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Ja Morant Suspension Looming (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
June 1, 2023 9:05 pm

Ja Morant Suspension Looming (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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June 1, 2023 9:05 pm

Rick Kamla, SiriusXM NBA Radio l Onsides/Offsides l Adam Silver lays the groundwork for a big Ja Morant suspension incoming

Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb

All right, we continue. Hour number three of our radio program. That's right, it's Zach Gilb's show, Coast to Coast on CBS Sports Radio.

We're zeroing in on tip-off of game one of the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat. Let's go out to the guest line right now and welcome in Rick Kamala, who does a great job. Sirius XM MBA Radio is a part of the Give and Go.

Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. Eastern on Sirius XM MBA Radio. Rick, how you been? I've been fantastic and it's been a big-time wait for these NBA Finals. And when that happens, you have a lot of dumb comments being made. Where do you fall in your response to people that say that this Denver Nuggets team is boring? Oh, I certainly don't think they're boring.

It takes me back to covering the San Antonio Spurs during their heyday when they won five rings in 15 seasons. People thought they were boring. People thought they were bad for ratings.

People didn't like watching them. That narrative was big on the Spurs and I'm starting to hear it more. You know, I don't really understand it because Nikola Jokic is not boring.

You know what I mean? He's like Magic Johnson meets a center. If you want to say those Spurs, I mean, look, they were methodical, right? Tim Duncan, not an it-factor guy. I mean, clearly he's number six all-time in NBA history on my list. You know, David Robinson for a few of those years, Manu, Parker, Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry, all the great role players that they brought through there. To me, that wasn't boring.

And to watch them change and morph throughout the years and all the different iterations to keep winning, to me it was fascinating. But you know, you compare Duncan and Jokic, Duncan is more boring than Nikola Jokic. Jamal Murray is not boring.

I mean, when he enters that zone, you could put a blindfold on him and that ball is still going in. But I do hear that. Look, it's probably casual fans.

It's probably not the hardcores. I don't know too many absolute hoopers that don't miss a game that aren't really excited about this series. Zach, are you excited about this series? I'm thrilled for this series because I love this Denver story. I've been someone that has followed this Denver story and believed that they could win a championship since 2020. Now, clearly that took a different path when you had Jamal Murray get hurt. But last year, Rick, I was like shocked, the overreaction about the Nuggets and people saying they couldn't win a title. Like, no crap. They didn't have Jamal Murray.

Now he's back and they're four wins away from that championship. Yeah, and they've got all the bases covered. They really do. Jokic and Murray, you know, look, they're probably the second best duo at operating together behind Draymond Green and Steph Curry.

Just like being in lockstep, like the surgeon and the nurse, right, in the operating room, like everything is just precision and Swiss timed and they complete each other's sentences and dot I's and cross T's and the whole thing. You've got Aaron Gordon, the very versatile guy that can guard multiple positions. He can guard your point guard. He can guard all the way up to your center. Guarded Anthony Davis. Guarded Karl Anthony Towns. Guarded Booker. Guarded Durant.

Now he's going to guard Jimmy Butler primarily. You've got a wetter in Michael Porter Jr. 42% career on threes. 42% this year on threes. Contiguous Caldwell Pope, the perfect grimy, you know, glue guy, other 3 and D guy that's just going to bang threes. He's 41% from three in the playoffs. Champion with the L.A. Lakers and a big part of that championship, by the way. And then off the bench, you're hitting me with Bruce Brown, who I love.

He does a little bit of everything. He's like, like Parker Hercules out there, man, and it brings a ton of energy. And, you know, Jeff Green and then Christian Brown that completes the eight man rotation, but they really check all the boxes. They're not a great defensive team, but they can defend and they're literally one of the best offensive teams in NBA history.

So they're a formidable challenge. I think what's likely is that they win. But Zach, I don't work with what's likely. I work with what I believe is going to happen. And what I believe is going to happen is the Miami Heat beat the Denver Nuggets in seven games. Wow.

How about that? So that you've been on an island with that take because I hear most people and I'm taking Denver as well. You explained to me why you're going with the Miami Heat to win this series in seven games. That's road team in the playoffs, six and four, three and oh, and road game ones, winning those by an average of nine per game. Jimmy Butler has out willed. And this is where we go into the intangibles, right?

The aura, the force, the vibe, the swagger, the competence. It's been Jordan esque. It's been Kobe esque and it's been better, way better than Giannis's. Brunson gave it the best shot he could, and it was way better than Tatum's in the East finals. And I think it's going to be better than Jokic is. Jokic is not a will guy.

He's not a sort of raw guy. He's phenomenal. He just goes out there and plays like Tim Duncan, right? Jimmy Butler, there's more to it. There's points and rebounds and assists and steals.

And then all that extra, all that aura stuff, all that the stuff you can't really see the magic, the fairy dust of Jimmy. And so I think that's going to play out again. Miami is a grimy defensive team against a very, very good offensive team. I like defense in a playoff scenario. And Zach, bottom line here, Milwaukee had more talent than Miami. It didn't matter. New York had more talent than Miami. It didn't matter. Boston had more talent than Miami. It didn't matter.

Now Denver has more talent than them. And I don't think it's going to matter. Oh, by the way, Tyler Herro is going to parachute into the series, probably game three. I believe Zach that if Miami loses game one, Tyler Herro will play in game two. And I think if Miami wins game one, then we'll see him in game three. I think Miami is playing the scoreboard a little bit here and when they bring Herro back, but he will be back. And I think that's not going to be like checkmate, but I think it's going to be a big advantage for Miami to get him back. My only thing with Miami, and don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing them in terms of it's unbelievable how they got here and it's crazy that they're still playing. And I love the story of the Miami Heat, but I know Joker and Murray are going to show up and play well night in and night out. When I look at Miami, Caleb Martin outplayed Jimmy Butler towards the end of those conference finals. I think Butler is going to be a stud in this series. But I just got to see where Bam is because Bam had a really good two months and when he's on, he's great and they could beat anybody. But when he's not on, it's a concern for me.

Look, you're hitting it on the head here, Zach. They can have 13, 14 points from Bam out of Iowa. They need 20. Especially against the Nuggets. If you were playing the Lakers, who aren't a phenomenal offensive team.

Okay, alright. Maybe 12, 13, 15. No, this is the Nuggets.

This is an elite historic all-time offense. No, they're going to need 20 from Bam. And they're going to need him not to fall into foul trouble guarding Jokic. And oh, by the way, they're going to need him to, can you possibly single cover Nicole Jokic so we don't have to double him?

I believe that they are going to have to double him more than Spoe is probably going to be comfortable with because I got to try to get Jokic uncomfortable. I mean, if he's single covered by Bam, he's got a huge height advantage over him. He's got a huge rebounding advantage over him.

You know, the big chipper, they call him. All those little tap-ins on the offensive rebounds. Bam can't do anything about that other than look up at 7-1 and the fingertips over his head, batting that ball up off the glass end of the hoop. Bam Adebayo is huge in this series. But what I know about Bam is he's a badass. And he is a dig deep guy. He's a heat culture guy. So I think Bam Adebayo is going to find a way.

But it is, it's the greatest challenge he's ever faced. There's no doubt about that. Rick Kamla, if Nicole Jokic wins the NBA Finals and he gets these next four games, how do we start to talk about his legacy? If Jokic, look, right now, Zach, I just reconstructed my top 10 because Jokic and what Butler's been doing. And, you know, we've seen obviously Giannis took a little bit of a hit, right? Durant to me took a little bit of a hit. Hell, Booker going out meekly this year and last year in the final games. Tatum took a little bit of a hit.

John Moran has taken several hits, right? Luca Doncic didn't make the playoffs. So a lot of like that, the anointed top 10 guys who I most I still do have in my top 10, like I had to drop him down a little bit.

So I recalculated it. I got Butler at eight right now and I'd Jokic at number one. Now, if Jokic does not win these finals and Butler does, I'm probably going to bump up Jimmy a spot or two, maybe even over like a Booker. But with Jokic, he's number one in the world for me right now with a little asterisk. If he can complete this, I'll take that asterisk off if he cannot complete this. And depending on how the series goes, I may flip and put Joelle and beat in the top spot for best player in the world. So that's what's kind of on.

Also, Zach, can you know this validation? A lot of people, you know, I want to MVP is like they didn't even watch. Right.

Ten o'clock Eastern Time is when Denver plays. They didn't even watch. Right. And so it's all kind of mystifying to them. And if you watch it, you're like, yeah, I totally get it.

This guy's phenomenal. But some people don't get that. So it would be validating to those kind of doubters and naysayers.

And it'd be like, OK, two MVPs and a ring. Shut up. Right.

Wait. So you would potentially put Embiid number one if Jokic loses the finals, but Embiid's never got to the conference finals. Explain that one for me.

It's a good question. We still have a ways to go for him in terms of, you know, developing this legacy. I'm not going to bang on him playoff wise like a James Harden, his teammate who always comes up, layman. Joel Embiid was super disappointing to me in Game seven with the blowout loss at Boston to let go of the rope.

Frankly, they quit. Not a good look, but Joel Embiid is is a phenomenal talent. He's led the league in scoring back to back years. He's arguably the best two way player in the entire world when you combine offense and defense. He can score from all three levels. He's super, super clutch, makes his free throws, assists.

He's a phenomenal player. And I would rather, Zach, this is how I base it. Who would I rather have in my uniform if I own the team?

Who would I rather have in my uniform to make a championship run? And I'm taking Joel Embiid over Steph Curry, who you can double and blitz and you can kind of eradicate him to a degree. Right.

He's still going to get his and pop up, but you can put a bit of a blanket on him. Kevin Durant wasn't even the best player on his team this year. That was Devin Booker. You think about some of the other guys, Giannis, right? Can't make free throws, can't make mid range, can't make threes.

That continues through its ugly head. He got over that hump for a year. But will he ever get over that hump again?

I don't know. So, you know, Embiid just doesn't have these deficiencies. Like, there's no hole in his game.

And you say, oh, availability. Well, under Brett Brown, availability was an issue, but under Doc Rivers, it was not. Like, he was in fantastic shape and played enough games to be two, two, and then one in the MVP voting.

So, it's a great point. He's got a lot to prove here, Zach. But in terms of, I would rather hitch my wagon to Joel Embiid going into next year than Kevin Durant or Steph Curry or LeBron James. Because I think he's more, he can kind of put a franchise on his back for 16 more than I believe those other guys can at this point. Especially when you consider the age accumulating on Curry, LeBron, and Durant.

Rick Campbell here with us. We all know that Jimmy Butler for a while was a really good player. Now he's getting that tag the last few years of being a great player ever since going to Miami. Is that just because he's finally the alpha? Because for years, right, you heard about him being maybe a bad teammate. You know how demanding he was in practices. He was never the number one on that roster. Is Miami just making him the alpha why he's able to take this game to the next level?

It's an interesting question. You mentioned bad teammates. I think he had bad teammates. I don't think he was the bad teammate.

Well, let me just clarify. I thought he was right in Minnesota. Because Carl Anthony Towns and Wiggins probably needed to hear what Jimmy Butler was saying. Exactly right, Zach. And guess who else needed to hear what Jimmy Butler was saying?

Ben Simmons in Philadelphia. Right? You're not wrong. Stop with this wussy stuff. I mean, I'm serious.

Like, no. Jimmy Butler's a football player. And he's not just a football player. He's Ray frickin' Lewis, man.

Right? He's the middle linebacker. Like, he's that guy. And so if you don't want to get with that and get with that tough love and get with that boot in the butt and get with that box hole mentality, then bye. And so I'm with Jimmy. He's the kind of guy I would roll with. He's the kind of guy I would love to play with. You know you're going to get 10,000 percent from him in the playoffs, not the regular season.

Maybe that's a different conversation we can have, Zach. His motor in the regular season versus the playoffs is too much of a dichotomy for me. I'd like to see him rev it up a little more in the regular season. It's Kawhi-like.

It's very Kawhi-like. No doubt about that. And, you know, we don't get the other shoe dropping with Jimmy, thank God, like we do with Kawhi. I mean, just around every other corner is another devastating injury.

Poor guy. But, you know, Zach, it's interesting because coming into these playoffs and it was a narrative that, you know, I'm not a guy that likes to push narratives. It's just how I feel. And I have a microphone and a great platform on NBA radio. But I've been talking with Antonio Daniels the last couple of years about I perceive Jimmy Butler as a championship Robin. Not a Batman. You know, like, he's great. Like, Damian Lillard in Portland, to me, is a championship Robin.

He's a regular season Batman and a post-season Robin. Like, if you get a LeBron in his prime or, like, you know, one of those type of dudes with Lillard, man, you can win this whole thing. Or, like, if Lillard went to Boston, right, with Tatum. Okay, Tatum, the Batman, Lillard, you know, kind of the co-Batman Robin guy. Boom.

You know, you could do some big things with that. But with Jimmy, he proved to me, Zach, after big-boying Giannis Antetokounmpo and beating him 4-1 and winning two games in Milwaukee and going off for 56 frickin' points in that series. I was like, yo, this guy's a championship Batman. And all he needs is the planets to align just right for him to get that ring. And, Zach, you know how hard it is, right?

A.I. didn't do it. Barkley didn't do it. Ewing didn't do it. And these are phenomenal players, okay? Better players than Jimmy Butler. Maybe, just maybe, this is the year that those planets align for J.B. and he gets his ring.

That's how I view it. If Jimmy Butler wins his championship, is it more impressive than what Dirk did winning that championship in Dallas and then also what Kawhi did winning that championship in Toronto? I may steal that one for NBA radio. Go ahead.

