The Finals Destination Edition
The following podcast contains explicit language. Hello. I'm Josh Levin. This asleep sports podcast. Hang up and listen for the week of June seventeenth two thousand nineteen on this week show, Canadian national team star, Diana Matheson, will join us to discuss the United States is strong start at the women's World Cup the rise of the European soccer powers and be controversy over American style celebrations. Sports Illustrated's, Scott price wall. So be here to talk about his cover story on Rich Paul, who happens to be the agent for LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who will be playing together very soon and the athletics Ethan Strauss will come on the program for a post mortem on the Golden State Warriors season, perhaps post mortem on the Golden State Warriors dynasty, perhaps Stephan perhaps here with me. Slates Washington DC studio Stephan, fats us, the author definitively of the books word freak and a few seconds of panic. Hello stephan. Hello, john. Josh, who's the author of the Queen, that's me, how are things going in Queensland things are good going to New Orleans this week for because vent Wednesday be there. I don't think he'll be officially a member of the squad yet ruled China on June the nineteen Anthony Davis definitely not coming to your book reading. If he if Zion was there, I think he would go to the JC though and uptown New Orleans it's going to be his spot. They've got a good good gem. Good. Good facilities. Enjoy Joshua's, you know, I'm taking off for, for France to enjoy the knockout rounds of the women's World Cup. The US has qualified so you did not buy your tickets. Well, don't say that because if they lose to Sweden in the final group stage game, I have bought tickets, assuming that the US wins the group and advances will do to them scoring those goals against Thailand. They have the goal differential, tiebreaker, so draw or win. We'll be another draw or a win. We'll be enough. They just can't lose. They will disgrace. We are Merican 's Josh, we do not lose on that note. Let's get on with the show. This message is brought to you by hotels dot com. You know, when you're in this league scrolling social media and suddenly, you see it, your friend Dylan in Hawaii on another vacation. What do you do? You hate like his photo and immediately. Go to hotels dot com to vacation so epic. So awesome so sweet that your friends will hate like your trip hotels dot com, be there do that get rewarded. In Paris on Sunday, the United States women's national soccer team beat Chile three to nothing to lock up a spot in the knockout rounds at the women's World Cup. Neither of those facts was surprising. So once again, the storyline was about how the US team celebrated this time instead of sliding leg. Kicks dog piles and choreographed line dances after goals, nine through thirteen against a bunch of semi pro and amateur players, the clever Americans decided to troll, their critics with golf claps. You may have found this to be a powerful and affirming display of fuck the world insertions, or if you're me a petty and defensive response to being called out for unsportsmanlike behaviour to help us sort through our emotions and to talk about much more from the World Cup. We are joined by Diana Matheson. She's played for Team Canada. More than two hundred times but alas is missing this tournament with an injury, and instead is relegated to the fourth states doing commentary for T S. And in. Canada. Hey, Diana, welcome to the show. Hi, thanks for having me on nine of the sixteen knockout round teams are set Canada England France, Germany, Italy, Japan, another Lind's Sweden, and the United States. Let's start with the Americans. They played two of the most technically lacking teams in the field Chile. And of course Thailand as a player, Diana, what do you try to get out of games like these, which are not really testing you anywhere close to the fullest? And then as an observer, what can, we conclude because it's easy to walk away from the sixteen nothing goal differential and thing. Wow. The US on beatable. Yeah. I mean, it's not always the worst thing to play a bit weaker opponent. In the opening game. There can be a lot of nerves and then to around the World Cup. So it's good to get eased into a turnament that set. I'm not sure the Americans needed to be eased in that, that much, I think when that group was drawn everyone, you know, around the world road, there is a little bit and new this result was coming. What can you take from it? I mean, the Americans phillix good. Everyone knows they're a strong team. And they've got so many weapons on the bench in on the field, and they're more capable than anyone else to blowing out a team. But I think nobody expected thirty thirteen nothing. I mean, the question marks coming into the tournament for the Americans was on the back line. And do you is there a risk of kind of getting complacent? Like at the very least we just have no idea what's happening with the American defenses because they haven't been tested at this point. Yeah, that's the one question Mark for sure. And I'm not sure what more they can do instead of, you know, try and stay tuned in all game. And you're in get forward when they can I mean, the US can throw their fullbacks for it, and the attack tons, and those games, although I'm pretty sure I saw Becky Sauerbrun, getting forward last game to which everyone probably got excited about never scored a goal for the national hundred. But yeah, even against the Sweden. I'm not sure how much you're going to be tested to be honest with the Swedes. They're gonna, you know, go like Rio independent more than they're gonna attack, then it might be a bit of a abrupt transition into a really tough, knockout round game. Which could be the only, you know, the downfall for this group. US rin. So the big surprise in that hermits fire. Maybe it's not a surprise as the strength of the European teams. And this has been attributed to the rise of club soccer in Europe and these big storied clubs whether in Germany or France, or Spain kind of finally at long last giving some money and attention to their women sides. Do you think that there is a direct line there? And have you been surprised by the strength of some of these European teams? I think I think I mean Europe's kind of been the strongest region for a while, and there's probably you probably put half a dozen at least other European countries. And that would also blow out Thailand. So there's a lot of depth in that region. I, I mean Spain is a really good example. I think of how supporting domestic soccer and throwing money into the big clubs like Barcelona Athletico Madrid have really paid off the Spanish EMAS come up huge us years. Their UCS have been doing really well you World Cup. And I think this tournament was kind of a great platform for them to show that. So they've been a really good news story for me. That said they've been a little disappointing so far in the term. And I'm looking forward to the knocker around to see how that goes. This countries Italy, the Netherlands Spain. They're newbies to the upper tier of, of women's football. I mean these are countries that in some cases band, women's soccer outright England band women's soccer for fifty years from the twenties to the early seventies. And even now as we've seen the rise of England and France and Germany, of course, which has been been competent beyond competent two-time World Cup winner for for a couple of decades, even now, the amount of money that is getting invested is minimal compared to what gets invested by the clubs. And the men's teams I think if, if some of these clubs and the federations, and you're really wanted to, to support women's soccer at a higher level. The United States would not be coming into this tournament is favourite, and there would be seven or eight teams that would all be at that level. And maybe we're just for eight years away from that happening. Yeah. I think I mean if I'm some of these countries without a currently strong women's program. I mean, the barriers to entry into becoming one, I think are not that high like you can invest in your women's leak, you can invest in your women's national team and you systems for still far far less than what you're paying your men's team and kind of progression. Some of these countries have made have been so quick, like Spain again. They've only really been investing for, you know, three or four years. Really seriously? And now they're in the conversation as one of the teams in the World Cup doing the bare minimum at this point to support competitive teams in Europe. I saw a tweet from a German athletic trainer woman that transfer player saying that the German national team doesn't even have an actual athletic trainer strength. Coach sports. Scientist on staff, apparently a co trainer with leading training duties, sufficient LOL, so. Yeah. I mean, there's great examples out there of clubs and national teams during the, the most and the best things and then we'll get into same league or the same tournament just like the opposite, where there's not the staff, or their societies or whatever it is stuck on. You said that if in the hypothetical universe in which of these European nations that on the men's side have been traditional powers if they invested in the women's game. The US wouldn't come into this tournament as the favorite like obviously, this is like a barroom debate. We're not going to be able to solve that on this podcast. But I'm not actually. So sure that that's true. And it's an interesting question. Is there something inherent about these nations, and their histories with soccer and their training methods to somehow vault them past the US, which has an incredibly strong tradition of women's soccer has an enormous number of young girls who play the sport and idolize this? Team like I would put I would I would think that the US and it's like particular history and the strength of its system for women would potentially Trump. You know, these these other countries, and they're like, long storied histories with soccer Diana. I'm curious what you think on this, because the strength of, of US women's soccer has been that a the country has had this incredible headstart, if you wanna call it that and be that the college system has been a successful, producer of talent. So I think like with men soccer we could be facing in the next few years. This debate about whether college, soccer is the best route to create a number one ranked national team or whether the club system that, that predominates in Europe is going to be alternately more successful already starting to see small changes. There's a thirteen year old girl who turned down her her scholarship to North Carolina to turn pro and she trains with the Portland thorns of the United women's soccer league. The, the league that you've played in you played for the Utah royals it is still sort of trying to find its legs. And what do you think this applies to the Canadian players? Because most of you are playing in the United States, what threat do you see from the way that the US system or the North American system is structured, vis-a-vis Europe? Really interesting question, and that's really been changing over the length of my career kind of what the role then AA plays in the development pathway. I think like you said the strength of the history, and US women's soccer is usually you guys gotta start. I mean, your, your population than just how many girls and women play soccer and your. I mean, the financial resources these things are big factors, and they're hard to overcome for other countries. They make a big difference because I don't think the US has the best youth development system at all. I think there's other countries that do it much better not necessarily Canada. But, you know, Japan Germany, Spain now I think technically, they develop a lot more players consistently more than the US those like with bit more intense. And I think we're already at the point in the conversation where the NCWA isn't developing better players. Like I am all for these players going to university getting education. Absolutely. But if you're. Talking about them as strictly Docker players and is not developing them the way atop protein with so Thailand, actually won a game in two thousand fifteen and then in two thousand nineteen we saw after the thirteen to nothing to feed to the US. They scored a goal against Sweden and just the amount of joy on the sideline when they scored that goal from the manager from the players about what they accomplished. It's not like that's that's great. And it's wonderful that they were able to pull something positive out of their experience. But it's it's clearly not like a straight line where that victory that in two thousand fifteen didn't put the team on a different level. It seems like they've regressed or maybe just the competition as is stronger. But I guess maybe that transitions Steph into a conversation about how the stronger teams that should comport themselves against the weaker teams. There's obviously been a lot of criticism. Criticism of the US on a lot of defense of the US women for their method of celebration you and your Canadian colleagues, former players on TSN were among the most direct in, in criticizing the way that the American celebrate and I'm totally on your side here. I mean, I think that yes you celebrate obviously, but you also have to recognize the moment and you have to recognize your opponent recognize the degree of difficulty of what you're accomplishing. I understand. Yeah. World cup. It was a release. Everyone's very happy first goal, blah, blah, blah. But at the same time, you know, this is not the way you would sort of dunk on, on a vastly vastly inferior opponent, and I got the sense of that's where you guys fell in all of this, because like the United States, you're used to playing these minnows in Concha calf and in other countries and winning by six seven eight goals. Yeah. That's a bit of a whirlwind a little new to this media thing. So it was a bit fun that we started a controversy so early on. Yeah. It was it just seems like we've seen him blow out teams before. And we've seen them, maybe celebrate a little too much as others. Yes. Something from the nine goals. Onward just made. You cringe little like the feeling around. It wasn't quite right. I think doesn't use it. Maybe in the tweet that it just felt out of proportion to what was happening on the field. You can celebrate for sure. And especially when you've got players for their first World Cup all of like Roosevelt or when you Herenton unlike absolutely celebrate those. But that's not really what we were coming in on. It was kind of, you know, when you've got your senior players going off, at, like nine ten eleven twelve goals in the benches and do it, and I mean, Jill Jill was into it, and I put it mostly on her to like she was, obviously. And I think Pino said that maybe had some pent-up energy 'cause they were playing pretty late in the tournament, which. Is probably the case do. But it was just. Yeah. Outta proportion than we just call this Spade. You said, Jill Jill Ellis, the coach of the US team. And I've noticed that anew alluded to this the first time can, we just note that Diana said, that Jalal should be embarrassed? Yeah. I've 'cause I said to I've been in games like that, where we're going out team and maybe teammate or coach kind of reacts ODA, proportion to maybe where we are in the game like it's the seventh goal. You scored on PK like don't do a lot of the field. That's happened with me on the field and the feeling was embarrassment. So that's where I would have been if I was in her shoes of overseen anyone point out, that this isn't the first time that Ellis whom you mentioned the coach of the US team has over celebrated. I've seen them do this against regional weaklings. So it is a pattern with the United States. And to me, you know, you're playing the equivalent of a high school team tone it down. I've seen some international commentators say that this is just Americans being Americans that and that, you know teams in Europe or else, you know, maybe Canada's well wouldn't celebrate in this man. Honor. I don't know how you, if you feel like this is like an ugly American situation. Diana. Yeah. I'm definitely pretty hesitant to painted with that brush. I think doings like you said they've done it in the past for sure. And that's maybe why it was a little easier for us to say like this is too much 'cause we thought back in Olympic qualifying for twenty twelve tournament was in Vancouver and they were celebrating, like crazy at like eight plus goals against like a Haiti ended out time. That was Pia son tug coaching. And it was very clear. She was kind of leading the that behavior. So, like, then you've got a Swede kinda mind, seeing them on. And now you've got a British coach. So I definitely wouldn't paint it with the American brush. But I think the fact that, you know myself in Kaelin had been around for tournaments you. So we've seen it before. I think we were a little quicker just to call them on it. So you guys are, are, are on the same page. I'm going to push back. Okay. A little bit because I also feel like in this. This debate as an all debates people on both sides, just pick out the worst argument on the other side to push back on like, like people are saying, oh, you're saying, don't celebrate any goals, or you know, like obviously, that's not what the arguments, I think the strongest argument countered, what you guys are saying is essentially, who cares? And that this conversation has overwhelmed, the tournament, and I know Diana, you didn't know what the response was going to be to what you are saying, but on, whether it's on social media, or, or anywhere, there's this kind of force multiplier effect, where when, you know, maybe it's maybe it's good to have, like five to ten people pointing out that the celebrations were a little bit over the top. But do we really need like eighteen thousand people? Pointing out except that I don't think that it's only on this side. That's been, I think a lot of the bigger voices national columnists. Gender studies. Professors sort of turning it into a larger debate saying the women should have the right to do whatever they want, and you shouldn't police the behavior on the field, and that takes it to even another level. Especially when you have players like yourselves, like, Julie Foudy like hope solo, Kate Margraaff, former US internationals criticizing these celebrations excessive given the circumstances. I mean the most celebrated celebration in sports history involved, a US women's soccer player. And I don't think any of us twenty years later would say, oh, that was bad. We're trying to police, brandy Chastain, and that was the wrong thing, though, at the time, I guess, there were people that, that got mad that she took off her jersey. But now it is I contact that moment. So I think there is a double standard at work, Diana, but I don't think it's about gender. I think it's about the US team and what it has been marketed as and what they. Have stood for hard work embodiment of being powerful and strong and successful women and about about sort of being role models for girls and as role models, who would stand up and say, hey when you scored your thirteenth goal against the worst team in your rec league you should like dance around the field. You can't have it both ways. I think yeah. Yet, I think there's a few things like the brandy Chastain moment. I mean, I can't remember the time because I would have been a bit young to remember any pushback. But that was like Konak. And I mean, even in Canada, we kinda grit watching the ninety nine dollars. And like that is infamous and only in proportion to winning a World Cup on home soil, like do what you want there. I think I, I think there is. I. I think maybe from your comments or something I feel bad about from this that got Lona than I mean I know living in the US anything that gets blown up on social media is like a factor of a hundred kind of compared to anywhere you're living so that happens. But yeah, the pushback around it and just attention, I think, was for two reasons, one there's nothing else going on in turn it right now for the US like they played two very team. So there's nothing to talk about for a while they're going to win their group. That's maybe one thing you just need a story. And then I mean they do, they're just under constant Cruden, scrutiny all the time, aren't they? They're just they're always pushing for something that's much bigger for them and it's controversial, and they get picked part for it for a lot of things, they're doing, so I think if there is one thing that I don't feel good about like are semi my remarks all day. But the fact that it got blown back on them. And then you have to get, you know, Alex Morgan and Meghan repeal. No trying to justify their celebrations. Yeah, I'd rather we were talking about. Pay fight against the US federal, and how they have generated more attention. More love more goodwill and more revenue in some cases than their counterparts. In men's soccer in the United States. Diana, Matheson, is a Canadian International soccer player alas missing the World Cup. She plays for the Utah advanced to the knockout stage. Come on give some to Canada. Canada go for it. Candida totally underrated. I think the odds against winning are pretty poor right now. There's good money in betting for Canada right now. They're flying under the radar. They're gonna win their group and they're going to do well in spite of Diana Matheson, not being in the lineup. Diana, thank you so much for coming on the show. Thanks for having fun. Doctors are doing the best they can to fight cancer. 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What's a hate lake when your friend Kyle posted envy were the vacation fed. Oh, and you like it even though you kind of hate it. It's not the you hate Kyle that you hate that he's on an awesome trip while you're sitting in a bathroom stall at work. Don't hate like Kyle's trip. Book your own with hotels dot com and get rewarded basically everywhere hotels dot com. Be there get rewarded. Over the weekend as various lame sports were competing for our attention. The NBA reminded us all that no athletic entity is nearly as interesting and dramatic and attention commanding, sorry, golf less than forty eight hours, after the raptors beat the warriors to win the two thousand eighteen title, the Lakers declared their intentions to win it all in twenty twenty trading. An enormous amount of stuff players and draft picks and the rate to swap draft picks to the New Orleans pelicans for Anthony Davis. Joining us now to discuss the trade, it's implicate and the MAC nations behind. It is Scott price. He's a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, and the author most recently of the book playing through the whistle steel football and in American town. Welcome, scott. Thanks for having me, you are here with us today. Scott because you wrote an SI cover story about Rich Paul agent who represents both Davis and Davis. New teammate LeBron James, it was Paul who back in January. Hold the pelicans Davis wanted to be traded, and it was Paul who got roasted when that demand went public as did the notion that Davis was insistent on going to the Lakers. Now, it seems that Anthony Davis and LeBron James and Rich Paul got what they wanted. My question is, I guess, is this, how Rich Paul planned it. All is is he really the puppet master, I would have to say, yeah, I went up to see Rich Paul in March, and in February when it all went down, it was considered a massive humiliation. For Rich Paul that this deal didn't happen, you know at the trade deadline that if you're saying that the pelicans were essentially, trolling, the Lakers, refusing to respond to their to Magic Johnson's calls, and it was a huge embarrassment embarrassment. And I'll tell you the one person who wasn't embarrassed at all was Rich Paul, the one person who wasn't losing his head and deciding who won and who lost at that time. Time was Rich Paul, the one person who was playing the long game was Rich Paul. So, so it was fascinating to walk in there because, you know out there, and I was going to Lakers games. And, and, you know, there was sort of this air of, of low grade panic in the air at the stable centre, and then I go to Rich Paul office on. It's just incredibly calm and I, and I can't really, you know, obviously offices are calmer than that arenas. But, you know, there was not even the sort of usual undercurrent that you'd expect from a guy in the center of such world wind. And it was it was impressive to me. I have to say and so so you know, did he have this master plan? I, I don't know if he drew it up exactly the way it happened. You know, he insists to me that he did not want to go public that there was some sort of Dem's, you know, sort of stepped around him. This is this is only only Rich Paul version. I never got to speak to build. Them's of. And he sort of said, well, that's the way it happened. That's the way it went down your story. Is incredibly prescient, or Rich Paul was incredibly prescient in his sort of his humility and his prediction for what was going to happen. And I'm sure in March when you talked to him, he wasn't trying to predict what what happened, but he sure as hell was telegraphing it. I mean he's defending coming out with this demand. He's defending the idea that Anthony Davis should or could play in Los Angeles. He's defending the notion that there is nothing in conflict with him representing LeBron James. I've already told the Celtics back off. Yes. So I finished reading your profile in addition to sort of being fascinated by rich Paul's back story, and his life story. Thinking men. This guy has it nailed. He understands how NBA front office, executives work, and he manipulated this process to get the desired outcome for his client in the best possible terms. I mean, everybody sort of feels and there's obviously, a part of my story where we're, we're one NBA clutch sports runs the Lakers and the Lakers spokesperson had had a great response about while everybody knows lavar ball runs. The lakers. Splits of clutch having untrammeled authority over the Lakers. Obviously LeBron is the is the is the most sort of. I don't know the, the most prominent figure in the organization for the moment. There's no question. But if that were the case, I think, Tyrone, Lou would have gotten five years. I think that there is still there is still a Lakers entity running the Lakers because they didn't get exactly what they wanted in a coach. But the influences is obviously clear yet. Clutch sports being rich Paul's agency. I mean, I think that the Lakers. To me to an outsider and I think to everyone else on the planet seem like a very dysfunctional organization with a power vacuum at the top the drama between, rob Pelinka, who's now running basketball, operations and Magic Johnson, who was formerly was seems very dysfunctional. Pulling guy is not really respected around the league as a basketball minds. And the kind of early returns on this trade, I wrote and a lot of people have written that the Lakers and the pelicans both got what they wanted and what they needed here Scott, but within that rubric I think people are astounded by how much the Lakers gave up and how much David Griffin, the who runs bath plop, rations for the pelicans was able to get the Lakers have mortgage, their entire future on this deal. Yeah. No, everything you say is true. But as the warriors taught us, you know. Go for the warriors in Toronto in different ways. I've taught us, you know, long-term who knows go for it now. Get it get it now, you know, get coli now, see what you can do to convince try and get a title now I think there's this absolute sort of a mental in the air of who knows what the future holds and how long it's going to hold. And so I everything you say is true, and I think there is a vacuum is the perfect word for, I think what, you know, how to characterize you know, everything from, from magic strange departure genie buses sort of Dadi management style. I mean it's just it's, it's it's one of the strangest team dynamics. We've seen in a long time that you also have to look at the sort of broader implications for this kind of trade on what it says about the NBA and the changing. Dynamics among players front offices and agents, this is a complete reiteration in the strongest terms that players are exercising their agency to a degree that they never have before. And this, of course, is not the first example of it. But it is a very, very clear example of it for a player in his mid twenties who, maybe isn't even in his prime yet in Anthony Davis, explicitly making us demand of the pelicans in the middle of the season, with a bunch of time, left on his contract with a bunch of time, left on his contract, and successfully through his agent, and the powerful alliances that has agent has created being able to exert the maximum amount of power and leverage that a player can in the NBA and. That's the interesting thing to me was it used to be. It's all about the rings. And everybody said, well, it's all about getting these guys in the everybody wants a ring. I'm not so convinced that anymore rings are important, but there's something about lifestyle playing with my guys being in a city. I like I mean, I think it was really significant than Anthony Davis who came out of those at seven years, New Orleans, losing. You know, talk, there was a sort of lip service paid to. Well, I want to get to a place where I can win. Well, the Celtics are, you know, we're in far better shape to provide a winner for Anthony Davis than the Lakers or the Knicks? And yet, it's clear the, the Lakers, obviously. But even the Knicks were like sort of plan, won a I in this situation. Neither one of them was about winning, you know that, that, that narratives construct is, is, is, is different than than the old fashioned. Yeah. We gotta get Docker. Ring and, and I feel like there's something going on with players, especially if the point the, the measuring system, the competitive measure of, of control and, and power is. Winnings part of it. But it's also the play where I want to be where I want. I don't wanna be with who I wanna be isn't part of it. Josh, the fact that the way the NBA has structured its labor agreements and its contractual formulas over the last twenty years has basically taken the money factor out of it for the player. It is where can I put myself in what position to be happy? And maybe that's just the maybe that's the realization that players have come to that, there are other factors other than winning and it is so competitive, and there's so many superstar players that are trying to do the same thing I need to get myself in a situation that will make me put me in a position that maybe I can compete with eight other teams in the Western Conference that have a chance of making it to the finals. But be that I will have some long term contentment and, and success. And a measure of the agent has changed the what used to be a place where you would. Could be really creative, and do these sort of insane contracts that you know, can you top this now now. So many contracts are for, for lack of a better word pre-negotiated the agents job, or the measure of agents is can you get my can you get your guy? Can can you show how you're exercising that power, which Rich Paul clearly is done? I think it's a false choice the way you guys are presenting it. Because if you look at the history of the NBA, the Lakers, have always managed to succeed and the bet here is that obviously, it's not a bad idea to go, where LeBron James is playing, but it was the bet that LeBron was making too, and that other stars have made before them. It's that the Lakers find a way that talent wants to go there. The talent wants to aggregate there that this is a franchise that has a long history of success and the thing that's fascinating to be about this deal. Is that in acquiring? Not only the young talent from the Lakers, but in all the draft picks and in the right to swap draft position with the Lakers. David Griffin is very explicitly shorting, the Lakers and shorting rob Pelinka and saying, you know, it's pretty strongly implicit, Scott. He saying you're going to fail and that our success is going to be tied very directly to your failure. And I think this is sort of a battle of two ways of approaching team construction in the NBA today on the one side, the Lakers are putting AD and LeBron together for the end of LeBron's career and hoping they can assemble parts around it, and then the other side, the pelicans are doing this much more holistic approach to the long-term Zion Williamson, a number four pick in this year's draft of slew of, of young potentially all star players who number two picks. Number two picks. Rantanen and Ingram. Lonzo ball both where overall. Two. First round picks. Which one is the best one or or is it a league which you can have both a coexisting is have? Both coexist. Yeah. I think I think the issue here is about the Lakers dysfunction. It's a bet of is LA gonna be so strong. A lower and had already has been with LeBron and Anthony Davis that it can overcome a head of basketball operations. It's perceived by people in the league as bad, as like not above the mean of like, in terms of acuity anybody else. The Magic Johnson was a terrific basketball. No, let's clear. Right. But in order for the Lakers to win a title they have to fill out this roster. And I jump to a conclusion that I think was too hasty and thinking, oh, well, they'll be able to get now Kemba Walker. They'll try to get kyri or they'll try to get a why. But now it looks like and, and this is partly just because the NBA salary capitals are so arcane that normal human can't understand them. But now it looks like they are not gonna have another max salary slot. And so, do we really trust the Lakers to be able to build, like, really smartly and sensibly a roster around. They really only have three players LeBron Anthony Davis to really smartly pick like veterans that, like they did a really really really, really bad job of that and LeBron's first ear. Yeah. And I think this goes back to what you were just saying, Scott. Like if you're Anthony Davis, and you want to be built around for the future. After building around a thirty four year old LeBron James who has two three who knows. He was injured a lot this year or you stay in New Orleans you resolve your differences, amicably with management and you are paired with Zion frigging Williamson and whoever else. They can attract. What's puzzling to me is, is LA in New York are arguably the two most dysfunctional franchises. Obviously, the markets are alluring for obvious reasons, but New Orleans and say Boston, we're to places where Anthony Davis could go and win and win with or at least feel like it was being put together with confidence, and especially with David Griffin and, and Zion. So so, so that those things just didn't didn't matter clearly. And that's just I that speaks to me about about a sort of general player, not just Anthony Davis. But in general, sort of a question about whether the value system is changed for me, but my question for you, Josh. Do you think are you now saying the trade is, is a disaster for LA, and they're you know, that, that it's going to be a mess going. Forward or, or is the jury straw still out for you? Oh, I think it was a good it, it's a trait and make sense for both teams. I think LA gave up too much especially given that it seems like they didn't have much competition. But I think they needed to get Anthony Davis. They had no pathway to do anything in the next several years if they didn't get him. So it felt like just by virtue of whether it's Rich Paul, whether it's, you know, the way that the rostered been constructed before they were like boxed into this corner to be boxed into this corner, for the end of the greatest player in the history of the NBA's career they could not afford to be in that position. I would I, I guess what I would say, Scott is, I would feel more confident about this deal for LA. If I was more confident in rob pulling cut being able to build the rest of the roster. I wanted to ask you, one other thing about a Rich Paul and one of the things that was so interesting to me in your pieces. Rich Paul part of this group with maverick Carter, and Randy moms of LeBron's kind of core friend group from from Ohio out of that group, according to your piece, Paul was the one guy who was really pro LeBron going back to Cleveland. That's right from Miami. And so there are a lot of different ways. We could we could go at this. But one thing that, that occurs to me with this situation as let me, let me make that make make that clear. He said to me that early on that was he was the one, and then, eventually, they all got on board and they all agreed. It was a good idea. So but early on. That's correct. So just kind of connecting this to our current situation. Dan Gilbert, was the real obstacle and going back because of the just the, you know, the the way that he talked about LeBron. Cavaliers the Cavaliers just go bird. You know, the, the way that he ran the franchise on the way that he that he treated LeBron is can we connect that to this L and New York situation in that? Who have the franchise is almost immaterial, and who runs the franchise is almost material. It's like I wanna get my guy to the place where my guy wants to be, and we can like work around anyone or anything. It's lebron. I mean it's Anthony Davis. It's that star power. I mean he's simply when it gets down to it. I mean he's he's working for LeBron. And he is wielding the power, the, the reflected power of LeBron Anthony Davis. So, I think that's that's where we are, as a frankly, the NBA sort of on the on the cutting edge of this more than any other sport. But that's where we are. It is about individual agency of these stars. A lot of norms have been busted in the last decade, the idea that athletes players who compete on the court shouldn't befriends idea that they shouldn't try to, to sort of negotiate, and manage, and collude on, on their future. Careers. Pulled out some clips from LeBron's HBO talk show in which he had Anthony Davis on as a guest and they talk about that in such stark terms like you can feel the offense that and the desire to control their futures, all sort of fence over the way things have been. Forward over how their futures are described. Yeah. I mean, the idea that LeBron has a show called the shop the idea that Koby is out there with his show, the idea that Steph curry, and, you know, these guys are, are trying to do more than just go out and play there, they are trying to and LeBron. And that may be part of the Anthony Davis thing, which is not I can go to LA and win with LeBron. I mean, in LeBron already believes his legacy is set because of what happened Cleveland if he doesn't win in LA. I don't think it's a massive, you know. Dent in his own self image. But what he's done is, he's building an empire outside of basketball, and creating a template for what a superstar player can create for himself off the court in a way. It's not about gotta get I gotta get a great Nike at that's, that's the least of it at this point. That's, that's not even close to what LeBron is created for himself. And what other players are watching him do. And the connections, he's made outside of basketball, and I think that's part of the reason that eighty wanted to get there as well, there two things in the exchange between James and Davis on that HBO show. James says, we've got to continue to back each other up because they have so many people at the top of these food chains that will control your narrative, and then Davis says that's what it is all of the media coverage amount around me. Now I'm getting a chance to take over my career and say what I want to say and do what I want to do. So now as a pl-. Player as the CEO of my own business. I got the power when he said that I really thought that was significant. I mean, most people were thinking, oh, you know, rich Paul's the puppet master and, and LeBron wants this and that eighty seemed in his very limited exposures after the trade demand seemed to very, very secure and solid and not, you know, in pretty fairly eloquent, if you listen to what he said about what's important him. So I still think Rich Paul was in many ways, doing AD's bidding, and not necessarily, vice versa, as he said, I'm here to work for AD, if it helps LeBron. So be it. But my number one consideration is, is a D. And then he went onto say, because in one sense, eighties going to be around for another decade and LeBron almost done here. Scott prices senior writer Sports Illustrated. His piece on Rich Paul was on the cover Sports Illustrated. The cover line, the king-maker will put the link to the story on our show page, Scott. Thank you so much. Thank you. Appreciate it. This episode of hang up, and listen. Sponsored by Caspar Kaspar, revolutionized, the mattress industry by making it easier than ever to buy premium foam mattress today, they're building on that legacy with a new line of mattresses that combine the best of both worlds. Introducing the hybrid collection by casper, there claimed foam layers now available with springs. Casper's new, hybrid mattress combine the pressure relief of their word winning foam with durable, yet gentle springs. This new innovation offers the best of both worlds, luxuriance comfort and resilient support with betting bedframes even a glow late that helps you fall asleep. Casper has everything you need to create the perfect sleep environment. And you can be sure of your purchase with Casper's hundred night. Risk-free sleep on it trial. Get one hundred dollars towards like mattresses by visiting casper dot com slash up and using up at checkout again get one hundred dollars toward select mattresses. By visiting casper dot com slash hang up and using the code up at checkout. Terms and conditions apply. Before we get to our conversation with Ethan Strauss about the warriors. I wanted to let you know that in our bonus for slate plus members are golf. Correspondent Jim Newell Beheira talk about Gary Woodland's victory at the US open, a tournament that the indomitable Brooks kept gut shockingly did not win to hear that conversation. Join slate plus it's just thirty five dollars for the first year you can sign up at slate dot com slash hangup. Plus. Last week, Stephan, the Golden State Warriors lost. They didn't they did not win the championship the Toronto Raptors they did. When everyone was kinda surprised, although I guess it depends on what the horizon is the you're looking at it wasn't particularly surprising that the warriors, lost once Klay Thompson, tore his ACL to go along with Kevin Durant torn achilles. But the fact you know, we're for looking back at the beginning of the year, you thought that the raptors beat the warriors, would you did. You know, no me neither stress the Atlantic joins us. Now, surprising Ethan, you're surprised don't lie. Not really. I was saying from the outset that the series price was insane from gambling perspective that you could make quite a bit of money in a realistic way betting on the raptors. I think the series started plus two fifty for the wraps with not a lot of expectation of Kevin Durant's return. But in the end the way the way, it ended was shocking that, that's what was shocking, this grievous end for the warriors, the back to back devastating injuries that throw free agency completely into question that was shock. And it was the way it ended, you telling me the wraps, we're going to beat the warriors. Sure I can see it happening. Massage built a fantastic team the way it all unfolded. Yeah. That, that was the prising the thing that I found, particularly surprising was, I think it was Marc spears, who was talking about, you know, DeMarcus cousins was saying, you know, I thought that I was going to be next like, who was going to be the next person to go down with the season nj injury. And the nobody I felt like the similarity to the flat of the final destination series was not was not made explicit enough, especially because it was the NBA finals like this felt like a huge layup finals destination it should've been a headline. Everywhere and the pattern fit. Like, was this a huge failing of the media, Ethan? I though that series of movies is so funny because a lot of the dramatic tension is people doing dangerous things. Jason's it, it might not actually be dangerous. But it just feels dangerous in the context of the final destination series where you see somebody's clipping, their nose haired. You know, the audience starts immediately, as though that's the most dangerous thing. You can do because you slipped on a wet spot, but only in that cinematic universe. Yeah, we really should have drawn that parallel to final destination. It was right there for us. It did feel like that. But guess what? I don't believe for the most part in freak injuries. I mean, they can occur but often think that we ascribe to lock that which we don't understand like the ancients blaming the gods for weather patterns. And it's just it's in your purview. It's a probabilistic outcome. The image Stephan of Durant's achilles. Napping was crazy. It was. I've never seen anything like it jiggled like Homer Simpson getting hit by a cannonball. It was it was unearthed Bing, that's also what happened inside clay Thompsons knee. I mean, the AC L is kindle rubberband. And when that thing shatters, it's booth, you know, from go from tornado from tornado yells. And those are you're right. I mean, I think that look in retrospect, who knows. They're both playing on weakened limbs because of existing injuries. We don't know the nature of the treatment, we don't know. I mean, you know, more than we do about what sorts of outside medical attention. They were receiving in terms of second opinions. We don't mostly mostly leeches, which are not ineffective from what I understand. But, but it's, it's such an all consuming narrative, I mean, less for clay, but with Durant, obviously, the sort of the, the desire to be out there, and whether he forced himself onto the court and whether it was the, the warriors responsibility to say, no, I mean, we're going to be consumed by this for a year, and the repercussions of both of these injuries are so great on this franchise, I do find that whole scenario curious. Because so, yeah, the recrimination 's, we will sort them out. We'll try to figure them out. You know, talking to some people, there was a player who said that Kevin Durant. Knew the risks know the devil is in the details there, you know, it was he explicitly told, hey, there's about a coin flip chance at your Killys explodes. I, I don't think he was. But let's hypothetically say that he actually was made aware of the risks. I do find it interesting. A lot of the people I follow in read who are big on player empowerment are also of the mind that the key must protect the player from himself. I think there's an inconsistency there. I if you believe in player empowerment, and you think that the player should be able to make that choice. There's something odd to me about this idea of I wanna play in the NBA finals. You're not letting me in. It's your right to not let me do it, even though it's what I wanna do when it would help the team in the short term. I just find that interest. Steve Kerr said very clearly that if he had known if the team known that this was. A risk than they never would've allowed him to play and Bob Myers. I think one of the reasons why he was crying at the podium was there were tens of millions of reasons that he. As a Knicks next season. Ticket. That's good. Good line. He was saying or at least alluding to the idea that they never would have let this happen if they knew it was a possibility. These are not people Myers, and Kerr who are known for being like huge liars, like they're generally thought to be sincere individuals. And so how do you factor that into your calculus? Ethan. They've been snookering us the whole time, their massive lives. No, I'd I I don't know. I don't want to cast any aspersions, I definitely think that they wouldn't have done this had. They known the risk, or at least the risk was certainly put into stark relief right there. I mean, it's easy to regret these regret the decision in easy to regret what happened and I'm just I'm waiting for the recriminations. I'm waiting for it to happen the line coming out of there. I went on local radio. Tolbert Tolbert is big out here, and he is one of cruise best friends, and what he was saying, I suppose, it's a, fair argument is, why do we need to blame? Why do we need to blame? There's this urge to blame and there certainly is in the aftermath of something calamitous, but I don't necessarily think that, that urge is wrong in all instances and. In this one things happen for reasons and we should look into the reason as to why this happened something clearly went wrong. I just don't believe in the idea that this was the fates that this was the gods. I think we can look at it through the prism of, nobody wanted this to happen, that everybody involved, had the best of intentions, that the people involved are, perhaps, hyper competent in many respects, but it's hard to look at the outcome and not conclude that some kind of massive air took place, our friend, Marcus Thompson wrote on the ethnic that a reconstruction has been forced upon the warriors. I don't think he just met Durant's achilles. And Thompsons ACL. What does happen now? Evan Davis has gone to the Lakers or a lot of really good teams in the Western Conference. The thing that set the warriors apart as recently as twenty sixteen shooting bunches of threes. Is now commonplace in the NBA. How do they? Let's, let's tackle it from two perspectives one what happens with free agency. I mean what happens with deciding whether to sign and at what level guy coming off of a tornado Seattle and a guy coming off a blown out achilles and two. If you're just the warriors, how do you maintain the any level of competitiveness moving to a new arena, and the sort of the challenges that, that entails in appeasing your fan base, making your fan base happy? Yeah. Well, I think I first of all, you give Klay. The five-year, max ACL injuries aren't with the used to be he should be back within the season. And I think he will be back to being Klay Thompson. I found it interesting that there were early reports of the warriors offering Kevin Durant, a five-year five-year max, which I think I've taught my head would pay him over forty million dollars a year that seems I don't wanna sound callous. A little bit imprudent perhaps, maybe there's an argument that it's hard for them to add talent, and the other way. So they might as well make that offer and see if they can get Kevin Durant looking like Kevin Durant again, but the history of achilles hairs, that's not a great history. That's such a significant injury. I mean, the players you have it. You look at their legs, their legs look diminish. They look half the size that they used to look that to me. I, I don't know. That's the most prudent way to go. And I almost wonder I almost wonder not to be a cynic, if they really mean it or of the reports are completely true. I do. I'm just speculating recklessly thought my head. So what did they do? It's tough. I'm not sure I don't know. I it was crazy to be in the arena that night. I, I remember being in the hallway outside of the bridge club, that's were lak- and sort of the VIP's Mark Stevens people like that not anymore would would be in there and they would be celebrating after the game. And you know Steve Curtis family was in there. And they were having one of those cathartic the season ended it was disappointed in. Let's all drink in hang out, then the Klay Thompson news happens, and that's on the TV screen of the bridge club and people are booing it now they're drinking. Sadly, I'm talking to warriors executives and a lot of what I got back was a man. I don't I don't know the shell shock nothing in the scenarios that they gamed out had this happening. So I'm sure they're coming up with a game plan. I'm sure that they're in the war room that workers, H Q, but they don't have a lot of options there capped out salary wise, and it's so difficult because they aren't able to score would Steph curry sits down anyway. Even with all the supplementary talent. And now there's no supplementary talent. I, I mean this seems like it would it's gonna be so hard on curry, so they need to get some kind of bench scoring and that's not easy to just call up. And they've lost the allure of come here and chase a ring. If you're a veteran, so they're in a tough spot. So you're, you're thing about not wanting to offer Durant. Amac's come on, man. I think that the argument as you know, they don't have other options for to improve. And so the choices either don't sign Durant, or just like do nothing. And I would rather take the bat. I mean, it's not my money and these guys are super rich. So what do they care, just like throw all the money at Durant, and then take these underpaid anyway? Take the chance that he's going to be back to his old self somewhere close to it. I don't know what other option that you have. Right. Because aren't you essentially forced into punting the twenty nineteen twenty twenty season? I mean Jacob Evans is going to, you know. Who's your life who didn't McKinney is gonna show a lot of improvement? He's good at rebounding now I mean I think they're in like a super super tough spot. I mean all the warriors fans who are upset that this wasn't the like two thousand fifteen team or going to be able to enjoy it out. It's still pretty good. No. I mean, the one option that they have events to try to trade Draymond. Get a bunch of stuff back in, you're not going to get that much stuff. When there's just one year left in drones deal in less. It was. I mean, maybe there's a scenario a hypothetical scenario. This would not be the scenario that you want. If you're Joe lak-, and you wanna show off the chase center all your Stanford business school friends, where Steph gets hurt the season starts to go badly, you tank, and then maybe really try to get the, the rebuild going by trading dream on. And you know the try to tank harder. That's a theoretical scenario that could happen. It would be highly sub optimal. I don't think that's the thing they want to do. But yeah, there aren't there aren't many good options. I think there is a good argument for trying to lock Duran up and just hope he can get back to being Kevin Durant. But there's also a good counter argument to that the Phillies injury is devastating. You're not you're paying him over forty million dollars effectively to do nothing. Probably on the front end in the back end of that. It's so rare. Dynasty. Like, you know, especially one that go, you know, going into the season was perceived as at the height of its powers dominance, that the end of it would be so stark. It's generally like oh yeah. The the, the last like ditch thing in Cleveland where they traded for Thomas. Like that was a really bad idea. But that's only in retrospect, like at the time is like maybe that'll work like, yeah. Lebron, they'll make them make the finals. But. It's so interesting to me that you don't need the thirty thousand foot view here to talk about. Like we like sit here right now. Talking about. Here's what like the warriors dynasty men, and here's again this year, and it ended this year. I'm actively writing a book on it's I don't know whether to say crumbling, but just to me, the book was about the difficulty of holding it all together with all these forces arrayed against the stain dominance, and I did think it would be about the fall of dynasty. I just didn't expect that it would be like, hitting the iceberg of the Titanic with the water rushing in all the sudden, I didn't think that it would be such a operatic calamitous finish to it. All it is. It is crazy. It's insane. And though league just moves on so fast. I mean, you've got the Laker trade happy, two days later, they're old news. The warriors, you know that was fun. Now there's. Else. There's a new shiny object to fixate on the NBA and it just goes like that. Do you think that so there's not just not just you mostly you, but there's been a lot of great writing on reporting about the warriors for the last five years? And there's a lot of infrastructure around it like that. Let a bunch of people, and they're a bunch of folks, right? Read about the warriors, who don't even work for the Atlantic, like, how much do you think that, like, let's imagine next year? The warriors are like not good, like what do you think that the consequences of that are going to be all just let's take the ship analogy further? It's we're rats fleeing the shift. I've been I maybe I publish this book on the fall, which I always find compelling because for whatever reason in the NBA those stories appeal to people, we focused more on the fall than the rise people wanna talk about shack Koby. They don't wanna talk about the ascent of shack and Coby, and how they really started clicking with their chemistry. Wanna talk about the end of it all breaks of the game by dam is not about the Portland Trail Blazers having that wonder a season. It's about them, not being able to keep it together. So put out that book, I don't know, maybe start covering the Oakland A's bitterly branch out. We'll see. We'll see the career Booz everybody else makes but it is funny in the NBA that you have a city or a spot that becomes the center of gravity, and it helps people's careers, and then they all graduate from it and move on when it when it stops you certainly saw that in Miami going too far here. Stephan two words for you New Orleans. Eggs that could be that's an interesting situation, right there. You know, it's they New Orleans might be NBA Siberia in terms of interest, but they have a lot to be interested in going forward. And yeah, we are going to far here. We are we are maybe getting caught in the moment. If you have staff and you have clay, you've got a basis for a pretty a pretty good team. It's just not going to be the prohibitive favorite at least not for a long while. And maybe in a way gives people there was this winners own, we hanging over the warriors, maybe in a way, give some of the people within the operation reason to do things because it gets old, winning can be a bit of a lie. It get stop feeling so sustaining people like to build when they feel like all they're doing is maintaining. That's not as happy as it would seem from the outside back to Joshua's point about not signing Durant, or your point about not signing Durant, if you're going to twenty twenty and you still have Steph. Clay and Draymond. And you have the ability to find some other players. Suddenly reverse the salary cap is is still a thing that exists. That's the reason to give Durant, the money is that they don't have the ability to go out and sign it. I don't know how long Ethan how much how far going forward. Do they not have any ability? They salary cap dead until twenty twenty two twenty twenty three or is there going to be some flexibility in the next offseason, particularly with the salary cap going up as it's inevitably going and a lot of depends on on Durant. You know, in is going to be there is not going to be they're going to have I think, more to work with, but you're not gonna be able to add another max guy. I mean that's the bottom line. There's just no way to add another guy now maybe you can fit enough talent around Steph and clay in the way that the Toronto Raptors the way the Toronto Raptors did where they just had so much supplementary talent. That it was enough combined with collide, a win the championship, but you're not going to be able to get one of those big fish not not for a long while not with Steph making over two hundred billion dollars in Klay Thompson get innomax contract and I also just love how we're living in this like, magical fairy land in which it's like totally up to the warriors, if they want, Kevin Durant, like maybe we'll sign a may we want. Here katie. Well, we'll give you well off your contract. It's like if it's going to be totally up to him like all of these teams are going to want. It's crazy. There's a crazy irony and who knows it's going to happen where it seemed like he was pretty much out the door. But then perhaps in, let's say perhaps us through the caveats out it, perhaps the warriors mismanaging the injury, led to a scenario where he would resign because suddenly, there's the security of five-year max contract after you rip your Gillies. So there might be this, this irony scenario where the warriors. Having a hand in something awful happening to Durant. Is the reason he signs with the warriors? Crocodile tears from Bob Myers, evil genius. Even stress writes about the warriors for the athletic. Thank the things you have. Now it is time for after balls, and we need to go back to a thing that youth and said in passing the bridge club where the warriors, you know, the, the power elite, the power elite, the powerbrokers the powers that be spend their time and oracle arena, I found a story from sports business daily from two thousand thirteen that begins warriors co-winners Joe lake of, and Peter Guber have made warriors games. The place to be for the cool kids and they are doing it in a uniquely bay area way. According to Al Sarah, seven of the San Francisco, Chronicle, the warriors bridge club at oracle arena is a swanky secret sanctum and a plush little party room, stocked with fine food and finer, finer wine, the club, see is Silicon Valley swells mix with local celebrities and Hollywood types by a huge one way looking glass. Well, is that that uniquely? Daria thing the one way looking glass wall. It. I just hope that they come up with something even more exclusive and one percent when they moved to San Francisco. They have to. I mean this was Oakland. And it was twenty thirteen. You know, property values in Oakland, the time we're only like six hundred thousand dollars for a one bedroom, apartment, the bridge club will remember it. Well, hopefully, the, the newer, greater swanky clip named drops. And that's Cisco chronicle story, Matthew Perry, and Chris Tucker. And Phil Hellmuth the professional poker player who would not want to. Does Phil Hellmuth do you prefer hobnob or rub Elvis? Well, I said, rub elbows. So clearly that's what I prefer. All right. Stephane. What's your bridge club? When I decided to try to remake George Clinton 's nineteen sixty six classic paper lion. Twenty NFL teams blew me off, then I called the owner of the Denver Broncos. I knew Pat bolan pretty well. He was chairman of the owners broadcast committee. I had covered the league and its TV deals for almost a decade at the Wall Street Journal, Bowlin was a good source, honest, happy to talk on the record and to leak off of it. The Broncos weren't among the first twenty teams I called because I