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Knicks Disastrous Performance (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
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May 1, 2024 4:04 pm

Knicks Disastrous Performance (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 1, 2024 4:04 pm

Knicks Choke I Athletes Derailed by Injury I Ladd McConkey, Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver

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Price and coverage match limited by state law. Live from the play show yet not overly ostentatious studios of the Infinity Sports Network. This is a Wednesday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all the great local Infinity Sports Network affiliate Sirius XM channel 158 that free Odyssey app and of course streaming on YouTube 8552124227 is numbered to jump on in 8552124227. You could always get at me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing or via the good old cesspool of Twitter at Zach Gelb.

That's zachgelb. We got a whole lot to do today. New Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Lad McConkie, the two time national champion at Georgia is going to stop by 40 minutes from now. Bart Winkler will join us at 4.40 p.m. Eastern for a Winkler Wednesday and there's a ton of topics to discuss in football, even in baseball, but we start in basketball as last night. That was maybe one of the more crazier endings to a regulation with the game eventually going into overtime that I've ever seen. The Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena, which annoys a lot of people when you say that, it was rocking. And you had so many of those Knicks of the past who have pretty much been ashamed to root for the team and be Knicks because of how dysfunctional the organization has been and Leon Rose has brought some stability and some professionalism to the organization. But Madison Square Garden was rocking, and when the Knicks are up six with 30 seconds to go, you think the game's over.

Like I had a bet on the Knicks last night and I was already counting my money. And then the next thing you know, Tyrese Maxey, who for years I've said is a budding star in this league. And I wish the Sixers would have had him like five or six years ago because it would have lined up perfectly with Joel Embiid.

But I don't ever think when they're at the height of their trajectory that Embiid and Maxey are going to be on the same collision course where they win a championship. But Tyrese Maxey had a just villainous moment last night if you are a Knicks fan in Madison Square Garden. We talked about in game two how the Knicks finally got their redemption for Reggie Miller when they stole a game that they had no business winning. When you saw the Sixers gag away that performance in game two, but the ghost of Reggie Miller popped back up last night in the body of Tyrese Maxey.

It's one thing when he hits the crazy four point play, but then you have Josh Hart at the line with a chance to go up by four and he splits at the charity stripe. And that makes it a three point game. So Maxey, who already just had four points, then hits that crazy miraculous three point shot from the logo just in front of half court and he basically had seven points in 17 seconds. And the Knicks didn't call a timeout.

Brunson put up a shot attempt and it wasn't even close. Game goes into overtime. The Knicks sucked their fans back in with like three minutes left in overtime. They're up by five and then Philadelphia found the way to steal game five.

And that was a series that with 30 seconds to go in game five, it was turn out the lights, the party's over. Joel Embiid was about to get eviscerated and I know he's dealing with a bunch of injuries. And I've sat here on CBS Sports Radio for years and I've said, even though how great Joel Embiid is, and I'm cognizant that he's an MVP in this league, Joel Embiid's shortcomings in the postseason have been hidden because you look at certain guys, they're more deserving of blame. Whether it was Ben Simmons, whether it was Doc Rivers, whether it was James Harden. And Embiid has escaped that blame. And I've mentioned turnovers against Atlanta and Boston and even last night Embiid had 10 turnovers and with about 90 seconds left, he had a terrible turnover. And everything was lining up where you look at Philadelphia, it's the same old story, but the different part of this story was going to be, this was going to be the first time in his career where Joel Embiid was going to get significant pushback from his own fan base. And he was going to be culprit number one, why they lost that series.

But Tyrese Maxey said, not so fast. And that was a wild 17 second sequence where Maxey put up seven points. And then the game gets into overtime and Joel Embiid, who actually finished the game with the triple double, really had a quadruple double when you factor the turnovers too, but the big fella came alive in the extra session and the Sixers steal game five. They snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

That's what Philadelphia did. And now you look at how the Sixers blew game two, now the Knicks blew game five, and the game five performance was worse than the gag job that did occur in game two, which I didn't think anything would top that, but the Knicks found a way to do so last night and now you advance to tomorrow evening, which let me say this right out of the gate, a 9 p.m. Eastern time start for game six. What the heck are we doing? I usually don't freak out about the start time of a game, because I'm usually respectful of the West Coast and I, you know, doing a national show, you think of more than just the East Coast people, but you've got two East Coast teams and we're starting that game at 9 p.m. Eastern. And you know the way the NBA does it, that won't tip off till 9 18 p.m. Eastern.

