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REShow: Hour 3

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2023 3:41 pm

REShow: Hour 3

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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May 23, 2023 3:41 pm

Guest host Brian Webber is filling in for Rich and has more to say about NBA Playoffs Game 4 Nuggets-Lakers.

Also: Tom Brady supports Tiny Bryce Young. Does Tom buying a piece of the Raiders mean he's really retired this time?

And more on LeBron James.

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I just learned Discover credit cards do something pretty awesome. At the end of your first year, they automatically double all the cashback you've earned. That's right, everything you've earned doubled all the cashback from eating at your favorite soup dumpling restaurant. Doubled all the cashback from that trip where you sort of learned to snowboard.

Also doubled. And the best part, you don't have to do anything ridiculous to get it. Nope, Discover does it automatically.

Seriously, though, see terms and check it out for yourself at discover.com slash match. This is the Rich Eisen Show. No other way to put it. With guest host Brian Weber.

Oh, my gosh. Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. I'm not talking to you. I talk to anybody out there. Haters. Rich Eisen.

I talk to the haters right now. And now, sitting in for Rich, here's Brian Weber. Final hour of the program. A lot to achieve, but will always be open to you being a part of the show.

The phone number is 844-204-7424. The tweets have been good. You got 60 more minutes, although let me be upfront.

I'm a lonely guy. I am going to the gym after the program. Save your observations about my stature these days, but I'll check your tweets later on.

If you want to keep things going, BW Weber Weber with two B's got to be completely honest with you. Limited opportunities for you to pick up the phone because we got a guest coming up in 40 minutes. And it's a well scheduled conversation. We had already lined up Joe Vardon, who does a terrific job of covering the NBA for the athletic. Joe also used to be a contributor to the Cleveland Plain Dealer when he was a beat reporter covering LeBron James and the Cavs.

So, if you've had to endure me, now I'm trying to be self-deprecating, but if you've been with me every step of the way, you realize I have a responsibility talking this much LeBron. I've tried to make sure we have a diverse program. We just focused on baseball with Joe Sheen, the baseball newsletter. We've also had a little bit of a thrust on Miami and Boston with the brooms in the offing, potentially in Miami, trying to duplicate what the Nuggets did last night and the Heat looking to sweep the Celtics. In fact, it would be historic.

We've never had sweeps in both the East and the West, given the new playoff structure going all the way back to the early 1970s in the NBA. I want to, though, get back to the NFL with 20 minutes. We've already talked about what I feel to be an abject reflection of the NFL not caring about you, the fan at all, with the introduction of the flex option to the Thursday night schedule. I know the league's trying to spin it as, well, it can only be used a couple times, and there's going to be a month's worth of notice so people can make adjustments to travel plans. It's all nonsense. There is no reason whatsoever for this revision to be added other than to appease Amazon because they are paying billions of dollars for a lousy product on Thursday night. Thursday night is not fixable because it's Thursday.

Do it with me. The games are playing on Sunday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Four days is not enough time even for the best athletes in the world to bounce back, but we know it ain't going anywhere because of the aforementioned billions. Going to talk more NFL in 20 minutes. Tom Brady brushed up against a couple of items over the last 24 hours. He has been in conversation with a rookie quarterback who shared what Tom imparted as wisdom. We'll have those details coming up. And it's official now. Mark Davis confirming the report that leaked a few weeks ago. Tom Brady buying into the Vegas Raiders as a part owner pending league approval.

That should take about 10 minutes, if that. So will that finally put to rest the notion that Brady isn't really retired and it'll come back one more time. That's coming up. I do want to acknowledge your tweets because we spent a nice portion of the last hour talking about the NFL trying to have it both ways. So clearly, the very existence of Thursday Night Football is an abomination when it comes to the notion of player safety. But today, what do you know? The league came out with a revised approach on kickoffs, ripping off the rule that's been around college football for a while.

If a return man gets the ball anywhere between the goal line and the 25, you can take a knee and it moves automatically now to the 25 and had a thought here on Twitter. It's B.W. Weber Weber with two B's.

I'm Brian Weber, Infrared Jison and the guys, they're back with you tomorrow and they'll be filled with their stories from the road. They went all the way from SoCal to New York City to be a part of the Sports Emmy Award presentation last night. Two great honors. Rich nominated as the best studio host, the show nominated for the second straight year as the best studio show.

Didn't pick up the awards, but a tremendous achievement even to be honored. If you want to jot down the number because Rich takes more phone calls than I. 844-204-7424. But since I've been hammering my Twitter handle, here's a thought from J. Beryl Myers. Why not eliminate kickoffs and start possessions at the 20 or 25? Well, Jason, I think you and Roger Goodell have the exact same mindset. You heard me mention it in passing. This is where it's all going because it's not even anecdotal. It's not just the eyeball test. NFL has years of data compiled that tell all of us the kickoff return is the single most violent play in all of sports.

And we know it to be true. We love the rarity of somebody going coast to coast. Oh, he's coming out of the end zone. It's 103 yards.

That happens very rarely. More often, we see injuries on kickoff returns, so the league's goal, it's pretty apparent, is to phase out. They love to get rid of kicking, I think, entirely other than the drama of somebody nailing, say, the greatest kicker we've seen, Justin Tucker, a 65-yarder at the gun. But this rule, while it's being billed as a one-year experiment and every special team's coordinator now wondering about their job security, objecting, it doesn't matter. The league has the appearance of caring about players' safety. Oh, we have all these promos. Remember, football is family at the same time. We're going to demand these guys drag their tuchuses out there on a Thursday night just for more money. And look, I watch.

I don't want to be a hypocrite. I watch terrible football. And the Thursday night schedule was rough this year, hence the flex edition. We'll get back to the NFL coming up in less than 20 minutes. LeBron James has dominated the program. I would not be doing my job if I did not spend the majority of our time together reacting to what happened in the postgame setting.

I have tried to acknowledge Denver. I've tried to have a basketball analysis provided. I don't break down games with X's and O's, but I'm lucky to call college basketball on the West Coast.

I keep reading my Warrior resume. I was around the NBA as the sideline reporter for nine years in Golden State, so I might have picked up a thing or two. But I also just love watching hoops. And what I saw last night told me much more about Denver than it did about L.A., although two things can come together.

We've got a confluence here. Denver is a far better team than the Lakers, although, and this sounds like now I'm just handing out participation trophies, the Lakers had a chance to win all four games. That was not your quintessential sweep.

That was a lot closer than the overall tally would reflect. But this is a nugget team that, for whatever reason, and we can talk about geography if you want, I'm not going to get into the altitude, but it's tucked away there in Denver, a town that is consumed by the Broncos. If I did the instant poll, or if we eavesdropped on radio in Denver, I'm guaranteeing you, in addition to all of the, the Joker is the best player we've ever seen. And that's accurate. He's already the most accomplished player in the history of the Nuggets.

And I have a large sample size to think about, right? I was rattling off Fat Lever, Alex English, Danissel, Doug Moe, and Keke Vandeweghe a million years ago. But for all of that going on right now in Denver, there's a segment of the audience that wants to learn more about the Broncos OTAs and how Sean Payton is going to jumpstart Russell Wilson's stagnant career.

So maybe that's one of the byproducts. When you're not even the biggest story in your own town because the Broncos have run that region for years, maybe that impacts the national profile. And maybe it's just lazy analysis that we're drawn to the super duper stars and many of us, hopefully not myself included, don't take the time to actually watch regular season games. Try to examine roster composition, move past, okay, I can name two guys on every team, but did you think about the impact that Aaron Gordon would have when he was picked up a couple of years ago? Or the development of Michael Porter Jr.? I know he's been up and down, but you need consistent minutes irrespective of the outcome of your complementary talents. With all the buzz that is deserved at the top of the roster with the Joker, who arguably should have won his third straight MVP, who is doing things as a player listed as a center at seven feet tall. Statistically, we have not seen since Will Chamberlain.

In fact, I'll ask Joe Vardon coming up in 30 minutes, what's the comp? Who in the past even has anything that aligns with what Nikola Jokic does every night he's on the floor? Because it's the court vision. He can handle enough. He can knock down threes from anywhere.

He's an exceptional passer. That's why Denver belongs in the NBA Finals. We also have nine days before they're going to play again because Game 1 of the NBA Finals will not start until next Thursday if the Heat wrap up their sweep of Boston tonight, which I think they will. Now, you'd like to see a degree of pride from the Celtics because they have been outplayed and more discouragingly out-hustled by Miami every step of the way. What happened on Sunday night was a flat-out embarrassment, and Tatum and Brown are both young.

They're not even close to the age of 30. You want to give them time to mature and evolve, but here's a team that made it to the NBA Finals last year, had a 2-1 series lead on the Warriors. Warriors don't win that series without outstanding play from Andrew Wiggins to solidify, Steph being superhuman, and now a year removed. This is a team that dropped back-to-back games at home in Boston, having all of the work done to come back in Game 7 after they manufactured their own issues against the Sixers.

Think about how that series evolved. And a game on the road in Philly, Boston rallies in magnificent fashion. They force OT. Then they do the one thing that they can't allow to happen defensively. They commit the ultimate sin of leaving Harden open for the 3. He knocks it down, and then it's Marcus Smart taking that shot. That told me something was wrong there.

What also was wrong in the moment was Joe Mazzulla didn't call time out because clearly he can't handle the magnitude of the moment. So whenever the Boston season ends, and I think it's tonight, but it's immaterial. Maybe it goes back to Boston, maybe it goes back to Miami. As a viewer, I'd like to see more basketball. You want to get into the conspiracy theories? The NBA would love more product to have more ads running because the networks now have to make make-goods because, at least in the West, it's already a sweep.

Wouldn't stun me if this thing goes 5 or 6 for all of those factors I just laid out. But when the series is over, and Miami is 1, here's a Miami team that is the perfect summary of what we love about sports, theoretically. The team concept.

That we're better as a unit than we are by ourselves. That if you have a good fit, and I don't want to be more clich├ęd than normal, but it's their mantra, if you have a good heat culture, you can play your way into the NBA Finals as an 8 seed. And I found this nugget, just going back to think more about how this series has transpired, so Sunday night's game was just an absolute beatdown.

Flat out embarrassing. Looked like Boston might have quit, and that's the ultimate indictment you can charge any team with. For the Heat, 3 of the 7 guys who played over 20 minutes in that lopsided win were undrafted. I was talking about Gabe Vincent because I remember him playing at UC Santa Barbara. What's he doing scoring 29 points?

Well, that's the Heat. It is the cohesive unit with exceptional coaching from Eric Spolstra, who has out-coached Joe Missoula, and that's saying not a hell of a lot because Joe has committed so many unforced errors, and hasn't helped himself with how he's interacted with the media. I think Missoula survives, as Curt Heelan pointed out, lead NBA writer for NBCSports.com when he joined us yesterday. Remember, when the Celtics were rolling, they gave Missoula a contract extension.

Now, they can write him a check to go away. I think the way they address this issue is blow out the rest of the staff, bring in some veterans with head coaching experience to sit next to him and actually run the game. But the real question for Boston is, what do you do with Tatum and Brown?

Does it work anymore? Does it fit? There's always been the question about not only their personal relationship, but how they integrate their games together on the floor. Brown was vocal in a profile in the ringer earlier this year about not being fully committal to staying with the Celtics, although by earning second-team All-NBA recognition, he's now in line for the supermax and who's walking away from over $200 million. So that's the future for Boston. Whenever the series ends, I'll let Rich and the gang get you fully lined up for Miami and Denver, perhaps as soon as tomorrow when they come back from that two-day quick trip to New York for the Emmys. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen.

I'll check out your tweets coming up at BWWeber, Weber with two Bs. Let me put an exclamation point on the LeBron conversation. And I did deviate there for a reason. Because we've spent so much time today, I didn't want to ignore other important stories going on.

And I don't want to be more of a blowhard than I normally am. But let's spend less than five minutes on what LeBron said and what he meant postgame. I think it was intentional.

I think it was by design. I can understand those of you who just thought it was raw and emotional when he said, quote, going forward with the game of basketball, I've got a lot to think about. And then when he had the follow up from ESPN's outstanding reporter, Dave McMenamin, who's covered him for years about what are you talking about? And he was posed the question, would you walk away? LeBron's answer, duh, duh, duh. I've got to think about it.

Well, that is logical. The guy is 38 years old and he looked 38 at the end of the game. But how can we overlook how marvelous he was in the first half? 31 points.

He did everything. Now, if you want to be a troll, you could say, well, he should have had 50 or 60. The guy went for 40 and had one assist in the offing. One assist away from a triple double.

At the same time, he looked totally spent at the end of the game. And two grizzly, not Memphis Grizzly, no Dylan Brooks here, two grizzly possessions in the final 30 seconds with the game on the line. You knew LeBron was going to take the shot. The first one was abysmal, barely was in the vicinity as he chucked it off the side of the backboard. That's not that close to the hoop.

Last time I played ball, but he got a gift from the Nuggets. They missed. Timeout Lakers, four seconds left. LeBron, for the win, could not even get the ball up because the defense was smothering by Denver because Denver is a better team.

And that moment captured the entire essence of the series. It was that close. LeBron did all he could, but Denver was better.

And they were better in that moment because you had Jamal Murray helping out after Aaron Gordon held his ground defensively. So LeBron postgame starts talking about his hoops mortality and his future. I don't think he's retiring now. I don't think he's going to walk away for a year, as some of you have suggested on social media, and then come back to play with his son, Bronny James.

I think this is all about perception and leverage. Another reason I don't think he's going anywhere is because he wants a retirement tour, which he deserves as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA. It's a guy who averaged 29 points a game this year.

At the age of 38, he's been playing for 20 freaking years. So yeah, he can think about how much longer he wants to do it, but I think the entire point of what he said last night after the game was intended to land squarely on the owner, Jeannie Buss, and the GM, Rob Palenka. And Palenka did a masterful job prior to the trade deadline to change a dysfunctional roster, dumped Russ, brought in complementary players who paid dividends.

How about Rura Hashimura, who thought when he came over from Washington, he would do anything of the magnitude we saw in the Western Conference Finals. But I think LeBron is comfortable with, quote unquote, his guys, and we all get sentimental as we get older. And he thinks about 2016, the comeback from a 3-1 deficit, bringing Cleveland that unlikely championship, bringing it home to Ohio. Remember, he doesn't win Game 7 without a stellar game from Kyrie Irving. So I can understand the interest that LeBron had. He had it prior to the trade deadline as well.

It's not the same person, at least from a public stance. Maybe Kyrie had these wacky views in addition to telling us he thought the earth was flat, although I think that was a troll job. Kyrie, there are basketball questions because he's ball dominant.

It did not work at all with Luca Doncic. In fact, that team imploded, didn't even make the postseason. And if you sign up for Kyrie, you're getting all of the baggage. And since I talked Deion Sanders early, it's Louis, baby.

You're getting loads of luggage. And I don't need to go through a recitation of every weird thing he believes and some of the reprehensible things he has associated himself with. I just don't see the upside for the Lakers other than LeBron now has the hammer because he can keep threatening. You know this is not going away, right? Until we have clarity on what happens to Kyrie Irving, who can be a free agent this summer, once we know where he's going, then the LeBron situation, in my view, will crystallize.

But that was the point of everything he said last night. I can boil it down to three words. Get me Kyrie.

And what do you know? Who was sitting courtside last night in downtown Los Angeles won Kyrie Irving. We'll return to the NBA in 20 minutes when we check in with Joe Varden of The Athletic and it's good timing to have him on the docket because he used to cover Kyrie and LeBron when he was the beat reporter following the Cavs to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Straight ahead, a little more NFL. I mentioned the league announcing today they have tweaked the kickoff rule. We'll get into the fallout from that. And more Tom Brady news. Which rookie quarterback did Brady offer words of encouragement to and does Tom buying a piece of the Raiders mean he's really retired this time? I'm Brian Weber.

I can't retire. I got at least 40 minutes. They're in, kind of.

I'm not good with math. We'll call it less than 40 minutes now. The countdown to the conclusion. The program's underway, so I need you to hang with us. It's always fun to be in for Rich and the guys. I'm Brian Weber.

This is the Rich Eisen Show. They automatically double all the cash back you've earned. That's right. Everything you've earned doubled all the cash back from eating at your favorite soup dumpling restaurant. Doubled all the cash back from that trip where you sort of learned to snowboard.

Also doubled. And the best part, you don't have to do anything ridiculous to get it. Nope. Discover does it automatically. Seriously though, see terms and check it out for yourself at discover.com slash match.

