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Bill Simmons fist-pumps after Celtics’ pick of James Young (Video)

Bill Simmons celebrated the Boston Celtics’ pick of James Young in the first round of the NBA Draft Thursday with a firm fist pump. Some were bothered that a draft analyst was showing an obvious bias, but they obviously were forgetting that Simmons is “The Boston Sports Guy” and has always called his teams in terms of “we” and “us.”

Simmons was self-conscious of his gesture and instantly recognized that he would end up on YouTube for it.

I had no problem with Simmons fist-pumping his team’s picks. I’m just bothered that he was fist-pumping for a guy who will be playing in Turkey in three years. Come on, Bill, you’re better than that.

Bill Simmons fist pump

Sage Steele shakes her head at a frustrated Bill Simmons (Video)

Sage SteeleBill Simmons is a man with a lot to say, but he didn’t get the chance to say everything he had on his mind during ESPN’s postgame coverage for Game 4 of the NBA Finals Thursday. When he finally got the chance to talk, he made it known that he was frustrated.

All host Sage Steele could do was shake her head, making it quite evident that this is an uncomfortable issue.

The foursome of Steele, Simmons, Jalen Rose and Doug Collins is a relatively new one for ESPN, but it’s one I like. For that matter, I liked it even more when Michelle Beadle was filling in for Sage, but it’s still a good group with Steele as host.

Hopefully ESPN doesn’t take this awkward moment as a cue to shuffle things; the last thing I want is more of Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon after games.

H/T CJ Zero

Bill Simmons trolls J.R. Smith with NBA Green Week comment (Video)

The New York Knicks fell to the Miami Heat 102-91 on Sunday, but J.R. Smith set a couple of records during the process. Smith hoisted an NBA-record 22 three-pointers, making a Knicks-record ten of them on the way to 32 points.

Sunday’s performance comes on the heels of a 32-point outing against the Washington Wizards on Friday that saw Smith drain eight three-pointers.

J.R. Smith’s recent barrage of long distance buckets has coincided with NBA Green Week (April 3-10), when the league aims to raise awareness and funds to help protect the environment.

Of course, “green” and J.R. Smith have become joined at the hip for another reason since the guard tested positive for marijuana and was suspended for the first five games of this season. And ESPN’s Bill Simmons took the opportunity to capitalize on the moment that presented itself.

Here are all ten of J.R. Smith’s threes from Sunday’s game.

Grantland’s Bill Simmons apologizes for errors concerning Dr. V’s Magical Putter story about transgender inventor

Oracle GX1 putter

A story published by Grantland last week has captured the attention of the online journalism and LGBT communities, and it has sparked debate about the roles of writers, reporters and editors, and the media’s treatment of transgender people.

Last week, Grantland, a subsidiary website of ESPN founded and overseen by Bill Simmons, published a long feature about the story of a special golf putter. The feature told the story of the putter and the person behind it, and it exposed the inventor as a liar who made many false claims about her background. The story also outed the founder of the putter as a transgender. The woman who invented the putter committed suicide in October, likely at least in part because of the writer digging into her personal background against her wishes, and outing her to one of her top investors.

If you are curious to learn more about this story so that you can properly be informed about the issue, you have to read the entire feature to gain an understanding about it. But I’ll do my best to summarize.

[Read more...]

Bill Simmons thinks someone at ESPN leaked Magic Johnson story to Deadspin

Bill-SimmonsMagic Johnson revealed last week that he is leaving ESPN’s NBA Countdown this season due to his busy schedule and other commitments. The surprising thing about the announcement was that it came just one night before the start of the NBA season. A report from Deadspin later claimed that the abrupt departure was the result of a power struggle involving Bill Simmons.

Sources reportedly told Deadspin that NBA Countdown is “Simmons’ show now” and that Magic was unhappy when his friend Michael Wilbon was told his role with the show would be diminished.

“The bottom line is they turned that show over to Simmons,” the source supposedly said. “That’s why Doug Collins got hired and why Wilbon was out.”

Johnson, an NBA legend. apparently didn’t like the idea that he now had to answer to Simmons. In a recent interview with SI.com’s Richard Deitsch, Simmons firmly denied that he had anything to do with Magic’s decision to leave. In fact, he believes someone at ESPN leaked it.

“Those unnamed ‘sources’ are liars,” Simmons said. “Someone planted a fake story to try to make me look bad, and there’s a 99.3 percent chance it came from someone in Bristol (which presents its own set of concerns). I was upset; I can’t lie. Maybe this happens to people more often than I realize, and maybe it comes with the territory, but man … I can’t properly explain how fantastic it was to watch basketball with Magic for nine months.”

Simmons said he even felt disappointed when Magic informed him he was leaving and felt like he was giving up on the show.

“Anyway, that’s why the ‘report’ upset me so much — it wasn’t just that someone made it up (and how disturbing that is), but how I felt in real life was the exact opposite of what that ‘report’ portrayed,” he said. “I felt blindsided when Magic left. I thought he was quitting on the show, and I guess on me, too. I took it personally.”

Simmons makes for great television, and the powers at ESPN obviously appreciate his willingness to go after popular NBA coaches and attack other sports networks. As I said before, I thought Magic was horrible with most of his analysis. We may never know the exact reason why he left, but I doubt there are many people who are devastated.

NBA prospect Wayne Washington calls out Bill Simmons for comments about dreads

Wayne-Washington-Jr-NikeKevin Durant and James Harden have teamed up with Nike to host a pickup basketball game this Friday. The promotion is called “Summer is Serious,” and it has involved thousands of players from across the country submitting their videos to Nike on social media sites in hopes of becoming one of the eight people selected to each team. One of those players is Wayne Washington Jr. from Woodbridge, Va.

Grantland’s Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose have also been involved in the selection process, and they discussed some of the contenders during a segment last week. One of the prospects they spoke about was Washington, who was mentioned as one of the best dunkers of all the submissions. For whatever reason, Simmons called attention to Washington’s hair as he was breaking down his highlights with Rose.

“Where do you stand on cornrows in 2013?” Simmons asked Rose.

Rose corrected Simmons and informed him that Washington’s hairstyle was dread locks, to which Simmons replied “or whatever.” Rose said he had no problem with dreads but agreed corn rows had their run.

[Read more...]

Bill Simmons tells FOX Sports 1 to ‘settle down’

Bill Simmons is getting a jumpstart on the impending rivalry between ESPN and FOX Sports that is sure to heat up with the launch of the new FOX Sports 1 on Aug. 17.

Simmons, in a way that only he would be bold enough to, told the upstart network to literally “settle down” over Twitter on Saturday. Simmons was responding to a tweet from the “FOX Sports Live” Twitter account when he threw a wet blanket over the hype FOX Sports Live was trying to build.

Whoever was running the FOX Sports Live Twitter account came back with a strong response:

Simmons is the creator of ESPN’s outstanding 30 for 30 documentary series, which is what made the retort appropriate.

FOX Sports Live is a 24/7 sports news, opinions and highlights show that will be the network’s flagship show. Speed Channel will become FOX Sports 1, while Fuel TV will turn into FOX Sports 2 in the future.

(disclosure: Larry Brown Sports is a Yardbarker affiliate site. Yardbarker is a FOX Sports property)