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REShow: Joe Vardon - Hour 3 (5-4-2023)

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May 4, 2023 3:40 pm

REShow: Joe Vardon - Hour 3 (5-4-2023)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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May 4, 2023 3:40 pm

The Athletic’s Joe Vardon tells guest host Kirk Morrison why Joel Embiid was his MVP choice over the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, why the 76ers should have sat Embiid in Game 2 vs the Celtics and why the Lakers should load manage LeBron in the Lakers’ Game 2 vs the Golden State Warriors, and how Mike Brown was able to lead the Sacramento Kings back to the playoffs this season after a 16-year drought.

The guys discuss how they’ll spend their time until NFL training camps kick off, and Kirk shares a story about meeting Michael Jordan at the 2008 Kentucky Derby.

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The Rich Eisen Show
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This is the Rich Eisen Show.

Goats have home lives too. Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. These are the droids we're looking for. Cowboys Jets to open the season Sunday Night Football.

How about the Jets first game is against the defending NFC champs. The Rich Eisen Show with guest host Kirk Morrison. Earlier on the show, Yahoo Sports senior NFL writer Charles Robinson. NBC Sports Boston Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrini. Coming up, senior NBA writer for the athletic Joe Vardon. And now, sitting in for Rich, it's Kirk Morrison. Alive and well and kicking right through it here at hour number three of the Rich Eisen Show.

Kirk Morrison here filling in for Rich. I got the guys with me, TJ Del Tufo, Brockman. We hanging on this Thursday as we get ready for a big weekend. I'll tell you more about that. It's a big weekend for a lot of folks as we start to lay the groundwork for the next three months of what to do with our sports weekends. We're going to talk a lot about that coming up a little bit later on. But right now, it's about the NBA playoffs and it's the conference semifinals for the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference and my guy who can help me figure out some things. Figure out some things, especially with the series tonight between the Warriors and the Lakers. My guy, Joe Vardon, senior NBA writer for the athletic.

You can follow him on Twitter at Joe Vardon. Before we get to some of the series, I want to get to a couple of NBA news and notes, Joe, because Joel Embiid is your NBA's most valuable player. But it comes in a season that people say this may have been Nikita Jokic's best season. It's been the Joker's best season of the previous two that he won the NBA's MVP award. Joel Embiid wins it, I think rightfully so. I know it was a hard decision for a lot of voters, but at the end, did the NBA get it right? Well, I was one of those voters. I was leaning, Nicole, probably up until about the last week and days. And then when Nicole just stopped playing as part of just the league wide load management stuff and didn't make it to 70 games, that caused me to look at it again.

And you know, with everything kind of being equal, I mean, the arguments have been made a million times. You have the analytical statistical maven in the Joker and then in Joel, you have a dominant of a moving seven footer as we've had since Akeem. And I mean, he leads the league in scoring at 33 points a game. I mean, of course, he's over 10 rebounds a game, but he also defends, you know, he's a rim protector and he can shoot threes. I mean, he's 33 percent from three.

He's 85 percent or 86 percent from the line. And, you know, he he had I mean, he just used so many possessions, like he was more of the Sixers offense, which is again to take nothing away from from Nicola. You know, like people talk about, well, he he didn't shoot as much and he didn't take the kinds of shots that Joel took.

Well, that's fine. You know, you still average twenty four and a half points a game, but he was way up there in a fifth, top 10 in the fifth, top five and rebounds. And he he had more of a supporting cast than he had in the last two years.

And he used those guys to his advantage. So, you know, I think either way would have been fine. But when you start talking about like controversies and stuff, I mean, not like Joel picked up seventy three first place votes. This was not close. This was not a close election, if you will.

And we thought it would be. But but Joel was a comfortable winner. And I just think, you know, it's because they played about the same amount of games and you just talk about who looked more dominant and then you went with Joel this time. You know, also, too, I want to give a couple flowers and shout outs to Mike Brown, the NBA's coach of the year, what he did in Sacramento. I know he eliminated in the first round as a three seed over the Warriors or by the Warriors, I should say. But just a tip of the cap to Mike Brown and why he was the NBA's coach of the year. What more can you say about just what Sacramento did and what the future looks like for that ballclub?

It was it's a remarkable achievement. I know that Sabonis played a lot. He's one of those few guys in the league who plays a lot of games.

De'Aaron didn't play quite as much. And, you know, we've had a year of unprecedented amounts of top line players sitting large swaths of games. And the reason why I mention that is because it does skew a little bit what we will look at when we think about the season ending standings and what regular season wins mean. I don't know if we've ever had as wide of a difference between playoff basketball and regular season basketball as we've had now.

So that would be the grain of salt. But to not only make the playoffs for the first time since, I think, 2006, but to be the three seed in the West, you know, getting getting the best of teams like the Clippers and the Suns, the Lakers, the Warriors. It's of course, it's remarkable. And I think really, even beyond that, what he did was is, you know, a relatively new team that changed itself at the trade deadline last year.

But so they're not together very much and they're young. And most of the guys there, other than Harrison Barnes, like really haven't done a lot of winning. And for Mike to bring these guys together and teach them that they can win and that they can play this way, I think is almost a bigger accomplishment than just like looking and seeing how many wins they had and where they finished in the standings. It is he changed the belief in that organization and in that locker room to the point where like you could say, I mean, they took the defending champions seven games and were awesome in that. And I think that is indicative of the work that he has done over the course of the regular season and last offseason. And that's to me why he's coach of the year. Senior NBA writer for the athletic Joe Vardon joining us here on the Rich Eisen Show, Kirk Morrison filling in for Rich.

Follow Joe too, at Joe Vardon on Twitter. You know, one of the things is tonight after this game is over between the Warriors and the Lakers, we'll have now move on to game three. So we have finished two games in every series. What's the biggest surprise so far in this second round that seems to stick out to you, Joe? Well, I think I want to take this, but no, I can answer your question. I can't answer your question. The biggest, the biggest surprise is we all, everybody, everybody.

And if you didn't do this, if you, if you claim you didn't do this, you're lying. The, the, the Denver Nuggets look like the best team in this tournament. They sure do. And, and they look like they have the best chance to get to the finals and we all, all of us wrote them off, you know, called them the Hawks from 2015. You know, this is a regular season, like getting a playoff, you know, the yoga is just going to be put in the pick and roll meat grinder and you know, Jamal Murray's going to disappear. And just in that, no, no, no, they look tremendous and they have dominated this series, uh, so far through two games against the sun's team that never got a chance to get together. Um, we gave the sun's all kinds of flowers, just forgetting Kevin Durant and pairing him with Devin Booker.

Well, you know, so far they've been overmatched and now Chris Paul's out. So, um, so that's my biggest surprise. But the thing, if you'll allow the thing that I wanted to say is, is that we already discussed this is a year of unprecedented load management. Nobody plays right. And the reason we're told this is because the, this happens is, is for the long haul for the, for the, the, the long term goals of the player and the organization.

Okay. So we have a situation in Philadelphia where the was one Oh fixers went into Boston, took game one from them. And now we have a situation in San Francisco where the Lakers went in there, took game one from the warriors. They play game two tonight. The point I wanted to make is in this year of load management, but we're always playing the long game. I do not think Joel Embiid should have played last night and I do not think LeBron should play tonight. Uh, in both cases, the goal of the road team and these first two games is to take one game out of the series.

Both of them have done it. Joel is hurting, obviously. Uh, he rushed back from this knee. He played last night. He wasn't very good. The Sixers were terrible.

They lost anyway. And Joel put all this unnecessary tread on his knee. He could have had four days off in LeBron's case. They've got this win huge win. Game one, the warriors are going to go small. They're going to run him through all these screens.

They play at a high pace. And in that series, the games are coming every other day. There's nothing wrong with going back to L.A. tied at one with LeBron having had, what is it, three or four days off and a total reset for the rest of the series.

So that was the point. And I can dive into this more if you want, but I wanted to come on your show today and say that, um, that we've been load managing all year because of the long term goal. Well, you're one up in a series in both cases and what's supposed to be a long series anyway. You've got older bet like top line stars who need the extra rest. I think the Sixers should have held him out of game two. And I would I'd be advocating for it if I was in the Laker locker room. Senior NBA writer for the athletic Joe Vardon joined the Rich Eisen show and they just signed a new collective bargaining agreement.

All right. So I don't know what the answer is, Joe, to the actual solution for a season that's eighty two games and then you get to the playoffs and it is a grind of having to play either every other day or you may get every two days depending on the TV schedule that you get. But what happens now when we look at our stars similar? Paul George kind of broke down at the end of the season a little bit, obviously is a different kind of injury. But we're seeing Kawhi Leonard.

We're seeing other players who now we get to the playoffs. They're not 100 percent. Are we getting the best basketball or is it really almost like the football part portion of it? It's the teams that have the less attrition that have the most healthy as the healthiest teams are now winning, maybe not so much the best teams are winning. Well, I think to your point, I mean, it's always the latter, right? I mean, it's the latter in any sport.

