Ballers Season Premiere Recap: Ball So Hard


Face of the Franchise
Season 2 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating *****
Dwayne Johnson as Spencer. Photo: HBO

It’s time for a new season of Black Entourage and we all know what that means! A television show filled with tight suits, tight dresses, and such flagrant displays of masculinity the need for dialogue is almost rendered obsolete. If Ballers were filmed as a silent movie with Dwayne “Le Rock” Johnson mugging at the camera while John David Washington twiddled his pharaoh beard over vitaphone music, I would neither be disappointed nor, quite frankly, know the difference.

This is a pretty sedate episode, as far as Ballers goes. There is only one stripper. Let’s jump right into it.

Spencer and Joe are attending the opening of Ndamukong Suh’s new restaurant — wait for it — Suh Casa. This is a big deal for Spencer and Joe, and Spencer is forced to address the crowd because the wall of person that is Ndamukong Suh isn’t great at public speaking. Let’s play a drinking game. Any time you see a person onscreen who could have played the Mountain on Game of Thrones, take a drink.

While Spencer is congratulating the mayor of Miami on his amazing tan, we meet this season’s big bad: Andre. Oh, that’s such an evil name. Andre. Andre is another financial manager (played by Andy Garcia) who used to represent Spencer when he was still playing. Tonight, he’s with Terrell Suggs, a.k.a. T-Sizzle, another football player who has a checkered past with Spencer. Oooooh. (Later in the episode, it’s revealed that Andre pushed Spencer into a shaky real-estate deal. The financial hit forced Spencer to play an extra year, and took a particularly hard hit on the field.) After some dick measuring with Andre, this dude Jay wants Spencer to come on his show to talk about business and sports. I love Ballers for its commitment to vague business words. Spencer and Joe agree to go on Jay’s show.

Meanwhile, Ricky has locked himself into a cryogenic chamber to repent for his sins. He’s having only 30 people over for his birthday party and he’s trying to keep his image pure and innocent. His dad, Not Denzel, is hanging around, suggesting Ricky fall off the frozen wagon. Charles arrives at his old dealership with his lil baby in tow. Why? His wife had a shift at the hospital and it’s Dolphins Legends Day! So, Charles sits under a pop-up gazebo and signs autographs next to a domestic car. My Miami sources tell me no one drives a domestic car, unless they’re German tourists who picked it up at the airport. Charles is a new fan favorite, though, so he’s having fun while the baby’s stunt double sits in a stroller nearby.

Spencer and Joe appear on Glazed and Confused, which is not only a gross name for what appears to be a televised podcast, but a name that tells me absolutely nothing about the content of the show. Is it about the intersection between donuts and sports business? Spencer and Joe cut each other off like two chattering hens when Jay, the host, brings in a surprise guest. IT’S T-SIZZLE. Oh, shit?

T-Sizzle played with Spencer, but Spencer stupidly posted a DM on his timeline bashing T-Sizzle for caring more about stats than winning championships. Twitter was new and Spencer was just trying to talk shit to T-Sizzle’s face. C’mon. It was just a big misunderstanding. Things get heated from there: Spencer reveals that he knows T-Sizzle had a Ravens player take him down, and he whispers gently in his ear, “Sizz sends his regards.” With Vernon watching at home and laughing, Sizzle calls Spencer the dirtiest player in the game and “just as overrated in your new job as your last one.” Spencer won’t have it and rushes T-Sizzle on-air. Even with one leg on a scooter, T-Sizzle takes him down. The fight somehow pops just enough buttons on Spencer’s shirt to reveal some of that butter-pecan skin. Mmm …

Jason and Dule Hill — we’re all just calling him Dule Hill in our minds, right? — are arguing about Ricky’s contract and things aren’t looking good. Their first offer? $12 million over two years with $6 million guaranteed. Ruh-roh. Jason isn’t going to bring something like that to Ricky. Try again, Dolphins.

After Dolphins Legends Day is over, Charles goes to say good-bye to his bosses who came for all the coaching groupies. Charles wants to know when they’ll be making calls to renew contracts, and his coach doesn’t want to him to walk into that meeting and get blindsided. Ruh-roh.

When Spencer heads into Sterling Cooper Strasmore Joe, Anderson is waiting for him in his office throwing his shit around. Anderson lets him know that his antics on Glazed and Confused might cost the company their registration. BUSINESS WORDS! Spencer apologizes and gets a tongue lashing that he’s got to be more responsible. Guess he can’t roam around like a caveman bashing people over the head.

Ricky is prepping for his Versailles-through-a-Pinterest-lens birthday party. He’s hired three white ladies to play his favorite hip-hop hits as if they were baroque chamber music. Unfortunately, Not Denzel sees that the Dolphins gave Alonzo Cooley the contract they were going to offer Ricky, which means he might not finish his career in Miami. Oh, sad business words. Fuck the sedate affair to impress the team owners. They’re taking this to the Fun House.

In mere moments, they manage to get a DJ and tons of girls to the Fun House. Ricky brings out several ice sculptures, and Joe does Patrón shots off all of them. Spencer looks around and — OH SNAP — it’s T-Sizzle wearing a shirt with his name on it. Jason invited him so they could bury the hatchet because Jason is going to therapy and learned the word “transference.” Spencer and T-Sizzle have their come-to-Touchdown-Jesus moment and shake hands. When Spencer walks back to his boys, he lets them know he’s going to sign T-Sizzle and steal all Andre’s clients. Ricky cuts the head off a dolphin ice sculpture and we’re on, bitches.

Ballers Season Premiere Recap: Ball So Hard