The experience of winning the NBA championship is like no other. It’s like that show “Entourage”, you’re experiencing the joys of life together with the people you love. Pat Connaughton and his childhood best friend, now business partner, Joe Stanton, are living that show. Pat Connaughton is a notorious figure in the Milwaukee community, not only on the Bucks but also as a real estate developer. Along with Pat, we’re joined by Joe Stanton, his childhood best friend and business partner at Three Leaf Development. Join Richie Burke as he talks to Pat Connaughton and Joe Stanton on their journey these past few years. They’ll give the inside scoop on a lot of stories you’ve never heard before, like transporting the Larry O’Brien trophy from Milwaukee to Massachusetts, the parties that followed the championship, inside All Star Weekend and plenty of childhood memories. Tune in to part one of Pat Connaughton. Part 2 of Pat and Joe is coming next week. The GoGedders podcast is produced by GGMM: https://ggmm.io/
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I am joined by Milwaukee Buck, NBA champ, real estate mogul Pat Connaughton, as well as his best friend from childhood, who is co-hosting it with me for the second time on the show, Joe Stanton, who is also his business partner in real estate at Three Leaf Development. I have decided to chop this up into two parts. The cool thing about this, especially with Joe co-hosting, is that we get insights into a lot of stories that you have never heard of before. Pat has been on a number of shows, but we get to go deep into some childhood stories.
There are a lot of Entourage-like stories of being part of NBA All-Star Weekend, all the parties that ensued after the finals win, transporting the Larry O’Brien trophy from Milwaukee to Massachusetts, and what Joe had to go through to pull that off. All of that we will be covering in this episode. In the next episode, there are some more hilarious childhood stories. We talk baseball and real estate a little bit, and then we go into a lot of fan-submitted questions.
Thank you to everyone who did submit questions. I asked PC if he was single. A lot of ladies did submit that question to me, as well as a number of other good ones. A big thank you to Pat and Joe for coming on. Thank you to you for reading. Just a reminder, please subscribe to the show if you have not already. Write a review and share it with a friend. That all helps us get more people on these episodes. Let’s dive in.
Pat, how are the hands? Any updates? People are wondering.
The hands are doing well. It is coming along a little bit slower than I would like, but patience has not always been my strong suit. The positive is I said to Joe, if he has problems with anybody in the development space, I got a metal plate in for some backhand stuff. If anything were to go south, our security team said they needed my help now. I got a few more job opportunities in case anything goes wrong. I have started shooting. That is the breaking news. I was able to do some shooting two weeks after surgery.
Even with that huge lump on the hand?
They said that would help work through the swelling. It might cause a little bit more but it’s like a step back in swelling, and four steps forward in recovery.
For those who have not seen it, it looks like he has got a golf ball on the back of his hand. It is getting better. To be shooting two weeks after surgery is pretty impressive.
We got Sandro Mamo, as we call him. I got this thing going where I was like, “I had surgery fourteen days ago. I have been in the gym for thirteen days since.” To be shooting fifteen days after surgery is not too bad.
When until you return?
If it was up to me, it would be two more weeks. It will probably be three. They want to be cognizant. It has nothing to do with mobility and hand strength. It is more about contact. They put a metal plate in my hand and eight screws in it. It will stay in and stabilizes the bone. The bone is in a great place to heal. It will take four weeks for the bone to heal fully. I do X-rays every week. There is still a little bit of a hairline fracture, but the movement has no problem with it. The big thing is impact. I can shoot but I can’t catch for now.
They have a guy standing next to me. I look like a quarterback. If the receiver sitting next to me catches the ball, he hands it to me and I take a shot. It is not very efficient, but it is what needs to be done for the time being. The only thing holding me back is that contact. They want to be cognizant of the fact that somebody comes down on my hand. It does not re-break, and then I am down for another four weeks, then it goes into playoffs.
You put on a show at the 2019 Dunk Contest. You did not make it to the final two. D-Wade gave you a bad rating on that one dunk. Do you regret not doing it in 2022? That would have been an easy win.
If it was not for the broken hand, I might have had an opportunity to do it. This is the debate I have had with a few people. I may have had it with Joe. He may have had more experience in this debate. Would you rather be a part of a Dunk Contest that was considered one of the best Dunk Contests of all time, also known as the 2019 Dunk Contest? The way Aaron Gordon and Derrick Jones Jr. kept doing extra dunks at the end to figure out who was going to be the champion, and I got a 50 in it. Would you rather have that or would you rather have one Dunk Contest that was significantly less fun to watch or less impressive?
Be involved in one of those Dunk Contests because those tend to be more memorable. If you make the argument, “Would you rather have a championship ring when it was an easier year to win it or be involved with the dynasty-type teams?” I might take the ring there because it is a ring. It is more meaningful, but I would rather be involved in a contest you are involved in.
I said the same thing. I am biased. Joe over here is all about winning chips. He is all about the hardware. Joe was like, “In ten years, is anybody going to know that it was a bad Dunk Contest? You are going to be a Dunk Contest Champion for the rest of your life.” Joe was not too enthused with the way that it went down, but we will have a chance to right that ship in the three-point contest some year.
We would like to see that. Speaking of that All-Star Weekend, can you tell us about that? You have got some good stories.
It was an awesome weekend. The fact that he got into the Dunk Contests, I know he has got hops, but it was wild. We were going into the weekend. It was in Chicago, a major city. I knew it was going to be a blast of a time. One of the craziest things for me was seeing him on that. I have seen him on the NBA stage with all the All-Stars and all the cool people that we got to meet who were coming up to him and wanting to chit-chat with him.
One of the funniest stories that I always come back to and tell everybody about that weekend is that we were driving around the whole weekend. PC is in the Dunk Contest, and then Giannis is in the game. They sent their security team with us everywhere we went the whole weekend. We had a designated Buck security guy with us driving around every single place we went. When we went out to dinner, at a bar or wherever, he was tagging along with us, which was pretty funny.
We had a driver too. He was a retired Chicago cop who work in private security. That was the closest I will ever get to feeling like I was a significant political figure or athlete being able to drive around with Mo, and get in the back door everywhere we went and the whole thing. The funniest part of all of the private security detail had to be that anytime we got into the car, there were strict instructions from the security guy to put Pat in the back right seat of the car.
This guy would drive in the passenger seat. He was like, “Any time I need to get out of the car and need to get to Pat if shit hits the fan, I got to make sure I get to Pat and get him out of the car and we get him to safety.” I am like, “Do you think he is the fucking President of the United States?” I thought that was the funniest thing. Growing up with him from childhood and seeing people think of him in that manner always makes me laugh.
I thought you were also like, “What about me? I am in the backseat.”
Am I going to be left to be fed to the dogs? What heck.
We had some good ones. That weekend was a lot of fun. Joe and I went back to our childhood days. When we would go to my backyard, we had a basketball hoop. We would lower the rim and pretend to be Steve Blake and Juan Dixon of that Maryland All-Star team, and we would throw down dunks. We would try to repeat Vince Carter’s dunk from the Dunk Contest. To take part in the Dunk Contest and then to have Joe and some of our closest buddies be there for that weekend, my parents, my trainer from home, and my AAU coach, Coach Grady. We had a great group with us who got to also be a part of the experience.
This will be the theme of this entire show. I do not know if anybody has ever seen Entourage. Ari Gold is in the movie and is my favorite character in the show always has this great dialogue where it says, “Athletes, entertainers, actors, and rappers, part of what makes it real is to have the people who you grew up with and who knew what the dream was the entire time be around and sharing those experiences.”
The Dunk Contest is such a unique thing. It is such a spectacle for the NBA All-Star Weekend. There are stories like Joe. We walked into the hotel. He and my other buddies got a room in the players’ hotel. There is security. You got to go through a metal detector and get your credentials checked every time you go in, the stuff of that nature that you do not think about.
We grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts. We grew up with no ties to pro sports, no ties to high political or high net worth individuals. We just think it is normal, but think about it from another perspective. You have got all of the most notable professional athletes in the world percentage-wise in the NBA because of how global it has gone and how they do not have helmets on their heads. The sport itself is so branding and marketable. You have got one place. The security should be high. You do not think about it. We do not think about it.
On the way down, we went to Cracker Barrel and got some lunch because we were starving. We do not think that way because we never grew up around it and had never experienced it until now. It is funny those little intricacies that you do not think about that now when you go through the experience, it is stuff we talk about like, “Do you remember the two security guys we had with us all weekend? Do you remember the security at the hotel all weekend? Do you remember what it was like after the Dunk Contest going down on the floor?” There are so many little things that made the weekend so memorable that were not seen by the public when you were performing at the Dunk Contest.
[bctt tweet=”It’s better to win a championship ring in an easier year than to be involved with the dynasty teams and not win.” via=”no”]
He cares less about this. I care more. I met Giannis before, but I got to meet Christian Yelich because he was a part of the Dunk Contest with Pat. That was a super cool experience for me being able to meet Christian, and there were plenty of others from that weekend too. Growing up in Arlington, Massachusetts, and not knowing anyone of that stature, it was cool to meet all those guys. Speaking of Christian Yelich, do you want to give a little hint of what you are going to do with your finals dunk for the All-Star Dunk Contest? Do you want to save it for the bank for later? What are we thinking?
I got shafted in the Dunk Contest. You and I hold a grudge from time to time. We are moving on to the three-point contest. We are trying to be a part of as many different things at All-Star Weekend as we can. It is okay to give it away. That next dunk we had with Christian, I had a glove on. I am doing a 360-degree dunk while catching a baseball that he threw me from out of bounce. There have been some leaked footage of it here and there from the practice round that we had. I thought it would have been cool to incorporate something different.
The Dunk Contest nowadays, there are so many dunks that have been done. How do you find things that are slightly different? With the jumping over Giannis, touching the backboard added a different element to it. Not everybody noticed that element right away, which is why I had to point it out. They showed the replay. Including catching a baseball with my other hand, while I am doing a 360-degree dunk, I thought that would have added another element and another unique factor that people had not seen. It would have been cool to be able to do on that stage, but it was fun to do in practice and to get down on the second try.
You got the mitt in your left hand, the ball in your right hand, and you do 360-degree and catch it with your left hand.
I did see him in practice throw it down. It was impressive.
Where is Yelich standing?
He was standing behind the backboard out of bounce.
Did he throw it over the backboard?
He throws it right at me. Yelich was phenomenal. It had a little bit of pressure on him because he had to put it in the right place for me to catch it. He did it with ease.
Did you guys roll into Cracker Barrel with the security team? That would have been a baller move.
That is 100% accurate. We rolled into Cracker Barrel. We have Peter Fagan, who we are close with and the President of the team. Joe and Peter have a great relationship. To the general public, it is not always seen as an amicable relationship. Sometimes it is a tough-love type situation, but he had some great stuff on that job. He gave us a gift. I do not remember what it was. Remember we were in Cracker Barrel, we went into the merchandising store, and he got a stuffed animal that had a massive head for you?
Yes, and then he got a pair of salt and pepper shakers. It was a random whatever you can find in the Cracker Barrel gift shop.
What Entourage character is Joe most like?
He has got a business mind. He has got his shit together. He has got a good way about him. I do not know if we got a Drama or a Turtle. We can put Peter as Turtle.
Let’s go to the championship. What was that like?
It was incredible. The coolest part about the championship that you do not see from the outside is the journey of the championship. It’s not like the Super Bowl. It is a seven-game series. There are ups and downs. We made it very difficult on ourselves throughout the entire playoffs by going down 0 to 2 to Brooklyn, going down 0 to 1 to Atlanta, and going down 0 to 2 to Phoenix. We did not make it easy for ourselves. The cool part about it was that we were able to get over the hump and come together in the face of adversity. When the confetti starts falling, you know you won it, but you are so into it. That Brooklyn series felt like it was a month and a half. It was two weeks.
Each series was roughly two weeks. When you end that final game six, you are almost like, “Who do we have next?” You are so ingrained in it. To finally get to that mountaintop and do it is a shared experience. Almost the exact same group from the Dunk Contest was at game six. Joe was there. We almost had the exact same group. Joe still got the confetti. He sleeps with it every single night under his pillow. He cherishes the moments as much as I am. That is what is fun about it.
My dad had a great line, “You take a picture with a trophy at the end of the game later on after the media.” I got my mom the trophy to hold, and she was on cloud nine. My dad’s immediate comment was, “Do not drop it, Sue.” She gets nervous but she is happy at the same time. To see those facial reactions from the people that have been there since day one and to have them be able to share in those experiences, I want to have success. I want to continue to work hard. I have all these other things that I can get better at and want to accomplish, but to have them be a part of it along the way puts it in perspective.
I want to upkeep the image a little bit. I did not sit with the confetti under the pillow, but I did take confetti. You have to.
Where is the confetti?
It is in my apartment somewhere. Not under the pillow, but I can’t reveal the location. I have talked about framing it. The last championship before that was 50 years before. I hope we win one again so we can go through all these fun championship experiences that we had.
You put some pressure on us. Tell Richie you want to collect confetti from every championship. You want to be able to frame the stories and make the confetti be a spectacle on each frame.
I want the Bucks, and I want Giannis and Pat to turn into Tom Brady and win seven championships.
Has he had you autograph a strip of confetti yet?
Not yet. When you look at Joe and the trajectory we are going, if we are on a 5th or 6th championship, Joe is going to be out there with a vacuum sucking up all the confetti. Now he is going to start his own little confetti selling business.
Richie, would you buy some if I had confetti to offer from the championship?
I would lean towards other merch. Confetti would not be my first choice.
What would your first choice be?
[bctt tweet=”Jon Horst was not trying to build a one-win team. He was trying to build a team that can compete for a championship for years to come.” via=”no”]
Part of the floor would be cool, the net or the ball if we are going big.
The ball, there is only one of those.
There are thousands of pieces of confetti.
The Bucks are offering pieces of the court. They are also offering paperweights, which mimic the same championship ring that these guys got.
What was that first night like after winning? What was the party like? Where did that go on to?
It was a blast. You have such memorable moments. The Bobby Portis interview was hilarious. That also went viral. You got dinner afterward. We did it at Harbor House. It was just the team. It was fun. Families were included. I do not even know where we went afterward. I know we were up until 7:00 in the morning. I know that the next day was a blur. Joe, myself, our buddy and Joe’s wife went to Blue Bat Tequilaria. We sat on the deck outside. We just won a championship. The next day, you see the four of us just sitting on the deck. You are basking in it. You are just, “Was that real? Let’s talk about it.” People walk by and give you a double glance like, “Is that them?”
There were a few lucky people who happened to be getting lunch at 2:45 PM when we were there at Blue Bat who were like, “Is that Pat? They just won the championship last night. I got to go up and get a picture. I got to tell him congrats.” We had a lot of that at lunch, which was pretty funny. The party was crazy. For me, from a fan’s perspective and from being his friend, we had a good crew there, and the whole celebration was surreal.
We went from being there at the game, which was the coolest part, but then it kept getting better and better. They were like, “You guys can come down to the floor and celebrate with the team.” We went down and did that, and the confetti has fallen. I am scooping up confetti and filling up my pockets as we have already discussed.
You going to get so many messages about confetti sales after this show.
The confetti is going to be an underrated thing. There is only a finite amount of pieces decorated. There are only two nets. There are only so many sneakers that were worn enough in that final game. Confetti has more supply.
We did all that, and then they are like, “After the celebration on the floor, we can go back to the locker room.” We were celebrating in the locker room and then we went down.
You guys were in the locker room. I did not even make it back to the locker room. I got pulled to media, and they were in the locker room celebrating.
We ended up further down the hall, took pictures with the trophy, and we went to dinner after until 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning. It was a night we will never forget.
Tell them about the parade. That is where we had our most fun aside from winning. During the parade, we did our own thing.
That was the cherry on top. They say, “The friends and family are going to be able to come on the float or come on the bus with the guys.” We get there on the day of the parade. We jump on the bus. We got a prime spot right in front of the double-decker bus. We are riding through the street. There are hundreds of thousands of people there.
Early on the parade route, right before it started, someone tossed up a football. We were like, “We want to toss it back.” They are like, “Keep it.” We were like, “This is perfect.” We gave the football to PC. Throughout the entire parade route, he was throwing dimes to people in the crowd, and they were catching them and throwing it back. It was a good back and forth with the fans.
What did it turn into?
It turned into people like, “Will you sign my jersey?” I am standing behind Pat. I am calling for everything, “Throw it all.” People are throwing up jerseys. I am catching them. Pat has got a Sharpie. He is signing it quickly. I am balling it back up and throwing it to the person. It was a lot of pressure. You got to remember who owns the jersey.
The bus is moving, and I do not have the shortest last name on the team.
You do not want to throw it at the wrong person, or they will have a fight. It is high pressure.
We had multiple things going. Joe might have started it. Our other buddy, Joe, was on the other side doing the exact same thing. My dad was on the other side and got a few thrown at him. We had a few different storefronts going on every side of the thing.
After suffering heartbreak in Toronto a couple of years ago and then having a disappointing run in the Bubble, did you ever think you were out of it in those playoffs? Did you guys think you were going to win the whole time? Do you not even think about that and try and stay in the moment? Durant, with his foot on the line, would have ended it. What was that mentality like?
Richie, I was hoping we were not going to talk about all those things after we talked about the championship. You are bringing my morale down.
We are trying to take you out on an emotional roller coaster throughout the show.
I do not even know why I am here for this show. Joe can answer all these things. He is at everything. It is part of the process. I talked about adversity within the playoff run. That adversity is what made it even more euphoric at the end of the day. You look at the adversity, you take it from one year, and you expand it. This is my fourth year in Milwaukee. It was a three-year journey to get there. That is what sometimes people miss. You look at it over the course of a season, but what Jon Horst and Marc Lasry in the ownership group are trying to build here was not a one-win team.
They are trying to build a team that can compete for a championship for years to come. That first year was the first part of that. In the Toronto series, we had not faced much adversity. If you remember that team, we had the largest margin of victory in NBA history after that regular season. We won 60 games and lost the last few because we were getting ready for the playoffs. We were in a stratosphere that was far different than what Milwaukee had faced or experienced with the Bucks in previous years.
They had fifteen wins at one point when Chris and Giannis were on the team. It started there, but when you face adversity for the first time in the playoffs, I do not think we were ready to handle it the way we wanted to. Going through that allowed us to bounce back in year three. Year two of the Bubble is an anomaly. A lot of that was based on what you were dealing with. I am personally of the belief that the playoffs have their own atmosphere. The playoffs in the Bubble that have no fans there do not have an atmosphere.
When you take into account a veteran team that has been there and has been a part of the playoffs and is juiced for that atmosphere, and then you take into account a young team with young players who have never played in that atmosphere, that is a big part of the game. When you are just in an empty gym, young guys do not feel that pressure. Older guys do not get up and have as much adrenaline as they do when there are 17,000 fans in the Fiserv Forum.
[bctt tweet=”When you face adversity for the first time but still go through that, you can bounce back from anything.” via=”no”]
I do believe it was an outlier, but then we do not have the best regular season in the third year. We do not do exactly what we want it to do in the regular season as far as the first two years we were here. Going through that adversity in the regular season prepared us for the playoff run that we had because inevitably, you are going to have adversity in the playoffs.
There has never been a team in NBA history that goes 16 to 0 and wins the NBA championship. That is how many games you got to win. You are going to have adversity. How you handle that, how you deal with it, and your experience in dealing with it all plays a major role. That is what put us in a position to win. At the end of the day, it’s what we are trying to do as a team. One of the reasons I want to play in Milwaukee for a long time is when you have a makeup of a team with Giannis, Chris and Drew with a leadership group that is about winning and not about personal attention and personal stats.
You have a chance to be a championship contender for a handful of years. You never know. That is what the owners, John, coach, and everybody who has been trying to build here in Milwaukee. That is what makes it exciting. You might not win it every year. You got to be realistic. Every year is a different journey, but if you can put yourself in a position to win it every year or have a chance to win it every year, it is on you to close it more times than not.
It seems like a very sustainable team with very low drama from leadership. You look around the NBA and look what was going on in Philly, the Nets, and the Lakers. You bring all the stars in, and there are a lot of egos attached to it. They have a ton of firepower, but do you trust them all to be healthy and play together and be able to flip a switch when the playoffs come?
You are right. That is not me. To each his own. That is the difference in culture and how and what you value in players. Do you value talent? Do you think you can buy a championship? Do you think you can spend all the money in the world on talent to win? There is no right or wrong answer. It is going to play out over time. You are going to see what the right or wrong answer is. I believe it is about more than talent. Sticking the five most talented players on the team does not mean they are going to win a championship.
