The NBA Finals Shift to Boston | Crooked Media
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June 07, 2022
The NBA Finals Shift to Boston

In This Episode

The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors split the first two games of the NBA Finals in San Francisco, and will continue their title fight in New England. After squandering a double-digit fourth quarter lead in game one, the Warriors took care of business in game two, but the Celtics return home with home court advantage. Zach Harper of the Athletic joins Jason Concepcion this week to recap the games on the west coast, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated returns to Takeline to set the stage for game three of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night, and the show wraps with another riveting edition of Take Survivor.


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Chris Mannix: Ime, from training camp on, found like 700 different ways to call Robert Williams soft. Like he did. He was, he kept saying like things like, Robert’s got to be tougher. He got a plate. Like even when you weren’t asking about Robert Williams pain tolerance, Ime would bring up Robert Williams playing through pain, like he would find a way to weave that into a discussion about Robert Williams.


Jason Concepcion: Hello and welcome to Takeline. We’ve got a wonderful show lined up for you today. The NBA finals are going on. The Golden State Warriors just defeated the Boston Celtics by a lot in Game two. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated will join us to help us unpack Game two and the rest of the series as the final heads back to Boston. And to join us today to talk about everything on this podcast. From what we thought of Draymond Green to what’s going on with the Celtics to Take Survivor. His NBA analysis is amazing. His movie analysis is incredible. His ad reads is the thing I tell him offline, on our text thread all the time. Zach Harper is like first team, all NBA at ad reads on his podcast is a truly great thing to observe. He is the athletic Zach Harper. Zach, how are you?


Zach Harper I’m excellent. I appreciate the kind words, especially about the ad reads. It’s in my head now. Every time I get I recorded two this morning for the pod that I recorded before I joined you. And I thought, like, Jason’s listening, like, I know Jason’s not skipping ahead 30 seconds. And so now I’m just like in my head where I’m like, I have to tell you, the best way to get a car insurance quote, like, I just have to like and I’ve got to make it I’ve got to make it make you feel it.


Jason Concepcion: I legit. And this is not bullshit. I sit there and I go when Zach does this, so naturally he does is so great. You feel like he’s not just reading it. How I sit there and I listen to all your ad reads and I’m like picking them apart and being like, what is where? What move can I steal from Zach’s bag and add to my bag when I’m doing my ad reads?


Zach Harper Tthere’s one, I won’t say the sponsor because I don’t want to I don’t want to get in trouble with. There’s a  sponsor recently that it’s just the worst copy possible. It is the worst copy possible. And like make it sound natural. I’m like, what am I supposed to do with this? Like, this is horrible. None of this is natural. And that’s truly my challenge of like, okay, I got to stop Steph Curry in the third quarter with this ad read. And like that’s what I have to do.


Jason Concepcion: Well, joining us, Zach, to help us in this block, just unpack that the Warriors 121-108 demolition of the Boston Celtics are super producers Zuri Irvin and Ryan Wallerson. And, uh, fellas, how are you?


Zuri Irvin: I’m good. You know, as the guy who rewrites ad copy for Jason, I’m very self aware now. I don’t know what kind of job, but Jason, thank you for picking up the slack. We can make use of.


Zach Harper Jason’s really good.Jason’s really good. Look, I don’t want to focus on me here, Jason.


Zuri Irvin: You’re modest.


Zach Harper: You’re apart of that Zuri,  I mean, good job.


Zuri Irvin: All right. Thanks, man.


Jason Concepcion: I appreciate that, Jason.


Ryan Wallerson: Jason,You take them and you make them your own.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, thank you.


Zach Harper: I also like when you borderline shit on the copy.


Jason Concepcion: So that’s like that’s my move.


Ryan Wallerson: Even the copy.


Jason Concepcion: That’s a little bit of my a little bit of my brand is like, what are we wait, hold on. What are what do we what are we saying here?


Zach Harper: The Draymond Green of ad reading. yeah.


Ryan Wallerson: It’s tough love. Tough love. He wants it to be better.


Jason Concepcion: Help them out because they leave so much in the product, in the service. Yeah. And whatever it is, that’s how much like I’m just trying to improve their game for them, you know, who improve their game is that is the Golden State Warriors who up the physicality really didn’t do anything that different other than say we paid attention to what happened in Boston series against Miami and even their series against the Bucks and even the way they’ve played all regular season. And we’re going to you know, we understand that they are a incredible defense of big physical guys. It’s hard to find a weak link in the chain. And so we need to find those easy points. We need to force turnovers. We need to swipe at the ball the way Miami did when they went and got games off the Boston Celtics. And they did that. They forced a bunch of turnovers. It turned into live ball turnovers that turned into a Warriors blowout. Initial reactions to what you saw. Let’s start with you, Zach.


Zach Harper: I actually like the strategy they had in Game one of like make these other guys beat us and then it worked right for the Celtics. Like they beat them and then.


Jason Concepcion: Al Horford was like, okay.


Zach Harper: Yeah, got it. Say less like I’ll do it. And then and then in game two, they tightened up a lot. I mean Al Horford like every time he caught the ball in the perimeter, had no chance of putting up a three point.


Jason Concepcion: Absolutely zero chance.


Zach Harper: They did a great job of closing on that and making that more difficult. And the Celtics still shot well from three. They just they just didn’t bomb on them all day. And it’s just, man. And we’ve gone through this with the Warriors a bunch in the past, especially in like key playoff moments. The Celtics just got so reckless with the ball. I mean, they’re just handing it to the Warriors time after time. And I like that. I don’t even know if that’s a sign of of inexperience in the finals or youth, because it’s been a problem for them for a long time. And it’s still a problem for the Warriors.


Jason Concepcion: It’s kind. Who they are. Right. I think for both teams, the Celtics in particular, they’re just they’re an incredible defensive team that is imperfect on offense and particularly in close games or games that are slipping away is a team that presses and makes bad decisions in tight spots offensively and will take wild, you know, under duress long twos that they shouldn’t will throw the pass that they shouldn’t, will throw the cross-court pass that they shouldn’t and will just get in trouble. That’s who they’ve been. Not just this season kind of for a while.


Zach Harper: Yeah.


Zuri Irvin: Yeah. I mean, just Jaylen Brown, just need more ball handling drills. I feel like that’s one of the.


Zach Harper: He dribbles a football.


Zuri Irvin: He dribbles a football.


Zach Harper: I mean Paul George went through the same thing.


Zuri Irvin: Yeah.


Zach Harper: Andrew Wiggins went through this like. It’s just, it’s bizarre to watch him dribble basketball.


Zuri Irvin: Yeah. Also I was struck by how much attention Steph garnished and at least in the first half of this game seemed like he had to beat two and three defenders on his way to the paint, whether he’s going to distribute or looking to get a shot for himself. I know that’s, I mean, J, you mentioned this a few weeks ago, but we’re not surprised. But he’s a beast.


Jason Concepcion: Well, I didn’t want to get into this, but I guess since you brought it up, I will. I’ve been really absolutely amused by the Warriors, like framing the discussion around the KD years constantly. Like .


Zuri Irvin: I love it.


Jason Concepcion: Reframing the narrative. This was always Steph’s team, even when KD was here. Like it always went through Steph. Like, Yeah, we know. Why are you saying this? Like, this is some fucking revelation. We get it. Like, we’ve always known that.


Zach Harper: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Why are you acting like this new information?


Ryan Wallerson: At this point? They almost hate the fact that KD has warrior rings and wants to disassociate his usefulness to the team’s championships as much as possible. That seems to be where we are.


Zach Harper: It’s not that he broke up with them, but said he broke up with them for Kyrie. Right. Like that’s that’s what the issue is. It’s it’s not like, all right, you don’t want to be in this relationship anymore. That’s fine. But don’t go with that guy. Like, don’t do that. Yeah, like, you can’t you can’t do that. But it’s funny because Sam Amick, he had had an interview with Andre Iguodala.


Jason Concepcion: Thank you for bringing this up because I didn’t want to do it, but you go ahead.


Zach Harper: Yeah, so, you know, at the Athletic subscribe to the Athletic. You keep me keep me employed.


Jason Concepcion: The great Sam Amick, by the way, the great. The great.


Zach Harper: Great Sam’s fantastic. And he’s you know, he’s got Andre’s ear and Andre Andre will talk to him. And so Andre is very honest in a very short interview where it’s like, hey, man, you know, we’ve talked about these finals MVP before, essentially, and I’m paraphrasing, but like Andre’s, like, I earned mine. But yes, Steph should absolutely have one. Not mine, but he should have one, like.


