Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guess who has some bad ideas and unfunny jokes to share? (Part 4)

Still working on his April 11 mailbag.  No others have been published since then, although by saying that I'm probably reverse double inverted triple jinxing him into publishing one tomorrow.  When we last left him, he was practicing his always-insufferable false humility by publishing letters containing bad predictions he had made in the past.  Let's continue.

Q: Remember this? You wrote …


He wrote that in 2010.  Pretty timely to make U2 the comparison for an entity that stopped being good abruptly.  While they continue to sell like gangbusters, including a chart-topping album from 2009 that I sure as hell am not familiar with (Bill is wrong part 1), they also haven't really released anything that is musically notable since like 1991 (Bill is nineteen years late and wrong part 2).  Always nice to see a good, solid double wrong.

Four titles, 13 straight 50-win seasons (I’m including the stupid lockout season) and a boatload of fantastic memories. OK, not really. 

What?  Like they weren't fun to watch?  I despise the Spurs, but they've always been entertaining during the Popovich era.  

But we got to watch Duncan (the best power forward ever), Ginobili (the best international guard ever if you’re not counting Nash, and you shouldn’t, since Canada isn’t really ‘international’), 

So, Ginobili is the second best international guard ever, then.

Parker (who perfected the celebrity relationship), 

Yeah, that marriage went really well for the first three years.  After that (six months after Bill wrote this), it kind of exploded because Parker was ALLEGEDLY fucking Brent Barry's wife.  Tough break, Brent.

Popovich (the best coach of the past 15 years), 

I love the not-that-subtle dig at Phil Jackson, who is pretty overrated, but also beat Popovich in the playoffs four out of the five times their teams met (18-8 overall record edge in the playoffs for Jackson).

and two really fun rivalries (Spurs-Suns, Spurs-Mavs). 

I thought we agreed that the Spurs really didn't generate many good memories.

Look, you can’t stay on top for more than a decade without getting a top-three lottery pick or having Chris Wallace trade you a top-three lottery pick. That’s just the way this league works. 

This is the man who should definitely be an NBA GM.

So hold your head up high, Spurs. Fantastic run. When players are bawling in their locker room because they finally beat you (like Nash did after Game 4), you know you accomplished something great. And you did.”

What a dipshit.

That’s dated May, 2010.
—Bernie, Washington, D.C.

Good for Bernie.  No herpes or hepatitis for him.

SG: The lesson, as always: I’m REALLY an idiot.

Love his shoveling of dirt on the Spurs because they got swept in the second round of the playoffs that year.  Duncan was 33; Ginobili was 32; Parker was 27.  Most of their important role players were in their 20s.  THEY'RE DONE.  FINISHED.  END OF AN ERA.

Q: Any thoughts on the NBA creating the equivalent to a Senior Tour for older players? With well documented retirement planning issues, wouldn’t this be a no brainer? 

No, it wouldn't, because no one would watch it, and even the good players who wanted to participate (like maybe Jordan, if you gave him enough money) would get hurt constantly.  This is a dumb idea and this guy should feel bad about it.  We're back on the herpes + hepatitis train.

Players would have to be retired for at least two years. Could Michael dunk on Patrick Ewing at 50? 

Sure.  Could you get them both to participate?  I'm betting you couldn't.

How much would Shawn Kemp or Antione Walker take to play in this league? 100K a year?

That might actually do it for those two, but they're pretty much the far far end of the spectrum in terms of former players who are possibly in financial trouble, and almost certainly are both completely incapable of staying in game shape.

—Sherif Elmazi, Hong Kong

Fuck you.

SG: I stumbled upon the answer to this question during my All-Star Weekend podcast with Dirk Nowitzki. We’d been talking about how long Dirk could play, conceivably, and whether he could spend his late thirties and early forties spreading the floor as a late-career Sam Perkins–type weapon for a contender. And Dirk said that it wasn’t about the still-being-able-to-play part, but the doing-everything-it-takes-to-be-able-to-play part.

No way.  Is he actually going to answer this logically?  Where is the THIS IS LITERALLY THE GREATEST IDEA EVER WHO SAYS NO sentiment?

That’s the part we always forget, as well as the most illuminating part of Steve Nash’s The Finish Line series for Grantland. When they get older, WE don’t realize how much it takes for THEM to play. So even if the Senior Tour is a fantastic idea on paper, 

It's really not.  Maybe a once-a-year senior game during all star weekend or something.

the amount of work it would take for ex-players with crazy NBA miles on them already to play basketball regularly, stay relatively healthy, avoid debilitating injuries … it’s just not realistic.

Knock me over with a feather.  Mostly sensible.

(Unless we make all PEDs legal. Then? Totally realistic!)


