The Step Back – Episode 7 – Transcript

Graham Wing
Hello, and welcome to this episode of the step back podcast. I’m Graham and I’m Andrew. And we’re just a couple of guys who’d like to talk about basketball. We are still down in Orlando, Florida on our family vacation. Andrew, unfortunately, is under the weather. How do you sound Andrew?

Andrew Wing
Dead.

Graham Wing
We’ve just had a lot of fun down here. He’s had a bit of a cold. We’re all pretty tired. There’s just so much to do, but we’ve had a great time. We might be going to an Orlando Magic game against the Pelicans on Wednesday. We haven’t decided yet. But that’s a possibility for this week, along with just generally having some fun at Universal Studios. It has been a great trip. We will not be recording next Sunday, as we’ll still be traveling home from Florida. But we’ll be back again the following week for the next episode of the Step Back podcast. We have just a few things that we wanted to talk about this week, mainly several articles that we saw online. The first one was from listener Dave, who asked what we thought about Jeff Van Gundy saying, LeBron should be traded. That came out I guess it was a week ago Saturday during the Primetime broadcast. And on the surface, it seems like it’s a pretty crazy idea, don’t you think?

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
Yeah. Do you think it will happen?

Andrew Wing
No.

Graham Wing
Why not?

Andrew Wing
It’s LeBron James, the Lakers aren’t going to trade LeBron

Graham Wing
Right. I agree. I don’t think it’s going to happen. But it’s one of the things I love about Jeff is that he says what needs to be said. Of course, it should be considered. Just because he is one of the best players of all time doesn’t mean that you have to keep him forever. If he is a detriment to your team, then you need to move on. I was, you know, consider the trade offer that they made for Davis, they were willing to give up essentially every young player they had. I don’t know, how many were there, five players or so?

Andrew Wing
I think so

Graham Wing
Yeah. So if you had a choice… pick a team in the NBA with LeBron the way he is now if you could have those five players or you could have LeBron who would you rather have

Andrew Wing
Those five

Graham Wing
Why?

Andrew Wing
Because they’re young and that’s a lot of players for one. LeBron’s too old.

Graham Wing
Yeah you know LeBron is still remarkable. He still, even though he’s having what you would say is a bad year, he’s still getting triple doubles often. He’s scoring his 25 to 30 points. He’s doing well but you see him playing, there’s just something different. I just, I don’t see it. I don’t see him being what he once was and there’s always talk about him and his legacy. How do you think that this season has affected his legacy?

Andrew Wing
It hurts for sure. Just the way he was last year and he hasn’t really played differently. His numbers are almost the exact same. I think it’s more of his attitude towards how he’s playing is different. And that’s what’s really affected him that’s was hurt his chances of making the playoffs the season and with him not making the playoffs. And with like, one of the most storied franchises in the NBA, it really hurts. That’s not good for him.

Graham Wing
Yeah, it definitely hurts his his legacy. But I know he’s still one of the best players ever. But he really thought that if he could go to the Lakers and win a championship in his first couple years, I don’t know if he said this. But it seemed to be that he thought he would be the GOAT.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
And certainly based on this year, it’s not going to happen. There was an article on Bleacher Report that was called “What could the Lakers get for LeBron? Not as much as you think.” And it had a couple of interviews with some league executives, and just talking about what his value is, and like we just asked about those five young players. What team is going to give up a lot to get LeBron James when he is what is he 34? 34 years old, got injured this year, doesn’t, even though he’s playing well enough, he doesn’t seem like he’s interested. So if he comes to your team, is he going to be interested? If he has issues with some of his teammates, is he going to demand that management make some trades? I just just I’ve talked about how Kyrie i think is poison on the Celtics, I just think anywhere. LeBron goes unless he’s playing with his guys, he’s just unhappy.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
Yeah, I just, I just don’t see it. It’s and you know, I am not a LeBron fan. But it’s sad. He is one of the greatest ever, whether you think he’s one, two or five, or it doesn’t matter. He’s one of the greatest and it’s just pathetic to see where things have gotten. I think he and his agent Rich Paul, who has the same agent for Davis, I think they’ve overplayed their hand. I think they’ve demanded certain things, and they’re not getting it and it just hasn’t worked out the way they want. So, anyways, I if anything comes out of this. I can say that I love Jeff Van Gundy. I always have. I think he’s wonderful. I don’t think he says things for shock value. I think he just says what he thinks and, you know, sure when you read the transcript from the broadcast, Mark Jackson’s like, what are you crazy, you know what? Sure we all understand the brand is not going to be traded. But let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about the fact that the one of the greatest players ever is is is having such a bad season that we’re even going to suggest it. And that’s what I love about Jeff. We have a topic for some future podcasts where we’re going to talk about our favorite broadcast teams. And I don’t really care who Jeff is on a team with who is broadcasting with he’s awesome. I love him. And I love the fact that he’ll say whatever he wants to say. Alrighty. Next thing was last week, we talked about the jersey patch program, the ads on the jerseys that brought in something like 150 million dollars. And at the time of the article, there were two teams, I think it what it said that didn’t have patch deals. And I’m not sure who the two teams were. But this week on ESPN, there was an article saying that Oklahoma City Thunder finally got a sponsor. And they were the last team to get a sponsor. So they got a an a sponsorship from Loves, which they do gas stations and convenience stores. And, you know, highway rest centers, and that sort of thing. Now we talked about last week as well that the logos were all kind of two toned. It looks like the logo is yellow, red, black and orange. So there’s four colors, but it’s so and it’s kind of bright

Andrew Wing
Kind of ugly

Graham Wing
It is kind of ugly, but it’s also not like a photo right. So I still think that even though it may be has more colors than I would be expecting, I still think there’s room for improvement in these ads. Loves is based in Oklahoma or Oklahoma City. So I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t sign a deal until now. But they wore them for the first time in Saturday’s game against the Warriors. And so all 30 teams now have sponsors. So that’s a good thing. Next, I’ve mentioned this on a previous broadcasts, of previous podcast, but I love Danny Green. I don’t think he’s the best player. I don’t think he’s the best three pointer, three point shooter. I don’t think he’s the best defender, but he’s just a great kind of utility player who will do everything. And when he was on the Spurs, I used to say to some people at work that everybody needs a Danny Green. He’s just is a worker. And so NBC Sports Pro Basketball weekly, or whatever it is that they call it, their section had an article about Danny Green and it was called “Danny green far more to Raptors than Kawhi Leonard whisperer”. So what do you think of Danny Green Andrew?

Andrew Wing
He’s great.

Graham Wing
Why? I know. I know. You’re not feeling well. But share a little bit about why you like Danny Green,

Andrew Wing
He plays defense, he shoots the ball well, he makes smart plays. He just has that, he just has experience which is really good for young Raptors. Not a young Raptors team but some of the Raptors players are younger, and I and when you watch him play he seems like a good leader out there. And he enjoys playing with his team. It’s nice .

Graham Wing
He won a championship with the Spurs when they won in 15 was it? 14. So he certainly has that experience. And he doesn’t really seem to get into the drama, which is that that is not my type of play. You know, there’s so much drama these days. And with social media and everything else. And these players trashing these people, and people get, we’ve talked about this, people getting fouled and acting like, you know, they’ve had their arm cut off, or people doing the fouling and acting like, what I didn’t touch him when obviously, they hammered the guy and Danny Green just seems to play. I’m sure he has his moments where he does what other people do, but he just plays and he’s great. He’s gotten a lot of attention because he played with Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio and he’s playing with them here. So everybody keeps going to Danny saying you know what do you what is he doing? What do you what do you think? What do you know and Danny, Danny says he doesn’t know anything. He’s just a friend and they talk and they’re just talking basketball. He’s great. His three point shooting seems to be exceptional this year I’m not sure exactly where it’s at but it’s

40 plus percent that’s great. his defense you know what’s your favorite play of the year?

Andrew Wing
43

The double block

Graham Wing
The double block, Danny and Kawhi, right? So he’s just been great. Nick nurse seems to like the way Green plays his communication. So the article on NBC Sports had a chart that showed a stat of how the team outscored their opponents per hundred possessions with Green on the floor. And when Green, when Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are on the floor. They outscore the other team by 12.8 when it’s just Kawhi Leonard without Danny, it’s minus 11.9. And you look at this chart chart Kyle Lowry and Danny plus 12 Kyle Lowry without Danny minus two. Pascal’s the only one who does well without Danny as well. But Serge is far better with Danny on the floor then without. Marc Gasol is far better with Danny on the floor than without. So there’s just something about the way he plays, the spacing on the floor for his three point shooting, that just helps other people on the team. And it’s just everybody needs a Danny Green.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
Thanks so much for your contributions.

And then there was also a chart that showed what a team would be like if the player wasn’t on the court. And there is essentially a 40 game difference between Danny and and not having Danny. That the Raptors would be a 68 win team with Danny green and a 28 win team without. Now obviously there would be some other player to replace him. Paul George is number 1, 63 wins down to 18 wins. So it’s kind of a, that would never happen. If Paul George wasn’t on the Thunder, the Thunder would still win more than 18 games but it’s still just trying to show based on current players how important that teammate is. Kyle Lowry is next on the Raptors at plus 30 and Kawhi Leonard isn’t even on the chart. So it just shows how important Danny Green is to the team. So everybody needs a Danny Green

So lastly is an article that I saw on Deadspin, and there were other articles around about this but apparently Isaiah Thomas, not Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, but Mr. Fourth Quarter Isaiah Thomas is definitely no longer Mr. Fourth Quarter. Denver waited for him to come back. He played nine games with them, and now he’s out of the rotation. So what do you think about that Andrew?

Andrew Wing
That’s crazy. From two years ago from being an MVP candidate to now, two years later, being out of rotation, and maybe out of the NBA in like a year. You never know.

Graham Wing
So what do you think happened?

Andrew Wing
I don’t know.

Graham Wing
Was he as good as he? Was he really as good as he was that one year?

Andrew Wing
I don’t think so. I think that was just a really good year for him. He when, he just thrived in the way the Celtics played and but I guess Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge felt he wasn’t the guy to go from there and had the opportunity to trade for Kyrie and when he got traded to Cleveland it just went all downhill from there. So

Graham Wing
Yeah, I mean, definitely Kyrie is better than Isaiah, regardless of whether he’s poison in the locker room.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
But Isaiah was was a flash in the pan as they say. That it was just this brief thing you knew he couldn’t keep playing like that. My thing is, is that how many short players, under six foot players have ever lasted?

Andrew Wing
Not much.

Graham Wing
I can’t think of any. There are people who briefly we’re famous, you know, with Spud Webb, and the dunk competition and other people like that. But if you’re 5-11 and I think as a as 5-9,

Andrew Wing
yeah,

Graham Wing
it’s impossible. You’re playing with people, essentially everybody you’re playing against is at least six inches taller than you, if not an entire foot, or more taller than you. And when you look at the fact that centers are now seven foot and shooting threes on the perimeter. And with switches happening, you’ve got a seven foot center being guarded by Isaiah, when that switch happens.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
That’s, it’s just not fair. But how can you be in the NBA when you are that short? I saw a stat. This was a couple of years ago that said that, I can’t remember what it was. But you know, 3% of the population is seven foot tall, or whatever the number was, it doesn’t really matter. And out of those 3%, 10% of those people end up in the NBA. So the chances of being in the NBA when you’re tall, are very, very high because you’re so tall. I’m going to assume that the chances of people who are five, nine being in the NBA are almost zero, as opposed to 10% of the seven foot population. So he’s done well for himself. He went through a lot, was it his sister who, who passed away? You know, he’s the, his physical injuries, it’s too bad that he’s gone through what he’s gone through. But it I suspect is probably come to an end. What team would ever want him? Not that him as a person, but as a player? Like, is there any, do you think that his, his style would fit anywhere?

Andrew Wing
No. Well, yeah. If I’m sure for you. I can’t say who. But if he went to the right team, I’m sure he wouldn’t be as good as he was a couple years ago. He’d be a good guy off the bench. He’s got to be in the right system, and he’d play okay.

Graham Wing
Yeah, if he’s prepared to be the 10th guy, maybe, you know, the eighth to 10th guy or whatever he might do all right, but certainly not as a regular guy. The nuggets are second in the West, though, aren’t they?

Andrew Wing
Yes.

Graham Wing
Yeah. So there are an important team, they are a team positioned well for the playoffs and when defenses get stronger in the playoffs they just can’t have Isaiah and that’s not really that surprising. Well, all the best to Isaiah. Hopefully he figures out what he can do hopefully there’s a place for him in the league but if not, he certainly made his mark in Boston and he’s done well for himself so I hope he’s got his life in order that he’s able to support himself and his family whatever happens in the in the future.

Just one more comment before we close because we’re down here and we’ve talked about how ESPN is wonderful, we’ve had a chance to watch some college basketball. So we watched the Duke-UNC game that was the ACC semi-final. We saw Zion Williamson make that game winner the little tip in off his own shot. He is a beast

Andrew Wing
yeah

Graham Wing
He is definitely raw. We talked about Luca Doncic and how he just as a pro

Zion is not a pro, but wow for somebody his size he’s fast. When he decides to do some spin move down the baseline or into the key it’s remarkable and I never really had much I’d seen some highlights of him but to actually watch him in a game he is definitely better. I’m surprised that Duke one because Carolina definitely has a better team overall when you see the team as a whole play. But Zion is definitely quite the talent and if I mean he’s obviously going to go number one. So you know with the way things stand right now I believe the Knicks are last still. Could you imagine if the Knicks get Zion and then somehow or other if they really do sign KD and Irving. There’s a, literally a championship contender boom just like that. Between a superstar like Durant, a guy with the handle of Irving and then you start to get Zion in their learning how to play NBA basketball that’s just going to be incredible. If he ends up in Cleveland that’s terrible

Andrew Wing
Yeah

That’s going to suck

Graham Wing
Because Cleveland still isn’t going to be any good. If he ends up in Phoenix I mean that would certainly help with Ayton and your guy Devin Booker but really if it I’m sure the league…you know, there’s always these conspiracy theories, but I’m sure the league would love the Knicks to get him and then the Knicks to get a couple of free agents

Andrew Wing
I’m sure the league will do whatever they can to get the Knicks the first pick

Graham Wing
Because I mean, the next is still even though there are terrible team, they’re still the most valuable franchise according to Forbes worth something like $4 billion. And if they get an actual championship team or championship caliber team, their value is just astronomical. So anyways, it’s been interesting this we’re doing this on Sunday evening. So I believe that the Selection Sunday broadcast is happening right about now. So we really won’t have much of a chance to talk about college basketball, it’ll by the time we do our podcast again, I think it’ll be just before the Final Four. So we’ll probably do a bit of a recap and how things have gone since then. But we won’t be able to talk about it too much. Well, I think that’s it for this edition of the step back podcast. We hope that everything’s going well for you. We’re having a great time down here and we’ll talk to you again in a couple of weeks when we’re back home and Canada.

Andrew Wing
Peace.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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