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That's 877-ASK-DELL to save up to 48% on our latest technology. Today's guest, NFL Network Anchor Steve Weissman. From the No Laying Up Podcast, Chris Solomon. New York Liberty Guard, D.D. Richards.
Plus, from Golf Digest, Haley Ledbetter. And now, sitting in for Rich, here's Ben Lyons. Welcome, everyone. Welcome back to the Rich Eisen Show, another day here in Los Angeles. Appreciate you rocking out with us.
I'm Ben Lyons. I'm very honored, humbled, and excited to be here again for another day. We have a huge show today, guys.
TJ's got his dip set headband on. Looking sharp. How you doing, my man?
Doing well? It's Wednesday. You know what that means. What's that? I don't know. What's that mean?
I mean, everybody loves the acclaimed, you know? Okay. That's what's up. TJ, coming in hot. Coming in hot. We've got Del Tufo on the boards today. What's happening, Ben?
Always some weird wrestling reference. In Los Angeles, I would get the boat invite, but haven't gotten there yet. It's only Wednesday. I haven't been out on the boat. I have not been out on the boat yet.
Neither have I, apparently. I did start the boat Monday, because I was gone for 10 days. Ask Brockman how many invites he and I have received to the boat. Yeah, how many times have you guys had a boat day? We've never been invited to the boat.
Zero point zero. Liz, our town booker, has been on three or four times. Adam's been on the boat. Adam's been on the boat.
Liz has been on the boat. No boat for us. No. Me and Brockman.
Zero. I do have matching polo shirts. I've noticed this week we have kind of come in dressed a little alike throughout the week. I like it. How you doing? You going to make that tea time tomorrow?
TBD. I will let you know this afternoon. Well, we're going to have a lot of golf on the show today. We've got Chris Solomon from No Laying Up, who's going to be checking in a little bit later. We've got Hallie Ledbetter coming on the couch.
She's going to be amazing. She's fantastic from Golf Digest. Plus, Steve Weissman, Tennis Channel.
And you know him from NFL Network. And Dee Dee Richards from the New York Liberty. We're going to check in. Tough loss last night for the Aces, but we're going to catch up with Dee Dee at 11 o'clock here on the West Coast.
Lots to get into. The Yankees collapse. I know Rich is somewhere in the world losing sleep over the fact that these Yankees have now lost three games in dramatic fashion in the last week or so. Blowing a 3-0 lead in the Bronx yesterday.
They were 49-0 heading into the ninth inning this year when they had the lead, and they blow the three-run lead in the ninth in the Bronx. That's a shame. Pause for concern. Exactly why I said to Rich, don't talk smack all year. But the thing is, Mike, you didn't lose any ground. I know.
It's July the 13th. I mean, the Rays picked up a game on you, but more importantly, the Orioles won again. That's nine in a row. Every team in the AL East is over.500.
It's incredible. No, it's an incredible season for all the teams, and comparison is the thief of joy. If you're a fan of any one of those teams and you're just focused on your squad, it's been a great summer.
Right. But then if you look around the rest of the division or if you look up at the Yankees, you're like, wait, we're 14 and a half games out of – nobody expected the Red Sox to be decent. They've stumbled as of late, but there was a point when they won 15 of 19, and the Lions family back east was having a great summer. My dad being the world's biggest Red Sox fan, when they play well, it's food and shelter for the rest of us. Thank you, Father.
May I have another? Yeah, so it's been a good summer, but then comparison being the thief of joy, you start to not get so excited when you look up at the Yankees. But that collapsed in the Bronx. We've got our top NFL running backs list. We did quarterbacks yesterday. I've got a name on my list that I think will surprise everyone.
Oh, this is spicy. We've got TJ's team goats. What division do we have later today, TJ?
What are we doing today? We are doing the south – let me think. We did southwest yesterday. We did central. Oh, we're doing the southeast division, so we're going to be doing the Hawks, the Hornets, the Heat, Magic, and the Wizards. See, I think for the first couple days, it was kind of, you know, chalk with the best player for each team in their history. We did the Bulls and the Cavs.
I figured two easy ones will knock those out. Please tell me you're going to have Michael Jordan as the greatest wizard of all time. Let's put it this way. He's in the discussion. But then something that came up in the pre-show meeting, because, you know, we all come in here early and we sit around and we talk through the biggest stories of the day.
Lamar Odom fighting fake Drake. That's real. That's a thing that's happening. That's not a thing. I think it's a thing.
You know, Brockman has the hard-hitting journalistic quality. I don't know if that makes the rundown. That was just talked about in the production meeting. I don't know. TJ did this morning put me on to something that I hope to be a part of, a culture that I really connected with and identified with, and I'm very excited to learn more. Finnish baseball? It's wild, man. How did you come across Finnish baseball? It's wild.
I was watching, you know, I was on, I guess, Twitter or Instagram and I randomly found this video, right? If you guys don't know anything about Finnish baseball, I can't even really describe it to you. You just have to do yourself a favor. Go to YouTube. Look it up. Look at John Boy's video. He does a tremendous job of like basically describing how a guy came to America, saw baseball, took it back. And it was almost like, what's that thing called when you do a telephone and like you tell me something the time it gets to Brockman?
I think it's called telephone. Something gets lost in translation from the guy. That's what happened with the rules of this game. By the time it got there, their bases are all messed up. The positions are crazy. But what I saw was an outfielder going for a ball.
