Greetings, Earthlings. Ok, Hoops heads, I am back with some more mildly quirky hoops hot takes. Without a doubt, the NBA season is rumbling along and there is no shortage of events, quotes, games, and situations to apply the quirk to. So let’s get straight to it.
Pippen Sounds Off
At this time, he’s back plugging his soon-to-be-released new book, and he has plenty to say. He walked back a few things he said in the GQ interview. (Yes, folks, he did not own it) But what has everybody in a tiff is his apparent resentment of Michael Jordan.
Obviously I’m old enough to have seen both these guys play in their prime, and Pippen makes some good points about teamwork and the lack of respect he suffered through over the course of his career. He was shamefully underpaid and underappreciated. Clearly, Pippen’s shortcomings were magnified while his accomplishments were seemingly downplayed.
Folks, this is a proud man. He came from a difficult upbringing and he became a superstar in the NBA. This sort of fairy tale wasn’t supposed to happen. Plus, he did this.
Pip is trying to sell a book and that’s fair. His campaign is also tame in comparison to Kwame Brown’s Scorched Earth Tour earlier this year, in which problematic guy roasted two other problematic guys in a verbal back and forth that was reminiscent of mid 80s pro wrestling heat.
But Pippen maintains that diminishing his accomplishments, including the Jordancentric themes in The Last Dance documentary, was also motivated by a need to elevate Jordan himself. This was a different time. The league and Nike discovered an exciting, gifted, and personable individual to sell product, the sport, and shoes. It was in their interest to elevate MJ.
So is what Pippen is saying a stretch? I would say no. I said it. I’ll own it.
The Bulls (again), and the Suns Owner
Yes, they are. DeMar DeRozan is having a glorious career resurrection after a few seasons of hoops purgatory as Kawhi Leonard’s replacement in San Antonio. As a Spurs fan, this pleases me. Disclaimer: none of those is actually me. He was disappointed when he was traded from Toronto. He had made it clear that he wanted to be a Raptor for life, for whatever reason. DeRozan played through that. He was a consummate pro in San Antonio. Now he’s a primary weapon on a dangerous Chicago Bulls squad.
They will be gunning for the top seed in the Eastern Conference by season’s end.
I said it. I’ll own it!!
Robert Sarver, majority owner of the Phoenix Suns, has been leaving a trail of discomfort and awkwardness in his wake for about 17 years now. If there’s anything we know about here in the quirky hoops hot takes column it’s discomfort and awkwardness. This situation is serious however. A report from Worldwide Leader Thing holds that he imposed an atmosphere of racism and misogyny. At least 70 current and former employees went on the record to share these toxic unpleasantries.
Well, it’s impossible for me to say whether the man is a racist, but it’s quite obvious that he sure likes saying racist shit! Undoubtedly, I don’t think Adam Silver will want a long drawn out process here. I think the league will conduct their investigation and have Sarver doing the Donald Sterling Shuffle right the hell out of the Suns facilities.
I said it. I’ll own it.
Somebody who is not shuffling is Paul George, he of the cringe nickname. Playoff– ahem- Paul is leading the league in scoring and in steals. The Clippers win-loss percentage could use some improvement, but George is doing his part. He’s doing the heavy lifting while Kawhi Leonard is on the eternal mend.
Paul also low key complained about the new Wilson ball the league is using. Is he playing some sort of angle with us here? Is he trying to garner more credit for his production by playing up the difficulties he’s apparently overcoming with the new ball? Hmmm…. We’ll have to keep an eye on that!
Well, that’s all for now, Hoops Heads. These quirky hoops hot takes were a bit short on humor this week, but Pippen’s salt and Sarver’s intolerance are no laughing matter! Keep hoisting jumpers and working on that crossover move. Don’t forget to hydrate! See you next week!