Why Max Kellerman picking Kawhi Leonard over Kobe Bryant under pressure was great for ESPN

I have a lot of different readers here, so I’ll break this down quickly.

First Take is a sports debate show featuring Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and moderator Molly Querim. It runs daily and does well. It’s a fine program.

This morning Max Kellerman during an NBA debate said that under pressure Kawhi Leonard, currently competing in the playoffs with the Toronto Raptors, was a better player than Los Angeles Lakers great, Kobe Bryant.

It’s an unusual opinion. Not one I share that’s for sure. Kellerman was blasted by Smith and guest panelist Jay Williams

But this is a win. It’s a win for Kellerman and the producers of First Take. It’s a win for fans. And it’s a win for ESPN.

Why? This is a sports debate show.

It doesn’t matter that Kellerman is wrong. It’s an opinion. Opinions are supposed to spur debate. This is not the reporting of news. ESPN has other programs for that.

What did you expect? “We all agree on Kobe? Great, next topic.”. The program would be 15 minutes long.

As we speak, Max Kellerman is trending on Twitter and his opinion is currently driving the sports conversation. This is great.

This also isn’t the first unpopular opinion that Kellerman has had. He is a regular critic of Tom Brady, despite his six Super Bowl championships.

Take it from someone who has done a lot of television. If you’re an analyst, you’re eventually going to have some unpopular opinions. It’s inevitable. You listen and you move on.

If I’m on ESPN’s payroll, or if I”m an advertiser for the program, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the publicity.

Maybe have Kellerman drug tested, just to be on the safe side. Just kidding.

You can watch the video below.

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