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, 345 Hudson Street. Welcome on in to a Friday 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. 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. Antoine Walker is going to join us coming up 20 minutes from now. We will also be joined by the play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat, Eric Reid, at 7.20pm Eastern, 4.20pm Pacific. Hickey guaranteed last night that the Miami Heat were going to wrap up the series and get the job done. To no surprise, he was wrong. Now we'll see if Hickey's initial prediction is going to come true, where he originally predicted that the Miami Heat would win this series in six games.
I'll give you a quick thought. No one should have been surprised by the outcome last night. If you looked at just the gambling line, it made no sense that Boston was an 8-point favorite. That was Vegas begging you to plus the 8 points with the Miami Heat, and it was not a shocker that for most of that game, it was 10 points or more. It got a little bit dicey at the end in terms of the spread, but eventually Boston did cover, and they won the game, and now they force a Game 6. I really think this is a must-win for the Miami Heat in Game 6, because if you go back to Boston for a Game 7, momentum by then would have completely shifted all the way back to the Boston Celtics. So I really do believe if Miami closes it out coming up in Game 6, then you look at Miami, they're off to the NBA Finals, but if they don't, I don't see them really winning a Game 7 in Boston. But it was a pathetic effort last night by the Miami Heat, and now we'll see which way this series does go. Producing this extravaganza by the way today is no other than Hot Take Hickey.
This dumb producer, Hot Take Hickey. Where are you at? Because you were Mr. get in the shower, release that shower, no cap video, leading into Game 5, where you go, I don't understand, everyone's saying Boston has momentum. I don't understand why Boston, even though they were 4-5 this postseason at home, is now all of a sudden going to go win Game 5 on their home court.
And I go, well, they've been inconsistent, so if they lost the first two, 4-5, they'll probably even up that record, and that's what did happen last night. Where are you at right now in terms of 100%? Let's just go Miami, winning Game 6 and ending this series coming up tomorrow night.
Where are you at on that, Hickey? I will say 70% Heat in 6. Oh boy, 70%? 70% Heat in 6.
That's a pretty big number. I think it's more so 60-40 that the Heat do win the game. I also don't like Vegas making Boston a 2.5 point favorite. And that's probably your best argument, Hickey. Not that we all pretend to be like experts on, oh, what does the gambling line tell you, and the next thing?
You're definitely going to get it right, because if that was the case, we wouldn't be doing this job, we'd be doing something else, and we'd be sitting on a big fat pile of cash. But the fact that Boston's a 2.5 point favorite, that almost makes me think, and maybe I'm dead wrong on this, that Vegas is begging you to go with a lot of people thinking that the momentum is shifting, and that you lay the 2.5 points with Boston. I actually do like Miami, full disclosure, to win the game in 6, but I'm just curious, before we get to the DeAndre Hopkins stuff and them being released today, and Antoine Walker's going to join us coming up in about 15 minutes or so. With you saying that it was going to be in 5, and then you revise your prediction, will you go out there and will you start quote-tweeting your old tweet on Saturday night if Miami does get the job done in 6 games? Because I've noticed something with your Twitter game, Hickey. When you were right, you quote-tweet things, but then when you were wrong, we don't ever hear from you about those old predictions. So, will you put out the quote-tweet on Saturday night? Folks, I had it right from the start, ignore your video in the shower, you said the series is over in 5 games, will we see a victory lap on Saturday night by Hot Take Hickey? Because I will just point out, when the Mets started to get hot, AKA they won a few games in a row, we saw the tweets from Hickey 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 since that tweet. Now the Mets have come back down to earth, I haven't seen you really revise those tweets and also start to acknowledge the L's. So I'm curious how you'll handle this on Saturday night if Miami does close it out.
I don't know to be honest. I'm an in-the-moment sort of tweeter, which sometimes gets me in trouble, other times does not, but I don't really like to plan things out. So we'll see how the game goes, and from there, I mean, I will say I was in the minority picking the Heat, so in one sense that's part of the reason why I would definitely like to pat myself on the shoulder. But also I'm not a braggadocious kind of guy, I'm not someone who's, look at me, look at me, look at me when I got it right.
