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Heat Scorch Celtics (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2023 7:52 pm

Heat Scorch Celtics (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 18, 2023 7:52 pm

Heat stun Celtics in Game 1 l What is going on with Giannis? l Ricky Williams, former NFL running back


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 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street. Welcome on in to a Thursday edition of the Zach Gelb Show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates Sirius XM, Channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. 855-212-4CBS, the 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. Joining us 40 minutes from now, Ricky Williams will stop by and also at 7 20 p.m Eastern, 4 20 p.m Pacific, Ira Winderman, Heat Beat reporter will join us. To recap, a Heat Game 1 victory up against the Boston Celtics last night, we'll get into that in just a second, but first up producing this fine extravaganza for the next four hours is no other than Hot Take Kiki.

Hot Take Kiki. Kiki, I think you are doing some premature celebration, that's all I'm going to say right out of the gate, because as we documented yesterday, and we had someone that was a part of the Heat Radio Network on the show, Alex Solana, who does a great job pre and post, was listening to Alex last night on one of our affiliates, WQAM After the Game. Alex Solana is very upset with you, because he wants to see the Heat go to the NBA Finals, and he listens to this show religiously, as he pointed out yesterday, but he's very annoyed because he understands the hickey hex is a real thing.

He knows that you are a mush, and 99.9% of the time when you are extremely confident about something, unfortunately we see some spell cast upon the team that you're rooting for, and they end up looking absolutely incompetent. But I got to give you credit, a little bit. I'll pat you on the head right out of the gate, because you think the Heat are going to win this series. You said Heat over Celtics in six. I don't get this consensus thought that the C's will roll Miami. Do you actually think that after letting up against the Hawks and squeaking past the Sixers, I like the wording of that, that Boston will play consistently against Miami?

I don't. Unlike Atlanta and Philly, Heat will make them pay. And last night, hickey, I'll give you credit. Game one, boom, goes to the Miami Heat. But I then saw you take a little victory lap on Twitter. I was perusing Twitter right after the game and listening to Solana, and you rate game one with the check mark. So I think the confidence is growing and growing and growing, and you kind of believe that this series is over, judging by a little reminder that you threw out there last night on the good old cesspool of Twitter.

No victory lap. All I'm doing is just, I'll do it every game, check or X, if I get it right or wrong. I did not say Heat in four, I said Heat in six. So it's not like I expect this to be a sweep. It's not like I am sitting here shocked that Heat won game one and the Celtics could not defend home court. So game one went really according to plan, and I'm not feeling any more confident in the Heat because I expected them to win.

Let me just ask you this. If let's say Boston did it no show in that third quarter last night, and they ended up winning the game because the game completely changed in the third quarter last night where Miami went off and they took control of the game. If let's just say the Celtics won last night, are we getting a quote tweet of your original tweet game one with an X? Maybe a little less likely, but it's not like if they're losing game two, I'll go missing in action and you'd be nowhere to be found. Everyone knows where to find me.

I will stand behind. I'm not afraid of what I said, but it's just, I was definitely in the minority of people picking the Heat and I thought game one is a good reminder for a lot of those people that said, oh, Celtics easily put no thought behind it as a reminder of some people were afraid to take a chance and some people, I should say, were not afraid to take a chance and so far so good. I think there's a 0% chance last night, if the Boston Celtics win that game, that you're quote tweeting your Heat over Celtics in six prediction with an X. And this is something that I think we're going to learn a lot about the integrity of hot take Hickey here, because I will say Hickey's a great guy, right?

Tremendous dude, good producer, good host on the weekend show that you do do, as I just said, do do on the air, the Ryan Hickey show on CBS Sports Radio. But I'm now curious if Boston finds a way to be victorious on their home court in game two, if we're going to see your prediction pop back up again, or if you're going to be a little bit silent, because when you celebrate after one victory and put it out there after one victory, game one check, it almost makes me feel as if you believe that this series is over. That's just the way that I interpret that last night. No, I just said before, I will go back in game two, every game this year, win or lose, I will have the checks and or Xs depending on how the game goes for each game until the Heat eventually win in six, that's all. And again, I'm not taking a victory off, you said it, your words in the tweet exactly, game one, check. It wasn't series over, check, it wasn't look at me after one game the series is over. It was game one, went to the team I thought was going to win and went to the team that most people did not think was going to win. Hickey, that is a look at me tweet. As someone that has quote tweeted previous tweets before in the past, that is always look at me, let me take a bow.