Right. And the thing is, they don't have walls. There's no walls on their field. So a guy dove for a ball and behind the field, there was a stream creek from Altoona. It's a creek.
There was a creek behind and he literally dove and landed in the creek. I love stuff like this, CJ, because it reminds us of why we love sports in the first place. You know, I'm sure there are some people over there in that part of the world who are analyzing the X's and O's of that play in the creek.
And they're, you know, telling that guy that he's terrible and he's always a failure and he didn't live up to the hype coming up in the youth Finnish baseball. You know, there's all culture around it. But for us on the outside looking in, it's just joy. It's amazing.
We love sports. It's why we got into this in the first place. And they brought me a lot of light this morning. So I thank you for that. You don't think the guy in the river is leading Finnish first take this morning?
Uwe von Malstein. Oh, that was a lot of fun. That was a lot of fun looking at that this morning. And then I thought I'd be like a kind guy and go across the way, get coffee for everybody. You know, I when I try to get a little pick me up and then I try to get back into this fortress that is the Rich Eisen Studios.
And I'm obviously a visitor, so I don't have a key card or an official pass that opens doors. It's not Minority Report over here with my eyeballs being scanned. And I knock on the door and then there's like this discussion. There's like some debate.
Nobody moved. Well, here's the thing. Here's what happened.
Let me just pay the scenario for you, because you were outside. Right. It's soundproof. I think these are still bulletproof windows.
I don't think they've changed those out. So we were talking about the 2020 NBA bubble season. Right. And we were trying to figure out who the best team was, you know, first week of March before everything. Before Rudy Gobert touched all the microphones and everything.
You know what I mean? Thanks, Rudy. And so we were in the middle of that discussion. The door knocked. Mike goes, oh, hey, Ben's at the door. And we were just like, OK, so you're going to go get him because you noticed.
And then nobody moved. And I was like, why do I have to go? Because I notice I'm in the middle.
I'm the old guy. You notice, so you go get it. I could fall and slip on the way over to the door. So I couldn't hear any of this. I could just see this. I saw I got knocked. I saw everyone look and I guess I would have heard, well, the Lakers beat the Clippers in the Bucks. Like that would have been the reaction. Yeah, it would have been like, wait, who was the top seed? Well, with the Lakers?
Well, no, it was the Bucks. OK, well, what about? And then it was just like, I'm not going to get it. I got a text from Brockman that says I'll take a green tea. Did you get it for him? Well, I finally got back to you.
When the show started. Yeah, I finally got I finally got back. So wait a second. He asked you to go get something and didn't want to go over there and get you.
No, no, that was the bit. I did it well afterwards. But let the people know our listeners in America and throughout the world who was sitting the absolute furthest from the door. And yet while these two jabronis are arguing, who got up and walked the whole way over there and let you T.J. did open the door for me. T.J. always opened the door for me. I think you are a gentleman.
Think about how many doors T.J. has opened in life just for friends, for people, the strange, complete strangers. I'm a great I'm the grand facilitator. I've been trying to tell our opener and my friend, you know what I mean?
I'm here for you. You know, it's funny that that promo from yesterday when the show started and I'm going off about Jokic. Somebody on Twitter was not a fan. I mean, everyone, everyone. I saw this tweet from a basketball reporter.
I love his name's Tommy Beer. I mean, and he says 41 of the past 43 NBA finals series have featured at least one of these nine players. Think about that. The last 43 NBA finals have featured. Out of 41 of them, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaq, Tim Duncan, Kobe, LeBron and Steph Curry.
Moral of the story. You need an all time great to win in the NBA. And I think Jokic is terrific. I think he's had an incredible run.
I think he's done something that doesn't get enough credit when talking about his game. I think he's been available. Some of these other guys don't play. I believe two seasons ago, he played every single game.
I think this year he had to play north of 70. The guy is available every night. So I tip my cap to that. Do I think he's one of those guys on the list or I think he's one of the all time greats?
No, I don't. And I can stand by that. And it's OK. I'm OK with that. He still has a lot more of his legacy to write.
Of course. I just don't think it's enough for him to be the best player on a championship team. And there's levels to this in the NBA and the conversations we have around the game. All these men are amazing.
All the women in the W are incredible. We know that's why they're professional athletes in the world's best basketball leagues. But we can talk with some nuance and some some some depth and we can analyze a player and say he's amazing.
But why haven't they gotten to that next level? Yeah, it's been some injuries for some key players around him. You lost the game seven at home in the playoffs to Portland. You cheap shot somebody in the back.
You get swept in the sun's in four and you get ejected from a playoff game. These are things that happen and we can talk about doesn't take away from his greatness. I just don't think that he's going to be the guy to, like, take you over the top. I just don't think that. And time will tell. And I hate hiding behind that excuse in this in this medium.
It's it's the worst. But when you look at that list from Tommy to have to to really win in the NBA, you have to have an all time great player. Kawhi Leonard, two time finals MVP.
Yes, he's been hurt. He's an all time great player. And I think Jokic is just a notch below. You'd rather have Jokic as your number two.
Let's go. I don't even like playing the one, two, three game of NBA because it is such an like such a team sport. Right. But I just think he's got such a unique set of skills that it's almost too unique. Like it's not complimentary in a way that you have to run through him. You it's like with Mello, you have they're so, so incredible at what they do and how they do it.
