HTH: Tiger Woods Masters Tears, LeBron Blame, Russell Wilson Contract

Hot takes house, tiger woods, james harden

The Hot Takes House is open for business. In this edition: why Tiger Woods win at The Masters is the greatest comeback in sports, why blaming LeBron James for everything is thoughtless, and why Russell Wilson’s contract demands make him the smartest man in the NFL. Do not read any further if you are easily triggered. Read. Share. Leave a Comment.

Tiger Woods is the Greatest Comeback Sports History

There has never been an athlete who was dead and buried by the sports media more than Tiger Woods. Not only did they say he ran out of talent, they demanded he quit to stop the embarrassment.

The greatness of Tiger Wood’s comeback was his motivation shift. For years, talked about getting back to his old form, the desire to be great again, and repairing his name. None of those things worked. He tried to outwork the pain and injuries like he had done all his life. But, it didn’t work.

Only a father’s desire for his children to see him do something great was able to shift the tides. Tiger said he didn’t want his kids to believe he was just a “YouTube golfer.” As a father and former professional athlete whose kids were either young or unborn during my career, I understand why Tiger wanted his kids to see him be great. They had only seen injuries, scandal, and a father in severe physical pain over the last 11 years.

Seeing him accomplish his dreams with his children in attendance while 99% of people not named George Wrighster quit on him was amazing. I still don’t know who was cutting onions in my house after Tiger won.

Get Off the ‘Blame LeBron’ Train

When everyone in sports media jumps on a hot topic bandwagon, it is time to jump off. They will inevitably be wrong. Just like all those people who said Tiger Woods career was over.

The lowest hanging fruit in sports is to blame LeBron. It doesn’t matter whether it makes sense, is plausible, or fair, just blame LeBron

There was an article in Sporting News that blamed LeBron for NBA ratings being down. Is it LeBron’s job or in his control to carry interest in the entire NBA even though he only plays for one team?

Magic Johnson quit as Lakers President of Basketball operations this week; all sports media fingers started pointing to LeBron James. They said he pushed Magic out and is really in full control of the Lakers. I did not buy it for one second. I’m supposed to believe that Magic Johnson survived the NBA in the 80s, HIV, became a real estate mogul but got bullied by LeBron. LOL.

Sports media personalities would have you believe that the Lakers are a dumpster fire that cannot be fixed and it’s LeBron’s fault. Did they miss the previous 3 years before LeBron got there? Jeanie Buss and her siblings fought a legal battle over team control. They had scouting and general manager problems. The team had no direction and plan for the future. Was all that supposed to be solved by signing LeBron?

Get off the “Blame LeBron James Train” before it crashes and you end up on Cold Takes Exposed.

Russell Wilson is the Smartest Man in the NFL

Russell Wilson gave the Seahawks until end of day April 15th to get his new contract finalized. If they do not, he won’t be resigning and will become a free agent at the end of this season. The genius part of this is that Wilson wants his long term financial security tied to the escalation of the NFL salary cap.

Gambling on sports is now legal in many states, and the NFL will inevitably get in on the deal. That will trigger another salary cap spike, which will increase player salaries. Wilson knows he is one of the few elite quarterbacks in the game, and always wants to be paid like it. Most players would take huge money to become the NFL’s highest paid player without regard for future cap spikes.

Seahawks fans, don’t be upset with Russell Wilson if he can’t finish his career with the team. Owners started this disloyalty, and they aim to keep as much money in their pocket and not the players pocket. Russell Wilson won’t be another victim of one-sided NFL contracts.

Listen to the Podcast, there is even more on Tiger Woods Masters Win, Luke Walton and Kliff Kingsbury Failing Up, and LeBron James Blame.

NBA loves Hip-Hop: 2 Chainz’s Album with LeBron James is the Latest Example

2 Chainz LeBron Album

Whether it is a professional, college, or high school basketball game, walk into any gym during the warm-ups and you will undoubtedly hear hip-hop music. The relationship between hip-hop and sports has been present for years. From the days of NWA sporting Raiders gear on their rise to fame to Allen Iverson having Jadakiss appear […]

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Spurs and Raptors Swap Kawhi and DeRozan: Winners and Losers

Kawhi Leonard DeRozan trade

How dirty is it that the Raptors just met with DeMar DeRozan at NBA Summer League in Vegas and told him he would not be traded? This is exactly why fans should have NO PROBLEM with players showing no loyalty; owners show none. It’s always business, never personal, unless you are deporting your disgruntled superstar to Canada.

We all thought the rumors were crazy that Kawhi Leonard would be traded to the Raptors. We were wrong.

