An unprecedented sports void did little to quell hot NBA takes. With months to consider perspective on the discourse, analysts instead feel compelled again to fill every breath in an otherwise constant stream of playoff games with the sports talk equivalent of halitosis. Surely, I am guilty of it, too, because sports are fun, hot takes can be even more entertaining, and we need silly debates when most others are so serious.
Following Milwaukee’s 116-114 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, which put the NBA’s best regular-season team in an 0-2 Eastern Conference semifinals hole, Jefferson — the 2016 champion turned analyst — suggested Antetokounmpo is more consigliere than Godfather, more Pippen than Michael Jordan.
Giannis might be a Pippen.... there I said it! He needs his Jordan. pic.twitter.com/L89DG9JjHD
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) September 3, 2020
Pippen, the six-time champion and backup vocalist to Jordan’s lead singing, took umbrage with Jefferson’s portrayal, lauding Antetokounmpo and throwing shade at his fellow contributor on ESPN’s “The Jump.”
I’m not Giannis—I don’t have back-to-back league MVPs (he will in a matter of days)—and he’s not me. The question is... who were you as a player? 😂 https://t.co/Ce6tGU98s3
— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) September 3, 2020
We should join Pippen in noting that Antetokounmpo is a soon-to-be two-time Most Valuable Player, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year, at 25 years old — three years younger than when Jordan met that same criteria and won his first title. To his credit, Jefferson took Pippen’s jab in stride, even poking fun at himself.
Hey, something Jefferson and Jordan have in common — making Scott Burrell the butt of their jokes!
To be fair, Jefferson scored nearly 15,000 points in his 17-year career, almost six times Burrell’s production over eight seasons. But they both did average five points per game in their lone championship campaigns.
The takes can always get hotter, though, which I guess is why former Chicago Bulls guard Jay Williams, now an ESPN analyst himself, weighed in with what on its face appears to be a dragon-breathing take.
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) September 3, 2020
Just when you thought the discourse had evolved from constantly slandering LeBron James by comparing him to Jordan to doing the same with Antetokounmpo, Williams is here to remind you we can still slander both. Now, just imagine what the takes would have been if James Harden had lost Game 7 on Wednesday.
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