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Hottest takes: NBA Basketball

By Rodrigo Verney, March 27 2024—

Sports are a link between people. The old “Are you big on sports?” question can be the starter for many friendships and future bonds. It became part of our identity, and with anything that embraces a multitude of people from every possible background, comes the liberty to form opinions and ideas on their favourite team’s performance. This is a double-edged sword. For every clever deconstruction of the game, there is an opposite and equally opinionated take about how Jeremy Lin should be considered in the GOAT debate. 

The only way to comprehend the great ideas is to understand why the bad ones are bad. The Gauntlet selected a total of five hot takes that seem to be in the public’s mind one way or another, and will be judging them on their relevance and content to determine whether they are a legit point that deserves our attention or is just your average bar conversation. 

1. The Knicks are getting Zion and winning it all the year that they do it.

Found the Knicks fan, everybody. This is simply a bad take. Zion may be going to the Knicks someday, but the problem with the Knicks comes from above. The owner and the front office have to go through a serious change to ensure that the players and coaching staff can do their jobs and remain united. A team is like a pyramid, it doesn’t matter if there’s gold in the top when the foundation is ready to crumble. This is a problem no all-star will be able to play through much less win a title. This is a take we strongly disagree with.

2. The Granny shot is underutilized.

Humans are social creatures. As a result, we tend to obey the strongest form of group control: peer pressure. It is a well-known fact that the Granny shot is a great way of converting free throws. A study by The Royal Society Open Society followed a series of overarm and underarm throws while considering their speeds and accuracy. This study found that players who had good control of the ball could benefit way more from an underarm technique. The only thing that holds back players is the stigma that comes with it. This is a statement we strongly agree with, especially in today’s game. All that we need is a strong-minded hero to revive the Granny shot.

3. The NBA should institute a four-point line.

The four-point line conversation is as old as Curry’s first deep three. Other smaller leagues like the Big Three helped popularize four-point spots. This take gained more traction after the inclusion of the designated spots on the floor of the NBA three-point challenge reignited the discussion. This heated debate has some positives, however, the cons outweigh the pros, unfortunately. Even though we would be treated to spectacular shots and a more dynamic game, the line would destroy defensive schemes all around the league for a long time. Not to mention that the game would witness the diminishing of the center position even more so than nowadays. We have to disagree with this one.

4. Dirk Nowitzki won the hardest ring ever.

Dirk Nowitzki is one of, if not the, greatest international player ever. He serves as an inspiration for every overseas athlete who wants to win a championship on the biggest stage of them all: The NBA. His 2011 playoff championship run was characterized by wins against big names like Kobe Bryant, Russel Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James to name a few. All of this while being the second international player to lead an NBA team to a championship. Even though this was an incredible Cinderella story, he cannot be considered to have the hardest championship win of all time. This place should forever be reserved for Bill Russel’s 11 rings, each won during the United States segregation era, sometimes being the only black man in the arena. This statement alone shows that we have to strongly disagree. The amount of force one has to have to remain strong and win in these conditions is immeasurable. 

5. The 2008 Championship Celtics team was overrated.

Two very good players can change the course of a franchise. Every team secretly hopes for the day they are able to gather their own big three. Sometimes, they have to speed up the process. So, they bring in a superstar to take the reins. Having a team that has two superstars is a signal of their rise to stardom. Hence, when a team has three hall of famers playing as a unit under one goal, the result can’t be different. They had to win a championship. That was a given. The point is to go back to back and maybe add another one down the line. However, to have all of this talent, win a championship, go to the playoffs the very next season, and lose in the second round to a Dwight Howard led Magic is, at the very least, problematic. We have to strongly agree with this one.

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