He's lying. I will tell you how it is either way, and look, short, am I going to go and quote tweet if the Celtics win in seven, my Heat in six prediction and say, oh man, I was wrong, absolutely not. I'm not going to delete the tweet either. It's out there, people want to laugh at it, have, go for it, laugh away, it's more, you're well within your right to do so. I'm not going to let everyone know I'm wrong, but I'm not going to hide and pretend like I never said what I said.
Can you stop lying? If Miami wins this game on Saturday night, tomorrow night, I can guarantee you within five minutes of the game ending, Hickey will quote tweet it. Folks, a lot of people like to say I don't get anything ever right.
Well, here you go, and you'll have some like bow emoji or some bow gif that you will put on out there. I've seen the playbook from you. I don't want to say many times because we don't have many tweets that you end up being right about, but on those small things that we see, the minuscule amount of times you end up being right, I see how you do handle that.
And right away, you're very quick to put the quote tweet out there. It's also weird for me because I'm not a Heat fan, so it's a little different if I was a Heat fan. You didn't even respect him last round.
You thought it was embarrassing that the Knicks couldn't find a way to win that series, and I thought you were smoking something when you were watching that series. So it's like a little, you know, that does impact whether I want to go the whole look at me if the Heat do win in six sort of thing, take a bow, as you say. You will.
Create a new emoji, the bow emoji, which will just be me taking a bow. I like that. We'll go with it. We'll ride it.
I'll talk to Elon and get that created. But I don't know. I will see. Maybe we'll get a video. Maybe I'll jump in the shower at midnight tomorrow night and put a video out there even better. Stop. The shower no cap stuff's got to stop.
I honestly, I don't. I'm going to let the game play out. I'm going to see how I'm feeling, and then from there we'll let the Twitter fingers go to work. Well, you have to tell people where you're going tomorrow, too, because that could play a factor into it. Hickey's hosting the weekend overnight tonight, so he won't get out of this building until 6 a.m. Eastern. And then the Hickey family is going to South Philadelphia tomorrow to watch the, is it called the Final Four in lacrosse?
Championship weekend is what the insiders will call it. Is Peter Schwartz going to join you, Mr. Lacrosse himself? Is Peter Schwartz going with the Hickey family to watch Penn State in the Final Four of the lacrosse championship? He might be the PA announcer, so he'll be in the press box. Trust me, if he was doing PA for this, we would have seen about 9,000 tweets with Peter Schwartz, and he'd be asking the players to get the grass off their cleats so he could go give it to his kids or something like that. That'd be something so ridiculous.
You might be right about that. Thanks so much. Can you give me a name of a Penn State lacrosse player? Let me get your sweatband there. Do you know any of the names of the lacrosse players on Penn State? Yeah, let me get your... You don't know a single player's name. No, I actually do. Now you're putting me on the spot, and now I'm all nervous.
You don't know a single player's name. This is actually embarrassing. You tell me how big... This has actually been the first time in a long time. You tell me how big of a Penn State lacrosse fan you are. I'll give you credit, you're going to the game, so you're trying to keep up with this shtick. And you can't even tell me one bleeping player's name when I ask you that in the moment?
What the heck are we doing here? I was trying to give you a good one. They have Matt Trainor, Jack Trainor, two brothers on the same team. You could literally say Jack Smith, I wouldn't know.
Give me any first and last name. There you go, Jack Trainor, number 16. Look out for him. Is that actually a player?
Yes, he's our second best scorer. Peter Schwartz has probably tweeted him about 3,000 times. Hey, Jack Trainor, can I get your tape that you use on your left index finger, please? And can you autograph it as well? Got to get that signature. You never know what he'll be one day.
You never know. So you're going to that game for a sport that you really don't care about, but you act like you care about it. And a team that you act like you care about, but you don't really. Like you care about Penn State basketball, that's genuine. You care about Penn State football, that's genuine as well. If Hickey has a few brews at the game and you get a little intoxicated, we could get a great hot take Hickey video walking out of the stadium, folks.
No big deal. Penn State just advanced to the championship game. You may be too banged up coming back from that game to even watch Game 6.
And you may have to just look at the stat sheet to figure out what the heck actually happened. And you may not be able to do the quote tweet in the moment about the Miami Heat potentially being the Boston Celtics in six. I am a little nervous about not being awake when the game is over tomorrow. I will admit I'm very nervous about basically having three hours of sleep combined.
Oh, let me play my small violin for you. Between when I woke up at 9 a.m. this morning to probably when the game gets tipped off at 830 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. Am I doing the show right now? This is not a dream, right?
I'm doing this show on CBS Sports Radio? Yes, you're doing the show. I got up this morning at 430 a.m. Mountain Time. And I went to bed at maybe like 1230 Mountain Time last night. So I didn't get much sleep.
You got a job to do. You got to watch the game tomorrow night. You're a big watch the game type of guy. Oh, I'm a big time watch the game guy, oh yeah. So how the heck are you not going to watch the game tomorrow?
Drink some coffee. Sunday morning, wake up, rewatch it, condensed version. You're not doing that. Anyone that goes, I go back and watch the game, you don't actually go back and watch the game. I do it all the time.
I don't buy that. And this shift, oh my God, I have to. You can't watch the game here during the show.
It's impossible. You're doing that on a Memorial Day weekend Saturday. You're going to go back on Sunday and you're going to go watch the game. If I miss it, yeah, if I fall asleep. I hope not. I don't buy that.
I would like to stay up and watch it. I hope I get, at that point, probably a fourth wind of energy. But I hope so.
Question. If you're wrong again here, where you said the series is over in game five, and now you're saying the series is over again in game six. And I'm with you. I'm not as confident as you, but I do lean towards picking the heat tomorrow. If this goes back to Boston for game seven, will you triple down on the Miami Heat, or then will you say, okay, folks, I'm waving the white flag.
No big deal, no big deal. I'm actually going with the Boston Celtics in game seven. Because I do think if it goes to game seven, then Boston's going to win. For me, the series is decided probably tomorrow night. The tough part is, at the heat of the only team where I could see losing three games in a row after being up three, I'm still winning.
Like, they are just mentally tougher. I don't think that you, I will still probably pick the heat in game seven, but I'm not sure yet. But I'm not writing them off is maybe the best answer right there, where I do think they have a chance in game seven, even if they lose tomorrow night. And I know we got to get to Antoine Walker in just a few moments, but the Andre Hopkins did get released today.
Some potential teams that could be interested, in my opinion, the Bills, the Ravens, the Chiefs, the Patriots, and the Jets. We'll talk more about that later on in this hour. And we'll react to the Arizona Cardinals getting nothing, not a zilch for DeAndre Hopkins, as he's currently a free agent. We'll take a break. When we come on back, former Boston Celtic, and some people may not know this, Antoine Walker won a championship at the Miami Heat back in 2006. He'll join us on the Zach Gelb Show in five minutes. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show.
We continue it as the Zach Gelb Show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. The Celtics Heat series is getting good. It looked like this series is going to be over rather quickly when Miami did take a three games to none lead. Boston has started to shift momentum back into their favor as they've taken the last two games and we have a crucial game six coming up tomorrow night in the association. Let's head out to the guest line right now and welcome in a man that was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Played there from 1996 to 2003 in his first chapter in Boston.
Also won an NBA championship with the Miami Heat and that, of course, is Antoine Walker. Antoine, appreciate the time. How are you? I'm good. Thanks for having me on the show.
Well, we appreciate you coming on. So these last two games, what have you seen from the Boston Celtics? Obviously, it's starting to be more aggressive. I think, you know, offensively, you know, if you look at it, different guys are being more aggressive, taking shots when they're available. Not just relying on Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown to have huge nights. And I think that's key if they want to win the series. The Miami Heat are too good and coached too well defensively and they're not going to just let Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown beat them.
So other guys have to stay aggressive and take opportunities when they come. Has momentum shifted yet? Like, do you feel confident about the Boston Celtics winning these next two games? Or is it more so, let's see what happens in game six first before we talk about momentum shifting back to Boston.
I think the momentum has shifted. I think the Celtics are a much more confident group now. Obviously, they've got to go on the road and get it done, but I think they're a much more confident group going into this game. And knowing that if they can get this win and get to a game seven, it really changes the complexity of the series.
And obviously, the momentum completely shifts. So I just think that this group, the core group of the Celtics, if you just walk them over the last couple of years, they've been in so many meaningful games. They've made so many deep runs in playoffs. They're going to have an opportunity to make history here and have an opportunity to get back in the series and tie it up 3-3.
I just believe that. I think just that core group, you know, the Jalen Browns and Jason Tatum and Marcus Smart, I hope these guys have been together now for the last couple of years. They've made huge runs. Why are they such a slow-starting team? Because we've seen that throughout this postseason and going back to previous years. It's almost as if this team thrives on putting themselves in as tough of a position as possible and then fighting their way back out of it and prevailing.
I don't think there's no one thing you can really point at. I think it's more or less probably the sense of urgency. These guys have been together now for the last couple of years.
Can play for a little bit. And they obviously play well with their back against the wall. But this is tough. You get in Miami Heat a lot of life and they get Miami Heat have a home game. They can take care of business. They'll be tested. What's scary about this group is that I don't know if the Celtics don't come back and win this series. You don't know if they're going to keep this group together.
They may not feel like this is the group that can get it done. I think some pressure on the Celtics a little bit and I think they're going to respond. Antoine Walker here with us. I like that you brought up the future because I feel like for the last few years so many people have been trying to break up Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
That started to pop up once again in this series. I know Jaylen Brown has a year left on the contract. Eligible for an extension. Got all second NBA team so we get more money in Boston. Just what advice would you give to Jaylen Brown about navigating the future where people wonder does he want to stay in Boston?
Does he want to re-sign or maybe go somewhere else? I think they've built something. I think one thing that I would tell them is if I was in the front office of the Boston Celtics is hey you guys are building something special here. If they do come up short, hey you got a chance to play, you and Jason have a chance to be together for another four or five years and compete at the highest level and you don't get that everywhere.
And you're going to get a huge payday. You couldn't ask for anything more as an NBA player so I think that's something that I would be looking at if I was him. I was surprised last night, Antoine Walker, by the lack of effort by the Miami Heat. It seemed like they went into that game and the moment they sensed a little trouble they were okay with packing things up and getting ready for game six.
It happens sometimes. Sometimes it seems like the closer they are on their home floor and celebrate with your home fans. Usually typically your role players play better at home so sometimes that happens too. That's what you hope for the role players to struggle on the road so I think that could be something they feel like they can close it out in Miami. But you're playing against a team in the Boston Celtics who's been in this group I just feel like has been in so many meaningful games and they have the talent to go on the road and get a win. So I hope the Heat didn't put themselves in a bad position now and put themselves in a must-win game six.
It's a tough thing to put on your mind but it looked like that's what they were trying to do. Antoine Walker, it's so tough to evaluate Joe Mazzulla and you know the guys in the locker room, they really like Demeodoka, then whatever happened, he's no longer the coach, Mazzulla gets thrown right into the fire. It's been up and down just the conversation about Joe Mazzulla using your player instincts and your kind of perspective and view on it. How do you kind of evaluate the job that Joe Mazzulla has done with the Boston Celtics? I think he's done a terrific job. I think anytime you take over a situation the way he did with the commotion and chaos with Yudoka and to still be able to have your team make deep runs in the playoffs, be in the position to hopefully win another NBA championship, you've got to give them a lot of credit.
That's tough to do. I think he'll get better and better as a head coach. I'm pretty sure the players have seen him grow as a head coach. He's probably much more outgoing, much more speaking, can do certain things as a coach that he probably didn't do in the beginning so that he was learning on the fly. So I'm pretty sure he's even grown as a coach but I think he's perfect for them because the players play hard for them.
And if you watch the Celtics throughout the season, I thought their season was terrific this year. I thought they improved under him. So I think he's only going to get better and better. You're going to get a great coach. Hey listen, Eric Sposum is a great coach down there. You're going to get the coach that has been a part of many championship teams and it's tough to beat him.
So this is a good stepping stone for Yudoka to see if he can get past this tough Miami Heat team. This will build a lot of confidence for him just as a coach. For you, when you were in Miami, Eric Spolstra was an unknown to us but he was an assistant on those teams that you played for. What stood out to you when you look back at a young Eric Spolstra? He was unbelievable.