It can't necessarily play another way. Who is the perfect running mate for Joker that would get them over the top in your mind? Is it someone like Dame who also has a very unique skill set that they need to be paired together to have a shot?
Do they even come out of the West if somehow Dame and Joker played on the same team? Oh, I would like a combo guard who's better than Jamal Murray. I know Jamal Murray is really good. But let's give me like I also haven't seen Jamal Murray play in two years. Availability.
It's a it's a thing. And are you expecting him to come back better off the injury? I hope he does. I'm sure he's gonna have a great career, but he's never been an all star.
There's a notch below his levels to this. Like we're talking about. Damian Lillard is an upgrade from Jamal Murray.
Right. If you go through the NBA on the heat, who would you rather have than Jokic? Would you rather have Jimmy Butler on your team or Jokic? I'd rather have Jokic. I'd rather have Jimmy Butler on my team. I'd rather have a Joker, to be honest with you. Than Jimmy Butler?
I guess it depends on how my team is made up. But if we're picking teams, we're trying to win a title this year, who do you want on your team? You want Jimmy Butler or you want Jokic? Jimmy Butler. You want your boy Tatum or you want Jokic? Oh, man.
Good one. Well, Tatum got was there. I'll take Tatum. You want Giannis or you want Jokic? I want Giannis over everyone. You want Embiid or you want Jokic? Oh, TJ, I know you love Embiid. I mean, for me, I can't really answer that question because I'm obviously going to say Embiid. All right, we'll take the Sixers fan out of the conversation. In Brooklyn, you want KD or you want Jokic?
Kevin Drake. So, so far in the East, I've named like six, seven guys. And I'm taking all the East guys, even though Joker's MVP, I think. Well, aside from Butler, I think you're not going to get much pushback, obviously, with Giannis. Some people would take Joker over Embiid.
A lot of people would take him over Tatum. He's awesome. The guy's awesome. He's a special player.
He's a once in a generation guy. Would you rather have Luka or Joker? I'd rather have Luka.
I'd much rather have Luka. Paul George? At this stage in his career, maybe two years ago, I'd rather have Paul George.
I don't know. I think Paul George. I love Paul George. But I think I'd rather have Jokic. Devin Booker?
I think I'd rather have Devin Booker. Interesting. So the MVP is what?
The 15th best player you'd want on your team? It's kind of weird. Very weird. That's what I'm saying.
That's what's weird about it, guys. And it's all love. Like I said, the man is incredible. A unique set of skills. Let's call him the Liam Neeson of the NBA.
He's taken. He's got such a unique set of skills. However, I think they're so unique that there's a limitation to them. I don't think that he can take the Nuggets over the top as the best player on a championship team.
That's my thought. You're going to get pushback on that. People are going to tell you he was good enough to be the MVP of the league, but he can't be the MVP of a championship team? We see it happen all the time. It's happened a lot in NBA history.
Well, we saw it. There was an argument. Russell Westbrook won the MVP and he lost in the first round, but in five games.
Exactly. And that was literally the argument this year, though, that our friend McLovin was having, because he's a Sixers fan as well. A lot of people thought NBA should have been MVP. And he was saying, look, so the MVP of the league can't get out of the first round.
What does that say? Should he have won the award? What do you guys think about that? I mean, it is a regular season award. And what he did in the regular season was amazing.
He did not have his two best teammates, as we talked about yesterday. Absolutely. No, I mean, injuries have defined the NBA postseason historically. There have always been moments throughout time where key injuries have caused the doors of fate to open in a different direction, if you will.
Absolutely. Not just NBA, but sports. And it's been unfortunate for Jokic the last two seasons to have guys down at key times in the year.
Does that mean, like, I don't know, what do you want to say? Like, he has guys injured? Everyone has guys injured. When the Warriors lost the finals to the Raptors, is Kawhi Leonard not a champion because KD and Klay were out? Like, no. Like, you knock Steph for that?
No, it's just part of the game. And honestly, Michael Porter Jr. is a solid player. But Giannis didn't have Chris Middleton, a made guy in the league. Michael Porter Jr. is not a made guy on any level in the league. That's true.
Right? Chris Middleton is. He's an Olympian. He's an All-Star.
Giannis goes out there and wins playoff series and takes his team deep. And I don't know, I'm a big fan of so many of these guys. And I understand why Denver fans love their Jokic.
He's their guy. But I'm telling you, it's fool's gold. I'm telling you. I'm telling you it's not going to work out. We'll see.
All right. Lots to get into this week on the show. But today it's going to be a big golf show because we got Halle Ledbetter and Chris Solomon. He's from No Laying Up, which is a great podcast.
I love the No Laying Up brand. We've got Steve Weisman going to break down all the stuff that happened out at Wimbledon. And then we got Dede Richards from the W from the New York Liberty checking in at 11 o'clock here on the West Coast. So big show. Ben Lyons in for Rich.
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Clean feel all day. Welcome back to the show. Ben Lyons in for Rich. This is the Rich Eisen Show. On a Wednesday, we appreciate you hanging out with the show, being a part of it. Wherever we are, we're everywhere. You guys are everywhere, huh? Peacock, YouTube, Sirius XM, Odyssey, Westwood One. Everywhere.
And eventually known from the east to the west coast. I love the archives here. I love Between the Breaks. They play old interviews. Del Tufo is pitching Mr. Wonderful on some terrible idea. Shark Tank guy. Wasn't terrible. It already existed.