I'm great, you're an idiot, you're wrong. That's what that tweet was last night. And I just didn't know that this was a race to one game. I thought this was a race to four games. And this kind of does fit the MO of the Boston Celtics. No one should be shocked last night that Boston lost the game. And I also take it a step further, even though I think the Celtics are gonna win the series. I don't think anyone should be shocked if Miami goes on to win three more games in the series. Cuz if that's the case, and I'm not gonna say that you didn't pay attention to the regular season, cuz the Heat were ass in the regular season, but then you haven't been watching the postseason. Sure, on paper, the Boston Celtics are a better team than the Miami Heat. But when you have Jimmy Butler and the coaching brilliance of Eric Spulstra, who I will say this, and I'm not going on a limb here, he is the best coach right now in the league. No one should be surprised when this gritty Heat team keeps on winning.

And once again, I don't think they win this series. But what is weird with last night's game is that the Celtics actually showed up in the first half. Usually when the Celtics have a stinker and they drop a game one, you don't really see that effort early on in the contest. I was actually, when we went to halftime, I was looking at the Celtics and, dare I say it, actually impressed with how they showed up after the crazy game seven where they just absolutely dominated the Philadelphia 76ers. But then in that third quarter, there was that one point where I looked up at the score and I said to Hickey, oh, wow, Celtics are up by 12. And then you go, oh, not worried. And I give you credit.

You said not worried whatsoever. And I don't even think I could have got to the next segment before it was a two-point game and it was a two-point deficit. And that's just what Miami is a pain in the ass. Miami may not win the championship. Can they win the championship? Absolutely.

But you're going to have to fight and you're really going to have to earn those four victories up against them. And if you're a Heat fan, you know Butler is showing up night in and night out. But I think the most encouraging thing if you're a Miami Heat fan in this roller coaster ride of the last few years, and now at sometimes you've probably been saying Bam's great and then Bam out of bio, get him on out of here and go get another star for Jimmy Butler. The run that Bam out of bio has been on the last few games, he's showing you the type of player that Heat fans expect him to be. And also, I was glued to all the postgame press conferences last night. This Heat team, they're not saying they're playing the underdog card, but they are playing the underdog card.

And let me explain what I mean by that. They went out of their way multiple times last night in the postgame press conferences to say, I don't care what you guys say in the media. I don't care what the public says. I don't care what the quote unquote experts say. Whenever you say you don't care what the outsiders say, it's human nature to care what the outsiders say.

And not that they need that motivation, but it does fuel their fire. And they're gonna carry that and we'll see how far that they could carry that too. But I heard it from Bam last night. I heard it from Jimmy Butler last night, Kyle Lowry as well. Those are the three press conferences I listened to probably the most.

And they all carried that same message. And for last night, you look at that game, two things really stood out to me. The third quarter, as Miami on Boston's home court just dominated the Celtics and took control and ended up winning game number one.

But really, Hickey, we talked about, or I talked about that rollercoaster ride with Bam on a bio. How about the rollercoaster ride of emotions if you're a Boston Celtics fan? Cuz we always know the focus has been a problem. And I don't think the focus was a problem last night in the first half for the Boston Celtics. But in the fourth quarter, and I was watching it, I was tweeting, you gotta get Jason Tate in the ball. You gotta get Jason Tate in the ball. Then after the game, when I saw a stat that he literally took zero field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, even with me bitching about and imploring Joe Mazzola and Jason Tatum to go get the ball and Jason Tatum go take control of the game when they were trying to get back into it for a little bit. I still couldn't believe that Jason Tatum did not have a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. And his only points in the fourth quarter were at the charity stripe.

It's really wild that he was not able to make a field goal in the fourth quarter. And you go back and you look at it, he was unconscious in game seven. He was sensational in game seven, historically great in game seven, 51 points. The most game seven points we've ever seen. And then last night, his stat line does not meet up with the way that he actually played. Because if you look at the stat line, you're probably tuning in and saying, he had 30 points, what else can you want from the guy? But in that fourth quarter, he did nothing. And it really just shows you when we sometimes get into those debates of Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and who's more important to the success of the Celtics.

