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Phoenix Pursuing James Harden? (Hour 3)

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June 8, 2023 9:07 pm

Phoenix Pursuing James Harden? (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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June 8, 2023 9:07 pm

News Brief l Alan Shipnuck, Fire Pit Collective golf reporter l James Harden to the Suns?

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Alrighty, this is Zach Gelb's show Coast to Coast on CBS Sports Radio.

Hickey, finally you used your powers for the better. You were tweeted about this Mets-Braves game after the Mets just had two horrific nights of baseball and you wrote, today is my breaking point. I've never supported the thought of firing Buck Showalter until today. This team is a disgrace. They look lifeless, zero sense of urgency, mental mistakes, I'm done, fire Buck and you tag the Mets.

And then moments later you had Brendan Nimmo hitting a grand slam and now the Mets do have the lead. So how about that? I'm impressed on this one.

About damn time, I read them the riot act and they responded. Oh yeah. So yeah, props to me.

I thought you didn't have these powers though, you claim and you always push back. I fired him up. Yeah. Tore the pain off the wall, that's how much I was screaming. And that message was heard so loud. It traveled from New York City down to Atlanta and look at that five run next half inning without a doubt. They just saved Buck's job. We're trying to.

Yeah, I'm a little disappointed in you though because I thought you were a man of integrity. You released that video a few weeks ago where you're running around the studio like a madman going nuts. The Mets are back. Remember this day, the Mets are back.

You're going crazy. And then they went a little bit of a win streak. I think they went like four in a row and you were quoting that video. See folks, see folks.

And then they went the other way. And I haven't seen you doing the right thing and still pointing out the fact that they aren't back here. So I'm surprised by you. I thought you were a man of integrity. Even when things aren't going your way, you acknowledge it. I thought we were going to be seeing responses to that video.

You kept on putting checks out there. I thought we were going to start getting X's there. Well, and the video is based upon the Mets turning it around and this being the spark plug that they need to turn their season around. And for a little bit, they did.

And then all of a sudden it goes the other way. Like, I don't know what else you want me to do. You were throwing it in people's faces when they went to that win streak and you kept on putting checks out there. That's also unfortunate that the reason why they won that game specifically was a lot of the young kids and the kids barely play now. So it's not even really my fault because they don't even put them on the field for them to win the game. So, you know, this team stinks, right? This is not a good baseball team. And that's what I just said. They sink.

That's why the manager should be fired. I never said they were better than they should be. But now, like, I feel like you're going to get back into them. Like, they come back and win this.

It doesn't take much to really flick the switch for you in the other direction. If the Mets end up winning this game and then they go to the next series, they win two games, you're going to be back to them saying they're back. I just, I can't get frustrated at this team anymore because they just, they do this to you all the time. And they're just not a good baseball team this year. And they have the talent. They're just not playing to it. Do they really have the talent?

Yes. The bullpen's missing Edwin Diaz. Verlander and Scherzer are old offensively. Lindor has not been great. You look at Pete Alonzo, Pete's having a really solid season, but outside of that, I like Francisco Alvarez.

Sure. This is not like a loaded team. There's not a team that I look at and go, this should be a championship contending team.

That's just me. And they spent half a billion dollars on the, on the roster. You can spend money.

Doesn't mean you spend the money well. They have talent on the team. They're just not playing up to it right now. I think this is a bad team. I was not optimistic about this team headed into the season. And right now, it's not looking good for the Mets, but we'll see. They win this game. And how many years they start off great and then they're just miserable down the stretch. Maybe it goes the other way, but I can't sit here and pretend like this is going to be a really good team.

Cause I just don't believe in the construction of this team for this year. That's just the way that I look at it already. Let's get to a news brief. Time for your daily news brief. We get you caught up on the rumors reports and reconnaissance from the day in sports. This portion of the show is brought to you by Wesley financial stuck in a timeshare and one out contact Wesley financial group now and get a free timeshare exit information kit at

Once again, We start things off with maybe my favorite coach in the NBA these days. I love when he wins and he still has issues with all people covering his team. I'm a big fan of Mike Malone, but Mike Malone was pretty positive last night and he had a big reason, two reasons to be positive. And that was the play of Nicola Jokic and also Jamal Murray both go for 30 plus point triple doubles. And it's the first time in the history of the league where you had teammates go for 30 plus point triple doubles. Mike Malone says this was the best game Nicola Jokic and Jamal Murray ever played together.

You know, I've been with Nicola for eight and Jamal for seven years now. And we've been, you know, we've had some pretty good moments, but not in the NBA finals. And for those guys to make history the way they did tonight, no one's ever done that.

I mean, that's what's really neat about it. You get to win. I thought our defense was fantastic tonight. You hold that team to 94 points, 37 from the field, only 11 threes. You know, that really helped us out tonight, the defending and rebounding at a high level, but by far their greatest performance as a duo in their seven years together.

Hickey, two things off of that. Number one, do you think they're the best duo right now in the NBA? Talent wise, no. Playing together, yes. Who would you say talent wise better duo than them?

Durant Booker. They just don't compliment each other's games very well. They're basically the same player. And also we haven't seen them enough together. Very limited sample space where Durant gets there, then gets hurt. I think they play like eight or nine regular season games together in the postseason.

You just know that roster was not good enough. Yeah, they're the best duo in the NBA. And I know Steph is tremendous and Clay with the three point season that he just had, he went on a big tear, but Clay is not as reliable as he once was. I would say you're probably right that the other duo that could rival them is Durant and also Devin Booker. Tatum and Brown, I guess, get thrown in there, but Brown was just awful in that last playoff series and beat hard to know.

Lebron AD just not healthy enough. So those are some of the duos, but Jamal Murray, he actually may be my favorite story of the postseason. I know you could say just as equally it's the Koli Jokic because he's getting that respect for any of those dumb doubters that were saying, oh, he's not exciting, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And now you're just basically eating your words. But Jamal Murray showing you that he's a great player in this league. And I know in 2020, he was phenomenal in the bubble. Then that team was cruising. They were just coming off like a seven or eight game win streak before they lost two in a row. And he tore his ACL up against the Warriors, but I thought they had the looks of a championship team that year. And the last two years they haven't had him in the court. I don't think heading into the playoffs, people realized how great Jamal Murray was. And you look from a duo perspective, Nicole Jokic, there's never a concern about him not showing up.

You know what Durant and Booker's team did in that elimination game this year, you would never see an elimination game with having both those guys in the court. Murray and Jokic no show like that because Joker always shows up. And Jamal Murray reminded people last night, even though it wasn't the best start to this series, just how lethal of a player he is.

Let's go to Nicole Jokic. She gives Jamal Murray praise for how great he's been. He's playing phenomenal. I think the whole, the whole playoff and he's, we're just following him. Like I said, he's really good leader. His energy is amazing.

And we are just following. And the duo together, first time ever in the history of basketball duo is going for 30 plus points in a triple double. And then in the NBA finals, it's the first time Nicole Jokic, you know, for a player in the NBA finals history goes for 30 plus points, 20 plus rebounds and 10 assists.

Nicole Jokic was asked about that history, was asked about his reaction to having a stat line that's never been done before in the NBA finals. To be honest, I just think it's a win, you know, because if you lose, nobody's gonna even mention it. I mean, to be honest, I don't care.

It's just, it's just a stat. So a lot of players would say that, Hickey, and I think we'd all roll our eyes and go, oh, come on. How do you not care? But Nicole Jokic is such a selfless superstar. He should be everything that is right with the NBA. And I know everyone has to have an ego but he's one of those guys. I've never seen an ego from the Cole Jokic.

And I really do believe he'd rather have more assists than he would want to have points in a basketball game. And everything you hear him say too in every press conference, cause he's setting records now, every game it feels like in every single series, it's the same thing. He doesn't care. He doesn't want to be the center of attention.

He quickly wants to shed light to Jamal Murray and how great he's playing and Michael Malone and Christian Brown and KCP. Like you never hear him say the word. I, Oh, I did this great. I was great. I couldn't miss.