It didn't exist back then. So good. Joining the show right now, you know, for his work covering tennis, covering the NFL. I don't know if he has any ideas. He wants to pitch Shark Tank. But Steve Wiseman joins the show right now. How you doing, Steve?
I'm doing great. Thank you so much for having me. I do want to say, I mean, listen, Kevin O'Leary may not like what Del Tufo is pitching, but I love his idea at Wimbledon to have walkouts with music, smoke, video walls. I mean, I'm buying in on that. There's actually a tournament in St. Petersburg in Russia that has all that. Like, the players literally walk out on the court. There's dancers, there's music, there's video. I mean, it is a party. And then at the end of the tournament, there's a concert before they even give the trophy presentation.
So I don't know if the All England Club's going to be into it, Del Tufo, but I'm feeling your idea there. Yeah, the Wimbledon walkout's very boring. I was like, I watch it.
I'm like, I like it. It's all, I get it, like the old building and they walk out, but it's like, they need some music there. Yeah. And they actually changed it this year because they used to walk out on the side and this year they walked out straight to center court. I mean, they're all about, you know, tradition. Yeah, I get it.
Can't walk on the grass and all white. I mean, they got up in arms when Nick Kyrgios walked out in his J's that had red on them. And then he was wearing like his red hat after the match.
And somebody asked him five questions about, why, why would you do that? You know, and he's like, because I'm doing me, you know, my tradition is more important than their tradition. So y'all were talking about NBA earlier and these guys like Kyrgios is the biggest NBA fan. He is a massive Celtics super fan. And so he was on the desk with us after one of his matches and he's talking to me and John Wertheim. And he literally told us that if the Celtics lose a match in overtime or something like that, he will lose a game.
He will throw matches the next day. He is that sad about the Celtics losses. So and Giannis is like a good friend with with Stefano Tsitsipas and Maria Sakari, the Greek players and Jimmy Butler and Sasha Zverev have a great relationship. I know you're mentioning Nikola Jokic from Serbia and him and Novak Djokovic are also really tight. There's a lot of a lot of connection between the tennis world and the rest of the sports world. Now, I love that, Steve, and I appreciate you bringing it up because it feels like tennis is having a cultural moment, largely due to the fact that there is this infighting within the community. The fact that Nick Kyrgios wearing red shoes has everybody up in arms. And at the Mike Del Tufo Classic, they're talking about now to the main court, Nick Kyrgios. Yeah, exactly. So it's this weird kind of time for tennis, isn't it? Yeah, I mean, you've got you've got your traditionalists and then you've got your next gen.
They call them the next gen, but, you know, they're trying to do their own thing. And I think it's kind of society in general. And so sometimes it ruffles feathers the wrong way. And tennis has always been a sport that, you know, it's a gentleman's sport and this and that.
And, you know, there's a lot of unspoken rules. And, you know, somebody like Nick Kyrgios, who, in my opinion, is absolutely box office and you have to watch when he's on the court, you know, does things a little bit differently. And I don't agree with everything he does and the cursing and the throwing of the racket. And, you know, potentially these days, there's been some incidents where players hit balls and, you know, they might hit somebody in the crowd or slam a racket and it goes close to hitting a ball or something like that. But in terms of walking out on center court in Jays, I think that's cool. And, you know, his whole perspective on, you know, the game and kind of wanting to entertain as well as be talented. I love that. I mean, is it the best tactical decision to hit a tweener on, you know, in the Wimbledon championship in the middle of a rally? Probably not, but it's cool.
Steve Weissman joining the show. In addition to his work with the Tennis Channel, he works as well for NFL Network. How did you get your start covering tennis? It's been really cool to watch you kind of just do your thing the last few years. And I would imagine you had a passion for the sport at a young age. Yeah, no, I've always played then. I probably started playing when I was like eight years old or something like that. That's what ball was the first sport I ever played. But then at some point, you know, we've been there. We've all been there.
We are the tallest of both. And so it was it was a sport I was most proficient at. And I was, you know, I played number one singles in high school and I still play a ton now.
I actually was a volunteer assistant coach for Loyola Marymount, the women's team for a couple of years out here in L.A. And I just I just have always loved tennis. And when I got to ESPN in 2010, I did everything I could. I mainly did Sports Center and outside the lines and College Football Live and NFL Live and shows like that. But the one thing I always tried to get on with tennis and Don Colantonio gave me an opportunity to do basically the ESPN three direct TV mix of the Australian Open and Wimbledon in the U.S. Open. So I was able to call matches and host our coverage.
And I don't know if anybody saw it, but it was amazing. And it worked with folks like Mark Woodford and Chanda Rubin and Taylor Dent and Murphy Jensen and all these folks that have become great friends. And, you know, Woody really helped me get my in at tennis channel. And so when I left ESPN, I, you know, sent an email to a friend at tennis channels like, hey, you got time to meet. And they were like, no, but why don't you I flew out to Indian Wells just for like to stay with Woody and his family. And they were like, why don't you call a couple of matches?
It's like a paid audition. And so I called Marty Fish's first match back after his whole anxiety thing. And I'd become buddies with Marty. And I called it with Jim Currier, who was friends with Mark Woodford. So kind of like I was OK. And then I did a Sloan Stevens match with Lindsey Davenport. And they were like, all right, you killed it.
