Monday, December 1, 2014

The Hottest and Coldest Takes on LeBron James

Hot takes are all the rage these days, and it would be irresponsible for me to not teach all of you the ins and outs of the take world. I will do this by taking something that everyone has a take on, LeBron James's legacy. Some hot takes have him as the greatest thing since the steam engine; others say he's overrated. What I am looking to do is take the hottest of takes and eventually work it down to the coolest of takes. Let's take a trip down the Take Turnpike and see where we exit.

Take: LeBron James is the greatest basketball player ever and could take any four guys and beat the Dream Team. 

This is a very hot take, but it is so extreme that people know to keep their distance from this take. It's the sun. We know it's so hot that we're not even going to touch it. People will likely insult you while staying away from your take if you make it this hot.

Take: LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan.

This take actually may be even hotter as invoking Jordan's name inevitably brings out a lot of emotion in people. I will admit that my fingers were burning a little bit as they moved across my keyboard. This take is a hot stove, and the people around you are children. They know the stove is hot, but they have to touch it to find out exactly how hot it is. This is a take that will immediately spark debate, and the great thing is this debate will never be settled, because it can never be settled. Even though this is not the hottest, it is the worst take in that it will make both people who get involved in the debate worse people by the end with neither budging an inch on their side of the take.

Take: LeBron James is a great basketball player. 

Now we're getting into some tamer takes. LeBron James seems like a great basketball player at first glance. Still, this take has some spice to it, as people love to complain that the league has gone soft, and LeBron would have never made it in the 80s (always the 80s, despite just about everything in the 80s being terrible). Those guys played the game the right way, and they weren't buddies with their opponents. This take is a jalapeno. It's got enough spice to it that you wouldn't want to rub it in your eye.

Take: LeBron James is a good basketball player.

Okay, this is a fair take. It would take a real asshole to argue that LeBron James is not a good basketball player. Still, it's possible, especially with the 80s toughness argument. Instead of using that to say he wouldn't be great, it's just as easy to say he never would have made it in the NBA facing real tough guys like Bill Laimbeer and Kevin McHale (yes, all arguments against LeBron must also have a tinge of racism in them; I don't make the rules, but I must follow them). Still, this is not a hot take compared to the (racist) alternative. It's basically the equivalent of putting some fresh ground pepper on your meal.

Take: LeBron James is a basketball player.

Now that's a cool take. It is impossible to argue with this statement. Well, almost impossible. I mean, at the moment you are reading this, he might be taking a shower or reading to his kids. I can take a shower and read, but it doesn't make me a basketball player. There is no way to predict the future and say that he will ever play again. He might just be a professional clean guy or book reader. On top of that, language is fluid, so definitions are constantly in flux. What we today consider a basketball player may turn into a completely different meaning down the line. Still, this is about as spicy as a glass of orange juice.

Take: LeBron James was considered a basketball player during his career in what was known as the National Basketball Association, although the meanings of basketball and the NBA as a whole is in constant flux and is no way set in stone for eternity, or even the next hour. 

Finally, we have reached the coolest take. There is no argument here, just a cold glass of milk that can cool down even the hottest of takes on LeBron James.

Both hot and cool takes are a tricky world, so please leave them to the professionals like PFT Commenter and...yeah, probably just PFT Commenter.

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