EP6 - WNBA Life Coaching with Robocoko – Double Down WNBA

Last Updated April 16, 2022

WNBA Life Coaching Episode 6: The Double Down WNBA podcast

Stephen Trinkwald and Eric Nemchock of the Double Down WNBA podcast join the show to pick their podcast’s favorite WNBA player.

Show Notes

Transcript: Double Down Low

[00:00:00] Welcome to WNBA Life Coaching. My name is Robocoko and I want to be your WNBA life coach. That means I want to help you find your favorite WNBA player to root for . Looking past the stats and talking about the vibes. So step into my office… 

[00:00:23] Becky: So today’s guests are Eric Nemchock and Stephen Trinkwald from the Double Down WNBA podcast. Welcome Eric and Stephen! 

[00:00:34] Eric: Hello, Robocoko. 

[00:00:36] Stephen: Thank you for having us. This is Stephen. 

[00:00:38] Eric: Yeah, this is Eric. 

[00:00:40] Becky: I’m so glad you’re here. I hope you’ve settled into your giant beanbag love seat and gotten a cup of hot cocoa.

[00:00:47] Stephen: I like the snapdragons in the room. They accentuate very well. 

[00:00:51] Eric: The atmosphere is just impeccable. 

[00:00:54] Becky: It’s important to have a calming environment. I know, particularly with couples counseling, we may have some difficult conversations here today. And so to have this kind of a welcoming space, that’s comfortable for both of you is a value we hold dear here.

[00:01:09] Eric: I already feel very welcome. 

[00:01:11] Becky: Fantastic. So I invited you to on, because you’re two of the hosts of one of my favorite uh, WNBA podcasts. And before we get started, I want to take a moment to hype up your pod, the Double Down WNBA. I look forward to listening to it each week. I just told you I listen to it on my morning walk Monday mornings.

[00:01:34] So I hope my listeners will check it out and what I really like about it and what I think you do a really good job of is going beyond the typical WNBA narratives. You hear from a lot of media outlets. Of course, you’ll talk about what’s relevant going on in the news or relevant games, but I never hear you just parroting the take of the week or buying into the, hype or lack thereof around a certain player without digging into yourselves to what the basketball is really like. And so you won’t hear just kind of, oh, that’s the goat doing goat things or hot takes that just seem to be there for having a hot take. And because you’re focused on the basketball, you’ll often talk about players down the roster that you might not see discussed from other outlets, which of course is something we love here at the Down Low. I love the pod and how you take the players seriously as athletes and give them the due consideration they deserve. So I really appreciate you bringing your talents to our podcast here today. 

[00:02:36] Eric: I’m not sure if I would refer – refer to us as talented, but I appreciate the, the compliments.

[00:02:42] Yeah, that’s, that’s something we try to do specifically on the Double Down WNBA is look at things, you know, objectively we, we put a lot of prep work into it, mainly Stephen, but it was that the podcast is, is, is, is Stephen’s baby. So if he wants to elaborate more on how it got started and, and what our quote unquote mission is.

[00:02:59] But I think, I think you, you kind of alluded to it already, you know we like to provide, like I said, objective analysis, I mean, it’s, it’s basically just two fans talking about it in a way that they think benefits the overall coverage of the league. If that’s fair to say. 

[00:03:15] Stephen: That was perfect. Eric and Robocoko.

[00:03:17] Thank you very much for the kind words. You described the show as I would want someone to describe it who’s never listened to the show. Perhaps overselling our show a little bit. I don’t know if we deserve all the praise, but 

[00:03:29] Thank you again. 

[00:03:31] Becky: Absolutely. It’s all true. Always factual here.

[00:03:34] So let’s talk a little bit intro questions. How did you two meet and why did you start podcasting together? 

[00:03:41] Eric: We met on Twitter as, as these stories usually go I believe our first interaction, correct me if I’m wrong, Stephen, your username was Chiney Ogwumike Fan Account. I said, yes, I love the username. And you said something like, yeah, Chiney is dope. And next thing I know Stephen is in my email box say, Hey, I have a podcast proposal. And I was a little hesitant at first because one, I hate hearing myself speak and I don’t really consider myself to be a natural public speaker.

[00:04:07] But after thinking it over a little bit, I said, yeah, sure. Why not? Let’s give it a go. And over two years later, now, here we are. 

[00:04:14] Stephen: Yeah. And I should add that there were several months in between that Twitter interaction and potentially, you know, talking about starting a podcast, we had developed a friendship and, you know, made jokes with each other online slid into those DMs.

[00:04:26] And here we are doing a show, you know, two, two plus years later. So. 

[00:04:29] Eric: We’ve got one thing we have is a very similar sense of humor. I feel like self-deprecating sense of humor. And that goes, that goes far, you know, I think in any relationship, if you share a similar sense of humor, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to get along.

[00:04:44] Becky: That’s great. Let’s start with talking about how we met what we care about each other, right before we get into the counseling of it all. And we’ve already touched on this a little bit, but in terms of mission, what are you two trying to communicate to WNBA fans? What sort of niche in the landscape are you trying to fill.

[00:05:05] Stephen: I think one of the things that I wanted to do with this show when I kind of proposed it to Eric was just talk about games like the actual basketball games that are going on. When I was kind of first diving into like WNBA content outside of the games, there were a decent amount of shows and they covered a lot of wide ranging topics, but not really too many that just like would talk about the previous night’s games.

[00:05:28] So that was really, you know, what it was for me kind of just finding. The podcast that I was looking for which, where they just kind of dove into the specifics of a game outside of like you were saying, Robocoko, like, you know, kind of the overarching narratives of the star players and stuff like that.

[00:05:46] Eric: You know, the funny thing is looking back on the last two plus years, we haven’t actually done that many recaps, every, that many game recaps. 

[00:05:53] Stephen: We’ll, we’ll, we’ll always, I kind of start doing them early in the season and then some more interesting topics will come up and we’ll maybe do like two or three, like post all-star break or posts like the middle of the season.

[00:06:04] But I mean, when you’re only doing, you know, once a week show other other topics come up, you want to talk about who’s getting the, the MVP ballot or, you know, diving deep into like. The case for and against the contenders, which is one of my favorite shows that we did last year. So yeah, maybe we’ve strayed a little far from what we kind of intended to do, but I, I think, I mean, I’m proud of the show that was done for sure.