So we're going to start bringing you back. And and that's how I kind of got into tennis channel. And then I eventually moved to L.A. and, you know, I've been really grateful for all the folks, Bob Wiley and Rock Schneiderman and Ken Solomon. And just like everybody at tennis channel is so positive and supportive. And, you know, all the people I work with, whether it's Lindsey or, you know, Tracy Austin or Jim or Paul Anikin or Chanda or, you know, everybody there has just become like a family. And and that's what tennis kind of is. And so everybody kind of takes care of one another. And I've been thankful that it's kind of gotten where it's at now.
Steve Weissman joining the show, Ben Lyons in for Rich, the Rich Eisen show. So being somebody who's covered the game now at the highest level and with some of the biggest names around the sport, who's the greatest tennis player of all time? So I know you had my boy Adnan Virk on the other day and and after Tom Cruise cut him off, you know, he's a big fed guy. And I think it's tough. So I work with who, in my opinion, is the GOAT and that's Martina Navratilova. So and she's like, she is so cool. I cannot tell you how cool Martina is. And to be able to, you know, basically just hang out with her for two weeks on the desk and and and be able to talk tennis with somebody who won 59 grand slams. And, you know, she won 20 at Wimbledon, nine there. Sadly, she wasn't able to come out on the court for the 100 year anniversary of center court because she she got COVID. But like Martina is the coolest and won everything and did it over like 30 and 40 years. She won her last grand slam when she was two weeks before 50. So I know it's tough to compare eras, but being able to call Martina a friend and just see how others, you know, revere her and look up to her all she was able to overcome. She's kind of my GOAT. But, you know, the GOAT becomes something that is statistical.
And so there's that category. And obviously right now, Rafa has more grand slams on the men's side than anyone else. Margaret Court. She's absolutely not the GOAT. She has, you know, the most majors on the women's side played a lot of Australian opens when nobody played that tournament or most of the good players didn't play it. Serena is insane as well. You know, with the 23 majors all she's able to accomplish.
She's for sure like Martina and Serena are GOATs. And then and then you've got the big three and you've got Raja, Rafa, Novak. And so I think when you talk about greatest of all time, legacy also plays the factor. So it's the statistics, the stats. And then you've got legacy.
And legacy is more of a subjective quality, Ben, where how do they make you feel? Right. So Raja makes a lot of people feel amazing and the way he's able to make everything look effortless. And so that can put him on top. But then you've got Rafa, who arguably works harder than anyone else, who literally takes no points off and gets 100 percent effort on every single point.
And I don't know many humans in life that do that in any of their occupations. And then Novak Djokovic, who is probably going to overtake Rafa in terms of the all time slams list, who's also insane. And I tweeted the other day that he's the greatest athlete in the world.
I truly believe that. Now, when I said that, I said athlete in the world. I didn't say tennis player in the world. I just said athlete because he's frickin like Gumby on court and like and it's strong and fast and the endurance and everything he does is next level. So I don't know.
I'm going to go with Martina. I know that's not where you were heading in this question, but but that's where I'm going to stay. No, I left the question open ended and you gave me five minutes on the history and the state of the sport.
I love it. It's why it's a great debate. It's if you had come with the quick answer, you know, we'd be on to the net. We'd be all talking about football already. We're going to stay on tennis. And I think this is what is so exciting about the sport right now is that here you have the mix of of culture, fashion. You have, you know, like you said, the NBA effect, if you will, on the sports, the Mike Tufo invitational, if you will. But then you have the tradition and the history and the the legacy and these two things are at odd now in the sport heading into the U.S. Open. What can what can tennis fans expect out in New York and Flushing Meadows this this fall?
Well, Ben, we may not have no bad joke of it because that's the stance right now. He's still not vaccinated and you have to be vaccinated to enter the country. So what's crazy is that we may not be Novak play another grand slam until Paris next year because he's not allowed in Australia either.
So we'll see. I mean, there's talk the U.S. government may change that rule. But it's wild that, you know, arguably the number one player in the world right now is not going to be playing a major until next May, June. That said, I mean, you know, Daniel Medvedev is your defending champion there, and he wasn't allowed to play Wimbledon because Wimbledon banned the Russians and the Belarusians. And then there was no point. So then the ATP and WTA said, well, you're going to ban these players.
We're going to take points away. The Novak Djokovic wins the tournament, falls to seven in the world. And, you know, on the women's side, Lena Rybakina, who, by the way, they didn't want Russians to play in the tournament. And then you get somebody on the women's side who won the tournament, who literally was born in Russia and a few years ago took money from Kazakhstan. And now she plays for Kazakhstan and was able to play and then, you know, wins the tournament when, in all honesty, she's Russian. And so but she actually falls in the rankings as well because she couldn't get any points. Nick Kyrgios, who gets to a final, would be 15 in the world right now, drops to 45 in the world from 40. So it's kind of a mess.
But that aside, I mean, there's great opportunity. You know, Rafa still hasn't lost at a major this year, which is insane. He won the Australian Open.
Then he won his 14th role on Garros. Then he gets to the semifinals at Wimbledon and unfortunately has to pull out because he's got a tear in his abdomen. The fact that he was able to beat Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals with an abdominal tear is incredible. He won the French Open with the fact that he had this foot injury that he had to numb it every single match.
So he's had a ton of injuries and then he had a broken rib in the final of Indian Wells against Taylor Fritz earlier this year as well. So you can't count Rafa out. If Djokovic plays, he's one of the favorites.
I'm curious to see how Daniil Medvedev comes back, the fact that he hasn't played in a little while. And then Kyrgios, you know, he's geared up for the grass court season. You know, is he still motivated? He says the fact that he didn't win at Wimbledon makes him more motivated because he's the type of guy that he feels like Wimbledon is the greatest tournament of all time. If he had won it, he would have been like, all right, kind of mic drop.
I don't need to do anything for the rest of my life. So the fact that he's still motivated, I love that as well. And then on the women's side, there's so many. Igor Svyantek is the number one player in the world by far, lost early at Wimbledon. But you got, you know, Coco Gauff, who's this teenager, 18 year old American who is going to be the future. She's an absolute rock star, brilliant on and off the court. Amanda Anasimova made a deep run. Another young American who's just 20 years old, also going to be just boxed off the superstar. And then and then others from all across from Paula Bedosa, Anh-Jebir, folks that you may or may not have heard of. And then the other question is, Serena, is she playing?
I don't know. I hope she does. I mean, the player she lost to at Wimbledon when it made it to the fourth round and lost to Anasimova. And Roger is not expected to play until the Labor Cup, which is after the U.S. Open.
And then he's supposed to play in Basel, which is his home tournament after that. But there's still a lot of questions. But there's nothing like the excitement, the electricity of Arthur Ashe Stadium, nighttime matches. All the fans are back.
So I'm going to be hyped either way. What's the greatest? It's the greatest time in New York and it's the greatest tennis event in the United States. Steve, you're a great ambassador for the sport. We appreciate you taking some time, man.
Thank you so much. We didn't even get into football. My boy Brandon Staley, you know, coming out the Chargers coach joining us at Wimbledon because he's a huge Rafa fan and all that.
And Russell Wilson being in the royal box. But listen, thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate you, Ben. And have a great rest of the week. Thanks so much, man.
Take care. Steve Weissman joining the show. Welcome to Dude, covering tennis at the highest level, contributing to the NFL network as well.
I like Steve and he's right. There's a lot going on in the world of tennis. And it's nuts how you can win Wimbledon, which is regarded as the premier tournament in the sport.
And then you drop in the rankings. Sounds like almost there should be some type of live tour for the tennis guys. For the tennis men and women.
I don't know. Because it's unfortunate that here you have such a beautiful sport and it seems like the only time it creeps into the national or international conversation is around the majors. Like the local events in tennis in America don't have much juice to them in terms of how we analyze the great players of the sport.
Yeah. And we're going to talk a lot about a lot of golf later on the rest of the show. But there is no other event like, you know, the memorial kind of matters in golf and the players championship. And there's other events throughout the golf calendar that, you know, are kind of a big deal. Whereas in tennis, you know, the world, the casual only really focuses four times a year, maybe three. Because, you know, the Australian Open obviously is on at weird times. Yeah, no, it would be really cool if there were great premier tennis events in the big cities that mattered to the conversation around who's the GOAT, how many win, who's the best this year.
All that stuff would be very cool. I love tennis. Thanks so much to Steve for checking in. Coming up in a little bit, we got Chris Solomon from No Laying Up. We got Dee Dee Richards. We got Hallie Ledbetter in studio.
My friend who used to cover for Golf Digest. So we're very excited for a big, big show today. Lots more show coming up.
Plus our top NFL running backs. We'll get into that next Rich Eisen Show rolls on. This is the Rich Eisen Show. I am Ben Lyons filling in for Rich.
Appreciate you listening, watching, subscribing, retweeting, hashtagging, whatever you got to do to be a part of the show. We've got some of the, some great golf stuff coming up later. We don't get a chance to talk too much golf, but golf seems to be in the news with the Open Championship and all this talk around the Live Tour.
So we've got Chris Solomon from No Laying Up checking in about half an hour. We got Hallie Ledbetter a little bit later on in studio. She was my first guest on the Rich Eisen Show last summer after Colin, your favorite golfer, Colin Morkauer won the Open Championship. She was over in Europe somewhere and she called in. She was at the Avion or something.
Big fan of Colin's dog. Hallie Ledbetter is going to be in studio. Lots going on, guys.
Lots happening. I saw this story just now on Front Office Sports when the ABA and NBA merged in 1976. Many ABA players were left without paychecks, insurance or pensions. Now the NBA and NBA Players Association have launched a new program providing annual payments to ABA veterans based on years played.
25 million will be split amongst 115 players. I think that's amazing. I love this story. I love the ABA. The more I learn about it, the more footage you get to see as a basketball fan is before my time. I think the only guy in this room who really has ABA ties is Del Tufo.
What do you remember about the ABA? Very little, but I was definitely alive. But I'm very happy that these legends of the game, these guys who paved the way for so many of our favorite players today to be making just ridiculous money. I think it's very cool that they're looking back and they're giving back, so shout out to them. I didn't get a chance to ask you guys, since I didn't get a chance to see you, how was New York City for your big trip? Oh, I mean, aside from coming home empty handed, it was actually great. We had a great time. It was nice to check out and kind of go as a full on crew to the Big Apple and just kind of make the most of it and relax and go nuts for 36 hours. It was a fast and furious time in the city, but you had fun, huh?
Yeah. I mean, New York is, I don't know, to me, it's like maybe the greatest city on earth. So the only problem was we didn't have enough time there, right? It was just so short, but we packed a lot in there and of course got some pizza, you know, and that's always a must when you go to New York.
