HTH: James Harden Fan Shame, Durant Won’t Leave Golden State, Transfer Portal

Hot Takes house James Harden fans Kevin Durant GSW NCAA Transfer Portal

The Hot Takes House is on the open for business. It is a compilation of scorching hot opinions that won’t turn into Freezing Cold Takes material. In this edition: James Harden fans are shameless people with character flaws, Kevin Durant would be crazy to leave the Warriors, and the NCAA transfer portal is getting ridiculous. Do not read any further if you are easily triggered. Read. Share. Leave a Comment.

James Harden Fans Have No Shame

I’m not sure how James Harden fans are not embarrassed to call him their favorite basketball player. His ridiculous amount of flopping and his refusal to consistently give defensive effort are shameful. In general, fans like their athletes tough, rugged, and mentally tough. So, I do not understand why so many James Harden apologist exist.

It is so frustrating to try and watch an NBA Playoffs game, but have to suffer through Harden flailing around and faking hurt. By no means is Harden the only NBA player that flops. His serial abuse of flopping is just the most absurd in the league. Harden is strong and built like a tank compared to most players, but he flops whenever players get close to him. Could you imagine Jordan, Kobe, Bird, LeBron, Durant or any other champion doing this?

And then there is Harden’s negligence on defense. The Rockets will NEVER win an NBA championship until he changes his style of play. No team has ever won a championship when their best player gives poor effort on one side of the ball. The producers of ‘Shaqtin A Fool’ could make an entire show about Harden every season.

As a fan, how can you be proud of this? Maybe his fans are just the segment of the population that wants credit and praise for a job performed half right.

Two Reasons Kevin Durant Won’t Leave The Warriors

Assuming the money is right, Kevin Durant would be foolish to leave the Golden State Warriors. So many media and NBA analyst from Ric Bucher, to Chris Broussard have all but guaranteed Durant’s exit from Golden State. I believe that Kevin Durant is too smart to leave GSW.

Easy Basketball: 2019-20 Will be Durant’s 13th season

Players want to play fewer minutes and win more as they get older in the NBA. Durant has never had gotten easier shot attempts or had to carry less of the weight than he does with Curry, Thompson, and Green on the team. In his first nine seasons in Oklahoma City (Seattle), KD faced double teams, played a ton of minutes, worked extremely hard for shots, and only had one chance for a championship. In three seasons with the Warriors, he has a Finals MVP, two NBA Championships, and is making a run at a third. He plays fewer playoff minutes, averages more points, and shoots a higher % from 3, 2-pt, and free throws than OKC.

Durant’s Silicon Valley Investments

Durant has maximized his time in the Bay Area financially. He has started his own venture capital company which has partnered with some Silicon Valley heavyweights. His company reportedly has equity stakes in Rubrick, Acorn, Pieology, and Lime Scooters. Money does travel across state lines, but proximity and relationships matter in business. Warriors majority owner Joseph Lacob made his money in venture capital and mentors Durant in business.

I’m supposed to believe that Kevin Durant, who wants to score, win, and make money will let a couple beefs with Draymond make his life harder? Nah. I don’t buy it.

NCAA Transfer Portal is Getting Out of Control

We have covered the NCAA and its hypocritical and unfair practices extensively on Unafraid Show. I believe the players should have the right to transfer more freely and unencumbered like coaches. However, a lot of these kids are getting bad advice from their inner circles. These kids are transferring at the first sign of adversity. Right now there are nearly 1,000 players who have entered their names in the college football transfer portal. If a player enters his name in the portal, it doesn’t mean a player will transfer, schools can pull the players’ scholarship.

It is nice to say “I played as a true freshman”, but sometimes that adversity that you face by redshirting is the best thing for your growth. These young players need to understand that the push you need to achieve your dreams is often found in the struggle to get there.

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Luka Doncic: A Star Is Born for the Dallas Mavericks

Luka Doncic

There is a moment in the new movie, A Star Is Born, where Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) invites Ally (Lady Gaga) onstage with him to sing for the first time as a duet. The song is titled, “Shallow.” Ally clearly has the voice of a star, but she lacks confidence and an overall stage presence. However, there’s a note in the bridge towards the end of the song where Ally grabs the mic with authority, belts out the note, and owns the stage. It’s in this moment where the audience realizes Ally’s true potential and that she is a star in the making.

Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born / Via: Warner Bros. Pictures

Ally’s huge note that jumpstarted her path to superstardom mirrors Luka Doncic’s miraculous shot from the other night against the Houston Rockets. Early in the first quarter, Doncic received a pass on the wing and was suffocated by last year’s MVP, James Harden. With the shot clock winding down, Doncic made a quick move to the corner and attempted to step back for a three. However, Harden was right in his grill the entire time. Doncic pump faked, which made Harden leave his feet, created space, reset, and then launched the shot. The rest is history.

