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The Old Man and the Three with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Matas Buzelis

Wed Jun 28 2023

Contavious Caldwell Pope and Modest Buzellis

00:00 - 06:51

  • Contavious Caldwell Pope and Modest Buzellis are the guests on this episode.
  • Contavious Caldwell Pope discusses his experience winning the championship with the Denver Nuggets.
  • Modest Buzellis is a projected top five pick in next year's draft and talks about his decision to not go to college.
  • Andrea Carter received criticism for a comment she made during the draft, but it was planned and not a big deal.
  • The NBA draft was highly rated and most watched in NBA history.
  • Expectations for Wembanyama as one of the most hyped prospects ever are discussed.
  • The fit between Wembanyama and Devin Vassell is highlighted as an important aspect for the San Antonio Spurs.

Devin Vassell and Wembanyama

06:32 - 13:26

  • Devin Vassell is an important player for the Spurs due to his shooting ability and floor spacing.
  • Vassell's growth as a shooter will be crucial for the team.
  • Kelvin Johnson's shooting percentage dropped last year, but he has shown potential as a shooter in the past.
  • Vassell had impressive stats last season, averaging 21.5 points per game and shooting 39% from three-point range.
  • Managing the mental side of the circus that comes with being a top pick will be interesting to watch for Wembanyama.
  • Victor Wembanyama seems mentally prepared for the new level of fame he will experience in San Antonio.
  • The Spurs have a strong track record of developing players, which bodes well for Wembanyama's development.
  • Expectations should be tempered for Wembanyama's rookie season, as there may be growing pains and it takes time to impact winning significantly.
  • The Spurs may look to add a veteran player in free agency who can contribute without disrupting the development of young players like Vassell and Johnson.
  • Wembanyama's initial value will likely come from his help defense skills due to his size and length.

Team Defense and Offense

13:11 - 20:55

  • Having other capable defenders around Wembanyama will make the team defense great.
  • Offensively, they need someone to play a two-man game with Wembanyama.
  • They need spacing and shooters on the team.
  • Chet Holmgren is a good pick for Rookie of the Year.

Interviewee's Career Path and Leadership Skills

20:37 - 27:53

  • The interviewee compares his career path to that of Danny Green.
  • He credits Danny Green for being a great player and professional.
  • Transitioning from a primary offensive role to a 3-and-D role was challenging but he found joy in it.
  • Playing with high IQ players like LeBron James and Nikola Jokic has elevated his career.
  • LeBron and Jokic have exceptional processing speed on the court.
  • The interviewee is amazed by Jokic's crazy shots and practices them regularly.
  • He learned leadership skills from LeBron and winning a championship with him was amazing.
  • Jokic's ability to make difficult shots in games is mind-blowing.
  • Jokic doesn't participate much in media but the interviewee finds him hilarious.

Leadership and Two-Man Game with Yokech

27:31 - 35:03

  • He doesn't participate a lot in media and prefers not to do podcasts.
  • Nicole Yokech is known for his sense of humor and jokes when he does speak.
  • He is a big joker off the court and enjoys dancing.
  • Yokech is not very vocal as a leader, but when he speaks, his teammates listen because he sees things they don't.
  • In terms of leadership, Yokech shows up more on the court than off it.
  • It's hard to defend the two-man game with Yokech because he can do anything on the court.
  • The Miami Heat did a good job defending the two-man action in Game 2 of the playoffs by applying pressure and not allowing separation at screens.
  • Yokech's leadership skills developed over time, learning from veterans like LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and Jared Dudley.
  • The Denver Nuggets lost some veteran presence in their roster which affected their season.

Impact of Losing Veteran Players

34:39 - 42:06

  • Losing veteran players like Ronda affected the team's performance
  • Having a balance between young players and veterans is crucial
  • Some veterans may not be happy with reduced playing time or role changes
  • Dwight Howard was important in the 2021 season despite being at the end of his career
  • Ego plays a role in why some athletes struggle to embrace a lesser role towards the end of their careers
  • Veterans still have valuable knowledge and wisdom to contribute to the game
  • Many players desire one more deal beyond just a veteran minimum contract
  • The importance of game-winning shots and momentum in playoff series
  • Anthony Davis has been unfairly criticized in his career due to injuries and not always being the featured player alongside LeBron James
  • Availability issues should be understood as part of the game, and players need to take care of their bodies
  • ESPN rankings can be subjective and don't necessarily reflect true player rankings

