The Upside Newsletter
The Upside Newsletter
🔥Upside Chat: Dr Ron Dick, Duquesne University, Ex NBA/NCAA exec on Serena, Aaron Judge, KD, College playoffs' expansion to 12 teams, the LIV golf league, the MiLB's & Tom Brady's marriage situation.

🔥Upside Chat: Dr Ron Dick, Duquesne University, Ex NBA/NCAA exec on Serena, Aaron Judge, KD, College playoffs' expansion to 12 teams, the LIV golf league, the MiLB's & Tom Brady's marriage situation.

This week we had the honor to interview again Dr. Ron Dick, associate professor of sports marketing at Duquesne University in the school of business. Ron also worked for 20 years in sports, including 15 years in the NBA with the Sixers and the Nets, and then five years in the NCAA.

📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on Serena's retirement, Kevin Durant's situation with the Nets. We also touched on the US College playoffs' expansion to 12 teams in 2026, Cameron Smith joining the LIV league, and the Minor leaguers likely to soon join the MLBPA union. Lastly we discussed Aaron Judge and whether or not he will extend his contract with the Yankees next season. Lastly we talked about Tom Brady’s marriage situation.

🚀Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Ron:

  • On Serena Williams’ retirement:

    • “ I think she is the GOAT as far as women's tennis is concerned. She also broke barriers that were not broken before (..) And Serena has been extremely outspoken about Venus saying “I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus”. Venus really pushed her”.

    • “And Venus, in her own right, is top 20-25 of all time if not better when it comes to women's tennis players. A lot of people are talking about Margaret Court. And I do remember Margaret court. I was very young at the time, but Margaret court dominated pro tennis in the sixties and the seventies”.

    • “Margaret actually won 24 grant slams as a single player and Serena won 23 slams, but Serena has won many more tournaments overall and of course has won a lot of grand slam doubles with her sister Venus as well. So unfortunately Margaret seems to be saying now that she doesn't feel the love or the support or the reciprocity from Serena for some reasons”.

  • On how Serena changed the world of women tennis:

    • “Serena took it to a whole new level and being strong and muscular is a positive thing. And regarding all of her clothing line and endorsement deals, prior to that, most of the endorsements were going to Anna Kournikova the tennis player from Russia. And with Serena that created some resentment right around the year 2000. And then Serena just really blew that out of the water. She started getting the deals and doing commercials. You could argue that she changed women's apparel, especially in the area of athletic”.

  • On College playoffs' expansion to 12 teams in 2026:

    • So if you're saying we're going to jump from four to 12 teams, wow. That's a really big jump. So some people get a buy, obviously. I mean, again, it's just more money more money, right? Now imagine the NFL type playoff format you could have for College Football, this will not kick in until 2026”.

    • “The money would be astronomical and how does that help the name, image likeness (NIL)? we're only going to keep paying these players more and more. First of, 2021 was the first day that we could do that. So that will only get bigger and bigger. It's not going backwards”.

  • On the situation with Kevin Durant who will be staying with the Brooklyn Nets (NBA) this season:

    • “Well, there was a couple of things he wanted. Also, allegedly one of the assistant coaches that he really liked working with got fired and that really sent him off into a little bit of a tizzy, and he wanted some things being done with the head coach or this coach or that coach and make a demand to be traded”.

    • “We have to put better players around Kevin Durant. I think there are worse places to play than New York city. That's the media capital of United States with Los Angeles. And I think we just have to get him better players, and him and the coach have to get along and make this thing work”.

    • “And sometimes these teams have gotten to the point now where they say, okay, go ahead out there and go get the best deal. And if it's someplace that they identified teams that you'll go to. And then that universe is very narrow. It's not like he's gonna go to some particular teams that he'll just eliminate from his list because they're too far away from winning a championship. So that universe is probably 3, 4, 5 teams”.

    • And if those teams say, no, we're not gonna give you asking prices, then we don't have a deal. Yep. That's it. And he has three years left on his contract, so I think that's big, big money”.

  • On the Liv Golf league:

    • “I think there are a couple apologies that have to go out there. I think the PGA and for the most part, the media here in the United States, they owe Phil Mickelson and I know he is not perfect, but they owe Phil an apology. I mean they land-based him and they really vilified him as a bad guy and anti-American and all this other stuff”.

    • “The golfers are professional athletes, and they only have a window of so many years that they can play. So yeah, they're trying, we call that a max contract in the NBA, right? They're maxing out what they can make for now. And in a capitalistic society, I don’t know if there's anything wrong with that, but that's kind of how we're built. So I think Phil deserves an apology and I think that PGA is a little hypocritical that they're going out and doing the same thing that the Liv Golf league did”.

  • On Aaron Judge (Yankees star) situation where the Yankees offered judges seven year extension worth $213 million, which was reject rejected right by Aaron judge:

    • “I think that the Yankees lowballed Aaron Judge earlier in the year. I think he got great advice from his agent and anybody else was whispering his ear not to sign the deal. Now that's easy to say in hindsight because he's going out and putting up Roger Maris type numbers right now. And he is finally going to be a complete free agent”.

    • “Hopefully the Yankees do well in the playoffs and in their case, they go on to win the world series. I mean, could he be the first $500M player? Possibly. Would the crosstown rival NY Mets have some money that they could spend on him? If they're willing to go over the luxury cap, but you also have the Boston RedSox, the Dodgers, etc. Maybe the Cubs are trying to get back into the game and get to the world series like in 2016. Wow. It's a great time to be Aaron Judge (..) we're going to find out how much Aaron really wants to be a Yankees”.

  • On the Minor leaguers likely to soon join the MLBPA union:

    • “I think we have to step back for a second and look at how COVID changed minor league baseball in particular. In hindsight, we probably had too many minor league teams and too many independent baseball teams where they weren't necessary. Now you could argue, well, look at Mike Piazza, in 1988 where he came out of the Northtown high school area. He was a 65th round pick just as a favor by Tommy Lasorda and look, he turned out to be a hall of fame catcher so he would've never even gotten a chance to play in the minor leagues and then he really progressed quickly up through”.

    • “I think it would be great if the minor leagues could be unionized and, even if they have to pay a dues and things, but the problem with minor league baseball is that you always know who the big signing babies are as they call them”.

    • “And they're the ones with the nice cars, because the minor players literally make peanuts. You're just keeping the dream alive. These guys get paid like less than $1,500 a month. This is why their signing bonus is so critical”.

    • “I think MLB teams are looking at the NFL and the NCAA model and going, “Hey, why don't we let the SEC conference, the PAC 12, the Big 12, the Big East, why don't we let them cultivate and develop the players and then we'll take them as juniors? They come out in the draft as opposed to taking the minor route right out of high school”

    • And that way we could save money on all these minor leagues, because so few guys may get all the way through to the majors. I mean, the fact is even if you play one game in the major leagues, it's stunning how few guys get to that level. So I think they see that, and as a result that really hurts”.

  • On the Tom Brady’s marriage situation:

    • “I mean, for any of us that are married, I'm very careful not to judge too hard on marriages. Even if you're married the right person, it's going to be a little bit of work. And they're trying to raise children. I'm not sure how many children they have. I think they have two or three. And then he has the older son from the previous relationship. So that's a lot of work to put on your wife. When you agree to that, because being a pro athlete, that's 24 7, 365 days during the season when he's not available”.

    • “As a result, if you say you're gonna do something and then you don't do it, that's going to leave some bitterness between you and your spouse. So the communication is very important obviously in their marriage. And money's not an issue. There's plenty of that. It's about time, right? Yeah. Time and money. It seems like that's what everybody wants”.

    • So Tom is going to have to figure out what his priority is. That being said, the kids are now getting to the age where they understand it like “wow, my dad's the quarterback of the Buccaneers. And he's one of the greatest of all time”. So the kids start to enjoy it a little bit more I think. But yet they're becoming teenagers. So you have to be around more. And I'm careful not to judge on that one too hard, But if you make a decision and say that you're going to do something and then you back out of it, that's not going to sit well with a man or a woman. So that’s my take on it”.