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ESPN’s Mike Tirico Talks LeBron James & NBA Finals

TRANSCRIPT

MIKE TIRICO, GOOD FRIEND,
RETURNS TO "THE RICH EISEN
SHOW."
HE WILL BE JOINING THE ESPN
RADIO CREW FOR THE PLAY BY PLAY
OF THE NBA FINALS STARTING
TONIGHT.
JOINING ME HERE ON "THE RICH
EISEN SHOW."
HOW ARE YOU, MIKE?
>> HEY, RICH.
IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO
FOLLOW THE GREATEST SYRACUSE
ORANGE OF THEM ALL, JIM BROWN.
>> I KNOW.
I DID ASK HIM OR CHRIS BROCKMAN,
WHO IS A SYRACUSE ALUM, ASKED
HIM ABOUT 44 BEING BROUGHT OUT
OF RETIREMENT AND THAT HE
APPARENTLY HAD GIVEN HIS
BLESSING AND JIM SORT OF
CORRECTED THE RECORD, SAYING HE
DIDN'T GIVE HIS BLESSING BUT HE
SAID I JUST DIDN'T COMPLAIN
ABOUT IT.
APPARENTLY HE DIDN'T KNOW.
>> IT'S INTERESTING, I DON'T
KNOW WHAT ALL THE CONVERSATION
WAS, I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION
THAT HE AND FLOYD LITTLE, FLOYD
LITTLE USED TO WORK UP THERE AT
SYRACUSE, INTERESTING, THE
GREATEST JIM BROWN SYRACUSE
STORY I HAVE HEARD HIM TELL OVER
THE YEARS WAS HE'S AN ALL TIME
GREAT LACROSSE PLAYER.
SYRACUSE HAD A LEGENDARY
LACROSSE PROGRAM.
THERE'S THE STORY OF A LACROSSE
GAME GOING ON, TRACK MEETS GOING
ON AND SPRING FOOTBALL'S GOING O
I WON'T GIVE YOU ALL THE DETAILS
BUT JIM BROWN WENT FROM ONE TO
THE OTHER TO THE OTHER AND WAS
THE BEST OF ALL THREE IN ABOUT A
THREE-HOUR SPAN.
>> MIKE TIRICO JOINING ME ON
"THE RICH EISEN SHOW."
LET'S START UNPACKING TONIGHT'S
GAME ONE AND THE REST OF THIS
SERIES.
HOW DO YOU HANDICAP THIS SERIES?
>> WELL, VEGAS THINKS GOLDEN
STATE'S THE FAVORITE.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LeBRON
JAMES CAST WITH THE ONE INJURY
TO KEVIN LOVE OUT FOR THE
SERIES, OUT FOR REALLY MOST OF
THESE PLAYOFFS, AND KYRIE
IRVING'S KNEE INJURY, YOU WOULD
UNDERSTAND WHY BUT I DON'T KNOW
IF HISTORY WILL LOOK BACK AND
REMEMBER THAT LeBRON JAMES WAS
AN UNDERDOG IN ANYTHING.
STEPH CURRY'S MVP OF THE LEAGUE.
BUT LeBRON IS CLEARLY MVP OF
THIS GENERATION, IF YOU WILL, OF
NBA PLAYERS, THIS SPAN OF THE
NBA, GETTING HIS TEAM TO THE
FINALS FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS.
SO ALTHOUGH YOU MAY LOOK
NUMERICALLY AND SAY THEY'RE THE
UNDERDOG, THE EXPECTATIONS ARE
WHEN LeBRON'S OUT THERE, HIS
TEAM NEEDS TO WIN.
SO IT'S INTERESTING TO WATCH AS
WE GO THROUGH THE SERIES HOW
MUCH LeBRON'S SUPPORTING CAST,
ESPECIALLY KYRIE IRVING, CAN
GIVE HIM IN THE SERIES.
GOLDEN STATE CAN ANSWER THE
MOMENT, ANSWER THE OPPONENTS AND
PLAY AT A PRETTY HIGH
CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL WITH 67 WINS
AND COMING THROUGH THE THREE
ROUNDS OF THE SERIES SO FAR.
>> FOR THE WARRIORS SUPPORTING
CAST, KLAY THOMPSON IS EXPECTED
TO GO.
HE'S FULL GO.
HE HAS BEEN CLEARED, CORRECT?
>> YES.
HE IS.
TELL YOU WHAT, THEY ARE LUCKY
THEY DID NOT HAVE A GAME SIX OR
SEVEN, BECAUSE I DON'T THINK HE
WOULD HAVE PLAYED.
HE JUST FINALLY CLEARED THE
CONCUSSION PROTOCOL A COUPLE
DAYS AGO.
EVERYTHING WE HAVE HEARD, HE'S A
GO AND NOT MENTIONED VERY OFTEN
BUT MARREESE SPEIGHTS WHO HELPED
THEM IN THE FIRST TWO SERIES, HE
IS ALSO READY TO GO.
HE WAS OUT WITH A CALF INJURY.
YOU'RE LOOKING AT A WARRIORS
TEAM THAT PROBABLY CAN
COMFORTABLY PLAN ON GOING TEN
DEEP BUT THAT'S SOMETHING TO
WATCH IN THIS SERIES.
THEY HAVE MORE OPTIONS TO ANSWER
HOW CLEVELAND PLAYS THAN
CLEVELAND HAS OPTIONS TO HOW
GOLDEN STATE PLAYS.
>> IT'S THE FAMILIAR VOICE OF
THE VOICE OF MONDAY NIGHT
FOOTBALL ON THE WORLDWIDE LEADER
IN SPORTS AND THE MAN WHO WILL
BE CALLING THE ACTION ON ESPN
RADIO FOR THE NBA FINALS, MIKE
TIRICO ON THE PROGRAM.
WHO IS GOING TO GUARD LeBRON?
WILL IT BE GREEN, YOU THINK?
>> GOOD QUESTION.
I THINK STEVE KERR HAS A TON OF
OPTIONS.
YOU'VE GOT GREEN, OBVIOUSLY, BUT
YOU ALSO HAVE HARRISON BARNES.
KLAY THOMPSON IS OUTSTANDING,
DOESN'T HAVE THE SAME SIZE.
BUT ANDRE IGUODALA IN HIS PAST
HAS DEFENDED LeBRON JAMES.
LIVINGSTON DEFENDED LeBRON FOR
THE NETS IN THE SERIES THAT THE
NETS PLAYED AGAINST MIAMI LAST
YEAR.
SO THERE ARE SIX OR†-- SIX
PROBABLY DIFFERENT LEGITIMATE
OPTIONS THAT KERR HAS.
THEY CAN CHANGE UP WHAT THEY DO
AS YOU GO THROUGH.
IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO WATCH
HOW HE USES THOSE GUYS AND HOW
HE IMPACTS THE GROUPS THEY HAVE
ON THE FLOOR.
>> WHAT ABOUT LeBRON ON THE
DEFENSIVE END OF THE FLOOR?
I ASKED BYRON SCOTT IN THE FIRST
HOUR IF GAME ON THE LINE, TWO
MINUTES TO GO, EVEN A MINUTE TO
GO, STEPH CURRY'S GOT HIS ALL
WORLD MVP HANDLE.
DO WE SEE MAYBE LeBRON ON STEPH
CURRY FOR A LITTLE MVP ON MVP
ACTION?
>> WE SAW THAT IN THE FINALS.
I THINK OF TONY PARKER A FEW
YEARS AGO, LeBRON ENDS UP
DEFENDING HIM IN KEY STRETCHES
AND OVER THE YEARS IN MIAMI,
LeBRON HAS GONE OUT AND GUARDED
THE PLAYER WHO WAS HOT.
HE'S GOT THAT ABILITY TO DEFEND
ANYBODY THAT GOLDEN STATE'S
GOING TO PUT ON THE FLOOR.
I WOULD THINK, RICH, WITH KYRIE
IRVING'S HEALTH BEING SO
IMPORTANT HERE, IF KYRIE IRVING
CAN, HE WOULD BE THE FIRST
OPTION TO DEFEND CURRY AND IF
NOT, IF YOU HAVE TO MOVE LeBRON
IT WILL WEAKEN YOU SOMEWHERE
ELSE.
THAT'S WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT THIS
TEAM.
GREEN CAN HURT YOU OFFENSIVELY.
