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Jimmy Buckets Best Player in NBA? (Hour 4)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2023 9:53 pm

Jimmy Buckets Best Player in NBA? (Hour 4)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 18, 2023 9:53 pm

Could Jimmy Butler be viewed as the best player in the league after this postseason? l Closing Bell

Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
JR Sport Brief

Alrighty, how we doing? Zach Gelb's show, CBS Sports Radio. You will hear from Ricky Wilson coming up 40 minutes from now.

We'll do the closing bell 20 minutes from now. So moving things up a little bit on a Thursday edition of the Zach Gelb show. And you know, it's kind of funny because the NBA regular season product, it's very boring. At times it's, it's trash if I'm just going to be honest with you. But the last few years they've been fun because for a while we looked at LeBron James and we all know how great LeBron is. But we started to have that conversation of who's the best player in the game right now. And for years and years and years, it was without hesitation, LeBron James. And then for a while, Kevin Durant took that baton. And then injuries unfortunately took that title away from Kevin Durant. And for a little bit, it was Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo. And now we look at Steph Curry, who's still one of the more lethal players on the planet, but we don't know how many more championships he could win.

I don't think the Warriors dynasty is definitely over yet, but there's a lot of people that echo that sentiment. And you look at a player like Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has won at one point two MVPs, got a championship, but just had his team get eliminated in the first round when they were one seed up against an eight seed. So the fact that the NBA has been open the last few years, not only in terms of who's gonna get out of the Eastern Conference, who's gonna get out of the Western Conference to get to the NBA Finals, but that title of who's the best player in the sport, it makes it really fun when you get into the postseason.

Now I have my own gripes with the NBA without the spineless commissioner, spineless silver, just does not get the players on the court in the regular season. But when you tune in for the postseason, it is now a compelling thought that you have of not only who's gonna get to the finals, but who's gonna get that tag of the best player in the NBA. And the guy that is sitting there waiting to be embraced by everyone to get that title is the Koliokic. Cuz he probably shouldn't need the title to get the tag of best player in the league when he's won back to back MVPs and had a heck of an effort to go in a third one this year to go back to back to back before it did go to Joel Embiid and he could not go three times in a row winning the MVP to Koliokic. But if he wins a title this year, it's almost as if everyone will start to accept that right now Nicole Jokic is the best player in the NBA. But for a while too, when you look at these players that are remaining, like if LeBron wins it, we know what it does. It only continues to help his legacy, which really doesn't need any more help. But it reminds people, okay, at the age of 38, 39 in year 20, that he's still the best player on the planet.

And that title was taken away for the last few years. But you look at the other two teams that are left, like Jason Tatum, he's a great player. He's one of the best players in the league.

Even if he wins a championship though, I wouldn't call him the best player in the league. But for Jimmy Butler Hickey, I really wonder what the championship does for Jimmy Butler because for a while in Chicago and in Minnesota, right, we talked about his development. And some people thought he was a pain in the ass as a teammate. But you looked at Jimmy Butler, he kinda had that tag of underrated player.

And he goes to Philadelphia. I remember being in that press conference when he first got there and everything that happened with him and Carl Anthony Towns. And he kinda had that tag of being a bad teammate, a pain in the ass in the locker room. And he goes down to Florida and he's clearly the Heat's best player.

A lot of people, including yours truly, crushed him for leaving the Philadelphia 76ers cuz I don't know what the Heat were building at the time. And it's not like the Heat roster is great. But I will say this, now looking back at it, the Heat culture is perfect for Jimmy Butler to lead. And Pat Riley, Eric Spulstra, Jimmy Butler, it's almost like they all speak the same language and are attached at the hip.

Where they could probably finish each other's sentences. And they allowed Jimmy to really be the same Jimmy that he was in Chicago and be the same Jimmy that he was in Minnesota. But it is unquestioned now that he's the leader of the team. He was probably the best leader on the other teams that he was on, but it wasn't viewed as his team. And now that it's viewed as his team, it's almost as if it's his way or the highway.

And that allows Jimmy to be Jimmy to demand that excellence out of everyone. I heard Perloff say this the other day, where he has Michael Jordan in him. I'm not saying that's a bad comparison, but in my lifetime, he reminds me a lot like Kobe Bryant. Where when it was Kobe's team, Kobe could say whatever he wanted in that locker room.

And Kobe would outwork you until the cows come home. And he was just ridiculous. And that's like, that's kind of what Jimmy Butler reminds me of. That he's never satisfied.

And I remember when it's crazy to say now the late, great Kobe Bryant was up in a playoff series. And one of the reporters said, you don't look like you're satisfied. He's like, I'm not satisfied.

With a cold look on his face, and he said, the job's not done yet. When he was in an NBA finals. And if we're sitting here, and you have a national radio host and Andrew Perloff say that Jimmy Butler, he sees some Michael Jordan in him. And I'm saying I see some Kobe Bryant in Jimmy Butler, that's as good as you could get.

It really is. You can't do much better than getting compared to Michael Jordan. And then also the late, great Kobe Bryant. But for Jimmy Butler, he never gets viewed as the best player in the sport. And maybe there's some Kawhi in him as well, where the regular season really doesn't matter. And you see Jimmy Butler just take it to a different level come postseason time. And it's similar to Kawhi when Kawhi was in Toronto, when Kawhi was in San Antonio. He operates at the beat of his own drum and Kawhi's more quiet and Jimmy is more up in your face. But there is a thing called playoff Jimmy Butler and there was a thing called playoff Kawhi Leonard.

So really the blend of those three players. I never really thought about it to Kawhi until I just started talking about it. But Jordan, Kobe, and Kawhi is kind of what I see in all different parts inside of Jimmy Butler. And if he wins this championship, the Celtics would be expected.

Doesn't mean it's not impressive, but it's expected. The Denver Nuggets, I think they're winning the championship. But you look at the Lakers and the Heat, both teams that were in the playing tournament, I guess once you have LeBron and AD healthy, nothing should surprise you. But this Heat team, if they find a way to win a championship, you look at the legacies too, that it's going to impact.

Like look at it, what it would do for the legacy of Jimmy Butler. And you talk about Dirk kind of winning a championship on his own, Kawhi winning a championship on his own as the lone superstar. Giannis Antetokounmpo, you could argue, lone superstar. In an era that we grew up in, Hickey, where it's been big threes and super teams, not that those aren't impressive, but when a guy is on a team where there's really no other superstar and that's no disrespect to Bam, but he's a player, he's a good player. He's at times a great player.

But I wouldn't call him a superstar. And I think because we've seen teams that were fun with Paul Pierce, Garnett, and Allen, LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, and then Steph, and KD, and Klay, and Draymond. Since it's been kind of unnormal when a guy on his own is the leader with no other true superstars on his team and it gets the job done, I feel like in our era of guys that are in their late 20s, their early 30s, it's more impressive.

And it's almost as if you kind of, in a weird way, respect it more and you're more impressed by it. And I really think from a legacy standpoint at the Heat win, it does wonders for the legacy of Jimmy Butler, but then also Eric Spulcher too. So this Heat team, they're very likable. And the more and more you watch them, and I know, right, we hear about this Heat culture and you hear about the Heat way, and sometimes it's sickening when you hear about it, but there's no reason to dislike, unless right now you're a Celtics fan, this Miami Heat team. Oh, they're very likable. They are a group that is hard to root against. They are a group that, Jimmy Butler especially, I think is someone who, despite his kind of edginess, is someone that I would say is beloved by many just because of his attitude where it's just like, I'm going to win. I'm going to dominate you very Kobe-like, like I mentioned before. And I feel like that draws in a lot of people where he's really not a villain, even though there are, like I said, plenty of previous experiences that would suggest otherwise in terms of how he treats his teammates and even how he comes across the media. But this is a very likable Heat team, and I think in large part it's because of how Jimmy Butler has played and also his attitude kind of going forward.

