The Bill Simmons Thread

Cellar-Door

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Nick Kaufman said:
 
If that's the case, then this speaks volumes, not for Simmons, but for the inter tangled relationships between leagues and broadcasters.
It's always been that way. When Simmons was suspended Brian Koppelman wrote about how years earlier he co-wrote a project for ESPN about a fixed college game. Everyone said how much they loved it, told them to get ready to start the project the next day. They show up the next day..... ESPN had sent the pilot script to the NCAA, who told them no, and that was that, project over. Just like how they dropped out of a co-production of a concussion documentary with PBS because the NFL didn't want it to get press.
 
http://briankoppelman.com/2014/09/29/on-the-bill-simmons-situation/
 

RG33

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I'm not so sure the Goodell conspiracy has any legs. My buddy who is friends with him (in the League of Dorks) has said this has been inevitable for a couple of years. He said Bill was making closer to $5 million per year with ESPN, and that there was no way he was going to re-sign. Ultimately, his view is that Bill went in and said "Sure, let's do a contract. I want $15 million per year for 10 years" and something like that was how it played out. Bill was done with ESPN.
 

nattysez

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RGREELEY33 said:
I'm not so sure the Goodell conspiracy has any legs. My buddy who is friends with him (in the League of Dorks) has said this has been inevitable for a couple of years. He said Bill was making closer to $5 million per year with ESPN, and that there was no way he was going to re-sign. Ultimately, his view is that Bill went in and said "Sure, let's do a contract. I want $15 million per year for 10 years" and something like that was how it played out. Bill was done with ESPN.
 
Yeah, it's pretty clear that Goodell is unlikely to have had a direct role here.  It sounds like his only "role" is that Skipper decided that Simmons's remarks about Goodell on Dan Patrick yesterday (and/or just his appearance on that show without permission) were the final nail in the coffin.
 
I'm curious to see whether they terminate Bill's deal immediately or make him work for the next few months (or at least try to preclude him from talking to other employers while still employed by ESPN).  Given that everyone involved seems to have a less-than-great personality, I expect things to escalate from here.
 

Drocca

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I like Simmons fine, but it's a little silly that the first thing he feels the need to leak is that they got his salary wrong (in their leaks). 
 

Drocca

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RGREELEY33 said:
I'm not so sure the Goodell conspiracy has any legs. My buddy who is friends with him (in the League of Dorks) has said this has been inevitable for a couple of years. He said Bill was making closer to $5 million per year with ESPN, and that there was no way he was going to re-sign. Ultimately, his view is that Bill went in and said "Sure, let's do a contract. I want $15 million per year for 10 years" and something like that was how it played out. Bill was done with ESPN.
 
I mean, seriously, this isn't a reality thing. 
 

DJnVa

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Nick Kaufman said:
 
If that's the case, then this speaks volumes, not for Simmons, but for the inter tangled relationships between leagues and broadcasters.
 
Apparently the issue wasn't that Goodell called up ESPN and said fire him, it's that he went on a rival network without permission.
 

the1andonly3003

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DrewDawg said:
 
Apparently the issue wasn't that Goodell called up ESPN and said fire him, it's that he went on a rival network without permission.
so somehow, someway DP gets in the middle of this?  if this is true, doesn't sound like Mike Wilbon or the occassional talent from the Mothership would be allowed on the DP show
 

Blacken

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ESPN has always been selective and shitty about this. One of TrueHoop's best writers was banned from guest appearances on CBS podcasts, for example.
 

Cellar-Door

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DrewDawg said:
 
Apparently the issue wasn't that Goodell called up ESPN and said fire him, it's that he went on a rival network without permission.
Is it? Jim Miller said that the criticism of Goodell  was the tipping point in this tweet:
https://twitter.com/JimMiller/status/596719922530492416
 
Then a couple stories citing that tweet then took the info that permission is needed to go on Dan Patrick from earlier Jim Miller comments (not Simmons related) and assumed that he didn't have permission, crediting it to Miller, but it isn't what Miller said.
 
