Colin Cowherd’s Hot Take
Jim Rome on his radio show:
“Hot Take…, they’re bad for the NBA and he’s just not that good. You know what a hot take is? A hot take is finding something that is almost almost universally accepted or thought of as good and running the other way. Or, or, a hot take is finding something that is universally hated and treated with disdain and then putting yourself out there and saying, “Best thing ever!” Oh, no, that is great, that’s great, hot take, I will give you a hot take, OJ Simpson, good dude, good dude, just a good dude with a bad rap, hot take. I will give you another hot take, slamming your hand in a car door, it’s a good time. Makes you feel alive bro. Brother you are not alive until you have slammed your hand in your car door. Good times. There’s a hot take. Let me give you another hot take. A hot take like, Stephen Curry is not that good. That’s a hot take…stop hot taking it. I’ll give you a hot take, Toronto-Miami is the best series ever. There is your hot take.”
Steph Curry was just announced as the MVP of the NBA 2015-16 season. The big difference between this year and other years is that this is the first year that the MVP was unanimous. Before the announcement came, Russillo & Kanell on their radio show was hoping that a voter wouldn’t spoil it, when Curry is so obvious. There always is a contrarian and votes for a Penny Hardaway, instead of a Michael Jordan. Even the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, wasn’t a unanimous hall of fame candidate.
The fact that 131 basketball media members were able to agree, without one of them dissenting and voting for LeBron James or Kwahi Leonard was a relief. In the “hot take” sports world, we knew someone would take that position, this time it was Colin Cowherd.
Colin Cowherd’s Case
“I told you when Chris Paul got hurt the Clippers will not win another game. Season is over. Chris Paul is the heart and soul of the LA Clippers. To me the two most valuable players are LeBron 1 and Chris Paul. Think about this Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time. The Bulls went from 57 wins to 55 after he left. LeBron in Cleveland they won 61 games he leaves they win 19, then 21, then 24, then low 30’s, he comes back mid 50’s. That is valuable. This league doesn’t have, this league has never had a single player as valuable as LeBron James. Magic Johnson as great as he was, no question that he mattered, but the Lakers always get stars at the time Lakers they were still the mos glamorous franchise in the league, they would have won a lot of games and did before he got there. To me Magic is the 2nd best player that has ever played in the league, so to me Steph Curry is not the MVP in the league he may be among many things… If you take LeBron out of the Cavs I am not sure they would be favored in a game the rest of the year…College basketball has this right…they have player of the year. I would vote Steph Curry player of the year he has been the most talked about the most exhilarating and he really is changing the game with 3 pointers, that is all that we have now, look at Cleveland that is all they do is shoot 3 pointers. If you want to call it player of the year I will give it to Steph, but Most Valuable? Nope, he is not the most valuable player in the league.”
Colin’s appeals to word valuable, he says it should mean the player whose teammates need him the most. Sure the Warriors are deep so they miss any single individual less then teams with a roster of mediocrity. For example, LeBron last year during the playoffs is more valuable then the LeBron this year in the playoffs, for the mere fact that they have Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving healthy, according to the logic, LeBron is less valuable than last year. The MVP is supposed to go to the best player, not the best player with the worst team. The track record of the award has proved this for the entire history.
Here are two other National Radio guys, Cowherd’s peers, on him (essentially) who want to take an opinion that Steph Curry, doesn’t deserve the MVP.
Jim Rome’s Take:
“It is the epitome of the “Hot Take” It’s not that good Rome, overhyped and overrated hey and while we are at it they are really bad for the NBA that is a bad thing for the NBA nobody wants to see a team of incredibly skilled guys that play extremely well together and are unselfish and maybe have the best chemistry together that you are ever going to see and on top of that they are unbelievable guys…
…I think I can see the other side of almost anything.. I can pick either side of any argument and argue it on just about anything I don’t see the other side of this I don’t see the other side of Golden State is awesome, I don’t see the other side of Steph Curry is a brilliant player. I can’t make the argument the other way I can sit here and say, “You know what, I can see why you don’t like that guy, or I can see where maybe you think that guy is not that great or I can see why you’re not down with them or I can see why you think Golden state isn’ one of the best ever. I can’t see the other side of that I can’t make that other argument…and I can see the other side of almost everything but, not the other side of Golden State is a great team, I don’t see that, yet you hot takers keep coming in with it.”
Rome is basically calling Cowherd “Hot Take Guy”.
Ryan Russillo from ESPN Russillo and Kanell gave his opinion on Cowherd’s Hot Take:
“I get the, Hey, let me do something and people will have me on, but i still don’t understand what the real value of that is. You can play in the moment, “Well, Hey look I, uh 17 radio requests, I can tell you what, It doesn’t… you don’t get to cash those in for something, you don’t get a vacation property out of it. Your company doesn’t, go, “Hey, you know, you get a raise.” So even though we always do, “Hey man it was worth it look at all the attention you got”, tell me where that equates to real value later on in that persons career, you actually just become known as the guy that voted for somebody else”
The problem that I had is when the next day he doubled down and explained the reason his opinion was dissenting is because controversy makes you a big star. In order to stand out in a fragmented society, he needed to be controversial like Bryce Harper, The Kardashians, LeBron, and others. I want to hear opinions that are opinions because of how you believe, not because you want to be controversial. Here are the quotes that led me to believe that Colin went this way to be controversial.
“I am going to Double Down on ‘Steph Curry is not the MVP’ and this is how I am going to do it.”
“I don’t care what anyone says about Skip Bayless, he moves the needle, he is coming over here.”
“Steph is just unbelievably gifted offensively, another component of this is that LeBron James is not beloved. Steph Curry is non-threatening so people love Steph Curry, he is boyish, fun, cute, adorable, nobody hates Steph Curry, LeBron is more polarizing. “
“Kirt Herbstreit said to me once, “How do you deal with all the hate mail”, you don’t get much of it Kirk, I said secondly, who cares. Like, if you look at America, and say who are the biggest stars in America, Fox News, love and hate, Trump, Lebron, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Bryce Harper, Bill O’Reilly, Simon Cowell, the Kardashians, if you want to break through in a fragmented society some of the people that are going to consume you won’t like you and remember we are all, if you think about what you hate in America it is fear based, hate comes from fear. You fear what you can’t be, you fear what you can’t stop, you fear what you get what you can’t have, it is all psychology you can look it up. So to break through in society, our Bryce Harper is the most loved and hated. I had dinner last night with somebody that has worked at Fox News for 20 years, he said Bill O’Reilly gets a 1000x’s more negative and positive reactions, if you are going to break through you’re going to be polarizing.”
I completely agree with Rome and Russillo. Cowherd seems to be wanting the attention for going the opposite way and to create a little noise. Why be like everyone else? Think differently. Well, being right is more important that being different and if there was a compelling case that most people have missed the boat on, I am all ears. But, there isn’t. Jason Whitlock filled in for Colin the day after Kobe scored 60 and decided to take the day and rip Kobe all day. Colin came in the next day and defended Whitlock saying about how many podcasts were downloaded. Sure, I agree that controversy gets clicks, but it seems to be short term thinking, because you may get the spotlight, but it loses you respect.
Cowherd has enough goodwill in the tank and credibility to outlast any number of controversial opinions. The reason is because he has worked hard and has many smart opinions and is entertaining to listen to. He has earned this. A “Hot Take” for the sake of a hot take isn’t going to make me stop listening to him, but it is a withdrawal out of his bank account of respect as opposed to a deposit.
* Additional quotes supporting that Cowherd wants to be controversial:
“Steph is loved at this point in his career.”
“Remember what really got people upset when LeBron and Dwayne Wade and Bosh had their press conference saying they were going to win 7 championships. Nash won the MVP 2x’s even though he wasn’t the most talented guy, it was because without Nash the Suns were terrible. Golden State set an NBA record 3 point shooting record when Curry was hurt and that is what he does better than everyone else. Curry has 8 other guys that are great and needed less than LeBron. You will see most of Curry’s impact in 10 years when all the 9 year old boys who watch Curry and want to be able to shoot like him. Everyone now shoots three.”
“The two highest paid athletes in America are Floyd Meriweather and Lebron James. I would argue that American Tennis could use a villain. I could argue that Nascar could use a villain, most sports that are struggling don’t have a villain. College Football is great, Alabama is a villain, ND is a villain, USC is a villain. NFL has all sorts of villains, the Patriots, Cowboys, Cam Newton, Tom Brady villains. The NBA has one and LeBron is it. Lebron is the only villain in the NBA. The moment he went back to Cleveland you kind of lost the villain. The NBA was better when LeBron was in Miami,, the city loved him and the nation hated him. Curry got the MVP I don’t think he is top two MVP. “
“We love points. Wilt was an underachiever, Bill Russell was more consistent and won 11. Kobe Bryant only won 68% of games when he scored 40 or more. They won 76% with Shaq. When players go off they don’t win as much. Golden State is more vinable than anyone in the NBA. LeBron, Chris Paul aren’t as vinable as Westbrook, Griffin, and Steph. We get seduced by moments, points and vines. Draymont is the true best player in the series and is having an all time great series. Draymont is always ready to play. All we want to talk about is Stephs 17 point overtime.”
“We fell in love with Marbury, he won only 44% of his games. JJ Watt is great, but not as valuable. Andy Dalton has more of an effect than him. If you take Steph Curry off the Warriors and they are the 2nd best team in the East. Cavs wouldn’t even be a playoff team in the West. Curry’s shooting, ball handling, iq, feet. We fell in love with Derrick Rose as he won MVP and LeBron shut Rose down in the Heat/Bulls series. LeBron outplayed Steph in the finals last year. Steph is easy to love. He is the apple stock, LeBron is the freight train,, or exxon mobile. Kardashian is a bigger star than Jeremy Irons. LeBron will be known as the best and most important player for 15 years. Steph is amazing, most exciting player, LeBron is the MVP of the league.”