Episode 3 of "Ballers" started off tough for Spencer Strasmore. He received a 5 a.m. wake-up call to learn about his client Vernon Littlefield's possible career-ending injury. Calling Spence for advice isn't the best thing in the world, but hey, when you are in a tough spot like Vern, what do you do?
The muscle for ASM asks Vernon to keep quiet about his injury that could possibly end his career, but Vernon has doubts about taking that stand. The star defensive lineman finds out the hard way that even though you have the finances to do whatever you please, there are still things you can't do. A simple game of paintball would be harmless for an average Joe, but in the case of Vernon, he's no average Joe. If the injury drama with Vernon was enough to capture your attention, believe me, there is more to learn about what happened in episode 3.
Elidee is mother of Anthony "Spice" Adams. Played by himself, the former NFL defensive lineman is looking to invest $4 million to open a hotel to honor his mom (yes, she's alive) in the glitzy area of Miami. While the idea sounds great, there are many obstacles in the way of the business plan, and the one large obstacle happens to Spencer Strasmore.
Spencer's ASM partner Joe believes that the idea isn't so bad, but Spence feels that Adams will be throwing his money away like many athletes do. With multiple code violations and the lack of a clear-cut plan, Strasmore convinces Adams that the idea of the hotel should be put on the back burner until they find a more suitable location and a better time to revisit the idea.
May Will Hurt
After getting injured while playing paintball, Vernon is at a crossroads on how to handle the next step — which is notifying his team. Like many football players who have obtained controversial non-football injuries, his fear is that the team will cut him.
The star defensive lineman was advised to lie to the team to say that he was working out, but the thought of lying is weighing on him heavily. The combination of lying about the injury and the fact that he can’t play football puts him in a tough place mentally. In fear of facing the truth, Vernon hides out from the Dallas Cowboys' coaching staff and front office in attempt to evade what could be the harsh reality of being unemployed.
With the help of cousin Reggie, Vernon held himself captive for a few days. While in hiding, he gets a surprise visit from Spencer. The two discuss the pros and cons of telling the truth, and eventually Vernon makes contact with the team. As he was on the phone with the Cowboys, they voiced their unhappiness with him, and from there he opened up on how he was injured. The phone call ended abruptly. As Vernon ponders what’s next, he may be in need of a DMX-like prayer to help him fight through the current lows of not playing football and facing the truth that he could be released.
Ricky Wants To Be Loved
Like most wide receivers, Ricky Jerret has diva-like tendencies. After meeting with the New Orleans Saints' brass, the flamboyant wide receiver wasn’t impressed with the pitch that was offered by the team. Despite the contract being in the neighborhood that he wanted ($30 million over three years), it still wasn’t quite enough to make Ricky feel loved.
With Sean Payton and Drew Brees missing from the free agency meetings, the star WR didn’t feel like the beignets and money were enough to sway him. In the closing moments of the visit, the Saints pulled out all of the stops as Ricky was set to board the team's private jet. The New Orleans Mass Choir sang its Sunday's best, the dancers and cheerleaders gave Mr. Jerret some entertainment, and there was a 20-foot inflatable Ricky Jerret on a float.
In a surprise appearance, Payton (I bet Roger Goodell was happy about that appearance) made an impromptu visit to help seal the deal. After a snail-like start, the Saints exhibited the love that he clamored for on the outset of his visit in the Big Easy. Despite failed appearances by Master P, Harry Connick Jr. and Anthony Davis, Jerret seems to be at home in New Orleans.
Fun fact: Ricky Jerret, who is played by John David Washington, was a running back in Saints camp in 2008. How cool is that?
Here's @JayD_Wash's #Saints headshot from the 2008 season @BallersHBO pic.twitter.com/QFFlBztV3N
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 1, 2016
Don't Piss Off Andre Allen
ASM may have barked up the wrong tree by trying to out-snake the slithery one himself, Andre Allen. While ASM appears to have Terrell Suggs on its team, Allen is going after guys such as Victor Cruz, LaMarr Woodley and a host of other clients who are represented by ASM. While Allen is attempting to thieve his way to disband ASM, Spencer and ASM need to keep a close eye on his former crony's scheming ways, if it wants to continue its rise as one of the top sports management companies in the business.
Congratulations to "Ballers" for getting picked up for a third season, and to HBO, can we get longer episodes please?
We'll see you next week.