Golden State Warriors, LeBron James, and Cleveland Sports Fans

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Episode Transcript

Benjamin: Welcome back to the Golden State Warriors edition of the For The Fans By The Fans podcast, where we bring you your weekly dose of all things Warriors basketball from the fan's perspective. I'm a lifelong Warriors fan and your host Benjamin Shapiro. As the Dubs continue to celebrate their third championship in four years, we welcome in an exhausted, demoralized, and completely broken man. Ian Kay is an investment professional who serves as the vice president for Silicon Valley Bank. He's also my ex roommate, a new father, and a long suffering Cleveland sports fans. But before we spend the next half an hour reminding Ian that the warriors have one eight of their last nine in the finals against his beloved Cavaliers. I want to remind you that this podcast is brought to you on behalf of our friends at Fanatics. Fanatics is the global leader in licensed sports merchandising. They have the world's largest collection of official sports apparels from the leagues, teams and players you love. So if you want to go by your Lebron James Lakers jersey, click the link in our show notes or visit And our friends at fanatics will kick as a couple of bucks to help pay for the production of this show. That said, Ian Foster. Kay, welcome to the pod, my friend show. And my friend. That was quite an intro. It is wonderful to have you here. I'm glad you. You're out of hiding. And congratulations on the birth of your first son. 

Ian: Yes, Lauren junior and I appreciate it. Okay. He'll be jj then. K is perfect. I appreciate it man. As you know, fatherhood is really easy and you get a lot of risks and they're on your schedule. So it's been really easy so far. 

Benjamin: I want you to know, and I think you know this already, but I was thinking of you often while the warriors were playing the cavaliers in the finals. Let's start off by you telling the loyal FTF, btf listeners about the baby gift that my wife and I sent you four lbs. 

Ian: Jj is very thoughtful. Tell us about the unboxing experience. Well, first class and I'm like, Whoa, this is really important. And the first note, and said this is for now, I believe it was an adorable little calves onesy that said foster where to my son's name on it. It was really great. And then there's other package I open up the note said this is for next year and yes it was a Lebron James Lakers Jersey and it even just said Lebron on the back. So my son will be using that to wipe his ass with it. So I appreciate the extra toilet paper. 

Benjamin: So your son was born during the finals and I just want to let you know that I believe the day he was born, it was game two and I went onto fanatics the sponsor of this podcast. So I went onto their website and I had a Lebron James Authentic Lakers Jersey with the yellow and purple custom made number 23 during game to have the finals. Because not only was I sure that the warriors, we're going to win the finals. I was sure that he was going to end up a laker next year. 

Ian: It's pretty good. I was actually pretty impressed by that. I'll be honest with you, I was 50 slash 50 is either la or Cleveland obviously, and I had actually had some hope that he was staying, but now he's in the bright lights. 

Benjamin: So let's recap the uh, the finals before we talked too much about your hero. Lebron James. What's life like as a Cleveland fan today? After losing in the finals for the second straight year 

Ian: and the third time in four years? Well, Ben, it's a time of reflection. When you lose the best player of your generation, it's probably better to look at the positive side. Like we had the best player in our uniform. Take it to a final four straight years though. We only won one and it was a glorious one that ruined a perfect season for you guys. So you cherish the moment because we were never going to get. My son may not have this happen to his favorite team ever again. So you're not going to have him be a nuggets or a warriors fan. So the wife, we split it up. I get calves and browns and he gets cubs. He's going to be tortured. Why do that to the kids? That's true. Hey Indians. I will say, I think you had this in your previous podcast with your buddy from Boston. The Indians have been a consistently pretty good team throughout our lives like every couple of years. They are always in contention. Are we talking about the Cleveland Indians? Um, yeah. They were in the world series two years ago and also with the best team in baseball before they got beat by the Yankees in the playoffs. Do you remember the movie Major League? Those Indians. Just Charlie Sheen's. Still pitch for them. Yeah, if he does Vaughan, yes. 

Benjamin: Let's not get away from the important topic at hand. Can you tell me what the Cleveland Cavaliers starting lineup is going to be next year? 

Ian: So we got the rookie sexton at the point and then Jay are very intelligent basketball player at two dynamic backcourt Dinah. Yeah. Yeah. You can't really top that backward. And then maybe Rodney Hood might start at two. Three. Rodney Hood. Yeah, I think I've heard of him. And then Kevin love interest in Thompson. 

