Taste some of this. O-M-G. 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. The haters. Rich Eisen.
I talk to the haters right now. And now, sitting it for Rich, here's Brian Weber. Powering our way into the final hour of the program. Hop aboard.
844-204-7424. Twitter. Has been good so far. Be nice.
Remember, I'm just a fill-in guy. B.W. Weber.
Weber with two B's. Few of you wondering, how could I have been in Paris, vocally, at 5 a.m. Eastern Time, and now be with you on the radio? Well, it's the miracle of broadcasting. If you're one of the seven people watching Roland Garros on the platform that I'm involved with, if you notice, I never say I'm in Paris. I say, here in Paris. Our coverage for Paris continues. I've been calling tennis professionally. Now, not consecutive years, but 20 years overall.
My point is this. Normally, when I come in for Rich, I've had too much caffeine of the Diet Coke variety, if you want the grizzly details. I don't like warm beverages of any kind. I'm now capping the day because I've flipped my hours. So, this is, can I go third person? B web after dark. I know it's morning, quote, unquote, here on the West Coast.
It's a holiday. The hours don't matter. So, hopefully, if you've had to put up with me in the past, and maybe you find me a little bit more rigid, because I really do value the opportunity. And I hope I'm demonstrating I'm not riffing. I come with a roadmap, but clearly I'm not reading. I don't have the time nor the wherewithal to map out all the content I'm trying to push into this three-hour bag.
A little looser format today, but we have covered, in my view, a ton of ground. Going to circle back to what you need to know in advance of Game 7 in Boston that just does not feel that highly anticipated. I know that's a paradox.
I know that's a contradiction. Doesn't it almost feel inevitable now that Boston's going to come all the way back? Although, it'll be a moment to savor, not only for Celtic fans, but we've never seen it in the NBA.
Different in this case because of the three-point shot, because of the teams involved. I'll get you those salient details coming up. In 40 minutes, I will welcome the expert opinion of Mike Vorkanov. Covers the NBA.
He said smoothly for the athletic. Had a real enjoyable baseball conversation to wrap up the last hour of the show. Scott Miller joined us from the New York Times and Sirius XM Radio. Mind if you miss any portion of the program? Check out the podcast at any time. You'll get fully caught up on what happens over the course of this show on a daily basis in 20 minutes.
I'm going to jam here. Now, when you're the fill-in host, you got to rise to the opportunity. You have to not only have strong opinions, but take some big swings. At the same time, it's not the Brian Weber show.
I've had three of those canceled, two on the national level. Rich not only has his name on the marquee, this is his business. He's got, in addition to emotion invested, real capital, and he's got relationships. So, I watch the show all the time on the Emmy-nominated simulcast on the Roku channel. Available for free.
Just download and you're all hooked up with a Roku device. I know Rich has a good relationship with Will Ferrell. Still, I'm a talk show host. I got to say what I mean and mean what I say. So, coming up in 20 minutes, unless I make a business decision, it's in front of me. Things I'm getting to.
In fact, here's how I have it framed for now. We're going to open up the book of bad ideas. Well, I might have to back off that one.
Got to remember that I want to come back the week of July 4th. Will Ferrell is slated. He is projected. His name has been attached, as we say in show business.
I'm on the very, very lowest rung. One step above the guy who cleans up for the elephants, although we don't have circuses anymore for understandable reasons. Ferrell's been connected to a movie to portray a sports icon. I'm going to tell you why I think it could be a reach. That is coming up. Let's talk more NBA. So, it's not hot take land to spell out what we've seen in the vast difference between the first three games and the last three games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Remember, Stanley Cup final NBA finals, plural.
Everything's changed because Boston remembered their defensive identity and they put the team concept that has enabled Miami to get back to the Eastern Conference Finals in this matchup for the second consecutive year and tack on another trip deep into the playoffs, in addition to making it all the way to the NBA Finals in the bubble, losing to the Lakers. By the way, we haven't talked about LeBron in a minute, right? I was here on Tuesday and I was handed a show postgame when LeBron flirted with retirement without actually using that dreaded R word. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen. When the show is over, after I take a nap, I will respond to your tweets.
If I don't get to it now, BW Weber, Weber with two Bs, the crew back with you tomorrow talking a lot of Miami versus Boston. But if I can link LeBron, because that's always good, I always got Tom Brady into the mix in the last hour. When I was looking at your tweets, I came across this nugget from Brian Windhorst, highly respected NBA journalist, does actual reporting. ESPN flew him all the way to France to interview Victor Wembignana for two questions at two o'clock in the morning local time just to have the get. Windhorst, though, beyond his excellent fact finding and source cultivating and shoe leather as we actually used to use in the business, hunting down people to get him on the record.
He's part of the ESPN industrial complex, so he's got to go on all these shows and all these shows are looking for the hook. Remember, you can't just have the overview. You got to have the opinion.
All right, you set it up. What does it mean? So looking, I think, because Miami versus Boston is not that sexy anymore because the Heat have returned to who they were. A very good story to be in position to have what appeared to be history says of commanding 3-0 series lead. Boston clearly, as we've seen, it took a while for them to wake up from their slumber, but Boston's the better team and they've been able to find their focus facing elimination. Now, five times 5-0 is a remarkable metric in these playoffs because for lack of a better metaphor, they mess around with their food and they don't show up until they have to.
Now that speaks to internal cohesion issues. There was the unnamed source who said when the Celtics were on the brink and this series could have been over in Game 6. If Derek White is boxed out, I'm having an entirely different show today and I'm talking about Miami versus Denver in what would have been the lowest rated NBA Finals.
Let me take you behind the curtain. Boston versus Denver is also going to be the lowest rated NBA Finals because of where we are as a viewing public. Every year it's going to go down because of cord cutting, because people are not consuming media the way they used to, because they have 5 billion options. Now Boston will juice the ratings because you get all of New England and some star power in Tatum and Brown, but if you use the my cousin who doesn't follow sports comp, your cousin doesn't know who Jason Tatum is, but he knows who the Celtics are, so the brand equity will drive some viewers there. But Miami at this point having lost their way, and I don't know it's going to be as gruesome as it was in Game 5 when Miami just got demolished, but it has the potential to be that lopsided.
That's why a lot of these shows are drifting away from going in depth on what could happen tonight because what else are you going to say about Miami other than Jimmy Butler carries this team and occasionally gets a degree of help from guys like undrafted Gabe Vincent, and they really missed him when he couldn't go in Game 5, which proved to be a Boston Massacre for the Heat. So mention Wintour's, and I was just going through Twitter, he was on one of the talking head shows and was forced the either or, you got to pick them, right? Take a stand. What's better? What's the more interesting comeback story? Boston potentially rallying from a 3-0 deficit for the first time in NBA playoff history. Another reason why it feels like it's a foregone conclusion is they're the first team in this situation to have Game 7 on their home floor.
Also understanding they've been very mortal and wobbly playing at the Garden, but I don't think that's going to matter tonight. So that's your first column. Column A, Boston rallying from 3-0 down and completing the historic transformation or the Cavs coming back from 3-1 in the NBA Finals to beat Golden State and Wintour's, and I agree with them, says the Cleveland story in 2016 is the better, more interesting, more compelling story. Now, that comes down also to star power, but if I get you back to the Miami has overachieved perspective, who's the Hall of Famer on Miami's roster?
Pat Riley in the front office doesn't count. Jimmy Butler is assembling a marginal Hall of Fame resume. Remember, it's the Basketball Hall of Fame, not the NBA Hall of Fame. It's the most expansive hall that we have with the international contributors, all the stars from women's hoops. It's a low threshold to get in, and maybe Butler's amazing renaissance come playoff time, seemingly every year will be enough to get him inducted in Springfield, Mass.
It could also be a reach. In fact, the last time I looked up, because they have all these indicators and probability machines, if you believe the algorithm, Butler was listed at about a 68-72% to get into the Hall of Fame. That's probably been jacked up based on what he's done in these playoffs.
But remember, it's not the Hall of Very Good, it's the Hall of Fame. Contrast that to what happened in 2016. Well, you throw LeBron in, everything changes. Kyrie was magnificent in Game 7. The Draymond Green suspension, Andrew Bogut getting hurt, there was more going on. A lot more mitigating factors, as opposed to what we've seen in this conference finals. And remember, that's the NBA Finals, so everything is magnified. This really feels like Boston, and it took them way too long, but Boston figured out, well, if we're going to lose, why don't we actually expend more energy, and ball out defensively, and show up on that end of the floor? They've done it. Why don't we try to play like a team? Because that's what got us to the NBA Finals in many ways, a year ahead of schedule last year, and had a 2-1 series lead over the Warriors. Sometimes it's not that complicated. So yes, we can be consumed by the Derek White play, and it will go down in the annals of Boston history.