How does that team fit together? What is the culture of that franchise? Who is the makeup of your superstars? Who is the makeup of your role players? What do they value? How the fit is, it’s about talent versus team, in my opinion. That is the argument, and that is what we are seeing in professional sports. That is what people are trying to come down to and figure out as they are building these franchises. Is it talent or is it the team?
What we are doing here in Milwaukee is more about the team than just the talent. You have got to have a level of talent, but it is undervalued how they all fit together and how the team component plays into it. At the end of the day, there is one basketball on the floor. You still got to play defense in the playoffs. It is more of a half-court game. There are things that are not going to change about the game of basketball and especially about the game of playoff basketball.
We can move on to happier times. Joe, if you want to talk about partying with Bill Clinton or transporting the Larry O’Brien trophy from Milwaukee to PC’s house.
I got a couple of good stories on that. Back at the championship celebration, we got invited. Pat and I got invited. I was fortunate enough to be invited by him to Lasry’s party. He has got this mansion right on the water. We showed up at the party and walked in. I keep hitting on two kids from Arlington. We walk in and see two Ferraris parked on the front lawn.
It was the first alarm going off in my head like, “Where are we? This is bananas.” We walk in and see that it is crazy. The house is beautiful. We are walking around the backyard. He has got this whole catered thing put together. The trophy is there, sitting on its own table with a bunch of championship hats around it.
People were going up and taking pictures. There were 75 people there, but the craziest thing was as I was walking around the party, exploring the backyard and taking it all in, my wife was there too. We were walking around, and I kept noticing these security guys. When we walked in, Adam Silver, Pat, Bobby Portis, and Coach Bud were there. There are some high-profile people there. At the time, when I was walking around, the security seemed like such overkill. We got guys with earpieces everywhere walking all over the party. They are wearing these nice suit coats.
This is a guy coming from the NBA Dunk Contest where he had two security guys driving around.
I am very impressed with this whole operation and with the security guys coming out of the bushes. There are two boats off of the coast sitting out there, watching the party. I am like, “This is crazy. I do not understand this.” The night keeps going on. I am talking at a table, eating some hors d’oeuvres with my wife. All of a sudden, she is facing the other way. I am looking right at her and her jaw drops. I am like, “What?” She is like, “Turn around, look.” I turned around, and President Bill Clinton showed up at the party. People were pretty good about it. They did not swarm him.
Long story short, he is boys with Marc Lasry. Marc invited them to the championship party. Naturally, being the fanboy that I always am, I am like, “I will try to play it cool for now, but I do eventually want to go over and chat with Bill and get my picture.” Pat had already met him before at a game in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center.
He and Marc are close. They would go back a long time. Marc will bring them to the Barclays Center from time to time. This was my first year in Milwaukee. I did not know he was coming. You see him courtside, but I did not know he was coming before. He is at the game, and this is before I have a great relationship with Marc. It is my second month on the team. It was not that far into the regular season. After the game, I have my routine. I do a little workout in the abs circuit, get stretched, do some PT, ice the knees, jump in the shower, and get ready.
Usually, I come out and say hi to people. I got a bunch of friends from Brooklyn and Notre Dame connections. I got a bunch of people that come from Boston. It is not that far of a drive. I jump in the shower pretty quickly and come out of the shower. I was standing there in a towel, and Marc goes to me, “Do you want to meet President Clinton?” I am like, “Absolutely.” He goes, “He is about to leave, so you got to do it now.” I am like, “What do you mean?” I turn to my right, and he is standing there talking to Giannis. Marc grabs him and pulls him over. He introduces me, and I am standing there in a towel. I got nothing else on. I am like, “Mr. President, how are you?” I am shaking his hands. This was before I had a broken one.
I was shaking his hand then Marc was like, “Let’s get a picture of you guys.” I am like, “I would love it. Do you think I should put some clothes on first?” He is like, “Get a shirt.” Someone threw me my shirt, which was just this white shirt. I am in a white towel and a white shirt. I was standing there, and there was a picture of me shaking the President’s hand. We are both looking at the camera, and all I am in is a towel. Granted, it’s way better than not having a shirt on as well, but it is a hilarious photo because when you look at it right away, you see a shirt on me. You do not think a whole lot of it, but then you look at the photo and you are like, “Are you in a towel shaking President Clinton’s hand?”
