Zach Lowe did his annual League Pass rankings piece for ESPN, and his top five in order were the 76ers, Celtics, Warriors, Lakers, and Nuggets. Colin Cowherd thought it was preposterous that the Lakers were not number 1, and analogized it to the type of creativity that would lead one to back an independent film instead of Jurassic Park.
“Zach Lowe is like this podcasting guy, he’s one of those smart millennials,” Cowherd said. “Stop it. Dinosaurs eating people is going to beat your independent film. The Lakers are going to be the most interesting team in the NBA to watch.”
“The Denver Nuggets were fifth for Zach Lowe. He had the Bulls sixth,” Colin said later in the segment. “If the Nuggets and Bulls were playing on one channel in America and LeBron the other, who are you watching? Don’t outthink the room, millennials. You’re all trying to convince us how smart you are. Ooh, I’m an analytic and I watch this.”
1) Colin came off a little mean about Lowe, who is a more accomplished multi-platform guy than just being labeled as a podcaster. It was almost like Billy Batts telling Tommy in Goodfellas to go get his shine box. Lowe is also not a millennial; he was born in 1977 and the oldest millennials were born in 1981.
2) If Lowe were just coming at this from a basketball purist perspective, then no one could really argue with what he chooses because there aren’t many people who watch more hoops than he does. But, Lowe’s criteria included Zeitegeist (i.e. whether “normies” care), highlight probability, style, League Pass minutia (random things like uniforms and announcers), and unintentional comedy. Given these criteria, it is hard for me not to see the Lakers as number 1.
3) This is besides the point, but Colin talked about a bar in Los Angeles being more transfixed on LeBron/Lakers preseason game than the Cubs and Rockies win-or-go-home Wild Card game. He said LA is a transient town and that this wasn’t just because of it being the home team. Okay, but this establishment was not a reflective cross-section of America’s interests. Nuggets-Lakers averaged 929K viewers for 154 minutes on TNT. Cubs-Rockies averaged 6.3 million viewers on ESPN and 661K on ESPN2 for 310 minutes.
We’ve reached out to ESPN to see if Lowe would like to respond and will update this if we hear back.
Disclosure: The Big Lead’s editor-in-chief Jason McIntyre is an on-air personality at FS1.