LeBron James has not played a basketball game since April 1st, but he was still a topic on Get Up this morning as Mike Greenberg ran with Stephen A. Smith's idea that the Los Angeles Lakers should trade LeBron James. Greenberg took it a step further saying that LeBron stood no chance of winning another title in Los Angeles and should welcome a trade. Alan Hahn then joined in saying that the Lakers might consider a move that would send James to the Golden State Warriors. I know what you're thinking and Monica McNutt agrees. Just watch as she reacts to the increasingly spicy takes.
That really is a masterclass in sports debate show reactions. Without saying a single word McNutt constantly steals camera time from the people talking. This is incredible nonverbal communication as she lets both Greenberg and Hahn know they are clearly just saying stuff.
McNutt seemed to know where Greeny was going immediately. As soon as he brought up LeBron she started to shift in her chair. In the wideshot just a few seconds in she's already expressing disbelief about what she's about to hear.
Within 10 seconds she's laughing to herself. As Jay Williams starts to shake his head she points at him as if to say, See? I'm not alone.
She tries to hold it in, but it's impossible.
As Hahn starts dreaming of a Warriors trade McNutt basically takes control of the segment without even saying a word. The camera keeps cutting back to her as she perfectly voices the emotions of most sane viewers.
In 80 seconds she basically experiences all the stages of grief. If acceptance looked like stifling your laughter behind a rolled up piece of paper.
Finally, she's left to compose herself as as Mike Greenberg explains a trade where the Warriors give up two or three of the key players who have them a win away from Western Conference Finals in order to land LeBron. The weight of the take won't even allow her to sit upright.
There's a reason our beloved sports shouting shows are called talk shows and not listen shows. If everyone just sat around quietly, no one would watch and there would be no takes. However, it generally takes two to tango. Hosts like Colin Cowherd who can go hours without a single person to bounce anything off of are few and far between.
And it's often the listeners both at home and in studio who make the shows work. Someone has to be watching or the show will get canceled, but to sit stoically across the table makes for boring television. A good reaction is just as good as a hot take and maybe more important. A honest and animated reaction is always able to steal the show.