The Step Back – Episode 9 – Transcript

Andrew Wing
Hello, and welcome to the ninth edition of The Step Back podcast. I’m Andrew

Graham Wing
and I’m Graham

Andrew Wing
and we’re just a couple of guys who love basketball. In today’s episode of the podcast we’ll discuss the end of the regular season, playoffs streaks, the Pistons championship 30th anniversary, and Hall of Fame inductees. As always, we want to let you know that we keep posting new material to the website. Visit TheStepBack.ca to listen to past episodes, leave comments and to find any links that we mention in each episode.

Graham Wing
Probably for the podcast our big news this week is that we finally have a Facebook page up and running. So if you visit facebook.com/stepbackpodcast, or do a search for the Step Back Podcast, you should find us. We post links to some of the articles that we’re sharing in the podcast ahead of time. Also, anything interesting that we think is is good. This week, for instance, we posted some of the stories that we’ll be talking about this week, as well as a video of Gerald Green blowing out a candle during the dunk contest. I don’t know if you remember that one, Andrew, but it was a good clip. So I posted that as well. So certainly, you can leave comments on any of the things that we post there you can mention anything you want about the podcast on Facebook as well, and we’ll certainly share what comments we can in each episode upcoming. We have one correction that we need to make. from last week’s episode. We talked about the short players and for some reason I had a major brain cramp and you believed me. We talked about Spud Webb and I said I can still picture him pumping up his shoes. Of course listener Dave Brown pointed out that that was not Spud Webb, who was it Andrew?

Andrew Wing
It’s Dee Brown

Graham Wing
Dee Brown pumping up his Reeboks. As soon as I saw Dave’s comment, I just thought Oh, obviously just had a brain cramp. But yes, Dee Brown

Andrew Wing
I can’t believe I listened to you.

Graham Wing
Dee Brown was the one that pumped up the shoes not Spud Webb. But Spud Webb as a short player was still a tremendous dunker. So anyways, games this week, what’s what happened this past week Andrew?

Nothing much.

How are you feeling about the NBA season at this point?

Andrew Wing
I guess the last like always the last three weeks of the season, it’s really dull because teams are resting players. By this time, especially now, all the playoff teams are already set . It’s just a matter of a couple teams that just need to decide seeding.

Graham Wing
Yeah, I guess there is there may be I don’t know if it’s all set, but it’s pretty, pretty close anyway.

Andrew Wing
Not much effort from teams, especially the ones especially the ones that aren’t fighting for anything.

Graham Wing
The good teams are set for sure.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
Yeah. Last week, I think when we first started recording or based on the night before, Denver had been tied with Golden State. And then I think last Sunday, Golden State won and Denver lost and then they played each other head to head on Tuesday. So Denver is two games back or something I’m not sure if Golden State is actually clinched it as of today or not

Andrew Wing
I’m not sure

Graham Wing
They they will have anyways. So yeah, that said though, the Bucks are number one, the Raptors or number two in the east, things are pretty well set. And yeah, this past week of games were kind of boring. Other than Russell Westbrook, which we’ll talk about in a minute. So the last day of games is Wednesday, right?

Andrew Wing
Yes

Graham Wing
Yeah. And so the playoffs start when?

Andrew Wing
Sometime this weekend, Saturday,

Graham Wing
Saturday. Okay, so we will be watching some games this weekend, next week in the podcast. Well, we’ll talk about kind of the final standings of the year, anything that was surprising about that. And then we’ll all be there will have only been a few games on at that point. But we’ll have a good idea, at least of how the playoffs are going to start off. Yeah. So let’s get right to our news and notes for this week. Just as a quick note at the beginning of this. We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And this past weekend, was it a semi annual general conference, and at a session of the conference on Saturday night, one of the leaders of the church, Gary Stevenson, shared some information with the Young Men, the teenage boys of the Church, about some famous members of the Church in some different sports and what makes them who they are. Among those people were Jabari Parker who now plays for the Washington Wizards and Jimmer Fredette who is playing for the Phoenix Suns and they are both members of the Church. It was interesting to have these two NBA players highlighted at a Church conference.

Anyway, onto the news. Probably the story that I’m most interested in is with regards to the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have reached the playoffs for the 22nd year in a row. You’re shaking your head which the listeners can’t see. Why are you shaking your head Andrew?

Andrew Wing
It’s very impressive

Graham Wing
22 years in a row. Before I shared this article with you that we’re going to talk about what did you think was the next active streak in the NBA?

Andrew Wing
Um, I thought it was probably around seven or eight seasons based on like, I was thinking the Warriors and the Thunder.

