Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes! This time around, we’re looking at the hottest takes sports media members dropped from May 26-June 1. Let’s get to it.

5. Domonique Foxworth makes tortured argument about LeBron’s greatness: Foxworth filled in for Stephen A. Smith on First Take Tuesday, and he quickly started delivering Smith-level takes. See if you can follow the logic here:

So, we’re judging individual greatness based on team accomplishments, and saying that LeBron’s greatness, “obvious” the rest of the time, is somehow less than Durant’s when the two are playing each other? Here’s the video, which doesn’t really clear it up:

Molly Qerim says “LeBron has been the best player in the Finals the last two years, but Domonique, will he be the best player in this series?” Foxworth responds “I mean, it pains me to say it, but I don’t think so. He’s obviously the best player in the NBA, but I think Kevin Durant will be the best player in these Finals. The only way LeBron is the best player in these Finals is if the Cavs can somehow pull out a win, and I don’t see them doing that.”

He continues “And LeBron has a much more difficult task in front of him as far as defenders. So he has the burden of carrying the Cavs offensively, with some respite when he turns the ball over to Kyrie, but he has to be the distributor and the creator on offense, and then on defense, he’s probably going to have to guard Kevin Durant, unless they put J.R. Smith on him, and that’s going to wear him down. And the Warriors have defenders that, while no one can stop LeBron, can give him a little bit of trouble. They go through Draymond, KD, they’ve got Andre Iguodala, so there’s no break for LeBron, and I think it’s going to be very tough for him to do what he did last year, which is nothing short of magical. I don’t know that we can expect magic to happen two years in a row.”

Foxworth has a point that James will be facing tough defenders, but that doesn’t seem to say much about whether he is or isn’t great. If the argument was “who will put up better offensive stats?”, Foxworth’s case might make more sense. But from here, it looks pretty convoluted.

Rating: ??

4. Skip Bayless can’t decide if it’s tough for LeBron to face the Warriors: Speaking of convoluted arguments, we have one from the master of hot LeBron takes, Bayless himself. Bayless started by saying that the Warriors “haven’t proven much in [the] postseason,” so they’re not that tough.

In his very next tweet, just five minutes later, Bayless talked about how there’s “very little pressure” on James because his team is such an underdog against those same Warriors, and how James is an “overprotected media darling”:

Then, during Thursday’s Game 1, Bayless said James’ impressive individual stats were…bad?

Just keep on keeping on with that LeBron hate, Skippy. But maybe try and make why you’re hating on him a bit more consistent?

Rating: ???

3. C.J. Nitkowski ranted about “non-baseball people” over Strickland-Harper fight: Nitkowski, the former FS1 provocateur who left to be the Rangers’ TV analyst this offseason (while still doing some work for Fox here and there), has long been known for delightfully hot takes, such as telling those who complained about hazing rituals that “Baseball is not for you,” blasting statistics, and criticizing a woman who was texting during a game. His latest came after the Hunter Strickland – Bryce Harper fight, where he again went off on “non-baseball people,” a favorite hobbyhorse of his:


The “never played the game” argument was tired long ago, but Nitkowski’s still sticking to it. He later got into it with one of those smart non-baseball people, MLB Network’s Brian Kenny:



And bashed Kenny again the next day:



Question for Nitkowski; is MLB commissioner Rob Manfred a “non-baseball type” despite working with and in the league for almost 30 years, because he didn’t play professionally? The real gratitude to express is that it isn’t Nitkowski running the game.

Rating: ????

2. Terry Frei is “uncomfortable” with a Japanese driver winning the Indy 500 on Memorial Day: We’ve already covered this one pretty extensively, and Frei was deservedly fired for this stupid tweet, but it’s definitely still worth putting in a hot takes roundup.

Yeah, that didn’t go over well at all. But nothing personal! Except that it’s extremely personal.

Rating: ?????

1. Bill Plaschke thinks it was “sickening” Strickland wore a camo hat when he hit Harper: Yes, we’ve managed to find a dumber take on the Strickland-Harper fight than Nitkowski’s, and it comes from veteran Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke.

Look, there can be plenty of criticism of Strickland’s actions, but this seems to be going way too far. “Sickening” because he, like the rest of the Giants’ players, happened to be wearing a camouflage hat? Tying a beanball into disrespect for the military is a bit much, and it’s our hottest take of the week.

Rating: ?????

Notable absences: Stephen A. Smith, Phil Mushnick, Colin Cowherd, Shannon Sharpe.

Hot Take Standings:

Stephen A. Smith – 90
Skip Bayless – 66
Phil Mushnick – 43
Colin Cowherd – 20
Shannon Sharpe – 20
JT The Brick – 17
Charles Barkley – 13
Don Cherry – 11
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Doug Gottlieb – 8
Jason McIntyre – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Doug Gottlieb – 8
Ray Lewis – 7
Kristine Leahy – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Bill Plaschke – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rob Rossi – 5
Albert Breer – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Rick Morrissey – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Rob Parker – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Frank Isola – 5
The Sporting News – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Cris Carter – 4
Kirk Herbstreit – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
Mike Felger – 4
USA Today op-eds – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Tony Massarotti – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Jason Smith – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Mike Francesa – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Danny Kanell – 3
Chris Broussard – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Dan Dakich – 3
Michael DeCourcy – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
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
Dan Wolken – 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 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.