Where's your belief level? Now, you picked the Heat to go to the finals. I do think the Celtics are still going to win, even though the Celtics are so maddening and they're very frustrating with some of their performances, like what you saw the other night. They finally show up in the first half, in the third quarter.

They were about as brutal as brutal could be. You had the Heat going to the finals up against who, Denver? The Nuggets, yes sir. If you had to do a prediction before the finals, would you go Heat or would you go Denver in that NBA Finals?

Denver. You would? Yes. Is there a way, because Ira said it, Ira Winteroon, who joined us earlier, he said right now he believes Jimmy Butler's playing the best basketball in the NBA. Is there a way for Jimmy Butler at the end of this postseason, if he wins a championship, do you think he'll be viewed as the best player in the NBA?

Because that tag is up for grabs. Personally, I think right now, the best player in the NBA is Nicole Jokic. If the Joker doesn't get that championship though, you're always going to have some of those people that just say, oh, and it's so dumb. Nicole Jokic is boring and you're rather this player and that player over Nicole Jokic. Is there a way that we, even if Jimmy Butler wins a championship, do you think people refer to him as the best player in the NBA?

No. I think there is a lot of Kawhi Leonard in him in the sense that regular season Jimmy, postseason Jimmy is two totally separate guys. I just don't think you can now use one postseason run that's great and results in a championship, all of a sudden crown a guy out of nowhere in such a short time as the best guy and overtake Joker, overtake Embiid, who's the reigning VP. And there's plenty of other players right now that have put in the work and the longevity compared to just a playoff push or in Jimmy's case, at least a few playoff pushes.

Yeah, I would agree with you. So right now, who do you think is viewed as the best player in the, I would say entering the postseason? Wouldn't you have said it's Giannis Antetokounmpo? Him or Jokic?

I think one of the two is toss up. Now, after you go down in the first round, I think people take that title away from Giannis because Giannis is another guy like Nicole Jokic where he needed the championship before people even though he won two MVPs before people started calling him the best player in the league. I really think that if the Joker doesn't win a championship, even though I think right now Nicole Jokic is the best player in the NBA, if Nicole Jokic doesn't win a championship, I really do believe that title is still up for grabs. The only thing that I will factor into that if LeBron wins another championship, I think a lot of people are going to go, see guys, we wrote LeBron off for a few years. We took that title away and this is him reclaiming his throne, even though it's been a different version of LeBron James this year in Los Angeles. So I really think for the most part, the Joker in terms of getting that best title in the NBA, you know, that best tag of the best player in the NBA, I really think only the Joker could probably claim it where it's then universal is the way that I'm going to approach that, Hickey.

I would agree with that. If he gets bounced in this round and doesn't, or even in the finals doesn't win, I don't think it's universally, everyone's saying Jokic and I don't think that there is even a player that let's just say 40% of the audience could agree with is the best. I guess just plenty of names from maybe changes by week next year in the season or by month, but no one consensus, that's for sure. And just look at the MVP voting this year. The MVP voting for any of the things that we're making a big stink of Nicole Jokic not getting his respect, it kind of just shows you that even though he's won back to back MVPs and then guys, voters get fatigued and they look to not give it to someone three times in a row and everything that you hear there. It wasn't the fact that it was surprising that Nicole Jokic didn't win the MVP this year. It was how wide of a gap it was by the voters from Embiid to Nicole Jokic. You could tell me that Embiid should have won the MVP and I won't disagree with it, but with how wide of a margin it was Hickey, that was the part that I just thought was absolutely ridiculous, especially with how close the conversation was throughout the year, really between three people and then it turned into a two-man race.

Do you go Joel Embiid or Nicole Jokic? Yeah, I really thought all three should have been separated by a few votes, not a big gap between Embiid and Jokic. And then I think the gap was slimmer, I believe, off the top of my head between Jokic and Giannis for third place. But I mean, all three, even if you want to argue Embiid should have won, and I won't push back on that, I think all three should have been bunched tight together in that voting where it should have been maybe separated by 150 votes total between, let's say, Embiid 1 and Giannis 3. Yeah, so here was the voting breakdown just one more time. Joel Embiid had 915 total points, the Joker had 674 and Giannis had 606 first place votes, 73 to Joel Embiid, 15 to Nicole Jokic and 12 to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Even though I was okay with Embiid getting the award, it did feel like it was a two-man race at the end where Embiid and Joker separated themselves from the pack. That just showed that the voters just thought it was just Embiid who separated themselves from the pack, and maybe Giannis was more in the race longer than a lot of people thought as well.

But it just did not make sense to me how the discrepancy was that big. It is the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll come on back, we'll ring the closing bell, we'll tell you whose stock is booming and whose stock is dooming. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. All right, Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio.

Ricky Williams gonna join us coming up in about 18 minutes from now. But first up, let's tell you whose stock is booming, whose stock is dooming with a little closing bell. Another day is in the books and we're taking stock of the sports world. It's time to find out who's up and who's down.

Let's end the day right and hit the closing bell. Only on the Zach Gelb Show. Now hold on, wait a second. Matt Euler who tweets us, he just tried to make us a bet on the Green Bay Packers and he wanted to bet us a one pound box of cactus candy. And you responded that you tried a piece of cactus candy when we were out at the Super Bowl in Arizona. You had cactus candy, Ricky?

That's right, in the airport. I'm so disappointed in you. Why?

Why? We had a conversation on the air and after Matt tweeted us and you said you were gonna find a way to get us cactus candy and we were gonna try it on the air at the Super Bowl. Now when you showed up, Mr. Food poisoning, that wasn't the first thing on my mind, but I thought you were just out on the cactus candy because you had a bad little tummy.

Well, I didn't get it. I got on the way home, like literally the last, my last two seconds in Phoenix. When I'm not there, you go get cactus candy. I was in the convenience store there and I said, you know what?

I remember the tweet. I didn't have much time. It was a very busy week and you know it more than anyone.

There's not a lot of downtime despite it being a fun week. So it's like we can just go ravaging through stores looking for cactus candy. Oh, please. So I remembered it late, went in there. Luckily enough, there was right there on the shelf and I picked me up on the way home.

Now you didn't grab one for me and say, Oh, Zach could try it on Monday. Nothing. Well then I consider it. No, I was. Well, it was just more the fact that it was one of those things like, does anyone any, does anyone care anymore?

Like it sounded good before the trip and then it's like it wasn't really brought up at all during the Super Bowl after the Super Bowl. So it was kind of tough to make you try to do anything. We were just surprised he even got out there. Well, I'm a tough guy. What can I say?

Oh, please. A tough guy would've got on the plane right away. I wouldn't have been like, Oh, maybe I'll get out there. No way.

Sending daily emails. A tough guy would have got his ass on the plane. So you know what? I'm giving you a stock down that you had cactus candy without me. Shame on you.

103 fever. I was, I was dead. Were you, were, did you make the Super Bowl trip or not?

Eventually? Yes, I did. And I, I'm pretty sure I said on the air, you have one job and one job only this week.

I said two things, actually three things. Get me Pat McAfee. Didn't happen. Get me Jim Irsay.

Didn't happen. And then get me some cactus candy. You're like Daniel Vogelbach.

You stink. Well Jim better. I did Jim a favor. He would have got destroyed on this show. I know it would have been a bad luck. We would have had a lot of fun with Jim.

All righty. Let's hear from Kevin Harlan. This was the great call on the Jimmy Butler shot last night and be on TNT.

You know what makes that call so great? Cause Kevin Harlan is one of the best broadcasters to ever do it. But even though it's weird, he's not a traditional broadcaster, but since he's one of those like legendary voices, you would never think he would even go close to towing that line of maybe cursing on air.