HARRISON BARNES HAS REALLY I
THINK PLAYED WELL, ESPECIALLY IN
THE CLINCHER AGAINST HOUSTON AND
THOMPSON AND CURRY.
YOU CAN MOVE LeBRON BUT YOU
BETTER HAVE SOMEBODY ELSE GOOD
TO DEFEND THE OTHER GUY YOU'RE
MOVING HIM FROM.
>> THEN THERE'S THIS WEEK-LONG
LAYOFF.
YOU EXPECT TO SEE SOME RUST
TONIGHT?
>> PERHAPS.
SOMETIMES THAT RUST IS MASKED BY
THE ENTHUSIASM AND THE ENERGY OF
GAME ONE OF A FINALS.
NONE OF THE WARRIORS HAVE EVER
PLAYED IN THE FINALS.
MOST OF THE GUYS WHO PLAY FOR
CLEVELAND HAVEN'T BEEN IN THE
FINALS.
YOU LOOK AT JAMES JONES OR MIKE
MILLER COMING OFF THE BENCH,
KENDRICK PERKINS.
THEY HAVE PLAYED IN THE FINALS
BUT ARE WAY DOWN THE ROTATION IF
NOT AT ALL.
MOST OF THE ROTATION GUYS HAD
CLEVELAND HAVEN'T.
I THINK YOU ARE GOING TO SEE
EARLY ON THERE'S RUST BUT THERE
IS ALSO GOING TO BE EXTREME
ADRENALINE AND A LOT OF NERVOUS
ENERGY.
I CAN TELL YOU FIRST-HAND, COVER
NBA GAMES IT'S GREAT.
YOU COVER PLAYOFF GAMES, IT'S
GREAT.
THE ENERGY RAMPS UP.
THE FINALS AND THE START OF THE
FINALS, JUST HAS A DIFFERENT
ENERGY, A DIFFERENT FEEL.
IT'S GOING TO BE REALLY
INTERESTING TO WATCH HOW THE
PLAYERS HANDLE THAT FOR THE
FIRST TIME.
STEVE KERR DID A GOOD THING.
HE PLAYED IN A WHOLE BUNCH OF
FINALS, HE TALKED TO HIS TEAM
ABOUT IT BUT ALSO HAD LUKE
WALTON, WHO HAS RECENTLY PLAYED
IN THE FINALS, TALK TO ALL THE
GUYS ABOUT IT'S GOING TO BE
DIFFERENT AND HERE'S HOW.
>> THE ALVIN GENTRY SWAN SONG ON
THAT BENCH AS WELL AS HE'S THE
COACH OF THE PELICANS SITTING
THERE.
>> HEADING TO NEW ORLEANS.
HE'S DONE A GOOD JOB.
STEVE BROUGHT IN SOME GOOD
ASSISTANTS.
THAT'S BEEN A BIG HELP.
RON ADAMS GETS ZERO CONVERSATION
OR RECOGNITION, 20 YEAR NBA
ASSISTANT BUT HE'S REALLY HELPED
THEIR DEFENSE.
THESE TWO TEAMS WE FOCUS ON
THEIR SCORING.
THESE ARE TWO GOOD DEFENSIVE
TEAMS.
GOLDEN STATE'S DONE IT GOING
BACK TO WHERE MARK JACKSON WAS
COACHING THEM A COUPLE YEARS
BEFORE THAT, JUST INTRODUCED
DEFENSIVE MENTALITY TO THIS
YOUNG GROUP OF PLAYERS.
I WANT TO WATCH CLEVELAND.
THEIR DEFENSIVE NUMBERS ARE
GREAT BUT WHO HAVE THEY PLAYED
IN THE PLAYOFFS?
BOSTON, CHICAGO, ATLANTA.
BOSTON AND ATLANTA, NOT THE SAME
TALENT LEVEL, OBVIOUSLY, AS
GOLDEN STATE.
CHICAGO, THE BEST OTHER TEAM IN
THE EAST FOR MOST FOLKS, BUT
THEIR OFFENSE UNDERACHIEVED.
GASOL GETS HURT IN THAT SERIES
SO IT KIND OF WEARS THEM DOWN
FROM WHERE THEY WERE IN THE
REGULAR SEASON.