Benjamin: Uh, Kevin love will not be on that team next year. No way he won't. He's getting traded. It's going to be the worst team in basketball. And you don't have your first round 

Ian: pick that picks protected top 10 protected. 

Benjamin: Okay. So maybe you'll have your first round pick. So you named your starting five for the cavaliers now. Can you name the warriors starting 

Ian: five. Oh, again, I want to ask you this question too. How do you feel about this? I already reacting to this one. Obviously you guys are starting and all star at every position. A, I think every one of those guys had been on team USA. Dream on has. I know ag though too. 

Benjamin: All five starters have made the all star team and Iguodola as well. Yeah. So technically they have six. All stars. A few count Iguodala as the man. So you have a team that basically unbeatable. 

Ian: Everybody is complaining that the 2018 teeth and there's no point of playing it because you guys going to crush everybody, which is true. 

Benjamin: That's what everybody said about this year two. And if it weren't for Mike Dee and Tony overplaying Chris Paul in the playoffs, there's a good chance that the warriors could have lost that, you know, they went to game seven and Houston had a historically bad shooting game in game seven. So you never know what happens. You never know what the injuries are going to be. So you're asking me how I feel about the signing and how I feel about people complaining about the warriors and saying, that's unfair. Anybody with kids in the car cover your ears for a second, bitches are going to bitch. That's why they call them bitches. People saying that the warriors are unfair and the competitive balances and fair that everybody's playing by the same rules. And the fact that the warriors drafted three all stars without having a top five pick and they all ended up being all NBA caliber players is why they're in this position. 

Benjamin: They got lucky that the year they lost was the year that the salary cap expanded. Who would they lose? They blew a three one lead and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals. Then recouped from blowing a three one lead and losing the NBA championship by winning back to back finals championships with Kevin durant and then signing boogie cousins. So if you want to go down that rabbit hole we can dance, but at the end of the day, I think that this upcoming season you never know what's going to happen. You got boogie coming off an Achilles. He's taken Zaza Pachulia as minutes, so I think it's an upgrade no matter what the condition of his leg, but they have the potential to be an all time. Great team. Do I think they're going to go 82 and O and 16 and. Oh, in the playoffs? Yes. Do I think they're going to win their fourth championship in five years? Yes. Do I think that this is an all time historic run for a basketball team? Yes. I'm excited and anybody that complains about the competitive balance of the NBA is bitter and probably just not paying attention to what is an all time great team and they'll look back and compare this team to Jordan and the bulls, Lakers and magic and Celtics Bill Russell like that's the class that I think this team is in at this point. 

Ian: How long do you think they've done it? The last four. 

Benjamin: I think that they'll keep it together for at least another two years. I mean, I don't think bogies there for more than a year. I think dream on my leave for the money. I think clay will resign and they'll keep curry and maybe durant goes to New York or maybe he goes to Washington down the road to do something different, but you know, I think that they'll have this for at least two more three years with the real core intact. 

Ian: I agree. A foundation that's going to be there for at least a couple more championships. 

Benjamin: Yeah, so let's turn our attention to Cleveland sports and your expertise and Lebron 

Ian: leaving is sort of the big story of the off season, or at least it was for the 48 hours until demarcus cousins signed with the warriors. Tell me how you feel about Lebron heading to the Lakers. It was kind of expected, you know, he had other endeavors you wanted to go for. Yes. His own business. He wants to be that billion dollar mogul and it was always La, uh, cleveland and after getting swept and I watched him through the playoffs, which she had like probably one of the greatest individual playoff performances of all time we've ever seen, but he just carrying that team and I think the cavs organization failed him. I also think the fact that she was only having one year deal is really pigeonholed the team as well. 

Benjamin: How much do you hold him accountable for pulling the strings for the players that they brought in? Because from an outsider's perspective, Tristan Thompson, Lebron's Guy Jr Smith, Lebron's guy. He orchestrated the trade for Kevin Love, got rid of wiggins. Those all seemed very much like Lebraun pulling the strings and playing GM and coach and now he's gone. So the strange thing to me is that the people of Cleveland obviously respect and love Lebron but don't hold any animosity towards him to the current state of the team, which is like in a 10 year whole. 

