All-Star Game '21, Blake Griffin's Fit & Pelicans 2nd Half
Before we get started. I want to tell you all about a few other. Espn podcast offerings around the rim presents. I'm speaking hosted. By china robinson an interview series focusing on black women across sports entertainment and culture who refusing to be silent right. Now who want real change episode one futures. A conversation robinson has with netflix chief. Marketing officer was alma. Saint john and wnba player and activists. Natasha cloud also stephen as world streams weekdays on. Espn plus. bring fans stephen. A smith's entertained perspective and deep expertise with signature guests. The best interviews from stephen as world are now available as a podcast every wednesday you can catch around the rim presents. I'm speaking and stephen as world. Wherever you get your podcasts. Hello and welcome to the podcast. We talk about the nba. Which doing on monday early afternoon. During the all star break Joining us just off a plane Leaving atlanta where he was one of the few media members spears how many media members were actually in the arena last night. That can you know it's really hard to tell but that'd be fifty. Oh is that many okay. Yeah you gotta remember. There was some locals yet. But i was surprised to see Reporter from spain reporter from china. Like i was surprised to see some of the international media. That was there but it was. It was a spattering. I might be being generous i well. That's marc spears. He's joining us from new orleans and also joining us from new orleans. Pelicans beat writer Andrew lopez what's going on andrew. How's everything they're enjoying this beautiful weather i think. We've we've sent some beautiful weather to you for this podcast. Yeah i know you guys got hit with some snow in new orleans weeks ago when it did not in new orleans it surrounding areas got some office and what ice hits down here. Everything shuts down for like three days. Because we don't know what we're doing but other than that it was. It's we didn't get the ice part so i mean the the snow part so that was kind of upsetting i. It's going to be that cold. Gimme snow. Let me see walks that we can go away. Spears has new orleans rates. Play live for years in denver. So he's he's got credit in my in my view we've got winner credit. you forget. forgive. Boston yeah boston too but i mean denver way before that you had it before you went to. I remember when i lived in boston. One time that a big snowstorm in a. I'm see if you remember this. Brian allen iverson gets traded to the nuggets around time for chauncey billips Detroit pistons right no. I'm sorry from the sixers. I'm talking about another treatment. That's right he he gets out from the sixers to the nuggets in his arrival was delayed by like four or five days because of snow because the weather was so bad that you couldn't get there so but i remember i saw somebody Skiing down the street so I ever since ends up. After being delayed for five days he shows up but he mellow did not play together for about a month because mellow punch wanted. The knicks players in game in new york and was suspended for a month so it took about a month after everson got there. They finally were able to play together. I remember the footage virus in arriving was it was such a big deal. Everson arrived and the private jet door opened up and First off the jet was alan iverson. Second of the jet his agency on rose. Who's not run the knicks which shows you go. You know the all star game in denver which was fifteen years ago. I remember it was seventy degrees and sunny Which has been a case and a lot of all star game So what was the the feel like their spears An all star game like like no other I feel like unbalanced. The players were for the most part in interested in it. Lebron was simply showing up. Didn't find But for the most part. I felt like the guys were were were invested in it. It was absolutely odd from even my standpoint. Like i left a glen hotel. What you guys knows like literally two blocks away if you covered one of the hawks games or nba thing there. That's the best thing to do is stay there so i go down the street and goes town like nobody there and so you make that left to go along. And that's you know by the georgia world congress center and i mean that's typically i mean i haven't been to atlanta since the pandemic started but you know that area usually pretty College football hall of fame is right. Yeah and so. I go and make a left by arena and there's just some cops No traffic allowed alongside arena. So they took my. Id called in my name. And i guess they talk about credential. Which apparently they had to do for every credential media person and so i went and walked over by dominique studio a statue. Got my credential than i had to walk around to the other side of the arena to get in and use a clear app. To get in just went was reading about this. So this is a this is a number of apps out there that are being used to let fans into arenas and potentially into the into countries later on but the clear app is one of them. So how does that work just for because this something have to have something like that. Well i've been using it for the warriors game because warriors and the nets As you know. I live in the bay area. They're the only two teams that actually make you take a cova test For you go into the games at in terms of the media And then once. But once i got to the hawks arena the. I'm going to clear app. Assists sports so like clicked on sports and the hawks games so i had to like click on a hawks game and then go through a series of questions About whether it had been sick you know you know the same thing. I'm sure a lot of events about being exposed to covert or not and stuff like that and then once you finished all those questions than you show him the at but another interesting feature about it is. My face is already scanned into that. Clear up. So i have to do to face scanning as well and takes about a three to five minute process. Once i'm done then i show the people at security. The app in your face to verify identity is that which and download it could be going to some games so and so it creates like a qr code. Is that in that. Yeah right once once you scan for the right identity and then answer all the questions so they know it specifically. Is you men at eventually. Gives a qr code. And then if you've had a recent covid negative test that that's loaded in there as well right. Is that part of the deal. That's supposed to be part of the deal. They ask you okay so whether you want to be truthful and not all those questions about what he wanted. I mean i would think if somebody had like they ask you. Have you had a fever or cough. Or whatever i would think. He had a fever or cough. You wouldn't come to the game but then again. We got ourselves into this mess by people. Not just doing that. But andrew when you go to pelicans games. What sort of have to pass. It's it's pretty pretty basic year You're gonna walk around the side of the arena where you were media normally go in at and when we get in there. It's the somebody just asking you the questions. They're taking your temperature you know. Have you been in contact all those questions. Marcus talking about that. We've we've answered feels like so many times And that's really it on for fans repels games. It's the doing the same thing temperature asking answering the questions An an and that's about it when we get in there Thinking marksman two to one one pels game he can you know. Speak to just come in spears. He's not stop. You're you're the only person is sneak away and do that. I don't think we could do that. Anymore they They locked up. But it's you go up in the three hundred level in this section by yourself and even though the smoothie king is is one of these arenas it has fans and they have fans in the upper duct there's barricades insecurity on those sides. Not let them come where the media is and then you go downstairs and you leave. It's a through back doors it's It's it's the way. I don't know it's still surreal process kind of going through that after experiencing regular games. I messed it up for everybody else. That's pretty much what i'm saying. Yeah that's how he wasn't alone so the players arrived in atlanta on various. Oh by the way. I looked at the The private jet manifest not the manifest but the private jets that were left out of atlanta last night and I'll talk about that in a second. The players got into atlanta by private jet on saturday I think had to report to the hotel. I don't know what was the players hotel but they had to report to the hotel by seven. Pm and once they were in the players hotel in theory they couldn't leave. They were locked down inside the players hotel in their rooms. they had to pass three cova tests Before tip off So joel embiid and ben simmons. They tested negative But the strict quarantining that they went through Helped in theory again prevent them from having exposure to other players that would potentially cause other things so the so in a way the nba's system actually worked And now the interesting thing about the spirit's woge reported that it was The bar there barbara in philly that they got lined up before they left to go to all star. If it's the well. I don't know which barbara was but i don't want safe because i don't know for sure but if it's the barbara who's very well known in philadelphia. I won't say his name but it was barbara that all the nba players go to philadelphia. A lot of players. Go to that guy. Do you know what. I'm talking about spears. I don't wanna say his name mobile. I think so. I think he was one of the well. I i heard this off the i heard. This guy sometimes takes up to an hour to give a haircut and sometimes charge as much as a thousand bucks. An agent told me that but There were you know so a lot of people are talking about boy. This is a potential superspreader event blah blah blah. I i don't think so at all. I think the place at the nba is worried about was not atlanta the place the nba worries. Worried about is miami. Because guys last i heard there were one hundred fifty players who were planning to be in miami This weekend this past weekend and the reason the nba knows is because the players have to have cova tests while they're there and they had to sign up for them so the nba had an accurate count of how many and i was told it was in. This was two days ago. Maybe it's grown. I was told it was the neighborhood of one hundred and fifty players when miami over the weekend The testing site. Which i think i don't know for sure but i think was that the heat's facility Man that's where they're apparatus set up. They had to give the players a schedule like he was so they had to like he was drive through and they had to like have multiple lanes and had to give players a schedule. I come at this this time to get your kovic test. So the why couldn't handle the crush. And i was checking the private jet flights out of Out of atlanta late. Sunday night and there was. You know quite a few headed to la. Because that's where a lot of players go. there was some flight to milwaukee. I think we can have saved guests on who that was. Four was a flight to columbus ohio. I think we can have a safe guests. That was mike conley. But i don't know for sure you know there was a couple of flights to new york. There was a flight to dallas of like phoenix. And then a whole bunch of flights down to miami for the guys who wanted to go join their brethren down there for a few days and the all star game so I'm not worried at all about it. Land like i said three cova tests and everything with the nba has to hope for is that there was no major exposure event in miami. We won't know today will know later on but that's spears. That's that's where the nba wasn't is right. Now buddy up. I can if the club scene in in miami anyway close to what was in atlanta players weren't at the clubs in atlanta. That's the thing like no no no no. You're not you miss what i'm saying. I'm saying if the club scene in miami is what we saw on in atlanta. Not the players were in the club in atlanta. I see i would be worried. 'cause that didn't look like anybody had a mask on a in a they. Were certainly a pilot dancing in breathing. Going on so what comes out of miami certainly will be very interesting to see. Yeah so let's hope that everything. Miami's chill that. Were outside hanging at the beach. Ron social nobody. Service miami i i gotta tell you. I was the winters there my first winter in miami. I didn't see. I don't think i saw a cloud in february that year. I mean it was seventy eight and cloudless. Every single day was like better than advertised. so i get it and you know international travel. I mean you know the players. Could you know i'm not that. They would garner national but sort of limited mexico and you could have gone to the caribbean that had been tough. And so it. Also when you're planning when you're making plans you don't know right now. The weather's actually great and a lot of the country but you don't know that so you're saying where am i going to be able to go and lay on a beach. He don't know for sure whether that's going to be the case and a lot of places so you know miami was place so That'll be. That'll be interesting. So this simmons and in be first off Spare i don't i really was. The all star game was fine I appreciated them doing it. janas goes sixteen to sixteen. That's a once in a lifetime. Game like andrew did you. Did you see anything in the all star game that you're gonna remember for more than fifteen minutes it's probably just dame and stuff like treating half court shots like that's that's really the biggest thing i will say this. I am glad that they brought back the elementary Because it did give a little short in the game. Yeah i was definitely sort regained. You weren't i mean it's it's still i mean the end of the game. You're it if it's normal game and you know team. Lebron is up by thirty. there's no real interest. Which are you're watching to see when the game's going and how it's gonna end and there was at least something there you kinda were watching for. But i think the thing i remember most about this is damon sub. Just taken half court shots. They were layups. So let me let me ask you this. I got a question should dame have been most valuable player you know. Sixteen sixteen but in all star game. How difficult are those sixteen shots. They did it a crazy. Three bank. Ten in all full disclosure. I did vote for you on it. But somebody in dame circle was mad at me so sort of follows dame brand names always kind of. I'm not saying was him but yeah but yeah no definitely falls a brand because if you look at what he did toward the end of the gamed shots. He made the degree of difficulty. Could the degree of difficulty of the shots at dame made be more impressive than a sixteen for sixteen with just one three point. I don't know some people would argue that it's harder to it's well it's hard to score on the inside that it is on the outside even the outside shots farther that especially when all star game no shots are all wide open But you know then all star gannon is defending the rim Off the bench. Yeah to to me it was still. I probably would lean the honest just because sixteen. Sixteen is still sixteen for sixteen. I know it's all star game sixteen for sixteen but like not missing. One is pretty impressive. But if if i had a- a ballot if we're doing like a one two three like dame's second probably and like i would have given consideration to him considering he did it in roughly the same time and the finish like i also do they ask you for ballots post game or is it like one of those lines or we need a way through the floor so we will hit the thing where i think it'd probably heard name was. It was a blowout so you you see what jaanus is doing. And you you go jaanus right so i would. I would guess that in. Maybe i'm going to inside baseball. Maybe i'm calling us media guys out but in ladies but i'm guessing that most people would probably put their valid in before the buzzer hits. Dame's like just beserk. Nece last minute and a half. So of those ballots were cast already than made. It was still a blowout. So the i think that probably as amazing as it was maybe voters like is too late in the game to change. My mind is ballot in lebron. He was the interview. Stop playing in the second quarter. He did interview Before he was on zoom before janas had gotten the mvp and really. Oh yeah there was only like. I think you took a couple of questions from one guy. And he was gone and he was probably. I don't know which private jet he was all. I'll bet he was on one of the first ones out of atlanta hartsfield. I'll bet i'll bet by the time yanna had gotten out of his uniform. He was on. I eighty five seventy five south to To the to the airport and there was no traffic. So i'm sure he was right in that great in that car i'm outta here so anyway Yeah lebron he said it he said. I'm going to be there physically but not mentally and i think that was exactly what happened and i don't think durant was there mentally when he drafted his team. I actually think that I don't wanna say it was a disservice. But i don't think durant away durant one about the draft helped the competitive balance of the cleveland. That best ball season is in full swing with plenty of games to watch every night so grab a five hour energy to stay alert and watch all your favorite games and if you stayed up late to watch a game last night take a five hour energy shot in the morning so that you can start your day right. Did you know that five hour energy comes in. Sixteen ounce can yes. There's no a five hour energy drink. It comes in three flavors watermelon grape and berry. These drinks are exclusively available on five hour. Energy dot com. You'll find them in store. 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And simmons didn't plan this brings up an interesting point so one of the things that adam silver and to me to me once we get started again later this week the next two weeks are going to be dominated by focus on the trade deadline and the buyouts already started. What's gonna talk about. Blake griffin going to the nets. Here in a minute but Once that's over guys. I think the dominating storyline in the second half of the season is going to be players and the vaccine because the vaccine is becoming very very widely available. I know that right now players can't get it but If you look at the numbers. I don't insert numbers over the weekend. But i know on friday Two point nine million people Got the vaccine just in one day so assuming that rate continues and it's going to grow guys because we now have the johnson and johnson vaccine available. But let's just say for the sake of projection that three million people a day in thirty days. That's an extra ninety million people and it's going to be available to mba players probably by the At some point in april and Before the playoffs and silver said in several interviews over the weekend that based on the cdc guidance from the cdc updated their policies. Today as a matter of fact That if a player has the vaccine They wouldn't have to go into contact tracing if they're exposed to infected person. Which is exactly what happened here and you know that's what's shutdown teams is tracing and So that is going to be an incentive for the players to get it. But i'm telling you I just think this is gonna be a tough sell for a lot of guys and The league has been trying to. I think over. The last month has had doctors and health experts meet virtually with every single. Nba team to give them information about this to prepare them for the decision. But this is a tough a tough sell and they're gonna have to probably make some offers to the players to loosen the rules to try to get them to take it and you know yesterday. Lebron was asked about it what he would do and he said this is lebron james whose whose voice leaves a lot of guys on the leak Who who runs a public interest campaigns whether it's through voting or To education Me he is the voice of part of the generation and he certainly is extremely influential and lebron said That's a private decision. That i'm going to keep with my family and That is certainly not endorsed by it. Further nba players. Much less. Anybody else out there. So spears I this is going to be a very sensitive topic in the league and that is going to require a lot of potentially difficult conversations between players in the union and players and team doctors and players themselves each other. Yeah i mean every man and every woman has to make this decision. They're grown. So i'm not gonna sit here. I've had a few lectures with friends and family and Basically told them m. Maybe i'm just lucky. And i'm talking about black circle that i'm in african-americans But i'm i'm blessed to know for doctors black doctors Who i trust and off for them have done major research also know like dr simms from mba. Leroy sims he was working on Kovic before A anybody else even thought about it in america you know so I trust their opinions in. These doctors have told me that You know that they highly recommended the doctor. Simms even told his grandmother and his uncle. They should take it. So i'm all for for it but that being said i mean i respect everybody else's decision in in you know i'm to me. It's i have no problems with lebron saying that you know i i did hear that When was making talking to all the different teams when he did. Talk to the lakers. And i believe the lakers might even been the i team. He spoke to when i was told That lebron asked a lot of questions. I think is great. He should ask a lot of questions. And perhaps some of these guys being younger feel like You know that they're even if they get. It won't be that big of a deal. One thing i do know is which we didn't talk about earlier when i did go on a state farm center went to my presley. A paid homage to my late friends. Sekou smith and there was a you know some flowers thing i think the nba for put nose down there. Was you know a proceeding for him. He should still be here. East still be alive. I think about it every day. I'm still crushed by it. Had it just saddens me that i was at an event in atlanta. And say who wasn't there. You know did still heartbreaking to me personally had family members and people close in my family the affected by kovin. Die or really. Have some some painful. You know things happen to them. So but i i just kind of gotten out of trying to twist people on and shake them. They do this and they should do that. I just know you know. I trust the people i talked to. I'm crushed by how this is destroyed and a lot of ways My family and my friends and So i i'm all for taking it at i get the concern But every person. I guess that you know this is not my body. I mean their body so will might tell them what to do right. he has so. I think you're expressing. Lot of players are thinking Jared dudley was on twitter yesterday. A said no one's going to rush when you're young and healthy without enough research. The fda has approved it yet and it takes a year of data for that and The fda has approved it for emergency use but not I guess formal use You know andrew. I think this is going to be something that the nba is going to have to adam. Silver mentioned that they wouldn't have to quarantine if they are exposed but you know the mvp nba players are living in work. Quarantine right now. Which means they go to practice and games And then they stay home. That's it and when they go on the road they have to leave their hotel rooms so the try to to try to get players to be more willing to do this if they're not willing you're going to probably have to loosen those rules and you know that may go outside. Cdc guidance. but it's gonna be. And i think you know