Wednesday, July 29, 2009

18 comments Bill Simmons Quote-athon Part 1

I wanted to start this day off saying if you really believe Brett Favre is retired and is going to stay retired, then I have some land with oil under it I would like to sell you for a cheap, cheap price. I love how the media is treating this decision Favre made like it is his final decision. How many times has he changed his mind about retiring? And I am supposed to believe him now? No thanks. I will believe it when Favre puts in his retirement papers. It's all about keeping his name in the media, I think he craves the attention. I guess we will see if he stays retired or not.

To make matters worse Jim Johnson, the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, died and ESPN puts Brett Favre's 5th retirement/unretirement with analysis on the front page and relegates Johnson's death believe a story on Favre, Plaxico Burress, and Mark Buerhle. Johnson was one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, at least give the guy top headline when he dies...but a death pales in comparison to any announcement Brett Favre makes.

I was originally going to ignore Part 1 of Bill Simmons' "Almost Famous"/NBA quote-fest, but I have decided against it. Bill is more knowledgeable about the NBA then I am, but this of course is not going to stop me from criticizing him and what he says.

In a mid-July B.S. Report with Chris Connelly, we tried to determine the decade's defining movie. My three qualifications? Excellence, originality and (this is crucial) rewatchability.

Another article from a writer of ESPN. Known to everyone as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, with a little more focus on the entertainment part instead of the sports part over the past couple of years.

I want a movie that's just as good on my 20th viewing as it was on the first. Now, you could argue "The Dark Knight" was the decade's defining movie -- and it very well might be -- but we don't know about its rewatchability yet.

The Dark Knight has been out for over a year now, I think plenty of people have had time to rewatch the movie and test the "rewatchability" of the movie.

Ironically, what movie was Bill originally going to do this article on?

(From Bill's Twitter):

FYI: My 1st choice was to use "The Hangover" for my 2-part NBA/movie column. Couldn't convince them to send me the DVD. Alas.

Don't they know who Bill is? He is a sports columnist who used to work for a third rate talk show. He needs that DVD!

I am not 100% sure how "The Hangover" would have made the cut as the best movie of the decade and passed the "rewatchability" test since it has been in theaters a little bit under two months but "The Dark Knight" can't pass this test and its been out for a year now. Alas, these are the contradictions of Bill Simmons.

Hence, I went with "Almost Famous." Many readers were stunned. "Almost Famous?" they asked. "Really?"

The greatest movie of the decade ladies and gentlemen is "Almost Famous," as proclaimed by Bill Simmons.

Yeah, really. Has there ever been another good drama about the dynamics of a rock 'n' roll band? No, there has not been.

Being the best in its genre alone should elevate this movie to the #1 spot for the decade. Though it did have tough competition from "The Island" if the best movie of the decade is based on that movie being the only good movie on a certain topic.

Has there ever been a better action film about cloning and its effects on human interaction and love many years in the future featuring two actors (Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor) who are not traditionally in action films? I think not.

Now, think about your favorite movies about fictional bands. Give me your top 10. (I'm waiting.) Give me your top five. (Still waiting.) OK, give me one other good one. You can't. The degree of difficulty for "Famous" was off the charts. It was a 10 out of 10. A period piece about a rock band?

Because Cameron Crowe made a period piece about a rock n' roll band and, according to Bill, a good one had never been made before, this is the best movie of the decade.

Bill just keeps convincing me more and more...actually he doesn't but I don't want to get too distracted and focus too much on Bill's choice for movie of the decade because I need to focus on the sports content of the column.

This entire column should have been called "The Boston Sports Guy Sucking Up to Daryl Morey," because that is pretty much what it is.

So begin the quotes (I pretty much leave out most of the quotes because "Almost Famous" doesn't really have that many memorable quotes):

2. And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were ... "I'm on drugs!"

So begins the Morey sucking up...

To the Lakers' fans. If you think your boys improved by swapping Trevor Ariza (a 24-year-old who came into his own this past spring, shot 45 percent from 3-point land, came through repeatedly in the clutch, turned into the NBA's single best defensive swingman and doesn't care about his numbers) for Ron Artest (an unreliable 29-year-old head case/attention hog who slipped noticeably as a perimeter defender these past two seasons and has a knack for taking terrible shots at the worst possible times), then absolutely, you're on drugs.

If I am the Lakers, I don't want either one of these players. Is there a Plan C?