Ian: Yeah, but you gotta think when people say little brown did GM, do you think the Brian saying like you have to go find these guys, I'm leaving or do this? Yes, I disagree. You can't run an organization like that. It both sides. Lebron's like I want these guys and I don't think the cancer creative enough. 

Benjamin: If you went to the CEO of Silicon Valley Bank had said, I need Ben Shapiro here to make this bank run. Don't you think they pull that string in a heartbeat? 

Ian: Yes. You take your talents and Silicon Valley Bank. I really don't man the signings. He definitely had an influence on the trade and stuff. I definitely feel like they could work better together and the fans never going to have animosity towards Lebron because he did read. You want to do, we are a long suffering city for title. He won that title in dramatic fashion and the hometown kid brought his hometown team title, so he's going to get a statue outside the arena. He's gonna have his number retired. It's just different now because he came back, he showed his loyalty. He obviously loves Ohio. He love the community of Akron and now he's going. Everybody in Ohio thinks this is more of a family decision. The wild. They want to live in a bright lights of La. His light shines bigger than Ohio. Timid, so it makes sense. It sucks. Cleveland basketball goes to the no man's land now and we'll have to wait for his son. So the true Lbj. Yeah, exactly. But we're happy. Rim. It sucks that he's leaving in. Basketball's done in Cleveland for a while, but it's different from when you went to Miami. 

Benjamin: Yeah. It feels like he graduated to the Lakers this time as opposed to abandoned the team and the community where he was raised. Right. Let me ask you a question. He's basically the basketball dod of Cleveland and pretty much the God of Cleveland Sports. Have you ever met him? 

Ian: Yes, I've met him twice. Funny Story. I was actually dating a pretty girl who lived in the same neighborhood in the bronx. He was probably a fourth year in the league when he was living in that neighborhood. 

Benjamin: So He's 23 years old at that time. 

Ian: Something like that. Yeah, exactly. Okay. And we're hanging out at her house and the Brown her and asked if he can come over with his boys and she looks at me and she's like, hey, is it cool to Brian? Come over and I've been following the Bron. His whole high school career is, you're actually my number one team. Like, heck yes, please bring them over. 

Benjamin: So Lebron James texts, your girlfriend verde called my girlfriend. You called your girlfriend and your response is, heck yeah, bring them over. 

Ian: Yes. Love it. Go on. And then he comes over with his boys. She has three sisters. They wake up and they call it a bunch of their friends. So all girls in me, and then later on his voice and the whole time she's sitting on his lap or hell hanging out, and then the Brian asked her to come back to his house. She says, no, I'm hanging out with my boyfriend and that's when I raised my hand and Lebron notices me then. So that's my claim to fame. 

Benjamin: So the amazing part of this story to me is some man is actively tried to hook up with your girlfriend at the time no matter who he is in your response is yes. And cintas. Lebron James. It's amazing. 

Ian: Hey, in the Akron community, it's what's yours is mine so he can have whatever he wants. 

Benjamin: What was the real thing that was going through your head at? What I'm wondering is, were you just hoping that you'd get to sit on his lap? 

Ian: I just wanted a hug, maybe signed my forehead or something like that. 

Benjamin: Okay. Well that's an amazing Lebron James and counter story from our buddy and Cleveland Cavaliers Fan. Ian Kay, as he bemoans the end of the cavaliers season and probably the end of cavaliers basketball for a decade as the warriors look forward to the 2017 season, and that's a wrap for today's show. Our plan is to do this every week, so if you'd like more giants, baseball warriors, Basketball Bay area sports in your podcast feed, click that subscribe button, and also since we're just getting started, we'd love for you to give us a review in the apple itunes store as well. If you have questions or if you'd like to be a guest on the for the fans by the fans podcast, go to our website for the fans by the [inaudible] dot com, or you could just do the short version, FTS BTF DOT com. You can also find us on twitter, instagram, and facebook. Just search FTF BTF. Lastly, thanks to our friends at fanatics. If you want to go by your Lebron James Lakers jersey, click the link in our show notes or visit ftf, and our friends at fanatics will kick as a couple of bucks to help pay for the production of this show. Until next time, swinging a mess and that's it.