoser and his family, everyone.

I just hope the best for him in that particular situation. We know how it goes with players running the show. Antonio Daniels is here with us on the JR Sport Brief show, you know, earlier on. And I guess we're moving into a different space because the Suns are out of here, primarily because of the defense of the Minnesota Timberwolves. And you mentioned him earlier as capturing your attention. Anthony Edwards. I mean, the comparisons, as you mentioned to Michael Jordan, are there.

They're not just jokes right now that are running on the Internet. What is really impressing you about him? He's 22 years old. He hasn't reached his peak.

And you could say right now he's the best two guard in the game. I'll tell you what's impressed me about him. What's impressed me about him is the same thing that's always impressed me about him. It's not the physical attributes. It's not the skill set. It's the mindset. It's the mentality. Because in today's generation of NBA athletes, there's a there's a I guess a low management mentality that comes along with it.

And it's very rare to find that guy that wants to go out and compete every night. And the thing is, that is contagious. When it's your best player, it's contagious. When your best player is held accountable by Chris Finch, that's contagious. That's our course was built. Like when you have I being here in San Antonio.

Right. There's a reason that they have the same success for 20 plus seasons because their head their head guy, meaning Greg Popovich, could hold their star players accountable. So now if he can hold that star player accountable, everybody else was open for it. Now, when your star player is not on board with the head coach, that's a problem. We see that in different places throughout this league. We talked about Milwaukee earlier with Giannis.

We talked about LeBron and Anthony Davis in L.A. with with Darvin Ham. Listen, what they have going in Minnesota is only going because of Anthony Edwards. If Anthony Edwards isn't on board, no one else is on board. The fact that he has that mentality, that almost 1990s mentality to go out and compete.

And as he says, and I quote, to kill everything in front of me, that's contagious. That's why and how culture is being built in Minnesota. So the most impressive thing to me about Anthony Edwards is his mentality. We have the skill set is what it is. The physical attributes are what they are. But his mentality is otherworldly to me.

You talk about mentality. Last night, we saw the Boston Celtics fall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Do you have any concerns about the Celtics? It's one loss, but some of the performances over the past few years, they're up, they're down, they're here, they're in the finals, they lose, they're good.

You just never know. They have so much talent. Yeah, for me, Boston sometimes, and I mean this respectfully to the Miami Heat and I mean this respectfully to the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'm not taking away what Cleveland did yesterday. But sometimes it seems to me that Boston gets bored. You know, they ran through the regular season. They did what they had to do. They had the number one overall seed as far as home court throughout the entire playoff run locked up for like the past month, you know, for the last month of the season.

So I feel like there's a human element that sets into this. And realistically, they haven't been tested yet. You know, we can sit here and talk about, oh, it's Jason Tatum. Jason Tatum's not playing like they literally ran through the Miami Heat. Miami Heat did win one game, but they ran through the Miami Heat. Cleveland Cavaliers won one game, and we'll see how it looks here on out. But realistically speaking, the Boston Celtics have yet to be tested.

And they haven't done. I guess if I do, to answer your question, Jay, I guess if I do have one issue with the Boston Celtics, obviously it's depth. You look at the health of Chris Aswarzingis, and sometimes they can become too isocentric for me.

As far as your turn, my turn between Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Yeah, you got to move that basketball around. Well, Antonio, we know that we're moving towards the conference finals before we get to the big one. The defending champs are down 0-2, Celtics are up and down. New York Knicks short handed. The Wolves are beaten up on everybody. You got a young OKC team at this point.

Who do you favor to hoist Larry O'Brien? Oh, man, I don't. I don't. But the thing is, I would love to revisit this conversation in about a week and a half, because the thing that is always amazing to me about the postseason, Jayar, is just how much narratives change so quickly. You think about it like a team will be down 0-2, and then everybody's writing their moths nationally and then they come back and they dominate the next two games. And then the narrative switches back to, OK, now I'm favoring them again.

So the thing I don't like to do is jump to a conclusion that quickly. Like, for example, for me, Denver down 0-2. But I feel like because of what they did last year in the postseason and even what they did this year in the regular season, they deserve some great.

They deserve some championship grades. When you win an NBA championship, you deserve a little bit of grace. Am I saying that that series is over? Not at all.

Not at all. Like, obviously, things change with the game today. Again, narratives change from game to game, series to series and home court to home court. I would love to revisit this conversation in about a week and a half, two weeks, and then I will gladly answer that question. Well, before we get to the finals and then come back and let's chat it up, Antonio.

Hey, let me know when I'm here. Well, listen, final question for you earlier this week, we talked about some of the best international players to ever lace them up. And I excluded your teammate, Mr. Tim Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Who would you say, based on the almost 80 year history now of the NBA, who would you say is the best international player who had the best career to go ahead and lace them up from overseas? So does Tim Duncan not count? Yeah, I'm leaving him out. Let's leave the territory. OK, yeah. OK, so he doesn't count. So who all counts?

Does like Hakeem Olajuwon count? In Nigeria? Yeah, Nigeria. Oh, that's a toughie, man.

You got Nigeria, you got Germany, you got Serbia, I included Canada. Yeah. Yeah, when I like off the top right now, I'm thinking Dirk, I'm thinking Hakeem Olajuwon. OK. Those are and obviously I'm not doing my research on it. I'm just thinking right off the top of my head. And I know how this works.

I'll hang up the phone right now, be driving my daughter to volleyball practice and I'll say, oh, shoot, you know, I forgot to learn the blank. But right now, the two that really stand out to me, especially excluding Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzki and Hakeem Olajuwon. No, you're not you're not going to forget nothing, because those were the two top guys that we had on the list. So, hey, you played in the league. You made me feel like a genius. OK, Antonio, appreciate it, man. You do so much great work on the radio.

Sirius XM so much with with Bali covering the Pelicans as an analyst. Where can people follow you online and all your musings, man? For me, I'm just a Daniel 33 on Twitter. That's it for me. Listen, Adi, enjoy the weekend, enjoy the ball and we'll chat it up when the finals get going, OK? For sure. I appreciate you, brother.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-10 21:04:29 / 2024-05-10 21:12:20 / 8

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