 
Edit- check out Miller's twitter feed, he has a nice breakdown of what he hears has been going on re:Simmons and Grantland and he's a guy with a lot of sources in Bristol. He definitely implied that it wasn't that Simmons was on DP, but what he said there that was the final straw. I think it is telling that in the NY Times story when asked if Simmons' comments on the DP show sped up the timetable Skipper refused to comment.
 

epraz

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Skeesix said:
I hope they find an editor-in-chief who can keep Grantland going in a real way. Ask Charles Pierce, Rembert Browne and Wesley Morris who would keep them on board.
 
That was my gut reaction too, but those three are going to find places to write no matter whether Grantland continues or Simmons goes to do a basketball-focused thing with Turner.  This is inside baseball, I don't expect it to have much impact on me.
 

mauf

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In the age of Twitter, who cares whether Grantland survives or not? Now that they've had some exposure, everyone who writes there will find some sort of platform.
 

JimBoSox9

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maufman said:
In the age of Twitter, who cares whether Grantland survives or not? Now that they've had some exposure, everyone who writes there will find some sort of platform.
 
This is sort of apropos of nothing, but I've never quite been able to make Twitter work for me an an individual-writer-based RSS feed the way I can with websites.  There's just too much noise and not enough filtering.  If you have, do tell.
 

ifmanis5

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Bill is smart enough not to mess with a Disney company on his way out the door. It may be open season on Sheriff Roger, though.
 

ElUno20

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I truly hope he doesnt end up on tnt or anywhere on tv where i might accidentally have to hear his views on the nba and movies & tv
 
epraz said:
 
That was my gut reaction too, but those three are going to find places to write no matter whether Grantland continues or Simmons goes to do a basketball-focused thing with Turner.  This is inside baseball, I don't expect it to have much impact on me.
 
Well, Morris and Pierce were well-established before Grantland. But Rembert grew up and developed into a force on there, in part because heavyweights brought the traffic. Granted, Simmons has always been the big traffic draw, but he's not quite irreplaceable. I like that good writers can develop there and it would be a real shame if it didn't exist anymore.
 

Cellar-Door

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Skeesix said:
 
Well, Morris and Pierce were well-established before Grantland. But Rembert grew up and developed into a force on there, in part because heavyweights brought the traffic. Granted, Simmons has always been the big traffic draw, but he's not quite irreplaceable. I like that good writers can develop there and it would be a real shame if it didn't exist anymore.
He and others also developed because of the editorial culture there. It may not be unique, but writers at Grantland were allowed to write about pretty much whatever the wanted in a long format without any real pressure in terms of having to draw a certain number of clicks, or be the first to cover something. Plenty of sites don't really do that, and it was really the biggest thing Grantland did for many of their young writers, in giving them an environment that encouraged them to explore and push their boundaries.
 

Three10toLeft

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ElUno20 said:
I truly hope he doesnt end up on tnt or anywhere on tv where i might accidentally have to hear his views on the nba and movies & tv
You really struggle avoiding talking heads that you strongly dislike? Poor thing.

Regarding that VF piece by Jim Miller, it's pretty obvious that all his info is coming from Simmons or Simmons team of agents. You could tell he had a great rapport with Jim Miller from the couple times he's had him on the podcast. It seems like the most logical place to go to start airing out some of the behind the scenes workings.
 

OCST

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 still nothing up on Grantland itself.
 
 unless you count BS'  piece on Tim Duncan, which is painfully obvious as a allegory about BS himself leaving ESPN, IMO:
 
 
When my father retired as a school superintendent in 2009, only a few months before his 62nd birthday, I remember friends and family members being surprised that he didn’t stay longer. “You always want to get out a year early, not one or two years too late,” my dad always explained.
At the time, I thought this was exceptionally astute. Now I realize it was code for Instead of dealing with the 24/7 fear of hormonal teenagers acting inappropriately during the age of cell phone videos, Twitter, Internet anonymity and whatever else is coming, I’d much rather just go to matinee movies, watch sports and fall asleep on the sofa every night. But at the time? I thought my father was a modern-day Confucius. You always want to get out a year early, not one or two years too late. It’s totally true.
And if that’s true … what do we do about Tim Duncan?
(snip)
So those are the stakes for Tim Duncan. Leave right now. Leave everyone wanting more. Leave people saying, “Keep playing! You’re still good at this!” Leave with your legs still working. (Fine, one of your legs.) Leave knowing that, by any calculation, you were one of the best two-way players ever and one of the most beloved teammates ever. 
 
http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-tim-duncan-question/
 

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OilCanShotTupac said:
 still nothing up on Grantland itself.
 
 unless you count BS'  piece on Tim Duncan, which is painfully obvious as a allegory about BS himself leaving ESPN, IMO:
 
 
 
I don't buy it as an allegory unless for some reason he plans to stop writing totally post-ESPN, which I highly doubt. The one thing he prides himself on sports knowledge-wise more than any other is big picture NBA history, often instantly assessed, and that was entirely how I took that piece. 
 

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JBill

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I guess before Simmons says anything on Grantland or before they acknowledge it, they have to figure out if he's leaving effective immediately or what.

I thought it was hilarious that Jim Miller reports, in the Vanity Fair article linked above, that:

ESPN will still own intellectual properties like Grantland and the wildly popular podcast, the B.S. Report. One executive was even heard starting to plan who else might host the B.S. Report.
Good plan...
 

joe dokes

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One executive was even heard starting to plan who else might host the B.S. Report.
 
 
Hmmmmm....
 
Brian Scalabrine
Bart Starr
Bruce Springsteen
Barbra Streisand
 

Cellar-Door

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joe dokes said:
 
Hmmmmm....
 
Brian Scalabrine
Bart Starr
Bruce Springsteen
Barbra Streisand
It's going to be co-hosted by Britney Spears and Bob Seger.
 
Hopefully they realize the error in their ways and change it to the BD Report with BD Wong, I would totally listen to that podcast.
 

Clears Cleaver

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I think Simmons will do basketball for turner or someone who has those rights only as a part-time gig. I truly believe he wants to conquer Hollywood more than writing another shitty NFL mailbag or NBA playoffs preview. He likely knows Grantland was never going to make money, but if he got the equity ownership in it, he would resuscitate it with the hopes of selling it, ala Huffington Post.
 
So I think he ends up at Universal or some other large content provider and gets some sort of development deal to write/produce documentaries and movies and maybe a TV show. Or, if someone funds it and he gets the equity, he will recreate Grantland with hopes of monetizing it in five years. The interesting thing will be the podcast, which is usually excellent, but tough to montize. 
 

ifmanis5

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Clears Cleaver said:
I think Simmons will do basketball for turner or someone who has those rights only as a part-time gig. I truly believe he wants to conquer Hollywood more than writing another shitty NFL mailbag or NBA playoffs preview. He likely knows Grantland was never going to make money, but if he got the equity ownership in it, he would resuscitate it with the hopes of selling it, ala Huffington Post.
 
So I think he ends up at Universal or some other large content provider and gets some sort of development deal to write/produce documentaries and movies and maybe a TV show. Or, if someone funds it and he gets the equity, he will recreate Grantland with hopes of monetizing it in five years. The interesting thing will be the podcast, which is usually excellent, but tough to montize. 
Agree. His days of regular writing are over. Maybe he'd do a book deal if it was on his terms. Otherwise, he's not willing to burn the calories.
 

Cellar-Door

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JBill said:
More inside baseball on how it played out, from the Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bill-simmons-what-he-might-794630

Reading all that plus the reports from Deadspin, I guess Skipper decided to cut Simmons knees out from under him as soon as he heard him bash Goodell again. More than a little shitty that he found out via twitter.
 
