clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Bird Calls Podcast Ep. 41: Previewing the home opener against the Golden State Warriors with Mike Park

Two of my worlds collide as we bring in my friend and NBA (especially, the Warriors) superfan Mike Park, founder of Asian Man Records, to discuss our home opener and Warriors history.

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The underground music scene has been a huge part of my life from a very early age. I was heavily involved in shaping the scene here in New Orleans when Frenchman Street was a hotbed for punk and reggae shows — before it became the Disney version of Bourbon Street — or the place tourists think locals hang out. During that time I booked several hundred concerts, made countless flyers, designed album covers and t-shirts and housed a lot of bands that were passing through town. I have a pretty decent resume of bands that I’ve worked with in some capacity along the way — booking At the Drive-In before In Casino Out was released at the now defunct and shit-hole club — where the owner once pulled a gun on me, Monaco Bob’s (that would later become a fancy-ish eatery, 1175), working the door of a NOFX show and booking emo-post-punk icons Braid to name a few.

While I certainly aged out of the booking shows role — I still stay connected to the scene through various avenues and just as an audience member. It was always a great community built on treating people the right way and using your talents and your couch to help each other out. I’ve made a lot of lifelong friends and connections through that scene and one such friend is Mike Park.

Mike is a Bay Area native who helped usher in a new wave of ska in the late ‘80s with his band, Skankin’ Pickle and their label Dill Records. Eventually he would split from the band and the label starting the Bruce Lee Band and Asian Man Records, which he still runs out of his parents’ garage.

He built a tiny empire over the past 22 years putting out hundreds of records (including the first records from The Alkaline Trio and Less Than Jake) and moving over a million units — all in the mold of the DIY masterclass gurus — Dischord Records whose ethos Mike and I both base much of our life choices and paths off of. Through various music endeavors, Mike sometimes finds himself in New Orleans and sometimes finds himself crashing on my couch. When such opportunity arrives, I always take him to Pelicans games as he is a true NBA superfan and Warriors’ historian. We were even invited to join Sean Kelley and John DeShazier in the broadcast booth once, which I detailed in a bit of a tongue-in-cheek post back in 2014.

In our preview we learn what it’s like to be a fan of a mostly long-suffering team that becomes historically great, how super team fatigue can be a thing for a champion of the underdog, and the joy of seeing something special forming as the Warriors transitioned from the Mark Jackson upstarts to the Steve Kerr planet crushers.

Preston gives us a Charles Barkley impersonation leading to a Warriors history lesson from Mike — including some intense unexpected love for a 2nd round pick from Alcorn State — Larry Smith, and the hardhat wearing Pee Wee dancing fan club Mike created for him.

Mike talks about Draymond Green’s importance to the Warriors, and how if he misses the game, it gives the Pelicans a real chance at an upset. Preston and I clue Mike in on the supporting cast woes coming off the heels of the disaster in Memphis. Mike also takes us deep into the rotation — citing how Steve Kerr played everyone against Houston on opening night — and while he likes many of the younger guys on the roster their court time could give the Pelicans some opportunity to stay in the game. There’s a brief Omri Casspi discussion for all of you scorned Casspi lovers.

We give predictions and then discuss the intersection of sports, politics and social change — including how Mike’s view of LeBron James has changed in the current landscape.

Give it a listen, and if you like what you’re hearing, don’t forget to rate us on iTunes!