How much influence, if any, did you have in NBA Countdown’s on-air talent comings and goings? Bill Simmons: Zero. I didn’t think I was coming back. I wasn’t happy during the last two playoff rounds; I didn’t feel like they cared about the show enough and had some other issues that I won’t rehash. And I felt like I had done a lousy job with my family and with Grantland in April-May-June. So I decided to wait a month or so before I told them officially, but in my head, I was gone. They probably thought I was leaving, too. They weren’t going to listen to someone who wasn’t coming back — and besides, Bristol doesn’t listen to on-air talent about on-air talent decisions, anyway. That’s a point of pride for them. Ask anyone. But as I decompressed during the summer and started feeling like a normal person again, I realized that my schedule burned me out. And, in the irony of ironies, I didn’t want to give up working with Magic yet. So I asked to do Fridays and Sundays during the season, and I asked if we could stay in L.A. for the conference finals (so I wasn’t on the road for six straight weeks, including the draft). They agreed and then I had to spend the next few days convincing my wife to let me do it. She’s still not totally convinced, by the way. If I end up getting divorced, I’m just going to move in with Jalen and we’ll sell the ensuing sitcom to ABC.