– So I told you two days ago, sitting right here in this seat– in all my years of covering the National Basketball Association– dating back to my days in LA back in the ’70s covering the Lakers of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, no Magic yet– I had never seen anything like the disaster that LeBron James team had turned into after winning 18 of 19 games, and LeBron was a leading MVP candidate, and then this happened. And it didn’t just go for four or five games– it went from Christmas till now. 19 games worth of complete abject disaster where I saw game after game where they could not compete. They were getting blown off the floor by the Thunder and the T-wolves. Yet it took–
SHANNON SHARPE: Toronto.
– Toronto. It’s just one game after another– embarrassments. And the embarrassment two nights ago at Orlando– I’ve just never see anything like that before, where you’re up by whatever it was–
SHANNON SHARPE: Up 21.
– 21, and then you blow it.
SHANNON SHARPE: Lose by 20.
– You lose– that’s impossible. LeBron James is on your team, and yet, it took LeBron at his greatest in overtime two nights ago to save them against the T-wolves– albeit, giving up outrageous number of points again and–
SHANNON SHARPE: 138.
– –they continue to be the worst defensive team in pro basketball. So LeBron hit a walk off shot two nights ago, followed by Dan Gilbert hitting a walk off shot at the buzzer yesterday at the trade deadline. Am I right?
– I think Dan Gilbert just won executive of the year in about an hour. Seriously. And don’t give me Koby Altman. I know he’s the out front spokesman, because it would look bad if Dan Gilbert went total Jerry Jones and actually conducted the press conference, but it’s clear Dan Gilbert is running the basketball operations and it is clear that he worked some magic– multiple team magic. The more– as the news broke I couldn’t even process. It took me, like, four hours through the afternoon just to get it all in my head–
SHANNON SHARPE: Because they kept coming.
– Yeah. How do you pull all that off, because you managed in just, like, the 11th hour, to flip what was obviously a sorry mess back into– dare I say– a pretty good team.
SHANNON SHARPE: Yes.
– And I’m with you– this is definitely now the Eastern Conference favorite. And here’s the punch line to me– Dan Gilbert pulled all this off and still held on to the Brooklyn first round pick. How do you do that? He pulled that off and he held on to the players who allowed them to set the NBA regular season record– maybe the playoff record. It was a single game record for combined threes with the Timberwolves, because who made the threes in that game? LeBron, so he’s still there and hmm–
SHANNON SHARPE: Korver
– Fourth Korver– he’s still there and J.R. is still there.
SHANNON SHARPE: Yup.
– They didn’t give up J.R. They didn’t give up Tristan. I still think Tristan has a lot of value. I know you have–
– They tried to give him up.
– OK, but they still have him and he is a useful player when he decides he can do it. He is high energy. I know he’s been inconsistent injury–
SHANNON SHARPE: Yes.
– He’s got some off the court issues going on. Whatever. I would be glad– if I’m LeBron– that he’s still on my side this morning. So you kept all of the above and the second punchline to this is you managed to get rid of your double bus from the Kyrie trade, you got rid of Isaiah Thomas, and you got rid of Jae Crowder? And you were about as down on Jae Crowder as you were–
– Yeah, he had to go. He had to go.
– How Dan Gilbert convinced Utah to take Jae Crowder straight up for Rodney Hood– what is that about?