I can mention some other things that aren't so great for Boston, because I grew up in New York. Is Bucky Dent walking through that door, or Bill Buckner? But you get my point. It's Havelcheck stole the ball. How about that?
It's Bobby Orr, mid-air, in that indelible image in black and white. But it means nothing if they don't handle their business at home, which I think they're going to. So, what happens to the Heat? Yeah, they get crushed, but I don't think they get obliterated on a big word, Memorial Day edition of the program. Because they overachieved to get this far, and because the three-point shot has changed everything. I realize it's been around for other teams, trying to come all the way back from 3-0 down. Last time we saw a team even get to Game 7, 2003 Blazers, of course, they could not accomplish that achievement. But the dominance of the three-point shot has changed the very fabric of the NBA.
No lead is safe, and that's not only within the parameters of the game. I'm talking overall series shifts, because you can come back without expending the same level of wear and tear you had to as recently as 20 years ago when the Blazers did it. Because you had to put your body on the line and lay it down in the paint, or if you're D-ing up before hand-checking was eliminated, it was a much more physical league. You cap that after 82 games. Remember, load management, a lot of these guys are better rested on the cusp of June than they were even 20 years ago. So you put it all together, the modern NBA coupled with the awakening of the Celtics, the better team with better players, better in every category other than coaching.
And I was not kind to Joe Missoula last week, so let's give him credit for understanding when you have timeouts, you can use them. They're not Bitcoin. They're not currency.
You don't put them in the digital vault. All of these things have led to where we are, and when Rich and the guys return tomorrow, I think they're going to be talking about a lopsided Boston win. And then, because magically, if you want to go down the conspiracy road with Scott Foster scheduled to be blowing the whistles tonight at the Garden, isn't it interesting that the NBA faced that massive layoff with nothing going on after Denver completed the sweep? Miami was this close on the brink, couldn't get it done. Well, now, when this game wraps up a couple days off, Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Denver, and if you're concerned about the Nuggets, you would say they've had too much time off. And I get that concern, and I'm going to ask Mike Vorkanov of the athletic.
We've seen in the past, you want rest, but you don't want too much rest. Boston versus Denver is a fascinating matchup. My question to Boston, and while they guard with the team concept, who's matching up with the Joker? And are you just conceding his triple-double, and then you try to limit Murray, who's been sensational with him?
These are two outstanding teams. I realize for reasons that defy logic, much of the country ignores Denver as a basketball city, and I guess a football town, but if the Broncos are playing on a grand stage, they're generating a lot of interest. The Nuggets get a yawn.
I don't know why. All Jokic has done is went back-to-back MVPs, was the runner-up this year, and he's put up numbers comparable to Wilt Chamberlain. Last time we've had a quote-unquote center, I understand he plays positionless basketball. But someone listed with a C next to his name, not the captain ship, a center, is doing things that no big man has done since Chamberlain, and the country seems largely apathetic.
And I really don't know why, and I'll throw that question if it comes to mind when I have the conversation with Mike Vorkanov of the athletic. I'm Brian Weber, home stretch, but more of your tweets will be processed. I don't read them all on the air, but I appreciate your input, and they are duly noted. B.W.
Weber, Weber with two B's. Okay, let me make an editorial decision on the fly. Did I really say I'm going to open the book of bad ideas? Nah.
How about this? Will Ferrell is a great friend of the program. I enjoy being a guest host, so would you pay to see Will Ferrell, whether you do it on your couch or you actually go to a theater, as my grandpa used to say? Will playing a sports icon that I think might be a test of his Thespian skills. That's coming up. Always an honor to be in for Rich and the Fellows. We're live on this Memorial Day. Brian Weber with you.