Well, you know, I'm guest hosting all week, so someone tells me you'll be nominated again next year, so you'll be back in the city then. I mean, we were looking smooth in that picture. It's a clean day. I am sharp dressed, man. Well, Ben, what stands out to you, Ben Lines, in this picture? There is so much happening in this picture for our radio audience.
First of all, everyone cleans up real nice. That is a sharp looking group of sports content creators. Del Tufo and Rich look like they walked in from another movie before. They got a thing, the two of them, right?
There's something going on between... Who was more so feller in Del Tufo? Yeah, a few faces there I don't recognize, but a few others I also don't recognize because they're cleaned up. But you guys look sharp and it looks, you know what you have on your face? You just have a glow. Everybody's glowing. Yeah, it was a good glow. Well, we had hope is what we had. You guys got that nice New York Sports Emmys glow about you. I think that was all the whiskey we were drinking.
Yeah, that Michael Jordan tequila that was like flowing through you. But how much fun is it to be recognized for the work you do? You guys work really hard on this show. To have the opportunity to come to New York and to be amongst your peers and people you admire, you've been fans of for a while. I would say less peers and more people you admire because I'm not peers with most of those people at all. Like, you know, so those are people that I admire and yeah, they were in the room and it was really cool. And just to see people get rewarded for their hard work. It's always cool. And just like we constantly said, you don't know it's an honor to be nominated if you've never been nominated.
You're probably sitting there going, yeah, whatever. But when you do get nominated for something like this, and Chris, I said this to you. It is the people that were nominated with us, but also take a look at the people that didn't get nominated. These are some of the biggest names in sports with the biggest social media followings and the most recognizable names. And most of those people did not get nominated. So that's really where the honor comes in. I don't know how many other shows bring their entire staff to come celebrate the show. That was a very cool thing. And it speaks volumes to this community and this group you guys have built here.
And to Rich as well. Another thing is, you know, it just shows, you know, we're not like one of those mega powers, so to speak. We've got a very, we're small man. I don't know. You got a Randy Macho Man Savage headband on today.
Mega powers explode. You look like you're about to battle for Queen Elizabeth's honor. I don't know.
You're selling yourself short there. Now, Chris, are you the type at one of those events? You got some Michael Jordan tequila running through you. You go up to somebody you're a fan of and say hello. We talked to Jeff. We had one interaction with Jeff Passan that was hilarious. Jeff and I went to school. I wouldn't say we went to school together. We were at Syracuse at the same time and we had a lot of mutual friends.
But we did not actually know each other. So, you know, we went up and talked to him. That was super cool. His hair was on point. We finally got to meet Bobmani Jones in person. That was awesome.
Bobmani. Look at the hair right there. It's a good sweep.
We posted this picture a while ago. We can hit it again, but Jeff Passan's hair is just... It's a strong swoop.
Even more impressive in person than it is. You know, the guy who's flirted with the swoop over the years. It's not too swoopy right now.
Let me just say that's a strong swoop. Yeah. Bobmani Jones, also a member of the Tolerant Person Club. Yeah. It's funny. I talked to Bobmani a lot over the years on radio, but I never met him in person.
Same with us. When he asked me to do a sketch on his show, it was ridiculous. It was for the Masters and his HBO show. And the Street Masters.
Yeah, we did the Street Masters with Tiger Hood. And I got to the shoot. And I got to the shoot. And he's like 6'5". He's a tall dude. He's very tall.
Very tall and thin. And so that was cool to just see him. And then just, you know, everyone else in our business that we see once or twice a year at big events that we haven't been able to see in a couple of years because there's been no big events to attend. And so it was nice to just kind of go in there, you know, have a little, you know, a little libations and just kind of enjoy your night. It was a long show, but it was cool to see everyone's work on display from the last year and then see those people rightfully get rewarded. It was a big night for some of our friends at NFL Network.
And, you know, that was awesome. And then we just kind of enjoyed the night with a great dinner and we called it a day. Yeah, I feel like I was one step behind the crew. Like I was texting with TJ and then every step of the way I was like, I'm going to meet you at the restaurant. And then it was like, oh, we're at the lounge spot. And then I go to the lounge spot and it was the first club and then the second club. And it was like, all of a sudden you're in the diner with Harry Styles. And I'm like, guys, what about the filling hose from July? No, I couldn't keep up.
This guy with the 845 a.m. callbacks. Right. We hit the ground running in NY, kid. You got to like step up or get left behind. Any other big plans for you guys this summer? You just get right into, you don't have any more time off, huh? You just get right into football season. College football is in six weeks, I think. Yes.
Which is crazy. You know, I'm a big Michigan guy. Our quarterback's coming back after he defeated the evil empire and blew up the Death Star in the greatest game ever played. To beat Ohio, that team from Ohio. Now, have you been riding this Michigan finally beat Ohio State high like Rich has been on? Yes.
I'm good for 10 more years. Oh, wow. That day was so epic and meant so much to me. It was a biblical affair. Like, honestly, the photos are so dramatic.
No, it's the greatest. I don't even remember what happened on New Year's Eve. I was still blacked out from what happened against Ohio. You got smoked. I don't even know. I don't even know. I don't remember.
I wasn't there. Who knows? Are you kidding? No, shout out to Cade McNamara. He's doing a cool thing with a new startup platform called Revel where he's doing these leadership summits all summer. Where he's connecting with fans and talking to them about the game, about his workouts, and just really building his community.
And I love it. Cade McNamara is a leader. He won against Ohio. I think they're going to be back in the college football playoff. Like, I love what's happening with Coach Harbaugh who eats a vitamin every day called a steak.
This man drinks whole milk. Are you kidding me? This is not healthy. I will run through a wall for coach. I think Michigan's got the best 1-2 in terms of football and men's basketball in the country with Coach Jim Harbaugh and Coach Juwan Howard. We went to the college football playoff, went to the Final Four. Things are rolling in Ann Arbor right now. Does any other college have two alums as their two biggest head coaches?
It's family. It's very cool. I can't think of any other college that has that. Guys who also were dominant stars at the university and then went on and had great professional careers. Great careers here. I think both are in the hall of very good in their respective sports.
Sure. And I think it's just a great energy around the university. The women's team doing very well, going in the round of eight as well.
Naz Hellman, best player in the history of Michigan women's basketball, going to the WNBA. So it was a fun time. I'm so high off that Ohio State game. I can feel it.
It's been, you know, what, nine months? It's so great. It was so great.
You don't understand. It's just so awful when you're in one of, you know, as a Red Sox fan. It was terrible for a long time.
And a year after Aaron Boone for you, right? It's just the idea of just blowing up the Death Star at the end of episode four when the Rebels are all flying and they come back to their planet. And the Ewoks are there, yeah. That's episode six. Come on, Mike. I can't get my episodes mixed up.
I don't know. Come on, man. It's just so fantastic. And then as a lifelong diehard Rams fan, you just had the greatest football season ever.
Oh, my God. So much football in the Lions house this year. We lost to Seton Hall in basketball early in the year, though.
Coach might have gotten a little aggressive and took it out on a Wisconsin assistant coach, but we're only going to talk about that. Will Smith helped out with Coach on that one, huh? Oh, yeah.
Oh, my gosh. That's true. Everyone forgot about Juwan's thing.
I'd kind of forgotten about Will Smith, to be honest. Hey, we got our top NFL running backs. We're going to hit that next, speaking of football.
We'll get into that next. And then we got DeeDee Richards in about an hour for the New York Liberty big show. The Rich Eisen show rolls on. Yeah, I went to the Liberty game last week and they lost in overtime. But DeeDee is is so long on defense. She can guard all five positions and the Liberty just haven't been healthy.
But they're they're right there. And they had a good game last night against the Aces. The Aces have Kelsey Plum, who dropped 27, Asia Wilson, Chelsea Gray, like the Aces are going to the finals. I would love to see an Aces Sky finals last night. The double overtime game. You had a chance to see the Mercury game last night.
It was bonkers. Skylar Diggins Smith went for 30 something. And I see she was on trade rumors. Yeah.
They were talking about moving her because they're under 500. Yeah. And she's still in the prime of her career. She sent the game to the second overtime, I think, with that layup. Yeah. She had the runner, the runner, a scoop layup.
That game looked nuts. So, yeah, we're in we're in the thick of it with WNBA. You guys want to go on Thursday night?
I got tickets. It's Candace Parker's return to crypto. Are we are we feeding on the hardwood? Like what's the situation? Everybody when it comes to the W, all of a sudden it's Spike Lee. Everybody at the W. All of a sudden when you go to the W game, everybody is. It's sweet. It's sweet. It's sweet.
We are there for Candace Parker's return. It's all good when your feet are on the wood, though, you know, like. I'm a sweet guy. You know, it's so wild. I have not had the privilege of sitting close enough where the players can hear me too often in my career. And there was a time when I would I was a Hall of Fame heckler at one point in my career.
It's everybody knows. And I went to a Knicks game. They were down 20 second half, 20 games out of 500 in March, you know, and I'm just giving Evan Turner the business because I still to this day, I'm convinced that I am a better basketball player than Evan Turner.
I don't know what he does well. I really think I am. No.
If I went down to the park, I couldn't give Evan Turner the business. You don't think so? Definitely not. No, really? Without question. No. Evan Turner, you guys are about the same size.
Anyway. So I'm giving Evan Turner the business. I didn't know Kenny Smith at the time he was sitting behind me and he goes to dinner with Alan Houston. Apparently he has this conversation like, who heckles Evan Turner?
Like, why would you do that? Six months later, I'm on a radio show. I bring Kenny Smith on. I talk to him about heckling. I say, you know, I was recently at a Knicks game heckling Evan Turner.
He goes, whoa, whoa, whoa. That was you? Are you kidding? I'm not.
What? Fast forward another six months, I meet him in person for the first time when I got hired at Turner. Ernie Johnson's walking me around the TNT offices. He says, this is our new Twitter host, Ben Lyons. I say, hey, Kenny, big fan. I'm the Evan Turner heckler. And he completely lost it.
He goes, who are we hiring around here? This is ridiculous. More show coming up next. For the real story behind some of wrestling's biggest moments, it's something to wrestle with Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson too. All-time Hogan opponents, Macho Man's got to be in the conversation. Where's Andre for you? I've always said Andre was number one. Wow. Because even going back before, you know, Hulk Hogan was a baby face, Hulk and Andre were able to go in and headline at the New Orleans Superdome at Shea Stadium in Japan. Wherever they went, that was an attraction. Something to wrestle with Bruce Prichard. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-05 09:27:04 / 2023-02-05 09:50:54 / 24