SmartLess - Listen Now: Alternate Routes with Trey Wingo and Kevin Frazier

Episode Date: March 18, 2024

What if the NBA never vetoed the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers? What if the Seahawks ran the ball on the one yard line in the Super Bowl? Could a coin flip have landed Magic in Chicago, Mich...ael in LA and made Charles Barkley the first Black President? Wait, what?!! Questions like these have broken the brains of sports fans since the beginning of time. Enter Wondery’s newest sports show, Alternate Routes, a weekly leap into the sports multiverse where former SportsCenter anchors, Trey Wingo and Kevin Frazier pry open the sliding doors of a different “what if'' moment from the world of sports. In these alternate sports realities, dynasties will fall! Legacies will change forever! New GOATs will emerge! Join Trey and Kevin every week as they travel every path, go down every rabbit hole and follow every alternate route, no matter how far-flung or far-fetched. Enjoy Alternate Routes with Trey Wingo and Kevin Frazier wherever you get your podcasts: See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 Hey guys, it's Jason Bateman. I'm really excited to tell you about Alternate Roots, the newest sports podcast from our friends at Wondry. If you're a sports fan like me, then you know there are all kinds of sliding doors scenarios and what-if moments in sports that keep fans hooked. Like, what if the Chicago Bears and not the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes?
Starting point is 00:00:22 We could be celebrating the Bears right now. And more importantly, would Travis have ever have met Tay Tay? Huh? Each week on the podcast, former SportsCenter anchors Trey Wingo and Kevin Frazier pry open the sliding doors of a different what-if moment from the world of sports. I'm about to play a clip from Alternate Roots.
Starting point is 00:00:41 Follow Alternate Roots on the Wondry app or wherever you get your podcasts. Which your first alternate route with Chris Paul playing alongside Kobe Bryant? The easiest one to think of is that the Lakers have arguably the greatest back court in the history of the NBA. I mean, you have Kobe and CP3 and their intensity and leadership. I don't know
Starting point is 00:01:05 if we've ever seen a situation where he had the best shooting guard and at that point the best point guard playing together and because they're so dominant, let's just throw this out there, the splash brothers with Steph, Curry and Clay, they never get to where they are because they're going to have to go through the Lakers with Kobe and CP3. Let me say this, okay? Having lived that moment, that Lakers team was pretty doggone good, and we forget about all the pieces that they already had that they were gonna jettison. First of all, Pal Gasol, he was gonna be gone.
Starting point is 00:01:35 You were gonna lose Lamar. So what I'm saying is that the Lakers may never win another championship with Kobe, even if they get CP3 and here's why because You come out of the box and you say well you lose pal You lose the reigning sixth man of the year Lamar Odom who handled the ball late in games It was a big piece of that team you are left with Andrew Bynum What we know now in hindsight is that he was playing bone on bone in those knees. So there was no way that he was going to last and hold up over 82 games
Starting point is 00:02:08 to support that team as their big man. There was also rumored that they were going to bring in Dwight Howard because they would have had enough under the salary cap to bring in another superstar. But wait a minute, this wasn't Dwight Howard the Superman. This was Dwight Howard the mere mortal. And what we also know is that when Dwight finally arrived in LA, if I can quote Kobe Bryant, nothing made me appreciate Shaq more than Dwight Howard.
Starting point is 00:02:34 You know, it is interesting, right? Because you think of it and you just look at Chris Paul's skillset and you look at obviously what Kobe had been doing and you think, well, put those together, it's going to work. But there is an element to building a team, right? And understanding everybody's role in that team structure. And the way it worked with Kobe before the whole CP3 trade, everyone understood what they were supposed to do. And there is an idea that if you get these two ball-dominant players, and let's be honest, if you're the point guard, you're ball-dominant, honest if you're the point guard you're ball dominant and if you're Kobe you're
Starting point is 00:03:07 always ball dominant so there is an element to the idea of okay let's just put stars together and it's gonna work well no because there has to be a deferential packing order and how much do you think that would have been a problem for CP3 and Kobe together? The Lakers tried the superstar route and it didn't work when they had Shaq, Karl Malone, Gary Payton and Kobe. What? What more do you need? Didn't work out, did it? You need role players. Like Ben Wallace who they ran into.
Starting point is 00:03:35 They lost to Detroit in the finals because of Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, that crew that had a bunch of role players and a couple of superstars that got them over the hump. All right. So what's your first sort of alternate route here then? My first alternate route is kind of flying in the face of what I just said, but it's okay.
Starting point is 00:03:55 Follow me and rock with me, Trey. All right? I gotcha. I'm with you. Gilbert Arenas ends up being a Laker. Agent Zero goes to LA? Yes, because Gilbert was supposed to be a part of that Dwight Howard deal.
Starting point is 00:04:08 Orlando wanted to unload a bunch of money, and Gilbert on his podcast said, look, I was going to go along with Dwight to LA. So now you have Gilbert, you have Chris Paul, you have Kobe, and you have Dwight. Just imagine that. You have an incredible team because there was enough money under the salary cap
Starting point is 00:04:28 for the Lakers to pay four superstars. And that's what annoyed Mark Cuban so much. He was like, listen, you're gonna be able to pay all these guys, they're all gonna be able to play, and the Lakers will put together a super team. I'm just saying Gilbert Arenas back home in LA. You're adding that much more firepower,
Starting point is 00:04:43 it changes the balance in the Western Conference. I guess my only question was Gilbert, as we all know, is kind of a loose cannon for lack of a better term, right? You think? A little bit? Would he have been okay back in LA, back around all those people that he's known forever? And I feel like it would have been really easy for him to get distracted. So I guess Kobe would have had to really sort of make sure he kept him in check, right? And that's the big thing is like, Kobe we saw in the second half of his career and then later on after he played really was a mentor to so many players. Met a world piece. But early on, Kobe had issues with dudes and if he had issues with you, he gave you the Kobe death steer. I
Starting point is 00:05:22 can't tell you how many nights I just sat there looking at him, looking at people that like he wanted to just strangle them. That was Kobe's thing. He felt everyone should be working as hard as he's working. He gave it to Shaq. I mean, he made sure Shaq left LA. So that totally makes sense. You can listen to Alternate Roots early and ad free right
Starting point is 00:05:41 now by joining Wondry Plus in the Wondry app or on Apple podcasts.

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