[00:06:25] Eric: Yeah, me too. And I think the other thing we’ve got to mention is as the statistical approach we both love stats. We both love looking at stats and our Robocoko, you are strongly anti stats. So I, I, I greatly appreciate you listening to our podcasts in spite of that. But you know, we both love looking at Basketball Reference, Synergy, wnba.com stats, and kind of, you know, like looking at approaching it from that angle, you know, basketball is entertainment and we are, it, everyone has their own way of basically digesting the entertainment.

[00:06:55] Right? I think both Stephen and I approach it in this, in a similar fashion in which we like looking at it through. Statistical lens, basically, similar of a fashion sometimes too similar. Yeah. Sometimes. Yeah. We definitely aren’t the type to purposely lob hot takes back and forth and just automatically disagree with each other no matter what.

[00:07:13] But it makes for genuine content at the same time. So yeah, I’m, I’m happy with how it’s, how it’s turned out. 

[00:07:19] Becky: And what is your favorite thing about podcasting with each other? 

[00:07:22] Stephen: I’ll go first. 

[00:07:23] Okay. I think my favorite thing about podcasting with Eric is as Eric was just talking about, like, we do view the games in very similar ways, but every time we talk about a game that we had just watched, .

[00:07:35] He will mention something that I’d never even noticed. He has a great eye for basketball and I feel like every time we record specifically on gamers, like I’m learning something that you know, I didn’t pick up on the first time. 

[00:07:47] Eric: I could say the same thing about Stephen actually, I think he’s got a great attention to detail.

[00:07:50] Stephen watches, I’m a lot more of the NBA, you know, men play basketball too. I don’t know if you knew that, but you know, recognize that you don’t recognize that. Okay. Well, it is, it is the thing supposedly and he’s, he’s got more experience watching that, that side of the game than I do. And you know, with, with that different viewing experience comes different bits of knowledge.

[00:08:07] And I think he’s done a good job of kind of taking that from the NBA and bringing it over to his fandom, the WNBA not everything translates perfectly, but just like I said, bringing that different sphere of knowledge. I learned something every day, you know, record podcasting with Stephen and that’s what it’s all about.

[00:08:23] Becky: Lovely. Love hearing you guys compliment each other. So this is couples counseling today, though. And as listeners know, Stephen is a Connecticut Sun fan. Eric is a Chicago Sky fan. Chicago Sky knocked the Connecticut Sun out of the playoffs this year. So we do have some, you know, issues to resolve. And one way I’m going to work to bring you two together is to decide on the podcast’s favorite WNBA player to root for that will be the Double Down WNBA’s favorite player. And to get to that we’re bringing back the newlywed game! I’ve asked you two to fill out surveysahead of the podcast. Love to give my guests homework. And we’ll go through and see who can guess more of each other’s answers correct. And whoever gets the most will get to be the ultimate arbiter of who is the final player you’ll decide to root for. 

[00:09:27] Eric: And if we tie or both get zero, then you decide.

[00:09:31] Becky: Yes. Any questions before we start the game? 

[00:09:34] Eric: I think I’m ready. 

[00:09:36] Becky: Okay. Well then let’s start with trying to get Stephen’s answers. So Eric, who do you think Stephen believes is the most underrated player in the league?

[00:09:46] Eric: I’m going to say Kayla McBride.

[00:09:49] Stephen: That’s a good choice. I went with an Eric fave actually with Kelsey Mitchell. 

[00:09:54] Eric: Ah, okay. 

[00:09:55] Becky: Do you have a paragraph you would like to say about Kelsey? 

[00:09:58] Stephen: Well, I just kind of wanted to, you know, I, I do feel like the same kind of batch of underrated players always get thrown around, you know, all the Alicia’s Alysha Clark, Allisha Gray’s If we are talking about like all star level players, I think Kelsey Mitchell, because like, she’s just been in such a dreadful offensive ecosystem for the last few years.

[00:10:17] Maybe has, you know, kind of lost the interest of, of the broader fandom of the WNBA fans. I want to throw out a couple other names, Eric and I also have a running joke about whether Alyssa Thomas is a top 20 player because she was famously left off a list a couple of years back and honestly, Layshia Clarendon with how good he was in 2021 and how they really kind of turned the Lynx season around definitely worth mentioning, but my answer was Kelsey Mitchell.

[00:10:45] Eric: Okay. All right. I’m happy to hear that. You know, I’m a big Kelsey Mitchell fan, so that’s cool. 

[00:10:50] Becky: And Stephen what do you think for Eric? 

[00:10:56] Stephen: I went with Bridget Carlton. 

[00:10:57] Eric: Close, but no, no. I actually went with Sami Whitcomb. I think Sami Whitcomb is a really underrated player because, well, you could look at it and in their narrow teams context, obviously Sabrina, Ionescu, Betnijah Laney, Natasha Howard, all get the, the lion’s share of the accolades on the New York Liberty.

[00:11:12] But I think Sami Whitcomb is, is kind of one of those glue players that holds everything together. She could do a little bit of everything for them on offense. Obviously she’s most famous for getting up a ton of three-point shots with that ridiculously quick jump shot release that we all love. And she knocks it down at a pretty decent clip.

[00:11:28] And you just seemed like the Liberty were so much more effective with Sami on the floor last season, because it gave them that extra secondary ball handler who could come off screens who could set screens as a guard. And I think both Stephen and I are really excited to watch her play this year with Stefanie Dolson.

[00:11:42] Because Stefanie Dolson is such a good screener as we saw with Allie Quigley for many years in Chicago. So yeah, hoping that Sami would go and gets her gets her due in 2022.

[00:11:50] Becky: So I think right answers. Yeah. But both wrong. Okay. Stephen what do you think Eric said, if he were to sign an NIL deal with a brand, who would he sign with? 

[00:12:04] Eric: I know what he’s going to say, and it’s not going to be right. 

[00:12:07] Stephen: All right. Well then I got to hear what his answer is, but I went with Portillo’s a local Chicago fav e Eric, Eric, what did you go?

[00:12:15] Eric: So I, I was thinking about that, but I thought it would be too obvious because I thought that I’d just be like a bit and I don’t know if like an athlete signing with like a fast food restaurant would be that just be weird. Portillo’s is great. By the way, you should always get a port Portello’s different Chicago, but I went with cake shake the best, the best, the absolute best.

[00:12:33] I went with band camp. Okay. I am a big fan of independent. I discover a great majority of my music through band camp, and I really love, you know, I just love that the thrill of discovering a new favorite band or a new favorite artist or a new favorite independent artists and the way band camp operates as the artists get, not all of it, but they get more of it than, you know, the typical streaming services.

[00:12:56] So yeah, I always had a dream that if I was a professional athlete, I’d be promoting as many obscure artists and band as bands as I could. So if I had an and I, and I L deal, I would sign with band camp.

[00:13:08] Becky: Okay. What do you think Stephen said? 

[00:13:11] Eric: Okay. So I did. Great answer for this one. So I’m just going to take a stab in the dark here as half joke. I’m gonna say Schwinn bicycles, because Stephen is a, as he calls himself a bicycle, boy, he does not drive anywhere if he doesn’t have to. He’s, he’s very environmentally conscious and I, I appreciate that about him.

[00:13:30] That’s, that’s very admirable. I mean, he takes, he always takes public transportation or bikes around or walks around if you can. I can tell by the way, he’s looking at me that that’s not, it, that’s not the answer, but I thought it was a good guest. 

[00:13:41] Stephen: Well, I, I do feel like Eric should get some credit here because I changed my answer right before recording about an hour or so before recording it was track, which is the brand bicycle that I ride.

[00:13:52] But I did change it to the MTA just to be a little bit more inclusive, you know, not everybody can ride a bicycle, but everybody can take a bus or a train. So that’s what I ended up going. Same, same general idea you know, reducing our car dependency, but I want a different, slightly different direction.

[00:14:06] Becky: Yeah, I’ll give you a half point. You also would have gotten a point. If you had said no ethical consumption under capitalism with a smile. 

[00:14:14] Stephen: I do feel like every brand that I was considering has like a major scandal 

[00:14:18] Eric: and it’s

[00:14:21] Stephen: a half point might be enough. Might be enough to win this 

[00:14:24] Eric: game might be, yeah, I’m up. I’m up 100% right now. I’m I’m up in infinity. Let’s let’s let’s keep going. Let’s go. 

[00:14:30] Becky: Okay. Stephen what position would Eric play if he had the physical attributes? 

[00:14:36] Stephen: This was definitely the toughest one for me, I think. But I went with power forward because Eric is obsessed with rebounding.

[00:14:42] He always gets after teams when they don’t rebound enough. And I feel like, you know, having that extra positional rebound or outside of the centers it’s really kind of right up Eric’s philosophical alley. 

[00:14:54] Eric: No, I do enjoy rebounding when I play. I can only jump like two or three inches off the ground but love pursuing the basketball.

[00:14:59] It is not power forward. It that’s, that’s a good guess. That’s a good guess and you actually probably put more thought into your answer than I did my own answer. I would want to play point guard because I feel like I have the qualities of a, I’m going to pump myself up a little bit. I feel like I’ve got the qualities of a good leader.

[00:15:14] I I’ve been told that I lead by example. And a good point guard, you know, should always keep a level head, no matter the scenario. The teammates always look to the point guard, usually look to the point guard for leadership. The point guard is in charge of getting all the ducks in a row, getting everyone, getting them on sets, learning the playbook, being an extension of the coaching staff.

[00:15:32] And I think that particular aspect of, of playing point guard, being that extension of the coaching. That’s what separates the goods from the greats? You know, you always have a great point. Guard always has a great coach. I mean, maybe not always, but usually see that connection, you know? I’m a big fan of the the mental aspect of basketball and that is why I would choose point guard

[00:15:51] Becky: Okay. Okay. What do you think Stephen said? 

[00:15:54] Eric: Yeah, I didn’t really have a good answer for that. I, I said shooting guard, cause it seems like a lot of Stephen’s favorite players play shooting guard.

[00:16:02] Stephen: Eric. I also want with point guard maybe not for the the selfless reasons that you explained for your choice, but I just like to have the ball in my hand and I like to, to be able to either score or pass. Okay. But unfortunately I don’t have the, the handle to do so, but if given the opportunity and 

[00:16:18] the skill set, that’s it.

[00:16:19] Eric: It did say physical attributes, not, not like skills.

[00:16:23] So now 

[00:16:25] Stephen: I guess I’m point guard sized if nothing else. 

[00:16:27] Eric: Okay. Yeah. So am I. 

[00:16:29] Becky: See, I’m shocked that neither of you said center and maybe it’s because I’m five, two and a half, but like the idea of being a center and just being really tall and being able to like push people around and get to the hoop just seems like the most fun, possible position.

[00:16:43] But 

[00:16:44] Eric: I wish I was really tall I could. I do wish that that’s true. 

[00:16:48] Becky: Okay. No points. Okay. Stephen who is Eric’s favorite WNBA mascot ?

[00:16:56] Stephen: This one was tough for me, cause I don’t know any of the mascots. I know Ellie and I know Sky Guy and I know everyone hates Sky Guy. But I’m still gonna say Sky Guy. 

[00:17:09] Becky: I think you may get negative points for that one.

[00:17:11] Eric: No, no. He’s going to get negative points. Cause my, my very specific answer. And, and you could, you could see this, if you don’t believe me was all of them except Sky Guy I do not like Sky Guy. I do not think Sky Guy is a good mascot. He’s not what a mascot should be. If you look at a mascot, you think furry friendly, lovable, you love to see them.

[00:17:30] The Sky Guy is not that. Sky Guy has no for Sky Guy gives no warm fuzzies. He smells like Febreeze. People who are sky fans can vouch or like they don’t wash his costume. He just smells like Febreeze. It just like, it has a huge grin on his face. Like I know it’s supposed to be, it’s supposed to be friendly, but just looks kind of creepy.

[00:17:48] I don’t know. Like I can’t get jiggy with Sky Guy. I can’t it’s it’s all, but all this guy, 

[00:17:55] Becky: I agree. I avoid eye contact with Sky Guy to the extent that’s physically possible. I know some Sky fans do appear to talk to him

[00:18:03] Eric: I apologize if I offend anybody who likes Sky Guy just listening. I’m sorry, Sky Guy if you’re listening.

[00:18:09] I’m sorry. I know you can’t say anything anyway, because you’re a mascot, but I’m sorry. So yeah.

[00:18:15] Becky: Okay. With, with that answer from Stephen, Eric, what do you think Stephen said? 

[00:18:21] Eric: Okay. I also didn’t have a good answer because I also don’t know many mascots. I, so I was going to go with Maddie, but then I remember Maddie doesn’t really exist anymore. Does she? 

[00:18:32] Becky: She doesn’t, she’s been replaced. 

[00:18:34] Eric: That’s a real bummer. Is that what the Liberty for the Liberty? And I figured because you have, you have you go to Liberty games, sometimes you would, you would like Maddie and also you like animals. Yeah, I’m just, I’m just going to have to take the automatic zero on this one. Like I don’t.

[00:18:47] Stephen: Well, again, I think Eric should maybe get partial credit because my answer is Ellie, the elephant, who is the Liberty’s new mascot.

[00:18:54] She’s the only one that I know because I’m in that arena all the time. 

[00:18:58] Eric: If it was by default, I should have just guessed that one. Okay. 

[00:19:01] Becky: Okay. Well maybe you can make it up this time. Eric, what WNBA player would Stephen most want to interview? 

[00:19:11] Eric: Okay. I’m going to go with Candace Parker. Stephen am I right? 

[00:19:16] Stephen: No, you’re not right.

[00:19:17] That’s a good guess. Candace Parker is a fave, but I do feel like if I was going to interview at w WNBA player, I would not really want to talk about basketball that much. So that is why I went with Elizabeth Williams. Someone who I think would be a very interesting conversation away from basketball.

[00:19:34] Eric: Very fair. 

[00:19:35] Becky: Good answer. And Stephen who do you think Eric would wanna interview? 

[00:19:40] Stephen: I went with Eric’s goat, Lauren Jackson. I’m not sure if he was thinking that far back, but I wasn’t. 

[00:19:46] Eric: I was, I was thinking only WNBA I was thinking only current WNBA players. So I think Stephen should get a half point for that.

[00:19:53] Can, can I can, I guess even for each other, if nothing else we are, we are also, 

[00:19:58] I don’t want to get too far also. I don’t get, I don’t wanna get too far. ahead here. I want to keep it competitive. No, I went with Sylvia Fowles cause I, I too would not want to talk mainly about basketball. Although I do think still has a wealth of basketball experience, obviously.

[00:20:10] And at every level, you know, she’s got she has all the collegiate accolades, obviously because when championships with the WNBA has been around forever she has the overseas experience and she’s also a hilarious person. If any, if any long-time sky fans listen to this and they’ve met Sylvia Fowles can attest to this. She is great with fans. She’s always got a smile on her face. She’s always down to chill with fans. And also I would really, really want to know what makes her want to be a mortician. I think that in itself would be a great interview question. Because yeah, I do. I do question that to be Frank.

[00:20:44] Becky: I read that she was a very creepy child and that was…

[00:20:47] Eric: Creepy child. Okay. 

[00:20:50] Becky: We need to dive deep. 

[00:20:51] Eric: Maybe not then I don’t know. I don’t have time to walk it back. Okay. 

[00:20:56] Becky: Okay. Eric, who do you think Stephen is most excited to watch next season or which team 

[00:21:04] Eric: I think he’s most excited to watch our Chicago Sky.

[00:21:07] Are you Stephen? 

[00:21:09] Stephen: Eric? You got it right, right on the nose? Yes. The Chicago Sky. 

[00:21:13] Eric: Yes. Yes. 

[00:21:16] Becky: Would you like to talk about how exciting the Chicago Sky is for a little bit, Stephen 

[00:21:19] Stephen: well, I think I’d like to see the floor to Eric, who I also picked the Chicago Sky for Eric. And I assume that that’s his answer.

[00:21:26] Eric: Yes, that is correct.

[00:21:27] Okay. All right. So the floor is mine for better or for worse? I would say the Chicago Sky near and dear to my heart, but there’s just, just putting that away for a second, they’re the defending champs. And they were in a situation this off season in which it was pretty clear, they weren’t going to be able to retain all their free agents.

[00:21:43] And they’re given both their competitive window to championship windows. We like to say, and the overall, you know, age of their roster. As much as it pains me to say this Candace Parker is not going to be playing forever Allie Quigley’s not going to be playing forever. I mean, she might, but I don’t think it’s, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

[00:21:58] They needed to find a way to basically stay in championship form while you know, retaining as many of those players as they could. And I think they did a wonderful job of doing that. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this year’s Sky team is actually on paper, more talented than last year’s Sky team. Did an amazing job of getting Emma Meesseman to come to Chicago, which I’m very, very excited about.

[00:22:22] She’s one of those players who like, you just can’t help with respect watching on the other team and say like, man, I really wish my team had that player. Well, now my team has that player and it’s, it’s going to be, it’s going to be really awesome. And I think just the overall, I think are going to have a lot of more depth than they did last year.

[00:22:36] I think they’re going to have more passing. They did the last year, you know, acquiring Julie Allemand was another very smart move. And then going back to the sentimental stuff. I mean, it’s a shout Chicago sky, the defending champs. Like I never thought I’d be able to say that, but I said it, it is true.

[00:22:50] And they’re going to be good again. So that’s, like I said, I’m not, I’m not used to that. No of them being a championship favorite after being the champion, this is entirely new territory for me. But I could get used to it.

[00:23:02] If the Stephen could save an ad, anything, you know, if there’s a, if there’s anything he 

[00:23:05] Stephen: wants to add. Oh yeah, sure. I mean, just, you know, the second year of this team with Candace Parker, hopefully getting a little bit closer of a full season for her. You know, maybe roles being a little bit more clearly defined, I think with this roster and kind of year two of this full group.

[00:23:19] And they added two really great players to an already great starting or closing five in Allemand and Meesseman as Eric mentioned a team that was, you know, already are really dangerous team offensively added two great offensive players. And you know, Candace Parker, the days are numbered for her basketball career as, as I’m sure she would say as well.

[00:23:41] So savoring every moment of it.

[00:23:43] Becky: Awesome. I’m also most excited for the Chicago sky next season. So our last two questions, we’re getting a little spicy. The first one, Stephen what common WNBA narrative drives Eric nuts. 

[00:23:59] Stephen: All right. I had a few choices here and some of them are maybe not even podcasts appropriate, but 

[00:24:05] I went with expansion. Every time a popular college player who has a very small margin of chance of WNBA success gets cut from a training camp, roster, WNBA Twitter, explodes with talk of expansion, which, you know, I, I do think roster expansion would be great getting teams to 15 players. But you know, when I dunno.

[00:24:29] Can I name names when 

[00:24:29] Redacted. 

[00:24:30] Stephen: Is getting cut and we’re talking about how the league needs expansion? You know, I think we just take that stuff a little too far sometimes. And I think Eric thinks that we take it a little too far. 

[00:24:38] Sometimes 

[00:24:39] Eric: we definitely do. And I, that was, that’s an interesting name.

[00:24:42] You just dropped because 

[00:24:43] Redacted. 

[00:24:44] Eric: actually signed her to a training camp contract, but when she gets cut again, then we could say that that’s why the league needs to expand. No, actually that’s not my answer, but that’s a good one though. Like, I totally forgot that I get upset with that. So maybe it’s just not in the right to the right timeframe of the season for me to get upset about it.

[00:25:00] I’m sure I will. Again. So for those of you who are listening, watch for me on Twitter to get upset it take that I dislike the most or the narrative that I dislike the most is when people say somebody is a good defensive player, and then they say defensive rating. That drives me up a wall because defense is five players guarding one basket, guarding one basketball and defensive rating is the number of points per a hundred possessions.

[00:25:28] A team gives up while that player is on the floor. You cannot isolate one player when you’re evaluating a team statistic like that. It doesn’t make sense. I can’t believe you didn’t either, because we talk about this all the time. We talk about this all the time. I hate that. I like defensive rating when in a team context, but for a player it’s, it’s totally misleading.

[00:25:48] It shouldn’t exist. It’s full of noise. It’s garbage. I hate it. Stop doing it. Please.

[00:25:55] Becky: Sounds like you hate it. Eric, what do you think Stephen? 

[00:25:58] Eric: I also had a few choices. We get, we get so grumpy sometimes. I’m going to say just the thought that just the overall train of thought that that players can’t have weaknesses or that they can’t be bad, or you can’t say critical things about them or else you’re automatically a hater beyond reproach beyond reproach.

[00:26:20] Or if you say like Stephen got in trouble on Twitter once I’m not going to name the player or the, or the fans, but he said, you know, Hey, this player is really good. I may not be the best player in the league, but she’s really good. And then people somehow interpreted that in a bad way. And he got his mentioned flooded.

[00:26:35] So, I mean, yeah, I think Stephen gets, gets upset with that sometimes. That’s part of, you know, Our mission. If we want to call it that on the Double Down WNBA is we look at things objectively and like, Hey, if we see, even if we like a player, like like, you know, I love Kelsey Mitchell as Stephen said, but I, I can say like Kelsey, which has got to improve our perimeter defense, Kelsey Mitchell has got to look for a team is to get more and more involved.

[00:26:57] Kelsey, Mitchell’s got to cut a lot of those mid-range shots out of her diet, her shot diet. So we can be, you can be critical while still supporting a player in the big picture. I’m guessing that was the wrong answer, but I just wanted to go off a little bit. 

[00:27:11] Stephen: My actual answer was the one that I guessed for you expansion.

[00:27:13] I thought we were going to be aligned on this, but but that’s a good one too. Players can be very good and still not be very good at every specific element of the game. 

[00:27:22] Becky: Hmm. It sounds wrong, but, okay. Um, The last piece Eric, which Stephen take, do you feel like he wishes, he most could wipe from existence. Something you said on the podcast that is like, I wish I could go edit that out now. 

[00:27:41] Eric: You know, for this question, like, we have so much, so many hours worth of material. , I myself say some things that are pretty cringy. But Stephen actually brought this up for me a few, a few days ago. What what did you say?

[00:27:54] We’d rather have Sydney Colson over, over who was it? 

[00:27:58] Stephen: Oh, yeah. And the the off season going into 2020. And this is part of the the best of less than a compiled here for this question that we can get into in a minute. But thought the ACEs made a mistake by letting go of Sydney Colson and signing D Rob while Sydney Colson, you know, pretty much killed the Sky that season.

[00:28:15] They had like a they, they were just a terrible offense when she was on the floor and, you know, D Rob was helping the ACEs, you know, make the finals that year. So that, that one doesn’t look great in hindsight for us.

[00:28:27] Not my choice though. I went with Eric, as you know, I was a long time doubter of the 20 21 Connecticut Sun’s chances of winning the championship. 

[00:28:36] And late in the season, you know, when we did our, our case for and against show that where we kind of, you know, went through the top six and, and kind of what the path for each team possibly winning a championship would look like I kind of came around on the Sun a little bit more did I did. And you know, after holding out so, so much, you know, being, I feel like one of the only voices pointing out that they just didn’t have a guard to create offense in the half court.

[00:29:01] You know, I kinda thought that they, they did have a title window. And then of course, you know, we know what happened with the Connecticut Sun. They lost to your Chicago Sky. Congrats again. 

[00:29:10] Eric: Thank you. And that was like one of the main reasons too, like that one reason you were so critical of them.

[00:29:15] Becky: Yeah. I believe Stephen referred to them as the fraudulent ass 2021 Connecticut Sun. Well, that’s where 

[00:29:21] Stephen: that was in the notes. 

[00:29:21] Eric: Yeah. Wow. 

[00:29:25] Becky: Okay. Stephen what do you think Eric said that he wishes could be erased?

[00:29:30] Stephen: So I had Eric’s 2020 Angel McCoughtry outlook which definitely applies to both of us.

[00:29:36] We were not believers in Angel again contributing to that finals team for the Aces, you know, I think fairly coming off a knee injury at her age we did not think that she was going to be a contributor. 

[00:29:50] Eric: Yeah, I’ll definitely take it back.

[00:29:51] That’s not right. That’s not, that’s not what I play, but that’s right. We’ll, we’ll take that one step further. I think I remember saying one of the main reasons why I wasn’t sure if that was going to work or not was because Angel had always been the, the, the go-to player, the alpha on her, on those Atlanta Dream teams for many, many years.

[00:30:06] And in Vegas, it was clear that that wasn’t going to be her role. And I was just wondering like, Hey, can a player who’s been used to being this, this big time star for all these years, really scale it back and play within a system and constantly defer to players like A’ja Wilson. And she did, I mean, she had one of the most efficient seasons of her career, albeit on a, on a minute limit, but she was still very, very effective for that Aces team.

[00:30:27] So that’s a good that, that was a good guest. It was not what I picked. I was very sold on the Chicago Sky drafting Shyla Heal in 2021. I thought it was a great pick. I thought it was a best of both worlds and that she was of course, a young player that fits the the backup point guard need on the Sky roster, but she also had the international experience the experience playing against other professionals and she would come right in and do well right away.

[00:30:54] As it turned out they could not keep Shyla Heal on the floor because she couldn’t even get the ball up the court. That was very painful. And of course you saw how that ended. They ended up trading her for a Dana Evans who drafted they could have drafted. Yeah, that was strange, but it led to a championship.

[00:31:10] So I’m not going to pout too much about that, but yeah, I’m sorry, Shyla but that take turned out to be dead wrong. 

[00:31:16] Stephen: Okay. Can I run through maybe a, we don’t have time for this, but can I run through some of our other words? Okay. Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do it.

[00:31:22] Okay. So I thought the the 2021 Sun would be the worst offense in the league. We both thought that Jonquel Jones and Bri Jones couldn’t play together. I predicted the 2020 Fever to make the playoffs, and instead they were the second worst team in the league. We both were on the Bria Holmes train to be in contention for the 2020 All Defense team.

[00:31:40] And we, after disliking the move initially we both kind of came around on Candice Dupree, being a solid offensive fit for the Seattle Storm last year, which of course was not the case. And then also in 2020, I said, as long as the Dream had Courtney Williams, they would be a playoff team. So those are, those are some of the greatest hits for the insight you can get on the Double Down WNBA podcast.

[00:32:03] Becky: If that’s an endorsement. Um, I told 

[00:32:07] Eric: them we have really, I told you we have really self-deprecating senses. That’s just how we were probably role. 

[00:32:12] Becky: Well, we haven’t gotten run through every single take. That was absolutely correct. But someone who was absolutely correct. At least a little bit. The winner of our newlywed game is Eric! 

[00:32:22] Eric: Thank you. Thank you. I just like to thank my family and all my close friends for supporting me throughout this this difficult journey. Well, w what was the final score? Like 0.5 to negative one or something like.

[00:32:32] Did you do what you gotta do? You do what? You gotta just win baby. We know each other so well, yeah, this is obviously worked really, really well. This is great.

[00:32:41] Becky: Okay. So before we start plugging any data into the algorithm, we’re going to do a quick game of this or that rapid round. I want you both to yell at the same time, your answer, and we’ll see what we agree with and see what we don’t. Are you ready to unmute and yell answers at me?

[00:33:00] Eric: Let’s do it. 

[00:33:01] Becky: So Feisty or friendly? Friendly

[00:33:02] Veteran or rookie? Veteran; Rookie

[00:33:06] All-star or striving? 

[00:33:08] Eric: Striving, striving 

[00:33:10] Becky: defense, or offense? 

[00:33:12] Eric: Offense, offense 

[00:33:13] On-Court or Off-Court?. Off-court

[00:33:16] Becky: Fashion or dancing?

[00:33:19] Eric: Fashion, fashion, I guess. 

[00:33:22] Becky: Blocks or steals? 

[00:33:24] Eric: Steals. Steals. 

[00:33:25] Becky: Okay. So what I’ve learned from you too so far: You both would love to be point guards, if you could physically do so. You’re super excited about the Chicago Sky, hate the sky guy, but that’s okay. And even though on your podcast, you spent a lot of time dive into the statistics, really look at the game of basketball in terms of the type of players you actually want to talk to get to know, you really want to hear about that off-court stuff and, and players that can speak to something else off the court as well.

[00:34:00] You both went for a friendly player who still striving. You both went for often fashion and steals. And veterans are rookies. We’ll look at both. Is there anything crucial that I have missed before we start plugging this data in? 

[00:34:19] Stephen: I do think it’s important to note that Eric is a dog dude and I am a cat guy. 

[00:34:24] Eric: That would explain everything. .

[00:34:27] Becky: That is tricky. I don’t believe we have any dog cat overlap players who have both um, couple hamsters historically, which may be a middle ground we can consider. We’ll definitely think that through the dust that does complicate things, Stephen, so thank you for raising it. So with that we’ll take a quick break. Let the algorithm run. And when we come back, I will give you a couple options on who should be your podcasts, favorite WNBA player.

[00:34:56] Welcome back. The algorithm has run. We actually have four options, but we’re going to go through them a little quickly. Since you guys I think have a good base of knowledge. The first player that just popped out immediately. Kind of a no-brainer and I thought maybe too obvious is Julia Allemand. She is a point guard coming to the Chicago sky. Both of you would like to be point guards or point guards is kind of the role that you would be interested in filling. Obviously she is on the Chicago sky now, which is a team that we are both really excited to watch this coming season.

[00:35:49] I think she’ll be a really interesting player to see how she fits in with the team. Julie Allemand is from Belgium, she was drafted in 2016, but didn’t come over into the league until 2020 for the Indiana fever.

[00:36:03] She was an All Rookie in 2020, but has since been traded to Chicago Sky. So I think it’s going to be a ton of fun to see what she does this year. She is kind of a, I think going to be a great backup to Courtney Vandersloot in terms of the assist number she was putting up.

[00:36:20] But she will be in that backup role. So we have a striving player. Certainly a friendly demeanor from. What we know. And she also has interesting things to talk about off the court in particularly maybe aspects of basketball off the court. It was widely reported that she was taking a step away for basketball earliest year, which has actually seemed to be a mistranslation of what she was talking about.

[00:36:43] She came out with a meaningful post about the mental toll and dealing with her mental health related to playing basketball. And she is someone that I would like to interview for that reason to hear her talk more about that. She, I believe has a dog from what I can tell based on my Google translating of her Instagram page.

[00:37:04] Any reactions to Julie Allemand? 

[00:37:09] Eric: I think that’s an interesting choice. That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s a pretty good choice statement. What do you think? 

[00:37:14] Stephen: I think Allemand is definitely a worthy consideration. My concern is tethering my heartstrings too closely to a player who may not come over every year.

[00:37:24] We’ve seen Allemand prioritize other things other than the WNBA. But a player whose game I love and, and definitely worthy of consideration. Well, we’ll see what the other, I don’t want to dismiss it out out of hand, you know, too quickly, but you know, her Inconsistencies coming over, which I fully support of course, but you know, when we’re talking about the official player of that, Double Down WNBA podcast, you know, this is important 

[00:37:47] Eric: stuff here.

[00:37:48] Okay. Let’s let’s see what let’s, let’s see. What’s behind door number two here. 

[00:37:53] Becky: Okay. That brings us to a player. That’s very much a player who sticks around, I think. And that’s Tiffany Hayes. She’s a guard for the Atlanta dream drafted in 2014 out of Yukon. She is someone that I would put solidly in the underrated category.

[00:38:12] In terms of she has been an all star she’s been put on all w NBA teams, but isn’t always talked about as much as I think her play warrants. We’ll see if you agree. But she is someone who is definitely dedicated to Atlanta. She has been consistent contributor to that team really seems to be connected with the Atlanta community.

[00:38:32] . She founded a training center hoop nation, Atlanta with her sister this past year. And they also give back, you know, free school supplies, et cetera. So that she has certainly plenty to talk about off the court on the court, obviously an offensive force and someone who I think should be a more consistent all-star, but I guess is still striving in that area because she’s not consistently placed there.

[00:38:58] I also found in my research that she once did an MTV cribs style house tour of her house and that. Just important content to be aware of. Wow. 

[00:39:08] Eric: That’s that’s, that could be the deciding factor honestly, 

[00:39:10] Becky: okay. So any thoughts on Tiffany Hayes 

[00:39:16] Stephen: Well, I think especially coming off the season that Hayes just had, which kind of in the same Kelsey Mitchell vein that I was talking about, you know, a very productive player, but maybe in an ecosystem that is not warranting a lot of attention from, you know, the people that are not locked into maybe the bottom of the standings as much.

[00:39:35] A great choice.

[00:39:36] I love it 

[00:39:36] Becky: What do you think Eric, any reactions, 

[00:39:39] Eric: Well immediate reaction is that Tiffany Hayes actually has me blocked on Twitter. So I’m not sure if I can endorse her for the Double Down WNBA Podcast but if she, but it’s the podcast’s player, not my personal player. 

[00:39:50] Stephen: No this is huge. This is very important 

[00:39:52] Becky: This is important 

[00:39:53] Eric: This is important Okay 

[00:39:53] Becky: What did you do to Tiffany Hayes 

[00:39:55] Eric: I mean, okay. So I swear I didn’t do anything. I swear. This is a long time ago. This is like, let’s say five or six years ago someone I followed wants somebody made some like lame tweet about Tiffany Hayes because she’s always, she’s always going off with referees on Twitter.

[00:40:09] And I made some comment in reply, not not like a derogatory comment, or anything I said something like, yeah, she, she does this a lot. She’s very online. And the next thing I know she’s I like, I, I didn’t go after her or anything of that. I didn’t even tag her, but she has me blocked Of course it’s her social media.

[00:40:23] It’s her page. I wouldn’t want to view my tweets either. But it does seem like it would be an important factor if it’s our podcast’s our player, you 

[00:40:31] know, 

[00:40:32] Becky: that’s true. That’s important to know. I mean, she didn’t know when she blocked you, that you were also very online, so that’s not a criticism.

[00:40:40] It can just be true, but okay. Okay. Well, let’s move on to the next one then. So hopefully neither you are blocked by DiDi Richards. DiDi Richards a guard wing who plays for the New York Liberty. She was a freshman last year drafted out of Baylor in the second round. One of the few second round draft picks to make it onto the team and see like, seem like that you will stick on said team maybe all worky team in 2021.

[00:41:14] Of course, when you both answered fashion which I was a little surprised by the first name and fashion in the WNBA is, is DiDi Richards. Who’s incredibly fashionable and aspires to be a model. So that’s something that she spends a lot of time with off the court and can speak to you.

[00:41:36] Might’ve seen recent photos, she’s at New York fashion week. She’s out and about in New York. It’s great that she’s in New York, cause Stephen will be able to watch her play in person. Both of you also said steals in the blocks or steals. Obviously DiDi is known to be a menace on defense. And well she is not yet the offensive powerhouse.

[00:41:58] That is a striving part of her game. So that’s something you can watch for. Like you two buddies, she’s got kind of a best buddy in the WNBA in DiJonai Carrington. And they’re really fun to watch together. 

[00:42:12] And I do have a picture of her with a dog, but I do not have confirmation whether or not it is her dog or a family dog is my suspicion.

[00:42:19] So that might play out the way. What are your thoughts on DiDi Richards? 

[00:42:24] Eric: So just just to clarify, I went with fashion over dancing because I can’t dance at all. I am not a fashion expert by any means. But I am definitely not a dancing expert, like not even close. So that was kind of like the last year two evils for me.

[00:42:40] But DiDi Richards is definitely an interesting choice. She’s got a, her game is really unique, you know, I think, I think what makes her successful isn’t, isn’t what a lot of other players really hang their hats on. Like she’s her skillset combined with her, you know, her, her player archetype is Stephen likes to say, that’s not a common thing in the WNBA that she’s a, she’s like a wing playing guard who really excels in defense.

[00:43:03] And she’s got a great feel for the game on offense, but she’s not really assertive on offense. Yeah, that’s an interesting choice. I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t know if a duty would come up here. I am 

[00:43:13] Stephen: familiar with some of her her looks and she does have a very, 

[00:43:17] Eric: she’s very fashionable. Yeah. 

[00:43:18] Stephen: She’s very fashionable.

[00:43:19] And she’s in New York and she’s a great bench presence, which I think for players that are not you know, leading their teams in minutes having some enthusiasm on the bench definitely helps in these types of things. 

[00:43:30] Becky: I do want to update and because this is an important part, you know, for my credibility purposes, DiDi Richards does have a dog whose name is Echo.

[00:43:41] She was in a recent photo spread with Echo. It is a different dog than I have on the website who may be a family dog, but I do want to update it appears she has a dog named Echo. I don’t, I don’t want to mess that up.

[00:43:51] Okay. You are last option also has a dog named Mowgli. Is Layshia Clarendon, who you mentioned already. They are a guard for the Minnesota Lynx, a point guard. He was drafted in 2012 out of Cal has been an All Star one year, but as Stephen mentioned is pretty underrated and underrated for the exact reasons that Eric mentioned as important in a point guard, that leadership piece, that she really sees herself as a lead by example person, both on and off the court.

[00:44:31] And takes that role pretty seriously. I’m sure you two know some about Layshia Clarendon in terms of her off the court activism. Obviously so much to talk about with him. The first openly transgender athlete in the WNBA. I’m using both she, her, he, him, they, them pronouns because they identify with all those pronouns and is really open and honest and authentic in sharing that journey .

[00:45:01] And I think that’s really just really been so valuable in the WNBA and something that I root for in them. And I wanted to give you a more veteran in the mix. Cause I had a couple of young players in here. And certainly although they can be placed at the court of very friendly personality, what do we think about Layshia?

[00:45:22] Eric: I think Layshia is amazing for obviously all the reasons that you stated, but particularly off the court, like, like you said, he just has this fearlessness about himself and a willingness to stand up for what they believe is right. And a willingness to fight for what they believe is right. 

[00:45:38] You know, and I have specifically concerning like. I I of course have a master’s degree in clinical psychology for personal, like, personal reasons why I got into that. And I’m watching Claredon and his journey, both in the WNBA and, and off the court as well has been very inspiring and on the court.

[00:45:57] I think both Stephen and I would agree that the Minnesota Lynx season turned around when they got at Clarendon on that roster. It didn’t always show up in the statute, but it was clear they were a better team with Liza Clarendon than without them. So, yeah, that’s, that’s a pretty good pick. That’s pretty good pick.

[00:46:12] Stephen: I want to just echo everything that Eric said. And obviously laser Clarendon is, is an inspiring figure in this league for, for a number of reasons that you both so eloquently put, but also leisure. Clarendon is a hell of a basketball player. Layshia Clarendon was extremely effective on the basketball court and, you know, a player who has been around a little bit played for my Connecticut son, played for the Liberty, played for Eric’s, you know, second team, the Indiana fever, who he likes to, you know, make those trips.

[00:46:40] So a player that we’re both very familiar with and one that, you know, stands for, I think, off the court, like you all were saying you know, everything that, that people will kind of gravitate towards the WNBA for outside of, you know, the 

[00:46:53] basketball elements of it.

[00:46:55] Becky: That is well said.

[00:46:57] Okay. With those four options. What are we thinking? Do you have any other follow-up questions or do you think you’re ready to decide Eric? Our ultimate arbiter? 

[00:47:08] Eric: Yeah, that’s right. I did. I did get the most points there. So I decided, no, I think I mean, you did a great job of explaining the project.

[00:47:13] Stephen: I’ll just sit here quietly. 

[00:47:16] Eric: You did a great job of explaining the process thoroughly. Obviously the algorithm there’s maximum transparency, so we can all see what went into it and what the important factors were in, in choosing these players. So I appreciate that. 

[00:47:29] Becky: Transparency is at the heart of any organization,.

[00:47:33] Eric: Of course you have to be transparent. And along those same lines, I will be transparent in making my decision for the Double Down WNBA podcast. We’ll be selecting Layshia Clarendon as its official player. 

[00:47:47] We, we, we kind of just said it. Like Layshia Clarendon is a terrific ambassador for the WNBA both on and off the court. She’s an amazing basketball player. And he’s one of those people who, you know, you always, you always come away feeling empowered and inspired after listening to him speak. And that’s, that’s something that’s very admirable, you know, I think what else can we do for other people, but inspire them.

[00:48:09] And Layshia Clarendon is at the top when it comes to that. So I am proud to select Layshia Clarendon as the player for the Double Down WNBA podcast. I’ll 

[00:48:19] Becky: edit in that little like, [singing] like the draft? I can’t even do it. We’ll find the audio. Okay. I’m so excited. We’ve found a favorite player for the Double Down WNBA podcast.

[00:48:37] Before I let you go though, please. Tell our listeners, how to find that podcast. And any other projects that you guys are working on that we should know about? 

[00:48:48] Stephen: The Double Down WNBA podcast, you can find us on Apple, Spotify, and Google podcasts, and you can find the show on Twitter at DoubleDownWNBA. And thank you so much Robocoko for, for having us on. 

[00:49:00] Eric: Yes. Thank you so much. Really appreciate that. In addition to the Double Down WNBA podcast, I continue to write about women’s basketball for a Swish Appeal, which is the SB Nation women’s basketball affiliate under new management now, actually.

[00:49:13] So I’m really excited about that. Shout out to Sabreena Merchant for taking on that that task. I’m really excited to work with. We’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming up.

[00:49:21] And Stephen, should we plug our official Twitter accounts or would that be a… 

[00:49:24] Stephen: I’m on private. Don’t follow me right now. 

[00:49:26] Eric: Okay. Don’t follow Stephen but you can follow me at nemchocke and then you can probably find Stephen, you know, somewhere, somewhere along the lines. But yeah, echoing Stephen’s sentiments. Thank you very much, Robocoko for having us. This is a lot of fun. Learned a lot about my podcast partner and learned a lot about myself as well.

[00:49:41] So I really appreciate the, uh, the hospitality. 

[00:49:44] Stephen: I feel better about the relationship. I think that podcast is renewed. Thank you so much for what you do.

[00:49:50] Eric: We’re going to, we’re going to hit, we’re going to hit the road with just renewed energy. The next podcast is going to be the best podcast ever. So listen to Double Down WNBA cause it’s going to be great. 

[00:50:00] Becky: Thank you so much for being here. I feel like we had a lot of growth today together, and I appreciate that. 

[00:50:05] You two have now been life coached. 

[00:50:10] Thank you again for listening to w MBA life coaching please rate review, subscribe to let us know how we’re doing. For show notes or more information about this podcast, you can find them@robococo.com. 

[00:50:23] That’s R O B O C O K o.com. So thanks for stopping by the office. Same time next week? 

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