The league is still in lockout mode, but we're still punching the clock. This week, Andy and I welcome Bomani Jones, host of The Evening Jones and frequent guest of ours, along with just about everything ESPN puts on television, including Jim Rome Is Burning and Around the Horn.ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
The Kamenetzky's are talking about me again? Is it the nine-foot pyramid I bought this week? Probably. They got on me about the whole Fudgesicle thing, too.
The result? About 60 minutes of basketball and pop culture conversation. Among the high points:
-Bomani starts things off with a cautionary tale about paying close attention to where you pull over to send a text (3:00) before we address the question of Kobe Bryant and Italy (4:30- click here to jump straight to it). How would Kobe-in-Europe play out? Is the risk of injury any higher playing in Serie A than games he'd surely play on this side of the Atlantic -- it's a point on which Andy and I disagree -- and who exactly incurs the risk?
Plus, comments on the old man game of Chris Douglas-Roberts, who would be Kobe's teammate should he sign with Virtus Bologna.
-What about the role of stars in the CBA talks (12:30)? It was the subject of the most recent installment of The Forum, but give it a more thorough airing here. What should guys like Kobe and LeBron James be doing right now? Is it a good idea to have them front and center in the negotiations? My take: The league's elites are in something of a no-win situation. Can the richest stars really tell the rank and file it's worth missing a year of paychecks? Easy for them to say. But if stars are too far from the process, they're criticized for seeming apolitical. It's a tough spot. Best to do what Kobe has done, keeping a low profile while showing solidarity and even offering to float loans to players in need.
Regarding the B.O.K. (Bank of Kobe), who would be the most intimidating guys in the league to owe money to? Stephen Jackson? Tony Allen? And do you really want to face Kobe on the court if you're, say, 25 G's deep with him? Plus, a great Charles Oakley story.
-(25:00) Nic Cage continues to be a gift perpetually giving. A couple weeks back, we noted the fantastical story of an intruder appearing at Cage's bedside wearing only the star's leather jacket and brandishing a Fudgesicle. This week, we explore Cage's purchase of a nine-foot tall pyramid shaped tomb in New Orleans, presumably to eventually serve as his final resting place. (While nobody hopes he gets use of it anytime soon, it's probably safe for Cage to toss in the Oscar he won for Leaving Las Vegas, because that chapter of his career died a while ago.)
-(33:00) The list of nominees for the 2012 induction class at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was issued this week. Few guests of ours are better versed in music than Bomani, so we take the opportunity to break down the candidates. Are Guns and Roses the Roger Maris of music? Did they release enough good stuff after Appetite for Destruction to truly deserve enshrinement? If Donovan gets in, does he thank Martin Scorsese? Are busts in order for Beastie Boys and Heart?
And what about Rush? Every year they don't get nominated, and every year their fans freak out. Do they have a point? Is there some deep rooted anti-progressive rock bias on the nominating panel (and if so, can you blame them)?