Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes. This time around, we’re looking at the hottest sports takes from May 10-16.5. Keith Olbermann argues “this overtime must be replayed or no 2019 Cup awarded”: The uncalled hand-pass that led to the San Jose Sharks beating the St. Louis Blues Wednesday drew criticism from many corners, with even series director Kay Whitmore only saying the play wasn’t reviewable rather than defending the call. And FanDuel Sportsbook even refunded bets on the Blues. But there’s criticism of a bad call, and then there’s “this overtime must be replayed or no 2019 Cup awarded”; ESPN’s Keith Olbermann came up with the latter.https://twitter.com/KeithOlbermann/status/1128859467708284930Olbermann’s wider critiques of the NHL’s officiating this postseason and of its review procedures aren’t without basis, but the league’s not going to replay that game, and the Stanley Cup really isn’t going to remain unawarded over a missed call in a third-round game.Rating: 🔥🔥4. Shannon Sharpe claims Zion Williamson should have wound up in L.A. or New York so stars can watch him courtside: There were a whole lot of fiery takes around the NBA draft lottery this week, which would up with the New Orleans Pelicans getting the top pick (and thus, presumably, Zion Williamson). One came from Fox’s Shannon Sharpe, who claimed this week the NBA should overrule its own draft (without specifying how they could do that) to force Williamson into a big market…so stars can be seen watching his games courtside?https://twitter.com/undisputed/status/1128766251055165440″A guy like that, you want him in a big market, I’m sorry. That’s not to try and disparage these small-market teams, I understand that you want to have superstars to stay viable, but Zion in New York? Zion in LA? That’s box office. …It would have been better. The league is more interesting when you have the big, big guys in big, big markets. Jay-Z is not going to New Orleans to sit courtside to watch Zion.” Skip Bayless points out that stars went to Durham, NC to watch Zion play for Duke, and Sharpe responds with some more shots at the Pelicans: “The Pelicans, sell that. Oh, the Pelicans playing on a Tuesday night, woo-ee! Let’s load up the family and go.”It seems highly unlikely that “stars sitting courtside” is actually a motivating factor for the NBA to do anything, especially as plenty of those stars in New York and Los Angeles have gone to games even when those teams are bad. And plenty of people will be watching the Pelicans this year if they have Williamson.Rating: 🔥🔥🔥3. Adam Schein blames James Dolan and “bad sports karma” for the Knicks not getting the top pick: Speaking of that draft lottery, let’s talk about how the Knicks only had a 14 percent chance to win it (along with the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers). But for CBS Sports’ Adam Schein, the non-Zion to the Knicks’ outcome wasn’t a mathematically-predictable outcome, but rather “all bad sports karma created by Knicks’ owner James Dolan”:https://twitter.com/CBSSportsNet/status/1128788259268583424Yep, ownership karma totally affected that result. That’s a thing, all right.Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥2. Skip Bayless says there’s a “viable, credible threat” of Zion Williamson going back to Duke:https://twitter.com/RealSkipBayless/status/1129053070665453568Yes, Williamson could theoretically decide by the NCAA’s deadline of May 29 to withdraw from the draft and head back to Duke, but it seems incredibly unlikely that he would pass up being the top pick and getting paid for his efforts to play another season of college basketball with just a scholarship as compensation. But Bayless says “I do see it as a viable credible threat” and adds “You don’t have to go to China or Europe, you can go back to where you really loved it” and Shannon Sharpe responds with an astounded “To play for free?” Bayless says “You say for free, but you don’t think there are deals being made everywhere?”Uh huh. Yeah, Williamson will totally get paid as much as he would in the NBA in college, in a way that doesn’t attract any NCAA problems. Right. And basing this on Williamson just saying he loved playing at Duke is a heck of a stretch.Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥1. Stephen A. Smith melts down over the Knicks not getting the #1 pick, including with “IF YOU ARE A KNICK FAN, THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF BEING KIDNAPPED, STORED IN A BASEMENT, BEING TORTURED AND THEY LET YOU OUT WHEN YOU ARE NO USE TO ANYBODY!”: The most remarkable thing from this whole lottery may be how completely ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith lost his mind about it. Let’s look at some examples:https://twitter.com/stephenasmith/status/1128471428901351424https://twitter.com/PabloTorre/status/1128718383048998913That first Smith clip in particular prompted an amusing reaction from Will Leitch at New York magazine:
It’s a video with everything, beginning with Smith simply screaming, “DAMMIT!!!! DAMMIT!!!” into his phone, seemingly from a moving vehicle, before putting his head in his hands and mournfully shaking it as if he’d just witnessed a cute animal being run over by a train. For reasons unbeknownst to any sentient person, this television professional, one of the highest-paid media personalities on the planet, has not provided any light for his close-up, giving the video a confusing Blair Witch feel. I might love the way he closes the video the most, wailing in his best Leave Britney Alone voice before nearly breaking down and moaning, in a startling Stephen A. admission, “I don’t even know what else to say.” He ultimately sticks the landing: “Hopefully I’ll calm down before First Take tomorrow,” bringing the whole thing home to nail the promo this was all about in the first place. Friends: Two million people have watched this video. I give up. Stephen A. wins. I accept it. In a sports-media world of disingenuous hucksters, blatant liars, and Barstool, this sort of lunatic performance art has a certain dignity to it. Good for you, Stephen A. If someone has to reign, it might as well be you.
Also, that second Smith clip (via Pablo Torre) in particular is hilarious enough to deserve a transcription:”CUT THE DAMN MUSIC PLEASE! CUT IT OFF! I AM HAVING A VERY BAD DAY! I AM IN NO MOOD! THIS, TODAY, IS ONE OF THE WORST DAYS THAT I HAVE HAD IN A VERY LONG TIME! I’M NOT IN THE MOOD TO PLAY WITH ANYBODY! MY BROTHER BOMANI JONES IS IN ANOTHER BOOTH LOOKING AT ME, I LOVE THAT BROTHER, I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU TODAY! I’VE GOT PRODUCERS WHO HAVE BEEN VERY VERY GOOD TO ME, I’VE GOT BOSSES WHO HAVE BEEN VERY VERY GOOD TO ME, I’VE GOT COWORKERS THAT I LOVE, I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO ANYBODY! MY GODSON IS SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AND I DON’T WANT TO LOOK AT HIM! I’M TICKED OFF!””AND SEAN FARNHAM ON GET UP THIS MORNING WITH MIKE GREENBERG, HIM AND HIS BENEDICT ARNOLD SELF, WALKING AROUND HAVING SHOWS ON TELEVISION IN THE MORNING, ACTING LIKE THIS IS A GOOD DAY TO JUST LAUGH. IT’S ALWAYS A LAUGH WITH THE NEW YORK KNICKS FOR NON-NEW YORK KNICKS FANS! I THOUGHT MIKE GREENBERG WAS A GOOD MAN! I THOUGHT HE WAS A PERSON THAT DIDN’T LIKE TO WATCH PEOPLE SUFFER! AND THEN THAT DAMN PABLO OUT THERE WITH BOMANI, HE’S STANDING IN THE HALLWAY LAUGHING AT ME TOO! THIS IS NOT FUNNY! IT’S NOT FUNNY! THIS IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE DAY! I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE REST OF YOUS, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE REST OF YOUS, BUT IF YOU ARE A KNICK FAN, THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF BEING KIDNAPPED, STORED IN A BASEMENT, BEING TORTURED AND THEY LET YOU OUT WHEN YOU ARE NO USE TO ANYBODY! IF YOU ARE NOT A KNICKS FAN, YOU MAKE ME SICK! I DON’T LIKE ANY OF YOUS, ANY OF YOUS!”That one’s particularly crazy, and Smith should know that sports references to kidnapping and basements often end poorly. But the sum total of the histrionics from Smith here gives him our hottest take this week. What’s really impressive is that he still has a voice after all this.Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥Honorable mention: It’s not actually a hot take, but Max Kellerman cutting a Scott Steiner math promo (except with math where the numbers actually add up) and Smith still finding ways to argue about it deserves more attention:Hot Take Standings:Jason Whitlock – Hall of FameStephen A. Smith – 247Skip Bayless – 207Phil Mushnick – 186Colin Cowherd – 84Rob Parker – 59Doug Gottlieb – 53Shannon Sharpe – 38Don Cherry – 30Albert Breer – 29Dan Shaughnessy – 26Darren Rovell – 25Ray Lewis – 25Mike Francesa – 24Charles Barkley – 24Danny Kanell – 24Britt McHenry – 20JT The Brick – 20Andy Benoit – 18Dan Dakich – 18Chris Broussard – 17Michael DeCourcy – 16Jason McIntyre – 16Tony Massarotti – 15Ben Maller – 15Bill Plaschke – 14Keith Olbermann – 13Jason Smith – 13Kirk Herbstreit – 13Mike Felger – 13The Sporting News – 13Rick Morrissey – 13Michael Wilbon – 12Michael Rapaport – 11John Middlekauff – 11Steve Simmons – 10Christine Flowers – 10Jeff Schultz – 10Greg Gabriel – 10Rob Rossi – 10Bill James – 10Joe Simpson – 10Bob Brookover – 10Jeremy Roenick – 10Berry Tramel – 10Kristine Leahy – 10Max Kellerman – 9Graham Couch – 9Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – 9Ross Tucker – 9Ryen Russillo – 9Garth Crooks – 9C.J. Nitkowski – 9Bob Ford – 8John Feinstein – 8Frank Isola – 8Bart Hubbuch – 8Will Cain – 7Howard Eskin – 7Trent Dilfer – 7Damien Cox – 7Mike Bianchi – 7Cris Carter – 7Pat Forde – 7Peter King – 6Charley Casserly – 6The Wall Street Journal – 6Pat Leonard – 6Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6Terry Bradshaw – 6Greg A. Bedard – 6Merril Hoge – 5Jonathan Allen – 5Dean Blevins – 5Tony Rizzo – 5Paul Sullivan – 5Dan Wolken – 5Dan Clark – 5Paul Daugherty – 5Michael Kay – 5Tom Jones – 5Mark Readings – 5Neil Warnock – 5Patrick Bet-David – 5Jared Stillman – 5Jen Rainwater – 5Matt Walsh – 5Jon Steinberg – 5Bill Welt – 5Jack Todd – 5Aaron Murray – 5Chris Childers – 5Mark Knight – 5The Herald Sun – 5David Booth – 5Tom Nichols – 5Keith Hernandez – 5Bill O’Reilly – 5Brandel Chamblee – 5Michael McCarthy – 5Mike “The Reputation Doctor®” Paul – 5Dennis Dodd – 5Rich Lowry – 5Chris Reed – 5The San Diego Union-Tribune – 5David Hookstead – 5Tomm Looney – 5Alex Shaw – 5Rick Reilly – 5Randall Mell – 5Ian O’Connor – 5Michael Bamberger – 5Bob Bubka – 5Cathal Kelly – 5Pete Prisco – 5Bill Simons – 5Jason Lieser – 5John Steigerwald – 5Josh Peter – 5Alexi Lalas – 5John Moody – 5Marni Soupcoff – 5Ryan Rishaug – 5Kurtis Larson – 5Rod Watson – 5Chuck Modiano – 5Joel Klatt – 5Steve Buffery – 5Joe Morgan – 5Nancy Armour – 5Richard Justice – 5Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5Jesse Watters – 5John McGrath – 5Mike Sielski – 5Gordon Monson – 5Scott Fowler – 5Terry Frei – 5David Jones – 5Sabrina Parr – 5Abbey Mastracco – 5Terry Cushman – 5Rick Bozich – 5Michael O’Doherty – 5Simon Briggs – 5Dan Wetzel – 5Mike Parry – 5Bob Ryan – 5Robert Reed – 5Pete Dougherty – 5Dan Le Batard – 5Marcus Hayes – 5Kyle Turley – 5Mike Ditka – 5Erril Laborde – 5Lowell Cohn – 5Rosie DiManno – 5Adam Schein – 4Mike Florio – 4Randal Grichuk – 4Mike Schmidt – 4Mike Bell – 4Cody McDavis – 4The New York Times – 4Dan Crenshaw – 4Mike Vaccaro – 4Mike Klis – 4Richard Keys – 4Bruce Levine – 4Malcolm Gladwell – 4That’s Kappy – 4Mitchell Nathanson – 4The New York Daily News – 4“Big” Jim Murray – 4Jeff Diamond – 4Marc Berman – 4Evan Roberts – 4Corbin Smith – 4DJ Siddiqi – 4The Express – 4Mark Kiszla – 4Greg Witter – 4Myron Medcalf – 4Bill Polian – 4MJ Franklin – 4Alex Reimer – 4Joan Vennochi – 4Matt Yglesias – 4Bill Livingston – 4Michael Irvin – 4Shawn Windsor – 4Brock Huard – 4Byron Tau – 4Maggie Gray – 4Michael Powell – 4Mark Spector – 4Chad Forbes – 4Gary Myers – 4Mark Schlereth – 4Andy Gray – 4David Fleming – 4Jeff Pearlman – 4Tony Grossi – 4FanSided – 4Tony Kornheiser – 4USA Today – 4Nathan Ruiz – 4Dean Blandino – 3Gary Bettman – 3Chris Torello – 3Aaron Taylor – 3Undisputed producers – 3Pete Thamel – 3John Kincade – 3Brian Burke – 3Doug Russell – 3Carl Steward – 3Jerry Coleman – 3Jon Johnson – 3Trey Wingo – 3Lance Zierlein – 3Michael Salfino – 3Tom Van Riper – 3Andy Katz – 3Tony La Russa – 3Jim Brady – 3Bill Simmons – 3Mark Teixeira – 3Wally Hall – 3Damien Woody – 3Victor Cruz – 3Andrew Walker – 3Jim Kaat – 3Jason Gay – 3Steven J. Brams – 3Aaron Isaksen – 3Will Muschamp – 3Buck Lanford – 3Stan Fischler – 3Sonnie Wooden – 3Chris Jones – 3Kelly Smith – 3Reggie Miller – 3Mark Madden – 3Larry Brooks – 3Dan Canova – 3Steve Rosenbloom – 3Stephen Jackson – 3Mike Sando – 3Walt Borla – 3Nick Cafardo – 3Ice Cube – 3Justin Peters – 3Elise Finch – 3Kevin Skiver – 3David Bahnsen – 3Harold Reynolds – 3Kevin Reynolds – 3Mike Sheahan – 3Steve Greenberg – 3Matt Burke – 3Malcolm Gladwell – 3Mike Milbury – 3Mac Engel – 3Nick Kypreos – 3Caron Butler – 3Don Brennan – 3Robert Tychkowski – 3Mike Johnston – 3Jeff Mans – 3Joe Browne – 3Mike Harrington – 3Greg Mitchell – 3Michael Schmidt – 2Bob Nightengale – 2Pierre McGuire – 2The Palm Beach Post – 2Karl Ravech – 2Dari Nowkah – 2Ella Dorsey – 2The Hill – 2John Kindt – 2Bill Madden – 2Tony Gonzalez – 2Mike Greenberg – 2Grant Paulsen – 2Jeff Ermann – 2Ed Werder – 2Ben Mulroney – 2Ron Cook – 2Brian Kenny – 2Barrett Sallee – 2Craig Calcaterra – 2Gareth Wheeler – 2John Cornyn – 2Tony Dungy – 2Bruce Jenkins – 2Chris Wesseling – 2Seth Greenberg – 2Doug Smith – 2Newsweek – 2Teddy Cutler – 2Bill Cowher – 2Paul Finebaum – 2Amin Elhassan – 2Jim Henneman – 2Mitch Lawrence – 2Nick Wright – 2Domonique Foxworth – 2Gary Parrish – 2Michael Farber – 2Andy Furman – 2Donovan McNabb – 2Seth Davis – 2Jon Heyman – 2Jason La Canfora – 2Booger McFarland – 2Joe Schad – 2Cork Gaines – 2Thanks 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.