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Gary Bettman Joins! (Hour 2)

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February 21, 2024 5:02 pm

Gary Bettman Joins! (Hour 2)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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February 21, 2024 5:02 pm

Dwight Freeney, Hall of Fame Defensive End I Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner I 3 NBA Stars to Pair

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We have a jam packed hour number two. Dwight Freeny, the newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is going to join us coming up in a matter of seconds. And then in 20, 25 minutes from now, the commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman will stop by. Last year, I guaranteed Dwight Freeny on this show that he was going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. And when he didn't get in, I felt terrible. And I wanted to punch everyone that votes for the Hall of Fame in the face because I couldn't believe it that they screwed him over. And it's not like I'm a Colts fan.

I've said this before, since I'm a Patriot guy, the Colts have been my least favorite team in the NFL. But I've always had respect for the way that Dwight Freeny played the game at a dominant level. And now a year later, we're very happy to say that Dwight Freeny is the newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And he joins us right now. Dwight, first and foremost, congratulations.

Thanks for the time. And how you been? Good, man. How you been?

Well, I've been fantastic. And I was so elated to see the news. And it was long overdue.

Now they put out the video. That's become the best part when someone gets in the Hall of Fame. It's how they surprised that person. You had coach Dungy, Michael Jordan, and your wife surprised you that you got in the Hall of Fame.

Relive that for me. I mean, it's absolutely amazing. I mean, my wife lied to me the entire week.

I mean, I can't believe she can keep a secret like this. I mean, and Michael, I'm good friends with MJ. And his golf course, right, is a great course. One of the great parts about the courses is you don't really have many rules. You know, the only rule is just don't be slow. Don't be a jerk.

Let guys through when they come to you. Right. So you can wear whatever you want. So every day, my outfit pretty much is like t shirt and shorts, you know, might wear flip flops, who knows, but I'm really, really casual. So leading up to that week of the week of when I was going to find out, Michael says, Hey, I got a photo shoot next week. And I need you to dress up nice for it. You know, and I'm like, Oh, God, I gotta dress up.

Here we go. You know, so I dress up getting ready for his photo shoot. And I walked to the door. And I thought in my peripheral, I said, Was that coach Dungy inside?

Wow, that doesn't make any sense. I opened the door. Coach Dungy sitting right there, the biggest smile on his face. And I see my wife, I see MJ cracking up in the back.

I said, Man, I think pride, honestly, and not being that guy who gets caught in by surprise. Oh, man, I had no clue. Absolutely not.

That's, that's absolutely awesome. Who is the better golf game, by the way, is that you were MJ? He does. He has 30 years of experience over me. So I always see following you on social media, you guys, as you said, you're very close, you play a lot of golf together. How did you guys formulate this relationship? It was actually through the game of golf, you know, which is an amazing sport.

You know, it's only sport, you can get a guy who's from a completely demographic completely different, you know, you can get a 20 year old playing with a 75 year old on the same doing the same game. But I met on the golf course in 2003. He invited me to his golf invitational in the Bahamas, one of his best friend lived in Indianapolis, and me and his best friend got cool. So whenever he was going on a trip, whoever, wherever, you know, they'll call the young kid on a tell Dwight to come on, you know, grab the bags, let's go.

And that's what it was, you know, it started way back in 2003 2004. And we've been, you know, that's my big brother, man. He's been best friends ever since talking to the Pro Football Hall of Famer that has a nice ring to it.

Dwight for any has that settled in yet? Has that sunk in? When you hear people call you a Pro Football Hall of Famer?

What's the emotion that it elicits? Man, it really has. It's like, I'm still leaving living a dream right now. I'm I can on cloud nine. It's just I don't want to come down. And it's funny is like you're waiting for the come down.

And there is none. It just keeps going like this every single day. You know, you get this, you get that someone says congratulations, you can't even believe it. Then you start thinking about what what you had to do to get here and all the people who helped you get to this point, you know, and you kind of get missing out thinking about all the sacrifices and all the stuff. So it's just one of those things where it's a lifetime achievement.

There is no higher achievement in the game of football and I achieved it. You got screwed last year, you should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. I saw some of the emotions that you displayed.

And Mike kind of told the honesty part of that was some of the videos that they've released. What was the last year like? Because there's nothing else you could have done. Your career was over for years.

You knew everyone knew you should have been a Hall of Famer. But how was it handling that year of not getting in? Oh, man, it was terrible.

It was terrible. I think, you know, for me, I do I think a pretty decent job of only worrying about things that you can control. And, you know, leading up to there, I promise you, I was not worried about it. I wasn't thinking about it.

I had the blinders on I was staying focused on whatever else I was focusing on. Until guys like you guys like, you know, Michael Strahan and Jason Taylors and the Bruce Smith say see me and say you are a shoe in this year. I'm just telling you now I'm congratulating you now before the actual announcements made. So once that happened, you start thinking, you know, I might have a chance, you know, everybody's kind of saying, you know, I'm a shoe in this year.

And that's where I slipped up. As I started, I started really caring about it. And when I when I didn't get the call, it crushed me, because I was expecting, hey, this might this is it first, first ballot, and it didn't happen. So this entire year, leading up, I promise you, I couldn't tell you who was in the semi finalists, the finalists list, I completely shut myself off. That's why, when I got when Tony was in there, I promise you, I knew it was around the time, but I didn't know exactly when I wasn't really focused on it, man. I was ready to go hit some golf balls.

I was so surprised. Talking to the Hall of Famer and Dwight Freeney, you know, I brought you up. And I know you know him. Well, I had Antonio Gates on the day after the announcement came.

And it was a similar story. Everyone thought Antonio Gates was a shoe in and you could just tell talking to him in person how heartbroken he was just what advice would you give to someone like Antonio who we all know is going to get in, but has to deal with being told he is going to get in and then didn't get in on the first try? I mean, I would just tell him, Look, man, there's not you can't control this process. And, you know, yes, it sucks that you don't have the first ballot next to your name. There's no going back.

You can't go back in time and fix it. So you might as well just find a way to get over it. And once you get in, you're just like everybody else. And I promise you, you're going to forget about the fact, you know, somewhat that you weren't first ballot, you know, but you're, but I promise you, you're going to feel great. Your family is going to feel great. And, you know, be just like, you know, like it never happened.

All right, so don't worry. How do you want people to remember your career? And what do you want people to know about your story since the football part of it is wrapped up, seal signed and delivered, and now you get the highest honor of going in the hall? Well, you know, I think for me is, you know, a couple of things. I think one, you know, I played the game, I think the way that it was supposed to be played. And I played it hard. I played every play for the most part, like it was my last. And I gave it all and the game has given me so much. I wanted to respect the game in that way where I gave it as much as it's given me or try to and respect the game. I think that's, that's one. And I think the other thing is, you know, it's just for me, you know, never listen to the noise, you know, just, you know, and if you're going to listen to it, use it as fuel.

You know, my whole thing was, hey, you know, you're from Bloomfield, Connecticut, no guys come out of there. No guys get get to the Pro Football, you know, Hall of Fame from there or even more, even let's bring it down. People don't go to D1 schools from there, you know, and you're too small, you shouldn't be playing defensive end, you should be playing linebacker, you know, so I kind of use all of those things, you know, he shouldn't have been drafted so high, you know, he's a tweener, he doesn't, you know, he'll only play on third down, etc, etc.

So I think for me, it's, you know, I use that as fuel, you know, and just played the game is hard like possibly do it. Who was the lineman? And then who was the quarterback that just gave you fits in preparing for them? Well, I think I mean, I played, you know, what's funny is that I played in, I think, the golden era of the offensive tackle. I think that there was more Hall of Famers from my generation, Walter Jones, Willie Rowe, Lando Pace, Jonathan Ogden, you know, Joe Thomas, you know, those guys are all guys I played, but I think, out of all of them, I think is really Jonathan Ogden, I think Ogden was just, you know, he was a mountain of a man, there was never, you know, how you when you're running, rushing the passer, you have the corner, we call the corner is when you can run around the guy and get to the quarterback.

So you run out on outside speed rush. There was no edge to him. He was so long, and it was just like, I kept running, I'm looking for the corner. There is no corner. He's a mountain.

So I don't think I had his be able to spin inside. And he's the nicest dude. Now. He always has a smile on his face.

Oh, my goodness. He I would never want to get him mad. And how about the quarterback? You know what, for me, I hated playing, you know, it's, look, I love playing against guys who used to run and scramble in the backfield, because it gave me opportunity to get there.

Right. But when you play against guys like Tom Brady, the reason why I didn't like playing against him as much is because he threw the ball so quick. It was like ready, set, hike.

