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Panthers Stock Report (6-8-20)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
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June 8, 2020 6:14 pm

Panthers Stock Report (6-8-20)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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June 8, 2020 6:14 pm

On this edition of The Drive with Josh Graham, the guys give their searing hot takes in Lets Get Crazy, Josh talks to Joe Person of the Athletic to discuss their off-season, and the Voice of the Hornets John Focke joined to discuss the end of their season.

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INTRO MUSIC Rather than continue to focus on all the negative that's been exposed over the last two weeks, I want to start by acknowledging some of the leaders who have emerged not just across the country but in our own communities because it's clear we have one in our backyard in David Tepper.

But I'll even take that a step further. Despite Tepper being the only owner who's been approved to enter the league the last two years, so he's the newest guy in the room, I believe he's already become the NFL's leader on subjects of race among that 32-member ownership group. For one, he isn't hiding. Not behind a statement, not behind beliefs that he feels might be controversial. He's instead calling former Tar Heel Andre Smith and telling him to keep these protests going.

Keep everything going when the hype dies down. Could you see Jerry Jones saying that? Just a few years after he communicated in a very public way, any player who kneels on his team is going to get cut. Yet you see the Cowboys putting out the word salad statement. Many other teams as well. This is something I want to discuss with Will Healy when he joins us at 5.30 because I know how he feels about these subjects, but how do you do things the right way?

Especially during a pandemic. How do you let people know that they're about action, not just the words that get produced on a statement by a PR staff, by a legal staff? You don't really see many owners that are as forward as Tapper. Like, we know how his voice sounds.

We've heard him do an Elvis impression. How many owners do you recognize by their name, by their faces, by their voice? You don't see many of them.

That's not an accident. They don't want to be forward-facing because they don't want to risk one of their beliefs costing them business. I know Tapper supports the movement that we're seeing popularized right now that wasn't so popular just a few years ago. Tapper backed kneeling football players on national television. I think this is on CNBC in 2018. This is not from this week.

It's from 2018. This is him when he was asked about the idea that the players kneeling were somehow unpatriotic. These are some of the most patriotic people and best people.

These are great young men. So to say that is just, it makes me so aggravated and angry. Okay. It's just wrong. It's just dead wrong.

You know, it's not that anybody's unpatriotic. By the way, I want you to do right now with me. What is it? What is it to the pledge of allegiance? You know, the pledge of allegiance to the flag. How's it go? You know what I'm saying?

I'm going to do it now. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all justice for all. So some of this stuff was about being justice for all. One of the most, it's this pledge of allegiance.

One of the most patriotic things you can do is about justice for all. So he's saying the right things there. And again, that was a time where it wasn't very popular to say that. I'd still argue that an owner coming out that publicly on national TV saying what he just said right there would still be a very controversial thing. Tepper would be the most talked about person in sports right now where there are no sports. If he said exactly what he said in 2018 today, if he said it on TV, if he put his face out there, if he was asked questions by reporters, that was four months into him being an NFL owner.

So while he's saying all the right things, I think it's also important what your actions reflect. It isn't all talk with Tepper. He signed Eric Reed three or four weeks after that interview.

Nobody else has. Robert, Eric Reed's still unsigned at this moment. Where are teams right now who want to sign a guy who started pretty much his entire career?

He's not an old guy. He was a leader in the Panthers locker room. It just wasn't a fit for somebody who's in his 30s for what the Panthers want to do moving forward. Look at all the signings that they've made this off season. It just didn't fit salary wise and situation wise.

It just wasn't a fit. But Tepper, he greenlit signing Reed. He also joined Torrey Smith at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse to advocate for bail reform. That's again an owner advocating for his players to be involved in social justice, to be involved in their communities, backing up his words with actions, being an ally to the players. That's the biggest difference between the NFL and the NBA, I think. The NBA, even though some owners said they didn't agree really with this proposal that David, not David Stern, but what Adam Silver came up with, they were going to sign off on it and the players are going to sign off on it because they view Adam Silver as a partner. They don't view him as an owner. They view him as a partner.

They don't view him as somebody that's above their pay grades, that's above them in some way. They view the commissioner as a partner. The NFL doesn't. There's a vast disconnect, a wide gulf between the NFL's owners and the players. David Tepper, I think, is shortening that gap specific to his own locker room, to his own organization.

I think he deserves credit for that. This weekend, he distanced the Panthers from companies that don't share his ideals, share the Panthers' ideals, even if it costs them significant money. I'm speaking specifically about CPI security. Their CEO, if you missed it, dismissed the protests we've seen the last few weeks, saying they were unproductive, that there were ways you could spend the time more productively.

He questioned the protesters, which isn't a great thing to do, obviously, and that's why businesses are lining up to distance themselves from CPI. The Greensboro Grasshoppers today did that, but do you know who was first? David Tepper and the Panthers. If the NFL's doing something, then the question goes to other teams, hey, why aren't you doing the same thing? Tepper was a leader, and CPI security was not a small sponsor by any means. They were sponsors of the red zone on the scoreboard.

They were featuring players like Luke Kuechly in their commercials. You have to be a massive multi-million dollar sponsor annually in order for something like that to happen. So Tepper, in the short term, during a pandemic, is turning away money for ideals on a moralistic front, and it was his decision that made it a lot easier for Michael Jordan and the Hornets to distance themselves from CPI, NC State Athletics, South Carolina, and even the and even the Greensboro Grasshoppers here in the Triad. Leaders are being exposed during this time.

I mean that in a positive connotation. Leaders are showing themselves, and David Tepper is one of those. I think he is the leader among NFL owners on subjects of race, and it's only taken him two years to become that. On Twitter, at sportsubtriad, if you want to chime in on the show, 336-777-1600 is the phone number.

You could call in that way, Robert Walsh being the producer of this show. Mitch Kupchak and James Borrego had exit interviews earlier today, at least with the media, and since the Hornets season is officially over, let's turn our focus to the NBA's offseason, because going against public opinion about this year's class of free agents, I think this is the perfect offseason for the Hornets to spend. Now, as I mentioned, the league does not share that sentiment. The league, they view this offseason as a down free agent class. It's going to be hard to spend because you don't really know how the salary cap is going to be affected by the pandemic, what's going to change, so I think it's going to result in some teams deciding to prepare for 2021.

Most of the top teams are already doing that, but the Charlotte Hornets, they are not a destination organization, and when you're not a destination city or organization, I think you need to think against the grain. I said this with Wake Forest. When Wake decided to fire Danny Manning in late April, a lot of people criticized them.

Hey, what are you doing? This is risky. It's during a pandemic. This is a big buyout number, but if you look at it from a different perspective, nobody else was firing their coaches. Boston College, it was only a $1 million buyout to get rid of Jim Christian.

They decided to keep them over there because there was a lot of uncertainty. Wake Forest knew they weren't going to win with Danny, so they got rid of them, but I also think the reason why they decided to do it, Wake Forest wasn't going to attract top flight basketball coaching candidates like Steve Forbes is in a normal coaching cycle. I believe if the pandemic didn't happen, there would be a ton more openings across college basketball, and there would be a better opportunity for Steve Forbes than coaching at Wake.

I really do. So that risk, I think, turned out to be a positive for the Deacs because they thought against the grain. If you're the Lakers, if you're the Warriors, if you're the Mavericks, if you're the Bulls, the Knicks feel like they're in this class, but more and more times than not, James Dolan thinks a lot higher of his team than what they actually are in the minds of players, you do prepare for 2021 because it's going to be a massive free agent class like last summer was. But the Hornets, once again, should not be thinking that way.

So if they do decide to spend this off season, I don't think there's going to be that much competition. And there are still some decent players that can make Charlotte a lot better. Bismack Biambo, Michael King Gilchrist and Marvin Williams money no longer on the books. Finally, those bad contracts that Rich Cho dealt are no longer going to affect this organization.

So they have a little bit of cash to play with. Here are three free agents I think they can lock in on. I look at Montrezl Harrell, from Goldsboro, North Carolina, went to Louisville, and he's only 26 years old, plays for the Clippers right now.

Harry Giles, that's another one I think about. From the Triad, played at Duke, only 22 years old, a little surprised that the Kings didn't pick up a fourth year option on him. So he's going to be available. And Jerrion Grant, loved watching him play in college, really good defensive player, the kind of player that Borrego surely would want to have on this team. Those guys I think will be affordable. I don't think there's going to be that many teams going for them. So if you're Charlotte and you don't have Bismack Biambo to pay for or Marvin Williams or MKG, why not go for it? On top of that, I also think it's time to pay Devante Graham. For two reasons, good faith and potential.

Give them a good faith contract, you probably will save some money doing it now versus later on. I'm a Baltimore Orioles fan, I've made that clear. There are only a few teams I root for I'm emotionally attached to, it's the Carolina Hurricanes and the Baltimore Orioles. I thought one of the bigger mistakes they've made the last decade was not giving Manny Machado a contract after he tore his ACL I think in 2012 or 2013. He left three or four years later but they had an opportunity to give him a long extension. The same way the Angels gave Trout an extension, the same way you see all these teams doling out large money to keep their superstars in place. They could have done that with Machado but they decided to think like the Yankees and Red Sox do.

Oh we want to see how he responds to the knee surgery. If you're the Orioles and you have an all-star talent on your team you don't mess with that, you make sure to lock him up. Devante Graham he's a borderline all-star right now. You don't wait to find out next year he's gotten better and he is an all-star to have him maybe review his options a little bit. I understand there are bird rights involved in this and the Hornets they have more control but good faith is something that matters for smaller organizations, for smaller market teams. So if I'm Charlotte they do have cash to spend. I tried to lock down a Trez Harold or a Harry Giles or a Jerrion Grant and I paid Devante Graham based on good faith and the potential of somebody who could be an all-star, who one day could be close to as good as Kimball Walker was for nearly a decade in Charlotte.

So this is an important offseason for the Hornets and I think, I really believe they have some opportunities here. The Drive with Josh Graham. He's confident, smart, witty, vicious, brutal, vindictive, a monster.

This is an evil man. Maybe, but he knows his sports. Back to The Drive with Josh Graham on Sports Hub Triad.

Your love is strong, it still remains. Chris Sims from Pro Football Talk last week said that DJ Moore is a superstar and not only that, he's already a top 10 wide receiver in the NFL. I disagree, kinda. I don't think he's a superstar because there aren't many NFL superstars that don't play quarterback. You probably have to be one of the five best wide receivers to be a superstar, but even then, is Michael Thomas a superstar?

I don't quite know the answer to that. It might just vary on whatever your personal definition is, but top 10 wide receiver in the league? I can sign off on that. So a lot of people are buying Curtis Samuel's stock right now. Robert, he's big on stocks. I mean, not so much, but I do know that when everybody's buying on one thing, that's not the time to also join the fray.

It's better to be a leader rather than a follower. So rather than buying DJ Moore's stock, I would advise you to buy Curtis Samuel's stock because I'm all in on this guy. The Panthers, they've made it known to everybody who will listen, they're not chopping him.

When they signed Robby Anderson, when they picked up all these free agent wide receivers, Seth Roberts, they picked up a handful of guys that were one-year contract players, they decided that there were a lot of people that suspected that Samuel might be on the chopping block. He has one year remaining on his rookie contract. There are teams that like him. You can maybe get him on the chopping block. There are teams that like him.

You can maybe get something in return. But once again, they've stressed he's not being moved. I think this is the year he has a DJ Moore-like breakout season. 84-85 catches. Last year, he was around 57 catches or make it 54. But you got to remember, during preseason camp, when they were scrimmaging with the Buffalo Bills, Samuel looked like a number one guy.

Samuel looked like an elite wide receiver. It didn't translate to the regular season for a couple of reasons. For one, Cam Newton was throwing him the ball in preseason camp, not so much in the regular season. First two games, he wasn't healthy in doing so. And secondly, he did make a lot out of the catches he made. So 54 receptions, not a lot.

But if you go into the advanced analytics, he has 8.6. Every 8.6 touches, he scores a touchdown. To put that in perspective, Tyreek Hill, every time he touched the ball, every 8.3 times he touched the ball, it averaged that we were going to score a touchdown.

He was going to find the end zone. Now he got more touches. And the more touches you get, the lesser those numbers, the lesser those numbers will be.

And that's understood. But Samuel is an explosive player. He's a younger player. And he really got hurt by the fact that the Panthers didn't have solid quarterback play at any point really in 2020, or in 2019 rather. Defenses, they're going to be keying in on more. Going back to the stocks thing, the defenses, they're paying attention to what guys like Chris Sims are saying. They're paying attention in their defensive meetings. Hey, this guy had 80 plus catches. We need to be worrying about him. I don't think there's that precipitous of a drop off between Moore and Samuel.

I think they're going to have very similar seasons. And another reason I'd buy stock and Curtis Samuel, Joe Brady. Usually when it's a wonder kind offensive coordinator taking a job in college or the NFL, people just tag these guys with being quarterback whisperers. It's kind of like what we see in the draft. Every black quarterback gets called athletic. Every white quarterback gets called a deceptively fast or a film geek, incredibly intelligent quarterback. You get that so often it almost always is separated on racial grounds. In this case, how many times do you see a young offensive coordinator or a young head coach getting an opportunity and quarterback whisperer not being attached to him?

It's always something that happens there. I would say Joe Brady, if you look at his background, you look at the players who did really well when he worked with them, he's more of a wide receiver whisperer than he is a quarterback whisperer. When he arrived in New Orleans, Michael Thomas had an excellent superior season. That's when he started to break out. I don't think it's a coincidence. And do you know who else doesn't think it's a coincidence? Michael bleeping Thomas. Because Michael Thomas, he is tight with Joe Brady. When the LSU Tigers were in the national championship, Thomas went to the game and people thought, oh, you're just taking in the national championship game, given you're a New Orleans Saint and all.

He goes, no, no, no, I'm here to support my friend, Joe. I'm here to support my guy, Joe Brady. Look how great the LSU wide receivers were last year. Do you expect me to believe that without Joe Brady, these guys weren't really that productive in 2018 and then suddenly just coincidentally when Brady arrives, everybody's just awesome. Thaddeus Voss, Justin Jefferson, Jamar Chase. Do you just expect me to believe that?

Because I don't believe in coincidences working that way. So Joe Brady being there, I think is going to elevate both DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel. So the Moore stock, it's already popular. The Curtis Samuel stock, not so much.

I'd buy that all up right now. I made fun of Robert a few weeks ago. Hey, Dinos Daily, it only works updating the NC Dinos because you don't know a lot about baseball. And so I want to give equal opportunity to you. Rather than just ask you to update us on things you don't know a lot about for the entertainment of me and the audience, how about we give you the opportunity to talk about things you actually are fascinated about?

We give you the opportunity to talk about things you actually are fascinated about. And since you are fascinated with stocks, let's do Robert's, the second edition of Robert's Stock Update. It was a big day, Josh, for two separate corporation styles, energy and oil.

I actually saw this earlier today. The stock market is shooting up today. Yeah, we had a good week last week. Another good day today. In the energy sector, you had Chesapeake shooting up 181 percent, which is a massive jump.

And Valera is doing something similar with 135. And on the oil side, CPE up 83 percent and Oasis Petroleum also up 61 percent. OK, when I pictured this stock update, I don't want it just you updating us what happens with the Dow and with what businesses are shooting up.

I want like your recommendations, like what markets you might think be what markets do you think are hot right now that you might jump on? See, you are you're following this all throughout the day. You're talking with DJ and people in our office about things you might potentially should look at. I want some of that knowledge. I want your expertise. OK, I'm also getting there. But for me to have expertise, I had to tell you that to know that the biggest movers of the day were energy and oil.

So that's part of it. Two of the stocks that I'm scared of right now, they shot up this week and they haven't done very good historically. But the two the two stocks I'm talking about are Ford. Ford shot up today to 753 a share and Hertz. Hertz shot up to 553.

I'm out on Hertz because they are trying to buy back their bankruptcy. This float right now, you can make a little money off of them right now. But this boost in price share is not sustainable. They're only shooting up because of the products they have now are being pushed. So I would say that until they end up paying off this bankruptcy, they're never going to be able to go back to like $20 a share, $22 a share like they were in pre-corona. And I have my Curtis Samuel buy of the day.

