Four john says: is everyone just gon na pull up from half court from now on? Is this where we are? Oh man, why am i in the studio and not in the league? I could have did that. Mr big shot come on, that was sweet. That was sweet. Insane name is pushing the limits, but everyone forgot who started this with steph mm. Hmm, oh, i don’t think anyone got that. I will also say that i’m old enough to remember when lebron couldn’t shoot so there’s. That too welcome to the jump i’m rachel nichols i’m coming to you from our la studios that are now officially located on kobe bryant boulevard, which feels solely right right right today. I am joined by mr chauncey billups 2004 nba finals, mvp five times all star. Mr big shot happy to be here happy to be here. 14 year, nba vet turned host of all the smoke matt barnes and matt. We haven’t been with you in the studio for a while, so i got to talk to you about something because in 2017 you remember the warriors who won the title that year, of course, you participated in a ring ceremony, especially for you, with your sons right the Following season, but you did not pick the ring up and take it with you come on spoke recently on the podcast about feeling, like you, didn’t quite earn it right because you got injured and because you didn’t play that many minutes in the postseason.

But the golden state warriors vehemently disagree with you. So do i so do i they had a courier drive your ring down from the bay area to los angeles when they heard you were coming into the studio. Today we are so honored to present you with your 2017 nba special championship ring oh man, and as you look at that sucker, i got a message from your old coach. Take a look coach, my guy, hey, matt, congratulations! Uh about time you took this ring. I mean we’ve been trying to give it to you for about three years, so yeah. No in all seriousness, i just want to say this was well deserved, played a big role on our team in in 17, especially when kd went down and uh. You were a great leader. You were fantastic to coach, one of the most competitive people, i’ve ever been around and uh. You brought warriors fans a lot of thrills over the years, going back to the that we believe era. So thank you for everything. You’Ve done for our organization enjoy the ring. You are an nba champion forever and don’t ever forget that wow that man’s got a lot of rings on his finger. So i think he uh you guys. I appreciate that man it’s it’s an honor, you know so the story got tossed and turned around. So what happened? Was they had a special ceremony for me? Obviously, uh best part was, my kids got rings too um, but they haven’t, because this is so big.

I didn’t want to sit in the stands with it, so they put it in a room and then, when i was ready to leave the room was locked and then i’ve, just it’s just been cat and mouse ever since. So thank you. Raymond ritter held on to it for a long time. Thank you ray. I appreciate that and the warriors organization, it was the honor to uh, get front row seats to one of the greatest teams ever to do it. Applause, we don’t have as many people in the studio right, i will go, give them a hug and some love right now, because it’s hard to be a champion but that’s beautiful. I was going to say chance. You know that, even if you know he wasn’t the leader in minutes in the playoffs and in a different role on that team, what a part matt played in not just that year, but the organization absolutely and coach curry he expressed it beautifully. I mean kd goes down, you get a tough, you know, matt he’s been around a long time. He makes big shots, he guards all the tough guys he’s a part of that fabric and that culture – and you talk about who brought some toughness to the team and some leadership to the guys i mean he doesn’t get the credit, but matt done a terrific job. Thank you guys, all right, so man, i know you’re, not the kind of guy who’s gon na wear that around all the time, but for the rest of this show, will you wear your ring? Please i’ll keep it in the box.

I tried guys. I tried. I tried well thank you so much. Thank you to everyone on the warriors coming up on this show we’re going to update you on damian lillard status for game five tomorrow night after he left game four with a knee injury, we’re expecting to get results from his second mri at some point today. First though, so chris paul doesn’t go away period ever it’s that relentlessness, that has enabled him at six foot one to become one of the great true point guards in the 74 year, history of the nba it’s. Also, sometimes what can turn people off about him? I mean there are certainly those who just want him to give it a rest. Sometimes, but man are those people missing out on appreciating a skill that’s just as impressive as his silky mid range or his dazzling court vision. Just look at where cp is now 35 years old, playing on a team that was supposed to be rebuilding. He was traded to that team in part because he was supposedly injury prone because he was supposedly slowing down because his strong will was supposedly grating on some of his teammates. And what did he do, instead of conceding to what many would just treat as a lost season? He took stock of the limited weapons he had left at his disposal and he sharpened them. He couldn’t change having younger inexperienced teammates, but he could work overtime to tutor them and speed up their development.

He couldn’t change how old he was, but he could change how old he felt he went. Vegan reshaped his workout routine and got back some of the lift and endurance he had five years ago and since he knew the thunder were never going to regularly just steamroll into games and overpower people. He honed the art of picking his spots becoming the most statistically clutch player in the nba. Basically, he refused to go away, and so is it any surprise that once we got to these playoffs and the thunder found themselves down 2 0 to the very rockets team that traded him last summer, chris paul didn’t back off that he took his lackluster performances in Games one and two and turned things around for game three or that last night in game: four, when the rockets led by as many as 15, he just kept coming ironically it’s the stretch of that game that houston dominated where you can learn the most about chris. This was right after halftime when houston went 848 from 3, an onslaught that would have mentally wrecked most opponents, but through that whole stretch, cp was steady personally scoring 11 amid the rocket search kept oc afloat just enough that when the rockets then started missing, the thunder Were ready and it wasn’t just chris dennis schroeder – was excellent in this game. Lou dort continued to be a defensive revelation and the small ball lineup that coach, billy donovan pulled the trigger on down.

The stretch did exactly what it was supposed to do. In fact, over the final 18 minutes, or so the thunder outscored the rockets 44 26 – and that includes that crazy prayer heave that daniel house hit just before the buzzer the win tied the series at two apiece. It also cemented okc as the nba’s best comeback team. Did you know that the thunder lead the league in winning percentage in games where they’ve trailed by 15 points or more? In fact, the only teams who are better at that in the past 20 years, including the playoffs, are the 2017 golden state warriors and the 2011 dallas mavericks, both of which won titles now i’m, not saying i’m, taking the thunder to win it all this year, they’re Gon na have to fight just to win this series, especially if russell westbrook comes back from his quad injury, but i’m, not surprised that a chris paul team is one of the best teams ever at coming back and winning games. They should probably lose chris paul does not go away, it’s going to be fun. These next few games watching him so chauncey. It hasn’t escaped everyone’s attention that the guy that chris paul was traded for russell westbrook is missing this game with injuries and that chris paul had the knock on him that he was the one who was injury prone. How much pressure do you think is on the rockets to bring westbrook back um? I mean obviously, that that’s the low hanging fruit right.

You want to bring rush back and then you want to win two in a row. The game’s over series is over it’s, not that easy um. You want to bring russ back when he’s healthy, i mean let’s face it. They won two games in the series without russ um and was up big in the last game. So not too much pressure. I’M. Pretty sure russ wants to be out there. We all know that, but man, this this chris paul’s, a winner, he’s just a winner, you know – and everything you spoke about, is so true, like he’s gon na fight until the fight is over it doesn’t matter, that’s, just who he is that’s. Why he’s? One of the greatest that ever laced him up at that position, but i don’t think it’s that much pressure to bring russ back. No, i agree – and i think what’s most important obviously is his health, especially with the player that plays with so much explosiveness as russ. Does – and you can see him on the court before the game – he looks good, but those are all predeces pre decisions that he knows i’m going to drive by go dunk i’m going to do this i’m going to pull up, but in the game you have to React on a fly, and someone like i said explosive – is fast and plays as hard as russ. Does. Those unexpected moves are the ones that you’re going to have to watch for so to me, someone who had quad injuries in my career, knowing how hard they are and how long they actually take to heal.

I would err on the side of caution with russ because, like i said, this is something you don’t want to nag. You don’t want to tear what’s most important. Is him getting healthy and, like john said, they’ve already won two games without him, so they’re gon na have to see how it goes um if russ is not prepared to go and look, i understand the temptation right. It’S, not just the points or assists it’s a pacing right. The rocket’s pace has just been totally different, especially these past couple games without him on the court. Mike d’antoni spoke about this today. He said he thinks russell. Westbrook is day to day. At this point he said i’m not going to rule anything out or rule anything in he said we will see so we’ll keep an eye on that for you. I do want to move on to the miami heat, though guys, because the heat completed their sweep over the pacers in a really competitive game for last night. Coming into this series we expected six or seven games. Matt was the sweet more about the heat being really good or the pacers being banged up? What do you see here? I think more about the heat being better than i think we thought um it’s, all about being hot. I think you throw records out out of uh the situation, especially with the bubble and the layoff and everything so to me, it’s about whoever gets hottest at the right time.

The heat are peaking at the right time and they’re loaded and jimmy butler has been a hell of a pickup but more of a just, a motivator, a veteran that gives guys like tyr tyler hero playing unlike a rookie, giving uh you know, andre iguodala brings that Same championship, experience giving confidence to duck and robin, i think, they’ve done a good job of empowering their younger players because they know how important they are. So this is kind of my upset alert for the second round. I think miami can beat milwaukee in the second round because they match up well and to me it’s, not about you’re, not going to stop giannis. But can you contain the bucks supporting cass and i think they have the defense and then the big shot makers on the other side to be able to do that, matt’s dropping some gems. I mean first and foremost, coach, nate mcmillan did a great job this year. I mean he had no oladipo all season unleashed sabonis. He became an all star um. He did a great job but i’m rolling with matt. This is all about the heat. You know. The heat are really really good. That heat culture is real and it always has been, and riley it’s been that way since pat riley got there and i got to give jimmy butler and his leadership some credit, you know jimmy has done a hell of a job down there, um of just getting Those young boys going, i mean they got a young roster, a very, very young roster, but they play hard.

They play together and when you’re led properly – and you have leadership on that bench – you always have a chance. One of the things i’ve learned most from all. You guys in covering the league is just how big a deal fit is right that the top five percent or the bottom five percent of guys would be who they are anywhere. But there is a middle ninety percent, where, if you find the right fit, that activation can be incredible and we certainly have seen jimmy butler and miami are the right fit for each other i’m. Taking notes on you, though, matt because i’ve heard from jimmy butler, he thinks that they could beat the bucks but hearing you say it is interesting too. We will keep an eye on that. Coming up in this show. Sixers gm elton brand spoke today. He said he’s not looking to trade, either ben simmons or joel embiid after an embarrassing first round exit.