About Tom Read

Believe The Hype podcaster

Episode 322 – The Leftorium

Photo Credit: Getty/Fox

Photo Credit: Getty/Fox

On today’s episode of Believe The Hype, Tom and Benyam chat about the notable snubs such as Manu Ginobili, Victor Oladipo and Jabari Parker from SI’s Top 100 list along with Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose‘s low rankings. Furthermore, the guys discuss Dwight Howard‘s comments about James Harden being the best left-hander of all-time, the Markieff Morris/Phoenix “keef beef”, DeAndre Jordan changing agencies, Mario Chalmers‘ future at the Miami Heat, Tristan Thompson to the Raptors rumours, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Netflix and more!

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread @benyamkidane and using the #BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode. Download:

Closing Song: Adam Jensin – Northern Funk

FIBA Americas Preview: Andrew Wiggins holds the key to Canadian Olympic Qualification


“Soon” – Andrew Wiggins. Source: @NBAcom on twitter

So far three nations, The United States, Brazil and Australia have booked their tickets to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games basketball tournament. At the time of writing, both Nigeria and Angola are a few hours away from fighting it out for another spot as they will face off in the Afrobasket Final.

Tomorrow marks the start of one of the most interesting FIBA Americas Championship in recent memory. 10 of the best basketballing nations in North and South America will ascend on Mexico with the hopes of both winning the Championship and taking out one of the two Olympic Qualifying spots up for grabs.

Brazil, perennial FIBA Americas heavyweights will be hosting the 2016 Olympics and don’t need to use the tournament as an avenue for qualification and because of this, have rested their big-name players such as Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varejao, Nene, Tiago Splitter, Marcelinho Huertas, Bruno Cabooclo and Cristiano Felicio. Instead, they will take a team, lead by super fun guard Vitor Benite, that mirrors the one that recently won the 2015 PanAm Games gold medal in Toronto.

It’s been a long 15 years since the Canadian National Team has participated in the Olympics. That year, future two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash lead the Maple Leafs to a seventh place finish.

Getty Images: Steve got Nashty in Sydney.

Getty Images: Steve got Nashty in Sydney.

For this current crop of Canadian players, not only is the weight of a nation on their shoulders to qualify, but there’s a growing expectation that they can go at least four better than Nash’s team and actually contend for a medal in Rio in twelve months time.

Today, Canada confirmed it’s squad for FIBA Americas, with Utah Jazz 2015 Draft Pick and BC Žalgiris guard Olivier Hanlan the unfortunate last cut. The team features nine players with NBA talent in Anthony Bennett, Melvin Ejim, Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Robert Sacre, Nik Stauskas and 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins along with the Euro-based talent of Aaron Doornekamp, Brady Heslip and Phil Scrubb.

Canada’s preparation heading into this important tournament has been pretty much faultless. Nicholson and Bennett announced they are future forces to wreckon with at the FIBA level by leading Canada to silver at the PanAm Games and then the #FullSquad were undefeated finished undefeated against Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina to take out the 2015 FIBA Marchand Continental Cup in Puerto Rico.

Wigging was undoubtedly the star for Canada, averaging 14.5ppg for the Tourney along with this three fire emoji post-card to J.J. Barea‘s family:

For Canada to be successful in this FIBA Americas Tournament, all eyes will be on Wiggins. No one seemed to be able to stop him during the warm-up tournament but we’ll see him getting a lot more defensive attention this time around.

It’s not all Wiggins though, this is arguably the deepest team that Canada has ever fielded. Cory-Jo can now be considered a veteran of the National Team and will take advantage of the lack of decent defensive point guards in the tournament along with his own ability to shut down defenders on the other end of the floor.

As mentioned before, whilst his NBA career hasn’t got off to the start he had wanted it to, Anthony Bennett averaged 7.5rpg in the FIBA Marchand Continental Cup along with leading the PanAm Games in rebounds averaging 9.4rpg. His ability to get create second chance opportunities and create fast break situations for the athletic Canadian guards makes him a very valuable piece in this fast-paced Canadian system.

Some of the other teams with hopes of taking one of the two qualifying spots for Rio are Mexico, Puerto Rico and Argentina.

Defending Champions Mexico, lead by Gustavo Ayon and Jorge Gutierrez will look to build on their Cinderella run to the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Home court advantage throughout the tournament means that they’ll definitely not be an easy-beat.

With no Manu Ginobili, Pablo Prigioni, Carlos Delfino and Fabricio Oberto suiting up for Argentina, this tournament will be seen as the ‘Changing of the Guard’ for the perennial FIBA World Cup and Olympics medal contenders. They’ll rely heavily on Luis Scola and reigning Euroleague Final Four MVP Andrés Nocioni. This team is super fun to watch at the moment… Well… If you’re a Scola fan that is. In the FIBA Marchand Continental Cup, Scola lead the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocks.

Puerto Rico are always a team that you can’t take too lightly. Once again, J.J. Barea will lead the charge along with the super-fun small forward Ángel Daniel Vassallo who if the Puerto Rican’s can cause a few upsets, may be one of the big names to come out of this tournament.

The FIBA Americas Tournament kicks off on August 31st with the final on September 12th.

Group A features Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Uruguay.

Group B features Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Venezuela.

Top four from each pool qualify for the second round, with the top four advancing to the Final Round and the 5th (and if Brazil are ranked higher 6th) placed teams automatically qualifying for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

PSA: Anthony Davis is out here warning us that he’s going to drop threes all season long

Getty Images: Be warned... AD is outchea dropping threes.

Getty Images: Be warned… AD is outchea dropping threes.

Just when you thought it was safe for your basketball team to go outside, drive to the area, and take on the New Orleans Pelicans…

Anthony Davis has said that he’s been working on his three point shot all off-season.

AD published this video on facebook a couple of weeks ago:

Then yesterday, SLAM Magazine’s Christopher Cason spoke to him at Red Bull Reign about the video:

SLAM: There was a video out a few weeks ago with you working on your three-point shot. Can we expect you to step out and take more going forward?

AD: I’m going to mix it up. I love playing down low, but at the same time, if the opportunity is there; I’m definitely going to take them. That’s one thing for sure that coach Gentry has told me—“Shoot the ball,” “Let it go.” I’ve been working on it and I’m very confident in my game.

I’ve shot three’s all my life. I didn’t really need to shoot them over the past few years as much, but I’m never going to turn down shooting threes, especially if the coach tells me he wants me to shoot them. It’s something that I’ve definitely been working on. I definitely plan on utilizing it this year.

Davis’ game has improved significantly over the last few seasons. Especially offensively. The last bastion for AD to be considered to have a complete outside game is if he becomes a threat from the perimeter, plus improving his mid-range game from right of the key.

Stat Muse: AD's 2014/15 season shot chart.

Stat Muse: AD’s 2014/15 season shot chart.

AD is a career 11.1% three-point shooter… He only hit one shot from beyond the arc in the entire 2014/15 season. Although it was probably the highlight of the season:


If AD starts draining threes consistently. It’s over. Hand him the MVP.s for the next 7 seasons in advance.


Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O’Neal regret their feud that broke up the Lakers

Getty Images: Kobe & Shaq share a joke.

Getty Images: Kobe & Shaq share a joke.

Kobe Bryant is going to be a guest on an upcoming episode of Shaquille O’Neal‘s podcast “The Big Podcast With Shaq”.

The interview is going to be one of the first public appearances with the both of them spending more than about five minutes together since the great Lakers break-up of 2004.

It’s no secret that despite playing with each-other from 1996 through to 2004, winning three titles and making four Finals appearances, that the duo never really got along and Kobe was a huge proponent to forcing Shaq out of LA LA LAnd to Miami in the Summer of 2004.

In an excerpt of the podcast appearing on ESPN.com, the two spoke about their feud.

“A lot of stuff was said out of the heat of the moment,” O’Neal said in an excerpt from the podcast that was played on ESPN Radio on Wednesday. “I guarantee I don’t remember a lot of stuff that they said, because I changed my thought process of, you know what, we won three out of four, what the hell are you all talking about? This is not really even a story.”

Said Bryant: “Here’s the thing, though. When you say it at the time, you actually mean it, and then when you get older you have more perspective, and you’re like holy s—. I was an idiot when I was a kid.

“To me, the most important thing was really, ‘just keep your mouth shut.’ You don’t need to go to the press with stuff. You keep it internal, and we have our arguments and our disagreements, but I think having our debates within the press was something I wish would’ve been avoided. But it did kind of create this whirlwind around us as a team with myself and Shaq and the press and the media that just put so much pressure on us as an organization.”

Looking back, if this was handled better by everyone… Imagine how many more titles the Lakers could have won?


Episode 321 – Extend that guy

Getty Images: Are the Wizards about to extend Bradley Beal?

Getty Images: Are the Wizards about to extend Bradley Beal?

Today on Believe The Hype, Tom and Benyam catch up with West Coast Correspondent Jamieson Welsh for a chat. The guys chat about Jamieson’s takeaways from Team USA Camp, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s extension, plus other guys who may or may not be extended before the October 31 deadline in Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Dion Waiters and Andre Drummond. Also, the guys chat about Nick Young‘s intentions to play for the Australian National Team.

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread@benyamkidane & @theejamieson and using the #BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode.


