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We Read Bill Simmons, So You Don’t Have To

Chuck - Red's Army July 28, 2009 Uncategorized 20 Comments

Bill Simmons recaps the NBA off-season in a two-part epic on ESPN.com. Minus all the quotes from "Almost Famous," his laughable choice as the best movie of the decade (off the top of my head – I'd take "Remember the Titans"), it's a good article about the NBA.

He's not a big fan of the Rasheed Wallace signing or Marquis Daniels:

The song Stillwater sang backstage before every concert goes to new
Celtic Rasheed Wallace, who's hoping for a piggyback ride to a second
ring. Look, it's hard to criticize your team for spending $20 million
to upgrade a position that Mikki Moore and Brian Scalabrine manned last
season. But Sheed will be 35 years old and is coming off a brutal
contract year. He coasted on his reputation these past two seasons and
helped two coaches get fired. Last season, he looked disinterested,
took bad shots at the wrong times and never posted up. (In the words of
William Miller, "I was there. I WAS THERE.") Considering the Celtics
had trouble with everyone who went small against them last season,
weren't they better off targeting a third swing guy who could make 3s
and defend hot scorers (and please don't tell me Marquis Daniels is the
answer) over frontcourt insurance? Also, what makes anyone think
Kendrick Perkins — a young warrior who really came on last season, but
an emotional guy for better or worse — won't be affected with Rasheed
breathing down his neck for playing time?

The most confusing part
of this NBA summer: most fans and media members failing to realize
Sheed and Ron Artest earned their contracts on reputation alone. Artest
can only defend physical small forwards and slipped noticeably as an
offensive player (among qualifiers, he ranked last in two-point shooting percentage and third-to-last in two-point jumpshots). Sheed hasn't been effective in the playoffs since 2006
and submitted an epic stinkbomb in the 2009 Cleveland sweep (6.5 PPG,
6.3 RPG and 36.7 percent FG). Aren't these facts relevant? For all we
know, the Lakers and Celtics BOTH made themselves worse.

He makes the case that the Celtics could be the most hated team in the NBA:

To the Celtics, the consensus choice to represent the East in the
2010 Finals even though we don't know about KG's knees; how much Ray
Allen has left; if Rasheed will be good; how they're going to defend
quick perimeter guys or handle anyone who might go small; how much Paul
Pierce has left as a franchise scorer; and most of all, how an enigma
like Rajon Rondo will respond to Danny Ainge inexplicably shopping him
around AND publicly flaming him for the second half of June. Yes, I am
concerned. Another concern: Did the Celtics just assemble the most
hated NBA team of this decade? Everyone outside of Boston turned on
Rondo and KG last season. Throw in Wallace's antics and Perkins'
physical style, as well as the natural distaste for any Boston success,
and the Celtics suddenly look like the league's premier
bullying/chest-bumping/ref-badgering villains. So much for the days of
ubuntu. Will they embrace this new identity? How will this play out?

(Follow-up:
Thankfully, it looks like Stephon Marbury won't be back after his
career-ending 24/7 webcast last weekend. And by "back," I mean,
"allowed back in the United States." I think we have to deport him.)

After the jump, a hilarious story about Ron Artest wearing underwear only on a team bus…

For instance, Artest routinely walked around in his underwear in
public places: the Rockets' team bus, hotels, you name it. People
around the team barely flinched after a while. Before Game 7 of the
Lakers series — only the biggest game of the entire season — they
finally flinched.

Here's what happened: Artest missed the
first two team buses (the ones for players, coaches and team personnel)
from Houston's hotel to the Staples Center and barely made the third
and final bus, which was reserved for business staff, sponsors and
friends of the team. These stunned people watched Artest sprint to the
bus right before it left, jump on and take one of the remaining seats
… yes, wearing only his underwear. Owner Leslie Alexander happened to
be sitting on the bus and witnessed the whole thing. And you wonder why
the Houston Rockets didn't make any effort whatsoever to bring back
Artest.

He makes a legit case for LeBron going to the Clippers:

To the Clippers, who have qualified for "It's all happening!" status a
few times over the past few decades, only this time, it might stick. If
you didn't notice, they turned Zach Randolph into Blake Griffin and
three quality bench guys (including Mark Madsen, the first towel-waving
chemistry guy they've had since … since … since … I mean, have
they ever had a towel-waving chemistry guy?). Now they have a killer
under-22 foundation (Griffin and Eric Gordon, headed for a leap in Year
2), a fun team for this season (especially if Baron Davis and Marcus
Camby are healthy) and a super-intriguing cap situation next summer
(they're under $30 million). This remains the best combination
basketball/big city situation for LeBron James. It's true.