So I don't know what the heck I'm going to do after work on Thursday. We get out at 6 p.m. Eastern and I don't have a dog in a fight here, but I'm going to want to watch the game and I got to wait to see until 9 18, probably p.m. Eastern, that ball get thrown up in the air. But now when you look at this series, I understand the Knicks are a gritty team. I understand a lot of people still believe the Knicks are going to win this series, but does anyone expect the Knicks to win game six?

Because it's not impossible, but I don't think it's likely. And after what we witnessed last night, I would think it's inevitable that we're seeing a game seven over the weekend between the Knicks and the Sixers. And think about that. With 30, 35 seconds to go, if I said to you as it was a party, it was a state of euphoria in Madison Square Garden, that the Sixers were coming on back and then they'll also win game six and you'll have a game seven at MSG, you'd ask me what drugs I'm on. That's what you would have said to me. Because that game was over. It was dunzo.

It was finished. The fat lady was already singing, and Tyrese Maxey shut up everybody in Madison Square Garden. If the Knicks end up losing this series, this goes from being a great season, where they're the two seed in the NBA, everyone's exceeding expectations, even when they lost Julius Randle to injury, Brunson breaking out to be a star, the other Nova kids, DeVincenzo and Josh Hart playing good minutes, Deuce McBride showing up, Mitchell Robinson surviving injuries. It goes from all this hope and optimism and oh, the Knicks are somewhat back to an absolute disaster. You can't lose this series.

You can, but you can't. Because all the good work that the Knicks have done, which is a lot, you look at the four regular seasons, Leon Rose has been the president, there's been stability, there's been consistency. The Knicks, who are just synonymous with usually being the laughingstock, have actually gained some respect back, and they've been able to be a playoff team three out of the last four seasons, but you can't afford when you have Patrick Ewing, when you have Carmelo Anthony in the building, John Starks, and everyone was getting ready to party, everyone was getting ready to throw a fiesta. You can't go from choking that game to then losing six and then losing seven, because all the good work that has been done, fair or not, will feel like it's wasted if you find a way to lose this series. I still think the Knicks will win this series, because I don't trust Joel Embiid in the big moment, and I think the Knicks are a more consistent team in the year of 2024 than the Sixers. But last night, the Knicks really did, if you're a New York fan, they dragged you to the brink of depression, because you had the euphoria, you had the moment that they were going to get it done, the game was over, and then you just sat there in stunned disbelief. The only positive I could say to a Knicks fan today is at least this isn't a single elimination sport, because in football, when you have a game like that that you think you're going to win in the postseason, you lose, alright, you're done, you're over with. But in the NBA, in Major League Baseball, in hockey, they're series. So I don't want to say you could afford to lose a game, but it's not as if you lost that game in Game 7 and now your season is over. But that was just absolutely crazy.

It was wild. If you look from the final 30 seconds, like I had a tweet ready to go that I was ready to press send, like yesterday I compared the Nuggets to the Chiefs. I was ready to compare the Sixers to the drama Dallas Choking Cowboys, because it's always hype, it's always drama, it's all this star's great, that star's great, and then even when they have good regular seasons, and I get it because of the Embiid injury, the Sixers didn't have a good regular season, when you get into the postseason, it's always disappointment and failure. And that's who the Sixers were looking like, that's who Embiid was looking like. And then boom, Tyrese Maxey said, Joel big fella, I got you, I'll put the team on my back, alright?

I will find a way to get us to extend this series. And here's the other part too. The Philadelphia fan was embarrassed, absolutely embarrassed in Game 4, where the New York Knicks fan took over the Wells Fargo Center. I know New York very well, I know Philadelphia very well.

I've lived almost my entire life in New York, the only 7 years I didn't live in New York, I lived where? In Philadelphia. I understand that city of Philadelphia. I was shocked that Philadelphia allowed the Knicks fan to take over their building in a playoff game. It speaks to the fact that the Philadelphia fan doesn't believe in the Sixers team, but now the Bears have been poked in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia fan has been poked by the Knicks fan, and also nationally, and also by their own.

