This Week In Hot Takes for June 1-7 was led by Skip Bayless.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takesthis time covering the hottest sports media takes from June 1-7.

5. Doug Gottlieb says J.R. Smith’s game would have been “fixed” if he played in college: There are always plenty of college basketball media suggesting that time at that level is necessary for players’ improvement, and Fox’s Doug Gottlieb brought the latest take on that front this week. But he did so about J.R. Smith, a player who’s been in the NBA since 2004, and not only suggested that time in college somehow would have let Smith avoid his end-of-game-1 gaffe, suggested that this was the “usual result” for someone not going to college:

Gaffes still happen to those who play in college, during and after (Chris Webber’s phantom timeout was one of the most-cited comparisons to Smith’s error), and it’s also pretty ridiculous to say that one of the craziest and most obvious mistakes ever seen in the NBA playoffs is “the usual result” of players not attending college. Smith has a teammate who  famously didn’t go to college, one LeBron James, and James was the one yelling at him in the meme seen around the world. But sure, it’s a pity that Smith didn’t go to college and learn all the great lessons Gottlieb got from that experience, such as how to swipe other students’ credit cards.

Rating: 🔥🔥

4. Stephen A. Smith restarts ESPN’s LeBron to the Warriors nothingburger: There’s a lot of talk out there about where LeBron James will go in free agency, but a pretty inconceivable destination is the Warriors. This discussion started in February when ESPN took a Chris Haynes report that LeBron would “listen” to the Warriors if they had a max slot available (which, of course he’d listen, but in order to get there, they’d have to blow up a large part of their team and they’re unlikely to do that; even Haynes’ piece’s second line was “There is no indication that Golden State is evaluating such options to acquire the Cleveland Cavaliers star at this time”) and turned it into massive debate show fodder, and it came up again this week thanks to Stephen A. Smith.

Smith, in some weird potential mix of attempted reporting and punditry, went even further from Haynes’ “will listen” to say  “LeBron James will have a conversation with the Warriors this summer!” But he then didn’t offer anything to back it up, other than an argument that the Warriors would ditch Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to have a shot at maybe landing LeBron. And even his cohosts didn’t take him seriously:

That’s quite the take there, Stephen.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

3. Colin Cowherd says LeBron should leave Cleveland because…his Finals record is a “blemish” on his career? Talking about LeBron’s record in the Finals, especially when compared to Michael Jordan’s 6-0 mark, is one of the dumbest takes out there. Beyond the issues with attributing wins and losses to individual players (and this series has really been great proof of how sometimes Cleveland can’t win even if LeBron is perfect), the argument presumes that it’s somehow better that Jordan lost in rounds before the Finals. It’s like talking about quarterbacks’ records in Super Bowls, and ignoring the playoff games that allow their teams to reach the Super Bowl. And Cowherd managed to take this even further, arguing that the Finals’ record not only “looks bad” and “is a blemish,” but also is a reason for LeBron to leave Cleveland:

Sure, if LeBron leaves, it’s likely in pursuit of a better chance to win a championship. That would seemingly be pretty logical. But dragging the tired Finals record stat into this over and over again is a take we see far too often, and one that doesn’t actually mean anything.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

2. Bill Simons waits 14 years to ask Serena Williams if Donald Trump’s theory about her being “intimidated” by Maria Sharapova’s beauty is accurate: We saw one of the dumbest sports media questions ever this week from Bill Simons, editor and publisher of Inside Tennis. Simons has been covering Serena Williams for a long time, as he made sure to note, but he somehow waited 14 years to ask her if a crackpot theory he heard from Donald Trump in 2004 was accurate:

Asking an athlete if they were “intimidated” by an opponent’s looks is bad enough under any circumstances, doing so in this convoluted way by referencing comments Trump made 14 years ago is worse, and the real kicker is how Williams had a 19-2 record against Sharapova going into this week. (She eventually withdrew thanks to injury, and Sharapova lost in the next round.) There’s no intimidation there. And there certainly isn’t a question worth waiting 14 years for.

1. Skip Bayless says “nobody ever even thought about MJ being tired,” forgets that he did exactly that: It’s well established by now that Bayless will take any excuse to criticize LeBron James, particularly in comparison to Michael Jordan. Bayless has built a TV punditry career mostly on that (especially now that he no longer has many reasons to gush about Tim Tebow), and he’s made millions for that from both ESPN and Fox for some reason. But it’s worth remembering that before Bayless was a professional shit-stirrer on television, he was one in print, causing Cowboys’ fights by printing ridiculous speculation like “Troy Aikman is gay” and causing plenty of controversy in Chicago. And this week, after Bayless made a particularly silly claim that LeBron is lesser than Jordan for discussions of him being tired, something “nobody ever even thought about MJ,” people pointed out that he not only thought it at one point, he printed it:

Blasphemous indeed, Skippy, blasphemous indeed.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hot Take Standings:

Jason Whitlock – Hall of Fame
Stephen A. Smith – 206
Skip Bayless – 170
Phil Mushnick – 137
Colin Cowherd – 62
Shannon Sharpe – 35
Rob Parker – 33
Doug Gottlieb – 24
Albert Breer – 23
Ray Lewis – 21
JT The Brick – 20
Charles Barkley – 19
Britt McHenry – 15
Don Cherry – 15
Bill Plaschke – 14
Dan Shaughnessy – 13
Chris Broussard – 13
Dan Dakich – 13
Rick Morrissey – 13
Ben Maller – 12
Tony Massarotti – 11
Jason McIntyre – 11
Michael DeCourcy – 11
Darren Rovell – 10
Bob Brookover – 10
Jeremy Roenick – 10
Berry Tramel – 10
Kristine Leahy – 10
Ross Tucker – 9
Keith Olbermann – 9
Ryen Russillo – 9
Garth Crooks – 9
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Steve Simmons – 8
Frank Isola – 8
Michael Rapaport – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Andy Benoit – 7
Cris Carter – 7
Pat Forde – 7
Danny Kanell – 7
Pat Leonard – 6
Mike Francesa – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Bill Simons – 5
Christine Flowers – 5
Jason Lieser – 5
John Steigerwald – 5
Josh Peter – 5
Alexi Lalas  – 5
Greg Gabriel  – 5
John Moody  – 5
Marni Soupcoff – 5
Ryan Rishaug – 5
Kurtis Larson  – 5
Rod Watson  – 5
Dan Wolken – 5
Chuck Modiano – 5
Joel Klatt – 5
Steve Buffery – 5
Joe Morgan – 5
Michael Felger – 5
Howard Eskin – 5
Nancy Armour – 5
Richard Justice – 5
John Middlekauff – 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5
Jesse Watters – 5
John McGrath – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Mike Bianchi – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rob Rossi – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Mark Kiszla – 4
Greg Witter – 4
Myron Medcalf  – 4
Bill Polian – 4
MJ Franklin – 4
Alex Reimer – 4
Joan Vennochi – 4
Graham Couch – 4
Matt Yglesias – 4
Bill Livingston – 4
Michael Irvin – 4
Shawn Windsor – 4
Brock Huard – 4
Byron Tau – 4
Maggie Gray – 4
Michael Powell – 4
Mark Spector – 4
Chad Forbes – 4
Gary Myers – 4
Mark Schlereth – 4
Andy Gray – 4
David Fleming – 4
The Sporting News – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Kirk Herbstreit – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
Mike Felger – 4
USA Today op-eds – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Steve Rosenbloom – 3
Stephen Jackson – 3
Mike Sando – 3
Walt Borla – 3
Chris Russo  – 3
Nick Cafardo – 3
Ice Cube – 3
Cathal Kelly – 3
Justin Peters – 3
Elise Finch – 3
Kevin Skiver  – 3
David Bahnsen – 3
Harold Reynolds – 3
Kevin Reynolds – 3
Mike Sheahan – 3
Bob Ford – 3
Steve Greenberg – 3
Matt Burke – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Jason Smith – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
Ron Cook – 2
Brian Kenny – 2
Barrett Sallee – 2
Craig Calcaterra – 2
Max Kellerman – 2
Gareth Wheeler – 2
John Cornyn – 2
Tony Dungy – 2
Bruce Jenkins – 2
Chris Wesseling – 2
Seth Greenberg – 2
Doug Smith – 2
Newsweek – 2
Teddy Cutler – 2
Will Cain – 2
Bill Cowher – 2
Paul Finebaum – 2
Charley Casserly – 2
Amin Elhassan – 2
Jim Henneman – 2
Mitch Lawrence – 2
Nick Wright – 2
Domonique Foxworth – 2
Gary Parrish – 2
Michael Farber – 2
Andy Furman – 2
Donovan McNabb – 2
Seth Davis – 2
Jon Heyman – 2
Jason La Canfora – 2
Booger McFarland – 2
Joe Schad – 2
Cork Gaines – 2

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more This Week In Hot Takes. As always, you can send submissions to me via e-mail or on Twitter.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.