The most ironic part of this trade is that news broke about Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors in the middle of the night and most people didn’t hear about it until they woke up. Kawhi Leonard is easily the most silent superstar the NBA has ever seen. And the Toronto Raptors are relevant during business hours. Nobody is being woken up out of their sleep to 10-15 texts with breaking news about Kawhi or the Raptors. This trade impacts the Lakers, Clippers, 76ers, Spurs, and Raptors.

Alas, we are here and there are clear-cut winners and losers of this trade.



The San Antonio Spurs managed to trade an unhappy superstar out of the western conference to a place he didn’t want to go and got a real asset back. Everybody except me thought a deal would happen with one of the LA teams (neither team was going to pay the king’s ransom the Spurs wanted for him). DeRozan < Kawhi, but he’s a real player, and could flourish under Popovich’s tutelage. There’s also great news for Greg Popovich himself. He doesn’t have to spend his final years coaching in rebuild mode.

Lakers young players (Kuzma, Ball, Hart, Ingram)

The Lakers young players are relieved they won’t be traded, at least not yet. Rumors had been circling for months about the Lakers and Spurs doing a deal for Kawhi with some combination of Kuzma, Ball, Hart, Ingram, and draft picks. Now Lonzo Ball can stop faking like his knee is hurt and get back out in public working out.


The Raptors instantly got better and got an opportunity. Last year they won 59 games and got swept by LeBron in the second round of the playoffs. Now the Raptors have two options. They can either roll the dice and see if they can make it to the NBA Finals with Kawhi and hope they can convince him to resign long term. Or, they can wait the 60 days and try to get the Lakers or Clippers to give up draft picks and assets for Kawhi. Either way, the Raptors won in the short term but lost in the long term.


Both the Lakers and Clippers got a win in the trade. Both teams are reportedly on the list of desirable locations for Kawhi Leonard. Both teams had discussions with the Spurs about acquiring Kawhi, but the asking price was far too steep. Either team would have had to part with significant draft picks and players to get a deal done with the Spurs. With Kawhi is in the East with the Raptors, the asking price for Kawhi via trade will fall dramatically. Now, the question is will either the Lakers or Clippers pull the trigger on a trade, or will they gamble and wait till the offseason to hopefully sign Kawhi?


DeMar DeRozan

No more All-Star games and he has to Play LeBron in the playoffs again! OUCH! DeMar has been All-NBA 2x and is a 4x All-Star. Making the NBA All-Star team in the Western Conference was already a tough task before LeBron joined the Lakers. Every year named brand top players are left off the All-Star roster. It is much easier to make the All-Star team in the Eastern Conference. Unless Greg Popovich can get DeMar DeRozan to play like Kawhi Leonard, DeMar has made his last All-Star team.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers were holding out hope they could get LeBron or Kawhi Leonard in this offseason. Now that the Raptors own the rights to Kawhi Leonard there is no chance in hell they will trade him in-conference to the 76ers. They would essentially be giving Philly a “Big 3” and creating in the same situation they were in with LeBron in the East; a team they have no chance of beating in the playoffs for 10 years.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors still have Kyle Lowry. Kyle Lowry is a solid player to have on your team if he’s not making over $30M and your second best player. You can’t get to the NBA Finals or win a championship with him as your #2. If the Raptors could have traded Lowry’s anchor of a contract instead of DeRozan, they would have.

The biggest piece of bad news is that reports have surfaced that Kawhi has no interest in playing in Toronto. But, I guess Raptors fans can look at the bright side. The team won’t have to pay a luxury tax bill and will have plenty of money for big name free agents in 2019 who won’t sign there next offseason.



Kawhi Leonard Hid from Spurs Brass When They Came to See Him

kawhi Leonard

We have all heard the speculation reports that Kawhi wants out of San Antonio, and wants to be in Los Angeles. And, we are all pretty certain the relationship between the San Antonio Spurs and their Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard had deteriorated. Apparently, they are much worse than we thought. ESPN Spur’s reporter Michael Wright was on Back To Back the Podcast and said Kawhi Leonard or his camp hid him from Spurs management when they went to New York to check on their star. A team not having access to see a player they are paying $19 million to is unprecedented.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m gonna say it because Kawhi is about to be outta there. There was a point during his rehab process in New York that some of the Spurs brass went out to see him in New York. As soon as those guys arrived to the building, Kawhi’s people grabbed him and sequestered him to another part of the building so the Spurs’ people couldn’t even see him.

Here’s the clip:

At this point, no one knows WHERE or IF Kawhi Leonard will play the 2018-19 NBA season. The Spurs are trying to cut their losses by trying to entice the Lakers, Clippers, and Celtics to pay a king’s ransom through a trade for Leonard. Michael Wright also had thoughts on where Kawhi might land: