HoopsHype Bill Simmons rumors

June 28, 2013 Updates

On Thursday, Simmons berated Rivers for his departure from the Celtics last week, saying “the truth keeps changing.” Simmons added: “When he sticks to a story, I’ll believe the truth.” Well, Rivers gave the ‘real story’ to Patrick Friday. Here is his answer: It’s not that hard of a story. They wanted to unload contracts for draft picks. I happened to be one of those contracts. This is a direct quote from an owner: Listen, this is a win-win for us. If we can get get a pick for you and you have a chance to go to a team like the Clippers and continue to coach and continue to pursue winning and we can get to rebuilding.’ That’s exactly what happened last night. Clearly, I had a selfish motive. I had a chance to not rebuild and go to a team that is in a different phase of their franchise. So everyone benefited from it. Clearly I — at least, I hope I benefitted from it, but this was done together. This was not me walking into the Celtics and saying ‘I quit’ or anything like that. For The Win

Simmons countered with a heated reply. “The truth keeps changing. He’s giving different quotes about this. He did know, he didn’t know, he kind of knew. He wanted the trade to happen, he was coming back, he needed a year off,” Simmons said. “When he sticks to a story, I’ll believe the truth.” The feud shifted to Rivers’ son, Jeremiah, who eviscerated Simmons on Twitter. This morning, Simmons may have ended the beef with a masterful retort: "When I get home I'm signing up my 5 and a half year old son for Twitter so he can defend me against Doc Rivers' kids." For The Win

Further extending what has become a rather public squabble between ESPN analyst Bill Simmons and former Celtics coach Doc Rivers—now the coach of the Clippers—Rivers took to the airwaves to shoot back on Friday against Simmons’ declaration that Rivers had quit on the team. Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, Rivers said, “Bill is a fan,” Rivers said. “Is he qualified to do the NBA? We can debate that all day. But he's a fan. Not a fan of mine and he never has been.” Sporting News

The Boston Celtics are clearly rebuilding and Doc Rivers wants nothing to do with it. During last night’s NBA Draft, Bill Simmons called him out, saying he quit on the team. Doc fired back in an awkward interview with Shelley Smith. “I would like to call him an idiot but I’m too classy for that.” Guyism.com

So that was uncomfortable—passive aggressive Doc Rivers vs. heated Bill Simmons did make for compelling TV though. Especially since it came in the always boring 2nd round of the NBA draft. Doc Rivers’ son, Jeremiah, weighed in late last night ripping ESPN and Simmons in a Twitter rant not seen since Alec Baldwin two hours earlier. Guyism.com

June 14, 2013 Updates
June 3, 2013 Updates

It was a little surprising then that, in an extensive, typically well-written feature by Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, coordinating producer Amina Hussein claimed to feel "pretty good" about keeping the foursome of Magic Johnson (never as good on TV as you want), Jalen Rose (who, in my limited exposure, comes off as the potential breakout star of the group), Michael Wilbon (whose presence on this show, yet not as a traditional host, is baffling) and Bill Simmons (fine as you'd expect) will be together next season. In the same article, however, Simmons wasn't so sure. The Grantland editor-in-chief may scale back a bit next year. "I need to re-evaluate things this summer and figure out the best way to spend my time," Simmons said. "I was doing too many things these last eight months. I never wanted to become 'That Guy' and I don't want my daughter to hate me. She just turned eight and might turn against me just because I missed one soccer game or something. Little girls hold grudges. So I'm going to talk it over with my family and let them decide what I should do. It's going to play out like a bad sitcom pilot that ABC would reject." SB Nation

On the issue of whether he expected to return to NBA Countdown next season, Bill Simmons said he thought his group earned a second year but could also get much better. Interestingly, he would not fully commit to returning. "I need to re-evaluate things this summer and figure out the best way to spend my time," Simmons said. "I was doing too many things these last eight months. I never wanted to become 'That Guy' and I don't want my daughter to hate me. She just turned eight and might turn against me just because I missed one soccer game or something. Little girls hold grudges. So I'm going to talk it over with my family and let them decide what I should do. It's going to play out like a bad sitcom pilot that ABC would reject." SI.com

March 18, 2013 Updates
March 15, 2013 Updates

Bill Simmons is serving a three-day Twitter suspension after sending tweets critical of ESPN's "First Take." Simmons blasted the ESPN program for the Richard Sherman vs. Skip Bayless feud. He told his 2 million followers to stop watching the show and called the segment "awful" and "embarrassing." ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys on Thursday said the network declined to comment. This much is clear, however: ESPN is sending the message that nobody is exempt from its internal Twitter policies, which read: "At all times, exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for colleagues, business associates and fans." Detroit Free Press

March 10, 2013 Updates

Jalen Rose explains to Bill Simmons and David Jacoby how he gets inside NBA information before everyone else does and offers a cryptic answer to Bill’s question about whether Michael Jordan’s famous flu game was a “flu game or hangover game.” YouTube

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the prestigious MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where a senior executive of the Dallas Mavericks told me the following when I asked him about the famous "flu game": "The fact that Jordan wasn't sick that afternoon is an open secret in the NBA. Flu is a smokescreen that gives value to what he did. It's much better to say that someone is playing under the weather that saying he's feeling weak because he had few drinks the night before. (...) what Bill Simmons did with Jalen Rose, it's a question to which they both know the answer, but it is a question nobody asks. Simmons, asking that question in a network like ESPN shows why he is the best sports writer out there. (...) It is not surprising that this has not come to light before. There are certain sports brands and sponsors that don't want this to come to light. There is big money at stake. That's why the media is not giving this story any shine. The Jordan brand is worth so much. The media knows it and don't want to take risks, and Jordan's sponsors are going to protect him." Marca.com

February 9, 2013 Updates
October 18, 2012 Updates

Even though Stan Van Gundy won’t be joining ESPN’s formerly boring NBA pregame show — a development that disappointed us greatly — NBA Countdown will be getting a shot of life in another form: Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose are going to be joining Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon. This is a good thing. They’ll de-vanilla the robotic proceedings with their sharp opinions and whatnot, and if all goes according to plan, we should have our first incidence of accidental cursing from Bill Simmons by mid-November. It will be a moment we’ll celebrate. And it’s a moment Simmons doesn’t sound like he’s looking forward to. SportsGrid.com

“I’m a little worried,” said Simmons, during a podcast he recorded with Rose. “Because, in this day and age, where you’re not allowed to make any mistakes whatsoever and the internet just jumps on you, I’m a little bit worried about having a live mic. I’ve been doing a podcast for five-in-a-half years, and when I cross the line, Jacobi or whomever says, ‘Hey Bill, we’re gonna edit that out, you shouldn’t have said that.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea! I shouldn’t have said that.’ I’m not gonna have that option on live television.” SportsGrid.com

October 16, 2012 Updates

Jalen Rose, whose star continues to rise at ESPN, has just been selected as the 4th member of ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” sources tell me. The deal, which came together over the weekend, will pair Rose with Bill Simmons, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon, as ESPN makes a run at TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” The two shows don’t go head-to-head, but “Inside the NBA” is far more popular among fans. The Big Lead

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