Guess who has some bad ideas and unfunny jokes to share? (Part 3 of oh God he's just going to keep doing mailbags until the NBA Finals end, isn't he)
New mailbag column. Same stupidity you've come to expect from all parties involved in its creation.
I know, I know … we’re two days late with the weekly NBA bag again. In my defense, my entire life revolves around the free-falling Celtics,
Pending the results of the draft lottery, the lowest they can pick is 7th. Boy, do I sure hope they end up picking 7th. How this can come to pass: none of the Bucks (owners of the most ping pong ball combinations--25% of them), Sixers (owners of 19.9% of all combinations), Magic (owners of 15.9%) or Celtics (owners of 10.4%) have any of their combinations picked. So for each of the three actual lottery picks, there's a 71.2% chance any of those teams has one of their combinations picked, and a 28.8% chance one of the other ten teams in the lottery has their combination picked. So the odds that all four of those teams miss out on each of the three selections if (.288)^3, or 2.4%. Hey, it could happen (McWorrrrrld!).
Chad Ford’s Big Board 8.0 and endless conversations about Wiggins, Jabari and Embiid right now.
Come to think of it, it would also be pretty fun for the Celtics to pick 5th, causing them to presumably miss out on those three guys and Julius Randle. IT'S NAWT FAY-UHHHHHH! It would be like 2007 all over again, only this time without two other teams each handing the Celtics a future HOFer for pennies on the dollar, followed by a Celtics championship.
Do you realize that, on Tuesday, May 20, your buddy Bill will appear on a one-hour NBA Countdown show that happens to include the live 2014 NBA draft lottery results?
Thanks, I'll be sure to DVR it, and either delete without watching if the Celtics move up, or watch for the schadenfreude if they move down.
Do you realize they’re also having me do the NBA draft with Rece Davis, Jay Bilas and Jalen Rose again?
Hopefully an NBA coach gets a chance to tell you you're a fucking idiot live on the air again this year.
Do you realize that ESPN is expecting me to be coherent for both of these live events?
If you want to get drunk before you go on set, and then spout some shit that is flagrantly racist/homophobic/otherwise worthy of getting you fired, that's fine with me. You absolutely have my permission.
It’s like a science experiment. Maybe they’re trying to get my head to explode so they can wipe my contract off the ESPN books.
Come on, that would never happen. Human heads don't work that way. Let's just go with my get drunk and then pop off at the mouth plan instead.
It’s the next best thing to using their amnesty on me. As for this particular column, as always, these are actual emails from actual readers.
And may they all catch herpes and hepatitis.
Q: Can you fire up the “SIMMONS FOR GM” campaign again, my friend?
DIE DIE DIE DIE KILL IT WITH FIRE
This team needs new blood, and what better way for the new ownership group to show the community that things will be different than bringing in a guy who will make changes, 100 percent guaranteed?
Yeah, what could POSSIBLY go wrong? A guy with no sports management experience, who's demonstrably stupid, being given control of a team that's not in particularly good shape right now?
How about it, Simmons? I don’t want to have to cheer for the Seattle Bucks, man. Do they even have deer there?
—Jake Klipp, Milwaukee
Oh snap great point! Also, UTAH Jazz? LOS ANGELES Lakers? LOLOLOLOL I BET NO ONE HAS POINTED THIS OUT BEFORE. Jake Klipp is a certified cunt.
SG: Don’t worry, you won’t have to cheer for the Seattle Bucks. As I tweeted last weekend, the Seattle guys (Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen) aren’t getting the team — even though they were willing to go higher than anyone else, they dropped out because Herb Kohl (the longtime Bucks owner and a fearless champion of mediocre basketball) wouldn’t sell them the franchise unless they agreed to keep it in Milwaukee.
Not that he's saying this directly, but I like the implication here (that he also pushed heavily during the Kings sale mess)--Seattle deserves a team! ALSO, WHEN THE SONICS MOVED TO OKLAHOMA CITY, IT WAS THE WORST TRAGEDY IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS OTHER THAN LEN BIAS, REGGIE LEWIS AND ANYTHING EVER RELATED TO BERNARD POLLARD.
The guys who thought they had it as recently as two days ago? Hedge-fund billionaires Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, who slid under the radar this entire time and thought they landed the Bucks with an offer in the $550 million range (slightly more than Vivek Ranadivé paid for the equally unappealing Kings). As recently as Wednesday, Lasry and Edens were expecting the NBA to vote on their bid at next week’s Board of Governors meeting.
So … what happened? Apparently there’s been a late flurry of offers from at least two other parties — not the Seattle guys — and now, incredibly, the price might be climbing and/or Kohl might be wavering to see if he should play this out longer. I thought I had this story nailed two days ago; now, I’m not sure.
Of course you aren't sure. Much as Mariotti should be kicked in the teeth by a rhino, he's right--you couldn't break a story if your life depended on it. (Those two dudes ended up landing the Bucks for $550 million).
(Sadly, I’m pulling myself out of the running for the GM job that I wouldn’t have gotten, anyway. Unless they give me the Phil Jackson deal — $60 million over five years, you get to stay in L.A. — I’m out. And I have 13 fewer rings than Phil Jackson. I don’t think it’s happening.)
BUT BILL YOU'D CHANGE STUFF UP AND DO SOME TRADES AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE STUPID GMS WHO WOULD GIVE YOU ALL THEIR GOOD PLAYERS FOR FREE! WHO SAYS NO??????
Q: How have you missed one of the best F.U. mode stories in recent memory? The Bulls trade Joakim Noah’s best friend on the team (Luol Deng) in an effort to avoid the luxury tax, but with Joakim’s possible incentives for earning all NBA first team honors, he could bump the Bulls up and over into the luxury tax. As a Bulls fan, nothing would make me happier.
OK, even though he referenced F.U. mode, one of the worst of all Simmonisms, I'm going to exempt this guy from hepatitis (but not herpes). That's actually a pretty crazy story. I mean, it's juvenile and stupid to think that Noah consciously started playing harder because Deng was traded so that his incentives could knock the team over the tax threshold, but it is pretty crazy. And Noah is pretty fucking good. So in sum, this might be the least obnoxious Simmons mailbag question ever (needless hyperbole alert!).
SG: You’re right! I was already voting for Noah for first-team All-NBA anyway; now I’m voting for him in all caps. In the words of the great philosopher Rasheed Wallace, “CTC!” Cut that check, Reinsdorfs! That’s karma paying you back for the Deng trade in the form of a luxury tax spinal tap.
Since we’re here, I have to fill out my NBA awards ballot by April 17.
Very said he gets to vote on this stuff. Also pretty sure he shouldn't be disclosing this stuff publicly before that deadline (this was published on April 11).
Congrats in advance, Gregg Popovich (Coach of the Year);
I hate that guy. He's good and all, but I hate him. And as the years go by, I want to give more and more credit to Duncan and less and less to Popovich. But I hate Duncan too, so I guess I'm really just spinning my wheels by thinking about this at all.
Victor Oladipo (Rookie of the Year, if only because I can’t vote for someone who lost 26 straight games);
Michael Carter-Williams had a much better year with much worse teammates, but yeah, I agree. The fact that his teammates were terrible should definitely be held against him.
Gerald Green (Most Improved);
Pretty reasonable pick, although Simmons probably arrived at his decision to make it based solely on the fact that Green is a former Celtic. ONCE A C ALWAYS A FACKIN' C!
Taj Gibson (Sixth Man); and Noah a second time (Defensive Player of the Year). MVP and All-NBA were a little more complicated, so I’m hashing them out here.
My top five for MVP: (1) Kevin Durant, (2) LeBron James, (3) Blake Griffin, (4) Joakim Noah, (5) Dirk Nowitzki.
Totally complicated. There are two guys who are clearly the two best players in the league, and you have them as your top two here. The one you chose to win the award is the one most people are choosing, if only because the guy you and many other picked second already has a bunch of MVPs and his team had a so-so year, relative to expectations. The guy you have third is the guy most people would pick third. I mean, you've really gone out on a limb here, Bill. I'm shocked your editors even let you publish these ZANY selections.
Thoughts: I care far too much about MVP voting and even devoted a swollen chapter in my NBA book to the league’s worst injustices ever. On paper, giving an MVP vote to someone who isn’t actually the league’s best player — like Barkley over MJ in 1993, or Malone over MJ in 1997, or West over Reed in 1970, or even Nash over Kobe in 2006 — is one of the 12 best ways to make me irrationally angry. If you’re the best player, you’re the best player. There shouldn’t be any qualifiers or caveats.
But here’s the difference with 2014 Durant: For six solid months, a pissed-off Durant in fifth gear night
Who gives a shit about your personal MVP standards, and your willingness to compromise them whenever you see fit because someone went into F.U. mode? Who gives a fucking shit? Not me.
First-Team All-NBA: Durant, LeBron, Noah, Chris Paul, Harden.
Second-Team All-NBA: George, Griffin, Dwight Howard, Curry, Dragic.
Third-Team All-NBA: Kevin Love, Nowitzki, Al Jefferson, Kyle Lowry, Tony Parker.
TOTALLY BONKERS. I thought for sure he was going to show some love for J.R. Smith or Nick Young, but no dice. Controversial. Actually, the one idiotic thing here is that Anthony Davis is absolutely deserving over Jefferson and Nowitzki (depending on how you want to juggle the positions), but Simmons says Davis is "a year away" and Jefferson is an ex-Celtic, so there you go.
(VCR fast forward sound goes here)
The good news for Love: He won yet another Mokeski Award as the league’s best white guy this season. That’s his third in four years! Hold the trophy high, Mr. Love.
Q: So who was the LVP for the 2013-14 season?
—B.S., Los Angeles
The only person with the intellectual firepower to match Bill: bizarro self-questions-asking Bill.
SG: Fine, I wrote that one. They wouldn’t let us vote on this, but here’s how my ballot would have looked.
1. Josh Smith: Helped get a first-year coach and a once-great GM fired (it’s coming); drained Detroit’s salary cap;
Even if he hadn't regressed this year and had duplicated his 2012-2013 statistics, he'd still have been way overpaid. Smith was indeed terrible but Dumars is an idiot independent of that terribleness.
is completely and totally untradable;
Every non-superstar on year one of a four year $50MM-plus contract is untradeable.
probably launched somewhere between 700 and 750 truly reprehensible shots; enraged the advanced metrics nerds; nearly broke the SportVU cameras and Goldsberry’s shot charts; sucked the life out of Detroit’s fan base; was disowned by the no. 1 Defender of All Lefties (Jalen Rose); couldn’t have been less fun to watch. Did I miss anything? Oh, wait — his old team (the Hawks) played better without him.
Totally. They went from winning 44 games and finishing sixth in the conference to winning 38 and finishing eighth.
And he achieved the advanced metrics triple crown, with his PER dropping from 17.7 to 14.1, his win shares per 48 minutes dropping from .075 to .021, and his sulks per 48 minutes skyrocketing from 8.2 to 14.8. If the LVP trophy changed sizes depending on the season,
Another of Bill's utterly idiotic ideas that gets trotted out entirely too often.
then Josh Smith’s 2014 season is a 40-pounder. He did everything short of getting arrested.
Always a good point to make if you want to fight the stereotype that Boston sports fans are racist.
The good news — we still have five days to go.
2. Raymond Felton: He’s gotta be in disbelief right now. What else did Ray Felton have to do? He was the league’s worst starting point guard, by every conceivable calculation, and somehow became untradable even with a cheap contract.
I have no snark here. Felton is terrible.
3. Andrew Bynum:
Probably not even fair to include on the list, given the fact that he played just 26 games this season after playing none last season.
Forced a trade from Cleveland by hijacking a practice and shooting every time he got the ball, even if he was past the 3-point line. The Bulls acquired him and immediately waived him. Eventually, Indiana signed him and went into an inexplicable tailspin — even without Bynum playing — almost like he spiritually infected the team like Sayid got spiritually infected during the final season of Lost.
Sweet reference! Do a "Fringe" joke next!
4. Larry Sanders: He’s like Bizarro Hakeem in 1993, in that he just slapped together a career LVP year, only he can’t even crack the top three. Nightclub fights, a PETA scandal, a marijuana suspension, a $44 million extension that hasn’t even kicked in yet (and Milwaukee is already regretting), a near fight in the locker room with Gary Neal, severe regression on the court, and even last week’s bizarre marijuana-should-be-legal defense that murdered his trade value.
Yeah good point, that was really what did it.
5. Kobe Bryant:
Should I keep making 6 for 24 jokes? I think I should. If you disagree, leave a comment.
Q: Is Lebron going to be in Eff you mode for the playoffs after KD wins the MVP?
—Michael Cleary, Tappan
No, he won't, because that does not exist, and because LeBron would want to win the championship as much as anyone could possible want to win it even if he was awarded the MVP. Michael Clearly deserves shingles in addition to herpes and hepatitis.
SG: The brief history of MVP Eff You Mode: 1993 (MJ pays back Barkley in the 1993 Finals); 1995 (Hakeem demolishes Robinson and the Spurs in the Western finals); 1997 (MJ throws up the basketball equivalent of a 10-7 boxing round over Malone in the Finals); 2001 (Shaq eviscerates Iverson’s Sixers and basically turns Dikembe Mutombo’s career into something else). All four times, you had the league’s alpha dog taking it personally that someone else got their stomach scratched.
I think you mean all four times, the much better team won, and their awesome player played really well. His analysis of the 2001 Finals is particularly laughable. That Sixers team didn't even belong in the same gym as that Lakers team--Iverson dragged them there by averaging 33/6/5 for the playoffs. Their second best player was 35 year old Mutombo, or geez, I don't know, maybe Aaron McKie? And then 29 year old Shaq dominated Mutombo. Shocker. Clearly, it was the result of MVP voting that caused that to happen.
Will LeBron take Durant’s MVP personally? And will Durant take it personally that LeBron took Durant’s MVP personally?
You're a moron.
Q: I’m a big OKC fan and watch most of their games. The way that teams guard Kevin Durant is unlike anything I have ever seen. He is basically denied the ball from the moment he crosses halfcourt. Against the Rockets on Friday, he was denied by two people at certain points during the game. Have you ever seen another player guarded like this?
—Kevin Gill, Richmond
SG: Please add that entire paragraph to KD’s 2014 MVP files. By the way, I’m pretty sure nobody would defend Durant that way if Harden still played for OKC. I’m almost positive. (I know, I know.)
He inserted that "olde tyme guy in a top hat beating a dead horse with a cane" gif here, which demonstrates a stunning amount of self awareness.
Q: I just read the following headline, “Mason Plumlee blocks LeBron James’ dunk attempt in final seconds, Nets complete season sweep of Heat.” Here’s a fun game: making up absurd yet more believable headlines from the NBA. Like – “JR Smith mortally stabs teammate during 4th quarter timeout.”
—Ben, Fairview, UT
SG: I wouldn’t believe that one. But I absolutely WOULD believe …
“Felton fined 25K for eating BBQ on Knicks bench during final home game”
“Third assistant coach leaves Warriors as Jackson maintains everything is fine”
“Parsons vows that flying back and forth to film The Bachelor won’t affect him in the Finals”
“Boozer looks forward to playing with toupee in playoffs”
“Paul George categorically denies appearing in Teen Mom’s latest sex tape”
You get the idea. I deleted the other five he wrote. They were just as bad. CAN YOU BELIEVE KIMMEL LET THIS GUY GO? I BET HE STILL LOSES SLEEP OVER THAT ONE.
Q: Part of me wants to believe Mark Jackson made a hyper-aggressive “Nobody Believes In Us” play by firing his staff – artificially inflating their “Nobody Believes In Us” stock.
Another useless Simmonsism, although to be fair, some non-retarded analysts also sometimes refer to this concept.
The other nagging part remembers his public squabbling with Bogut and that the Warriors are masters in surgical heartbreak. Which is it? Also please regard this suddenly relevantly placed photo.
—Andrew Carr, Brooklyn
Actually, that link is pretty funny. We'll take Andrew off the hepatitis list as well.
Q: A friend of mine “Stan” married this crazy lady “Tina”. They were engaged for a year when Stan took the ring back because she was nuts but decided to give it back to her a year later. So I explain this situation to a friend and she names Tina the Re-Fiance and it instantly becomes the term of choice to describe her among our circle. Upon hearing of Mike Brown’s re-hiring by the Cavs my girlfriend turns to me and deadpans “Well we have The Drive, The Catch, The Fumble, The Decision….now we have The Re-Coach.” Ladies and gentlemen, your 2014 Cllllllllleveland Cavaliers!
—CD, Cleveland, OH
SG: A few readers reminded me of this one … in my 2009 NBA book, I created a 12-man “Wine Cellar” team around the premise, “Aliens just invaded Earth and we have a time machine — we can grab any 12 players from any of their ‘vintage’ years, pull them into the current year and battle the aliens with them.” So greats like 1986 Bird, 1985 Magic and 1992 Jordan were involved. (And yes, 2014 Durant needs to be included whenever I write the next edition of this book.) But the coaches of that Wine Cellar team? 2007 Gregg Popovich, 1988 Rick Pitino (pulled from college to spearhead our killer second-team press), 1977 Willis Reed (big-man coach and our enforcer, just in case the aliens start a bench-clearing brawl), 2006 Mike D’Antoni (my words: “offensive guru”), and 2009 Mike Brown (my words: “defensive guru”). This is in print and everything. (The lesson, as always: I’m an idiot.)