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Sports Guy Bill Simmons Brings Living Room Commentary to Heat-Warriors Game

ESPN has been known to pull announcer stunts before (see Dick Vitale on NBA games) and they followed the same model on Friday night. The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, was added as a color commentator to the Heat-Warriors telecast along with Dan Shulman and Mark Jackson. Though the haters brought their criticism, I thought Simmons did fine.

At first he brought a really genuine feeling to the telecast joking he was excited the Bulls-Lakers game didn’t go into overtime because he was excited to do his “stand-up” introduction to the game. Simmons got in a few Steve Kerr references, one of which was regarding Carlos Arroyo’s role on the team. He brought his typical humor when talking about Reggie Williams saying he made the list of Top 75 D-League stories and that Dorell Wright was “playing like a spurned girlfriend.”

Simmons seemed to be most comfortable picking on the little guys. In addition to Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams, Dan Gadzuric was one of his targets. He pointed out something most announcers wouldn’t touch, that Gadzuric is playing harder now that he’s going to be a free agent than he was in Milwaukee where he had a nice contract. Also, he mentioned that the story about players lacking confidence in Erik Spoelstra likely came from LeBron’s camp, something else most announcers wouldn’t be bold enough to say.

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ESPN Summit: Good Idea, Bad TV

Waiting for the second game of the College World Series to begin, I wound up watching a trial balloon show on ESPN that was sandwiched between the end of the 6pm ET SportsCenter and the 7:30pm ET start time in Omaha. After a few moments I realized this was the same program Dan Le Batard’s referenced in a chat that was picked up by The Big Lead a few weeks ago. I wound up trying to watch the program but had a difficult time enjoying it for several reasons.

Let me start by saying that the ironic nature of ESPN putting together their star players for a free agent summit was funny in itself. Secondly, assembling the hosts of PTI Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, along with two humorous debaters in Dan Le Batard and Bill Simmons would make you think the program had to be good. Unfortunately it wasn’t that good and it turned out to be a visual issue of “not enough basketballs to go around.”

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