I am very tough on the website The Ringer. I feel like it is filled with hot take millennial BS that is pointless. All the majority of the hosts of the podcasts, and their writers, it is all about the quickest and hottest take out there. I don't feel like they do a ton of research, and they just want to put out stuff to get clicks on the site. Also, Bill Simmons is one of the biggest has beens in the sports writing business. He is such a non factor in the NBA world now. I do not trust a word he says anymore, and while he was once a solid writer, he has only shown since starting The Ringer, is that he wants so badly to still be in his 20's, even though he is approaching his 50's. It is sad. That much is true. Also, his interviews with Malcolm Gladwell have been horrendous and awful, in so many different ways.
While I do not read the website anymore, it feels like a total waste of time, I do subscribe to 2 of their podcasts. I listen to their NFL show, and I listen to their NBA show hosted by Chris Vernon and Kevin O'Connor. I do like Chris Vernon. I have talked about that before. He has some of the better takes on the pod, he seems to understand the NBA pretty well, and he isn't a yes man, of which this company is filled with. I also enjoy his passion for the game, and his love for his hometown team, the Memphis Grizzlies. Yes, he can be obnoxious from time to time, he can be a little loud, but again, he seems like the smartest person that is involved with the whole Ringer crew.
Then we have Kevin O'Connor. Boy oh boy do I not like him. He has one, maybe 2 good takes per episode, but everything else is so absurd and contradictory and asinine and flat out stupid. He takes credit for the few things he gets right, and when he is very wrong, which is a lot, he almost always deflects the blame. He is never wrong, it was something out of his control that caused his shit take to be off.
For example, I was listening to their most recent episode, and twice he said some shit that was so off that it made me audibly gasp and call him an idiot to my iPhone. First, Chris Vernon called him out on his "bright future Suns" comment, and when he was pushed by Vernon, he kind of just blahed his way through his speech. Vernon pointed out that when he called them the "bright future Suns", they had so many other players. In fact, the only player that is still on the team when O'Connor coined them that is Devin Booker. Every other player is gone. But O'Connor, in his infinite stupidity, tried to claim that Booker was the only reason he called them "the bright future Suns". That is false. You can go back and listen to him say he still liked Dragan Bender, gone, or any other number of players that the Suns have since traded or let go in free agency. The team is incredibly different from who O'Connor dubbed "the bright future Suns".
And then, the comment that really irked me, he said that the Knicks need to lose. I hate, hate, hate that this whole new tanking thing is what the younger generation of basketball writers are so enamored with right now. Why would any fan of any team ever want their team to lose purposely? The 76ers did it for half a decade, and when you talk to their fans, they talk about some dark thoughts during that time. I am a lifelong Michigan fan, and the Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke eras where unbearable. I'm sure Houston Astros fans are happy now, but when they were regularly losing 100 games, that couldn't have been fun. I am now rooting for the Memphis Grizzlies, and while Ja Morant has been a blast to watch so far, it stinks that they get beat pretty much every night. I think it is easy for someone like Kevin O'Connor, who is a Boston guy, to talk about how these teams should actively tank because in his whole sports fandom life, the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox have all been really good, or even won titles. The teams he roots for haven't had to tank, yet. So when he said that the Knicks should continue to tank, I was flabbergasted. He kept saying that this would help them get young talent, and lure free agents. I need to say, how did that work for them this past offseason? They didn't sign anyone of note, they ended up taking RJ Barrett, more on him and another O'Connor comment in a moment, and they have no real shot anymore at getting the number one pick in the upcoming draft. They did this exact same thing last year, losing because they were certain they were going to get Zion Williamson, and sign one, or both, of KD and Kyrie Irving. Well, none of that happened Mr. O'Connor. So what makes you think it will happen this offseason, or next or next? Hell, KD even said no one wants to go sign with the Knicks because they haven't been relevant since the late 90's.
As for that RJ Barrett comment, he said that the Knicks are playing him too much. What in the actual hell?! I mean, if the kid wants to play, and the team wants him to play and the coach wants him to play, let him play. Who cares? You can throw all the too many minutes thing, and the rookie wall at me, but if Barrett feels good, and they took him third overall and they want to build around him, let him play. O'Connor is obsessed with coddling the young generation coming into the NBA, especially Duke players. That is ridiculous. Also, if David Fizdale was only playing him 20 minutes a night, O'Connor would be the first one to say that the Knicks need a new coach who would let Barrett play.
Kevin O'Conner is an unreliable, porous and crappy sports writer. He is the definition of a hot take writer who thinks they are never wrong. He seems lost and confused every time Chris Vernon calls him out, and his response is to act like a child who is being wrongly scolded. I hope O'Connor reads this because I really, really want him to know how I feel about him and his crap takes. Of all the crummy writers and podcasters they have at The Ringer, O'Connor is the second worse, behind only his boss, Bill Simmons.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.
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