On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. They discuss the Jimmy Butler drama and how this saga will end, LeBron James‘ strange fit with this Los Angeles Lakers team and what to expect going forward, and how Kemba Walker‘s early play makes it very hard for the front office to trade him (which they may have to do for financial reasons). Finally, they discuss the sports media landscape, including life at ESPN for Brian and the rise of The Athletic. Time-stamps are below!
0:35: Windhorst recently covered the Timberwolves-Cavaliers game in which Jimmy Butler went off, while embracing the villain role. He discusses everything that took place, starting with Butler’s on-court antics and interactions with the fans (and Wolves owner Glen Taylor).
6:10: Following the Timberwolves’ win over the Cavaliers, what was it like in the Timberwolves’ locker room? How awkward was it?
10:10: When will the Jimmy Butler saga end? Will the Wolves continue to drag this out until the February trade deadline or will they make a move sooner?
15:05: Tom Thibodeau was booed even louder than Butler at the Wolves’ home opener and many Minnesota fans want him fired. Is that something the Wolves are considering? Or will they keep Thibs as head coach and just strip him of his role as president of basketball operations?
18:30: How are Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins dealing with this Butler saga?
23:30: Windhorst also covered the recent Lakers-Rockets game, so he breaks down the fight between Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram and the atmosphere in the locker rooms.
24:20: The complementary pieces that the Lakers have put around LeBron James just don’t seem like good fits. What can the Lakers do from here? Fans want a trade, but is that a realistic possibility?
37:10: Kemba Walker is currently leading the NBA in scoring (35.3 points per game) and three-pointers (19).There had been a lot of talk about the Charlotte Hornets trading him and blowing up the roster for financial reasons. Can they really do that with the way Walker is playing?
42:10: Windhorst and Kennedy discuss the relationship between players and media and what that dynamic is like.
49:35: The Athletic has changed the sports media landscape, hiring a ton of sportswriters away from papers and competing outlets. What does Windhorst make of The Athletic’s rise?
54:45: Kennedy discusses how he noticed a drastic difference in how players and executives perceived him once he joined HoopsHype and had that on his credential. The ESPN brand is even more enormous and Windhorst discusses how ESPN does create opportunities (while also upsetting some players who lump all ESPN staffers together).
1:00:35: By being on television a ton, Windhorst often gets stopped (particularly when he’s covering an NBA game or event). He talks about getting used to that aspect of the job and how he approaches these interactions.
Media, Podcast, Media, Top, Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul, JaVale McGee, Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kemba Walker, Lance Stephenson, LeBron James, Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo, Tom Thibodeau, Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves