ESPN NBA reporter Brian Windhorst went onto First Take last week and very obviously knew something was going on with the Utah Jazz, which traded Royce O’Neale to the Brooklyn Nets for a first round pick in a move that was announced shortly after Kevin Durant‘s trade request hit Twitter. Despite that, Windhorst decided to take the rest of the desk and the show’s viewers down a long and winding road, speaking cryptically about the Jazz being a team to watch.
It was pretty funny, and in the aftermath, a number of folks decided to use photos and quotes from Windhorst’s monologue as a way to make jokes. What was not clear is why, exactly, Windhorst didn’t just say whatever was going on. But on the most recent episode of The Hoops Collective, Windhorst explained what happened, and anyone who has followed along with him in recent years will not be surprised to learn that he was trying to sidestep aggregation.
Windy blamed his need to be cryptic during viral Utah Jazz video on aggregators pic.twitter.com/qHOaYDcxAw
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) July 6, 2022
“It really became more popular as a meme than actually what I said,” Windhorst said. “I knew the Jazz were pretty close to trading Rudy Gobert. To be honest with you, part of what I was doing was trying to do was avoid aggregation, because if I had come out and go, ‘I think the Jazz are going to trade Rudy Gobert today,’ then everything on the internet is, ‘Windhorst, Report: Jazz Trade Gobert.’ And then maybe they don’t trade him, because they had almost traded him the day before, maybe Minnesota was only offering 34 assets and they didn’t offer the 35th that got the Jazz to finally say ok.
“In this world of aggregation, I have to get more creative, because you get pinned down on, sometimes, four words,” he continued. “You say 700 words and you get pinned down to four words, and I will continue to get pinned down to four words because it’s what I do, but I have to get creative and avoid aggregation. And so, that was me avoiding aggregation in a setting where I had some time on national television.”
Real Hoop Collective heads will know that Windhorst — along with co-hosts Tim MacMahon and Tim Bontemps — more or less took the bit on a test run before going onto First Take, where the final product was unveiled to the world.