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The "Huh?" Episode

This week's episode is full of recent happenings in sports and entertainment that made us go... "huh?"

We discuss Martha Stewart's SI cover, IMG Academy's $1.25 billion sale to a Chinese private equity firm, and Ja Morant's gun troubles from a marketing perspective.

We also continue our discussion of the NBA Playoffs, bringing back our Fan of the Week segment to highlight one Golden State Warriors fan's epic display of fandom last week.

Watch/listen here:


[00:00:00] Mike Lewis: Welcome, everyone. Welcome to the Fanalytics podcast, brought to you by the Emory Marketing Analytics Center. My name is Mike Lewis. I'm joined by Doug Battle. Doug my day job is as a marketing professor and one of the core concepts of marketing and this idea of segmentation, targeting, and positioning.

Okay, so bear with me for a

second that, the way marketing works, effective marketing works is you understand a market, you understand the different segments out there. You come up with a product, and you position your product to satisfy or along the preferences of that segment. So, Doug, of course, I am talking about the si swimsuit edition that back in the day, the si swimsuit edition used to be this, I don't know, I guess I would call it like cheesecake, uh, kind of, these models would appear in this sports magazine and look be, this is before your time, Doug [00:01:00] Sports Illustrated was kind of.

The Bible of weekly sports, these high quality pictures, great coverage, great articles, kind of


[00:01:08] Doug Battle: was a subscriber, Mike,I got all the magazines growing

[00:01:11] Mike Lewis: okay, but you missed the heyday. I'm talking like in the seventies and


[00:01:16] Doug Battle: Okay.

[00:01:17] Mike Lewis: And they would sort of sneak in the swimsuit edition. Right. and you think about the position of it, right?

It was sort of a, it wasn't Playboy. They were fully clothed and it was kind of, out there for the 12 year old heterosexual male population. And of course, I just bring this up because Doug, I don't know, you, you ever watch Friends on Netflix? I think that's big with Gen Z, right?

A little bit.

[00:01:41] Doug Battle: I don't affiliate with Gen Z, so I don't appreciate that comment. But, uh, friends I have, I have watched friends. I haven't watched all of friends. I've seen episodes of friends.

[00:01:49] Mike Lewis: And I think they always, friends always had the, this is the blah, blah, blah episode. This is the coffee episode. This is the,

[00:01:55] Doug Battle: Right.

[00:01:56] Mike Lewis: this episode of analytics is the, huh? huh? Episode [00:02:00] and, and so Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is featuring 81 year old Martha Stewart. And this is after years of, really kind of going away from that core product.

Now it, like I said, I was surprised to learn that Martha Stewart was 81. But the whole point is, this seems to be the way the world is going, but I don't know what audience this is supposed to be attracting anymore because it has clearly not sort of the core audience,that has, has historically been viewing the SI swimsuit


[00:02:35] Doug Battle: Well

you mentioned that SI had a taday in the seventies and what was Martha Stewart?

In her twenties back then. So maybe, I mean, maybe it is that core audience. It's that same, they're trying to recapture their core audience.

Yeah. I

don't know. I mean, when I was a teenager it was like Beyonce and Megan Fox

It almost seems like now these things have become

like,[00:03:00] some form



should empower some different group of people, you know? Now it's, apparently the elderly

feels funny to say, but, hey, I'll say this. I'll take, si over. it. You know, it was always really weird to me and even as a kid, following sports and you get sports illustrated every, yes. That is just bizarre to me. Like,

the swimsuit edition, like you understand its appeal. I think anyone can, the body issue was always bizarre. I'm trying to think here. There was some massive baseball player, that was on it the first time I saw that just grossed me out as a sports fan and as a kid and I still don't really understand.

[00:03:36] Mike Lewis: shirtless Jose Canseco or

[00:03:38] Doug Battle: And no, it

was, God, I'm blanking on his name. ma, I mean, someone who's 300 pounds though. I mean, it it is just,

[00:03:45] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:03:45] Doug Battle: I

don't, understand whose idea that was and why is that still a thing?

[00:03:49] Mike Lewis: I don't think e s P magazine's this thing

[00:03:51] Doug Battle: It shouldn't be

that probably single-handedly put them outta business.

[00:03:56] Mike Lewis: but I think there, there's sort of a core point here and it's something I think we struggle with [00:04:00] a lot when we talk about sports and whenever sort of culture and political forces sort of invaded. Sports is kind of this, and I love the example of the si swimsuit edition because as a marketing professor, as a marketing guy, it's hard to actually make logical sense of this kind of stuff because I think you're right that there's some sort of agenda that says, Hey, this needs to be more inclusives.

We need to broaden the audience. But by doing so, they truly destroy the appeal of the core product. And look, you can argue that the internet destroyed the appeal of the core product a long time ago. But it's just such a curious thing to watch from a, from an observer of the cultures perspective and from a marketing perspective that, does this stuff make any sense?

I mean, si gets attention whenever they do this stuff, right? It's like, Hey, let's bring in Martha Stewart, let's bring in, whoever they're gonna bring in next year, right? they get some buzz. Does it go anywhere? It's hard to imagine.

[00:04:57] Doug Battle: It definitely gets buzzed. It's successful [00:05:00] in that, like we're talking about it,

it's trending on Twitter, I imagine. I actually saw while we were talking last year, they had a kind

[00:05:07] Mike Lewis: of a different mo, different covers and one of 'em was May Musk, also an elderly woman. but one of 'em was Kim Kardashian and one of 'em was cr so it's, they, I don't know if they're doing, I know with like college football, they'll do regional covers for the start of the season. I don't know if they're just doing, each demographic has its own cover. the other observation is, Doug, it's like so much of what, when we talk about sort of when we veer into entertainment, it's this phenomena of they didn't start a swimsuit edition that was kind of inclusive. Right. They took an existing swimsuit edition and they changed it. Right. And I think that's why they generate the buzz.

But it, like I said,it's sort of mystifying as a. Kind of traditionalist from a marketing perspective in, 2023.

let's see what else we got. Like I said, Doug, it's it's been a kind of a wild, [00:06:00] an interesting week where there's numerous stories that have just kinda left me shaking my


[00:06:04] Doug Battle: just an interesting world at this point.

[00:06:06] Mike Lewis: Yeah. Um,

[00:06:07] Doug Battle: of baffling and fascinating all at the

[00:06:09] Mike Lewis: in terms of picking up news stories via social media. And I don't really know what to make of this one, but it's interesting enough that I haven't done the, I've sort of gone in depth in it that there's reports that the owner of the IMG Academy, which I think is the UFC's parent company, actually, is selling I M G Academy, which I think is a high school to a Chinese private equity firm for $1.25 billion

[00:06:37] Doug Battle: see that. Wow. Billion.

[00:06:38] Mike Lewis: billion.

So we're now selling High. So we're creating high schools that are built around athletic programs,

[00:06:48] Doug Battle: Yes.

[00:06:49] Mike Lewis: and now we're selling these high schools to Chinese private equity firms. Doug, do you have a response or a thought?

[00:06:59] Doug Battle: the [00:07:00] Chinese are

infiltrating our next generation in every way. Between TikTok, between I M G, yeah. I don't know if you've seen the campus of I M G, but it looks more like a resort. And the all I know is that there's no way they're taking actual classes. Cuz every player that comes out of there as a recruit is like a five star.

And regardless of the sport, and they all are, it's like they're on the fast track program to become a professional athlete. You feel kind of bad for the ones that don't pan out.

[00:07:29] Mike Lewis: Well,

let me tell you something, Doug, because you know that my favorite sport, the sport I'm most interested in, well, last week was.


high school

lacrosse is now transitioning to collegiate division two women's lacrosse. But my daughter's high school has played IMG the last two


[00:07:49] Doug Battle: Have they,

[00:07:50] Mike Lewis: and they split with them.

So it's not like, it's not like they come across as sort of this loaded up group of, the equivalent of five stars and blow everyone [00:08:00] off the field,

[00:08:01] Doug Battle: this is in lacrosse,

[00:08:03] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:08:04] Doug Battle: huh?

[00:08:05] Mike Lewis: They played 'em in Florida her junior year, and they played 'em in,in, Marietta, Georgia, her senior year and the one in Florida.

And they lost in, they lost at home.

[00:08:14] Doug Battle: Yeah. I didn't realize

they were that mediocre. not to say your daughter's lacrosse team is mediocre, but that,

I assume just a regular high school in Georgia could compete with this school. That's like

[00:08:27] Mike Lewis: well,

[00:08:28] Doug Battle: like it's a college

[00:08:30] Mike Lewis: I mean, my daughter's high school. Well, little shout out to Walton High

School. It is

a perennial Final four kind of program. So they're a very good high school program. But I'm with you that you hear i m g and you think, well, they're recruiting nationwide. They've got, they've got D one prospects up and down the roster, and they should be, they should be blowing people off the field, right?

[00:08:56] Doug Battle: Yeah. And I know in like in high school football, they'll lose [00:09:00] to some of the top teams in the country. But there's other programs that are kind of behaved the same way in basketball and in football. I just, I, with something like lacrosse, you would expect there to only be,

[00:09:12] Mike Lewis: Yeah. They're not Walton High School. Look, youth sports are a fascinating thing in terms of how they've evolved over time, right? And so, Affluent suburban high schools tend to have programs that build from, first grade up. So Walton is definitely one of those, but Walton is not the kind of place that's, bringing in ringers and recruiting and getting people to move districts


[00:09:33] Doug Battle: Well, I'm curious because like, I saw a thing today where Nick Saban had offered this quarterback when he was 13 years old. And I remember like growing up in Birmingham, James Winston was two years older than me. He

was in my brother's grade. And so we played him in football and he had an offer from Ohio State when he was in the eighth grade.


curious for like IMG,

where they're bringing

in kids in high school, they've gotta be recruiting them

[00:10:00] sixth grade, fourth grade. Like are they going to little flag football games and scouting out the next generation of talent? Like, it does get kind of weird

[00:10:09] Mike Lewis: oh.

[00:10:09] Doug Battle: you think about it.

[00:10:10] Mike Lewis: What's the re I mean, and again, I should probably have dug into this deeper, but it's such a fascinating headline. What's the revenue model? Because you can't imagine that kids going to IMG are, you gotta imagine there's a lot of scholarships going on,


[00:10:27] Doug Battle: Maybe

they're paying for the training and the facilities and the, I mean, maybe it is like they're paying to

live a resort at a resort and have professional training constantly and all their meals cooked for them. And I mean, maybe it is a service

for, I don't know. I have no idea. I can't imagine It's much of a school though, like I said.

And as I was saying before, I feel bad cuz I do know guys, like guys that played at Georgia that went to imgthat don't, don't make it. And you're like, dang, they didn't even get a real high school degree. Like they're really outta luck. I played a team in [00:11:00] high school, I played this basketball tournament

and there were several

teams there that were homeschool basketball teams

And we found out, oh, these homeschool basketball teams, they're actually like professional development. For athletes and they take these kids, they had kids from like Africa, like seven foot tall kids that they would bring into the US and teach. I mean, this is like a real thing that happens. No one talks, bring 'em into the us, teach 'em how to play basketball.

One out of every hundred of 'em will make it into the N B A and I guess somebody's making money off of that. The rest of them, they're in these little basketball academies. Like I, I remember feeling really bad for them

[00:11:38] Mike Lewis: I had, I've got an example of that. There was one in Chicago, I think it was called Boys to Men Academy, and it was, I think it was literally, two teachers who were also coaches in about 15 kids.


I think that lasted a couple of years.

But again,

let's come back to this number 1.25 billion. I mean, the only thing I can think is [00:12:00] that, is there potentially money on the back end, right?

That if you own these

[00:12:03] Doug Battle: an investment in the kids

[00:12:05] Mike Lewis: a a high school

[00:12:06] Doug Battle: like 10% of their career earnings.

[00:12:08] Mike Lewis: right? Or do you have a more of, I mean, you probably can't sign those deals, but do you have more of an ability to acquire them as future properties and assets and brands going forward? doesn't seem like it should be allowed though, does it?


[00:12:21] Doug Battle: No.

There, it's, there's something fishy. I don't know if you remember.

You probably do remember. Do you remember the fake high school that played? I think they played i m g in football. They created this, sycamore, Bishop Sycamore.


was a fake high

school and like, I think they had kids on the team that were like 25 and they were, they made themselves out to be this elite football program.

They got

s p n to televise one of their games. And they lost by like 80 points cuz they didn't. And then there was, and then somebody researched the school and found out it's actually not credible or accredited or legitimate in any way, school, program,

any of that. It was just this made up [00:13:00] thing. And they got people to pay to get ex quote unquote exposure to play on s P N and get absolutely waxed by, I think it was I M G. I don't, know if you, I like, I feel like we talked about this like two years ago, but

[00:13:13] Mike Lewis: I just wish, the part of this story was that like Eli Manning had been the quarterback,

[00:13:17] Doug Battle: no,


[00:13:18] Mike Lewis: but you,

[00:13:19] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:13:20] Mike Lewis: State


[00:13:21] Doug Battle: Right, Right, right, Yeah, I mean there's some strange stuff that goes on and how they're monetizing this, like how IMG is worth over billion dollars. As a high school, as a I'm wondering if, cuz i know i m g


more than just that high school, like I if and so like was this just the high school that was acquired or is it the entire

[00:13:44] Mike Lewis: IMG Academy, which I assume is a high school. I mean, here, I mean, let's sort little thought experiment. So maybe in this world of n I L,


are now in a position that essentially when your kids leave IMG Academy, they're almost leave, you're [00:14:00] almost bringing in kids to sell 'em on your n I L preparation.

So you essentially, they're leaving, I am, they're leaving the academy with an agent and relationships, already commercial relationships already set up, and so perhaps that's the angle. But again, if this is where N I L is going,


I mean, we speculated that we said it was the Wild West.

this could be taking on proportions beyond, I think even what we were speculating a couple of years


[00:14:31] Doug Battle: Okay, so I found some numbers. IMG Academy's tuition is approximately $84,400 a year for boarding students and 67,400 for day students.

[00:14:45] Mike Lewis: very competitive with Emory University in Georgia, I believe.

[00:14:50] Doug Battle: so


thing, I just don't know how they have that many elite athletes that can afford that.

[00:14:56] Mike Lewis: well, I


[00:14:57] Doug Battle: they given, is it all scholarship? And then,

[00:14:59] Mike Lewis: Well, [00:15:00] but I be, they're

[00:15:00] Doug Battle: there are, I do know people, like I had a friend in high school who 100% had the family and he was a good athlete and I know like they would've paid for him to have that top tier training and like positioning for college athletics.

So there are those kids, but it seems like IMG is getting A

A lot of

kids, like, I don't know,

like they're getting the real elite talent, not just the really rich people, I

[00:15:29] Mike Lewis: it is,

[00:15:30] Doug Battle: that those two overlap that


[00:15:33] Mike Lewis: the elite men's football and basketball talent. Right. And maybe a little bit of women's basketball, but the majority, there's probably a lot of kids. Cuz I know what you're talking about. There's a, it's almost a status symbol to say my kid is a division one athlete.

And so with the amount of, resources that some families have, you definitely imagine a scenario. it's hard to comprehend though, Doug, it's not a rational,

be spending [00:16:00] a quarter of a million dollars in tuition or more with room and board. To try and get a woman's lacrosse scholarship.

[00:16:09] Doug Battle: Well, to be


[00:16:11] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:16:12] Doug Battle: from an investment standpoint,

if it's that and you get a scholarship and you get a full ride to college,

Could be, could pay off. It could say, if they have a college savings and they're like, you know what? Our kid's gonna be a college athlete, let's just double down and ensure that they get in,

get a scholarship to the best school kid gets into Duke with a full ride for four years.

It's money well spent. So, I mean, you can start to see the value in it.

[00:16:37] Mike Lewis: What's the sport though? I think I'm almost buying into your scenario, right? Cuz your kid plays four years at Duke.

They're probably gonna get into any med school. They,

or, the investment banking type, it's very impressive.

Right? So it's resume construction,


[00:16:53] Doug Battle: I mean, I could see that. I think my thinking is with football and basketball, they probably give scholarships to [00:17:00] some of the top players, and then my bet is they're making their money on tennis and golf and.

Swimming and lacrosse and all the other sports where people are saying, cuz i m g creates this brand, this, aura of elite athletic,

programs through their football and basketball.

Cuz that's what puts them on the map. And then let's say they, they give out a hundred scholarships between the two sports, but they bring in, 5,000 kids at other sports that are paying tuition. Then like,

[00:17:33] Mike Lewis: But that's the question. Is it anywhere near that


[00:17:36] Doug Battle: yeah, I don't know how many kids are at


[00:17:39] Mike Lewis: look, I get it because let's say you bring in those kids and you start working in them on N I L preparation from day one,


[00:17:46] Doug Battle: thousand by the way.

[00:17:47] Mike Lewis: Okay. And then suddenly your average I M G student, you can imagine a scenario where they're leaving that academy with a hundred thousand followers and suddenly they're a very lucrative and like you get some home runs [00:18:00] in there with multimillion followers.

They're now very lucrative. N i l type properties.

[00:18:05] Doug Battle: What we're saying is it's a good idea to spend a quarter of a million dollars to send your kid to img.

[00:18:10] Mike Lewis: well,

[00:18:11] Doug Battle: from this podcast.

[00:18:12] Mike Lewis: I dunno if it's, but there's a lot of people playing different angles.



[00:18:16] Doug Battle: no, the

more I look at it like I'm running the numbers over here, so they got a thousand kids. Okay. Let's say they give out a hundred scholarships.

so you got

900 non scholarships. Let's say there's 900 people paying full tuition at 80 grand a year.

[00:18:35] Mike Lewis: well that was with room and board, so let's


go with the,

[00:18:38] Doug Battle: let's do the other one then.

67, well say


$70,000 times 900 people. I mean, that's 63 million a year

[00:18:50] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

That doesn't get you to, that doesn't get you to evaluation of 1.25

[00:18:53] Doug Battle: Well, especially when your facilities like are that expensive? Like if you see, I mean it's like they own Disney World [00:19:00] practically. It's in Florida, it's the palm trees everywhere. I mean, like I said, it looks like a massive resort.

[00:19:07] Mike Lewis: Well, Doug, and you gotta pay your coaches at that kind of situation. Probably more, and look, there might be a few teachers. Right.

[00:19:12] Doug Battle: They

might have a teacher or two.


seriously, I would love to see their curriculum. Like I would, I really would love to see what that's like cuz I mean there's just no way.

[00:19:22] Mike Lewis: now

related to.

[00:19:23] Doug Battle: a thousand kids and all they care about is sports and all their parents care about is sports and you make a high school.

[00:19:30] Mike Lewis: Yeah, you gotta get the, but you know, you gotta look, you gotta get that test, those test scores too. Right? Because you gotta get the, you gotta be able to get some of these kids into the


[00:19:38] Doug Battle: All I'm saying is chat. G B T is gonna be working overtime at schools like this, writing lots of essays.

[00:19:46] Mike Lewis: Okay. Now, Doug, related to this I L speculation, the veer twins have finished at Miami and they took some shots at the NCAA on the way out. I believe it was a tweet or a t, I think it [00:20:00] was a TikTok. I think they're bigger on TikTok, a TikTok video, essentially pretending to call the NCAA and ask if they could have permission to graduate.

So the I l sorry, the NCAA kind of raise, throws up its hands, gives up on N I L. They go after essentially. Well, I think the first thing that NCAA went after was the cavender twins who transferred from, what was it? Cal State Fullerton, but to Miami basketball. And busted

[00:20:27] Doug Battle: one of 'em averaged like six points a game or something.

[00:20:30] Mike Lewis: I think the other one was solid though,


[00:20:32] Doug Battle: Yeah, but it's just, it's a lot of money per point. I will,

[00:20:35] Mike Lewis: yeah. But busted them for having meetings with Miami boosters, before they had agreed to come over. So N I L continues to be an absolute mess. And even after these young women made millions of dollars, I believe they were in the millions of dollars

categories, still not particularly happy with the ncaa.

[00:20:58] Doug Battle: Yeah, that's a weird one. You'd think [00:21:00] if a system benefited you that much, you would actually be like, it's got its flaws. But

could be

worse. could be worse.

[00:21:08] Mike Lewis: Well, Doug, here's the next, here's the question. What happens to athletes like the Cavender twins post sports? If they're still a marketable asset, how quickly will they leave their, lose their appeal, or I mean, will they be able to transition and


up with

[00:21:25] Doug Battle: they're celebrities now. I think it's like a Kardashian type thing where it's like people know them now and they're gonna always profit off of that. They, I'm seeing on just typing in their name, my newsfeed, it's like, oh, they did a Instagram, or they did a TikTok with their mom for Mother's Day, and she's like, fit and attractive.

Like maybe she'll be in Sports Illustrated swimsuit next year,

[00:21:45] Mike Lewis: oh, the Cavenders? You know what? Sports Illustrate is probably not big enough for the Cavenders at this


[00:21:50] Doug Battle: Yeah. Yeah. yeah, so I think didn't they have like a W W E deal?

[00:21:55] Mike Lewis: Oh,

[00:21:56] Doug Battle: mean, they're gonna, they're gonna monetize. They're smart. they're like the Paul Brothers. [00:22:00] I think they're like the Paul Brothers. It's like they're female parallel and they're gonna find ways to always monetize

the fact that they're famous, so

[00:22:08] Mike Lewis: I'm gonna root for


[00:22:09] Doug Battle: people do it.

I know a guy from high school that was big on Vine and he's still making a living off of like YouTube and Instagram, like just.


making anything substantial as far as like producing anything of value for anyone. It's just

like he's famous and he gets paid to be famous. So I think that's what people like the Cavender twins will do.

and like I said, they seem savvy. they

clearly, they weren't necessarily concerned about playing by the rules in college as much as getting a big payday. And who can blame 'em? And they're gonna, they're gonna be famous. I, they're gonna be, I don't know, maybe they'll go into modeling or acting or wrestling or,

there's so many things.

Clothing line,

I mean, own your own fashion brand

[00:22:59] Mike Lewis: Hey,

[00:23:00] they're pioneers.

[00:23:01] Doug Battle: post videos promoting local businesses

[00:23:05] Mike Lewis: And is that enough? Right?


[00:23:06] Doug Battle: businesses.


[00:23:08] Mike Lewis: videos, just sort of, generating con, running your own sort of communications company from, 15 seconds at a time, or 30 seconds at a time via


[00:23:16] Doug Battle: Yeah, I was


I was talking to

my brother about this kind of phenomenon in our generation, and he's like, what are these people, not the Cav trends necessarily, but people our age, people in their twenties and thirties who are making a living from posting


and pictures and stuff.

stuff. Primarily because they're attractive.

Oftentimes, like if we're real about it and people wanna watch that or see it and are naturally inclined to watch, he's like, what are they, how are they gonna, what are they gonna do when they're like 60?

And I'm

like, I don't know. Maybe like, we didn't like our parents' generation, they weren't content creators in

their twenties. Like maybe they would still be doing that if they were like Martha Stewart, [00:24:00] she's on the cover of Sports Australia. Like maybe that'll be what the world's like at that point, maybe we'll have 60 year olds making content for a living and flexing on social media about,

their new outfit.

II don't, know.

[00:24:12] Mike Lewis: That's an

interesting thought

exercise, right?

[00:24:14] Doug Battle: I mean, it's like a whole market. It's like a whole like industry that didn't exist a generation ago and there is that question, how does it age?

[00:24:23] Mike Lewis: there's always been fame and fandom, right? And so

let me,

[00:24:26] Doug Battle: But were there people making a living off of just

like not being

a model or actor, like not being in the market in that way, but just off of the fact that people knew who they were

[00:24:41] Mike Lewis: I, I think. not like what we have now. And I think the big difference is that it always used to be, you always had to have the support of some platform, right? Like, so Polly Shore, I don't know if you know who Polly Shore is, he was one of these MTV celebrities. who was big for spring break and then ended up in some movies, where, [00:25:00] and he comes to mind because he was sort of just a, no, he was like a novelty

[00:25:04] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:25:05] Mike Lewis: But how many of those, get to continue on and look, I'll ask you this question, like if you think about musical artists or actors, how many of them get to have the whole 40 or 50 year career,


[00:25:17] Doug Battle: I'll say this, all right. one of my favorite bands growing up,

I recently met one of the

band mates. one of the band members, and, they were ba he was a teenager, he was late teens, early twenties, and it's like, he works like a regular job now. It's like a 40 year old guy.

And it's,

it was weird for me to be like, really? Like, because you were this big star. like that was kind of bizarre to me. but there are certain professions where it's like, well you can do it for 10 years. But I mean, there's very few people that are gonna monetize that for forever

[00:25:49] Mike Lewis: Well, I mean, going back to this issue of like the, like Taylor Swift can probably, have a career like Cher or Barbara

Streisand and go all the way till she's 70. But most [00:26:00] of the sort of the, the young pop stars, you, we will have quickly forgot, like it's one of the differences between entertainment and sports, right?

The Georgia Bulldog football team, you'll root for them till you're 80,


Where these acts tend to.


[00:26:16] Doug Battle: well, I will say

I don't know to counter that a little bit. My podcast for Georgia Football, a lot of the guys I would talk to were guys again, that I worshiped when I was in high school or as a kid, and you talk to

'em and it's like, oh, they work for, my friend's dad's company. Like they work in real estate or they work. And I'm not belittling that in any way. I'm just saying that a lot of types of stardom are very valuable. Being a Georgia football player, a star Georgia football player is very valuable. But maybe of the guys, even of the stars. I mean, I would say of the stars over the years at a program like Georgia, a small percentage end up making a living in the N F L for more than a couple of years, more than a year or two.[00:27:00]

And then it's like, okay, so then what? And now it's like, well there's the, like the whole thing with Stets Stetson Bennett this year was that he could probably live off of being George's quarterback the rest of his life. Like, he probably doesn't even have to go to the NFL cuz he can just do local stuff and the media and all that.

Like, you can monetize it that way. But for a lot of guys, it's like 10 years ago were probably worth millions of dollars to the school.


now like, it doesn't matter. Like youyou gotta get a job. Like you gotta go back to school. You gotta figure something out because they're, you're not getting paid retroactively for that. And I think that's kind of what I imagine it being like as far as this kind of

[00:27:40] Mike Lewis: Well, it's probably a.

[00:27:41] Doug Battle: culture.

[00:27:42] Mike Lewis: I

think it's probably true for anything, right? I mean, you look at the number of stars. You look at the folks that are, let's say the top 10 movie stars in any given year, right? and the odds are that they're all gonna quickly fade except for like, look, Tom Cruise is probably the one guy from the eighties to now that can have number one [00:28:00] movies, right?

And so it,it's a filtering, it's a filtering process that I don't think we know how it's gonna go for the social media creators. Because I think the big question is, will, what will people do? I mean, cuz it's hard to imagine, Doug and I almost think, it is almost a little unfortunate to call you Generation Z because I think there's

a, between an 18 year old and a five year old at this


[00:28:24] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:28:24] Mike Lewis: it's sort of interesting to imagine like, as an 18, look, my daughter is 18,



[00:28:30] Doug Battle: She's Gen Z. Yeah.

[00:28:32] Mike Lewis: Is she still gonna be, is that gonna be her primary source of media when she's 35, 45?


65. It's hard to imagine. It's hard to say yes to that, but it could very well be, we don't know what it's gonna evolve


[00:28:48] Doug Battle: Yeah, I think it'll, that's why I mentioned Vine earlier when I was in high school, vine was as big as TikTok is now, and it doesn't exist.

[00:28:56] Mike Lewis: Fine. Had a hilarious mo Vine was hilarious for a minute, right? [00:29:00] those loops that

people would do.

[00:29:01] Doug Battle: Yeah,


was kind of great. It was TikTok before TikTok and it, I'm, to the best of my knowledge, wasn't owned by the Chinese and there, there wasn't as much data issues.

as, and that's with the TikTok stars. I think they probably should position themselves for other platforms, and I think they're smart. I think everybody knows that. But like my friend who, and I say friend, my acquaintance who I knew who was really big on Vine.

When Vine died, I was like, oh, that sucks for him. There goes his whole following, like, that's worth a lot of money. And

he just blew up on YouTube. Like he, people know who he is, they'll find him.

There's always gonna be a platform and some people

that are, savvy about it are gonna just switch platforms and be nimble and adjust and adapt and,

continue. it's

like, oh, like u2,

like people don't buy CDs anymore, so is U2 done? Like no, they just,

now they're music streams like, or Coldplay or something like that.

Like, you [00:30:00] gotta be nimble. you can't be, you can't just sell your vinyl records. and in, in this case, I don't think TikTok is gonna last very long. This is my personal take, but I think people like the Cavender twins will outlast TikTok


other, on, on YouTube or on

[00:30:14] Mike Lewis: and that's the be the bet, right? Some of them will,

[00:30:17] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:30:18] Mike Lewis: some 'em won't take an entirely D like the Paul Brothers. Seem like they're gonna figure something out, but you know, a lot of these folks will disappear. Like, like, and again, I'll say this with the wisdom of age. what's kind of cute at 25 is very often repellent at 35 and 45 with some of these celebrities, right?



[00:30:41] Doug Battle: that's what I'm saying withmy brother being like, what happens when these people are 60 and they're trying the same thing?



[00:30:48] Mike Lewis: the other thing that's going on right now. A And look, we have this conversation, we've had this conversation for multiple years. The NBA playoffs come in,

[00:30:57] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:30:58] Mike Lewis: and and I always view this [00:31:00] as well, this is where the narratives are written where the brands are built. For years we've been saying, who's up next?

Is it Luka Donk? Is it Trey Young? Doug? Maybe we got all that wrong. Right. It's almost like who's up next? Well, it's LeBron James and,this guy. That's just a joy to watch out there in Denver and maybe Jason Tatum. I mean, it's kind of fascinating to watch where

it's not

where I thought the league would've.

If you had asked me a couple years ago who the, who would be in the limelight for the NBA player at playoffs, it would not have been that set of people.

[00:31:38] Doug Battle: Yeah, I

definitely, when LeBron went to the Lakers, I was just talking to a buddy about this. I was like,

I thought LeBron was gonna kind of fizzle out and or phase out. But while he phased out, like Anthony Davis would phase in, and by this point in time, Anthony Davis would. Be the face of the Lakers, face of the N B A and LeBron

would be kind of [00:32:00] what D Wade was to LeBron in Miami.

That's what I envisioned. And so I do think it


beneficial to his legacy that he's

the guy at this point in his career, at this age and, after

all these years.

[00:32:15] Mike Lewis: because you called it last week, you said you thought, it's like this is almost, it feels like it's from the


[00:32:21] Doug Battle: Celtics,

[00:32:22] Mike Lewis: that LeBron defeats Durant.

Then he

[00:32:26] Doug Battle: well, he doesn't defeat, he doesn't defeat Durant now. I missed that one.

[00:32:29] Mike Lewis: then he defeats Durant and then he beats the Celtics. We didn't get that, but in a way, this almost feels, to me this almost feels better where Yoki is. Has caught fire in terms of the marketing. This time it's like the NBA finally discovered how to work with



so in some almost feels, but, and here's the twist in it. Po possibly, or is this like in w e wrestling parlance, does [00:33:00] LeBron put o does a defeat of LeBron by Jokic make him the new face of the


[00:33:06] Doug Battle: I do think,

[00:33:08] Mike Lewis: or the new face of the league?

[00:33:09] Doug Battle: yeah,

it's a

win-win. It's a win-win. Even if it ends up being Celtics, Lakers is a win-win because if Tatum beats, yeah, I go back to Tatum's rookie year. I remember him dunking on LeBron, I believe it was game six against the calves in the Eastern Conference finals and kind of. Saying hello, like, I'm Jason Tatum, I'm gonna be here for a while. I'm the new, I'm the new guy you gotta worry about. And so now, all these years later, if he were to finally, cuz they lost that series, it was tight, but they lost that series. if he were to take that next step and become the alpha, become the guy that wins the championship, I mean, 51 points in game seven of the, the last round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Pretty impressive from Tatum. And he's in a position, much like Devin Booker has been in the past where it's like, this could be his chance to become, we've always talked about him. Like, d [00:34:00] do people

wanna be like Mike? Do people wanna be like Jason Tatum? Like he's not really that guy, but if he were to beat LeBron in the finals, he's that guy.

[00:34:07] Mike Lewis: And he's wearing the right jersey to do it, right?

[00:34:11] Doug Battle: yeah.

[00:34:11] Mike Lewis: that's kinda part of this


[00:34:13] Doug Battle: Oh yeah. And, so Yoic is not, but I think Yoic, like, I remember when LeBron was with the heat and granted LeBron's heat, they were so dislikable.

of how they came to be and LeBron leaving Cleveland in the manner in which he did it. So there were a lot of people that just were gonna pull for whoever they were playing, And it's just happened to be dirt, Novinski and the Mavericks, who most people, by the way, had written off, I mean, the second best player on that team was Jason Terry.

And it was, they were an afterthought.

And winning that series made them legends and

created a lot of Dallas Mavericks fans, a lot of dirt Novinski fans. I think that's the position that Denver is in right now with Yoic. And the, that the NBA's in with Yoic, where it's like, if he does win this series,


gonna, he's gonna earn the [00:35:00] permanent fandom of the LeBron Haters, which might be the second biggest fandom in the NBA behind the LeBron fans,

[00:35:07] Mike Lewis: Or might be the biggest.


[00:35:09] Doug Battle: or, Yeah. Yeah. It could be the biggest. And so

I'm excited about it. I mean, it's gonna be fun to watch. I still think it's Lakers Celtics, but you know, I'm pulling for, I'm pulling for Denver versus Miami Finals. I wanna see.


[00:35:21] Mike Lewis: Jimmy Butler has actually put together an astonishing career.

[00:35:26] Doug Battle: Yes.

[00:35:28] Mike Lewis: I mean, the level of success and the level of clutch performances. I don't actually know how to think about him because, he never seems to, he never seems to be anywhere near becoming the face of the league.

[00:35:40] Doug Battle: No.

[00:35:41] Mike Lewis: But he's, like I said, that's really an astonishing career that he's put together In terms of always sort of overperforming where you think his team is, where his team should be.

[00:35:53] Doug Battle: Yeah. And Jimmy Butler, another thing is he's at times been thought to be a cancer. [00:36:00] Like, oh,

he's not a good locker room guy. You don't want him on your team.


then he,

all of a sudden, he's the guy you want closing the game and he's the guy you want in the he's the guy you want taking a eight seed, potentially the N B A finals.

So he was the 30th pick in the 2011 draft.

So first

off, 2011,

he's been in the

league for a while. I mean, he's not some up and comer like I feel like he's one of those perennial up and comers, kind of like Jason Tatum is now, even though Tatum is much younger of course, but where it always feels like he's on the brink.

He might become one of the elites, but he's kindlike a perennial third team NBA guy. And like coming off the bench for Team U s A

in Chicago, there was a time where, I mean,

he was kind in that Paul George category where it was like, he's a

great two-way player.

He's better than a three and D guy.

Could he become the guy that shuts down LeBron? And the answer was no. and then he's [00:37:00] bounced around. And like in Minnesota, I know there was a lot of controversy

and almost his

reputation changed to, it's like, well, he had the potential to be that guy, but he doesn't have the intangibles. And now all of a sudden it's like, okay, he's got the intangibles.

He's just, I don't know if he's kind of an old school player in the sense he's got a lot of mid-range to his game. he's not a,

he's not the modern player. He is not popping deep threes only, he is not a analytics guy in the sense of he's only taking the most efficient shots, but

[00:37:32] Mike Lewis: I


[00:37:33] Doug Battle: a warrior.

[00:37:33] Mike Lewis: the category though,


[00:37:36] Doug Battle: Yeah. Yeah. So he's, I would love to see, I would love to see him win a finals. I don't think it's gonna happen. I would love to see it. Eric Spolstra a guy who I thought was kind of a goof when he coached the heat with LeBron and Dwayne Wade, this wasn't his first time taking a kind of undermanned team deep into the Eastern Conference playoffs.

And he's gained, [00:38:00] I mean, he's gained a lot of people's respect post LeBron, which is kind of rare in the N B A. You look at guys that have been getting fired lately.


Holzer last week.

[00:38:12] Mike Lewis: Yeah.


[00:38:13] Doug Battle: yeah, Monty, William, I mean, guys who were coached of the year one year and fired the next or win a championship and are fired two years later.

[00:38:21] Mike Lewis: it, it is,

[00:38:22] Doug Battle: Stra was definitely one. I would've, said, two years post LeBron and Dwayne Wade, he's done

and he's

done the co quite the opposite. I think he's had a more impressive post LeBron career than his career with LeBron, even though he did win a few championships there.

[00:38:35] Mike Lewis: It's hard to see how the analytics merit these coach firings. As a,

as an

[00:38:40] Doug Battle: Yeah, no, I don't,

[00:38:41] Mike Lewis: coming

down very, very, very, very

[00:38:44] Doug Battle: well, they're talking like the Bucks are talking about interviewing Mike Brown right now. you look at, you go from a former coach, the year former NBA finals guy and Boon Holzer to

a perennial like Jeff Fisher type, like a perennial, like, ah, he's pretty good, but never [00:39:00] gets over the hump.

I don't get it. I don't get it. I, there's very few. The one firing that paid off that didn't make a lot of sense at the time was when the Warriors hired Steve Kerr. They were coming off a year where they made a playoff run and they fired Mark Jackson and Steve Kerr, ended up being the right guy for that job,

for that


And so, I mean, who knows if they would've been a dynasty with Mark Jackson?

[00:39:25] Mike Lewis: it probably all comes back to, the last dance and the bulls firing Doug Collins, cuz they didn't think he, they could get to that next level. And,I found the magic of Phil Jackson. Some other N b a questions for you, Doug. I think we're agreed. It's like, again, the NBA playoffs.

This is where the brands are built. Anyway, this comes down from here is some great narrative, some great storytelling. Couple other things though,

[00:39:51] Doug Battle: yeah.

[00:39:53] Mike Lewis: has the, can we put a fork, can we pronounce a resolution [00:40:00] on the Sixers, the process.

[00:40:02] Doug Battle: Oh


they, I will say

the year that Toronto won it all, that was when the process had its chance to pay off because they lost that game seven on a buzzer beater to Kawhii Leonard,

and then watched the Raptors win the finals. But Ben Simmons, Simmons, Markel Foltz, I don't know that the process was a bad idea.

Like if you look at when they drafted Markel Foltz, had they drafted Jason Tatum instead, like tanking positioned them to have Jason Tatum and Joel and bead on the same team,

that's a winning formula. so I don't know that the process



[00:40:41] Mike Lewis: Well,

[00:40:42] Doug Battle: off, but drafting Ben Simmons, drafting Markel Foltz, I just think they drafted poorly.


[00:40:47] Mike Lewis: but then, but that's the thing, right? The this, the uncertainty is part of that process,


[00:40:54] Doug Battle: Sure.

[00:40:54] Mike Lewis: You're taking guys that have played one year of college basketball. I, I don't know. It's, I [00:41:00] thought it was. the Sixers always have always struck me as almost like this kind of strange throwback team maybe because they, they went with the dominant center and the type of guys they picked did not seem really,

[00:41:14] Doug Battle: S Noel was in there. He busted.

what was it? Jabari Parker. Was that one of 'em too? Or no? went to the Bucks.

[00:41:22] Mike Lewis: Ok. Four.

[00:41:24] Doug Battle: Ok. I don't know. I lose track with,

[00:41:26] Mike Lewis: Yeah. I get some of these Chicago High school players can confused. I don't know. it's an interesting idea, right? And again, when, I always think kind of long term, how do you maintain that fan base?

This idea of tanking has obviously been huge in basketball. It's been huge in baseball. These teams losing a hundred games a year. It's really difficult to execute on that other side. It's, It's a fun thing to watch, play out, and the fact that they're now going down with Embiid and Harden, feels like the process kind of took a detour and it still didn't [00:42:00] arrive where they wanted it.

[00:42:01] Doug Battle: Yeah.

In speaking of tanking Mike NBA draft lottery is Tuesday



[00:42:10] Mike Lewis: most hyped NBA draft lottery and a generation

[00:42:14] Doug Battle: I was gonna say like typically that's not


news, but this year's a year where if there weren't a lottery,

I think half the league would've tanked to try to get that last

[00:42:26] Mike Lewis: who's the number two pick this year, Doug.

[00:42:29] Doug Battle: I have no idea. it's not Victor Wiba.

Yama, I'll tell you that. Who apparently isn't parti? He's not doing a combine or It's like, he knows. He knows everyone knows and has known for some time. I'm looking at the teams with the best odds. Detroit Boring. Houston Boring. San Antonio, Popovich,

WIBA Yama. His last number one pick, I believe was a man named Tim Duncan.

Could be fun. Charlotte, man. Portland. I would love, I mean, I love Portland. I love Damien Lillard. Nothing would make me happier than Portland getting that number [00:43:00] one pick. Orlando though, I mean a lot of these potential landing spots like Detroit, Houston, Charlotte, Orlando, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards,

there's quite a few teams that aren't.

Exciting leaning spots, like he's not gonna be paired with a star. But you look at, Portland's got like the fifth best odds.

I think

the Dallas Mavericks have like the 10th best odds. Now there's one

that would really,

I mean it would change the next 10 years of the league with Don and Win Bama.

[00:43:36] Mike Lewis: well, it would definitely change the off-season. Would the narrative and the off-season would change. Completely overnight.

I don't know, Doug is, you're saying some of those names, the one that,

and again,

maybe I think about some of this stuff a little bit different. Houston had a very nice run in terms of, building up a fan base and even an international fan


[00:43:56] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:43:57] Mike Lewis: I, I

could see the N B A almost [00:44:00] wanting him to land at Houston to rebuild that brand. A lot of, I mean, look,the throw out Dallas, wow. That would be the most exciting place for him to, the most interesting place for him to


[00:44:11] Doug Battle: I want it so bad.

