Drew Shiller is incredulous. Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals between Golden State and Houston is barely a minute old and mercurial Warriors forward Draymond Green has already been hit with a technical foul for shoving Rockets guard James Harden.
“What the heck is Draymond doing?!” blurts Shiller while watching the replay on a big-screen TV. “That’s crazy! That could have been a flagrant.”
Shiller’s best pal, Grant Liffmann, nods his head in agreement. As the Rockets race out to an early lead, he’s concerned that Green — and the Warriors — need to maintain their cool.
“They’re so amped up,” he says. “It might take them a while to settle down.”
The two men, known to NBC Sports Bay Area viewers and Facebook fans as the “Warriors Outsiders,” are huddled — with laptops at the ready — in a cramped San Francisco office. It’s game time and they’re deep into their homework.
Since the 2016-17 NBA season, Shiller and Liffmann have headlined a lively, offbeat, scaled-down, and occasionally irreverent program that has become a must-see for diehard denizens of Dub Nation. So naturally, we jumped at a chance to spend some behind-the-scenes time with the duo to get a feel for how their playbook comes together.
Here’s what we learned while taking in Game 1 (and plenty of pizza):
It all started with a podcast
Before there was “Warriors Outsiders,” there was chatter between two passionate hoop junkies. Lots of it.
“For years, Drew and I talked basketball and the Warriors every single day,” Liffmann recalls. “Finally, we said, hey, If we’re going to talk about it, we might as well record it and put it out there.”
And so a daily 15- to 20-minute podcast was born and the guys were on their way. Soon, the podcast morphed into a Facebook show and then the NBCSBA program (with a Facebook simulcast).
Incidentally, the guys now produce post-game podcasts, late at night after their TV show concludes.
A lifelong friendship
To people who know them, it comes as no surprise that Liffman and Shiller have great on-screen chemistry that fuels plenty of spirited exchanges and some occasional trash talk. They grew up playing sports in the same youth leagues and were classmates at Burlingame High School.
“We were inseparable,” Liffmann says. “We always sat together in class. … I think I even got Drew kicked out of math class once.”
At Burlingame, Shiller was a three-sport legend who had his number retired in football, baseball and basketball, before going on to play point guard for Stanford (2009-10).
“He was just a little bit better than me,” jokes Liffmann. “During our senior year, we had his jersey retirement rally. I led the group that booed.”
(By the way, they remained friends through college, even though Shiller went to Stanford and Liffmann to Cal).
Daring to be different
Starting with the Facebook component, which enables them to interact with fans, the “Outsiders” strived to veer away from the look and feel of the typical pre- or post-game sports show. On camera, they favor T-shirts over suits and ties. …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports