Previewing the 2022 NBA Finals | Crooked Media
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June 01, 2022
Previewing the 2022 NBA Finals

In This Episode

The Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics are champions of their respective conferences and set to kick off the 2022 NBA Finals in San Francisco on Thursday evening at 6 pm PT. Jordan Ligons, host of the Spinsters podcast and Buckets WNBA, joins Jason Concepcion to recap Boston’s eastern conference finals game 7 victory over the Miami Heat and preview the final round of the NBA postseason with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, NBA insider at Bally sports and Bovada sports betting expert. Takeline super friend Jamel Johnson, as well as producers Ryan Wallerson and Zuri Irvin, also join Jordan in a riveting game of Take Survivor, NBA Finals edition.


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Brandon Scoop Robinson: Al Horford’s knees were signaling a bail out like we were still in the Obama administration.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: However, Jimmy Butler’s three was singing P, P, P.


Jason Concepcion: Hello and welcome to Take Line. We’ve got another great show after a great weekend of sports lined up for you here today. I will be joined by Jordan Ligons, host of the Spinsters podcast and the host of WNBA show Buckets. Together, we were going to talk to Brandon Scoopy Robinson, an insider at Bally Sports and Bovata Sports. He is a betting expert. We’re going to preview the NBA finals. And then finally, Jordan and super producers Ryan Wallerson and Zuri, you’re going to join me for a riveting game of Take Survivor NBA Finals edition. But first, let’s get into it. Jordan, first of all, thank you for joining us today. How are you?


Jordan Ligons: I am well. I miss you, Jason. I’m so happy to be here with you.


Jason Concepcion: One of the delights of my life is just watching the Jordan Ligons ascent into media mogul-ship hosting, co-hosting, doing video stuff, doing Nike promotional campaigns. It’s just been fantastic, Jordan. And it must be exciting.


Jordan Ligons: It is exciting. It’s just like I just got a lot of jobs, you know? I got a lot of a lot of stuff to do. But that’s a good thing and a.


Jason Concepcion: That’s a good thing.


Jordan Ligons: I love everything I’m doing. It’s it’s so fun that people pay you to talk about basketball.


Jason Concepcion: It’s really an amazing thing.


Jordan Ligons: It’s a weird, weird career choice. I love it.


Jason Concepcion: Regarding a lot of jobs, to delay our conversation shortly for, you know, sometimes people, you know, will ask me for advice, you know, what’s it like to do these kind of jobs? Here’s what it’s like. You need to have a lot of jobs. You need to have several jobs because sports media, digital media being what it is, any one of your jobs in any given time can just go away and just fall apart for no reason, for reasons that are completely mysterious. It can just, like, disappear. So you have to have, like, three or four because you need to diversify just in case any one of those jobs or two of those jobs disappear. And you’re doing all right.


Jordan Ligons: Yes. Thank you.


Jason Concepcion: You’re crushing the game, Jordan.


Jordan Ligons: Thank you so much.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s talk about a game that almost crushed my will to live and a series that almost crushed my will to live. Celtics – Heat. The Celtics prevail in seven games. They tried to give it away.


Jordan Ligons: They tried so hard.


Jason Concepcion: They wanted to give the game away. And I was watching it with Celtics fan, Mike Malloy. He was like clawing his eyes out. Ultimately, the Celtics eked out 100 – 96. They will face the Golden State Warriors who are going to their sixth final in eight years. Pretty incredible stuff. And thoughts on thoughts on Celtics – Heat and thoughts looking ahead at the finals, Jordan.


Jordan Ligons: Well, I think just the playoffs in general was a little bit of a snoozer. I think we can all agree there are so many blowouts that, you know, I watch so much trash TV like I’m a Married At First Sight, 90 Days Fiance type of person.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Jordan Ligons: And you know those episodes are like an hour and a half. So if you can get a jump start on those, that’s the key and so many blowouts, I was really in my bag with Married at First Sight because I didn’t want to watch it any more. There was just so many. And the worst part was you didn’t know which team was going to blowout, what night you you sat down, you were ready for a good game after the second quarter. It was Married At First sight. It was to Lifetime for me.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. This series, Celtics – Heat in particular, has to be the worst seven game series that I can remember. Like the lowest entertainment level.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Other than game six with, with Jimmy going crazy and and winning a game, which I did not believe the Heat were in any position to win.


Jordan Ligons: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: Other than kind of enjoying that, and I guess the, the last four or five minutes of Game 7 when the Celtics again just were out here trying to give the game away. I guess that was sort of exciting. But like, other than that, you’re absolutely right. It was really it was really a tough watch. The game hinged on a bunch of plays, but one of them was a a Max Strus reverse three that happened like 4 minutes earlier.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: And was reviewed like like I don’t even I wasn’t I’m not even sure like why that happened in the way it did. Later, shots showed that it’s really unclear if Strus’ like heel actually came all the way down. I think it’s he probably touchline but it’s not conclusive to me.


Jordan Ligons: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: And then, of course, the Heat, you know, lose 100 to 96. But during that intervening three or four minutes played as if, you know, you would play differently, right?


Jordan Ligons: Yes.


Jason Concepcion: If you were behind by less. And so this was one of those decisions that really confuses me about the way that replays and things are run in the NBA. I think it’s solving for problems that we don’t necessarily have in the game.


Jordan Ligons: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: And ultimately, it’s one of the biggest conversation drivers after the game, which tells you what kind of series this was. Do you guys y’all have any thoughts about that, about that play?


Ryan Wallerson I mean, about the play itself. It’s just the fact that there was a review and we’re still all talking about it about like the wrong decision was come to light that if there was no review and we were talking about it as a missed call, that’s one thing. But like the fact that we stopped the game, went into it and came back with the wrong outcome, potentially it just feels like V.A.R. at this point it hurts more than it helps. But you know, even with that quote unquote potentially missed call, that 11-0 run was still like the weirdest thing because the entire time I’m thinking like, what are the Heat doing? They’re on half of a leg and like, no arms.


Jordan Ligons: Wasn’t pretty.


Ryan Wallerson What’s the outlook for overtime? What’s the outlook for them actually making the NBA finals when the three ball from Jimmy’s in the air? All of this is going through my head. I’m like, Does anyone actually want this to go in? And when it didn’t, I was like, I feel like this was a bullet dodged for Miami.


Jordan Ligons: Yes, I agree. I agree with that. Jimmy Butler played every single minute. And even before the game started, I looked at I told my dad, I was like, he has to score 50. If they want to win the game, he’s going to have to score 50 because there’s no help, is not there. He’s waving the white flag, asking for help. No one is coming to his rescue. So if they did make it to the finals, he would have had to average 55 against the Warriors. Like it would have been such a tall feat. And I don’t think just as a fan and entertainment value, I would have wanted Jimmy Butler to be, you know, hunched over again, tired, trying to make his team, you know, reach the championship.


Zuri Irvin I do like that. Jimmy apparently proved that he is a quote unquote superstar, I know that conversation is a little old. But I’m also struck by Duncan Robinson. Do we know why he didn’t really see the court in basically all seven games in a series where they struggle to score in basically all seven games? Has that come out?


Jordan Ligons: Yeah


Jason Concepcion: Well, I think, you know, here’s what’s interesting about about Erik Spoelstra, obviously one of the best coaches we have in the NBA and has the complete trust of the organization from the top all the way down and is an incredible strategist and tactician. But also.