And by time I even thought about Oh, I can beat my guy completely clean. And the ball is gone. And the ball is gone. So it'll be like 30 passes, 27 of those passes, they're throwing three yards and four yards and five yards.

So it doesn't really give me an opportunity to get there. And then that one time, you know, the one opportunity to get there, you know, you have to make sure you win, because it's going to get you, you'll be there for the sack if you can ever get there. But that's the whole thing with him. And before we let the Pro Football Hall of Famer Dwight Frini run, you know, based off that answer, usually when someone wins a Super Bowl. That's their most memorable moment. But I've always thought because of what that Patriot cult rivalry meant. You guys beating them in the AFC championship game. That to me was basically the Super Bowl.

No disrespect to Chicago. Was that your favorite career moment? Just wondering?

I it's like one a and one B. I honestly it's that close. I think emotionally, emotionally, it was that. Right. Just because we couldn't get past the Patriots, we couldn't get into the Super Bowl. And like you said, no disrespect to the Bears. But when we got there, we knew we were going to win. It wasn't even a question in our mind. Devin Hester, fellow Hall of Fame classmate runs it back the very first time he touches the ball. I don't think anybody was worried on our sideline. It's just because we we felt like, look, OK, we won't kick him the ball anymore.

What else do they have? Right. And we kept going in that fast. But to beat the Patriots, you know, that thorn in the side, that bear on our back, that those feeling and those emotions while I will always stay with me forever.

It wasn't my fault. But our show started up some controversy a few weeks ago. We had Micah Parsons on and he said, T.J. Watt is in a top five pass rusher in the league. And it's been a very contentious debate on who the best pass rusher is in football. Some people look at Nick Bosa, Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, Micah Parsons. There's a bunch of others to you.

Since you were a stud at it, who is the best pass rusher in football right now? I mean, it's it's it's not an easy thing. It's not an easy thing.

I think they're so different. I think I like Myles Garrett and just because the moves that he works and you know how dominant he's been for for so long. You can move on each side. You can bull rush it. He has length. He can use a spin move. He's like up. He's a bigger version of me with a little mix of Mike.

I love them all, though. I think Mike is a beast. His motor and his energy and his effort makes gives him more of a maybe an edge over someone else who just has a lot of numbers.

But I think, you know, those guys are talking once again, one A and one B, you know. But if I had to say, I would give it to Myles Garrett. He is the Pro Football Hall of Famer Dwight Freeney. Dwight, so happy for you and your family. Thanks so much for doing this and all the best. Thank you for having me.

Take care. You got it. There he is.

Dwight Freeney, one of the best pass rushers of all time. Now, this summer going to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We'll take a break.

We'll come on back. The commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, will join us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. A peanut butter M&M's production in a world where Super Bowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring. But the runners up get nothing. One retired cop. That's one retired quarterback. Read the script.

Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. That's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter. But you're on a roll. The Ring of Comfort, coming soon to a Super Bowl new you. Listen up.

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But where else? CBS Sports Radio. Let's go out to the guest line right now and welcome in the commissioner of the NHL. And that, of course, is Gary Bettman, who's kind enough to join us once again on the show. Commissioner, always great to see you.

Thanks so much for doing this. And how you been? I've been great, Zach. And it's always good to be with you. Thank you for having me.

Yeah. And I'm in a great mood. A successful stadium series. My Rangers have won eight in a row, taking care of the Stars last night.

That was a fun scene at Madison Square Garden. But let me start you off with the stadium series, was extremely successful. Once again, how do you look back at those two games? You know, that was our 40th and 41st outdoor games. They've all been massive successes, all sold out and reaction.

Terrific players love it. But these two, we've never done two games within 24 hours. And to think that we put roughly 150,000 people in MetLife Stadium within 24 hours. We had a concert with the Jonas Brothers. We had two terrific games, including what your Rangers did coming back on Sunday.

It was a great weekend. And all the feedback we've gotten from our partners, our fans, and the players has been terrific. But we've seen, obviously, the Winter Classic be extremely successful for you guys. These other series, though, as well, going outside, you know, something I saw after the weekend of Flyers and Devils and Rangers and Islanders, especially with the proximity of all four of those teams is, man, maybe we could get this every year or maybe every few years. Is that something that you would entertain? You know, every team, every marketplace, every fan base that gets one of these games and has a huge success as they all are, they all say, oh, we should do this every year.

That doesn't work. You know, what makes it so unique and so special is that we don't do it every year. And I have no doubt at some point we'll come back. Actually, the next Winter Classic, we're going back to Wrigley.

But this isn't something you could do every year. Yeah, you guys have some great locations coming up. Like you said, you're going back to Wrigley. I saw you announce the horseshoe, right? Ohio State Buckeye Stadium. You're going to see Red Wings in Columbus March 1st of 2025. Take me through the planning of this. Like, we know some venues are just iconic and it's a dream to go play there. But when you're planning this, what do you kind of look for as the commissioner of the NHL? Gary Bettman is here with us. You mean you don't think we use a dartboard? Well, you've been the master of this, Commissioner. You've really mastered the outdoor game.

So the answer to your question is, it's very opportunistic. You know, we need a good venue. NFL stadiums for the Winter Classic don't work anymore because of the length of the NFL season. And so we've got to pick a different type of venue for the stadium series. We also try to periodically play a game in Canada. And we look at a variety of factors where we've been, where the All-Star Game is going to be or is going to be.

It has been where the draft has been or going to be. And we try to move it around in a place where it makes sense on the calendar for us and for the place that we're going. And so it's not an exact science. There's a little bit of touch and feel artistry to it.

I'm not the artist. My events people are. But at the end of the day, we've now again, having now done 41 of these games, there's kind of an ebb and flow to how we do these.

And we try to do it in a way where we think it'll be special and impactful and give people who haven't had an opportunity to be a part of one of these to actually enjoy one in person. Is there still a stadium that you guys haven't done yet that you say, OK, that's right at the top of the list that I would love to do? You know, there's none at the top of the list. And if I mentioned some that will set off a wave of speculation. But there are a couple of iconic stadiums. There are even a couple of locations that people have said you did such a great job during COVID at Lake Tahoe. Why don't you do another iconic, beautiful setting without fans, which I don't really love because our players and our game really draw energy off of the in person experience that we have.

So there's no shortage of suggestions. And again, we try and look at this in a way. OK, let's go out a year or two.

Let's see what makes sense. What can we have fun with it again? Going to the horseshoe, the Ohio Stadium is a good example. Columbus hasn't been in an outdoor game. And so this gives them an opportunity to be a participant in an outdoor game, the Blue Jackets, and at the same time give us an opportunity to follow up 150,000 people over 24 hours with 100,000 people all at once.

Talking to the commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, I'll make one suggestion. What about Arrowhead with the Kansas City Chiefs stadium? That would be some scene with the barbecue tailgates right before the game and then going into that iconic stadium.

You know, that's an interesting suggestion. People have also suggested going to Lambeau. Lambeau. We tend to focus on where we have our teams because that's where I think we can have the greatest impact. And so, you know, I've heard it and I'm sure we'd be successful wherever we go, but we really try and bring it to the places where most of our fans are. And that's where our teams are based. I got a chance when I was in Las Vegas for the Super Bowl to go to the Golden Knights stadium. Man, what a show they put on. Even before the game starts where you have the Knights going up against the Oilers and the Oilers streak got stopped, which was an incredible hockey game. But just before the game, that stadium is just awesome in Las Vegas.

Two things. Now that I see the Kansas City hat sitting behind you, I'm not surprised that you suggested Arrowhead. I'm not a Chiefs fan, by the way, Commissioner, just to be clear.

What's the hat doing there? I see you're at the Super Bowl. They've won.

Sometimes, you know, this running things you got to do things, even though if you may not love the team, you may have to just support them. You just told me you're a Rangers fan. I believe that the Vegas Golden Knights have redefined what game presentation is. And I think it's raised the bar for everybody in every sport.

And I'm not surprised that that was your experience, because everybody who goes there to a game for the first time is completely blown away by what they see. But maybe even if not more important is the fans in Vegas, the people who live there, the bulk of the people who go to every game, love being in that environment and watching their Golden Knights play at home. Now, every sport is now trying to get to Las Vegas. When it first started, everyone was like, oh, how are they going to find a way to make sure that gambling wasn't going to be an issue? I know that we're never fully past that because it's always something that people talk about, but it doesn't seem like it's been as big of a deal and as complicated as what people thought.

Right. Well, first of all, there's sports betting in lots and lots and lots of all over North America now. Actually, I thought what you were going to say is when we first went there, people were being cynical and skeptical, skeptical because they were saying Las Vegas can't support a major league sports team.

