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Volume 24 No. 117
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HBO's "Ballers" Season 3 Concludes, With Stage Set For More Focus On Agency Biz

Sunday night was the Season 3 finale of HBO’s "BALLERS," with several storylines coming to a close and new ones beginning ahead of Season 4. The season's primary plot line -- bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas -- came to a head at a fictional NFL owners meeting in S.F. One bid group, led by fictional Vegas casino magnate Wayne Hastings Jr., played STEVE GUTTENBERG, gave its pitch to owners. That was followed by a group led by Spencer Strasmore, played by DWAYNE JOHNSON, and his business partner Joe, played by ROB CORDDRY, who after getting spurned by Hastings got financial backing from the family that also owned their player financial advisory firm. In a twist, Strasmore's group did not pitch moving the Raiders to Vegas, but rather keeping them in Oakland in a new, privately financed venue, similar to the last second, real-life effort from Pro Football HOFer RONNIE LOTT and Fortress Investment Group. Joe: “The Bay Area is a much larger TV market than Vegas and that’s important now that the ratings have taken a tumble.” Strasmore: “The Oakland Raiders can take a page right out of the Golden State Warriors playbook. Now look at them, they’re an international brand, a global powerhouse.” To further make its point, Strasmore's group surprised owners and execs with a large demonstration by Raiders fans outside the meeting chanting "STAY!" Strasmore then says to owners, "When you guys uprooted the Chargers, the fans, they were justifiably upset. I mean, you hurt them. Moving a third team in two years, it's very dangerous to your brand.” He said keeping a team in Oakland would make owners "look like good guys, instead of looking like a bunch of greedy, out-of-touch white men."

BACK TO THE AGENCY BIZ? The end of the episode sees Strasmore's group get awarded the right to build a new venue, but only in Vegas, as NFL owners still wanted to move the team from Oakland. Strasmore does not agree with the decision, and in another plot twist, backs out of the Vegas play along with Joe. The duo then take their financial advisory firm off the market after a planned sale to IMG, while announcing plans for future growth outside the South Florida market.

CALLING IT QUITS: The show also featured the ongoing post-concussion issues of free agent WR Ricky Jerrett, played by JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, who also was dealing with a pregnant girlfriend. After reconciling with the girlfriend, Jerrett took to Instagram to announce he was retiring, saying to his former team, “Coach BILL (BELICHICK), Tommy (TOM BRADY), my receiving crew, my Pats teammates and all my fans out there who loved and supported me through my roller coaster of a career, I found a new career now (being a dad). Don’t pay as much, but the perks are amazing.”

SWAPPING TEAMS? The final episode saw Charles Greane, played by OMAR BENSON MILLER, interview for the Rams' GM position after quitting his role as Assistant GM with the Dolphins in the penultimate episode. Greane was interviewed by former NFL coach ERIC MANGINI, who played himself. The interview room included Rams signage, hinting that the team may be a part of the show next season.

LINES OF THE NIGHT:

  • Joe said to Strasmore about him feeling down after their Vegas stadium deal seemed to be falling apart, “In the immortal words of AARON RODGERS, 'R-E-L-A-X.'"
  • Seeking to diffuse an argument between the brothers backing his Vegas play, Strasmore says to them, "I’ve seen JOSH NORMAN and (ODELL BECKHAM JR.) talk to each other with more respect" ("Ballers," HBO, 9/24).