Welcome to The Shade Room. In this article series, we will not hold back from throwing shade. Nobody is safe. If you’re involved in sports and your performance is not up to par or you make an embarrassing slip up, you might find yourself in The Shade Room.
For the first-ever article in The Shade Room series, we are going to put Marcus Morris, Giannis Antetokoumpo, Russell Westbrook, and the Jacksonville Jaguars on blast.
The Shade Room Casualty One: Marcus Morris
Morris has spent his fair share of time trending on Twitter this week and for good reason. What brought Morris to sudden popularity amongst Twitter conversations was not his play, which has actually been quite stellar, but his seemingly dirty plays in Games 5 and 6 in the Clippers first-round series versus the Mavericks.
It really all started in Game 1 when Morris gave Doncic an extra little shove after a play which instigated a small, unfriendly get together for the teams and resulted in a Kristaps Porzingis ejection. No one thought nothing of this potentially hostile act because all of the news was about Porzingis, but it is worth considering now.
Where it really started to get spicy, however, was in Game 5 when Morris appeared to step on Luka Doncic‘s injured ankle. Now, this is definitely up for speculation as to if it was intentional or not and people were all over the place on it. Some thought that there are thousands of other square feet on the court how could he magically step onto the one spot where Doncic’s injured foot was and it was not purposefully and others thought it obviously couldn’t have been on purpose because both of them were moving at the same time and this is just coincidentally where their natural motions landed them.
However you want to look at it, I will let you be the judge, but I personally was pretty much stuck on the fence on this one. That is until the second part of the equation came into play. But before we get to the second part, it is also worth noting that Morris was adamant on social media that it was not on purpose.
Then in the next game, Morris gave Doncic a hard shot to the head and face area on a Doncic drive. Morris called it a hard foul, making a play on the ball. The officials called it a hostile act and gave him a Flagrant 2 and an early ejection. On this particular play – if you really are going for the ball – how do you whiff that badly as a professional athlete and just happen to swipe right into the opposing player’s head? And why – if you’re trying to block it – are you swatting at it like a ninja trying karate-chopping through a stack of wood planks?
None of these things singularly probably warrant the “dirty player” label, but all three together in the same series? Yeah, it is probably safe to say Morris was playing dirty and we didn’t even cover all of Morris’ past dirty acts on the basketball court that could show a history of being a dirty player. So come on Marcus, just because a dude is giving you buckets at will doesn’t mean you have to play dirty in return.
The Shade Room Casualty Two: Russell Westbrook
I will keep this one short because Westbrook is my man but, again, NOBODY is safe in The Shade Room so it wouldn’t be right to not talk about Westbrook today. Westbrook has been out for most of the Thunder-Rockets series due to injury, but has now returned and did not look the best in Game 6… especially to end the game.
On a mid-range jumper on the Rockets’ second to last possession, Westbrook air-balled a shot that is typically cash for him. Then on the next play, one that ended up being basically the last offensive play of the game for the Rockets, Westbrook drove and attempted kicked it out to a three-point shooter and missed his target badly for an out of bounds turnover to give the game to the Thunder. Come on man!
The Shade Room Casualty Three: Giannis Antetokounmpo
It’s not often that you can throw shade at a Defensive Player of the Year-MVP, but Antetokounmp deserves a little after the Game 1 loss to the Heat. If you’re the best player in the world and you want to win in the playoffs, you have to turn it up a level. Giannis did not do that in Game 1. How can you be the league’s MVP and only shoot the ball 12 times in a playoff loss? 12 TIMES! Unacceptable.
Giannis has to demand the ball in Game 2 or the Bucks will not win the series and he will be getting flak for not having a killer instinct. It is not that he had a bad game overall, the dude almost had a triple-double and was a defensive difference-maker, but he has to take more than 12 shots if they want to have a shot at winning! I better see a more aggressive, killer instinct Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 2!
The Shade Room Casualty Four: The Jacksonville Jaguars
Is there a more incompetent franchise in football? Can you make it anymore obvious that you are tanking? Just when you thought those answers were no, the Jaguars had to up and make another questionable move earlier this week to one-up themselves.
After ridding themselves of basically every single decent player on their football team, the Jaguars then decide to cut their starting running back Leonard Fournette. And on top of that, as some side shade, Coach Marrone decided to lay it on Fournette a little more by specifying that they literally couldn’t get anything for him, not even a late round pick. Did you really have to do your boy like that?
Even if you couldn’t get anything for him right now, you aren’t cap-strapped, why not wait until the deadline? A couple of unfortunate injuries to a Super Bowl contender and they may all of the sudden be in the market for a Leonard Fournette. Then, even if you don’t find a trade partner at the deadline, why not keep him until he hits unrestricted free agency and hope that he brings you back a compensatory pick?
Just ridiculously bad management by the Jacksonville Jaguars here. So the shade of the week is getting thrown at the Jaguars. I genuinely feel sorry for Jaguars fans. Just be better!
What did y’all think of the first edition of The Shade Room? Who deserved some Shade that I missed? If this is an article series that you would enjoy feel free to let me know throughout the week of anyone needing some shade and please share this article. Thanks for reading!