A couple minor new things in that story. One is as expected a bit more insight into his agent's role. The second is a definitive statement that a significant number of writers are considering leaving Grantland if he ends up with a similar project elsewhere. That would be a backbreaker for Grantland I think, it would be a struggle without Simmons' traffic, but I think it could survive if ESPN is willing to eat some cash. If they lose their best writers in a big group as well I don't know how it survives.
 

ifmanis5

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Cellar-Door said:
 
A couple minor new things in that story. One is as expected a bit more insight into his agent's role. The second is a definitive statement that a significant number of writers are considering leaving Grantland if he ends up with a similar project elsewhere. That would be a backbreaker for Grantland I think, it would be a struggle without Simmons' traffic, but I think it could survive if ESPN is willing to eat some cash. If they lose their best writers in a big group as well I don't know how it survives.
Yeah, maybe Grantland could finally deliver on their Eggers, Gladwell et al promises.
 

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Clears Cleaver said:
 
So I think he ends up at Universal or some other large content provider and gets some sort of development deal to write/produce documentaries and movies and maybe a TV show. Or, if someone funds it and he gets the equity, he will recreate Grantland with hopes of monetizing it in five years. The interesting thing will be the podcast, which is usually excellent, but tough to montize. 
 
This hadn't occurred to me before but NBC Sports could be the way to go for him. They launched NBC Sports World with Posnanski but haven't really done much with it. They also have Roger Bennett, who podcasts with Men in Blazers but also occasionally writes and makes documentaries for them. Perhaps Simmons could be interested in something like that. They don't have NBA rights but neither does Fox Sports 1 which is also a rumored possibility.
 
While not exactly ESPN/Disney, NBC/Universal/Comcast/Sheinhardt Wig Company has a pretty wide range of networks they own so he could also branch away from sports and into pop culture with some of their connections. They could relaunch Sports World with him and Posnanski giving it tremendous credibility and hopefully take it seriously. Or they could launch a Grantland 2 type site with his followers from Grantland and some new writers. They have similar backing where it could lose money for a while but gain NBC sports some credibility and be worth it in the end.
 
I'm interested to see if he comments today or this week. Also, whether he'll stay on through the summer and what he'll do next. 
 

Cellar-Door

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ifmanis5 said:
Yeah, maybe Grantland could finally deliver on their Eggers, Gladwell et al promises.
Honestly Grantland was better when it stopped trying to have big names and threw work to younger up and coming writers.
On top of that, Grantland is less attractive to big name writers now than it was under Simmons and Cho. Unless ESPN really opens up the checkbook I can't see any big names being interested. Even then they might not, they are established where they are and have little incentive to jump to someplace new.
 

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His agent is James "Babydoll" Dixon, who also reps Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Carson Daly and Adam Carolla, so he will do all right for himself.  He recently had his agency go under the WME-IMG umbrella.
 

ifmanis5

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Can only imagine how pissed Bill is right now. Mad at Goodell and even madder that he can't say anything about it, so he remains radio silent.
 

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DegenerateSoxFan said:
Bill's got nothing to lose by going nuclear on the Deflategate debacle. He should just blast away - what are they going to do, fire him?
He's going to be professional through his contract to show whomever is going to sign his next multi-million dollar check that he can.
 

Drocca

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Part of what the next organization will be paying for is the full story and a bashing of ESPN, but on their dime. He has to wait.
 

JBill

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I know a lot of people can't stand the guy, but at this point we would've had a twitter meltdown directed at Goodell, an "emergency pod" with poor Barnwell or whoever else he could drag on, and tomorrow a several thousand word article that would've made any non-Pats fan vomit. I miss him.
 

LuckyBen

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JBill said:
I know a lot of people can't stand the guy, but at this point we would've had a twitter meltdown directed at Goodell, an "emergency pod" with poor Barnwell or whoever else he could drag on, and tomorrow a several thousand word article that would've made any non-Pats vomit. I miss him.
I've directed my hate at him for a lack of direction. I would love to hear him say anything about the situation though.