He always looks to defer attention on him to either. I don't care about the stat or all my teammates were great. Yeah. It does deflect any of that praise. You're absolutely right. And you know, it's crazy. I don't even think Denver has played their best game in these NBA finals so far. And they're still up to one. And you see Michael Malone last time, like two minutes left or one minute left.

Oh, he's going nuts. Dropping F bomb after F bomb. It was Saban and Belichick like, and I love that. That's one of my favorite things with the coach.

Some people go, Oh, enjoy it. Stop freaking out. I love those coaches.

And even when they know they have a victory are still fighting tooth and nail until the end and going absolutely nuts because it just shows you that these guys are maniacs. And I love a maniac as a coach that, that you have to be a man. If you want to be a coach of my team, I need you to be a coaching maniac. If you don't have that trade hickey, I don't want you as the coach of my team.

I'm a little surprised. He didn't break a clipboard up by, what was it? 11, I think with like a minute and a half left. He Saban what broke the headset, I think in the national title game when they're up like 30 points and slammed it down. We needed a Michael Malone clipboard over the knee on the court, just to really send a message to finish this game out.

Let's go to Jimmy Butler. He says the Miami Heat aren't panicking down two one. We feel great. We didn't play our best tonight. I feel like we just got to come out with more energy and effort.

And that's correctable. That's on us as a, as a group, no X's and O's can fix that. So, you know, come out, dive on the floor, get loose balls, get defensive rebounds, and maybe just maybe it would have been a different game. Three players decide this series for Miami.

And who would have ever thought we'd be saying this? Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, and Max Drews. In game two, those guys were on. They just won the game. In game three, those guys really didn't do much and they don't end up winning the game.

So, you look at that. If they want to have a shot, this roster is not even close compared to what Denver has. They need those three guys to be unconscious night in and night out.

And I just don't expect that to happen. Frank Reich and why he named Bryce Young QB 1-0. It's been the right time. He had a couple of weeks to watch Andy.

That was really, that was really good stuff. And Andy's continued to perform at a very high level. You know, Bryce is doing well. Matt's doing well. It's, you know, we're just trying to get our team ready. Everything is about what's best for our team.

So, this was just the next step. I know it's a process, Hickey, but it's Andy Dalton. An old Andy Dalton. You've had a franchise that hasn't had a quarterback since Cam.

You just drafted the number one overall pick. I know you have to say those things as a coach, but there's no way that the owner of the team, nor should he, and David Tepper would allow Andy Dalton to be the week one starter, barring an injury. Especially when the only thing about Bryce Young, the only knock was his size. And he's not going to grow six feet from now until week one or six feet from week one to week four, where, okay, let's wait till October to put him in. He's NFL ready.

He has every single tool you need to come in and start right away. The only thing he can't control, the only knock was his size. And like you said, he's not shooting up another foot. He's not gaining 50 pounds between now and week one. Then he looked like a sack of potatoes. 40 pounds probably should do him a lot more bad than good.

So maybe you don't want that. Remember last year, Tariq Woulin called Russell Wilson a sack of potatoes. Maybe that's why Russ is looking slimmer now. Forgot I was just trying to get better shape to play better.

It goes, Sierra goes, Hey, listen, you hear that? Get on the treadmill. Russ is looking slim and trim.

Russ looks committed this year to the Denver Broncos. Less talking, more production. You know how he lost all that weight, right?

Why is that? He had to move that office off the second floor back to the first floor. A lot of things you probably had to move down to back to the locker. Good workout. Good workout.

A lot of binders. All right, let's hear Jimmy Dunn. He played a big role in brokering this deal, this merger with Liv Golf. He explains why despite losing 66 of his colleagues during 9-11, he's confident the people associated with Liv had nothing to do with the terrorist attack.

Yeah, it's something I just read on national radio, this courtesy of the Golf Channel. Every day, the first thing I think about is that several times during the day, I think about it. And the last thing I think about at night is that that has not changed since that day. And I'm not alone in that. I would guarantee that every one of those family members has that same condition. And it's just a reality of how unbelievably sad and awful that day was. So I understand that. And I am quite certain, and I have had conversations with a lot of very knowledgeable people, that the people I'm dealing with had nothing to do with it.