Closing Song: Yung Hass – The Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Song

Russell Westbrook rocks out at Taylor Swift concert, because Westbrook


A video posted by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

Russell Westbrook ‘s Taylor Swift/pop music fandom is nothing new. We’ve seen him rocking out in the car, rocking out during injury rehab, and of course famously singing Ke$ha tracks on the bench.

Taylor Swift is everywhere, she even managed to crack the hardest of stones in Kobe Bryant, who presented her with a banner at Staples Center earlier this week.

We stand no chance. Right Amar’e?

via: Instagram

Swaggy P held a Q&A so that he can help you become the Swaggiest version of yourself

AP: Always listen to life advice from Swaggy P. Always.

AP: Always listen to life advice from Swaggy P. Always.

Twitter Q&A’s are always all of the fun… However, Nick Young Q&A’s can change your life. Fact.

Today, Swaggy P took to twitter to answer all the questions that could make your life as complete and as ‘Swaggy’ as his.

It was 20 minutes of must read life facts.

First up, he answered the most important question of all… Why the right arm is no longer exclusively for buckets.

Next up was Swaggy P, career and university advisor.

Tourism guide to LA, must see hot-spots was next.

Swaggy now wants people to get with the times, y’all. It’s 2015… Start wearing your clothes like it is.

Lucky I’m over 5’9…

Next up was how to get a fly sheila back to the pad…

I’m not sure if that’s how he landed Iggy, but, never doubt Swaggy P.

Pet naming advice from Swaggy P is very important.

Now onto some keeping it real life advice to finish it off…

You’re welcome.

Episode 320 – Contract Valanciunas

Getty Images: Jonas 'bout to get P.A.I.D.

Getty Images: Jonas ’bout to get P.A.I.D.

Today on Believe The Hype, Tom and Benyam have a chat about the biggest talking points from the last week of the NBA off-season. The guys chat about Australia qualifying for the Olympics, the DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors, Jonas Valanciunas nearing a 4 year $60m contract extension, Joel Embiid‘s injury, the rookies having a lot of love for Jahlil Okafor plus J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson‘s contract situations.

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread@benyamkidane &@theejamieson using the #BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode. Download:

Closing Song: 1 2 3 4 5 Sixers. Oldschool Anthem Philadelphia 76ers

Iggy Azalea rented out a Sydney theme park so Swaggy P could have all of the fun times

Nick Young and Iggy Azalea have all of the fun, you guys.

The NBA’s ‘first couple’ are currently visiting Australia on a promotional tour for one of Iggy’s major sponsors, Bonds.

Only in town for a couple of days, radio duo Hamish and Andy asked Iggy in an interview today if there’s anything special that she’d be doing for him, as transcribed by Pedestrian.TV:

Hamish asked Iggs, “You’re only here for a couple of days, is there something that you promised him [Nick] you’d do? Duck over to Taronga or do you want to go something a little more traditional…”

To which Andy countered, “Are you going to pretend that we don’t have Luna Park?”, wrongly assuming she’d steer clear a national landmark that’s the literal gateway to clown-related nightmares for children everywhere.


“I rented it yesterday, I love Luna Park!,” Azalea said.

Hamish, legend that he is, joked: “I didn’t see that option at the ticket booth: single, concession, family, whole park. I’ll take whole park!”

Azalea: “I would have gone regularly, I promise I would have, but I didn’t realise it’s not open everyday and I’d been talking about it so much to Nick, and then when I actually looked to buy tickets for my whole group I saw every day we were looking at it isn’t open. I didn’t want him to not go.”

This is possibly the greatest thing ever. Renting Luna Park starts at around $200K. So, that’s a pretty expensive day for a sub-par amusement park. I mean, everyone says amusement parks are expensive… BUT THIS IS ON ANOTHER LEVEL!


A photo posted by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

In other news, Iggy said that Swaggy’s favourite ride was The Rotor… Which is basically a ride that spins around and around in circles.

“I videoed that [Nick on the Rotor], I didn’t do it. I did every ride but that one. Everything spins around, I’d want to vomit after.” said Azalea.

Lets hope that the footage of this surfaces soon.

via: Pedestrian.TV

DeAndre Jordan… Can’t shoot a free throw… Can pitch a baseball

MLB.com: DAJ's first pitch wasn't that bad.

MLB.com: DAJ’s first pitch wasn’t that bad.

Last NBA season, Clippers big-man DeAndre Jordan ranked second last in Free Throw percentage… Shooting 39.7% from the charity stripe (shout-out to Andre Drummond‘s 38.9% performance).

His struggles are well known.

So, naturally, when it was announced that he’d be throwing the opening pitch at the LA Angels home game today against the Chicago White Sox, most people thought he was going to go all 50 Cent up in this place:


However, this wasn’t the case… DAJ’s performance was about as flawless as it could be from a 7 footer who doesn’t play baseball.

Check it out: