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Patrick Beverley Is Coming For Everyone, Eventually, With Pablo Torre

Patrick Beverley yelling at a teammate, for a change, during a February Timberwolves game against the Cavaliers.
Jason Miller/Getty Images

It is both difficult and easier than it has ever been to hold spicy opinions. It is easy because the world is positively lousy with opinions. They pour violently out of unattended hydrants and get stuck ghostlike in tree branches; they crowd the sidewalks and are swept into rank piles on the curbs and clog the drains when it rains; city vermin feast on them in alleyways and get stomach trouble as a result. These opinions are overproduced to the point of recklessness; they accumulate daily in stubborn little nurdles inside the bodies of creatures that don’t even know they’re ingesting them, and there they will sit forever, simply refusing to biodegrade. Everyone has been exposed to these kinds of opinions, and no one is healthier or happier for it. In that sense, we all have them.

And yet actually, actively having opinions that people are interested in hearing—that they are willing and even excited to consume consciously, instead of ingesting accidentally in the course of daily life—is very difficult. Pablo Torre, who joined us on this episode, has a gift for this. Having opinions is part of his job at ESPN, but when he’s not defending and advancing those opinions on TV, he deals in more informative stuff on his podcast. In our conversation, we covered that full spectrum—what it is like to be in the opinion industry, but also about the things that Torre actually knows about, from the NBA Playoffs to Phil Mickelson’s ongoing self-immolation tour.

It was delightful, of course. The man is a professional, and also this stuff is pretty fun to talk about. During the whirlwind first half of the episode, we covered the incredible collapsing Phoenix Suns, the irresistible rise of Luka Doncic and why everyone hates Chris Paul, discussed our various personal journeys toward “getting to yes” with the Boston Celtics—Drew, it’s worth noting, is not on this journey—and … well let’s do a new sentence for this last bit. Pablo Torre is a defender of Sam Hinkie and his famous Process, and Drew’s mention of it—and my doubts about whether Hinkie really was all that great an evaluator of basketball talent—led Pablo into a wild speedrun of Guy Remembering. Where and when that peaked will be up to the listener. Was it when he triumphantly said, “Heard of Richaun Holmes, David Roth?” Was it when Pablo pulled up the miles-long list of Hinkie’s transactions? The evidentiary brandishing of Christian Wood’s 10-day contract? I, personally, favor all of it, not just because I am always and everywhere up for Guy Remembering, and not just because it is fun to listen to Pablo talk, although both are true. It was also because this was a deeply held opinion, passionately expressed. Done right, it is easy to see the appeal of this sort of thing.

And that was just the first half of the podcast. We also covered Phil Mickelson’s dalliance with the sportswashing-curious ruling family of a murderous petro-state, and Patrick Beverley’s vigorously slanderous trip through the ESPN carwash, and what that kind of job is like and why it will, eventually, be Pat Bev’s to lose. The Funbag offered us an opportunity to consider the future of branded filmed entertainment, and then the future shortly after that one in which the Jake From State Farm is remade in an even grimmer, darker fashion. It was, as these kind of conversations tend to be, more an exchange opinions than anything else. But when done as happily as we did it, and as graciously as Pablo did, it felt almost like exchanging gifts.

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