In Search of the Impossible Trade, with Kazeem Famuyide
If you allow me, I would like to take you inside the game for a minute. Astute readers of the site will have noticed that it’s ray week at Defector – four days of blogging about sea creatures or the American League’s top asset management issue, or by Ray Ratto himself, you probably warned about it. The reason why we do this is manifold, although it can be accurately summed up in the words “brain disease”, but the reason why we do this this week is that we are in the driest week of the sports calendar. If we were going to do ray week – and over time, clearly we didn’t have to “have” to – we might as well do it at a time when the only thing that would be pre-empted would be regular season baseball. NBA long-term trade news and rumors.
If you’re going to do an inscrutable/obnoxious theme week, now would be the time. But because we weren’t going to spend the whole podcast talking about Dan Johnson (or Ray Jay Johnson, for that matter), and because not much is going on, we needed a guest ace. . We needed the resident NBA and MSG Network’s pro wrestling ace Kazeem Famuyideand after a few missed matches before Drew and I went on vacation, we finally got it.
After eliminating our Rays Week activity — our appreciation station for Horny R&B Forrest Gump Ray J was as brief as it should be — we’ve come to what’s really going on. That is, we got to the things that could possibly happen in the NBA, eventually, if things started happening there. Are the Brooklyn Nets completely reinventing themselves or learning to live with two grumpy Hall of Famers? Could happen! New York Knicks making moves to build an organically balanced team instead of doing Knicks Things? It could also happen, even though there was the definite feeling that we were all trying to manifest that one. The Golden State Warriors somehow continue to do everything right and ride their dynasty for another generation? Not easy, but none of us were ready to say it wouldn’t happen. Instead of anything actually happening, it was all obviously close enough to get us through a lively and entertaining half hour of irresponsible speculation, partisan wishing and remembering various basketball teams that made us once happy.
After the break, we talked about professional wrestling for what might well have been the first time on the podcast. All of my opinions on wrestling have been formed over years of editing by various brilliant and savvy professional wrestling writers on different websites, which means that while I have opinions, those opinions aren’t really the mine and I don’t fully understand them either. Kaz, who worked behind the scenes at WWE and is a true blue superfan, knows a lot more than that. He described the status and critical angles of the ongoing WWE/AEW competition in a way that I found quite enlightening, to the point that I consider adopting some of his opinions as my own.
The dumb stuff was the dumb stuff, though it’s largely to Kaz’s credit that some groundbreaking adjacent stuff happened in there. A listener question about the fear of heights that accompanies climbing the steeply inclined and very vertical upper sections of sports venues led to deep thoughts about becoming friends with one’s anxieties; a question about how long we as a nation are going to want to celebrate our little vacation opened up with a review of the specific horror when seeing a car with a flag flying over it. One of the last things I said in the episode was the words “hell yeah,” in something like the voice Conner O’Malley used when Conner O’Malley confronted sports car owners on video. I’ll take you back to Inside The Game on this one: I thought so.
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