Bill Simmons: Valuing Trades More Than Friendships

GreyisGone

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,500
It’s a reasonable question. Schatz makes the important point that as bad as last year was, it is not clear statistically that Winston is a super high turnover QB overall.

I don’t think Pats want a one-year kind of answer and likely don’t view Winston’s personality as what they want at QB either. But ripping on Simmons for asking the question seems silly
In addition to his habit of throwing the ball to the other team he also fumbles at a high rate. He has nearly 25% more turnovers than anyone else in the league since entering the NFL. The idea that he’s not a high turnover QB is literally the opposite of who he is.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
12,108
I'm not sure how many of you have ever listened to The Guardian's "Football Weekly" podcast, but one of their long-time contributors is a journalist named Sid Lowe who lives in Madrid and is an expert on La Liga. He would always phone into the show with a less-than-perfect connection, but then at one point he either appeared in the studio with the other podders or they upgraded his equipment and his voice was crystal clear...and he didn't sound anything at all like Sid Lowe, to the point that a lot of fans of the show wrote in and said they wanted the old Sid back.

That's what I felt like listening to JackO on Simmons' latest podcast. Bill bought him some new equipment - while hilariously failing to properly connect to his call with JackO and House, so that Simmons sounded like the one on a cell phone - and JackO really didn't sound like JackO. It was pretty weird.
I thought the same thing; like it didn’t sound like JackO at all and was some new person .
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,254
I thought the same thing; like it didn’t sound like JackO at all and was some new person .

I didn’t think he sounded that different. I was mowing the lawn so maybe that’s why.

One that really got me was the first time I heard house on legit equipment a couple of years ago and not his phone. Hardly sounded like the same guy.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
12,108
On his latest podcast, Bill spent the first 20 minutes reading aloud an essay that he wrote about Michael Jordan's 1998 retirement. He is really just f'n with people who want him to write something.
 

TheGazelle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2009
439
On his latest podcast, Bill spent the first 20 minutes reading aloud an essay that he wrote about Michael Jordan's 1998 retirement. He is really just f'n with people who want him to write something.
He's been doing that on his Book of Basketball 2.0 (or whatever they are called) Podcasts - he'll read something he wrote years ago as a jumping-off point for the discussion. Peak is when Russillo pulls the "Bill, as an author . . ." move right after Simmons finishes reading something he wrote 15 years ago.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2006
5,505
Kernersville, NC
He's been doing that on his Book of Basketball 2.0 (or whatever they are called) Podcasts - he'll read something he wrote years ago as a jumping-off point for the discussion. Peak is when Russillo pulls the "Bill, as an author . . ." move right after Simmons finishes reading something he wrote 15 years ago.
The one he read was a more recent article, but it’s still a couple years old.

 

Foxy42

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 1, 2002
3,151
nyc
Simmons reading at the top of the podcast helped remind me what a good and unique voice he had when writing. I love his pods but in my memory, he was a fun but get gimmicky writer. While true at times, that take does not do his writing justice.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
22,235
Washington DC
Anyone listen to him and Rusillo talking riots today? Rusillo was... not good. "I just vote my financial interest, and I think most other people do too." That mindset is a big part of the BS that got us here.

Also, an awful lot of what do you want the cops to do? Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
 

jcd0805

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 3, 2007
2,052
Florida
Anyone listen to him and Rusillo talking riots today? Rusillo was... not good. "I just vote my financial interest, and I think most other people do too." That mindset is a big part of the BS that got us here.

Also, an awful lot of what do you want the cops to do? Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
See I took the "I just voted my financial interest" to be more of a "wow that was dumb, I've got to rethink that from now on". I also got what he meant about the cops, he was saying that after what happened to George Floyd they were screwed if they went and tried to arrest the looters and people causing destruction and yet everyone was saying "where are the cops to stop this??" that to me was a no-win situation for police, still kind of is.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
5,424
Anyone listen to him and Rusillo talking riots today? Rusillo was... not good. "I just vote my financial interest, and I think most other people do too." That mindset is a big part of the BS that got us here.
He did say that he voted selfishly, but was also highly critical of Trump, with a heavy tone of regret. More of that wins the election for Biden.
 

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
10,786
I really have grown to enjoy Russillo over the past couple of years, but I would never look to him or Simmons for a take on this situation. I think sometimes not saying anything is better than trying and coming off like an ass (guilty myself on many occasions). I listened to the podcast and it was not good. I got the impression that he didn't really want to engage on the subject because he isn't informed, but if the boss wants to do it...

Russillo is good when his practical approach is tied to issues like a MLB union dispute that doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. Not so much on police relations in America that have decades of context behind them.

Bill came off mildly better in my opinion, but he put the podcast in a bad position by not having a third member guest to inform the conversation.
 
Last edited:

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
12,108
Anyone listen to him and Rusillo talking riots today? Rusillo was... not good. "I just vote my financial interest, and I think most other people do too." That mindset is a big part of the BS that got us here.

Also, an awful lot of what do you want the cops to do? Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
Haven't heard it yet but saw Bill and mainly Rusillo taking a lot of heat for his sentiments. I will listen to it later today, but that doesn't really surprise me with Rusillo; he's good at radio/podcasting and I'd probably love to have a beer with him, but he comes across often as this smart guy elitist who tells other people what they should be doing, but is also a rich guy from Martha's Vineyard.

I will say that The Ringer just launched a podcast, Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay and on the latest episode they discuss the cultural issues behind the protests and riots. I haven't listened to it, but I imagine it is more interesting than what Bill/Rusillo have to say. I know some people will rag on Bill not having on a better guest to discuss the issues, but the late Sunday night pod is always Bill/Rusillo, so I don't think it is that big of a deal that Rusillo was on and they talked about the issue.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
22,235
Washington DC
Bill was crappy for a while on this episode, but then hit his stride. On the one hand, Bill has done a really good job of hiring a diverse group of people. On the other hand, every time he tries to process some issue of social import, it becomes clear why he's the "sports" guy. The thinking just isn't deep or nuanced outside of sports. His consistent declaration that this "isn't a Democrat thing or a Republican thing" also is pretty chicken shit in the current context. That said, he did make it clear that Trump had basically blown every single thing in the last four years.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
22,235
Washington DC
Haven't heard it yet but saw Bill and mainly Rusillo taking a lot of heat for his sentiments. I will listen to it later today, but that doesn't really surprise me with Rusillo; he's good at radio/podcasting and I'd probably love to have a beer with him, but he comes across often as this smart guy elitist who tells other people what they should be doing, but is also a rich guy from Martha's Vineyard.

I will say that The Ringer just launched a podcast, Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay and on the latest episode they discuss the cultural issues behind the protests and riots. I haven't listened to it, but I imagine it is more interesting than what Bill/Rusillo have to say. I know some people will rag on Bill not having on a better guest to discuss the issues, but the late Sunday night pod is always Bill/Rusillo, so I don't think it is that big of a deal that Rusillo was on and they talked about the issue.
I don't think he's a rich guy from the Vineyard. Isn't he a middle to lower middle class guy from the vineyard? Most of the year round residents aren't terribly well to do.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
5,424
I really have grown to enjoy Russillo over the past couple of years, but I would never look to him or Simmons for a take on this situation. I think sometimes not saying anything is better than trying and coming off like an ass (guilty myself on many occasions). I listened to the podcast and it was not good. I got the impression that he didn't really want to engage on the subject because he isn't informed, but if the boss wants to do it...
To me it sounded like the felt compelled to address it, since it was going on literally while were recording it, and perhaps not that far away.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
5,424
I don't think he's a rich guy from the Vineyard. Isn't he a middle to lower middle class guy from the vineyard? Most of the year round residents aren't terribly well to do.
That's how he has described himself, yes.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
22,235
Washington DC
Interesting. The Ringer's union disagrees with me about diversity




Ringer Union

@RingerUnion


In 2019, 86% of speakers on The Ringer Podcast Network were white. We have zero black editors. We have zero black writers assigned full time to the NBA or NFL beats. Our union is currently bargaining for practices to improve our diversity and inclusion.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
12,108
I don't think he's a rich guy from the Vineyard. Isn't he a middle to lower middle class guy from the vineyard? Most of the year round residents aren't terribly well to do.
Regardless he is rich now; dude left his job at ESPN to move to Manhattan Beach to try and become a screenwriter. His experience isn't like everyone elses.

Interesting. The Ringer's union disagrees with me about diversity

Ringer Union
@RingerUnion


In 2019, 86% of speakers on The Ringer Podcast Network were white. We have zero black editors. We have zero black writers assigned full time to the NBA or NFL beats. Our union is currently bargaining for practices to improve our diversity and inclusion.
The problem looks to be directly related. Not sure exactly about exactly who all the editors are, but the biggest Ringer personalities, Simmons, Ryan, Fennessy, Rubin, are all white and they also are on multiple podcasts a week. Throw in Russillo who does multiple pods a week and those people are going to take up a lot of the air time. This year I know they added The Wire podcast as well as Higher Learning, so hopefully that will move the numbers in a more equal direction.

Not sure how The Ringer structures it's beat writers, or how many of them they have. I'd say KOC and Kevin Clark are definitely beat guys, but who else would be considered a beat writer while someone like Jason Concepcion is not? Also, and I say this without any ill intent whatsoever, but I'm actually not sure what race Concepcion is, so maybe that is a moot point.

I agree that some of the more memorable Ringer/Grantland personalities (Concepcion, Rembert, Chang, Wesley Morris, etc) being people of color maybe creates an inaccurate impression of the diversity of that staff.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
6,562
For the record, Concepcion is Filipino.

Edit: off topic, but he co-wrote a great piece on Grantland about traveling back there.

 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
12,108
For the record, Concepcion is Filipino.

Edit: off topic, but he co-wrote a great piece on Grantland about traveling back there.

Doh! I remember READING that article, thanks for reminding me of it. Rafe did great long form work for Grantland.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2006
5,505
Kernersville, NC
Just finished the Russillo portion and I didn’t think it was as bad as I had imagined. He seemed a little embarrassed that he voted for his wallet. Maybe I misread/misheard it.

EDIT: I’m listening again just for nuance.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
22,235
Washington DC
I feel like I was ahead of the curve!

That said, those stats still seem weird to me. Why do I feel like almost everyone there I can name is a poc or David shoemaker? Maybe they’re just better writers?
 

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
10,786
Just finished the Russillo portion and I didn’t think it was as bad as I had imagined. He seemed a little embarrassed that he voted for his wallet. Maybe I misread/misheard it.

EDIT: I’m listening again just for nuance.
I also don't think he said that he voted for Trump like a lot of the replies implied. I thought he specifically said he did not vote for Obama. It's possible that I missed it though. He certainly wouldn't be the only guy in the country who supported McCain/Romney, but not the current man in office.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
22,235
Washington DC
I also don't think he said that he voted for Trump like a lot of the replies implied. I thought he specifically said he did not vote for Obama. It's possible that I missed it though. He certainly wouldn't be the only guy in the country who supported McCain/Romney, but not the current man in office.
He was pretty clear he voted for McCain and Romney. He was pretty clearly too embarrassed to say he voted for Trump.
 

Joe Sixpack

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2002
4,429
Mansfield, MA
He definitely didn't say specifically whether he voted Trump or not. Either way it seems like he's admitting it was a mistake if he did, or at least that was my read of what he said.

Cross posting here (this was also in V&N):

Russillo: You already have your base - the people that voted for you are voting for you again, so I don't know that you have to be this antagonistic throughout the whole thing. Now, look, I'm not exactly a guy that had a "Hope" bumper sticker on his car during the Obama stuff, but I know this -- and look, you know, the way I would vote is I would vote selfishly. I think most of us vote selfishly. Like I voted for tax purposes, you know. I voted for tax purposes when I had no money and I had...voting...and I know some people who can say well that's pretty self--I actually think most people vote selfishly anyway.

I also think that people that I know that voted for Trump -- I don't know that they did it because they're this, you know, the person that's getting off on all these horrible tweets, I think they looked at Hillary and they were like "I'm sick of the Clintons, I think they're crooks too, and that's why I went and voted this way," you know, and that I kind of get. And if you voted for Trump you don't want to be wrong. Like if you're super passionate about it and you're very conservative, and this isn't a criticism of it, but let's face it, you just don't want to be wrong. You don't want to be -- you don't want to believe that you could be so wrong about a President.
 

Joe D Reid

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
3,313
Alameda, CA
I feel like I was ahead of the curve!

That said, those stats still seem weird to me. Why do I feel like almost everyone there I can name is a poc or David shoemaker? Maybe they’re just better writers?
The union statement said 86% of "speakers", which to me sounds like it includes guests--focusing solely on in-house folks might change the numbers, not sure. The lack of editorial diversity has been pretty consistent going back to Grantland. The beat writer thing I don't know what to do with because like many others I don't know what it means in the context of the website.

I will say that they employ a small army of basketbloggers which occasionally gathers for video stunts like mock drafts, etc., and the in the clips I can recall the people were almost exclusively white dudes. I can think of one woman (O'Shaughnessey) and one POC (Concepcion, who really just parachutes in for the video content). That might be the crux of the complaint.
 

ElUno20

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,962
I dont know why this Ryen Russillo stuff is a shock to anyone.

'I dont think anyone wants to believe they could be so wrong about a president'

I have no time or tolerance for people who are "shocked" about the last 3 years after the start of Trump's political career was campaigning on the first Black president not being American and then his next move was to paint the vast majority of Latin American immigrants as "Mexican rapists".

Yeah, Ryen, who could have possibly guessed it?
 

Joe Sixpack

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2002
4,429
Mansfield, MA
I dont know why this Ryen Russillo stuff is a shock to anyone.

'I dont think anyone wants to believe they could be so wrong about a president'

I have no time or tolerance for people who are "shocked" about the last 3 years after the start of Trump's political career was campaigning on the first Black president not being American and then his next move was to paint the vast majority of Latin American immigrants as "Mexican rapists".

Yeah, Ryen, who could have possibly guessed it?
I think he's right on that point though. There are definitely a lot of people out there that voted for Trump and are just ready to double down and ignore any evidence that contradicts with why they voted for him in the first place -- people don't want to admit they made a mistake.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
6,562
I feel like I was ahead of the curve!

That said, those stats still seem weird to me. Why do I feel like almost everyone there I can name is a poc or David shoemaker? Maybe they’re just better writers?
And in your defense, you're referring to writers, which isn't really mentioned by the ringer union tweet. Just the hyper specific NBA/NFL "full time beat" and 0 editors. Potentially the share of writing is more diverse.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
12,108
The union statement said 86% of "speakers", which to me sounds like it includes guests--focusing solely on in-house folks might change the numbers, not sure. The lack of editorial diversity has been pretty consistent going back to Grantland. The beat writer thing I don't know what to do with because like many others I don't know what it means in the context of the website.

I will say that they employ a small army of basketbloggers which occasionally gathers for video stunts like mock drafts, etc., and the in the clips I can recall the people were almost exclusively white dudes. I can think of one woman (O'Shaughnessey) and one POC (Concepcion, who really just parachutes in for the video content). That might be the crux of the complaint.
John Gonzalez and Paolo Uggetti are both basketbloggers and POC, although the Ringer Union tweet mentions specifically no black beat writers.
 

nattysez

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
4,463
Maybe I haven't been paying enough attention to who Simmons and Russillo have had as guests, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but my general impression is that it's a tough look when Pardon My Take lands Fauci to discuss Coronavirus and Arian Foster to speak about racial division and the Ringer's lead podcast is just Simmons and Russillo jerking each other off.
 

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
10,786
Maybe I haven't been paying enough attention to who Simmons and Russillo have had as guests, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but my general impression is that it's a tough look when Pardon My Take lands Fauci to discuss Coronavirus and Arian Foster to speak about racial division and the Ringer's lead podcast is just Simmons and Russillo jerking each other off.
They don't really have guests on the Sunday podcast. Maybe the random House appearance when they select All-NBA teams or something. On their individual podcasts they do. Their mistake was trying to address it themselves, as you said, without recognizing how tone deaf it comes across. Simmons should have brought in someone else during the first half of the podcast if he wanted to tackle the topic or left it for later in the week when they could both have guests on their own individual podcasts.

It would not surprise me if they both have guests on this week that are really thoughtful about the subject. I think both likely would have done so even without the reaction to Sunday. However, they dug their own graves on this one and not many will give them the benefit of the doubt.
 
May 14, 2015
134
I dont know why this Ryen Russillo stuff is a shock to anyone.

'I dont think anyone wants to believe they could be so wrong about a president'

I have no time or tolerance for people who are "shocked" about the last 3 years after the start of Trump's political career was campaigning on the first Black president not being American and then his next move was to paint the vast majority of Latin American immigrants as "Mexican rapists".

Yeah, Ryen, who could have possibly guessed it?
But if everyone votes the same as 2016, you're going to end up with the same guy in office. So if you want that to change, shouldn't you engage with these people thoughtfully and try to win them over instead of dismissing them? Instead of dragging Russillo through the mud for how he possibly voted in 2016, shouldn't the goal be getting his vote in 2020?

