The NBA. Is. Baaaaack!!! pic.twitter.com/oOhDf7urkY— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) October 24, 2023
LeBron James, whether he has to snack on the bench or not, is now the oldest player in the NBA and Dan can’t believe it. Dan can’t believe a number of things about LeBron and his career, including the fact that he’s still so successful at this age, defying science and physics. Dan doesn’t know who you put after Milwaukee as one of the favorites, but he believes that the Lakers have gotten well enough and young enough around LeBron that they’re in the conversation.
As Charlotte points out, the Lakers’ odds to win the title are currently in the top 10 (they’re actually fifth) on DraftKings Sportsbook. Amin says it’s staggering that LeBron is not just holding on, like a Robert Parish or Kevin Willis late in their careers, he’s still the Lakers' best player and Amin says he’s still one of the top 10 players in the league. Amin says people have long asked when the falloff will happen given all the mileage on LeBron’s odometer, but now he’s beginning to think it will never happen and he’ll just be hurt more. Amin points out that LeBron hasn’t ever deteriorated to the point when he has to play power forward yet, he’s still good enough to play out on the wing. So, Amin has resigned himself to the thinking that the only thing that is going to change is that LeBron is going to get hurt more, and that has proven to be the case since he’s arrived in L.A. and when he gets hurt it takes him longer to recover.
The co-favorite as of writing is the Bucks, and Dan wants to know how much better the Bucks are having Damian Lillard as Giannis’ best teammate. Amin says when you look at Giannis and the Bucks, their biggest deficiency was closing out games. Khris Middleton de facto filled that role, Amin says, and did so to the best of his ability. Amin says Middleton is good enough to be an all-star on a good team. Lillard is light years ahead of that, he says, particularly in the clutch. Amin says Dame is the modern-day Reggie Miller. So, the Bucks got the thing they’ve sort of been missing all along and Dame gets to be surrounded with two perennial defensive player of the year candidates and we have the historical data that shows when you take a poor defensive player and put them in a great defensive environment, they get better. Amin says that Dame possesses all the attributes that could make him a better defensive player if he is surrounded by the right people.
Charlotte also thinks there is a hunger there for Dame, as he needs to win a championship for his legacy. She thinks he comes in with a fire that Giannis was calling for over the summer where he said wasn’t signing an extension until he got more help (shocker, with Dame in the fold he has now signed that max extension). Charlotte doesn’t think we are counting Dame’s hunger and desire for a championship enough when we talk about how dangerous the Bucks are going to be this season.
Dan wants to know what we should expect from Ben Simmons. Amin notes that he was one of the last people to jump off the Ben Simmons bandwagon, still thinking he can defend all five positions at an elite level, can lead the league in assists, is a great rebounder and can finish at the rim. He just thought Ben had to play confidently, and Dan says that’s the thing. Dan says we’ve never seen this kind of mental short-circuiting in the NBA. Charlotte has a thought: What if Ben needed to get to this point, with zero expectations and the bar on the ground, in order to succeed? Amin says he thinks that’s what it is — Ben has reached a place where no one is looking at the Nets with any expectations. They get to play with the freedom of having no expectations (except for Charlotte, she has high hopes for the Nets). Amin thinks the Nets will be fun to watch and he thinks Ben will play well because it will be free-flowing with no pressure.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more NBA analysis like this on a daily basis, make sure to check out Oddball Tuesday through Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings Network 100% free to watch all season long!
Local Hour: Mankind
- Billy dresses as Mankind to fulfill a punishment while Rece Davis is confused and here to talk college football. Greg is here on a Greg Cote Tuesday and trying his best not to blame the refs for the Dolphins loss in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Billy is painted into a corner as the Kirk Cousins guy.
The Big Suey: Greg Goes To The Bucket + Dan Orlovsky
- Greg Cote makes an argument that he is worth more than just an occasional “Back in My Day.” Meanwhile, Billy is still backed into the “Kirk Cousins guy” corner and Roy finds a tool to help the show find out if he belongs in the hall of fame. This leads the show down a rabbit hole of what quarterbacks should and should not be in the hall. Dan Orlovsky joins the show to discuss best teams in the NFL and peeing in the shower. Plus, we all discover how pain killers work and how they “know” where the pain is.
Hour 1: NBA Opening Night!
- Amin Elhassan, Charlotte Wilder and Jorge Sedano join Dan and Mike Ryan to get you ready for NBA Opening Night. Did LeBron James show a lack of respect for his teammates and the game by eating take-out on the bench? The wait is finally over as Mike Schur joins the show to preview the Celtics’ season.
Hour 2: Jay Glazer’s Natural Musk
- Jay Glazer joins Dan and the crew in LA to discuss his natural musk without cologne, the mental health landmines in being an NFL insider, training with some of the toughest athletes on the planet like Randy Couture and more. Plus, a bevy of NFL topics.
Postgame Show: It’s A Serum Not A Moisturizer
- Jay Glazer talks about the start of his career, his skincare routine and the Miami Dolphins. Plus, Lucy Rohden starts an investigation.
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