Q: So another Wednesday has come and gone without an NBA Mailbag from the Sports Guy as we were all promised. I wonder what other job somebody could have where you could promises with no intention of keeping them..WAIT A MINUTE. THE PRESIDENT. BILL YOU SHOULD BE PRESIDENT!
—Aaron, Arvada, CO

Oh snap!  Take that, OBUMMER!!!!!!!!111  This is probably a reference to something specific, but I'm not sure what.  Obama did a podcast with Bill in 2012, and was scheduled to do another in 2008 before ESPN pulled the plug.  He also, of course, did a March Madness bracket this year with ESPN, so it can't be a reference to that.  Either Bill published an unclever PoFlaWa email from some turd, or I missed the joke.  In the event that it's the latter, I'm sure the joke was bad.

SG: I didn’t know whether to go with “Too soon” or “Words hurt” for this answer.

How about you just don't publish it?  Or any of the rest of these?  Or anything else, ever?

Q: No Wednesday mailbag again. There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone, and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit. But I’ll read it anyway when it comes out.
—Ted Yates, Denver


SG: And you’re reading it right now! See, this all worked out. You didn’t even have to crawl through 500 yards of shit-smelling foulness the likes of which you couldn’t imagine to get here.


Q: Just read your Letterman column. If you want to show the differences between Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, just show people the video of Dave interviewing Paris Hilton in 2007.
—Jake, Fort Bragg

Jimmy Fallon is horrendous.  I will give Jake that.  I'm annoyed that he brought up Letterman though, not because I dislike Letterman, but because it reminds me of the way Bill managed to turn Letterman's retirement into an essay about how Bill will look back on Letterman and the way Bill's career was shaped by Bill's fandom Bill Bill Bill Bill is at the center of the universe.

SG: An all-timer.

He posted the video.  I've deleted it from the post-Youtube it if you want to watch it.  It's got nothing on the Joaquin Phoenix interview though.

Q: Where does The Undertaker’s loss to Brock Lesnar at WM rank on the Levels of Losing scale? I’m thinking it has to be either “Stomach Punch” or “Wait, This Wasn’t the Plan.”
—Tom, Simi Valley

I'm thinking it's probably "The Levels of Losing scale is only referenced by people who should be thrown into nuclear power plant cooling towers."

SG: That was definitely a 

Response deleted.  No one cares.

Q: What’s your opinion on Rondo and Boston’s 1st round pick for Kyrie?
—William Demitro, Chicago

SG: I just hung up the phone on William Demitro. Slammed it down, actually. 

Despite my defense of Irving in part 2 of this series, I reluctantly agree with Bill's assessment.

You’re not getting my top-five pick unless it’s for Kyrie straight up. And even then, I’m not that excited. Do I really want to give up Jabari, Wiggins or Embiid for someone who’s giving off major Steve Francis/Steph Marbury fumes? 

Yeah!  Great point!  He totally is definitely going to be like those guys, because his year three season was a lot like their year three seasons.  I mean, it was a lot like many awesome point guards' year three seasons, but what fun is sports "analysis" if you can't just construct whatever narrative you feel like and then push it for all it's worth in order to try to make yourself sound smart?

And then I have to throw in Rondo, too? 

Again, I agree with Bill that it wouldn't be a good trade for Boston, but let's not pretend like Rondo is totally free of question marks.  He can't shoot, never has been able to shoot, depends heavily on his quickness and just turned 28.  Not like he's suddenly going to start being terrible, but his best days are probably behind him.  Boston is going to have to rebuild mighty quickly for him to be a major player on their next upswing.

Even the New Orleans GM wouldn’t do that! (Thinking.) You’re right, he’d totally do that. 


But I’d trade Rondo for whatever and pursue Kyrie in a separate deal.

Huh?  "I would never trade Boston's only real player asset and their 1st round pick for Irving.  Instead I'd trade the player for 'whatever' and try to trade for Irving with something else, maybe the pick but probably not."

Here’s the problem with trading Rondo — he’s never re-signing in Sacramento, Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland or wherever. None of those teams are overpaying to rent Rondo for a year. Boston’s best chance on decent value: If Houston flames out in Round 1, maybe send Rondo there for Jeremy Lin’s expiring deal, Chandler Parsons and Houston’s first-rounder. 

Yeah, that's a great idea, but there's no way Houston is doing that.  

I can’t see them doing better, especially with how Rondo has looked lately — he’s been their best tanking asset down the stretch, hands down. Nobody else comes close. Shitty attitude, sloppy ballhandling, horrific defense, inexplicable decision-making, ugly shooting … he’s doing it all. Down the stretch, it’s like he studied tape of the game Tony threw in Blue Chips, then said, “I’m gonna throw in Brandon Jennings’s shot selection for good measure.” If we get the no. 1 pick, they should retire Rondo’s number next October.

Yeah, why WOULDN'T the Rockets want him in exchange for their first rounder in an excellent draft, a rotation PG who is 75% as good as Rondo, and a young SF who averaged 16/6/5 this year?  HOUSTON SAYS NO.

Q: As a Brooklyn Nets and New York Football Giants fan, I have a quick parallel for you …

Tom Terrific — Jaunary 30, 2008  (video of Brady laughing at the idea that the GREATRIOTS would only score 17 points in Super Bowl XLII)

King James — April 8, 2014 (video of LeBron telling a writer who asked if the Nets were the Heat's biggest challenge in the conference to "Get out of here")

These clips pretty much confirm that the Nets will beat the Heat in the greatest playoff series of all time. All that’s left is who’s gonna play the roles of Eli and Tyree in a Hill-Laettner kind of play?
—Eli, Chatham, NJ

That's some good trolling.  Eli can stay disease free.  Well done.

SG: I vote for Paul Pierce as Eli/Hill and and Joe Johnson as Tyree/Laettner. Also, I vote that I start drinking for the rest of this mailbag. JESUS. I clicked on that stupid Tom Terrific clip thinking it was something with Tom Seaver. It’s becoming increasingly clear that I will never get over that game.

And we're all better off for that.  Also, the video, like any Youtube video that hasn't been clicked on yet, starts with an image of what's in it.  It was a big picture of Tom Brady at a podium.  He doesn't look much like Tom Seaver.

Q: With the NBA regular season winding down, my gambling side is rearing its ugly face. Give me your best bets/longshots for the playoffs.
—Gavin, Omaha

SG: Don’t you want to get in early on Helmet Catch II, Gavin? Take Brooklyn +1200 to win the East. Actually, parlay that with +500 on me FedExing three days of dog poop to Eli from Chatham. I’m rattled.

Watch out, Vegas!  Bill "Sam Rothstein" Simmons is giving out free tips!

Q: When I watch Kevin Durant play, it always reminds me of something that I can never quite put my finger on. The other night it hit me: the smoke monster on Lost! Can we call him “Smoke?”
—Scott Herbst, Chicago

You're a fucking idiot.

SG: I think you’re late both with the nickname push and the pop-culture reference. (Wait, what? I dropped a Lost reference 2,000 words ago? You’re right, my bad.) 

You did, and it wasn't even among the top fifty worst dated/dumb pop culture references you've made in the last twelve months.  Don't sweat it too much.

But I went to Wednesday’s Clips-OKC game, in which Westbrook looked like RUSSELL THE BADASS ATHLETE/FREAK/DYNAMO/FORCE OF NATURE guy for the first time in 11 months. 

This is classic "the world is lit with sunshine because I cast my eyes upon it" Simmons.  He saw Westbrook go for 30/11/6 on 50% shooting.  FIRST TIME HE'S BEEN ON IN THIS SEASON.  Nevermind that he went for 33/4/8 on 46% shooting two nights earlier, or that he went for 36/9/9 on 59% shooting in early March, and a triple double the game before that.  Bill didn't see any of those games personally, so April 9 was Westbrook's welcome back game.  

Durant dropped a quiet 27, including a backbreaking double step-back 3 that was right out of Larry Legend’s playbook for dagger 3s. 

It was semi Antoine Walker-esque!  No, wait, Ray Allen in his 30s!  FACK YOU!  That's what everyone who was watching thought--"Yep, that Durant, he must study hours of Larry Bird game footage every night.  HEY!  I wonder if the Celtics are on right now?!"

And this was an average Durant game. He was fine. This season, his “fine” is an A-minus. Anyway, when you see this dude in person, you never feel like he needs a nickname. He’s just KD. He’s one of the 10 natural wonders of the world right now — a 6-foot-11 scoring machine with absolutely no historical parallel. It’s like saying, “I just went to the Grand Canyon — it wasn’t memorable enough, we need to nickname that thing!”

Yeah, Bill would never do something as worthless as waste time contemplating the question of a great player's nickname.


dewey said...

I thought Arnold Rothstein was the famous gambler. Your Brent Barry comment seems a trifle swinish.

Larry B said...

Sam Rothstein is de Niro's character in "Casino," who initially makes his money by being a master sports handicapper. As for the Barry thing, I might sound snarky, but I legitimately feel bad for the guy.

dewey said...

Oh, it was a Simmonsesque movie reference but to a movie I had at least heard of but hadn't seen. I am chastised. I hadn't heard of the Parker thing either and he is one ugly, French dude or rich, ugly, French dude.

Larry B said...

Yeah, Casino was released the year after Shawshank. That was the joke I was going for--probably fell flat. Casino is pretty good though. You should watch it.

Parker is definitely rich, ugly, and French.

akakhawk said...

Larry - for the love of everything holy in this world, I'm begging you to please, PLEASE take on the latest pile of crap from Simmons (re: Sterling). It's worth it just for his story of somehow sitting behind him on an airplane

Larry B said...

Big surprise that Bill manages to make the Sterling situation all about Bill. HE'S GOT A STORY FOR EVERYTHING! Ask and you shall receive, but I'm working on tearing apart his Rolling Stone profile first.

Anon said...

Hmmm...I didn't think the Sterling column was ripe for the plucking. None of it was wrong per se, but the way he made it all about himself was classic Bill. I look forward to the take down.