Thursday, July 17, 2014

15 comments Bill Simmons Confirms that God Does Indeed Love Cleveland

Remember when Bill Simmons threw a very minor hissy fit on the NBA Countdown set about the Cleveland Cavaliers getting their third #1 overall draft pick in four years? Bill didn't think the Cavaliers deserved another #1 overall pick for mismanaging their team. It turns out he doesn't like that Cleveland gets the #1 overall pick again, but he's perfectly fine with the Cavs signing the NBA's best player. Because after all, he needs to be liked and he can only rail against the Cavs so much before he could start alienating and losing the audience he used to work so hard to get. So while Bill manages to think the Cavs don't deserve another #1 overall pick, he's fine with the team getting LeBron James. Why? Because Bill issues the final proclamation that God loves Cleveland. Bill uses the word "God" loosely because he doesn't want to offend anyone or contradict many of his Simmonsites' idea that he himself is indeed God.

Yeah, I read LeBron James’s classy letter in Sports Illustrated. I believe him.

Rest easy now, LeBron! Bill Simmons believes you. I know this is a load off your conscience.

In the summer of 2010, LeBron handled everything wrong. He knows that now. His hometown turned on him. His former owner excoriated him. Everyone else hated what he did.

No, "everyone" didn't hate what he did. I didn't hate what he did. He chose his team and did it in a poor fashion, but I'm pretty sure Miami Heat fans didn't hate it.

We turned him into a wrestling heel, pushed him to a dark place, affected his personality, planted seeds of doubt that blossomed like a black rose during the 2011 Finals. 

"WE" did this. Not the media, not Bill, but "WE" did this. I hope we are proud of ourselves.

But he never forgot what happened, and deep down, he probably always wanted to atone. When the time arrived this summer, he flipped the script on us.

"US" got the script flipped on us. We did. Consider the script to have been flipped. Hope you can read backwards, planet Earth!

Those four Miami seasons made me sure of one thing: He’s one of the greatest NBA players ever.

Write it down on a tablet, because it's now official. Congratulations on getting your very own chapter in the "Book of Basketball Part 2," LeBron James. You have moved up in Bill's arbitrary rankings.

Add everything up and it’s the best possible story. He’s the conquering hero who came home, and, hopefully, will conquer again.

It’s also not entirely accurate. I think LeBron would have stayed in Miami — for at least one or two more years — if he truly believed he had a chance to keep winning there.

So what about the story isn't accurate? LeBron came home, he stated he wanted to come home and so he did. In fact, Bill said this a couple of paragraphs earlier in this column:

I think he wanted to come home. I think he always wanted to come home.

It turns out now that Bill's own statement isn't entirely accurate. You know what that means, right? WE are wrong about LeBron wanting to come home.

If you think of him like a genius, it makes more sense.

Here's the part where Bill Simmons writes thousands of more words than he has to in order to push out a column and overcomplicate an issue. Simply stating that LeBron chose where he thought he could win doesn't make for a great column, so Bill has to go off on a long tangent about how LeBron is a genius and that's why he chose the Cavaliers over the Heat. Sure, this whole part of the column could be summed up by writing, "LeBron didn't think he had a chance to win long-term in Miami, so he chose to go back to Cleveland," but that doesn't make Bill feel like he's smart and overcomplicate an issue in order to kill space.

He’s smarter about basketball than you and me, and, really, anyone else. He sees things that we can’t see. During that last Miami season, I don’t think he liked what he saw from his teammates. LeBron James wanted to come back to Cleveland, but he also wanted to flee Miami.

I think anyone who saw the NBA Finals understood Wade wasn't exactly at the peak of his career and Bosh is still a very good NBA player, but the Heat had to do better at putting a supporting cast around LeBron. It didn't take a genius to see this. So LeBron is much smarter about basketball than Bill and me, but what I saw from LeBron's teammates were that he had to work hard to carry the team at times. Anyone watching the games could see it wasn't sustainable.

And his brain works like very few brains — not just now, but ever.

Bill is really, really overcomplicating things here. Cleveland had a good, young core on their rookie contracts, while Miami was getting older. LeBron chose to take a step back rather than ride out his time in Miami and hope they could put a good team around him. 

