Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (June 27, 2017), we discuss the NBA’s anointed MVP: Russell Westbrook took home the prize after a season in which he averaged a triple-double. Next, tennis: In a recent interview with NPR, John McEnroe said Serena Williams was the greatest female tennis player of all time but that “if she played the men’s circuit, she’d be like 700 in the world.” We examine why so many discussions about women’s sports turn into hypothetical conversations pitting female athletes against men. Plus, a significant digit on Tim Tebow.
Here are links we discussed during the show:
- ESPN’s Royce Young recaps Russell Westbrook’s historic season, which culminated with an MVP award.
- Serena Williams responded on Twitter to McEnroe’s comments.
- Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post writes that 44 years after the Battle of the Sexes, we’re still having the same dumb debate.
- A 2014 Slate piece examined why women can serve as fast as men.
- Significant Digit: 4 percent. Although the New York Mets promoted Tim Tebow to their high-A minor league affiliate, FiveThirtyEight’s Rob Arthur found that Tebow performed below replacement level, in the 4th percentile of player performances in low-A ball since 2005.