Thursday, May 7, 2009

38 comments Bill Simmons Is Slowly Killing Me

This may come as a shock to many people but I was going to try and lay off a Bill Simmons' article for this entire week. It's not that I get tired of writing about him, quite the opposite, I just don't like picking on the same cast of characters week after week. I was going to completely ignore him, look at his Twitter, and roll my eyes but never dissect an entire article by him.

What has driven me over the edge is that yesterday at approximately 3pm he decided he wanted to be the General Manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, because as we all know, he is ever so qualified for the job. Everyone knows if you follow the NBA and can use ESPN's Trade Machine, you can clearly run an NBA team. It's not like it is a business or anything, it's just PlayStation 3, but with real humans. Just like when he campaigned for the Milwaukee Bucks GM position, he is wanting his SimmonsClones to start a grass roots campaign to make him the GM of the Timberwolves. It was a "joke" last year with the Bucks but it is not a joke this time. He won't shut up about it. I guess the Sports Czar platform can wait for the time being (I regret even bringing this up again).

Look at how pathetic this and this is. I emailed the President of the Timberwolves yesterday requesting he hire anyone for this position and reject Bill's candidacy publicly. Clearly this is also pathetic and it is a low point in my life, but I can't understand how Bill thinks he is actually qualified for this position. Sure, he knows a lot about the NBA and can use ESPN's Trade Machine but that doesn't mean he run a team. I am not sure whether it is more pathetic that Bill Simmons truly believes he can be the General Manager of an NBA team or that the Timberwolves fans actually are semi-turning to him as their savior. I think this speaks overall to how desperate the Wolves are for a winning team.

I think what speaks to how massive Bill Simmons' ego has become is that he doesn't want to start as an Assistant GM or another position that has authority or some sort of power in the organization, he wants to be the fucking General Manager and leap frog everyone else who has spent years in the organization or who may be better qualified. Imagine at your job (I know we are mostly bloggers and don't have jobs but that is why I said "imagine") they hired someone to head up your department who has a keen interest in what you do, but has never actually worked in ANY capacity in your department.

Say they took someone from Accounting and put him over the Advertising Department because he just seems very creative and has pitched some good ideas at the bar after work on Friday. This is pure insanity and no one would like it. You would have to wonder what kind of egotistical asshole thinks he can just come in, with no experience other than dabbling in advertising as a hobby, and do your job better than you can? You would also end up eventually teaching your boss what to do in the job. The same principle applies here. Bill has such an air of self importance that he thinks he can just jump over anyone in the organization and do a better job than they can do. This man's ego is absolutely huge. All of this fame and fortune writing for has led him to believe he is really hot shit and can pretty much do whatever he wants. If I were writing this column like Bill Simmons, I would compare him to the bad guy in an 80's movie who picked on the main character and needs to get his comeuppance very soon. Bill, you are the Cobra Kai. Go stick nails in your eyeballs.

Because he made me do it by angering me with his attempts to be the Timberwolves GM, here is Bill's retro-running diary...of the fourth quarter in the Houston-Los Angeles game on Monday. Not the entire game, that's too much work for Future GM Bill, just the fourth quarter is all he could muster.

My plan going into Monday night was solid on paper: A six-hour TV binge that started with a marathon toggle between Magic-Celtics and Red Sox-Yanks, followed by the first half of Rockets-Lakers, then all of "24," culminating with the second half (via TiVo) of Rockets-Lakers.

He is watching 6 hours of television Monday night. That sounds like something an NBA GM would have plenty of time for.

1. The Celtics put me in a sour mood by becoming the first team to trail a playoff game by 28 and subsequently blowing that same game in the fourth quarter.

Somehow the Celtics managed to blow a game in the fourth quarter in a game they never led in the fourth quarter. Remember, the Celtics have never been beaten, they always beat themselves. You can't defeat Bill's teams, his teams always cause their own defeats. (I just want to know how everyone can't think this man is an egotistical asshole. He thinks he knows everything!)

New Yankee Stadium is like one of those terrible ideas for an overpriced Vegas casino that looks doomed even as they're still building it,

(the sound of Bill's jokes rising out of the water and jumping over a shark can be heard...but it is actually a flashback to 4 years ago when this actually started)

4. I woke up six minutes into "The Hills" and the Sports Gal refused to change the channel because Audrina slept in Brody Jenner's bed in Hawaii and Brody's Playmate girlfriend was furious about it.

You know a television reference has become stale when the main character on the show (Lauren Conrad) is leaving the show she is on...and the show is about her everyday life. Again, she is voluntarily leaving a show that is based on her life. Not killing herself, which is how I think logically (fine, this would be more exciting and dramatic, not logical) would be the only way you could leave a show based on cameras following you around. Lauren Conrad is leaving a fake story about her life because she is tired of it...and it is about her. If this doesn't speak to how stale the show is, I don't know what does. Yet Bill and the Sports Gal (who may or may not really exist) keep watching and having arguments over the poorly scripted show. And now I am talking about the Hills on this here blog. What's the world coming to?

I sided with Brody, the Sports Gal sided with LC, and I'm ashamed to admit we actually argued about this for 20 minutes.

I am sure NBA General Managers have this argument all the time with their wives.

Bill has the best job in the world right now. White males aged 18-25, but not all of them, follow and love his every move, ESPN shields him from any negative feedback by not allowing comments on his columns, and he gets to hang out at home all the time with his friends and family and talk about unimportant and useless shit all day. He should stick with what he has and not try to do too much with his life. His head is slamming into the ceiling of his potential already.

