ing (when h…e is saying (when he gets to the fine points of tennis I don’t understand some of the terminology). What makes his comments and blog posts better than the ringer is… I don’t know what. They’re genuine? He’s funny? I like his other writing so I like them?
Thank you for the high praise.
One thing that comes from not depending on writing as a job is the freedom to tell the truth.
I can tell you from listening former Grand Slam champions who are now doing the commentary, they have to be holding back. Within a couple of minutes of watching a match with my dad and/or wife, I might point out, for example, how a player’s poor footwork on their backhand gives them almost no chance to win. I know that McEnroe, Courier, et al, have to know what I know, but they can’t say it because it will spoil the suspense of the broadcast and it will piss off the players who will then cut off access to interviews.
When it comes to the NBA, I think the hot take is destroying sports writing. Maybe you like the fact that I do stone cold takes, like the Lakers’ chances of returning to the Finals in the near future being somewhere on the cold side of hell freezing over. Even the hottest of my hot takes are laced with self doubt, skepticism over recency bias, and the fear that I will look like an idiot if I say something stupid (ridiculous is okay, as long as it’s funny.) After all, I’m not paid to be Steven A Smith 2.0.
Finally, even a Celtics fan like you has to be suffering from some form of fatigue from the 24/7 confefe that starts with The Ringer’s boss and trickles down to all his staff. Listening to a hopeless Laker fan now dreaming of a .500 season has to provide some comic relief. (My next big article after I watch Ball’s first game in summer league.)