1. KAT proclaims himself as the GOAT shooting big man
In an interview with Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, Minnesota All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns hyped up his shooting ability as a big man.
“I’m the greatest big man shooter of all time,” said Towns. “That’s a fact. You can see the stats. I ain’t got to play like no one else. Everyone trying to find themselves to be the second version of me when I’m the first version. I don’t got to be the second version of someone else. I’m already an original. I don’t have to be a duplicate of someone else.”
These are the stats he’s apparently referring to:
Hold on there, can he win a playoff series first? Seriously, NBA players need to stop proclaiming themselves as the GOAT this or GOAT that. Let your peers and the analysts do the talking. It comes off as insecure rather than confident, to be honest.
Be like Dirk Nowitzki, the true GOAT shooting big man, and one who doesn’t care about the tag.
As Dirk said after the Wolves played the Mavs, “Not sure if he’s the greatest of all-time already, he’s got a long way to go. But I mean, his touch is great and he’s got the full package, so definitely if he keeps playing like this, he’s gonna be up there before his career is over.”
Still too early, KAT.
2. ‘Good stats, bad team’ GOAT
Move over, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Kevin Love, pre-CP3 Devin Booker, and KAT. There’s a new sheriff in town. LeBron James has thrown his hat in the conversation for ‘good stats, bad team’ GOAT.
James is averaging 27.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists this season for the 16-18 Lakers. But unlike Nikola Jokic, those stats have mostly been empty calories with little impact on winning. James is only 29th in win shares per 48 (right behind Myles Turner) and 20th in RAPTOR WAR (tied with Darius Garland). The Lakers are a better defensive team with him off the floor and his on/off split of +0.8/-4.5 is nothing special (compared to Jokic’s +11/-15).
This might come as a hot take for some, but I’ve been saying this since 2014: the biggest lesson James learned from the 2011 Finals is that the best way to get critics to lay off is to simply keep putting up stats. 2014, 2017, and 2018 were basically inflated stats on teams that played extended garbage time in the Finals. With him now, the biggest prize is obviously Kareem’s all-time scoring record because the Lakers aren’t beating the Warriors, Suns or Jazz in the playoffs. Hey, just keepin’ it real.
3. A reminder that COVID still sucks
Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Andrew Wiggins all missed the NBA’s Christmas Day games due to the league’s health and safety protocols. F*ck COVID.
Speaking of, LeBron shared a Spider-Man meme on Instagram Friday, comparing COVID with the flu and common cold.
LeBron was probably just alluding to how COVID affects those already vaccinated like himself, but the post drew the ire of his mostly left-leaning fanbase, who accused him of downplaying COVID.
First of all, it was a meme. Second, if you want answers, visit the WHO and CDC websites comparing COVID and the flu. Lastly, if you’re looking at LeBron for public health advice, there’s something wrong with you.
See? I always keep it real, even if it means siding with LeBron. But here’s a funnier Spider-Man meme for NBA fans:
4. Mean KD
A video went viral earlier this week showing Jayden Moore, a 13-year-old high schooler, putting a fancy move on a defender before launching a three-pointer that rimmed out.
But Kevin Durant was not impressed and took time to go after the kid on Twitter.
Someone pointed out that Durant’s commentary was a bit harsh for a youngster, but KD doubled down by saying it creates bad habits.
KD is probably right, but he’s talking about a kid who will definitely read his tweet (and in fact did) on Christmas week, ffs. Just because he doesn’t want to be a role model doesn’t mean he has to be a dick. In the words of the immortal Ron Burgundy:
5. Throwback video of the week
40-year-old Joe Johnson made his return to the NBA with the Boston Celtics last Wednesday. Let’s all remember how good peak ‘Iso Joe’ was. First round of the 2008 Playoffs against the would-be champions Celtics: 35 points—20 in the fourth quarter—and 6 assists.