And if someone can find someone that unequivocally was involved with it, I'll kill them myself. But the reality of it is, we need to come together as a people, even our country. We have too much divisiveness. And at some point in time, whether it's our view of the Japanese, or our view of the Germans, there is a point in time where you have to say, hey, let's try to get to know one another.

Let's try to understand. Yeah, golf's really going to bring everyone together. Now, I texted this to someone that's pretty notable in the golf world. I said it's never bad for a talk show host to have people talking. But the constant defending the 9-11 aspect of this is so stupid. These guys are just better off not doing the interviews and shutting the bleep up. Dunn, Monahan, and Bryson sounded so stupid in the last 24 hours.

And someone pretty well known in the golf world responded back to me, 100% agree, they're embarrassing themselves. They're almost better off not doing these interviews and just saying, guys, we took the money. All right, I know what Monahan said.

He was a hypocrite. We took the money. The money is why this deal is getting done. When you try to make this into different conversations, and then you start trying to poo-poo the 9-11, you just sound stupid. Stop sounding stupid.

Stop doing the interviews. We all know why this deal got done. Money. No bleep.

Got done because of money. Stop embarrassing yourself with back-to-back days, verbal diarrhea from Bryson to Shambo, Jay Monahan, and now Jimmy Dunn. Take a break. Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio. We will talk about this merger with Alan Shipnuck. He had a great article coming up next. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. It is Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. We react to all the craziness, and we're trying to get some clarity of what is actually going on in the golf world. So let's go out to the hotline right now, welcome in one of the more knowledgeable people covering golf for a long time, spent 25 years on the golf beat at Sports Illustrated, now a part of the Fire Pick Collective, has a book, Live and Let Die, the inside story of the war between the PGA Tour and Live Golf, and had a really good article out today, and that of course is Alan Shipnuck. Alan, appreciate the time as always.

Thanks for it. How are you? I'm doing great. How are you guys doing?

Well, doing fantastic. So I want to start you off with what Greg Norman said on this call, that there's no operational changes in 2023, 2024, 2025 to Live Golf and into the future, and that comes from the top. And Yasser, I'm just wondering, like, what do you think? I know all this is a gray area. What do you believe Greg Norman's role is going to be moving forward?

That's an unknown. I have a feeling maybe he'll get to do a victory lap, and then he will sort of ride off. With a lot of fanfare, they'll send him off as the conquering hero. Norman is so polarizing in this new arrangement where they're going to try and play nice between the tours and all that.

He's an impediment to that, so I don't think they're going to push him out just now. They'll get through this turbulent period and let Greg feel like he's part of it, but I think long term, it's unlikely that he's going to have a significant role. Yeah, he wasn't even a part of this deal, so is it just like him being in denial at this point that he just doesn't want to accept that he's probably going to be moving out of the golf world or this current structure of the golf world pretty soon?

Possibly, but I think he does feel triumphant. I mean, this is everything Greg Norman's ever wanted, and you have to give him credit. Without him as his driving force, we wouldn't be at this moment where everything is changed in golf. He has reason to beat his chest a little bit, but as we've seen, Yasser and the guys at the public investment fund level are ruthless, and they are effective, and so they're going to do what's best for them and not what's best for Greg Norman.

I think Greg can have a role in the short term, but now it's important. There's a lot of confusion here. This is not a merger between the PGA Tour and Liv Golf. This is a merger between the PGA Tour and the public investment fund, which has basically bought the PGA Tour, and now they're going to reimagine what the PGA Tour can be while also mixing in the European Tour. They can exist in parallel, where Liv can keep doing its thing.

This new creation, which doesn't have a name yet, it'll launch, and it'll be its own game. Then you have some co-section events where you bring everybody together, because that would be delicious fun if you have events where you have the Liv guys and you have the Tour guys. I think that everyone on the PGA Tour wants there to be a putative measure against those who've already gotten to Liv.

It may be that the flow is mostly one-way. If you're a Tour guy, you can play both. If you're a Liv guy, you mostly are stuck on Liv. They'll let you play some Tour events and maybe not the FedEx Cup and maybe not the big one. You'll have non-member status, but this is not a merger between Liv and the PGA Tour. It's more complex than that.

I do agree that I think a lot of people on Shupnok think that they're confusing that and it is a big misconception. How much do you think the rules are going to change at all on the PGA Tour with how much you've been covering this? The membership rules, you mean? I'm just talking about what new things like team golf and how you incorporate that and things like that that's been been speculated. It's important to understand that Yoster now runs professional golf and Liv is his creation. It's his baby. He has nurtured it from its infancy. He wants it to succeed. He's not just here to write checks so the PGA Tour can go on its merry way.

What is in it for him? Obviously, there's access capitalism, they call it. He now has an official relationship with every big company in America. When he wears his public investment fund hat, that's quite valuable. But on the golf side, he wants Liv to succeed and to thrive because it's also a way for the public investment fund to get its money back. Their whole model has been to sell these franchises for nine figures and that's how they get their investment back. He's going to want access to PGA Tour players and he's going to want the Liv events to become a bigger deal.

That's where this sort of co-sanctioning comes in. Imagine if you had a team event. Take the six best Liv teams and they qualify throughout their season-long points race and whoever the top six are at this cutoff day, they play this next tournament.

Then you bring in a team with six teams from the best PGA Tour players. It would be Ryder Cup intensity and it would make those Liv events a must-watch and it'd be a way to pay the PGA Tour guys. They can make the Liv person even bigger and so the Tour guys are going to want to play over there and everybody wins. Players get even richer. There's a lot more value to what Liv is doing and the public investment fund gets its money back. The actual details of how the players are going to flow back and forth and who's going to be eligible and how the tournament schedule is going to be integrated, that's still in the works. I think that clearly Yasser is in a position of strength and he wants Liv to thrive and therefore will.

That's my reading of the situation. I know that you had one quote from a Liv executive that's kind of blown up to it says now he could finally get Hideki Matsuyama and John Raab. I would say every big name of the PGA Tour will get an offer except Rory.

Nobody wants that little b-word on their team. At this point if you're a PGA Tour golfer and you haven't taken the money, if they come back and offer you some ridiculous money, I don't see why you wouldn't take it where a year ago that'd be controversial. Now with the public investment fund merging with the PGA Tour you'd kind of be stupid at this rate not to take the money.

Of course, the walls are all down. The reason not to take the Liv money from a practical standpoint was that you might not get world ranking points, you might not get into the majors, you might not get to play the Ryder Cup. Well those things all go away now. And then there was the morality question.

Jay Monhan turned into an issue of morality. When have you ever had to apologize for being a PGA Tour member? Had you spent a lot of time and effort demonizing the Saudis?

And that's all gone now. The PGA Tour has given the official staff approval and said Saudi money is okay. It's a nod to the realities of the world and it's made a lot of people queasy. But it's certainly for if you're the players you say okay well our bosses said it's all right, our institutions have said it's okay, our sponsors have signed off.

Why wouldn't you take the money? I doubt Rory will because first of all he has enough money and taken this very principled stance. But I think everybody else in golf didn't play here. It's a way to make these players whole. Matsuyama had an offer for almost 400 million dollars and he was brow beaten by Tiger, Rory and Monahan not to take it.

So how was he feeling a couple days ago? Well now they can make him whole with another offer and he can still play select as many tour events as he wants and a lot of the bitterness starts to wash away among the top players who did stay loyal to the PGA Tour. And if you continue to follow more and more players if it goes that way that live golf isn't going anywhere they're just going to keep on taking the money. I know what you just said about Rory but if you keep on having just a ridiculous amount of guys take the money do you think eventually he would he would cave and take that money or would they not even offer him at this point?

Oh no, I mean sure it would be a coup for Liv if they could get Rory. So there will be a re-approachment and you know Rory is a businessman too. He's got all these investments, he's got all these deals.

I mean they may find him in the ground but it's because that's the overarching lesson of this whole thing. The money always wins, it always wins. And whether that's in politics, whether that's in sports, you know whether it's in real estate, you name it the money always wins. And so that becomes the answer like what's going to happen just follow the money.

I mean that deep throat said that 50 years ago it's an enduring roadmap to understanding these complex times like follow the money and Josh has got all the money so I think that's when we're not sure what the answer is that's the answer. And last thing I'll ask you Alan Shipnuk, how long do you think Jay Monahan is still going to be associated with the golf world because clearly he's taking a beating right now but he was essentially and getting this deal done clearly. I know a lot of players on tour are annoyed with him. Is it eventual resignation of Monahan probably inevitable at this point? Well that again it's pretty easy to buy happiness right so if in the structure of how things shake out the next few months if all the PGA Tour loyalists can get paid I don't think they're going to be that mad anymore. I mean the ultimate job of the PGA Tour commissioner is to get his payers players paid that's it you know improve the product handle the TV contracts but the players care about most is getting paid so if Monahan can find a way to do that and he certainly can because he can go to the author and say well make this work I need x I need y and actually like fine yeah no big deal. And so I think that the players are going to suddenly find happiness here and it's going to be direct deposit in their bank account and I mean Monahan keeps failing upwards right he was just the commissioner of a faltering score now he's the CEO of this this brand new enterprise that is going to reshape the game and has unlimited capital so he's a survivor he's a boardroom warrior and I think he'll land on his feet. Alan Shipnuk appreciate the time thanks so much.

All right thank you. There you go Alan Shipnuk joining us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We will take a break when we come on back another destination has been thrown out there for James Hardeman. Do you hear that? That is the sound of BMW performance without a single piston or cylinder a generation of all electric vehicles designed and built like no other. The BMW iX i7 and i4 revolutionize every drive into a thrilling opportunity to feel the pure rush of BMW 100 electric but isn't that what you would expect from the ultimate electric driving machine.

Take advantage of exceptional lease and finance offers today. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show. All righty Zach Gelb show CBS Sports Radio so I was reading today that Ramona Shelburne and I forget who had this but this has been out there before but now it's resurfaced because she said it says keep an eye on James Hard and maybe to Phoenix she said the Phoenix Suns don't wave Chris Paul unless they feel pretty good about somebody else and I want you to keep your eye on James Hard and I don't want to report anything but that was in the wind for the past month or so. Now Hickey this is what I think is a big problem with some in sports media like Ramona Shelburne is known for being a great reporter and now she gets thrown on shows to give her opinion but when you say I want you to keep an eye on James Hard I don't want to report anything but that was in the wind for the past month or so it's like just that wording of you know to me just sounds like weird. Is this an opinion?

You're hearing things but were the things that you're hearing not substantial enough where you're not going to report it? It almost is like she's just assuming here that that's what it comes off to me as. To me it sounds more like a rumor like hey look I've been talking to people this is a belief or this is a thought of James Hard and going to Phoenix and maybe it's never been on the record maybe she doesn't you know she's trying to save maybe some sources and again not burn any relationships while also trying to leave a few breadcrumbs out there for people to nibble on. Is this a windy thing? Oh what does this mean Utah Jazz?

Is this a windy thing? Brian Windhorst is the king of also the non-report report of not giving an opinion but being plugged in in the know and kind of you could pick up what he's putting down I think that's what Ramona Shelburne is trying to do here without kind of making it obvious or again selling out her sources. Now can we trust the eye though of Ramona Shelburne because Eric Spulcher said that's an untrained eye when she was asking that question the other night even though I agree with what she was asking. No we can't trust anyone's eye that's not a coach a player I guess former player too and like staffer so those are the only people I can talk about guarding the Koliokic and maybe even the NBA. So today's the last day we're talking NBA. Look at the difference from game two to game three weren't able to take away those passing lanes and just make the Koliokic a score and then he does everything and just absolutely burns you.