Don Staley, Charles Barkley, get your asses in the seats, get your asses in the Wells Fargo Center, and don't sell those tickets. So now Philadelphia, after hearing an opposing team fan base chant FMB'd and celebrate in your face, I know tickets are available, I know that there are going to be Knicks fans in there, but I have a tough time envisioning the Philadelphia fan allowing a takeover once again. Because the Philadelphia fan is one of the better fans in sports, regardless of what people want to say. And the Philadelphia fan takes pride, and they love saying we're the best fan base.

Well it's tough to say you're the best fan base when you allowed in a playoff game, the New York Knicks fan to go down the turnpike and take over your building. So I expect a raucous Philadelphia atmosphere tomorrow evening for game six. And I just, like, are the Sixers really going to lose game six on their home court?

They can! We've seen them do it before, there's no reason to trust the Sixers in the postseason, but if this series doesn't get to seven, I'll be surprised. I will be surprised. I still think the Knicks win the series because I don't trust them beating a big moment. And I still believe New York will prevail. But this series went from being, I don't want to say a dud, because game two was crazy, you've had good endings in game four, we obviously know what happened in game five, but this series went from being over to now there's a lot of intrigue.

And there's a lot at stake. Because you look at the Knicks side of it, you are on the precipice if you end up losing these next two games. All the good work the last few years and how great and how fun this season is, it seems like, poof, that goes out the window, where it's like, oh, they're still the same old New York Knicks, where you're chanting, go New York, go New York, go! And then it's like, go New York, go New York, go.

Oh no, no, no, no, they did it again. That's what could happen if you lose two more. And on the other side for the Sixers, you win this series, not that you're going to win a championship this year, but it creates some hope again.

Because Maxie has been showing he's a star and he had his moment last night. And if you could ever get him beat healthy, and then you get into all the speculation in this offseason with all the cap space, what the Sixers will do, you could maybe retool and still find a way to somehow get to a conference final or deliver a championship to Philadelphia. So I'll say the Knicks win this series. I'll say they win it in seven. But my, oh my, I am stunned that we are sitting here on a Wednesday after game five.

We're at 30 seconds to go. This game was over and the Garden was rocking and people were ready to say the Knicks are back. And then man, the Knicks that I really grew up here in New York, seeing just being a disaster, a clown show, a joke, a little bit of them popped through. That version of the Knicks, they were hiding behind the cloud and then the old sunshine started to pop out and said, oh, nope, the old Knicks, we're a little bit back. But with this group, this leadership, even if game six they lose, I just still believe that this group isn't going to lose three games in a row. So who do you like in this Knicks and Sixers series? 8-5-5, 2-1-2, 42-27, 8-5-5, 2-1-2, 42-27. Mike Trout, going to miss a significant amount of time.

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It is the Zach Gelb show. Ladd McConkie is going to stop by 20 minutes from now. The two-time national champion at Georgia. And now he was the second pick in the second round going to the Los Angeles Chargers. So he'll team up with Jim Harbaugh and Justin Herbert.

So unfortunate news. Mike Trout is going to need surgery on a torn meniscus. And since like 2017, we've seen Mike Trout, not every year, but in a lot of years, Mike Trout just missed an incredible amount of time because of injury. And Mike Trout is going to the Hall of Fame.

We know Mike Trout is a great player. But you start to wonder, man, he could have been like all-time, all-time great if he just didn't miss all these games. 2017 missed 47 games because of a torn thumb ligament. 2021, he missed 139 days because of a calf strain. Was out 35 days in 2022 because of back inflammation. Had a broken handmate, missed 89 days in 2023 and now has the torn meniscus.

And it's just sad. So Trout we all know is considered to be really like the last 10 years the best player in the game. But the part about Mike Trout that just is so unfortunate is the injuries robbed us from seeing more of him, but also this Angels organization has never been able to get it right. Think about how the Angels, forget that Otani was there for a bit, but just with Mike Trout, he's been an 11-time All-Star. He's won the MVP three times. He was the Rookie of the Year. He's a nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner. And he's led the league in RBI, stolen bases, Hank Aaron Award winner. Like you look at the resume, we all know he's been great, but he's only made the postseason one time and he was swept out of it.

He played three games in the postseason. So when we look back at Mike Trout, we'll all say great player, Hall of Famer, but never was able with the Angels to really get in the postseason. And you wonder what his stats would have been if he didn't miss all that time. It kind of reminds you of Ken Griffey Jr. Ken Griffey Jr., we know, is one of the greatest players that you've ever seen. But when you get into the tiebreakers with the other all-time great players and the other greatest players you've ever seen, the injuries that Ken Griffey Jr. suffered, his numbers are ridiculous as they are.

Imagine what they would have been if he didn't miss all that time with injuries. So let's hear from Mike Trout. This was him addressing the media yesterday.

I'll give you an excerpt of that. It was very emotional. I felt so bad for him.

This is Mike Trout, though, on his knee injury. What are the emotions that you're feeling right now? It's tough. I don't know. I'll get through it. I've talked to a couple of guys in there that's had it.

You know, it's a pretty simple procedure, but I don't know. I'm going to get over it probably right away to get back as fast as I can. It's tough.

And here's the other thing. It's not like the Angels are a good team. They're right now 11 and 19. So now you take Trout out of the lineup.

By theory, they're going to get a whole lot worse. There's the hot take of the day. And then, how motivated is he to come back? And I know Trout's a different dude, doesn't have a big personality. He should be the face of the sport because he's the best player of the sport, but Major League Baseball is a marketing problem. I've been saying for years, I was praying for years, it feels like, for Mike Trout to leave and go somewhere else. And there's been speculation about him going to the Phillies a bunch of times, but every time, you know, the contract situation happens, he stays with the Angels and double downs down on it. But it's just one of those moments where, yeah, you can't say Mike Trout was a failure. Mike Trout wasn't a great player because he is, and he's going to the Hall of Fame.

But it's just one of those careers where you go, man, it could have been even better if maybe he was in a more competent organization or really since 2017, he just got a good bill of health. Who's the player, let me go around the room right now, that stands out to you, that all these years later, because of injury, you go, man, that guy could have been really spectacular and tell me why you guys ended up picking that player. I have one, I think mine's rather obvious, but Stu, we'll start with you. Who's your player and why? Yeah, for me, it's Brandon Roy. I think how great he was with the Blazers and you could almost put him with Greg Oden in terms of two guys that, you know, were really good players, had really high ceilings. I know Oden was kind of coming in as the big man was getting phased out, so maybe not him as much, but Roy was as good as any of the guards in the NBA during that era and they could have been the championship contender if he stayed healthy. It's funny you mention Greg Oden, too. I think it was a spoof, but I did see a reel on social media where this older lady was walking around the campus of Ohio State and she was like, oh, you're pretty big. Did you play basketball here or something? And then Greg Oden just looks down and I think she was like trolling him.

I think there was a joke here, but it was one of those videos that it was just really sad. Because Greg Oden, I know you said Brandon Roy, but Greg Oden in college and then coming out of college and getting drafted, he was supposed to be like that changing big man player, that next dominant big, and it wasn't the case. But Brandon Roy was so fun to watch and then unfortunately just with the leg injuries just kept on getting killed one after another after another and then he was forced to walk away. Didn't he come back or attempt? I think he attempted a comeback. He tried. He played like five games with the Timberwolves like two years after his injury and that was it.

Yeah, that's just sad. So those are two good ones that you gave still. How about you, Samter, who's your player? I got a couple, I'm trying to decide between, but like Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway, Sandy Koufax for sure in baseball, Gail Sayers in football, but for me the one that really stands out is Terrell Davis. Who's still a Hall of Famer. Yeah, but I mean he had four years, 1,100 yards, 1,500 yards, 1,700 yards, 2,000 yards, won two titles and then was done. Right, tore his ACL in the most ridiculous way trying to make a tackle on an interception so he wasn't even like hurt while he was running the ball. The dude won Offensive Player of the Year twice, was top three MVP, three of the first four years in the NFL, won two titles, rushed for 2,000 yards and after those first four seasons, that was it. 200 yards, 200 yards, 700 yards, but just never was able to recover from that injury. And isn't it crazy? Because like we're talking about this with Trout, we've talked about this with Ken Griffey Jr., the greatness that they still accomplish, right, you mentioned it as well, Samter, but still it's like okay, they had great careers, but it could have been even better, even greater.