And the, the fact that he gave you a fricking there hickey, I was not expecting that. And you know me, I'm like the biggest Kevin Harlan fan there is. I was not expecting that from Kevin Harlan. It's like the Ric Flair woo at the end till he was, Kevin was feeling himself yesterday. I thought he did a really good job.

30. Well, he always does a great job. 35.6 deals for Jimmy Butler. Give Jimmy Butler a stock up, but also give Kevin Harlan a stock up. And again, please Eric's bolster. This guy's a great coach. We all know that he's the best coach in the NBA, but for a while he kind of had that stigma of, ah, he was coaching LeBron, Wade and Bosch to see what he's done in the last few years. Just shows you how great of a coach this guy is.

So give Eric's bolster a stock up. After one round at Oak Hill Country Club for the PGA Championship, Eric Cole is your leader right now played to get suspended. So that is, he's not totally through his first round, but through 14 holes, Eric Cole is your leader, five under. Bryson DeChambeau is four under, he got through. Scottie Scheffler, three under, he got through. So give a stock up to Eric Cole right now. Still got to finish up that round, but right now he's five under. Did you see the Sidney Crosby story, by the way, Hickey?

No. He's on vacation, a regular family. He's on vacation. Big Penguins fans. I think they're on some island and they're eating and they're season ticket holders for the Pittsburgh Penguins. And the whole family sees Sidney Crosby sitting at the table over, I think with his girlfriend. I don't believe Sidney Crosby's married.

And this was less than a week ago. Family's too nervous to say anything to Sidney Crosby. So if I'm remembering the story right, a 10 year, 12 year old girl whose daughter, right, of family walked over to Sidney Crosby and basically said, my whole family's too embarrassed to come on over, sorry to bug you as you're eating. Crosby walks over to the family, basically eats brunch with the family, picks up the tab for the family and autographs out the wazoo and all that. As much as I hate the Pittsburgh Penguins, I do respect Sidney Crosby. That's a tremendous move by Sidney Crosby.

Give him a stock up. All right, let's hear Micah Parsons. He asked Jason Tatum for a jersey after wearing a Sixers jersey last round when the Sixers are going up against the Celtics as courtesy of Bleacher Report. What's up, gang, man? Good luck tonight, man. Last time I seen you at Philly jersey.

I was in Philly. I'm with you tonight. You know I was a Reuben. You know how Reuben get.

Hey, hey, I'm going to need a zero today too. I'm about to go get a Celtics jersey. That's very fraudulent fan behavior. Now, Hickey, I know you were like one of those leaders of calling out people that are frauds as fans, like you and Mraz.

You guys probably the leader of the fraud police when it comes with fans. You can't be wearing a Sixers jersey the round prior. And then once the Sixers get eliminated, the next thing you know, you're rocking a Boston Celtics jersey, especially when I think he is like a Sixers fan.

He grew up in the Philly area. So it's like one thing if you were in a Mavericks jersey. OK, it's a hometown team.

You support the local club. But if you're not actually Mavericks fan, it doesn't mean as much of maybe if you're a Celtics fan, it's different. The fact that you are a Sixers fan, you wear the jersey to this against the team. Now you're going up to Boston and then you wear the Celtics jersey. That's that's I love Micah Parsons. That's a terrible look.

You know, kind of reminds me of who is that? LeBron. How many different teams do you see LeBron support in Iraq and diehard Yankees fan?

Also big time now. Guardians fan when he was in Cleveland. Yeah, he's Cowboys fan. And then he gave up on the Cowboys because of how Jerry Jones wasn't accepting of the protest and then went and supported Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns. So LeBron James and Micah Parsons have something in common. They are are bandwagon fans. But Micah Parsons.

That's a terrible look. And I saw there was some photo on the Internet where he was wearing another NBA jersey sitting courtside earlier this year. Mavericks. That makes sense. Again, that makes sense.

You're in the area. You wear the jersey even if you're not a fan of them. But I don't know. Six or Celtics back to back is tough. We've seen players before wear jerseys or wear hats of maybe rivals that are in their city for a different sport.