And in fact, people were very skeptical. I will say even a little critical of the decision we made. And now everybody having seen our experience with the Golden Knights says, oh, this is the greatest sports place in the world.

We got to be there, which is gratifying, I suppose, on some level. Wrap it up with the commissioner of the NHL and Gary Bettman is always great with us when he joins us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. The NBA didn't have a very successful All-Star weekend. Where are you at with all your All-Star game festivities?

Just wondering. Well, I'm not going to comment on the NBA pro or con, but we had a terrific All-Star weekend in Toronto. We extended it an extra night, so we had three sold out buildings. The first night, we had the fantasy draft, the tribute to the 67 Leafs, and most importantly, a modified game with women All-Stars from the PWHL, the new women's professional league. It was spectacular. The second night, we had the skills competition and it was redesigned with the input from the players and it got huge, huge positive reviews in terms of the players, the stars who participated, the effort that they put into it, and the format that we used that wasn't gimmicky in the slightest.

It was really traditional skills being exhibited. And as you know, a number of years ago, we changed our All-Star format to have a mini tournament, three on three, which emphasizes the speed and skill of our game. And the players participate because the winning team gets a million dollars.

And when you get to the third game, the final of that little tournament, the players go all out to try and win. We had a lot of guests. I think the commissioners just froze on us via Zoom, but the commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, is with us. We'll hopefully try to reconnect and get him back up soon.

Had a few more things that I wanted to ask him about. We'll see if that's going to be possible, as we are right here on CBS Sports Radio. And obviously, the outdoor games for hockey have been extremely successful. And what you just got to see this past weekend, you pack a football stadium like MetLife Stadium and you get 80,000 people like that.

It was absolutely surreal. From one night to the next, Stu obviously was at the Devils game. And then I knew a lot of people out at the Rangers-Islanders game, and you couldn't get a perfect script with there being so many Rangers fans in attendance for that.

And then what did transpire as well with how that game did finish. So we'll see if we can get the commissioner of the NHL and Gary Bettman hopefully back up momentarily. But if not, we always do appreciate the time with the commissioner of the NHL. I had a few more things that I wanted to ask him, especially about what's going on with the stadium, with the Coyotes. I just wanted to see if we get a few things in there for some of our listeners that are listening to us in the Phoenix area. So we're going to try to reconnect hopefully momentarily with the commissioner of the NHL in Gary Bettman.

But before we do that, this past Sunday, Popeyes fans watched the perfect pairing, a Popeyes commercial during the big game and their new lineup of Crispy on the outside, Juicy on the inside wings. Order any of their five delicious flavors today as we are here right now at Zach Gilb's show, CBS Sports Radio. Should we take a break? Do you want me to take a break here and come on back? Or you want me to keep on stalling here for a few minutes till we get the commissioner coming back on? Yeah, I see the commissioner's trying to reconnect.

So let's just keep it here on CBS Sports Radio. And there's a few more storylines, obviously, that we could take a look at when you look at the future of the NHL with the just success and the unbelievable career so far of Connor McDavid and what we've seen so far in year one, even after the injury with Connor Bedard. And obviously, you still got Ovechkin and Crosby playing in the NHL. We never thought Wayne Gretzky's record of most goals ever would be beat.

Alexander Ovechkin is closing in on that is going to need next year to break it. But those are some of the big storylines right now, obviously in the NHL and just a wonderful product. And if you guys know me listening to this show for so many years, I am a just massive fan of the NHL and nothing beats playoff hockey as well. So hopefully we can reconnect momentarily with the commissioner of the NHL in Gary Bettman.

And I think we have been able to reconnect with them. So Commissioner, appreciate you jumping back on board with us. I just want to ask you about a few players before we let you run. Connor Bedard, I know he's coming back from the injury. But he has had such a great respect by his peers so far what he's been able to do. How about the impact that Connor Bedard's been able to bring to your game? First of all, when we got cut off, I was extolling the virtues of Toronto and the Maple Leafs being great hosts for our All-Star festivities and the fans.

It couldn't have been a better weekend. And so we're grateful for that. To answer your question, there's a lot of interest. We've got a league that seems to be skewing younger and younger with great stars, whether it's Connor Bedard, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and the list goes on and on. I think it's a good time in terms of the talent.

I believe that something like half of our highest scoring players are under the age of 25. And so when a new player, young player, skilled player like Connor Bedard comes into the league, it's great for fans everywhere. And I know there's a lot of interest in seeing him.

Yeah, one of my producers is a big Devils fan. And he's in love, obviously, with Jack Hughes. And to hear what the great one, Wayne Gretzky, had to say before the start of the season about Jack doesn't get much better than that. Well, it's not just Jack. It's Luke.

It's Quinn. I mean, think about that family. And it's incredible, the success that the three Hughes brothers are having. And it's very exciting. And I know Devils fans who had a good night on Saturday night at MetLife are thrilled at the prospect of this team for the future. Alexander Ovechkin, he's going to need next year, but he's closing in on breaking a record that no one thought was ever going to be broken with the most goals ever. And Wayne Gretzky, since that is not that far away, just how do you process it?

Obviously, knowing the great history of this game. He is an amazing player. His not only his skill and his passion for the game, but his durability has been incredible. He scored again last night, I believe. And while he got off to a little bit of a slow start this season, he seems to be back on track. And it's going to be fun to see him make a run at the record.

As you said, nobody ever thought would be broken. We are on in the Phoenix area right now as we're talking to the commissioner of the NHL and Gary Bettman. What do you say to Coyotes fans when they ask, where the heck are we going to be playing hockey for the foreseeable future? Alex Morello is committed to the Coyotes. He's committed to the greater Phoenix area, and he's working very hard on securing a parcel of land that will enable him to build the arena and his overall development.

It was surprising and, frankly, unfortunate that the referendum in Tempe went down, I think, by 2,000 votes. That was a great opportunity for the Coyotes, and it was a great opportunity for the city of Tempe to have not only a new state of the art development project and arena, but to remediate what has been a waste for decades. But we move on, and Alex is trying his best to get this all resolved as quickly as possible. Is there at all any timeline?

I know you said as quick as possible. Is there a date that you'd like to have this all finalized by? There's a process going on with the state of Arizona, and that'll put it onto a sequence timing that hopefully will ultimately result in the acquisition of a great piece of property. On the way out with the commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, who's here with us on CBS Sports Radio. How much longer, by the way, do you plan on being the commissioner?

I saw Rob Manfred said the other day when his contract's up, this is going to be his last one. How about for you? You're looking to get rid of me?

What kind of question is that? I actually think your popularity has just only grown throughout the years, commissioner. I think you've become more popular. As they say, you can't fall off the floor. But at the end of the day, I love what I'm doing. And as long as I have the energy, the passion, and the clubs, the owners are happy with what I do for them, and I'm going to keep doing it.

Everybody makes these types of decisions for very personal reasons. For me, I'm thrilled to continue doing what I'm doing. Last thing I'll ask you, and then we'll let you run, is you've been great with us, commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman. The Olympics, I love that we're getting the NHL players back in the Olympics.

Just give me a minute or two on that decision, how you guys came about to it. You know, people tend to forget that NHL players never went to the Olympics until I became commissioner. And then we went, and going to the Olympics in terms of our season is a bit of a mixed bag. I don't have to go into all the reasons.

People have heard me say it. The primary focus for us in terms of going back to the Olympics is it was important to our players. We have the most international player pool of any of the major sports, the four majors in North America, and our players, our sport has a history of players representing their countries.

That was very important to them. So we've now decided with the Players Association, next season, our in-season tournament will be a four nations tournament, four nations face-off among Sweden, Finland, Canada, and the U.S. The next year, 26 will go to the Olympics, 28 will do a World Cup, a full World Cup, 30 will go back to the Olympics, and then 32 will do another World Cup. So we're laying out a long-term schedule of best-on-best international competition, and I think it's going to be great, and our players are thrilled to be doing it. Well, it's great to hear. Commissioner, once again, congratulations on a successful stadium series. Thanks so much, and we'll continue watching and enjoying the NHL season. Great, and thank you for having me. You got it. There he is, the commissioner of the NHL in Gary Bettman. Really do appreciate his time. We'll take a time out.

Let's get an update in first with the act man, Rich Ackerman. Okay, picture this. It's Friday afternoon when a thought hits you. I can spend another weekend doing the same old whatever, or I can hop into my all-new Hyundai Santa Fe and hit the road. With available H-TRAC all-wheel drive and three-row seating, my whole family can head deep into the wild. Conquer the weekend in the all-new Hyundai Santa Fe. Visit or call 562-314-4603 for more details. Hyundai, there's joy in every journey.

2024 Santa Fe, available early 2024. Hey, Rob Bradford here. I have set out on a mission with my good friend at FanDuel to prove what I have known for some time. Baseball isn't boring. Now I have a daily podcast to prove it with some of the most notable people in the baseball world screaming baseball isn't boring for the mountain tops or at least agreeing to come on our show.

Players, managers, GMs, and yes, even the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred. It has been a constant wave of baseball's both powerful voices. So join the revolution. Subscribe and soak in. Baseball isn't boring. Listen on your Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.

You'll be glad you did. All righty, this is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio. So each night before the show, Samter, Stu, and I, we send a bunch of clips to one another. Like you see something pop up on social media and you go, okay, let's just put it in our Slack group, even though I don't have Slack on my phone because there's some IT problem. So there's a lot of times I'll just text Samter and he rather prefers me to put it in Slack, but if I'm not on a computer, then I can't get to my Slack.

So we'll talk to someone in IT and hopefully get me on Slack sooner rather than later. But last night, Samter sent me this link and it was this link to Nicole Jokic speaking at All Star Weekend. And he said, I don't want to leave Denver. If Luca gets PO'd in Dallas, he could come.

And then the clip from DNVR, Nuggets on Twitter said, Nicole Jokic says he'd be open to teaming up with Luca Doncic, but only on the Nuggets. So I didn't see the part where it says translated underneath it in small font in parentheses. So Samter is a practical joker from time to time. So I click the link and I'm ready to go, ready to listen to the 25 second audio and it's not in English. So I'm sitting there saying, is this a prank or is this something that was transcribed by someone that knew how to speak the language? And then they just threw that out there.

Now, one way or another, you could tell me whatever, Samter. But I was skeptical of this clip thinking that it was real. And then I saw the company that it was coming from. I'm like, okay, that's actually a credible company. I don't think they would just put this out.

But there's so much stuff now that's AI generated. Remember Brian Ferentz, the OC of Iowa, who this year a clip went viral that he went after people saying, oh, we finally scored the certain amount of points that are required. He said some things that obviously I can't say.

I'm like, wow, that's some fiery stuff from the OC. But this is a new way to kind of trick people. You just have a superstar speaking in their native language and then you just put out a quote and you say, oh, this is what he said.

And unless if you know the language, no one could tell you. Now, this ended up being vetted and I know the company that put this out, so you know that they're not trying to do this. But last night, Samter, I was debating for about five minutes. If you were just playing a practical joke on me of this was actually something that you were trying to be serious about for show content.

Well, I appreciate that you trust me enough that you think I'm going to send you some suffagasy clip. But no, I mean, it made me think a lot. I sent it because it made me think a lot about them joining forces. And we talked about LeBron and Steph as far as being potentially with the Warriors and together. So it made me kind of think about like the best duos and things along those lines. So we were in an era of super teams. And by definition, right, the way that we perceived the super team was at least three guys, two and a half, like two and a half stars would kind of be it like Chris Bosh was always was always that third piece for the Miami Heat.

You know, Chris Bosh, great player, but I don't think he was viewed the same way, obviously, as we viewed a LeBron or a Dwayne Wade. Like you look at Cleveland, it was also two and a half where Kevin loves had a really good career, but it wasn't of the career of a LeBron James or a Kyrie Irving. But now, ever since, right, Kevin Durant left the Warriors. We haven't seen another super team in the NBA form.

And I actually I'm not anti super team. I thought the super team era was really good, starting with the Celtics, then going with Miami, then going with Cleveland. And then the Warriors were just a super team on steroids. But now for a while, at least the last three years, ever since Kevin Durant's departure, it's kind of been dynamic duos. That's what has been the big trend of the NBA.

It's dynamic duos. And you could win a championship with the dynamic duo. We've seen it with the Koliokic and Jamal Murray. We've seen it with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Middleton, just to name a few in this new iteration of the NBA or this new era of the NBA. But if you were able to get Luca with Nikola Jokic, we're talking about a dynamic duo of two of the top five players in the NBA. It's almost kind of like what the Lakers tried to do with LeBron and Anthony Davis, where one healthy Anthony Davis is a top 10 player in the league. He just hasn't consistently been able to hold up his end of the bargain. But where they are from an age standpoint, and I do agree with the Koliokic, it's like he shouldn't want to leave Denver. Denver fits him very well.

The Mavericks, they got to get their act together and they've tried, but it hasn't necessarily worked consistently. But that would be a fun, dynamic duo. And you could question if the styles would fit. But Nikola Jokic doesn't have an ego. And I think he enjoys passing the basketball more than scoring.