THIS IS BY FAR A BIG JUMP UP IN
COMPETITION IN TERMS OF
DEFENDING PEOPLE FOR CLEVELAND
IN THIS SERIES.
>> I WAS GOING TO ASK ABOUT MARK
JACKSON.
I REMEMBER WHEN I COVERED THE
'01 WORLD SERIES FOR SPORTS
CENTER BETWEEN THE YANKEES AND
THE DIAMONDBACKS, BUCK SHOWALTER
WAS MY ANALYST.
HE WAS TOTALLY BUTTONED UP, WAS
PROFESSIONAL, GAVE HIS OPINIONS
BUT SOMETIMES I COULD JUST LOOK
AT HIM AND SEE I BUILT BOTH
THOSE TEAMS AND YOU DON'T WANT
TO TELLTALES OUT OF SCHOOL BUT
WHAT'S JACKSON BEEN LIKE TO BE
AROUND THE WARRIORS AS THEY MAKE
THIS RUN?
>> MIKE REED DOES THE GAME SO I
HAVEN'T SPENT AS MUCH TIME WITH
MARK BUT I TALKED TO HIM A
LITTLE YESTERDAY.
WE WILL SEE EACH OTHER A BUNCH
AT THE ARENA AS THE GAMES GO
THROUGH.
I THINK IT'S GOT TO BE HARD.
BUT I ALSO THINK MARK HAS DONE
IT SO OFTEN THIS YEAR COVERING A
WHOLE BUNCH OF WARRIORS REGULAR
SEASON GAMES, COVERING THE
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS,
INCLUDING THE ENTIRE WESTERN
FINAL.
HE'S BEEN THROUGH THIS SEVERAL
TIMES.
SURE, THERE HAS TO BE A MOMENT
THAT YOU GO MAN, THAT COULD BE
ME, BUT IF YOU'RE MARK, YOU KNOW
YOU'VE GOT A JOB TO DO AND YOU
KNOW PEOPLE ARE MEASURING YOU BY
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING ABOUT THESE
TEAMS.
YOU JUST PLAY IT AS FAIR AND
HONEST AS POSSIBLE.
AND GO THROUGH IT THAT WAY.
THAT'S YOUR JOB NOW.
THAT WAS YOUR JOB.
MARK VERY SPIRITUAL, VERY
EMOTIONAL GUY, SO HE WON'T BE
SHY TO HAVE THOSE FEELINGS BUT
HE WILL BE A MAN ABOUT IT AND
DEAL WITH IT.
HE UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF
THIS BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE.
>> WHO'S WITH YOU ON THE RADIO?
HUBIE?
>> HUBIE BROWN GETS TO DO THIS
AGAIN.
MAN IS IN HIS EARLY 80s AND HE
BRINGS THE ENERGY OF SOMEONE IN
THEIR 40s.
WE JUST SPENT 40 MINUTES TALKING
ABOUT MATCHUPS AND GOING BIG AND
DOWNSIZING, WHAT ARE YOU GOING
TO DO, SHOOTING PERCENTAGE,
THREES IN THE LAST SERIES.
HE'S READY.
THE GUY ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE GUY.
I'M BLESSED TO WORK WITH
SOMEBODY LIKE THAT ON A REGULAR
BASIS.
>> A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW
THAT A LOT OF THE BASKETBALL
LEXICON THAT'S USED BY PEOPLE,
THAT HUBIE CAME UP WITH.
>> PAINTED AREA.
LOVE THE PAINTED AREA.
CAN'T BEAT THAT.
SO MANY THINGS OVER THE YEARS.
I'LL GIVE YOU ONE.
WHEN DUKE GOT GOOD IN
BASKETBALL, VIC DOUGAS WAS HEAD
COACH.
HIS ASSISTANTS, TWO OF THEM WERE
HUBIE BROWN AND CHUCK DALY.
HUBIE GOES TO KENTUCKY WITH THE
COLONELS, WINS THE ABA TITLE IN
'71, I BELIEVE IT IS, THEN HE
GOES TO MILWAUKEE AS AN
ASSISTANT COACH FOR LARRY
COSTELLO AND ON THAT MILWAUKEE
TEAM, KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, YOUNG
WINNING AN MVP AND AGING OSCAR
ROBINSON.
THOSE TEAMS GO TO THE PLAYOFFS.
YOU TALK ABOUT SOMEBODY, I TURN
TO HUBIE AND WE CAN TALK AT
LENGTH ABOUT OSCAR ROBERTSON
PLAYING FIVE DECADES AGO AND
IT'S JUST AN ABSOLUTE WALKING
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE GAME.
IT'S GREAT.
>> HUBIE MAKES SEPP BLATTER LOOK
LIKE A WHIPPERSNAPPER.
YOU HOSTED THE FIFA WORLD CUP
COVERAGE FOR THE WORLDWIDE
LEADER IN BRAZIL.
I KNOW THIS IS BOB LEY'S TURF.
I UNDERSTAND.
BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME
THOUGHTS YOURSELF HAVING BEEN
AROUND THE SPORT AS MUCH AS YOU
HAVE ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON WITH
FIFA.
>> A MESSED UP ORGANIZATION
BEYOND BELIEF.
TO SEE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO JUST
KIND OF OPEN THE DAM AND NOW
IT'S A FLOOD OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
GOING TO COME OUT WITH
INFORMATION, OTHERWISE THEY'RE
GOING TO GET CAUGHT, JUST TELLS
YOU WHERE THIS ORGANIZATION HAS
BEEN.
IT'S SOMETHING EVERYBODY HAS
KNOWN AND TALKED ABOUT BUT
FINALLY SOMEBODY GOT THE GOODS
ON THEM AND IT'S GOOD BECAUSE
THE GAME'S AMAZING AND A WHOLE
GENERATION OF AMERICANS ARE
PLAYING SOCCER AND NOW DECISION
MAKERS PLAYED SOCCER IN HIGH
SCHOOL AND COLLEGE.
MY KIDS PLAY SOCCER.
LOVE THE SPORT.
IT COMES MORE FIRST NATURE TO
THEM THAN BASEBALL OR FOOTBALL.
IN MANY REGARDS.
YOU WANT TO SEE THE GOVERNING
BODY OF THIS GAME AT THE WORLD
LEVEL BE ON THE UP AND UP.
EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT IT HASN'T
BEEN.
SO TO SEE CHANGE THAT IS
ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY SO THIS
GAME CAN GROW IS GREAT.
IT'S ABOUT TIME.
AND THE CORRUPT PEOPLE SHOULD BE
REMOVED.
I THINK WE ARE STARTING THAT
PROCESS TOWARDS A CLEANER FIFA
AND THAT WILL BE BETTER.
WHETHER WE GET THE WORLD CUP IN
2022 OR 2026, IT DOESN'T MATTER.
AMERICAN SOCCER'S GOING TO
CONTINUE TO GROW AND IT'S GOOD
TO GROW SOME PLACE WHERE THE
SPORT'S REAL NOT FRAUDULENT.
>> I WANT TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND BECAUSE I DON'T WANT
YOU TO HEAR ANY GRIEF ON SOCIAL
MEDIA.
YOU ARE PRO SOCCER BEING CLEAN,
NOT ANTI-CATS HAVING THEIR OWN
UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT,
RIGHT?
>> THAT'S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.
WHEN A MAN HAS THE RESOURCES TO
GIVE HIS CATS THE LUXURY OF
DONALD TRUMP'S POSH LOCATION IN
NEW YORK, THAT IS AN ANIMAL
HUGGER AND APPEALS TO THAT
ANIMAL LOVER.
>> I UNDERSTAND.
I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE YOUR
BELIEF SYSTEM IS PUT OUT ON
DISPLAY HERE.
>> IF I HAVE TO TAKE THE HIT, SO
BE IT.
IF YOU WANT TO YELLOW CARD ME
FOR THAT, I'M COMFORTABLE WITH
THAT.
I KNOW HOW TO PLAY WITH A YELLOW
AND NOT GET THE RED.
>> MIKE, THANKS FOR CALLING IN.
LOOK FORWARD TO DRIVING AROUND
THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO LISTENING
TO YOUR CALL WITH HUBIE AND LOOK
FORWARD TO HAVING YOU BACK ON
WHEN FOOTBALL SEASON APPROACHES.
>> YOU GOT IT.
SAY HI TO SUZE.
TALK TO YOU SOON.
>> MIKE TIRICO JOINING ME.
ONE OF THE BEST.