Do you think Michael Jordan was a genius?”

I asked Doug Collins that question during the 2014 NBA Finals, on the afternoon of Game 3, hours before San Antonio transformed into some crazy hybrid of Russell’s Celtics, Walton’s Blazers and Bradley’s Knicks. We were eating lunch at our hotel’s pool, flanked by the radiantly blue ocean off Brickell Key, talking hoops, because that’s what you do when you’re around Doug.

Ah yes, it is the "Stories about the NBA Countdown Crew" section of Bill's column. It has become a staple along with "Throw up a YouTube video to kill space" and "Here's a Half-Assed Theory" whenever Bill writes a column.

The man has enough stories for three books, but too much respect for the game, and for the relationships he has cultivated over the years, to ever actually write one.

Meanwhile Bill doesn't give a shit about the game or his relationships, he just wants money and fame, which is why he was going to write a book with Steve Nash about his time in the NBA. I'm not blaming him. Money is great. Just pointing this out.

Fourteen years later, he started coaching Michael Jordan — someone who collected more ripped-out hearts than anyone. Do you think Michael Jordan was a genius? I barely got the words out of my mouth.

And Bill had not spoken for a full ten minutes, so he was really pissed off Doug Collins barely let him finish the sentence.

“Oh yes,” Collins said. “There’s no question.”

What did Bill expect Collins to say? "No, Jordan was a dumbass"?

If he sensed that a particular teammate would fail him, he’d gesture to Collins to remove that person from the game. All these years later, Collins delights in imitating how Jordan did it — by making eye contact with his coach, glancing toward the offending teammate, then unleashing one of those “Get him the F out of here” grimaces. Almost always, his instincts were right.

Of course prior to Michael Jordan being the super-winner that he ended up being, teammates found this behavior annoying and there was a book called "The Jordan Rules" by Sam Smith that detailed how Jordan would often try to fight and mentally tear down his teammates. So while Jordan's instincts were right, he wasn't quite the genius under Doug Collins he is played up to be.

Michael Jordan was an excellent basketball player who had a feel for how to play the game and was a genius in terms of understanding basketball. He had the experience, instincts and the knowledge required to be considered a genius in his field of sport. Great basketball players (or anyone who is an expert in his respective field) are geniuses compared to others who play the game of basketball that aren't professionals (or an expert in his/her respective field).

Of course, the greatest sequence of Jordan’s career didn’t involve teammates: Game 6 of the 1998 Finals, 41.9 seconds remaining, Chicago trailing by three. Pippen inbounded the ball at half court, and after that, nobody on Chicago touched it again. Jordan ripped through Utah’s defense for a floating layup, swiped the ball from Karl Malone like he was snatching a purse, then drained the title-winning jumper in Bryon Russell’s mug. It wasn’t just the storybook ending that made it so unforgettable, or even Jordan’s incomparable brilliance, but how premeditated everything seemed. There was something genuinely spooky about it.

It's like Jordan was intentionally trying to score points in order to win the game and he was attempting to score these points as quickly as possible because there was less than a minute left in the contest. It's eerie how Jordan knew the Bulls were losing and his team had to score points at a faster pace. Was Jordan's ability to score points based on the premeditated decision to win the game or is there something innate in him that encourages him to win games during the NBA Finals?

I watched Jordan play in person, many times, at various stages of his career. 

But never from the makeshift NBA Countdown set with the small television, so Bill never really WATCHED Jordan play in person.

when the Bulls occasionally rolled through Boston and eviscerated the carcass of Celtic Pride. One particular night, we turned on the locals and started cheering what we were watching. It didn’t happen because we were selling out, but because we had witnessed a special kind of greatness during the Bird Era. We knew what it meant. We knew how fragile it was. We missed seeing it.

Hey, it's a story about the Celtics and their fans. Remember when this column was about LeBron James coming back to Cleveland? As usual, every Bill Simmons column about the NBA is really about the Boston Celtics and their fans. In this case, it's not that the Celtics fans were selling out, it's just they are so much smarter than any other NBA fans only they could appreciate the greatness that was Michael Jordan. No other fans understood what it meant to see greatness because they didn't go through the Bird Era. Could Bill be more insufferable?

Pippen moved like Michael, saw the court like Michael, jumped passing lanes like Michael and blended with Michael’s game like a non-identical twin. It was crazy. I will never forget watching it for the rest of my life. Bird and Magic were genuises, too, but shit, they never figured out how to replicate themselves.

Yes, but shit, Bird and Magic didn't replicate themselves like Jordan did. Probably because there aren't too many 6'9" point guards out there nor are there basketball players with the high basketball IQ that Bird had. But Pippen was a replicant of Michael Jordan. The same thing, no differences, as long as you don't count all the differences between them.

For that reason and many others, I am never seeing a better basketball player than Michael Jordan.

I mean, shit, he replicated himself and all. That's some high-end science stuff right there.

“I was there,” Doug Collins will tell you. “We need to stop comparing people to Michael. We are NEVER seeing that again.”

Bill Simmons will now indeed start comparing LeBron to Jordan by stating they are both geniuses. Not basketball geniuses, but just geniuses overall.

From December 1990 through the 1998 Finals, not including his baseball sabbatical, the Chicago Bulls never lost three straight games with Jordan. Given the unforgiving NBA schedule, nonstop travel and general wear and tear, that’s basically impossible. But it happened. The man hated losing THAT much. Either he brought the best out of a teammate or he dumped that teammate like a showrunner killing off a struggling character. 

This doesn't make him a genius. It makes him a very good basketball player who brought out the best in his teammates. Intelligence doesn't translate to winning games or else the Ivy League would have won quite a few NCAA Tournament titles over the last 20 years.

Still, that was an exclusive genius — Jordan couldn’t transfer those gifts to others, with Pippen the lone exception.

Yeah, but Jordan replicated himself through Pippen. It wasn't a direct translation of skills but a replication of skills. It's a totally different scientific process.

Bird and Magic went the other way — if they made their teammates better, it gave them a better chance to win. Like Jordan, they were basketball savants who possessed a supernatural feel for what should happen collectively on every play, as if they had already studied the play’s blueprint and come up with a plan of attack.

Yeah, Larry Bird was great. Unfortunately this article is about LeBron James, so maybe we should either write about LeBron James or get to the fucking point quickly. Sound good?

Bird’s first Celtics coach, Bill Fitch, affectionately nicknamed Bird “Kodak,” explaining to a writer that Bird’s “mind is constantly taking pictures of the whole court.” You could have said that about Magic, too. That’s what made them such devastating passers; they always knew where every teammate would be.

Yep, Bird and Magic were great. Of course it's easy to trust your teammates and make them better when you have teammates you can trust to be in the right spot at the right time. Kareem, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, James Worthy, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton, Michael Cooper, and Mychal Thompson could be counted on to be on the right spot at the right time. Luc Longley, Will Perdue, and Craig Hodges? Not quite as much. It's almost like there are different methods to achieve the goal of winning, but that can't be true, can it? How could Bill waste space if his point was capable of being made in just a few sentences?

Bird learned how to fully harness “it” during the 1984-85 season; for Magic, “it” didn’t happen until two seasons later. And here’s what “it” is. Each guy could assess any basketball game — in the moment, on the fly — and determine exactly what his team needed.

It's halfway through this article and Bill still hasn't gotten to the point about LeBron James and why God loves Cleveland. He is so out of ideas that even when he is inspired to write a column, he is only inspired to write a short column and has to fill the rest of the column in with rambling around about topics ancillary to his intended topic.

That seems simple, right? It’s impossible.

You need to understand every strength and weakness of your teammates.

You need to realize that you can’t dominate every game, that your teammates have to shine occasionally — if only because it enables them and allows you to count on them later. You can make that concession because you know, deep down, that you can take over whenever you want.

You need to be so good, so talented, so ridiculously dominant, that you don’t even think about it anymore. It’s almost like breathing.

And you need to embrace the performance aspects of what you’re doing.

You’re not just playing basketball anymore. You’re an artist. You’re creating something that you want people to remember. Every arena is filled with people who may not have seen you before. On the road, you love silence. That’s your favorite sound. You want to hear cheering and yelling, you want to hear the panic, and then, you want nothing. Just a sound vacuum other than your teammates yelling and screaming. You want them dejectedly filing out of their arena, feeling like someone just hit them with a wrecking ball. You want them muttering that you’re the best player they ever saw, and that they have absolutely no idea how to stop you. That’s your goal on the road.

I include this portion of the column because I want you, the reader of this blog, to know what I have to wade through when covering a Bill Simmons column. If you are not reading the column I link, then you are probably a smart person. That's my point. This is just a bunch of space killer.

Collins told me a fantastic Bird story once.

I ask this despite the fact this column should obviously be about Larry Bird since it is about Larry Bird, but has Doug Collins ever told you a fantastic LeBron James story? If so, I think it would fit in this column supposedly about why God loves Cleveland in regard to LeBron James signing with the Cavaliers as a free agent.

In Chicago, Bird was feeling ornery because the Bulls had screwed up his complimentary tickets. He noticed Collins on the sideline, complained about the tickets and asked him what the “house record” was. Then he vowed to break it. Uh-oh. 

I'm guessing Bill models his childish temper tantrums over fairly irrelevant matters after Larry Bird as well.

You don’t get the nickname “Larry Legend” because of Game 7s, you get it because you brought it on those random November nights in Chicago because someone messed up your tickets. That’s a very specific kind of art, a genius crafting his performance with anger and competitive drive. That’s the final level of basketball. And when you get there, it’s not just about titles anymore.

(Falls asleep at the keyboard realizing it's over halfway through this column and Bill is still introducing the topic)

So what about this? What if LeBron James cared about making everything right in Ohio … but he also cared about protecting his ceiling as an artist? He couldn’t create what he wanted to create in Miami.

The replication machine that Michael Jordan used to replicate himself is only available in the Midwest, so obviously LeBron had to go back to Cleveland to take advantage of this. LeBron is an artist and the only cure for improving his portraits was finding more talented brushes.

This had quietly become 2009 and 2010 all over again — LeBron stuck on the wrong team, with the wrong teammates, being asked to do too much like he has been throughout his career.

This had not quietly happened. In fact, Bill wrote article (after the season was over, granted) about how Wade was declining and Bosh was becoming Sam Perkins. I think anyone who viewed the NBA Finals saw the burden being placed on LeBron. If he didn't perform well, the Heat struggled.

During Game 5 of the 2014 Finals, something happened that few people noticed because San Antonio played so wonderfully. Trailing by seven after halftime, LeBron came out for the third quarter and wouldn’t shoot. Every pass was sent with a little extra zip, as if he were telling Micky Arison and Pat Riley, here’s the team you stuck me with.

I'm going to need a chart explaining when it is fine for LeBron James to start giving up on his team. When he was with the Cavaliers and mailed in a playoff game then he was a bad person who only cared about himself, but when he's mailing it in while playing for the Heat, he's just sending a message to management that he needs better teammates...despite the fact he went to Miami from Cleveland originally for the reason that he would have better teammates. So please, I need the chart showing when LeBron is being an asshole by not playing up to his ability or when he is justified to not play up to his ability in order to prove a point.

Watching it in person, you could tell he was tired and pissed, but you couldn’t tell if it was because the season was slipping away … or because of something deeper. 

I love this "watching it in person" crap Bill throws in now that he is on NBA Countdown. Funny how he sees things that no one else can see because he's watching the game in person. Of course, this doesn't mean his observations about the NBA, as seen through the television over his previous 40 years are any less insightful of course. He's still preaching the truthful gospel when he can't attend a game, but he wants his readers to give extra weight to the observations he makes while watching a game in person. Because, he's there. 

Midway through the fourth quarter, trailing by 18, he missed a 3 and didn’t even run back on defense. The man was totally spent, mentally and physically. He had given everything he could give.

If LeBron didn't run back on defense when he was with Cleveland then he was a quitter who had given up on his teammates. In this situation with the Heat, he was completely justified. He was just spent, not being an asshole.