A lot of people don't know this. He did a lot of chalkboard talk. He did scouting reports. He was really vocal in our championship run. He was a great individual guy. He wasn't a coach that really worked me out.
Because usually you get adjusted to a certain coach and a certain situation. But he worked with D-Wade daily. I think he's a big part of D-Wade's success and being a great pro and working with him. But just the chalkboard talk and running practice and running meetings, Eric Sposum did that back then. Pat Roddy put a lot of responsibility on him and I think that's why he's a great coach today. He's a big part of it. How do you look back playing for Pat Riley?
I loved it. A demanding coach that demands the best out of you, holds you accountable, but wants to win. He wants to win. He's going to work you hard. He's going to force you to get your best effort. And that's one thing you want as a player.
He's going to bring the best out of you and make you work really, really hard. When you were a part of that team, Antoine Walker, you guys won an NBA championship. You guys were down two games in the NBA finals right out of the gate to the Dallas Mavericks. What was the mentality like in that locker room and how did you guys put together those four straight wins to go capture that NBA championship?
To be honest with you, it was really Pat. With the confidence instilled in us, we wanted to get back home and once we got back home we were able to tie the series up. I remember the last game when we went to Dallas and he told us to only bring one suit. I think we would have had two games because I think game six and seven would have been in Dallas. The format was totally different.
It was different, yeah. I remember him telling us nobody can get on the plane. You only bring one suit. He didn't want to see tons of luggage. He wanted one suit.
And I just know that now it's stuck in my head. That was just a confidence booster that, hey, we're going to take care of business. We're going to get things done in game six.
It will not be a game seven. And guys responded and we were able to close it down to six. When a coach of that caliber with what he's done in the league tells you to only pack one suit, there had to just be a vibe in that locker room, right? Alright, this thing is over if that's how Pat Riley's feeling, right?
Oh, without question. And our confidence had grew even though we were down 0-2, but we started to play better at home and got ourselves back in the series and obviously took control of the series. And that mentality to go on the road like that, we felt good.
But we had a slogan that said, 15 Strong. And I always credit Pat Riley for coming up with that. And we kind of built our team and our playoff run after that.
And that was so enjoyable and fun when we played. What do you look for in this game six? When you're looking at it for both sides, what do you think the biggest key is when we look at this game six coming up between Boston and Miami? Honestly, man, it's about the stars now.
This is the reason why you pay guys 30, 40 million dollars. I want to see the stars step up on both teams. And these guys have got to be the ones that have a big game now. You know, whether it's Jason Taylor and Jalen Brown, they've got to have big games. You know, Jimmy Butler, you're going to need one of those performances from Jimmy. I don't care about being home in a way when it gets to this point, it gets to a game six and seven. You want the stars, the guys that you're paying max money to, the guys that are supposed to be your franchise guys.
This is the games that you pay those guys for to have huge ones. It feels like whoever, you know, obviously, if Miami wins game six, they win the series, they go off to the NBA Finals. But it seems like this series is going to be decided coming up tomorrow night because if Boston goes back to TD Garden for a game seven, I'm not going to pick against the Boston Celtics, especially what they just did in the last round in a game seven. You know, like I said, I'm going to repeat it again.
This is about the stars. And if you're looking at the just complete rosters from top to bottom, the Celtics should be able to go into Miami and get a win. And it's not taking anything away from the Miami Heat, who's a well coached team. But when you really think about the star power and both of these rosters, the Boston Celtics should be able to go on the road and get a win in Miami and force a game seven.
And I'm looking forward to seeing that. I think this game, I think it's going to seven games. I can't call a winner right now, even though. But I do believe Boston goes there and gets the game. We get a game seven. That would be awesome, especially where this series looked like it was heading just a few games ago. Wrap it up with Antoine Walker.
I want to get to the team that did sweep, and that was the Denver Nuggets over the Los Angeles Lakers. Some people are saying this Denver team is boring. I don't see it with the Koliokic being the best player in the league and how fun it is to watch Jamal Murray be an assassin in this postseason. Do you think Denver is a boring team? And what do you say to people, if you disagree with that, that believe the Nuggets are boring?
I don't think they're boring. I think they got one of the best skilled big men that we've ever seen in the game. I mean, Jokic, who can shoot pass and do everything on the court as a big man. Sometimes it's not fancy.
Sometimes it's really basic. They don't have the most athletic guys, but they play good as a unit. The Denver Nuggets, they're well coached and they can play any style. They can play small ball. They can play big.
And that's what a lot of people don't know. They can play any style. They got that much versatility on their roster.
And they're deep. They're probably the deepest team left in the playoffs right now. They can play 10-11 guys easily and get production. Every team can't do that, especially this stage of the season. And he's so consistent, Nicole Jokic.
I never really see him ever have a bad game. If you were a part of a team that was going up against him, it's the multi-million dollar question right now in the sport, especially the last three years. How the heck do you try to even attempt to slow this guy down? Well, he's a triple threat guy.
So what you want to do as a team, you have to decide what you want to do. Do you want this guy to be a scorer or a passer? He does all those things so well. If it was me, I'd make him score. Because he loves the passer. Great passer.
He obviously is a good rebounder. I don't see if he can get 50. I'll play him single coverage and see if he can get 50. I would not allow him to get these other guys involved.
That's just something that I wouldn't do. I would let him see if he wants to. Because he's such an unselfish player, I want to see if he can go get 50.
And I'm not saying he's not capable of it, but I want to see if he can go get 35-40 consistently for four games. And that's the way I would defend him. I would not let him have his cake in the U2. I'm not going to let him score and also make others better.
You have to take one of those things away. And I would take away his passing ability and make him a complete scorer. Because I think he's so unselfish, I don't think that's something that he wants to do. So I'm going to take all those other things away and make him a one-on-one player and give him opportunities to see if he can go get 45-50 points a night.
Antoine Walker, get into LeBron James. He's a torn tendon in his foot. We'll see if he's going to need surgery.
That was reported the other day by Sham Sharania. One day, LeBron's talking about retirement. The next day, Dave McMenamin has a report that it looks like LeBron's going to come back and finish out that final year of the contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. I never bought the retirement talk from LeBron after that game.
I get it. You're 38. You're in the moment of a loss and you probably don't want to talk about your future. Do you fully expect LeBron to be back with the Lakers next season?
I don't know, man. It's hard to get your body. Now he has another injury to deal with. It's hard at that age to get your body back ready to play at the level that he likes to play at. We know he does a terrific job of taking care of his body, so it probably wouldn't be as hard to help his other players. If I'm LeBron, I'm like, listen, if I've got a legitimate chance and I believe I can win an NBA championship and the roster fits that, because I think the Lakers have to do a little tweaking to their roster, so if the roster fits that, then I'll come back. If not, unless I'm just not ready to get the game up, I would think about retiring, because obviously we know LeBron wants to play for championships.
That's what he's all about. But what he's going to have to do to get his body prepared and to get up for another season is going to be very difficult. And I don't know if 38 minutes a night is where you want LeBron playing at. Can he play and be efficient at this age and his career? We know he's done a terrific job at it, but it can become a grueling season. Think about how they got in the playoffs. They fight for play-in positions, those things. So I think it's a lot of things LeBron has to think about.
Obviously, health is one, and then if they can win. I don't think he wants to come back to be an A-seed again. Last thing I'll ask you, Antoine Walker, I really appreciate you joining us today. Great perspective. What advice would you give to Ja Morant? Because that's been a big topic of conversation the last few weeks, and then another video did surface.
And for now, he's suspended with the Memphis Grizzlies. I kind of take it personal for me. On the personal side, I had a personal thing off the court happen to me where I got a home invasion and got robbed at my home and really brought that kind of fear.
You're in Chicago and you're at home and you got guys robbing you, so you start to have bad thoughts and certain things. I just think with Ja, he has to realize that, hey, you're a basketball player, you're an NBA player, you make a lot of money, and you can't do everything that everybody else can do. With social media now, with camera phones and all the things that are going on, you have to put yourself in better position. He has a child, you've got an organization that wants to put this whole franchise on your back, and you have an opportunity to do that. It's just too many good things that are in front of you to continually let these negative things bargain in his life. I just wish he would understand that and take that into consideration. Maybe get completely on social media.
Maybe that's not a place where you need to be at. If you know you may make a mistake or something like that, it's just so many things that you want to talk to him about because there's so many things he can really avoid and just be a great basketball player and really be a Hall of Fame player. He's got that big of a skill set and that big of an upside that he could be in the Hall of Fame one day. I hope he doesn't throw his career down the drain. He's doing senseless things that are not good to him, and he's a role model for a lot of kids. A lot of people look up to him and want to be like him.
You're setting a bad president with a lot of these things, especially with the gun talk and all that stuff. I hate to see that, and that really upsets me because he's such a great athlete and such a great talent. So hopefully he gets it, and hopefully he gets it around the right people that can put positive things going on in his life. Really do appreciate the insight and the perspective.
He of course is Antoine Walker. Always loved catching up with you and chatting with you on the show. Thanks so much.
Alright, thank you. Austin now making this a series, 3-2. It goes back to Miami. We'll see what happens tomorrow night.
But then you also had kind of Friday before Memorial Day. You're not expecting big news, and we've been waiting and waiting for resolution with this issue the entire time. The Cardinals just outright released DeAndre Hopkins.
I don't know about you, Hickey. It felt like this day was inevitable once the draft happened, and we went through the draft, not that you were expecting a deal the first night of the draft, but at least the second or third day of the draft. And you've got to remember, Hopkins coming off the suspension, still had a very good year, but the initial price that he did go from Houston to Arizona was so small. When you look back at the meat and potatoes of that deal, it was really a second round pick for DeAndre Hopkins, which is crazy.
When you see what Devante Adams did go for and what Tyreek Hill did go for as well, when you look at the caliber of those two guys and then also the caliber of DeAndre Hopkins. So it was not only his lack of return that happened the first time that makes it difficult to negotiate, he also had a pretty big price tag. But it's just crazy to me how Arizona, and maybe this is just an incompetent organization, it's been for a while. And I know they have a new GM in Monte Austin for it, and you have a new coach in Jonathan Gander, I don't even think should be a coach right now, an NFL head coach right now in the league. But you look at Austin for it, how couldn't you find a way to have a team take some of the money, you take the rest, and you couldn't get anything back for him? Now, maybe they're just looking at this as they're not gonna be good anyway, and he's getting up there in age.
So they just outright release, but it doesn't really make sense to outright release him. There's gonna be teams interested. You couldn't find the way, Hickey, to make this work at all? That to me I don't get on this one. I guess I'll give the Cardinals a break just because what are you supposed to do if no one's biting?
What are you gonna do? No one's gonna say, hey, we'll take him for whatever, no one's interested in trade talks, you can't force a trade to happen, you need two to tango. And so you can only do so much when no one on the other side, any other team, Chiefs, Bills, you name it, etc., are not biting at the line that you're dangling out there.
This may be a dumb question, and I don't know the answer to it. Will they get a compensatory pick back for him? Because usually you think in the offseason, right after the season ends, then you lose players, then by that draft or the next draft you end up getting the compensatory pick for him. Will they get a compensatory pick for him? I don't think so. I think it's only free agency.
Right? They cut him. So they cut him. Yeah, so you're not gonna get even a compensatory, because it'd be one thing, right, if you're gonna get a third round pick for him, okay, you get him, but you're right. Since they're just letting him off the roster and he's still under contract, you're gonna get nothing for this guy. You're literally getting nothing for DeAndre Hopkins.
Now the big topic of conversation is where does he go next? Because he's getting this money that was still guaranteed to him, and now it's okay, where else do you go and do you maybe go to a team on a discount? Like, I don't think he's getting a two, three-year contract. With how late we are in the game here, Hickey, you're probably thinking a one-year deal with incentives? With how many teams already have dollars allocated on the salary cap to so many guys since we're through the draft, since we're through free agency, you gotta think this is a one-year deal where it's gonna be worth up to some sort of money, but then there's gonna be a lot of incentives in that contract, because Arizona has taken the entire salary and paid him out what he was owed. Yeah, I'm with you. I think this is weird to say for a guy as accomplished as him, but a prove-it year for Hopkins in terms of one-year deal, not a lot of money, and you see what you can do with assuming a good quarterback? I would say it's more of a setup here.
Sure. And I know it's semantics there, but I don't feel like he has to really prove much. It's more so the timing of this one where it's so late in the game, you don't usually see guys get cut in May and then go get a three-year deal worth $20 million a year. So maybe that's if you get a little bidding war, maybe you end up getting a two-year deal out of this, but I kind of feel as if this is trending to we'll give you a one-year deal and then you'll be guaranteed to hit the open market next year, like no franchise tag, nothing along those lines as well.
That's where I think this is going. Especially if you go to a contender, have a big playoff run, you can really then get your last big contract off of this year, especially if you have success and win. Now I have five teams where I think you should go or five teams that should be interested. Buffalo, Baltimore, Kansas City, New England, and then the Jets. Those five teams have to be interested, and I think the pressure is on one team over the rest to go get the deal done, and that's the Buffalo Bills. And I know we've gone through this song and dance before with Buffalo. Last year was Christian McCaffrey.
They elected not to go out there and give the draft capital to go acquire Christian McCaffrey. Okay, but now here you are a year later where this was a Super Bowl or bus year for the Buffalo Bills, and in the second round, they got absolutely annihilated at home up against Cincinnati Bengals. Like when you look at the pecking order of the AFC, sure, the Bills are a top three team in the AFC, but there is separation right now with Kansas City and Cincinnati as one and two compared to them where the Bills are at three. And if Buffalo wants to close that gap, like they don't have to go get DeAndre Hopkins. They can still go be a competitive team. They could still go win double digit games.
They could still be a contender. But if you want to seriously close the gap, go get DeAndre Hopkins, because then you line up on offense with Josh Allen, who's a star quarterback in this league. You got Staphon Diggs. You got DeAndre Hopkins. You got Gabe Davis.
That's a heck of a one, two, three punch. And not only that, you have Dawson Knox and Dalton Kincaid, who I love out of Utah. If the Bills are serious about closing that gap and and making that gap narrow, you got to go get DeAndre Hopkins.
That's a move that makes you go, wow. People then start buying back into the Buffalo Bills. I'm not saying people are down and out about Buffalo, but with how everyone was on the Bills bandwagon last year and then they disappointed losing in the second round and barely beating Miami in the first round, that will create some excitement again, where maybe you have some people then picking the Bills out of the AFC to go to the Super Bowl and then go win the Super Bowl.
So I look at the five teams I just mentioned. Like Baltimore, you got a bunch of receivers this year for Lamar. This would be getting him a number one wide receiver. Kansas City, be the rich, get richer. New England, MAAC would finally get a number one wide receiver. I know it's complicated there because I don't know where that relationship is at between Bill O'Brien and DeAndre Hopkins and the Jets. It's like, why not?
They're all in any way. So you may as well go add to what you've been doing this offseason. But I look at Buffalo. Why this would be so important, Hickey, is because it would be a move that starts to close the gap between them and then the other two teams that we mentioned in Kansas City and Cincinnati, where we've seen Kansas City win Super Bowls and we've seen the Cincinnati Bengals get to a Super Bowl two years ago. Last year, especially times, I felt the Buffalo offense is all or nothing, either touchdown or three and out. And you even saw that a lot in the Bengals playoff game where they were able to score quick some possessions and others just couldn't get anything going. Hopkins is that perfect possession receiver that you could put opposite of Diggs where he will catch obviously anything in his radius, keep the chains moving, third and seven a reliable target, and help kind of bridge the gap between explosiveness and then constantly going three and out.
Let me ask you this. If you had to pick a team where you think he's going, not who needs him the most, where you think he's going. I have a team in mind. Who is the team that you think will end up getting DeAndre Hopkins? I will say the Kansas City Chiefs.
I'm with you too. I think it's Kansas City. Because Kansas City kind of feels like they're the new Patriots, right? The Patriots for 20 years dominated. It seems like Kansas City started to go on that run and they've been on that run where they've won two Super Bowls. You know, bare minimum, they get to the AFC Championship game every year. This would be a very Patriot-like move with Kansas City where some team releases him, you swoop in, you give him a one-year deal, and you get Patrick Mahomes, DeAndre Hopkins.
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