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Can Lakers Win Without AD? (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2023 7:29 pm

Can Lakers Win Without AD? (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 11, 2023 7:29 pm

Can the Lakers win without Anthony Davis? l Mark Jackson's explanation for not putting Nikola Jokic in the top 5 of his MVP voting l What is Giannis trying to prove?


Live from the play show, yet not overly ostentatious, studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City. Sitting on top of the 10 floor, 345 Hudson Street. Welcome on in to a Thursday edition of the Zach Gelb show. Across all of our great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. 855-212-4CBS, number to jump on in. 855-212-4227, you can always get at me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing. Or via the good old cesspool of Twitter, at Zach Gelb.

That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. Leroy Hord's going to join us coming up at 8.40 PM Eastern. And we will have a little conversation about the schedule getting released with him.

And that's 8.40 PM Eastern, 5.40 PM Pacific. And then also Mike Trudell will join us at 9.20 PM Eastern, 6.20 PM Pacific. As we'll chat it up with the man that's on the Lakers broadcast about the Lakers losing last night. And this is going to be 3-2 going back to Los Angeles. And we will see if Anthony Davis will be available tomorrow night after he left the game. And they had to evaluate him for a concussion.

That wheelchaired off to the locker room is the way the reporting did go last night. Before I get to hickey, I just have to make an admission right out of the gate when I'm doing this show. I know you can't see me.

And a lot of times for the listening audience that's a very good thing. And you could hear me doing a show and for all you know I'm doing the show in my underwear. But that's not the case because we are in the studio and I wear clothes when I do broadcasts. But I feel very bizarre today because when I was rushing to get to work, and I walk to work and it's like almost 80 degrees today in New York City, it is a scorcher. So I said, oh, wear my sunglasses on the walk to work, the 25-30 minute walk to work. So I get into the office a little later than normal today. And I go to sit down to take off my sunglasses so I don't look like a douche inside while I'm wearing my shades indoors. And I said to hickey, my regular glasses, my prescription glasses aren't in my bag. So I looked up at the clock and I'm like, all right, it's 5.25 p.m. Eastern. I could quickly jump on a subway, five minutes to get back to my apartment, and then probably be a-okay in terms of getting back to the studio to start our show at 6 p.m. Eastern, 3 p.m. Pacific.

But I didn't want to rush it. However, I didn't want to do the show without any glasses on my face because I'm one of those guys that you take one of my senses away, I start to think like all my other senses go as well. So I'm doing the show in my sunglasses right now. And hickey, sometimes people call me a douche and I disagree with it, but I do feel very douchey and very much that I look like a jackass right now as I'm sitting indoors right behind this microphone in a gray t-shirt, my Tiger Woods hat, and then prescription sunglasses so I could see your beautiful face, by the way.

Yeah, I can't say anything you just said was wrong there. I look like a tool. You do. I'll be honest, sunglasses indoors, absolutely.

Now, it's for obviously the right reason or a necessary reason. I just took my sunglasses off. I can't see you. Yeah, it's an interesting look, we'll say. Not that I really need to see you to do the radio show, but I do feel as if I don't have my glasses that I'm thinking about not having my glasses on and then my brain is spinning in nine different directions that it's going to take away from the show. So I guess for the next three hours and 55 minutes, I will apologize for looking and maybe hopefully not acting like a douche as I'm sitting here with sunglasses indoors. By the way, producing the extravaganza today is the weather then, hot take Hickey. Hot take Hickey. All right, we got that out of the way.

Now we can get to the radio program. So the other day, Hickey asked me a question, how much of a percentage of chance do I give the Los Angeles Lakers in blowing this 3-1 lead? And I said 0% as long as they stay healthy. And last night in the fourth quarter, it was no surprise, especially when Golden State going into the game was an eight-point favorite. That was Vegas imploring, begging you to plus the eight points, thinking it's going to be a close game. And once you saw that spread, you knew Golden State wasn't going to go down without a fight and you knew Golden State was going to win the game.

So it ended up pretty much being a blowout. Anthony Davis is playing in a 12 or 10-point game, whatever it was, with seven, eight minutes to go. And he may or may not have suffered a concussion.