Zuri Irvin But don’t piss him off when talking about his game.


Jason Concepcion: Much like every great coach, he has that very planned outside, but also just kind of goes with his gut like Strus over Duncan Robinson doesn’t really make sense other than Spoelstra saw some things that he didn’t like. We don’t know what those are, and I think he just went with his gut in that case. I think Strus largely rewarded Spoelstra’s trust. But it is one of those things where, you know, Erik Spoelstra will just get a gut check on his lineups and decide this is the way we’re going to go. I don’t you know, I don’t know that Duncan Robinson really showed you in that in a very limited minutes that he did play that he was going to make a difference. And it was an extremely physical series. And Strus was giving you that two way kind of play. Like, I don’t think it’s an accident that the Heat made that run in the last 5 minutes of the game, when the refs put the whistles away, they just put them away. And all of a sudden, all of Kyle Lowry’s various black bag shenanigans, you know, just went on unremarked upon that. Like, I love Kyle Lowry. I loved him. He’s like such a hard nosed, fun player to root for. Loved him as a member of the Raptors. He’s probably the greatest Raptor ever. He was, the shit he was doing in the series was unbelievable.


Jordan Ligons: Unbelievable.


Zuri Irvin Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Incredible.


Jordan Ligons: You have to practice it. Like everybody else is doing a regular layup line, he’s over there, like tripping over lines. Like there’s no way that you can just feel something, the slightest of tap,.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Jordan Ligons: And your whole body flies through the air so dramatically.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Ryan Wallerson It’s fragile.


Jordan Ligons: I don’t know if it’s just natural. Give him the Oscar.


Jason Concepcion: C’mon.


But I want to say it’s practice, he’s in the gym practicing these flops because you just have to. It’s impeccable.


Jason Concepcion: And at his size, it looks, you know, because he’s wider than he’s tall.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: He’ll, he was like in the down the stretch, he’s going for rebounds, which, you know, he’s not going to get. It’s like him versus Horford, you know, he’s not going to get it but he’ll like throw himself off of Horford’s hips. So it looks like he’s just been like discarded and thrown to the ground and he’s getting these fouls and it’s like, come and you’re like, you’re exactly right. He’ll run it a guy’s feet and trip over them on purpose. It’s like


Jordan Ligons: What are you doing?


Jason Concepcion: Kyle, what is happening here?


Jordan Ligons: The elbow one is my favorite where it looks like he just got, you know, his his lips should be bleeding. And then we do a slo-mo, zoom in, he was like five inches away from his face. Like, that is art. It really is art.


Ryan Wallerson Oh, the last 3 minutes of Black Air Force Energy from the Miami Heat.


Jordan Ligons: Yes.


Ryan Wallerson They can say, hey, we pushed him to the limit. They didn’t want it with us in a game eight. But man, I think it would have been the Warriors easiest finals opponent if that ball sinks so.


Jason Concepcion: I agree.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah.


Ryan Wallerson I’m very happy with the series that we have.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Let’s talk about the Warriors for a second. So the legacy talk has started. Tim Kawakami had a article in The Athletic that the beginning of it that I think that I laughed out loud on. It’s like a retcon. It’s a like a reframing of the Warriors’ Durant years. Here’s the opening paragraph. This is about the Warriors generally, not Kevin Durant specifically, is about everything before and beyond Durant’s arrival and departure from the Warriors. And and it’s basically about how, hey, the Warriors are a great team. The core of it is Curry, Klay and Draymond and actually like the Durant years were great, but it’s really about those three and that’s why this team should be looked at as, you know, one of these great dynasty teams going to six finals in eight years. And it’s like, yeah,  Tim, nobody at the time was like, you know what the Warriors really need Kevin Durant. No, he was a luxury. We all knew that they didn’t need him.


Jordan Ligons: We all knew that. Yeah


Jason Concepcion: It was obvious. Like if they would have brought Bogut and Barnes back in 2017, they would have been a favorite to make the final. Like we all knew that they didn’t need him.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Anyway, what happens to the Warriors’ legacy now? We’ve heard talk about like, oh, does the Steph Curry if you win and get finals MVP, does he jump Magic? There’s all these conversations like where do you put this Warriors team in the pantheon of great teams that we’ve seen?


Jordan Ligons: Oh, my goodness.


Jordan Ligons: It’s hard to place them. Do we still call them a dynasty if they missed the playoffs two years in a row? I know the Spurs had a similar run where they’re in and out, but like, can we even call them a dynasty?


Jason Concepcion: I think so, because of injuries. You know, they did win 15 games, which is crazy.


Zuri Irvin Right.


Jason Concepcion: But Klay having two of the most severe injuries you can have back to back. Steph suffering with injuries. They’re older now. I think it’s I think it’s fine to call them a dynasty, even though during those middle years, they they had a player who is one of the arguably the best offensive player in NBA history and they didn’t need him. I think they’re a dynasty. I do think because it’s six six titles is hard. That’s hard to go to the final six times.


Jordan Ligons:  Yeah, Yeah.


Ryan Wallerson And it’s just so neat like that many appearances over this small, condensed period of time, like six out of eight, I’m willing to include even through the bad years, because it’s just impressive to bounce back this quickly.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah.


Ryan Wallerson Even that, in  itself, shows an element of the ability to extend dominance throughout a period of time.


Jordan Ligons: It really is about the injuries and about the full strength, because if they were at full strength, would they have missed the playoffs two years in a row? No. And we have to consider that. But for this series, the experience, I think, is what everyone keeps going to. That’s like the buzzword they have 123 like finals games to the Celtics group has zero. I don’t I don’t know if experience at this point, especially since this playoffs has been so up and down with blowouts and people are in the Western Conference finals looking at you Dallas that you shouldn’t be there like experience is, it’s just like I don’t know if it’s all of that. But having that dynasty talk going into a finals, compared to a team that is a bunch of young stars, again, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, they’re under 25 years old. That’s going to have to count for something. That’s what I think.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, I agree. On paper, to me, it looks like the Celtics should win in six or seven. There’s no one that you can really attack. Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens built a team of all similar sized. Yeah, wing switchable, flexible defensive players who are very smart on on on offense and defense. They basically have everybody who plays for them minus maybe minus. Payton Pritchard is an above average defender. Right. And then they have Marcus Smart is a great defender. So they’re just like very, very stout defensively. They are very offensively flexible. And meanwhile, the Warriors, you know, Jordan Poole is great, but they have to play zone when he’s in. There’s different things that the Celtics can attack. That said, you know what happens when I going back to that game seven against the heat as the game seemingly started to get tight and maybe slip away, the Celtics kind of like went into bad habit mode. Here’s Marcus Smart taking shots he shouldn’t take because he’s like, Oh, now I got to stop this run from happening. You know, here’s Jayson Tatum falling into I’m just going to take a bad fadeaway 19 footer because I love Kobe Bryant. And that’s what he would have done, you know, like that kind of. So I do think that there is I think that experience matters. And that’s why I lean that’s why I lean Warriors in this case.


Jordan Ligons: Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion: Any quick predictions for anybody here?


