Attention please. This is The Drive with Josh Tram Podcast. Tune into The Drive 3 until 6pm weekdays on the Sports Hub. I love it.
It's brilliant. It was quite a bombshell over the 4th of July holiday. Kawhi Leonard choosing the LA Clippers. Paul George being traded from Oklahoma City. The Thunder getting a ton of draft picks and then earlier today trading away Jeremy Grant to the Denver Nuggets which points all signs to Russell Westbrook being shipped away as well. I'm seeing a lot of Charlotte Hornet fans on social media today saying, hey why not us get Russell Westbrook. Why not replace Kimball Walker with another all-star point guard for the next four years since he's under contract. Four years, $170 million. You wouldn't have to worry about extending him for quite some time.
For me, and this goes out to all the Hornets fans, stop it. Let's not look for the immediate fix. Let's try to build this thing long term. Do what we should have done two years ago and that's trade away Kimball Walker when you knew there was a chance he'd be leaving. Extract as many assets as you can, short contracts, build it all up. Do what, if this offseason has taught us anything, well-run organizations will attract stars.
Assets will allow for you to attract stars. That's what the Brooklyn Nets did. That's what the LA Clippers did.
You don't give yourself a shot unless you're well run. It would be a poorly run thing for the Charlotte Hornets to do calling up Sam Presti and Oklahoma City to try and trade for Russell Westbrook. He's not as good as Kimball Walker is. He's in his 30s. He's not a true point guard. Kimball Walker's younger and he's not as good of a teammate. He's tough to play with.
So many guys have come out and said this, that Russell Westbrook is difficult to play with. He's a ball commanding point guard and when you're a team like Charlotte and you have a lot of younger players, you don't want somebody who's difficult to play with leading your ship. Also, he would be more expensive than Kimball Walker.
Far more expensive. Remember, the Hornets, they were the only team that could offer $221 million, the supermax. Five years, $221 million this offseason trying to bring back their star point guard.
Kimball went out publicly, said he would take less. I don't know why he went out and said that, but the Hornets offered him less, but it was an embarrassing amount less that the Hornets sent Kimball's way to the tune of 50 plus million dollars less than what they could have offered. It was a five year, $160 million contract. The Hornets sent Kimball Walker's way, but he eventually turned down in favor of joining the Boston Celtics. Right now, Russell Westbrook's contract is four years, $170 million.
You heard that right. It's $10 million more to sign Russell Westbrook, which may not seem like a lot, except when you consider the fact it's one less year that you're getting for Russell Westbrook. So don't look at it as just 10 million more dollars for Russell versus Kimball Walker.
Here's how you have to look at it. Five years, $160 million. What you offered Kimball Walker, a younger player, a better teammate, the best player in the history of your franchise. That is an average salary of $32 million.
That's what you're sending Kimball's way. $32 million a year. If you bring on Russell Westbrook, let's just say the Hornets are able to pull off the deal of the century and bring in Russell, you will be paying him for four years, on average, $42.5 million a year. So it's not just $10 million more Russell Westbrook for Kimball Walker. It's 10 plus million dollars annually that you're paying more for Russell Westbrook over Kimball Walker.
Also, Kimball was a free agent. You didn't have to give up pieces to bring in Russell Westbrook. If you wanted to pull this off, if you were to bring in Russell, you'd have to give away multiple first round draft picks.
You'd have to part ways with some of your younger pieces. Terry Rozier isn't going to be enough. So that means some combination, probably two out of the three, Miles Bridges, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, or PJ Washington is going to be out the door. And the biggest kicker of it all, the Hornets weren't a playoff team with Kimball last year with Russell Westbrook and a lesser supporting cast. It would be a lesser supporting cast because you have to give something up in order to bring in Russell. They're not a playoff team. They wouldn't contend with him.
They would be a worse team. You don't trade away assets if you're not going to make the playoffs. And even if you are a seven and an eight seed to sacrifice your future, multiple first round draft picks, younger players that we think might actually be pretty good, it's not worth it.
It just isn't. Draft right short contracts. Let's trust Mitch Kupchak.
Let's give him a chance. In fact, what draft pick has he made that we just outright say this guy's not any good. Let's not hold past transgressions, past mistakes made by Rich Cho and Michael Jordan. Let's not hold Frank Kaminsky, Noah Vonle, Adam Morrison, Sean May against Mitch Kupchak, who picked the best player the Hornets have brought in through the draft last year since Kimball Walker. He picked Miles Bridges. Miles Bridges is getting applauded in summer league by LeBron James on Twitter last night. Let's not give up on Mitch Kupchak and not give up on rebuilding the team the way it needs to be rebuilt. That's what the Nets and the Clippers have taught us.
So while it might be a quick fix, while it might be more fun to watch in the interim, it doesn't make you a contender and Russell Westbrook's not worth sacrificing your future for. Your thoughts are welcome on Twitter, 336-777-1600. You can tweet the show at sportshubtriad. A lot of yelling today. My voice, it's shot already with the U.S. soccer rant. My hair is purple.
I think you guys are just being nice to me saying it looks good. Aaron's in the house. Desmond Johnson, producer of the show, taking your calls at 777-1600.
Intern Olivia in the house too. Yes, Dan? So I totally 110% disagree with everything you just said. I have reasons why.
OK, well, what part do you disagree with? The fact that this whole notion of sitting back and waiting for Mitch Kupchak to make the right moves, to watch these flowers bloom, so to speak. Charlotte Hornets fans have been told to be patient for the past 20 plus years.
It never works out. So you're holding all the past against Mitch Kupchak? I'm holding it against the entire franchise. I'm asking you, what has Mitch Kupchak done to make you believe he can't do the job? What has Mitch Kupchak done in two years to make you believe he can't? Miles Bridges is the first player the Hornets have drafted with promise that he is the best player they've drafted since Kimba Walker.