With that play, a star was born. That play symbolizes Doncic’s young NBA career in a nutshell. This play showed the 19-year-old’s versatilely, creativity, and guts. This is not your ordinary teenager. Throughout 19 games, the 6’7″ forward is averaging 19.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. For reference, only eight players in the NBA matched those numbers last season, and seven of them made All-NBA. With numbers like those, Doncic is the clear frontrunner for Rookie of the Year.

By the way, Doncic also made this shot during their 128-108 win over the Rockets. Doncic is not only a great player but a showman with a flair for the dramatic. “We’ve said from day one, he’s almost like a matador,” said Dirk Nowitzki in an article for Sports Illustrated. “He loves playing off the crowd, loves to make spectacular plays.”

What’s even more impressive than Doncic’s stats is his ability to elevate his team. When Doncic arrived in Dallas, it was quite apparent that they found their replacement for Nowitzki, who would carry the torch for the next decade and lead the Mavs to greatness. Doncic may have been acquired to lead the future, but that process has been expedited to the current team as Doncic is slowly becoming the team’s number one option. Doncic leads the Mavs in scoring and has helped Dallas start off with a 10-9 record, which if the season ended today, would make them the 8th seed in the playoffs. It’s remarkable considering the Mavs started off the season 3-7, but are winners of 7 of their last 8.

Dallas is not a championship team right now, but Doncic makes the Mavs exciting with a promising future. If the front office continues to build a team around this rising superstar, Dallas could be a force in the Western Conference for years to come.

Here’s to the matador. May he continue to baffle defenses for years to come. I leave you with the potential song of the year from The Ringer, “Halleluka.”

Carmelo Anthony: Is This the End of His 16-year NBA Career?

Carmelo Anthony

Say it ain’t so, Melo.

After 10 games with the Rockets, Houston and Carmelo Anthony have decided to part ways.

In his 10 games with the Rockets, Anthony averaged 13.4 ppg and 5.4 rpg. The word out of Houston is that Melo did not “fit” with the way the Rockets want to play, which is an extremely fair take. Melo makes a living on the elbow, taking his man one-on-one to the basket. The Rockets want to run up and down the floor and take as many shots as possible. Frankly, most fans are not surprised with the decision.

I want to stress the fact that Mike D’Antoni called Melo a Hall of Famer. Carmelo Anthony is going to the Hall of Fame. I don’t care whether you like or hate Melo. That is a stone cold fact. Melo won a title as a freshman at Syracuse. Melo is arguably the greatest Olympian basketball player of all-time with three gold medals and the most points, rebounds, and games played. Over 25,000 points, 10x NBA All-star, and 6x All-NBA player punches Melo’s ticket to the Hall of Fame.

We know the end game for Melo, but what about the present game? What does Melo do now?

For starters, Melo has to play the waiting game. Anthony is not eligible to be traded until after the Dec. 15 trade restriction. In all actuality, waiting is the best thing that Melo can do. The NBA regular season is 82 games. It’s only November. Rosters change, injuries occur, and teams’ wants and needs will alter throughout the course of a season. Melo should not be in a rush to force the Rockets hand nor should the Rockets be quick to trade him. So far, the Lakers, Heat, Blazers, Pelicans, and 76ers have all expressed interest in making a move for Melo. Whether that interest will come to fruition remains to be seen, but there should be a small market for Melo come December.

Although Melo has expressed interest in playing, should he? Former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady believes that Melo should call it a career and retire. McGrady was in a similar situation as Melo. T-mac was a dominant scorer throughout his 20s, but after a few injuries, McGrady was relegated from the starting lineup to the end of the bench. It’s worth noting that Tracy McGrady is in the Hall of Fame. The end of his career, when he was barely dressing for games, did not outweigh his prolific runs with the Raptors, Magic, and Rockets. The same principles should be applied to Melo’s career. His tenure with the Nuggets and Knicks will outweigh his tumultuous seasons with the Thunder and Rockets.

I understand McGrady’s viewpoint because of the similarities between the two, but I still believe that Melo can be an asset to an NBA team. Back in July, I wrote that Carmelo Anthony needed to come off the bench and reinvent himself. If he succeeded, Melo could prolong his career and become an excellent 6th man.

It might have been a stretch when I stated that Melo could become the best 6th man in the NBA. However, the same principles still apply today. There is still a 15 point scorer in Melo if he lands in the right situation. In 2018, the NBA is all about versatility and unfortunately for Melo, he’s a one-trick pony, but that doesn’t mean he’s useless. Melo will have to shoot the 3 at a more consistent level and *attempt* to play defense. Plus, his minutes will probably decrease as well. If Melo wants to continue playing, and all reports claim he does, Anthony will have to reinvent himself even more than before.

Carmelo Anthony can still find success in the NBA, but it’s going to take the perfect situation for that to happen. For now, all Melo can do is wait.

P.S. If you ever feel bad for Melo, remember this tweet.