Ryan Wallerson I’ve already made my prediction known. I think Warriors in seven. I think the Celtics are in a position to finish this series quickly. Maybe they take advantage of it. But I think the longer the series goes, the more plays into Golden State’s favor. And I just don’t see the Celtics winning a Game seven against the Warriors, probably mostly for the experience. In the last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter, are they going to beat the Warriors in a close game or they’re going to have the composure and the execution? Until I see it, I question it.


Jordan Ligons: Whew.


Jason Concepcion: Zuri.


Zuri Irvin I like Warriors in seven, but my prediction is that Jason Tatum is going to win the NBA Finals MVP for the first time on a losing team since Jerry West in 1969.


Jason Concepcion: Wait, only Jerry. Jerry West has done it.


Zuri Irvin Yeah. No, I don’t know. This is the question I was going to ask, would you guys rather Steph win and like solidify this legacy or have Kuminga win it or God forbid, Celtics player?


Jason Concepcion: I mean, like, listen, if the Warriors win this series and Steph doesn’t win finals MVP, then something has gone. It’s like, drasticly drasticly wrong.


Zuri Irvin Yeah.


Jordan Ligons: I’m like, throw it in. There’s no way. Andre Iguodala is sitting on your bench in  street clothes, in a leather outfit,  and he has a finals MVP over Stephen Curry. No, like  he has to get it. He has to get it.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, I think I agree. I mean, I think the guy you you look at who would steal it from is probably Wiggins. But there’s no way it would happen this time. It won’t happen.


Ryan Wallerson I feel like even if Wiggins numerically dominates the series on the way to a Warriors victory, if he’ll just turn to the commission and be like, don’t give me that.


Jason Concepcion: Well, here’s the thing. That’s thing about the Warriors is everybody is able to do the things that they do because of Steph. That’s it.


Jordan Ligons: Yes.


Jason Concepcion: It’s Steph creating all of that space. Just by being there, Andrew Wiggins is able to be Andrew Wiggins because of all the attention that is on Steph. Draymond Green is able to be Draymond Green because of his interplay with Steph. It’s still all about Steph, even if he’s not like scoring at a high clip, which I expect to be. Well, I also think Warriors in six or seven. I think that it will be a close series. I think that the Celtics match up really well with the Warriors. And again, I think there are certain things that the Celtics perhaps could exploit. But then again, we don’t know, you know, is Robert Williams all the way back and healthy? You know, we’ve seen him kind of like laboring with stuff. There’s different questions there. But I think the Warriors, the experience factor counts and I think they’re hungry for it. I think they really want it. I think Warriors in seven. Jordan?


Jordan Ligons: Yeah. I agree. I think they want it to solidify that dynasty conversation to say this group, we could do it. I think the best thing for the Celtics is this couple of days break and the finals really expand over a long period of time and they can rest because all of them are kind of hobbled on one leg. So that is their favor of making the series go longer. But I still think the Warriors too. I think six I don’t think it goes seven. I think they they still, you know, one at Boston. But I think it’s going to be good. I think this is what we’ve been waiting for. The playoffs have not lived up to it. Well, we’re going to get a really good finals. They split in the regular season. So I think this is this is going to be a good matchup. That’s what I’m hoping. Please basketball gods, we want close games. We want a buzzer beater. We want drama.


Ryan Wallerson Can I get to overtime? Can I get one overtime?


Jordan Ligons: Can I get an overtime please? Um, so we’ve just been, you know, gearing up for this good finals, but I I hope Steph gets finals MVP. If he doesn’t, they’re going to say, Well, we gave you the Magic Johnson Award for the Western Conference MVP.


Zuri Irvin How small is that award?


Jordan Ligons: It’s so small.


Zuri Irvin It’s like tiny.


Ryan Wallerson They know what they did.


Jordan Ligons: It looks like a mermaid tail.


Jason Concepcion: It does.


Jason Concepcion:


Jordan Ligons: It looks like scales are on it. It took me a second to realize that that was the net design.


Jason Concepcion: You know, here’s the thing. The NBA, more than any other sport, loves putting the ball in the basket on the trophy. They love it.


Jordan Ligons: They love it.


Jason Concepcion: They love it’s like if you if they want you, when you look at all of their trophies to be like that’s a basketball trophy. For sure. They there’s absolutely no question about it. I mean, you look at MLB, you look at NHL, you look at the NFL, you look at all of their different awards. And it’s not they they’re not blowing you away with the amount of like, balls and and nets and pucks and stuff like on it’s only the NBA does this and I personally think it’s a mistake I think it stretch out it.


Jordan Ligons: It is.


Ryan Wallerson It even lives in the title of the championship. It’s like World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup NBA Finals. Yeah. No, no. Make sure it’s in there. Make sure they know exactly what it is.


Jordan Ligons: Oh, goodness.


Jason Concepcion: Up next, some developments in the Brittney Griner story. It has been three months, of course, since Brittney was detained on her way out of Russia, leaving Russia from the airport. She was in the airport in Moscow and was accused of having hashish oil in her luggage and has been detained. It’s been kind of quiet and purposefully so for a lot of those weeks as different people who have talked about it have said, hey, we’ve been informed by the State Department that the best thing is to kind of let the diplomats handle this and not raise the temperature on it. But last week, Cherelle Griner, Britney’s partner, appeared on Good Morning America to appeal to Joe Biden to to essentially do more. She said in part, quote, I just keep hearing that, you know, he has the power. She’s a political pawn. And, of course, she’s very emotional during this time, she continues. So if they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it. She has talked to Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the case and continued by saying, quote, I was grateful for the call. You say she’s a top priority, but I want to see it and I feel like to see it, it would be me seeing Brittney Griner on U.S. soil. Of course, Russia is a big part of the economic life of many professional basketball players and the WNBA. A lot of players in the off season will go there in different countries in Europe to to play professionally. That seemingly is going to be gone now. And this issue seems like it’s not going to go away any time soon. Any thoughts on this? And I wonder, you know, this is going to come down to some kind of trade of something, right? Russia saying, hey, take take sanctions away here, you know, release some of some oligarchs’ bank account or something like that. And it’s unclear if that’s going to happen at this point. But it really is awful that Britney is a pawn in this really large geostrategic game. Any thoughts on this? And I can’t imagine what she’s going through right now.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah, I really can’t imagine. And I can’t imagine what her wife is going through, you know, having to speak out. And she really did the kind of press tour of all these interviews, even when she was pretty quiet before. And she said in that Good Morning America interview that it was actually Trevor Reid’s family, the recent American prisoner who was brought back via swap that said, you are your partner’s biggest advocate, like you have to speak out. You have to be the one that’s the face of all of this. And I can’t imagine that. You want to just be at home crying, writing letters. She hasn’t heard Brittany’s voice since the day before she was detained. The call never came, she said. So it’s so hard to have her be in that forefront. But that’s what we have to do. And even the WNBA community is now being louder that it came back, that she is wrongfully detained. So we feel like we can speak out more in calling for action because it’s been over 100 days and it’s far, far too long and it can only get pushed out more because like you said, Jason, Russia is going to expect something in return and that is so scary. She was just over there for work. She was just over there trying to get the bag in Russia working out. And this is now a really blown out, scary situation.