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  • Scott

    I used to really like Bill Simmons’ stuff, but since he moved to LA he has turned into a real douchebag. Surprise, surprise…

  • Double P Reppin the B

    Did anyone else hear that Stephon Marbury was so messed up this weekend that he was eating Vaseline and weeping. I wonder if this really will hurt his chances coming back to the NBA

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115704b7be5970b bigpartymaker

    I vote “The Departed” as the best of the decade

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570a7fe06970b LA_Native_Celts_Fan

    He’s better than Charley Rosen. In two articles in two days he’s managed to call Kwame Brown underrated and Kevin Garnett overrated.

  • Matt

    I say Dark Knight is the best movie. Do you guys watch the nostalgia critic?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    Two great choices.

  • Scott

    Can’t argue with that; Rosen is garbage. The worst are Plaschke and Adande, though.

  • Sr. Swish

    What exactly is wrong with Bill Simmons? All he does is talk about Boston sports, especially the Celtics. It’s a nice change of pace from WEEI, unless you like one-sided arguments that get “blown up” every time a caller makes a point…

  • Scott

    If you compare his articles from a couple of years ago to the ones he writes now you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    The articles are too long. Plain and simple.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Just put a post up about the Rosen stuff. Yeesh

  • Scott

    Good GRIEF. Rosen is worse than I remember (I had to stop reading him a couple of years ago…couldn’t take it anymore).

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f60396b970c ThatGuyOverTheOcean

    I still think Simmons is good… when he doesn’t write about Boston teams. Since he moved to LA, he seems like one of the trolls we have around here once in a while. I know ESPN is all for LA, but I hoped he would remain the same; I was wrong.

  • Bas Rutten Jr.

    Whoa, mainstream fans round these parts, eh?

  • ScalsNutrasystemPlan

    I’d go Gladiator number one. Almost Famous distant but still second. Departed is def still up there. You have to keep in mind Simmons’ criteria, which includes quotability and re-watchability years from now.
    He makes good points, but I think he’s wrong about Sheed.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156faf0b78970c Mauritz

    “Storytelling” by Todd Solondz or “Kill Bill” by Tarantino would probably get my votes. Most great movies are from the 90’s though.

  • Rj

    Dark Knight….. The Departed …. movie of the “00s” not a chance …
    DK…was probably one of the best if not best comic book movie ever made to this point, but at the end of the day, after taking in Ledger’s performance as the joker and the other all are bright and strong acting you have to realize it’s a comic book movie. A decade can’t be defined by a movie about guys in capes running around jumping off of buildings. While it was a good movie experience, you can’t endear it to your own life and experiences, unless you have homicidal clown fantasies.
    The Departed, really really “good” movie, we know the movie won best picture and director because it was Scorcese’s time. Go back and watch the movie and realize it’s “almost” there as being near perfect. It has characters you root for and memorable dialouge, and an ending not entirely obvious. The movie suffers from continuity however, re-watch it and try to count how many scenes are more than 2-3 minutes long. The scenes are more along the lines of introducing us to the characters more than about telling the story. The movie only ended because Dicaprio’s character got tired of running around, otherwise there would have been 5 more “near misses” where they almost catch Nicholson in the act but matt damon tips them off..

  • Rj

    Remember the Titans…. not even coming close to buying that one. It’s too scripted, even if it was a true story. plot …unlikley team hates each other, unlikely team accepts each other, rest of the world hates unlikely team, they win over the rest of the community, [climax] some event tests the strong team, the persevere through it and triumph….[credits] .
    Especially the cliche of the star player getting seriously injured and the team finding a way to win without him…Varsity blues, Friday Night lights…even though it was true, we’ve seen it all before so there isnt any mystique in the unlikely winners, we all know they’ll do it in about 111min of screen time.

  • Rj

    His articles may be long but there’s a lot of time in between his articles and they’re worth the wait … rather than put out a rushed once a week wham bam deal, he lets it hit him and then does it right. [You know like the opposite of every rapper for the last.....10 years..save Outkast]
    Never go into reading a bill simmons article and tell yourself you’re going to read it in X amount of time. Open a tab on your screen put the article there, read some and return rather than trying to fly through it. His columns have re-readability. try some foreplay with the column rather than wham bam

  • Rj

    Likely movie pick for the decade..
    Crash … current memorable and provoked a lot of discussion
    or..
    American Pie [possible cult movie]… That movie kind of broke the old sensor mode for what could be done, said, or inferred about in a movie involving “teenagers”. It had kids talking, parents angry, and was still funny, and had the kid from rookie of the year can’t go wrong.
    Van Wilder – extremely quotable movie, but hardly any kind of realistic plot
    Cruel Intentions [1999] but almost made the list
    honorable mention
    Lord of the Rings [when is the last or next time you'll see a fantasy film win best picture?]
    Harry Potter [at this point it's pretty clear the 3 kids in those movies have beaten out the Patriots for team of the decade]
    *Departed
    *Dark Knight