'Ballers' Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: "Most Guys"

Throughout his post-playing career, Spencer Strathmore has done a bang-up job keeping his secrets from the rest of the world. Behind the tailored suits and perfect pocket squares hides a man with nothing to show from his playing career but a depleted bank account and crumbling hip. To keep up the ruse, he's betting on an aging slot receiver, a paintball-playing defensive lineman, and an idiot from the swamp who's too scared to go to show up at the Combine. It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see how it plays out for him.

Spencer’s Bones

Spencer’s hip is like the rusty, loose bolt at the end of Cool Runnings. He’s been living fast for too long, and the time has come to pay the piper. 

Unless, of course, Spence refuses to answer the door. Instead of getting hip replacement, which seems like a smart and viable option, our hero instead chooses to keep crunching away on those pills, however he can get them. Is this what you want, Spence? To collapse in the gym after your bones crack during a squat? Get the surgery you idiot.

 Big Business guys always have their monitor in a really inconvenient place on their desk. You really sit with your face eight feel away from the screen? Your booze cart is closer than that, Rock.

Big Business guys always have their monitor in a really inconvenient place on their desk. You really sit with your face eight feel away from the screen? Your booze cart is closer than that, Rock.

Charles' Quarter-Life Crisis, Part VII

Another episode, another new occupation for our friend Charles.

Just a few weeks into his second retirement, Charles is already picking fights with shithead teenagers in souped-up Subarus. His life looks like a mash-up between Gran Torino and Tokyo Drift. Sad!

When a bored and incensed Charles finally gives Dolphins GM Larry Siefert a piece of his mind, the perpetually even-keeled Siefert naturally offers him a job in the front office. So Chuck’s LinkedIn now reads as follows: football player, car salesman, football player, professional sports team executive.

Joe and Reggie’s Hijinks

This budding friendship is quickly becoming the best part of the show. Reggie is just now recognizing the value in his role as goofy sidekick, something Joe reluctantly accepted years ago. Expect a few more fruitless escapades before each of them comes up huge for their partner. In Joe’s case that probably means saving a big client from Andre’s clutches. For Reggie it will probably be something like making sure Vernon’s alpaca takes her heartworm medicine.

Ricky’s Second Thoughts

Last week, we were led to believe New Orleans’ offer of three years and $30 million was the best Ricky could possibly hope for. Buffalo, a city in New York state that apparently has a pro football team, leapfrogged the tarmac parade-throwing Saints with $33 million over three years. A no-brainer!

Ahh, but women! Ex-girlfriends, specifically. 

 The decorative tablecloth industry has gotten out of control.

The decorative tablecloth industry has gotten out of control.

Bella — last seen storming out of Ricky’s house in a huff — seeks Ricky out at some modeling event and sexily speaks about his frugality and quality of life. “If you have to leave Miami, you should go someplace that’s right for you. I hope you figure it out.” 

Listen, Ricky’s a selfish cheat. But these two are too good looking to keep apart Series finale better be their wedding otherwise this whole thing will have been a waste.

Travis’ Mack-turation (little pun, nbd)

We were introduced to diabetes Kid Rock on his home turf last week, when he left Jason for dead in the Florida wetlands. This episode, he’s in Rock’s world. No one enters the gym with Dwayne Johnson and leaves unchanged.

Spencer is not one to let a smartass get to him. When Travis’ mouth writes a check his biceps can’t cash, Spence the “fossil” is happy to deliver the overdraft notice in the form of thirty reps, no big deal. It’s a tough pill for Travis to swallow when he can only put up 26. (FYI Spence doesn’t have this problem since he just chews the shit out of his pills. Kid has a lot to learn.)

Travis’ come-to-Jesus moment occurs, as they so often do, in the parking lot of a shady Miami gym. Spence gives him the “you’ve got heart, kid” speech while wearing an absolutely impeccable suit just minutes after clanging every plate in the room. Travis’ dumb uncles could learn a little something about how to be father figures and also style. They have disgusting style. 

Spencer’s Registration

Big, big problems looming for Spencer’s “registration” with the NFLPA, which is apparently unapproved even though we’re halfway through season two.

A legal pad audit reveals Spence racked up $30 million in earnings during his career, aaaaaand roughly $30 million in expenditures. How, Sway?

Spence gives a typically smooth answer, but the NFLPA dork is having none of it. This “egregious” real estate deal with Ande Alan may come back to bite Spence in his hurting ass. |ES|


Ballers airs Sundays at 10 ET on HBO. Denzel Washington's son is in it and he's really good. All images via HBO.