So but now when you're at the game, he's at the game courtside. You're not going to wear a white shirt. Swear white t shirt. Well, you're white t shirt. Nice shoes.

Nice hat. That's it. You're making you're getting close to community. You're showing that you belong. You're you're part of them.

Strengthening the bond between the two. OK, so maybe I'll give him a pass for the for the Mavs jersey. But Sixers one week and then Celtics next week. That's a it's a bad look.

Stockdown. I was actually right sitting next to Micah Parsons when the Kevin Durant trade came out this year. He was very excited when Kevin Durant got traded. I was I did not notice if he's wearing a Phoenix Suns.

I was just going to say, well, he may have gotten the next day that he probably did. That was crazy. I was at a steak dinner Super Bowl week when Hickey was not giving me any cactus candy and was just saving it for himself. I looked over the table to my left and it's Micah Parsons is like three year old is eating a steak at like nine o'clock, 10 o'clock at night.

Not a bad life. I was very envious of the three year old. I would love to have been a three year old just chowing down on a steak. And the next thing you know, I said to my buddy, oh, Kevin Durant got traded. Micah Parsons said, what did you say? And I said, it's table over and I have a loud voice, obviously.

And I go, Kevin Durant got traded. And then the whole restaurant started buzzing. I felt like I was Adam Schefter or Shams Sharaniya.

That's what I felt like in that restaurant, just given all the news out there. Well, if you're really Shams, you'll have Kay Adams flirting with you soon. So be on the lookout for that.

I wouldn't I wouldn't pass up that opportunity. Shams are living a good life right now. Yeah, I tell you, Shams is a I don't know, like Kay keeps on throwing it out there and Shams is kind of like playing hard to get.

Yeah, he's playing really hard to get his confidence. I don't know. I don't think he's interested or he's got options. If you're not interested in Kay Adams, that means you got options that are better, which God bless. I don't know how many options are better than Kay Adams, if we're being honest. Well, Shams, I guess knows, right? I mean, you're not shooting down a flirt request from Kay Adams because you got nothing else. You know, it's also got to be tough for Shams to date someone because he's always glued to his phone. But if you have someone in the media field like Kay Adams who understands it and who works really hard as well, maybe it makes a little bit easier. You would think you would think, yeah, I mean, maybe ask Adam Schefter for some marriage advice. That's the same thing.

You're glued to your phone 24 seven. He told a story about how he broke the angel luck story. I think was that a was it mother or in-law, like wedding or something, birthday, something, something, some big, important family matter. He goes, I got to go.

Well, a little bit of news here. It's actually one of the great like get out of doing anything as a as a family guy. And Schefter happens to be a really good dad.

And the whole background story on on that, if you can read his book. But it is a very get out of doing nothing card. If you just got to say, oh, it's for my job, like it's good. Everyone knows what he does.

It's tough to kind of argue. Trust me. I got to take this one. You'll see in a few minutes.

But when he leaves, yeah, when he leaves the family party and he does that, imagine like pain in the ass, like grandmother or in-law all of a sudden. Adam, where are you going? What are you doing? You can't have this this the brisket that I'm having right now.

Like, what are you doing? Come on. This general manager could wait. Can it wait? Can it wait? No, no. Grandma, this cannot this cannot wait.

Mother meatloaf. Give a stock down one more time. We were talking about Michael Parsons. And finally, how about Caleb Love? So he had to reopen his recruitment.

I thought this was over, that it was all done. He was going to Michigan and he committed to the Wolverines last month. But then there was an admissions issue related to credit transferring.

I guess when he was at UNC, he didn't go there for school. But how the heck does that happen, Nicky? You would think Michigan would have all their T's crossed and all their eyes dotted there. How can you commit to a school without knowing if you're eligible to just be allowed in the school? I don't understand how that happens. Yeah, I don't know. That's bizarre. So give a stock down to Michigan and Caleb Love. And that is the closing bell.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-18 23:11:32 / 2023-05-18 23:24:01 / 12

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