[00:44:12] Mike Lewis: yeah.

[00:44:13] Doug Battle: That's what if that, I will be so excited if the Dallas Mavericks land, Victor Rema. So

we will see. I know.

I also know people who don't think

he's gonna pan out, by the way, say he is because of injury. Because he's so frail, Because he is so lean and

[00:44:28] Mike Lewis: Okay. Guys that have that body shape, there always seems to be an injury problem. I mean, it, it seems to. That and, it's almost like this like, and this is not coming at it from an orthopedics perspective. This is like this kind of this human eyesight kind of thing of guys that are sort of a little too long.

It seems like things

break down.

[00:44:47] Doug Battle: I know last year in the draft, Chet Homegrown got a lot of buzz, lot of hype, and he's another seven foot guy that can pop the three. He's got a lot of guard skills and people were [00:45:00] talking about him, maybe not with the same amount of hype as Win by Yama, but he was kind of like a win by Yama Light. And there was speculation or not speculation per se, but there were

some people who were saying, why isn't this guy being considered for number one overall, they're gonna regret this.

And the knock on him was injury, even though he didn't have an injury. History. Well

plays, I believe, one game against LeBron James in the off season in kind of an exhibition,

and he's out

for the season for his first year. And so we still haven't seen him play. And not to say he is gonna bust, but he was another one


you just looked at him and you're like, that guy is gonna get hurt a lot.

Kevin Durant. A lot of people thought that about him and he's had a healthy career for the most part. I mean, of course he tours Achilles at one point, but what I mean by that is that he's been able to have a career. Joel and Bead kind of got the, at one point I thought Joel and Bead was gonna be like Greg Oden.

He, not he different body type by the way, not this lanky win body type, [00:46:00] but showed a tendency to get hurt a lot pretty early, and then has been healthy for the last few years. And so it's hard to predict injury. It's hard to, that's probably the one thing in sports, or I don't know if there will ever be a number, but, and maybe that gut feel of looking at the guy's frame and saying, eh, I don't know.

It looks like he'd probably get hurt the first time he tries to take a charge with LeBron or Giannis coming at him.

[00:46:25] Mike Lewis: well,

[00:46:25] Doug Battle: that's the best he can do.

[00:46:27] Mike Lewis: Webe is the next big. Thing in terms of the NBA branding, the hype is going to be, it's gonna be at the same level as Zion. Right?

[00:46:35] Doug Battle: I think it's bigger.

[00:46:37] Mike Lewis: well, I think you're probably right, but it's the, in terms of guys entering the league with those mega brands behind him, it'll be interesting to see how this one plays out, how this brand is built.

Because I suspect that

while you and I know who he is, I suspect that the general public is about to learn who he is very quickly.

[00:46:55] Doug Battle: Yeah. And

[00:46:56] Mike Lewis: one of the other, oh, go


[00:46:58] Doug Battle: oh, I was gonna say with Zion, [00:47:00] he was one that, he's built like a tank and going back to that injury conversation, you would've thought he's about as as sure of a bed as

you're gonna get. Just from looking at a guy that like

the wear

and tear of the nba, he could probably handle, like, he could probably play fullback in the NFL and have a 10 year career.

He's built like that

[00:47:17] Mike Lewis: like a Georgia tight end,


[00:47:19] Doug Battle: yeah. And he's been hurt the entire time he's been in the nba. So there, like I said, like it's hard

to look at a guy and be able to really determine, you would think that a Kevin Durant would've had. had. The career that Zion's had and vice versa. In terms of injury?

[00:47:36] Mike Lewis: Okay. But where I was going, so we is the next big brand. One of the other guys that we've speculated about his years for years is this guy gonna step up? Is he going to become one of the new faces of the nba? Is John Morant? And obviously that one's, yeah. Making headlines and again, the, when things like this go down, I can't help but look at [00:48:00] this as the marketing professor and me, just as we started the episode I.

Here. It's interesting, Reich, where everything that's happening seems to be like a marketing intervention of folks coming down and saying, Hey, we need to protect the N B A brand, and you also need to protect your brand. the speculation I've heard today is that, I mean, he's suspended right now from everything to deal with the grizzlies for showing a gun on an, I think an IG video that they're talking about, or at least the initial trial balloons sort of me put out into the media were maybe a year long suspension. So going from one of the top young stars and top young brands and kind of really the key to that Memphis Grizzlys brand to really kind of being on, I don't know, in intensive care as a brand, really in danger of this story, going sideways from a guy that was in a position to, make a.

I mean, you think about what these guys are worth, Doug, I [00:49:00] mean, a guy that was in a position to make half a billion dollars over the course of his career to now something where there seems to be quite a bit more uncertainty and the strangeness in all the background. Right? Because I, I talked to some media outta Memphis.

They're saying, in a strange way, this seems to also be getting him more credibility with some different audiences out there. And so it's a very, it's a very strange story that the nba, I think it's actually more perilous for the NBA than the NBA realizes.

[00:49:30] Doug Battle: I think there's gonna be more Ja Morant references and rap songs. So I think that's what you're touching on with like, he might be g gaining some credibility. he also, he had a shoe deal with Nike a couple years back and I know this year they released his signature shoe or last year, in the last calendar year.

so I don't know if that's in jeopardy with Nike. And I think the fear for the NBA is like a Henry Rugs situation where something actually happens. Cuz with Moran, it's funny there, he now has this [00:50:00] perception that,

and I,

again, I say it's this perception. I'm not saying this is what I think the perception is. Like, oh, he's got some. He's got some tendencies, like he's got this desire to be in the streets and to be affiliated with some dangerous stuff and some stuff. The N B A doesn't want affiliated with its brand after years of trying to become a family friendly product, you know, of becoming, I think the Ron Artest malice at the Palace really hurt their brand, the league's brand. And I remember as a kid being told things about the

N B A and its players and

players like Steph Curry, players like LeBron James have helped recreate the NBA's image and so they don't want to be

[00:50:42] Mike Lewis: Thanks

[00:50:43] Doug Battle: with with any kind of violence.

[00:50:45] Mike Lewis: Doug. Remember the, some of the early stuff from the, I mean, it's kinda a touchpoint, the last dance where Jordan's talking about the culture of the Chicago Bulls team when he

came in,

[00:50:54] Doug Battle: right?

He was talking about cocaine and strippers and

[00:50:57] Mike Lewis: Yeah.


[00:50:58] Doug Battle: And

I think

that was [00:51:00] the,

[00:51:00] Mike Lewis: away from some of that stuff.

[00:51:03] Doug Battle: I thinkthat was the NBA's reputation, and there's been little instances. I remember Lou Williams leaving the bubble to go to a strip club, magic city, to get some

[00:51:13] Mike Lewis: of that's delight. Some of that's delight. Although, I mean,

[00:51:15] Doug Battle: yeah, so I, look look at it and I see the NBA's concern, but I also look at it and say, what has Ja Morant done?

Has he committed a crime? Like, I don't know

like, is he registered with the guns that he's been seen with? But it's not a crime to

carry a

[00:51:33] Mike Lewis: a crime to have a gun. It's not a crime to show a gun in an Instagram video. Maybe

it's a violation terms of service,

[00:51:38] Doug Battle: So to me it, it is kind of interesting where the reaction has been as if like

he committed a crime. Like that's really how he's kind of been put, not even on trial, like it, it is just everyone's

jumped the gun and no pun intended, kind of assumed that he's up to no good. Whereas

like, what? Because he took a picture with a gun. I know a lot of people have taken pictures [00:52:00] with guns

[00:52:00] Mike Lewis: well, here's a question. If they suspend him for a year, is sort of the, you have to behave yourself clauses strong enough that you can take away, I don't know what he makes $40 million a year.

[00:52:14] Doug Battle: yeah.

[00:52:14] Mike Lewis: that seems like an iffy proposition as well for, again, no crime, just

[00:52:20] Doug Battle: Just a bad


[00:52:22] Mike Lewis: a bad look and it's a bad look that has nothing, I don't think he's wearing, I don't think he's wearing, grizzly clothing in the video.

I don't think he's wearing an NBA logo in the in look. Right. So in his private life, on his private channels, a bad look and you can take away that amount of money from him. I mean, it'll be interesting to see how this plays


[00:52:43] Doug Battle: yeah, I'm just really curious. I mean, I think that,

Like I said,

it's possible that he's carrying guns he's not licensed to own or that he's, that he is legitimately affiliated with


that, that are dangerous and that are not good. but again, [00:53:00] making those

assessments based on a picture or video where he's just holding a gun, to me is is a little bit interesting.

it is interesting that,

yeah, he suspended double digit games at least, and people were talking, saying all kinds of things about him.


I, again, I'm not saying he has great character. I have no idea. I'm just saying that

it almost feels kind of blown outta proportion. And again, like I said, the, I think the concern on the NBA side is a Henry Ru situation where something bad ends up happening because there's not discipline and.

Then it's not just a bad look and they wanna keep it from being more than just a bad look. So I under, I fully understand where the NBA's coming from. I understand where the grizzlies are coming from, but the public's perception of John Moran as this, like hoodlum now because he has a picture with a gun, is maybe premature or,

[00:53:56] Mike Lewis: and of course, right, the context is this is a follow up of he [00:54:00] and a friend beating up a high school kid and some other social media. Doug, like, I mean, in some ways I, I think for the general public, it's also fascinating. It's like there's so many dollars in play. we're literally talking about a half billion dollars or more.

Turn off your social media, right? I mean, for a lot of us, that would be a very easy decision, right?

[00:54:22] Doug Battle: yeah. I will say I, if Moran were in the draft, his stock would be falling right now.

[00:54:27] Mike Lewis: Okay, Doug, to to wrap it up for this week, we have a return of our, and again, we should do more of this, but a return of our fan of the week St segment.

who is your fan of the week?

[00:54:39] Doug Battle: yeah, it's been too long and there have been some good ones, this N

B A playoffs, a lot of sad fans that we've seen, but my favorite is the Overconfident fans, and this year it was the Golden State Warriors fan in Arena slash the Staples Center, counting on his fingers in Klay Thompson style.

The [00:55:00] number of championships that the Warriors have won with this dynasty counting to four. And

the context of that is he's in a building with 17 banners for the Los Angeles Lakers,

bragging about

four championships in a series that his team is going to lose. and in a game, which his team lost, I think is phenomenal.

I think the amount of like gall to stand there and say, I don't care about your tradition, I don't care about your team and the Lakers, cuz we got four championships. We got four. count 'em, 1, 2, 3, 4.

[00:55:34] Mike Lewis: Now


[00:55:35] Doug Battle: some of

that Lakers.

[00:55:36] Mike Lewis: and you can imagine the fan logic that comes into play on some of that is gonna be kinda beautiful, right? Cause look, I'm talking about, I'm not talking about this Magic Johnson stuff back in the eighties. I'm about, in the current era we got four championships and they got one in a bubble,


[00:55:55] Doug Battle: yeah. They got the Disney, they got the Mickey Mouse trophy.

[00:55:58] Mike Lewis: they don't even have a real one. [00:56:00] So you can imagine the tortured explanation that this guy would have, and the beauty of it was he would completely believe every word he was saying.

[00:56:08] Doug Battle: Yeah.

Yeah. and he is in a room. He's in the awake crowd doing that. Like, I just love it. I

love seeing

fans completely

delusional. Completely convinced that their team

is better than the

other team against logic. Like again, like historically

[00:56:27] Mike Lewis: Yes.

[00:56:27] Doug Battle: not true, presently not true,

but in that guy's head,

those four championships are way more valuable than the Lakers entire franchise.

[00:56:38] Mike Lewis: And in his defense, I think both of us saw that video and said, Love that


[00:56:44] Doug Battle: Love that guy. That's how I want to be as a

[00:56:47] Mike Lewis: that guy's passionate. He's, doesn't even care where he is at. He's ready to take on the entire room. He's like everything. In a weird way, he's everything that's kind of pure about sports. [00:57:00] Delusional. He's intense.

It seems like he's having a good time. Even if he gonna lose, like

[00:57:04] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:57:04] Mike Lewis: he's all in.

He's a


[00:57:06] Doug Battle: Yeah, I, it was just pure fandom, like when we do our class, that will be part of it like, like the counting four. and I like as a football fan, I think back to the years before the last two years when Georgia had gone 20 years without winning a championship and Georgia's opponents, their rivals would always say 1980.

Cuz that was the last year Georgia won a championship. And they would always throw that in your face and it'd be like Auburn and Georgia would be Auburn for like the ninth time outta the last 10 meetings. But Auburn fans were always, they always had that 1980 to make you shut up. Like it was like, we've won a championship since you, so you don't matter. And I think that's kind of what he was getting at, like, Yeah, you might be beating us, but does that really matter? Cause we've won four championships more recently than you have. I I guess, I guess that's the argument there. But again, [00:58:00] I've experienced both sides of that. I've experienced the, 1980 and I've experienced recently where like Alabama fans are like, you guys only won two championships and you think you're something.

And it's like people will just like say the score like 33 to 18, like last time

we played y'all, we were on top. And that's all that matters. All that matters in sports is the last game.

Was, unless your

team is the one that won all the old games. And then those are the games that matter.

[00:58:25] Mike Lewis: Well, and this might be a perfect segue to something that I think we're gonna launch either in the week or either next week or the following week, and that is our annual N f L fan base rankings. And I, I just mentioned that because, when we talk about, our fans of the week and, whether it's Tennessee fans doing, dancing in the End Zone or or it's this guy, showing up, essentially putting four fingers down to remind the Lakers that, that the True Basketball elite is in the San Francisco Bay area.


[00:58:52] Doug Battle: Right.

[00:58:53] Mike Lewis: the passion of fans is what makes this, kind of a magical thing. and look, one of the things that's like, that I always come back to, [00:59:00] it's like fans don't even wanna argue about whose team is better. Very often they'll wanna argue about who the better fans are. And so we'll be getting to that pretty shortly here.

As soon as we figure out our, the analysis is done. I know who's at the top, I know who's at the bottom. so it's just a matter of just sort of figuring out the media calendar for getting that out there. so, as always, guys, thanks for listening and find more content at www dot

please subscribe, like, and share on all that stuff. Thanks.



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