Anthony Davis and ESPN Rankings

41:38 - 49:25

  • Anthony Davis is ranked number two overall in ESPN NBA rankings.
  • Davis is considered a top 10 talent, but not necessarily the second best player in the world.
  • Davis is a great offensive player and also serves as a connector on offense.
  • Defensively, Davis is seen as a monster.
  • The best version of Davis has been seen early in his career in New Orleans and during the bubble season.
  • The trade that brought JJ Redick to the Brooklyn Nets adds even more talent to an already tough team.
  • Facing the Nets with their level of talent will be challenging for other teams.
  • Being drafted and winning championships are some of Davis' favorite moments in his career.
  • KCP ghosted the podcast on Zoom, but it turned out better because they can now have him on after winning the finals.

Madas Buzellis' Journey to the NBA

49:04 - 56:36

  • Madas Buzellis, a projected top five pick in next year's NBA draft from the G League Ignite, discusses his focus on the upcoming season and his aspirations for the NBA draft.
  • Buzellis started thinking about getting drafted and making it to the NBA seriously during his freshman year of high school.
  • He chose to forgo college at Duke because he felt that the professional league was a better fit for his play style.
  • Buzellis observed that college basketball tends to put players into defined positions and roles, whereas the current era of basketball is more positionless.
  • His unique skill set was developed through coaching and playing with feeder teams in eighth grade, where he played as a point guard despite being shorter at the time.
  • Buzellis did not have any specific players he looked up to or wanted to emulate; he simply enjoyed playing basketball.
  • His mom's motivation and encouragement played a significant role in his decision to continue playing basketball despite initially hating it.
  • As Buzellis grew taller and started dominating opponents, his obsession with basketball grew stronger.

Preparing for Professional Basketball

56:08 - 1:03:57

  • The interviewee learned basketball skills by watching NBA highlights and emulating players like J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving.
  • Kids today have more resources to learn and visualize the game compared to when the interviewer was growing up.
  • The interviewee uses Synergy, a tool that provides detailed data on possessions, shots, turnovers, etc., to analyze their own performance.
  • At Sunrise Christian, the interviewee's prep school, they watched film regularly using Synergy to study defenses and offenses.
  • The interviewee is focusing on strength training in the weight room to prepare for the physicality of professional basketball.
  • They are also working on shooting off the dribble and mid-range shots.
  • The interviewee believes their teammate Scoot is underrated defensively due to his long wingspan and deflection abilities.
  • Adjusting to the faster pace of the game and improving conditioning will be challenging in professional basketball.

Challenges in Professional Basketball

1:03:37 - 1:10:51

  • Players transitioning to professional basketball often struggle with the pace of the game and conditioning.
  • Managing distractions is crucial in professional basketball, as there are fewer compared to college.
  • Dedicating one's whole life to basketball is necessary for success, leaving no room for distractions.
  • Establishing a routine and standard for each day helps players navigate distractions and prioritize their commitments.
  • Loving the game and setting daily standards are key factors in reaching one's full potential as a player.
  • Leonard Miller is a double-double machine who excels at rebounding and being a great teammate.
  • At the McDonald's game, Stephon Castle stood out as an exceptional player with his passing ability and court vision.

Impressions from the McDonald's Game

1:10:23 - 1:17:10

  • The speaker was impressed by a player named Castle at the McDonald's game.
  • Castle is a six-seven point guard with excellent passing skills and court vision.
  • The speaker witnessed Castle make an impressive bullet pass during practice.
  • The speaker has a dislike for UConn due to past losses against them in basketball games.
  • The speaker mentions Duke as their favorite team, but also has respect for Maryland and another unnamed school.
  • The speaker does not place much importance on their draft position and believes they have not accomplished enough yet.
  • They enjoy watching Luca Doncic, Paul George, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the NBA.
  • The younger generation tends to be fans of individual players rather than teams.
  • There are strong fan bases for players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry.
  • The speaker acknowledges that criticizing certain teams can lead to backlash from fans on social media.
  • They grew up being fans of specific players rather than teams in various sports.

Pop Culture Drama and the Free Brittany Movement

1:16:49 - 1:17:29

  • The first season of the podcast explores the messy pop culture drama surrounding Brittany and Jamie Lynn Spears.
  • Britney's fans formed the free Brittany movement to free her from her conservatorship.
  • Jamie Lynn's lack of public support for Britney angered some fans.
  • The feud between Brittany and Jamie Lynn is a story of two young women whose choices were taken away by their controlling parents.
  • The movement to save Britney targeted anyone who failed to fight for her.