Bill Simmons: Valuing Trades More Than Friendships

CarolinaBeerGuy

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Didn't he have LA Kings season tickets during their Stanley Cup years? I remember him saying his daughter was really into them at the time.
I don’t know if he still has them, but I know he had them for years. He used to bring it up fairly frequently. He may have given them up as Zoe got more into soccer.
 

tbb345

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He's already talked about how it's fine because it sounds like summer league and we all love summer league.

The NBA is clearly a better run league, and the players, by and large, are more likeable, and the NBA is probably on the up while baseball, relatively speaking, is on the way down. But baseball is still plenty popular--it's just not with Bill Simmons.
Yeah, that’s one of the core Simmons things at this point. He draws conclusions from what he, his workers (who I think it’s fair to say don’t disagree with him much) and his family and applies them as if they are undisputed facts.

Personally, I love the NBA and it’s my favorite sports league right now. However, it’s definitely not the most popular sport in the country and it’s really not even close. Simmons has been propping up the league and it’s popularity country wide for years (I remember that during one of the last Goodell scandals, I think it was the Tyreek Hill one, Simmons said something along the lines of this is why the NBA is about to pass the NFL in ratings and popularity....)
 

shaggydog2000

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Who cares? Hockey fans are too damn territorial.
Hockey fans do hate "outsiders" covering their sport. So unless people are full time hockey guys, they don't want to hear from them, and even then they have to be won over. They're as tribal as metalheads.

That's still no excuse to crap on the NHL without good reason.
 

Cellar-Door

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Hockey fans do hate "outsiders" covering their sport. So unless people are full time hockey guys, they don't want to hear from them, and even then they have to be won over. They're as tribal as metalheads.

That's still no excuse to crap on the NHL without good reason.
Is not covering something that your audience hasn't shown an interest in crapping on it?

He's under no obligation to talk about or cover things that he either doesn't want to, or has found his audience isn't interested in.
As for the site, it isn't ESPN. If people showed up for NHL content he'd hire someone to make it, just look at how their soccer coverage has expanded, or on the culture side... K-pop and politics. He's running a broad entertainment website with finite resources, if something isn't going to draw eyes and ears, he's not going to waste money on it nor should he.
 

tims4wins

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Let's face it, while hockey is an awesome sport, it's probably one of the least discussion-friendly sports. There is so much NBA player movement and drama. Football there is so much Monday morning quarterbacking and other story lines. Even baseball there is a ton more to discuss from a tactical and roster standpoint.
 

shaggydog2000

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Is not covering something that your audience hasn't shown an interest in crapping on it?

He's under no obligation to talk about or cover things that he either doesn't want to, or has found his audience isn't interested in.
As for the site, it isn't ESPN. If people showed up for NHL content he'd hire someone to make it, just look at how their soccer coverage has expanded, or on the culture side... K-pop and politics. He's running a broad entertainment website with finite resources, if something isn't going to draw eyes and ears, he's not going to waste money on it nor should he.
Wasn't he talking down how the NHL handled the Covid restart, or was that just the MLB? He's free to not cover the NHL as much as he wants. Like I said, hockey fans probably wouldn't want to hear it from him anyway. They want live and die hockey guys and think anyone else is a dilettante.
 

kelpapa

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Wasn't he talking down how the NHL handled the Covid restart, or was that just the MLB? He's free to not cover the NHL as much as he wants. Like I said, hockey fans probably wouldn't want to hear it from him anyway. They want live and die hockey guys and think anyone else is a dilettante.
The issue that was brought up here was that he has ignored the NHL completely when talking about sports leagues restarting.

Lastly, as I listen to several Ringer podcasts including Simmons', it's blatantly obvious that there is some kind of standing order to completely ignore the NHL and omit it from every discussion. For example, in discussing how various leagues have responded to the pandemic in restarting (which has also been a frequent topic across pods like the Press Box), there is absolutely no discussion of how the Toronto/Edmonton bubble concept compares to the NBA Disney bubble or how MLB and the NFL has restarted. Look, the NHL is definitely fourth among equals, but it's not so irrelevant on the American sports landscape that it deserves to be disregarded completely...especially by someone who in the past has held himself out as a fan of the Bruins (the way he says he just stopped caring about hockey because of the Jacobs ownership seems strikingly similar to me in the way he no longer cares at all about baseball).
 

Cellar-Door

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Wasn't he talking down how the NHL handled the Covid restart, or was that just the MLB? He's free to not cover the NHL as much as he wants. Like I said, hockey fans probably wouldn't want to hear it from him anyway. They want live and die hockey guys and think anyone else is a dilettante.
No, I think he just ignored it. Which honestly is kind of justifiable, since one of the Keys to the NHL re-start is that it is happening in a country that didn't completely fuck up it's Covid response. He didn't bring up the various Euro soccer leagues either possibly for the same reasons.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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They’re somewhat irrelevant (hockey more than baseball) to him from the perspective of making money on a sports media platform.
Is not covering something that your audience hasn't shown an interest in crapping on it?

He's under no obligation to talk about or cover things that he either doesn't want to, or has found his audience isn't interested in.
As for the site, it isn't ESPN. If people showed up for NHL content he'd hire someone to make it, just look at how their soccer coverage has expanded, or on the culture side... K-pop and politics. He's running a broad entertainment website with finite resources, if something isn't going to draw eyes and ears, he's not going to waste money on it nor should he.
I was interested in how the bubble is going last night, so I clicked on my ESPN mobile app and went to find the NHL page. It was 20th on their website. which I assume has some basis in clicks/interest, though I'm not sure entirely how it works, The list went, in order:
NFL
NBA
MLB
Soccer
MMA
Golf
NCAAF
NCAAM
Boxing
CFL
Chalk (appears to be gambling?)
College Sports
Cricket
eSports
F1
Horse Racing
NASCAR
NBA G League
NCAAW
NHL

Now, I'm sure part of that is based on ESPN's own financial interest in driving traffic - it ranks higher on Yahoo and SI; about the same on CBS, etc - and do that what you may with it, but it does seem he's not alone.
 

johnmd20

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No, I think he just ignored it. Which honestly is kind of justifiable, since one of the Keys to the NHL re-start is that it is happening in a country that didn't completely fuck up it's Covid response. He didn't bring up the various Euro soccer leagues either possibly for the same reasons.
Hockey just doesn't generate the eyeballs and interest for a site like The Ringer, which is pretty broad in scope. It's is a pretty niche sport.

Look at the hockey forum on this very website. It gets way less traffic than any other sport. By a factor of more than 3 versus basketball and by a factor of 10 versus football, in terms of volume of messages. I love hockey, I love watching hockey and I played ice hockey my entire life before a dislocated shoulder ended my career. But it's barely in the Big 4 of sports.
 

Kliq

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I was interested in how the bubble is going last night, so I clicked on my ESPN mobile app and went to find the NHL page. It was 20th on their website. which I assume has some basis in clicks/interest, though I'm not sure entirely how it works, The list went, in order:
NFL
NBA
MLB
Soccer
MMA
Golf
NCAAF
NCAAM
Boxing
CFL
Chalk (appears to be gambling?)
College Sports
Cricket
eSports
F1
Horse Racing
NASCAR
NBA G League
NCAAW
NHL

Now, I'm sure part of that is based on ESPN's own financial interest in driving traffic - it ranks higher on Yahoo and SI; about the same on CBS, etc - and do that what you may with it, but it does seem he's not alone.
Uhhh, after the first 8 that list is clearly done via alphabetical order.
 

kenneycb

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I was interested in how the bubble is going last night, so I clicked on my ESPN mobile app and went to find the NHL page. It was 20th on their website. which I assume has some basis in clicks/interest, though I'm not sure entirely how it works, The list went, in order:
NFL
NBA
MLB
Soccer
MMA
Golf
NCAAF
NCAAM
Boxing
CFL
Chalk (appears to be gambling?)
College Sports
Cricket
eSports
F1
Horse Racing
NASCAR
NBA G League
NCAAW
NHL

Now, I'm sure part of that is based on ESPN's own financial interest in driving traffic - it ranks higher on Yahoo and SI; about the same on CBS, etc - and do that what you may with it, but it does seem he's not alone.
FWIW it’s like 6th or 7th for me. Not sure if it’s based on history or anything though.
 

johnmd20

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People wondering why an unpopular sport isn't given star treatment on the Ringer or ESPN is kind of odd. The reason why it's not given top billing is because it doesn't generate eyeballs and clicks.

If it did, it would have top billing.
 

Marciano490

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People wondering why an unpopular sport isn't given star treatment on the Ringer or ESPN is kind of odd. The reason why it's not given top billing is because it doesn't generate eyeballs and clicks.

If it did, it would have top billing.
Whenever I go on Apple Music it always has Drake or Beyoncé or Tekashi trending and never Fugazi. I’m angry and confused.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Uhhh, after the first 8 that list is clearly done via alphabetical order.
Yep, I missed that, but it doesn’t change the point all that much, I don’t think. It’s behind two college sports not playing to get Into to that top 8. Then can’t even break out of ‘throw the rest of them up in alphabetical order’ status. I don’t really have a dog in this, I don’t think Ringer is great and read for mostly for pop culture; I listen to Rewatchables but not Simmons; etc. I just have never thought of it as a place to go for sports coverage and neither really did Grantland outside a handful of guys. I think there’s enough to criticize him beyond that, is my only real point. NHL isn’t close to being a big 4 anymore.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Besides being compatible with Ryen Russillo on their podcasts together, I think Russillo's solo podcast this coming season will be giving a lot of airtime to college football which is a Ringer weak point and probably smarter to dive into than hockey. The sizable college football fanbase is more likely to rush over to hear the CFB interviews but as mentioned above the hockey audience tends to brush off "johnny-come-latelies" a lot more.
 
Man, I've heard any number of ill-informed Simmons takes about basketball based directly upon his own experience playing the game, but for him to suggest in last night's podcast that golf announcers rarely criticize PGA Tour pros "because they know how hard golf is" takes him to another level of self-unawareness.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Man, I've heard any number of ill-informed Simmons takes about basketball based directly upon his own experience playing the game, but for him to suggest in last night's podcast that golf announcers rarely criticize PGA Tour pros "because they know how hard golf is" takes him to another level of self-unawareness.
And considering the answer is right in front of him from his NBA days and something Ryen and him were just talking about fairly recently with regards to the NBA coverage. Ryen and Bill talked about the league vetting Ryen when covering the Celtics back many years ago, as well as Bill doing the ESPN pregame and draft. The league always has first right of refusal if a hot take artist is signed on as a color commentator. David Stern threw his not dead (yet) body in front of Stan Van Gundy getting an ESPN NBA gig back in the day.

Peter Kostis and Gary McCord are a few of the golf guys who have had uneasy alliances with the networks throughout their careers only because their relative popularity amongst the audience offsets the push-back their networks inevitably get from the player criticisms and off-color remarks.
 

nattysez

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Besides being compatible with Ryen Russillo on their podcasts together, I think Russillo's solo podcast this coming season will be giving a lot of airtime to college football which is a Ringer weak point and probably smarter to dive into than hockey. The sizable college football fanbase is more likely to rush over to hear the CFB interviews but as mentioned above the hockey audience tends to brush off "johnny-come-latelies" a lot more.
If Russillo was planning to dedicate a show to college football this fall, he may want to pivot to hockey...
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Simmons can't seem to get out of his own way these days.

View: https://twitter.com/AsteadWesley/status/1292924318679273480?s=20

In the interest of avoiding drive-by posting, I am not going to interpret what Simmons was getting at but he really needs people around him to explain that our shared culture is evolving rapidly. As such, the takes on which he made his career now need to be bit less warm if he wants to avoid problems like this. On the other hand, he is a 50-handle white guy who is immensely wealthy so it may be true that he doesn't care and it doesn't matter what he does or says.

The actual quote for refrerence:

View: https://twitter.com/JTGatlin/status/1292916482595262466?s=20
 
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Marciano490

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I forgot how nasally his voice was.

And yeah, that quote has a bit of the ol’ cerebral white player vs black player vibe.
 

ifmanis5

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Seems like more of a Twitter problem then a Bill Simmons problem.
It's a twitter problem because Bill never cleaned up his first problem.
He still never made a person of color hire to leadership, Rusillo is still getting run and he even brought back the daughter. His show and The Rewatchables still sound the same. He can expect to hear this kind of response going forward.
 

JCizzle

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It's a twitter problem because Bill never cleaned up his first problem.
He still never made a person of color hire to leadership, Rusillo is still getting run and he even brought back the daughter. His show and The Rewatchables still sound the same. He can expect to hear this kind of response going forward.
A person of color was hired to lead the podcast side of the Ringer. At least that’s what I saw a couple weeks ago.
 

The Social Chair

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In the last 6 weeks, The Ringer has hired 7 full time staffers of color and have added 6 podcasts hosted, or cohosted, by black people.

I do think he is making a sincere effort to be better.
 

johnmd20

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It's a twitter problem because Bill never cleaned up his first problem.
He still never made a person of color hire to leadership, Rusillo is still getting run and he even brought back the daughter. His show and The Rewatchables still sound the same. He can expect to hear this kind of response going forward.
The Rewatchables sounding the same is by design, as it's one of the most popular podcasts out there. I assume they want it to sound the same. Your complaint is at odds with the reality of the podcast feed.

You're yelling at clouds.
 

Swedgin

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Simmons can't seem to get out of his own way these days.

View: https://twitter.com/AsteadWesley/status/1292924318679273480?s=20

In the interest of avoiding drive-by posting, I am not going to interpret what Simmons was getting at but he really needs people around him to explain that our shared culture is evolving rapidly. As such, the takes on which he made his career now need to be bit less warm if he wants to avoid problems like this. On the other hand, he is a 50-handle white guy who is immensely wealthy so it may be true that he doesn't care and it doesn't matter what he does or says.

The actual quote for refrerence:

View: https://twitter.com/JTGatlin/status/1292916482595262466?s=20
These Tweets are incredibly dishonest takes. Simmons certainly has his flaws but those tweets grossly mis-characterize his discussion with Russillo. They both acknowledged the Harden-esque aspects to Luka's game with Russillo driving that point. Moreover, Simmons said the words "Hardens a great passer."

He also explained, correctly, that while Harden is great at making the right read and hitting the open guy, there is another level of passer, namely those players who see the floor differently than the other 99% guys in the league. The individuals he identified as possessing that ability during the pod were Magic, Bird, Luka and college version of Kenny Anderson. He noted that Houston and Harden played a relatively mechanistic style of basketball. Guys goes to there spots and if his teammates do their job, Harden (much like Stockton in his day) will get them the ball in the right spot at the right time. Again, he's a great passer. But guys like Luka, Bird, Magic see the floor at a different level and lead to a different brand of basketball, more free flowing and organic. Anyone who has read or listened to Simmons over time knows that this is the brand of basketball he considers the platonic ideal of the sport. He thinks its more fun to watch and brings out the best in teammates because its infectious.
 
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Kliq

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If praising Luka and complaining about Harden playing a systemized, boring style of basketball is a problem then a lot of the posters on this forum are in trouble.
 

tbb345

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These Tweets are incredibly dishonest takes. Simmons certainly has his flaws but those tweets grossly mis-characterize his discussion with Russillo. They both acknowledged the Harden-esque aspects to Luka's game with Russillo driving that point. Moreover, Simmons said the words "Hardens a great passer."

He also explained, correctly, that while Harden is great at making the right read and hitting the open guy, there is another level of passer, namely those players who see the floor differently than the other 99% guys in the league. The individuals he identified as possessing that ability during the pod were Magic, Bird, Luka and college version of Kenny Anderson. He noted that Houston and Harden played a relatively mechanistic style of basketball. Guys goes to there spots and if his teammates do their job, Harden (much like Stockton in his day) will get them the ball in the right spot at the right time. Again, he's a great passer. But guys like Luka, Bird, Magic see the floor at a different level and lead to a different brand of basketball, more free flowing and organic. Anyone who has read or listened to Simmons over time knows that this is the brand of basketball he considers the platonic ideal of the sport. He thinks its more fun to watch and brings out the best in teammates because its infectious.
There’s a notable omission from that list of “guys who see the floor at a different level”, thats not surprising at all if you follow Simmons.
 

luckiestman

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There’s a notable omission from that list of “guys who see the floor at a different level”, thats not surprising at all if you follow Simmons.
Lyndon Baines Johnson?

I remember Bill chanting

“Hey Hey LBJ, how many dimes did you drop today?”
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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This Belushi conversation is brutal. Jim is clearly playing up his brother’s addictions to boost sales for his own cannabis company. Gross.
I couldn't listen through it, don't recall the talking point you describe above so I may not have even made it that far. Was thinking, "oh he said 3 guests, I'll fast forward" then saw the 3rd guest was his dad. Clicked out less than halfway through the pod, yikes.
 

JCizzle

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Yup. I recall him saying the phrase "I just think Lonzo is going to be special" several times when analysing the Fultz/Ball/Tatum lottery.
Accurate. I think he’s been pretty open about his Lonzo love. He’s one of those guys (Gerald Green for me) that Bill will say still has a shot to be great ten years from now.
 

ifmanis5

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Getting Javonte Green's name wrong 5 times in a row despite calling him one of his favorite players is classic Bill. House never corrected him either.
Raja Bell was great, more of him and way less of House please.