That's right. Welcome back to the Rich Eisen Show radio network. I'm Brian Weber. I'm sitting at the Rich Eisen Show desk, furnished by Grainger with supplies and solutions for every industry. Grainger has the right product for you.

Call, click, Grainger.com, or just stop by. Home stretch on a Tuesday. Rich and the guys back with you tomorrow. They've got you covered for the rest of the week, and then they'll observe the Memorial Day holiday. I will be with you again on Monday.

And then Rich will be grinding throughout the majority of the month of June. I should parachute back in around the fall. If you've enjoyed anything you've heard over the last show and two thirds, but we got more to get to coming up in less than 15 minutes. We'll wrap up the program with gusto looking ahead to the closeout scenario tonight in Miami. Heat trying to finalize in game four, adding more embarrassment to the Boston Celtics, plus Joe Varughe. Our scheduled guest who does a phenomenal job of covering the NBA for the athletic.com used to be the Cavalier beat writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, so he has an outstanding perspective on LeBron James and the comments about his muddled future that he made last night. That is on the agenda. Let's get back to the NFL.

Can't go wrong there, and there are a lot of relevant subjects to get into. Among them, as I was looking at your tweets, it's PW Weber. Weber with two B's within the last 15 minutes. I mentioned at the start of the program, because every move that Aaron Rodgers makes, understandably, generates a ton of attention. There was an initial report that Aaron was a big fan of. There was an initial report that Aaron was a big fan of. There was an initial report that Aaron Rodgers makes, understandably, generates a ton of attention. There was an initial report that Aaron was a big fan of.

There was an initial report that Aaron was a big fan of. On the practice field at the OTAs for the Jets today, and now we can advance it. JoSina Anderson, formerly of ESPN, now contributing to CBS and other outlets. She's reporting, Rodgers suffered a strained calf injury. Stand by for updates.

She suffered a strained calf injury. Stand by for updates. Now, what does that mean?

Nothing. It's May. It is coincidental, because yesterday I talked about the beef. A lot of Packer fans have, and I know breakups are hard, but there's a lot of vitriol as we empty the buckets on big words.

I've got several buckets filled with big words. I've just got to throw out my last 30 minutes. But a lot of people are miffed, not only because Aaron's gone, although remember the Packers wanted him to go. That was clear. Aaron did not show up at OTAs towards the end of his run with the Packers. And there's a sentiment, had he done that, quote unquote, the right thing, maybe he would have had better rapport with his young receivers. Perhaps it wouldn't have taken the majority of the regular season to figure it out before Green Bay made that run, but fell short because the Lions now are America's team, even though they didn't get into the playoffs, but a lot more interesting, certainly in Motown.

You can't connect the two. So maybe, Packer fans, you're saying this is karma. So he finally shows up at an OTA, something bad happens to him. Here is cliche number 7,000. Players run the risk of injury anytime they step on the field.

No other word now in the status of Rodgers. NFL claims that their foremost priority is player safety. We know that is PR spin and window dressing. It's all about making every dollar they can. It's about keeping their media partners satisfied and happy. That's understandably a good practice for anybody trying to make a buck. So the NFL has instituted the flex option for Thursday Night Football primarily to make sure Amazon gets better matchups after they committed to paying the league billions of dollars for a lineup of games that was hot garbage last year.

As most of Thursday Night Football has been in its inception from day one to where it is today, how many notable Thursday Night games can you think of? It's not a quiz. I'm just trying to have a conversation. The product is challenging.

I'll be kind because of the very nature of playing on a Thursday. But we know it's not going away and we know the league is going to do everything they can to enhance what is a challenging watch. They just want you to support Amazon and they want to keep the cash cow being fully grass fed. Tom Brady all over the NFL news over the last 24 hours. It is always fascinating that how things are framed in the modern media world goes a long way to what we wind up talking about. So I mentioned these OTAs are going on. They have almost no importance other than for players trying to learn a new system like Aaron Rodgers or for rookies. Yeah, there's a lot of significance as you're trying to make the move from playing on Saturdays to Sundays.

Although the NFL plays on Saturdays now occasionally because they've taken over the world. Bryce Young talking to the media in Charlotte yesterday, number one overall pick, volunteered that he had a recent conversation with Tom Brady who, depending on how you interpret this quote, either was encouraging or trying to motivate him. I've never thrown an NFL pass in a game, said Young, reiterating what we know to be true. I have no stats, no wins, nothing. We're all on an even playing field. Once you get in the league, where you get drafted, that doesn't entitle me to anything. I mentioned that Brady encouraged him to work hard.

Okay, all positive thoughts. I think also perhaps Brady was trying to let Young know. Remember Brady, I don't have to go through the whole career arc.

I think you remember the back story. Had to wait until the sixth round. Think about how he looked with his shirt off at the combine. Certainly not the dude or player he would become. The knock on Bryce Young is he's diminutive. He's not a big dude. You got to wonder about his durability.

But there's a knock on all of these guys. Now, if you watch college football, you know how exceptional Young was. Question is, did he have a better offensive line at Alabama than he will with Carolina? Secondly, do you think, and this is a rough comp, but all of the questions that have arisen surrounding Tua Tonga Violoa, and I'm not suggesting it's his fault.

Especially when we're talking about head trauma. But Tua's not a big dude. Look at the problems he has had staying on the field. It's a fair conversation to wonder about the longevity of Young, especially because he went number one overall.

But I could pose questions about all these dudes. And we'll skip Will Leviss because I never believed he was going to be a top 10 pick. But CJ Stroud, who I thought was magnificent in college.

The numbers tell a huge part of the story. But because we pick apart all these guys, you know, the cognitive test issues that arose just prior to the draft. We'll see how it plays out in Houston. Anthony Richardson is a unicorn. He crushed it at the combine. But if you watch the Gators play last year, how do you look to you? Only 13 starts and a completion percentage sub 60.

But if you believe in him beyond the athletic ability, you say Josh Allen was highly inaccurate in Wyoming, and he's going to win MVP one of these days. So Brady finds himself connected to every component of the NFL. And that's only going to become more prevalent because the word leaked a couple weeks ago made official yesterday by Mark Davis and his unique hair that always seems to be evolving.

Now he looks like a Bond villain. Davis confirming the initial report that Tom Brady is buying into the Vegas Raiders. Gonna be a minority owner needs to be approved by the league.

That should take 30 seconds. You talk about pre-approval, I think Tom is going to be okay. But it does point out a few things. Now if I want to be snarky, we can talk about older divorcees going to Vegas and reinventing themselves. Tom, it appears, has had some work done as I come to you from Southern California where everybody has some Botox going.

It's not just a good thought, it's the law. So maybe he's going to be running with Carrot Top. There are some people who have a different look in Nevada than they did even five years ago. But I do hope this extinguishes the notion that Tom Brady is coming back. Did you watch him play this year? I know you can read the numbers and say, well, he put up some healthy stats. Come on, you gotta watch these games. We can connect it to LeBron, although a hell of a difference of 45 to 38. Brady should go away this time.

I understand. Football is seemingly the most important thing in his life. It appears, we don't know all the details, he was willing to sacrifice his family for another year of football.

And he can do whatever makes him happy. And wouldn't it be another Jimmy G moment? He's got to be thinking, wait a minute, I waited all those years in New England. Brady would never leave. Now this guy is going to be part of management. And maybe one day just say, screw it, I don't want to sit up here in the box and then he's going to be out there on the practice field the next day.

I don't think any of these things are going to happen. But it is a fascinating sidebar conversation that you could spin it either way. You could say, well, this closes the door on any comeback talk again. That one of these years, Brady is actually going to show up in the booth for Fox or you can say, he loves football so much. This keeps him connected to the game. One of these weeks, he's going to get that itch and Jimmy G is going to be sitting again.

I'm Brian Weber, sitting in for Rich Eisen. We're going to wrap up the program, heading back to the NBA. Was LeBron James just being emotional last night or was he being calculating?

Was it all about leverage? We'll check in with Joe Vardon, covers the NBA for the athletic, previously covered LeBron and the Cavs when he was the beat reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. We're going to wrap up the program with style points.

That's on the way. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich. It's the Rich Eisen Show. Plus local podcasts like Believe in Astros and Believe in the Bronx. You're going to have to get some more innings out of the rotation.

Just search BLEAV podcast wherever you listen. Brian Weber back with you in for Rich Eisen. I am winding down. That means Rich and the gang are warming up. They're back with you tomorrow. To quote the great Mary Manilow.

Yes, I am a Manilow. Looks like we made it. They're going to deal with me for 15 more minutes. The gang back tomorrow.

They'll have all of the highlights of their trip to New York City. Great honor to have the program recognized with a second consecutive Sports Emmy nomination. And be sure to check out the great work on the simulcast streaming for free on the Roku channel.

Going to call an audible. And I can understand why Joe Vardon of the athletic cannot join us right now because of all of the LeBron James conversation that hopefully I've laid out in a entertaining, insightful and non repetitive way. I consume a lot of sports media. And I'm going to get back to LeBron in a second.

We're also going to spend more time talking about the Heat and the Celtics and acknowledging Denver because that should be the priority. But I got into this business a long time ago. And since I was damn lucky and somebody put me on TV when I was 21 years old saved me from going to law school. I think about why I wanted to do this. And it was a different landscape then. And had I been growing up now, I probably would have done a few podcasts, I would have tried an Instagram show where you put it together. And I would have said, all right, is this what it's going to be? Because you're not good at the beginning.

It's the old 10,000 hour rule. But the other reason I've hung with this other than thinking about it was my passion when I started and still is for better or for worse. I love the medium. And I especially love radio.

And if you are somebody who's lucky also to work on the television side or just call it video now, if you can talk and you have opinions, and I think both apply to me without being too self congratulatory, radio is the best because it's me and you. Hopefully it's clear I'm not reading. Would have taken me a long time to write this. I can't afford writers. And I do meander a bit. But I love the notion of, OK, LeBron is going to be the through line across our three hours together.

How can I come up with different ways of making it interesting? Hopefully I achieve that goal. If not, good news is you don't have to deal with me. I'll just whisper, I'm back on Memorial Day.

I know a lot of you take the holiday as you should. And then Rich will do a magnificent job as he normally does for the rest of next week. Since I threw out the Aaron Rodgers update, don't want people to be concerned because it's only an organized team activity. But we started the program with the observation because the media has gathered there's a throng looking for Rodgers. They didn't see him take part in drills at the beginning of OTAs. Come to find out, and I want to give attribution because Josene Anderson is a terrific journalist now with CBS. She's reporting, as I mentioned, Rodgers is dealing with a strained calf. Injury is considered minor. Now, in terms of what that meant today, Zach Wilson is still, quote unquote, relevant. Zach Wilson is still on the team because he's still on that rookie deal.

The Coog Hunter has a new life. My favorite part of the debacle, and I know I better tread lightly here. Rich is a Jet fan, but I think he cut me some slack because I grew up going to Jet games when they played in the pit that was Shea Stadium. Shea Stadium on a cold November day with the trash blowing around.

It was only worse when the Mets had the infield in when they played there in September. So I think I have some Jet equity. Here's the Jet question. Prior to the arrival of Aaron Rodgers, give me the second best quarterback in the history of the franchise. Clearly, Joe Willie Namath, number one. Jets have been living on him running off the field at the Orange Bowl in Super Bowl Three waving that number one finger in the air for decades. I was born in 1969. Who's the second best quarterback in Jets history? Now it's Aaron Rodgers. Prior to his arrival, the answer I believe is Chad Pennington.

If you want to talk about achievement, you could say Sanchez went to back to back AFC title games, but that was based on his surrounding cast, especially the defense. You're a Richard Todd guy, so at least the Jets now have hope, and that division is fascinating. I don't know what happened to the Bills in that playoff game at home against Cincinnati. No explanation, a lot like Boston being flat at home against Miami, no explanation to have that lack of energy other than Cincinnati's very good. Or perhaps, if you want to take a step back and be more humane, the cumulative toll of everything that franchise went to with DeMar Hamlin. It's amazing he's back at the facility, but to watch a person momentarily die on the field and be brought to life again, that's got to be traumatic. I'm not saying cause and effect, but want to see where Buffalo is moving forward.

Miami's gone all in. People forget they went out and got Bradley Chubb at the deadline. I realize he was banged up, but here's a guy who was a top 10 pick coming out of NC State when he went to Denver. Before that, they got Tyreek Hill.

The question is, can Tua stay healthy? Now you got the Jets and Rogers changes everything on the team that almost made the playoffs despite the horrendous play of Zach Wilson, his immaturity and his lack of accountability. And then you got Belichick just hanging on, and I think this is sad, and you can tell me I'm a hater. This is now the Belichick stats compiler era. All he's looking to do is pick up enough wins to move past Don Shula, but the franchise isn't getting better.

In fact, they regressed. At least he acknowledged his remarkable lack of judgment in thinking that the gruesome twosome of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge somehow were qualified to coach up poor Mac Jones, who regressed in a major way. Yes, Belichick has the six rings.

I'm not being a hot take guy. You know what he's been since Brady departed? 500 and a playoff loss. And they're clearly the worst team in that division, and Vegas has them at seven and a half wins.

Well, they went 8-9 last year, so a lot to think about in that division. Final thoughts on the NBA. Let's give Miami and Boston more attention. When that series ends, I think it's tonight, but Boston is lighting up social media.

All my friends in New England are writing this quote from Jalen Brown as he channeled his inner Kevin Millar. Don't let us win tonight. Yeah, I know the Red Sox did it against the Yankees. It ain't happening in the NBA.

It's too hard. The NBA has proven, and this is a giant sample size, and the Lakers continue that trend, although LeBron did everything he could, barring the last 30 seconds. Teams down 0-3 are now 0-1.50 all time, trying to close out a series and come all the way back, so it ain't happening. For Miami, I was talking about how unlikely, in many ways, this run to the Finals will be, and I mentioned that piston team that stunned the Lakers 20 years ago with Shaq, Kobe, Malone, and Gary Payton. And I said there wasn't a transcendent star on that team. I mentioned Rip Hamilton.

I did a little more research. Ben Wallace did sneak into the Hall of Fame a couple years ago. And remember, it's the Basketball Hall of Fame, the most expansive of all the halls of fame. So credit Ben, they had one Hall of Famer, but you get the point I'm making here. Miami has Jimmy Butler, who somehow transforms himself every time we get to the postseason.

It's magical to watch. He becomes LeBron and Jordan come playoff time. Regular season, Jimmy's a whole different entity, but he's doing it with an actual team and a phenomenal coach when you think about how Spolstra has progressed coming out of the tape room back in the day. And if we're talking about teams, who's got a better team right now than Denver? I think Boston has a deeper roster, but they're completely out of whack.

A lot of that has to do with Joe Mazzulla not having the experience nor the competence, in my view, to be a successful coach now in a high leverage situation in the playoffs. But here's Denver, lost in the shuffle of LeBron playing 12-dimensional chess last night, wanting us not to talk about what was on the top of my legal pad, the grisly details of what he could not do, now just being a troll. 31 points in the first half, 40 all told, almost a triple-double, but I was going to talk about that horrible shot that just glanced the side of the backboard.

He didn't even get the shot off in the final seconds, thanks to the defense put together by Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray. LeBron goes to the podium and flirts with retirement talk and the entire world changed, as I've spent what I'm sure you feel like far too much time addressing. I don't think he's walking away now.

Might have been emotion, might have been strategy. And I think the real point was he wants Kyrie Irving and the only way he can get him, because Rob Palenka's GM wouldn't play ball at the deadline and Rob made the right move. That's the only reason why the Lakers were even relevant and in position to make it to the Western Conference Finals. LeBron has one card left.

It's the I can walk away. That's the leverage that he has in front of him and he's starting to use it. And that's what we're going to be tracking the rest of the way in the offseason. Oh, by the way, we have an NBA Finals to get to. That'll start next Thursday.

And I think it's going to be a long fallow period because I believe Miami closes up Boston tonight, then it's Miami and Denver starting next week. Rich and the guys will bring you all the details. I'll have a chance to talk about it on Monday on Memorial Day. Just one guest today. I want to thank Joe Sheehan of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter. Always greatly appreciative of the confidence that Rich has in me. Thanks to all the good people at Westwood One led by Bruce Gilbert. My friend and technical producer, Art Martinez, doing a wonderful job as always. My name is Brian Weber. I'll talk to you next week. Rich and the guys are back tomorrow on The Rich Eisen Show. Stay in the corner. Give them Lala wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-23 16:49:01 / 2023-05-23 17:06:33 / 18

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