Will Cain on First Take

ESPN contributor Will Cain has made his mark as an opinionated pundit, and he definitely delivered along those lines this week. Following Boston Celtics’ point guard Kyrie Irving’s “very much woke” interview with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim on First Take Monday, Cain went on the show Tuesday to discuss it, and boy, he came in hot:

Some highlights:

0:40: “It’s my job to tell the truth. And the fact of the matter is, the truth of the matter is, that Kyrie Irving yesterday brought out a wheelbarrow full of BS, took out a shovel, threw it on this table and expected you three to eat it up with a smile. He condescendingly looked at all of you, especially you, Max, and suggested somehow, he’s above question.”

1:02: “What we do is analyze, sometimes criticize, and do our best to understand a pseudo-philosophical cryptic dodging demeanor that he brought out here to evade every single tough question. Set aside that he apparently considers himself some kind of philosopher king that can weave word salads around every question you guys asked, he contradicted himself within a matter of multiple questions.”

2:11: “Consistently, Kyrie contradicted himself, and the truth of the matter is this, there was more insight, and there was more honesty, Max, in his anger towards you than in anything else in that entire interview.”

So, yeah, that’s fun. There’s also a discussion (2:32) about if Irving knows what “second banana” means, and how that compares to if he knows that the earth isn’t flat. And it’s not that Cain’s criticisms don’t have a point (even if the vitriol may be a bit much); Irving’s interview was bizarre, and didn’t make him look good, and it’s unfortunate that he wouldn’t answer questions from Kellerman and Smith more fully (and if he didn’t want to answer them, why agree to the interview in the first place?).

But if anything, what this incident was really useful for was showing off the ESPN echo chamber, where a comment on one show becomes endless fodder for further episodes of that show and for other ESPN platforms. And that shows that while Irving’s interview may have been “condescending,” “cryptic” and “dodging,” and that may have annoyed First Take‘s hosts for making their job tougher, the results certainly worked out well for ESPN overall.

[ESPN on YouTube]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.