Saturday, May 14, 2016

Former LA Clippers teammates Spencer Hawes and JJ Redick share their favorite NBA Road Cities

Spencer Hawes returns as a guest on 'The Vertical podcast with JJ Redick', the first and only pod anchored by a current NBA player.
They briefly discuss their favourite Road Cities in the States.
Spencer Hawes joins The Vertical Podcast
JJ REDICK: (11m 20s) My favorite roadtrip when I was in Orlando was when we would hit the Pacific Northwest. We'd always go to Portland and Seattle, usually have between 4 and 5 days between the two cities. You'd be guaranteed to be in one of the two cities for 2 or 3 days. And they're two of my favorite cities in the US. And certainly Portland is one of my favorite cities to visit as a Road city.
What are some of your favorite Road Cities? Maybe the ones -- obviously New York, San Francisco -- those are my two favorites. What are some off the beaten path, some underrated road cities to you?
SPENCER HAWES: Obviously you gotta throw LA and New York. You can't really count those for obvious reasons. Obviously San Francisco is a terrific city. I'm really a fan of Toronto
REDICK: Its' cold.
HAWES: A lot of times when we go up there due to the schedule its in the dead of winter, you see kind of the worst side of the City when its 15° and snowing out but I got an opportunity to go up there during the lockout a few years ago. I believe it was during the fall and had an unbelievable experience so Toronto's definitely one of my favorites.
Where else would I throw in there. What's another one you like? Chicago?
REDICK: Chicago. Well Chicago is great. Good town. I'm gonna throw one in there and it's similar to Toronto in that the weather is always awful when ever we play there but I think its a world-class city: Minneapolis, Minnesota.
HAWES: Yeah (agreeing)
REDICK: Great restaurants, great music scene, great sports town. Also [Redick's wife] Chelsea, if you're listening to this please cover your ears but I also dated a girl from 2 years in College that was from Minneapolis so I got to spend some time up there in the summer and go to Twins games and go out on the lake. It's an awesome city!
The discussion brings up a predicament with my 30 Home Games mission. As the NBA season is on during winter, the Cities' may not as be as hospitable as they'd be if I visited during the summer months.
HAWES: I think that's like a lot of Midwestern cities. If you were a baseball player your experience would be completely different from that of playing in the NBA if that's your hometown because you experience baseball season, the summer, the lakes everything. All the best things the city has to offer.
REDICK: No question, being a [Twins' catcher] Joe Mauer or something like that. Your opinion of Minnesota is a little bit different rather than a guy who's been playing for the Timberwolves a couple of years and moves during the summer as soon as the season is over.
Both JJ and Spencer were teammates in Los Angeles, and their fondness for each other is evident on the pod. They touch on their time in China as their respective teams [Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers] faced off at the 2015 NBA Global Games. I was lucky to catch some of that action on the Shenzhen leg of the tour.
I highly recommend the Redick podcast. Its similar in vein to the insight Jalen Rose has provided with David Jacoby and Bill Simmons for ESPN but from a current player's perspective. Rose and Redick diverge in other ways too, Redick more likely to talk about current movies and TV shows especially with his connection to LA.

Spencer Hawes' pick: Toronto, Ontario
JJ Redick's pick: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Find Champagning and Campaigning posts here:
- NBA Cities: Eastern Conference
- NBA Cities: Western Conference
- Jalen's Black Guy City Power Rankings