Oh, what's your Curtis Samuel buy? It is DGLY is the ticker symbol. It is Digital Ally Incorporated.

And they make and provide a body cam service to police, race car drivers and anyone else that would need a body cam. They open, they closed on Friday at $2 and 50 cent a share. I wanted to buy them at that.

I did not get to. They opened up at $3.50, a whole dollar boost over the weekend. I got in at $4.08.

They closed at $5. I'm just letting you know body cams are going to be a huge thing of the future and police officers with police officers. And I would assume other public servants, I would assume everyone is about to get body cam.

What about sports radio host? I would hope that we do not get body cam because that means your camera is pointed at me all day. Uh, it closed at $5 and they did not make money last quarter. So let me make at this point, all of this buy is off perspective, all perspective buy. So you're jumping in at a risk, but this thing could double, triple or quadruple your money.

Also, there is no insider trading. Don't say I gave you these tips. I don't want to go to jail. I don't know what I'm doing. These are all guesstimations.

I look at charts. Don't send me to jail. Yeah. Robert doesn't know bleep. No one is giving me tips. This is all guessing.

That's right. This is not according to Robert's sources. There's no bookcases.

There are no bookcases behind Robert as he gives this report. If I had a body cam, it would show that. I wonder how CPI security is looking today. Hey, I'll check that out real quick. Yeah.

You want to check out for me very quickly. Now that the Panthers, the Hornets, South Carolina football, or really South Carolina athletics, NC state athletics. And on top of that, the Greensboro grasshoppers adding insult to injury earlier today by dropping CPI.

Yeah. I'm interested to see how they're doing. And we got the head football coach of the Charlotte 49ers, Will Healy, who's going to join us in just a few minutes. One of our favorite football coaches across the state. One of the more fun guys to speak with. He's going to join us in just a bit right after we get this update from Robert. And after we speak with coach Healy, we're going to school Robert on some baseball terminology, because again, Robert doesn't know anything about major league baseball or baseball altogether. He apparently has three questions for me that I will answer when we get to that point. Robert, I think I've stalled enough. Do you have anything?

I don't even know if they're a publicly traded company, so I'm trying to find their parent company. I'm going to give you that update. I don't nearly care enough. Yep. I figured so. There you go.

It was just a throw away joke. Charlotte 49ers football coach Will Healy will join the show next on The Drive. It's crazy how things just end so abruptly when we learn that the NBA is going to bring 22 teams back. The regular season isn't over, so to speak. It actually is over for the teams that are in the bottom eight of the NBA, the Charlotte Hornets included. So I'm reading quotes from Mitch Kupchak this morning and from James Borrego. And now we're welcoming in the voice of the Charlotte Hornets on radio, John Fokie.

Good to have you back on the show, John. But I'm looking at this season in hold now, now that I guess it's kind of a post-mortem where you kind of take a look inside at all the good and all the bad. The Hornets, they exceeded expectations for me. We looked at the roster last year and without Kemba Walker, we thought this might have been the worst roster in the league. And then we saw a lot of the young guys emerge, like Devante Graham, who was a borderline All-Star. Miles Bridges gaining respect across the league. PJ Washington showing a lot of flashes. Jalen McDaniels, he was the sixth man when they were winning two of their last three before things got halted. Both of those games they won against playoff teams, the Rockets and the Heat.

But I guess as somebody who follows it as closely as you do, what most gives you optimism about the future of this organization? Well, I think the biggest thing, Josh, is what we saw basically over the final 10 to 12 games. And, you know, the two games leading into the All-Star break and then from the All-Star break until the season was suspended, and that was this team's defense. You know, when you're a young team in the NBA and you're coming out of the All-Star break, it's hard to stay committed on that end of the floor, night in and night out. When you're facing the gauntlet of teams that the Hornets were facing, think of that five-game homestand.

Milwaukee, San Antonio, Denver, Houston. I mean, those are really, really good teams. And the Hornets became a team that was really difficult to play against, and it was because of their defense. They won close games because their offense was really good in late game situations, but they kept themselves in games and they got themselves back into games because of the way their defense was played. And I just thought that they were developing an identity on that end of the floor over those final 10 to 12 games that, you know, it's too bad that we couldn't see how far they could take it.

You know, could it go from a 10 to 12-game sample to a 15 to a 20 to, you know, a 27-game sample to close out the season and then carry that momentum over? So I was really encouraged at the way they were playing on that end of the floor. I think you go back to what J.B. said at the beginning of the season about wanting to have a team that's incredibly versatile.

And by the end of the, you know, leading into the hiatus, they were there. They were able to switch across a bunch of different positions. They were able to offensively, you know, have a lot of guys that had the ball in their hands, create, set up other players.

It was just, I went back and watched the Atlanta game, which was that double overtime game just about a week or so ago. And the ball movement and the player movement was so fun to watch that, you know, it kind of gave me some pangs of sadness because I wanted to be sitting there in the arena watching these guys grow on both ends of the floor. But I think what encouraged me the most, just to get back to your question, was the way the team the way the team developed that identity on the defensive end. And I have a lot of optimism that we have the right people in this state who are in that organization pressing the right buttons.

Because in the past, you had the bad contracts were handed out that are finally getting off the books year after year. James Borrego and Mitch Kupchak, they're aligned, it seems, and you see players getting better year to year. So the development among the coaches, it's a positive sign too, but let's spin things ahead now. Putting aside the obvious coronavirus questions when it comes to, okay, how are things, how's the cap going to be affected, the offseason, what's the draft process going to look like, just strictly from a basketball related perspective, what do you think is the biggest question Kupchak and Borrego have to answer this offseason?

Well, I think it's, where do you go from here? We saw that development from last year to this year out of this team and can these guys take another step? And I think that's going to be a big part of what happens with this organization that's committed to player development. I think they've got the right guys in the organization to continue that. I think they've got the right players that have that mindset of wanting to get better and wanting to push themselves during the season, in the offseason.

And so I think that's really encouraging, but you know, to go from like Devontae Graham, I think is a great example, right? To go from four and a half points a season ago to 18 and a half points this season, that is a huge, huge leap. So where does he get better? Where does he get more efficient when we think about coming back next season? There's ways, and he understands that.

And I think that's going to be certainly something to keep an eye on. Terry Rozier had a great year with 18 points, about five rebounds, five assists. He shot over 40% from three. Where does he get better?

Where does he get more consistent? Myles Bridges, PJ Washington, both those guys had very solid stretches during the season and good years overall. What can they add to their games? And so of course the Martin twins and Jalen McDaniel is kind of guys that we've already talked about. What can those guys do to take their game up another level and how do they go about doing that? And then, you know, obviously, you know, to take out what happens with free agency and the draft and all those things, because they're such unknowns, as those guys take the next step, then that makes some of those decisions easier in that you can find pieces, you can find talent to, you know, to fit in with this group as these guys continue to make strides. But I really think it's that core group taking another step as we go into next season and then taking another step the year after that. The radio voice of the Charlotte Hornets, John Fokie, is with us. He's on Twitter at jwfokie.

Shoot him a follow there. Let's take a look at the teams that are going to be competing in Orlando. Has the field become even more wide open as a result of home court advantage essentially being taken out?

And we already talked about going into the year that with the way free agency shook out, there were more contenders we felt to win the title this year than any year we could remember in the last decade or two. Do you believe because of the unfortunate circumstances of home court being eliminated and everything being put in Orlando that the fields become even more open? I don't know how much it'll depend on the lack of home court. I feel like the fact that everybody's kind of been sitting around for three months and maybe some guys have been able to stay in better shape than other guys, but the fact that no one has been able to play five on five, no one's been able to play full contact basketball, and when these teams do get back together for the first time and they start to practice in a, you know, semi-normal state, I think that everybody's going to be starting from scratch.

And so that, I think more than anything, levels the playing field. And, you know, certainly it's going to be weird, you know, whether you have a game at home with no fans or whether you have a game on the road with no fans, it's going to be an adjustment for everybody not having that atmosphere. So I think there's a lot of different ways and a lot of different factors that have layered the playing, or leveled, excuse me, the playing field for this stretch run. And I think it's going to be fascinating to see, you know, which teams can rev up and get themselves up to the level that they were at prior to the hiatus the fastest.

And maybe it's not even about that because, you know, with the short amount of time, maybe you don't get to that level, but which team can gel and create that chemistry fastest to be able to take advantage of the eight regular season games and then getting after it in the postseason. So I think, you know, if ever there was a year that or a moment where you felt like, man, anybody could win this championship, I certainly think that this is in that moment. Jon, it's good to hear your voice. Hope you stay safe in the Queen City. Thanks for doing this.

Absolutely. Good to talk to you, Josh. And good to talk to you as well. That's Jon Fokie, the voice of the Charlotte Hornets, spending some time with us here.

I don't know how to do the segue from this conversation to something we do every single day, so I'm just going to do it. It's time for NC Dinos Daily. The Dinos, if you haven't been following, are the best team in the KBO, not because we love them, only because they have NC at the beginning of their name, but their record is a lot better than anybody else's, or at least that was the case when I stopped following on Wednesday afternoon. They don't play on Monday, the Dinos. Robert, have you been updating this on Thursday and Friday while I was out?

Yes, we did. Okay, what's the latest on Dinos Daily? Well, on Friday, we saw them start off with a very powerful performance at the beginning of their three-game stretch against Hanwha, and Hanwha and that did not stop this weekend. Hanwha, Hanwha, either way, they're still winning. NC Dinos on Saturday put up 14 points.

They had to outdo their Friday spread by a single point holding Hanwha. The Dinos won both games. They are currently at the top of the standings.

Whoever the hell the Eagles are only scored two points in every single game. The Dinos are at the top of the... What's the wrong word for standings? Oh no, standings are fine. No, I know, but what's the wrong word for it?

I want to use all of this incorrectly. Oh, leaderboard? They are at the top of the leaderboard, 23-6. The closest team is four games up from them. That's the Deuce and Bears, or actually Du... How do I say it wrong? Duasan Bears at 19-10. Dinos are still rolling.

Glad they got a day off, 23-6 at the top of the standings. You hate it when I correct you. I do, more than anything on this planet. But you called it points! Points, I mean, it's still a point.

It's still a point. I learned a lot about baseball where you were gone and you're really souring me on it. What are some of the things you learned in case I missed it? I learned what an ugly finder was. I learned who R.A. Dickey is.

Wow. He threw knuckleballs and reinvented himself late in his career. I learned about what a balk is. I learned a lot of stuff.

Can we bring some more of this back? Yeah, for sure. Do you want me to teach you some things about baseball? I have no idea what you would...

I don't even have a list in front of me. Okay, I might try to teach you some more things about baseball before it's all said and done. But I appreciate John Fokie for being with us. Since the sports news cycle is experiencing reruns from 2016, there's only one thing for this show to do. And I'll tell you what that is next on The Drive.

Back to The Drive with Josh Graham on Sports Hub Triad. So Thursday and Friday of last week I was staycationing it. It was vacation but I didn't go very far. I was hanging out in Winston-Salem where I live and I went to Charlotte on Friday and Saturday of last week.

And it was really weird. I was just hanging out trying to see what the local business scene was like, trying to experience some restaurants, going to experience some breweries as well. And as I was at one of those, I saw our next guest post this tweet saying, given how this day, week, year has gone, it might be time for an ABC run. And I think I texted him a tad too late because I was just hanging out in Charlotte enjoying a couple. And Joe Person's now with us, longtime Panthers beat reporter with The Athletic. And I just want to know, man, Friday there was a lot of breaking news. Your colleague Jordan Rodriguez had some stuff.

Roger Goodell had his statement that went further than anything the league's ever put out in the way of racial relations. And I texted you as you were leaving the ABC store it seemed like. Thanks for being with us.

Paint that picture for me. Oh yeah, great. We're going to let you listeners know that I was drinking on the job. No, I did restock. Sources close to the situation can confirm there may have been a restocking, but I was still on the clock.

You're right. It ended up being a lot of stuff that evening. I was actually late on the night when I was at dinner with my wife and she was getting a stink eye from her because I was on my phone texting and tweeting stuff. And you know what? I'm lucky. I've got a job. We've got all kinds of things in this world that we never thought we'd see before. And you're trying to talk about sports. I'm trying to write about sports when there's no live sports happening.

I count myself lucky as I know you do as well. Let's talk about David Tepper and the Panthers' response to everything happening though. Because by calling kneeling players patriotic and standing up for them a few years ago and also backing that up by signing Eric Reid and quickly ending the Panthers' relationship with CPI over the weekend after their CEO's unsavory dismissive comments, I'm interested in what you think about Tepper standing in the league and where he is in terms of how he's handled issues of race. Well, and also it's worth pointing out too that he has a long history of calling out Donald Trump with very pointed language. And here we have Charlotte and really the Governor Roy Cooper in a kind of arm wrestling match with President Trump right now over the RNC coming here to Charlotte in August.

Well guess what? They could have moved that to Bank of America Stadium about four blocks away from the spectrum center and have all kinds of social distance and David Tepper ain't about to open that stadium for Donald Trump. Be that as it may, what you have here is Gore, who you couldn't ask for a kind of a 180 degree change from Jerry Richardson and his stances on things like social justice and players' rights to what we've seen with David Tepper. And you know, whatever the fans may think of it, I know one thing the players applauded. I was talking to a player today and he was just going on about not just Tepper but that rule too and how they get it. They understand where the players are coming from. They want the players to have voices.

And you know, I think that kind of, is that going to win football games? Not directly, but you might have free agents who wouldn't have thought about coming to Charlotte previously with the former regime who might be inclined to sign their name on the dotted line now with David Tepper's owner. As you wrote last week, Andre Smith, he was contacted by David Tepper, given a call saying, hey, when the hype of this dies down, you got to make sure you continue to keep this going. And Tepper was encouraging players who decided to peacefully protest to continue doing so. And you see a lot of statements being put out there by teams, but not many owners are as forward and as exposed.

And I don't mean that in the negative connotation, but in this case, the positive one and Tepper being present, being available, being accessible to the players. But looking at the entire league as a whole, I mentioned how crazy Friday night was with the video coming out and Goodell having a response to what the players put together and his own league office helped devise with one guy going rogue. That's based on Jordan Rodriguez reporting.

If you haven't read it yet, go and find that at The Athletic. But whether it's Drew Brees or that or the Panthers stance on all this, what's been the most staggering thing to Joe Person? I mean, that Minneapolis might be doing away with its police force, frankly.

Like, I'm still trying to get my head around that and what that means and what that could mean everywhere else in the repercussions. But it's been a year like no other. I mean, and I know you were talking about NFL specifically, and it seems like, and I know you and I kind of had this discussion before, Josh, but just when you think that this year and offseason can't get any weirder or more, in some cases, tragic, something else happens. And seeing Roger Goodell admit they were wrong. I mean, he didn't use Colin Kaepernick's name, but he might as well have, because that's what he was saying. We were wrong on Kaepernick. I want to learn from it.

We as a league need to learn from it. To halt you real quick, on that front, he didn't mention Colin's name. If you had to guess, is that a point of pride or legal reasons he probably couldn't bring up his name? Yeah, probably the latter. Probably, you know, the attorneys looked at that.

It was still a pretty stunning admission. And then you've got Trump laying in again with Brees, and then having the back and forth on Twitter. It's nuts, dude. It's crazy. And this is supposed to be quiet time on the NFL. Put that headline up at the Athletic Carolinas with Joe Person's byline, it's nuts, dude.

And that might be good for anything else that you're going to put out in the next week, or what's just happened really in the calendar year 2020. But let's get to the football part of this, because I've been talking about this the last few months. There's a reason why off-season programs exist. And I think it's for teams to try with new head coaches, with new quarterbacks, with new personnel, to try and get everybody together, install things, build some chemistry. And Carolina, while a lot of it's had to go the virtual route, all of it pretty much has had to be virtual, I don't think it's nearly the same, obviously, as what they might have had in Charlotte with OTAs if there wasn't this pandemic. So how worried are you, or how worried should the Panthers be about being behind, given they are the only team bringing in both a new head coach and a new quarterback, and oh yeah, that coach plus his two coordinators are coming from college to the NFL? Yeah, I mean, they're going to be way behind. The only thing I would say, though, is you know, that this was going to always be rebuilding. No one outside of maybe Marty Hearne was expecting that much from this team.

And so, yeah, it's false. And not really knows that, but I've appreciated how Rule has not used this as an excuse. You know, those some coaches who we would have already been hearing, you know, kind of the song and dance, and let's go feel sorry for ourselves. And Matt Rule has done that, and I respect that. I don't know if Matt Rule is going to be a good NFL coach, but I like how he's communicating with his clothes during this time, and I like what I just mentioned about it.

He's just keeping staying positive. I mean, they put them back in their building, and he kind of likes how the kind of the vibe and the rhythm they've developed with the off-season, virtual off-season, and so they're going to keep rolling with that. Now, if it gets to a point where not just the coaches, but the quarterbacks and the rookies, and in some cases the injured guys, can get back in these facilities, then yeah, I think you'll see the Panthers like every other team do it at that point. But he's got seven years to play with.

He's got, maybe not that long, but he's got plenty of time plenty of time to install this. The same was true of Ron Rivera. Ron Rivera was hired and Cam Newton came in as a number one overall draft pick during the NFL lockout of 2011.

A little different, as you said, because Ron Rivera had coached a long time in the NFL, Matt Rule hasn't, but similar situation. Not ideal, but it's the chips that you were, it's the cards you were dealt. Seven years, man. 2026, 2027. I don't know what I'm going to be doing then. I mean, we might even be, we might be on Mars playing football at this point. That's right.

That's right. And the athletic. Go ahead. The athletic, I'm sure, will be covering NFL football on Mars in 2026, and I hope Joe Person will be there to cover it and let us know what's happening. I hope so, man. I'll try to get through this week.

Like I said, it's been pretty crazy. I'm glad we have stuff to write and to talk about because it's kind of been a long dry spell, as you know, but I like how you keep your listeners engaged with smart, topical conversations. I appreciate you saying that, Joe. I hope you stay safe. I hope I get to see you sometime soon. Sorry I missed you over the weekend. Thanks for doing this. Appreciate you, Josh. Stay safe, man. You got it. He's on Twitter at Joseph Person.

All around good guy and the closest to the Carolina Panthers scene for the athletic Carolinas. You know, it's something that I think people overlook, Robert, talking about what exactly people want from this space, right? I think everywhere you go, you're going to find something negative. You're going to find something that's really deep and profound, and Robert, I don't mean this as an insult to you or even a slam on myself.

I don't think we're very profound people. We get paid to talk about sports and to cover it. Now, there is some responsibility we have to our communities to tell you what's happening, and we'll pass that along when it's applicable, but a few promises from what we will bring to you on this show each and every day. We're going to have some topics that make you think. It's going to be about sports, and it's going to be fun.

More than anything else, maybe this is selfish of me. I went to three or four different places this morning that I usually go to when I'm driving into work, and none of those places seemed very interested in having fun. It's hard to do that right now, but I still believe that at its core, sports radio is a bit of an escape. It's supposed to be fun.

We're talking about sports around here, so those are three things I can promise you. Not that it always will be fun, but if you listen to our radio show every single day, you're guaranteed something that'll make you think. You're guaranteed it's going to be about sports, and it's guaranteed that it's going to be fun. It's going to be entertaining stuff, kind of like our next segment, Let's Get Crazy, which could be renamed Robert, It's Nuts Dude.

We could name the segment that, and I think the same thing would apply. We could play by the same rules. Hot takes only, bring them right now. I've been looking forward to this the last few days. I had Thursday and Friday off, so takes have just been cooped up in my head. Bring the hot stuff.

336-777-1600. We're going to get journalistically irresponsible as we do for one segment each week, and Let's Get Crazy. Next. What the hell is this?

The Drive. This is kind of a great thing, and I'll tell you why. Get caught up with all things sports. That's awesome.

Well, that's not totally true. He talks about The Bachelorette too. Yes! The Drive with Josh Graham on Sports Hub Triad. It's time for us to get crazy. Let's Get Crazy is a segment each week. If you haven't been following us since the very beginning, hot takes only.

Don't bring any of that cold bleep. We say we get reckless here. We just throw journalistic integrity to the wind for a 10-minute stretch, and it really doesn't matter what comes out of our mouths south of curse words and things that the FCC makes sure to know that we can't say. But it's understood that these are just hot takes. If you ever watch the movie Office Space, it's the radio equivalent to the jump to conclusions map. That's what this is. You take a small piece of information based on something you saw in the last week or over the weekend, and you blow it up to something big. You leap to a conclusion.

We will not judge a take for being too hot, but we will judge it if it's not hot enough. 336-777-1600 is the phone number. I don't know why when we opened things up here and I said it's time, I sounded like, was it Bruce Buffer? It's time! Yeah, Bruce Buffer. Okay, I get Bruce and Michael Buffer mixed up. You're in a boxing match now.

You're trying to get in with your microphone. Just beat it up. Yeah, that's right.

Either way. I'm working the body. Let's get crazy.

And Robert. Oh yeah. If you have a hot take, you're going to be rewarded with this sound. Since you're being the funny guy over there, I'm going to let you start things off. Oh, I'm on the streak of being funny. Conor McGregor has retired again.

It's the third time in what feels like as many months. The dude has retired on and off again. I'm going to say that throughout his career, he is going to retire seven more times before he is actually retired. He's going to come out, fight again, go back into retirement, come out, fight again, that sort of thing. When you think about the peak of Conor McGregor, not necessarily in the ring, but the way he promotes himself and what he does on social media and on television as well, what's the highlight for you? Because there's two things for me. Oh, like the peak of his stardom or just like your favorite thing that you remember for me.

I'm thinking about Conor McGregor on Instagram, getting into it with Draymond Green. Ah, yes. The legendary mess up on my part. On your part?

Yes. When I played the... Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Well, that's what this came from. Oh, that's what it came from. I care less about you accidentally letting an F bomb get on the air all those years ago because you mistook what was an F bomb with something that rhymed with the word toque.

Every time I tell the story, I want to say the word and I realize I can't. No, you can't. What I'm specifically speaking of is Conor wearing a number 23 Warriors jersey and that being on Instagram, but you didn't really see the back of it. So Draymond just assumed that it was his jersey and said, we rocking with Floyd, bro, not you. Take off that, bruh, at the Notorious MMA. That's Conor's handle.

Conor said, that's CJ Watson, mate. I don't know who the bleep you are. No disrespect, though, kid.

Keep hustling and stay in school. Now ask yourself why I'm rocking, CJ, when I don't give a bleep about basketball. I dribble heads off the floor, not a ball.

This is not a game here, kid. If you're wondering why CJ Watson is the jersey he's wearing, CJ is the person who took, took's the wrong word here, but started dating Floyd Mayweather's ex-wife after he went to jail for battery, essentially, for domestic abuse way back when in the mid 2000s. That's next level stuff by Conor. The second thing that comes to mind with Conor is how he claimed he was not racist because he has a lot of sex with black women, which is an amazing thing to say. And he says that he reps Notorious B.I.G.

He plays Biggie when he comes into the ring. This is a time where important conversations need to happen. You could be racist and still like Biggie Smalls and also find black women attractive.

You can hold multiple truths here. All right, let's get crazy. Three, three, six, seven, seven, seven, one, six hundred being the phone number. Colin Kaepernick. Captain Morgan spokesman.

Stop it. Already got Nike. Nike was the one that did the risky thing and getting Colin on board. Now, I think we realize that the opinion that was Sinner a few years ago has moved to the left here where more people find what the players to do or what the players did protesting to be the popular opinion.

Most people understand it was peaceful protest and they're protesting it because it's the big name on that. And I don't think Captain Morgan is kneeling, but he is kind of perching the leg in a way where you can get creative with the Colin thing. That might be the next play. See, if you were really thinking about this, we should have said the Isis, the Smirnoff Isis should have sponsored Colin Kaepernick off because you have to kneel to get down to the ice.

Because you have to kneel to get down to take the ice. How did I not think of this? It's okay. We can do it again if you would. All right. Let's let's edit this out in post. Colin Kaepernick Smirnoff ice spokesman.

I like that. I introduce icing to a handful of my friends who now do it all the time. People are like, where'd you learn this? I said, do you not know where I went to school? Yeah, at East Carolina University. Like if you haven't been iced, I'm pretty sure the chancellor will hand you one as you cross the stage.

Like if you haven't been iced, you can't receive your degree from East Carolina without taking one to the face. Which one did you find the most repulsive though? Which ice? The regular white one that I get hit with all the time. The regular white one is heaven compared to the other flavors if you've tried them.

I haven't. Like the orange flavored one that tastes like orange juice infused with it. That sounds terrible. Brutal.

Really bad. It sounds like toothpaste would also need to be in your mouth. I always love when people see you do it for the first time though, because it's a way of life doing the Smirnoff ice challenge or whatever. They're so impressed by it.

Whoa, look at this guy swallowing and drinking accurately. All right, we need to do this quickly. Robert, let's get crazy. Jordan Peele is going to make a movie based off the inspiration from 2020, and it is going to be a movie of the year candidate. I'm trying to think of a title involving get out that might apply.

Maybe get the bleep out of here. Coming out one year. Uh, how about this? Takeout is going to be the more popular option for all restaurants than sitting inside for the next few years. Think about it.

I believe it. You could do dinner and a movie in one place. Netflix, Amazon, you don't have to worry about the Rona. You don't have to worry about a babysitter. You don't have to worry about tipping as much. So hey, it could be cheaper. It's more convenient that might be the play and a lot of businesses there. They now have the takeout capabilities that they haven't before. They're seeing the steady line of revenue come through as a result.

So I think that's going to become more of the norm. Robert, when we go to restaurants today, I understand we're still in phase two and such. They're telling us, no, no, we're only doing takeout options. We're only doing options at the table. Uh, or for you to take out of the restaurant. They're not even worried about people sitting indoors anymore. Yeah. At this point, I would prefer even at after this to just take the food home almost.

All right. Close us out, Robert, let's get crazy. Uh, Sesame street hosted a town hall meeting. So families would have a way to talk to their kids about racism.

They sent it to CNN. I think Sesame street should have a news program every day. So kids can watch the news and accurately be informed because what would be better than Elmo? Just like news anchoring. Hi, it's Elmo.

And he, then you've got people being the weatherman. You got Oscar the grouch talking about stocks, you know, I mean, it, it would be a good show. I would watch the Sesame street news. Jewel breeze bad cookie, cookie, cookie, and sports with cookie monster. And sports with cookie monster. Where are me? Cookie, cookie, cookie. I have no good impressions. No impressions are good in the way of Sesame street. I don't have anything for you. Up next, how David Tepper has already established himself as the NFL's player's first owner. Keep it here on the drive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-15 21:36:46 / 2023-05-15 22:00:09 / 23

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