Desus Nice and The Kid Mero appear on MTV’s Uncommon Sense and Joking Off and host a podcast in which they often display their avid New York Knicks fandom. Ahead of the 2015–16 Knicks season, SI.com caught up with the Bronx, N.Y., natives earlier this month to discuss the team’s off-season, ownership and more.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
SI.com: How was your off-season?
Desus Nice: I’m feeling better. You know, I feel healthier. I dropped some pounds. Got a quicker first step.
The Kid Mero: It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t bad. The Derrick Williams thing kind of threw me off, giving him that type of money, but I wasn’t mad at free agency, man. I feel like Phil is rolling the dice. Derrick Williams might actually end up being like, who knows, what if he’s like Vince Carter 2.0 and you don’t even know. Just out here dunking on everybody. I like Robin Lopez a lot, too.
Desus Nice: It’s Phil. I’m giving him time to cook.
SI.com: Desus, how did ‘Knicks game about to start’ [which you tweet before every Knicks fourth quarter] come about?
Desus Nice: Nothing matters in a Knick game until the fourth quarter. They could have a 30-point lead. They’re gonna lose it. I remember, I used to rush home to catch the first quarter. No. If you’re a real Knicks fan, you can turn it on in the last two minutes. Everything you need to know happens in the last two minutes. It’s gonna be 10 minutes long because the Knicks are going to be right there. They’re gonna be down by nine and they’re gonna hit a couple threes in a row, right there, miss a free throw, foul the next guy, tit for tat. But, it’s lit.
The Kid Mero: I’ve never seen that work by the way.
Desus Nice: It’s never worked. But does that mean we’re going to stop? Gotta sell the dream.
SI.com: To cover all our bases here, who are we blaming this season on?
Desus Nice: Still Taylor Swift.
The Kid Mero: Definitely Taylor Swift.
SI.com: She was a big part of last year?
Desus Nice: She was the reason for last year. Remember she did Welcome to New York? Was that when they had the video of Amar’e holding her up, helping her dunk?
The Kid Mero: That doomed the Knicks. I was like, ‘Yo, your knees don’t work to play basketball but they work to hold up alabaster princess?’
Desus Nice: Who else are we blaming it on this season? [Brian] Cashman? He can get some of that. It’s too early to say who we’re going to blame the season on but definitely Taylor Swift. Not the Knick faithful, because you know, we’re there.
The Kid Mero: Not Phil Jackson either. We invested too much in Phil Jackson to start hating on him. I’d feel like a [jerk] if I got on some Frank Isola and was just like, ‘F— Phil Jackson. He’s a moron.’
Desus Nice: Who does Frank Isola like, though?
The Kid Mero: He doesn’t like anybody! He doesn’t like anybody, dog. Shoutout to Frank.
Desus Nice: Oh, and Charles Barkley. We’re blaming it on Charles Barkley. Always. He’s a hater.
The Kid Mero: James Dolan! That’s like the big spade.
Desus Nice: I feel like under his leadership, the snacks that are offered at Garden have gotten worse, but the price continues to increase. Just keep doing your thing, James.
SI.com: What fictional villain is James Dolan?
Desus Nice: Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. Remember he tried to block out the sun? If tomorrow you woke up, and James Dolan had built a big shield and blocked out the sun, no one would be shocked. And then he’d say something like, ‘Oh, you guys use the sun for cellular respiration? Oh, I’m sorry, maybe you should buy some Knick tickets and maybe the shield will go away. Also, prices are going up.’ But shoutout to him for the Lobel steak sandwiches and keeping the knish.
The Kid Mero: James Dolan is definitely the penguin from Batman Returns. Because he’s a frumpy and wants people to like him.
Desus Nice: He doesn’t want people to like him. He got his father’s money, he’s Donald Trump. He’s like Donald Trump, but worse. Because Donald Trump just wants to run the country into the ground. This guy wants to destroy my beloved Knicks.
SI.com: Let’s talk about Melo. Melo with the braids, or Luda with the braids?
The Kid Mero: I’ve never seen Melo leave his feet with the Caesar. When he had braids, he was dunking.
Desus Nice: Now you get that, like, one dunk a game. And it’s not like a hot dunk.
The Kid Mero: He throws the ball through the hoop. Like, what is this? That’s not cool.
Desus Nice: That’s Melo’s whole career, though. Flashes of greatness, and just not the strong ending.
The Kid Mero: I don’t mind that being his game. Because then he can play until he’s 35. If he’s out there like Westbrook, it’s gonna be a wrap for him in like a year. We’re paying the guy mad millions of dollars; I hope he extends his career as long as possible.
SI.com: When does Kristaps Porzingis make the NBA2K cover? 2024?
The Kid Mero: I say 2018. This is the white Patrick Ewing. This guy is going to be the anchor of the team. Melo is obviously the franchise player now, but he’s on the way out. Kristaps is going to step right into that role. It’s gonna happen. He’s gonna average 20 and 15.
Desus Nice: He’s gonna get a statue in front of the Garden, right between 32nd and 33rd.
The Kid Mero: Right next to the Halal guys.
SI.com: You’ve said before on your podcast that Derek Fisher gets no respect.
Desus Nice: Oh definitely.
SI.com: Does the beard help him gain respect?
The Kid Mero: He looks like a Dominican manager of a cell phone store. He looks like he runs a Verizon store but then he also like smokes mad hookah. He doesn’t look like a basketball coach at all.
Desus Nice: If you don’t step up, you want the coach to be able to get in your face. Can you see Fisher in Melo’s face like, ‘Yo, you’re not hustling hard enough!’ He’s too nice.
The Kid Mero: [Rasheed Wallace] would have been a dope coach though. He would have been great. The Knicks could win three games all season and people would still love him.
Desus Nice: He would have rallied the city.
SI.com: Who’s going to be President when the Knicks win a title?
Desus Nice: Jaden Smith’s son. It might be a while. Being a Knicks fan helped me with the Yankees’ loss, because I have lowered expectations for the playoffs. Even though, I know anything less than 82-0 this season for my Knicks is unacceptable, but it might be a while. When do you think the next Knicks championship is going to be?
SI.com: I’m gonna be like 41.
Desus Nice: There are definitely wheelchairs involved for us. We’re gonna be on that top level of Madison Square Garden where we’ll be right to the railing, like you sit there with your assistant.
The Kid Mero: We’ll be on the hologram skybridge.
Desus Nice: James Dolan Jr. Who’s even worse than his father.
The Kid Mero: He’s playing the kazoo at halftime.
SI.com: Who’s the one Knick you would want to go to the club with now that J.R.’s gone?
Desus Nice: Melo. Because you see, when Melo goes hard...you ever see that picture of him where he’s in the background lurking behind Rihanna and he’s about to risk it all? He’s gone off the purp and the Hen?
The Kid Mero: You know what’s crazy though, Melo definitely has more access than J.R. Smith. So he’s at bigger stuff. But Melo’s that dude that brings weed to the Grammys. Like he’s at the Grammy after party mad high.
SI.com: Finally, what’s your prediction for the season?
The Kid Mero: 55 wins. Eastern Conference Finals. Book it … but call me in January.
Desus Nice: 55? That’s cautiously optimistic. They’re going to better than last year, I’ll give you that much. There is no way, if there is a God, they do worse than last year.
The Kid Mero: I think Kristaps just needs to work on his ball-handling skills and run the point. That’s it. On some real basketball talk, I think [Jerian] Grant should start, or at least get 20-25 minutes per game.
Desus Nice: I think we’re in for some big surprises. And, I mean, Knicks Twitter is gonna be lit. That’s the only thing that has gotten better every year. You can’t diss Knicks fans on Twitter, because we already diss ourselves. So, when people say, ‘How are your Knicks?’ I’m like, ‘They’re terrible.’
The Kid Mero: Here’s 20 memes that I have ready to go.
Desus Nice: It’s like, ‘Oh, you’ve got memes? Here are fresh memes I just made on my own accord. No watermarks. Share them, go ahead.’