Thursday, April 14, 2011

13 comments Bill Simmons Still Writes Articles for ESPN? Part 1

I have to admit I haven't completely read and covered Bill Simmons' articles in quite a while. He has become slightly irrelevant to me. I go to ESPN.com on Friday, read through what he has written, quickly become bored by it and move on. Routinely now, I am not even interested enough in what he is writing about to tear it apart here. I figured today I can't let my apathy get in the way of me focusing on him and I should check-in to see what he is writing about. After the massive success of my post yesterday I figured I would go ahead and piss off SimmonsClones (if any read what I write) while I was at it. Bill is talking about the NBA as usual, though I assume if the Red Sox are in first place come mid-June we will get an article about them, as well as an obligatory Boston Bruins post if they are successful enough in the playoffs for Bill to jump on the bandwagon. I don't mind Bill talking about the NBA, but if I am going to read thoughts on the NBA, he is not the guy I would read.

In all honesty, I don't think Bill gives a shit to write articles anymore. He is clearly running out of good ideas. When he does have what he sees as a good idea, like his Tiger Woods column from this week, he puts it out immediately as if to show us all he still has fresh ideas. His columns are slowly becoming Season 6 or 7 of a popular television program (I am talking in terms of pop culture to describe Bill Simmons...is that irony?). The show is still being produced because people watch, people watch because they enjoy the characters feeling so familiar, but the writers are quickly running out of ideas and hoping no one notices. Bill wants to do podcasts, write about the NFL in the fall, executive produce television shows and start a blog about the wild and crazy things his children do. But ESPN forces him to write weekly columns, so here we go with the lazy man's column...a power poll. I think this is his 19th power poll for this NBA season.

Also, as further evidence of his mailing it in, Bill can't even do the power poll in one week. He has to split it up over two weeks because he is genuinely out of ideas for his weekly column. So in honor of this (and the fact this is long), I have split this into two posts. Your eyes will thank me.

We'll remember this as The Best NBA Regular Season Ever. Naturally, the league is going to seize the momentum by disappearing in July, then duct-taping us to chairs in a dark basement and torturing us with months of lockout rhetoric.

As well as causing NBA viewers to sit through the NBA playoffs which begin in April and end, I am just estimating here, sometime in early 2017. I love the NBA. I love the playoffs. Holy shit, shorten the season or shorten the playoffs because about mid-May it starts to feel like the NBA Finals will never get here.

Then Bill starts a space-killing list about how Derrick Rose should be the MVP, except he doesn't say that exactly so he can back off the statement and not be wrong if Rose isn't named MVP.

C. Was a phenomenal teammate who kept a fringe contender afloat for two months when they were crushed by injuries, then kept them humming as they evolved into a semi-juggernaut

I disagree about this fringe contender thing. I don't know if he is talking about OVERALL contender and not title contender. Bill doesn't really specify. The Bulls were a real contender and were thought to be the 3rd/4th best team in the NBA (I meant the Eastern Conference, not the NBA...I am not crazy enough to think the Bulls were considered 3rd/4th in the NBA) at the beginning of the year. Google "2010-2011 NBA season predictions" and see for yourself. The Bulls got through some injuries, but I think they were a strong contender at the beginning of the year (how quickly Bill forgets the 7 game playoff series between the Bulls and Celtics 2 years ago...which feels like 10 years ago in "NBA Playoffs" time). The Bulls have been an upcoming team and the addition of Boozer this offseason put them in the hunt for the a high playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

So if Bill is saying Derrick Rose took the Bulls from a fringe playoff contender or title contender to a juggernaut, then he may be right about them being a juggernaut, but the Bulls were seen in the upper half of the Eastern Conference at the beginning of the year. Rose helped take them to the No. 1 seed with a little help from the underachieving Heat and the constantly-injured Celtics.

D. Played harder from night to night than anyone else

It's retarded to say Derrick Rose tried harder than any other player. This is hyperbole.

G. The guy whose MVP candidacy got crapped on by the entire blogosphere because his plus/minus and true shooting percentage weren't quite good enough.

He's got intangibles! Come feel his intangibles! Sure, he can't shoot and his team wasn't necessarily as good as other teams were when he was on the court, but he has Ubuntu!

Look, I haven't decided whether Rose is the MVP yet.

Which is quite clear from the 7 bullet points on why Rose is the MVP we were just shown and from the way Bill said nothing positive about any other candidates for MVP. Way to hedge Bill, just so you can't be wrong. I see nothing has changed. I guess if Bill was sure Rose was the MVP he would have 10-12 bullet points about what a great season he had.

After three months, I thought he was. His play tailed off a little once the Bulls got healthy. Now I'm not so sure.

But Bill! You forgot about your bullet point F that said:

F. Was a legitimate athletic freak who needed to be seen in person to be truly appreciated

You just don't appreciate him because you didn't see him in person enough! Ubuntu, intangibles, and all of that crap. Remember? SAY YOU REMEMBER!

So give me another week or so with my MVP vote that I don't actually have.

Bill's MVP choice will come written in a Friday article that has 75% filler and 25% interesting and useful information. Gotta keep that word count up and fool the people into thinking you give a shit still, you know.

That's Playing LeBron. Has any NBA fan base ever cared more about a postseason that didn't involve them at all? It would be like Jennifer Aniston rooting against every Angelina Jolie movie opening, if there were two million Anistons.

I wish analogies had a limited amount of times they could be used like positions in Fantasy Baseball. Once a person has reached 10 Jennifer Aniston analogies, he has maxed them out. Again, Bill really has no new ideas or material. I wish this had been clearer to me five years ago when Bill constantly referenced the same five movies over and over.

How the NBA advanced professional basketball in Canada since 1995 …

Screwed over the best Canadian player ever (Steve Nash) by allowing Robert Sarver to buy the Suns because he was worth hundreds of millions "on paper" (so what if he didn't have any cash?), causing Nash to miss the Finals because his owner cheaped out from 2005-10.

We all know FOR SURE Bill's buddy Steve Nash would have made the Finals multiple times from 2005-2010 because it is Bill's opinion this would have happened. Yeah, the Suns could have improved their team by not trading away picks and all of that, that is true, so I won't necessarily argue too much on this point. I guess it is possible the Suns could have made the Finals at least once in that period. I will encourage you to notice how Bill kills the NBA and Robert Sarver, but leaves his good friend and podcast buddy Steve Kerr out of the discussion. He doesn't point any blame at Kerr when Kerr was the one making some of those moves.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves

Jabaal Abdul-Simmons would have written columns about the following topics …

A. If you killed Allen Iverson for being a ball hog during his prime, then by rule, you shouldn't have been cheerleading Jimmer's BYU performance this season … right?

Ignoring Bill's continuous attempts to convince his readers he, as a white wealthy kid who went to prep school in the New England area, wanted to black as a child...I think he has a great point here. I'm just being a Jimmer hater of course because any subjective opinion of Jimmer is because that person is a hater.

The past two Wizards seasons easily could have doubled as an HBO dramedy about a dysfunctional NBA team called "Chocolate City." The pilot episode would have been structured around longtime owner Abe Pollin dying (November 2009)

This analogy goes on for two full-length paragraphs. Suffice to say it doesn't get any more interesting as it goes along, though as a positive for the reader, you do get to feel much smarter than Bill by the time the two paragraphs are done. You can taste Bill's frustration in knowing what he is writing here isn't up to his standards. So there's that if you want something to take away from this.

Name me a bigger hit-or-miss general manager than Joe Dumars. He's like the Warren Beatty of NBA GMs -- either he delivers a hit or bankrupts your studio, with no in-between.

I can't name one Bill, BECAUSE YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT THIS!

Mega-Hits: Trading Jerry Stackhouse for Rip Hamilton; getting Ben Wallace as compensation for Grant Hill's Orlando signing that would have happened anyway; orchestrating the Rasheed Wallace trade; stealing Chauncey Billups in free agency; drafting Greg Monroe.

So Dumars is the NBA's biggest hit-or-miss GM, except he hasn't had but one "hit" over the five years. This sounds like something Bill would try to convince us. All of Dumars' "hits" were from 5-8 years ago, or 23 years ago in "NBA Playoffs" years, except for his drafting of Greg Monroe. Even an idiot like me knew to make that move. The Pistons had a glaring hole at center, so drafting Monroe was really just common sense.

Mega-Misses: Blowing the Darko pick (which should really count three times); giving an aging Hamilton a cap-crippling extension for reasons that remain unclear; turning Billups and Antonio McDyess into four months of a past-his-prime Allen Iverson, then $95 million of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva; giving away Arron Afflalo (and his dirt-cheap contract) that same summer for a future second-round pick to clear salary because he just spent $95 million on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

So basically everything Dumars has done over the last 2-3 years has been a miss, while everything he did before that time was a hit? So I don't know if I would call him the biggest hit-or-miss GM in the NBA since he doesn't seem to hit that often anymore. Let's just call him a GM that has regressed dramatically and leave it at that.

25. Sacramento Kings
I keep getting emails: "Why don't you care about the Kings leaving as much as you cared about the Sonics leaving?" Let's settle this in four paragraphs …

I love it when Bill starts to explain why in two similar situations he ends up treating them differently.

The Sonics were bought by Oklahoma-based owners who deceived Seattle into thinking they would do everything possible to keep the Sonics there, then backstabbed the city and moved the franchise to the group's hometown -- a much smaller market, in an arena that wasn't any different than the one they left -- and, as a trail of emails later revealed, it turned out stealing the Sonics away had been their intention all along.

I am not sure I buy much of this reasoning for why Bill (even in retrospect) doesn't care as much about the Kings leaving Sacramento as much as he cares about Seattle. Oklahoma City has turned out to be a successful city for the NBA and for the Thunder. So it is not like the Sonics went to Canada or a market that didn't support them. Not to mention, in a typical example of a Bill Simmons shit-for-an-argument, the fact it was LATER revealed in the emails that the Sonics leaving had been the intention all along doesn't explain why Bill trashed Sonics management BEFORE he knew about the trail of emails. He didn't have the information about these emails, so there is no way this could have been a part of his thought process at the time on why to paint Seattle in such a pathetic light. So I don't believe this crap about the emails because Bill didn't know about them at the time.

Also, the Seattle population is around 620,000 people and the Oklahoma City population is around 580,000 people. The metro-area population around Oklahoma City has 1.3 million people. So I don't know if I can buy Bill's reasoning was that the Sonics/Thunder were going to a smaller market and that's why he hated the move. The Thunder seem to have done really well in Oklahoma City and the Hornets had proven the NBA could survive in that market.

Lastly, Bill says the arena isn't that much different, but the Thunder are currently selling more tickets than the Sonics did towards the end of their run (though we will see if that continues if the Thunder start stinking in a few years) and we knew Oklahoma City could support an NBA team based on the Hornets time there. So the arenas are arguably a draw.

The Kings? They were stolen from Kansas City in 1986, which stole them from Cincinnati in 1972, which stole them from Rochester in 1958. They're moving to Anaheim because their owners can't afford to run a small-market NBA franchise anymore;

Sacramento population: 466,488 (as of 2010 census)
Seattle population: 600,000 (2008 estimated...when the Sonics left)
Anaheim population: 353,643 (as of 2010 census)

So really Sacramento is a smaller market than Anaheim. Maybe Anaheim is considered a "bigger market" overall for some reason. Simply because the Kings have gotten moved around a few times doesn't mean Bill shouldn't feel sorry for the fans. They still don't want to lose their NBA team.

Of course I am sure the NBA will take away the Kings and then give Sacramento an NBA team a few years later when every one in the city is so bitter they won't support the team. The NBA likes to do that.

Both situations stink. I feel bad for Kings fans. I continue to feel bad for Sonics fans. But the Kings are leaving Sacramento because their franchise wasn't worth anything where it was. Small-market NBA franchises are doomed in 2011 unless they have (A) a modern arena, and/or (B) a franchise player like Kevin Durant.

This is quite possibly true. Maybe.

It's defensible. I hate it … but it's defensible. What happened to Seattle wasn't defensible. Their arena was fine, their market was fine, their fans were fine.

So Bill essentially says it is defensible for the Kings to leave because the franchise isn't worth as much where it is. So he doesn't feel bad for Kings fans really. The fans were fine in Seattle, but it was a lateral move and I guess that's what Bill hates. Key Arena held 17,072 people and the Supersonics had averaged 15,447 from the 1999-2000 season to the 2007-2008 season while the Thunder have averaged 18,280 per season in their three years located in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City market appears to be fine, and the fans are fine there as well. I'm not saying Seattle should have lost their NBA team, but the Thunder are currently doing well in Oklahoma City.

Plus, in the defense of the Kings and how the fans (though may be few) feel, there is video.

The hijacking of that franchise was meticulously planned and executed, and that hijacking had the unspoken consent of the commissioner's office. There's no comparison.

But Bill didn't know of the meticulous planning until AFTER he started calling Oklahoma City the "Zombie Sonics." That's my issue with his reasoning here. I'm not saying Sacramento should get a ton of sympathy because the attendance does stink, but Bill went WAY overboard in his sympathy for the Seattle losing the Sonics and doesn't seem to give a shit about Sacramento losing their team.

23. Milwaukee Bucks

Remember those old Fox shows, "When Animals Attack?" The 2010-11 Bucks are "When Advanced Metrics Go Wrong!!!!" They traded for an already overpaid Corey Maggette (an efficient scorer on paper, which apparently made him underrated as long as you never, ever watched him); overpaid Drew Gooden (an efficient rebounder and high-percentage shooter who holds the unofficial record for "most times a player made his coach roll his eyes and look at the scoreboard" since 2000); and took care of John Salmons (who had his inevitable post-contract year swoon). Everything made sense on paper.

Which would be fine if this were baseball. But it's basketball: a sport in which five guys have to mesh the right way (a process that often defies statistics),

It is funny how "Stat Geek" Bill Simmons has disappeared without a trace when there is an instance of advanced metrics not working.

Remember this column where Bill started wanting to use advanced stats for the NBA and when he began worshiping Daryl Morey? Anyway, Bill barely mentions the limitations of advanced metrics in his column I linked, while now that he sees an instance where it doesn't work he backs off a bit. Of course, this is the guy who made a big deal out of believing in Sabermetrics in baseball back in 2010, as if somehow his new belief in using advanced metrics in baseball made it a more legitimate way to evaluate baseball players. Nothing occurs or is legitimate until Bill Simmons announces he has seen it and gives his approval. Everything he does and sees is great.

Anyway, if you pressed a RESET button for LeBron's Summer of 2010 and asked the question, "Knowing what we know now, what would have been the best pick for him?" there's only one answer …

(I'll give you a second.)

(Come on, you'll get it.)

(And … time!)

Chicago Bulls? Miami Heat? New York Knicks?

The Clippers! How much fun would it have been to watch LeBron play with Eric Gordon, a Suddenly In Shape Because LeBron Is Here Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan and especially Blake Griffin?

I know the one thing that will get Baron Davis in playing shape is the idea of having a ball-hogging point forward join the Clippers team. Nothing would motivate Baron Davis more than knowing the ball would be in his hands even less and he is now the 4th/5th option on offense. I am sure he would get in great shape based on this. He may go to the gym twice in the offseason as opposed to just once.

Wouldn't that have been one of the ten most entertaining teams in the past 35 years?

Who knows and who cares? It didn't happen. When in doubt, Bill throws a "what-if" scenario in there to kill some space.

"What if Larry Bird never aged, Len Bias didn't die, and LeBron James joined the Celtics in the offseason. Wouldn't this be one of the top ten most entertaining teams in the history of organized basketball? You can't prove me wrong because we are basing this whole scenario on 2-3 events that never happened."

Also, why the hell does it make sense for LeBron James to play for Donald Sterling? Why would he want to do this? Playing for Donald Sterling would have been the WORST pick for LeBron James.

You know how his Knicks experience exposed Mike D'Antoni as the Mike Martz of the NFL? In other words, he's an inventive mind who can coach a certain offense led by a certain quarterback, has no Plan B, and has little use for anyone who doesn't fit into that system. (Note: The fact that he never played Anthony Randolph and had no idea how to use Corey Brewer, a guy who was immediately courted by every smart NBA team when he was released, should tell you something.)

Every smart NBA team wanted the 11.5 minutes 5.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 2.2 personal fouls per game that Corey Brewer is providing to Dallas. It seems Dallas knows the correct way to use Corey Brewer...sparingly.

Utah's reasons made sense: Jersey had the most assets (and was offering them), so Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor was afraid Williams might catch wind and sabotage the deal. Still, with ten minutes to go before officially saying yes, couldn't Utah have called Oklahoma City, Boston, Houston, Golden State, the Knicks and Clippers and said, "Keep it low, but you have ten minutes to consider the following Godfather offer for Deron Williams."

This is why I question whether Bill Simmons could be an NBA GM (which is something he desperately wants to do) Bill's current list of "career goals" looks this way:

1. Be an NBA GM
2. Hang out on a consistent basis with famous people
...
101. Write a column for ESPN.com.

So Bill would give an NBA GM 10 minutes to decide whether he wants to change the entire design and plan of his team and trade for Deron Williams? As an NBA GM, Bill thinks it is smart to give another GM 10 minutes to make this very important decision? Really? Don't you think this would irritate other GM's when Bill did this?

(Bill as a General Manager calling Sam Presti) "Hey Sam, I am looking to trade Deron Williams in the next 10 minutes so if you want to top the offer I have (gives him the offer), you have 10 minutes to do so."

(Sam Presti) "Wow, Bill you do this a lot. I need more time next time. Call me back in nine and a half minutes."

(Simmons) "Great! I look forward to hearing from you. I used to write for the Jimmy Kimmel show. I call this my 'Godfather Offer,' which is why I don't give you a lot of time to respond. Clever, no?"

(Sam Presti quickly hanging up and calls Kevin Durant) "Hey Kevin, did you hear Deron Williams is getting traded to New Jersey? What does he think of that? Give him a call and ask him."

(Kevin Durant) "He won't be happy, but I will see what he thinks and will call him right now."

(Sam Presti hanging up and calling New Jersey GM Billy King) "Billy, Sam Presti here. I hear you are getting ready to trade for Deron Williams and are giving up Derrick Favors and Devin Harris, plus some picks. Yeah, Simmons called me and told me to get me in on this to see if the offer could be topped."

(Billy King) "I thought we had a deal. He said he needed ten minutes to make sure he wanted to do it and then confirm. Now he's using our offer to get other offers from teams using that stupid 'Godfather Offer' strategy?"

(Sam Presti) "What do you say we make this a three-way deal? I'm looking for a big man and would be willing to give up Russell Westbrook to do it. I hear the Jazz could look into giving up Paul Millsap and I don't see any reason he couldn't end up on the Nets. I know the numbers work for you now, but Ibaka or Westbrook could be on the table on my end (snickers to himself) and you could end up with Millsap if you are looking to give up some more picks or players."

(Billy King) "Absolutely. I would love to have Deron Williams and Westbrook in the same backcourt, but I don't know if I can put Lopez and Favors in a trade. Let me think about a package to make this a three-way deal. I have interest in Millsap though. Let me contact Simmons to get you added into the deal."

(Sam Presti quickly hangs up...waits three minutes and dials an enraged Bill Simmons) "What's up Bill? We've thought about the trade and it is a 'no.' We're good for now, though I think I can get Jersey to give up Derrick Favors for Jeff Green in a separate trade if I play my cards right. So let's think about this a few more hours and make it a three-way trade. It is what the Nets want now."

(Bill Simmons enraged) "How the fuck did Williams find out about this trade happening? I have a shit-storm going on right now. Williams is pissed and has leaked it we are looking to trade him. He's said he won't report to New Jersey and has already emailed me a list of 3 teams he wants to play for. Also, how the fuck did New Jersey get the idea we would give up Paul Millsap? I got a call from Billy King wanting Millsap."

(Sam Presti) "You wanted me to accept your offer in 10 minutes, so I took on a third team to top the original offer you got from the Nets and realized our needs match up well in a three-way trade. It's how it would have to work from our end if we are making the trade. You wouldn't give up Paul Millsap to get rid of a pissed off Deron Williams? I thought you were gutting your team? That's the appearance I get at least and that's the appearance the fans and Jazz team will get as well."

(Bill Simmons) "Screw you. I got beat writers calling me and now Williams' agent is beeping on the other line. I have a fire I have to put out now here in Utah. You've killed my trade, asshole."

(Sam Presti) "Perhaps you should stop giving teams only 10 minutes to answer or top a trade offer."

What would Golden State have done if it had 10 minutes to respond to "Curry, your 2011 and 2013 unprotected No. 1's and an expiring contract for Williams"?

Probably said "no" or asked for more than 10 minutes to decide whether to change the entire face and plan of their team.

What would Boston have done if given 10 minutes to digest "Rondo, Perkins, and a 2013 No. 1 for Williams"?

Hopefully to God said, "Hell no." Why trade the best point guard in the NBA (Simmons called Rondo this last year, though I can't find it now, but I remember a discussion in the comments on this...I guess he has changed his mind or was wrong about this? You'll never hear Simmons say he was wrong because his massive ego won't let him, but the best point guard in the NBA isn't a part of a package for another point guard. He would be THE package in return for a group of picks/players), for Deron Williams? I don't believe Rondo is the best point guard in the NBA, but Deron Williams isn't such a huge upgrade over Rondo he is worth Perkins AND a 2013 No. 1 pick.

By the way, my League of Dorks auction lasted for eight and a half hours last weekend.

In other news, I don't give a shit about your fantasy league.

You know, with something like the following post-lockout deal: Hibbert and James Posey (expiring in 2012) in a sign-and-trade for Greg Oden and a future No. 1 pick.

I hope this happens. Uh-oh -- I think I just exploded the Blazer's Edge message board.

See, Bill exploded the message board because he is such a popular writer and has such interesting ideas. When Bill speaks, others discuss his brilliant ideas. Bill's ego knows no bounds.

Let's take a look at the Blazer's Edge message board on this issue. It generated 92 comments from when I wrote this. For some perspective, the Game 80 preview of Blazers-Lakers drew 127 comments. Simmons is popular, but I always have wondered if as big and influential as he is, if his ego thinks he is more influential than he really is.

17. Phoenix Suns
An incredible ten months that included …

B. Sarver replacing Kerr with agent Lon Babby, who acquired two of his clients (Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress) at a prohibitive cost. One never plays; the other got traded within a few months. So that's worked out great.

C. The team trading Turkoglu and Jason Richardson for Marcin Gortat and Vince "Half-Man, Half-Amazingly Washed Up" Carter, which ended up being a steal (Gortat emerged as the franchise's first legitimate center since … Alvin Adams?) and a disaster (Carter single-handedly murdered their playoff hopes).

