ESPN Actually Lets Bill Simmons Get Away With Some Draft Broadcast Digs

Friday, June 27, 2008

Every "Draft Diary" that Simmons has done for ESPN has always skated around the broadcast team. It's no secret that Simmons is heavily edited when it comes to criticising the "Leader", which makes this year's diary such a shock. He actually spent a good amount of the article taking shots at Stu Scott and Co....

4. Bilas calls Rose a "special, special talent," followed by Van Gundy calling Michael Beasley a "special talent" and Mark Jackson calling O.J. Majo a "special basketball player," then Bilas agreeing that Beasley was a "special talent." That's why Rose went ahead of Beasley and Mayo -- he's more than a special basketball player and a special talent, he's a special, special talent. Anyway, that was a special sequence.

4:40: Our first glimpse of Stephen A. Smith, who has been given interview duties for the night. Frankly, I'm beside myself with excitement.

4:46: Doris Burke becomes the first announcer to provide color for a second-round NBA playoff game and a WNBA game AND draw Mom Interview Duty during the NBA draft within a two-month span. You'll be telling your grandkids about that trifecta. You will.

5:12: This seems like a good time to mention that A.) Gordon is dressed like one of the waiters at Johnny Rockets, and B.) Stephen A. mistakenly thought he was a point guard before Gordon corrected him. Let's just move on.

5:26: Stu explains Augustin is only 5-foot-11, but he has the wingspan of someone who's 6-3½. Well that changes everything!

5:47: I don't mean to nitpick, but every time Van Gundy talks in the second person, ESPN should be throwing up a "Copyright: Hubie Brown, 1972" graphic.

5:56: Well, folks, we just made history -- Dick Vitale broke his own personal record and talked uninterrupted for 164 seconds straight. Also, my cable box just caught fire.

6:19: We might get through the night without a single argument among Van Gundy, Jackson and Bilas. These guys make "Tirico and Van Pelt" seem combative and hostile by comparison.

6:25: Charlotte takes French center Alexis Ajinca, quickly followed by Fran Fraschilla getting yanked away from the men's room to give his thoughts. You're not gonna believe this, but Fran likes Ajinca's 7-foot-8 wingspan. That leads to the new best e-mail of the night, from Jon in Maine: "Since when did Nathan Lane become an expert on international basketball?"
Well that was fun wasn't it? I fully expect all of those digs to be taken down by 1:30pm so enjoy them while you can!

Introducing the comedic stylings of the Lopez twins! (Page 2)


Basketball is my least favorite sport, and I follow the NBA only cursorily, but the Draft Diary has always been one of my favorite Simmons columns. However, it could be so much better than what it's become. The GMs aren't behaving as stupidly as they used to, so he's lost that easy material, and under the circumstances a guy who built his fan base and fame on being cutting edge, witty, and unique can't write a draft diary without taking potshots at an incompetent and ill-suited broadcasting crew.

It's hard for him to write a laugh-until-you-cry draft diary (and some of the old ones are like that) when the GMs aren't easy targets and he's got to tip-toe around so as not to offend someone at ESPN.

From what I read on your live blog, AA, (and good job, by the way), that crew was just asking for Simmons to destroy them.

Anonymous said...
Jun 27, 2008, 2:21:00 PM  

They are letting Riley rip Simmons, so I guess this only fair. Besides, he needed some street cred after Chad Ford made him look like a goof in their draft debate.

THN said...
Jun 27, 2008, 3:10:00 PM  

God, enough with Simmons already! His entire repetoire has been reduced to taking shots at people, especially his employer.

If he's so unhappy there, he's a hypocrite continuing to take their money while whining about how bad a place it is to work.

I can't be alone in being sick and tired of Simmons...I wish he'd either shit or get off the pot already.

Anonymous said...
Jun 27, 2008, 3:43:00 PM  

I can't wait for the eventual uncensored Simmons book that is nothing but a 300 page rant on why ESPN sucks.

GMoney said...
Jun 27, 2008, 4:12:00 PM  

I think his diary was fairly tame. He could have wrote a couple hundred words about Stu flubbing up or acting like an idiot. Can we get him on yahoo or some other site?

Anonymous said...
Jun 27, 2008, 6:20:00 PM  

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