I was announced as the new NBA editor of ESPN.com at the All-Star game in February 2014. It was made clear to me that it was very very very important to our bosses that I get along with Simmons
. Simmons and I made tentative plans to meet that weekend in New Orleans. We had a time—9:30 am Saturday—but hadn’t fixed a place. Then nothing. Didn’t hear from him all day. Saturday night at 7:40 pm, he emailed, “At casino until 730am. Barely made my plane. Can we talk on phone this week?” The executives wanted me to do nothing more urgently than meet Bill, so on Monday, March 10, 2014, I flew to Los Angeles. Perhaps the central crisis of ESPN.com’s NBA section at the time—at least from the corner office view—was the strained relationship between ESPN.com and Grantland. There had been casualties. My direct boss, an editor, and I would spend Tuesday laying the groundwork for collaboration.