When he signed with Miami in 2010, I wrote that LeBron copped out, that he joined forces with Wade over doing the honorable thing and trying to defeat him. But the more I watched LeBron and the more stories I read about him, the more I wondered if something more organic had driven that decision.

You are going to love this. Rather than just write, "I was wrong" like any normal, non-ego driven writer who can't stand the thought of being wrong would do, Bill throws another half-assed theory out there to cover up for his original half-assed theory that was eventually proven incorrect. Bill wasn't wrong, he just wasn't as right as he is now.

What if LeBron was a genius like Bird and Magic?

What if he KNEW he was a genius?

I never thought about that, mostly because I don't make things up and then believe I discovered something deeper than I really have in overcomplicating an issue, but I didn't think of this. What if LeBron James knew he was a genius? What if he had never told anyone this, but he KNEW he was one of the great NBA players of all-time. How did "we" not see that LeBron James is good at basketball?

What if he was searching for some basketball version of the Holy Grail, some higher state of being, a level of basketball that he couldn’t find in Cleveland?

You mean like win an NBA Title? That's exactly why LeBron left Cleveland, to win an NBA Title. So there is no "what if" in this situation. It was pretty standard knowledge that LeBron left to find something he didn't think he could find in Cleveland. As usual, Bill overcomplicates an issue in order to confuse his lemming-like readers into believing he is saying something of substance that has any originality.

What if those nights during that first season when Wade (still at the peak of his powers) and LeBron (hitting his prime of primes) would take off after a rebound and unleash the most devastating two-on-one fast breaks we’ve ever seen in our lives … what if THAT was what LeBron really cared about, just playing hoops with someone who saw the game the way he did?

Oh my gentle Jesus. This is exactly why LeBron left Cleveland. He left to play with talented players who he believed could win him the NBA Title he so desperately wanted to win. He played with Bosh and Wade on the Olympic team and thought they would be a good fit together.

I think Bill Simmons truly believes he is spitting out some sort of knowledge here, but he's simply summarizing in more hyperbolic words why LeBron left Cleveland to go to Miami in the first place. He wanted to play with guys who saw the game the way he did so they could complement each other. I mean, this is really, really basic information, no matter how much Bill tries to pretend it isn't.

We never talk about his brain enough. Somehow we talk about everything else, but not that.

Maybe "we" should talk about his brain more while "we" are on national television talking about LeBron James. I know "we" always forget.

Bill's use of "us," "we", and any other term used to lump a large group of people together is annoying. There's no way getting around it. Stop using words in the plural in order to throw an entire group of people together like they all have the same thought that you do.

He’s the most criticized basketball star since Wilt Chamberlain, blessed and cursed by his immense physical advantages. Maybe that’s what happens when you blend the best of Magic, Mailman and Scottie into one frightening 270-pound package, only if that human had an unstoppable motor and Bird’s DNA.

There is no Scottie Pippen, just the replicant clone of Michael Jordan. Remember?

But you know what he can’t do? Play basketball at an insanely high level without the right teammates.


At this point, his résumé is unassailable: He could retire tomorrow as one of the best seven players ever.

I can't wait for the 5000 word essay from Bill on where LeBron is on his Pyramid of Basketball or whatever the hell that thing was in his "Book of Basketball."

I'm kidding of course. I can wait.

We always point to his physical gifts, but none other than Paul George recently called him the league’s smartest player. Think about THAT for a second.

You are going to have to give me a few hours. I have a small brain that hasn't watched an NBA game with the NBA Countdown crew, so I can't process information as quickly as you can.

Then Bill re-writes the LeBron "I'm Coming Home" magazine article with the "I'm a genius" bullshit and it's as bad as you can imagine. In fact, it ends like this:

I want to use all of my skills. I am Magic and Larry and Barkley and Malone in the same body. I am an artist. That’s what I am.

Apparently LeBron writes like he's Popeye.

I have caught LeBron in person maybe 50 times.

(Bengoodfella dies, his life now complete knowing how many times Bill has caught LeBron in person)

My favorite night happened in Game 4 of this year’s Eastern Conference finals against Indiana, right after Lance Stephenson stupidly challenged him. LeBron said he didn’t take Lance’s buffoonery personally, only we knew that he did.

Oh, "we" totally knew.

His numbers weren’t mind-blowing: just 29 points and nine rebounds through three quarters. But he dominated the proceedings in every conceivable way. You never forgot he was out there, not for a second. He made the correct basketball decision every time, even something as simple as “I should push the pace right here” or “I’m just gonna assume that Norris Cole is in the left corner even if I can’t see him, so I’m going to throw a 50-foot pass over my head to that spot and hope he catches it.”

LeBron had two turnovers so it seems he didn't make the correct basketball decision every time. Sorry, hyperbole on...

During the third quarter, I texted a friend that “this was an all-time non-signature signature game, he’s made like 13 incredible plays.” Almost on cue, the man made two more, including an insane full-court push that finished with a reverse dunk in traffic.

Because Bill KNEW LeBron was having a non-signature signature game. This anecdotal evidence proves it as true. What an all-time non-signature signature observation by Bill Simmons. 

LeBron loves playing at home — loves seeing the arena covered in white,

If LeBron likes to see white in his home arena, he should have signed with Boston then.

He’s been great at basketball for years and years, but now he’d figured out the sport itself. He reached that final level. This was art. This was genius plus performance.

It seems Bill has been hitting those hyperbole classes at ESPN hard lately. This column is the most hyperbolic column I have ever read in my entire life and probably the most hyperbolic column ever written. It's like Bill has reached that final level. His hyperbole is art now. This is bullshit plus space filler.

In an underrated movie called Six Degrees of Separation, Will Smith plays a scam artist who infiltrates the lives of four different wealthy families in Manhattan.

Since this movie is underrated, what is the proper rating for this movie? I'm just wondering. It's based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play, Stockard Channing was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, and it has a 88% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I would just like to know how it was underrated or the criteria Bill has used to come to this conclusion.

But as long as LeBron could keep cooking those Will Smith meals, Miami would be fine. Or so we thought. His Game 4 meal was a thing of beauty. He brought out the Magic course, the Jordan course and the Pippen course, even throwing in Bird and Barkley appetizers for good measure.

Charles Barkley doesn't do appetizers. Come on Bill, you know that about Charles. I would think you spend so much time looking up at him and TNT in the NBA pregame show ratings you would have studied Barkley enough to know he does buffets, not appetizers.

Who could have guessed that LeBron had only seven Miami games left? 

There were a few people who guessed.

I thought they were headed for a three-peat. I thought LeBron was never leaving Miami. I couldn’t see the things that he saw.

Well, he is a genius, so...

I watched Game 4 from our NBA Countdown set, sitting on the metal steps, and at one point, I emailed an NBA Entertainment friend asking if their photographer could snap a picture. I thought it could be a cool photo — me wearing a blue suit, surrounded by happy Heat fans dressed in white, the Celtics fan trapped in enemy territory, all of us watching someone at the peak of their powers. I just wanted to have it for 30 years from now. I know that sounds sappy, but that’s how I felt.

The truth is, I didn’t know when this would be happening again. And I still don’t.

Based on this column, it seems this will be happening again this very upcoming 14/15 NBA season. After all, LeBron has:

He’s been great at basketball for years and years, but now he’d figured out the sport itself. He reached that final level. This was art. This was genius plus performance.

LeBron has figured out basketball, so this upcoming season Bill can watch LeBron in Cleveland while he is at the peak of his powers. I mean, right? Isn't that the point of this column? LeBron is a genius and he's figured basketball out. He isn't retiring and isn't on the wrong side of 30, so he still is at the peak of his powers for a few more years. So when NBA Countdown inevitably comes to Cleveland for a playoff game, this moment can happen again.

Magic and Bird were done before I graduated college. Jordan came and went before I turned 30. Duncan, Kobe, Hakeem and Shaq never quite got there — all of them were great, but they were never GREAT. 

Oh man, I'm not even touching this right now other than to say I completely disagree in every way possible. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Bill stated if any NBA player could have another player's career that it would be Duncan's career? Now Bill states that Duncan wasn't GREAT. As for Kobe and Shaq, Bill must not remember the late 1990's and early 2000's. Shaq was the dominant force in the NBA.

After him, you’re looking at Anthony Davis — someone with an infinitely better chance of becoming the next Duncan than a basketball genius — and there’s nobody on the immediate horizon. This might be it for a while.

It also helps the Bill Simmons is completely making this "basketball genius" shit up based on subjective criteria that he determines. So it's hard to argue with him too much without turning into a crazy person.

So yeah, I wanted a picture. Shoot me. I was there for Larry. I was there for Magic. I was there for Michael. And I was there for LeBron James. Now he’s bringing his genius back to Cleveland.

And "we" had no idea that LeBron was a basketball genius!

It’s the right move at the right time for the right guy. This will be fun.

So in summary, the Cavaliers don't deserve the #1 overall pick three out of four years because they have mismanaged their roster in Bill's opinion, but they totally deserve to sign the best active NBA player and one of the four basketball geniuses that have ever played in the NBA. It's almost like he makes this stuff up as he goes along. 


Anonymous said...

"We were eating lunch at our hotel’s pool, flanked by the radiantly blue ocean off Brickell Key, talking hoops, because that’s what you do when you’re around Doug."

As if the rest of us would only talk to Doug Collins about his ideas to combat global warming and bring peace to the Middle East. Of course Bill has to be the only one smart enough to only ask Doug about basketball.

Slag-King said...

And his brain works like very few brains — not just now, but ever.

So Igor got Lebron a defective brain? Bill must have been smoking something to have crafted this sentence--it's really bad.

Ugh enough of the Boston Celtics. We get it that its your favorite team, but please, no more!

What if he KNEW he was a genius?

So what! Even a genius makes colossal mistakes all the time. So Bill is preaching that Lebron is immortal and infallible?

So how does God loves Cleveland again? Was this just a click-bait headline?

Slag-King said...

Wait, does this mean that Bill thinks that Lebron is God?

Anonymous said...

Bill's ego won't allow him to think someone other than him is God. I think maybe it's a Greek God scenario. Lebron is just one of many in the pantheon. Of course Bill would be Zeus since he already has a Mount Olympus in the NBA Countdown set.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I would probably talk about Chris Collins to Doug, but that is still basketball related.

Slag, he's saying LeBron knows he is a genius now. He didn't know before, but now he knows he's a genius and this means something. Meaning what, I'm not entirely sure.

Yes, the title was click-bait seemingly.

I think Bill was referring to himself not being mad at Cleveland for getting the #1 overall pick again. That's what I figured.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I say this with every other Simmons column, but goddamn, this is the worst column ever.

Anonymous said...

Trailing by seven after halftime, LeBron came out for the third quarter and wouldn’t shoot.

This is true. LeBron didn't shoot:

MIA FGAs, 3rd Q, 2014 NBA Finals

L. James......5
C. Bosh.......4
D. Wade.......4
R. Allen......3
M. Beasley....1
M. Chalmers...1


Anonymous said...

Simmons is terrible, I'm amazed anyone gives him any credibility.

Bengoodfella said...

When I read this column to see if I wanted to cover it, I wasn't sure until I got to the part where Bill wrote "What if he KNEW he was a genius?" At that point I knew he really was wandering aimlessly in this column. The idea LeBron is a genius because he is great at basketball...what if he's just a really complete basketball player with a lot of experience to know how to manage the game and his teammates? It makes him a great basketball player, not a genius.

I wish I had fact-checked that now. In Bill's defense, he was on the Countdown set and there is a really small makeshift television. Plus, Bill sort of makes up what he wants to happen rather than pay attention to what did really happen.

He has a ton of credibility. I think Fire Jay Mariotti wrote it best in their latest post about Bill. I won't try to top it, so here's what Larry B wrote:

"Just because this guy was born on third base, and then caught lightning in a bottle at the onset of the sports blogosphere, it's supposed to be entertaining to see him being excited for his team while wearing a suit and sitting with actual professional sports analysts?"

That about sums his draft appearance up for me. He's great at opinions and creating facts based on his opinion. It's gotten him this far.

rich said...

Every pass was sent with a little extra zip, as if he were telling Micky Arison and Pat Riley, here’s the team you stuck me with.

1) How does Bill know the passes had extra zip? Seriously, that's hyperbolic bullshit.

2) This is the team he stuck himself with. Sorry, you don't team up with two of your buddies, all demanding max money, then get to lament about the lack of good supporting players.

Even then, I don't think any of this is true. Stag already pointed out the fallacy of the lack of shooting and I think Lebron, like any athlete, was just pissed to be getting their ass kicked.

His numbers weren’t mind-blowing: just 29 points and nine rebounds through three quarters.

That works out to a 40 point, 12 rebound game. That's pretty fucking great.

Magic and Bird were done before I graduated college. Jordan came and went before I turned 30.

So this level of greatness is so rare that Boston chanted for Jordan... except that Bill basically watched greatness until he was 30.

Then what? Had a six years filled with apparently not great players like Kobe, Shaq and Duncan?

Seriously, Jordan retired in 1998 (neglecting the Wizards years), Lebron entered the league in 2004. He's complaining about the lack of a "once in a generation" player being in the NBA for six years...

I don't exactly remember the early 00's having a dearth of talent... Iverson, Carter, Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, etc. etc.

It'd be like Brady and Manning retiring from the NFL and then complaining that guys like Brees and Rodgers are great, but not great, sorry they aren't GREAT.

Anonymous said...

"It didn’t happen because we were selling out, but because we had witnessed a special kind of greatness during the Bird Era. We knew what it meant. We knew how fragile it was. We missed seeing it"

I'm probably prone to exaggeration, but this is among the dumbest things I've ever read. BOSTON FANS ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FANS. Everyone appreciated MJ's greatness. Having cheered for a good team in the 1980s does not make you better fans or somehow smarter about basketball than anyone else.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, once Brady and Manning retire there will be no more QB's that are great. Why? Because Rodgers isn't a genius! Not a genius. I'm sure that would be Bill's response.

Anon, I hate the idea that one fan base is smarter than another or can appreciate a player more than another fan base. I remember the first time MJ came to Charlotte during the Hornets expansion season. The fans had never had an NBA team before that season, and trust me, they understood the greatness they saw with Jordan being on the court.

Jordan's greatness was obvious and it didn't take a genius (get it?) to see it.

The LakerGenera11 said...

You know reading your articles calling out Bill Simmons on his objectionable BS is so refreshing that it's sad. I'm not mad at the man making his money it's America whatever but I get so pissed to hear people listen to his word as Gospel it saddens me as a sports fan. Especially Media Bias. Everyone is supposed to be ok with WITNESSING LBJ "quit" on his teammates and say its ownership fault, he did this about 3-4 times every player has done it. but its amazing how we should just shut up and appreciate a man that is playing with 2 future hall of famers and Chris Bosh who is a damn good player who got pushed out to the wing but whatever and yet cry foul for needing more help. The Media and these sports pundits have so much pull to make the masses believe anything bc when Kobe pulled that stunt and he had garbage no one played the violin they wanted his head. Bill Simmons is such a clown and its amazing to read how well you break down his BS. Im sure it must be taxing on you to go through his crap and actually read it. Constantly asking yourself who really likes the way this guy writes articles? He doesn’t represent the Fan he represents himself with an agenda of who's my friend and who's not. Who do I want to be on a pedestal and who do I want to be dogged out. I doubt he's ever played basketball or any competitive sport in his life. Keep up the great work. Oh and what makes matters worst is he made no reference to his title in his damn article!! none how do you create a title and there is not one cue to it in your article. Damn he pisses me off and I'm a writer as well geez he sickens me. PS srry for any misspelled words.

Bengoodfella said...

It's not always easy to cover a Bill Simmons column. It takes some effort and I have to be ready to dig into it. His articles have become more and more rambling too. They seem to lack a coherent focus.

Anonymous said...

Thank you sir. Thank you thank you thank you. Please keep tearing down the Simmonses, Klostermans, and Gladwells of our time. Some of us do not like to read things with a condescending prose. Oh dear, I just said "us"! I must be speaking for everyone now! Damn you Simmons!