So I think there's no doubt in my mind that it would fit. Like if we look at and I was ahead of the Nuggets before a lot of people were. But if we looked at how special Jamal Murray was coming off the injury, if they could get that production from Jamal Murray teaming up with Nikola Jokic, imagine if they added Luka Doncic to that fold, even if it meant at the expense of someone like a Jamal Murray. So that would be fun. I would want to see Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic. I'll give you two other dynamic duos that I would love to see. Now, both of them are later on in their career.

Sampdas already mentioned it. LeBron James and Steph Curry. I hope that happens this offseason. Sorry, Stu, because it would be LeBron would be leaving the Los Angeles Lakers. But I kind of feel like Stu, you're at a point now where you're just tired of all the drama with the Lakers. And I think there's a lot of NBA fans that are tired with all the drama right now.

And it's about like everything but playing basketball. I kind of sense from Stu that you're ready to blow this thing up and start all over and really rebuild with the Los Angeles Lakers. Yeah, I just don't see a path to anything other than maybe, OK, maybe they make the second round of the playoffs. I think last season was their best chance of getting another title. They're not getting another title with LeBron and Anthony Davis.

There's no avenue they really have. Even if they somehow trade for Donovan Mitchell or Trae Young this offseason, I don't think that's a title team. Well, Anthony Davis would still be there, right? Yeah.

So if you get LeBron, Donovan Mitchell, and AD. It's good. I don't know what the rest of the team's going to look like. That's the problem.

There's going to be nothing. That's the problem. Yeah. Who was the other play you threw out? Trae Young? Trae Young? I don't know. Like a shooter, that's for sure. Do need a shooter. But I don't know if Trae Young is like a championship caliber player.

I don't know. I'm at this point where I'd rather instead of giving up future assets, just kind of blow it up. So I don't think this next dynamic duo that I'm going to suggest is going to be possible because Embiid is so loyal to the Sixers. And we know the connection that Leon Rose has with Jalen Brunson and Leon Rose once represented before he became the president of the Knicks, he represented Joel Embiid. And now you have Maxie who's been good for the last two years with the Sixers. So I don't think Embiid's going to force a trade, but if he did ever, you get Embiid in New York with Jalen Brunson, that would be a really fun dynamic duo. Like you throw that topic out three, four years ago, dynamic duos that you'd like to see in the NBA. We would take call after call after call after call, and there'd be idea after idea after idea. I sat down and was like, guys, there's so many duos that are together right now. So that takes up so many spots. And it's like, okay, who could you break up to then pair together and create a new dynamic duo?

And those are the three that I came up with. Luka Doncic, Nicole Jokic, LeBron James, Steph Curry. And then the one that I'd be most excited about, but I don't think it will ever happen, would be Joel, the process, Embiid taking the process to New York and teaming up with Jalen Brunson. Alrighty, Zach Gelb shows CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a break when we come on back. Daniel Jeremiah, we're going to flip to football. He has his latest mock draft out as we get set for the combine that gets started this weekend. And there is a big surprise, especially when it comes to the third overall pick.

A peanut butter M&M's production. In a world where Super Bowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring, but the runners up get nothing. One retired cop. That's one retired quarterback. Read the script.

Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. Um, that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter, but you're on a roll.

The Ring of Comfort coming soon to a Super Bowl new you. Okay, picture this. It's Friday afternoon when a thought hits you. I can spend another weekend doing the same old whatever, or I can hop into my all new Hyundai Santa Fe and hit the road with available H track all wheel drive and three row seating.

My whole family can head deep into the wild. Conquer the weekend in the all new Hyundai Santa Fe. Visit Hyundai or call 562-314-4603 for more details. Hyundai. There's joy in every journey.

2024 Santa Fe available early 2024. Hey, Rob Bradford here. I have set out on a mission with my good friends at FanDuel to prove what I have known for some time. Baseball isn't boring. Now I have a daily podcast to prove it with some of the most notable people in the baseball world screaming baseball's and boring for the mountain tops, or at least agreeing to come on our show. Players, managers, GMs, and yes, even the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred. It has been a constant wave of baseball, both powerful voices. So join the revolution, subscribe and soak in baseball has been boring. Listen on your Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. You'll be glad you did.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-21 19:10:35 / 2024-02-21 19:30:42 / 20

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