Monday, May 4, 2015

6 comments Bill Simmons Keeps His Mailbag Oath for One Week, Manages to Shoehorn an "Awards" Column Gimmick Into a Mailbag

Bill Simmons vowed to do mailbags every week during the NBA playoffs. Even he doesn't believe that he will be able to keep this vow. In his first playoff mailbag, Bill manages to not only use the mailbag gimmick, but he also does the "handing out awards" gimmick for his column as well. AND he calls the mailbag the "Mailbag Reunion Tour," which is a gimmick-y name given to the mailbag. So that's three gimmicks to pump out one column. Things are getting dicey for Bill of late and he's probably disappointed Kelly Olynyk's battery upon Kevin Love could have hurt Love's chances of signing with the Celtics in the offseason. Of course, that happened after this mailbag was published, so his reaction will come later. For now, Bill kept his oath to not be lazy and published a mailbag for one week. Bill was so lazy that he couldn't even write an introduction to the mailbag without a gimmick like "handing out awards."

Before we tackle a few mailbag questions, I need to jack up some shots to get loose. Let’s rip through a few quick Round 1 awards.

Bill can't even get through writing part of a column without attaching some gimmick to it. It's becoming ridiculous.

Stand under the basket and rebound for me, please. Seriously. Go down there. And throw me nice, crisp passes right at my chest. Thanks.

You can almost hear Bill counting out the words to make sure the introduction is long enough to merit moving on to the awards. He feels like his introduction has to be more than two sentences, so he rambles a little bit.

The Game of Thrones Award for Most Enjoyable Viewing Experience

Game 1 of Clips-Spurs featured two all-time Blake dunks; the best-ever CP3-and-Blake-peaking-in-the-same-game performance; Aron Baynes being defiled in so many different ways that everyone in Staples Center kept waiting for the Gimp from Pulp Fiction to climb out of a trunk;

Everyone in the crowd was immediately thinking about a pop-culture reference to a 21 year old movie while at a sporting event. 

In 10 years of owning Clips season tickets, that’s the fourth-best Clips game I’ve ever attended, trailing only Game 7 of Warriors-Clips in 2014, LeBron vs. Peak Dumbleavy in 2009 and the unforgettable 2007 contest when Tim Thomas played 30 minutes without ever crossing either 3-point line.

Great, glad you had a good time. My main concern is whether Bill Simmons has a good time at a Clippers game and where he would rank this Clippers game in the Official Pantheon of Clippers Games That He Has Attended. This is all I'm concerned about. 

The Joe House/Other Shoe Theory Award for Worst But Most Inevitable Playoff Loss
In Game 3 against Golden State, the Pelicans blew a 55-point fourth-quarter lead in less than four minutes (all numbers approximate) in such an unsurprising meltdown that (a) I had to catch a 6:11 a.m. Acela train this morning from Boston to New York, (b) I was lying in my hotel bed at midnight thinking to myself, I could go to sleep right now and I’d get five solid hours, and (c) I stayed awake only because the Warriors AND Monty Williams were involved. Any member of the 400-Hour Club (those who have watched more than 400 hours of League Pass this season) learned by December never to give up on a seemingly insurmountable Pelicans lead or Warriors deficit. This was the perfect storm.

You can tell that Bill's parents spent a good portion of his childhood telling him just how fucking special and important he was. Bill has to create special, exclusive clubs that he's a member of in order to give himself some sense of authority for the statements he's made. So Bill's opinion that the playoff loss was inevitable comes from Bill's opinion that 400 hours of watching League Pass gives him the knowledge to know this. So to sum it up, Bill's opinion the lead was not insurmountable was proven by Bill's opinion (after the fact of course) that he had watched enough basketball this year to come to the conclusion. Personally, I could know the lead wasn't insurmountable because the Warriors won 67 games this year and the Hornets are the #8 seed. But that's just me.

Additional note for the history nerds out there: For the 2015 Warriors to go down as an all-time team, they need to win the title AND finish 16-4 in the playoffs AND sweep at least two series AND submit a few memorable lay-the-smack-down games along the way AND create three or four iconic moments (like Curry’s game-saving Shoulda-Been-A-Four-Pointer). 

Additional note for Bill Simmons: He doesn't make the rules and the Warriors don't have to do all of this and can still be considered an all-time team. His opinion isn't the fact upon which all other judgments should be based.

Additional additional note for Bill Simmons: Lay-the-smack-down games and iconic moments are completely subjective metrics and have zero meaning as to whether the Warriors are an all-time team.

The G-Baby Award for Most Depressing Sports Funeral

The violent, grisly, emotionally scarring and unexpectedly abrupt death of Playoff Rondo ranks right up there with the end of Furious 7 for me. I loved Playoff Rondo almost as much as I loved National TV Rondo.

IT'S ONLY BECAUSE RONDO COULDN'T MOTIVATE HIMSELF TO PLAY IN THE PLAYOFFS WHEN HE'S NOT IN FRONT OF THE GREATEST FAN BASE IN SPORTS! NO ONE DENIES THIS IS TRUE!

I would love to know how my wife handled it if we were to go out for dinner once a week for four weeks, and every time, I wouldn’t say that much and would act weird but make just enough jokes to make the dinner passable … only every time we went out with another couple, I’d be hilarious and gregarious and charismatic and keep telling everyone, “You’re with Double-Date Simmons tonight!!!!!”

Bill's wife would probably point out that your jokes aren't as hilarious as he thinks they are and I think he seems to have the on-air charisma of a cardboard cut-out, so it's probably not much better in person. I do like how Bill clearly thinks so highly of himself to where he knows he can be hilarious, gregarious and charismatic any time that he wants to. It's quite the ego that Bill has to where he thinks, "I can make anyone like me any time I want because I have all these positive characteristics."

You know what would happen? She’d dump Double Date Simmons and Regular Season Simmons. Only in sports can you pull off the idea of Playoff Rondo.

You are an abomination.

The Comedy Central Not Locking Up John Oliver Award for Biggest Mistake

Dallas gambled (AND ruined their bench AND wasted a first-round pick) by flagrantly violating the “You can get away with one head case, just don’t give him someone to hang out with” rule by teaming up Monta Ellis and Rondo.

This is a hard-and-fast rule, just as long as you ignore that Dennis Rodman played on the same team as Adrian Dantley, Bill Laimbeer, and Rick Mahorn. Those guys may not have been all head cases, but they weren't always easy to get along with. But whatever, I'm sure Bill believes this rule is hard-and-fast because he made it up.

And even worse, they never considered things like, “Should we be worried that Rick Carlisle is a control freak who wants constant ball movement and Rondo loves to dominate the ball and control everything?” and “Should we be worried that Rondo can’t get to the line, can’t make free throws and can’t shoot 3s even though we’re in the pace-and-space/3s-and-free-throws era?”

Which is an excellent question to ask in order to explain why Rondo didn't succeed with the Mavericks. Though I would wonder how Rondo succeeded with the Celtics while playing in the same era where pace-and-space/3s-and-free-throws were important. Ah, it's needless to ask. Bill's making shit up again. It seems this era of making free throws and 3s started when Rondo got traded to the Mavericks. That exact day. It's weird how Playoff Rondo never played in this era and managed to succeed regardless.

The Roger Goodell Award for Biggest Hypocrite

Me. For everything in the previous paragraph. See, I absolutely LOVED the Rondo trade for Dallas and thought he was a semi-shell of himself in Boston only because he was playing possum. I haven’t misfired like that since … oh, wait, I’m wrong all the time. On the bright side, we finally got to watch an NBA star carry himself in playoff games with the exact same enthusiasm as a divorced dad ringing the doorbell of his ex-wife’s house.

Bill is admitting he was wrong and is always wrong! This, of course, won't stop him from making up laws/rules/corollaries/lists that prove his own opinion that he's right about something. He's wrong all the time, but this list of four questions, AND ONLY FOUR QUESTIONS, that determine an MVP season? You can totally trust those four FOOL-PROOF questions to be the only questions you need when determining an MVP season, even though Bill is wrong all the time. It's the Gospel of Bill unless it isn't.

I swear, my marriage isn’t in trouble. That Rondo thing was so ugly that I could only think of it in terms of divorce analogies. You should have seen the extended Squid and the Whale analogy that I ended up not using.

I'm sure there is one of Bill's lemming-like followers that would actually be concerned if Bill's marriage is in trouble. These are sad people, if true. Overall, I don't give a shit if Bill's marriage is in trouble or not. Just because your readers read what you write, doesn't mean they care about you personally...or they shouldn't at least.  

The Scott Mitchell Award for Biggest Loser
Rondo lost between $30 million and $40 million this summer with that Mavericks fiasco. On the bright side, drunk Lakers fans and drunk Knicks fans everywhere are texting their friends, “Dp you think we csn get Ronddo at a bigf disconyt?”

Apparently Lakers and Knicks fans are texting their friends on phones that don't have auto-correct.

The Last Man on Earth Award for Best New Series That Can’t Be Missed for Any Reason

If you have to explain the award then it sort of ruins the point of naming the award for that new series. Rather than name it "The Last Man on Earth" award, it could just be called "The Award for Best New Series that Can't be Missed for Any Reason." See? Naming it after the show becomes slightly redundant and I don't need the name of the show for the reader to understand what point I'm trying to get across. I know why Bill wants to include the show, because he is constantly compelled to make pop culture references. So the point of including "The Last Man on Earth" isn't to complement the column Bill is writing, but to drop a pop culture reference. Only the best writers include references that don't complement the body of the work he/she is writing.

Spurs-Clips is wildly overqualified for Round 1, which is the biggest reason it’s so damned fun — the NBA equivalent of throwing Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson into eight True Detective episodes. 

And Bill is still using "overqualified" as a thing that can describe a playoff series.

Game 2? That one had the intensity, weightiness, electricity and sophistication of an actual Finals game; got derailed by Hack-A-DeAndre and some uncharacteristically horrific Pop/Doc coaching; featured multiple bricks and multiple turnovers and multiple stars coming up short … and yet I absolutely loved being there for it. 

Bill Simmons was at this game. He's only mentioned that he was there for the game once, so he felt like he should mention it again in a less-subtle manner so that his readers understand that he was actually there for the game and it was a great experience for Bill personally. 

(Quick aside: I’ve been sharing Clips tickets with my friend Tollin since 2008, when I was about to give them up and he said, “Wait, you can’t give them up. What if they become good?” And then we both laughed for about 20 seconds before I said, “Screw it, one more year.” Anyway, we were walking out after Game 2 and Tollin said, “Spurs-Clippers … it’s just never gonna change with these guys, is it?” In other words, the Spurs continue to be the hammer and the Clippers continue to be the nail.)

Yes, it's never going to change with the Clippers. Wait, Bill and "Tollin" do realize how bad the Clippers were prior to be a consistent playoff contender, right? The Clippers were awful, so losing to the Spurs in the playoffs is a major step up for them. Like a big one compared to where they once were as a franchise. So it has changed for the Clippers and there's no "never gonna change" about it.

The Johnny Depp/Tonto Award for Most Glaring Moment That Doubled As a Snapshot for Someone’s Unfortunate Career Decline

If you have to explain why the award is named "Johnny Depp/Tonto Award," then the pop culture reference serves no point then does it? Name the award "Johnny Depp/Tonto Award," but don't explain it. Doing both ruins the point of the reference by making the reference more about the pop culture reference and less about the content of the article. Of course, Bill's writing isn't as snappy without the pop culture references, which should tell me something about his writing ability.

The Charlize Theron in Seth MacFarlane’s Wild West Movie Award for Best Unexpected Reminder That Someone Is Still an All-Time Treasure

I love Charlize. Best combination of looks and talent in the past 20 years. I will defend that lady to the death. Her IMDb page is the equivalent of LeBron being stuck with those crappy late-2000s supporting casts in perpetuity.

Bill loves "Charlize." She's so great and it's not her fault that she chooses to do crappy movies with crappy actors. It's not like she has a choice in the roles she takes. Charlize is just great though. By the way Bill, since you respect her so much, have you had the Theron?

But you know what? How many of these LeBronian playoff eviscerations are left? You know, the ones when he shows up in someone else’s house and breaks windows and plates and tables for two hours as 15,000 to 20,000 exuberant people slowly lose the will to live? Maybe … 15? Does he have 20?

17 more games. I just used the Three Questions for When LeBron Would Stop Dominating to come to this fool-proof conclusion. These three questions I asked myself to get the definitive answer on how many more playoff eviscerations LeBron has left. The questions are:

1. What number did Bill Simmons use? Pick a bigger number than Bill did.

2. What does "playoff evisceration" really mean? It will mean what I want it to be mean after LeBron is retired in order to make the point I want to make. Ask me after LeBron has retired.

3. If I had to pick one number that I wanted to represent how many playoff eviscerations LeBron has left, what would that number be? Does it match the number I want to choose in #1? If not, make them match.

Also, if LeBron has 15 or 20 playoff eviscerations left in him, that's still pretty good. That's the equivalent of 3.75 to 5 more playoff series that LeBron will singlehandedly win by eviscerating the opponent. Plus, 15 to 20 games is equivalent to 3.75 or 5 more playoff games on the road. So if LeBron has 15-20 road playoff game eviscerations left in him still, that's pretty fucking impressive. That's 15-20 road games he will win for his team (presumably the Cavs) in the playoffs. I'd take that. Yet, Bill makes it seem like this is a low number.

I mean, he’s closing in on 44,000 minutes by the end of this postseason.

LeBron eviscerating an opponent on the road for 15-20 more games is still an incredible amount of games. It's shockingly impressive. I'm not sure Bill understands what he's writing. He thinks he's making a great point that LeBron will get tired and not be able to compete at a high level in the playoffs much longer, but he's actually proving the opposite with his guess of 15-20 road games.

LeBron was, I don’t know, maybe EIGHT PERCENT better two years ago during his Miami apex?

Actually Bill, he's 9.87% percent better than he was two years ago during his Miami apex. It's a fact, so don't question it.

Then Bill rosterbates for a minute about potential trades the Raptors could make. I generally hate "what if's," which is a form of speculation that Bill insists on constantly participating in.

The Dragon Babies Award for Best Running Subplot

See? This reference didn't need to be explained. Good for Bill that he figured it out. 

Derrick Rose suddenly looking kinda maybe sorta like Derrick Rose again. (Note: I’m obeying all jinxing rules.) Even if they don’t make it past Round 2, he’s reclaimed enough of his trade value that, at the very least, Knicks fans are now petrified that Phil Jackson might flip their top-three pick for Rose in two months.

ALL Knicks fans are concerned about this. It just so happens this Knicks fan represents all Knicks fans because all of Bill's friends represent the opinion of fans from a certain team. Bill knows a Knicks fan who feels like Phil Jackson will trade for Derrick Rose, so Knicks fans in general obviously feel this same way.

Good time to morph into a mini-mailbag. 

Welp, this gimmick has run out. Time for a new one.

As always, these are actual questions from actual readers.

Sure they are. I believe it. If they are actual readers, their questions are also heavily edited, but I also don't believe all of these readers are real. I try to believe that real humans can't be as pathetic as those who write into Bill's mailbags are.

Q: Derrick Rose carrying the Bulls to the 2015 championship would be the best playoff story in NBA history, right?
 

—Dominic G., Champaign, IL

Here’s your current top five:

This is the official top five with no exceptions. None at all. It's the Gospel of Bill Simmons.

2. A running-on-fumes Celtics dynasty winning its last title (11 out of 13!) even though (a) player-coach Bill Russell and crunch-time god Sam Jones were retiring after the season, (b) they didn’t have home court in any playoff series, (c) they were heavy Finals dogs against a Lakers team that had Wilt, Elgin AND West, (d) three of their four Finals games were won in the final minute, (e) they won Game 7 on the road partly because a pissed-off Russell had stumbled upon the Lakers’ elaborate postgame plan for a balloon celebration.

I would have been shocked if the Celtics weren't a part of this top five.

3. The 2014 Spurs redeem the worst Finals loss ever while simultaneously murdering the LeBron era in Miami.

Really? This is one of the five greatest playoff stories in NBA history? I disagree.

Here’s what I love about Rose’s story (if it plays out in the best possible way): It’s like a sports movie, right? Local kid wins MVP, signs two huge contracts with the Bulls and Adidas, blows out his knee, comes back, keeps getting hurt, never gives up … and suddenly he’s holding a Finals MVP, crying on the podium and hugging his mom (played by Octavia Spencer) and his brother (played by Anthony Anderson). “Based on a true story: Michael B. Jordan plays Derrick Rose in The Rebound.

It is like a shitty sports movie that I would have no chance of watching. In Bill's opinion all sporting events are basically just pop culture references waiting to happen. Throw a few narratives in there and create some fake drama, that's all Bill wants to do. Then he will find tenuous ties between sports and pop culture. It's his dream that's become reality.

Q: On various podcasts, you’ve mentioned how home court advantage may no longer exist due to various reasons (StubHub, increasing cost, HDTV is so good). Flash forward to Wednesday night — had the Clips not given away Game 2, home teams would have been 14-2 in the first round. Have fun with that, road teams! Enjoy that SIMMONS STINK! SIMMONS!
 

—Ross, Santa Barbara, CA

Will Bill say, "I made it up and I'm full of shit"? Of course not. He doesn't like to be wrong. Just ask him, he'll tell you.

BS: My defense, only because I hate being wrong:

Told you.

Couldn’t you say that more people than ever are selling their regular-season tickets, then holding on to their playoff seats? Let’s see how Games 3 and 4 play out.

You could say that, but then Bill would still be absolutely wrong. The statement he has made several times is that home court advantage may no longer exist. Bill doesn't say home court advantage doesn't exist "only in the regular season," so he's wrong, because this home court advantage does seem to have appeared during the 2014-2015 playoffs. And to make matters worse, Bill attempts to weasel out of being wrong by pointing out that home court advantage isn't present in the regular season because more people are selling their regular season tickets, then wants to hold off on a sample of 16 games because he wants to see how two more games play out. But of course.

Q: The year Tim Duncan made his NBA debut, Seinfeld was still on the air, Bill Clinton was still having “sexual relations” with Monica Lewinsky, The English Patient won the Oscar, Spice Girls had the top-selling album, Google didn’t exist and I didn’t know how to masturbate yet (side note: I’m 30 now). Damn.
 

—Alex V

I'm going to guess that Alex is single and will probably stay single for a while, perhaps until the day his heart stops beating and he's put into the ground with a small group of loved ones who haven't alienated him as he slowly developed a life-long obsession with Bill Simmons gathered for his funeral. I'm guessing that Alex also probably has now learned to masturbate and Bill could be prominently involved with the inspiration Alex received to learn how. I don't even understand the point of writing in to Bill to say these things, other than simply craving the recognition that Bill gives him by printing his email.

It's disturbing to write "I didn't know to masturbate yet" to a man his mid-40's if there isn't some liquor involved and a few dollars exchanging hands immediately after this comment was made. Who writes in to a grown man with children and discusses when he learned to jerk himself off? It's disturbing.

Q: What would you say the LVP rankings of the playoffs are so far? Rondo is obviously first, then I would say D-Will at two.

—Brad, Huntington, WV

Honorable mention: Dame Lillard (even earned a rare TV upbraid from Barkley), Kyle Lowry (is he hurt???), Dirk Nowitzki (for defensive reasons only), Omer Asik (a plus-minus calamity), Masai Ujiri (for freezing at the trade deadline), Kelly Olynyk (could someone tell him the playoffs started?),

It's interesting that after Bill wrote this Kelly Olynyk tried to pull Kevin Love's arm off. I guess he moved off Bill's LVP honorable mention list.

Q: In the DFW area, it seems the common view now is that not resigning Josh Hamilton to a huge deal was a GREAT decision. Watching the Angels try to find ANY way to shed his albatross of a contract, we feel good about the decision. Is that how Boston fans feel about Rondo? Are Boston fans glad they “sold high,” or are they waiting to re-sign him after the season?
 

—Wes, Dallas

Great question and since Bill speaks for all Celtics fans he will be glad to answer it as if he does really speak for all Celtics fans.

BS: The only four things that would excite Boston fans less than a Rondo return: another 109 inches of snow next winter; the Globe announcing that it had re-signed Dan Shaughnessy for another 15 years; Boston winning the 2024 Summer Olympics bid; and the Red Sox signing Rick Porcello to a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension. (Listening.) Wait, what????

I can't disagree with most of those, but I would like to add that Bill Simmons moving back to Boston or writing another article about how one of his favorite teams defended their title better than any other team in the history of sports probably is something I would be less excited about as well.

Q: Thanks to State Farm we know that every NBA player has a separated-at-birth twin who ends up being an insurance agent. Chris Paul has Cliff, Stephen Curry has Sebastian, John Stockton has Don etc. Who would Rajon Rondo’s twin insurance agent would be?
 

—Matt, New York

BS: Definitely Rick Rondo, a name that makes him sound like a porn actor, WWE star or twin insurance agent. Are we sure Rick Rondo wasn’t the guy that Boston sent to Dallas three months ago? Your best case for a Rondo resurgence next season: If Dennis Rodman can average 15 rebounds per game in Chicago and win a ring 12 months after his 1995 Spurs flame-out that reverse-peaked with Rodman taking his sneakers off in a huddle during a key timeout in a key playoff game, I’m pretty sure we can’t write off Rondo yet.

Rondo's best case for a resurgence is a case that has absolutely nothing to do with Rajon Rondo. Of course, because 20 years ago Dennis Rodman rebounded from a tough time in San Antonio, this means Rondo can rebound as well. Also, notice how Bill is all like, "I'm pretty sure we can't write Rondo off yet," but he's playing both sides here. Earlier in the column he said the following three statements:

(And before you review Bill's statements, read that last sentence that is in italics again with emphasis on all those words. It sounds dumb when read a loud to emphasize those italicized words.)

Anyway, here are the three statements Bill made earlier in this gimmick-filled mailbag.

The violent, grisly, emotionally scarring and unexpectedly abrupt death of Playoff Rondo ranks right up there with the end of Furious 7 for me. I loved Playoff Rondo almost as much as I loved National TV Rondo.