Here is where Bill is wrong. Trevor Ariza is going from a talented team with two great players where he has a guy like Kobe Bryant to push him practice and motivate him, to the Rockets who don't even have a great player on the team at this point. Isn't it a big coincidence that Ariza "comes into his own" during his contract year? Isn't that usually a sign a player is just angling for a new contract and then will go back to being an average player again? So why doesn't Bill think it happen here? Ariza had a good thing going with the Lakers but in Houston he can't just play fourth fiddle and spot up for 3 point shots when he is wide open...because there is no Gasol or Kobe to get him wide open for a three point shot.

Wasn't it Bill Simmons who just a couple of months ago, and I could not find the link, said there should be a statistic for three point shots to differentiate between wide open shots and covered three point shots? I remember because we argued about it here. Bill used Ariza as an example of a guy who wasn't a good 3 point shooter because he shot a decent percentage but was also wide open most of the time. Now all of a sudden Ariza is a steal for the Rockets. Wonder why that is? Was Bill wrong about Ariza or does he just have a huge crush on Daryl Morey and anything he does?

Either way, I don't ever want Artest on my team and I don't need any convincing from Bill or anyone else.

These anecdotes just bounce off people now. Artest is a benevolent crazy. Or so we think. Being around this nuttiness every day is a little different from merely hearing about the nuttiness in secondhand anecdotes. I know for a fact he routinely broke plays on offense and is still a handful behind the scenes, and the Rockets buried every 2008-09 story that would have made this patently clear. For instance, Artest routinely walked around in his underwear in public places: the Rockets' team bus, hotels, you name it. People around the team barely flinched after a while.

If ESPN kept statistics on which columnist relayed the most third person account stories, Bill would be an All-Pro in that category.

If you EVER need a third person account of something that happened, Bill has a friend who knows someone who told Bill a story about that something. (I call it a third person account because Bill is the third person removed from the situation to hear about the account. Someone in the organization tells someone else who tells someone who tells Bill.) I am not saying these stories are not true but Bill is constantly putting himself "in the know" of things by knowing someone who knows someone else who has important and entertaining information.

Here's what happened: Artest missed the first two team buses (the ones for players, coaches and team personnel) from Houston's hotel to the Staples Center and barely made the third and final bus, which was reserved for business staff, sponsors and friends of the team. These stunned people watched Artest sprint to the bus right before it left, jump on and take one of the remaining seats ... yes, wearing only his underwear. Owner Leslie Alexander happened to be sitting on the bus and witnessed the whole thing.

Gosh, I wonder who the source is that told Bill this? Probably his new BFF and idol Daryl Morey.
To Ariza's agent, the immortal David Lee, who stupidly played hardball with L.A. and ignored the glaring "Plan B: Ron Artest" warning signs that had been flashing for two solid years. For the same money L.A. initially offered him, Ariza downgraded from Kobe and Gasol to T-Mac's microfracture surgeon and Yao's foot surgeon.

And yet Bill still thinks it is a great move to put Ariza on a Houston Rockets team. A role player signs with a team that has a bunch of role players. This should work out poorly or turn Daryl Morey into a "Moneyball" type genius. I guess we will see.

Just once, I want to see Bill disagree with his BFF Morey. Here, instead of insulting the General Manager for the signing, like he usually does in pretty much very other situation, he blames the player's agent...because he wants Morey to come to this birthday party in a month and can't piss him off.

To Houston GM Daryl Morey for landing Ariza (the quintessential athletic swingman who can play defense and hit 3s in the playoffs) for the full midlevel exception before he even hits his mid-20s. Total steal.

I wish I could find the article where Bill stated that Ariza is not a good three point shooter because he only makes 35% and they are all wide open. Bill probably had it excised from the Internet. The worst part is that we argued about it in the comments one time. Either way, Bill is contradicting himself now by getting so excited over Ariza (just because Morey got him), when just a couple of months ago he was knocking Ariza for his three point shooting, but now he is lauding him.

Special thanks to Anonymous who found the link and found the exact quote I was talking about:

"3:45: Trevor Ariza misses a 3...That's the single biggest weakness on this L.A. team in crunch time: Ariza's inability to nail that open 3. He made 32 percent of them in the regular season; in the Utah series, he inexpicably caught fire and nailed 11 of 18; tonight, he's 0-for-3.

Which brings me to another way that stats need to get better: I guarantee that 99 percent of Ariza's 3s in 2008-09 were taken when he was wide open...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 even if Bill liked Ariza better than Artest for the Lakers, he is still a little over the top in my opinion his love for him here.

If you were to have a DVD-collection draft with five buddies (and by the way, don't think I haven't done this) in which everyone picks six actors in snake fashion and you get every single movie they made on DVD, Hoffman would be a sneaky late-first-round pick.

I want to know which loser friends of Bill have done this with him. I can't believe a grown man would do something this pointless, but of course I have to throw all belief out the window sometimes when reading something Simmons has written.

To Kevin Durant. Why? He flew to Vegas for summer league even though he wasn't playing, sat on his team's bench every day, cheered his boys on, dispensed advice during timeouts and everything else you'd want from your top gun. All signs point to Durant becoming one of those galvanizing, personable, Duncan-like leaders for the Zombie Sonics.

When I think of Tim Duncan, I don't immediately think of a personable guy who talks a lot and is always in the huddle giving out advice to his teammates. I think of a guy who seems to be very quiet and does cheer his teammates on, but is not exactly the galvanizing type of basketball player. Maybe it is just me, but I have seen him play a few times.

I think Bill just wanted to mention Durant in the same sentence as Tim Duncan to hear how it sounded. Simmons' huge massive crush on Kevin Durant knows no bounds. He will give Durant credit for pretty much anything and will do so shamelessly.

To Milwaukee. Wasn't 50 bucks and a case of Heineken what the Bucks got for Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva? Or was it 100 bucks? I can't remember. And will we ever figure out why they didn't make Villanueva a restricted free agent (keeping his sign-and-trade options open) rather than just jettisoning him completely? I knew this team would fall apart when it hired Lanita Dotson as its GM. I just knew it.

This was a horrible, horrible trade for the Bucks and not getting anything for Villanueva was equally as awful...but Bill just couldn't help but throw a little jab in at the guy who took "his job" as the Bucks GM and compare him to a female inmate who threw feces at another prisoner. I am not sure what throwing feces has to do with being a bad NBA GM.

(Random note: How 'bout Jimmy Fallon wearing a Bee Gees beard and nailing his part as Stillwater's annoying new manager? He's even better in the director's cut. I'd say it was the best acting performance by a late-night host in history, but I don't want Jimmy Kimmel to ban me from his house with football season looming when he just bought a 103-inch plasma that can break into four quadrants. So let's just say Fallon was good. Not as good as a 103-inch plasma that can break into four quadrants, but good.)

What a subtle way of saying that Jimmy Kimmel has a large television AND mentioning that you get to watch football on that television! It was so subtle, I almost didn't get the impression that Bill was being annoying braggart. We know he knows famous people, in fact I would say Bill is "almost famous," but here's the key...nobody cares. Jimmy Kimmel's show lacks funny and Bill wrote for the show and got fired/quit (because Bill is the type of person who would quit something he is good at...note the sarcasm), which means he REALLY lacks funny.

This isn't one of the Great Three Movie What-Ifs of All Time (don't worry, it's covered in my basketball book), but it's definitely worth an honorable mention.

Great, I am glad one of the Great Three Movie What-Ifs of All Time are covered in your book that is supposed to be about basketball. That surely makes a hell of a lot of sense to include something related to movies in a book about basketball.

Speaking of Bill's basketball book, I can't believe when he pimped his book just now, he forgot to include the link! What was his thinking?

There are three guarantees in each Bill Simmons column over the past 3 months:

1. He will try to make more updated pop culture references but only have small success.

2. He will make a comment about how he should be a GM for an NBA basketball team.

3. He will go out of his way to mention his basketball book that comes out this October...when I say out of his way, I mean he will stretch to get a reference about his book coming out in to his columns.

"My dad is retiring and I hope everything works out well for him. He has done everything he ever wanted to do. He hasn't written a book like I have though and that book has never been released this upcoming October, so please go buy it, the link is at the beginning, middle and end of this column. So please go buy it. My entire self esteem is based on others liking me. So please go buy it."

(Speaking of the Trade Machine, multiple readers topped my "improve the Knicks" trade by increasing their projected win total by 79 with this specific trade: This appears to be the pinnacle. You can't do better than plus-79, which would make the 2009-10 Knicks an astonishing 111 and minus-27. I'm almost positive this would be a record. If you can top plus-79, God bless you. Even the Picasso of the Trade Machine couldn't do it.)

It sounds like the Picasso of the Trade Machine isn't a Picasso anymore, but more like a mentally disabled guy who draws decently with his feet...but because it's clear he has very little talent and has a mental deficiency of some type, we lower the bar for him.

That's about as good of a comparison of Bill to Picasso as a bad GM to a feces tossing inmate would be.

Earlier this month, he was arrested for failing to pay nearly a million dollars to a Las Vegas casino. Can't say I was surprised. When Toine played for Boston, he spent money so generously/recklessly that people within the organization were extremely concerned because they all liked him so much.

The King of Third Person Accounts comes through for us.

I just feel bad for him. We chatted for about 20 minutes during this past All-Star Weekend, right as the Suns were going through all that coaching turmoil, and what struck me was how little confidence Nash had in his ability to control his career. Like, he couldn't conceive of being the one who said "I want a trade" or "This needs to get better, or I want out." At one point, I explained to him that he easily could broker a trade to Portland if he wanted; the Blazers had the assets, and cap-friendly assets, to make it worth Phoenix's while.

There you go Steve Kerr, visitor on Bill's podcast and someone Bill supposedly likes, Bill is going to try and convince your best player to force a trade within the division. This isn't a dick move at all.

Nash could follow suit. He's one of the best 40 players ever and deserves to play in a Finals.

Really? Steve Nash is one of the top 40 players of all time in the NBA? I can't believe this is true. Actually, I am going to say this is not true. There's no way. I need to make a list proving this is not true. I will not believe this until somebody proves it to me or I prove it to myself.

Coming Tuesday: Part 2

Great, this is just half of it.


KentAllard said...

I really like the movie Almost Famous, so I'm bitter at Simmons for ruining it for me. I wish he'd picked Deuce Bigelow instead.

Bengoodfella said...

I like Almost Famous also...not sure if it is the best movie of the decade or not. If he had done Dumb and Dumber, I may feel the same way as you.

When he uses those quotes, it's like he is taking ownership of the movie just to make you think of him every time you hear the quotes while watching the movie.

The Casey said...

Ha ha! Peter King's big Tuesday news is that Favre might not stay retired! No shit, Sherlock?

Jeremy Conlin said...

I think you made an error in your logic about the Ariza/Los Angeles/Houston triangle. The Ariza signing was very good for Houston, and very bad for Los Angeles, and very bad for Ariza. The first point that Simmons made was not that Ariza was going to be good on Houston, it was that Los Angeles made a mistake by choosing Artest over Ariza, for all the reasons he mentioned. Ariza is a better fit for LA because he doesn't get in the way, he plays great perimeter defense, and he can knock down open threes. Artest doesn't really do any of those things.

As for Houston, it was a good signing, because they got a good player for a cheap price. It doesn't matter that he doesn't fit spectacularly right now, because chances are they'll find a way to make it work over the next few years. The mistake that was made was by Ariza and his agent, who could have gotten similar offers from Cleveland or Boston, either who would have competed for the title with Ariza, but instead they chose to sign with Houston. I have to agree with Simmons' argument on this piece.

As for the whole "Movie of The Decade," I think Almost Famous is definitely in the discussion, but I don't think it cracks the top 3. My list would be Gladiator, Lord of the Rings 3, and No Country for Old Men. The Dark Knight, Traffic, and Mystic River get honorable mentions from me.

Bengoodfella said...

It is a shock to hear Brett Favre may not stay retired huh? I actually have something about that ready to go for tomorrow, much to everyone's dismay/happiness.

Peter King wrote like three articles about far.

Jeremy, I can see where I may have gotten what Bill was saying wrong. I stand by the fact I think he worships Morey a little bit too much. I don't like the Artest signing for anyone because I actually agree with Bill and thinks he gets by on name recognition rather than talent nowadays. I think LA made a mistake in not choosing Ariza over Artest but I think Ariza made a mistake in choosing Houston.

I don't know if it will work out for Houston in the future, they may be able to put some pieces around Ariza that fit his skill set. I don't hate the Ariza signing but I don't think it made sense for him to go Houston...and Bill did make fun of Ariza not being a good shooter. I may have confused Bill's excitement for Ariza over Artest for Bill's for Ariza overall. I thought he liked Ariza overall, which I don't as much when you put him in Houston.

I wouldn't put Almost Famous too far down in the discussion for best movie but Bill's reasoning for choosing the movie wasn't the best, plus I never thought of it as a quoteable movie.

My top three would definitely have Gladiator in it and I would have to think harder about the other two.

I am glad to see you joined the Yahoo Fantasy League. It should be fun.

ivn said...

I must be one of the very few people on the planet who dislikes "Almost Famous". I'm just not a Cameron Crowe fan.

the Steve Nash thing caught me off guard too...I think I remember when Nash won his second MVP and Billy was vehemently against it on the grounds that only one of the 50 best players of all time would be good enough to win back to back MVPs and that Nash was not in that category. I guess Simmons is a master of revisionist history as well as third person anecdotes.

Bengoodfella said...

I like Almost Famous a lot, there is a certain cuteness about the movie. Of course Cameron Crowe movies have a little bit of cuteness to them sometimes and it works, Jerry Maguire, or it doesn't, Elizabethtown, so it becomes a matter of taste.

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for reminding us all that Bill said Steve Nash did not deserve those back to back MVPs and now he thinks he is one of the top 40 players of all time? That makes zero sense. I need to google that and get the Simmons quote about Nash not being good enough for the back to back MVPs. He is the master of revisionist history AND third person anecdotes. He's so talented!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I thought one of Simmons better pieces of dare I say it "journalism" was when he talked about how the Suns system was overrating all their players ie. Nash

I know you don't listen to the podcasts but in today's Ric Bucher and Mark Stien called him for his homerism to players he has actually met in person. I believe the quote was "if you spend two minutes with an athlete, you then think he's all world."

While the podcasts are brutal, I wish somebody listened to them and covered them because it's where you become aware of how little self-actualization bill simmons has.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, that wasn't one of the worst articles Bill has written. I don't think I covered that on this site because I usually try to lay off him if I think he is right. That's what I don't get, how one minute he is complaining that Nash doesn't deserve MVP awards and the next minute he is one of the top 40 players in the history of the NBA. What has he done over the past two seasons that the MVP awards didn't prove? Also, as related to that Suns column, how is the system overrating Nash yet he is still one of the top 40 players of all time. These are the little things that drive me batty sometimes.

Those critiques by Bucher and Stein are correct. Even the Isiah Thomas feud died down after he spoke with him in Vegas that one time. I don't know if it is human nature or not, but when he meets a player his opinion of them changes. I have to admit that Bill has stated the reason he doesn't go into locker rooms and interview players is because he knows his opinion of those players would change, for better or even worse I guess. At least he is actually self aware of that. Otherwise, I don't think he is aware of the inherent contradiction in getting all excited over Steve Nash.

Martin sometimes listens to them and reports back but sometimes I feel like I need to listen to the podcasts as well. It feels different though to write down what Bill said without being able to copy and paste it on the page. I can't stand his voice but I do feel like I should listen to the podcasts. I have so many excuses for why I don't, I just need to do it.

Anonymous said...

The best (or worst) Bill Simmon's podcasts are the ones he has done with Chuck Klosterman. Klosterman always tries to analyze Simmons career and how it's amazing that a guy who is not really a journalist or much of a writer has become one of the most read sportswriters. Simmons normally goes on a clueless defense.

I know you covered briefly Simmon's in one of his recent podcasts with Cowherd on blogs and his comment sections and how they get mean and nasty. This is coming from a guy who has pretty much directly tied Earl Clark and Joba Chamberlain to recreational drug use in his columns, when to my knowledge (and a quick google search) neither personally has had any personal connection to drug use. But hey we all love sports and are in this together, right?

Bengoodfella said...

Martin reported one time that the podcasts with Klosterman are basically them talking about each other for a good period of time. It seems appropriate that would be true. I think it is pretty interesting how Bill became famous but mostly it was just a unique take he had at the time.

Color me interested about your comments on Joba and Earl Clark. I don't remember Simmons saying they were recreational drug users or hinting at it, though I do remember him saying something about Joba, but I don't remember what it was.

Bill believes we all love sports and are in it together, but like most of his rules, that rule doesn't go for Bill. He can say whatever he wants, like write an entire column about how he doesn't hate Kobe, but then makes comments about Kobe at every opportunity. It's his column, he can say what he wants. I just don't buy his peace, love and sports talk. That only goes for when someone says something about him.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned you can't find the article knocking Ariza's three point shooting skills. I wonder how long before this disappears (or is altered) in light of this.

Bengoodfella said...

I know, I was going to try and avoid that story for tomorrow but I don't know if I can or not.

Clearly, Bill Simmons reasoning was flawed for that article. It was a good idea, that he may be older than anticipated, but it looks like it did not turn out to be right.

Anonymous said...

Never mind. Here's the quote from the article discussing Ariza's poor wide-open three point shooting:

"3:45: Trevor Ariza misses a 3...That's the single biggest weakness on this L.A. team in crunch time: Ariza's inability to nail that open 3. He made 32 percent of them in the regular season; in the Utah series, he inexpicably caught fire and nailed 11 of 18; tonight, he's 0-for-3.

Which brings me to another way that stats need to get better: I guarantee that 99 percent of Ariza's 3s in 2008-09 were taken when he was wide open...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."

Bengoodfella said...

Thanks. I am officially adding that and crediting you. I knew it was somewhere, I tried all sorts of key words in google but I thought it was in his "New NBA Stats" column.

So I guess I did find it, I am just lazy or stupid.

Evan (Anon from earlier) said...

I have the quote below...while it's not a direct "I think Earl Clark does drugs" I do think it's an unfair cheap shot and pretty hypocritical that a guy who can handle no criticism throws these types of things out

From his draft diary..."Bilas somehow gets through a minute analysis of Clark without comparing him to either Lamar Odom or Tim Thomas, which in NBA-speak means, "Uniquely talented forward, drifts through games, might fail a drug test or two, will get at least two coaches fired..."

With Joba it was during a Podcast he said something along the lines of "Why can't I bet in Vegas that in five years Joba will be on Maury talking about his meth problem, I would for sure take that bet"

Again, it's not completely I think these guys do drugs, but I do think its fairly irresponsible for a "major writer" from the biggest sports empire to throw this stuff around. Why isn't Ken Rosenthal ripping Simmons to shreds for this on live TV?

Speaking of which, Simmons always speculates on who juices, why are people from the established media not decrying the downfall of journalism when he does it?

Can't wait for him to defend Big Papi with baseball expert, Jack-O

Bengoodfella said...

I do remember Bill writing that in his draft diary actually. That's nice to even just jokingly accuse Earl Clark of being a druggie. Because it was the podcast I did not hear him say anything about Joba but that sounds pretty typical of him. Can't we all get along and just love sports together...

I guess people don't take him seriously so he is able to throw shit like that around. I think that is why no one tears him up, no one takes him to be a serious journalist and he is not making serious accusations...even though people follow his every word.

I do expect a Papi flavored column from Bill tomorrow.

Martin said...

Just to chime in. Simmons only puts down Ariza's playoff shooting percentage for 3's, and not his season one for the column. He's is sneaky dishonest like that quite often in his columns.

He also blames the Lakers for not getting Ariza back, as if they just cut him loose. The Lakers offered him almost exactly what the Rockets did...when Ariza said "No, I want to go shop myself around some more" they picked up Artest. I would have preferred Ariza myself, but in that position, the Lakers had to cover themselves. If Boston say, makes an offer that ARiza takes, and Artest re-signs with the Rockets, the Lakers would have been screwed. They wanted Ariza, they made him a fair offer, which pretty much ended up being the same offer he took with the Rockets. In his typical Laker-hater fashion, Bill is too busy ripping them for moves that any fan can understand, but he's to myopic to see.

His podcast with Bucher and Stein is Bah-RUTAL. After about 20 minutes, it's pretty much Bucher and Stein calling Simmons a moron, while he keeps tut-tutting them, because really HE, knows far more about the league then they do.

There was an entire section on David Lee from the Knicks and how his rebound rating/numbers are inflated because of the fact that 1- he was on a bad team and other teams didn't really care about him getting 12 rebounds when they were going to win by 20, and 2- The Knicks then went to the Phoenix system (which Bill has already stated inflates numbers) and Lee was getting rebounds at a higher rate then normal because of the very high tempo of the game. Bill sat there in bewilderment screaming about rebounds per minute making Lee one of the Top 5 rebounders in the NBA, while Bucher and Stein kept telling him it was the situation creating numbers more then it was Lee being a great rebounder. I personally think both sides were way to stubborn. The fact that Bill was staking his argument almost entirely on a stat, that would be inflatd by exactly the factors being argued by Bucher and Stein, was the epitome of the self-involved arrogance that is Simmons today.