Jason Concepcion: Ned Price, a U.S. consulate officer, who met with Griner on May 19th, reported that she is doing well under the circumstances and continued, quote, Our message is a clear and simple one. We continue to insist that Russia allow consistent and timely consular access to all U.S. citizens. One off visits are not sufficient. And then essentially going on to say that, you know, that Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained by the Russian Federation is is a political pawn in this game, being loud about this and raising the temperature on it, it is now been three months. This is not going to go away any time soon. The war over there continues to drag on. There have been no meaningful diplomatic exchanges or talks that are aimed at ending this conflict that is nowhere on the horizon. Sanctions continue to pile up at this point. They you know, Russia is muddling through. Their currency has been buoyed by various moves by their central bank. But at a certain point, it’s going to really start to hurt. And it’d be good to keep Britney front of mind during this time so that that doesn’t get swept away because like, to your point, there’s a lot of just a lot of moving parts here. And if and if the people close to Brittney and her colleagues in WNBA aren’t the ones talking about her, then it’s kind of like no one’s going to talk about it. Like the consulate has a lot of things to do, you know, so and the State Department has a lot of things on their plate. So it’s really sucks that that Britney’s wife, Cherelle, is going to have to deal with this. But I think that that it’s time it’s time to just raise the temperature on this.


Jordan Ligons: Mm hmm. And the most heartbreaking thing that she said during that interview was that Britney loved the decals that are on the court because I was kind of critical of it. I was like, you know, we’re paying tribute like she died or like we need to do more. The decals isn’t enough. But Britney told her wife that it shows I’m not forgotten. Like it shows that you guys haven’t forgot about me over there. And that is so heartbreaking because of course, we haven’t forgotten her. But leaving it up to our government, like like you said, they could forget her. It could be a lot of other things that happen. They could. But as the WNBA community, we have to show that we are not forgetting about her.


Ryan Wallerson I feel like even the freeing of Reed paints a really jarring perspective around this entire thing because he was a prisoner of Russia for multiple years. I think something like three years.


Jason Concepcion: Three years, two years. More than two years, something like that.


Ryan Wallerson And so the idea that he had to wait that time regardless of who he was, it’s a really scary prospect to think that Britney may be facing something like that. But I feel like the best chance that she has from what can be done over here across the Atlantic is just constant attention on the story and not letting up even as time progresses, no matter how much time that is. Because as you guys say, that as the war continues and as bigger things, no disrespect to Britney, but as bigger things remain on the horizon for all parties involved, it could be easy for her to be forgotten. And we need to make sure that that does not happen.


Jason Concepcion: And this is not the most important part of this. But as we mentioned, Russia is an economic lifeline for a lot of WNBA players. That’s going to be off the table now. And it remains to be seen the financial impact this will have on players who, again, because of the economics of the WNBA, have to play all year. They have to play. You know, there’s really no off season. And this is going to hurt the bank accounts of of a lot of players.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah. And it’s also the fear that goes onto players, too.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Jordan Ligons: They’re like, okay, I have to go to a foreign country to play. I’m forced to because I can’t make a living, only staying in the United States. But now my family and friends are thinking, Are you going to come back safe and sound? Is this also going to happen to you? Like all of those things have to go into play now when it was just a contract to go play basketball. There’s like a whole nother level to this. And if the WNBA or there aren’t other avenues on the US to continue to pay these players, they’re going to have to get another job like they’re going to have to have a side hustle like it. There’s no other option. And Russia was the top one. They were getting paid ten times their salary, what they were getting paid here. So it’s not like it was a couple of dollars here and there. It was millions of dollars they will be losing out on. And all of that is at play. And I think about this is going to have to be a turning point in the WNBA paying their players or having, you know, leagues like Athletes Unlimited who are also paying their players to keep them here. This is what is going to change that. And I hope that that’s the positive, the silver lining that comes out of this, that Brittney Griner was the the poster child of, okay, something has to happen because this can’t happen again.


Jason Concepcion: <A.D.>


Jason Concepcion: NBA finals set to begin this week. Boston Celtics versus the Golden State Warriors. It’s the number one and number two teams in defense over the regular season. The the best two teams with net rating over the postseason. And to help us unpack this we have Brandon Scoop B Robinson, NBA insider at Bally Sports and Bovata sports betting. Scoop, welcome. Welcome to Takeline. How are you?


Brandon Scoop Robinson: I’m chilling. I’m glad to be here with you guys.


Jordan Ligons: Yay!


Jason Concepcion: First of all, Scoop. What’s my move here? Gambling wise, I am a gambling novice. What are the odds makers think about this series so far and what do you think about it?


Brandon Scoop Robinson: Loaded question. But yeah, the Golden State Warriors I think are bettors favorite just because of their the offensive octane, particularly how they handled business against some teams that you know many people maybe thought would have had the upper hand. You go back to, you know, what they did against the Grizzlies. Ja Morant may have gotten you a half a million views on social media across all platforms doing the gritty. But the Warriors found a way to to dig deep and get it from them, from the mud, as they say, and get real gritty and go and go get it. And, you know, Ja Morant wasn’t even able to finish the game or the series. You look at the last round against Luka Doncic. For many people that would have been their dream to see, you know, Luka take it to the next level as the face of the franchise, as Madden players would say, and get things done. But you look at this series against the Boston Celtics and as my geometry teacher from high school would say, the Boston Celtics are a horse of a different color. Specifically because, you know, they they beat the favorites. One of the favorites, well two of the favorites. One, in the Brooklyn Nets in round one. Oh. Busy ramping up. And every time I get into the airport, I see the word ramp. I take pictures of it and tweeted people laugh. But, you know, the ramp up was the thing, you know, and then going in the round two I believe it’s the great Ric Flair who said it best to be the champs. Whoa, you got to beat the champs. And you know, you saw what they did against the Bucks and then what they did against the of the eventual regular season first place team in the Miami Heat who are Jimmy Butler three from almost not give me air but they did what they needed to do so I think this matchup is so so so great for storylines. It’s not exactly a David and Goliath story because the Celtics have been there and really Jason Tatum has been there from rookie year going toe to toe against. Yeah, you know, the Cleveland Cavaliers against a LeBron James led team. It reminds me of I think it was the baby boy movie. It was some type of Tyrese movie where he and Cuba Gooding were in that parking lot and they had the belt and they didn’t flinch. There’s like, you know, you got heart, you got heart son, you got heart. Like the Celtics have had heart since day one. So I think the betting odds are going to always gone in the favor of the Warriors. But the fans who actually watch the game, the people who have covered the Celtics and the worst throughout the playoffs in the regular season, the journey for the Celtics to get there has definitely been the road less traveled.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah, I think we have to talk about you mentioned the shot that we that the Celtics were almost not in this finals. The Jimmy Butler shot. I want to talk about that for a second. Did you like the shot? Did you think it was a bad shot? A good shot. Al Horford was backpedaling. What are your thoughts on that shot selection?


Brandon Scoop Robinson: Al Horford’s  knees was signaling bail out like we were still in the Obama administration.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: However, Jimmy Butler’s three was singing P,P,P.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, yeah.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: And I feel like at the end of the day, if if Jimmy made the shot, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We will be talking about great how great he is. But I think that’s all the crown you wear when you’re the star of a franchise. And I think I look at Jimmy’s shot, I feel like when you’re a superstar because I believe he’s always been one. I think it was within rhythm. Now, comparatively, when you look at a couple of Victor Oladipo’s shots that he attempted, they were out of rhythm and I think he got the Mario Chalmers treatment when LeBron was was on that team. But I, I do think that, you know, when you when you look at what Jimmy’s been capable of doing, you know, 47 points in the game before that, overshadowing any records that Dwayne Wade or LeBron James have have broken. You live with that shot. But I’ll add this to your question. You didn’t ask it, but I’m going to tell you, when I look at Jimmy Butler in a world where we look at LeBron James, Steph Curry and others who were made with the machine. That is the media. The NBA at large. To me, Jimmy Butler is every bit of a self-made superstar. And he’s literally the indie mixtape. He is literally the Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt, that people go back and look at volume one, volume two, volume three Black Album, and then go back and say, Can’t Knock the Hustle, the evils and a myriad of other politics as usual. You look at all of those hits that were on that album and you like, Wow, from beginning to end, he’s where he needs to be. I think his attitude is so stoic that fits the nineties era. I think, you know, he’s every bit of Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, Tim Hardaway and a myriad of other people in a world where, you know, No Child Left Behind and bullying is prevalent and new cycles. And I don’t want to, you know, be the bully to say that that doesn’t matter. But we all have that grumpy uncle or grandfather that’s still in their way of being a jerk is still right.


Jason Concepcion: Not to belabor it, because Jimmy is out of the playoffs now, but in terms of him being the self-made superstar, the kind of star player who, in your words, the machine is ignored, 30th pick in the draft, you know, had to fight through his own coach at times to break through as a member of the Bulls clashed with young stars as a member of the Timberwolves. Clashed with his stars as a member of the Sixers. Clashed with his coaches as member the Sixers. I do think to your point, some of that is when you come in as the 30th pick and you work your way up, it’s different than these kind of anointed stars who are, you know, a top lottery pick. You’re getting all the hype coming out of college, right? When a guy like that is grading on you, you know, saying you should be doing this, you should look at how hard I’m working. You should work as hard as me. Things of that nature, it’s easier to take when it’s the hyped guy, you know, the guy who’s come in anointed by the media, in your words, or who you just heard about. But when it’s like the 30th pick, who you’re not even sure if this is a guy for a lot of it, I think that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. And I think to your point, I think that’s why, Jimmy, it’s taken until now for people to really appreciate what Jimmy Butler brings, because it’s always been this perception of this scrappy guy who can’t get along with his teammates when in reality they should have been trying to get along with him. But that’s on them. As much as it’s on Jimmy is as much as is on the media, is it not, Scoop?


Brandon Scoop Robinson: It’s a love hate relationship that the players in the media have. And I’ll add this people are very name brand snobbish. Listen, when I was a kid, Oreos are my favorite cookie through and through. But, you know, you can go to the corner store and get you some Hydrox cookies. I don’t know if you guys are old enough to remember Hydrox cookies.


Jason Concepcion: I am well aware of the Hydrox.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: The Hydrox Oreo tastes the same. It just has a different name scribbled on a cookie. And I’m old enough to remember, you know, Saturday mornings watching college football. I enjoyed Eggo waffles with them. Downyflake waffles ain’t no joke either. You have that with the Louis Rich turkey bacon and you’re good to go. So, you know, people want Eggos and they want their Oreos, people want their LeBron’s, they want their Steph Curry’s and Jimmy Butler to them is some people like Sour Patch Kids and Airheads. There’s a place for that too. It might not be an Oreo, but people still want their candy fix.


Jason Concepcion: Moving on to this finals, the Celtics, I think on paper are a great matchup for the Warriors. The kind of team building strategy that that this team is based on is a lot of switchable players, similar size players, above average defenders who can do a lot of different things give you that flexibility on defense, no air gaps. And to that, they’ve added some different wrinkles with allowing Robert Williams to kind of come out and cover his health is going to be pretty important over the course of the year. And then at the same time, you’ve got the Warriors who we still have the memory of the death line up era warriors. They don’t really have that two way lineup killer anymore. Right. Jordan Poole has been amazing as a spark. At the same time, that’s the guy you attack, you know, on defense in terms of the X’s and O’s two very, very well prepared coaches, what do you see as some of the key adjustments coming into the series?


Brandon Scoop Robinson: I don’t think that the Celtics are anything that the Warriors have seen in the playoffs. You have a two headed monster that is Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and a scrapper in Marcus Smart and a Jaylen Brown that believes that he is that guy. And he’s proved it, armband or not. I think that Jayson Tatum has always been in this like, I feel like over the last couple of years we’ve had this conversation of who’s the best in the NBA, who’s the best in the world? Is LeBron still the guy? Is Giannis the guy? Is K.D. the guy? And we compare things or want things based off of the pretense or the principle of winning championships. To me, that’s like asking who’s the greatest rapper, Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas? And I feel like we don’t enjoy the process of just a player being a player. But to go back to my point on an X’s and O’s type of category, I think that while Jason Tatum is a prolific scorer, can pretty much get any shot he wants. And Jaylen Brown is a great supporter. I think we had this conversation last year with the Khris Middleton and Giannis conversation. Every great team needs three star players and I believe that the Celtics have two and a half and their half happens to just be a good defender who can motivate and be there. Draymond Green and Marcus Smart, a guy who was in trade conversations in the summer last year. And you know, thankfully for the Celtics, they were prudent.


Jason Concepcion: Every single year. Marcus Smart is in trade conversations every year.


Jordan Ligons: He is. He is.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: But here’s the additive to that. You made mention of Robert Williams.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: I think when you look at the Celtics and you look at the Warriors, I think one of the criticisms, particularly for last decades Warriors, was they had the two or three great scorers with the name brand folks, the not the Hydrox, the Oreos. And you know, the Steph Currys, the Klay Thompsons, the Draymond Greens than any iteration also also the Kevin Durant. We’ve always looked at the Warriors as lacking a solid post presence. I used to joke I would say I know, I know guys on the corner with more post presence than Dwight Howard. And when you look at when you look.


Jason Concepcion: Cause Dwight Howard just catching random strays.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: Right, right.


Jordan Ligons: You deserve them.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: But no, I actually do like Dwight. I like the fact that he has added a 16 to 18 footer in his game. And the same way that someone like Brook Lopez has. And I think Zydrunas Ilgauskas was ahead of the curve as far as developing a 16, 18 footer and an NBA that was still very big on, you know, the Shaq’s and the Andrew Bynum of the world. But I digress. Kevon Looney and Robert Williams was the interior presence as well that we didn’t think that those teams had that. Kevon Looney has become a star in his own right, getting double doubles in games against the Mavs who totally lacked the post presence.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: And, and I think that when you look at and when you and when you look at what the Celtics also have, they also have an Al Horford who can stretch the floor and is going to have to make a Draymond or a Kevon Looney come out and guard them up that way. But by the same token, I feel like the matchups counteract one another and it’s a good blend. I think that the Jordan Poole portion of it is, is something that the Warriors would have never discovered had Klay Thompson not been out as long as he was, and arguably in my mind should have been in a deeper conversation for the NBA’s most improved player of the year, because I think that had Klay not gotten hurt, Jordan Poole’s impact may not have been dissected or even acknowledged. I would never disrespect Kevin Durant and say that he is the K.D. replacement, but what I do find interesting about this series overall is it’s the Kyrie – K.D., the NBA Finals without Kyrie and K.D..


Jordan Ligons: Yes, I saw that. That’s wild.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: And it’s interesting. But I also think that they have their own mission. And I think that when you look at the matchup with the Celtics, here’s what also stands out to me against the Warriors. Everybody looked at those guys as scorers and they became defenders. They were always defenders. But I think a light switch came on when that team and the national audience is now acknowledging them as a defensive stopper and presence because they built a wall that Donald Trump never built. And they were able to stop the Brooklyn Nets in round one and really and truly made people pay attention to their defensive prowess. And they didn’t just do it in that series. They did it against Milwaukee, too.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah, you mentioned Klay, and I wanted to talk about him for a second too, because he has been coming off of injury. He had some shimmers of the Klay of way back when, but he had a good game, the last game for the Warriors. But do they do they need him or do you think they could still win this finals with the Klay that’s kind of been in and out the not so consistent Klay.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: The Warriors need Klay like Ginuwine still needs Timbaland producing his beats. So the answer to your question is yes.


Jordan Ligons: Yes.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: Yes. I don’t think you can take plays off. I think that you saw Klay’s presence from the minute he came back from injury, and that was like an NBA finals affair. The ratings that were when he made his return, his triumphant return. I felt like I was watching more of an inauguration than I was an actual basketball game because it was like simulcasted on so many different things at one time. But no, I think that Klay Thompson, I think all hands on deck are going to be needed and even so, the Andre Iguodala are going to have to make a cameo. Gary Payton the second are going to have to make a cameo.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah could be an important player for them.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: And I really do also think that when I look at this Warriors team, I think this season is different because for many years, like you look at for the exception, 2015, because I don’t think the world saw the Warriors coming when they played against the Cavs in 2015. But yeah 2016, 2017 and beyond. Whenever they made those appearances, there was a presupposition that the Warriors were going to be there every year. I think everybody was on the Suns bandwagon and many people were cheering for Ja Morant appearance or, you know, a Lakers appearance, if you will. But I think that this season is quite different for the Warriors because they really had to pace themselves. I know it was really a tortoise and the hare type of affair there for the Warriors because you dealt with a serious injury in Draymond. You dealt with a serious injury in Klay and then Steph Curry I think and the Warriors at large. You know, we’re going from a team that was in the finals to the year LeBron left Cleveland and came to L.A. We thought it was going to be a L.A. Lakers – Warriors conference finals in year one with LeBron, and then the Lakers didn’t even make the playoffs. And I’m not sure if the Warriors made the playoffs that year, but we dealt with Steph injuries we dealt with over the years play in tournaments. Kelly Oubre, was he going to play in the play in tournament or not? To we’re back in the finals like this wasn’t our presupposition finals. This was a we had the claw. That’s why I think it’s such a perfect match up between a team and the Celtics who clawed. They’re not the Nets, they’re not the Sixers, they’re not the Bucks and the team and the Warriors who are not the Suns are not the Lakers who didn’t even make it. It really was. This feels like an NCAA tournament matchup. It feels like Baylor. It feels like like like. It looks like it feels like Duke of North Carolina got a couple bruises, black eyes and bullet wounds to get to the national championship game.


Mm Hmm.


Jason Concepcion: Finally, what is. Give us a prediction. What do you think? Who’s. Who do you have winning the series? How many games?


Brandon Scoop Robinson: I think this is going to go six or seven games. I think that’s kind of been the cadence of of a lot of playoff games, conference finals games. Honestly, personally, I’d like to see the Celtics win it. I think that, you know, from a basketball purist perspective, people want to see the Warriors. I really do want to see the Celtics win it just because of the journey. There weren’t the Bulls, they weren’t the Miami Heat, they weren’t the Nets, they weren’t the Sixers, they weren’t the Bucks. They were the Celtics. And I’d like to see them win the series.


Jason Concepcion: He is Brandon Scoop B Robinson, NBA insider at Bally Sports and Bovata sports betting. Scoop, thanks for joining us.


Jordan Ligons: Thank you.


Brandon Scoop Robinson: Thank you, brother and Madame, thank you for the opportunity to be myself.


Jason Concepcion: <A.D.>


Jason Concepcion: You know what time it is when you hear those drums pounding rhythmically in your ear. It’s time for Take Survivor, the game where only the strongest take survives. Today, joining us on the Take Survivor Island, she’s co-hosting today. She is the co-host of the Spinsters podcast, The Buckets video series. She is Jordan Ligons. Jordan, how are you?


Jordan Ligons: I’m great. I’m nervous, but I’m here. I’m ready. Ready as I’ll ever be.


Jason Concepcion: He’s one of the most mysterious standup comedians in the game. Today. He is co-host of the Air Buds podcast and also just one of the funniest human beings around. He is Jamel Johnson. Jamel, how are you?


Jamel Johnson: I’m well. Jason, good to see you. I’m playing on behalf of the Donte Culpepper Get Your Role On Foundation.


Jason Concepcion: He is a producer on this podcast and is also a producer on all Caps NBA. He is Ryan Wallerson. Ryan, welcome.


Ryan Wallerson Yo, yo, I’m ready to play. Let’s get it.


Jason Concepcion: And he is also a producer on this podcast, also a producer on All Caps NBA, also one of the greatest individuals who I’ve ever worked with my my life. He is Zuri Irvin. Zuri, how are you?


Zuri Irvin I’m relieved. That’s the nicest thing I heard all day. I don’t care if I win now. Thank you, J.


Ryan Wallerson House money.


Zuri Irvin I’m feeling better.


Jason Concepcion: And so it’s Take Survivor folks and you know what it is. But I’m going to tell you what it is right now. Three rounds, three prompts. I will ask a question. Our contestants will give their take. Then we go to the voting portion where our contestants will vote on who had the worst take. That person will be ejected from the island. We move on to round two. We ask another prompt, another round of voting. The person who has been ejected in the previous round stays in the jury and votes. And in our third round we vote in a head to head format for the winner of Take Survivor. Everybody who has been eliminated remains in the jury to vote on who has the best take and will win. Don’t worry. I’ll repeat these rules as we go. Is everybody ready?


Zuri Irvin Yeah, yeah, yep.


Ryan Wallerson Yep.


Jason Concepcion: First prompt. Top Gun Maverick opened last week. Huge box office smash for our guy, Tom. Tom Cruise. Thomas Cruise. Crushing it in the skies yet again, flying the to the end to defend freedom from the nameless adversaries somewhere. It, of course, is the long awaited sequel, 30 years in the making of Top Gun, the original Top Gun from 1986. What 1980s movie should get their long awaited sequel should come back and be rebooted. What? 1980s movie should come back. Jamel. We’ll start with you.


Jamel Johnson: This is a tough one, Jason. I’ve got to say, you know what I’m going to say? Here’s what I’m going to say.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Jamel Johnson: Trading places. Fuck It.


Jordan Ligons: That’s a good one.


Zuri Irvin Yeah.


Jamel Johnson: You thought. You thought you didn’t like Coming to America 2? Well, you’re gonna hate this.


Jordan Ligons: That’s what my answer was going to be. Not Coming to America 2. Let’s just erase it from our minds, because that’s not what’s happened.


Jason Concepcion: With Trading Places, most of that. Most of the original cast still alive. Eddie Murphy is still doing it. Of course, Jamie Lee Curtis is still out here. The, you know, trading and Wall Street in the market. There’s never been a better time to explore those things. It’s an interesting.


Jamel Johnson: Wage gap is crazy. The poverty lines are shifting. Can’t nobody buy a house nowhere. Dan Aykroyd, a dickhead now you know the head of the firm and you know Jamie Lee Curtis is with that shit. And we could just it could go a thousand different ways. I want to see it. I need to see it.


Jason Concepcion: Jamel with Trading Places. Jordan What eighties movie should make a comeback? What eighties movie needs a sequel?


Jordan Ligons: Yeah. So already off to a rocky start. I didn’t know it was a sequel, so I’m going to go with the reboot that we needed. Scarface. But with Zendaya.


Jason Concepcion: Oooh.


Jordan Ligons: With Zendaya. So we’re going to flip it and it’ll be a woman.


Jamel Johnson: Griselda Records.


Jordan Ligons: Tanya Montana. Oh, yes. She’s going to be in a white suit. She’s going to have the fits galore. I think. I think we need this. This is its giving, boss lady. It’s giving everything. As the only woman on this, Take Survivor. I’m going to go Zendaya.


Jason Concepcion: Wow.


Jamel Johnson: Very strong.


Jason Concepcion: Wow, I got to tell ya I love it. That is great. Zuri, what eighties movie should make a comeback?


Zuri Irvin These are tough. I was going to go to the Eddie Murphy movie. Jamel, thank you for taking that off the board. I’m going to go with something. I’ll call Goonies, but with black people. That’s a working title. I think. I kind of see this as Hardball meets Hook.. You know, you keeps Sean Astin. Maybe Sean Astin is like an angry grandpa, like an angry neighbor or something like that. Instead of treasure, they’re looking for an NFT and it says this is an urban movie. So I think they just they don’t make it out of the house because curfew and mom just wouldn’t let him out. But I’m going to go Goonies, but with black people


Jordan Ligons: I like that. Yes.


Jason Concepcion: Goonies, with black people. Ryan Wallerson. What, eighties movies should make a comeback?


Ryan Wallerson You know, it’s funny. I was going to go Warriors, with black people, but that’s also juvenile. But also Warriors is 1979. So not applicable to this question. So I’m going to segway to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I want everybody back. I want a different city. And I want Ferris to now be playing the role of Ed Rooney. And he just, like, can’t keep up with his kid, his kids, just like they do like social media and like all of the machinations of the 21st century and stealing his or her father’s car like this Bueller junior is just like putting circles around Ferris and changing our perception of this man. I would love to see that. Yes.


Jordan Ligons: And the car is like a hybrid or something. So it’s like not about the mileage. It’s about charging it.


Jason Concepcion: It’s like a one of a kind Tesla this time. Wow. Incredible answers all around. Let’s go to the voting to remind our listeners to remind our voters you are voting for who has the worst take, the weakest take in this round. Will it be Jamel who said, you know what, I’d like to see Trading Tlaces back. Let’s get Dan Aykroyd being an asshole. Eddie Murphy still out here. Jamie Lee Curtis. Let’s see. Let’s explore the wage gap. Let’s explore what’s going on at the marketplace. Let’s explore the looming recession. Let’s explore inflation. Let’s do that all through a comedy sequel to the great eighties comedy Trading Places. It will be Jordan who said it’s Griselda time. Let’s get Zendaya in a white suit, running a cocaine empire and having a massive shootout with various Colombian assassins and doing the Scrooge McDuck high dive into a pile of cocaine at the end of the movie. I want to see Zendaya doing that. Or will it be Zuri who says we love Goonies? Good is a great movie. Love the theme song by Cyndi Lauper. Good enough. But like, let’s flip that entire thing and and have it black kids looking for an NFT that at this point like probably started out you know valued at $50,000 is probably worth $0.50 now. But they’re still looking for it. And we’re unsure if they can leave the house or will it be. Ryan says it’s it’s you know karma’s a bitch and karma in this case is Ferris Bueller’s kids putting Ferris Bueller through the ringer, this time in the sequel to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Now it’s Ferris Bueller’s kids take a day off on him and run him over with his Tesla. The votes are coming in now, and here they go. Uh, the first person ejected from the island. And it is a sweep, folks. Is Ryan Wallerson with his reboot, his sequel of Ferris Bueller’s Kids Day Off. Ryan, what do you have to say?


Ryan Wallerson Oh, I’m swept. I must be from Brooklyn.


Jason Concepcion: Oh.


Jamel Johnson: All air parting shots.


Ryan Wallerson It happens to the best. You know, you can have two top 15 players of all time and still get swept. So I’ll take my solace. And good hunting. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s go to round two. As a reminder, Ryan will stay in our voting jury. Prompt two, who in this NBA finals Celtics versus Warriors has the most to gain or lose in terms of legacy? Whose legacy is most on the line in this series? Is it Steve Kerr? Is it is it Kevin Durant who’s not playing? But still we understand what happened? Is it Kyrie Irving for the same exact reasons? Is it Steph Curry? Is it Jayson Tatum somehow? Who is it? Let’s start with usury Zuri whose legacy is more so on.


Zuri Irvin So many legacies on the line. You know, we can go Steph. We can go, Tatum. He does someone else. But I’m going to go ABC at large. I think ABC, ESPN has the most at stake. And we just talked about how boring the playoffs are. Every other round is the snoozer round. We’re getting to the finals. We don’t know what we’re going to see. I watched a lot of Bury this weekend. I watched a lot of pauses. MJ, a lot of that down. Michael Che gave the NBA Finals to HBO Max. Every commercial break, let us watch 2 minutes of a different show. Let it automatically switch over when the Games reaches a 25 point margin. And let’s just, you know, this is put up or shut up for ABC, in my opinion, and let’s just see what happens. So ABC.


Jordan Ligons: Wow.


Zuri Irvin Has the most at stake.


Jason Concepcion: I love it. Incredible answer, Jamel. Legacy. Who has the most to lose or gain in terms of legacy in these finals?


Jamel Johnson: Draymond Green.


Jordan Ligons: Ooh.


Jamel Johnson: Draymond he’s the last active player still podcasting. He can say something fucked up. And he still has an opportunity to fuck up several bags. He.,The potential for him punching Marcus Smart in the face, it’s palpable. We could feel it. He really might hit this fool. It could go one of a million ways. Or what if when he catches the ball at the top of the three point line and instead of his defender going to the stands for a hotdog, they’ve got to they’ve got to guard him at the three point line because he’s putting up threes again like like it’s 2011, 2012, somtheing. Oh, I don’t even know when he came in the league, but you know what I mean.


Jordan Ligons: Yeah, I mean.


Jamel Johnson: He could. Yeah. What if he suddenly decides to play offense and goes crazy? He could. He could. He could rise. He could fall. He is the Dark Knight. That’s my ianswer.


Jason Concepcion: An incredible answer. And then finally, Jordan. Jordan, who who’s legacy’s most risk?


Jordan Ligons: Hmm. These are all great answers, but I’m going to go with Klay Thompson’s afro.


Jason Concepcion: Ooh.


Jordan Ligons: Very specific with the Afro and the headband combo. It was funny when he was Jackie Moon with Semi-Pro, we laughed. But if the if the jumpers are falling, I’m. I’m going to need a haircut. I’m going to need a hair change. I’m going to need braids. I’m going to need no headband. I’m going to call for a switch up. So there’s a lot of to lose. He could lose his hair. He could lose the legacy talks with the Afro. And I thought, that’s my answer.


Jason Concepcion: Wow. Incredible answers all around. Let’s go to the voting. Who will be the second player ejected from the island? Will it be Zuri who says, you know, who has the most to lose or gain in these finals? It’s ABC, ESPN with it’s been a it’s been an up and down product thus far. What if the ratings take a dip? What if Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, says, what the fuck are you guys doing over there? You know, we’re putting out a million Star Wars shows and a million Marvel shows are on Disney Plus and the ABC, ESPN portion of our portfolio is failing us. You guys got it together. Get it together. Will it be Jamel who notes that the last active podcaster in sports is Draymond Green? Is Draymond Green going to want to turn on the microphones after a tough Game five loss? Well, he’s going to have to because that’s his fucking job. That’s his fucking job now. Is he going to want to do ad reads for keeps after he bricks the crucial three pointer at the end of the game? He’s going to have to.He’s going to have to do that throw to keeps. What will it be, Jordan, who says, you know what, Klay has a has been spotty in his return from injury, although it as inspiring as it has been. But the other thing that’s spotty and that is questionable is the Afro headband combination. Yes, we understand that, that nothing feels better for a captain on the high seas as as Klay is noted, a lover of the boats. The nothing feels better than the spray of the sea and your hair. But something’s got to change if you’re not playing better votes are coming in now. And by a vote of oh my god. By a vote of 3 to 1. And that includes the person voting for himself.Zuri is rejected from the island. I don’t think we’ve ever seen this before. Zuri, you you took yourself out of the island.


Zuri Irvin I did.


Jason Concepcion: What do you say?


Zuri Irvin Well, you know, it’s an honor just to compete with Jordan Ligons and Jamel Johnson. I’m just happy to be part of this also i’s a rare round where I think each answer got better than the last one. So it’s only right to keep this in and I’ll all live to fight another game. But thanks for having me.


Jason Concepcion: And that brings us to our final round. The head to head round. A reminder, we are voting for the winner here between Jamel Johnson and Jordan Ligons. And here is the championship prompt. What is the best trophy in sports? We talked about it earlier in the show. The NBA is obsessed with having both the basketball and the net in all of their trophies involved in some way. But there are a lot of different ways to do a trophy. Wimbledon has that gigantic serving dish. The Olympics has all the different kinds of medals. We saw the Champions League take place this weekend. Roland Garros, the French Open is going on now. What is the best trophy in all of sports? Jordan, I’ll start with you.


Jordan Ligons: Whew. This is a tough one. Um, but I I’m going to go with Wimbledon. I know we talked about tennis, the fact that it just looks so rich like it’s gold. Tennis is such like you got to have money to play. You know, you got to have money to be in the stands. The trophy matches that opulence of the sport. And who wouldn’t want this gold? You know, it has like the little handles. It’s it’s beautiful. You would want to display that. So I’m going Wimbledon or the big plate that’s also it’s the plate, too, for the other women. You can eat off of it, you know? Yeah. Love, love. A good china dish.


Jamel Johnson: So much fruit salad you could put on that thing, I must add. Yes. Mmm.


Jason Concepcion: Jamel, what’s the best trophy in sports?


Jamel Johnson: Honestly, bro, there’s a million ways I wanted to go here, but I must go with my heart. Grade school soccer participation trophy is the best trophy in all of athletics. It’s 100% plastic. And it is beautiful, that kid kicking that damn ball.


Jason Concepcion: Okay, so describe it. Because there’s listen, there’s a lot of them. Some of them, it’s like a shooting golden star.


Jamel Johnson: Yeah, okay.


Jason Concepcion: You know, like the other ones, it’s like, you know, just like a random athlete in a in a tracksuit, other ones, a little kid with a baseball bat. What specifically what does your participation trophy look like?


Jamel Johnson: Mine looks like a it’s a gold plate. It’s a chrome painted. It ain’t even plated. It’s a gold painted child kicking a soccer ball like the child receiving it never did once in the season. It starts like this and then there’s a little stand for them to stand on. And then it goes to a tube. There’s a black tube with soccer balls. They look like they’re floating through space, painted across the tube piece. Then we got a little fake granite at the bottom that says the child’s name. And thanks for coming out.


Jordan Ligons: And the tube of is always in the team colors too. Ah, that’s like purple.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah yeah.


Jordan Ligons: It reflective, like glittery or something? Yeah, that’s hard to beat.


Jamel Johnson: Yes, exactly. And it’s a tube. That’s how, you know, they didn’t wind shit. Because if it’s real, it’s kind of like rectangular. It’s got the little stripes, you know? I’m saying.


Jason Concepcion: Right. Because .


Jamel Johnson: You could hold, it’s three post you could hold.


Jason Concepcion: That’s right.


Jordan Ligons: Got it.


Jason Concepcion: There’s no trophy. There’s no trophy silhouette at all.


Jamel Johnson: Yeah. None of that. None of that. Shout out to Joel Kim Booster, who has the best joke about participation trophies. Go find it online. I’m not going, you go find out for yourself. The baby boomers are wrong. Participation is great. It is the best trophy. Thank you so much.


Jason Concepcion: Well, folks, it is time to vote on our winning take in this championship round of Take Survivor. Will it be Jordan who says the opulence, the medieval splendor, the noble bloodlines of the Wimbledon trophy? Doesn’t it look like something that’s in a Kings Trophy room? That’s like in the Tower of London? It came out of there somehow that the the queen anoints it with her tears. Isn’t it look like that? Even the plate, even the huge plate looks like, you know, something that you’d put like a a trader’s decapitated head on and deliver it to the king and queen. doesn’t it look like that? Isn’t that amazing? What will it be, Jamel? Who says, you know what? What has more cultural relevance right now than the participation trophy? Who is is it not the trophy that we talk about the most that the boomers complain about, that everybody talks about? But yet that is great. It has has lifted the spirits of generations of young athletes who never got on the field, but at least got to get away with a plastic gold painted trophy of a young athlete standing on a tube with their name, you know, written across the bottom. Votes are coming in now. And and folks, congratulations to our winner. No participation trophies for him. He’s Jamel Johnson, the winner of Take Survivor Today. Jamel, great to victory speech.


Jamel Johnson: Haha. Thank you. I’d like to thank, you know, grade school soccer. I’d like to thank my mom for taking me to them practices. Yeah, I’d like to thank the one Latino kid on the team, Roberto. He used to really do his thing. I’d like to thank you guys. Jordan Ligons. I’d like to thank Jason Concepcion’s immune system.


Jason Concepcion: Yes, it’s still still still working.


Jamel Johnson: Still cranking. I’d like to thank you, the listeners and I would like to thank Internet radio.


Jason Concepcion: And that’s it for us and Take Survivor today. What a rousing game it has been. Catch us next time, goodbye. And that’s it for us as a show. Follow and subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts or 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.


Jason Concepcion: 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 at Chapter Four. And our theme music is produced by Brian Vasquez. Mia Kellman is on the Zoom for vibes, and the vibes are fantastic all the time.


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