Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose are back with their NBA Preview. Shot in countdown-style Youtube videos that go team-to-team, from projected best to projected worst, you get a 15-minute read-in to what these guys really think about each team. As such ubiquitious basketball personalities, whose “meta” usually covers the entire league, it’s a different thing when, each season, Bill and Jalen “drill down” into their rankings and outlook for each and every NBA team.
The B.S. Report podcast, when NBA-focused, is probably my favorite going right now. Joe House, a Wizards fan and funny dude, makes a good sidekick for Simmons when talking all the latest in pro hoops. But in their recent discussion about Ray Allen, Simmons said something that I took issue with:
Simmons: I think the thing people miss with Ray and the reason him and Rondo struggle to play together and struggle to get along.. Ray’s a… you know… everybody.. has to chip in to help Ray succeed. He’s runnin’ off double and triple screens. The point guard’s gotta pound the ball, twenty-five feet from the basket, for five, six seconds waiting for Ray to come around all these different things. And I think Rondo is starting to get frustrated. That, you know, they’re devoting so much time to helping Ray succeed, almost at the expense of his game. And when [Avery] Bradley was in there and Rondo could just do whatever he wanted, Bradley’s doing backcuts, all that stuff. That was such a better fit for Rondo’s game. I think that was part of the problem.
House: But that was just something that came to light last season. It’s not like that’s been going on for a long time. And it happened to coincide with, you know, Ray’s physical aging curve. He’s right at, kind of, the end of his career.
Even though Joe House did a solid job of quickly explaining Simmons’ comment away, it still bugged me when I listened to it. For two reasons: Continue reading →
Bill Simmons works for ESPN. He’s also called “The Sports Guy.” Apparently he writes a column called “The Sports Column.” He also has a podcast called The B.S. Report, which is a free-flowing conversation that occasionally touches on mature subject matter. You know the drill.
So yesterday Simmons did a two-part podcast: Part 1 featured Kevin Love and Wi-ZARDS superfan, Joe House ( PlayDownload); Part 2 featured Dirk Nowitzski and Wi-ZARDS superfan Joe House (PlayDownload). (CAVEAT: Neither of us have had an opportunity to listen to them yet because of these niggling “day jobs” we have to do, but we’re both pretty psyched to hear them because the Simmon-House duo rules and so do Dirk and K-Love.)
In anticipation of listening to these podcasts, and without a Wolves game to discuss, we decided to look back on our favorite BS Report moments and propose who we would pay to hear on future B.S. Reports.
Andy G’s Favorites
Bill Walton (Describes the genius of John Wooden in ways only Walton can. Also, I believe this podcast holds the BS Report title for ‘most awkward ending’ when Bill S. asks some question about the late-70’s Blazers breaking up and Bill W. abruptly ends interview. Eds. note: I’m not able to find the direct link to the Walton podcast so I’m posting his general ESPN Audio link, which contains links to many sources of Walton goodness.–AG)
3-Man Weave with Mark Stein & Ric Bucher (Simmons loves the Celtics. Stein loves the Mavericks. Bucher loves the Lakers. They rib each other about these allegiances in funny ways, and all three are in touch with the league.)
Chuck Klosterman (Klosterman could write or speak about tax returns and make them seem interesting. He also knows hoops (though more NCAA than NBA) and his discussions with Simmons on the BS Report are must-listen. One that sticks out is from the week that Charlie Sheen went batshit.
Jalen Rose (No surprise that BS hired him for HIS OWN podcast on the Grantland Network. He knocked his BS Report out of the park. Lots of good stuff about 90’s NBA and the Fab Five.)
Steve Kerr (Knows the game, has great stories, and speaks well. He’s a perfect fit for the podcast format.)
Bob Ryan (Breakdown of Pierce as best Celtics scorer of all time–yes, greater than Legend; discussion of how McHale’s greatness is likely to be forgotten)
Chris Herren (So much Boston here, it warmed my heart just to hear the accent. Also, penetrating discussion of LOYALTY and Rick Pitino. Verification of why Paul Pierce is great.)
Joe House 2011/12 Season Preview, Part I and Part II(The 2011/12 season preview episodes is funny as hell. House says “Anus Kanter” and I believe he was being earnest about it. That NEVER happens.)
Larry Bird (Actually, this one was kind of a yawner given that Legend is my all-time favorite basketball player. Bird opines on Rubio (yes, he’s great) and Kobe vs. LeBron (Both are great, Lebron might be more fun to play with, but you’re more likely to win rings if you’re on Kobe’s squad.
Worst B.S. Report
Blake Griffin (He’s a more stale interview than Derrick Rose. Only sunshine here is that that hearing Simmons pulling teeth to get Griffin to talk was sort of entertaining ‘cause it was almost as hard to listen to as that scene in Swingers where Mikey keeps calling and leaving messages on that chick’s answering machine.)(Eds. note: Who am I forgetting? –PJ)
(Eds. note: You are forgetting BILLY HUNTER: (ALL listeners were pissed off listening to it (an inherent truth when you cross people who care enough about league to listen to a Billy Hunter interview with outrage of same people from LOCKOUT) and Hunter had nothing interesting to add. I took away no enjoyment from that listen. At least when David Stern comes on, he’s going to piss you off in interesting ways.–AG)
Let’s up the ante: Who WOULD be a great BS Report guest? (Bill, are you reading?)
As you probably know, the Wolves have twice defeated the defending-champion Mavericks in this short season, each game by a decided margin of victory. Although I joined the excitement of other Wolves fans about last year’s worst dominating last year’s best, it was impossible not to notice two things about those games:
1) In the first game, Dirk wasn’t Dirk (as Bill Simmons explained yesterday, Dirk showed up for training camp way out of shape, not yet recovering from the championship hangover).
2) In the second game, Dirk wasn’t playing. (His legs were broken down from playing his way into shape, for the above reason.)
Last night’s game would include neither of those beneficial factors. After beginning the season 3-5, Dallas had won 12 of its last 18 games, returning to contender form. After his worst start to a season in over a decade, Dirk had finally caught fire. In the three games leading up to last night’s, Dirk was averaging over 26 points per game on 61.5 percent shooting. It appeared as though he’d be the matchup nightmare that fans have grown accustomed to watching.