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Tag Archives: Bill Simmons

Simmons’ Book of Basketball

Bill Simmons is releasing the paperback version of his opus to the NBA.  In all seriousness, if you’re a fan of the NBA this book really needs to be on your book shelf.  More a reference book than a narrative, it is an excellent work dedicated to, as Simmons describes it, “The Question.”  What is “The Question?” None other than Isaiah Thomas answers it, so read the book.

Here is a tasty excerpt from the new edition, pertaining to Durant and Greg Oden:

What if Portland had taken Kevin Durant over Greg Oden?

If you followed Durant in college, you knew about his work ethic, leadership, character and scoring DNA. I thought Durant was a genetic freak: like Tracy McGrady crossed with Plastic Man, someone God created to make baskets and get to the line. Oden left you hoping he stayed healthy, hoping basketball would become more important to him, hoping his spotty college year wasn’t an aberration, hoping he developed a low-post game and a killer instinct … for a sure thing, you sure were doing a lot of hoping.

Order the book here.

Mikhail Prokhorov Towers Over All

“Famous people are just more interesting” – Penny Lane

The same is probably true about the NJ Nets’ new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov.  As hopeful as the Nets (Thunder’s opponent tonight)  are about their new direction, general interest in the team is somewhat dwarfed by their owner, a Russian business man who made his money selling precious metals like palladium (to which Tony Stark is eternally grateful) and is now worth around $13.4 billion.  He is also one of the few men in the world who could cast a shadow, both literally and figuratively, on his co-owner, the media mogul and hip hop legend Jay-Z.

Here for your enjoyment/time wasting is a roundup of stories and profiles on the man Bill Simmons refers to as “Mutant Russian Mark Cuban.”

“To prevent the workaholic syndrome from passing into the syndrome of constant tiredness and dissatisfaction, follow the principle of the old joke that goes like this: You cannot eat all food, you cannot drink all wine, you cannot have all women, but that’s what you should strive for!” – Mikhail Prokhorov

And for your entertainment, here is Prokhorov doing jet ski tricks.  Of course he is.

Bill Simmons 11/23 Chat Transcript

Simmons embarked on one of his marathon online chats at ESPN.com today, beginning at 1PM, and going to whenever he runs out of coffee.  Here are a few Thunder-specific questions:

(The entire script can be found here)

Question: The thunder team on the floor right now is the team we’ll be watching for the next five years right? No big additions?

Simmons: Yeah… probably. Although after watching Westbrook without Durant last weekend, I do wonder if we’re headed for a Stringer/Avon situation with them. Remember, Stringer was happy working for Avon and being the No. 2 until Avon went to jail… then he got a taste of running the show himself and was like, “I don’t need you anymore.” And that’s when the Wire unleashed the greatest 16-18 episodes in TV history. So… yeah.

Question: What’s the deal with Durant? He has some sort of Ewing Theory stuff going on. His +/- is bad and they beat the C’s without him.

Simmons: I thought the Zombies deferred to him too much in the first 3 weeks. Not his fault, not anyone’s fault, just a natural outcome of his Team USA experience and all the hype he was getting. They’ll figure it out. The one guy who seemed to legitimately thrive without him was James Harden, which made me wonder if he’s just not meant to be a role player – he might be someone who needs to be actively involved to be effective. I think he’s more of a scorer than a ‘stand in the corner like Trevor Ariza and wait to shoot threes” guy.

The CBA and the Looming Lockout: A Primer

Fellow Lawyer Guy over at Docksquad Sports put together this nice little primer on the CBA and how it is going to impact the league over the course of the next year.  Abrar A. is a labor attorney, so I trust he knows what he’s talking about.  It isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, as I’m more of an attorney to the stars kind of lawyer* (and yet shockingly but ironically, I cannot get Angelina, George, or Conan to return my voice mails or Tweets).

Primer on the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement

A few thoughts on this excellent piece:

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Bill Simmons on the Western Conference

Bill Simmons has a new column up today that takes a look at the Western Conference, and ranks the teams from worst to first.

Part I

Part II

It is best to read the entire two-parter, but it’s good to note that he currently sees the Thunder as the #6 seed in the west, which if things shake out according to his predictions would likely pit them against the Hornets or Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.  Prognostication is fun!

Here are a few choice quotes:

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Bill Simmons Interviews Kevin Love

On Simmons’ 11/17 podcast, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love came on to talk about a myriad of things, including his experience playing with Russell Westbrook in college (UCLA) and Kevin Durant during the World Championships.

The B.S. Report

The transcript is edited for readability.

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Game 11 Results: Business—>Handled

Final Score: Thunder 116, Rockets 99

Record: 7-4

Stat Leaders:

Points:  Scola with 26, Durant with 24

Rebounds: Ibaka with 8, Scola with 8

Assists: Westbrook with 12, Maynor with 5, Durant with 4

Because if you’re a really good team, you should be doing what the Lakers do, and just taking care of business every night. – Bill Simmons, 11/8 podcast

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Bill Simmons’ Take

On 11/8 The SportsGuy Bill Simmons did his weekly podcast.  He devoted a solid 10 minutes to discussion on The Thunder.   He talked at length what he thinks is the major Achilles heel to the Thunder’s championship build.

The B.S. Report

the Thunder talk starts in around 57:30.  I’ve excerpted Simmons’ comments and edited them for readability.

____________________________________________

This is a stat that I think should be a stat…I’ve personally watched games where [the Thunder have] fallen behind by 20 points…it happened against the Celtics last night…it happened in the Clipper game…it happened the night before when they lost to Utah…and in that Portland game I think they were down like 15, 16…

When you fall behind by 15 or more in a basketball game, and it’s happening again and again, I don’t care if you come back or not, that’s the sign of a real issue.  Because if you’re a really good team, you should be doing what the Lakers do, and just taking care of business every night.  You shouldn’t be falling behind by 15, 20.

I think it goes deeper than [interior problems].  I think they had a lot of expectations, and it doesn’t seem to me, and I saw them in person on Wednesday (Clippers loss), it doesn’t seem like they’re playing with the same [happy go lucky]. Durant’s got the bulls-eye on him now, and he has a look on his face like he knows it.  And I thought Westbrook, I thought the experience he got in the World Championships would be awesome for him, and it actually kind of gave him a little too much confidence.  And now it almost seems like those two guys…you know, last year it was clear – Durant’s our guy…Now it’s like, Westbrook’s like, “you know what? I’m gonna do this.”

… I don’t know, it just seems like they’re a little off.  I think it’s fixable.

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