Alex Wong wrote an interesting article for GQ titled Inside the NBA’s Great Generation War. The article examines how the current crop of social media-addled NBA players deal with criticism, often of the dumb hot take variety, from the media, with a focus on former players in the media.  While I recommend reading the article as a general matter, we are going to skip ahead to an incisive take on the the art of the hot take, with specific references to the two most prominent practitioners of hot take commentary, Mr. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN and Mr. Skip Bayless of Fox Sports Net:

Clips from shows like First Take (which ESPN launched in 2007) and Undisputed (a derivative that launched on Fox Sports 1 in 2016) regularly go viral, because, well… they’re amazing at what they do. Personalities like Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless go viral on a near daily basis for saying the most cartoonishly outlandish thing possible—and then they’ll go right out and do the same thing again the next morning. The shows are more impassioned WWE promos than an actual presentation of arguments, and their success rests on the premise that whoever can agitate the most people and draw the most eyeballs wins the day. Smith and Bayless are icons of the form—take artists of the highest caliber.

This is a good assessment of Mr. Smith and Mr. Bayless. Both of these men are smarter than many of their hot takes, but does the rightness of the take matter when it is delivered loudly and with irrepressible confidence?  I think not.  Maybe The New Leaf Journal needs more hot takes