Giannis Antetokounmpo and Phil Jackson featured in this week's hottest take, from Michael Kay.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot TakesThis time, we’re looking at the hottest sports takes from Feb. 8-14.

5. Phil Mushnick claims MLB commercial endorsed “acts of obnoxious and risky immodesty”: New York Post curmudgeon Mushnick has again crawled out from under his rock to complain about how things have changed. This time around, he spends most of his column bashing MLB’s switch from “disabled list” to “injured list,” but it gets particularly hot-takey once he goes into his regular rants about how he doesn’t like today’s game of baseball. He starts with the old canard of “people don’t always run to first base, and it’s awful!”, then complains about last fall’s MLB commercial that featured players enjoying the game and criticizing those who went after their celebrations:

“Running to first base is now optional, even rationalized as acceptable. And with commissioner Rob Manfred’s full public approval, MLB last year launched a campaign to encourage kids to have “fun” playing baseball by performing acts of obnoxious and risky immodesty, including bat-flipping on expected home runs.”

“Acts of obnoxious and risky immodesty” sounds much more salacious than “bat flips.” But it’s in line with previous Mushnick takes, like his description of an Antonio Brown twerking touchdown celebration as “a vulgar groin-thrusting TD dance that mimed copulation.” Mushnick must be living in an alternate universe Bomont, Utah, one where a great hero named Kevin Bacon never came by to teach an entire community of people with sticks up their butts that dancing is the greatest thing there is.

Rating: 🔥🔥

4. Rob Parker declares Tom Brady isn’t getting a seventh Super Bowl ring, says he was “along for the ride” and “lucky to get a sixth ring”: FS1 hot-take artist Rob Parker (formerly of ESPN before the whole “cornball brother” debacle) has been going off on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots recently, including unsupported claims that Brady is cheating and “will become like Lance Armstrong without the bike” and calling him “the L.O.A.T., the Luckiest Of All Time.” The team’s Twitter account has made fun of Parker’s takes and his inaccurate predictions, but that hasn’t stopped Parker from doubling down. He most recently did that on Undisputed this week, insisting there’s no way Brady will win a seventh title and claiming that his sixth title was “lucky”:

Even moderator Jenny Taft appears to recognize the absurdity of Parker’s Patriots rants, introducing this with “Rob, you have a special love in your heart for Tom Brady and the Patriots. What do you think, is he going to get a seventh ring?” Parker responds with “You know he’s not going to get a seventh ring, stop it. He was lucky to get a sixth ring. …Tom Brady was along for the ride. Can I remind you about the Super Bowl? Tom Brady looked more like Peter Brady.”

Look, it’s not unreasonable to point out that Brady’s Super Bowl LIII performance wasn’t one of his best, and that the Patriots’ win was about more than just him. But he completed 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards with one interception in the end, and outdueled the Rams’ Jared Goff (19 completions on 38 attempts for 229 yards, also with one interception), and did enough to win a low-scoring defensive game. Just ignoring that the way Parker does isn’t particularly rational.

And absolutely, there are reasons to wonder how long the 41-year-old Brady can continue to play at a high level, and if the team around him will be good enough and will get the right breaks to win another Super Bowl, but it’s possible to raise those questions without just declaring “You know he’s not going to get a seventh ring.” But that would be actual insight rather than hot takes, and that’s not what Parker is known for.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

3. Mike Francesa berates caller for suggesting Jacob DeGrom could get as much as $24 million in arbitration, suggests two days later that DeGrom could get $25 million in arbitration: This week’s award for Outstanding Achievement In Forgetting What You Just Said goes to WFAN’s Mike Francesa, who on Tuesday criticized a caller for suggesting that Mets’ pitcher Jacob deGrom might be able to get as much as $24 million annually in arbitration (if he doesn’t sign a long-term extension), and on Thursday  suggested himself that deGrom could get $25 million:

“You’ll pay him 20!” “24, probably.” “Oh, no, no, no, no, he’s not getting 24, he’s not getting 24, he’s not getting 24 in arbitration. Learn about arbitration. He’s not getting 24 in arbitration.” And then on Thursday, “And if he wants to make a deal with them that buys out his free agency years, they agree on it! If they don’t, he goes back to arbitration next year. That is the system they both agreed on. If he goes back to arbitration next year because they can’t agree on a long-term deal, and has the same kind of year, he’ll get 25 million in arbitration!” But, any criticism of Francesa for this will surely only lead to another of his famed “I NEVAH SAID THAT!” moments.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

2. Stephen A. Smith says Dwayne Haskins is “more of a runner than a thrower”: One of the most absurd takes in a long while came from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, whose comments on Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins last Friday suggested he’d never watched Haskins:

Haskins threw for 4,831 yards last year and ran for 108 (on 79 carries, mostly in short yardage), so no, he is not “more of a runner than a thrower,” and there seems to be absolutely nothing to justify that take other than bad stereotypes about black quarterbacks. And whether this is a result of Stephen A. being spread too thin or just being a ridiculous and uninformed pundit in general (there’s plenty to support the latter theory too), it certainly led to an insanely stupid take.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

1. Michael Kay blames Phil Jackson for not scouting or drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo, forgetting that Jackson wasn’t running the Knicks then: In further counterfactual takes, here’s Michael Kay on his ESPN New York show (simulcast on YES) bashing Phil Jackson for the Knicks reportedly not scouting Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2013 and then not drafting him:

Yeah, even the claim that the Knicks didn’t scout Antetokounmpo (made in TNT’s Finding Giannis documentary, which premieres Saturday night) is disputed by the team, so that maybe wasn’t the best thing to go off on in the first place. And as Funhouse notes there, the Knicks picked 24th overall in the 2013 draft (taking Tim Hardaway Jr.), so they wouldn’t have been able to land Antetokounmpo (who went 15th overall to the Milwaukee Bucks) anyway without some trading. But blaming Jackson for this is really ridiculous, as he wasn’t even with the Knicks until the next year.

It’s unclear that the Knicks could have or should have done much different in this case, but it was then-GM Glen Grunwald who would have been in charge in the lead-up to the 2013 draft, not Jackson. And Kay finding that out on-air after his anti-Jackson rant is pretty funny. There are a lot of things to criticize Jackson’s Knicks tenure for, but this isn’t one. But hey, at least this week’s hot take roundup is one area where Kay managed to outrate Francesa.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hot Take Standings:

Jason Whitlock – Hall of Fame
Stephen A. Smith – 231
Skip Bayless – 200
Phil Mushnick – 169
Colin Cowherd – 76
Rob Parker – 59
Doug Gottlieb – 53
Shannon Sharpe – 35
Albert Breer – 29
Dan Shaughnessy – 26
Ray Lewis – 25
Darren Rovell – 20
Danny Kanell – 20
Britt McHenry – 20
JT The Brick – 20
Charles Barkley – 19
Dan Dakich – 18
Don Cherry – 18
Jason McIntyre – 16
Andy Benoit – 15
Tony Massarotti – 15
Ben Maller – 15
Bill Plaschke – 14
Jason Smith – 13
Kirk Herbstreit – 13
Mike Felger – 13
The Sporting News – 13
Chris Broussard – 13
Rick Morrissey – 13
Mike Francesa – 12
Michael Wilbon – 12
John Middlekauff – 11
Michael DeCourcy – 11
Keith Olbermann – 11
Greg Gabriel – 10
Rob Rossi – 10
Bill James – 10
Joe Simpson – 10
Bob Brookover – 10
Jeremy Roenick – 10
Berry Tramel – 10
Kristine Leahy – 10
Graham Couch – 9
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – 9
Ross Tucker – 9
Ryen Russillo – 9
Garth Crooks – 9
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Bob Ford – 8
Steve Simmons – 8
Frank Isola – 8
Michael Rapaport – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Trent Dilfer – 7
Damien Cox – 7
Mike Bianchi – 7
Cris Carter – 7
Pat Forde – 7
The Wall Street Journal – 6
Pat Leonard – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Michael Kay – 5
Tom Jones – 5
Max Kellerman – 5
Mark Readings – 5
Neil Warnock – 5
Patrick Bet-David – 5
Jared Stillman – 5
Jen Rainwater – 5
Matt Walsh – 5
Jon Steinberg – 5
Bill Welt – 5
Jack Todd – 5
Aaron Murray – 5
Chris Childers – 5
Mark Knight – 5
The Herald Sun – 5
David Booth – 5
Tom Nichols – 5
Keith Hernandez – 5
Bill O’Reilly – 5
Brandel Chamblee – 5
Michael McCarthy – 5
Mike “The Reputation Doctor®” Paul – 5
Dennis Dodd – 5
Rich Lowry – 5
Chris Reed – 5
San Diego Union-Tribune – 5
David Hookstead – 5
Tomm Looney – 5
Alex Shaw – 5
Rick Reilly – 5
Randall Mell – 5
Ian O’Connor – 5
Michael Bamberger – 5
Bob Bubka – 5
Cathal Kelly – 5
Pete Prisco – 5
Bill Simons – 5
Christine Flowers – 5
Jason Lieser – 5
John Steigerwald – 5
Josh Peter – 5
Alexi Lalas – 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
Howard Eskin – 5
Nancy Armour – 5
Richard Justice – 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5
Jesse Watters – 5
John McGrath – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 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
Dan Crenshaw – 4
Mike Vaccaro – 4
Mike Klis – 4
Richard Keys – 4
Peter King – 4
Bruce Levine – 4
Malcolm Gladwell – 4
That’s Kappy – 4
Mitchell Nathanson – 4
The New York Daily News – 4
“Big” Jim Murray – 4
Jeff Diamond – 4
Marc Berman – 4
Evan Roberts – 4
Corbin Smith – 4
DJ Siddiqi – 4
The Express – 4
Mark Kiszla – 4
Greg Witter – 4
Myron Medcalf – 4
Bill Polian – 4
MJ Franklin – 4
Alex Reimer – 4
Joan Vennochi – 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
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
USA Today op-eds – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Trey Wingo – 3
Lance Zierlein – 3
Michael Salfino – 3
Tom Van Riper – 3
Andy Katz – 3
Tony La Russa  – 3
Jim Brady – 3
Bill Simmons – 3
Mark Teixeira – 3
Wally Hall – 3
Damien Woody – 3
Victor Cruz – 3
Andrew Walker – 3
Jim Kaat – 3
Jason Gay – 3
Steven J. Brams – 3
Aaron Isaksen – 3
Will Muschamp – 3
Buck Lanford – 3
John Feinstein – 3
Stan Fischler – 3
Sonnie Wooden – 3
Chris Jones – 3
Kelly Smith – 3
Reggie Miller – 3
Mark Madden – 3
Larry Brooks – 3
Dan Canova – 3
Steve Rosenbloom – 3
Stephen Jackson – 3
Mike Sando – 3
Walt Borla – 3
Nick Cafardo – 3
Ice Cube – 3
Justin Peters – 3
Elise Finch – 3
Kevin Skiver – 3
David Bahnsen – 3
Harold Reynolds – 3
Kevin Reynolds – 3
Mike Sheahan – 3
Steve Greenberg – 3
Matt Burke – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 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
Mike Florio – 2
Dari Nowkah – 2
Ella Dorsey – 2
The Hill – 2
John Kindt – 2
Bill Madden – 2
Tony Gonzalez – 2
Mike Greenberg – 2
Grant Paulsen – 2
Jeff Ermann – 2
Ed Werder – 2
Ben Mulroney – 2
Ron Cook – 2
Brian Kenny – 2
Barrett Sallee – 2
Craig Calcaterra – 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.