A Rabid Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo Lost His Mind on 'First Take'


Earlier this week the NBA and the National Basketball Association Players Association reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. Included is a clause that players must play at least 65 games to be eligible for major individual league awards such as MVP and All-NBA recognition. Which is a small step in the right direction for those who want to cling to the sanctity of an entirely subjective sphere containing endless studio show debates.

But it's not nearly enough for Chris "Mad Dog" Russo who gesticulated wildly during a combustible half-minute on today's First Take.

Those are the type of active hands a defensive-minded basketball coach can only dream of having at their disposal. Augmented by an eardrum-splitting bit of repetition.

"Russell played 82 games! Kareem played 82 games! Jordan played 82 games! Bird played 82 games! Wilt played 82 games! [Indistinguishable] played 82 games! Sixty-five games! What, 42 is not enough? Oh, that's a disgrace! Sixt-that's 20 percent of your season."

Russo then turned to Molly Qerim, who was very much in the splash zone and asked, "If you showed up four days a week instead of five, could you win the MVP of First Take?"

Perhaps these questions are only loud and rhetorical, but 42 games isn't enough. That's sort of why they addressed it. And Qerim could very much repeat as The Big Lead's Studio Host of the Year in 2023 if she worked 80 percent of the time because we should be championing a work-life balance that reduces the chances of overdosing on Stephen A. Smith takes.

Make no mistake, this is excellent television. Even for the millions of Americans who watched it on mute while re-racking their weights at Planet Fitness. It's too bad Mad Dog is only there one day a week.