ESPN NBA analyst Jay Williams had what could be kindly called an interesting reaction to Giannis Antetokounmpo signing a five-year supermax with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The former Duke star responded to a question about Giannis’ ability to win in Milwaukee by citing the Los Angeles Lakers’ depth and specifically pointing out Talen Horton-Tucker:
Is Jay Williams drunk? pic.twitter.com/kZQ7luBThP
— DFS Madness (@MadnessDFS) December 15, 2020
Twitter went crazy afterwards, with all sorts of memes and reactions emerging:
— Silver Screen and Roll (@LakersSBN) December 15, 2020
A couple respondents think Williams’ inclusion of the Lakers is actually business oriented, so to speak.
Multiple accounts suggested the pivot to the Lakers is evidence of the bias large sports media has for big-market teams:
Lmao. ESPN finding ways to pivot to talking about the Lakers is almost impressive pic.twitter.com/yxHdPay4Kr
— Patrick Fenelon 🌹 (@Patrick_Fenelon) December 15, 2020
I mean, there's a clip circulating right now of an ESPN analyst citing THT as a reason Giannis might not win a title. How do you read that aside from media pro-large market bias?
— Anthony Doyle (@Anthonysmdoyle) December 15, 2020
Then again, the NBA as an organization prefers its big-market teams to be competitive, but that is besides the point.
Williams’ argument might have been more valid if he cited recent extensions signed by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That superstar duo does indeed give the Lakers a strong chance to win the NBA title so long as LBJ and AD share the floor.
But the mere hint of Horton-Tucker being a road block for Giannis and the Bucks is nonsensical.
Horton-Tucker has impressed through the first two games of the preseason. The former second-round pick had 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the opener before scoring 33 points to go along with 10 boards, four rebounds and four steals in the second contest against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Indeed, Horton-Tucker displayed plenty of ability, perhaps even more so with his defensive instincts than his scoring outbursts. But the former Iowa State star played in just eight games last year (including playoffs), and is going to have to scratch and claw for a bigger role in the rotation.
Williams likely meant THT’s abilities point to how well-rounded L.A.’s roster is, but it is just preseason basketball, and that Lakers roster could look quite a bit different over the life of Giannis’ contract.