I don't think there's any disputing that. That's not a reason to not go after Russell Westbrook. Well, I mean, I'm looking at, well, it is if you have to sacrifice multiple first round draft picks moving forward when you're not going to be a contender even with Russell Westbrook.
Here's the thing. I hear Hornets fans that are on the other side of this and you saying, you know, stay the course, let the contract expire, yada yada, build it that way. A, name a free agent, a big time free agent that has chosen Charlotte to come here to play for the Hornets by himself in their history. Let me ask you, okay, how many free agents have chosen the Clippers? How many free agents have chosen the Nets?
And we saw this happen the past weekend. We've seen DeAndre Jordan chose the Clippers when he could have went to the Mavericks. He got convinced to stay by Chris Paul and others. Chris Paul decided to re-up at the Clippers when he was there. Okay, why did DeAndre Jordan decide to stay? With the Clippers?
Yes. Because he had been there previous years and he was playing with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. And how did they get Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? Well, they drafted Blake Griffin, number one overall. They traded for Chris Paul and they drafted Blake Griffin. They built things the right way. They were a sound organization. How did the Nets get Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving?
Both decided to go there. So they never got free agents either, but they did because they stayed the course and did the right thing. That's Brooklyn, not Charlotte. Charlotte's never had any kind of star remotely close to any of those guys who just named B here for a long period of time.
There's nothing in Charlotte to make a star come here. What I'm saying is one thing we know that OKC needs and wants and they're looking for are expiring contracts. We're one of the few teams in the entire league that actually has an abundance of expiring contracts.
We could either let them expire on our own clock and be sitting here with a lot of money and look like the Knicks and not be able to attract anyone to Charlotte because no one ever comes here. Or you go get a guy that's a former league MVP, only cost you $10 million more over the next four years than what you were going to offer Kimba Walker anyway. $10 million more annually than what you would pay Kimba Walker on a five-year deal. Russell Westbrook's owed $170 million over the next four years.
Yes. We were going to give Kimba 160 over five. Which is $32.5 million per year versus 42.5 you'd be giving Russell. But I'm not looking at the per- I'm just talking about that span, the four years we would have Russell here. But when you're putting together annual salaries and you have to go by the cap and you're trying to be a contender, which is what you're saying if you're bringing in Russell Westbrook, the annual cap hit is the most important thing.
Yes, if you're going over the cap. But what we're sending back to OKC would allow us not do that. So what I'm suggesting, you don't give up any of your young talent.
You get rid of the expiring contracts that are more valuable to OKC anyway. Nick Patume, you would give up basically, hold on, I had it sitting here in front of me. Nick Patume would be the crown jewel of this trade basically. But Nick Patume has two years left. Yes, two years left, right. That's not an expiring contract. It will be next season.
Two years from now. You send back Biambo's contracts expiring, MKG's contracts expiring, you send your expiring contracts to OKC, three first round unprotected picks based off of what the Clippers had to send to get Paul George, who is, people would say, maybe a less accomplished player. I get it. They could probably pull off the deal.
I'm not disputing that. Giving away three first, what is the ceiling of what the Hornets could do with Russell Westbrook? The ceiling? The ceiling. In a weakened Eastern Conference?
Who knows? I mean, Toronto's weaker. How weak is the Eastern Conference? Toronto's not going to be close to what they were this past season because they lost Kawhi. OK, they're probably going to be a six or a seven season. We don't know exactly what Boston's going to be yet. They're going to be a top five season.
We've got to see them do their thing. Philly's going to be their top three. I'm asking you what the ceiling is. The Nets are not going to be as good this year until next year. What is the ceiling for the Hornets with Russell Westbrook? Just next year or over the four year period he will be here?
Over the four year period. I think they can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals if they do things right, like you just said. But they're not doing it right if they're giving Russell Westbrook that much money year to year. Why? I mean, he's already signed to this. He's 30 years old. Kim is 29. We were going to give him 160.
What's the difference? Kimball Walker was 28 when he first was being courted. He'd be 29 when the season starts. Right. It would be a five year deal, which means he'd be here longer than what we'd have Russell Westbrook.
It could easily work. Four years of Russell Westbrook in his 30s is not going to get the Hornets anything further than the first round of the playoffs. And you've got to ask yourself, giving up multiple, in your words, three first round draft picks, is it worth that?
I say absolutely not. I say it would be if it means the next year because you've cleared out so much cap space. You mentioned the Paul George deal.
Yeah. They give up more than anybody's ever given up for a free agent, literally. Or given up for a player in a trade, literally, because they know they're getting Kawhi Leonard. Right.
That's the only reason they do that. So you don't do it unless you know you're going to make it to the conference finals. The Hornets have won one conference, have not made it past the second round ever. So to suggest bringing in Russell Westbrook. A former league MVP. When you didn't do anything with Kimball Walker.
Anything. Two post-season appearances. To suggest Russell Westbrook's going to make that much of a difference when he's in his 30s. He's 30. He's not 35. He's not 38.
He's not at the tail end of his career. It's not going to make a difference. Plus, why give up your future for that?
Because we don't really have a future as it stands right now. And your argument works if you're saying Russell Westbrook and Kimball Walker are the same player. They are not. To sit here and say that there's no difference in talent between Russell Westbrook and Kimball Walker is ridiculous. They're both top 15 players. But Russell is higher.
And you know this. Russell Westbrook has been a top 5 player just recently. I'm saying he's higher, but he's not going to.
He's hit his point. He's hit his peak. So he's not going to be at the level he was two years ago when he won league MVP? No. You don't think he can average triple-double, which he's done basically the past three years in a row? In a weakened Eastern Conference?
Yes. Russell Westbrook hasn't made it past the first round with Paul George standing next to him. He was in the West. I get it. But what is the ceiling here? I just told you. It's not the Eastern Conference Finals. It's just not. Why can't it be? Because who's in the East?