I have met him. He has come to Milwaukee once or twice. He has been in almost every game that we are in Brooklyn. I have met him a few times. At the party, Bobby had talked to him. They were both from Arkansas so they were hitting it off there. Marc wanted me to come over and meet him because I am sure part of his reason for going is to be able to see some of the players because he is a basketball fan. I did not see Joe and Erin. I did not pass by the table where they were standing with Erin’s jaw on the grass. I was over there shaking hands and saw them making their way over, which was perfectly played by Joe.
We walk up with all of us together. I got them at the perfect time when we went right up. I blacked out when I was meeting him. Before leading up to it, I am like, “What the hell am I going to say to this guy?” He is way smarter than me. What am I possibly going to say? I went up, shook his hand, and said it was an honor to meet him, and then I asked him a question about the Bucks. It was something to do with the Bucks and PC. We got him to laugh.
We had Ryan Hoover, the greatest guy ever, ripping photos. He sent me all the photos afterward. We took a real photo of him as well, which Joe knew. We had Hoover do it. The funniest photos are the ones where Joe is in the midst of a conversation with him because he is talking and President Clinton is talking to him. There is one candid of all of us laughing. It is priceless.
It was a wild story. That was one of the best things from the championship run, aside from the trip with DeLaurier. Can you touch on when you needed the trophy to celebrate with your family at home? You get it for a couple of days, and it is in Milwaukee, and you are not there?
It is a short off-season. It is not like the Stanley Cup. I got a good buddy who I worked out with, Connor Sherry, back home who won it twice with the Penguins. Everyone gets a few days or a week with a cup. That is not how the NBA trophy works, but you can ask for it. It is an unwritten thing. If you want to take it home, you can do it, but it is in a short off-season, so it is a little bit harder to coordinate. You guys heard all of the things we have done, and that is in the span of a week after the finals. We also took a trip to Florida to take some time out. We did a bunch of stuff. The point being is that at some point, I wanted to bring the trophy home.
I want it to be in a place where I learned how to play basketball, the Fidelity House. It would be cool to bring it there. All the people and places that helped me get here. One of the things I always say and I have a chain that says, “Family over everything.” That is not just blood relatives. Family for me is anybody who I consider to be family. I would not be where I am now if it was not for those people and places that helped get me here. To be able to share the experience and bring that Larry O’Brien trophy back, I know all those people’s jaws will be on the floor with Erin.
For me, I want to try to coordinate it. We finally got a way to coordinate it on Labor Day weekend. The problem is I am already home. I was talking to the trophy coordinator with the Bucks on how to get it done. Their big thing is that they do not want to ship the Larry O’Brien trophy. They do not necessarily want it in other people’s hands to go about. In a perfect world, they send somebody with it. In this instance, the person they had been sending with the trophy had been doing it for a month and a half because we had won it in mid-July 2021, and now it is September. They were going to take a few days off.
Joe has gotten to know people within the Bucks organization very well. I gave him the idea, “If need be, Joe is there. He is going to be coming home anyway for the weekend. I do not know the protocol, but if you guys are comfortable with it, I am sure he would be up for it.” I called him and asked. He goes, “Sure, what does that even mean?”
Here is a little side story on that too. I get the call. It is Tuesday before Labor Day weekend. I am working, and I get a random call in the middle of the afternoon. He is like, “Would you be comfortable bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy home to Massachusetts? You get to travel with it.” I was like, “What? You are breaking up. What are you saying?”
He asked me and I said yes. The story from there was so absurd. We coordinated going to pick it up, and then I had to coordinate with the Bucks on purchasing an actual seat for the trophy under Larry O’Brien’s name. We get the tickets purchased and I show up at the airport super early. I got to get privately screened by TSA. The guys did not believe me. I am traveling and it is in this massive 100-pound bulletproof case.
It is fire resistant and has padlocks on it. It looks like a massive bomb. Joe looks like he is wheeling around a bomb in the middle of the airport. That is what it is. We did not say that to anybody, especially not at the airport, but that is what it looked like. Handling the protocol for him was hilarious because of that exact thing.
[bctt tweet=”If you can put yourself in a position to win the championship every year, then it’s up to you to close it more times than not.” via=”no”]
The number of dirty looks I was getting. We get to the airport, and I am like, “I got the NBA championship trophy in this case.” I am trying to whisper it to the guy like, “Can I get this privately screened? I do not want to whip out the Larry O’Brien in the security line.” They are like, “For sure.” They take me to some backroom and go there with a couple of different TSA guys. I will never forget this. We open up the case, and the guy goes, “Holy shit.”
He could not believe that it was actually the trophy. We take it out. They got gloves on, and they are inspecting the whole thing. They looked at the case, and then they asked me very nicely, “Can we take pictures with it?” I am like, “Sure.” They grabbed a few pictures of their own holding the trophy in their TSA uniforms. We ended up getting through that and jumped on the plane.
The funniest part I heard about was that once he got through security, he was walking through the airport with the same thing being wheeled behind him. The guy who helped him get through security gave him his card and said, “If you have any problems, let me know. I will handle it.” He headed up TSA. Joe gets to the terminal to go on the plane. The funniest part is that it is still a unique thing. Nobody expects that to ever be a thing. When he tried to check-in, the people were like, “That can’t go on the plane. That has got to go underneath the plane.” Joe is like, “This can’t go under this plane. I got a seat for it.” They are like, “What?”
He has two tickets. It is him and the trophy. He scans both tickets, and they are still like, “What is in it? That does not sit right.” I do not discredit them for that. That makes sense. Joe is over here in a position where he is like, “I do not want everybody to know what it is because at the end of the day, once I get to Boston, everyone is going to want to take a photo. The whole plane is going to be passing around the Larry O’Brien trophy. It is going to be like Soul Plane.”
The funniest part to me was that he had to explain the story again to the people checking them in. They do not believe him. Finally, they let him in on the plane. The flight attendant does not believe him. She does not want to let him on the plane. He has to explain it to her. They move him up to first-class and let the thing sit next to him in first-class. It had to get a seatbelt extender because you had to strap it in. It does not fit in the seat, so he puts it on the ground of the seat. Now he is sitting there next to him with this case that looks somewhat like a bomb in the first seat of the plane as everybody is walking by him on the plane like, “What is going on here?”
Multiple stopped and like, “What is in that case?” I did not want to scare anyone, and I did not want to reveal what was inside. I was changing it up for every single person who asks, “What is in that case?” I am like, “It is my trumpet.” They are like, “What is in this case?” I am making up all these things, and people were like, “Interesting,” and walk by. We ended up successfully getting it there but it was a hilarious story.
The funniest part of all was that once we arrived, we got off. He was supposed to pick me up. He was golfing and was running a little late. He was like, “I am running a little late. I am not going to be able to get you.” My mom had to come and pick me up. I am like, “I am at the airport. I have the Larry O’Brien trophy with me. Can you come to pick me up?” She came to pick me up, and we tossed it in the backseat and then drove home. It was a fun trip.
It was the same exact thing on the flight back. Joe, Erin and me, and now you have got to include the trophy because it is four people traveling according to the tickets, flew back. Erin and I are sitting next to each other, and Joe sits next to the trophy. We let him stay in charge of it because he has had experience with it. He throws on his black shades during the flight. He has hit hat on low. He is sitting there. He looks like a security guard with a trophy. He looks so serious. We got great photos of it. Some of the funniest parts are Joe’s godson, his nephew. The Larry O’Brien trophy comes home. He was three at the time. The trophy is cool. He can see himself in it. He loves the box.
When you open up the box, it has a cut out of the trophy. That is where you stick the trophy. It has padding all around it. You take the trophy out, and he fits in the cutout of the trophy in the box. We take the trophy out, and everyone is pumped about it. My man, Connor, is laying in the box in the exact way the trophy is put in the box like, “Look at me. This is the best thing ever.” It is funny how things work and how much people enjoy seeing the trophy, but some people enjoy seeing the box.
We are going to end part one of the show’s Joe and Pat edition right there. Thanks again to those two for coming on, and thank you for reading. This show is brought to you by GoGedder Marketing & Media, GGMM.io, and our friends in Milwaukee. Please subscribe and write a review if you have not already. Screenshot it, tag us on Instagram. Let us know you are tuning in. We would appreciate it. That helps get more ears and eyes on this show. We will be back with more.