Jason Concepcion: There’s been a lot of conversation as the Steph legacy talk has really ramped up, right, you know, through the Western Conference finals now into the finals. There’s been a lot of re-litigation about Andre Iguodala’s finals MVP. Windhorst on his pod was saying this is a great example of people being too smart in the moment and and and doing a thing that now looks silly. And so then Sam Amick came out and wrote an article that was a little a little touchy. Honestly, honestly, he uses the word irked, like in the second or third paragraph, just about him having to like being questioned on this vote. He did vote for Andre and he says in the piece that he that he’d do it again. Here’s the thing that tickles me about the Andre Iguodala article. Sam Amick pressed because he voted for Andre Iguodala, and now that’s being relitigated, decides You know what? Here’s what I’m going to do. Here’s let’s get an unbiased opinion. I’m going to interview the guy who I voted for finals MVP and who won it and ask him his opinion on me voting for him for finals MVP. And let’s get let’s see if he thinks he should be finals MVP. It’s like, yeah, he’s going to like of course it’s going to be like, yeah, I should yeah, that was that was fine. That was legit. Of course, Sam, that’s what he’s going to say.


Zach Harper: I vehemently disagree with everyone who voted in that series. Here’s a. Look,  and I I love and respect many of the people that voted on that award.


Jason Concepcion: I do, too. And by the way, I understand where they were coming from at the time.


Zach Harper: I don’t. I. I. I, look, the move was halfway through the series, three games in the series into a six game series. Steve Kerr put Andre Iguodala in the starting lineup for Andrew Bogut. Right. They just said, look, we’re going for we’re going to be New Age and all that bullshit. And LeBron in the first three games averaged like 40 points a game on 40.3% from the field. And then in the last three games, he averaged 32 points a game on 39.3% from the from the field. Like there wasn’t a huge change other than like Andre kind of I mean, and Andre played great, but it’s not like he wasn’t.


Jason Concepcion: He played great.


Zach Harper: Great playing in the first three games. Like he, like he he played great. But LeBron was a monster because he had to be a monster. This when all things are considered equal. Steph, put someone in the hospital for guarding him.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, yeah.


Zach Harper: That shoutld be the tie breaker. He put Delhi in the hospital from exhaustion.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Zach Harper: The Cavs were like, well it’s. It’s the coffee that he’s drinking. No, it’s you had to chase Steph for over 42 minutes. You can’t do that and live. And that’s the. That should always be the tiebreaker. Did I hospitalized someone? I’m the fucking MVP of the series.


Ryan Wallerson: We vilify the the Iguodala MVP, but I think just as questionable as the second Durant’s MVP, because once he once he gets the first one, then you know that Iguodala has when you know the Durant has, when you know that this is the Warriors third and they haven’t given one to Steph. And when you’re still giving the second one to KD, I think that’s where the balance got thrown.


Jason Concepcion: But I don’t I actually disagree because it’s like KD was amazing, like on both ends like he was like offense and defense. He was a defense. It was like difference maker. We forget like he was like blocking shots and sure. Like it’s really the Iguodala one is crazy. Like, what are we doing?


Zach Harper: There are two things that are that are messed up about that right. There are two things are messed up about that is one, the second one for KD was a sweep. What are you doing? Is I Tony Parker got one for a sweep, sweeping the Cavs, right? Like that. .


Ryan Wallerson: You can give it to whoever you want kind of.


Zach Harper: You could. Yeah, you could get to Patrick McCaw. We’re like winning another title like you. You can do anything at that point. So that kind of messes up in in the 2017 one. I was there when that when it happened there is a play on a fast break that’s infamous now where Kevin Durant is bringing the ball down the middle floor and three defenders run to Steph who doesn’t have the ball and then KD just gets a wide open dunk like that should also be a tiebreaker. Like they both played really well and KD deserved one of those finals MVP. But Steph should have onen and I don’t blame Steph.


Jason Concepcion: Here’s the other thing. For the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, it was seven four and the four were for LeBron.


Zach Harper: Steph didn’t get a vote.


Jason Concepcion: He didn’t get a vote. Yeah, four people went with the 1969 Jerry West move, which was, Let’s be real about that Jerry West winning the finals MVP despite the Lakers losing in seven to the Boston Celtics that was really and West was amazing like if you look at the stats West was incredible.


Zach Harper: Sure.


Jason Concepcion: That was really like we feel so bad for this guy. Like that’s what that was.


Zuri Irvin: I’m okay with that.


Jason Concepcion: At is this guy is this guy has been knocking his head against the Boston Celtics his whole career. He may not ever get one. And he looks legitimately like he wants to throw himself into the ocean and he played great. And and just give it to him because this guy’s going to get a drink, a bottle of arsenic after this.


Zuri Irvin: Is the voting system broken? And there’s 11 national reporters that vote on this. Should there be like a fan vote or should the players vote on this as well?


Zach Harper: No.


Zuri Irvin: Or is it to keep it as.


Ryan Wallerson: I kind of like player voting. I kind of like player voting.


Zach Harper: No because the same House is going to get a vote for this like these finals, like it’s going. You can’t do player voting, all right. We can’t do that. Look, honestly, Adam Silver just needs to grow up and make the pick.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Zach Harper: Like, dude, that’s that’s something where because he’s talked about like, oh, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s, you know, voting should come from the league front office. And I sort of get that to a degree. But nobody likes the media voting. Nobody wants the players voting. We cannot trust the fans. Otherwise, Zaza Pachulia can somehow win this finals MVP. Like we can’t do that. And so like, like there’s just something where if you have issues with voting, there’s going to be a certain point where it’s like the league just needs to take it over. And I’m like, I’m a voter for the regular season awards. I love doing it. I think it’s super cool that I could do it. Like I get to nerd out and do all that shit. But ultimately, like if the league was like, No, we don’t trust you anymore. I mean, I get it.


Jason Concepcion: Like, I, yeah, I get it.


Zach Harper: I saw it in a cage movie like 6 times in the theater. Like I get you want to trust my you don’t want to trust my judgment. I’m I’m in like.


Jason Concepcion: We need to talk about Draymond. So the Draymond got another tech and then as he is done I think it’s just like fourth or fifth I forget it’s in the postseason and as he has done all postseason he uses that tech as like a watermark. Mm. To tell him how intense he can play, post that tech and push it right to the edge of the envelope which he and he’s, you know, screaming, elbowing guys, physical stuff, moving screens, everything, the classic Draymond Experience, Steve Javie, you know, at one point after Jaylen Brown and and Draymond got tied up and Jaylen fell on Dray a little bit and then, you know, Draymond took exception and the whole thing had to be separated. Steve Javie then came out and said, Hey, you know how we usually in the regular season this would be a double tech, but because Draymond has one, you know, refs want to be cognizant of the situation. The fact that this is the finals is a big spot. You don’t want to just like eject someone. So they didn’t. And then this was a topic of conversation all throughout social media. People were, you know, pretty, pretty up in arms about this. And then after the game, Draymond says to Malika Andrews, hold on let me get the exact quote, because it’s so it’s so nuts. Here it is. Okay it’s this is so here is Draymond, quote, it’s the NBA finals. Like I said I wear my badge of honor. It’s not that I’m saying they necessarily treat me different. I’ve earned deferential treatment. I enjoy that. I embrace that. It’s I have never it’s I agree, actually, with what Javei said. I know that that’s a little controversial, but we want refs to not throw out stars and important players and to let swallow the whistle a little bit and let them play. That’s how it’s always been done. And the fact that he said it does not change the fact that that’s how it’s always been done. It is crazy to me that Draymond Green gets up after the game during the NBA finals and says, I get special treatment. It’s awesome. It’s so cool. I’ve earned it. It’s. It’s so good. You guys, like. It’s actually great. At No fun and there’s no follow up. What’s happening to the reporter corps out here? Listen.


Zach Harper: Oh, my god.


Jason Concepcion: NBA reporters, you got to follow this one up. You got to be like. Hold on. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What? Can we back up? How specifically do you get defferential? Like we, somebody’s got to follow this up. It’s crazy to me that he said this and we didn’t get any follow ups. It’s crazy.