So Bill can't criticize both of these decisions. In "B" he explains that Turkoglu got traded a few months later, so having Babby acquire two of his clients was a bad idea. I can agree trading for Turkoglu was a bad idea. BUT...then in "C" he says trading Turkoglu and Richardson for Gortat and Carter, was a mixed-bag trade and wasn't bad for the Suns because they got a legitimate center. So while the move to get Turkoglu was bad, it did help net them Gortat and some unknowing franchise will take Vince Carter off their hands at some point probably as well. I feel like this has to be thrown in. If there is no Turkoglu on the Suns roster, there probably isn't a trade to net Gortat.

16. Houston Rockets
Our go-to example for the rest of eternity for The Law of Too Many Guys. You only need eight and a half guys to win in the NBA: five starters, three bench guys, then an 8½th man who doesn't mind playing 0-10 minutes a night and being on call if a rotation guy gets into foul trouble, gets hurt or whatever. Of those eight and half guys, ideally, you need two scorers, one ball handler, one perimeter defender and one rebounder. You need to be able to play defense. You need everyone to know their roles. You need to know who's playing crunch time and who gets the ball in those last few minutes. And you need a coach competent enough not to screw things up. That's it.

All of these concepts sound incredibly simple, yet NBA teams forget them over and over again.

I don't think teams forget this, they just don't succeed in acquiring the correct players to achieve this formula and there are a ton of variables involving team chemistry and how certain players play together. It is not like it is simple to go out and get the best player to fit each of these roles on a team. I am too lazy to go on about this or attempt to prove Bill wrong through historical research of championship teams, but I want everyone to be aware he just set up a formula of his own making as an NBA law and then chastised teams for not following the law he just made up.

It's a common-sense thing. Ask any NBA starter how many minutes would make them happy and they'd say 36 to 38 (one rest per half).

Every single NBA starter would say this is how many minutes he wants to play. Every single starter. There are no exceptions in this example that proves Bill Simmons is right.

Now, ask any bench player how many minutes they need to play well and you know what they'd say? Two stretches per half for 8-10 minutes. They need time to run around, break a sweat, get a feel for the game and get comfortable.

This is how many minutes a bench player needs. Every bench player in the NBA. No exceptions.

That means you need to allot 50-60 minutes for your three bench guys and your 8½th man.

So let's split the difference: 185 minutes for five happy starters, 55 minutes for the three and a half bench guys. That adds up to … wait for it … 240 minutes! What a coincidence.

Holy shit! Bill Simmons knows how to create a rule all teams are supposed to follow, make blanket statements about all NBA players that follows this rule, and then he has the mathematical ability to add up all the minutes to support the rule he created. He pretty much just created a rule and then created the formula to prove his own rule correct.

In Hollywood, you don't pay "character actors" like Mike Miller or Travis Outlaw $30-35 million to appear in your next five movies. Why? Because it's bad business!!!

Has Bill mentioned he knows Hollywood superstars? He used to write for Jimmy Kimmel you know until he got fire---, I mean quit, because he loved writing ESPN columns and sports so much...as seen by the fact since he re-joined ESPN.com his overriding goal seems to be to get as far away from writing and talking about only sports as much as possible.

If NBA owners ran Hollywood, the creepy uncle from "Winter's Bone" would be enjoying Year 1 of a six-year, $58 million movie deal. Hearing them bitch about "lost revenue" is like hearing Brad and Angelina bitch about future college expenses for their kids.

ANOTHER Angelina Jolie reference in one column! That's two! If only we got another Jennifer Aniston reference in this column, I think this would be a complete day.

Shut up already.

I'm not sure I could have said it any better.

Until Part 2...

13 comments:

Martin said...

Bill calls the Bulls a fringe contender because he picked them as his sleeper pick at the beginning of the year. This way he looks like a brilliant prognosticator.

I think you've also hit on what Bill has going on in his mind right now. He wants to do podcasts and write about the NFL and gambling for ESPN, and he wants his new "sports and pop culture" website for all his and his writer friends, and to "produce" documentaries that make him look cool. He's done with writing the ESPN style. He'd much rather be a blogger, but they want a columnist.

Martin said...

Oh, and Orange County, which is the small county that Anaheim is located in, has a population of about 3 million. That's why it's a "larger market", because the county is basically one giant city.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I understand now. This is what I get for not following him as closely as I should be.

I really believe what I said is right. I don't think I am just knocking him for the sake of doing so. He doesn't care to be a guy who writes columns, he is much more interested in pop culture and sports than writing a weekly column.

I didn't even know the county was one big large market like that. I guess it makes more sense. I thought Orange County was a pretty good movie, not an actual place.

(kidding)

ivn said...

I will encourage you to notice how Bill kills the NBA and Robert Sarver, but leaves his good friend and podcast buddy Steve Kerr out of the discussion. He doesn't point any blame at Kerr when Kerr was the one making some of those moves.

in Kerr's defense, he simultaneously slashed payroll to get under the luxury tax threshold and built a team that had a fighting chance at making it to the Finals last year. and then Sarver forced him out.

