We didn’t really know what to expect when HBO announced it was going to make a show that starred The Rock as a retired-football-player-turned-financial-adviser. Turns out, it was pretty damn entertaining. Sure, it’s not epic story telling in same vein as other HBO properties like Game of Thrones or The Sopranos, but it’s still engaging television. Often described as “Entourage, but with sports,” Ballers was renewed for season two back in July. So now that the happy ending of season one is in the record books, here’s some predictions (some reasonable, others not so much) for season two.
9. Charles Fails
Charles Greane has a lot on his plate. After retiring from the game, he had a lackluster attempt at being a car salesman and then almost had his marriage fall apart when he briefly became infatuated with a groupie. But then he got that “retired-athlete-itch” and is mounting a comeback with the Miami Dolphins, earning himself a new contract. Plus his wife, Julie, has a a baby on the way. So things are looking up for Charles, right? Wrong. This will somehow all fall apart and Charles will will end up on the bottom rung of the ladder again.
8. Ricky Jarret’s On-Field Success
For all of Ricky Jerret’s off-field hijinks and problems, we’ve never do find out if the guy can even play. We predict that season two will again take place during the NFL off-season, but this time Ricky will be the darling of a nation. After an amazing season of production for the Dolphins, including an unlikely playoff run that came up just short, Jarrett is one the league’s most recognizable faces. Will being in the spotlight keep him out of trouble? Probably not, which leads us to…
7. Ricky Jarret Holds Out
Yup. After earning back all that trust and adoration from his friends, family, and the public, Ricky will refuse to report to training camp and demand a restructured and improved contract. Naturally, this will cause havoc for Spencer and Joe as they attempts to keep Ricky’s huge ego contained long enough to get him back on the football field.
7. More Guest Stars
This one a no-brainer, really. Notable people from the sports world like Victor Cruz, Larry Csonka, Jay Glazer, Giancarlo Stanton, Dan Le Betard, Eric Hosmer, Jason Pierre-Paul, Terrell Suggs, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Julien Edelman, Jeremy Shockey, DeSean Jackson, and others, have already appeared on the show in one way or another. Much like the show it was modeled after, Entourage, you can except another batch of new familiar faces to appear on season two. With the success of season one, perhaps a notable athlete will even appear in a more regular role in the next one.
6. A Calmer Joe
Joe, played brilliantly by Rob Corddry, is the Ying to Spencer Strasmore’s Yang. While Spencer always tried to calm situations down, Joe is more known for his ability to escalate — often with terrible results. After trashing his old office when Mr. Anderson fired him (and promoted Spencer), we think that season two of Ballers will bring a calmer, more relaxed Joe as he attempts to “find himself.” Obviously, it won’t last long and we will again see the slightly insane Joe from season one that we all know and love.
4. Spencer/Tracy Love Interest
The show has been criticized for not really having a strong female character that isn’t a wife or a girlfriend. Professional sports, in many ways, is still a “boys club.” The closest thing Ballers has to a legitimately interesting female character is Arielle Kebbel’s Tracy Legette, sports reporter and sometimes bed-mate of Spencer. Their relationship is never clearly defined, making is a very casual arrangement for now. We predict that will change over the course of season two, adding unwelcome feelings and headaches to both of their already hectic lives.
3. Vernon Ruins His Career
Vernon Littlefield is the biggest client that Spencer has, but he has already shown his remarkable talent for screwing things up. First he gets caught on film doing drugs with hookers (and is extorted out of a boatload of money for it). Then he gets offered a massive contract from the Dallas Cowboys and inexplicably drags his feet, almost ruining the opportunity (he does sign it, eventually). On top of that, he maintains an entourage of hanger-ons that are slowly bleeding his bank account dry, his childhood friend Reggie being the worst of the bunch. We’re not sure that even the great Spencer Strasmore can save him from his own bad decisions in season two.
2. Ricky Stays Single
After Ricky’s girlfriend discovers the existence of his “Fun House,” his personal life goes down the drain in a hurry. But we think that Ricky’s new-found confidence from a great season will lift his spirits and he will play the field (get it? A sports pun!) for the majority of season two. Sure, it will probably get him into hot water at least once or twice, but so what? That’s what Spencer is around for. Unfortunately, we also think Ricky will fly too close to sun in both his personal and professional life, and end season two on a tumultuous downswing.
1. Spencer Gets In Way Over His Head
Always the master at putting out fires for other people, Spencer will soon learn that he leaped head first into the deep end, with no life preserver in sight. When Anderson made him the head of the company’s new sports division, complete with a $5 million bankroll to grow it, it was always going to be a challenge to live up to expectations. When season two rolls around, expect to see Spencer really struggle with his new responsibilities.