Ryan Wallerson: As a former journalist, I completely agree. I understand even in the NBA Finals how these press conferences work. You’re doing a bunch of things at once because you’re on a deadline like when it’s not your question being asked, when it’s not like your specific angle that you’re hunting, like maybe you’re not paying as much attention. But that’s one of those things that has to like send a spark through your ear, like, wait, what? No, I need another one for that. Excuse me. And the fact that it didn’t happen for anybody is just odd.


Zach Harper: So let me let me explain, because I’m with you and I’m very upset at the media for not following up on this. But let me explain the situation. I’ve been in that NBA Finals press conference room, and I’ve been the one asking the next question, not after something like that. But there are two people in the room that have microphones on an extendable like rods. Right. And so they’re like, oh, that guy asking that. She’s going to ask the next question, right, with like this one’s third in line. Like they’re pointing out they’re doing all kinds of like Navy SEAL signals and stuff throughout throughout the thing. And so they’re standing there and they’ve got the microphone sort of near your face, but it’s not hot yet. They haven’t turned it on yet, but you’re just kind of like you’re you’re like Marla Hooch, in A League Of Their Own, like you’re stepping into the batter’s box, like just trying to figure out, like, all right, this is my turn to talk about. No, no, I’m right now. Is it hot yet? No. Okay. I don’t want to breathe into this microphone and make it weird. Like, I don’t want to, you know, do this. And so then, like, you’re just kind of waiting, waiting, waiting. You’re looking at the person to, like, give you the head nod that, yes, we’re live now like you, it’s your turn. And so then I’m sure there’s a lot going through your head as right like, you know, you’re trying to right on deadline and you got all this stuff but there’s still got to be a point where he’s like, it’s awesome. Like, one to say I get special treatment that should that should do it. But when he then goes it’s awesome that you just your question on like three points, the corner three point defense tonight, like how did you guys? Like, fuck that. No one cares. No one cares what was your basketball strategy like? You have an obligation to now say, I’m sorry. What’s that? Like. At worst, that should be your question.


Ryan Wallerson: It’s like he fell in the mud and then it’s like you don’t know if it’s a mistake or not. But then he started rolling. Yeah. And at that point, you have to inquire.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. I mean, this is a thing where, again, I have I have actually no problem necessarily with the way Draymond is officiated. I don’t actually have a problem with what Javie said. I don’t have a problem with functionally how it works. This is this is how we want it to work always. I just can’t believe that he said that out loud. And if I was if I’m Steve Kerr, I’m like, yo, hey. Like, we’re getting, we’re getting away with it, man. Like don’t, as my friend Justin Halpern texted me last night, is like walking into the IRS and saying, hey, I cheat on my taxes. Okay. All right. See you later. Thanks.


Zuri Irvin: Well, you know, depends how rich you are. What about the the macro view of he’s got four and 19 team games in the postseason? If it’s seven, then that’s the automatic suspension. Is there a problem there? Like, I know we didn’t want him to be kicked out of the game last night, but it also would have had that ramification for the rest of the series if he is assessed another tech, and he is on that track seven.


Zach Harper: Yeah. So four in 17 games. Right. I think he’s played 17 games so four in 17 games. Can he get to three in the next 2 to 3 games. Right. Like that’s the. Because then who cares if it gets the game seven. He’s got six gives a shit like just go, go get that extra one and get, you know, ring night. You’re not allowed to play a funny way to do like like that point. But yeah what I love about the rule is I don’t want to distract from what your question is because your question is very valid, but the rule is seven, you’re suspended, but at five you get a warning. Yeah, I just love the idea of an official league warning, like on letterhead from Adam Silver, from Kiki Vandeweghe or whoever. It’s just like, Hey, Draymond, just so you know, you’ve got five technical fouls now and I just want I want Draymond like frame that and put it in his home next to the like the trophies and the rings and everything.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. I do think that they there needs to be, I don’t know,  lower it to six. I do think that there needs to be, it can’t be that the first tech just doesn’t matter. You know, like there’s got to be some way that it actually does matter or else, you know, and Draymond is listen, Draymond is a brilliant guy and part of part of why he has been so impactful over the course of his career is he really is thinking about the game and the loopholes in the game and the various, you know, ways he can disrupt the game on a level that we’ve not quite seen brilliantly, you know, at this level of brilliance before, like his ability to guard two guys, I think is a kind of like physical manifestation. Yes. And then one time and then, you know, his ability to say, great, I got that first tech. That means. I’ve got a long leash now, and I’m going to go I’m going to go nuts. I’m going to just do it. I’m going to scream at guys. I’m going to be put in elbows in the guys necks when we’re standing at the free throw line. I’m going to call Grant Williams a fucking bozo. I’m going to turn to the crowd and yell, This guy’s a fucking bozo. I’m going to do all of it. And I it’s and I love it. And I think part of what is hard for people is we’ve never seen someone be so self-aware of the dynamic before and exploited it so well. That’s the thing.


Zuri Irvin: What if you get your second tech in a game? Your team has to play with four players for the next 2 minutes. Now pay a penalty box.


Zach Harper: Yes, I love that. I love that idea.


Ryan Wallerson: And we can also talk about how good that would be for like broadcasting, because, you know, the camera, they would have like a penalty box camera on him on Draymond.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Ryan Wallerson: On Marcus Smart. I think it’d be awesome.


Zach Harper: Sit him next to Drake. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: This puts the league in a bad spot. No, this comment, like.


Zach Harper: Yeah. For sure.


Jason Concepcion: Kind of forces their hand a little bit because the last thing you really like this is where the narrative becomes a little bit corrosive. ABC already ran a clip package during the game. Of all the, you know, Draymond’s like acting like a lead blocker in the NFL out there and kind of and the moving screens which is again par for the course. Everybody’s doing that right now. But to have that clip package out there and then to have Draymond go like yeah was great. I get the I get I get special treatment. It feels like he’s basically begging them to now pull the trigger and throw him out. No.


Zach Harper: Yeah. Well, so I wonder. I wonder how much of that, because when he got suspended in 2016, it was flagrant foul points. Right. It wasn’t it wasn’t techs. It was flagrant foul points. He had reached like I think you get four or something like that and and then you get suspended. So it wasn’t like an accumulation of technical fouls. It’s still a similar thing. But I wonder if almost he’s like, look, this has happened before. They’re never going to let it happen again because look like it cost us the championship, all this stuff. You know, you lost two games with you on the court.


Jason Concepcion: Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Zach Harper: But like I do, I, I think it puts him in a terrible position. I wonder if it brings an actual move by the league to do something about it, or is this going to result in like a two minute report style transparency of nothing? Right. Because a two minute report doesn’t do anything. You don’t get anything back like. And that was a reaction to Tim Donaghy, like gambling and games and stuff. This isn’t this isn’t that. But it’s also like, yeah, there is special treatment. Like, we’ve known him forever. I know. I get it. Fucking great. Like, I’m all in on this. I think I’ve earned it and all this stuff. And now the league, I mean, they probably have to like eject him from a game in the series.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, right. It feels like they kind of have to now and.


Zach Harper: But then that puts the crazy thing about that is that puts them in even more hot water because then it’s well, now you’re proving a point rather than just officiating things the way we want to be. Like, it just.


Jason Concepcion: It’s it’s a bad spot in general. It’s a bad spot.


Zach Harper: Yeah. Once again, the NBA needs to stop giving a shit what Twitter says. Like, they’re like they’ve just cared way too much. Like their great at social media, but they need to stop caring what Twitter says about the league and just keep going. It’s 10,000 people.


Jason Concepcion: Well, to help us unpack the series from the Celtics perspective, we’ll be joined by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated up next.




Jason Concepcion: Joining us now is Chris Mannix, writer for Sports Illustrated, who has been following and reporting on the Boston Celtics for a long, long time. He’s also the host of The Crossover NBA show. Chris, welcome to Takeline.


Chris Mannix: Thanks for having me.


Jason Concepcion: Chris, Golden State 107 Celtics 88, Game two. The Warriors really upped the level of physicality. Turnover Battle was pretty decisive in this one, much like the Miami series. What’s the mood around the Celtics after Game two?


Chris Mannix: I mean, look disappointed for sure. I think there were a lot of people there that believed they had a legitimate chance of taking two in Golden State after that first one. And, you know, the way the game started, it sure looked like they they were going to be in that position. They were flying around defensively, making shots. Jaylen Brown got hot right off the bat. But I just these third quarters, we need like a deep study on why the Celtics, why they can’t get anything going in the third quarter. I mean, this is a relatively new phenomena for Boston. Like in in the regular season, there were actually like plus 2.7 in the third quarter in the playoffs. And the totality of it, they’re minus, but they like -0.08. But like, look at some of these clunkers, whether it was the third quarter of what was a game, three of the conference semis against Milwaukee, where they had the doors blown off, game one against Miami. And then these last two, like, they’re yeah, it’s just inexplicable. Like, you almost want Ime Udoka to go way outside the box and be like guys instead of going into halftime to make adjustments. We’re going to watch CeeLo Green perform and see what’s happening and down that goes and just forget everything else because it’s not working. Like they’re coming out completely flat and they’re getting blown out. I mean, they were able to rally in in game one, of course, but it was 23 points at the end of the third quarter in game two, which meant it was Sam Hauser time by 8 minutes into that game. So it is it’s that’s the biggest thing the Celtics need to know they have to fix. Like how do we stop just laying a big fat egg every third quarter?


Zach Harper: I’m not fully convinced that Sam Hauser’s a real person, but, you know, I just I mean, I’m not I’m not convinced. Like, you can show them that you show me all the ID necessary. I just don’t believe it.


Chris Mannix: A great story that I’m not going have time to do, that somebody should do, is like so the Celtics roll like eight deep with guys that can really play like really good players, maybe even nine, if you want to throw kind of Daniel Tice into that mix, is getting minutes in the series. The last four guys like, if you saw them walking down the street, you wouldn’t know who they were. It’s like Sam Hauser, Matt Ryan, I mean, just the one that looks like Zeller, like one of the Zeller’s. But he’s not.


Jason Concepcion: These are real life players. Yeah. It’s like when you play a 2k season, like out to 2035, this is what happens. This is the real life version of that.


Chris Mannix: Well, it’s like it’s like that Wahlberg movie, The Other Guys. It’s like they’re the other guys.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, yeah.


Zach Harper: They yes. They actually have a hilarious story going on at all times. We just never get to see them because we’re focused on the rock and Sam Jackson like that’s what it is. Yeah. Chris, like, I’m facinated by the third quarter thing. I actually thought in game two, the Warriors had learned their lesson from Game one because the Celtics actually kind of fought back at the end of the third quarter in Game one, right, to make a little bit more manageable in the shootout in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Now we’ve got a game. The Warriors seem to like, oh, no, no, no, we’re not going to do this like we’re going to keep going. Keep going. They push it to 20. Jordan Poole hits that ridiculous halfcourt shot. And then the first couple of minutes or the first like minute of the fourth quarter, Warriors go on like a 6-0 run because the Celtics were just still sloppy. Like, do you think the Celtics now like recognize like this whole winning the third quarter? Like you don’t have to win the third quarter, you just have to like not be historically awful. Right?


Chris Mannix: They absolutely realize that, whether they can do anything about it is remains to be seen. I mean, Golden State all season, the numbers say they’re a great third quarter team. So it’s kind of like, you know, two things colliding that turn out bad for Boston. But look, they know they have to fix the third quarter. That’s the obvious thing. But the turnovers just kill them every game they’re in where they commit that many turnovers, 19 turnovers in game two, 33 points for Golden State. I mean, they’ve had there’s a straight line during these playoffs between high turnover games and losses. Like it’s just as simple as that. So if they can just stop, drop kicking the ball around as often as they are, I mean, in the first quarter you knew it was something bad was coming because there were a couple of times where like Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown just couldn’t connect and they were giving each other these kind of like perplexed, like hands up, looks like like what is what is happen. And so you knew that you were headed towards something of of a sloppy game. But that’s that’s the big statistic for the Celtics. I mean, Ime, God love Ime. He’s the most like honest forthright coach I’ve ever covered.


Jason Concepcion: He really is. Like, it’s actually notable. I can’t remember the last time I heard a coach say some of the things that he’s like, he’ll just legitimate. That goes, Yeah, that guy’s not playing well. So we’re going after him. Like, Yeah, you don’t hear that.


Zach Harper: I wouldn’t I think I think you also don’t have a whole lot of coaches who have beat up in an arena before. Right? So like when you get to that point, you just get to say whatever you want.


Chris Mannix: You know, I talked to Ime about it this week and we were kind of talking about where it comes from. And I’m like, Did you get it from Pop? Like, you’re cut your teeth as an assistant coach under Pop. You can be blunt at times. He’s like, Look, Pop probably gave me validation for doing it. Like, you know, he made me believe I should do it. But this is just me. Like, I’m I’m just a blunt guy and I tell it how it is. And I mean, I go back to when they were really struggling the first few months of the season. And I remember now I do TV for NBC Sports in Boston. I remember just sitting up there in the postgame show after Ime interviews, just being like, Wow, like this guy’s never going to survive. Like he is straight napalming his team after losses. And that’s just not going to go over well with the locker room. But it has. And that’s why that’s why, you know, to circle back to the series, why give the Celtics a good chance to respond. Because they are so much more mentally tough this year than they were in years past. They have been able to bounce back from bad moments in these playoffs to win, and that’s largely because of everything they’ve done during the regular season to get them to this point, to toughen them up in ways Ime has toughened them up.


Jason Concepcion: The Warriors made some adjustments after game one Draymond on on Jaylen Brown was it was a show within itself we could talk about that more in depth right after this. Gary Payton coming in to be intense at the point of attack. And it’s really like for me when I boil down the series, it’s the Celtics defense and the fact that they can they can kind of slow down the Warriors and the Warriors depending on lineups, but especially in game one, didn’t seem like they could stop the Celtics when it when they needed to and then the Celtics iffy decision making on on offense which has been a bugaboo all season. What adjustments can Ime make going back to Boston for Game three?


Chris Mannix: Well, I mean, now that he knows that Draymond is going to get a lot of those reps on Jaylen Brown, you can adjust accordingly. You’ve got to kind of mix that up and get Jaylen to more screens. Jaylen loves to kind of stare you down and go to the rim and that’s not a good strategy against Draymond. You could do it maybe against Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson and some of the guys that might be guarding him. But you’ve got to find ways to wriggle free and create some of those mismatches there. You know, Al Horford was disappointing in Game two as well. I think he only had his first bucket in the third quarter. You’ve got to find a way to get him more involved offensively. But you know, for Ime, and I know these Celtics, like and what they’re doing on the flight back today, like they’re just rewatching all these turnovers. I mean, my guys 11,19 turnovers, 11 live ball turnovers. Like those are the kind of turnovers that just kill you. So I think the biggest adjustment is just making sure you take care of the ball because if they had taken care of the ball better in that third quarter, I don’t know what about a different outcome because Golden State was so good in that period, but it would have certainly changed the whole dynamic of that game. So I look, I know there are little things you do, but as much as basketball is about adjustments and it’s about the nuances of it, don’t turn the ball over. Like that’s kind of what it boils down to a lot. Don’t turn the ball over.


Zach Harper: Or if you’re going to the ball over, throw it into the stands. Don’t look like get a fast break on you.


Jason Concepcion: Right like  yes.


Chris Mannix: I like Ime like kind of reads from his own advanced stats like at press conferences too. He’s like 11 like ball turnovers he’s like he has a stat sheet in front of him now like he’s got his own stat sheet is like he’s, he’s giving up what his own coaches are kind of telling him like don’t do the 11 live ball turnovers and you won’t lose quite as badly.


Zach Harper: All I care about honestly it’s just the Draymond stuff like the the Draymond Green like him just coming out saying yeah I get special, special treatment. What of it? Yeah, that’s how it should be. I’ve earned it. Right. Like obviously the Celtics are super frustrated by by Draymond’s behavior in Game two. I also think it’s a little funny where it’s like you’ve been playing with Marcus Smart all season, who’s a brilliant instigator, and now it’s like, Yeah, this guy can like teach a college. And Draymond is like a master class, like Ted talk instigator level. And so how do they stop from like getting tricked by that stuff? Because like they just felt like they got tricked. And in game two because Draymond knows he’s not going to get thrown out.


Chris Mannix: Yeah, I think it’s just stop responding. And this goes back to a season long problem the Celtics have had not just with opponents but referees too. Like they allow referees and how the game is officiated to creep into their heads. Jason Tatum does it probably more than anybody. Marcus Smart ironically does it as much as anybody. They’ve got to find a way not to respond. When Draymond cut a dead ball situations, you know, shoves an elbow into your chest or a forehead into your chest. Tatum got kind of sucked into that. Grant Williams kind of got sucked into that. My thing with Draymond and I still can’t believe this happened. Like you know, what is Marcus Smart doing pulling Draymond away from.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah let it go let it go. Let that happen.


Zach Harper: Yeah. Let him swing on them.


Ryan Wallerson: Exactly like yo Draymond, I’m kick your ass right now. I bet you couldn’t do anything to him. Like, you got to instigate that.


Chris Mannix: Like Jalen. I’m sure Jalen would have taken a punch for the team.


Ryan Wallerson: Absolutely.


Chris Mannix: I’m so taken it said and said go. I mean, the referees discussed that for a little while, I’m sure, you know, they’ll never admit to it, but I’m sure they were thinking like, you cannot call a double technical here. We absolutely cannot do it. Yeah, but like if that had gone a couple of steps further and Draymond advanced on Jaylen Brown and shoved him again, he would’ve had no choice and Draymond would have gotten tossed. So I mean, Marcus, what do you should you of all people should know, right to let that stuff go


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Social media and various commentators were to quote the I think you should leave brilliant Tim Robinson sketch show I think you should leave were quoting the the sketch in which the character says, Ah, he admitted when Steve Javie came out saying, you know, what we do here is is when somebody already has a tech, we keep that in mind. And that way we don’t kick someone out on a soft tech. And people were kind of up in arms in this. Meanwhile, it feels like that’s how we’ve always wanted post-season play to be reffed with a little bit of wisdom about, you know, no one wants to see a player get kicked out. What’s your opinion of of Javie’s take and the fact that Draymond really seems to understand how far he can go after that first tech and really pushes it.


Chris Mannix: Javie doesn’t really add anything to me. Like he’s never, never, he’s never going to disagree with the referees.


Jason Concepcion: Ever ever never going to do it.


Chris Mannix: Like and even in in it. I’m not a no I don’t watch the NFL as closely as they do the NBA but even the NFL the they’re official unofficial refs like they they disagree at times with with what the call is on the field like I I it’s like a drinking game. Like if Steve Javie doesn’t disagree or agrees with the ref, take a shot like it just I just don’t under I don’t get any value out of kind of what he’s doing unless he’s going to find some way to disagree with the refs. The idea that Draymond get special treatment, you know, I just remember something Ron Artest told me and I think he told other reporters this years ago or he’s like, you know, early on Ron’s career, he kind of went out and just fouled everybody. Like he was just like he was being overly physical. So the referees at some point had to decide, do we call him for six fouls in 10 minutes or do we start letting some of this stuff ultimately go? Draymond’s kind of taken that that track and yeah I think his his is defensive credentials, his all star credentials, his championship credentials, whether we like it or not, it has kind of given him more of a leash than say like, you know, Daniel Tice has when he’s out there. And I don’t I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it. I think it comes with with being a player of that caliber. You know, I think there should be a limit to how far he can go. But I mean, giving Draymond the benefit of the doubt, that just happens when when you’re a star player. On the flip side of it, guys like I mean Jason Tatum gets the benefit of the doubt sometimes on drives to the basket. Steph Curry gets the benefit of the doubt. It’s Just it’s just different types of benefits of the doubt that you get when you’re a star player. Draymond gets to be more physical, Draymond gets to get away with screaming at referees. I mean he doesn’t talk to referees,  he screams.


Jason Concepcion: He does scream.


Chris Mannix: Iit’s wild seeing him do that. But I guess that’s what happens when you’ve reached the level Draymond has.


Zach Harper: Well, Steve Javie would tell you, like, you know, it’s a it’s the way he screams and it’s just different because the referees aren’t calling.


Chris Mannix: I can’t I can’t with Javie. I can’t. I like Steve. I like Steve. But I can’t with him. I can’t. It’s just like the second he comes on screen, I know it’s going to be some kind of unabashed defense of what happened on the floor.


Jason Concepcion: My favorite Steve Javie move is they bring him out and the refs are deliberating. You know, they’re at the they’re at the table. Right. And they’re looking at the play. And so they go to Jeff, they go to Steve Javie, rather, and they ask him what his opinion of the call is and what it should be. And then, Steve Javie just vamps until the call is made on the floor so he can agree with it, because the last thing he needs is to get boxed into an opinion that’s immediately going to be overturned by the ref. So. Well, you know, what I like to do here is I’ll look and I’ll see and then they’ll call stands on the floor. Yeah. And I agree with that. That’s the right call there. You want to keep it. I, it drives me fucking crazy.


Chris Mannix: He’s no different. He’s no different than a coach that wants another job immediately, that’s on TV. Like I think I remember seeing Jim well. I remember seeing James Borrego after he got let go in Charlotte on one of the ESPN shows. And like, he was just pulling his punches every step of the way on on some of the stuff. And I get it because Jimmy wants another job at some point in the NBA, so you can’t just go napalming different teams like you never you’re not going to get what they need to find is the Stan Van Gundy of Referees, someone that has no interest in ever working for NBA ever again and is perfectly happy calling out something awful.


Zach Harper: God who probably, sadly, probably Scott Foster once he’s done right. Scott Foster Company, there’s blow it up. Like just say like you know f this guy.


Chris Mannix: That’s really interesting. That’s really what would what would Scott Foster do because Scott has been given so many like he gets all the great assignments like he did. Did he really have seven of the conference finals and he’s doing a couple of finals games in this one. So would Scott Foster, you know, blow up the NBA by becoming the stan of of referee opinions? I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that question.


Zach Harper: You mentioned that Ime is just such a blunt guy. Right. I wonder after game one, if you got him alone, if he’s like, yes, like we got what we wanted out of those possessions. Right. With Derrick White taking those threes, Marcus Smart taking those threes. I mean, Al Horford is a good shooter, but those other guys are very inconsistent. If he’s like, yes, we like we’re happy with that because Jason Tatum made the right play in game one. Right? He got all that. He made the right passes even though he shot horribly like his playmaking was fantastic. But those three shot 15 of 23 from deep. Right. So I wonder if Ime would be like I do actually think we need to adjust some of the way that goes and then Game two is so ugly. I don’t know how you even judge that because they just gave the ball away, but I wonder if Ime is actually comfortable with the shots that they got in Game one?


Chris Mannix: No, I think he’s real comfortable. It reminds me, you know, before the series, I talked to some assistant coaches that went up against Golden State in these playoffs. I was talking to some people in Dallas and one thing they said was like, look, we probably would have lost that series one way or the other, but we had so many wide open looks in these games that we just didn’t make. And if we had made those shots, whether it were coming from Brunson or whoever else was was open at that time or Maxi Kleber, we would have been in a better position in the series. The Golden State Defense. One of the things it does, whether by choice or by accident, is it leaves certain guys wide open, just wide open, you know, and that’s just kind of the the way their defense is built. So, you know, Derrick White is not some lethal three point shooter, but if he’s wide open on the perimeter, you want him taking that shot. Al Horford is an improved three point shooter this year from last couple, but if he’s wide open on the perimeter, you want him taking that shot. So I, I get the sense that they were thrilled with the shots that they were getting. Now, they weren’t quite as open in game two, and that’s a credit to Golden State’s defense. But if they’re there for them in Game three, whether it’s Horford, Grant Williams, Derrick White, they want those guys shooting. The Warriors are going to keep throwing that junky defense at Jayson Tatum, keep trying to get into his head with a second defender, kind of sliding over behind him, doing all sorts of different things, kind of mess with him. Somebody is going to be open in the Celtics outside of like Robert Williams. They’re built to have guys shoot that shot, including Daniel Tice, who made, I think, one or two in game one. So I think they’re happy with with the shots that that they’ve been getting.


Jason Concepcion: You mentioned Robert and his play has been so instrumental over the course of this regular season in catalyzing the Celtics and allowing them to turn from a up and down team to a, you know, really one of the best teams that we’ve seen in the NBA recently, since January, he looked he obviously has been dealing with injury all postseason and he looked really labored at times in Game two. Any sense on where he’ll be for Game three, if he’ll be available, what his status is?


Chris Mannix: I think he’ll be available, but. He’s laboring like. I mean, look, he came back from knee surgery after a month. Like, that’s.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. That’s insane.


Chris Mannix: Back from knee surgery. And look, in hindsight, it is kind of Monday morning quarterbacking. Maybe they should have kept him out of the first two games. That Brooklyn series, they’re up two zero. The last two games are up two zip. And it really wasn’t a huge need to bring him back in that game three. But that’s, of course, hindsight. He’s not going to get any better. Like, it’s just not going to happen. He’s he’s going to be able to give them whatever he can give them over 20 ish minutes. And that’s the best you can do. And look, I think it’s remarkable that he is able to do that. One of the things. Bring it back to Ime. Like, so Robert Williams in recent years has had something of a reputation of not being willing to play through pain. Like it was just there. Like people talked about it in Boston like you ankle sprain, knee soreness. He was out for long stretches. Why? It’s why that contract for a player of his talents seemed so manageable because they didn’t know how long he was going to be able to play. Yo Ime from training camp on, found like 700 different ways to call Robert Williams soft. Like he did. He was, he was kept saying like things like Robert’s got to be tougher. I got to play. Like even when you weren’t asking about Robert Williams pain tolerance, Ime would bring up Robert Williams playing through pain. Like he would find a way to weave that into a discussion about Robert Williams. So and look, I think that paid off. I mean, I talked to Rob about this early in the series and he’s like, Yeah, you know, Ime questioned my toughness over and over again, you know, early on. And and that has that has an effect on you. So, you know, Robert Williams being questioned early on has kind of put him in this position where even though he’s probably 70% of the player that he is at his best, he’s still able and willing to go out there and give them 20 minutes. And, look, he’s effective in that time. They get a couple of block shots. He’s not as physical and as strong with his lower body as he could be, but he’s still a presence that you have to account for if you’re Golden State when you go to the rim.


Zach Harper: Yeah, it’s it’s crazy how he’s a gamer now, right? Like, he just is like he’s a guy that like I mean, Marcus Smart fell into his knee last night, and I, you know, he he gets up slowly. He limps up the floor. He’s like, I’m okay. I’m okay. He might have blocked a shot on the next play or he had a good defensive play or something. And and it is just out of character from what you heard about him leading up to the season. But I do wonder, like, like, look, if they win a championship, I guess it’s going to be worth it. But I just man, I especially with young with young players like the idea of rushing them back from that meniscus tear. And maybe he ends up being fine and maybe I’m just being a wuss about it, but like, I just like, I fear for, like, the future of his career based on that quick, like you said, a month after knee surgery, they didn’t just clean it up like they they remove part of the meniscus, like, that’s just crazy to me.


Chris Mannix: Yeah, it’s definitely a concern long term. I don’t I don’t think the Celtics or Robert Williams’s team would have done the procedure if they weren’t sure it was going to be safe for them in the long term. I mean, does help, but he has a long term contract. I mean, that certainly helps. If he was going to be a free agent, we might be having a different conversation. But, you know, I wonder every time I see him dragging that leg, I wonder if this is like is he further injuring it? Like, is he going to have to have another surgery this offseason that’s more significant. It might keep him out for the first couple of months of next season. The Celtics say no, but it’s just a matter of playing through pain. But I mean, he has literally a game time decision every single day. Every single game. He’s a game time decision. And that tells me that that knee still has some problems.


Jason Concepcion: He is Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated writer and host of The Crossover NBA show. Chris, thank you so much for taking the time. It’s been great.


Chris Mannix: Any time, guys.


Jason Concepcion: [AD]


Jason Concepcion:  Oh, you know what that sound is? You know what those drums are. It’s time for Take Survivor, the game where only the strongest take survives. Joining us today, he is the NBA writer for The Athletic, a podcaster for the Athletic. You can hear him on Sirius XM NBA Radio and you can hear his movie takes on the podcast Xenophobe. He is the greatest ad reader of all time. And podcasting is for you, Zach Harper. Zach, how are you?


Zach Harper: I’m great. Thank you for having me, Draymond. You can’t sell dick pills like I can sell dick pills on a podcast. I dare you. I dare you.


Jason Concepcion: He is a standup comedian, one of my favorite stand up comedians, the creator and host of the Never Seen It podcast. His comedy album, Happiness is out now. He is Kyle Ayers. Kyle, how are you?


Kyle Ayers Hello. Witty riff to introduce me. Bonus, we should have thought of something there.


Jason Concepcion: Bang, boom. He’s one of my favorite stand ups, truly. And a writer who’s appeared on Crash and Night Train with Wyatt Cenac, Two Dope Queens. He wrote on Run the World on Stars. He is Clark Jones. Clark, how are you?


Clark Jones What’s up, man? I’m high off the movie Top Gun. I’m ready.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s go.


Clark Jones Imperialism is coursing through my veins. .


Jason Concepcion: But hey, listen, we don’t know what country or nation they attacked at the end so it’s fine.


Zach Harper: Just the enemy.


Clark Jones Their faces were covered. So it had to be a white country. you know, just.


Kyle Ayers All about the countries we attack along the way.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, right.


Clark Jones If they were brown, we would know them too. A detail.


Jason Concepcion: And he is a stand up again. One of my favorite stand ups. Watch his Comedy Central special out now on YouTube. His Celtics got run over in game two of the NBA finals and he’s also a writer for my streaming show, All Caps NBA. He is Mike Malloy. Mike, how are you?


Mike Malloy I’m doing well, Jason. Obviously, things could have gone a little better for me yesterday, but we still won in San Francisco. I’m fine.


Jason Concepcion: I love I love the use of me. And we when when talking about the Boston Celtics.


Mike Malloy I did. If I didn’t believe in them. They never got this far.


Kyle Ayers And to be fair, it’s not illegal to steal in San Francisco anymore. So that’s okay for him to incriminate himself.


Jason Concepcion: Folks,Welcome to Take Survivor. Here’s how it works. Three rounds, three prompts at the end of each round. You all will be voting on the first take response to the prompt. That person will then be ejected from the island. The person ejected from the island, though, is still in it. They remain part of our voting jury. And as we move on to the rounds, they will listen to the prompts and they will continue to vote on what happens when we get to the final round, the championship round of Take Survivor. Everybody in the jury will be voting for the winner. Don’t worry. I’ll repeat all this again. Are we ready to go?


Clark Jones Yes.


Kyle Ayers Let’s do it.


Mike Malloy Let’s do it.


Jason Concepcion: Our first question and we start with you, Kyle. Jurassic Park. The new the latest Jurassic Park film was a Jurassic Park Domination, comes out this Friday in theaters. We can’t wait. I love dinosaurs. Kyle, what’s the best dinosaur? What is the best dinosaur?


Kyle Ayers I think you can’t overthink this. You don’t want to overthink these answers. The simple answer. Everyone knows it is. It is the velociraptor. It is the best dinosaur I don’t want. It’s not the biggest dinosaurs. You know what it is the only dinosaur to persevere all of the Jurassic Park movies. Here’s. Here’s my criteria.


Jason Concepcion: Nice.


Kyle Ayers I set my criteria for Best Dinosaur. Can you use doorknobs? If you put doorknobs, you’re already on the podium. And you know what velociraptors could do? Understand the podium. They’re so smart.


Jason Concepcion: All excellent reasons. The velociraptor. Not only that, it gave its name to an entire NBA franchise.


Kyle Ayers Yes. The Jazz.


Jason Concepcion: Mike Malloy. What’s the best dinosaur?


Mike Malloy In my opinion, it is the brontosaurus.


Jason Concepcion: Oh, big, big vegetarian energy.


Mike Malloy Well, and because it’s Irish. No, I just think that a brontosaurus.


Zach Harper: It’s name is brontosaurus. Yeah. You know.I love the. I love the idea of it just being a brontosaurus.


Clark Jones In a bar with the dinosaurbartender, would be.


Zach Harper: Yeah. Is that bronzer?


Mike Malloy I just think. I just think that a brontosaurus would probably be the best pet. A ) because it’s a vegetarian. It probably won’t eat you. And, B) they just look they look like kind of like they have, like, cow energy. A little bit. Right. They kind of have that like, you know, you can make a nice little pet out of this.


Jason Concepcion: I’m just 80 foot tall. I love it, though. Brontosaurus. I will be chuckling that for a long time. Clark, best dinosaur.


Clark Jones Listen. And this is a survival. I say the best dinosaur is the baby from the from the show. Dinosaurs? Yes. It’s the only dinosaur with a catchphrase. And that’s how you don’t get destroyed. When God resets start, just have a catchphrase.


Zach Harper: Oh, no, no one tell Clark the ending of that show.


Clark Jones I mean, but it wasn’t like big, you know,.


Zach Harper: It got canceled by a meteor.


Clark Jones Yeah. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: It’s also one of the darkest finales in the history of television.


Clark Jones Anything can happen in TV.


Zach Harper: It’s like, yeah, it’s like that in The Shield or the Tomb of Ashes.


Mike Malloy But oddly enough, just started rewatching The Shield.


Zach Harper: Wow, that Celtics lost really hit you, didn’t it?


Jason Concepcion: Well, I know it did really. Mike’s more shaken than he’s that he can even let on. Zach best dinosaur.


Zach Harper: Oh, man. Well, I recently learned via this completely CGI show on Apple Tv+ David Attenborough let me know that T-Rex can swim.


Jason Concepcion: Who, I’ve got to watch that.


Zach Harper: I wouldn’t I wouldn’t believe it, but I saw CGI, so I kind of have to believe. But I’m going off the board, guys. Okay. It’s not the T-Rex, not the velociraptor. It’s not brontosaurus. It’s not the baby from the show. Dinosaurs. This is a risk here. I realize this. It’s Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.  He has survived everything. A nasty breakup, a crazy rant on John Havlicek. Every other show like Caping for Bob Cousy, caping for, you know, Satch Sanders and everyone who played before the merger back way back when, back when they were taking trains and carrying their sneakers and everything back before they let the good NBA players into the NBA, all that stuff. And what has he done recently? He’s not withering away. He’s on First Take yelling at Stephen A. Smith, giving you great sports talk theater. Nonsense. But it’s great theater. It’s Christopher, Mad Dog Russo. And I’m not just saying that because he owns one of the channels that I appear on on Sirius XM.


Jason Concepcion: Oh, well.


Kyle Ayers I got to tell you, that man sure looks like if I tried to draw Skip Bayless from memory.


Jason Concepcion: Well.The the the takes are in. Let’s go to the voting, folks. Reminder, everybody here on this zoom, you are voting for the worst taken. Who will it be? Will it be Kyle who says it’s the velociraptor? The velociraptor is the best dinosaur because it’s smart. It’s never seen a doorknob. Dinosaurs have never seen human inventions. And yet the velociraptor is the only one that goes, I know what the fuck that is. I know that. Will it be Mike who says, Oh. Top of the morning to you is brontosaurus, a 22 ton cow with an 80 foot neck. I’d like to have that in my home taking shits the size of cars. Will it be Clark? Who says how about how about one of the darkest, weirdest shows of all time? It’s the Dinosaurs show in which puppet dinosaurs were in a traditional family sitcom. And it’s the baby. Baby.


Clark Jones Not the mom.


Jason Concepcion: Puppet from dinosaurs. Or will it be Zach?  Yelling, mike It’s got to be Chris Mad Dog Russo Who who loves Bob Cousy has some kind of undiagnosed speech impediment and is still doing it after all these years. Votes are coming in now. Let’s look at those. Zuri, what do we got?


Kyle Ayers Do you think he loves Bob Cousy because he grew up with him?


Jason Concepcion: I think that’s what it is.


Kyle Ayers Because he was his older brother.


Zach Harper: They do actually kind of look similar. They do


Jason Concepcion: What if that’s  the reveal is that Chris now reveals after all this time, actually, my hidden older brother is is Bob Cousy.


Clark Jones Of all the personalities, Kendrick Perkins isn’t the dinosaur of ESPN. Yeah, I don’t think just me. I don’t think this is T-Rex at the knees.


Jason Concepcion: The votes are coming in now. And by a margin of 4 to 3. Our first evictee from the island. Mike. Oh, Brontosaurus Malloy. Mike Malloy. It’s it’s two losses to two tough losses in 24 hours for you. Mike. Mike, what you have to say.


Mike Malloy This is bullshit.


Jason Concepcion: Okay.


Clark Jones Now you have to watch NYPD Blue.


Kyle Ayers Nah. It’s gonna be The Town.


Jason Concepcion: We wish Mike. We wish Mike the best. And we move on now to our second prompt. This inspired by Rafael Nadal winning yet again, another French Open. This man is dominant on clay and it’s like, enough already with the clay. We get it. Rafa, you’re great on clay. Great. Inspired by him. Who? What’s the best? Who or what is the best? One trick pony. They can only do this one thing. But you know what? It’s actually great. Let’s start with you, Zach. Best one trick pony.


Zach Harper: Oh, man. I’m gonna keep it in the basketball world. Okay, I’m going to say the big shot, Bob. Robert Horry like that. Oh, he’s like he didn’t really do a whole lot. He was a very versatile forward early in his Rocket days. But for the most part, he was just there to knock down big shots. It did it for the Rockets or the Spurs for the Lakers. He did it for everybody to the point where he just got the reputation, where he would do it in a playoff game. He would be, you know, other players be asked about that, like, yeah, that’s Big Shot Bob. That’s what he does.


Jason Concepcion: That’s what he does.


Zach Harper: So it’s Robert Horry who’s second highlight, his first highlights, big shots, his second highlight, he threw a towel in the face of Danny Ainge, who was his coach. Stay the fuck out of here Danny Ainge. I don’t like you.


Jason Concepcion: I love it. There’s one of my favorite dynamics ever in the in NBA history. Sports history is big shot, Bob. Like. Like a cicada like hibernating for entire games for the entire regular season until the postseason. And even like most of the postseason, until the last 5 minutes of game where he’s like, well, it’s time to make my money. I’m going to hit shots.


Zach Harper: The big shot that he hit against the Kings where Vlade Divac tips it out to the top of the key and he knocks down the end zone. So I wasn’t watching the game.I was working at the Gap, not to brag.


Zach Harper: I was working at The Gap in the stockroom. And so I’m listening to the game on the radio because it’s like 2001 or whatever it was. And we didn’t have TVs and in stock rooms and break rooms that listen to the game as I’m working. And so I just hear because it’s Sacramento, I just hear Grant Napier, now a disgraced NBA announcer who at the time was doing TV. But you move on to radio during the playoffs and I just hear, you know oh he misses. Vlade tips it out big you know Robert Horry with the shot good. And it was the most depressed just good. And that’s it that’s the call and it’s just and I just want to play that.


Clark Jones I love Kobe’s commentary after that. Like they really thought they was going to win after the luckiest tip out. Like you weren’t even on camera. Yeah. They really thought it was going to win. I love Kobe, but that arrogance is what that’s like.


Kyle Ayers It’s like you get a hole in one on the 18th and then you’re just like, Oh, you really thought I wasn’t going to make someone else. Wow, friend. Wow. You get a hole in one.


Clark Jones Wow. Ye of little faith. Okay.


Jason Concepcion: Clarke. Who’s the best? One trick pony.


Clark Jones There’s a theme here. Oh, Lil Baby, the rapper. A white woman did his lyrics and got canceled. She didn’t even use the N-word. That is amazing. She did his whole verse from Wants and Needs. I think that’s that’s stand up. All he does is really rap fast and like people still get amazed by that. I don’t think he doesn’t say anything very groundbreaking or remember or, you know, memorable, but he just raps fast and he keeps getting away with it. I say, Lil Baby. We’re going two for two on Baby’s.


Jason Concepcion: It’s a great take for today, especially as it’s been revealed on social media this morning that the fastest rapper ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Twista, is also a ventriloquist.


Zach Harper: What.


Kyle Ayers What a dummy.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. You didn’t see this?


Clark Jones No. And I’m from like Chicago.


Jason Concepcion: And he’s like, good at it. So folks, your hobbies are important. I love to see hobbies. Lil Baby is the answer of Clark. Kyle, best one trick pony.


Kyle Ayers I just can’t wait to see Twista throwing rap to another racist Jeff Dunham puppet. This is my puppet. Hard-R is the name and he’s kind of you rapping over to it. Okay, I got this one that requires you follow me. Okay. The the one trick pony is after 9-11, Mark Wahlberg. So if you remember after 9-11. Mark Wahlberg Before 9-11, Mark Wahlberg was in like Boogie Nights and like a bunch of cool movies and things like that. After 9-11 he’s a rapper, he’s in the basketball diaries, right? But after 9-11, Mark Wahlberg said he would have stopped 9-11.


Jason Concepcion: He would have stopped it.


Kyle Ayers He said he said, if I was there, what would have happened. He would have been on all four planes at the same time franchising his burger restaurant. And it wouldn’t have happened. So after 9-11, every movie he’s made looks like he’s trying to prove he would have stopped 9-11. I think. Yeah.


Clark Jones Wait a minute. Wait a minute.


Kyle Ayers Planet of the Apes. Four Brothers, The Departed, Shooter, Two Guns, The Fighter, Lone Survivor. Every movie he’s made since 9-11 is him saying, I told you I could have done this.


Jason Concepcion: Was how does he do that? How does he do that? In.


Clark Jones Ted.


Jason Concepcion: In the Fighter?


Kyle Ayers So fire his head because he’s just stern. He just sternly has an attitude of dominance, even if it’s unfounded.


Clark Jones He would have rented a car and stopped 9-11.


Kyle Ayers I love Max Payne, who makes the Max Payne movie, unless they’re trying to prove their irrationally confident about violence.


Zach Harper: I love how he’s afraid of thunder in Ted, but he would have stopped 911 like this.


Kyle Ayers It was a clear day. It was a nice Tuesday.


Jason Concepcion: It was a beautiful day. It’s an incredible it’s an incredible answer. And let’s go to the voting folks who will be the second contestant evicted from the from the Take Survivor Island. Will it be Zack who says big shot Robert Horry? That’s the best one trick pony of all time. This guy did nothing but hit big shots. It’s right there in a nickname. Every time he got open late in the playoff game, you said, how could they leave Bob Horry open ? Will it be Clark’s Little Baby. He tricked yall. The guy’s just raping fast. And you’re impressed by this. What about the content? What about that? What about the actual lyrics? What about the flow? Will you just care about fast rapping? We’ll it be Kyle who says, You know what? I never forgot. I never forgot Mark Wahlberg’s post-9-11 oeuvre and the stuff that he did, which is basically Mr. Tough Guy. I’m going to save the world all by myself, even if the world is is talking to a animatronic teddy bear, folks.


Kyle Ayers Patriots Day, Mojave. It’s Pain and Gain.


Jason Concepcion: Okay. And here we go. The votes are coming in now. I can’t wait to see who the answer is this time. My favorite one trick pony. Gosh, as if I had to. I don’t. Gosh. My favorite one trick pony. Personally and honestly, Rafa Nadal is pretty great. He continues to to put strands of hair, tuck them behind his ear, despite the fact that this hair fell out five, six, seven, even eight years ago. I respect the hair tuck, which is another aspect of Rafa Nadal’s one trick ponyness. Here come the votes. Oh, my God.


Kyle Ayers Even the guys in in the Rolling Stones think Rafa Nadal’s hair is missing.


Jason Concepcion: And folks, it is. Oh, it is in a close vote. We have two vote for Clark. Two votes for Zach and now three votes for the Evictee from the island. Second round Evictee it is Kyle Ayers. Kyle, sadly, it is you. What do you have to say?


Kyle Ayers Well, this is just. I know Mark Wahlberg was up at 2:30 a.m. golfing so he could then be prepped to come in here and do this. And, you know, it’s not on his schedule. His family. Okay.


Jason Concepcion: Okay. That brings us to the finals and our final prompt. It is Zach versus Clark. And the prompt is this is inspired by Phil Knight of Nike fame, having his bid for the Portland Trailblazers rejected. Listen, billionaires are a part of our world. Elon Musk continues to say, I’m not buying Twitter because my stock price of Tesla continues to go down and I don’t have enough money now, so I’m not going to buy it at this price. So billionaires are out here. Who’s the best one? Who’s the best big business mogul? Who’s the best hedge fund billionaire? It could be fictional or real life. Who is the best actual billionaire that we enjoy? We enjoy this one. And we’ll start with you, Zach. Zach, who’s the who’s the best billionaire?


Zach Harper: I’m trying. I’m trying.


Jason Concepcion: To long silence as we all try to figure out if there’s actually a good one.


Zach Harper: I’m trying not to get beat by Clark here. And I’m trying to think of a baby that is a mogul. And I can’t think of one. I’m at a loss here.


Clark Jones Oh, tried to underhand me.


Zach Harper: I’m. I’m blank here. I was going to try to pivot, but I’ll stick with my answer. Okay. He’s the newest billionaire. One of the newest billionaire, but he’s newly a billionaire. It was always coming. And during the second half of game two between the Warriors- Celtics, LeBron James tweeted, Might be on a podcast soon, maybe my own. So I guess he started the podcast as part of, you know, Springhill or Uninterrupted or any of the many businesses that he has cultivated from just being a kid from Akron. He’s not supposed to be here, strive for greatness. Well, the hashtag you can throw into it, but I’ll just say it’s LeBron James because he’s still a billionaire that is mostly liked. Which is hard to do when you’re a billionaire. There are a lot of people that dislike him, but he is mostly liked. He has a massive social media presence, I will say LeBron James.


Jason Concepcion: I it’s a great answer. He’s been with us since he was 16, 17 years old, and has as yet to mess up in a way that is devastating, unlike many other celebrities. And here he is joining the billionaire club, LeBron James. Clark, who’s the best mogul.


Clark Jones Taking the best billionaire. That’s like taking my favorite police officer.


Jason Concepcion: I know it really is.


Clark Jones Unless they’re helping me, I don’t like them at all. All of them can suck a dick unless they mistake getting me out of this traffic ticket or paying for a house. The the greatest mogul who goes by Baby. Baby. Brian Williams from Cash Money, Baby. Yes. Mr. Hands himself is the greatest mogul. He dated Toni Braxton. He can’t grow hair, so he just tattooed a five point star on it, not even in a gang. And somehow he made more money off of Lil Wayne lyrics than Lil Wayne. Like, what can he do? What can he do? You never quoted they made an album together Wayne and Baby you could buy the version with just Wayne rapping like and he still made money off of it I can’t I can’t beat that I can’t beat that. Baby that’s three babies in a row.


Zach Harper: Every interview he’s up to, he yells at someone and just like. And then walks out. Yeah, it’s very impressive.


Clark Jones Yeah. Dude, the highest Breakfast Club video ever. Y’all finished? Are you all done? That makes zero sense. And 80 billion people watching it and quoting it at brunch. I love it.


Jason Concepcion: Well, folks, it is the final round. And to to remind everyone here in our jury, we are voting for the where we are voting for the winner on the prompt. Who’s the best mogul? Will it be Zach Harper, who says LeBron James, he just he just made it to 1 billion. And it’s not a fake billion based on like stock that no one knows, like actually how you value it. It’s $1,000,000,000 based on his actual liquid assets and his ability as a businessman. Or will be Clark, who says call him Baby, call him Birdman. Yes, I did go triple baby in in Take Survivor. I said, baby, baby, baby. It is Brian Williams, the king of the hand rub.


Zach Harper: I am so mad that I didn’t think of him. I am so mad that I didn’t think of him I’m, So mad I didn’t think of him . Oh god.


Jason Concepcion: The greatest mogul and folks, yes, he did. Yes, he did go triple baby. It’s truly unbelievable. Votes are coming in now. Mike Malloy has in the in the zoom chat room voted in the clear he’s working for Clark because of, specifically, because of the triple baby move and folks you’re not going to believe this by by a vote of 7 to 0.


Zach Harper: I voted for Clark. I couldn’t vote for myself.


Jason Concepcion: It’s Mr. Triple baby himself is Clark Jones. Clark congratulations. What do you  have to say?


Unidentified *Music*


Clark Jones And I just want to thank all the babies in the world. I’ve got Da Baby. You know, I had him as an alternate, but thankfully I didn’t need him. His one trick is just shooting people and fights. I am glad I didn’t have to go there. I want to thank everybody. Mike, Kyle Ayers, Zach Harper, Ryan, Zuri, my mama, God, everybody. This has been have been fantastic. Thank you. I’ll wait on my hat in the mail.


Jason Concepcion: And that’s it for us, folks, on this rousing episode of Take Survivor the game where only the strongest take survives. See you next time, folks. Goodbye. And that’s it for us as a show. Follow and subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Wherever you get your podcasts. And do not forget to subscribe to Takeline show on YouTube for exclusive video clips from this episode. Plus my digital series All Caps NBA, which airs every Friday. Check it out. Goodbye. Takeline is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Ryan Wallerson and Zuri Irvin. Our executive producers are myself and Sandy Girard. Engineering, editing and sound design by the great Sarah Dubalaska  and the folks to Chapter Four. And our theme music is produced by Brian Vasquez. Mia Kelman is on the Zoom for vibes, and the vibes are fantastic all the time.


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