Carmelo Anthony, the former N.B.A. star, and Joel Martinez, the comedian known as the Kid Mero, are in some ways a perfect match to host a streaming series.
Both are New Yorkers — Anthony grew up in public housing in Red Hook, Brooklyn; Martinez is a native of the Bronx — and the city is a core part of each man’s identity.
Anthony’s most memorable moments in the N.B.A. came in his nearly seven seasons with the New York Knicks, from 2011 to 2017. He won only a single playoff series in those years, but Knicks fans treated him as a conquering hero. Martinez is a long-suffering Knicks fan, a fact that came up often on “Desus & Mero,” the late-night comedy talk show that he hosted for four seasons with Daniel Baker, known as Desus Nice.
Anthony and Martinez are teaming up for a weekly series titled “7PM in Brooklyn,” which will be available on YouTube and Spotify starting Thursday. They expect to primarily discuss basketball and New York, though other subjects will be fair game. (“If you tune in one day and it is Meryl Streep and us, you shouldn’t be shocked,” Martinez said.)
They two met in 2015 when Anthony was touring Vice Studios as Martinez was taping his show there. Martinez has a reputation as a brash trash talker while Anthony is more likely to play it safe. They discussed their collaboration in a Zoom interview.
These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Carmelo, were you aware of Mero when you first met him?
CARMELO ANTHONY The culture and the community knew who they were.
You played in the N.B.A. for almost 20 years. You are a future Hall of Famer with a lot of business interests. You don’t need this. What drew you to partnering with Mero?
ANTHONY It’s a different vibe, right? Yes, it’s a sports talk show, but it’s more of a cultural show. This is more of us kind of giving people their due diligence, their flowers, paying respect, paying homage.
What bothers you about sports talk shows?
ANTHONY It’s not things that bother me. It’s just things that I may see: “Oh, this. Oh, that could be better,” or “they can add this,” or “they can add that.” So it’s more thinking creatively.
JOEL MARTINEZ I had this conversation with Melo early on. It was just the same way you watch game film. That’s how I watch TV. You know what I mean? That’s how I watch all types of media content. Like Melo was saying: “What can we do better? What’s something that’s missing?”
Mero, be honest. Have you ever booed Carmelo?
MARTINEZ Bro, I never booed Melo. Not once. Think about it, bro. Like, think about the Knicks. I’m a 40-year-old man. I’ve been watching the Knicks my entire existence. The closest the Knicks have been to that mountaintop was with Melo at the front.
Carmelo, do you believe him?
ANTHONY I believe him because I’m tapped in.
Mero, are you cool with Desus today?
MARTINEZ Well, I’m from the Bronx. Like, if somebody is not actively trying to murder me, we don’t have beef. You know what I’m saying?
ANTHONY That’s a fact.
MARTINEZ Win, bro. You know what I’m saying? Do your thing, you know? If my life is a book, this is the next chapter.
You each have a visitor coming in from out of town. Name the one place you’re taking them to.
MARTINEZ I’m taking you to El Tina Fish Fry. Then after that, we’re going to hit Locksmith for a couple of drinks on 192nd and Broadway.
ANTHONY I can’t give you my spots. I can’t put the spots out there.
Carmelo is such a New Yorker that his spots are secret.
ANTHONY That epitomizes me as a New Yorker. You’ve got to know the spots to go to. It also depends on who is coming into town.
Mero, the last time we talked, you told me that being a Knicks fan was like watching a “wild, volatile stock.” How would you describe it now?
MARTINEZ Now it’s like, yo, I got Apple in my portfolio. It might go up and down a little bit, but it’s never going to crash.
How much will the Nets be mentioned on the show?
MARTINEZ What is that?
ANTHONY I’m not biased. I give perspective, too. They are in Brooklyn. We are “7PM in Brooklyn.” The show is based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. So, yes, of course, there would be times where the Nets are brought up.
Look at how diplomatic Carmelo is being. Are you on board with that, Mero?
MARTINEZ We’re New Yorkers. That’s real New York. It’s like, yeah, I’m going to roast you. But it’s love. You know what I’m saying? And I want you to come through and, like, talk about what we roasted you about.
The post ’Melo and Mero Team Up to Talk Basketball (Maybe Even the Nets) appeared first on New York Times.