It's the Rich Eisen Show. Hiring for your business can feel harder than hitting a half court shot with a seven footer in your face. But thanks to Indeed, hiring top talent just got top tier easy. Indeed is the hiring platform where you can attract, interview and hire all in one place. Don't spend hours on multiple job sites looking for candidates with the right skills when you can do it all with Indeed. Find top talent fast with Indeed suite of powerful hiring tools like matching assessments and virtual interviews.
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Cost per application pricing not available for everyone. Need to hire? You need Indeed. Men, do you get distracted during the day thinking about your underarms sweating, itching or emitting an odor?
Do those thoughts keep you from showing care when it counts? New and improved Dove Men Plus Care Antiperspirant with 72 hours sweat and odor protection and one quarter moisturizing cream helps you forget about your underarm so you can be present for the moments that matter. Don't let underarm insecurities keep you at arm's distance from the ones you care about. Buy new and improved Dove Men Plus Care Antiperspirant wherever personal care products are sold. I'm Brian Weber. Welcome you back to the Rich Eisen Show radio network. I'm sitting at the luxurious 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. Only have to deal with me for less than 40 minutes. Rich and the fellas will be rested and ready. Back in the chair tomorrow with the Emmy nominated simulcast coming your way with all of the fallout from what's going to happen tonight in Boston.
I'm going to look rather foolish if Miami gets it done but that's okay because I won't be here but you can always get a hold of me. B.W. Weber.
Weber with two B's. Social media has its flaws but one positive outcome is you can hold people accountable. So throw it in my face. Now should I mention I was born in Miami?
That is factual. Mentioned that my dad has been ill for a long time. Passed away yesterday and I had the choice of taking today off.
I wanted to work because the reason I'm a huge sports fan is because of dad but dad was going to law school. University of Miami. So how about that Miami fan? I'm one of you. But I can't just sit here and lie.
I watch these games. I don't want to spout opinions that have no meaning behind them. I'm not auditioning for any of those ridiculous talking head shows. I'm happy with my lot in the industry and it means a lot to me that Rich believes in me as I'm baring my soul as the fill in host. In 15 minutes we'll bring in our second and final guest.
It's Mike Vorkanov of The Athletic. I didn't mean to trivialize the passing of my dad but I think if you're ever in a circumstance where somebody has been dealing with a long term illness. There's a degree of relief that they're in a better place and they're not dealing with the daily challenges anymore.
My father was always very transparent. Work comes first and I wouldn't miss this opportunity for anything. Not to sound callous or insensitive but I wanted to be with you. And in many ways this helped me clear my mind and focus on getting the show lined up properly. Trying to get the words out and thinking about the man who's responsible for my love of sports.
And I gotta be honest with you. If you haven't seen it go to Rich's Twitter account. Rich's eulogy for his father is one of the most eloquent things you'll ever see so I felt empowered and comfortable to share that with you. As a fill in host most of you don't know who I am.
But I am aware of how this program works. Nobody gets bigger names from entertainment and has them talking sports than the Rich Eisen show. And Rich makes these celebs so comfortable you get a different sense of who they are. Now Will Ferrell will talk about sports on many shows because he loves it that much. He is everywhere here in Southern California. Heavily involved in soccer. I'm a soccer fan. I'm a soccer broadcaster. Will is a fanatic. One of the reasons why.
LAFC is a tough ticket to get and one of the best watches here in Southern California. So I have to balance my desire to give you strong unvarnished opinions even as a guest host with embracing the spirit of the program. Because I want to get invited back.
It's like relegation in the EPL. I won't even belabor that point. I can be sent down at any time. You'll never hear from me again. So I'm an enormous Will Ferrell fan.
Who isn't? I'm not going to go through all the movies that stand out. We can do it together. I'm going to save that for my podcast at the movies with B web here on the Odyssey app. But I paused when I saw this story. Now the only hold up would be there's an ongoing writer strike that has halted production across the entertainment industry.
I don't care about my views. I support the writers because without the writers, we don't have these shows. This is an ad-libbing format. If you're watching real television, real movies, you need writers. Pay the writers. Not only pay the actors and the CEOs, pay the people responsible for the content. And there's your commentary.
So perhaps this will not come to pass, but this report came out on Friday. Will Ferrell is in talks to play a role that might be a stretch, although he could surprise us. Will Ferrell could be in line to portray John Madden in an upcoming film. Now I'll never put anything past Will Ferrell. He started a terrific small movie based on the short stories of Raymond Carver called Where I'm Calling From, which was sensitive and tender. He's got great range.
My only thought would be, as a big fan, but you know there's a but coming, should I go through all the movies he loves? Should I lessen the impact here? Well, we're just talking sports. How about semi-pro? Because I'm a sucker for the ABA. Jackie Moon would help Miami win tonight on the road, but he's not available. He's not walking through that door. Here's my problem with Madden.
Who's going to play Madden? Anything's going to seem like a stretch, and I realize it won't be an impersonation. If they wanted that, Frank Caliendo is available on Line 1.
I mean, that's the easy booking. And I am aware, because I was a huge Saturday Night Live fan, every time Will Ferrell was Harry Caray, it was hysterical. So I shouldn't place limitations on him. Harry Caray is a tough impression to come up with. Now, a lot of it is just bombastic, but he nailed the finer points as well. So maybe this is an acting challenge that Mr. Ferrell wants to lean into, but I just don't see it.
And you can think about the prosthetics and putting on a fat suit, whatever it takes. But isn't this kind of one note? Unless this is the side of John Madden that we're not aware of, and I'm old enough to vaguely remember him coaching the Raiders to the Super Bowl victory over the Vikings January of 77, right? So I know the arc of John Madden.
And in fact, this film's proposal is designed to feature on his life after the Raiders. Broadcasting, where he changed our business forever, and the video game universe. There are generations of gamers who have no idea that John Madden ever coached a down. A lot of them don't even know he was a broadcaster.
They just know he's the voice. He's the franchise of the video game. So that's intriguing. But my concern would be, what do you do as Madden? Just a lot.
I'm not going to do a bad Madden, but the bang and the boom and a turducken, and I don't see where it goes. So I have some concerns. I am hesitant.
Still, I'm back in will. And if the movie gets made, you know he'll come on the Rich Eisen Show to talk about it and his process, how he got there. But if we're thinking about challenges as sports films, and it got me thinking driving over to the studio this morning, sports movies that shouldn't have been made. Well, one is current. How in the world do the remake of White Man Can't Jump even get made?
Well, I know why. It has a recognizable title, and there are no new ideas in Hollywood. Another reason you got to pay the writers fairly.
So you can get movies made just based on a title that theoretically put butts in seats or may get you money through streaming and international. So there was no way that film was going to live up to the original and it bombed. How about Rocky five? Do I have to take you down that road?
Probably not what we were looking for with Tommy Morrison. Rollerball, not the original with the great Jimmy Khan as Jonathan E. Do you even remember they reimagined that? Don't call it a remake. I had to look it up before the show. 2001 should never have been made.
And if you want to call it a sports movie, it's in a sports setting. Am I doing an inverted Mount Rushmore? Are we going?
How low can you go? The bottom four. Caddyshack 2. Well, that would just be arguably the worst sequel ever made.
Weekend of Bernie's 2 never needed to be put together either. Caddyshack 2. How do you move forward without Rodney Dangerfield? And I'm a big Jackie Mason guy. And I understand how the movie gets made because it did a Bothell box office.
But we've seen some terrible sports movies. In fact, if I was lame and had a show question of the day or had the poll if I had more Twitter followers, I'm Brian Weber. Help me raise my profile. Follow me. I'm desperate.
You can hit me up on Twitter. B.W. Weber. Weber with two B's. What's the best recent sports movie?
And I know I'm being a prisoner of the past and I'm stuck in the, yeah, it was better in the 80s, the 90s and the aughts. But it feels like we have not had a quality sports film in a long time. And I'm wary even with my full endorsement. And I know he doesn't need it. But you have the full backing of the fill in host that Will Ferrell can do virtually anything. He's Ricky Bobby. He's streaking cross campus.
He loves your blue stepbrothers. I could do this for hours. I'm just a little bit apprehensive that anybody could play John Madden. And guess what? Will Ferrell is going to prove me wrong if, in fact, these movies ever get back in the pipeline, because it looks like the ongoing writer's strike is a serious impasse. And I, as I said, fully support the writers.
They are striking not only to preserve their way of life now, it's all about the future. Because streaming, unfortunately, has changed everything and we're already seeing it in sports. Think about if you were a Yankee fan. What was the gauntlet of streaming you had to run through last week? With a game on Amazon. And Peacock.
And Apple. The world has changed. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Austin. I hope I navigated that smoothly. We'll burn the tape there.
That may not be in the podcast. Coming up, we'll wrap up the program with style points. Get back to the NBA. Thoughts on how things could come together tonight at the Garden.
I know it sounds over the top. I don't think Miami has much of a chance, but I will pose that directly to somebody who actually reports on the league. And we'll look at the game. One of the NBA Finals looming on Thursday.
Are the rested nuggets going to be rusty? Looking forward to checking in with Mike Vorkanov of the Athletic. Weber in for Eisen. It's a Memorial Day edition of the Rich Eisen Show.
I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen. Home stretch on this Memorial Day holiday. Rich and the fellas back with you tomorrow. They'll have all the fallout from what happens tonight. Game 7 in Boston. Celtics looking to make history. Become the first team ever to come back from a 3-0 series deficit.
And send Miami packing with a lot of question marks in the offseason. Let's bring in for expert analysis, Mike Vorkanov of the Athletic. Used to be their Knicks beat reporter.
Now he covers the league as a whole. Mike, I appreciate you taking the time on Memorial Day. How are you? I'm great. How are you? I'm doing well. So when you do three hours as a solo host, the goal is to be entertaining.
You don't want to be monotonous. I've been trying to come up with reasons why Miami fans should be optimistic. Other than a 3-0 series lead is gone. We saw how things played out at the end of Game 6.
Still, just mind boggling that nobody put a body on Derek White. And Vegas has Boston as an 8-point favorite. So, since you are more plugged into the NBA than I am, and you can think creatively. What would you say to a Heat fan?
What possibility of hope would you give them tonight on the road? First of all, I'd say it's the same E-team that won the first three games of the series. They won those first two games in Boston, too. Same roster for both teams. Same coaching staff.
So all that is still there. And they were probably.2 seconds away from ending the series in Game 6. I mean, it's not as if they totally collapsed. It's kind of just two even teams that have gotten to this point.
Which is still a little mind boggling considering it's No. 8 seed and No. 2 seed when they were coming into this Eastern Conference Finals. Mike, my gimmick is history.
And since I've been lucky to sit in a chair like this for a long time, I've spent time getting into, well, we'll never see this in our lifetime. So in 2018, I'm spouting, well, we're never going to see a top seed lose in the NCAA Tournament. 16 seed gets it done in Maryland, Baltimore County, and then Fairleigh Dickinson does the same thing to Purdue this year. Did you think that it was only a matter of time? Let's say Boston wins tonight. That it was inevitable. At some point, someone was going to do what the Red Sox did in baseball 20 years ago and come all the way back from 3-0 down in hoops. You know, I'm not really the kind to let history work as an absolute, but I thought in basketball, in the NBA specifically, I kind of didn't think we'd get to this point. I know the statistics of it, the probability of it that it should happen at some point, but usually when a team wins three straight games in a series in the NBA, it really is the better team at winning out. And that's kind of what happens in the long arc of NBA history altogether. It's the best teams win over the course of the playoffs.
You know, baseball, like the Red Sox and the Yankees, baseball is just so flukey. It really does turn into March Madness sometimes. Same thing for the NHL, where I think it's happened a number of times as well. But the NBA, there's usually some logic and reason behind why a team goes up 3-0 in a series. And so for this to happen, you know, it's really surprising that the Celtics do pull it off.
It's going to be groundbreaking. I was just trying to think of the last time even the team came back down from 3-0 to force a Game 7. I feel like it was something with the Mavericks.
Yeah, I got in front of me, Mike. Blazers 2003. Okay, there you go. But Boston, as you know, has earned the distinction of the first team ever to have that Game 7 forced and have it on their home floor. Yeah, and look, they're definitely the favorites tonight. They have home court advantage, although that has not always been great for them. Certainly, right? The last few years, weirdly enough.
And yeah, it's really tough. I mean, you have to think that Miami has the coaching advantage. If everyone is on their best games, Jimmy Butler is probably the best player in this series, and Bam Adebayo might be number three. So it's not as if there's a circuit of talent at the top for the Heat.
You know, they just had a very weird year, and this is just a continuation of it. Okay, and again, I want to defer to your expertise. I'm Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen. Talking NBA, getting you fully lined up for Game 7 tonight in Boston with Mike Vorkanov. Check out his great work.
