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November 16, 2021
Takeline
Renee Is Married!!! + 90s Knicks Talk

In This Episode

This week on Takeline, Jason and Renee talk with Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated about his new book ‘Blood In The Garden.’ Renee and Jason discuss the problem with insider journalism in the wake of Adam Schefter’s problematic tweet about Dalvin Cook. Plus, Jason and Renee wonder when they should panic about their Knicks and Hawks.

 

Don’t forget to smash the subscribe button at http://youtube.com/takelineshow for exclusive video clips and to watch ALL CAPS NBA. New episodes every Friday!

 

 

Transcript

 

Jason Concepcion: The latest episode of Offline with Johnny Favs, Jon Favreau, features an intimate interview with international soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe. Megan shares her personal experience managing the added pressures that elite athletes live with in today’s extremely online world and why online trolls don’t stop her from using social media to push for progressive change. New episodes of Offline drop every Sunday in the Pod Save America feed. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Renee Montgomery: All right! So, Jason, our teams—

 

Jason Concepcion: Yes!

 

Renee Montgomery: Our teams, the Knicks and the Hawks are on some shaky ground, my friend. The Knicks dropped two straight, although they have a home game against the Pacers Monday night so they can bounce back. There my Hawks were off to a rough start. We were on the West Coast and it was tough over there on the West Coast, but we did get a win on Sunday against the defending champs the Bucks.

 

Jason Concepcion: Big win.

 

Renee Montgomery: They were missing some players. It was a struggle for everyone, but Trae dropped the 42-nugget and snapped our six game losing streak. So I’m feeling good because we have eight of our next 11 games at home, so I’m hoping that we can start trying to find some chemistry. Go streaking, win some games in a row, get some of those things going. So I’m feeling good about the win. I still have some concerns. But what are you feeling on your end?

 

Jason Concepcion: It’s a little shaky right now. You know, the big thing is that the starting lineup, the starters are not getting it done for whatever reason The bench unit is coming in and they are just wrecking house playing at a quick pace. I’ll say this, one of the kind of themes of last season for the Knicks as they had, you know, a really a top-five defense for most of the season was that, and you heard a lot of, you know, like advanced stat kind of people mention this, was that some of that might have been fool’s gold. Because while the Knicks were very active on defense and of course, Tom Thibodeau is known for his defensive prowess as a coach, Knicks opponents were missing a lot of open threes. They were giving up, the defense was designed to kind of cut off lanes. Swing, swing, swing. And then that three pointer in the corner or somewhere on that wing was always going to be open, and teams just missed. Now they’re not missing this year. And you add to that the fact that after your Hawks, Molly whopped us in the playoffs, it was obvious that we needed offense, right? And so the trade off was, well, you know, if we can take half a step back on defense but take two steps forward on offense, right, with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, and hopefully, you know that continued development of RJ and Quickly and Toppin, then it’s worth it. Now, I think part of the problem is that we were actually a lot worse defensively than we kind of thought we were last season, but we just got lucky. And so now the step back isn’t a half a step back, it’s like a step and a half back. And while offensively, we are much better, we are a top ten offense right now. Defensively, we’re like 24th, 25th in the league. And, you know, a lot of new guys so, you know, figuring out the rotations and who plays and I think Kemba Walker has, clearly I think is limited by whether it’s the knee injury or what, I think he’s clearly on the downside of stuff. Even if this is all we get from Kemba, who’s averaging twelve and a half right now, 42% from the field, two and a half rebounds, three assists, even if that’s all, it was worth the gamble on him. But, you know, we just hopefully it gels and we figure out some scheme stuff to cut, like not give up open threes and get punished by Ricky Rubio. But that’s what it is, you know, like—

 

Renee Montgomery: I was waiting for you throw in Ricky Rubio.

 

Jason Concepcion: He killed us.

 

Renee Montgomery: But you know, but you know what there is, in both of us are kind of in the same boat and a sense of last year we were flying low under the radar. Nobody was checking for us. People would rest their favorite players against us. Your best player, that’s who you would probably rest against one of our teams just because you want to save your great games, you think you can probably beat the Hawks or the Knicks without your full ensemble. So now this year, you know, both teams, the Hawks and the Knicks have some success, and we rock up to the next season thinking it’s the same old song and it’s not. Teams are ready for us now. You know, you said teams are making more threes. Yeah, teams are actually probably, you know, everybody’s going to prepare every team because this is the pros and there’s all kinds of staff. But no matter what you know, the games that you can probably win and the games that you’re gonna have to give your A-game to win. And we just weren’t that A-game team, neither one of us. And so now we’re both trying to figure it out. Well, what does it feel like to be the hunted? We were used the hunting and now people are coming after us and even us, I mean, honestly, we’re one in eight on the road, four and one at home and we’ve always been a great home team. But the one in eight, that’s that’s the tough part. But you talked about it. Yes, we have that core back. But every season, even if you have the exact same players, you come back with the same team, another season, it’ll feel different. The chemistry will be different. The bobs will be different, I don’t know if fans know this, but each year a team is different. You know, like you go home in the offseason and you could have somebody’s homeboy telling him he should be taking more shots and then you got another person and their families telling them, you see how good you all were when you do this? You got to do more of that. So everybody comes in, it can be the exact same player and everybody comes in with a different mentality. And so yes, we have new players as well as our old players, and we have to figure it out every year. And I think that people thought that it was going to be like a pause button. The Hawks in the Knicks were just going to press play again when the season came back and we were going to start just where we left. That’s just not how sports works. Like emotions, energy, egos, chemistry—those are all things that have to be developed every single year and maintained. And so we’re kind of just seeing that effect.

 

Jason Concepcion: I think the good news for both of us, like when I look at your squad, I think that there’s a bounty of riches. You got, a lot of your players are healthy, which was not the case last season, right? So those decisions were kind of made for Nate McMillan about who would play. This season it’s like Gallinari is hardly playing, and he was a big part of what was happening last season. You know, obviously you got to, with new contracts and new roles—

 

Renee Montgomery: Health to Cam Reddish.

 

Jason Concepcion: That’s right. You’ve got to move past Danilo Gallinari. But there is just going to be, it’s not so easy to just do that. Guys have to figure it out. Guys have to play together, they have figure out those roles. So I think a lot of it is just like reps getting out there and building a chemistry, especially for you all’s team.

 

Renee Montgomery: And you spoke of, DeAndre Hunter out eight weeks now for a wrist injury. So there’s minutes now available that’ll work themselves out to your point.

 

Jason Concepcion: Yeah. What I don’t know what to do about is the Knicks bench. The Knicks bench is so much better than the starters right now. You know, like I think the game that really showed the difference was we lost to Milwaukee 112-100, but we were down about 23 points second half of that game and it was the bench that brought the team all the way back. And then Tibbs gave them the opportunity to win or lose it, and they did eventually end up losing. But it’s like, that’s one of those things where I don’t know what to do because the guys who are starting right now kind of have to figure it out, like there’s no option. Maybe Kemba, maybe you switch Kemba for Rose at the same time.

 

Renee Montgomery: That’s the whole debate, though. I mean, I know the bench as a whole is out playing the starters, to your point, like what you’re saying. But really, people want to know what’s going on with Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker. Because if you swap those two, I mean, Derrick Rose is like, he’s a fan favorite. Wherever he goes, he’s the fan favorite. So and he’s solid, you know, and to his to his credit, he plays well. I mean, he played great in Minnesota for a team that was struggling at that time. Now he’s with the Knicks. He’s playing, but like he, he just produces wherever he is.

 

Jason Concepcion: Yeah, I think, you know, it’s one of those things where if you’re a fan, you think, Oh, well just, you know, just move, you know, give the give the bench guys more minutes. They’re playing against bench players. So that’s part of the success is, they’re playing in second units. And that increased energy, that youthful energy that they have is paying dividends there. And I think in a perfect world, you want Derrick Rose against those bench units because here you have a former MVP who maybe doesn’t have, like all the athleticism that he once did, but is still absolutely devastating against bench units. That’s a great spot for him because you could just let him go. That’s your squad, like you are the focal point of that of that unit and you just go. And that’s the perfect way, I think, to play Derrick Rose at this point of his career, rather than have him try and run an offense with Julius Randle, with Fournier, with Mitchell Robinson, all these other guys. But it’s tough.

 

Renee Montgomery: But and to that point, people have to forget just once you start moving pieces on the puzzle, it doesn’t mean that if you say, hey, let’s move Derrick Rose from six man of the year to starting point guard, that doesn’t mean that his productivity is going to be the exact same. Now he might be getting less shots, he might be playing against people that he doesn’t get his same flow. So just, you know, this is in the weeds of sports, but sometimes fans think it’s as simple as, hey, this guy’s scoring 12, this guy scoring 15, let’s substitute the bench for the starters, and then perfect. It doesn’t work that way. And I also have to say shouts to Kemba Walker. He’s a Husky and, you know, we bleed blue. We bleed blue over here so I hope that Kemba does get healthy. I saw, you know, every time I watch one of his interviews, he, like accountability is what he does on the next level. And so he was like, you know what, I’m going to be more aggressive, blah blah blah, it’s on me. So I just like the character of Kemba Walker, and I’m rooting for him to kind of get back to where I’m sure he wants to be playing because players know what level you’re playing, like as a player no one needs to tell Kemba Walker he’s necessarily not playing to where they would want him to. Kemba Walker is probably telling Kemba Walker that every day. So shouts to Kempa. I help you get back to where you want to be.

 

Jason Concepcion: And you know what, like if you really look at it, the bad of our last few losses, the bad one was Cleveland, who maybe are a lot better than we thought coming into this season because Mobley is insane and Jarrett Allen is very good. But it’s our last two losses, Charlotte, who is very good and just beat the Warriors, and Milwaukee are the former champs. So, you know, maybe this is, you know, maybe this is about our level and this is a little bit of a come to Earth moment after the really incredible bing-bong start to start this.

 

Renee Montgomery: This is our sophomore slump. This is our sophomore slump. It’s all right.

 

Jason Concepcion: When will you officially worry, Renee?

 

Renee Montgomery: Yeah, you know, I actually said this on air a week ago. I said, Hey, everybody, let’s not hit the panic button. We’re on the West Coast. It’s going to be hard to figure out things on the road. I think the moment you start to feel a little bit of concern, maybe not hit the panic yet, because if people remember the Hawks went on a crazy run towards the end this year, that post All-Star break is when we really K it around. So I would say All-Star Break is where like, you better start figuring it out, or you better start making changes to figure it out. Because usually teams kind of like what the Hawks did and the next Knicks, post All-Star break, we took off. I mean, we were winning like an alarming rate of games. Just really high. We had a lot, we had a lot of games at home, so that helped. So I guess for me too, it depends on your schedule because if you have a lot of games in the first half of your season and you got to win a lot of games on the road, good luck in the second half when teams are fighting for playoff spots. But for just the Hawks, I would say we have 8 of our next 11 games at home, if we finish out this 11-game stretch and we haven’t won a majority of those games, I would say it’s time to start getting some conversations going about either switching the lineup up or where do we need to have more shots funneling to does John Collins need to get—you need to start restrategizing if after this 11 games, we’re not where we need to be. What do you think for you for your Knicks?

 

Jason Concepcion: About ten more games. Let’s call it about 20, 25 games and then we’ll see. You know, similar to my argument from the Knicks, I’ll say for you guys, and this just shows you that there is no mercy in the NBA at all. There’s no mercy here. Here is, so you guys went on a about a six-game losing streak, but here’s the teams that beat you. Brooklyn, OK, right, KD probably the best player in the NBA right now. Utah, I think the either the number one or number two offense and obviously like defensively they know what they’ve been doing for a while. Phoenix they were in the finals last season. Golden State at that time—

 

Renee Montgomery: Come one! I called that Golden State game. I called the 50-piece nugget by Steph. I said he had just gotten that fresh fade. You could tell he was straight from the barbershop. I said it on air because I like to be transparent. I said, hey guys, I don’t know if I should be worried about the baby-faced assassin, but they say you look good, you feel good, you play good. He got a fresh cut, a fresh fade, the face, all of it. I was concerned. I went on record before the game and then he dropped the 50-piece nugget on us!

 

Jason Concepcion: Utah again, right? And then Denver. So that is—

 

Renee Montgomery: Come on, man.

 

Jason Concepcion: That is an insane stretch. Like, that’s a brutal stretch of of teams and there’s just no mercy out here. There’s no mercy. Speaking of the Warriors, speaking of Steph Curry with a fresh fade, the most dangerous man, arguably in the NBA right now. We got to talk about, OK, so the Warriors played the Bulls recently and beat them. Bulls, one of the hottest teams in the NBA. And Steph Curry took a shot, took a three at one point during the game and before it went in, it’s on the downswing, but still it’s like the entire, everybody else on the floor is waiting for the rebound, except for Steph, who knows that it’s good. He has already turned around and is like pointing at the crowd and the photo of this, just look it up, folks. Google it. It’s one of the greatest sports photos, I think in recent memories.

 

Renee Montgomery: For sure.

 

Jason Concepcion:  What if, if somebody did that to you, I mean, what can you do?

 

Renee Montgomery: Absolutely nothing. First of all. Like the stuff that Steph Curry does, and this is coming from like, I considered myself a shooter. Like, like I had to say, considered, because what Steph does, if that shooting, then we need to get another category for what us mere mortals do. And then order, and then what is it called that what Steph does. Because we shoot. Like I shot threes and I made threes too. But what Steph does to where he can predict the future and where he can predict what shot, and I’m not even talking about the makes. I don’t know people, watch Steph play more, he knows where his misses are going too, he knows where other people’s misses are going. That’s how he’s sneaky with the rebounding that he does and different things. What he does is not just shooting. There’s like some magic in there. Majooting is what I’ll call it. When he’s majooting like that, because we’ve seen him do it before. People just haven’t necessarily got the photos to prove it but we’ve seen him shoot, turn around, and laugh at the bench and like, yeah that’s going in. I’ve also, I’ve only seen him miss one. I will say that. And I was like when he missed the one, I knew he was going to do like five more and make him crazy. And here we are. But he missed one actually two games ago before this museum-style photo that you’re talking about. He missed one and I knew he was in for something special. But I don’t know when stuff is majooting I don’t know how you can get higher than that. Some people said, like some people said, like the shooting has evolved. We thought Reggie Miller was great. And then here comes Ray Allen. And then here comes Steph Curry. And what’s the next after Steph Curry? I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know what you can do. But some people said, you know, maybe a fade-away threes, you know, bigger stuff. But I don’t know if it gets better than what we’re seeing. I’m sure it does, but I don’t know.

 

Jason Concepcion: Yeah, you’re legitimately up against the boundary of the court at this point. That’s the thing, like the physical limitations of the basketball court. I mean, we just never have, have never seen anything like this. Because, you know, usually if you can, if you’re a great shooter, you’re a great shooter one way. Right? Like standstill shooter. Catch and shoot, right? Steph Curry can off the dribble, off the handoff, catch and shoot, whatever it is, like—

 

Renee Montgomery: From half court!

 

Jason Concepcion: Yeah, it’s like he can do all of that. And it’s so, it’s honestly mind boggling. Again, to look at that photo and be like everybody else is playing regular basketball where they’re just waiting, they’re waiting to see if, hey, is this going to go in or is this rebound? We’re waiting to see to find out. Steph Curry is not. He is, he’s like, that’s good, I’m not even looking at it.

 

Renee Montgomery: He’s already thinking about defense. He’s like, all right, what celebration? That’s why he has the best celebration known to man. As soon as he lets it go, he knows if is going in or not. So he starts planing and he’s like, oh yeah, I hit him with a little shimmy today. Or he just gets to decide, he has time for days. It’s crazy.

 

Jason Concepcion: It’s really unbelievable.

 

[ad break]

 

Jason Concepcion: This is going to be the best conditioned, hardest working, most professional, unselfish, toughest, nastiest, most disliked segment in Takeline history. Because we’re talking about brute force, we’re talking about the bludgeoning 1990s New York Knicks with the author of “Blood in the Garden: A Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks”. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Herring joins us now. Chris, welcome to take line. Thank you for joining us.

 

Chris Herring: Thank you for having me. I appreciate that. I hope you’re not all that nasty and talk about me. As the author. I’m just, I’m just the messenger for the whole situation.

 

Jason Concepcion: That was, so I was paraphrasing Pat Riley there, who of course, set the tone for this era of Knicks history. For people who are not versed in the ’90s Knicks, talk to us about that team, their place in the league at that time, and their impact on the NBA.

 

Chris Herring: They were not much when Riley got there. I mean, to the extent that Riley actually kind of threatened not to come on board because of it, because Patrick Ewing wanted out. They’d been so much of a mess.

 

Jason Concepcion: Golden State, baby.

 

Chris Herring: Yeah, like five or six coaches in five years. And, you know, three or four general managers in that time. Patrick Ewing was supposed to be a savior. Instead, he was taking his licks just like everybody else. And Riley obviously understood the market, but wasn’t trying to walk into a situation where he wasn’t going to have a franchise player. He obviously had all sorts of accolades as the coach from the Lakers and, you know, is coming over from a big NBC job, a comfortable NBC job. So he wanted to be coming in on good footing. And it was kind of a mess, and I think Riley saw something. I think there were some people that expected him to kind of try to take the Knicks and do the Showtime thing. The Knicks didn’t have a Showtime roster at all, and I think Riley very wisely saw them as more of a team that could kind of carry out a lot of the same things that the Pistons did before they aged out. And I think he saw the Pistons as having a successful game plan to try to beat the team that was going to be the dominant force in the East in the Bulls. He just figured the Pistons aged out, the Knicks were younger and the Knicks had a roster that was capable of carrying out that sort of plan. So that’s kind of what they were, is like the new age pistons with less offense, and they got really close to winning a championship that way. And it’s interesting. You talk to enough people throughout that time and around the league, they’ll tell you that they think that that’s the best coaching job he did because there was talent. I think people sell them a little bit short as far as saying they had no talent. I don’t think they had no talent, but they didn’t have the Bulls level of talent. And, you know, they did get very, very close to beating them when Jordan was there. They did beat them when Jordan was not. And they got really, really close to winning a title in that year where Jordan wasn’t there. And actually the first two times that Michael retired, they made it to the finals immediately after that. And I think that speaks volumes about the fact that they would have been the team right behind the Bulls had the Bulls not been the Bulls.

 

Renee Montgomery: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting because we talk about game planning for sports and you definitely had to have a game plan. You interviewed over 200 people. First of all, that’s like ridiculous. That’s a lot of interviews, Chris. But secondly, it’s like, what, how did you plan for who you were going to talk to? Like, who did you talk to? And out of those interviews, what was the most interesting, crazy thing you heard, like someone told you?

 

Chris Herring: Well, you know, I was four when they hired Pat Riley, so I figured I needed to interview everybody just because, you know, I almost turned down the opportunity to do the book because I figured I wasn’t old enough, you know, I didn’t know enough about the teams. And the beautiful thing about that is that the people that were reaching out to me, trying to get me to do it were like, that’s great, we liked that you don’t know much about it because we know enough about your work history that you don’t want to dig into it and try to find answers for yourself instead of just assuming that you know them already. So I talked to, you know, it’s funny for this sort of project obviously, you want to get all the big names, but I focused on a lot of the small ones that people have never heard of. I got a lot of advice from people that have done this before, where they’ve talked to hundreds of people, and you go through and you try to find the folks that nobody’s talked to. Everybody’s heard Pat Riley, they’ve heard Patrick Ewing, they’ve John Starks. These are guys that are still in the media now. So you talk to the secretaries and the marketing people and the family members and the friends of Anthony Mason’s and the people that got cut three days into training camp. In my mind, it seems backwards but the thing is, when you talk to enough of those people, they remember some of that stuff so vividly.

 

Renee Montgomery: Yeah, because it was a deal to them.

 

Chris Herring: Because their interaction with Patrick Ewing was a massive deal because they only had one of them. And, you know, Patrick Ewing had so many encounters with so many people that it all gets lost. They all get asked the same questions. And so you build up kind of this portfolio of all these questions you get to ask those major figures once you get to it. So I spent a lot of time talking to those folks. I obviously worked my way up the chain as well. There were some people that I didn’t get to talk to. Riley is one that rarely rarely speaks for projects like these. But for the most part, I got just about everybody at one time or another, at least got to meet everybody. And, you know, in some cases where I couldn’t, obviously, Anthony Mason’s one of the big ones that passed away a few years ago, and I felt it was such a big deal to try to get to everybody in his orbit. Not the teammates so much, I did talk to all of them, but the family members, the friends, the barber, the women, in some cases, the people that he feuded with, the people that traded for him, the people that despised him, the people that loved him, and the people that prayed for him, you know? just people that had a lot to do with him and that he really cared about because I’ve said this in tweets and stuff like that, but I feel like he was the person I wanted to be most careful with because there’s already so much notorious stuff out there about him. He’s not here to defend himself. I take that very seriously, but I also wanted to try to give a really layered portrait of what he was like. And I think I did that. That was actually the second chapter of the book that I wrote. It’s not the second chapter in the book, but in terms of when I wrote it, I wrote it really early because I wanted to make sure that the tone of it was right before I did anything else.

 

Jason Concepcion: You often hear the league is better when the Knicks are good. So this is a period of time when the Knicks were good. They were an elite team, always in the mix. And at the same time, I think it’s fair to say, and I say this as a fan, an ardent fan that grew up on that team, you could make an argument that they almost ruined the NBA with the way they played. And certainly, I think that the rule changes that came in in the early part of the 2000s were in large part an answer to the kind of style that the Knicks promulgated and Pat Riley put in place. What was the view of the team and the way they played around the league and in the league office? You know, obviously they’re like, oh, this is great. You know, like NBA and NBC is popping off, Bob Costas going crazy. But were there concerns about the style of play?

 

Chris Herring: Oh my God. I mean the rules, and it’s so funny because some of them didn’t even go through, but some of the rules changes that the league wanted to make, the league at one point had something on the table where they were going to start suspending coaches if their players had a certain number of flagrant fouls collectively. I don’t think it almost went through because I think even Phil Jackson said that’s going a step too far. And Phil obviously kind of despised the Knicks during those years. So I mean, it was at that level where they were so worried about the flagrant foul numbers that they were talking about suspending coaches for it. And that was where I mean, as you talk about the league and the direction they went, like the flagrant foul point totals and the suspensions after you get past a certain number of them, that happened essentially because of the Knicks. That happened the year after Charles Oakley had more than twice as many flagrants as everybody else. Where he had more flagrant fouls—

 

Jason Concepcion: I mean, they were killing people.

 

Renee Montgomery: What!?

 

Jason Concepcion: They were—

 

Chris Herring: He had more flagrant fouls than 15 teams that year. So it was I mean—.

 

Renee Montgomery: Oh my God!

 

Chris Herring: It was, I mean, they were the reason that a lot of this stuff happened. And doc went as far as to call them when I talked to him, he talked about them as being like anti-Knick rules. Which is interesting. You know, from my perspective, I was like, that seems a little over the top. And then I talked to people from the league and they’re like, we wouldn’t call them that, but you know, we wouldn’t necessarily disagree with the idea that they probably were the face of the physicality after the Pistons, you know, once you rolled into the 90s. And, you know, if the Knicks feel like they were kind of the poster child of that, that it was taken out on them, we weren’t looking to take it out on them, but I would understand them thinking that it impacted them more than everybody else because they were the team that everybody thought of they’d play that style. And other teams kind of copied. So in some ways, it probably did feel like that to the. So I don’t think it was wrong of doc to say they were anti-Knick rules. Maybe not, maybe not specifically. But very generally, it kind of was. And it did, you know, eventually kind of changed the way they play. Now they were still really physical and they still got in plenty of fights. They didn’t really learn their lesson from the fights they got in earlier in the decade against the Suns and the Bulls, and it really came back to bite them in the ass against the Heat. And, you know, and the Suns actually came back to bite them in the ass as well years later with the Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire teams. But yeah, I mean, they were, that’s actually what I think is the interesting part of the book. I get that the Knicks were certainly not everybody’s cup of tea. I’ve been asked a lot of questions already about like, why would you write about a team that didn’t win a championship? And I guess there’s two reasons. One, the teams that do win championships often are written about and they have documentaries made about them and they have documentaries made about their stars and Scottie Pippen has his own book coming out. You know, had his own book come out earlier this week.

 

Jason Concepcion: I haven’t heard about that. Does he have a book out? [laughs]

 

Chris Herring: Yeah. I feel like I haven’t’ heard much news about that? So there’s so much done on those teams already. So number one, it’s interesting to just look at something that was adjacent, but maybe not the focal point. The Knicks were never the focal point. But two, the Knicks probably had as much impact on the history of that era as any other team outside of the Bulls, really? I guess you could argue the Rockets, but the Knicks have more to do with the rules changing than anybody. And I, you know, I think we would have eventually gotten to the place that we’re at now rules-wise with the wide open NBA, but I don’t know that it would have happened as quickly as it did because of those teams, so, if not for those teams. So, you know, I think that part of it is interesting. Love him or hate them, they certainly were in the picture all the time. I don’t, I keep comparing him to Forest Gump. They weren’t the focal point of the picture, but they were like off to the side or they were like shaking the president’s hand when they needed to use the bathroom because they drank 12 beers with Reggie Miller or with Michael Jordan or with the O.J. chase, or what have you. All that stuff involved the Knicks in some way, and they were in the photo, they just weren’t the focal point of it.

 

Renee Montgomery: Well, it’s interesting because we’re talking about how all those instances, those flagrant fouls accelerated the game. But I’m curious if you know, how did the big names from those players in the ’90s feel about the state of play right now with the current Knicks, Ewings, the Oakleys, Starks. Like, what do you think they view the current state of the New York Knicks as? Like, what are your thoughts on that?

 

Chris Herring: Yeah. Well, I could tell you how Oakley feels about them. Might have the strongest feelings of anybody. Yeah. And I think it explains kind of why he’s been on the outs with the team for so long. He does not, he does not really see much similarity between those teams and the ones of the last few years. But I mean, I also think that is one of the things, I don’t get into it a whole whole lot, but I do dip my tow in it. That was the period of time when Jim Dolan took over the team, right at the end of the period I was writing about. So that’s one of the major major differences is that they are owned by essentially a single person now, as far as the person that gets to make the decisions. So that’s a major difference. The Knicks corporately owned several times during the ’90s and so kind of played a role in why they couldn’t easily just give Pat Riley an ownership stake in the team. And so that’s one of the key differences. You know, John Starks still works for the team and so, you know, and he’s always kind of been a happy-go-lucky sort of character and so I think he probably is happy with the way the Knicks look now. And, you know, while I don’t know that you would get him to admit it, you know, candidly, I’m sure he probably felt like stuff was maybe a little bit of a mess during the last, you know, 10, 15 years as well. But again, worked for the team. And Patrick Ewing is an interesting case, too. I don’t think he’s ever really said a really negative word. The closest that he came was a few months ago, when his team was on the cusp of winning, I guess at the very beginning of the Big East tournament that they played at the garden, and he was really frustrated when he was asked and kind of badgered to show his I.D., to show that he was credentialed to be there as if he was like a random stranger at the garden. And he seemed pretty frustrated about that. So it is interesting to see these—

 

Renee Montgomery: What a hot mess, yeah.

 

Jason Concepcion: I know

 

Chris Herring: —undercurrents of those sorts of things that still exist and just kind of a weird sort of place for those sorts of reasons. But no, I mean, I think that the memories of the ’90s are fond. I think the interesting thing is that when you talk to most of these guys from those teams though, they all more or less feel that the league needed to move forward. Like, I think Oakley might be the one holdout, that stuff should go back to exactly the way it was back then. But I think as far as just the physicality, there was a real chance that somebody was going to get hurt. And, you know, most people like that the game has opened up some. And I think with Ewing and some of those guys, you talk to them, they talk about how they would have thrived even more in a league like this where they weren’t being banged constantly. They had shooting ability. John Starks led the league in three point makes one year. So I mean, like, he would have been in fine as an undersized guy where you couldn’t hit him and touch him as much. And Ewing, I mean, Ewing would have extended his range two or three feet. And Ben, it was arguably one of the best seven foot jump shooters then and I imagine he’d be even more so now.

 

Jason Concepcion: What is the craziest story that was told to you or that you uncovered through this process?

 

Chris Herring: They’d kill me, they’d kill me. They’re going to kill me—

 

Jason Concepcion: Good start. Good start.

 

Chris Herring: —they’re gonna, well, they’re going to, they’re going to kill me anyway, because I think I’m supposed to be in a spot where they’re like, well, you can do interviews that touch on the book a little bit, but about the NBA as a whole, but don’t do any that are strictly about the book, so I’ll hold back some of it. But I’ve told this one, and I do think it’s funny enough that hopefully you haven’t heard it. I was going to keep it out of the book entirely, ended up putting it towards the very end. It was the story about Anthony Mason. He’d had been with the team for a total of one year, and he, if you’ve ever seen those camps that they have, those youth camps that they have.

 

Jason Concepcion: Yeah.

 

Chris Herring: Where you, you never get the star player for those camps. It’s generally a guy that’s like—

 

Jason Concepcion: Hubert Davis. Yeah.

 

Chris Herring: Exactly. You know, and the kids, it makes no difference to them. Patrick Ewing, Starks is their favorite, but like they’ll readily take a Hubert Davis that’s three feet taller than they are. You know, they’ve seen him play before, so they’re excited. So Mason was like a good, by 1992 he was a really good example of that, because he’d only been with the Knicks for one year. He was a guy that came off the bench. He’s a guy that if you give him a little bit of cash for showing up, he’s thrilled with it because he doesn’t make that much money relative to the other guys. So he was the guy that agreed to do it. They said, we’re going to give you $1,500, you show up for the one day. You know, that was probably a decent percentage of his salary at the time. So he shows up and it’s the first annual youth camp that they have for players, young players to come by. And they’re hosting the camp for like a weekend or two or three days. Mason comes by. He pulls up as the kids are walking in the camp for the day in a limousine. The kids go nuts when they see Mason in the car, rolls down the window and he just sits there. He’s not getting out of the limo. Five minutes pass. Ten minutes pass. 15 minutes past. And finally, the administrative director at Tapscott, who later would become their GM, he comes out and he says, Mason what are you doing? Like, kids are inside waiting for you? We’re waiting for you. Why are you sitting here in this limo? And he’s like, not getting out of the limo. And Ed Tapscott asked him, why? Because they’ve obviously agreed on this. He said, I need you to make it two grand even and I need it today in cash.

 

Renee Montgomery: What!?

 

Chris Herring: So, Ed Tapscott’s like, I, you know I’ve already gotten these kids in here. They know, they’ve seen you at this point. I need you to come in.

 

Renee Montgomery: All the leverage. He has all the leverage at this point.

 

Chris Herring: And this is like, I don’t even know if you could get two grand out of an ATM today in cash. You have to make several trips. You’re probably going to get, you know, you need an override and all sorts other stuff. So Ed Tapscott sends out like multiple staffers to go out with his ATM cards to go get cash from different places. So he’s like, I don’t, what choice do I have? So he does get Mase to come out. He does go inside with the kids. He plays with the kids for a little bit. He plays a scrimmage with a group of them, and he ended up elbowing a kid in the nose and breaking his nose.

 

Jason Concepcion: My god!

 

Chris Herring: By accident. Incidental. But breaks his nose. The kid is knocked out cold. His nose is gushing blood.

 

Jason Concepcion: Oh my god!

 

Renee Montgomery: I know you lying Chris!

 

Jason Concepcion: Oh my god.

 

Chris Herring: The kid wakes up. The Knicks are, you know, scared crapless that they’re going to have to pay a lot of money in a lawsuit. But the kid wakes up smiling and asks Mason if he can sign his bloody T-shirt. Mason obliges. The camp ends without a lawsuit. And then as Mason’s walking out, he walks over to Ed Tapscott, the man who got him to come to the camp in the first place, he said, oh, well, thanks for the cash, but by the way, the reason I wanted the cash, I’m going to go home and have the limo take me home and I’m going to give that cash to my mom, she’s going shopping today. And walked out. And so the whole idea was that he was going to keep the limo for several extra hours so that his mom can have like a joyride and a shopping trip.

 

Renee Montgomery: And two thousand cash to get on it. And then they’ll probably still going to hit the direct deposit for $1,500 because it’s already been processed. So he really made 3500 and in a limo for a day. What!?

 

Chris Herring: And then got mad.

 

Jason Concepcion: And they say he was not a finesse player.

 

Chris Herring: Well, he might not have been a finesse player, but he was finesse [unclear]

 

Renee Montgomery: Finesse the whole system! What!?

 

Chris Herring: Yeah. So I mean, that was Mason. And then got upset with Ed Tapcott when it got back to the actual general manager of the team that like, he was trying to figure out why there was so much money allotted to the limo for that day or what the charge was so high. And it it was like, well, Mace kept the limo for four extra hours, but Mace got mad Ed Tapscott for ratting him out. He’s like, how am I ratting you out when you just straight up hijacked the limo and hit me up for—

 

Renee Montgomery: Mace! No, sir!

 

Chris Herring: He was, he was an interesting dude and a sensitive dude, and I really think, I hope that comes across. That story wasn’t going to make the book at all until my editor, like, forced me to put it in. It had no tie to any one specific thing other than just saying how wild dude was. And I couldn’t figure out a way to fit it into the story. So I put it in the epilogue at the very end. But you know, I had so much fun writing about him, but he was complicated and I strained and strained and strained trying to figure out how to just tell his story fully without it just being this cartoon. You know, I didn’t want that. And a lot of teammates from college, many of whom, a couple of whom moved out of the room with them because they’re like, I can’t live with this dude anymore. A lot of them were telling me they had never spoken to reporters before because they did not want to just put him out there is just this crazy loony tunes, and they wanted a sense that—like had I called and asked to write a story about him, I don’t know that they would have said yes, but something about it being a book, and them knowing that I would have the space to fully get into his story seemed to kind of win a lot of them over. And now they text me for updates on when is the coming out, who else did you talk to, what other stories did you get? So I’m excited, you know, and I’m hopeful that when his folks read it, that they feel like I handled it with care and that I wasn’t just looking to sell just the crazy stories about him because he was a really interesting dude that had a lot to him.

 

Renee Montgomery: Well, he’s an author and senior writer for Sports Illustrated. His new book, “Blood in the Garden” will be available in bookstores nationwide January 18th! Preorder now to get more amazing stories like the one you just heard, which is only one of many stories. Chris Herring, thank you for joining us on Takeline.

 

Chris Herring: Thank you guys so much for having me. Really appreciate you guys and love what you do.

 

[ad break]

 

Jason Concepcion: Last week, ESPN Football insider Adam Schefter tweeted the following quote, “Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook is the victim of domestic abuse and extortion. There’s a pending litigation, according to his agent, Zach Hiller.” And that tweet got about 30,000 likes and framed a narrative about an ongoing situation that had not yet broken into the news yet about the Minnesota running back. But Schefter did not mention that Grayson Trimble, Cook’s former girlfriend, is suing Cook for battery and assault. Many in the media pointed out that Schefter in promoting a narrative from Cook’s agent essentially sight unseen shows not only a bias, but you know the kind of problematic nature of this kind of sports journalism and the way it hinges on relationships between agents and executives and these extremely popular and powerful media insiders like Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania and Adam Schefter. So I think the question is how much control of a story do insiders have and how much of a problem is this? And how do we stop certain agendas from being met? How do we stop this kind of pre framing of, you know, an actual legal case from taking place again?

 

Renee Montgomery: You know, I don’t know if you do stop it.

 

Jason Concepcion: I agree.

 

Renee Montgomery: You know, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. You just can’t do that. We have a thing here called social media, and that’s what I think blurs the lines of journalism. I mean, this is, this is a small part of what journalism is turning into. Journalism is not necessarily the news anymore, fact-based. Journalism has turned into, well, this is what I think is going on. And it’s not necessarily here’s the cold, hard facts, you decide. We’re being told how to think a lot of times in journalism, whether it’s even newspaper articles now, all the way to tweets where that’s where I, look, I say it all the time. My newspaper is Twitter and I check it in the morning. I always check it at night. And if I have time during the daytime I dabble in because I want to see what’s going on on the second, one the moment. But the problem with that is these journalists want to put out stories in the second, in the moment of when something happens to be the first to do it, but maybe not getting all of the information that they need to. They just want to be the first and they’ll apologize later and figure it out later if there’s not. But it’s almost this who can put something out first and how loud can you make the caption and make people click it is what’s kind of shifting a lot of things in journalism, I think. What are what, are your thoughts on it?

 

Jason Concepcion: I think that this is a problem that is specific to sports journalism. I think that there’s like other maybe other spaces like video games journalism, different kinds of criticism, I think maybe falls into this area. But I think sports is very vulnerable to this kind of thing because the main places where people get their sports news like ESPN, for instance, where, Schefter’s employer, they have an ongoing economic relationship with the NFL that highly incentivizes them to—I don’t want to say go easy—but maybe not go as hard on the NFL when they need to, because you know, they have a contract with the NFL to air games. And that’s a, that’s a huge part of the income for ESPN. And I think that blurs the lines. And listen, having been around sports journalists a lot, when you trade in access, right, it’s undoubtedly great for your career. Journalists like Shefter, like Woj, like Shams, you know, they have a product that people want. For whatever reason, whether it’s their fantasy stat or just to know more than their fellow fan or just whatever. So to be able to feel like they’re taking, they’re seeing what’s happening in the moment, to use your words. But the issue is you then have to water and feed and manage those relationships that you have with the people that give you the information. And that’s clearly what happened here now. I think 98% of the time, it doesn’t fucking matter. Like Adam Schefter, you know, tweets some kind of deal news and all that does is, you know, tell people like what free agent got signed and maybe some people are like, oh, I know what to do with my fantasy team now. You know, I’ll make a tweak to my fantasy lineup. Like, that’s the kind of, you know, and 98% of the time, it’s fine. It’s value added for people. This is the 2%. This and like his coverage of the Washington football team where it was, it was discovered that he had, you know, allowed a subject of a piece to look at a piece and tell him whether he should edit it—this is where you start to get into issues that are really troubling. I mean, again, this is, Schefter knowingly or unknowingly muddied the waters of an ongoing domestic abuse case. That’s horrendous.

 

Renee Montgomery: And that’s new, because what does that, what does that mean in the grand scheme of things? And even again, this is something that is a normal thing that happens where people, people pretty much can decide a narrative that they want to push. The social media is, you know, like where public opinion happens per se. Like, you know, it used to be only the news. It used to be you got your news from CNN, MSNBC, and that’s where you got your information and it told you almost how to think from those newscasters and the anchors. But now social media can sway public opinion. And so when you talk about an open investigation, well, what does that mean? You know, like, how does social media now play a role in things. It’s like, ii’s completely even how we watch trials unfold now with Kyle Rittenhouse and we have the Ahmaud Aubrey trial. There’s people, like as the trials are going on, we’re talking about it live on Twitter. People’s opinions are being formed. Will it change the outcome of those things? No. But there’s something to be said about persuading the minds of the people, of the public. And now you see it happen in a lot of sports journalism, and athletes have taken that power back, though. Athletes have now, there used to be only one side of the story told in sports with traditional journalism, but now with podcasts and other platforms that athletes are speaking on. Somebody can say somebody’s an athlete now and then, Kevin Durant tweets, yeah, nah, that’s not how it went down. And then we get a whole nother world of opinions. So social media has opened up in a good way. But also, there’s some give and take to that.

 

Jason Concepcion: That’s a good point, because I think the social media of it all has actually empowered journalists like Schefter, like Woj, like Shams, because now, there’s actually, you know, if you want to break into the kind of like access journalism game, now you’re not just competing as Woj, Schefter and Shams, you’re competing against the players themselves who have the ability to just go straight to the consumer. Part of the issue, and you said it with the way, you know, narrative and opinion is shaped in real time on social media, to go back to the story, I remember when the pictures came out. So when the news of this, the actual court case broke post-Schaeffer’s tweet and you saw the pictures of the victim. And I remember going into the Twitter comments after various people had shared, you know, reporters, Mina Kimes and others had had shared it. And all the comments were, oh, you mean the person that broke into Dalvin Cook’s house and pepper sprayed him and then attacked him and he was defending himself? Do your own research. Like that’s, I know the story. And that’s part of the problem with this kind of journalism is it is present and is quick and it’s fast but it is also like vulnerable to all kinds of distortion. Now, theoretically, again, as a person who’s worked in sports journalism, there should be an editor, right, that is powerful enough to say, hold on. I know you want to tweet this, but there’s all kinds of liabilities that could come up, it could damage the company. Let’s make sure that we are right about this stuff. Let’s hold off. The thing is like, if you’re Adam Schefter, you make X amount of millions of dollars a year. There’s probably no single editor at ESPN that has the power to be like, don’t do that.

 

Renee Montgomery: If they want to keep their job.

 

Jason Concepcion: Yeah, right. That’s not going to happen. So, you know, and then even from the perspective of somebody who’s, you know, like, I’ve had a nice career as a sports journalist, definitely not making the level of the Schefter money. At the same time, like working at places that I’ve worked, social media is always the place that you are vulnerable because it’s the point of contact between you and the audience, and it’s the lowest paid people who can potentially mess up and throw everything into turmoil. So it’s just like, I would hope that ESPN, after these last couple of incidents with Schefter would put some kind of process into place. But I’m not confident that anybody has the juice to reign in a guy like Schefter, who’s as powerful as Schefter.

 

Renee Montgomery: But it’s tough, though, because I just always think about like, how will the process work?

 

Jason Concepcion: Right.

 

Renee Montgomery: If Adam Schefter gets a call at 1:00 a.m.—

 

Jason Concepcion: That’s the issue. That’s exactly right.

 

Renee Montgomery: This one a.m. East Coast time, which means there’s still plenty of time to post it on the West Coast, like, let’s say, hypothetically, and he gets a good nugget that by the time everybody wakes up, everyone will know. What happens in those moments? Because I mean, this is not unrealistic. Athletes do stuff in the wee hours of the night. Even a domestic violence case, all that stuff started to come out five o’clock in the morning. Like this is early morning stuff happening. Do you wait until your editor can approve? Does your editor stay on call 24 hours a day? I’m just, like, I just think through because, you know, like being on the other side of business, like the management side, I always think, well, how could you monitor them. Would I have to hire somebody for 24 hours a day to stay ready if Adam Schefter gets a nugget that he wants to tweet. And how can you stay on top of that?

 

Jason Concepcion: And the other part of it is if I’m Adam Schefter, I’m saying, hey, my business is being first. That is my job. If I’m not first, I’m out on the fucking street. So whoever is in the way of me being first, be it an editor, be it anybody at ESPN that they [unclear] in, I’m going to, I’m going to be constantly at this person’s neck because that’s a threat to my position.

 

Renee Montgomery: Hurry up and give me back my story! You’re going to be like, ah, ah, ah! Did you read it?

 

Jason Concepcion: That’s a threat to my position in the industry. So like, it’s very, very tough. I’m not sure how you stop. It’s obvious how you stop stuff from happening like this again, right, you have some kind of process in place, a person who looks over the information to make sure we’re good. At the same time, that is not how Adam Schefter built his career. He built his career by being first and having that information that he got from agents and players and everybody.

 

Renee Montgomery: And ESPN has benefited from it, and they benefited from it.

 

Jason Concepcion: Yes! Greatly.

 

Renee Montgomery: We’ve talked a lot about when businesses benefit from something, how does that affect how they police it? And so if you have an Adam Schefter that even people, have to understand, bad press is good press for some companies. If you want to be in the news, like Adam, like he broke that news, right? And we saw it. Thirty thousand likes. And the apology got like a fraction of that, right?

 

Jason Concepcion: A fraction.

 

Renee Montgomery: Do people, do you think ESPN cares about that? They got thirty thousand likes on that first one, so you have to always remember too, companies don’t necessarily want to police something if it’s working. That’s, that’s the thing.

 

Jason Concepcion: Even if they want to, and I’m not going to, like, there are good people in ESPN who I’m sure feel terrible about this, and they don’t want this to happen again, yadda, yadda, yadda. It almost doesn’t matter because the economic incentive for being first is so strong. It’s so powerful.

 

Renee Montgomery: Thank you. The money moves all the needles. People need to know, money most things in sports. Like, that’s period.

 

Jason Concepcion: Like, I would imagine, unless and this is a big unless, unless this results like in some kind of lawsuit, where the person who is involved in this case says, hey, you, you actually slandered me or something to that effect. This is just like the cost of doing business. You mess up, sometimes you miss.

 

Renee Montgomery: Who pays for that, let’s say? Does ESPN pay for the lawsuit? I’m just, to take it a step further. He’s a reporter for ESPN, and she comes after, she ain’t coming after just Adam, is she? Is she coming after Adam and ESPN? Because that’s when the company cares. Then they’re like, Oh, wait a minute, people, everybody run it by your editor first. Now we saw what happened to Adam!

 

Jason Concepcion: Well, you know, again, as a sports journalist, we’ve had stories, I’ve been involved with stories where we have to kick it up to legal multiple times. Every time there’s an edit, you want to run it by legal to make sure we’re good. We’re good, we’re good. You know, obviously we’re theorizing now, but I would imagine, listen, if I’m suing, I’m suing the person with the money. Not like, and so Adam Schefters got a lot of money, but ESPN got a lot more. You know what I mean? They got a lot more.

 

Renee Montgomery: My point exactly. So imagine ESPN stars getting sued now, because this social media reporting is new. I mean, it’s fairly new in a sense of—

 

Jason Concepcion: Yes! Very new.

 

Renee Montgomery: I even talked to you guys about it in the pre pro, where women’s sports, we don’t have a Woj or an Adam Schefter per se yet where everybody knows that’s the person that might drop the news. You know, we just don’t have like a solidified person. I don’t know who the women’s soccer person is, you know, like, I don’t, we don’t know those names yet. Because honestly, 4% of media attention is what women’s sports get. So not a lot of people were looking for stories in general. But now with this internet and journalism, you start to see those Wojes emerging on the women’s side. You start to see different people break in different stories and you start to hear names that are like, oh, they’re breaking another story. And you know, like Christina Williams is somebody that’s broken a lot of stories on the women’s side, in the WNBA. And so now you start to see it happening. But it’s going to be interesting because these stories that are being broken and even with the Adam, what’s going to happen now, if what he said, if that tweet is actually incorrect, what? What happens next?

 

Jason Concepcion: What is it like to be ground level of that, watching your sport go from you want more attention, one more eyes on it, because that is the tide that will lift all boats economically. But at the same time, there’s stuff that I’m sure got swallowed up that nobody will ever know about because nobody was looking. And now with people looking, and now there’s that interest. What is, what has that shift been like?

 

Renee Montgomery: It’s been lit, honestly, like even just to see the young players right now, the different endeavors they’re doing, the sponsorship deals they’re doing, the tunnel walks, the amount of attention that even just fashion is getting in the WNBA is big lit. Lke I love it and I always think back and I know that’s why we almost even talked about it earlier. Imagine if social media was a thing with some of the players that played before us. Because players that played, right now, the athletes that everyone sees and hears and I am an example of that type of athlete, we’re very politically correct. We do things a certain way. We present ourselves, we’re basically our own brands. But back in the day, players were a little more raw, more not, I wouldn’t say, I would say they’re raw and unfiltered. Like you can even see it now with a Scottie Pippen. Draymond Green is somebody that we see in our timeline now, where Draymond announced that he was one of the best players of all time and it broke the internet for a second. That’s stuff that people back in the day used to say,, like, they’ll fight and be punching each other and saying those type of things. And so imagine the stories that weren’t told about the Sheryl Swoopes, the Cynthia Cooper’s Tina—like all these names, the Dawn Staleys, we see how her personality, even now on the internet has exploded is she’s a fun follow. Imagine her in her prime. And so always, that’s my first thought. I’m like, Man, imagine all the stories that we just don’t know because we just didn’t have that access back then. But that’s where you see it now with people like Just Women’s Sports and even what we’re doing with Think Tank productions. There are so many stories that we can choose from because a lot of stories haven’t been told in women’s sports. So me and Serena, we started production company because it’s like, Oh my god, I know so many stories that people just don’t even really know because no one’s telling them, and I hope they start telling them now. But will all of those stories get told? I highly doubt it. Like, I highly doubt you’ll be able to find those cool random stories that you know, they’re just gone. And that’s tough when it comes to women’s sports, but also in the same part, you know, you can be entered on the hot seat, too, because now that there’s more access, you know? Even things as far as what’s going on with with my team. Fans were demanding answers and reporters were trying to find the scoop and they wanted some stuff and they didn’t care if we was under investigation or not. They didn’t care if there was other things. They didn’t care, they said. We want answers right now. This is how it works now. And I was just like, Wow, you know, like that’s lit, the fans are in tune, but there’s a give and take. Like I said, there’s always pros and cons.

 

announcer: [buzz, cheers] What a perfect ending to a historic day.

 

Jason Concepcion: You know what that sound means, it’s time for Buzzer Beaters where we talk about stories that we didn’t cover in the show because of time. And this time, you know what, I am going to clear out and give Renee an ISO because there is big news from this weekend. [Wedding March plays]

 

Renee Montgomery: OK! I know you hear it! That’s wedding bell in case you don’t hear it. Your girl is a whole wife out here! All right! You know what I’m saying? And [cut off] shouts to my baby, Serena Gray. She’s a singer here in Atlanta. She does PR for me. She literally has built this whole thing around me when I opted out. And people don’t really know how it happens, and they thought that I did it on my own. No! I have a whole wife that was behind the scenes one the ones and twos making sure this was the right interview, this isn’t, this is the good life. Yeah, just doing all of that. But besides that point, we had a Zoom wedding in 2020 where everybody was having Zoom weddings. We just didn’t announce it because we actually planned on having some type of real IRL reception, ceremony, something. We thought we’d be out of a pandemic by now, people! So here we are a whole year later and still in a pandemic, so we thought we need to just announce it, let everybody know. And we actually announced on People that we got married for 2020 and very easy time for me to remember, basically. So this is another just a little quick tip to people, make your anniversary’s dates you can remember, because you’re going to have to remember them. Just a quick tip. So her family was on one Zoom iPad and my family was on another. This is before we even knew how to work Zoom so we didn’t even record it because we didn’t know all those things. I’m sick about that part. But long story short, we were in love and it felt like a real wedding. I cried all of that real stuff. Yeah. And we announced it on People, though about last week. This happened last week where we announced on People that we’re actually married already and we won’t be having the reception-type of thing we wanted, we just wanted to let everybody know. And people were so kind to put us on their platform and announce our Zoom wedding. And so it’s exciting times, but I had a rant to go on. Shouts to my baby, I love you baby. She listens to the show every time and she’s amazing. Hi baby! So why don’t people tell me how lit, like we don’t get, married life doesn’t get enough love. Like we hear all the time about how you can be single, poppin bottles, Hot Girl Summer, even listen to how Cardi and Meghan [unclear]. Everybody is in love! Y’all better keep listening to Meghan Thee Stallion playing all that Hot Girl music. And she happy in love? One year anniversary just posted it up. Cardi B is married and I don’t want to hear nothing about it. She’s in love. These people, they need to start rapping about being in love and married because it’s lit. Imagine having somebody that, it’s a Saturday. You don’t have nothing to do. You don’t know what the streets is going to be like. But you do know that your favorite show, Succession, just released a new episode or the whole season is out and you want to binge watch it and you got somebody that wants to talk storylines, talk characters, talk the plot, break it down—that’s, that’s dope to me! I don’t know. You know what I’m saying? Netflix and Chill is lit, but I call them, I think of myself as like a movie critic, and so I’m really into that. When I’m not working, I want to just sit at the house and do nothing and watch TV with somebody I can have a good conversation with it about. That’s Sabrina. Married life is lit! That’s all I wanted to say. Sorry, Jason, what’s on your Buzzer Beaters? Or what’s going on in your world?

 

Jason Concepcion: I just wanted to throw it to you, but I just want to, I just want to take one moment to address those people out here in the audience that might be, maybe you’re looking for that person and you listened to Renee just now go on for two, three minutes about how great married life is, long relationship, how beautiful that is when you find that bond with somebody, you find your person and you’re sitting there in your car or wherever, you’re at the gym, wherever you’re at, thinking oh no, I need that, I need that in my life and I don’t have it right now, what am I going—? You’re going to find it. Telling you, right, that is my Buzzer Beater. You’re going to find it! Just hang tight, you’re going to find it.

 

Renee Montgomery: I like that Jason!

 

Jason Concepcion: You’re going to find it. Don’t worry about it.

 

Renee Montgomery: Find love in a hopeless place. It’s is a pandemic, but you can find love! OK?

 

Jason Concepcion: That’s it for us. Follow and subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And don’t forget to subscribe to Takeline show on YouTube for exclusive video clips from this episode, plus my digital series, All Caps NBA, which comes out every Friday. Check it out. Goodbye!

 

Renee Montgomery: Let’s go!

 

Jason Concepcion: Takeline is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Carlton Gillespie and Zuri Irvin. Our executive producers are myself and Sandy Girard. Our contributing producers are Caroline Reston, Elijah Cone, and Jason Gallagher. Engineering, editing, and sound design by Sarah Gibble-Laska and the folks at Chapter 4, and our theme music is produced by Bryan Vasquez.