And I wanna say that it was, I forget who it was on the broadcast last night, if it was Van Gundy, if it was Reggie Miller. But one of them did say, the Celtics go as Jason Tatum goes. And that statement is 1000% true because last night in the fourth quarter, Hickey, it was stunning how much of a no-show Jason Tatum was with how great he was the game prior. But even though I say it's stunning, that does kind of fit the Celtics where they could drive you insane and bonkers.

Because how many times have we talked about it? Forget the other post seasons where they've shown it, but just this post season where you let a team like Atlanta hang around longer than they should. The Sixers, you gave them a game one without Joel Embiid on the floor. You didn't show up at home in a game five. The Celtics, almost like they thrive on not showing up early and backing themselves into a corner.

And then thinking that you have them and finding a way to still prevail. And we've said this all throughout the post season, that's a dangerous, dangerous game to play. Especially when you go up against the Miami Heat team that you know bare minimum, they are gonna fight and they're gonna compete as hard as any team can in the NBA. And that goes back to why I picked the Heat in the first place because they are the team that mentally is not going to wilt or give in in the big moment. And they're going to take advantage of the Celtics lackluster performances. Sometimes they're sloppy play or lack of focus where the Sixers had an opportunity up to at home, could not close the door. Hawks were never really in it, but again, the Celtics didn't exactly put them away easily. Last year as well, we have the Buck situation where they do, unfortunate Chris Melton's out there. And that was a game in which, again, the Celtics opened the door and had to go on the road.

They did, but again, that's another situation. You're at home, if you were Boston, up 3-2 when you lose that game, allowed Jay and Butler to go off. So it's one of those things where this year, the Celtics are even streaker than they were last year. Last year, they were an up and down team, but this year, I think the highs are greater. The kind of like we saw with Jason Tatum and the Sixers team or the Celtics team overall in game seven against the Sixers where everyone played pretty well, but also the lows are pretty low and doesn't need a lot when the margin of error is so thin where it's just one bad quarter and it does you in.

That's it. And that's exactly what happened yesterday. I think what you saw last night just shows you that this series is going to go seven.

Anything could happen in a game seven. It's almost impossible right now to bet against Jimmy Butler, but just knowing that the Celtics do this almost each and every year, I'm still going to say that the Celtics do win this series, but we'll see how this one does play out. But man, Butler was sensational last night.

Spoelstra did a great job. Bam Adebayo was really good in the game as well in Miami. They took it to Boston in that third quarter and it looked like there was a little bit of a stretch where Miami had some black guys and they were going to get kind of run out of the building. But once they got backed into the corner, they really came out with some haymakers and knocked out the Celtics in that game number one. So we'll see if the hickey prediction will actually come right. He says the heat in six and he reminded everyone about his prediction last night on the good old cesspool of Twitter.

Let me ask you this real quickly, Mr. Reminding everybody on Twitter about their predictions. Game two early prediction right now. Do you go heat or do you go Celtics in game two? Celtics.

I think they do bounce back and refocus and get a win. And I'll be looking for that X on Twitter for your game two prediction. If, if, if, if, if the Boston Celtics do end up winning game number two, you will be insufferable though on Twitter. If somehow, some way the heat win game number two. The tweet will not be much different than it was for game number one, because again, there's a long way to go. 2-0 does not mean anything.

We've seen now teams come back from 2-0 in this postseason, the Warriors and the Kings. I'm not dancing on any graves. I'm not starting the parade early. It's not my style. I wait until the series is over. Stop. What about the other tweet you put out last night? Then I will take my victory lap.

What about the other tweet you put out last night? The Mets win in the world series. The Mets are below 500. They had a nice night. Finally showed some hard offensively and hickeys embarrassingly. Like Peter Schwartz and Victor Wambunyama for a second.

You're running around the studio. Remember this night. The Mets are back. The Mets are back. They parlayed that with a nice little win. And a series win over the best team in baseball.

So you will remember May 17th, 2023. To the rest of baseball fans out there, my apologies. The Rays woke a sleeping giant.

Blame no one but Tampa Bay come October. I love you. You heard it here first.

And I say this with love. You're a moron. You really are. You fall for the bait every year. Wait five months from now. Okay.

And you said the same crap last year about the team. Don't get worried. Don't get worried. They're in the playoffs. They're fine.

They didn't make it out of the wild card. Come on. It's so easy to get you to buy into your team and for you to have confidence in your team. It doesn't take much. You have years and years and years of pain and torture and suffering. And you do it to yourself. You really you're you are a sucker for your teams.

I've never seen anything like it. I'm an optimist. Sue me. All right. I look at the bright side. That's how I get through life.

All right. And it's a good way to live. I'm not complaining at all.

I rather that than be pessimistic and always looking down. You were definitely the kid that asked for like the stuff like you shot for the stars for Christmas. And you really gave like these crazy gifts and you were you were probably thinking you were going to get those gifts and then you wake up on Christmas morning and you wouldn't get those gifts and you just be so disappointed that that's kind of like your sports fans. No, sports and like gift giving is two separate things.

Actually the reverse. I don't ask for a lot even when I was young. And then always kind of hopefully the goal would be to under promise and over deliver. I would never be as optimistic in terms of shooting for the stars with gifts the way I do, you know, with maybe allegedly overhyping some teams I root for. There's nothing that's like people saying allegedly John Morant had a gun in his hand. Well, the NBA is not confirmed yet.

Gordon Adams, Silver's allegedly your compass. And I'm not talking about off the field. I'm just talking about your comp in terms of aspirations and goals. You're Jim Irsa where you're saying we're going to get two Super Bowls in the next decade.

That's what you like, actually. Here's what I will not do, though, want to get two quarterbacks in the same draft. I will not do that stupidity. All right.

And then draft somehow Montana and Young minus the age difference in the same draft. But you do share the ability to put out crappy videos on Twitter where you could barely hear what Jim says when he said the next to his jet. And you could barely hear what you're what you're saying because you're speaking like nine thousand miles an hour going nuts after a regular season when in baseball. Well, I would say minus the jumbo jet noise. So it's more definitely easier on the ears and understand either of you last night.

And what else? Hmm. I'm definitely not Jim Marcy. I'm not hiring my friend who is very incapable of being a head coach and hiring him and thinking he'll do a good job. Jeff, Saturday, you would never do that. Oh, yeah. You think I'm optimistic. That is I mean, that is delusional.

If you were a program director here, Stu Kovacs would be an Anthony Gallo would be doing afternoon drive here on CBS Sports Radio. No, I do not give any favors to friends. Absolutely not. I cannot be bought. What a bunch of the price is right.

Oh, yeah. It's the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Ricky Williams going to join us 20 minutes from now when we come on back.

What's going on with Yanis on to the Kumpa? We discuss next. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show, Zach Gelb show, CBS Sports Radio. Hey, I think you said this a few weeks ago and correct me if I'm wrong, but you said no matter how much money you ever make and even if you become the most rich and most famous person in the history of sports talk radio, you would always mow and cut your own lawn. Is that correct? 100 percent. Yes, sir.

Why? I like cutting the grass. You do you enjoy that? I feel satisfaction after like being done looking at it and then being able to admire my work, seeing the lines, seeing the plush green grass. It's a nice feeling in life. So it has nothing to do that you just try to like escape your significant other and you just want to kind of listen to some music for an hour and cut the grass? No, because I've tried to listen to things you can't. The mower's too loud and I don't want to blow up my eardrums. So it's really not even listening to music or a podcast.

It's just kind of peaceful being one with nature, being one outside, which I love to do any excuse to be outside. I'm all in for. So that's that's more than. Yeah, anything else? Do you have like a machine? Like you have a tractor like like what are you doing? Just regular push. Oh yeah, right. Your average run of the mill mower.

No, no. Although that's the dream Monday, if I make enough money, get a tractor, that'd be bad ass. That would actually be fun. If it's a handheld thing, I'll hire someone to go cut the grass.

If I had a tractor, I could find that being fun for a little bit. But I just saw a video of a NFL athlete, a well-paid NFL player, a prominent NFL player, TJ Watt, and he's not cutting his grass, but he's cleaning his own pool. Before I tell you how the video ends, would you clean your own pool if you had TJ Watt money, you'd make someone else clean it for you? I've never had a pool, so I don't know the work it takes.

So I can't answer that question. You got to get like all the leaves out. That seems annoying. Like the first day I would be excited to open it up. So maybe like if somehow we could do like the first day opening up the pool.

OK, I'm in. Well, that's a disgusting process, especially if you live in the Northeast. You open up that pool cover for a long time and there could be some dead animals, let's just say.

Yes, leaves, gross water. But I feel like the excitement of summer being here will at least help me power through closing. I want nothing to do with because that's just the pressure of summer's over and also feels like a lot of work. So without knowing how much work actually goes into it, but assuming a good amount, I'll probably say maybe I'll have someone do it. Like if I had TJ Watt money, I think I'm having someone come over once a week, maybe because I'm a week, maybe be excessive once every other week.

I would say to clean my house like I have a cleaning lady that comes over once a month now, but that's just in my New York City apartment. It's not like we're talking about this ridiculous kind of space. So TJ Watt is cleaning his pool, I guess, trying to get some leaves out. And he takes a step. Like into the pool on the steps, and then he continues to reach out to clean the pool and he face plants right into the pool. And you see him go right into his pocket, throw his phone onto one of the nearby couches or whatever. Chairs are right there. But it was it looked like a vicious fall. And I guess his security cameras caught it.

And then he goes, guys, don't worry, I'm OK. But he wanted everyone to see it. If I was TJ Watt, I don't think I'm cleaning the pool. I know you want to try to be like a regular human being, but you have all that money.

Get someone there to go clean your pool. That's what I would say. I could see the Watt family absolutely doing their own chores, but also letting everyone know they're doing their own chores. And JJ Watt can't do anything without letting you know he's doing something. Which, great guy, but he's someone who has to let you know constantly. If he's working out at 3 a.m., he's got to let you know, hey, I'm here working out at 3 a.m. I could easily see him be like, yeah, yeah, I come along, but I'm not doing it just for myself.

I got to do it to make sure everyone knows that I'm cutting my own grass. And also, oh, it's a bad fall. It is a really bad fall that that TJ Watt did take and his dog sitting right next to him. And the dog wasn't even fazed by it for a little bit. So I guess TJ Watt tries to be a man of the people, clean his own pool even when he has all that money.

And karma kind of kicked in and said, you should probably just hire someone to clean your pool. And looks like he has a nice little home there. I'm assuming that's in the in the Pittsburgh area.

I would imagine. But who knows, because it's still the offseason. Anyway, talk about the offseason. Giannis on to the Kumpo, who I love. I really just don't get Giannis right now. So after the season, he comes on out, he says it's not a failure.

Whenever he knows it's a failure, Mike Budenholzer ends up getting fired. Then he's talking all of a sudden about how, you know, people are doubting him, which I don't know who's really doubting him. And then today, I guess he was on Instagram Live, but I saw this on TikTok.

Someone commented and said, how about joining the Golden State Warriors? And it looked like he was entertaining it for about 10 seconds. And then the TikTok ends. Now, when the camera keeps on rolling, he goes, nah, that's not me. But Giannis right now, I don't get what he's trying to do this offseason. Maybe he's just trying to have fun.

And he enjoys trolling people. And hey, I was someone that was leading the charge to try to get Giannis to stay in Milwaukee a few years ago. But now with the fears left on his contract, and I know right after he signed the contract, he said maybe the next goal and the next step is potentially leaving one day. And then he did another interview where he said he wants to stay and be a Milwaukee buck as long as they want him there in the organization where they're never going to not want Giannis. But when I just look at all the things that we've seen, even the last month, Hickey, and I know people say, oh, you're taking it out of context because there was a few more seconds after the video where he goes, no, I'm not thinking about going to Golden State. He's just starting to lose me a little bit where I love Giannis. He's one of the best players in the league. He is tremendous, but I feel like he should try to get out of the spotlight instead of creating these things that are popping up that nothing are malicious. It's not like it's the end of the world and maybe he's just having fun with it. But really for Giannis on to the Kumpo, when you keep on kind of like lowering that, that carrot, people are going to keep on taking the bait and maybe that's what he just wants, but I don't get why you would want any extra attention here, Hickey, in the off season when you just had an embarrassing moment, even though he's a great player, but that was embarrassing losing the way that they did to Miami in the first round. I do think he's enjoying trolling now a little bit more than, you know, than he was earlier in his career. But I also wonder if it's now that they got bounced in the first round.

Frustration? A little bit, but it's also like kind of staying relevant in a way because at least the last three years we've seen him in the finals, in the Easter conference finals, and it's like there's with how long the Basco postseason is, and that first round feels like forever ago. And I wonder if Giannis is still trying to just stay in the news, stay relevant, as stupid as that sounds, by doing these videos and doing these, you know, making these social media posts just because it's, you see everyone else getting attention and he's out of sight, out of mind for the longest time.

It's just all, let me see if I can get back in the news cycle. And maybe this is the problem that I'm having an issue with, and maybe that's why I feel like it's a disconnect to how I usually operate with Giannis Antetokounmpo. That's not Giannis. Giannis is a very to himself type of guy that is just a star and is so likable. I'm not saying that this makes you want to dislike him, but it's very different than Giannis that you've seen in the past. And he's got two years left in this contract and then a player option.

I'm not saying that this video makes me think that a hundred percent that he's going to leave, but clearly there's something that he's not happy with right now because Bud wouldn't have got fired if he didn't approve it. And not only that, you win a championship and then the next year, okay, Middleton gets hurt, nothing he could do. But the year after that, you lose in the first round. I know that still at the end of the day, the dude's tremendous. He's successful and we know what he's accomplished in this league and he's done things that we've never seen before. But maybe this frustration, and if you don't see the narrative turn around the next year or two, and the Bucks get back to an NBA finals with the change in ownership, with a roster only getting older, maybe that's enough for Giannis to eventually depart the Bucks in a few years. I think that's a legit possibility where I never felt like he was going to leave the Bucks when he was up for an extension. But now in a few years, it wouldn't shock me in the slightest if he's going to another team. You know what was interesting, Spike Eske and I were talking yesterday about players leaving and futures.

And you know what, he made a good point that I'd never really kind of put two and two together, but he's right. For the most part, anyone who leaves these big superstars that change teams and force their way out, it's all American players. The international players are loyal. Dirk with the Mavs, we've seen now even Nicole Jokic and the Nuggets, we've seen Giannis with the Bucks, no one's really trying to push their way out.

See what happens to Luka. And it's like, well, that's obviously the big one that we're going to see in a few years. But it's like, it's not really their style to force their way out, make a big splash in leaving teams, kind of leaving their old team high and dry. Giannis from every indication seems like he's someone who's going to be loyal to Milwaukee till the end.

And until really he does otherwise, I'm going to believe that to be the case. This is definitely a little bit of veering off from the normal Giannis that we have seen for the last few years for sure. It is Zach Gelb's show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a time out when we come on back. We will reconnect with Ricky Williams, who's going to join us on the other side. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. We continue this Zach Gelb Show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio.

Let's head out to the guest line. Always fun to chat with this man. That's the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner. That, of course, is Ricky Williams, who's here today on behalf of Panini.

And you can get Panini's NFL trading card products featuring members of this year's rookie class online at, hobby shops nationwide, and retailers, including Walmart and Target. Ricky Williams, great to hear your voice again. How you been?

Wonderful. Great to talk to you again. Thanks for having me. Well, I appreciate you coming back on. So tell me today what you're doing with Panini.

Well, this is great. I mean, I'm here at the rookie rookie premiere, and I just spent some time with Dijon, my fellow Longhorns and catching up a little bit. And I've been with Panini. I used to be down to rest for over 20 years, and it's been a very fruitful relationship for both sides. And anytime I get an opportunity to come and show my face and show support, I always jump at it.

And so I'm here with the rookies representing Panini. Well, you talked about Dijon Robinson, clearly the Texas connection there. What advice do you give him when someone like Dijon Robinson just gets drafted eighth overall by the Falcons? The biggest thing is take care of your body. Dijon's a big, tough running back, quick, elusive, got a lot of explosiveness. So he's probably going to get the ball a lot. And so I just say you got the talent.

You just got to make sure you're taking care of your body. When he went eighth overall to Atlanta, and now I feel like the running back position gets devalued a bit and people are surprised when a running back goes that early in the first round. How did you kind of process that one? Well, I mean, I'm a running back, so I've been waiting for people to appreciate the position. And I think, definitely we saw what Saquon Barkley did this past year. And I think he justified taking that kind of explosive running back, who can do things in the passing game early in the first round. And catching up with Dijon, he talked about the way he's going to be using that offense. He's going to be more than just a running back.

So I cannot wait to see what they do with him. Yeah, the expectations are so high, like you with your running back background, just what kind of player do you see and what type of player do you think he could be in the NFL? You know, I think I mentioned Saquon Barkley, and I think he can be that kind of player that can take over a game and, you know, can break the long run. He can do catch balls on third down.

I think he's just going to be a weapon and hopefully, again, if he stays healthy and the Falcons can find a way to get the most out of him, I think he's going to be a superstar in this league. Yeah, I was a little disappointed, Ricky Williams, with your alma mater. I was expecting this epic quarterback competition all throughout the summer, waited until game one.

And then Sark came out and said, Quinn Ewers is going to be the starter. Clearly a lot of buzz with Texas with Quinn Ewers and also Arch Manning now in the program. Were you at all disappointed when you found out that quarterback competition wrapped up so quickly?

I wasn't. You know, I was at the Alabama game, you know, opened the season last year and I saw what Quinn could do. And, you know, my take is if he's won the position this early, it's because he's ready to pick up where he left off against Bama.

You know what the expectations are. Everyone's looking for Texas to get back to their glory days. And when you bring in a Manning, that hype's just going to be times a million. What advice would you give to Arch Manning as he gets ready for his freshman year?

I'd say enjoy it, you know, and I would say envision yourself being a superstar. You know, if you look at the best Texas team, they had a Heisman trophy candidate on the team. They had a superstar.

And I think that's what a school like Texas needs to get back. Ricky Williams here with us. When you brought up that you're talking to the young rookies that just got drafted on behalf of Panini, I go back to your draft class, which is a pretty damn good one. In 1999, there was so much talk about you going into that draft. As you know, Ricky, when the Colts are on the clock and they take a running back, Edron James, who went on to have a Hall of Fame career, what was your reaction about that in the moment?

Well, if you go back, I mean, I'm sure it's on YouTube. If you go back, you'll see me, you'll see me bounce a bad word. It was rough, you know, because, you know, I was really excited that the possibility of being the first overall pick and going to Cleveland, you know, I just think the dog pound and it was their first year back as an expansion team. And so I thought that was a perfect fit, but they took 10 couch and then the bingles took a Keeley. I knew I wasn't going into being with that Corey Dillon. And I thought there could be a chance that I go, I'm sorry, two went to, it was the Eagles and they drafted Donovan.

So I thought I was going to be an Eagle. I really liked Andy Reid with head coach at the time. I really liked his office and I thought I could excel in offense.

And then a third pick with the bingles. I knew they weren't taking me. They took a Keeley and I knew, I knew in my heart that I was going for to the Colts. And when they took Adrian great player, obviously you said how fame, but I was heartbroken.

But, you know, quickly got better when, when coach Jacob made the move and traded everything, everything, literally everything to, to get me. Yeah. We'll get back to that selection in just a second. But you mentioned Philadelphia. We know their fans were there. They wanted to see you get drafted second overall. They booed McNabb when he rocked across the stage. Now he went to second overall pick, but in that moment, did you at all like feel bad for him? This is his moment. He's getting drafted second overall. You thought there was a chance that he could get there.

And when he walks across the stage in New York, he gets booed. No, I mean, if I'm being honest now, I didn't feel bad for him, but, but I've gotten to know him ever since. And, you know, he should be in the hall of fame. So, you know, it's good to say that the guys that went, or at least two of the guys that went in front of me, I think will be ended up in the hall of fame. So when you find out that the saints trade up to go get you at five and they gave up their entire draft class and then some, how did, when did that hit you? Like, did that hit you in the moment knowing how much they gave up to go select Ricky Williams?

No, I don't think I appreciated it. And at the time I think I thought it was too much, you know? Because the saints at that time, you know, they just barely missed the playoffs and they are really on the verge of making it to the next level. And I think it would have been helpful to have a couple more picks that year. And you see, you know, Dickey was fired that year and the next year we actually won the first playoff game in Saints history. And the Saints have for the most part been good ever since then. So we were close. We were really close.

Yeah. And when the hype is that great and they give up so much to get you, it's almost impossible to meet those expectations. Like we're seeing it now in basketball. The draft lottery just happened. Victor Wimbenyama is going to be the number one overall pick. And people are saying that if he's Kevin Durant or Akeem Olajuwon, that would be a disappointment, which is just ludicrous to me. When you had those expectations that were so high and you've talked about this throughout the year, just how difficult was that to manage those expectations? You know, the truth is, and you can see in the way I negotiated my contract is I had higher expectations, I think, of myself than the fans did. And, you know, it took me getting traded to Miami to be able to fulfill those expectations.

But eventually I did. And, you know, I battled a lot of injuries and, you know, hence my advice to Bijan, take care of your body because I didn't learn that until later in my career. And how do you look back at the rest of that rookie experience when you look back at it all these years later? I was just hurt until I had toughness. You know, it taught me how to be tough.

I think that's the silver lining when you go through any kind of difficult experiences is you prove yourself that you can overcome and then you can do it. And, you know, from high school all the way through college, I don't think I missed one game. In my first two years in the NFL, I missed 10 games. So it made me tougher and I think it helped me play. I played 11 years.

And so I think it helped me stay tough enough to have a long and prosperous career. When you view the Tuatunga-Wailoa situation, talking about injuries and all the concussions that he's dealt with, we know Miami on paper, they have an offense that looks unbelievable, but everyone wonders if the quarterback can get through the entire season without suffering a concussion. Just how do you kind of view that situation with the Dolphins and Tuatunga-Wailoa? Well, I mean, if I'm the Dolphins, you know, I spend a lot of money on the offensive line because, you know, Tuatunga-Wailoa was great last year, but it's difficult, you know, as well as he played.

If you know that there's one play away from losing him for the season, you know, and I'm thinking short term. Now I'm about to turn 46. And so long term, you realize when you're young, you don't realize it. But as you get older, you realize all the all the concussions and the damage we do to our bodies that it catches up to us.

So I'm really hoping that they protect him and he learns to protect himself so that he can stay healthy in the short term and the long term. When you look at some of the quarterbacks in the league right now, who are some quarterbacks that you would have loved to be on the same team with and share the backfield with? I think for a running back, having a quarterback who's mobile and who can convert third downs because the most important stat for a running back is third down conversions, because if the team is converting third downs, it means more opportunities to run the ball. So Lamar Jackson is number one on my list. You think Lamar could go win a Super Bowl in this league because he just got paid? And that's not the big question. We've seen him win a unanimous MVP, but can he go get that Super Bowl for the Ravens?

Not by himself, but I think if he gets if he gets some weapons around them and the Ravens keep playing good defense like they always have, I definitely think he can. Ricky Williams, before we let you run, you're doing great work with Panini. Obviously, when people hear your name, they associate it with the very high class and many legendary names in football with what you did during your career. But what is that like for you all these years later when you talk to some of these younger players now getting ready to embark on their journey on behalf of Panini to just really kind of look at you? And they're probably in awe when Ricky Williams walks in the room. Yeah, and I try to get through that as fast as possible because, especially in this situation, they're surrounded by a lot of people who haven't been in their situation. And so I take it as an honor to be a person that has and that can talk to them in a real way about what's coming up.

And I always try to give them some empowering and inspiring words because it's tough. Playing professional football is really difficult. And in the rookie premiere, they've had minicamps and they're about to start OTAs, but they haven't had the NFL experience. And so they're still raw. And so I'd like to get them ready for what's coming.

Once again, you can get Panini's NFL Trading Card products featuring members of this year's rookie class online at, hobby shops nationwide, and retailers including Walmart and Target. He is Ricky Williams. Ricky, always great to catch up with you. Thank you. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-18 20:17:21 / 2023-05-18 20:35:13 / 18

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