i one hundred percent agree. It's it's definitely going to have to be something where the nba is. Loosening up These restrictions if you are vaccinated when The the pelicans had a fourteen day. I believe road trip earlier this season and all that was the trip. I think it was back in. January resigned williamson had his inconclusive. Tests missed the game against the clippers and that was able to come back because his other tests came back negative. I remember in that in that stretch. A lot of those guys were just getting defeated. Basically because they it was it was like fourteen straight days of of being in your room. And i think like in l. a. Maybe i think it was in l. a. Because they played the lakers and clippers. There was like a look an outdoor workout area. That could go to but but other than that. It was these long stretches. And i think there's there's definitely still some of those road trips coming up on. The hawks have a nine game road trip over sixteen days later this season. And just just go into jim in there. I it's going to take its toll on these guys and one thing Jared dudley mentioned was he. He didn't necessarily hear that sober was talking about that quite yet. I think that's something that still needs to be communicate right to to nba players and get them on board of luck. You won't have to contract. Trae she won't have to You can go to dinner for you know whether it the whole approved list and all those kind of things so yeah so what other things. That sort of not being said is that what ten ba. In addition to the health and safety was players that goes out. Saying guys are worried about the playoffs. They're worried about potentially getting into the playoffs. And having you know if let's say the situation happened with the sixers in the playoffs in simmons and embiid record tnd because they had They had in at an encounter with somebody who tested positive. What do you do like. Let's say they're playing the celtics. The celtics are all ready to go like they're like let's play let's go and and The wait a minute are two. Our two best. Players are quarantined You know what are we gonna do here and And the mba doesn't want to have to get into a situation where they've gotta make. They've got to step in and have quarantining affect the competitive balance of a playoff game playoff series or have to shut down the playoffs shutdown. The because if one team gets behind the whole league affected you'd have to take a team out of the playoffs and shut down a hole playoff series like yes. They don't want guys to get it but that's also part of the reason they want these shots to get going you know. It's it's for the for the leak deal operate because here's the thing about this about the where the nba is. I mean look. They could eliminate games. But there's no wiggle room guys. They have all these games packed into the back half To make up some of these games that were lost and then the playoffs have to get done. The plus have to get done before the olympics. The olympics are going to start july twenty fifth. I think it is I think that's july. Twenty fifth is the first game for team usa. I don't know there's going to be on team. Usa tell you one thing You if you're the nba you do not want your nba finals games. Going up against simone biles And kayla decky and you know whoever the next great american swimmer is and you know you do not want to go up against the olympics and obviously if you have no you'll do it but you know that's one of the reasons why the nba wants to get vaccinated. Let's just beyond spears. That's a driving force in this. They don't want they want the playoffs to go off without a hitch. Yeah there's a lot going on here. Right in the i hate that. That's the reward for the viewed as a reward forgetting a vaccine. You know you can get gigs done in. Hey you guys go outside. but that's the reality of it. That's part of it I mean. I'd i'd been a little bit shy. I guess talking about I got the vaccine. You know i So fine on. Both occasions was blessed to be able to get it and So i really hope that they fall soup. But i'm twice as old as these dudes. I'm absolutely frightened. You know i'm Been very very scared and Actually when i got the first one you know shoot. I broke down. Man broke down. 'cause i started thinking about say coop. So as this I'd also be curious to know. What the coaches think. What the general manager. I think the guys guys from my generation my era and older. You know Are they going to get it. have they gotten it. No one assistant coach told me that he really wants to take it but he feels like he has to wait for the nba. Which i think is like so you have people that don't want it and then you have no players that i mean coaches in. Maybe even players at really wanted to but they feel like they gotta wait till you know the nba says it's okay In order to do it to to be in line but right now. I mean depending on what states are in. It's all different. That's right like most of my friends in the bay area have Have taken it on. There was a a a black church in oakland. that is trying to get it to more people of color. I got a text from a friend. A black black and he's like an pasadena to anybody. You know and and i sent it to one friend walked in five minutes later in god but then i know in the d. c. area. People are still waiting in. You know what i mean. It's different wherever you are. But on the flip side if nba player or nba coach have has an ability to get it. Should they have to wait for the nba. To say go. I i think they should be able to go get it. Now if they have the Have access to it. Well there are coaches and other mba staff who have gotten into have made a public. I've talked to some of them. So but it's a very sensitive thing and it'll be you know. He's he'll be sensitive for the players to But you know. I remember when i when i did the first story back in december i did a story about the vaccine in the nba. I remember talking to some agents. Frankly i talked to two or three of the agents who have the most clients in the leak and They thought that there are that there would be some guys who would feel like you know. This is not something. I wanna do but that there would be a bit of a peer pressure that would exist but that's wings both ways There could be peer pressured not to get it. So i think there was something there's going to be a huge topic of conversation Privately but also is going to really spill out there. Because we're going to have guys who are going to be very vocal. It's just it's just going to happen and as more and more teams ramp up the number of fans in the building you know And and more and more places reduced guide you know reduce the restrictions. You know like in texas right now. It's one hundred percent open But if you play for the mavericks you're not allowed leave your house other than to go to the arena so tough situation Thanks for sharing that spears I'm glad you're glad you're taking care of them. You're feeling good. Blake griffin signed with the nets. It wasn't a surprise that he signed there would kind of gotten out though with the previous three or four days. I was surprised guys. The nets have a disabled player. Exception a five million bucks. That they got for spencer dinwiddie. They still have their mid level exception which they haven't used which is I think another five million And he signed for the minimum which you know normally by guy signed for the minimum but he left thirteen plus million dollars on the table to buy himself out of his contract with the pistons so not only do the the nets get blake griffin but the nets get blake griffin on a discount. Deal if he's going to make about a million bucks million to i think the rest of the season Andrew do you think blake griffin at this point and where he's at can make an impact on on brooklyn is that is. I mean it sounds like a big acquisition blake griffin. But you know if you've watched him play this year he hasn't been that great but you're not getting. I do think he can make the impact. Because you're not looking for you. Don't need another guy to come in and give you twenty three points and eight rebounds a game you don't need old blake griffin ear You're perfectly fine. I think taking this version of him. Which is the the guy who hasn't even temper the dawn us to what it's what twelve five and three this year or something like that. Go five and four. That's the guy you're getting. I think you're fine with it because you're looking at him on the bench unit. Obviously you have all the offense in the world on that for you know when you're healthy when you have katie kyrie in hardened in that first unit and you're looking at him somebody who can come in on the Off prevent something he. He's never done in his career He's never he's never. He started every single game that he's playing his nba career. I think that changes now that he gets there. But i do still think he can make an impact because his game is different than what it was in. You're not looking at him to be the old blake. You just need him to be this new spears. He's he shot under forty percent. The last two seasons Last year he was really hobbled by a knee injury. then he's come back this year he In an espn. Real plus minus. Which you whether you know whether you believe how much you care about that or not. He's ranked as the two hundred forty ninth most effective player this year He hasn't done since two thousand nine hundred and of course he's missed a lot of games. i'll say this you know in a way it kinda minds me of. Pj brown not not saying pj brown was as a storied. Blake was pj. Brown was a pretty good player and When celtics picked him up in awesome when they pick sam casella that year that they won. It really really like help their bench It brought some veteran leadership to the team. Pj brown was the one that hit that big shot the ended up you know spark in the celtics Against the lakers in the finals on the big shot in la that kind of changed everything around in that series so i don't think you need blake griffin to be their guide jumps over to kia in lob city and all that but if he could just be you know. Hit a hidden big three Here and there gives them scoring the bench. Be mellow so to speak. You know where maybe some nights he does have a big night. It also perhaps can help in as you see the nets given k. d. a. break-ins given James a break or given you know correa break on a night. Maybe he picks it up. So i really don't know what to expect from him or his health but at this point. If you're this all you're doing is is trying to fill roles in Get more complimentary player so that still think a big man is on the horizon where there's a javale mcgee i mean. Do you anticipate drumming getting bought out and do yeah So i mean what if they still get drumming I don't think they're done. I just think that you know blake just is another piece to the to the to their team that that could help them and i think that was an hetty went somewhere else. I think the role like if he went to the lakers and went to the golden state or wherever the other teams are interested. They would have asked for so much more of him. Then he'd probably will need to give at least offensively in brooklyn yes. So here's the thing. I hate to break it down to dollars and cents but if you're paying a guy a million bucks if he helps you win one playoff game exactly. He's checked the box. Pj brown win more than one because he he was. He was big in that in one of those games in that cavs series when seven games that year i was there for So and you know they're they're they're gonna play 'em at small ball center if you've watched the nets at all the last month or so as they've really started to get going they've been switching everything on defense playing very small. There have been times where they've used. Bruce brown who played some point guard last year for the pistons They've used him as small center depending on their matchup and so they just they need blake to sort of be able to switch out there. You know use the athleticism that he has left. And you know you're right spears like Even if he has a great. There's there's there's a game where the andre jordan the matchup doesn't make sense or you know. Nick claxton his his ted. A couple of really good games for them after coming off an injury. Young guy Or you know. what's let's say. They get a traditional big man. Traditional another traditional seven footer. Whether that's javale mcgee. Andre drummond or whomever You know where the matchup just works out. And i mean i remember You know there were when the when the when the warriors because the warriors have a. I don't wanna say it's exactly the same duplicate but the way the warriors play is not unlike the way the The nets play and There's reasons for that because steve. Nash was connected with both teams. He was in a consultant with the warriors. Back then But i remember there. There were some series where you know bogut javale mcgee were valuable and other series where you know like. He didn't leave the bench and could be blake so i definitely think he's value added and he's really value added at that price and You know i think I i remember when the warriors signed demarcus cousins and people were like. Oh my god. It's over the they might win. Seventy six games and you know there may be five all stars on the court. And i was like well. I don't think so the guys coming off a terrible injury but he can help them. Same thing you know. I think people are saying. Oh this is another star player goes to brooklyn. Well no blake is no longer a star player. But let's not talk about one of the greatest of all time but he is a guy who who how to win and i'll tell you one thing. I'm one of the people that they kind of thought that. Give the andre jordan forty million dollars in a four year contract was preposterous. The nets are finding ways to use that that that money they're giving to him Whatever role deondraye has played in You know keeping kyrie as much on the straight narrow as he can You know with durant like you know. He's a friend. All those guys helping bring it together and he's a friend of blake griffin. When i'm sure he was a factor in the recruiting effort. I mean we all remember the famous Went and talked him out. Assigning with the mavericks blake was india. Andres house in houston against the autumn. One i don't know what was a blacks instagram. I can't remember instagram. The The photo of the chair up against the is your decorating. Yeah paul pierce tweeted. The clip art of the rocket blake in dock and those guys actually in india andres house advantage advance clippers bryant real quick. Isn't it funny. How how a loyal in how much they fought and now none of those guys there. What are you talking. Did just like the whole thing with getting deondraye jordan to combat. Yeah i remember when harrison barnes a rookie. He told me. Joe lake told him to buy a house in san francisco because the team was moving there as well. Is he going to promise you that. You're gonna be on the team at four or five years to follow. It's like laugh about that like Team three right. I remember his agent. Dan fagin the late. Dan fagin who unfortunately passed away after a car accident. A few years ago but He negotiate the deal with the mavericks and to celebrate had rented a yacht to To take out into The ocean off. La to celebrate with the andrei. And andre like didn't show for it Was like yeah. I don't feel it's okay. I don't feel like. I can just see dan. It was you know total. All business by can. Just sorta see dan. You know holding the champagne and the glasses waiting for deondraye. At the doc you know. God knows what we spent a charter yacht and the andrews again and then he because she had to do what the clippers instead as classic part of that story people remember You know the the houston part of it. But i i want to know more about that yacht and what else who else is on that yet. way andrew i one of the more fascinating teams in the second. Half will be the Teammates you cover on a daily basis. The pelicans Zion had his first all star game last night. The first of what. I expect to be a lot Pelicans i expect to be somewhat active in the trade market. I don't know for sure that they'll make it the old. But i definitely think that they have some moves they can make on their roster and they've zion's been really really good less month to six weeks playing more sort of point forward Really directing the offense a lot more So i think the pelicans not just. Because as i but because of their roster could be a team that Wanna watch the second half. What are you expecting to see from them over the next few weeks. That's kind of funny thing is i. Don't i still don't know what to expect from this team. I like you once you once. You think you have this team figured out. They do something completely different and they can go out and beat him. Milwaukee beatty utah and then lose to the team at the bottom of the conference in the same same week. It feels like so. I do expect more points i on. I think that's going to be a big key to what they do they. They've jumped to the top of the league in those top. Five top six. I think in offense sort of on the back of zion being able to take control In use his playmaking abilities I think he mentioned not too long ago that he didn't even think it was going to be. I think this much in terms of using pick and roll and things like that but It's been very very effective. I think it's opened up the court for him In in a lot of different ways His assist numbers are are obviously upright. Now they were. I think it was like one point nine assists per game in the first you know two months of the season and since then it's been over four. It's really kind of locked Next level of the problem is they. They still can't defend anybody You i'm pretty sure the three of us might be able to score on right now. The way The way things are going especially spears. Maybe not me and you but They really have a Could get me in a time chamber. He might not matter. Sometimes we go at golestan. He'll he'll talk to you about defense for thirty minutes but they it's just been so bad on that side of the floor and they can't it's you maybe you see it for a quarter maybe you see it for six seven minute stretch but they cannot seem to put these games together and i think until they do that I it's it's gonna be a case where i could see them being solid at the deadline. Moving a couple pieces. Because i just don't see where else going j spears has been a name. That's been out there a little bit but He's been really good for them recently. I'm not sure we're we're we're that goes and muscle. Not sure whether the you know. I don't think that they're selling. I think that the pelicans wanna to make the playoffs. So if you're gonna trae geographic you want a player back who's good. He's not going to be targeted as give them away. That's another thing i think. The pelicans are probably mulling over of this next two weeks in a still wanna see You know when. I think of teams who really affected by not having a long training camp or even not having time to be in in the gym together over the summer. I definitely look at the pelicans having a new coach. Stan van gundy. Who wants to make him so much. Better defensively which inserted was a. He'll into not have that in. You know andrew could answer this better than me but you know i would expect that. They'll continue to get better. As the season progresses in terms of them being more familiar with what the coach wants figuring out his system and everything but to see where they are in the standings man in the sea. Would you know at least from offensive standpoint like brandon. Ingram should've mainly we could say. A bunch of people should have been all star but ingram certainly was worthy head to numbers and we don't talk about him nearly enough but this team to me should be a lot better than they are. Well they're very how're their four games out of the eighth but only guess three games on tenth to four games at three a tenth. Which is the magic number They got some work to do andrew to pull this off to get back up in there and the the biggest key for them early on the in the second half. They opened with minnesota in cleveland. But then they. They have a really tough stretch. It's home versus the clippers back. Tobacco games at portland rogaine at denver and then home against the lakers denver dallas and then a row game at boston to finish out finish out march That stretch is going to tell you a lot of what they do in that. Stretch where where they're gonna end up being that lakers game in that stretches to one that's right before the trade deadline. I it's just. I agree with mark. This is a this is the talented team. They are they are. They should be better than what they are. Right now They are much more talented than their record. Indicates the the problem is just at. They haven't been able to put together on the defensive end in. And until i see some sort of of life on that end i just. I can't expect them to to continue to get better i. I'd like to see them do it but it. It just doesn't doesn't seem like it's it's going to happen unless some light bulb go off over this break in to two spears this point as well i do. Think a lot of that comes in with not having a full training camp and Standing on es talked about multiple times this year to where there's been issues with you know if you're going to change some a lot of things on the there's just not the practice time and there sure isn't going to be a practice time in the second half the year when they're trying to pack all these games so I it could be a situation. Where they they use this and get better into next season when it can build off of this but of right now. There's just a lot a lot of questions on defensive end here you know. Zion still very much learning how to play for while. I do think he's coach and i see him working hard Like you know trying to position you know. I see some improvement. You know just the way. He's improved his ball handling like he didn't have that coming out of duke so you can sense. He's working on his game. But you also see his rawness He gets lost in the pick and roll the fence although he's gotten better You know he goes very much. Team was reliant on what he can deliver in in so his He's very much on the learning curve. And you can. You can see it all the time Just as you see how amazing he is at some of the things he can do especially with the ball in his hands around the basket So i don't know this is going to be the year for them. I i always tell people that The brandon make the playoffs his first two years Eight granted make the playoffs his first two years I think jaws special. I don't think you know. I think they're gonna fight you. Know they're position right now but they're gonna fight to try to make the playoffs. It's it's a process but But they're definitely a team. We're going to be watching national tv. Lots of whether you want to or not. well thanks. listen to podcasts. Thank you to spears. Thank you to andrew lopez. Thank you to tony. Who spending the dials for us. Appreciate it everyone. I hope you all had a good all-star break and we'll be back with some real games coming up later this week. Thanks a lot ever buy something in regretted like pants. They fit great at the store. But after a while you avoid sitting in them they're itchy and the windshield wipers are hard to find. Okay we're talking about cars here. Car is introducing the love. Your car guarantee with twenty four hour test drives in a thirty day. Money back guarantee so you can take a car home and get comfy with it because sometimes you just don't know if it's until you fall asleep on your couch. Sorry talking about pants again. Carmax which should be fifteen hundred mile limits car dot com for details.