― luol deng (am0n), Friday, 13 November 2009 18:28 (ten years ago) link
i like pierce but there's a lot of bullshit in that review
― omaha deserved 311 (call all destroyer), Friday, 13 November 2009 18:31 (ten years ago) link
he comes off with a serious case of U MAD? in that review imo
― house of flying jaggers (J0rdan S.), Friday, 13 November 2009 18:43 (ten years ago) link
i've been entangled in a long email back & forth with my friend about simmons as sparked by that piece
pretty much hate this guy but i would like him more if he cut the pop culture/bro shit b/c he can make some interesting points. and sometimes i feel like reading his pieces is like reading [nabisco] on sports.
― jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 13 November 2009 18:47 (ten years ago) link
obv it's a takedown of simmons in the guise of a book review, but he is pretty accurate. dude is so in love with his own hit-or-miss shtick that the worthwhile content sometimes gets buired (xpost: ie what omar said)
― aarrissi-a-roni, Friday, 13 November 2009 18:49 (ten years ago) link
altho i don't hate him, i kinda read around it
― aarrissi-a-roni, Friday, 13 November 2009 18:50 (ten years ago) link
years of training have left me v. adept at ignoring the pop culture/bro shit.
― omaha deserved 311 (call all destroyer), Friday, 13 November 2009 18:50 (ten years ago) link
it's pretty fucking funny for charles pierce to not recognize shtick as such since you know EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE GETTING when you read both him and simmons.
― omaha deserved 311 (call all destroyer), Friday, 13 November 2009 18:51 (ten years ago) link
^^those 2 posts are exactly my response too
― hope this helps (Granny Dainger), Friday, 13 November 2009 18:57 (ten years ago) link
yeah i mean, everyone holds up simmons & vegas as like What is Wrong With Simmons (pretty proud of myself here) but shit, if you open that column you know what you're getting. same thing for his fantasy draft columns.
& i don't see why he shouldn't be in love with his own schtick, seeing as it's made him pretty damn popular and has endeared him to a huge fucking audience. and like cad says, it's pretty easy to skip his 580th teen wolf tangent
― house of flying jaggers (J0rdan S.), Friday, 13 November 2009 19:02 (ten years ago) link
yeah i mean as a person who has no desire to go to vegas i actually find the vegas columns pretty entertaining as insight into something i will never do. a lot of the crit of simmons seems to be along the lines of "he only writes for people who are like him" which is only true if you just kind of reject a certain strain of dude lifestyle totally out of hand.
― omaha deserved 311 (call all destroyer), Friday, 13 November 2009 19:07 (ten years ago) link
basically i say that he's the apatow movies of sportswriting - yeah other writers may make you think more or may be more impressive, but when it comes to big budget bang for your buck entertainment, it's hard to beat simmons
― house of flying jaggers (J0rdan S.), Friday, 13 November 2009 19:15 (ten years ago) link
yeah i mean as a person who has no desire to go to vegas i actually find the vegas columns pretty entertaining as insight into something i will never do. a lot of the crit of simmons seems to be along the lines of "he only writes for people who are like him" which is only true if you just kind of reject a certain strain of dude lifestyle totally out of hand. --omaha deserved 311 (call all destroyer)
― itdn put butt in the display name (gbx), Friday, 13 November 2009 19:29 (ten years ago) link
sort of shocked that a book abt basketball could be a #1 best seller
― ice cr?m, Friday, 13 November 2009 19:35 (ten years ago) link
<3 that album
― windy = white, carl = black (polyphonic), Friday, 13 November 2009 20:37 (ten years ago) link
TBH, I kind of treat Simmons as a guilty pleasure, and get a little embarassed when he comes up in conversations. I guess its because the Bill we see, who I doubt is what the real Bill Simmons is like regardless of how much he talks about his wife or his family, is one that is cultivated to attract people to read his discussions about sports.
His knowledge of sports, and in particular pro basketball, is pretty impressive, and he makes some interesting arguments and analyses of certain sports topics, but its all delivered with the pop culture references and bro-down stories that his core readership thrives on.
These are, of course, the same people who recite movie lines as jokes, and expect to therefore be regarded as funny.
