1. When you get paid for the hot takes, you are going to get burned occasionally. Happens to everyone.
It just happened to ESPN's Dan Orlovsky. I'm a fan of Orlovsky's work and named him "Fastest Riser" in SI's 2019 Sports Media Awards. He also appeared on the SI Media Podcast in February.
However, the take he dropped on Get Up on Wednesday morning was pretty cringeworthy.
Orlovsky was discussing comments made by Blazers star Damian Lillard, who told Yahoo! Sports, "If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games."
For some reason, Orlovsky took great offense at Lillard's remarks and somehow thought Lillard blowing off some meaningless basketball games was something to get worked up about.
Orlovsky thinks that because so many people have tragically lost their jobs during our current crisis, Lillard should be happy to play in the final regular season games because he "gets to."
In his truly bizarre thought process, Orlovsky kept comparing Lillard to frontline workers and supermarket workers. If those people had to work during a pandemic, Lillard should be thrilled about going back to work, was Orlovsky's hard-to-follow logic.
Here's a rule I know fans (and hot takers) won't like, but it's really a good one to follow: Don't compare an athlete's job to other people's jobs. It makes no sense and one person's job has nothing to do with another person's job.
Lillard is sitting out because his team has no chance to make the playoffs. This is not something that applies to other jobs. So to compare an NBA player not wanting to come back from a three-month layoff to play in a handful of games that have no impact on his team to someone who works in a supermarket or pharmacy or another place makes zero sense.
"If what we've experienced as a group of people over the last three months has taught us anything," Orlovsky said, "is there is no such thing as 'meaningless.'"
Actually, if the past three months have taught us anything, it's that pretty much everything except for health and family is meaningless. A basketball player's participation in a game is as meaningless as it gets when it comes to the real world.
However, the comment Orlovsky made that got Lillard's attention came at the end of his take, when he said, "I struggle sitting here and going, 'you don't come off as, in some way spoiled and entitled brat by saying I'm not gonna play.'"
Naturally, those words did not sit well with the Lillard who took to Twitter to blast Orlovsky.
Orlovsky tried to apologize twice, but Lillard wasn't having it.
Like I said at the top, when you're on live TV several days a week, this is going to happen. It's inevitable. Orlovsky's apology seems sincere, though, and he genuinely seems like he regrets using the words he did. That's more than most people will give you after they screw up on TV.
2. This is great stuff from The Undertaker recalling how Hulk Hogan tried to make him look bad in 1991 when Taker beat the Hulkster for the WWF title.
3. New York Mets minor leaguer Andrew Church was released by the team Thursday. Then he went on Instagram and completely torched the franchise for being inept. He even got in a shot at Tim Tebow in this passage:
"I was on the mound in a AAA baseball game for the first time, without any warm up throws. My UCL originally tore that night. Instead of seeing a doctor like I asked, they sent me back to High A to pitch in the playoffs. When I told them I couldn’t I was made out to be the bad guy. Then the next year, they made a mockery of our team by putting a celebrity on it to sell more tickets. I saw players lose their jobs because of it. We weren’t playing to win, we were playing to make everyone else money."
4. Did you see this tweet from the Baltimore Sun that says "Robert Kraft sees positive outcome for the NFL"?
At first it said something entirely different.
5. A brand new SI Media Podcast is out, and my guest this week is Erin Andrews. Andrews talked about what it could be like doing sideline reports in empty NFL stadiums, the excitement surrounding the Bucs-Saints Week 1 matchup, Phyllis George's place in sports broadcasting history and dealing with critics. Andrews also told a couple of outstanding stories about Larry David attending her wedding, discussed quarantine life and shared some kitchen disaster stories.
6. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: Derek Jeter made his MLB debut 25 years ago today. MLB Network is celebrating the occasion with 64 straight hours of Jeter coverage. However, I doubt you'll see one of my favorite Jeter memories make the cut: The shortstop giving Alex Rodriguez a death stare when A-Rod didn't get out of the way while he was trying to catch a pop up.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Larry knows about Derek Jeter. Larry knows.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.