Graham Wing
Before I saw the article, I thought somebody would have been at 10 or 15 years. There’s some teams that have been in the playoffs for many, many years. But yeah, you were closer to being correct than I was. The next most, or the next streak, I’m not even sure how to phrase it, the next highest streak is with the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets who have been in the playoffs seven years in a row. That’s just doesn’t seem like very many years, compared to 22. So it’s not I really thought there would be some team that had made the playoffs 10 years in a row, but I guess if you miss a year, so you commented on the Thunder.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
And you thought at first that the Thunder had been in a bunch of years in a row

Andrew Wing
I thought they’d been in since they drafted Durant and like, 08, I think

Graham Wing
Right. But then you said that they missed a year

Andrew Wing
Durant missed a whole seasons, they missed the playoffs that year. So if they if Durant was healthy that season, that was given that they made the playoffs. So they should be at like 10 or 11.

Graham Wing
So they may have the thunder may have made it out of you know, 10 a 10 out of 11 years, but they haven’t been able they haven’t done it consecutively. So yeah, the Spurs have made it 22 straight years. The Warriers and Rockets are second at seven and then your Toronto Raptors with the Portland Trail Blazers have been six, Boston had five, Indiana at four, Thunder at four, Bucks at three, Jazz at three. So it drops rate down. So I that’s probably a good thing for the NBA though. Because if if one team isn’t making the playoffs that means somebody else is

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
So it’s it does speak to a degree to parity in the league, that there’s equality and the quality of teams and that sort of thing. So it’s probably a good thing. It’s just surprising that there isn’t a team like you say like the Thunder that has been in there 10 or more years. In the history of the NBA, the Spurs are tied now for first with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers. So they started in Syracuse and moved to Philadelphia, they were in for 22 straight years. So if the Spurs make it again next year, they will hold the NBA all time record for the longest postseason streak. It’s interesting some of the obvious teams that you’d think of Jordan’s Bulls, they reached 14 consecutive playoffs. And I guess that’s probably about the number of years that Jordan played for them.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
The Knicks from the same time period with all the john Starks and Patrick Ewing and all the people that they had, they made it 14 straight years. The Jazz, the John Stockton/Karl Malone era from 1984 to 2003. They made it to 20 years straight, which in and of itself is amazing. So there’s certainly some of those teams on there, but nobody has made it longer than the Spurs and the 76ers from 50 to 71. And the Spurs streak started in 1998. So I can’t remember, is that the year or is 97 the year they drafted Duncan.

Andrew Wing
Yeah, because that first season the Yeah,

Graham Wing
yeah. So they were they were bad. They drafted Duncan and I think the admiral was out for some injury or something like to buy something like that. And then they came back and been in the playoffs 22 straight years. Now, I’ve commented before, you know, Popovich is definitely one of the best coaches of all time. But I think his act is probably running a little thin with the modern era of NBA basketball and millennial players. Yeah. So I’m not sure how much longer he’s got in him. And if he’s not there, how does that affect the team? How does that affect the streak? It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the Spurs. Are they done? Or is something going to happen where they can continue this under different leadership? It’ll be interesting to see. So we’ll see what happens next year if they can reach that record of all time longest postseason streak.

Next item Russell Westbrook. What do you think about Russell Westbrook?

Andrew Wing
He’s a beast.

Graham Wing
Now he had a 20 20 20 triple double. I’m not sure what the totals actually were.

Andrew Wing
20 20 21

Graham Wing
20 points, 20 rebounds, 21 assists.

Andrew Wing
Yeah,

Graham Wing
That’s amazing. Now, I don’t know if you know this or not, I haven’t asked you previously. This has only been done one other time by?

Andrew Wing
Wilt probably

Graham Wing
Chamberlain. It seems like every time there’s some sort of an offensive record that is tied or beaten. It’s has something to do with Wilt Chamberlain. So yes, he is the only other person to do it. That’s, that is amazing. I’m not really a fan of the triple double stat. I don’t know what you think about it.

I think that there are some players just due to the nature of their abilities, it’s easy for them to get a triple double. So Westbrook and it’s a different game than it used to be. So it’s hard to compare to say that Russell Westbrook has done it three years in a row, which is an amazing accomplishment. But it’s the nature of the NBA, the speed of the game, the shot clock changes that have happened so as a lot more scoring opportunities, which means that there’s more assist opportunities, there’s more rebound opportunities. It is hard to compare. I think the worst stat in the NBA is a double double.

Andrew Wing
Yes, it’s pathetic.

Graham Wing
Shouldn’t Joel Embiidget 10 points, 10 rebounds every single game? Shouldn’t Giannis, shouldn’t Rudy Gobert, shouldn’t DeAndre Jordan, shouldn’t all like these big men, these centers? Shouldn’t they all have 10 rebounds and 10 points in the game. So I think double double is a useless stat. Triple double is definitely a better stats. But again, like LeBron gets triple doubles all the time. And well, who cares? his team’s losing. So it doesn’t really matter. But to get to this level of a triple double the 20 20 20 that is absolutely remarkable. And the fact that it’s only been done once before in NBA history just shows how difficult it is to do. So good for Russell Westbrook. He deserves it. He’s done well. And we’ll see what happens with OKC, they have not played well, since the all star break.

Andrew Wing
Not at all even horrible. Very disappointing.

Graham Wing
Yeah, the MVP race. Paul, George was in it at one point,

Andrew Wing
He left

Graham Wing
But not he’s not even close now. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Andrew Wing
Just a little bit

Graham Wing
This past weekend the members of the 88-89 Pistons were getting together to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first championship. They won back to back championships, the first one in 88-89, and again in 89-90. It wasn’t the exact date of when they won, but there was some commemoration for them in Detroit this past Saturday. 30 years! That’s before your time Andrew. I don’t know if you’ve read up on any of that stuff?

That’s when I started to like basketball. I thought that Isaiah Thomas was an excellent guard, but I didn’t really care about him. I loved Denis Rodman. That was back when he was, if I can say, normal. Before he died his hair, got all the piercings, dated Madonna, before he went to North Korea to hang out with any of the dictators there. He was The Worm. He was so amazing, the ability to get the rebounds. They were such a tough, gritty team, it’s fascinating when you look at some of the scores of the games. At some point during the year, they were holding teams to 80 points a game at different times. They swept the series playing the Lakers with Magic Johnson. They just destroyed them. Their defence was crushing. Some people say they that they were dirty players but they were exceptional. Joe Dumars, Vinnie Johnson, a lof of these guys that you don’t really hear about these days. The pistons won 63 games that year. They were far and away the best team in the league. They won all the way through. They only lost 2 games in the conference finals to Jordan’s Bulls, they swept the first round, then the second round, and then in the Finals. That’s when my love of basketball started. I’m not sure why. I think think my older brother was into basketball at the time. I can’t believe it’s been 30 years! It’s interesting looking up this information. The announcers were Dick Stockon and Hubie Brown. 30 years later he’s still doing it. He doesn’t do the finals, but you hear him on broadcasts all the time. That’s one of the neat things about basketball. There is that familiarity with Hubie and Marv and some of the other guys who have been doing it forever. You have this multi-generational thing with father and son where we are enjoying the same thing

Andrew Wing
Yep

Graham Wing
Happy anniversary to the Pistons. 30 years. It makes me feel a little old, but I’m sure it makes them feel even older. Good for them.

MVP debate. We’re coming up on the end of the season, so any changes to your MVP vote?

Andrew Wing
No

Graham Wing
So who’s the MVP?

Andrew Wing
Harden

Graham Wing
Harden still, no matter what’s happened?

Andrew Wing
Still

Graham Wing
Why
?

Andrew Wing
I already said he is

Graham Wing
Has anything come close to changing your mind

Andrew Wing
No, not really

Graham Wing
I agree, I think it’s Harden. But the only thing that makes we worry about getting my Reese’s Pieces, my bet with my son Matthew, is that ESPN had a poll of their 5 experts and basically they all said it’s Giannis

Andrew Wing
Well they’re not experts

Graham Wing
I can’t see how it’s Giannis. Not because he’s bad, but he’s been an exceptional player on a team that has done very well this year. Harden has done things that no one has done in decades and he deserves it. He deserves it more than Giannis. It’s not meant to tear Giannis down at all, but he’s had a good year when some else had a better year. It happens every year.
One thing I heard also is that Harden, he’s either going to win or be second place. So he’s either going to be the MVP or the runner up 4 of the last 5 years. It just shows how amazing this run is that he’s on. It’s not just a one year thing. He’s been amazing for several years. I’m all on board. I still say it’s Harden and I’m still looking forward to my Reese’s Pieces.

All right, last thing, Hall of Fame votes, any particular thoughts on that?

Andrew Wing
Not really. I mean, the guys who got inducted, I already forget who they are. That’s just so they don’t really know much about I don’t know much about them.

Graham Wing
There were no big names really.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
I mean, the the name that I recognize the most is Vlade Divac. I remember him as a player. I’m not sure the correct pronunciation of his name. There was Sydney Moncrief. Yeah, just people that I’ve heard of, but it seems like a, no offense to the people who are going in but it seems like kind of a weak class.

Andrew Wing
A very weak class

Graham Wing
There’s no superstars like they’re having another years. So the one player that didn’t make it that is probably on most people’s minds, was Chris Webber. It says that he’s been a finalist the last three years, but hasn’t earned enough votes to get in the Hall of Fame. So should Chris Webber be in the Hall of Fame?

Andrew Wing
No.

Graham Wing
Why not?

Andrew Wing
No. And honestly, if Chris Webber was not a TV broadcaster for TNT, I probably wouldn’t know like anything about him. He played on the Kings, when the Kings are actually good. For it was like five years. He’s like a three or four time all star? And that’s kind of it. I think he probably made like the all-NBA team like, a couple times. He didn’t have MVP. No, he didn’t have any awards. It was just I don’t really think he had such a memorable career. The other people have had just. If he does, I’m, I’m sure he will. But if he doesn’t, I will not be surprised.

Graham Wing
He had a pretty lengthy career in the number of years. But as total number of games is actually kind of low given that he played for 15 years. It’s his total career. regular season games was 831 games. And last week, we talked about Calvin Murphy in the Hall of Fame is the shortest, the shortest player in the Hall of Fame. And he played over 1000 games. So he’s definitely lacking there. The most games he played, he played 70 plus games in 5 of the 15 seasons. So he was injury prone. He averaged 20 points a game for his career, which is pretty good. But his assists were low. His total rebounds, 9.8. It’s hard to say. I agree with you. I think that he is definitely made a name for himself and broadcasting.

Andrew Wing
Yes.

Graham Wing
So he’s on your mind. He is because he’s on the broadcast with all of these other great he’s on TNT with a Marv, right?

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
Yeah. So he’s on the number one team. He’s on TNT, which is the best broadcast team overall, with all the different people that they have, because they’ve also got the guys in the studio, and they’ve got Reggie Miller and they got Players Only and you hear Isaiah Thomas, so he’s surrounded by these Hall of Famers. So you kind of assume that he is a Hall of Famer. But I’m not sure if he is or not. I really don’t know what to think. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s not a Hall of Famer. But it also doesn’t surprise me that he? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
Looking at the stats there. Is there anything that stands out to you?

Andrew Wing
He averaged 27 points a game, which is very surprising

Graham Wing
20.7 not 27.1

27.1. Oh one season, sorry. Yeah, in 2000-2001 was Sacramento he averaged 27.1 points a game, and 11 rebounds. And then certainly had some great years there. We had five years in a row where he averaged 10 plus rebounds. There was a strike-shortened season where he averaged 10 again. One year he averaged 13. So he definitely had some good seasons. Three, he averaged 1.1 3-point attempts per season, or per game across this season. So obviously, it was not something that he did. So I don’t know,

Andrew Wing
Now that I’m looking at this leg. I kind of underestimated him. I think that he will get the Hall of Fame. He has, he has he had like eight out of his 14 seasons were 20 plus

Graham Wing
Well, like I said the average for his career is 20.7. That’s pretty good.

Andrew Wing
Yeah, I kind of underestimated him. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame. I’m sorry Chris.

Graham Wing
Despite what you say, I understand what you’re saying there. I just don’t know. I really don’t. He was good. But was he in the Hall of Fame? I don’t know. He was Rookie of the Year. He was a five time All Star he was a five time all-NBA. When, obviously, when he was Rookie of the Year, he was on the all rookie team. He was really good. But does that put you in the Hall of Fame? Probably. Given when you look at some of the other people that are in the Hall of Fame. It’s interesting that he’s that’s three years in a row now he isn’t. So I haven’t read anything. I don’t know if there’s something that are, you know, holding people back from voting for him. But anyways, if you have any thoughts about this, listeners out there, please leave a comment on the Facebook page or on the website. Let us know what you think. Why isn’t Chris Webber in the Hall of Fame? And the other person who didn’t make it in this year was Ben Wallace.

Andrew Wing
Oh, yes.

Graham Wing
Who played with the Pistons he won a championship with them in

Andrew Wing
2004

Graham Wing
So I don’t know if he should be in the hall of fame or not. But this was his first year of eligibility. So anyways, all the best to the people that made it into the Hall of Fame. There were 12 people, both men, women, players, coaches combined. 12 people, good for them. And Chris, I don’t know if you should be in there. But Andrew says you should. So we’ll vote for you next year. Any closing thoughts Andrew before we end the episode?

Andrew Wing
Nope.

Graham Wing
Alright, the end of the season is coming. The player the real season is here the playoffs so we can’t wait to start that. So keep watching basketball, leave comments on the website or on our Facebook page. And we’ll talk to you all next week.

Andrew Wing
Peace


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