Welcome to sports talk, where everybody is too busy screaming each other’s points down to realize they all agree. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened when injured Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley took a shot at Will Cain on Twitter for comments the ESPN personality made on “First Take,” and then called into his radio show to offer a rebuttal. I can’t really tell. My ears are bleeding.
Here’s how it started: “First Take” host Molly Qerim asked the panelists, “Are we getting a little too excited with this [Cleveland Cavaliers] squad?” Cain spent the next couple minutes essentially saying, Yeah, the Cavs have looked great through two games, but let’s pump the brakes and wait for a larger sample size before we start calling them a lock to get out of the East for a fourth straight season.
To which Stephen A. Smith was like, YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING WILL CAIN! I WILL SMOKE WILL CAIN IN A GAME OF BASKETBALL! I AM ALSO ABOUT TO CONFUSE GEORGE HILL WITH PAUL GEORGE! AND THE CAVALIERS ARE CAPABLE OF COMING OUT OF THE EAST NOW! THIS COULD GET VERY INTERESTING!
And Max Kellerman was like, The Cavs have improved, but the Raptors and Celtics are also good!
And Beverley was like:
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) February 14, 2018
Beverley and Cain then went back and forth on Twitter. Beverley said the pressure of the trade deadline has been lifted in Cleveland, and a fresh start will do wonders for the Cavs. Cain responded by repeatedly asking the Clippers guard which of his points he disagreed with and getting no answers.
So, they took their debate to Cain’s radio show:
Beverley was all, “You spoke about the Cavs and how they won’t come out of the East.”
And Cain was all, “I said they’re not a lock to win the East, and I think that’s a reasonable conclusion.”
And Beverley was all:
“Of course I’m not playing this year, so I’m able to be a fan this year. Any basketball player will tell you, no matter what team — and it’s hard for us to say it as basketball players, but as basketball players we come to the truth — any team LeBron James is a lock to come out of anywhere, except in the West, because the West is a different monster. But in the East? And you have to give every team out there respect. Brad Stevens has done a hell of a job with Boston. Toronto has been playing their ass off. It’s a lot of good teams. But, you know, it is LeBron James.”
I think what Beverley means by, “LeBron James is a lock to come out of anywhere, except in the West,” is: LeBron James is a lock to come out of the East. He went on to say history always repeats itself, and championship teams are always made up of a couple superstars surrounded by amazing role players.
Cain asked if Kevin Love is Cleveland’s second superstar and if the Cavaliers newcomers are amazing role players, and then pointed out that Toronto has two All-Stars with some solid role players, too.
To which Beverley responded, “Nah.”
Finally, Beverley concluded his argument with this analysis of Cleveland’s deadline deals: “I mean, you put them in a legitimate chance of being one of the teams to come out of the East, for sure.”
OK, so we all agree, then. I’m glad we had this talk.
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