Immediate overreactions and silly hot takes - Like are the Rockets better without Harden?
It's 2019 and the information age is upon us. The news cycle is 24 hours, or less, depending on what's the new/hot topic.We often move on to the next big thing before the old big thing has grown cold. In the sports world, it's even worse.
In sports, we tend to be prisoners of the moment. The last great game, performance, or team is often thrown immediately into the discussion as the greatest game, performance, or team. There's also the knee-jerk reaction to such things. Those reactions, coupled with the need for ratings and clicks, have birthed the "hot take" era in sports media. The fans are just as, if not more, guilty.
Sports media members have built careers around this foolishness. Everyday, some talking head full of hot air spews out the most insane things they, their team of writers, and their researchers can come up with. Or you get to hear two of them debate topics in a back and forth of jackassery. It's one thing if that's how you truly feel, but more often than not, it's done to create buzz, get ratings, and boost clicks.
Fans tend to do the same thing. I've noticed that their position often comes from blind faith in their favorite teams and/or players. It's sad when you hear some misguided fan think their team has a legit shot at glory and can't acknowledge their team is dumpster juice. Or when they feel a certain player is worth more, or less, than what that player is getting paid. I have a childhood friend who has anointed every mid-major college basketball star as the next big thing for the last twenty-plus years, only for said players to become little more than a role player at best.
After the Rockets beat the Warriors without James Harden, there were several hot takes out there. The one that most glance over was the "Chris Paul has a lot left in the tank" take. Paul's tank isn't empty, but he's not traveling very far. Paul is no longer the player considered one of the league's best. His max extension was more of a career achievement token than a deserving reward. I'm not bashing Paul, I'm being honest.
The other hot take was the notion that the Rockets may be better off without Harden. If you think or thought that, you're about as bright as a the Astrodome's future. There were discussions of whether the team should trade him or not. Preposterous, stupid, or any other adjective is not strong enough to describe the level of absurdity associated with that type of talk. He may not be the type of superstar that Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant was, but he's the Rockets' superstar and they won't get anywhere without him.
Hot takes are an unfortunate part of society. Hell, even the president tweets out his very own hot takes. I'm not standing on my soapbox writing this because I too have been guilty of a hot take here and there. Look no further than the time I thought the Astros and Texans should trade Dallas Keuchel and Jadeveon Clowney respectively. All I'm saying is that we shouldn't be prisoners of the moment or say things we'll end up regretting. If you ever want to see some of those hot takes that have aged as well as a gallon of milk left in a parking lot in mid-July, check out this Twitter account dedicated to cold takes.
And I still think the Texans should trade Clowney.