With Warren Sapp gone fishin’, Brian Jones and Kenyon Rasheed joined Gary Payton and host Dawn Lupul for this week’s edition of BetUS Unfiltered.
The topic on the top of everyone’s mind at the start of the show? The reported June 6 fight in Miami between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and YouTuber-turned-boxer Logan Paul — one that figures to net both participants a payday in the tens of millions.
“We can’t get mad at Floyd — but really?” Rasheed said of the matchup. “This dude wants to pick up boxing and beat a guy who’s been boxing his whole life? That’s like saying me and B.J. are gonna play Gary when Gary’s in his prime and someone’s going to pay to watch that.”
“Mama had one rule: Never run to an ass whoopin,” Jones added. “And that’s what this dude’s doing.”
New Rules, Just Right
Later in the show, the cast debated the latest updates to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which included provisions that eliminate offseason testing for marijuana.
The Hall of Famer Payton said he’s for the change — as long as players are careful with the responsibility.
“You can do whatever you want to do in your life and I’m not going to stop you,” Payton said. “But you’ve got to come to work prepared. I don’t want you coming here high or all this. [After work], you can go relax and do what you’ve got to do.”
Jones also chimed in with a perspective on marijuana’s role in pain management, common use in today’s day and age. His message: Get with the program or get out of the way.
If there’s a remedy out there that can assist me with mitigating the pain I’m struggling with. That’s what these players are doing, and the league better get on board, because this train has left the depot. It’s left the station.”
When the topic of this week’s NFL Draft came up, Jones took a deep dive on the quarterbacks, including a surprising take on Alabama’s Mac Jones and his opinion of expected No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence.
“I think he is the real deal, and he’s going to do yeoman’s work for Jacksonville,” Jones said. “Justin Fields — everyone is questioning whether he can process the game … but you don’t throw the damn watermelon away because of the seeds. I think he’s got a lot of upside.
“It all comes down to the system you’re plugged into,” Jones continued, before adding a caveat: “If that coach knows how to utilize you — as long as that coach is not beholden to his philosophy.”
When asked who the San Francisco 49ers — Payton’s favorite team — should take at No. 3, Rasheed got right to the point:
“I think they should take Mac Jones,” Rasheed said. “I think they have a Super Bowl-ready team. They want a quarterback who’s not going to make mistakes. They want to run the ball and they want a quarterback that’s basically going to lead the team.”
The crew also shared their predictions for which team improves the most as a result of their picks this week. After Payton mentioned the Patriots, Jones turned his attention to the Dolphins and head coach Brian Flores, a former New England assistant.
“The moves he’s made are reminiscent of the Patriots, trading guys to amasss more picks, and they’re not far off,” Jones said.”Everyone says DeVonta Smith, but I’d take Kyle Pitts. … He’s a unicorn, he’s fabulous. He tore up everyone he played against, including Alabama.”
Pick a Side
In the final segment of the show, Payton analyzed LeBron James’ star power and broke down what makes James, not Kevin Durant, the perfect face of the NBA.
“LeBron is the ideal spokesperson for the NBA because he’s not on [Instagram] fighting with people, he says the right things,” Payton said. “So that’s what they want. They want kids to see that, to make a role model out of that. That’s why he’s in Space Jam, that’s why he goes and buys into the Red Sox. That’s what you want with a guy like that. He’s just like what Michael Jordan was, and then he went into ownership. And LeBron’s going to do the same thing.”
“LeBron has become a firebrand,” Jones said, “and people can’t wait to take shots at him.”
When the topic of the next face of the NBA arose, Zion Williamson was the name du jour — but his ascension won’t be a given, according to Payton.
“He has to grow up now. He’s still a kid and he’s not really that vocal type of player yet,” Payton said. “He’s just getting his feet wet. But as you get into something, you’re going to grow. You’re going to grow to be that person. … They’re pumping him up to be that, so it’s up to him to make the choice that that’s what he wants to be.”