Ballers: “Face of the Franchise” — July 17, 2016
Well they’re back! Spencer and his crew have returned to HBO for season two of Ballers. Right away things get off to a volatile start with a blast from Spencer’s past. So with no time to waste let’s get on with it shall we.
The story opens as Spencer, Joe and Old Man Anderson are the opening of their client Ndamukong Suh’s new restaurant ‘Suh Casa’. Spencer, now the head of Anderson Financial’s sports management division, is coerced into the uncomfortable position of making a few remarks at this event when he notices an un-welcome presence in the crowd. Money manager Andre Allen (Andy Garcia) arrives with football star Terrell ’T-Sizzle’ Suggs. Their appearance rattles an already nervous Spencer who can’t seem to finish his speech fast enough. Afterwards we find out that there’s bad blood between Spencer and Andre as well as between Spencer and Sizzle. This point is made apparent later when Andre approaches Spencer and receives and extremely frosty reception. Super-agent Jason Antolotti comments to Spencer that Andre was just stopping through while on his way to have dinner with the governor. Spencer quickly replies that he can only hope that Andre chokes on his meal. Afterwards Jay Glazer arrives and with the help, or rather the insistence, of Old Man Anderson gets Spencer to agree to appear on his talk show. Anderson believes this will bring some positive attention to the business.
Ricky is busy planning a low-key celebration for his thirtieth birthday. He’s also expecting a healthy financial boost to accompany his contract renewal with the Dolphins. When his father and his assistant, TTD, try to talk Ricky into making the affair a bit more flamboyant, Ricky nixes the idea saying he wants to keep things low key in order to continue to maintain his new image of respectability.
Charles Greene shows up for an appearance event at the Chevy dealership where he worked before getting back into the game. It seems there have been some major changes in his life because he doesn’t show up alone. He has his new baby daughter in tow, seems his wife had to pull doctor duty at the hospital. You would think that between the money that he makes from playing pro ball and her salary as a doctor they would be able to afford decent child care. During the event, Charles discusses the upcoming season with one of the Dolphins’ coaches who’s also on hand. The coach tells him that there will be some big changes taking place within the team and though he can’t say what they are, he doesn’t want Charles to be caught off guard when they happen. “You’re a good man,” he tells Charles.
Yeah, I’ve heard that before and it’s always meant no good for some poor bastard.
Joe and Spencer appear on Jay Glazer’s show and are starting to discuss the finer points of their financial management business, and how it can benefit the rich athletes they hope to attract as clients, when Glazer drops a bomb on Spencer. He brings out ’Sizzle’ and things really get hot. As soon as Sizzle walks on the set you can see Spencer tense up. They used to be teammates. When Jay asks about the tension between the two, Spencer tries to play it off but Sizzle calls bullshit and says that it has to do with a Twitter post that Spencer put up while they were still playing. Spencer again tries to make light of the situation but Sizzle continues to go at him with the same kind of enthusiasm with which Hillary Clinton goes after Donald Chump. And like Chump, Spencer can only take so much before things explode – right there on the set. A tussle results and after it’s all over we see Spencer, in obvious pain, limping to his car. If that’s not enough, back at the office Anderson takes a big chunk outta Spencer’s ass for his poor display of self-control on TV. It seems that Anderson’s getting calls from his investors because of this little episode. Anderson tells Spencer that he needs to set a better example if he’s going to continue to be the one in charge.
Jason is trying to negotiate Ricky’s new contract with the Dolphins GM, Larry Seifert, and Jason’s not at all happy with what he’s hearing. Seifert’s only willing to offer Ricky $12 million over two years plus incentives. Seifert feels that this more than a fair deal but Jason isn’t having it. He later tells Spencer that it looks like the team is close to being through with Ricky. Jason then quickly switches gears and starts in on Spencer for the TV incident. Jason tells his friend that he knows Spencer’s anger is really directed at Andre.
Now a bit of Spencer’s past reveals itself. It seems that Andre talked Spencer into investing in a real estate deal that went south causing Spencer to lose a substantial amount of cash. Of course Spencer still holds a huge grudge and why shouldn’t he? This forced Spencer to have to play an extra year just to recover the loss.
It seems that Alonzo Cooley will be getting that $12 million, plus incentives, that had been offered to Ricky. When Ricky hears this he scraps all the plans for his refined birthday celebration and moves the happening to the Funhouse instead. As the celebration goes down at the Funhouse with more than the usual amount of rawness Sizzle appears yet again. Jason invited him in hopes that Spencer will swallow his pride and work things out with his former teammate like an adult. That’s exactly what happens, the two come to an understanding and bury the hatchet. Afterwards Spencer tells Joe and Jason that he intends to sign Sizzle and steal all of Andre’s other clients out from under him as well. Revenge is the purest form of motivation. Amen!