He's getting evaluated. All we know is that he's expected to play in the game tomorrow night. But as Brian Windhorst was saying earlier this morning on ESPN, like it's encouraging right now, but there's more to this process throughout this day. And we got nothing else that's concrete saying Anthony Davis is definitely going to be playing in Game 6. And clearly, this is enormous because now this series is 3-2. And if Golden State could walk into the arena or whatever they call it and take that Game 6, then you would expect Game 7 back in the Bay Area is going to be a 50-50 flip of the coin. But I don't know if this is going to get back to Game 7. And the reason I say that, even without knowing the status of Anthony Davis, and I'm operating under the assumption right now that Anthony Davis is going to be able to give it a go in Game 6, we still haven't seen LeBron James, and this has been by design, be vintage LeBron and be I'm going to destroy you, LeBron James. And I have to think, if you give this guy two opportunities now, once you throw out last night and acknowledge that this series is at 3-2, regardless of the health of Anthony Davis, I have to assume that in either Game 6 or Game 7, LeBron is going to go into bleep you mode. Because if LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers blow this 3-1 lead that is now 3-2, you know what LeBron's going to hear all offseason long? LeBron was once down 3-1, had the comeback up against Steph and the Warriors, then Steph was down 3-1, he had the comeback up against LeBron and the Lakers if this goes down. And then there's going to be a lot of people, even though I won't be leading this charge, that are going to start to ask the question, has Steph Curry had the better career than LeBron James? So until I see LeBron drop these next two, I'm not going to believe, even with all the respect in the world that I have for the Golden State Warriors, and as I've always said, they're always going to be a tough out. I was in someone running around on the radio yesterday saying, ding dong, the Warriors dynasty is dead. I still think they have a chance to win a title again next year if they don't do so this year because of how open the NBA is. But I'm not betting against LeBron when LeBron was spotted a 3-1 lead.

It's one thing to lose last night. It's another thing with the uncertainty of the status of Anthony Davis. But by design, LeBron hasn't needed to be the king.

He hasn't needed to be the king. And if you ask me, do I still think LeBron James in either game six or game seven has that ability to just take a blowtorch to the Warriors and put up 40 points where he puts the team on his back and maybe the Warriors don't have a great night shooting the basketball? I absolutely still see a way. Even without knowing what's going to happen with Anthony Davis where I'm going to trust and I'm going to believe that the Los Angeles Lakers will still win this series because eventually LeBron James is going to say, bleep you, I'm the king and not on my watch am I going to allow us to blow a 3-1 lead to the Golden State Warriors.

Hickey, let me ask you this. Because you said there was about a 40% chance before the game last night that the Warriors could come on back. Now with this Anthony Davis injury where we don't know if he has a concussion or not but early reports do state that people are encouraged and expect him to play coming up on game six tomorrow night. Where is your concern level about the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James blowing this series and Golden State finding a way to win the next two and punching their ticket back to the Western Conference Finals?

I've upped it from 40 to 50%. You already had a coin flip. Yes, because I will still give the Lakers a chance here because it seems the injury for Anthony Davis is maybe not as bad as we initially thought and at least according to early reports it looks like he's progressing well and it's trending right now about 24 hours before the game that he is going to play tomorrow. And if he plays, obviously it's a game changer, if he plays well obviously I think the Lakers will win tomorrow game six and wrap it up. But if he is not anywhere near 100%, if he is 100% but not effective like we've seen also plenty of times as well, I don't think the Lakers have enough. I don't think LeBron James can carry an entire team on his back like we've seen him do. For one game you don't think he could do that? No, I do not. You don't think LeBron for one game can't go out there and drop 40 and have this vintage performance? I do not, no.

Why? Because we haven't seen it. I think he's just too old and too tired at this point. I don't think he's got that extra, that top gear that we've seen for a long time.

I don't think he still has it. He's 38 years old. Guys in his 20, what do you say, 23rd season? Going on the 24th season of his NBA career in terms of games played including the playoffs?

But this is by design right now. It's not smart to make LeBron do this night in and night out to be the guy. So they're going to create depth, they're going to spread things out, make LeBron be a little bit more of a facilitator because it's not a need. But if they need LeBron James to be the vintage LeBron James where he goes off for 40 points and puts on the Superman cape and puts the team on his back, I absolutely, 1000%, still believe he has a game like that left in him. It's not like LeBron is playing like some bum right now. He's still been a spectacular player. But it is the smart thing to play him the way the Lakers have played him.

But through adversity, expectations and the implementation of a game plan does change and you have to implement things a different way. And if Anthony Davis is not 100% or if Anthony Davis can't go in a game 6, then I absolutely think LeBron could go out there and drop a 40 piece if he needs to. I'm surprised he still doesn't think LeBron has a performance like that in him. Yeah, if AD can't play, this series is over without a doubt. Warriors are winning at 7.

Congratulations. It's still nowhere near the level of the 3-1 blow lead in the finals that people are starting to say of Steph getting his quote unquote revenge. But it would be a nice feather in his cap. But the Lakers desperately not only need AD on the court, need AD to play at a very, very high level. And I'm not trying to diminish the importance of Anthony Davis. I've been saying ever since Anthony Davis got there that LeBron is their best player, but Anthony Davis is their most valuable player. So I'm not saying that this isn't a big loss if in fact he's not able to play. And I think we're in alignment here that we do anticipate that it's more likely that he is going to play in game 6 than not. But LeBron, if he needs to, can still be their most valuable player. It's just not being asked of him right now.

And that's for me where I guess we'll agree to disagree and we just won't see eye to eye on this one. For LeBron James, even when he has to take a little step back or even when the body starts to decline, he's still one of the better players in the league. And if you ask him to go do what the Cavs used to do back in the day, or you say go win and dominate and take over the game, I think he'll be able to adjust and still find a way to snag one victory. But in Game 6, let's see that performance because I don't know what we're going to be able to expect from Anthony Davis.

It's just a shame that this is now the conversation. But it's something that we've talked about all throughout the year with Anthony Davis. It's can Anthony Davis and LeBron stay healthy? And the shame about this is they were playing so well and that team was thriving. And we talked about how they may not be the best team in the postseason. But to me, they've been the most impressive team so far. And I would have never thought that the Lakers before the postseason started would be one win away from going to a conference final.

I just thought their ceiling this year was winning one playoff round and I couldn't expect them to do anything else. And we've seen AD unfortunately be impacted by injuries before. But to see this be the head is just so disappointing where it's kind of like a freak injury, a freak accident. And once again, we don't even know if he has a concussion.

But if he does and he can't play in Game 6 and Game 7, the entire thing would just be so crappy because you have a series where there's so many great players and guys that will eventually be wearing Hall of Fame jackets. You don't want to see injuries open up the door for another team. But, Hickey, as you know, that's been the big cloud that has been hanging over the Lakers all year is can they be healthy? And we saw a few years ago when they were healthy in the bubble, they won a championship. And now they were starting to really impress.

They started really moving along. And all of a sudden today it's like a day of panic if you're a Lakers fan because even if I'm very confident they'll still win this round and who knows the long-term effects of this, like if you play him and then he gets hit in the head again and he does suffer a concussion, like what happens? This is just one of those things where maybe we're overreacting a little bit too much because in all likelihood he is going to play in Game 6. But that uncertainty right now just makes you very worried moving forward because if he's not able to play these next two, I still think they could win one of these games. But if he's not able to beat AD in the next round, then I'm sorry, you're not going to find the way to beat most likely in all likelihood the Denver Nuggets or have a shot up against Denver.

I mean you're trying to look and you think around. AD is arguably maybe the most, in terms of team outcome of win or loss, you think maybe arguably the most important player in the playoffs remaining. In the sense of you take the best player off of every team, which teams could still win and be competitive. I think the Lakers are one of the teams that do suffer the biggest, or one of the biggest and not the biggest drop-off, if AD is out of lineup compared to if he's in the lineup, it's massively important. It's obviously important you need him to finish off this series. Forget even thinking ahead to Denver or Phoenix. You need him right now to finish off this series. Yeah, so Jimmy Butler to go through that conversation, the heat would be terrible if they didn't have Jimmy Butler.

That's one that definitely does rival it. For the Sixers, we've seen them without Embiid win a playoff game. I don't think that's a sustainable formula. Clearly if you're missing a significant player, it's going to impact you regardless. But just to go off that conversation, Tatum and Brown, I think for one game either can be the star. Like if you lose one, the other one's a star.

If you lose another, the other one can be a star as well. Because they're both two stars in the NBA. And in the Western Conference, I would argue Jamal Murray is the most valuable player for the Nuggets. And Nicole Jokic is the best player in terms of winning a championship. And you go through the rest of the field, the Suns, they need both Booker and Durant.

And now you want to DeAndre Aiden for game 6. I don't think the Suns really are that much of a threat. So to go through it and the Warriors take Steph off that team, then that team's in big time trouble. But you're probably right, in the East, the most important player out of the teams remaining, you probably argue Jimmy Butler where that team would just be so horrible without him. And then in the West, yeah, even though LeBron can probably still get a team to the playoffs on his own, especially when you have the play in spots, but if you don't have Anthony Davis, that team doesn't have a shot of putting any fear in anyone for the long stretch.

It's a little different here when you get spotted three wins in a series and only need one more. That's why I'm still confident LeBron will be able to find that vintage LeBron performance for one more game. Alrighty, we'll take a break here on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Where's your confidence in the Lakers still winning this series? Mine is still pretty damn high, but what say you 8-5-5, 2-1-2 for CBS, 8-5-5, 2-1-2, 42-27. We'll take a break when we come on back. We have finally found out who the one dope was that did not vote Nikola Jokic top five in the MVP.

Alrighty, Zach Gelb show, CBS Sports Radio. So I was waiting in great anticipation to find out who the guy or gal was that did not have Nikola Jokic in the top five of their MVP ballot. Each MVP voter, there's a hundred of them, gets five votes each and the entire conversation all throughout the season was, should it be Joel Embiid, should it be Nikola Jokic, or should it be Giannis Antetokounmpo?

And for the while, it looked like it was a three man race, eventually it turned out to be like the final month and a half of the season, month of the season. Just a two man race where Giannis Antetokounmpo was not going to win it and it was either going to be Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid. If you want to tell me the Joker should have won the award, fine. If you make the argument for Joel Embiid winning the award, more than fine. But there is not a chance that there is any rational explanation and an explanation that makes sense on why you could justify leaving, leaving out Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the top five.

It just does not make sense. So when we first discussed this hickey, I would have put down a pretty hefty wager that the identity of the person that ended up not voting for Nikola Jokic in the top five was going to be a dopey sports writer that was looking for attention and was seeking to become an attention whore and get all the clicks. I was adamant and I a thousand percent thought that's who it was going to be. And today we found out the voter that did not put Nikola Jokic in the top five was Mark Jackson, a guy who played in the NBA, a guy who coached in the NBA and has been a long time broadcaster on ESPN. And I'm thinking to myself, what's the reason why Mark Jackson didn't put Nikola Jokic in his top five? And it's not like someone who is looking for clicks. Mark Jackson doesn't need the attention. He's got a great job.

He calls the big games with with Mike Breen and also Jeff Van Gundy. It's not as if he's looking to further his career and have a big moment and get a bunch of downloads and get his name in the press. He doesn't need this.

So I don't think this was for attention. But I want to hear what he had to say. And before we found out that he just did an interview with Sirius XM MBA Radio, which will play for a second, I was going to kind of put the duty on either Mike Breen or Stephen A. Smith to press Mark Jackson on this. Because he can't tell me, oh, I just forgot to vote him or, oh, I had an error on the computer because then you shouldn't have a vote. So there has to be it's not just something that you just log on and then real quickly at the top of your head think, OK, I'm going to vote these five guys.

If you're properly voting, you're thinking about this and evaluating all throughout the season. And there's just no explanation that's going to make sense to me on why you left him out of your top five. But there has to be some explanation. I don't believe it was just an oversight.

I don't know what the actual reason was. So let's listen up. I've not heard this before. This interview just happened. Hickey went through it and took one little piece from the conversation.

This is Mark Jackson on Sirius XM NBA radio with Justin Termini and Eddie Johnson explaining why he did not put Nicole Jokic in the top five of his MVP ballot. Mistake. And one thing I live by, you make a mistake, you own it.

I'm not a guy that does it for clicks or be trending. Absolute mistake made by me. You can tell I probably am thinking, how did I make the mistake? You can tell I put one center, two forwards and two guards.

So I wasn't even thinking. I apologize to the Denver Nuggets. I apologize to Nicole Jokic, who is not only in the MVP discussion and deserve to be on my ballot, but he's one of the greatest players in the history of this game and his top 10 center of all time.

So I own it. If you want to take away my vote or do whatever more than welcome. I made a mistake. He deserves, in my opinion, to be clearly I would have still voted for Joel and be the MVP. But with Giannis and Joker second and third, they deserve that incredible year by him. He continues to make history. I own the mistake and I apologize. So I appreciate him at least owning the mistake, but you can't make that mistake. And it's almost as if Mark Jackson, basically, if I'm going to try to think what he did was like, oh, I'm just voting for the guy who I think is going to win the award.

That's Joel Embiid. And I'll fill out two, three, four, five. And I don't really care. But that's not the way that you vote, because your vote does matter for two, three, four and five.

So we put Joel Embiid one, then Giannis on to the Kumpo two, Jason Tatum three, Shay Gilgers Alexander four and Donovan Mitchell five. You can't just say, oh, you made a mistake. It was an oversight. I don't know why I did it. This is not as if they just give you a list of every name and you just have to click the name and maybe you clicked one name and you meant to click Nicole Jokic.

Like this is the MVP award. So that explanation, even though I appreciate him saying he made a mistake, it still doesn't make sense. And there's probably still something more to it. I don't know what that is, but it is beyond stupid how any voter. And it was only one.

It was Mark Jackson wouldn't put Nicole Jokic in the top five. And I'm not someone that believes in, oh, you cancel everyone for a mistake that they make or, oh, you got to take away his vote. And there's going to be some people that vote for someone to finish first, second or third. That's logical. And people will be like, oh, take away his vote. It's ridiculous.

But in this case, if they take away his vote, I would have no problem with it because there is no way anyone. In the same line of thinking can tell me and give me basketball reasons why Joel Embiid, the Joker and Giannis don't belong in the top five. Order them however you want. One, two, three. But they have to be in your top five.

And when you listen to some of that audio hickey. It does sound like he doesn't understand how this happened, but that's stupid because this is your vote. You type in the names, you click the names, you put the names in on who it's your ballot. You get to decide who your five guys are. And if you cover the NBA and if you watch basketball, which we know he does. The entire damn conversation all year has been about three people, Joker, Giannis and Embiid.

So how do you just forget to not put him in the top five? It's Jackassery. It makes zero, absolutely zero sense. And there's nothing. And he can apologize all he wants. Fine. It's not the end of the world.

Like we'll all survive. But there's nothing that he could say today that makes him look good. Because either he just forgot, which I don't understand how you could just forget, or there's something personal. And there's some reason why he didn't want to put Nicole Jokic in the top five. And I don't get what it would be because the Joker is awesome to watch. He's fun to watch.

And he's one of the best players in the league. So this one, it's a head scratcher. And even after hearing that explanation hickey that Mark Jackson gave Sirius XM MBA radio and why he didn't put him in his top five. I'm still sitting here and I'm like, WTF?

Like, what did he just say? It makes no sense to me. I'm lost on this one.

Yeah, I still have more questions than answers here in that explanation. When you say you made a mistake. Is it a technological mistake where you clicked on the wrong name without realizing it? Is it a mistake that you don't realize what award you're voting for? He made it sound like he thought he was voting for the old MBA award.

Right. Which is also a big time concern, concern that you're not either one taking the voting seriously and rushing through it or two. You can't read and just you don't see which, you know, oh, I'm sure it says in big bold letters, MVP compared to all MBA where you're voting. So if you're rushing through it and not kind of taking your time that you're not taking the voting seriously, which I would say is a problem that if you have, you know, there's a limited amount of votes is only 100 voters.

If you are not taking it seriously, you can't even recognize or you forget what award you're voting for. That's a problem. So it's just like he says the mistake. I give him credit for saying, you won't take my vote away. Fine. I own up to it.

I deserve the backlash I'm getting. But in another sense, it's just I don't still understand the mistake he's talking about or claiming that he made because they didn't really specify of wrong award. Forgetting the name, just forgetting you all together, picking, clicking on thinking. It's like he didn't know what to do.

A wrong name doesn't make much sense. It's like he didn't know what to do. And therefore, if you don't know what to do, then you shouldn't have a vote. It's that simple. And and this is only listening to 50 seconds of it because it was happening.

The interview got pumped out while we're on the air. It's almost as if he doesn't want the vote, the vote. Like you listen to that response. I wonder.

You know who came to him? I don't think he was ever advocating for a vote. I don't know how long he's had a vote.

This is the I would be surprised that this is the first year, but you never know with this stuff. It's almost as if like judging off that answer, it's a good burden to him to sit down and fill out this ballot. Because you're right. It seemed as if he had no clue what to actually do. And he was just, oh, I have a vote. Oh, I got a last second rush. And right. You know, this guy for this award, this guy for that award. And with him saying, I don't care to take away my vote. You know, I made a mistake. My bad.

I appreciate all that stuff. But it did sounds a little bit there in his answer that he was basically saying, if you want to take away my vote, I really don't give a rat's ass. And maybe that is why his ballot was the way that it did go down.

Yeah, that's again, any way you cut it, it's probably look good. No, no, it does not. And there's really nothing he could say that makes me go, oh, yeah, I see what you're saying. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll come on back with the latest on Giannis Antetokounmpo. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show.

Zach Gelb shows CBS Sports Radio. Hickey, you know, I'm a big fan of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Giannis has lost me now. I know there were like half the people that loved what he said a few weeks ago and half that did not. I'm not saying that every year you don't win a championship, it's considered a failure because that's just unrealistic. But when you lose in the first round and your team choked away a lead in a game like they did on their own home court to go down. And when you're the number one overall seed in the East and you can't get out of the first round. And I know Miami is not your typical eighth seed. It's a failure because heading into the playoffs, most people thought only two teams out of the East could get to the NBA finals. And that was Boston and Milwaukee. And maybe as soon as tonight, we will have the Philadelphia 76ers eliminate the Boston Celtics and then neither the Celtics nor the Milwaukee Bucks be in the conference finals. So in the moment at the podium, you get annoyed with the reporter about asking, is the season a failure?

Okay, but that should be the end of it. And Giannis isn't letting this one go, whether it was the tweet the other day, I'm tired of the disrespect, I'm coming. And then putting out the video from his press conference and Kobe talking about how failure doesn't exist.

Like this isn't a good look for Giannis, who's one of the more likable stars in sports, someone that I absolutely love. But he's losing me here, where there's one thing in the heat of the moment, the aftermath of the game, right at the scene of where all the frustration was emanating from, that you go off on a reporter and you say it's ridiculous that if you ask me this season, it's a failure. But still, several days later, Hickey, for this still to be a topic and for this now to spread on over into this week, and it's coming from Giannis on to the Kumpo, where he feels like he still needs to put this out there to defend himself, that's when you lose me. And not only do you lose me, you make me think you know what you put out there wasn't actually something you believe. Because I feel like there's all times where we say something, and you may know this better than anyone, Hickey, where you say something and you just know, ah, like very quickly after that, it was wrong what I said.

Or, oh, I didn't say something the way that it should be said. And I think then after that, you like kind of just bury your heels, dig your heels in deep and defend what you said. And I guarantee you that if we sit Giannis down and we inject him with true serum and we ask him if this season is a failure, I think he would admit that this season is a failure. But he was so adamant about it from the start.

And then, like, I would say he didn't even get fully dragged because there was a bizarre amount of people that were supporting him. But the people that are criticizing him for this, it's driving him crazy. And I got to think down to his core, he knows that this team did fail this year and it was an embarrassment in terms of what happened. And that's why I think he's still going out of his way to find what other people have said in the past to try to make him look better. Where in reality, if he would just shut up about this, it all goes away and we're not talking about it. Some hills are worth dying on, others are not. This is definitely not a hill that Giannis should be dying over. Especially, like you said, bringing it up now almost two weeks after he said it. Look, it's heat of the moment. It's after the game.

You get eliminated. Do you have every right to be emotional? And like you said, maybe you say something that in the moment you feel a strolling about, you take a day or so or week or so and say, you know what, I probably overreacted or, you know, it was a fair question, whatever.

But to continue to double, triple, quadruple down, putting all these messages out there. Look, Giannis better back it up next year. Not that he's had a bad year or a bad player, finished second or third in the MVP voting depending on, you know, whose battle you're on. But you're talking a lot of talk about how next year, you know, all the doubters will be proven wrong and, you know, doubt me at your own peril.

Back it up. Big year next year on his shoulders. Yes, but once again, if it just comes down to winning a championship or not, like if he doesn't win a championship next year, do you think then next year he's going to he's definitely going to get asked it again?

Is this a failure? And just because you don't win a championship doesn't mean it's like if they would have lost to the conference finals this year. And they were lost in a hard, tough seven game series to to the Boston Celtics. They did accomplish what they wanted to accomplish, but I don't think we're all sitting here saying all the Bucks were an enormous failure this year. But when it happens in the first round and you just get embarrassed like that.

Yeah, it absolutely is a failure. And it's mystifying to me why he wouldn't admit it. And we've all been in those spots like we've got on the air and we've said predictions or we've given takes. And then like the more you think about it when the microphone is live and like the next day, you go, oh, yeah, I may actually be wrong on that. And I think if you just come on out and go, yeah, what I said was wrong and and I didn't do it the right way, then people kind of respect that. But in this case, it's not going to be even asking us to come out and say, yeah, this season is a failure.

But you said what you said, don't feel as if you need to further justify and take other excerpts from other players to prove that you were right because you weren't right. And you're not even getting that much blowback from this two weeks afterwards. Also, your team said it was a failure by firing Mike Boonenholzer. Exactly. So it's not like the team's in lockstep and they said, we're bringing everyone back.

This is just a small step backwards and what is going to be a major push forwards. They fired the coach who you won a championship with two years ago, a week after the season ended. They told you it was a failure. Listen to your own team. And not only that. Giannis, you approved the firing.

There is no way there's no chance. And you know what? That John Horse and Peter Fagan got rid of Mike Boonenholzer without consulting or bringing Giannis on to the kumpo, at least into the conversation in some capacity. That organization. Everything they do is for Giannis on to the kumpo because there has to be a fear inside that organization that one day he'll leave.

If you don't do things right. And a few years ago, that was called into question. Eventually, they won a championship. Giannis signed the supermax and all that stuff. But with the few years left in the contract and last year, OK, the team gets hurt. Chris Middleton, you don't win. OK, that happens this year. You had the number one overall seed. There's not a lot of great teams in the NBA. The number one seed in the in the Easter conference. You lose in the first round.

Embarrassing. If they have another embarrassing moment next year, let's just say, and you go through that 2023 2024 season, then you have after that one year left in the contract before the player option in 2025, 2026. And who knows? Like, I'm not telling you it's a lock that Giannis leaves. I wouldn't say that. But if he feels this blowback and if he feels like the team isn't in the best position possible, it's not something that's impossible that he'll leave or force his way out a few years from now, especially when he's already won a championship there. So if he leaves, like he wins a championship, sure, Bucks fans will be mad, but I don't think there will be that much outrage around the NBA from a ton of other NBA fans if Giannis leaves the Bucks because he's already won a championship there. He's proven he could win in Milwaukee. So if he feels as if it's not sustainable in Milwaukee and a few years from now, he says, I want to go join forces with I'm just throwing out random names like the Koliokic or or whoever it would be. And he wants to go somewhere else, like maybe team up with Luca, like I don't know who the fit would be or maybe go to New York, whatever it is.

I couldn't crush him for it. It wouldn't be like when Kevin Durant left because Giannis delivered on his promise to win a championship and he already did that. So the whole thing's bizarre. And it's like the first time where I'm just scratching my head with what Giannis is doing, Hickey, because he's usually is someone that everyone loves. He's a great superstar.

He's one of the better personalities in sports, one of the more likable people. And it's like you're trying to fight a battle here that it's not worth fighting. It's the off season and you should be kind of out of sight, out of mind right now, but you're putting yourself back into the conversation, defending this take and bringing back up this moment of your team losing in the first round.

And that's the part to me that makes absolutely no sense, like just go on an island somewhere and enjoy enjoy the off season until you have to start training again. And it's OK to still be frustrated, like I totally understand. Well, it's a good thing that you're still upset at me. That's also part of it still. But again, your team signal is a failure.

You're not winning that battle. Just sometimes again, quiet, you know, quietness and sometimes sitting one out is the best case. And I think that for Giannis, sitting this one out is the best thing for him. It is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio. We will take a time out when we come on back on the other side. We'll update you on some of the biggest stories in the world of sports with some audio.

We call that segment The News Brief. You can always give us a call. 855-212-4CBS, 855-212-4227. And follow me on my social media channels, Twitter and Instagram at Zach Gelb. That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-11 20:13:26 / 2023-05-11 20:30:06 / 17

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