For years I've railed and raged against this man who claims to be a rebel and independent thinker, yet pretty openly just writes/thinks about only the big-market east coast/west coast teams and ignores all else. It's been pretty clear for some time that if some marketing guru at ESPN could dream up a sports columnist to capture our times, they'd have conjured Bill Simmons.
Literally everything about Simmons, from how he looks and how he was brought up to where he's from and his global view, is exactly what the worldwide leader wants to draw in those eyeballs and advertising dollars. It's like they created him in a lab. (The same way Gregg Popovich created Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard)
For years, whenever I've pointed out his clear dislike and bias against the Spurs, I've been chastised for it, with the naysayers saying I was reading into things -- that I was speculating, that I was crazy.
Well, finally I have proof, and Simmons has made the case for me in Friday's column, an e-mail exchange with basketball expert Zach Lowe where they listed their top League Pass teams for the upcoming NBA season.
I give you this exchange:
Bill: Full disclosure: I infuriated you by giving them such a low League Pass score. You nearly quit Grantland before we talked you into staying.
Zach: Come on: If you like basketball, actual good basketball, you can't beat this team. Great unis and court, too. You'll miss Timmy and Manu when they're gone. You ranked Sacramento seven spots above the Spurs. How can you feel good about yourself after that?
Bill: I was factoring in Spurs overload from their playoff games next spring, as well as all their national TV games, as well as the 12 days I spent in San Antonio last summer (I'm still trying to drain the BBQ from my body), as well as all the freaking Duncan-Pop-Parker-Manu minutes I've watched in my life. They will never make me say, "Oh, cool, the Spurs are on League Pass!" unless they're battling one of the contenders. Throw in Sean Elliott (my least-favorite League Pass analyst and SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO BE STOPPED) and that's how we ended up here.
Zach: I believe League Pass, or at least League Pass Broadband, will allow you to choose which broadcast team you'd like to hear. That's a game-changer when it comes to the Spurs (and a couple of others).
Bill: You mean I can live in a world that doesn't have Sean Elliott in it? (Thinking.) This changes everything!!!
Zach: I get that the Spurs don't have much intrigue left. We basically know who they are. The exception is Kawhi Leonard, and if I write any more about him, he'll join Swin Cash on the list of basketball stars who have successfully secured a restraining order against me. Pop's between-quarters interviews on national broadcasts merit a couple of stray points, even though this is supposed to be a League Pass-focused list. Still ... Pop is the best.
Bill: Unless you're up five points and 28.2 seconds away from a title.
Zach: Come on.
Simmons listed the Spurs as 20th in his League Pass rankings. 20th! As in, there are 19 professional basketball teams he'd rather watch. Only 16 teams even make the playoffs, but he'd rather watch a bunch of squads that he knows full well will be utter crap more than the Spurs. And there's a potshot at Pop (stay out of my lane, Simmons) in there and tons of Sean-Elliott-bashing. I mean, look at some of the teams the dude has ranked above the Spurs... I'll excuse the Celtics because that's his team, but the Bucks? The Kings? The Pistons? You know the team he had directly below the Spurs on his list? The friggin' Bobcats. I'm broke and I wouldn't watch a full season of Bobcats games for a penny less than $50,000, and I'd probably double that price for the Kings. The Kings! I don't think I've been this angry about some sports thing since Game 6 (of the 2012 Western Conference Finals -- last summer I was more sad than angry).
Anyway, there you go. Don't bring up articles like this (which are riddled with hundreds of backhanded compliments or outright insults, with links to more articles with more backhanded compliments and more insults) to me ever again. Simmons doesn't like the Spurs. He's a charlatan. I was right all along. The end.
More from Pounding The Rock:
- J.R. Wilco talks about the Spurs backup point guards on The Phil Naessens show
- Preseason Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic
- Matt Bonner meets his shoe crisis head on, Twitter style
- Why Patty Mills should be the Spurs backup point guard
- Why Nando De Colo should be the Spurs backup point guard