So it is a good point that you bring up. A few that I threw on my list, and they're not my number one, Tracy McGrady from just a talent perspective, it was supposed to be him and Kobe and unfortunately T-Mac just kept on getting hurt, hurt, hurt. Yao Ming dealt with a bunch of injuries, Bill Walton dealt with a bunch of injuries, Bo Jackson, what he was able to bring to football, then he had the hip injury for football.

I'm going to bring up someone and then it's going to, it sets up my number one guy. RG3 is the one that's setting up my number one guy. RG3, one rookie of the year, was drafted the same year as Andrew Luck, who's the guy I'm going to talk about. And then that decision in the playoff game to keep him in when he was hurt by Shanahan, RG3 never recovered from that injury. And his first year, he took the league by storm.

Like it was bleeping awesome. But I got to go to Andrew Luck, and the reason why I go Andrew Luck is he basically played five full seasons. And in those five full seasons, Andrew Luck threw for nearly 24,000 yards and 171 touchdowns. And also, look at the teams that Andrew Luck was on.

There's not a lot of players that you remember from those teams. Andrew Luck, it's crazy because I actually admire the promise he made to himself. Because when he retired in the middle of that preseason game, and Schefter had the story, and you had everything play out, and like Colts fans knew what was going on.

They booed him, some of them coming off the field because they were frustrated in the moment. But Andrew Luck made a promise to himself with all the injuries that he suffered all throughout his body, that if he ever had to mispractice consistently again, that's when he would walk away. And it's easy to say that when you still have so many more years to give to the game, but for him to realize that and stick through with this promise, it was like, man, I just couldn't believe that that's how the career of Andrew Luck did end. And also, Luck would have won a Super Bowl in this league.

I really do believe that Andrew Luck would have been a Super Bowl champion because that's how great he was in that five or six year period in Indianapolis. And I remember, because I was working in Philadelphia at the time, I think it was that last season in 2018, but let me just fact check it here real quickly in the moment. I think they opened up that season, it was the first game he came back, and he was going up against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Yeah, it was week three when they returned him and people thought it was early. I don't remember who the backup quarterback was, but at the end of the game, when you have someone throw like a 60-yard, 50-yard bomb, they brought in the backup quarterback because Andrew Luck, his arm looked shot there and he couldn't throw the deep ball. And to see what Andrew Luck went from coming back that season and what he ended up doing statistically when it looked like his career was shot and it was over, he threw for 4,593 yards that season and had 39 touchdowns. And you know what the craziest Andrew Luck stat is? He threw for 171 touchdown passes. He was sacked 174 times.

Think about that. Ryan Grigson should be locked up. Ryan Grigson should be criminally charged for the way that he failed to protect Andrew Luck.

So, we go around the room. Stu's answer was Brandon Roy. I end up going with Andrew Luck. Samter, even though Terrell Davis made the Hall of Fame, he wondered how much better his career could have been with injuries.

But let me ask Ack this question. Ack, as we're talking about Mike Trout, who's going to be a Hall of Famer, we all know that, but you wonder how much better his career could have been if he hasn't had to deal with injuries year after year after year since 2017. Who is the player for you that you look back and you wonder, okay, if injuries didn't impact them, man, that would have been an all-time great, or their career could have put them in just a different level even if they made the Hall of Fame? Greg Oden, Sam Bowie, even, I know there were some other extenuating circumstances, but he did have some injuries.

Dwight Gooden was sidetracked by a couple big ones there. So, those are the three. Okay, picture this. It's Friday afternoon when a thought hits you. I can waste another weekend doing the same old whatever, or I can conquer it. I can hop into my all-new Hyundai Santa Fe and hit the road, any road. The steeper the better, because my all-new Santa Fe is available with H-Trek all-wheel drive so I can hit the trail without a worry in the world. Heck, with three rows and best-in-class rear cargo space, I can pack the whole family in with all our gear. We've got available dual wireless charging for our phone so we'll never lose touch with civilization and we won't lose touch with the primordial power of Mother Earth. So which is it?