figured there was no way that the head coach control-freak Mike Shanahan would let a reporter inside. But I underestimated bolan and when I finally reached out this was in early two thousand six the league was in the middle of TV negotiations. I made my pitch. He paused and said, I figured you were calling about the TV deal, and then he paused again and said, I wouldn't be averse to this sort of thing bowl. Died last week of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He's received enormous love in Denver media from former players league officials and fans thirty five years as owner eighteen playoff appearances three Super Bowls. Three hundred straight sellouts. Yeah. Sure. He extracted a sweetheart public deal from the city for a new stadium, but he was the guy who gave Denver, a winner, and a decent person to the NFL today's and that much different from the NFL thirteen years ago, cloistered defensive restrictive controlling bolan stood out because he didn't believe professional football was a matter of national security. He got that it was Enertainment at fans were hungry for details. He knew players would do and say dumb shit and screw up, but he didn't mind someone seeing it a serious book by an outsider, not an NFL beat writer. Business writer could be fun indifferent. He appreciated, the idea any ran with it. You're not going to be just hanging around. He said in that first phone call when he told me to show up for mini camp. No bullshit. You better be ready to kick. Bolandian put any restrictions on my reporting. He did ask that I not make him a main character of the book. But I'd regularly stop by bowlen's office. Overlooking the practice fields. He popped his black cowboy boots on his mahogany desk, and we'd talk about his family background in oil and mining about his fellow owners about the team about the art and memorabilia on the walls. He answered every question he cursed, he treated me like a friend. He was the most candidate sports owner I've ever met either and his trust over time. And he reciprocated I'd see bolan in the weight room, everyday grinding away for forty five minutes on the stairmaster. He looked near collapse, but then I learned he was a former ironman triathlete with a resting pulse at age sixty two near forty bolan was modest but he famously were for coat on the sidelines in the nineteen eighties. And when I was there, drove a dark blue Porsche Cayenne turbo, he parked it in a warehouse space at the complex so that he could walk to his office through the places. The players worked the weight. Room, the field of the cafeteria, that was telling bowling wanted to see and to be seen by his employees he paid close attention to operational details and weighed in when necessary, but he let people do their jobs. You wouldn't find him 'cause playing GM standing on the sidelines coaches clothes on the players like a plantation, boss. He was approachable and he wasn't a tightwad which the players appreciated, you could pay a guy fifty million to play every year. Jake plumber. The quarterback told me that summer. But if you don't get the little things that make you feel appreciated fuck it. I can walk up to Mr. bolan and be like, hey, Mr. ball, and those are sweet boots. Where'd you get them all? These are some fucking ostrich skin. You gotta get yourself a pair of these little fucker the little bit, you get from that makes you feel like God, damn they appreciate you here. They take care of their people. A lot of owners say they're only to win, but I think that's a lie. They're in it for the ego for the attention for the acclaim. I honestly don't think Pat bolan was. I'm not going to be judged on how much money this organization made he told me in one of our conversations. I mean fuck that doesn't even enter the equations zero. It's how many games did he win? How many Super Bowls, did he win? There's not a lot of things. I really want other than winning Super Bowls. I mean, what do I want a bigger house? No own my own jet. I mean, none of that makes a hell of a lot of sense to me at this stage in my life. For a rich beyond imagination NFL team owner that passed for self-aware Bowlin was a decent man who got rich and bought an NFL team. I still can't believe he let me kick for the Denver Broncos rest in peace. Pat bolan, did you call him pattern, Mr. bolan? Most people called him. Mr. b I called him, Pat. I could not Mr.. And Mr. be thing good for you. How much should those those of us who did not get his permission to write books about his franchise? How much should we? Including our calculus. The fact that he is one of these owners who got a massive public subsidy for his team. Because if we were talking about him, just as like some NFL owner that we didn't know personally, I think we would both consider that to be like a pretty big strike against him. Yeah. Except that I don't think the people of Denver considered that huge strike against him. I think they considered it was a sales tax that generated most of the revenue to pay for the stadium, and I think the Broncos kicked in, like, one fifty or one hundred eighty million toward the cost of the stadium, which ended up costing over four hundred million that for the city for the investment really is one of those weird smaller cities that feel validated by having a championship organization. I think if bolan were a guy that ran the franchise into the ground or didn't generate any public goodwill or wasn't sort of an active philanthropist in the community. Yeah, he would have been treated much more harshly. But people really liked Pat bolan and, you know, and I think they were willing to accept that there was public investment to build a new stadium for him in his thirty, plus years as owner this team. I think you did a really good job in that remembrance. And pointing out that, like he was in the like ninety nine th percentile of NFL owners, but he wasn't NFL owner. And he had the same kind of habits and pensions and personality of an NFL owner. So he's not he doesn't stand outside that group, but he shows kind of the best of what that group could. Absolutely right. Josh, he never denied his power, or as thority or Aram from it. He wasn't a casual owner. He ran it as a business, but he was a good guy when he did it. So whether that's sort of sleight of hand to get the players and. And the front office to sort of overlook the sort of realities of working for an NFL team. If that's the case he did a great job of it. But I think it was just genuine, he did make players feel like I wanna play here. There was another guy on that on that team Ian gold, who hated NFL hated everything about it hated every aspect of the hierarchy of the patriarchy, and he said that, yeah, but they treat me well here. So that's why I came back and it seems like based on Jake plumber anecdote players that he cursed. Yes. Because the thing if you look at it from just the pure content of that sentence, that he said to Jake plumber, it's like the way, the Jake plumber felt respected is just like literally, he said there, ostrich skin boots, and it's like, wow, what a great guy. They could talk about ostrich skin boots from one rich guy to another go. Buy yourself a pair. That's really the kind of the core of our relationship is our ability to talk about ostrich-skin bits. So my after ball is going to be talking about your after ball. I think we will, we'll let that one standalone. That was really great. And we should also take moment Stephan to note that it's our producer Patrick for its last week as our producer who is going to tell us about hockey now. Patrick's can all him up. I guess he will graduate to the ranks of, of guest, folks will know Patrick from his appearances on the show talking about hockey folks will not know about the emails that Patrick also sends us Dokki, which will still be expecting to get from from Patrick low the many years and we would like to announce the Patrick has been signed as by the National Hockey League to become unofficial. But not yet that could be future for now. He'll be moving onto bigger and better things working in public radio. We'll miss you Patrick. That is our show for today, our producer for the last time tears. Patrick Ford listen to pashas and subscribe just reach out to slate dot com slash hang up doing a Carli Lloyd golf. You can Email us at hang up at slate dot com. If you are still here, you might possibly want even more hang up and listen in our bonus segment this week Stefan, and I talked to Jim Newell about golf's US open and its champion, Gary woodland. I feel you hear all this cursing, and all this bitching and wining, you know throughout the round. But that's probably what happens in, you know, literally every hold anyone plays in Gaul, but you only hear it this one time in here in the FOX. US open broadcast tier that conversation joint slate plus for just thirty five dollars for the first year, you can sign up at slate dot com slash hang up. Plus for Steph and fats this, I'm Josh Levin remembers, all move eighty and thanks for listening.