I'll take 5%. No, that's a really good one right there, it is. Because you think about, God bless, you know, the Kawhi championship, right? I mean, they did have a stacked team, VanVleet and Lowry and Gasol and Norman Powell and I mean, Siakam. I mean, that's a hell of a team, man.

It really is. But Toronto won the ring, right? It's weird.

It doesn't seem right. And then the Dirk thing, right? Had one of the greatest individual playoff runs ever, okay?

But, dang it, man. Jimmy Butler had to lose a playing tournament game and then barely beat Chicago just to get to 8 and into a series, Zach. Where I promise you and I both, I had Milwaukee, I think, in slide, right? So, I believe that if Jimmy Butler can win this ring, it would be more impressive than what Kawhi or Dirk did and that is saying a lot. Last thing I'll ask you, just when we get to some of these coaches, Monte Williams gets paid a ridiculous amount of money to go to the Pistons. I like the hire of Nick Nurse to the Sixers, but they got to figure out what the heck that roster is going to look like. What has stood out to you so far in the coaching carousel with also Adrian Griffin going to the Bucks? Yeah, Giannis picking Adrian Griffin stands out.

That was a player empowerment thing. Did Giannis pick it right? Well, I would have rather gone with Nick Nurse, but he wanted a former ball player to be the head coach.

We'll see how that works out. God bless Adrian Griffin, but I would have gone with Nick Nurse. I thought he was sort of the bell of the ball here in the coaching carousel.

Huge win for Philadelphia. You get an adjusting mastermind after Doc Rivers, who I like and appreciate, Zach, but he's not a great adjuster. He's not a great X's and O's coach.

That's just fact. He's an all-time great coach, but ironically, he's not great in that area. Nick Nurse is.

He's going to right a lot of the wrongs. The problem with Nick Nurse and Philly is he's still got James Harden there, the greatest choke artist in NBA history. That will probably befall my guy, Joel Embiid.

And then you think of Phoenix right now. They're probably going to downshift to Doc Rivers, which I'm fine with. Matt Ishbia, you whack Monty Williams. I didn't think he should have done that.

Okay, you're probably going to make a big splashy move and go get a guy like Doc. And then Monty going to Detroit. I mean, look, I love it for Monty. It's the biggest contract for a head coach ever. That's pretty good.

When you're smoking cigars at the golf course, you can kind of talk some junk about that. And it's what Detroit needs. They need a professional.

They need an adult. They need a great coach, right? For these young fellas to shepherd them, eventually, Zach, to the playing tournament and to the playoffs. And so, you know, that's how I view it right now.

But I think Philly's a big, big winner getting Nick Nurse. Rick Campbell, appreciate the time as always. Make sure you listen to him Monday through Friday on Sirius XM NBA Radio 1 to 4 p.m. Eastern. Rick, thank you.

Appreciate it, Zach. There you go, Rick Campbell joining us on CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a break. We'll come on back.

A little on-site, off-site. That's S-E-E-W-H-Y. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. Zach's taking on the most polarizing issues in sports. Which side of the line of scrimmage will he end up on? Offside, defense number 69. It's on-sides, off-sides with Zach Gelb on CBS Sports Radio.

Alrighty, the artist known as Até Kiki, what do you got for me? Well, Zach, we are minutes away from the NBA Finals, starting as the Nuggets do play host to the Heat. You think that will actually start at 830 p.m. Eastern? No. My guess, I will say 843 p.m. Eastern. Okay.

I don't think you're wrong on that. But yeah, they'll tell you 830, but make sure then you got to get an extra little moment. Yeah, they got the countdown right now of 13 minutes to go before tip-off, which would be about 837. So, we'll say 837 p.m. Eastern. What do you set in the over on, Derez? Let's go on the ESPN countdown.

They have the countdown of 13 minutes and 9 seconds right now. So, that will take us to 37. I'll take the over. The slight over. 837, I would agree. So, there you go.

That's already one thing to look out for. What time will the game actually start? Other things to look out for, how much rust will the Nuggets have? Denver's not played since May 22nd, a full 10 days off. Well, Miami is coming off a big game seven win over the Celtics on Monday night. Now, the Nuggets are favored to win the Finals, as most sportsbooks have them right now, minus 400. Onsides or offsides, the Denver Nuggets will win the NBA Finals. Who are you picking, by the way? The Denver Nuggets in five.

I'm surprised by that. I thought you would continue to maybe ride this wave of the Miami Heat, since you were so confident that Miami was going to win the last round. You ended up being right. You picked Miami in six. I know they ended up winning in seven, and you had to sweat that one out, entering game seven because you took every victory lap after the first three games of this series, and then some. But I thought that maybe you would think that Miami could put up a bigger fight here.

Why is that, in your opinion? I think, well, from one, I just think the Nuggets are really damn good, really consistent. And also, too, I think also part of it is Miami's out of gas. I do think they're starting to run out of gas. This has been... How many were Caleb Martin great performances you're going to get?

A long run. You're going against a team right now that is arguably the best, the deepest. Hero's enormous for them, because if he could come back and he could quickly get back into Tyler Hero form, and I saw that Woge said it could be game two, and then Chris Haynes said it could be game three. If you get Hero back early in this series and he could go back to what you would expect out of Tyler Hero, then maybe that could be one of those players that gets in for Miami and gives them a little bit of life. You're right.

For someone who's not played those since April 16th, I'm not going to bank on that. Him coming back to me is not just automatically, oh, he's back, what a huge boost now for the Heat. Got to see how he plays, because that is a long time to come off, and then all of a sudden now expected to jump right back into the fire and play at a high level. Here's why it's for me, the Denver Nuggets, and why I'm in agreement with you. We know Nicole Jokic is the best player in this series. The second best player is Jimmy Butler. You then look at who's the third best player in this series. I trust Jamal Murray a lot more to consistently not only show up but take a game over than I do Bam out of bio.

I think Bam out of bio is like a two and a half on a championship team, where sometimes he looks like a two and then other times he looks like a three on a championship team. I still think they need one more extra piece to win that championship. They've been close. They got to two titles with Jimmy Butler and two NBA finals, but it's about winning these next four games. I'm going Denver because of how much more I like the duo of Joker and Murray compared to Jimmy Butler, who I love, and Bam out of bio. So you asked me, the Nuggets will win the NBA finals.

I will go on sides. And how about Rick Kamala going out there on an island? I think he's like the first person that I've heard in the national media to actually take the Miami Heat outside of I read an article at Israel Gutierrez before the season started, picked the Miami Heat to beat Denver in seven games. So that's a good prediction by Israel Gutierrez. If that comes to fruition, Izzy, let me hear the lottery numbers next. I also heard that before the year started, when you read that article, you said on CBS Sports Radio, hot take Hickey, the creator of the Hickey Hacks, that there's no way that that was going to be the NBA finals.

And then look what happened. That's what sources tell me. Next question.

Israel, I expect half your paycheck for helping you maybe be right here, that's for sure. You got a lot more vacation days then. That is true. That is true. Let's stick with both of these teams as there are some big time stars and lasting legacies on the line in this finals. As we know, Nicole Jokic has won two MVP awards, has helped guide the Nuggets to their first NBA finals appearance in franchise history. This postseason, the Jokers averaging 29.9 points per game, 13.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists, a triple-double in the postseason. On the other side, J. Bowler has been tremendous this postseason as well.

He's helped guide the eighth-seeded Heat all the way to the NBA finals, including that epic 56-point performance back in round number one against the Bucks. Were you in Kansas City for that? I don't recall, to be honest. Okay. Onsides or offsides, Nicole Jokic's legacy would benefit more from winning a ring than Jimmy Butler's.

That's a great question. See, here's the difference. Jimmy Butler, I think you would agree with this, is now viewed as a great player in the sport.

Yes. But if Jimmy Butler wins a ring here, it's one of the more impressive individual accomplishments that we've seen in terms of you look at that team, you don't think that team is going to win a championship. It reminds you a lot like Dirk with his roster in Dallas and Kawhi Leonard with his roster at the time that we viewed it in Toronto. If Nicole Jokic wins an MVP, we're starting to talk about one of the all-time great players.

And that's the difference for me. If Butler wins this ring, he's not considered an all-time great player. He's already a Hall of Famer.

We all know how impressive this would be. But for Nicole Jokic, she's done things that we have never seen before. And if you win two MVPs, which he already does have, and then you win a championship and then a finals MVP and he's 28, it's very similar to how we talked about Giannis and what the rest of the career trajectory could be. And you start to look at a guy that has all-time great numbers with what he's done so far, and then it puts you in a different category because you have the championship.

So yes, I do think Nicole Jokic's legacy would benefit more from winning a ring than Jimmy Butler on sides. Let's talk some pucks. The Stanley Cup final is set to start on Saturday as the Vegas Golden Knights get set to host the Florida Panthers. Now the Panthers heading into the postseason had the fewest points of any team, and were facing a 3-1 deficit to the Bruins in the first round before powering through that and going all the way to the Cup final. On the other side, Vegas, they are in their second Stanley Cup final in six years. They are also the favorites to win Lord Stanley's Cup.

And they've only been around for six years, too. And they've been to four conference finals or, if you want to say semifinal, because of the one COVID year with all the realignment. That is—CeeLo, I know you're a big hockey guy. I'm rooting against Vegas just because of that. Why? Because I want to see my team win, all right?

Six years, you get into the league, and then all of a sudden you have four trips to the conference finals and two Stanley Cup finals. I'm jealous. Is that Vegas' fault or the Rangers' fault? I'm jealous. That's why. Oh, I am, too. It's not Vegas' fault.

But I mean, God, they're giving you the blueprint for how to get it done. So Hickey's going to ask me here if the Panthers will win the Cup. I do think the Panthers are going to win the Cup because they have the better goaltender in Sergey Bobrovsky or—how did Barkley try to say it? Did you hear this at all?

I did not, no. Hickey, do me a favor. Locate real quickly how Charles Barkley tried to say it. How did that even come up?

They asked him, or? Well, he's a big hockey guy now. NHL on TNT.

They were interviewing Kachuk. No, I know that. Okay, all right. And I guess he was talking—he said before he enjoys watching hockey a lot more than the NBA.

I know that, but I'm just trying to figure out what the context was, but all right. You have this, Hickey. Go ahead. This is Charles Barkley. Sergey Bobrovsky.

Want some dessert? Bobrovsky, right, exactly. Sergey Bobrovsky. Another Bobka? Because of Bobka. And then also Kachuk.

And just— Team of destiny. Well, that's the thing. This team wasn't as bad as the way that they played in the regular season where they had the fewest points out of any team that got into the playoffs. A year ago, they won the President's Trophy. They sure did. This is hockey. Did you follow—I want to say it was in March, and Keith Kachuk, of course, went on some— I think it was a Canada radio station—and ripped the Florida Panthers.

Did he really? Basically saying, like, you know, they've got no heart. They're not tough.

They don't grind. And he was comparing it to Brady Kachuk's Ottawa Senators, who were sort of like an up-and-coming team. He's like, look, you know, they're not there yet, but every night, night in, night out, you know you're going to get the effort. I remember that getting some play. It was like a story. And I'm not saying that was the turning point, but you wonder if to some extent that lit a fire under the Florida Panthers, who had to basically sweat it out in that final week of the regular season just to get in and look at them now. Now, I was just in Denver, and I love Denver. And we know how great of a city Miami is, but if CBS Sports Radio, which I would never do, came up to me and said, Zach, would you rather go to the Stanley Cup final, the NBA finals? You have Vegas and Florida? Sunrise, Florida. Oh, yeah, but you'll stay in Miami.

I understand. Like Stephen A. Smith, if he was covering hockey, wouldn't be staying in Sunrise, Florida. Vegas and South Florida, can't do much better than that. Yeah, that would be an ultimate dream kind of trip if you just had to follow a court. Listen, sign me up. You can like stuff me in your luggage if you want. I'll go in the cargo under the plane.

That's fine with me. We'd buy a seat for you. You know what I saw the other day? I never knew you could fly an 80-pound dog in the main cabin.

Yeah? Like I had a 20-pound dog, let's say, growing up as a kid and always fit in that Sherpa bag or whatever they call it, and you throw the dog right underneath the seat. The owner bought the dog a seat, and I kid you not. Sat in the seat with the seat belt on? Sat in the seat. I don't think the seat belt was actually on.

Wow. But we get off the plane in JFK. We're walking through the terminal. This dog takes a number two in the middle of the airport. I've never seen a dog take a number two in the middle of the airport.

Listen. I've always seen the owner take the dog outside and after the dog goes. Well, there's no outside there. You're going to make it through the terminal. When you got to go, you got to go. How long was this flight? Where were you coming from?

I was coming from Denver, back from Denver. So it's like three and a half, four hours. It's a long time for a dog. Sure is.

Sure is. The dog has a seat. The dog could have gone to the bathroom on the plane. It's going to make its way right to the toilet and plop on down right into the bathroom.

It's flush too with the paw. Yeah. Are you taking the panthers from the cup? Yeah, I'll take the panthers. Okay. So I'm going panthers as well. Hickey, let's go. Two more.

All right. The DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes are starting to gain some clarity. According to the Houston Chronicle, Hopkins is interested in rejoining the Texans after spending his first seven years there at the franchise. And according to ESPN's Diana Rossini, the Patriots are interested in signing Diopo. The bills aren't, quote, all in on going after DeAndre Hopkins.

On sides or off sides, DeAndre Hopkins will sign with the Houston Texans. Now, I'm very fair with my football team in the New England Patriots. I didn't think they were going to make the playoffs last year.

I said that on the radio. I'm not like Hickey who tells you that Penn State's going to go to the college football playoff each and every year, and don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. In the last 24 hours, I just feel like the Patriots are going to find a way to get DeAndre Hopkins. I know early in the week I said it was going to be Kansas City.

If I'm wrong on that, I really do believe it's going to be New England. And I'm feeling more and more optimistic about it by the hour, but I don't see him going back to the Houston Texans. But you get to the salary, if it's not big and he wants to go back to where he started his career, and I don't know if he sells a home there and how that works out and all that, maybe he goes back to Houston, but I don't see really much of a chance he goes back to Houston.

So I will go offside on this one. And finally, Brad Stevens announced today that head coach Joe Mazula will be returning as the Celtics head man next season. The Celtics GM cited that Mazula's leadership and accountability are two of the biggest reasons why they want him back next season. Now, the first year head coach was the youngest head coach in the league. Nothing about that contract that they just gave him in the middle of the year? He did not mention that, no, about paying another coach to not be there. No, he did not bring that one up. I know for Rick Grossbeck it's probably not much, but they still owe him like $15 million, I'm pretty sure.

Spend that $15 million? No mention of that, though, in the pressure. No, no, of course not. The money never is a factor.

That is for sure. He did, though, to his credit, help guide the Celtics to the second best record in the league before, as we know, bowing out at home in Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Onsides or offsides? The Celtics made the right move in bringing Joe Mazula back. Onsides and here's why. Who else are you going to bring in?

You're not going back to the Dock River as well. His team have not been able to show up in the postseason when you look back at the last few years and he's far removed from that championship that he won in Boston. Monty Williams, his teams didn't show up in the last two postseasons as well in those final games and they were so bad. It was just dreadful up against Dallas and then this past year up against the Denver Nuggets where they allowed 81 points, I think it was, at halftime. It was just embarrassing. They were down by 30 points.

There wasn't really a guy out there that you love. If you want to tell me you go get Nick Nurse, fine, but he's already head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, so I think it's fine bringing back Joe Mazula. They didn't lose that game and that series because of Joe Mazula.

They lost that game because Jalen Brown didn't show up. So I'm okay with the Celtics bringing back Joe Mazula onsides. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show.

Well I thank you very much. This is the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio, 8.39 and change p.m. Eastern time when the NBA Finals did get underway. And early on the Denver Nuggets have a 14-8 lead as they do have about 6.35 remaining in this first quarter. Check that actually, 14-9. And Aaron Gordon right out of the gate does have 8 points for the Denver Nuggets in game one of the NBA Finals out in Denver, he's 4-6 from the field with 8 points.

So we'll keep you up to date on that. Once again, 14-9 with 6.35 remaining in game one of the NBA Finals in the first quarter. So Adam Silver did kind of like a State of the Union, a press conference of all things for the NBA at Ball Arena where the Denver Nuggets do play before game one of the NBA Finals. So Adam Silver discussed his investigation into Ja Morant with all the latest happening with the Grizzly Star. We've uncovered a fair amount of additional information, I think since I was still asked about the situation, I would say we probably could have brought it to a head now, but we made the decision and I believe the Players Association agrees with us that it would be unfair to these players and these teams in the middle of this series to announce the results of that investigation and given that we're coursing the off-season, he has now been suspended by the Memphis Grizzlies indefinitely and so nothing would have changed anyway in the next few weeks. It seemed better to park that at the moment, at least any public announcement, and my sense now is that shortly after the conclusion of the Finals, we will announce the outcome of that investigation. That sounds like to me, Hickey, that the hammer is about to be dropped on Ja Morant. That was him basically setting up, we know this is going to be a big story, right, because if there's no further suspension and let's just say it's a definite suspension right now and they go, alright, we're going to give him eight games last time, so let's just say they'll double it and they'll make it 16 games, alright, that's really not that big of a deal.

In my opinion. But that makes me think that bare minimum, what, half a year suspension potentially? You would think because you're right, Adam Silver is talking about not wanting to have that overshadow the Finals, which would mean it's not going to be a slap on the wrist. It's got to be something significant.

Right. Like really significant. Like we would talk about it, like let's say if you announce it today, we talk about it tomorrow at some point, but if it's like eight games, okay, you got eight games, you hope he figures his life out, you move on. If it's 40 games, a full season, you're obviously talking a lot about Ja and his future, the Grizzlies' future, Adam Silver's kind of like playing the seeds of what should be a pretty lengthy suspension. Especially with how many days there are in between and how some people don't love this NBA Finals and it's like you're only reacting to one game, so if the game is a stinker tonight, let's just say that everyone's talking about this tomorrow. Like sometimes I think the league, they put too much into their decision in terms of, you could announce things while an NBA Finals is going on or a World Series is going on or a Super Bowl is going on, but anything I understand from a commissioner standpoint that would take away from the NBA Finals when you could avoid it, which they can't hear because he's right.

I'll give credit, even though I don't like Silver, I'll give him credit. Right now he's suspended, but we always said like, what does that mean if they're in the offseason anyway? So not that it's out of sight, out of mind, but if you bring this right back up into the equation that you gave Ja Morant a significant suspension, you'd rather try to keep the focus on the game. So like I get it that I don't get it when it comes to that, but when he was talking about that, he made it seem like they've been decided now for a while and they're going to drop the hammer on Ja Morant.

And here's the thing that I wonder, what new information or additional information that they discovered? Because the last time that this was brought into question, he was out in a, in a strip club, I think in Denver actually. And the question was, well, did he bring the gun on the plane and, and did he bring it into the facility and things like that? And to my knowledge, they found out, I don't know how they, they found this out that they, that Ja Morant didn't bring the gun on the plane. But in terms of this case, if I'm, if I'm just assuming that those comments are based on just what happened this go around, when he's in a car with a bunch of friends, one of the friends, a friend is Instagram living, I guess the friend didn't know that Ja Morant had the gun or was going to take the gun out. Because if you remember, a lot of people were crushing the friend at first for being on Instagram live, like a hundred people watching.

And that's not a lot of people, but you know, people screen grab everything and then it goes viral. The moment Ja pulled out the gun, the friend dropped the phone. The friend knew Ja was in the wrong right away.

So based off of what we saw in the video, what other information could there possibly be Hickey that you didn't already know? Or is that just commissioner speak in terms of trying to be so vague to further justify whatever this decision is eventually going to be? Well, I'm sure they did a lot of now, especially this being the second time, a lot more digging, maybe interviewing more people that are close to Ja or are around him and maybe they're just getting... Why would you cooperate though? Like, you don't have to cooperate if you're a friend to Ja Morant.

No, you don't. And who not like, again, maybe they're not only talking to friends, they're talking again. People who see him every day like that are security guards with the grizzlies or like, you know, like you're not friends, but you're just kind of, you're observing and around Ja every day. I don't know if there's verbal altercations. I don't know if there's, he carries with him more than he should and he's taken to places that he should not and just hasn't gotten caught before.

Like who knows? Or maybe he said something the last time and that ended up being a lie. Let's be real. Adam Silver has no choice but to come down hard on Ja Morant because he took Ja Morant for his word last time and Ja Morant couldn't even get through an entire season or an entire off season without there being another issue. And when you say something to the commissioner and you end up lying and then you're right back into this situation, you learn nothing. I know I say all the time that this commissioner is spineless and the players really do run the league. But if you allow a player to lie to you, say that this will never happen again, understand right the role model stuff that they were saying at the time, but you kind of just roll your eyes to and how Adam Silver says he sends genuine remorse, you know, from Ja Morant and then you're in this mess right away this quickly again. If you don't do something here, if you're Adam Silver, you just have no cajones and you have no control of your league.

He's embarrassed. We talked to Ja, he made it seem like Ja was heartfelt and remorseful and truly understood why what he did was so problematic. You slapped him on the wrist because they gave him an eight game suspension, but six of those were basically him leaving the team anyway and you slapped him on the wrist with an extra two games just so you did something and right, what, three months later after that entire, you know, come to Jesus moment of Ja Morant feeling better, now he embarrasses you just like that. You have no choice.

My two things also here, I'm really curious how the MBPA is going to fight this if it is significant. And the other thing, I said this from the start, so I just want to reiterate it here. I don't even think you need a certain amount of games here. You got to make sure that Ja Morant starts to change his ways or else he's going to either harm someone else, harm himself, or he's going to throw away his career if he continues to do these things. So like I would be fine if they just did indefinite and then you bring in medical professionals and the team has to be convinced that he's changed and Silver's has to be convinced that he's changed as well until you think about him going back on a basketball court. But that's just what I would say from the start. Like if you give him a 50 game suspension an entire year of suspension, will he actually learn something or will he just resent the MBA and then once he gets back, he just does the same old, same old and put on an act.

So I would kind of go in indefinite suspension if I was running a league and then you have to check certain boxes to get back on the court. Mountain Dew Zero Sugar asked, ever wonder what it would be like to live in an alternate universe? Well, friends, welcome to the alternate universe of Mountain Dew Zero Sugar, because even though it says zero sugar right there on the bottle, when you crack one open and try it, the taste is nothing less than outrageously delicious. Hey, transport yourself to an alternate universe with Mountain Dew Zero Sugar. Zero Sugar, all Dew. Quit your Thursday quality mart today where you can get 220 ounce ice cold Mountain Dew's for only $3.50. Mountain Dew and Quality Mart, do the Dew.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-01 22:26:24 / 2023-06-01 22:45:55 / 20

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