It's like part of winning the title is the team that can have the most luck, they can stay the healthiest, you know, and they can navigate sort of the choppy waters that a long season represents. But the discussion in the NBA is unlike in any other sport. And I don't if you're somebody's going to call the show and say, well, wait a minute, what about pitchers throwing with pitch counts?

No, hang up the phone. This is totally, totally different. In the NBA, we are trying to prevent injury from future injury by stopping players from playing in games. We've never seen this. We've never seen this throughout a regular season. We've seen it, you know, maybe in late March as you get into April when teams are satisfied with their playoff positioning within reason and say, you know what, we're going to prioritize health over over a seed. That's one thing what we saw this year has never been done before. It was started by Kawhi Leonard, obviously, and how the rafters allowed him to approach that season in 2019. But when I say it's never been done on a wide, what I mean is on a wide scale in the NBA like this, we've never seen anything like this.

And I don't know that you can say that it worked. Because if you think about some of the players who were load managed the most, whether it was Kawhi or whether it was Paul George or whether it was Giannis, even Ja, who, you know, I mean, he was suspended eight games, too, but he's a guy he's always a guy that plays in the 60s. They don't like playing.

I'm always on back to backs. You know, if he's dinged up a little bit, he says like, on down the line, we still get to the first round and guys are hurt anyway. You know, Zion Williamson can't even play like he can't play like so. So this is not it is not doing what it is intended to do, at least in the short term.

Now, if you want to say that players are playing longer in their careers because of because of this load management, I don't think the data is there yet. But fine. Like, I'll concede that. But keeping them healthy for when it matters most, that that is just that has not been the case. Joe Allenby, this game misses game one.

All the other guys I just mentioned. So it's a it's a tough one. It's a tough one because it's hard to see how you walk this back and players just start playing 75 76 games a year, 80 games a year, several guys playing 82 games a year like it used to be. It's like, I don't see how we ever get back to that. But this like sort of proactive not playing guys like hasn't worked out, I don't think in a way that they would say that it that it has. Thanks for you Joe, before I let you go tonight, do my Warriors take care of business and even this series up at one and one get tied at one game apiece? And will Jordan Poole have to worry about a sixth defender in Darvin Ham contesting a shot again? You know, somehow I think Darvin's gonna stay on the right side of the line tonight. I would imagine that he heard about that one one way or the other. Yeah, I think I expect the Warriors to win tonight.

I do. I think that this them having gone small and cut that deficit down erased it, you know, as it were. I think they feel like they have found something they know it's dangerous. They know that they're offering themselves up to get worked on the glass. But they were getting worked down low anyway. I mean, if Anthony Davis is gonna is gonna go for 30 and 20.

Yeah, you know, I'm not sure that it matters if Kevon Looney is on the floor. So I expect the Warriors to play at a crazy high pace tonight. I think it works. You know, I like it.

I don't know if we're in a situation where the Warriors are just too quick for the Lakers and they win like four out of the next five or something like that or if if the Lakers take care of this and in seven but I do think the Warriors win tonight. That's Joe Vardon, senior NBA writer for the athletic man. I appreciate the time my brother.

Oh, happy to do it. You can follow him on Twitter at Joe Vardon and I can't wait for tonight's matchup. I can't.

I really am. I need the Warriors to tie this thing up so I can feel better because this is a big thing for a lot of people and maybe TJ, I don't know if you feel this. I think Brock, you've got some family members, you know, maybe in the Bay Area as well. So I feel this.

This is a little bit deeper. This isn't necessarily San Francisco Giants versus L.A. Dodgers, one of the old baseball series, the old time baseball series. But this is, you know, L.A. versus the Bay Area. No Cal or NorCal versus SoCal.

So you have that going. I mean, I know personally some houses who are divided. I know Mines is. My wife is from Los Angeles. I'm from the Bay Area. So, yes, she's pulling Lakers.

I'm pulling Warriors. There's a lot of people who have migrated from north that are down here in south and there are some south who are up north. So there's a lot going on for a lot of people. That's why I'm watching a little bit differently so I can carry on this fandom for another week until this thing is over.

Yeah. So what was the stat that they showed last night? Fourteen straight times. The home team that's lost game one. They've won game two. So it's 14 straight now that Boston did it last night. So I fully expect Golden State to win tonight. I wouldn't go so far if I was Darvin Ham to bench Lebron James.

Yeah, that was a little that was a little eyebrow raising to that one, Joe. Load manage in the playoffs. Oh yeah. Imagine trying to sit Lebron James down during the play. That's not going to go over well. I understand where he's coming from.

I do too. It's a seven game series. Yes. But yeah, Lebron James needs to be out there.

Come on, dog. I would play Lebron 25 minutes if that's what you want. Lebron doesn't need to play 40 today. Right, he doesn't need to play 40 today. He don't have to play 40. You know what else Lebron doesn't need to do? Shoot a whole bunch of threes considering he's like nine for 48.

He's like 15 percent or something. The Lakers are just in general shooting just horribly. But it's not your game, you know. But they're getting to the rim, you know.

They're shooting free throws where the Warriors aren't. So that's, you know, that's what I'm looking at tonight, man. I wouldn't count on another what, AD 30 and 20?

I wouldn't count on that tonight. That's what it is. It's AD. He's going to go like this. And so I'm hoping it's more of the inconsistent AD tonight. Steph also isn't going to go 20 minutes without scoring.

Right. You know, I would expect a different Warrior vibe tonight. Well, I hope so too. And I saw courtside with George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey. So, you know, it's a little bit different when I go see the Warriors courtside game. Because, you know, who's coming out?

You know, Chappelle may show up a little bit. Local tech guys. Local tech guys, yeah.

I like that. Just some company you've never heard of. Their CEO is courtside. You don't know him. He's the biggest thing in AI right now.

Well, no. E40 is probably, you know, courtside. So he's a mainstay there. Yeah, a mainstay in the Bay Area, so.

He funds the rally. Yeah, we will definitely go there. But we have to have a conversation, fellas. I'm speaking to a lot of people out there who are listening or watching. We have to get our homes in order. We have to get our viewing pleasures in order. I'm going to need your help.

TJ, Brock, go too. Careful, baby. We got you.

The month of May, the first weekend in May, it starts. It's going to my viewing pleasure for sports. I'm going to need your help.

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I need suggestions. The one thing about May, there's always for me, I have to start adjusting my weekends, my viewing pleasures when it comes to sports, entertainment, because it's sort of called like the quiet period for the NFL. It's always post-draft. Post-draft is kind of crickets. A lot of shows go on hiatus. We rolling.

I like hanging with y'all. But I mean, we'll have the next Thursday, I believe, and we'll probably have some leaks before then. The NFL schedule release. That's when, you know, Kayak, When those days, I always want to see the traffic on all the travel sites.

You know what I mean? When schedule release day comes. Booking those trips. Booking them trips, baby. We're going to see a lot of flexing going on.

So people should extend stays for sure. But it's always about, hey, what are you going to do when the season starts now? Because you've got all these games you're going to pick out. But in the meantime, the NFL news tends to slow down.

It's very quiet. We'll have some mini camps and things like that. You'll see some guys in their new uniforms. But essentially, the NFL is done. And the NBA season will start to approach.

It comes to the end. Same with the NHL. So for me, I have to adjust my viewing pleasure. Now, I tend to watch golf every weekend. Love watching golf, big tournaments.

Same. So I can watch golf. Baseball, I can miss a month of baseball and pick it back up and I haven't missed much. You know, you can catch it in July.

August, it really starts to heat up. The dog days and in September, you catch a playoff race. I got to get caught up on some shows. A lot of shows I got to get caught up on. It's a lot of shows. I can only catch up on so much at a time, right? So I don't even want to tell people a show I'm not watching currently because I want to binge it. I can't do the week to week thing yet when it comes to certain shows because I need it right there, full platter, so I can knock it out. I got to do that. Netflix, are you still there?

Yes. Roll it. I'm still here. I like to watch it. Obviously, you have a couple of vacations planned in there up until, like I said, the middle of July when it's football time. It's football time. It's football go.

So I'll start with you, Brockman. In the months of May, June, half of July, it's about a 10 week period, we say. About 10 weeks. Yeah, we got about two and a half months to three months between basically now and the third week of July when NFL training camp starts. Now, we all know the first weekend of May is a huge weekend. Huge weekend in sports, right? There's always a big fight over the weekend. Is Canelo Alvarez back this weekend, TJ?

Did I see that right? Usually he fights over the weekend. That was a big Floyd Mayweather weekend.

Manny Pacquiao. Obviously Kentucky Derby Saturday, first weekend in May. Kentucky Derby is this weekend.

NHL. Canelo Ryder this weekend, by the way. It is a Canelo fight.

I thought he was back. Canelo and Ryder. We got a big fight. We got the ponies, Mike. We got to make a little money on the ponies. UFC this weekend.

UFC 288. Will Tom Brady be at the Derby? Tom Brady and the boys are always at Kentucky Derby.

It's Brady, it's Edelman, Grogg, Amidola. They all roll out. I can't wait to see what they're up to.