No one's getting extra credit or points for being "right" as we've seen over and over again in recent years. Refusing to even engage people like this will just make things worse in the long run.
 

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
40,153
Rotten Apple
Even the Daily News is ripping Ryen...
While Simmons has long coasted on his reputation as a popular and progressive manager at Grantland and The Ringer, things have changed as Simmons became increasingly wealthy. (He sold The Ringer to Spotify in February for $200 million.) Several current and former Ringer employees ripped Russillo and the tone-deaf headline this week.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
1,087
This is the right way to deal with the blowback. I expect something similar from Russillo. They're both smarter than Sunday.
Yes, I think speaking extemporaneously about these sensitive issues not directly affecting them without any further experts or POC was a miscalculation. Ryen's wording was clumsy more than anything, just based on many hours of previous radio and podcasting listening of him I get the sense he is fairly neutral on politics and is more progressive on social issues than the average American. From previous listening he has indicated being a political science major, and taking a few of these courses in college myself I got the impression people who are immersed in poli-sci can come off a bit cold-blooded in divorcing their empathy from policy beliefs.

But I'll see what Ryen has to say himself before assuming my assessment is correct.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
16,584
The union statement said 86% of "speakers", which to me sounds like it includes guests--focusing solely on in-house folks might change the numbers, not sure. The lack of editorial diversity has been pretty consistent going back to Grantland. The beat writer thing I don't know what to do with because like many others I don't know what it means in the context of the website.

I will say that they employ a small army of basketbloggers which occasionally gathers for video stunts like mock drafts, etc., and the in the clips I can recall the people were almost exclusively white dudes. I can think of one woman (O'Shaughnessey) and one POC (Concepcion, who really just parachutes in for the video content). That might be the crux of the complaint.
I was going to say that felt high, but looking at the podcasts that are regulars, most of the shows with POC are new and most of the weekly long term are all or mostly white
All White (usually):
Simmons
The Watch
The Big Picture
NBA Show
Masked Man
House of Carbs
Against all Odds
NFL show
Fantasy Pod
Russillo
Bachelor Party
Baseball Pod
Jam Session
Press Box
Ringer Dish
The NCAA pod (since cancelled)
Recappables (I think 1 might have had a POC but most that I see have white hosts)
JJ Reddick
Fairway Rollin

Long running Pods with 1 or more POC:
Binge Mode 1/2
Tea Time 1/3
David Chang 1/1
Wilmore 1/1
(though both Chang and Wilmore's shows are less frequent than the others, usually 1 or 2 a month vs. 1 or more a week)
Winging it 2/3
Ringer FC (cast rotates but usually 2/3)




Newer or liited run Pods:
All White (most of the time)
Survivor Pod
Billions Pod
Tv Concierge
Music Exists
Boom/Bust
Break Stuff
Flying Coach



At least 1 POC
Wire Pod 2/2
Higher Learning 2/2
Villains 1/1
Damage Control 1/2


Then there are the rotating cast ones like Rewatchables and Hottest take. Since those lean on Fennesey, Simmons, Ryan, Litman, Rubin, they tend to be heavily white.

Overall, I'd say it's a criticism they seem to be addressing some, with a number of new pods especially with Latham coming in, and a new pod from Serrano supposedly on the way.

The editors issue is different, that is a pretty clear hole that they never have really made an effort to address.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
11,505
Bi-Coastal, for the time being
Listened to Simmons’ latest, which he opened with comments on how he misread the world on Sunday night and botched the pod. Said he wishes he did it differently and pledged to do better.

I wasn’t all that disappointed by Simmons on Sunday, although Russillo let me down more. Nonetheless, I found Simmons apology heartfelt and sincere. Something thin-skinned Bill absolutely couldn’t have done as recently as maybe 4-5 years ago. Maybe even more recently. Good on him.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,098
Imaginationland
Listened to Simmons’ latest, which he opened with comments on how he misread the world on Sunday night and botched the pod. Said he wishes he did it differently and pledged to do better.

I wasn’t all that disappointed by Simmons on Sunday, although Russillo let me down more. Nonetheless, I found Simmons apology heartfelt and sincere. Something thin-skinned Bill absolutely couldn’t have done as recently as maybe 4-5 years ago. Maybe even more recently. Good on him.
Eh, the Dr. V story ran on Grantland almost 6.5 years ago. He knows how to apologize.