Also, the Seattle population is around 620,000 people and the Oklahoma City population is around 580,000 people. The metro-area population around Oklahoma City has 1.3 million people.

the Seattle-Tacoma metro area has over three million people, including the huge Asian-American market that David Stern has wanted to tap into (and is one of the few reasons the Mariners are still relevant). I could go further (until you hit Blazers territory near the Columbia River, the I-5 strip along western WA was a Sonics hotbed) but Seattle-Tacoma was pretty much their home base.

the Sonics were a popular and fairly successful team that had been in town for forty years; the Kings were a dumpster fire in their time in Sacramento except for like a five or six year span in the first half of the last decade. the attendance dip you mention was at the end of the Kemp/GP/Schrempf era when Howard Schultz started running the team into the ground. fuck that guy and his shitty, overpriced coffee.

and I'm not going to begrudge OKC fans at all, as they have been supportive...but right now the team is really good and there might be the afterglow of getting a pro sports team in the city. let's see what it's like ten years down the road.

See, Bill exploded the message board because he is such a popular writer and has such interesting ideas. When Bill speaks, others discuss his brilliant ideas. Bill's ego knows no bounds.

when Bill speaks, everyone listens. he's much like George Washington in that regard.

@ Martin - I don't necessarily think Simmons wants to write about the NFL anymore. remember after the Jets beat the Patriots in the playoffs? the column he wrote before the conference championships was about the upcoming NBA All Star Game. the NBA is pretty much the only sport he writes about anymore; when was the last time you saw a column on baseball, hockey, or college sports?

ivn said...

I may have come across like a dick, so let me clarify: I do think it sucks that the Kings are leaving Sacramento. I hate seeing teams leave cities in general. I was just trying to fill in the blanks on the Sonics situation.

I almost forgot to mention that Bennett and Co. demanded $500 million to replace or renovate KeyArena--around the time the economy started to turn and not ten years after Seattle taxpayers payed about $750 million to build Safeco and Qwest. it was basically like a ransom.

rich said...

G. The guy whose MVP candidacy got crapped on by the entire blogosphere because his plus/minus and true shooting percentage weren't quite good enough.
After three months, I thought he was. His play tailed off a little once the Bulls got healthy. Now I'm not so sure.

Hypocrisy at its finest. Bloggers are portrayed as assholes for pointing out that Rose might not be the MVP, but Bill turns around and says the exact same thing in a much more vague way and he's paid millions of dollars for his thoughts.

Finals because his owner cheaped out from 2005-10

Sorry, but Nash knew what he was getting into when he signed his contract back in 2003 and the fucking extension he signed in 2009. Nash could have left to go to a team that wasn't going to "cheap out," but instead resigned. Tough shit.

Wouldn't that have been one of the ten most entertaining teams in the past 35 years?

Because when players sign contracts the number 1 consideration is how "entertaining" the team will be to the fans.

"Keep it low, but you have ten minutes to consider the following Godfather offer for Deron Williams."

While your skit was fantastic, you should have had Bill checking the trade on ESPN's trade generator...

The thing I want to say is that it takes me longer than 10 minutes to make a big trade in Madden. Expecting a professional GM to risk his career over a knee jerk trade is incredibly stupid and will piss off everyone that you do this to.

What would Boston have done if given 10 minutes to digest "Rondo, Perkins, and a 2013 No. 1 for Williams"?

A young, All-star PG, a solid big man and a No.1 for at best a slight improvement?

I bet Ainge would've told him "where the fuck do I sign on this trade!"

or, you know, laughed hysterically and hung up.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to Bill (and I'm actually working on an enormous critique of TBOB, so I'm not so inclined to be fair to BS), he may have meant they were a fringe contender with all the injuries.

He probably didn't mean that, nut I'll keep an open mind on that point.

Martin said...

Anon might have a point, but it was poorly presented to a reader in that case.

I thought the Seattle area was a lot larger then that, thanks for clarifying.

I too don't want to crap on the OKC fans,as I think it's almost the perfect kind of city the NBA should be aiming for. Places like it and Portland where they would be the huge fish in the pond. Sort of little-Big cities. However, the Seattle fans had supported the team when it was an absolute crapfest, so comparing the last couple terrible seasons of the Sonics attendence (which was still rather decent) to OKC now is disingenuous.

Also, Bill fails to mention that the team and the NBA have spent a couple million trying to get a new arena in place for the team, to no avail. Sure the team and the NBA could fund a new arena, because the old one doesn't have the luxury box system that they need to generate the big cash, but why should they when they can move into a ready made one down the coast? I live in Los Angeles, I understand that teams have certain financial systems for their needs/wants, and if it can't be given, the team leaves (adios Raiders and Rams!). I'm good with that. It makes business sense. It sucks ass, but it's how things are. Sacramento can't come close to giving the Kings what they want, because everybody is busy pointing fingers or trying to take all the glory. It's just like LA with the NFL. The Kings would be moving to what was at one point the richest county in the country in terms of per capita income, from a city that thrives on state jobs as the capitol of California. A state 26 billion+ in debt. Yeah, some of those jobs might be going away.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, that's a fair point about Kerr. I believe he was responsible for the Shaq trade too, which wasn't even a good idea at the time. I didn't mean Kerr should have all of the blame, but maybe just some.

Thanks for the information on Seattle. I think in my haste to show that Sacramento deserves some sympathy, I probably came out looking like I thought Seattle shouldn't have gotten any. I didn't mean to do that, I was merely saying the Kings are going somewhere that no one knows for sure can support an NBA team, while Seattle went to OKC which had supported the Hornets in their short time there.

You are right though, let's see what attendance is like in 10 years when the Thunder stink.

How dare you compare Bill to George Washington. He's much more important than that.

Rich, that's a great point. Bill bashes the bloggers for not supporting Rose's candidacy and then vaguely does the same...though he does name Rose MVP in Part 2. I hope I didn't ruin that for anyone.

If there was a time when a star shouldn't have signed an extension, it was probably Nash in 2009. He was trying to be a leader and act like he wanted to be around the team, but it has hurt him. That's what he gets for leading.

I can't believe I missed a joke a/b the ESPN Trade Machine in there. Big oversight on my part. In seriousness though, in his fantasy world a 10 minute out of the blue trade offer sounds good, but it just can't happen. Another GM can't make a decision that quickly on the direction of the team, unless he thinks the deal tremendously favors him. So the "Godfather Offer" just isn't realistic.

I like Deron Williams, but he isn't that big of an upgrade over Rondo in the Celtics offense in my opinion to be worth all of that. I don't care about the pick, but why trade Perkins AND Rondo for a guy with a one year left on his deal who isn't a fit for the offense. Bill really thinks Ainge would consider that deal?

Anon, he may have meant that. It was vague. When you get that critique of TBOB, please send me the link. I would like to read that. You can also send me an email with the link if you would like. I wasn't sure what Bill meant at all, it was just vague. I remember the Bulls being just behind the Heat, with the Celtics, as favorites in the East.

Martin, that's a fair point. I tried to compare the attendance over the last 10 years to make it more fair, but it was still a bit skewed compared to three years in OKC. I probably shouldn't have made the comparison in the very beginning. That's where I need an editor.

I didn't think about the political aspect of the move. I guess I did a poor job of explaining my point. I wasn't trying to say the Kings should stay in Sacramento, I just didn't get why Bill to this day calls the Thunder the "Zombie Sonics" but didn't give a shit about the Kings moving.

I understand the business aspect of it, but Bill pretty much doesn't care the Kings are leaving for greener pastures while he nearly started a telethon to keep the Sonics in Seattle. Seattle should have kept their team, but I don't see how he can just look at the Kings and say, "Well that's business," b/c the Sonics moving was business too. Shitty business, but business nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Jimmer-hater aside. I may despise Rick Reilly, but Fire Rick's 50 posts/10,000 comments on how Reilly just be hatin' almost inspired me to start up a Fire Firerickreilly site. I think the topper was when they posted the two page email from the creepy Jimmer groupy who accosted Reilly multiple times about it. "Fredette about it"? Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously, can we stop tripping over ourselves to fellate the kid? I think he wants to save himself for marriage.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, thanks I tend to be critical of many things, including good Jimmer. I think most people believe it is just hating since he seems to be a polarizing type guy that way.

Don't start a Fire Fire Rick Reilly site! I did read that post about the guy who confronted Reilly. I would confront Reilly about some things, but I don't personally feel strongly enough about Jimmer to confront him a/b that.

J.S. said...

No way the Bulls were considered a 3/4 team in the NBA Ben, come on now. Absolutely no question whatsoever the Celtics, Heat, Lakers and probably Magic were all ahead. In the NBA, three/four favourites is more or less the entire field that can win a championship, the Bulls were on that "second round fodder" level with Atlanta and most of the West 2-6. I remember a discussion with a friend about the Bulls in around early January and the agreement was that while they were better than expected, they weren't genuine title contenders.

That opinion around the league has completely flipped.

Bengoodfella said...

J.S, I meant to say 3-4 team in the Eastern Conference. I'll correct that.

If you notice, the rest of my talk is about the Eastern Conference and how they were expected to be a high seed then.