The Kings home ice is across the street from Grantland HQ, so naturally, we're thrilled about this victory, which was a long time coming. Thank you for not burning down our Starbucks on Monday night.
After L.A. made the Stanley Cup finals late last month, Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons sat down with Kings forward Dustin Penner to discuss the team's playoff run. You'll find links to the pod after the jump.
What, two Grantland columns from Rafe Bartholomew and Bill Barnwell/Jay Kang weren't enough Pacquiao-Bradley coverage for you? You wanted more? How 'bout some good old-fashioned conspiracy talk (and a breakdown of the fight) with our pal Cousin Sal? We even threw in a little NBA Finals talk for good measure. After that, I called my buddy JackO (30-minute mark) to discuss the fading Red Sox, the surging Yankees, NBA fashion stylists, Mad Men's season finale (don't worry, there was a spoiler alert) and why JackO should be watching Game of Thrones.
Who needs NBA analysts to break down the playoffs when you can call one of the best NFL guys around? That's right, I called up our old friend Mike Lombardi to talk about his beloved Sixers, NBA coaching vs. NFL coaching, and the philosophies behind building an NBA team vs. building an NFL team. We also rehashed last month's draft and talked about the Saints, Drew Brees and the league's ongoing concussion crisis. Somehow a 20-minute conversation turned into 45 minutes.
From there, I called ESPN Films vice-president Connor Schell to talk about this week's announcement that the 30 for 30 series was returning to ESPN, as well as the short-film component on Grantland that launched this week. As always, Connor was furious that I never told him we were calling and will be complaining about it for the next month.
Buccigross discusses his favorites to win the Cup, and the bad blood between the Penguins and the Flyers. Then, Wyshynski recalls the hockey message board days of the Internet, talks about whether he's sold on the Rangers, and mourns Patrick Kane's playoff mullet.
Can you hear that siren blaring? That's right, it's the panic alarm for Red Sox and Yankees fans!!! You knew I'd be calling my buddy JackO (a diehard Yankees fan) after our teams stumbled to dueling 0-3 starts. We decided that one of us was more depressed than the other (I won't spoil it for you), and then I complained about Bobby V. for a while. The conversation turned out to be so depressing, we were forced to call not one but two fans of the 3-0 Mets — our old friend Cousin Sal and my buddy Gus — just so the listeners wouldn't be depressed for the rest of the day. Sal and I also threw in some NBA/NFL gambling talk, and Gus and Sal and I spent a little too much time talking about the fact that it's apparently impossible for a Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter.
We're trying something different for the Masters this year: That's right, we're adopting an official favorite golfer for the B.S. Report and Grantland! The big winner? Nick Watney, who recently beat Tiger in a match play tournament. He came on the podcast to discuss his Augusta chances, playing against Tiger, living in Vegas, whether his wife had ever practiced crying after he won a tournament, who was a bigger sellout for leaving Boston for L.A. (me or his cousin Heidi), and much, much more. You'll be rooting for him this weekend after listening.
What happens when a Hall of Fame quarterback coming off four neck surgeries signs with a team run by a Hall of Fame quarterback who had no qualms about dumping a national phenomenon with mystical powers to get him? You tape an emergency B.S. Report, that's what happens. That's right, we called the NFL Network's Mike Lombardi, Grantland's Bill Barnwell and David Jacoby, and even my buddy Gus Ramsey (a die-hard Broncos fan) to get their takes on Denver's big "Peyton Manning for Tim Tebow" switcheroo.
In advance of the debut of The Announcement, Bill Simmons and Magic Johnson sat down in the Grantland Studios to record a two-part podcast, which will air this weekend as a special program immediately after the ESPN Films documentary. (You can watch The Announcement at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.) In Part 1 of the pod, Simmons and Magic discuss LeBron James's fourth-quarter woes, spar over the '80s-era Lakers and Celtics, and debate who would win in a matchup of Dream Teams: the 1992 squad, or the one we'll watch in the Summer Games this year.
Plus, Magic details the greatest basketball game ever played — a scrappy scrimmage between the Eastern Conference representatives on the '92 Dream Team and their Western Conference counterparts.
Lost in the Jeremy Lin era was one of the luckiest beneficiaries of Linsanity: no, not Mike D'Antoni, James Dolan, or Tyson Chandler, but MSG (and ESPN/ABC) announcer Mike Breen. We talked about these last three crazy weeks for the Knicks and that dovetailed nicely into a bigger discussion about the 2012 NBA season and the fact that Breen calls Mark Jackson sobbing every night at 2:30 a.m., wondering what Breen did wrong. Then, at the 36-minute mark, my buddy JackO made his long-awaited return to discuss — what else — spring training, as well as the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Minka-Jeter romance and the eerie similarities between Bobby Valentine and a certain politician.
How did I host the BS Report podcast for four solid years without ever having the greatest basketball writer of all time on? It ranks among my 10 or 12 dumbest decisions ever, but I tried to make up for it by talking NBA with the one and only Bob Ryan for a solid hour. Is Jeremy Lin for real? Can the Knicks contend? Should Boston trade Rondo? Where does Pierce rank among the all-time best Celtics? Is Kobe one of the best five players of all time? Can LeBron and Wade ever make it work in Miami? How similar are LeBron and Wilt? Which NBA players have to be seen in person to be truly appreciated? (For the record, I particularly enjoyed Bob's "calibration" theory about Miami's offense, as well as his description of what it was like to watch Bill Russell play basketball on an everyday basis.) Bob even breaks a little news at the tail end of the podcast that I won't spoil. All in all, I couldn't be happier that we finally had him on — it exceeded my (already high) expectations.