I just wanted to go to sleep. I had no idea Houston beat the Lakers until this morning. Hmmmmmm. Was it legitimate? A fluke? Could the Rockets actually win this series? Sounded like the perfect time for a retro-diary of the fourth quarter. Let's join TNT's broadcast with Houston leading 70-67.

Shockingly, I have another bone to pick with Bill here. A diary run after the result has already been determined completely ruins the entire point of a running diary. The point of a running diary is to chronicle events as they happen and to get the immediate reaction of a person writing the diary. If the result is already known, the writer of the running diary can put things in that diary that make him/her look a hell of a lot smarter than they actually are. Then he could change his actual perceptions and reaction to the game to match what actually happened.

Not that Bill would do this of course...he has always been perfectly happy with being wrong, even though he has never been actually wrong, there is always an excuse that follows.

So let's get to Bill's running diary where he can make himself look smart by knowing the result of the game.

Of all the hidden chinks in the Lakers' armor -- tons of mileage on Kobe these past 20 months (191 straight games plus the Olympics),

That would be more mileage than the "tired" #5 MVP candidate Paul Pierce, which I kindly pointed out when I mocked Bill's MVP article.

That trade continues to amaze me: Memphis GM Chris Wallace deciding, "We can either keep Lowry, pick up his option and pay him $5 million combined in 2010 and 2011 when he's worth twice as much, or, we can flip him for a late first-round pick that has a 12 percent chance of being as good of an NBA player as Kyle Lowry already is. Screw it, let's roll the dice!"

Yes, it is very hard to find a point guard who averages 7 ppg, 44% FG, 26% 3P%, 2.5 REB, .90 ST, and 3.6 assists in 22 MPG. I am not going to defend the trade by Chris Wallace, but I am going to say if I am drafting in the 1st round and I draft a PG, I would expect him to average somewhere near these numbers at his 2nd year in the league. I think 12% is a bit low percentage to find a player with similar numbers as this in the first round.

I am sure someone has some statistics that kind of sort of prove Bill is right, and I will get to see these numbers at some point in the comments. I'm just saying if I draft a PG in the first round, I would doubt he only has a 12% chance of putting up these numbers.

I continue to think that the 2008-09 Lakers do their best work when they go smallball with Odom-Gasol-Kobe-Vujacic-Fisher.

Even though this does not include Andrew Bynum (maybe that is why he called it small ball) but I am not sure how this is small ball with a front line that measures 6 foot 10 inches, 7 foot 0 inches, 6 foot 6 inches, 6 foot 7 inches, and 6 foot 2 inches. This is really not small ball at its purest with two really tall guys out there and a shooting guard that is 6 foot 7 inches or 6 foot 6 inches tall. Bill is an NBA genius though so I am sure this has no reflection on his actual intelligence.

Bill Simmons for Timberwolves GM!

More importantly, do you realize that Jack Sikma is a Houston assistant? How much would you pay for Sikma to bring back his blonde permafro from the early '80s? Would you rather see this or Battier grow his hair out, Jonah Hill style? I can't decide.

(Me dying of never gets old!)

8:05: Three-point play for Ron Artest. Rockets by two. This Lakers crowd is deader than dead. It's not even "Weekend at Bernie's" dead -- it's "Weekend at Bernie's 2" dead.

These jokes aren't "Cocoon" old, they are "Cocoon 2: The Return" old.

The Lakers look more like they're searching for little challenges to stay focused. Which is fine if you're a 70-win team or defending champs, but in this case, neither applies.

Yes, if you win 69 games then it is not fine to search for challenges to stay focused. You should be completely focused on the task at hand of winning one more game. Once you hit that 70 win mark, search away my friends, because now you need to find more challenges. I hope Bill imparts this knowledge to the team he puts together once he is the GM of the Timberwolves. I think stuff like this would go over well.

(Bill talking to a free agent) "Do you love playing with your teammates?"

(Free agent) "Well, normally I do. It depends on the teammate."

(Bill) "What is your position on excessive man-hugging and high fives? I am going to need you to giggle with your teammates and demonstrate joy like Daniel in Karate Kid 2. Can you do that?"

(Free agent gets up, stares at Celtics memorabilia on the wall for a second, and leaves)

4:59: Coming back from commercial, we see Yao limping off in the tunnel surrounded by trainers and concerned Houston GM Daryl "Stop Calling Me Dork Elvis" Morey.

Bill's nickname for Morey is so creative! Everything Bill does is creative!

I also think Bill believes he could be an NBA GM because he knows Daryl Morey. I don't know who to blame for this.

But guys such as Wade, Pierce and Kobe routinely jack up 3s at the end of the shot clock, at the end of games with two guys on them, at the end of the quarter, in "last shot of a tie game" situations and so on. If someone such as Pierce shoots 35 percent on 3-pointers, actually, that's infinitely more impressive than Ariza's 32 percent. So why not make "wide-open 3-point percentage" a statistic? If you have time to set your feet, lock and load to get off a good shot, that's a wide-open 3. The point is this: For all the wide-open shots Ariza takes, he should be at 40 percent minimum. He's just not that good.

So if you have time to set your feet, lock and load to get off a "good" shot, it is a wide open 3 point shot? This doesn't sound like it would be hard to quantify at all. We just have to figure out what determines setting your feet, "locking and loading," and what a "good shot" is. Vague words like that wouldn't be hard to quantify at all since each specific player has his own definition of his feet being set and a "good shot" changes depending on each possession. Wouldn't it just be easier to have one statistic and try not to jack up too many 3 point shots at the end of the shot clock? Or would that mess up Bill's hyperbolic example that probably happens once a game or so to Wade, Pierce and Bryant? Whatever, this is a dumb statistic because it is nearly impossible to quantify.

