Friday, September 14, 2007

Bill Simmons Writes Article, Admits It's Bad 80% Through, Still Publishes

My only reaction to that: AWESOME.

Blazers don't deserve Bowie 2.0

If he made sense 60% of the time in this article, I would actually admit that this is a pretty good title.

The three-word e-mail came this morning from someone who knows things: "Oden -- microfracture surgery."

It looks like Blazers fans will have to wait until 2009 to see Greg Oden in a Portland uniform.
My three-word response: "Oh. My. God."

It's one of the saddest stories in recent NBA history, regardless of how it turns out down the road: Not just that Portland took the wrong guy last June, but that the same city may have been screwed over twice. There was Bowie-over-MJ, and now, there might be Oden-over-Durant.

I just copied this so you all could see the basic premise, although "saddest stories" implies tragedy, like someone died or something. All that happened is that a dude who is bound to make a lot of money won't play basketball for a year.

Then, we have a few paragraphs of mostly legitimate things about how Oden was supposedly the "safe" pick and how everyone thought that but Simmons, and how everyone is wrong, and Simmons is right, despite Simmons getting very lucky on that. After all that jazz, we get to this.

You could say "Those who ignore the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them," and you might be right. But throwing aside all the videotapes, predraft interviews and workouts and everything else, there's this: At the ESPYS two months ago, I helped write jokes for Jimmy Kimmel, whose dressing room was backstage at the Kodak Theater and right off a hallway where celebrities were ushered in and out before and after the show. So, I watched every single athlete walk by at some point, and I swear, if I hadn't taken this summer off to write a book, I would have written about this story in a blog or something.

Good God, you wrote jokes for Jimmy Kimmel? I didn't watch the ESPYS, but I dearly hope that Kimmel didn't tell any of them.

I will bet every single reader $500 that Simmons does not make a legitimate point out of this story. There's literally no way to do that. My guess: he just wanted to tell the world that he wrote jokes for Kimmel.

Anyway, when you see basketball players dressed in normal clothes, it's mesmerizing to watch them walk for two reasons: They're always much bigger in person, but they move so effortlessly that it's always strangely discombobulating to watch them walk, like they belong to another species or something.

Reason #2 make any sense to anyone? No? Didn't think so.

For instance, we all know one or two exceptionally tall people who don't play sports -- they always move gingerly, and their posture usually isn't that good, and everything about them says, "I wish I wasn't this tall."

I know absolutely zero tall people that feel this way. Tall people like being tall. Being tall is dominant. Or are they saying, "man, I wish I was 5'10'' and average"?

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.

The best athletes in the NBA don't carry themselves like this. They glide. Everything moves effortlessly as they walk, and it's impossible to fully explain unless you've seen it. Even someone like Shaq glides across the room like he's the size of Steve Nash. They don't move like normal tall people.

NBA tall people glide, non-NBA tall people are klutzes and trip on their shoelaces and slip on bananas with accompanying cartoon noises constantly playing in the background. We get it. Great point. Please tie this in soon somehow, I'm getting very bored.

So, before and after the show, I was vigilantly watching everyone stroll by for one reason: I wanted to see Oden and Durant walking in normal clothes. It was like the final piece of the "Durant vs. Oden" puzzle for me.

You know what convinced me that Alex Rodriguez is better than Albert Pujols? Alex Rodriguez is way better at riding a bicycle.

As it turned out, I got to see Durant first -- he shuffled down the hallway, all 81 inches of him, looking like he was put on Earth to play sports for a living. No big surprise there. Even the biggest nonsports fan on the planet could watch Durant walk for 35 feet and think, "That guy was born to play basketball." Now, I needed Oden. We didn't see him before the show, and I didn't see him right afterward. Just when I was about to give up, a friend of mine said, "Yo, Oden just walked by."

I scurried down the hallway to see him. Lo and behold, Oden was walking by himself down the last stretch of the hallway, about 50 feet in all, right before the exit to head outside.

Blazers fans don't need any more reminders of the 1984 draft.
And you know what? He walked like a 50-year-old man. His posture was screwed up. He had the Fred Sanford walk going. If you saw him from behind and just studied his walk, you would have thought it was a retired player, someone like Patrick Ewing or Robert Parish.

You all owe me $500.

Wow. There you go everyone. THAT was the point. Kevin Durant: walks like a superstar. Greg Oden: walks like a crotchety 50-year-old man that watches Matlock and M.A.S.H. too much. Awesome. I totally believe that Kevin Durant is better at basketball than Oden now that I know that Greg-O walks funny. You needed to write 5 fucking long paragraphs to express that.

I feel like Peter Griffin at the end of this clip.

I couldn't believe it. I didn't stop talking about it the rest of the night.

I can't even imagine how many famous people you bothered with this irrelevance.

Greg Oden walked like a guy who had bad knees. If I were Portland's GM and watched Oden walk across the room, that would have been it for me. The next day, I even called my buddy Sully (who works for the Celtics) just to have the obligatory, "Yo, we might have dodged a bullet May 22; Greg Oden walks like a 50-year-old man" conversation.

Bill Simmons: Yo, Sully! We might have dodged a bullet May 22; Greg Oden walks like a 50-year-old man!

Sully: Shut the fuck up.

Obligatory indeed.

Now, you could argue this is the single dumbest thing I've ever written, and you might even be right. Just know I have spent the past two months telling that Oden/ESPYS story to everyone who brought up the Oden-Durant thing to me.

Two months well-spent, my friend. Glad to hear that you focus on what's really important. This is totally the reason that everyone respects you.

Sometimes in life, you just know with these things.

There you have it, Simmons is now pretending he PREDICTED that Oden would miss this year.

I hope I'm wrong.

I sincerely doubt that.


eriz said...

I'm pretty sure there's nothing graceful about Tim Duncan off the court either

Anonymous said...

I generally agree with most of the posts on the blog, but no this time. Simmons was just making a piont that a 19-year old kid was walking around like he had already played 900 NBA games. It is a valid point. Duncan may not be graceful, but he didn't hobble around when he first joined the league. The point wasn't so much grace (Durant) as it was obvious discomfort (Oden).

pnoles said...

You're welcome to disagree, I have no problem with that.

I'd say that 85% of my point was that it took him 5 paragraphs to say: "I've seen Greg Oden and Kevin Durant walk. Kevin Durant walks like an NBA player should, and Greg Oden looks walks like a guy whose legs are bothering him." The comparison of Oden (at least I think it's implied) to a non-NBA-playing-tall-guy is unwarranted and stupid.

The other 15% of my point is that the way someone looks outside the lines is very often not a good indicator of how they perform inside the lines. Just ask Billy Beane.

Prince Fielder looks like a cop who raids a doughnut shop every morning. He's also one of the best players in Major League Baseball, and probably will be for the next several years. I understand that there's a distinction between looking like you're out of shape and looking injured, and that fat guys aren't good at basketball like they can be at baseball, but still.

Anonymous said...

Obvious discomfort?? Anon, what the HELL are you talking about... looks like another blind BS supporter. Dear Bill was talking out of his ass (as usual) "50 feet away, I see a 7 foot monster, with bad posture and who staggers like a bowlegged man with arthritis from a tv show... I am immediately reminded of a retired Patrick Ewing and Fred Sanford and since I'm an expert on the way big people walk (not the trainers, physicians, and scouts who get paid tons of money to evaluate these things... me) - I thank my lucky stars that my beloved Celtics didn't get the #1 pick and instead mortgaged their future for three years of being relevant again"

Umm, simmons, what?

He wasn't "making a point" from any relevant facts (keyword: fact) he was making a random (and possibily *gasp* wrong) observation, that he arbitrarily decided meant something... and whatever this point is, i think "valid" may be the worst would you could use to describe it

Anyway, I think it was said on this site once, the frustrating thing about Simmons isn't that he sucks... it's that he's good, really good at times, and he wastes his talent with piss poor (and he himself admits this is piss poor, so i have no idea why you're defending him) writing...

JF said...

It's kinda funny to...

that he said he has spent the past two months telling EVERYONE the Oden ESPYs story... everyone, of course, except for his thousands of readers... no, no, for them he waited until something completely unrelated happened that would make him and his bizzare observation sound smart... oh but, only if you're willing to forget that he's saying all this after the fact

Chris W said...


link us to the article

dan-bob said...

I don't think any of the articles on this site fit better to the tag "anecdotal bullshit".

pnoles said...

Wow can't believe I forgot to link the article. Fixed!

Anonymous said...

So. Pnoles, most of your stuff on here seems to be cranky but fucking hilarious with a little bit of instruction thrown in: the hook is typically barbed but effective and even the target should learn a little something about themselves.

This one just seems to be kind of cranky.

Maybe this means I wanna sniff BS's buttcrack, I dunno...

Chris Hart said...

I gotta disagree here. And yes, I am a big BS supporter in general.

You guys complain about writers spouting bullshit all the time, but in this case a guy relates a relevant story and you crap on him for it being too long? I don't get it.

So what if Simmons didnt see the guys 40 time? I think seeing a #1 pick looking old is a pretty good reason to be suspect of his ability to play basketball. This isn't like baseball (as you said pnoles). Someone's ability to walk down a hall (or lack there of) will probably have a bearing on his ability to play basketball at a high level.

Chris Hart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris W said...

essentially here's the problem

a.) oden's injured
b.) usually basketball players look graceful
c.) i wrote jokes for jimmy kimmel
d.) usually basketball players look more graceful than regular tall people
e.) kevin durant looked graceful
f.) usually basketball players look graceful
g.) oden looked like the 45 year old man he most certainly is
h.) i told you so! (only i didn't...remember? i was crying bullets that the celtics didn't get to pick him)
i.) i told everybody so! (only i didn't)

pnoles said...

All in favor of anonymouses getting blogger IDs so that we can refer to them as something besides anonymous #x?

Chris W said...

is that comcast commercial they keep showing making fun of harry carey?

larry b said...

god i hope so.

Aaron said...

"You know what convinced me that Alex Rodriguez is better than Albert Pujols? Alex Rodriguez is way better at riding a bicycle."

Lol. I nearly fell out of my chair when I read that.