NBA Hot Takes

By Barry Hirshfeld and Eric Vallen

Barry’s Hot Take:

“Russ is so washed!”

Signs with the Washington Wizard in the 2020-2021 NBA season and averages a triple-double, continuously bounces around the top of the MVP ladder and takes the team to the 8th seed and a narrow play-in tournament win to achieve playoff seeding.

“He’s such a ball hog.”

Recurrently plays with MVP talent and minimizes his usage percentage–Kevin Durant, James Harden, Paul George, Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, Lebron James, Anthony Davis… Has averaged ten-plus assists in five separate NBA seasons.

“Pft… another triple-double, what a stat padder.”

One of two players in NBA history to average a triple-double in a season, along with Oscar Robertson. Has now averaged a triple-double in four separate NBA seasons, possesses the record for most triple-doubles in the regular season, and in a single regular season.

Throughout his career, Russell Westbrook has established himself as a statistical machine. Continuously achieving statistical accolades in multiple categories, including triple-doubles, points, assists, etc… He has accumulated one MVP, nine times All-NBA (two being all first team), two-time all-star game MVP, all-rookie first team, and nine all-star appearances throughout his decade in the league. Due to his plethora of accolades and statistical records, especially when compared to his lack of playoff appearances and success, Westbrook is often slandered. He is commonly labeled as a selfish player unable to be the primary option on a successful post-season team.  HOWEVER: Russell Westbrook isn’t in an optimal situation on the Lakers and is still a top 5 point guard in the league. Statistically, Russell Westbrook has solidified himself as a top player in the league. His lack of success forces many to question his validity as an all-NBA talent, causing him to leave the Wizards and become the third option on a championship-contending Lakers team led by Lebron James and Anthony Davis. The team’s inability to stay healthy plagues them throughout this season and the Lakers current ninth-seed will force them to compete in the play-in tournament to have a chance at entering the playoffs and competing against a top-seeded team. Russell Westbrook’s current situation however is not optimal––a primary ball-handler, Westbrook is a shot creator and cannot thrive playing off the ball. His inability to efficiently spread the floor doesn’t allow him to fit into the Lebron-led Laker offense. Despite these circumstances, Westbrook averages around nineteen points, eight assists, and eight rebounds. With his time in the league dwindling, Westbrook must soon contribute to a winning system to solidify his greatness.

Eric’s not-so-hot Hot Take:

Lebron James is unarguably the most talented and accomplished player of our generation. Four rings, four MVPs, four MVPs, 13x all NBA first team, 5x all-defensive first team—what more could you want from a player? According to the basketball world, so much more. People cite his finals record, being 4-6 in the finals series. However, let’s stop, and perhaps use our brains for a second. This man has participated in 10 separate finals series, a feat unparalleled since the infancy of the NBA. This man has absolutely dominated the league for more than a decade. Not just in a statistical sense, but in a winning sense. For the past 12 years, if a team is in the same conference as Lebron James, they may as well just write off any hopes and disband the team for the next few months. Lebron James has changed entire teams and conferences reputations because of how embarrassingly he has beaten them. After 18 years of Lebron James’ unaltering heroic efforts on the court, efforts like his have become the norm. As of this present season, at age 37, Lebron James is averaging a near 30 point triple-double a night. The only other player ever being close to this production at age 37 was a washed-up Michael Jordan. We are witnessing the most long-lasting, productive, electric player in all of NBA history. And people act like this is normal. Lebron James is a literal once-in-a-lifetime player, you and I will never again see a player like Lebron James. No player will ever again dominate the NBA like Lebron James, lest a superteam like that of the 60s Celtics comes around. Lebron James is not just our generational player, like Kareem or Jordan. James has a realm of his own, he cannot be compared to any other player. No player will ever reach the heights he reached. Lebron James is the greatest of all time.

Hot Takes From Around School:

Andy Evans: “Ja Morant is the best point guard in the League.”

Omri Shahar: “Kevin Durant, historically, is a better scorer than Kobe Bryant.”

Alessandra Kelly: “Lebron James sucks! Because he’s selfish and worse than Michael Jordan.”

Cuinn Huber: “Basketball is boring, that’s my hot take.”

Barry Hirshfeld: “The Bulls are championship favorites.” 

Emily Zinn: “The Toronto Raptors will be awful for the next decade.”

Samuel Collins: “Klay Thompson is abhorrently overrated.”

Dylan Wright: “Steph Curry gets carried by Klay, without him Steph would be a bum.”

Evander Blenio: “Kyle Kuzma is a top three player in the league.”

Taylor Witana: “There needs to be more diversity in the NBA, also, women need to be in the NBA with equal pay to their male counterparts.”

Leonardo Commisso: “we need more gosh darn women in the NBA.”

Miles Munoz: “Demar Derozan is a lucky player, his recent hot streak is a fluke.”

Peter Duncan: “Ben Simmons will come back to the 76ers with a serviceable three point shot.”

Alessandra Kelly: “Klay Thompson is severely unattractive.”