Hardly anyone. You've got Philly, Boston. Philly and Milwaukee are two of the top four teams in the league. And then the rest are going to be 40-45 win teams. The Celtics with Kemba and a decent supporting cast is going to be a lot better than whatever the Hornets could put together with Russell Westbrook.
They just are. This year? No. The next five years. They're the Boston Celtics. I don't buy that. They have assets. They have draft picks. They already have a better supporting cast. Kemba is younger than Russell Westbrook. They're going to be better than the Hornets.
So a core next year of Russell Westbrook, Miles Bridges, Malik Monk, P.J. Washington, Devante Graham, Dwayne Bacon, Cody Zeller, Bismack Biambo isn't going to do squat in the Eastern Conference? No, they're not. That's ridiculous.
They're not. Last year they didn't do anything with Kemba. They missed the playoffs by one game.
I know. The team that made it was under.500. The Magic? The Magic got the eighth seed. The Pistons got the eighth seed. The Pistons got the seventh seed. And both those teams stumbled into the playoffs themselves. It's not like the Hornets were a 30-win team last year. Three first-round draft picks are not worth being a six or a seven seed in the Eastern Conference. It just isn't.
It's just not worth that. Joe Weil did some work for us on the Fourth of July. And we appreciate Joe for being in here. Joe Weil throwing out some movie lines.
I haven't heard these yet, but let's listen in on some of the work he did for you, the audience. This is Joe during the Winston-Salem Dash broadcast integrating movie lines into his play-by-play. The 2-0. Good fastball on the outside corner. Pumped in at 95 miles per hour. And Perez, after catching that baseball, nodding in approval at Nien, almost as if to say, Joe, we goin' Sizzler, we goin' Sizzler.
White men can't jump. All I'm waiting for is Woody Harrelson to show what he's worth right after that. What else do we got? Before Connor went on in the eighth inning and just walked around the ballpark to check things out, to see the great crowd, essentially telling Connor, if I'm not back in five minutes, just wait longer. That was Jim Carrey at his peak from Ace Ventura. Pet detective, he's jumping into the pool.
If I'm not back in five minutes, just wait a little longer. Jim Carrey's still spending Ace Ventura money, probably. The drive is brought to you in part by our friends at Twin Peaks. At Twin Peaks, our made-from-scratch menu has something for every sports fan. Indulge in our all-new Smoker Selects, like the Carolina Pool Pork Sandwich or Sweet Inch Smoky Ribs. Nothing pairs better than a 29-degree draft beer as well.
Twin Peaks eats, drinks, scenic views. Coming up, how Snoop Dogg is making a difference for the U.S. women's national team. This is The Drive. What are you guys talking about?
Talk, talk. You're on The Drive with Josh Graham, the sports hub at AM 600, AM 920. We'll talk to the great Bob Ryan in a little bit. You know him from the old sports reporters around the horn, pardon the interruption.
The Boston Globe as well. We'll talk to him about this big trade, Paul George to the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard choosing the Clippers over Los Angeles and what precedent this seems to set, if any, moving forward. But it's time for hot takes and calls are welcome at 336-777-1600 or you can insert them via Twitter as well, at Sports Hub Triad. It's the non-judgment zone, the no-judgment zone for sports takes. We throw away journalistic integrity for 10, 15 minutes a week and just get reckless with things that we think are going to happen, but just don't have a lot of facts to support it. It's a segment we call Let's Get Crazy.
Again, you're welcome in at 336-777-1600. Cue the Prince. My hair is purple and I'm feeling a little crazy. My hair is purple because of Megan Rapinoe and the United States Women's National Team winning their second consecutive World Cup and I'm a man of my word. I'm being patriotic by spraying some type of purple substance in my hair each and every day this week, even though I've got places to be and respectable people to interact with on a week-to-week basis. They will understand that I'm doing this for America. If you have a good hot take, you will be rewarded with the following sound.
One of the greatest gifts we can provide you. A hot take such as this one from Tyrannosaurus Flex on Twitter. Hot take. Josh gets more action with purple hair than red hair. I don't want to question the take, but you think there might be something to that?
Probably not. Alright, moving on. It's all confidence. It's really all it is. If you walk out of here confident that you got purple hair and can't nobody tell you anything, you're going to pull what you're going to pull.
I went to East Carolina University in Greenville, America. I have no problem with purple being in my hair. There you go. Russell Westbrook.
He's going to be a Nick. Now, the Knicks shouldn't do this. They don't have anything to sin, do they?
Oh, they have so much to sin. So many assets the New York Knicks can send Oklahoma City's way, and they can say they got their star. But really, why? Why would you do that when you're building towards 2021 and wanting to put together a team the same way the Nets and the Clippers have this offseason? It would be the most Knicks thing ever to splurge on a point guard who's 30, four years, $170 million. I think he's going to be a Nick, but the two teams that should be pursuing him because it makes sense, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. Those two teams, maybe even the Houston Rockets, because James Harden and Russell Westbrook did coincide before on a finals team, and Houston would have players they could send back and even some expirings they could send back to Oklahoma City.
Anyone other than those three teams should not do it. I know one thing the Knicks don't have to offer anymore, and that's Kevin Knox's soul. I believe that belongs to Zion Williamson.
Oh my gosh. He got snatched like a kid. Getting his lunch money stolen this weekend.
We were all just waiting for something. In that game, LeBron shows up, A.D. shows up, everybody's just hanging out, and we're all just wanting to see what Zion's going to do. He had a couple dunks and then he stole Kevin Knox's soul.
My group mama gave me that change. He just punked him out. He de-boed him? He just straight de-boed him. De-boed him. He got de-boed!
Literally, that's going to be the jiff for ages. He de-boed him! He de-boed him.
I got about 200 olives. Wow, that's a really good, limited de-bo. How much do you have left in that de-bo impression?
That was after a lot of Friday. How much more do you have left in that de-bo impression? Let's milk this reservoir dry. What's up, Smokey? What's up, Craig? What you got on my drink, homie? I'm y'all some high rollers, and y'all broke.
How are we just now discovering this impression that Aaron has? I'm so nervous. My fingers are hovering over the dump button, because I, too, have watched a lot of Fridays, so I know the dialogue very well. Where's my soul? Huh? Who else wants some of the de-bo? I beat him down. I beat you down. I'm lost.
I'm lost for words. I would love... God, this is incredible. Can we try something very quickly since the Clippers are in the news?
Turn down the music just for a second. I want to hear Doc Rivers going back and forth with de-bo on the Kawhi Leonard trade that just happened. In fact, let's go something random. Let's go U.S. Soccer. U.S. Soccer's in the news today.
Here's how it would sound if Doc Rivers was going back and forth with de-bo. Hey, uh... Hey, uh, de-bo, did you, uh, did you see the, I don't know, the World Cup final on, uh, on Sunday? On who's TV? Well, I mean, I guess... That's my TV! I think it belonged to LeBron. I'm not sure.
You might need to ask him before you just run around, you know, taking stuff. You can't sit here and blame anybody else for it not being your TV. I know that. Don't blame anybody else. It can't be anybody else. I mean, there's a bike that's been stolen in the neighborhood.
Some people think it might be Blake Griffin. That's my bike, punk! Well, hold on a second now. Let's think this through because it could be LeBron's bike.
Have you thought about that? That it could possibly be LeBron's bike? It's a nice chain you got there, Doc.
What you got in my drink, homie? Oh, no. Oh, no. My wife gave me this chain.
I can't give this to you. I have to hold on to it. It reminds me of when my boys took out the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Yeah.
We never lost. Yeah. I think we need to come on up off that chain. What are you talking about?
I'm Doc Rivers. That's my chain, punk! Oh, insane. Yay! Well done. Well done. Three, three, six, seven, seven, seven, one, six hundred.
That deserved a hot take in its own right. I got one. What do you got? I got one. Well, really two, but I'm not going to do the other one because usually when I give one I'm not sure of.
I get yelled at and reprimanded in here. Rightfully so. So I'm not going to give that one.
I'm going to give this one, though. Wow. So there's rumors that the Lakers are going to be playing LeBron at point guard starting this season. My man LeBron is going to mess around like Ice Cube and average a triple-double. Wow. All year long.
Wow. The revenge tour in full effect. Y'all going to stop hating on my boy. Everyone's just forgotten about him. Oh, Kawhi's the best player now. Oh, KD's the best player now. What about 27-7 and 7?
I think in order for the Lakers to be at their best it has to be Anthony Davis putting up those numbers, yes? 27-7 and 7. All right. Aaron, what do you got? Josh, thought he bought the temporary purple hair dye. Oh, no.
But it's not going to wash out because he bought the permanent. Wow, bro. I need to actually, Aaron, do me a favor. That's okay. Race to my office, grab the actual dye itself, bring it into this studio, and let's explore what's actually in it. You brought it here. I did bring it here. All right. So we'll find out what this is all about in just a moment.
I got a take, though. I was on the beach, Myrtle Beach, for the 4th of July. I see a lot of people playing sports on the beach.
Soccer is the best sport to play on the beach. Aaron, get in here. He just brought it back here. He didn't want any parts of it. I've seen it. He ran away from it like it was a ticking time bomb or something.
He just sat it in the law offices of Timothy B. Wellborn Studios. Give him some headphones so he knows when his mic's on. It's a pink bottle. My hair is purple right now. We're doing Let's Get Crazy, but we keep getting deviated.
We keep getting distracted. Spectacular. Okay, so I'm holding, like you said, a pink and purple bottle of unicorn hair. Unicorn hair? Rainbow mist. I got it from Ulta Beauty at Greensboro yesterday. I believe the exact shade is lollipop.
That's a great little Wade song. Man. Wow. What made you decide on the lollipop? Were you choosing between that one and another one? It was the only one that was spray that didn't require me to actually have somebody set it and wash the hair. Also, it was purple. It was purple. This might actually be a good way for us to figure out if I'm a redhead or blonde in some people's minds, because it has, based on your hair color, what it's going to look like. Oh, so we can get to the bottom of this once it's raw. Right. You see the shade of my hair, and you see what the bottle says, what it would do to someone with red hair versus blonde hair.
Yeah, according to the bottle, you have medium blonde hair, it looks like. Wow. That's a hot take if I've ever heard one. Oh my God. Kobe White is just stunned at this discovery. Wow, bro. I also want to note that it's certified vegan and cruelty free. Oh, that's good to know. That's a nice touch.
Great job. That was the first thing I was looking for. I picked it up. It's all rainbow mist. He was so excited, and I was trying to figure out why it turns out a pink bottle that says unicorn hair, rainbow mist, specifically lollipop color, is what will get Aaron. I didn't know what to expect, but that was well worth it. He ran into his office, he was looking around, he was like, what's this thing going to look like? And it just was glowing on his desk.
I saw it immediately, like, oh, that's got to be it. What do you think the best sport to play on the beach is? I believe it's soccer. More than volleyball, more than football. Soccer is the best sport to play on the beach because it's easy to integrate people, strangers, into your game and get everybody involved. Soccer, the best beach sport to play, just casually amongst your friends.
Soccer, it's so much, you have to run so much in soccer, it's endurance. You can have just two sandals set as goals that you have to kick the ball between, and it has to be on the ground. Those are the rules. So you don't need a goalie.
It's the best. It's hard enough to walk in sand. You're running around. Oh, no, you go to the portion of sand that's not. Oh, okay, like near the water. The pat sand from, that's closer to the beach, closer to the shore.
I think I'm going to lean still more towards volleyball because you don't have to run everywhere, you know, like you're stationary. You're running, what, a couple of feet at most? I'm lazy.
Turn Olivia, do you have something on this subject? You're talking into the studio without your microphone on. I like bocce ball. Ooh. What is bocce ball? I know what bocce ball is. I have no idea what this is.
It's like a game where you have a tiny, small white ball, and every person has four of their bigger colored balls, and you throw the tiny- Oh, I know bocce ball. Yeah. Josh, I'm married to a white woman. I can help you out here because she's the one that brought this to my attention. She tried to bring this to a cookout at my parents' house and everyone laughed at her.
She has her own leather case, balls- Wow. Yeah, man. It's a big deal. Apparently. I don't know why, but it is.
Again- It's one of those things. Learning of another cultural divide. Bocce ball. Apparently not well known in the neighborhood.
Big belly laugh. I didn't play bocce ball much either. Hence, I didn't know what bocce ball was off just name alone.
As soon as she went two sentences of subscription. I doubt you were playing croquade either. A little badminton in the back.
Croquette. Coming up, a Women's World Cup held in the United States. This is the Sports Hub. You're on the drive. What are we going to talk about? Talking about.
This is the Sports Hub at AM 600, AM 920. Now back to the drive with Josh Graham. Barring a last second change of heart, Kawhi Leonard will be a Laker. Haven't heard a peep from the Clippers.
Yeah, because they ain't got nothing to peep about. They already know we not going back. I think he's going to the Lakers. Skip, I think the thing, I still believe he's going to be a Laker. What I'm 99% hearing is that Kawhi Leonard will be returning to Toronto and signing a two year contract. He signs back with the Raptors. Really?
Wow. Again, on a shorter term deal, he runs it back. That's your original thought, right? He takes another shot. The best option for him is Los Angeles. I think that's where he's going to go. I feel like the Lakers are confident they're going to get him to.
That's why they haven't been pursuing other free agents the last couple of days. So I think that's going to happen. You just had to throw that one right at the end there, didn't you? If we're going to make fun of Broussard, which is it's very easy to do. And we're going to make fun of that Fox Sports show that Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharper are on. Undisputed.
Then I got to take my lumps too. But I do love Chris Broussard tweeting out, Clippers are out. And then the Clippers not being out. The best part is, here's the difference. See, I'm willing to take an L. I'm going to take an L and say I was wrong.
I thought it was going to be a Laker. I'm wrong. I never claimed to have inside info, though. So when that is put out there by Broussard, the first thing I assume is, OK, he's not just hearing this from anybody, just anybody, if he says that the Clippers are out. But he's putting that out there.
And Chris Haynes, who broke the story from Yahoo Sports, he's not putting it out there. He's not saying the Clippers are out. Adrian Wojnarowski is not saying the Clippers are out. But Broussard out here saying that the Clippers are out. So you have an opportunity to just face the music, face the music and let's go about our lives. Chris Broussard started to do that with a video he put out yesterday.
And then let's just count how many seconds before he recants. So Kawhi Leonard is a clipper. And no, I'm not wearing these sunglasses because I've been crying all weekend. It's bright out here in L.A., especially for the Clippers and their fans. What a season they're in for. I can't wait to watch. But I'm catching a lot of hate because on Thursday morning I said the Clippers were out.
I own it. It obviously was wrong. But at that point in time, the Clippers were essentially out.
They weren't getting Kawhi Leonard without a second star. And they knew it. They were out. They were out. I the expression he used is I was wrong and I own that. And then less than a half second later.
But they were out. It's amazing. I just want that part, that part isolated where he says I own being wrong. But then less than a half second later saying, but I wasn't wrong.
I own it. It obviously was wrong. But at that point in time, the Clippers were essentially out.
What? They were out. I was wrong that they were out. But. And I own that. But they were essentially out, except that they weren't. I own it. It obviously was wrong.
But at that point in time, the Clippers were essentially out. Oh, Chris Broussard. Anybody who listens to Chris Broussard as an insider deserves what they get. He's entertaining. He's good on television.
But he does what we do. I'm asked for my opinions. And my opinions can be wrong. I was wrong to say that the Lakers were going to get Kawhi Leonard. That was my opinion. I didn't I wasn't privy to all the information.
But then again. Selectively, what wasn't included in the clip I gave on Wednesday, I said we knew two things about Kawhi Leonard. One, the Lakers right now are the best basketball option for him and that we know nothing about Kawhi Leonard. I mean, and it turned out the second one was more important. And guess what? The Clippers weren't the better option until Paul George was on the table and we did not know Paul George was on the table. Bob Ryan's going to join us in a bit.
And one thing I want to ask him about. Does this set a concerning precedent that Paul George has two years remaining on his contract? But the situation arrives at a point Adrian Wojnarowski describes as being a tough spot where the Clippers had no choice or excuse me, the Thunder had no choice but to move off of him, where Paul George can go to the Thunder and say, I want to trade and not only do I want to trade, I want to go to this team and make it happen that way. And for this to be orchestrated so fast, it seemed like behind the scenes, Kawhi Leonard deserves a lot of credit.
Yes, for all of this being happen, all of this happening in darkness, all of this being orchestrated in the shadows. Him organizing a meeting, according to Ramona Shelburne's reporting, the same day he set to meet the Lakers. And he specifically asked it only be Rob Polinka and Jeannie Buss. Then after meeting with Paul George, having him go to Oklahoma City and demand a trade and have them try and get picks or whatever from the L.A. Clippers. One of the best GMs in basketball is Sam Presti from the Thunder. If you're going to get Paul George, you have to imagine you're not going to get one over Sam Presti. So he probably just said it was one of those situations where the Clippers asked him, what will it take to get Paul George? And he said something just outlandish, like, I don't know, five first round picks.
Danilo Gallinari and Shea Gilges Alexander expecting to get a no in response. Then he got a yes. It's kind of like when I got it was either my first or second job, I get a phone call from someone who then went on to employ me. He asked me the question, what would you like to make? And I gave him a number expecting him to say no, but they instantly said, yeah, we can make that work.
Has me thinking, man, I probably could have asked for more. Like, how much would Sam Presti have to ask for in order to get a no? Now, I'm not saying it's a bad trade for the Clippers and that they acted irresponsibly. If you know you're going to get Kawhi Leonard in addition to the finalist in the MVP running, Paul George, there is literally no amount that's too much. If you know you're getting the best player in the NBA and you're getting Paul George and you're the Clippers, there's there's no amount that's too much. So I'm not saying it was a bad move on the Clippers part, but how much could Oklahoma City say they wanted where the Clippers would go? That's just too much.
Is there any point they would say that's just too much? Because I don't think so. The certain Paul George walked up in the office and said, you know, everything you just said that he was going to he didn't want to be there anymore. They didn't want him on the team as a distraction where they had to move to the end of the year.
Thank you for sending me back here. And I asked originally, does this dangerous where Anthony Davis, with multiple years left on his contract, can say that he's unhappy and want out and Paul George can do so with two years left and say what team he wants to go to? It didn't. I mean, I don't think it set the precedent.
I think it's just it's pouring gasoline on a president that was already set. I mean, Kyrie Irvin forced himself out of Cleveland. Same exact way. Jimmy Butler just forced himself out of Philly. Really the same way where the threat of them being a nuisance to the team, if they keep them on the roster is is a bigger fear for the owner and coaches and contracts even matter anymore.
They matter. But I mean, what's happening in the NBA, which is crazy because you don't see it in any other league. The players are controlling the league like they are controlling how much they get paid. They're getting I mean, what other league would pay something like a supermax to a player that's been in the league 10 years? If you really sit back and think about it, it's ludicrous to even all suggest that that's the owner. That's the owners trying to find a way to keep some of these stars.
But consider this. Kawhi Leonard was unhappy in a circumstance. He knew from one of the best organizations in basketball, he was going to be offered a supermax in San Antonio.
So he signs a contract. What's it worth? One hundred forty one million dollars. Yeah. Over four years.
Over four years. One hundred forty one million dollars. He's in a situation where he feels like he's better suited being in a place and making literally 80 million dollars fewer somewhere. Just because he wants to either be closer to home or be playing for another organization. That's crazy. And I don't think you see it in other sports.
Not to that degree. Eighty million dollars. And you know, you're sacrificing that when you're a finals MVP and you're in San Antonio. And those guys are retiring and they're getting older. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu, Manu.
You know, you're going to get the supermax and you know, you're going to get two hundred twenty plus or whatever it is. You sacrifice that. Because you want to play at a certain place. I don't think you see it to that degree anywhere else.
There was one quick thing. You mentioned it passing as you were talking about this, about Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the NBA right now. I can't give him that title because I just realized looking at his stats. Kawhi Leonard has never played a full 82 game season his entire career.
The most games he's ever played in a year was 74. Who is the best player? It's still LeBron. It's still LeBron James. I don't think it's LeBron James. Just because his team that make the playoffs individually. He's not the best.
Not right now. I mean, last year, LeBron LeBron has to show us something. What does he need to show you? That he can continue to play at the level he did not one, but two years ago at 34, 35 years old.
I have zero doubt. And matter of fact, not being in the playoffs. Again, if you want to be considered the best player in a league, Anthony Davis, the same way. Anthony Davis, he showed a lot where last year at this time, I probably say he was the best player. But when you miss a lot of the season, LeBron Anthony Davis, the same question I would have had for Kawhi going into last season. Kawhi Leonard, he has the trophy and he did it on a team that never won before Kawhi Leonard. He's the best player in basketball until we hear otherwise. See, LeBron never missed games until this year.
That's really what he did last year. And we're talking about right now who the best player is. I wouldn't. It's Kawhi Leonard.
I could see how others could. Not not not the player who played for a team that didn't make the playoffs altogether. It's the guy who won the trophy and was the best player for a team that has never won before. I was going to talk about U.S. women's soccer before we get to Bob Ryan.
They won yesterday. Snoop Dogg says you got to pay the team. Pay the team. That's what Snoop Dogg says. Noted women's sports activists, noted feminists now. Snoop Dogg has a message.
Oh, boy. Has a message for the U.S. Soccer Federation. Shout out to the USA women's soccer team for their fourth World Cup. What I want to talk about is they only get ninety thousand dollars per player. But the men, if they win it, they get five hundred thousand per player.
Sorry. Men from the U.S. soccer team ain't ever won. Ain't gonna ever win.
Can't even get out the first round. Pay them ladies, man. Pay them girls what they worth.
The women should be getting five hundred thousand per athlete. Snoop Dogg says so. I just really badly wanted to play that sound. That led me to pulling a clip from a movie that's probably dated now, Rounders. The famous scene where he's saying, pay that man his money.
I may have did a thing. She beat me straight up. Pay her.
Pay that woman her money. I don't even want to provide the context. I just don't. The great Bob Ryan joins us to provide his thoughts on Kawhi's decision next on the drive. You're on the drive with Josh Graham, the sports hub at AM 600 AM 920. A few weeks ago was the 60th annual National Sports Media Association awards dinner.
And it was a lot of fun. The NSMA every year used to hold it in Salisbury, North Carolina, awarding the best sportscasters in every state and nationally. But now it's in Winston-Salem.
It's been there the last few years. And it was a record breaking turnout with Peter King, Bob Lee, Doc Emmerich and Tony Kornheiser being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Bob Ryan is a Hall of Famer for the NSMA.
But a great turnout for state award winners as well. And we'll get to the NBA stuff in a second. But during the NSMA weekend, a cool way to raise money for the late broadcaster of the Auburn Tigers, Rob Bramblett, who died tragically about a month ago, a neat way to raise money was all of us playing sports trivia. And it doesn't seem fair to me that somebody with the acumen you've built, Bob, should be allowed to play sports trivia. Because how many questions did you miss of the 40 when you playing on a team called the Bobbies won our sports trivia tournament or sports trivia outing at the NSMA?
Oh, three or four, maybe five, I think. What can I tell you? This is the brain I was given. How much did you enjoy your visit to Winston-Salem, Bob?
I did. And I'm enjoying it more and more as we are becoming more and more accepted. It was a slow process.
And in both ways. I was not happy about leaving Salisbury. It was our ancestral home where the organization came into being in 1959.
And I had no quarrels personally whatsoever with Salisbury or the way we were treated. But as a member of the board, I understand the business decision that our financial support was not maintaining itself. As the younger generation of people there weren't quite the same joiners and didn't have the same proprietary interest in us as their elders had. And we were given an opportunity to relocate to Winston.
But in the beginning, I wasn't sure about the response. And even last year, Josh, I was really disappointed in the turnout of the winners, the winning sportscasters and sportswriters. And in one year, a sudden turnaround, we broke a record.
We had the most people show up to get their awards ever. And I guess it speaks well for the way things are working out for us in Winston-Salem. It was very neat. West Durham was hanging out with us a little bit, and I think he put it best. We were broadcasting live from the awards weekend festivities at the seminar they had at the hotel in downtown Winston-Salem. And when Doc Emmerich walked to a microphone to speak in one of the ballrooms, West Durham said it well. We all went to the church of Doc Emmerich.
Everybody, all the broadcasters came together and just hung on every single word that he spoke. And now it's just becoming a thing where you build relationships and Winston-Salem, it puts this city on the map. Oh, that's where the best sportswriters and sportscasters year to year are recognized. It's a very mutually beneficial circumstance. It was that way for us all those years in Salisbury.
And now it appears it's going to be that way for us in Winston-Salem. And a word on Doc before we move on. I went to that seminar because I'm an admirer of Doc, and though I am not a broadcaster, I am a big admirer of his.
And I wanted to see how it was going to transpire. And he was so predictably wonderful, starting off with the idea that the whole name of the thing was what we can learn from each other. If you remember, that was the title of his seminar, what we can learn from each other. And he was asking all these sportscasters who would all like to be him, or at least many of them, how they go about their business and how they prepare and how they do this, how they do that, and engaging them in a dialogue.
And then after the hour, the official hour that he was given, he held court for an additional hour and a half on his own in an adjacent room. Which just tells you all you need to know about Mike Doc Emerick. Bob Ryan's on Twitter, at GlobeBobRyan. That's where you can find him, from ESPN and previously.
The Boston Globe, or I guess still currently with The Boston Globe, you do. I write every other Sunday, Josh. I'm off the payroll, I don't travel, I don't cover things, but they give me an opportunity to sound off on things. And also, I write some book reviews occasionally, and hey, somebody dies, that's good for me. My business, I can rhapsodize about that.
I don't mean to make light of that, but the fact of the matter is that it is something I can provide, a little historical perspective on people. So I have my niche, and it's worked out well, I think, for both of them. Another niche is that he tweets, and here's the thing, if you think Bob Ryan's the person that you can tweet and not expect the response from, think again, Bob Ryan has no problem, and he has plenty of time to get into some arguments with you every now and then, if you deserve to be argued with. But hey, let's get to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George being on the Los Angeles Clippers, and let's start here with the Paul George element of this, where the first report from WOJ was that it was a tough spot for Sam Presti. It was, I think in his words, a situation where it wasn't possible to keep Paul George on the roster.
He still has two years left on his deal, and I wonder with how things transpired with Anthony Davis, him forcing his way out to be a Laker, and even to a degree, Kyrie Irving, when he left Cleveland to join the Boston Celtics in a trade. What precedent do you think this has set? Paul George not only saying he wants out and then being sent out, but him also, it seems like, choosing the destination. Does it set any type of a precedent, or how do you view it? It's an interesting one with the time that was left on the contract and everything. But remember, he was a transplant, if you will, so he never really had established a bond with the franchise or the city at all, and not really chose to be. This is the new clout available to the stars of the day.
But in this case, it was interesting only because there was the contractual, there wasn't the imminent contractual situation. Well, if we don't let him, he's going to walk at the end of the year, won't get anything. They accommodate him, but I want to look at it this way. Sam Presti has established himself over the last half a dozen years or more as one of the more prescient general managers or evaluators of personnel and operators in the league. And he's probably, looking what they got, this incredible haul of hope. That's all it is, you know, drafts are, I'd like to say, Dr. Johnson's description of drafts are like second marriages to me.
They are the triumph of hope over experience. But he's got all this, these draft picks coming, and he thought maybe he wasn't going to get any better return for what might turn out to be, Josh, an unhappy person. If he were going to have to be in his midst, an unhappy Russell Westbrook. And I'm going to guess that an unhappy Russell Westbrook is something we don't want to encounter.
Bob Ryan with us here on the drive. So now Kawhi Leonard is a Boston, it's not a Boston, is a Los Angeles clipper along with Paul George. Yeah, probably.
Yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm interested. I'm interested in this offseason that saw the Nets land Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant over the New York Knicks. And now you having this, this, not a super team, but super duo choosing to go to the Clippers when Kawhi Leonard very well could have been a Los Angeles Laker. When you see the ways the Nets and the Clippers built their franchises over the last couple of years to set themselves up for this point.
What have we learned about what's valuable to these superstars and how you should build, say, if you're a Charlotte or a team that isn't the Los Angeles Lakers? Well, it's scary. And it's scary for the Charlotte's and what's going to happen now to OKC because they might have to make a move on a potential unhappy Westbrook. This is what people are thinking. What about, you know, what's going to happen in two years if Giannis decides he wants out of Milwaukee, you know, which is not a glamorous city in the eyes of, you know, people.