(Wait, this game is being played in front of Lakers fans who are supposed to be cheering their team and affecting the game? Are we sure?)

I have to admit Los Angeles fans do seem pretty unaffected by the game. Of course I am an Atlanta Braves fan, so I can't talk too much. The attendance is like 14,000 per game and yet it is supposed to be one of the top 5 most popular MLB franchises in polls where people are asked to name their favorite team. I don't get it.

From Bill's Twitter last night:

"Von Wafer has already showered and left the locker room ... and now, he's driving around LA ramming into pedestrians. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"
from web

Can we get a split-screen of Artest & Wafer driving a white Explorer 25 MPH on the 405 with 45 police cars and 8 helicopters following them?
from web

(Either an OJ Simpson reference or a little subtle racism here...or maybe a little of both) Watch out Los Angeles! There are angry, black men on the loose in your town! Good thing the Celtics didn't lose tonight, if Bill had walked Rufus into Compton again tonight, you never know what might happen. You know Minnesota doesn't have a Compton, which means he can walk his dog anywhere without scary minorities invading his lilly-white existence, maybe he will fit in there after all.

Two notes at the end:

1. Literally 10 seconds after I posted this, I saw that Manny had been suspended 50 games for using steroids or some other steroid like substance. Obviously Bill Simmons will have a reaction to this and I will probably write about the horseshit excuses he uses to show that Manny did not use steroids in Boston. This week will go from No-Bill Simmons Week to All-Bill Simmons Week. He is going to be sure to say Manny never used the steroids in Boston.

I wonder if Bill still thinks Manny is underrated.

2. If you see an article about a girl named Nicole Catsouras who got in a car crash, feel free to read the article. Two policemen posted the photos of the crash online and the story is sad but I would not, again I repeat not, look at the photos. I have a very strong stomach and I looked at a couple of them and wanted to vomit. Unless you have a really strong stomach and like to see people's head's detached, you won't want to see these pictures. I am just warning everyone because I made the mistake of looking at them.


AJ said...

All you need to know about his "article" this week is from these sentences:

"Sounded like the perfect time for a retro-diary of the fourth quarter. Let's join TNT's broadcast with Houston leading 70-67."

"You could say I enjoyed everything about Game 1, even if it took me an extra day to watch it."

So did he enjoy EVERYTHING about game 1, or just the part he watched, which was the 4th quarter?

I will say this, my wife watches The Hills show, and I have never ever ever found myself discussing anything in that show for more then 1 min. She knows its fake, still watches it, and doesn't feel the need to discuss it since she knows what goes on is completely made up. And yes I make fun of her for watching this, but to her credit, she is 25, not I guess she is kinda within the age range for that show, unlike Bill and his "wife".

I like how he makes fun of the new Yankee stadium, yet it looks exactly the same as the old one. Yes it was a dumb idea to make seats that no one will every buy, but that can be corrected.

His new 3 point stat is great, I love that idea. While we are at it, we need to make up a stat for 2 point shots as well...and layups, and dunks. Seperate all FG attempts to include "wide open" attemps and "contested" attempts. Pierce, sorry to say, is not a good 3 point shooter. Not because his are the only ones contested in the league, its because he simply doesn't shoot that well from there.

Speaking of Pierce, if that was him leaving the court and not Yao there would have been a wheel chair involved and then Bill going nuts that this guy could return to the game. Oh wait, this did happen to him...weird.

RuleBook said...

I have to admit Los Angeles fans do seem pretty unaffected by the game. Of course I am an Atlanta Braves fan, so I can't talk too much. The attendance is like 14,000 per game and yet it is supposed to be one of the top 5 most popular MLB franchises in polls where people are asked to name their favorite team. I don't get it.

The problem is that the most popular teams in a sport are so popular because they have a national following, not necessarily because they have a passionate local following. The Braves have a ton of fans all over the nation, but only those that live near Atlanta can consistently make it to the home games. The reason the Braves don't have a great home crowd is the same reason that the Lakers don't have a great home crowd and that the Cowboys don't have a great home crowd despite the fact that they are all among the most popular teams in their sports.

On the other hand, teams like the Seahawks and the Titans are known for having excellent fans because they have a passionate local fan base despite having very few fans outside their local area. Quality of fans has very little to do with national popularity, it has to do with the teams local popularity.

Bengoodfella said...

AJ, that is a great point. It seems hard to enjoy everything about Game 1 when you only watch the 4th quarter. Of course, he may be referring to the fact the Lakers lost the game...and that is what he enjoyed.

As far as the Hills go, I am in a similar situation, but fortunately the NBA Playoffs have been on so we have been engrossed in that. My fiance is 25 as well so she gets made fun of for watching it when I don't get a chance to divert her attention. I know Bill and his "wife" are not that old but it's getting to the point a long drawn out conversation about the show becomes mildly pathetic.

As for Yankee Stadium, it does look a lot like the older one. I haven't had a chance to go yet, but I do think it is going to get a little prestige once the Yankees start winning. It may just take some time.

I think we should separate all field goal attempts into "contested" and "wide open" and then have sub categories for the left side and right side of the basket until the point the numbers eventually mean nothing. I don't think his field goal percentage idea is very good.

Pierce is not a good 3 point shooter, in fact the Celtics often to go House or Allen when it comes time for a 3 point shot. I like the comparison to Pierce with Yao going out of the game. I laughed at it.

Rulebook, that is a great observation. I wish it was different because it annoys me when I see the stadium so empty. I wonder if your observation can extend to why college teams are so popular and fans are so passionate, because there is a group of people in a concentrated area? I wish the Braves had a more passionate local following...of course I am not exactly local.

That is a great observation that the quality of the fan base is how passionate the local fan base is.

Fred Trigger said...

Pierce may not be much of a 3 point shooter but, he beats the shit out of Antoine Walker when he played with the C's. I remeber watching the bombs away squad trying to get through the 2002 playoffs by just chucking up 3's every posession. It was insanity.

And Ben: You cant possibly have a fiancee. You are a blogger and you live in your moms attic. Clearly you are in violation of blogger law, if this is indeed true.

The Casey said...

How could you trust Simmons not to trade Al Jefferson back to the Celtics for Mikki Moore, or something equally stupid?

And I'll say this in Wallace's defense. He has two (2) other PGs (Mike Conley, Javaris Crittenton) with 1-3 years experience in the NBA. He doesn't need 3 young PGs on the same team. I'm sure that he has seen these guys in practice, or at least has scouts and coaches who have, and probably used that knowledge to decide which one to trade. I could see keeping an older PG to tutor two younger ones, but having three (3) young PGs on a team is essentially a waste of resources. It is, admittedly, a gamble to trade one, but it's only a really stupid trade if they pick another PG with the 1st rounder they got.

And don't you think Daryl Morey is pushing Bill to do this while laughing behind his back? I can't wait until Bill gets a GM job and his "buddy" Morey takes his man-cherry in his first trade.

You beat me to it, RuleBook. TBS is responsible for the Braves' national following. When I was growing up there was one non-Braves MLB game on TV a week. Maybe if you lived in a team's market, you would get their games, but for people in Montana, Idaho, and other out-of-the-way places, there was just the Saturday baseball game of the week and TBS.

Damn, I thought I was going to be able to break the Manny news.

Anonymous said...

i made that comment about Simmons making a tasteless joke last night. I realize now I was kinda wrong because when I read it I immediately thought of Nick Adenhart, whereas I realize now Adenhart wasn't a pedestrian. Regardless Simmons, you are not funny!

You posted a link to that article about him yesterday, and it's kinda strange, because on the one hand, Simmons's career is a great success: he's in a prime position at the largest sports site in the world making lots of money and is able to sit around and jack off to MTV all day, yet he's also a failure: He couldn't cut it as a second-string comedy writer, will never get any of his ideas or scripts greenlighted because they are all so horrible, his potential in mediums other than print are limited because his personality and voice are so annoying (I really don't have anything against his voice though most do, his personality is what makes it so grating), and even in print, he's shown that he's completely incapable of writing a book.

Bengoodfella said...

Fred, I very clearly recall Walker when he played for the Celtics. When I was playing pick up ball in college, whenever I would brick a three point shot I used to do a horrible mockery of his shake. No one found it clever but I still did it because he was horrible and would not stop shooting.

I am lying...I have never even see a real girl, much less dated one. I don't want to break blogger code or anything. How about if we both live in my mom's attic, would that be breaking any code?

Casey, I was actually thinking about that...seriously. I think Scalabrine, Perkins, and Moore for Love and Jefferson works. I tried to use the ESPN Trade Machine and failed, so I could not be an NBA GM and don't know for sure, but I think he could do this trade.

I was actually think about that as well Casey and this is where I am guilty of thinking what those who read what I wrote were going to say. I thought someone would tell me Crittendon sucks so the trade still did not make sense or that Wallace should have gotten more for Lowry. That's what I get for trying to outthink what others will say about my ideas.

I completely think Morey is pushing Bill to do this for calling him "Dork Elvis." This is going to all be a great joke until Morey throws a Shane Battier, Luis Scola and a 1st round pick for Al Jefferson and Bill bites on it.

I figured TBS is responsible for the Brave's popularity, I guess I just assumed everyone who lives in Atlanta would want to go to the games. I like that they are popular, I just wish it would turn into actual fans at the game. I guess not.

AJ, actually told me about the Manny story and I put it in the comment to the previous post. I am going to hold out on commenting until we know a little more but I really would like to see what Bill writes and the excuse I have heard so far from Manny has been weak.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I still don't think it was in great taste and the comment about that and Artest screamed of "scary minorities on the loose," which is obviously stupid.

What little I have heard of Simmons voice really isn't that bad. I don't mind it, I thought that article was right on about him though. He is a huge success at ESPN but I think he just has an absolutely massive ego and that is what annoys me the most about him. He has a great job, yet he complains any time ESPN tells him he can't do something. I hate to keep saying this but I think it was because he was spoiled as a child and it causes him to think everything is about him. He doesn't want to be told what to by his employer, doesn't want any criticism of his articles (so no comments) and generally is very enamored with himself.

He is a very talented writer though and I said something about he is hitting his creative ceiling, which I think may be true. It's pretty clear he is trying to stretch out and do other things, which is why he is writing his book. I can go on forever but the article was right and I think he has tired and will continue to try and spread his wings.

Bengoodfella said...

I may need to take a 1 day break from Bill Simmons. He has posted his article about Manny using steroids and it is like everything else in the world that Bill talks about. It deals directly with the impact this is going to have on Bill Simmons and his family, it has nothing to do with Manny or anything, it is completely about Bill Simmons, his family and how Manny testing positive impacts on him.

Seriously, everything is about him. If aliens came down and took over the world, he would somehow make the Alien Takeover about him.

Fred Trigger said...

I'll give him this, though. That manny article was pretty well written, I thought. Hey, at least he wasnt being a homer.

The Casey said...

Also, he reminds me of Jackie Moon in Semi-Pro (probably because I just saw it on HBO) with his promotional ideas. I'm only willing to support Simmons for GM if he's going to wrestle a bear.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, it was pretty well written and I am glad he did not make excuses for anyone. I am glad he did that. Sometimes I really like what he writes and I have to decide if this was a case or not. At least he was not a homer though, that is very true.

Still, everything is about him. I am not changing my opinion on that.

Fred Trigger said...

hey man, I'm not going to twist your arm.

The one thing I took exception to is the bill mueller comments. If memory serves, bill was a very thin 3rd baseman who hit for average, some power, and took his walks. The sox got him for so cheap because everyone was worried about his knees falling apart. He had the talent, this was not some scrub who all of a sudden had a good year. I'm not saying he didnt do anything, but that a poor example.

The other one was millar. Millar, as we all know, spent his last season with the Marlins before trying to head to Japan. The Marlins ballpark is insanely cavernous and not friendly to RH pull hitters (ex: Mike Lowell) but fenway is. So his numbers going up are extremely plausible.

ivn said...

Bill and Kevin McHale working in the same offices? That's something I'd like to see. I'd love to see Billy following around McHale like a puppy and bugging the shit out of him.

"Kevin! hey Kevin! remember when you clotheslined Kurt Rambis?"
"that was AWESOME. only Boston Celtic players would have the grittiness to do that!"
"yeah, I guess so. look, I gotta meet with the scouts and--"
"and when you played on a broken foot in the '87 playoffs? that was INCREDIBLE!"
"well I did what I had to, but look, I really have to--"
"I was at EVERY GAME! my dad had season tickets RIGHT BY THE TUNNEL and we could watch everyone! I remember seeing you walk through the tunnel, and even though you kinda walked like an old man, you just LOOKED like a guy who could play, and then..."

how long before McHale snaps?

ivn said...

sorry, I just realized that sounded very Simmons-esque.

Bengoodfella said...

Fred, I know you are not twisting my arm at all about that.

I don't think anyone on the Red Sox team was on steroids honestly. I don't even know about Manny and Ortiz, I don't want him to overreact to this. I am trying to think of some other guys on the team who could hit who potentially would have been on steroids and I can't right now. I may not be thinking of someone though...

I don't think Mueller was at all and Millar has had similar numbers after and before that if I am not wrong.

Ivn, I don't think that sounds like Bill Simmons. I do love fake conversations and voices though. I don't know if Bill could work in the same office as Kevin McHale. he would probably ask what it was like playing with Larry Bird and since Bird rode McHale hard most of the time, McHale would probably ruin Bill's day and tell him something negative.

Fred Trigger said...

haha, I think I know where your going with that. The two names that pop into my head are Gabe Kapler, and Nomar.

Bengoodfella said...

Actually I wasn't really thinking of Nomar since he wasn't actually on the 2004 final roster...I really thought I may have forgotten someone...but since you brought it up. I saw that pic of Nomar on the cover of SI in 2001 and I immediately thought that he was roided up. He's a part of the group that I have no proof of, but think it is pure speculation. I really don't believe anyone on the 2004 team was on steroids.

Nomar, I really, really am not sure though, but I don't count him as being on the team at that time. Don't worry, I may not love the Red Sox teams but I think they were pretty clean.

Fred Trigger said...

funny story. Me and my friend went to NH day at fenway in...03 I think. They were giving out free nomar cards. well, wouldnt you know it, we ended up sneaking down to the section where all the wives sat and came upon Mia Hamm sitting right across from us. So us, being the smartass idiots that we were, asked her to sign the nomar cards. Suprisingly, she happily obliged. The best part was we ended up being on the front page of the Union Leader the next day. I went into work ( I was a waiter at the time) and there I saw the picture cut out and hanging above the serving line. My boss just said "even on your off days, I just cant get away from you." Oh man, good times.

Bengoodfella said...

I have heard that Mia Hamm is really nice. I know she still comes back to UNC (where she went to school) down here and everyone says she is really down to earth and nice. I guess knowing that I am not surprised she signed the Nomar cards.

You should have asked her if he was on steroids...then she would not have signed probably. Haha...that is funny they cut the picture out. It would have been horrible if you had lied and taken the day off to do it and then they busted you. Glad you didn't do that.

Fred Trigger said...

that picture was hanging up for the longest time, too. Until the owner came in and declared that he was sick of looking at it. It wouldnt've mattered if I lied. For some strange reason, they loved me there, so I wouldnt've gotten fired, or anything like that.

I thought the same thing when I saw that SI cover. I remember showing my friend and he thought I was gay. I was like "Dude, hes built like a fucking marine!" haha, he thought I was crazy. Although, he also thought I was crazy when I suggested putting seats on top of the monster in 97'.

Just call me "nostratrigger"

Jeremy Conlin said...

I think you're being overly harsh on Simmons' campaign for T'Wolves GM. The main point of his argument was that 75% of the GM's in the league stink anyway, so it isn't likely that he'd be worse than anyone else. His other point is that he won't have to resort to a lot of the panic-type moves that a lot of NBA GM's make because they're afraid they might lose their job. Simmons doesn't have to worry about that, because he has his ESPN column to fall back on.

Minnesota is completely irrelevant on a national scale, hasn't had a winning record in any of the past 4 years, was 27th in attendance last year, and overall, nobody cares. A controversial hire as a GM would cause at the very least, a stirring. People would talk about it. It would get Minnesota's fan's engaged, something that hasn't happened in 5 years. They're a bad team to begin with, so what do they possibly have to lose?

There's already precedent for non-NBA people to get high-position jobs. Sam Presti, the GM of Kevin Durant's team, is 32 and never played beyond Div. III basketball. Bill's friend Daryl Morey is 36 and was a stat geek at MIT, and now he's the Houston GM. Bryan Colangelo never played a minute in the NBA, and he was the GM of Phoenix and now Toronto. And those guys are generally considered to be three of the better GM's in the league. Mark Cuban said, "One of the biggest misnomers in sports is that you just get a basketball person and let him run it. There's no other business in America that would get a salesperson to run it just because he was the best salesperson." Simmons has credentials. He knows people in the league. He knows how salary structure works. He understands the game and knows what not to do. I don't understand what makes him any less qualified than anyone else.

