The opening of the NBA’s free agency period brought shock, intrigue and a shift of power across the league. Superstar Kevin Durant requesting a trade out of the Brooklyn Nets organization sent talking heads into a frenzy. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst – a pioneer of the network’s coverage of LeBron James – set social media on fire with a monologue on Friday’s episode of First Take.
Windhorst asks his peers to step back from the Kevin Durant rumors and analyze the larger picture of a smaller deal. Utah sending forward Royce O’Neale to Brooklyn doesn’t jump off the page. But the analyst digs deeper, comparing the trade to deals made by former Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge upon hiring a young head coach in Boston nine years ago.
Ainge – now in charge in Utah – shipping a young and capable guard out of town after hiring the league’s youngest head coach didn’t set off any alarm bells. But to Brian Windhorst, the situation is worthy of keeping our eyes peeled. To a panel of three other hosts, the Kent State graduate asks, “what’s going on in Utah?”
The confused peers sit in awe, captivated by Windhorst’s soliloquy. But social media explodes with screen captures, meme-ing the analyst’s hand gestures.
Now That Windhorst Mentions It… What Is Going On In Utah?
Hours after the bizarre segment, news of a league-altering trade broke. Utah sends defensive-minded center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for four future first-round picks and a plethora of players. Among the names heading west, Minnesota’s first-round selection in last week’s draft, center Walker Kessler.
Joining Kessler is defensive standout Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. This undoubtedly kicks off an interesting rebuild for Utah, but the current plan remains building around guard Donovan Mitchell.
Without a doubt, this is exactly what Windhorst had in mind. A lengthy and thinly veiled monologue about the Jazz, subsequently followed up by a massive blockbuster trade? Obviously, Windhorst had a sense of things to come.