I want to say I'm a better coach than Spul but if I always say we'll just let him run right to the basket score 50 points okay they're they're gonna lose guys you got it right where you want them. It would annoy me if James Hardem winds up with the Phoenix Suns and it would annoy me for one reason and one reason only. If you're Kevin Durant where you didn't have the guts to tell Kyrie Irving that you wanted James Harden on the team over him when those two reached the point where their relationship was fractured beyond repair and then James Harden goes to Philadelphia in a trade the Nets get back Ben Simmons if we now get a situation where KD goes yeah I'll prove that you know it matters to me go get James Harden and we have Devin Booker James Harden and Kevin Durant it's like did you ever learn your lesson Kevin Durant because don't get me wrong James Harden did everything they asked of him in Brooklyn. He tried to cater to Kyrie Irving when he got there but if you're trying to win a championship tell me how that fits together Kevin Durant Devin Booker and James Harden.

I know we've seen teams before where people go oh there's not there's only one basketball not enough basketballs for them but in this case there wouldn't be enough basketballs. You want to team up Durant and Booker fine but if you then make this Durant Booker and James Harden I don't get that. I would not do this if I am the Phoenix Suns. The Phoenix Suns would just be star hunting there that's what they would be doing but just because you're star hunting does not mean that that necessarily leads to a championship like I wouldn't feel any better about the Phoenix Suns if you're bringing James Harden. Here's the tricky part if you don't ask James Harden to be a top guy I mean one or two on your team you know he loves partying you know he loves having a good time there'll be no short dose of partying in Arizona in Phoenix and if he knows that he doesn't have to be the old James Harden partying is going to go up in intensity even when he's asked to be the second best player on the team or even when he's the best player on the team that partying is always up in intensity so how committed of a version are you going to get of James Harden but this would allow him to have one of those situations that I think he would love the most which the partying comes first and then it's basketball. If you're the Suns I guess you're thinking you are going to James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets when Kyrie, KD and Harden were all three healthy the role Harden assumed was a pass first point guard yeah didn't want to score and actually again the tough part is they barely played together so it's a very small sample size and I commend James Harden the way he conducted himself in Brooklyn and when the three were healthy they played well they did play well and he assimilated to his role being a pass first point guard really well and I think honestly that's what he kind of wants to do I don't think he wants to score and I actually no it doesn't I should say that he doesn't want the pressure he does not want the pressure on him to have to be the guy and even though he went to Philly and it was Joel and Bede's team it was still we're talking about okay and Bede's obviously the MVP but you need James Harden to play extremely well in order to win and you saw in game six you saw in game seven classic James Harden in the playoffs you go to Phoenix it's Kevin Durant and it's Devin Booker and your main role is how can I feed these guys where can I find them how can I get them open I do think it would be a good regular season team but I don't think it would be a good postseason team because Durant's not going to be able to play through an entire season anymore you're going to have to give him some rest and he suffers injuries as well so if Durant needs a breather then James Harden could change the role up a little bit you get Harden and Devin Booker as well but if you're looking to fill out this roster with how much money James Harden is going to command and oh yeah by the way you're gonna have to get rid of DeAndre Ayton and Chris Paul to do this come playoff time I don't see that being a winning team well I'm glad you brought the payments I think it's also that's a way to kind of fish out the buy-in for James Harden you can't afford to pay him what he's looking for like if he wants to get the most money he's going to Houston if he's truly committed if he's truly committed to it I don't buy this by the way he would take a pretty significant pay cut in order to join the Suns because they need more than just a point guard as we saw in the playoffs they need a whole lot of depth as well I don't buy that I know this isn't a report but and I know she said this has been in the air for a while whatever she said but I just don't buy that James Harden is going to be a member of the Phoenix Suns I mean just the other day and this one this is also just the stupidity of the NBA offseason even though we're not even there yet one of the other day was oh he's torn between Philadelphia and going back to Houston that's right and now all of a sudden you know this isn't a report but keep an eye on James Harden maybe to Phoenix you know what this seems like this seems like the small chance that it happens I just want it to be known that I had it out there before a lot of other people that's what this report and I know she said it wasn't a report really just screams to me that's what it does at this rate I would be really surprised if James Harden isn't back with the Houston