― Ultraviolet Thunder (B.L.A.M.), Friday, 13 November 2009 21:45 (ten years ago) link
― house of flying jaggers (J0rdan S.), Friday, November 13, 2009 1:43 PM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
i liked when i got to the end and see his credits that basically say I AM A BITTER RAGEFUL SPORTSWRITER
― NEW YORK DESERVED 9-11 (cankles), Friday, 13 November 2009 23:38 (ten years ago) link
anyway re: this book - i love simmons when he talks basketball (and basically ignore him when he talks about anything else) so this seems like a great idea to me - i'll deffo read it someday - and honestly, i can probably count on one hand the number of sportswriters i consider better than him (nb. this is more an indictment of sportswriting than an endorsement of simmons)
― NEW YORK DESERVED 9-11 (cankles), Friday, 13 November 2009 23:39 (ten years ago) link
I ended up really liking this, and the race stuff I mentioned upthread got put into context almost immediately after I posted that, and it made way more sense by the time I finished. Overall the time he spent writing about race + discrimination issues wound up being one of the most thoughtful parts of the book.
For some reason I thought the pyramid would turn out to be a total Ronald Thomas Clontle routine, but Simmons spends a lot of time trying to articulate a bigger point: that basketball fans have short memories, sure, but also that a lot of the measures of greatness in this sport rely more on subjective analysis and intangibles - since not only is the sport constantly evolving and changing its own rules in a way that, say, baseball isn't, but that the markers of greatness often manifest themselves in things that aren't obvious if you only rely on box scores and highlights to analyze performance. (Cf. "The Secret," etc, but the stuff about the ABA's struggle to get TV coverage and its subsequent effect on how ABA players were perceived relative to their NBA peers is really fascinating.)
I realize that all sounds kinda corny, but Simmons is very good at writing this kind of sports pop science, and while this book definitely didn't need to be 700+ pages, it's surprising how much of what he threw out there sticks.
― Conservative HOT Mom! (govern yourself accordingly), Saturday, 14 November 2009 01:26 (ten years ago) link
Also it made me wish somebody with his exact level of access/obsession would write a similar book about NCAA basketball.
― Conservative HOT Mom! (govern yourself accordingly), Saturday, 14 November 2009 01:29 (ten years ago) link
wishing Michael Lewis would write a book about basketball
― 囧 (dyao), Monday, 16 November 2009 09:01 (ten years ago) link
His Battier piece was pretty good but I don't know if he could sustain an entire book without just rewriting Moneyball.
― windy = white, carl = black (polyphonic), Monday, 16 November 2009 17:44 (ten years ago) link
love the book, but ranking paul pierce and parish that high is some pretty serious homerism. and in the whole list of 96 there's no room for any of the '04 pistons? there's room for big shot rob but no finals mvp chauncey billups? they were only the best/most consisten team in the east this decade.
― Danny Duberstein (hmmmm), Tuesday, 17 November 2009 09:43 (ten years ago) link
the human beans story otoh makes me pretty happy
I am absolutely LOVING this book, and I'm not even much of a basketball fan! Simmons makes me laugh.
― Mr. Snrub, Wednesday, 18 November 2009 02:34 (ten years ago) link
It was hit or miss with me, until he started describing the hall of fame inductees. I stayed up WAY past my bed time last night reading it. Really good.
― Ultraviolet Thunder (B.L.A.M.), Friday, 20 November 2009 19:19 (ten years ago) link
Simmons was banned from twitter for two weeks by ESPN because he talked shit about some Boston radio station.
― windy = white, carl = black (polyphonic), Friday, 20 November 2009 23:45 (ten years ago) link
lol know what i might say to espn had i the #1 bestseller
― ice cr?m, Saturday, 21 November 2009 05:53 (ten years ago) link
First ESPN totally assrapes Simmons by not letting Obama onto his podcast, and now this. Assholes.
― CLEVELAND DOES NOT DESERVE MANGINI (Mr. Snrub), Monday, 23 November 2009 01:49 (ten years ago) link
I read this whole thing. I love how he rates The Answer.
― Mordy, Monday, 23 November 2009 01:57 (ten years ago) link
i read this over thanksgiving break. i don't know anything about basketball so i can't dispute his knowledge there. he's an entertaining writer and occasionally very funny (his section on great basketball players who made shitty announcers/commentators made me LOL). this may be an obvious thing to say about a 700-pg book but he needs better editing, it got really repetitive by the end (making the same points and jokes over and over) and was just too long in general. also a lot of his pop culture references are so dumb and/or wrong. i enjoyed the book though.