One last thing. I think your analysis of Kyle Lowry is off-base. It doesn't have to do with his numbers, it has to do with his impact on the floor. He's one of the best rebounding point guards in the league (8th in the league in Rebound Rate), and plays phenomenal defense. He doesn't turn the ball over much, and he's doing all of this on a good team. Beno Udrih and C.J. Watson both put up better numbers, but they do it on crappy teams. If you were running an NBA team, who would you rather have, Lowry, Udrih, or Watson? I'm picking Lowry.

Bengoodfella said...

Fred, it must have been nice to have them like you so much like that. Haha...I may have to use your Nostratrigger powers at some point in the future. Remind me to do that.

Jeremy, why I am not surprised you think I am off base on Bill not being a good GM? Just because the rest of the GMs suck doesn't mean Bill will be good. The best reason to hire him as a GM is not because he couldn't screw it up worse than anyone else. NBA GM's do have other things to fall back on, it's not like they are bums that come off the street, so they make a panic move to keep such a high profile position just like Bill would end up doing if he had to. Because he is a successful columnist doesn't make him immune to making a panic move just like because many other GM's were successful in other arenas it did not prevent them from making a panic move.

If the team wants the fan base to get engaged, I am sure there are other ways to do it. Like hire a GM who could actually put together a successful team. The engagement of the fan base would end quickly if Bill was not successful.

Regardless of the precedent of other GM's not having previous NBA experience, they had prior experience in something before they became the GM of the team. Bill doesn't want to be the assistant GM, he wants to be the top dog. I think that is where you are missing the point. Other non-NBA GM's start off somewhere else in the NBA before getting the actual title. Bill has never been involved in any capacity with an NBA team and now he wants to be the top dog. You can't be Simmons blinded enough to see that makes no sense.

I said nothing negative about Kyle Lowery. You gave me a choice between three random players, of course I will choose Lowery out of those players. You can't prove a point by giving me three shitty choices and then proclaiming that Lowery is great when I choose him. I am not going to convince you, I have given up ever trying. An NBA team should be able to replicate those numbers from a point guard chosen in the 1st round is all I was saying. That's it. Tony Parker, Rajon Rondo, and countless others were chosen at the end of the 1st round and they turned out to be quality players. I am not defending the trade, just saying a first round pick should be able to put up those they had enough PG's already so they could choose someone with that pick who helps them at another position...assuming the team chooses wisely which is the problem with Chris Wallace.

Jeremy Conlin said...

Here's the thing though. If the T'Wolves hire David Kahn (their #1 target right now), how is that going to get their fans excited? None of them know who the hell David Kahn is. If they hire Simmons, that's going to be a lead story on Sportscenter and PTI and Around The Horn. It builds a buzz. Hiring David Kahn doesn't create any buzz, because, like I said, the average fan doesn't know the difference between David Kahn and Sasha Kahn.

What I don't get is why Minnesota would hire Kahn, who did a pretty crappy job in Indiana from '98-'02 (responsible for the Jalen Rose contract extension, Austin Croshere's extension, and his two first-round picks were Vonteego Cummings and Primoz Brezec) over rolling the dice and hiring someone unconventional. Again, like I said, they haven't had a winning record in 4 years. What do they have to lose? Do they really think Simmons is so dumb that he'd trade Al Jefferson and Kevin Love? Probably not, considering those are two of his favorite players in the league.

If I was Minnesota, here's what I would do:

I would announce that I was going to bring in Simmons to interview for the position of GM. That at the very least is going to get people talking. And maybe we have a "wink, wink" agreement that I'm really only doing it for the press. But maybe he blows me away with the interview, and even if I don't give him the GM job, maybe I keep him on in some capacity, or I'll put in a good word for him the next time a GM position opens up.

At this point, Minnesota should be operating under the "Why The Hell Not" Umbrella. They realistically can't do much worse than they're already doing, so why go after some failed GM that's already been spit out somewhere else when you can take a chance on someone, generate some press, and maybe he does great? It just doesn't make any sense to me. It doesn't have to be Simmons in particular, just anything that isn't a lateral move.

I agree with you that Simmons immediately taking over the position of GM doesn't make a ton of sense basketball-wise, but from a PR standpoint, it's leaps and bounds better than anything else they can do. And like I said, at this point, Minnesota should care more about getting their fans excited, because they're losing money hand over fist. Hiring Simmons, or anyone else interesting or unconventional, is a no-lose situation. He already said he'd do the first year free if he can write a book about it, so it would be saving them a ton of money. So why the hell not? What do they have to lose?

AJ said...

Kyle Lowery? Who? Exactly. I'm confused with your rebounding rate stuff. 8th in the league, so what? The guy averages 23 mins a game, and 2.8 rebounds a game.

"If you were running an NBA team, who would you rather have, Lowry, Udrih, or Watson? I'm picking Lowry."

Ummm none of the above? Is that an answer? Or am I forced to pick one of them? And if so, can I just quit my job now before I get fired? If I'm starting a team, and those are my choices, I'm pretty much screwed.

Ben, I'd be completly shocked if Ortiz didn't use PEDs. The guy was a nobody, all of a sudden turned into a monster, then quickly turned back into a nobody. How is he doing right now? Still at 0 HRs? Still hitting around .200? Oh and he had the same trainer as ARod.

Minny should hire whoever they see fit for GM. They could bring in ARod at this point if they wanted to create a "buzz". I use buzz lightly, cuz no matter what no one will care what they do. I'm going to start a movement to try and get hired for the that would create a buzz. "A nobody from Michigan takes over as GM of the Wolves, who is this guy and why did he get the job?".

Bengoodfella said...

I guess I am weighing the competency factor a little too heavily against the excitement factor. I would think the fans would want someone semi-competent who has proven he could be a General Manager in the NBA based on his previous track record of working in the league. I see what you are saying about the excitement factor but I think this is a very short term emotion when compared to the fact the Wolves need someone who knows what he is doing. If they want buzz, they could hire a monkey to be the General Manager, and they wouldn't even have to pay it to do the job.

I am not as angered by Bill Simmons getting a job interview with Minnesota as much as I am angered that he has such little respect for those who work in the NBA to believe he could truly just step in as a General Manager and turn a team around or even use bad the logic that he couldn't do any worse as a reason to hire him.

I do know very little about David Kahn but many other head guys have done poorly in their first attempt at being a GM or a head coach. His first attempt at being a GM, may actually make him successful the second time...or most likely he will stink. I just don't buy the "what do they have to lose?" argument because they need someone who can turn the team around, not make a public splash that is short lived.

I wouldn't say hiring him is a no-lose situation because there is a possibility he could do more damage to the team's core, regardless of how much he loves Al Jefferson or Kevin Love. Heck, even his love for them could prevent him from improving the team.

I think there is a little bit too much focus on PR stuff right now rather than actually hiring competent candidate. I remember when the Carolina Panthers went 1-15 and the team was hiring for a head coach. Phillip Fulmer, Steve Spurrier, Tony Dungy, and many other more high profile coaches were getting everyone excited but then they hired John Fox who was fresh off a beating in the Super Bowl the year before by the Ravens. Nobody knew who he was and no one was excited until they started winning. I would just favor a smart GM move or a really sexy PR GM move.

I just don't buy into the "what do they have to lose" line of thinking. It's not exactly smart business.

Jeremy Conlin said...

Rebound Rate is the percentage of missed shots that a player rebounds. What this does is it factors out things like the pace of the game. For example, Portland finished just 14th in the league in total rebounds per game (41.7 per), but since they play at a much slower pace than most teams, they finished 1st in rebound rate (53.5%). Lowry's 2.8 rebounds doesn't sound too impressive, but when you factor in that he only plays 22 minutes per game, and plays on a team that plays a very slow pace, it's more impressive. Per 36 minutes, Lowry averages 4.6 rebounds per game, a much more impressive total for a 6'0" point guard.

And if you think you're screwed with Lowry, then you clearly don't watch him play enough. He's probably one of the 2 or 3 best backup point guards in the league, and he's definitely better than a handful of starters. He's probably not going to be an All-Star, but he can definitely be an effective cog on a playoff team (as he's doing this year).

And returning to the trade, it was dumb because he had consistently out-played Mike Conley over the last two years, but they dumped him for a crappy pick in one of the weakest drafts in recent memory. It's unlikely that they'll be able to get an effective point guard with that pick considering New Orleans, Sacramento, and Atlanta all draft pretty close ahead of them, and all of those teams are looking for backup point guards. In retrospect, it didn't turn out that horrible for them, because Conley has played well since the trade, but they still could have gotten more for Lowry, like an expiring contract or future conditional picks.

Bengoodfella said...

I think AJ meant starting a team with those three, he is screwed, not having one has his backup point guard.

Again, I am not really arguing about the merits of Kyle Lowery but I think this year's draft is pretty strong in regards to point guards and I think you agree because you said so on your latest blog posting...or at least inferred so. The thing is that Memphis doesn't need a point guard because they have Conley so it doesn't matter how strong the class for point guards is and if they do, this class seems pretty strong with them. Sure, they may need a backup but I doubt they will choose one with their first pick in the draft. I have no idea what Memphis will choose. I know it will probably not be a good selection though.

AJ, you really think Ortiz used steroids? I would be very disappointed if it turned out that he did. You have a point about his season right now though. I wonder if anyone is clean anymore?

That is what I was talking about with Jeremy here, about the need for a buzz. I guess I just don't get it. I just don't think the team is at the point they should put someone with zero experience in charge of the position of General Manager. I think I should be the editor for a major newspaper. They are declining in popularity anyway. What do they have to lose?

AJ said...

You are completely right, I have not watched this Lowry guy play. I live in Detroit, I don't get many Portland games on my networks. And even if i were to watch a game, i'm not sure I would pay much attention to the backups.

And thats exactly what I meant Ben. If I was starting a team, would i choose any of those answer would be no. Why would I start a team and build around a backup PG? If you said who would you choose to be your back up PG if starting a team, that is different (and I still would not pick him).

And I for one could care less what a player WOULD average if they played more...the fact is, they don't play much because they just aren't good enough to. Per 36 mins he averages 4.6 or whatever doesnt matter, he doesnt play 36 mins. I believe if he played 36-40 mins a night that the team probably sucks.

Yes I believe 100% Ortiz used PEDs. Of course thats just my view, in no way does that mean anything.

P.S. Everyone please email the Wolves president and tell them you want me as the next GM of the team. Lets see if I can get an interview at least.

Bengoodfella said...

I sent the email to the Timberwolves President already nominating you. Lowery also plays in Houston, not Portland. Actually Portland would probably want him as their starting point guard. I think you proved your point that you haven't seen him play though.

I don't know how Lowery would perform if given more minutes but I think the one thing some of those 36 minute defensive values don't factor in is the declining value of a player when he does play more minutes and the more he gets exposed.

I don't think Ortiz did use PED's but given his performance after leaving Minnesota his numbers do kind of bear it out. He went from a great platoon hitter to one of the best LH hitters in the game. I don't know what to attribute that to.

I think you should be the next GM of the Timberwolves or the Pistons at least.

AJ said...

Those 36 mins don't tell anything, in fact they are completely garbage. This guy is a backup, which probably means he is playing against the 2nd unit of the other team. Of course his numbers are going to look good, he isn't playing against startes most of the time. If thats the case, then anyone who plays in garbage time with their team up by 20 points with 2 mins left, and they grab 2 boards and score 2 points...what does that say about their 36 min averages? The guy would average 36 points and 36 rebounds!

Sweet, I'll be waiting for my interview call. I'll let you know how it goes, and maybe I can hire some of you guys to help run the team, since clearly you don't need any sort of experiance, just general knowledge of the game (like, shoot ball, score ball).

Bengoodfella said...

As soon as you get the phone call, and I just sent another email, I would love to have a job. I would like to be the Assistant to the Assistant Assistant General Manager. My job would be to watch college basketball. That's all I want.

AJ said...

What? You do know that as a GM you wouldn't need to watch college hoops, just pay attention to so called experts and pick players based on that. Simple.

I don't know if you are cut out for this type of job, you think to much and base your decisions on actual evidence and not just by being a biased watcher.

Bengoodfella said...

Whoops. I meant to say I will sit in the office and play with the NBA Trade Machine and then tell the Assistant Assistant GM some of my ideas.

Also, we will sign players who wave a towel and show a lot of emotion. Our players may have no talent but they will be good for some Unintentional Comedy.

Jeremy Conlin said...

AJ, if you watched the Rockets on any consistent basis, you would know that their crunch-time lineup often consists of Aaron Brooks, Lowry, Shane Battier, Ron Artest, and Yao. Or sometime they use Lowry with their first unit, going bigger with Carl Landry or Luis Scola instead of Brooks. And even during the times that he's playing against the other team's 2nd unit, doesn't the fact that he consistently out-plays the other point guard mean anything? The argument that I was making was that he was the best backup point guard in the league, and is definitely better than a handful of starters. He has the potential to be a good 5th wheel on a championship contender, and the Grizzlies were stupid to trade him.

I also want to bring up one last thing from the original post. Simmons' point about wide-open 3-pt percentage is actually a good one. A lot of teams keep wide-open 3-pt percentage as a stat. The fact of the matter is, if you are the team's primary ball-handler (like Kobe, Wade, LeBron, or whoever), you're probably going to have to throw up a few ill-advised jumpers at the end of shot clocks, or at the end of a quarter, or whatever. You yourself say this happens about once a game. Well, that adds up to about 80 times per season. So, let's say that on those "clock-beating threes," said player shoots only about 25% (I don't think that's too unreasonable). So that's 20 makes per season. So if you take Kobe, and take away those 80 attempts and 20 makes,, and his 3-pt percentage jumps from 34% to 38%. Wade's jumps from 31% to 34%. LeBron's jumps from 34% to 37%. And, I would argue that it happens more than once per game, probably closer to 150 times per season (almost 2 per game), then the numbers jump even more. Conversely, players like Ariza (from Bill's example), 99% of the time aren't handling the ball in those situations. In Ariza's case, Kobe would have the ball. So for players like that, their 3-pt % is what it is. The majority of their attempts are open shots. So, if you take Ariza (31.9%) and Caron Butler, (31.0%), I would argue that Butler is actually a better 3-pt shooter, because he has to force more of these "clock-beating 3's" than Ariza does. I'm not sure what game it was, but I'm 99% sure that Jeff Van Gundy mentioned something along these lines during the regular season. It's a smart statistic to keep, and to the best of my knowledge, a number of teams do keep track of it (I know for a fact that Houston, Boston, Portland, Kevin Durant's Team, San Antonio, Dallas, and Miami do).

Bengoodfella said...

I was not saying the wide open 3 pt shot was a stupid statistic overall, I was saying there is really no way to quantify exactly what counts as a wide open three point shot. Sure, if a player has no one else around him it is wide open but what makes it wide open? If you take out the desperation three pointers at the end of a game or the shot clock, then yes, this will be easy to quantify, but outside of that I would have a problem.

I did not say it was a stupid statistic, I said it was dumb because if you go with the definition Bill gave it, it seems hard to quantify. Of course you can throw out the desperation 3 pt shots but otherwise I am not sure what a wide open 3 pt shot would be. It just seems sort of vague to me.

Oh, and Kevin Durant's team is called Oklahoma City, it's just fine to call them by their name. I won't tell Bill.

I love your contributions in the comments here Jeremy, a little disagreement never hurt anyone, but I only see you post on Bill Simmons and basketball related posts, do you like any other sports? Or are you a basketball person?

Jeremy Conlin said...

I spend about 95% of my waking hours watching, discussing, reading, or writing about basketball (especially during this time of year), but I peripherally follow the Indians and Patriots during baseball and football seasons. Also, I'm on your side about guys like Peter King and Gregg Easterbrook and Jay Mariotti and all the other guys you poke fun at, so I don't really feel like it's necessary to post comments like "Yeah, Peter King is an idiot, good work." At least that's how I am. I won't write 500 words telling you why I agree with you, but I'll definitely write 500 telling you why I disagree with you, so I guess that's why you really only see me with Simmons/NBA stuff.

Bengoodfella said...

I got you. So when you feel I am wrong about something, I will get to hear from you. That sounds fair enough to me.

I guess that is kind of how I am with some of those writers you mentioned. If they write something bad, I will post about it.