Only in sports can you pull off the idea of Playoff Rondo. And now it’s dead. R.I.P.

And even worse, they never considered things like, “Should we be worried that Rick Carlisle is a control freak who wants constant ball movement and Rondo loves to dominate the ball and control everything?” and “Should we be worried that Rondo can’t get to the line, can’t make free throws and can’t shoot 3s even though we’re in the pace-and-space/3s-and-free-throws era?”

Bill believes it is too early to write off Rondo, yet he has already declared Playoff Rondo dead (which last time I checked meant, "not alive and won't come back") and said that the Mavericks should have worried about Rondo in an era where getting to the line, making free throws and shooting 3s is so vitally important. It sort of sounds like Bill is writing Rondo off himself, doesn't it?

Maybe Bill means that Playoff Rondo is dead in the same way Bill stated he was a hockey widow. What Bill means is once Rondo starts playing well again, then Playoff Rondo will be back, just like when the Bruins started competing for titles again Bill was right back on the bandwagon. Perhaps Bill also believes that after this season the era of making free throws and shooting 3s will be over. More likely, Bill is playing both sides and can now claim he said not to write Rondo off, while also semi-writing Rondo off himself.

Then Bill makes a reference to an MTV reality television show that I didn't get because I'm an adult and not one of the 14 people left in the world who still watch MTV reality shows. Really, there isn't anything wrong with these shows, but the vigor with which Bill Simmons cares about "Rivals II" or "The Gauntlet" is bizarre.

Q: With the Trail Blazers stunning playoff collapse, the injury to Wes Matthews, and The Assassination of Damian Lillard by the Coward Mike Conley, does LaMarcus Aldridge seriously contemplate leaving this summer? Imagine him and Kawhi in S.A. for the next five years!
 

—Paul C., Los Altos, CA

BS: I don’t mean to anger Rip City, but we have to discuss this one.

Yes Bill, you can anger an entire city with your opinion. You are that powerful with the bullshit you spew in a mailbag.

You could make a strong case for Aldridge being in play this summer.

Not a strong case, but a strong case. 

He’s from Dallas and attended the University of Texas, which opens up going-back-home possibilities in San Antonio (Duncan’s replacement?), Dallas (the Mavs’ new franchise guy?) AND Houston (his best chance for a quickie Finals trip).

Yes, Houston is Aldridge's best chance for a quickie Finals trip. You know, since the Rockets have made it to the Western Conference Finals on a consistent basis and all, plus his game matched with Dwight Howard's game on the low block aren't guaranteed to work together. Now Bill begins to ramble and contradict himself about how Aldridge wants to be more famous and get more commercials, even stating:

And by the way, Lillard is the Blazer getting commercials these days, not Aldridge. If you don’t think that matters to these guys, you’re crazy.

So of course playing with Howard and Harden, replacing Duncan, and going to a lesser Mavs team is the goal then, right? Actually these three teams and the "homecoming" possibility Bill threw out there was just a way to kill space and get to the real teams Bill thought Aldridge will want to play for. You'll never guess who one of the teams are. Never, ever guess. Think "homecoming in Texas," and then think the opposite of that.

Which makes me think Orlando (assets + talent + youth + Florida), Boston (assets + youth + role players + President Stevens + great owner/front office) and New York (biggest market, Carmelo, top-three pick, cap space) could be legitimate LaMarcus players here.

The Celtics are on the list Bill made of potential LaMarcus Aldridge destinations? No way! And of course Bill has stated before that few free agents want to play for the Knicks and Aldridge would be competing with Carmelo Anthony for commercials. Why wouldn't Aldridge want to come play for the Celtics? Doesn't every player want to come to Boston?

Four months ago, I would have said it was a 99 percent chance he stayed. Right now, it has to be 50/50. And dropping.

Gosh Bill, I have it at 64.3% right now. There must be something wrong with your "insistence on pulling a number out of thin air and hope it means something" metric.

If it means something to him to retire in Portland someday, he’ll stay. If not, he’ll leave. But it’s definitely not the best basketball situation for him.

And of course, going to one of three teams that are rebuilding, and one team specifically that is always rebuilding...now that is the best basketball situation for LaMarcus Aldridge.

Q: Do you think Tim Duncan has a painting with his soul entrapped in it that he is not allowed to look at?

—Michael, Binghamton, NY

BS: It can’t be ruled out. Important Duncan note that jumps out when you watch him in person … his left leg does not work.

His left leg does not work? I wonder if Duncan is aware of this? More importantly, why the fuck would I have to watch him in person to notice this? Isn't this noticeable on television or is this one of those dick-swinging things that Bill does where he acts like he is an expert on a team/player because he saw that team/player in person? 

Q: I went and played golf with three friends on Sunday. After we played, we went to a bar to drink beer, eat wings and watch the NBA playoffs. 

That's fucking great, Jeff from Webster, Texas. I'm glad you had a great day and felt the need to email Bill Simmons about it. I should probably just be happy Jeff didn't write in to Bill talking about when he learned to jerk off. It's really scary to think about the emails Bill receives which he doesn't publish. What do Bill's pathetic SimmonsClones write in that isn't appropriate to be published on Grantland? Anyway, back Jeff's riveting fucking day that I absolutely care about and is relevant to his question.

When we got to the bar the Hawks and Nets were playing. On another TV, My 600 Lb Life was on. I was more interested in the struggles of a 600 lb woman than watching another horrible Eastern Conference Playoff Series. I have been watching the NBA Playoffs since 1987 religiously every year but I had zero interest in this game. Can we please start a petition to have the playoffs reseeded by record?
 

—Jeff, Webster, TX

Well Jeff, Adam Silver was initially against it. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut...now that YOU have zero interest in one playoff series then I think he's probably going to change his mind. The world does revolve around you and your opinions and experiences ARE representative of the NBA-loving population as a whole. So yes, consider it done.

BS: When I take over as President Hillary’s sports czar in 2017, all American professional sports leagues will be forced to adopt a “You have to finish .500 or better to make the playoffs” rule and we’ll never have to worry about things like the dead-eyed Nets making the playoffs over Westbrook and the Thunder again.

But Bill, if the Thunder had made the playoffs then you couldn't point out how the Thunder trading James Harden was so stupid and it's proven by the fact the Thunder didn't make the playoffs this season. So it's good the Thunder didn't make the playoffs, because it allowed you a chance to ignore the three injuries the Thunder have suffered around playoff time to all three stars they have over the past three seasons, all in an effort to pretend the team as it is currently built can't make it back to the NBA Finals.

Q: What are we naming the tanking process for the 2015-16 NBA season now that your illegitimate son, Ben Simmons, is poised to be the top pick? Can we come up with something as good as “Suck for Luck” or “Riggin’ for Wiggins”? What about “Trimmin’ for Simmons” or “The Skid for Bill’s Kid?”

—Bryce, Dayton

I think Skal Labissiere is going to have something to say about that.

BS: Putting “Lossie for the Aussie” and “Skimmin’ for Simmons” as placeholders until the readers can top it.

What Bill means by "until the readers can top it" is "Until a reader comes up with an idea that I will immediately top in one of my mailbags because I have to be the smartest, most clever guy in the room."

Q: When we’re first introduced to Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, he’s having sex with his SISTER and then PUSHES A KID OUT OF A WINDOW (intending to kill him). Amazingly, by the end of that season we’re thinking, “Ah, he’s not so bad. Pretty charming, actually.” Now we’re actively rooting for him. Can you think of another instance where a real person or a character did something so despicable, only to later turn babyface?
 

—Trent Smith, Cary

BS: It would have to be something really egregious and really unrealistic — like LeBron failing to bring Cleveland a title, then ditching Cleveland in his prime on a live television special so he could team up with Wade and Bosh in Miami, winning two titles for the Heat and making four straight Finals, then heroically returning to Cleveland like nothing ever happened.

Considering that LeBron specifically addressed leaving Cleveland in the letter he (or someone else) wrote in "Sports Illustrated" when he chose to return to Cleveland this past offseason, I wouldn't say that he returned to Cleveland like nothing ever happened. LeBron specifically addressed his reasons for leaving Cleveland, his success in Miami and his reasons for his return to Cleveland, so I wouldn't say he returned "like nothing happened."

Q: On Sunday night, Marten Weiner (aka Mad Men’s Glen Bishop) and Austin Rivers faced off tonight in a primetime showdown to determine which one of them is the most flagrant example of nepotism currently on television. Can we just start calling Rivers “Glen Bishop” right now? After all, they might both be going off the air soon.
 

—Jimmy, Los Angeles

This questions leads to a story from Bill about his son. Because, of course it does. Sadly, SimmonsClones eat up stories about Bill's family because they are so desperate to know their idol and feel like he understands them.

BUT I can totally identify with Weiner-Rivers syndrome. You’re always going to overrate your own son. Just this week, my 7-year-old son figured out how to rig NHL 15 to start goalie fights — he plays the Kings’ opponent, repeatedly goes offside and makes runs at Jonathan Quick, and then, when Quick gets upset, he switches controllers and presses the “Y” button until Quick is fighting with the other team’s goalie. It’s the dumbest, most brilliant video-game strategy I have ever witnessed.

Obviously Bill's son is an absolute genius. This is the important takeaway from this story.

Q: Has there ever been a show with a more pointless “Scenes from next week’s episode” than the Mad Men montage at the end of each episode? With gems like “Get me a drink” and “Who’s there?”, I figure next week’s episode could just as well be about making a turkey sandwich or assembling furniture than running an ad agency.
 

—Dave, Greensboro

Oh, Dave from Greensboro. You disappoint me by writing into Bill. You are from Greensboro, be better than that. I will file this under "Observations everyone made during Season 2 of 'Mad Men'" It's all been done. Welcome to the party, pal.

Q: For our senior trip, my high school graduating class went to Disneyland for the day. We entered the park at 7 a.m. and thirty minutes later saw Robin Lopez in line for a ride by himself wearing a Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers shirt. (I am still baffled their exists a market for seven foot men who want to wear shirts with Disney characters on them). Being from Arizona we wildly greeted him, as he had absolutely bombed for the Suns two years prior, to which we received the least enthusiastic wave in recorded history. Several hours later we saw a jovial Asian family riding the River Rapids ride with Robin Lopez as the sixth person on the ride. The sheer comedy of a diminutive Asian family and a seven foot NBA player with a red afro sharing the same ride cannot be explained, it seriously might have been the funniest thing I have ever seen. At 10 PM I again saw him completely alone, and again tried to start a conversation with him, which he completely ignored. In case your keeping track, that’s 13 hours at Disneyland, completely by himself, wearing a children’s T-shirt.
 

—Daniel Skelly, Scottsdale

BS: I never run I saw (fill in the celebrity) and something funny happened emails in the mailbag,

Bill prefers for the only "I saw (fill in celebrity) and something happened" emails to be stories that he tells in his mailbags. Bill prefers to be the one doing the starfucking and relating HILARIOUS stories about running into celebrities and interacting with them.

So I believe this story and it made me laugh. 

So Bill doesn't run these stories because he doesn't believe they are true normally? That's what my takeaway should be? But of course, Bill's stories about running into celebrities are all true. Everyone else is a lying about meeting celebrities, but let Bill tell this hilarious story about running into the guy who played the quarterback on "Friday Night Lights!" Quick, he'll Instagram a picture so everyone knows he met a famous person. 

And yup, these are my readers.

Yes, they talk to you about when they started jerking themselves off. You should not be proud of this. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

He tackles the Love-Olynyk situation in the newest mailbag, it's pretty funny. His explanation is basically: "the Celts wouldn't hesitate to dump Olynyk if Love holds any real bitterness towards them". Someone should probably tell him that bitterness seems a certainty, Love is taking this injury quite seriously (for some reason).

Slag-King said...

I'm always creeped out whenever Simmons mentions his family in his columns, especially when he holds them as a joke fodder. His mailbags usually has something stupid from his readers (or himself) about his relationship to his family. I think his family has serious therapy sessions whenever he writes.

JBsptfn said...

Like the one with the masturbation guy. Classic Simmons mailbag.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I figured he would. Funny, not funny story. I had this done Friday and completely forgot to post it. Then I realized I forgot to post it Saturday evening and posted something else instead because there's more traffic during the week and figured it was a better Monday read. So I know I'm behind and I'm working on being better.

I wonder how Olynyk's teammates feel about the C's dumping him for Love? At first, I bet they wouldn't like it. I'm trying to stay on top of these Simmons mailbags though. I'm not used to this pace from him.

Slag, I think the scariest thing I ever read was when his daughter like scratched the shit out of him after a hockey game. Like what? Is that real child behavior you should be publicizing?

JB, who the fuck does that? Who writes in and compares their life to Tim Duncan, with when he learned to masturbate as the frame of reference?

JBsptfn said...

Ben, that's why I wish that Bill had an actual convention with his mailbaggers that rotated locations every year (I wouldn't want to go too far for it).

It would be interesting to see the people that write to Bill in person. It probably would be comedy gold.

Bengoodfella said...

JB, it would be a total shit show. The people who love Bill enough to show up would be the upper crust crazies, who absolutely adore him. I'm guessing a few would dress like him through various periods of his life and constantly make inside jokes.

I feel like this convention could happen at some point.