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I think actually meeting someone who was not vaccinated and now has a lifelong struggle with a childhood disease really cemented for me that it's super important that we as parents continue to vaccinate our children. Talk to your pediatrician or visit Wi-Fi.com brought to you by Merck. You're listening to the Infinity Sports Network. We continue this Zach Gelb show coast-to-coast on the Infinity Sports Network. Let's head out to Los Angeles. The Chargers, by the way, have drafted Lad McConkie in the second round, the 34th overall pick.

We all remember Lad from his days as a Georgia Bulldog where he did win two national championships and now will start his NFL journey with Jim Harbaugh and company and Lad McConkie is here with us right now. Lad, first and foremost, congratulations. Thanks so much for doing this today and how are you?

Yeah, yeah, thank you. Super excited, you know, ready to get there, get to work and kick this thing off. I'm a sucker for these draft day phone calls. I watch a thousand of them and I saw the three-minute version that the Chargers put out when they gave you the phone call and the elation that you had just in your voice and on your face.

Relive that day for me last week, Friday night, when you get that call that the Chargers trade up and take you with the 34th overall pick. Yeah, it was amazing. I mean, it was a dream come true, honestly. You know, it's something I've worked for my whole life.

Now I have the opportunity, so now it's time to go make the most of it. Were you surprised it was the Chargers? I know they traded up to get you. Some people thought you were going to be a first-round pick when it was the Chargers on the other end. What was that first thought? Yeah, it was weird because, you know, I didn't know they were going to trade up and then I got the call and looked at my phone and it said Chargers football.

So I just kind of told my family real quick. So I don't know, surprise, I don't know if that's the word, but I'm happy now, so I'm good with it. We've seen a lot of receivers get into the league, rookie-wide receivers, and make a big-time impact throughout the years right away in year one in their rookie year. What do you think you could bring to the football team here in year one? Yeah, just a guy that's going to go out there and compete. You know, don't place too much expectations out there. Like, I'm just going to go play my game and I think the rest will take care of itself.

You know, did what I could do to get to this point, so just continue to do that, put my head down and grind and go make a name for myself. Lad McConkie here with us. Obviously college football fans, they know your name and they know your game pretty well, but you talk about playing your game. Let's say if a Los Angeles Chargers fan hasn't seen you play, how would you describe the game of one Lad McConkie? I think I'm, you know, super competitive and I play with a lot of passion. You can see it, I mean, make a block, score a touchdown, whatever it is. Shoot, I love the game of football.

I love to be out there and competing against everybody, so I think you're going to see a guy that's going to leave it all out there every time he's out there. Sometimes a player will take on the personality of their head coach. Clearly, you're just the new member of the Chargers. Jim Harbaugh is a new member of the organization, but when I heard that the Chargers traded for you, I'm like, hmm, Lad McConkie and Jim Harbaugh, that seems like that's a perfect match, you guys being big-time football guys and the passion you bring to the game.

Yeah, definitely. I have nothing but respect for Coach Harbaugh. I'm ready to get there and, you know, build that relationship with him. So I heard you say on your draft phone call that your parents met Jim Harbaugh at Indianapolis. I'm assuming that was at the combine. I guess you weren't at that meeting, but what can you tell me when your parents, I guess, ran into Coach Jim Harbaugh? Yeah, I mean, I wasn't there. I talked to him after we were like, yeah, we saw Coach and just, you know, said hey to him, introduced ourselves.

I mean, I don't know really what all entailed with the conversation, but it's crazy to kind of, you know, see it all come full circle. Maybe mom and dad made a deal with Coach. Maybe they hyped him up. You know, I know they're your biggest fans, but maybe they really had a positive impact and that's why the Chargers stuck you.

If they did, I appreciate them more than they know. We're talking to Lad McConkie right now, 34th overall pick by the Chargers in this past NFL draft. So a lot of times when we talk about quarterbacks, we talk about fit and what organization they're going to and that could either make their career very successful or derail their career. For a wide receiver, it's all about what quarterback you get paired up with.

You have a pretty damn good one out in L.A. with Justin Herbert. How about what you know about his game and how excited are you to get to team up with a pretty damn good quarterback? Yeah, I'm pumped, you know, watching him play. He's a great player. You can tell he loves the game, you know, a great leader for them and pretty good at what he does.

So super, you know, pumped to get there, earn his trust, show him what I'm about, you know, build that relationship as well. Let me take you back to Thursday because your name was hot to go towards the end of the first round. Like I watch all these mock drafts.

I hear all the commentary. Ladd McConkie was getting projected right in that like 26 to 32 range when Thursday did come and go and your name wasn't called. Just what was the mindset?

What was the mentality for Ladd McConkie? You know, at that point, it was just like I just wanted to get where I was going and that's kind of how I've been this whole process. Like if it happens day one, day two, whatever it is, I'm just ready to get there, ready to figure it out and go do it.

So, I mean, obviously you want to be drafted as high as possible, but truly believe, you know, I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. What was the feeling like on Friday when you did wake up? Did you do anything to kind of take your mind off that weight of waiting to figure out how long it was going to take for you to go in the second round? You know, I woke up, went and played a little golf, you know, with my brother and a couple of buddies. So, went and played some golf, you know, relaxed and then came back and once we sat down to watch the draft, it didn't take too long. What's the scouting report on your golf game, just wondering, for Ladd McConkie? It depends what hole you're watching me on. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.

No, but I love to play, so probably some good spots to play out in L.A. I played the other weekend and the first 12 holes were absolutely brutal and then I birdied on 13 and I'm like, okay, now I know why they keep on bringing you back, but golf is so mental. So, was the round good on Friday with all that you had on your plate and what you were thinking about?

It wasn't too great, you know. I had some good shots that, you know, keep me coming back, but some that made me want to quit were out there, so. Ladd McConkie here with us. Your name is obviously synonymous with the success of Georgia football.

I know you're trying to write a new chapter in your NFL journey. Is it all weird to look back now at your time at Georgia with just how quickly it did go by and clearly you guys had a lot of success, just what are the memories that come back to mind when you reflect on your time with the Bulldogs? Yeah, you know, I always tell everybody it was one of the greatest decisions I ever made coming here. So many great people that invested in me. We won some games, some national championships, so definitely, you know, I'll remember these times forever.

I'm actually back in Athens right now over here. Oh, that right? Yep, so.

That's pretty cool. Just get drafted and we know the Ladd McConkie grind does not stop. I was reading about your road to Georgia, and I think it was your high school coach that said if it wasn't Georgia, it was probably going to be Chattanooga and then Georgia came in late. Vanderbilt then wants Georgia and that domino fell and they offered you, then Vanderbilt came calling.

Just take me kind of through how you led to Athens, Georgia. Yeah, so I didn't get my offer until January of my senior year, so a couple weeks before signing day. You know, Coach Hank was the receiver coach at that time, so he came to one of my basketball games on a Friday, and then next Monday, Coach Martin, Coach Hartley came and came to my house after and kind of, you know, presented me my offer and stuff, but it came on super late. I was probably going to go, you know, I took like my official visits to Tennessee, Chattanooga, Jacksonville State, Army West Point, and then Georgia and Vanderbilt.

So, you know, all over the place, but, you know, glad they took a chance on me. Was it surreal when Georgia came calling? I know they also attended your basketball game at the time, because no disrespect to those other schools, but that's a big difference in football when you mentioned some of those other schools and then Georgia. Yeah, it was crazy, like I was just sitting there, I think I was just sitting in my room or something, and I got like, hey, this is Coach Martin from UGA, hey, this is Coach Hank from UGA, and it was just like three or four texts of coaches that were like, I don't know what this is about, but I like the sound of it, and then obviously, you know, they came to my game and everything like that, and yeah, once I got up here and got around everybody, saw the facilities, it was kind of a no-brainer. Kirby Smart put out a really nice message on social media the other day, thanking you and congratulating you for your time at Georgia and also getting drafted by the Chargers. What does Coach Smart mean to you? Oh yeah, he's been so huge in my success. He's a great coach, but he's an even better person. He wants the best for everybody and all his players, so recruits, you know, you're looking for somewhere to go, come to Georgia. And the last thing I'll ask you, I want to ask you about your old quarterback in Carson Beck.

