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Troy Hanning

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Click this link for the best NBA YouTube Chanel created: https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCoOKnzPdBiMKy8WwJDY02JQ

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Man can’t tell you how much that means to me! Thanks so much. Heres a little bit of info/ analysis on Bills Career and what made him stand out. It is a long read though…

In 1969, William John Simmins III was born in Malborough Massachusetts, an important detail for his rise to fame.

Four years later, Bill’s father was wavering between a new motorcycle and single season ticket for the Celtics. After Bill’s mother, Jan Corbo, shut down the idea of a motorcycle, Bill and his father had something new they could do together, unbeknownst to both that it would become the central theme of their life long relationship. Their fates were ultimately sealed the following year when the family would move to Chestnut Hill, only 15 minutes away from the arena. Bill went to every home game with his dad, and even revealed in his book, ‘The Book Of Basketball’, that as a kid, he wanted to be called ‘Jabaal-Abdul Simmons’, and that he wanted to be African American because all of his idols were.

This kind of speaks to who is Simmons is at his core, his problematic without being outright abhorently so. His forthright at the cost of being labeled ignorant, for which he is not. Simmons praised past black players for their success and social progress in the face of racial injustice, in a time where it wasn’t always the ordinary thing to do. Hopefully when I’m done you will have a more precise analysis on who Bill Simmons is and his impact in sports journalism.

After growing up obsessed with Sports Illustrated plus non-sports related literature like the Hardy Boys or any works of Steven King, Simmons would get a job at the Boston Globe. Furtuniate for him it was a historically lucky time with so many greats working at one place like Bob Ryan who covered basketball, Ray Fitzgerald who was a famous news columnist and Jackie MacMullen who Simmons is still friends with to this day. Although in such a tight place, Simmons was never given the freedom he needed to write lengthy pieces. He cared so little he used to write his friends’ names in the box scores of local games and trades without ever being caught.

After some soul searching while mostly bartending, Simmons left for the online publication, ‘Digital City’. Inspired by another writer’s gimmick named the Boston Movie Guy, Bill got to start his own column named, the Boston Sports Guy. This was his time to find his own voice. But what would start off as something interesting would take on something much more. His brash writing style mixed with his Boston-inability to censor himself defined his personality as a writer, and took him to ESPN where he would write such pieces as the ‘Ewimg Theory’. In this column, Simmons elaborates on a theory where a sports team has a sudden run of wins after one of their best players is relegated to the bench.

After citing 15 brief but elaborate examples of the theory in action, Simmons would apply the theory to romance and then even relate it to his favourite TV show. “Beverly Hills 90210,” writing quote, “After petulant star Shannen Doherty leaves the show, the producers import Tiffani Amber-Theissen as the resident vixen during the watershed “Dylan’s drinking again” season — maybe the greatest upgrade in TV history”

He could marry his unique brand of unfiltered opinion and homerism, his encyclopedic knowledge of sports, and command of pop culture to form sports theories and perspectives that no one else could. He was the guy who was saying what no one else could, because they either didn’t have the unique perspective and mix of ‘I don’t care’ attitude or were too busy trying to be what sportswriters “should” be. It was fun. And while an individual article was mostly meaningless, on a whole it started asking the question “does sports actually mean anything on a real scale?” (BS Reader, 2019).It was a new style of writing that only Bill could do.

Simmons adapted to ESPN by now appealing to a national crowd, removing much of his old Boston niche comments and topics, but what always remained consistent was that his voice was as much the story as the actual story he was covering. Simmons dealt with critics for writing about sports without having a press pass, and for writing about picking his nose but as Simmons said in a Q and A at Sail University quote, ‘“All of the stuff I was writing about was the stuff people wanted to read… I was writing about fantasy football and wrestling paperviews and stuff that David Halberstam was not covering… and that was the biggest reason I think it started to do well”
One of my personal favourites from his ESPN days was his humorous yet affecting play-by-play of a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan watching his team win the World Series. The column made both the Big Lead’s and the Rolling Stone’s lists unsurprisingly as he perfectly spells out the jubilation of a long-suffering sports fan upon discovering that his or her team has gone all the way describing quote,

“Outsiders made up fake curses, called us losers, pointed to a legacy of failure, questioned our sanity. We kept hoping. We kept the faith. We kept passing this team down from generation to generation, hoping it would be worth it. And it was. The last 11 days were the greatest sports ride of our lives: Eight games, eight wins, one championship, a boatload of memories. We crawled through 500 yards of (expletive)-smelling foulness and came out smelling like roses on the other side. (that’s a shawshank reference)

Anyway, I have very few rules in life, but this is one: Any time the Red Sox can win the World Series on the same night of a lunar eclipse, I have to keep a running diary. I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing it for me. I want to read it in 50 years, show my kids, frame this baby and stick it on a wall. Here’s how Dad was feeling on the night the Red Sox won the championship. I like that idea. “

The “fan’s perspective” is best captured in Simmons’ frequent “running diaries” of major sporting events, where he writes hundreds of time-stamped entries throughout the event and posts them as a column, talking about what he is eating, which channels he switches to during commercials, when he hits the bathroom, what his wife and dogs are doing in the living room, and so forth.

For what made Simmons great – his intention to resonate with readers like a real fan and less of a distanced journalist, this is right on the money. While fans did write columns and while journalists may have mentioned pop culture references, Simmons pioneered a style of writing for peers and fans that no one had seen before.

Simmons is the most visible representative of a huge contemporary shift in sports journalism, which is increasingly leaving behind the traditional, serious-minded “reporterly” mode associated with print media and turning toward the growing influence of a free-form aesthetic, derived from the writing style of non-professional bloggers. This style treats sports as a component of pop culture, rather than a sanctified space apart from it.

After befriending a up and coming comedian in the works of having his very own show with ABC, named Jimmy Kimmel, Bill would go on to write for the show. He would also do more behind the scenes work at ESPN like creating and producing ESPN’s 30 for 30. But in 2011, Simmons was the editor and chief of a ESPN owned website named Grantland.

Grantland was the personification of Bill’s striving for greatness. It wasn’t the same lighthearted rambling like with his old ESPN coloumns. It wasn’t just a bigger platform for Bill’s message. It was him striving to do something never done before, while giving him the checkbook to surround himself with a supporting cast to do it. It married an era of burgeoning statistics and sports writing–where hot takes were ruthlessly destroyed, and better ones were introduced. It was bar room theories, weaponized with statistics.

In his piece, The Consequences of Caring, Simmons writes tenderly and philosophically on the inevitable moments of disappointment that come with being a sports fan. He takes his young daughter, a fledgling Los Angeles Kings fan, to see the team lose a gut-wrenching Stanley Cup game and then juxtaposes her crushing sadness with his own after seeing LeBron James and the Miami Heat demolish his beloved Celtics in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

Saying quote, “And just like that, she started crying. I remained sympathetic while being secretly delighted, like she had passed some sort of “Fledgling Sports Fan” hurdle or something. On the way home, I discreetly snapped an iPhone picture of her post-cry for a keepsake — you know, “Here’s the first time sports ever made my daughter cry” — only she caught me taking it, flipped out like a Real World roommate and scratched my right arm so hard that it bled. She didn’t talk to me for two hours. And that’s when I knew my daughter liked sports”.

This is still a continuation of Bill’s fresh style that made him so popular a decade prior. But to compare him to an athlete, this was the peak of writing career. It was his crowning achievement. The site demonstrated that a mix of sports, pop culture, blogging, longform writing, video and podcasting can survive and thrive in the social media era. It’s a platform that suits the sensibilities of sports consumers who didn’t grow up relying solely on the newspaper for their daily sports knowledge.

However, his everyman pose grew from an affectation to an insult as he started writing about his almost clubbing experience with MLB star Manny Ramirez, playing video games with Tiger Woods, as well as getting great seats to any sporting event that interested him. Ultimately though, Grantland wasn’t sustainable. While redefining the genre, it was hemorrhaging money.

Personally, the most remarkable element of Simmons’ style, whether he is writing or
podcasting, is the vast length of his work. His columns generally run from 4-7000 words and take up to 45 minutes to read through. His book, The Book of Basketball, released in 09, is 736 pages long and contains at least 400 footnotes. On the ESPN show SportsNation, the book was shot from a distance of 25 feet with a 9mm pistol. The bullet was stopped by page 642. Simmons’ large fan following is especially remarkable, then, in view of the time commitment necessary to participate fully in his universe.

Like everything with Simmons, the book had a few controversial one liners like when detailing how “…Phoenix swapped Kidd to New Jersey for Stephon Marbury a few months after Kidd was charged with domestic assault. (36) Later claiming,
(36) Anytime “he smacked his wife, let’s get him the hell out of here” is the only reason for dealing one of the best top-ten point guards ever, I’m sorry, that’s a (expletive) reason. By the way, this footnote was written by Ike Turner.” (page 236). Ike Turner being a famous muscian revealed wife basher. But I argue if you look deep into Bill’s work and not just the pull quotes, you would know he tries to make humour out of everything.

Bill commented on this in another Q n A claiming, “Satire is getting tougher and tougher cus part of being funny is, getting as close to the line as possible, and when you get as close to the line as possible sometimes you’re going to go over the line, and if you go over the line in 2018 everyone freaks out”.

Simmons’ fans not only imagine him as a buddy; they recognize their own identities in the one he projects, and can assimilate themselves into the framework that he provides.

While he has stopped writing now, and is leading CEO of the Ringer, a growing media outlet that holds multiple podcasts and writers, no one can undervalue the imprint Bill Simmons, the writer, left behind.

Bill Simmons is the Eminem of NBA analysts

This part of the season comes every year. The only reason this one was 72 was because of covid. In fact it made it more boring because our break from ball has not been that long.

The following years will be 82!

Bill Simmons is the Eminem of NBA analysts

They were commenators for playoff games or did the sideline interviews. I was using them as an example of the media landscape in general not just Simmons time.

Magic was a commentator after his playing career.

Bill Simmons is the Eminem of NBA analysts

Read the Book of Basketball my friend, The guy is more than his popculture references

Bill Simmons is the Eminem of NBA analysts

IMO: It should be measuring a players peak by the length and height of that particular amount of time. In other words thier dominance. As well as mentioning past feats and fall before and after this valued time. Brons peak is longer but not as great. Jordans was still very long and GREAT.

LeBron James is not one championship away from GOAT status

Whenever people mention LBJs ‘off the court’ stuff. Whether listing it or claiming to favour it when discussing GOAT. NO MATTER WHAT. I think that person’s opinion might be invalidiated because they are thinking off the wrong criteria for GOAT

LeBron James is not one championship away from GOAT status

The Hawks rank in the bottom 8 in Team Defensive Efficency with 111 points allowed per 100 possesions.

Trae Young was not snubbed

I don’t think the team will ever be able to compete because of the defensive liability Trae Young poses. Trae Young is similar to Isiah Thomas (Celtics version) in that he will always be targeted because of his defensive liability. I don’t even think Trae could pack on the pounds IT has. Same goes for Kemba in that there both bad defenders because of their height but at least Kemba is strong and stocky. Young is a KD except with no athleticism or height.

Trae Young was not snubbed

I don’t think the time Frame matters. The comparison can swap both ways.

Top ten Dennis Rodman comparisons in NBA history

im optimistic on wiseman

Don't give up on the Warriors

agreed but when Klay comes back! who knows

Don't give up on the Warriors

Never say never

Don't give up on the Warriors

We agree Boston was a failure. Id also argue that the mess he cause last season with the media was funny because he was barely playing but still making head lines. Ill agree I may have come across to strong in this one.

Kyrie Irving is the rotten fruit

AHHAHA I think you have a career in television producing.

Kyrie Irving is the rotten fruit

No one can dispute that Kyrie is a baller tho!

Kyrie Irving is the rotten fruit

Hey, Kyrie clearly has been the one to sacrifice the most this season. Now, I do believe Kyrie will be ‘normal’ for the rest of the season and not cause any more mess – But, next season, remember I said this, he will fizzle out into his old narcissistic dramatic ways!

Kyrie Irving is the rotten fruit

Clyde was insanely underrated and dragged that Blazers team to a finals spot, but damn.. he shot the ball a hella lot. I was under the impression that Drexler changed his game around when joining Hakeem but his assists remained roughly the same. It still speaks to an athletic guard not being the best player on a championship team and having to bring his talents as a second option!

Keep one eye on Andrew Wiggins

its sad

Keep one eye on Andrew Wiggins

Id still watch it!

NBA All-Stars need to prioritise their problems

Firstly, I think it is more of a risk for the league and the star players to have the stars go home and be away from the eyes of the league. I think with the amount of testing and quarantining in the All Star bubble, that it almost completely rules out the risk of these players getting Covid.

NBA All-Stars need to prioritise their problems

Note: The Qyntel Wood’s dog fighting scandal actually happened in 2005 not 2004. Apologies.

2004 Portland Trail Blazers: End of the Jail Blazers

Thanks mate!! Really appreciate that!

2003 Portland Trail Blazers: Craziest NBA season ever?

Your correct, damn how did I get that one wrong ahah

2003 Portland Trail Blazers: Craziest NBA season ever?

Agreed, but I think his out rageous behaviour started with him dating Madona

Top ten Dennis Rodman comparisons in NBA history

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