This is a concern. And with the one missing element in this particular story, Josh, and which may forever remain a missing element, is what is going on inside in the head of Kawhi Leonard. What does he want? What does he value?
What exactly is it? Why did he decide not to form a frightening super team by joining forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as opposed to going down the corridor and making what was a playoff team into an even better playoff team? But I hesitate to say a super team at all. And I'm not even sure that, I mean, quite frankly, I've taken a good long look today at both rosters. And I like the Lakers roster better than the Clippers, if you want to get into that.
But to hold you up really quickly, Bob, just interesting, when you're trying to get into the head of Kawhi Leonard, it has to be looking at the Clippers organization as being better run than the Lakers right now that probably he saw. Will he ever tell us that? Will he step in front of a microphone and in simple declarative sentences declare what he believes and what he feels and what... It's doubtful. He'll just leave us hanging. We'll assume that was the case.
But I just want to know, we would be fun to have an explanation. We may never get one, but we've just met. He's going to let his game and his actions speak for himself, not his words. I'll play along with you, though. You say you like the Lakers roster more than the Clippers. When I'm looking at the Clippers, I feel like I'm getting the best player right now among the two rosters in Kawhi Leonard.
And I know you can maybe parse with that with Anthony Davis or LeBron James. But I'm also getting the better coach. I'm getting the better organization.
I feel like I'm getting the longer window and I'm getting the better bench. Why the Lakers over the Clippers? Well, I just think they've got more good players.
And I think Davis... Don't discount how great Davis can be. And even a 34-year-old going on 35, LeBron is still a top-five player at the very least. And Kuzma is a star on the rise.
And then, Pope can put the ball in the basket. And there's a few people there that... I mean, I just happen to like their overall roster better.
I'm not... I mean, I know Patrick Beverley. He's a hell of a defensive player. But he's a mediocre offensive player. I like Montrose Harrell. But how much do we like him?
I'm not sure. I'm nuts about the rest of their roster, quite frankly, beyond the two stars. And the other thing that is being completely discounted is the fact that Paul George has had two shoulder surgeries since the end of the season.
And I know not supposedly major deals. But, you know, let's see how ready it's going to be to get off to a big jump-start next year. We'll see. And look, full disclosure, I would go so far as to say if I'm not with a friend, I'm a very high-level acquaintance of Doc Rivers. And I like him very much and I admire him. And I'm rooting like crazy for him. And I kiddily texted him right away, you know, the pressure's on you.
And his response, by the way, was, that's the best kind of pressure. So, fine. But if you had to go to battle tonight, you know, I won't say war, battle tonight, with what roster?
I would still prefer to go with the Lakers roster as I know it now, as opposed to the roster of the Clippers as I know it now. There's a movie that was that was released this weekend that I went to go see called Yesterday, where one person, it's very good. The concept was so clever and the music's too good that the movie was bound to be successful or at least work. The concept is that there's a person that knows all the Beatles songs in a world in 2019 where nobody knows who the Beatles are. The only person on earth that knows the Beatles, members of the Beatles. If the Beatles released all of this music in 2019 rather than the past, what would they be? What would be their level of fame?
Who knows? I don't know because it tastes like, I can't speak for the music taste of a generation. My God, the Beatles are a product of the 60s and got their roots and their admiration for artists in the 50s. They've revered the likes of Chuck Berry and Fats Domino and so forth, and that's their basic frame of reference.
I have no idea. All I know is this. You can talk about, we'll never agree on maybe on its feel. What music is better than what music? But in terms of sheer number of memorable songs within any genre, take whatever one you want, a rock and roll. I'm talking about the rock and roll era, which we're going to predate and basically go from 1954 or 5 on. No group has had more good songs within their own sphere.
That is so unarguable. Not the Stones, not Led Zeppelin, not any individual artists you can name. Nobody put more songs out there that within their genre were excellent songs in the Beatles.
That's just so unarguable that I don't see how anybody can even tend to make a counter argument. Your go-to Beatles song is what? My go-to Beatles song is Things We Said Today, and it's kind of funny because when they run these surveys, which they do, and on the Beatles channel, which is a fantastic Sirius XM channel 18, when the Beatles channel, when they run these surveys, it finishes in the 40s and 50s.
It just goes to show your music taste is personal. But to me, Things We Said Today, my favorite Beatles song, I could name 30 that I love. Bob, it was great to see you.
Maybe 100, maybe 200. Who knows? You need to see the movie. It was great to see you a few weeks ago. I want to see it. It's on my list. Go see it. Let us know what you think. We'll do a movie review the next time we talk to you, but it was good to see you a few weeks ago. Excellent. Okay, Josh.
You got it. That's Bob Ryan of ESPN. When he started mentioning Doc Rivers, Des immediately began to try and work our highly valuable and expensive direct line that we have to Doc Rivers, but apparently Doc didn't want to talk to Bob Ryan. I don't know why Doc didn't want to speak with Bob. They were close. They were texting back and forth. I mean, what's up with that, Doc?
Is the connection up now? I respect Bob Ryan. I love Bob Ryan. He's great.
Great guy. I was just looking into the other side of the room and Des was giving me, like, just hands up. No, no, no. Don't go to Doc. Don't do it.
Well, I was in the middle of watching Stranger Things 3, and I didn't want to get off of my binge to talk to Bob because I just talked to him, you know, I don't know, a couple hours ago maybe, possibly, maybe, I don't know. I'm Doc Rivers. What do we got in Take It to the House? The oldest woman in America was born in North Carolina. Oh word. And I'm going to tell you about her and how old she is and why we should be all thankful that this woman is alive. All right. We Take It to the House next.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-09 01:38:06 / 2023-02-09 02:03:16 / 25