Once the 2024 draft does come and go, the 2025 draft already gets a start to have some speculation. Shadore Sanders has been talked about being the first quarterback off the board. Some have said Carson Beck. What do you think Carson Beck is going to do on a football field this year, and what do you think he's capable of? Yeah, he's a stud. Another, you know, great football player, but great guy. He knows what he wants to do and what he has to do to, you know, get to go where he wants to go, so I'm excited to see him get out there and lead him and, you know, just step in to, like, take that next step because, you know, last year was his first year starting, this is his second year, he has a whole year under his belt, so I'm super pumped about what he's going to do and, you know, the rest of the team. With what you guys accomplished at Georgia, people expect national championships, people expect him to be an early first-round pick, right, Heisman Trophy. You think he's capable of checking off all those boxes?

Yeah, 100 percent. I mean, just seeing him grow, that's four years I was with him, just on the practice field and then when he got his opportunity, I know he's only going to continue to grow, so he's got a big year in store. Lad McConkie, congratulations on getting drafted by the Chargers, 34th overall, really appreciate you taking a few minutes with us today. Yes, sir, I appreciate you.

And it's time to ask the pros, who are you the listener gets to ask us a question, it's brought to you by our friends at O'Reilly Auto Parts, simply tweet your question at INF Sports Net or at Zach Gelb using the hashtag askthepros, be listening later in the show we might answer your question, you could think O'Reilly Auto Parts for all your car care needs, get guaranteed low prices and excellent customer service from the professional parts people at O'Reilly Auto Parts. I'll be fascinated by how we're talking about the Chargers at the end of the year, because you have Harbaugh, we know he's a winner, you have Justin Herbert, who I believe is a top 8, top 7 quarterback in the sport. Around though Justin Herbert, you've beefed up that offensive line, you have Slater, you got now Joe Walt, Zion Johnson, the young guard, interior lineman out of Boston College, and now it's the weapons around him, it's okay, no more Keenan Allen, no more Mike Williams, can quit in Johnson out of TCU who has struggled to stay healthy, but it's one year in the NFL and we know what he did at TCU, can you pair him and McConkie up to be enough of a buffer here, where maybe one of them emerges as a number one wide receiver, but until you get someone else in there to replace an Allen, to replace a Mike Williams, no more Austin Eckler on that football team, and the defensive side of the ball, Bosa has struggled to stay healthy, Khalil Mack is getting up there in age, Derwin James has been in and out of the lineup, we know that Harbaugh is going to produce a team that is going to be built from the inside out, they're going to start in the trenches, but you've never seen Harbaugh have a quarterback really like Herbert, I guess you could argue at Stanford with Andrew Luck, that's one so maybe you backtrack, but for the most part we know the multitude of quarterbacks he had at Michigan, his best one was J.J. McCarthy and even there's flaws with J.J. McCarthy, you look at his time with the 49ers, you had Alex Smith, you have Colin Kaepernick, but you walk in with Herbert, this is Jim walking in where this is a bona fide franchise quarterback, and I do believe because of Jim's reputation people think there's going to be a big upswing in year number one, they were a joke under Brandon Staley, Brandon Staley was a clown of a coach, so you're going to have Harbaugh bring some professionalism, you'll see an uptick in wins, but I'm not expecting this team to make the playoffs this year, can they? Yes. Do I think they will?

No. So this team goes eight wins, nine wins, to me this is a laying of foundation here, and I'm not saying that you don't expect them to be better than where they were a year ago, but in year number two, if they're going to take off that's when they'll take off, and we need the Chargers to take off, because the Broncos, the Raiders, they're not holding up their end of the bargain, tell me another day that ends in y, so you need the Chargers to really take off so you can have a legit challenger inside the AFC West to the team to beat not only the AFC West but the rest of the NFL in Kansas City. We'll take a break, when we come on back, we're going to do a little Take 5 Wednesday. After the draft, who are my top five teams in the NFL as we get set to enter the season?

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 18:30:29 / 2024-05-01 18:51:05 / 21

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