The athletic, I'm a subscriber, and it's money well spent. Mike, I was in this very chair last Memorial Day doing the post-mortem of that Game 7 for the ages last year in Miami when the Heat were the top seed. Boston extended into the very final minute. Butler gets a good look at a three, can't make it, but he carried that team. And the question I posed them was, does Butler have nearly enough help? And I realize the hero hand injury breaking the thumb against Milwaukee is a factor, but when you look at this Heat roster, I understand they play as a team. Heat culture, I get it, they maximize the output, but couldn't they use another complimentary star to augment Butler, especially in the playoffs?
Oh, for sure. And I think that's kind of the beauty of the Heat team is that without Tyler's hero, they almost have to tilt the offense so much towards Butler. And it worked for the first, you know, roughly two and a half playoff series because he's such a genius when it comes to the ball in the playoffs and just knowing how to work defenses and change tempos. But I think what made the Heat so good, you know, up until 3-0 was that Bam Adebayo was really, really good too. You know, he had been probably the second or third best player in the series offensively and defensively. You know, he demolished the Knicks. He was such a key part of when they beat Milwaukee in the first round. And so he was playing like that legitimate second star and he's had a really tough go of it for the last two or three games as well. And so that's what's really been hurting Miami. They definitely need more help and especially on offense. But when Bam is playing well, the Heat are playing really well too because he is an all-star level player, all-NBA level center. Excellent observation and I acknowledge how far he's come offensively earlier in the program and we know what he does, locking folks down defensively. Okay, well let's say Boston has another wobbly moment at home.
We've seen it several times throughout these playoffs and the Celtics lose. Then we move into Sky is Falling content, especially in Boston. I don't think Missoula would be fired.
My opinion, what, yours next? Remember they just gave him a contract extension. But what changes do you think would occur if Boston can't seal the deal tonight at home?
Yeah, I would think Missoula stays. I mean, everyone was calling for his after going down 0-3, right? Probably give him some credit for coming back to 3-3.
I don't really know how the rage pendulum swings, but I'm not the best gauge of that. But I think the questions there are you have to, you're in the time now this summer where you give those big extensions to Jalen Brown and to Jason Tatum, right? So the Jason Tatum one seems pretty obvious.
I think the Jalen Brown one is probably a little bit more difficult. He'll get, he's up for rather, about five years and roughly $290 million give or take wherever the cap lands. And they have to figure out what's wrong with the rest of this roster with the chemistry or the mix of this team that they keep kind of having these weird playoff series, right? Where they keep going down like they did 3-2 to Philadelphia last round, where they went down 3-2 to Milwaukee last playoffs. And that they're in this situation with Miami where they're just so, they're such a talented team. They're such an obviously good team, but they're just so weird and so off kilter so frequently. And I don't know if that means finally, I don't know, parting ways with Marcus Smart, figuring out what the rest of the roster looks behind the two Js. There's something I think that needs tweaking for the roster. I'm just not sure what it is, but that's why you have experts like Brad Stevens to do that kind of job. But we also enjoy O. Pining, Brian Weber in for Rich Eisen, live on this Memorial Day. It's the Rich Eisen Show, talking NBA with Mike Vorkanov of The Athletic. Well, Mike, the NBA got a nice development.
It appeared we were going to have for the first time in the modern format a pair of sweeps in all of those days with no game. So with Game 1 of the NBA Finals looming, would you be concerned about all of the rest Denver has had? Often that translates into rust. Yeah, I mean maybe a little bit.
I can see the concern for sure. Boston will be tired after playing seven games, but they'll just kind of keep on going, right? They'll have that muscle memory to kind of take them into Game 1, where Denver has been off for so long. But I think the rest probably benefit you more than the rust might at this point in the season because they've been playing since the start of October.
And there are some veterans on that team who have logged a lot of minutes. And I think to get that time off, to be able to plan for the Celtics or either way will probably benefit the Nuggets in, I would have to say, on the absolute level. By the time we get to Thursday, Denver will have been off for eight days.
A long stretch, but you're right. Everyone's looking for more downtime when we get to this stage of the postseason. Mike, let's play the probability game. Say Boston wins tonight. Early thoughts on Boston versus Denver. Who gets the assignment of trying to slow down the Kola Jokic?
Oh, man. That's a tough one. I would think that maybe they have Horford Autumn as they play the two big lineup and have Robert Williams trying to control the paint. That's the advantage that Boston has, that they can put a big on Jokic and also have another big behind them roaming near the paint, which is something that the Lakers couldn't do right with Anthony Davis.
It was him doing one or the other, but probably not both. So I would guess it would go one of those two ways for them, or maybe they'll switch Horford and Williams. But that's something that Boston can do, and that's a real big key for them against a team like Denver, where you do really need to cover the entire court just because of how good Jokic is both as a shooter and a passer.
And since you mentioned the Lakers and I'm here in Southern California, like Rich, you allow me to ask the LeBron question. Now we're a handful of days removed from LeBron talking about retirement without saying the word. Did you think that was an emotional reaction postgame? Do you think that was strategic?
And the code was, get me Kyrie Irving. I thought it was a little bit more emotional that it was strategic. LeBron is, when he tries to be strategic, he's not very subtle about it. It's kind of like a very blunt force object type of rhetoric from him we saw last few years, right? So I think if he wants something, he'll say, he's in that point in his career where he just says the things he thinks.
I think it's probably emotional. After the end of the playoff run, he'd obviously been injured for the entire second half. They had started 2-10, and it had been such a long year. I think when they lost and his season finally ended, it was maybe something closer to the sports version of the fog of war for him. And so he just said the things that he was thinking, and he's probably very tired, very emotionally tired. And he's 38, right? Like he just saw one of his good friends, Carmel Anthony, retire. It's understandable that he'd be at a place to really contemplate what his future is. I think if it was literally anyone else except for LeBron James, that would have been a natural thing for them to say and for us to hear and think, yeah, okay, that makes sense.
But with LeBron, because he's so unbelievably good at this age still, we were all surprised by it. Mike, I'm not going to top a fog of war reference. You went cerebral, and I'm going to give you the final word. As always, we appreciate the time. Thank you so much for making yourself available on a holiday. Enjoy Game 7. I'm back in for Rich the entire week of July 4th.
That means NBA Free Agency, and I hope you have some time available for us to catch up then. Oh, for sure. Thanks for having me on today. Happy Memorial Day. Thank you, Mike.
Mike Vorkanov of the Athletic Fog of War. This is not a dopey talk show, even though you might have a dope in the chair. I'm trying to live up to the standards of an Emmy-nominated program that you can see the simulcast is back tomorrow. That means Rich and the gang will be returning after the long holiday weekend. Let me think aloud. I'll do their show meeting as a solo performer, Boston and Miami.
Genius move. Getting you ready for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. I think Rich will get into, perhaps, some shots fired from a former talk show host in the San Francisco Bay Area, wondering if Rich has a pipeline into the 49ers.
I know Rich will have a good time addressing that rumor and innuendo. Plus a baseball after a long weekend, and I'm glad we were able to cover MLB. Don't want to ignore what was the reason primarily I wanted to be a broadcaster, although I'm old and we all watched baseball in the 80s because it was the only thing on and we only had 35 channels. My goodness. Enjoyed our baseball conversation in the last hour of the show with Scott Miller of the New York Times and Sirius XM. Be sure to check out the book with Father's Day coming. Good gift. He's the author of an excellent baseball tome. There's your big word.
90% mental. And Mike Vorkanov kind enough to put a bow on the NBA conversation. Well, I've called my shot and the good news is, A, I just stole from Vegas.
B, if I'm wrong, I'm not here. But you could always spark the conversation with me, B.W. Weber.
Weber with two B's. I appreciate you indulging a meandering approach at times. Didn't know if I was going to actually work today, but wanted to attribute to my late dad and take a moment. If your mom and dad are still with you, give them a hug and tell them how much you love them. I want to thank a lot of people. Of course, starting with Rich Eisen means a lot to me that Rich has confidence that I will not burn the studio down.
As always, thanks as well to Bruce Gilbert and all the good people at Westwood One. My name is Brian Weber. Hit me up on Twitter, B.W. Weber, Weber with two B's. I'll talk to you in July. And Rich is back tomorrow right here on The Rich Eisen Show.
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