Okay, and then we just kind of move on. We got the PGA Championship is coming up. We got another big golf event coming up in May. June is the US Open. Particularly interested for us because it's at LA Country Club. So you might be seeing me and Kirk walking around out there.

I'm bumming for him. And then, you know, like you said, vacation time, NBA finals, Stanley Cup final. Like this is the time where you kind of, like you said, hit the shows, catch up on Ted Lasso.

You know, I didn't watch House of Dragon. Maybe I dip back in to the Game of Thrones universe that I swore off. You know, you just kind of catch up on a few things, hit the documentaries, maybe go to the movies, head down to Cabo for a little four-day run.

And then you get all of a sudden, bam. My birthday, TJ and I have the same birthday. It's right around when training camps start. So it's like... July what?

What we got? July 23rd. July 2-3.

Shout out. First day of Leo. 7-23. First day of Leo. So right around then, training camps start. So it's like it's a race between now and kind of our birthday. And then it's just we're rolling from the training camp through the Super Bowl and these parts. As I turn to you, Dale Tufo. Yes, sir.

I would say May through July for sure is like shorts season, but he's short season all around, right? This man with the pants. You got pants? Mike, you got pants on. You got pants all the time.

Really? Yeah, I'm done with the shorts. You're done with the shorts? When did this change?

When did this change? You became a pants guy. The atmosphere, the weather in Los Angeles have changed you. And by the way, I will be back in shorts because it's starting to get hot. The sun's out after it rained. I thought you were a guy you wanted to show off the legs, let them know. No, no, no, no. I'm on the boat. When I'm out on a boat, we go shorts. Okay, so you're not showing the quads off now. You're back with the skitties. I got white legs right now.

You don't want to see my legs right now. So what concert series will you be going to? How do you spend the time without having the NFL? I might go right into the USFL. Oh, that's right.

You're right. And maybe I'm at baseball. I just got my end of my season baseball in July and August. So yeah, I don't stop. You don't stop.

You just focus in. Brockman and TJ think I'm nuts and rich. You just love working. I love what I do. I got you. So I don't want to stop.

If I stop, I'll die. That's the way I figure. Okay, well, what about concerts? I know you got concerts coming up. Concerts.

I only have a couple. I'm going to see Jaron Cougar Mellencamp New York. Okay. And I'm going to see U2. Who else do I have?

What about this? Okay, I can ask you this really quick too. If you could have one venue to go see a concert, what is your venue right now? Where are you going?

Number one. The Forum is the best. The Forum. You're picking the Forum in Inglewood.

Sounds good. It's built for concerts now. Over Radio City.

Over Guard. Over Radio City. But I like the Hollywood Bowl too. Yeah. I see the Hollywood Bowl a little bit different because you can also bring in your own beverages. Yes.

Unless it's a sponsored concert. And yes it is. You're right. Yes.

But they let you. TJ, what about you man? I'm going over to TJ. What does TJ look at? I mean, May, June.

You get into July. I mean, you're watching TV. You're watching sports. You're watching movies. How you relax and how you getting it done?

I don't know. I'm pretty boring at this point, Kirk. I mean, you know, my time, I'll be watching if there's no football or basketball or baseball on.

See, I'm easy. I can always fill that time up watching wrestling. So that for me, that's, you know, that's always there for me.

SummerSlam. You know? Yeah. So we've got a big show coming up from Puerto Rico this weekend. So, you know, there's always that. And then, you know, catching up on old TV shows or new TV shows, like Chris said, Last Dragon, probably might want to get back into that a little bit. You know, I just finished Beef on Netflix, which was pretty good. You know, just it just it's weird because it in a sense, in the best possible way, this almost feels like Groundhog Day.

It's like especially when we do a show like this, we're just hanging on until the next football season. You know, so it's whatever is clever. I don't really do too much, man. I do.

I got you. So for me, work on a golf game a little bit. Got to get out there.

I got to get down. It is golf season, especially when the sun starts to rise before 6 a.m. You got to start getting out there. I'm an early guy. I can't get out there late. I'm an early guy. You like to play early? You don't like Twilight? No, Twilight Golf is because you get a slow group in front of you who's just not relaxing. Next thing you know, a normal 18 takes about five hours.

I like to get in and get out. I just I just saw a video on Twitter about 10 minutes ago of a group of guys fighting because somebody was taking too long on the whole set. Oh, there's like eight of them brought when just throwing it.

Oh, I've seen it. They didn't realize they were MMA dudes. Also, when someone hits into you, it's the utmost of disrespect.

It's a big disrespect. Don't hit enemy, bro. Yeah, I just I hate to hit all of that, but you know what?

This is what I'm doing. Kentucky Derby. I can't. I've been to the Kentucky Derby before. But great time. Oh, you've been.

How did you go? Wow. Oh, see, story time.

You ready? Oh, sorry, Tom. It's not going to be as good as the story we had pre-show for you. But, you know, all stories for off the air.

I'm sure only fans eyes and show only fans save it. God, we'll see which I will say this one was maybe I remember. OK, so this was I think it was 08.

So this was the 08, I believe. Kentucky Derby. And the thing about it was I always thought that the Kentucky Derby was just a horse race. It was just a horse race where everybody just got dressed up. You know, it looked cool on TV, never been a part of it.

But what happened is we're in the we're in the full off season for football at the time. So I got a couple of guys who were from Kentucky. I said, we got to get you out to the Derby. I said, man, what do you got me coming out to the Derby for? I can go to Santa Anita. I can go to Golden Gate Field if I want to go.

I can go to go to horse racing out here in California. And my teammates, a couple of teammates at times said, no, you come into the Derby, we're going to you're going to stay with me. We got I got the I got a house already rented out for the week. I'm like, what are you talking about? Like, it's not that.

He was like, no, it's real. You go home. All right. So I get there Thursday. I walk into an event. Literally, it's packed, it's full, it's a full on party.

This is day one. I'm having a blast. My buddy's taking me around the town.

He's from Louisville, actually. So everything I mean, just the Bourbons is flying around whiskey. I'm just having a good time. So we leave there and we go to another event and it's popping. It is just people after people.

Then we get to Friday, even more people. And I went I remember we went to a black tie event early. I got dressed up to he told me breathe to me. You got to bring a couple out of this.

You got to bring some. So I brought that and we went to the black tie event. We got done with that. Then we went to another event after that. And that one was just all night. I don't even know how I made it to the Derby the next day.

Right. But we had the limos already line. He had a couple of limos lined up and we all hopped in. We got there. And I remember we were set up in a in a big giant suite and we got to the suite and it was hosted by a TV channel at the time.

We got into the suite. So I'm in there and I'm just seeing all these celebrities and I'm just kind of in shock. And then I saw him. I saw him.

And for the first time, I like stopped. There's not a lot of celebrities who I see. And you're just like, oh, that's pretty cool.

That's such you know, that's you know, Denzel. But I saw him. I saw him and it was he was real. And I was trying to figure out how do I go up to him and say.

I'm a big fan. But I saw him. And then we locked eyes, too, because he knew I wanted to ask him. I just wanted to shake his head.

I wanted to I just wanted to touch him. He knew who he was essentially. You're saying it was Michael Jordan.

Oh, OK. But you got to think for me, that was this. That's MJ. That was that's Mike.

That's Michael Jordan. And I'm like, too. So me and my buddies, just like three of us, I remember we were like kind of rock, paper, scissors of who was going to initiate the contact. Right. Three.

Yeah. Like who was going to go up and ask Michael Jordan just to say. And so one of my teammates. Decided, he's like, I'm going to do it because we're trying to figure out what's our in like, what's our in like, how do we get in to like get the conversation started?

So buddy of mine just says here, just bold as ever, walks up to Mike and say, hey, Mike, how you doing, man? Play with the Raiders. Just want to let you know that James Lofton, our receivers coach, he's like, oh, James. Yeah, James. So James Lofton got think in the 90s when the Buffalo Bills were at their peak, you know, going to the back to back to back Super Bowl.

James Lofton, Hall of Fame wide receiver. He and Michael will play golf, you know, for so we had that in and he started talking. Oh, yeah. And so then he introduced his and I got a couple of my teammates.

Oh, come on over here. So shook his hand. I believe it's on my Instagram page, but I have the picture of me and Michael Jordan, where I met Michael. And I literally I just that that moment was just so surreal for me. And I met him at the Kentucky Derby. I don't know if I would have met him anywhere else, but that's why I was just I was Michael. And I had to go to a horse race to see Michael.

Now, amazing. I do remember when we also had like a private. What's that? Like a private cashier?

What is it? The boy where you could take bets? Oh, yeah.

Yeah. We have your own betting booth. You have them in a box, right?

So we're in the box. And so I remember it was like somebody asked, what you going to do on the next one? And I remember, yeah, I'm about to do ten. So I'll do I'll do ten on this next race for me, for Kirk. That's ten dollars for Mike. That's probably ten bands, you know, ten thousand dollars.

Why are we talking about a whole different society? So Mike said, yeah, let's do ten on this one. I'm saying, yeah, I'll wait.

Let those guys go first. But unreal experience. So every time I have that Derby, you know, the Kentucky Derby watch when I see the race, it always take me back to that time. That's where I met Michael Jordan. And I left out of that place.

And I said, I got to go back. So I haven't returned yet, but I'm coming back to the Kentucky Derby because it was outstanding. So much fun racing is a scene. It's yes, you're not just there to watch the two minute race. You're there for the hats, the outfits, the drinks, the betting. There's also like 12 other races that day.

You can make a day just going to Santa Ana or Del Mar here here in California. That one is a different. It's just it's so fun. It's a party.

It is fun. It's so now everyone, everything has events now. So right. So now I want a big event, obviously going to TPC Scottsdale, right?

The Waste Management. Like that's not just a golf tournament. That's a golf tournament and a party. The Kentucky Derby is not just a horse race. It's a horse race, also a party. So that's what I'm doing now.

I think we're just gonna start going around finding places that have great events, sporting events, but also has a good party feel to it where you feel like I'm doing I'm double dipping, if that makes sense. Yeah. I also found your photo with Mike. Look at that. You see the pearly whites. Look at that.

My buddy told me he said, hey, Kurt, you got to dress up. But think about this. I think I forgot when I took this picture.

What year was it? Maybe oh, eight or nine. But you see how many buttons Mike got going. Mike got about eight buttons.

So how the suits work back in the day. Yeah. So that's my picture right there with Mike, man. I tell you, you know, I'm still like a kid in a candy store, man. I met Michael Jordan, shook his hand, talked. Man does have an aura about them, right? Like, I saw it like you understand, like I saw that aura of Michael Jordan. And it's real. It's not fake. This is real. Like, it's real, man. Yeah, it's like Mike.

All right. It's him. It's really is him. The only other place you probably would have seen him is on the golf course. They're at a race golf course. You know, that is really.

Yeah. I mean, he's been taking my money for years, by the way, not on the golf course. But when it comes to his shoe and now, oh, yeah, Michael Jordan has hundreds of thousands of I'm just not going to put it out there. But, you know, he just released a golf line. If you go online, it's sold out. Michael Jordan's golf line with Nike sold out. Of course, his shoes are so expensive. It's so Michael Jordan's already dominated basketball.

Now you dominating golf apparel. All right. I'm done. I'm done, man. All right. We're going to wrap this thing up coming up in a minute here. Kirk Morrison filling in for Rich.

More of the Rich Eisen show coming up next. Yeah, so we have confirmed the date. That was the first weekend in May of 2009, by the way, with the time I met Michael Jordan. And because we were talking about it, because one of the things that I also remember about that moment at the Kentucky Derby, I learned so much. Like I mentioned, I met Michael Jordan, but I also had the tutorial from other people inside of the suites that I was sitting in for the Derby about this little thing called Twitter. This was 09, Twitter. And I'm like, Twitter, what is that? And I got, oh, man, you got to get on Twitter.

This is unbelievable. Like, Twitter, you have your own handle and you can text and people will find you. And it just sounded so complicated. I'm like, I don't know if I want all that kind of.

He's like, I'm telling you all you get. So I remember leaving the Derby that that day, that weekend, I went back, signed on and got a Twitter account. And with my Twitter account, I just started dabbling in it a little bit, talking about, you know, sports stories, sports shows, best places to eat, what to do. And I've always had general rules about Twitter. I don't talk about certain things.

I talk about race, sports, gender, religion. Yeah, those are my don'ts. That's just not what I do on my Twitter account. But I was so grateful that I did sign up to Twitter because I had teammates who were criticizing me saying I was a mole. What are you doing? I don't want people knowing what I got going on. He's going to be telling stuff in the locker room.

Like, dude, no, it's not that. But it was funny that halfway through that season, actually, people on my team were coming to me said, can I get a follow? Can you do a retweet? I need to get my followers up.

You got all these followers. I was like, yeah, because I introduced myself to the Raider Nation at the time. And Raider Nation came through and follow Friday was a big deal back on Friday.

Yes. But I was one of the first NFL players. I was on Twitter.

It was a small group. I would say maybe like 50 of us when Twitter's infancy stages. And now you look at where Twitter is now.

And now you can think about it is actually a resource, a resource, a resource for a lot of people, not just Twitter in terms of information, but social media on all platforms, TikTok, Instagram, almost to a point now where it's actually helped somebody. So we just had the NFL draft last weekend, right? We just had an NFL draft. We had all 259 picks. You also had guys who signed as undrafted free agents. Well, there was one particular guy who didn't get drafted. East Carolina wide receiver Isaiah Winstead, right? He's a wide receiver. He's like, man, look, here's my highlight tape.

He posted his highlight tape on social media. Okay. On social media and said, what a brother got to do.

I'm six, four, two, 10. Look at this. Look at who, look what I can do. So he posted his highlight tapes from college.

Okay. On everything that he can do. Got hyped up. Look at, he got moves. He's showing what he can do at six, four, two hundred and 10 pounds. He said, look, man, I can't get a shot.

Well, guess what? A lot of NFL people saw this. And just to show you how the NFL is watching and stouring social media and always looking for talent. Isaiah Winstead is now a San Francisco 49er. Well, he's actually got an opportunity to try out with the 49ers.

I believe that he'll be either with their training, their rookie mini camp or their workout, but he's now got an opportunity. He's got a foot in the door. So this is where we always talk about where social media is. Sometimes it's not good.

It's not. This is why social media can be good, can be a resource. And congrats to Isaiah Winstead, man, believing in himself and San Francisco 49ers, giving him an opportunity. That's all he wanted was an opportunity. But this is a great little story. And congrats to him and congrats to the 49ers for a great gesture. See, every now and then for as awful as Twitter can be, it's really cool. And that's one of the instances where Twitter is pretty cool.

And I utilize it for a lot of other stuff, too. I got. Yeah, they have the NFL teams to sign him. Yes, he has agreed to terms with the 49ers. So he's undrafted free agents. So he has agreed to not just a little tryout. So he's going to be a part of the football team. And, you know, will he make the team?

Who knows? But I mean, a guy says, look, I just need a shot. I need an opportunity. What's that saying?

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. Yeah. So so here we go. That's dope. No, that's pretty cool. I'm excited for him.

I'm also excited because social media is something that I tend to use when I need like real reviews about something, whether it's restaurants, whether it's movies. I'm still excited about the Super Mario movie. I don't know if you guys have seen it. No, it's for kids, right? Yes. But I've seen the Super Mario movie.

Good, though. And the people who grew up in that age of Nintendo blowing on the cartridges when it didn't work. Man, I took my kids to go see Super Mario Brothers movie and it delivered because it brought me back to a time.

And there's also another page that I saw on social media that took me back. They do old reviews or they take you back to old games from the Nintendo era. And so they play the game, but they also show you how some of the graphics. And I could tell you double dribble on Nintendo for all the people out there. I thought NBA games couldn't get any better than that.

I know. I know we're in a 2K world and, you know, the Madden and how everything is so lookalike. But you talk about Tecmo Bowl and double dribble. So the games back in the day, I'm like, well, it's still one of the best games of all time. The best hockey game of all time.

Blades of Steel. Remember, they had a game Jordan versus Bird. Remember that on Nintendo? That was the game.

And then Lakers versus Lakers versus Celtics. In my opinion, Tecmo Bowl is the greatest football game of all time. Still to this day. And I still play that, by the way. I still play it. It's when I see like Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson, you know, as former Raiders.

You don't know how I used to tear people off. Wasn't Tony Dorsett on the Raiders in that game? I think so. Wait, he was Tony Dorsett on the Broncos. Broncos. Broncos. Oh, he was on the Broncos. Yeah, Broncos.

Because Emmett was on the Cowboys. And that's why I tease Ed McCaffrey too, because he was on the, I mean, on the Broncos too. Yeah. So we think about Christian McCaffrey like, man, your pops was on Tecmo Bowl.

Dorsett was on Tecmo Bowl? Yes. On the Broncos.

On the Broncos. Yes. I'm trippin'. Yeah. Yeah, see? You got a break.

See, that's what I'm talking about. Social media has brought me back to my childhood. And I've got to go give a review for Super Mario Brothers, man. It's been an outstanding little front. But, man, I appreciate the time as always, fellas. It's always a treat, brother.

I'm glad to share some stories with you guys. I'm glad to keep the seat warm for Rich as he takes a little time off. Rich is back tomorrow. Yeah, he'll be back tomorrow.

I'll be back again soon. You love Lala Kent on Vanderpump Rules. Now get to know her on Give Them Lala. With her assistant Jess. What you did not see is when Raquel arrives and she wants to talk to me, I made her sit in a corner. Explain.

Sat in a corner booth all by herself in the dark. Waiting for, to talk to you. Waiting for me to finish dancing to 50 Cent. It's my birthday. Sit in a corner. Give Them Lala wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-04 16:49:34 / 2023-05-04 17:09:02 / 19

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