― congratulations (n/a), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:08 (ten years ago) link
^^kinda sums up how i feel about his writing, in general. i am not a sports guy (lol) and rarely ever know who he's talking about or why it ought to be funny, but sometimes a lot of his jokes work without that, which i think is a credit. or i'm just easy, and the kind of person who laughs if someone gets the delivery and misses the punchline
― crazy farting throwback jersey (gbx), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:12 (ten years ago) link
oddly his pop culture analogy that made me the most mad was comparing the development of basketball to the development of comedy, saying if you listen to woody allen and bob newhart routines they won't make you LOL because comedy wasn't as advanced as in the '80s. i was like "nah brah" but then again i am weird and old-fashioned about comedy i guess, i love old woody allen and newhart stuff :/
― congratulations (n/a), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:15 (ten years ago) link
if there is def one thing bill simmons is consistently wrong about, it's other people's comedy. in that, i think a lot of the comedic pop cultural stuff he mentions off-hand in his columns is sort of milquetoast or outright bad, though he himself can make a good joke
then again, i couldn't possibly think of a specific example of this, so i might be making it up.
― crazy farting throwback jersey (gbx), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:24 (ten years ago) link
i just picture him laughing his ass off at some current standup while i look disgusted
he probably rates dane cook as G.O.A.T.
― 囧 (dyao), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:41 (ten years ago) link
nah I wouldn't go that far. i'd put my money on will ferrell. def agree with gbx on this tho.
― hope this helps (Granny Dainger), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:46 (ten years ago) link
yeah i think even he knows that dane cook blows. or even just that everyone THINKS he blows (ie - some of his readers). but i am sure that he will at some point in his career right some will ferrell GOAT hagiography
― crazy farting throwback jersey (gbx), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:52 (ten years ago) link
assuming he hasn't already
i think he creates cognitive dissonance within some people, such as in the writer of the "u mad" article linked to above. "this dude makes me laugh, i wouldn't mind hanging out with him and shooting the shit...but wait, he's all about bro'ing down with his crew--all of whom go by nicknames--in Vegas. I need to go overboard criticizing his negative aspects so I can totally dismiss dude."
― hope this helps (Granny Dainger), Monday, 30 November 2009 15:58 (ten years ago) link
If I were one of his buddies, I would DEMAND that he refer to me by a nickname. He makes way too many references to activities that, while I certainly don't condemn him for engaging in, employers would probably have a problem with.
I have to say that his statistical arguments mesh pretty well with his "You have to get it to get it" over-arching theme. If anything, this book serves as a compendium of references for other places to go look for basketball knowledge. It also has motivated me to pay more attention to sporting events for those special moments. I may not be as encyclopedic as he is with what games I've seen and who played in them, but I want to get to the point where I can have more specific and detailed recall of key plays. An anecdote that goes "Yeah, remember when that one guy did that thing with Barkley? The no-look pass from...shit, was it the right or left side of the lane..." does little to spark more conversation/reminiscing.
― Ultraviolet Thunder (B.L.A.M.), Monday, 30 November 2009 21:24 (ten years ago) link
the membership of this book club is kinda http://nymag.com/arts/books/bookclub/book-of-basketball
― ice cr?m, Friday, 11 December 2009 05:40 (ten years ago) link
ha yes i felt exactly this was abt fortress of solitude
― ice cr?m, Friday, 11 December 2009 06:14 (ten years ago) link
lethem's response is baffling and over-written. is there a joke i'm not getting?
― being being kiss-ass fake nice (gbx), Friday, 11 December 2009 16:35 (ten years ago) link
love how everyones all i read this 700 page book in 30 hours and i feel kinda icky now, yes hello welcome to the sports guy
― ice cr?m, Friday, 11 December 2009 16:42 (ten years ago) link
The NY Mag thing made me feel bad that I have been reading Simmons all decade and basically don't even pay attention to the sexist stuff anymore. Although I do not know if a chauvinist (or feminist) perspective would really influence one's thoughts on the NBA at all.
Between this book (esp. the epilogue) and whichever blog collected the finest Bill Walton goofy hyperboles a few months back, though, Walton is now like my favorite dude ever. Like, just kicking it with Big Red in his tepee watching a terrible NBA game and asking him questions about John Wooden would basically make my entire life complete.
― C-L, Friday, 11 December 2009 16:59 (ten years ago) link
one time saw him on tv riding bikes w/jerry X)
― ice cr?m, Friday, 11 December 2009 17:01 (ten years ago) link
his bike was LOL HUEG