Rockets I would be really surprised because you just said something money this guy I don't think he cares about winning the championship anymore I think he has come to grips with I probably won't win a championship I'm going to the hall of fame he wants one last fat pay day and if you're going to Houston they're going to give you a one last fat payday now they may do that in Philadelphia too because you do have a sucker there in Dallamore who is your biggest supporter and your biggest fan and you actually have leverage here if you're James Harden with Philadelphia because even though it's probably better if Philadelphia gets rid of him and doesn't commit to four years to him what is Philadelphia doing if he's done so and he walks out the door and before you say Dame Willard if they have to go make a trade for Dame Willard well let's see what Dame wants to do first because he keeps on vacillating you're gonna have to get rid of Tyrese Maxey just for starters and I don't think you want to get rid of Tyrese Maxey so really the Sixers are in a no-win situation here it's like you're damned if you do you're damned if you don't if you give him the deal I know Sixers fans won't be happy but if you don't give him the deal then what are you doing to try to maximize this Embiid championship window which probably in Philly is only two to three more years of a championship thought of a window for Joel the process Embiid. They are truly at a crossroads of Sixers now we're not talking about them specifically but this is you're not wrong James Harden does have somehow big-time leverage here and if he and it's maddening the guys just know showed in game six and game seven I know and he won game one he won game four and after that he shut it down it's crazy yeah two good playoff games in the stretch of eight years should not be enough to don't forget that block that he had up against okay in the bubble that was a big block congrats to you James against the tanking thunder and Chris Paul who weren't taken actually no right exactly right man how that series got to seven games was absolutely that was like that's right that's that's the part of it forgets gentleman's sweep and here we are in game seven sweating it out of the other rockets and James did not play well offensively in that game not at all the highlight of that game was the block that was the highlight for for James Harden where do you think he goes because I don't buy this Phoenix stuff I do think Philadelphia is being considered ultimately though I even though he shouldn't even though Houston shouldn't bring him back I do think Houston is is going to be desperate enough to do so I will agree I think it's the Rockets as well for the money and also again less pressure he's going to be the man but the Rockets are not nowhere near a title contender bare minimum probably maybe around a 10 seed especially now Imea Doka coming on in he doesn't have the pressure that he would in Philly or Phoenix and also you look at Phoenix, Phoenix kind of screwed you have Durant you have Booker don't get me wrong phenomenal duo together but you're either gonna have to make a decision just for starters on Paul or Aiden I know there was stuff that all maybe they'll get rid of Paul then maybe they'll they'll wave him and then bring him back things like that whatever and then there was that other report from Woge oh no it's only Paul going it's probably DeAndre Aiden as well if you get rid of both it's like I just don't see what Phoenix is going to be able to do to form out the rest of that roster where even when you had this past year's CP3 uh sorry um Kevin Durant and Devin Booker playing well that rest of the roster was putrid I actually think the best thing for the Suns is to I hate to say it you give DeAndre Aiden another chance DeAndre Aiden another chance I know you paid him you give him another chance I know you got to figure it out from a cap perspective and all that confusing nonsense right now but I do think the best thing is getting that trio of Durant Booker and DeAndre Aiden to work together but if Durant doesn't like him or if the Suns want to be done with them I know what Frank Vogel said it was encouraging at the introductory press conference but who knows what it actually means then that may already be dunzo in terms of that line of thinking because there's something new each and every day Hickey I'm bullish on the Suns I think that I mean you got the two stars you need now it's just getting the depth that's why they lost to the Nuggets they had no depth they couldn't get any other scoring couldn't get any other contributions from anyone not named Kevin Durant and Devin Booker and outside of one quarter in one game so it's just get your role players you move Chris Paul you move DeAndre and you open up some cap space maybe you get some back for Aiden as well and you start to build out a little depth that they need not that easy though just say oh you just go get the role you get the hardest part done in terms of getting the championship level stars on your team I'd say that's the hardest part to do in terms of building a championship roster yeah I would trust a lot of other rosters right now in the NBA even though it's not that deep and it's open I just look at Phoenix I think they'll be a really good regular season team and then come postseason time they're always just going to be just short Zach Gelb's show CBS Sports Radio
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-08 22:44:25 / 2023-06-08 23:01:39 / 17

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