The Bill Simmons Thread

Auger34

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The extent to which they're treating Denver-Minnesota as the Championship series is making me nuts. It's conceivable MN would be favored over the Cs, but only slightly.
I was coming to post this in some forum.

I try not to act annoyed with the media narrative around the Celtics, but I've heard this a few places and it's fucking ridiculous
 

Mystic Merlin

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They actively avoid talking about the Celtics, and when they do it’s the same tired talking points. I swear they prefer talking about the Magic.

A Bill uninterested in the Celtics - a 64 win team! - isn’t what I’m looking for in his basketball podcast.
 

Kliq

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They actively avoid talking about the Celtics, and when they do it’s the same tired talking points. I swear they prefer talking about the Magic.

A Bill uninterested in the Celtics - a 64 win team! - isn’t what I’m looking for in his basketball podcast.
Yeah, it's been that way throughout the entire playoffs, and it's not an issue for just the Simmons pod, it has been almost every non-Boston-focused media I've consumed. The Celtics have only really ever been analyzed following their two losses, the wins have been pretty much ignored because they've been expected.

I think Simmons is just deathly afraid of say anything declarative about the Celtics winning the title or being the favorites to win the title. He wants to make it seem like there is a good amount of doubt because he can't bring himself to go full throttle in endorsing them as the best team left.
 

jose melendez

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The Cs could absolutely lose to MN, and maybe lose to Dallas, but they should flat out be the favorite. They've got way less wear and tear than those two teams AND they played better literally all year.
 

The Social Chair

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At least he said "Maybe Bill Russell" since, indeed, Russell won a title at 22.

Bill and Russillo entertain me, but needless to say some of their takes are outlandish.
They are doing some amazing contortions to praise ANT while remaining critical of Tatum.
 

jmcc5400

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They are doing some amazing contortions to praise ANT while remaining critical of Tatum.
Let's be fair. Ant just had 16-8-7 in a Game 7 win against the defending champs. That's pretty impressive.

Tatum's only done that twice and he's only averaged 26-9-8 in those Game 7s.
 

8slim

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You mean that you didn't think the "yeah, he went 6-24 but he just gives a shit. That whole team cares" was great analysis?
It was MIND BLOWING how Simmons heaped lavish praise on a 6 for twenty-fucking-four performance. You know, because he had so much impact on the game in other wayzzzz!

I at least respect Bill for going all-in on his ridiculous takes. It's the too-cool-for-school, hemming and hawing that Russillo does that's much more annoying to me.
 

Auger34

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It was MIND BLOWING how Simmons heaped lavish praise on a 6 for twenty-fucking-four performance. You know, because he had so much impact on the game in other wayzzzz!

I at least respect Bill for going all-in on his ridiculous takes. It's the too-cool-for-school, hemming and hawing that Russillo does that's much more annoying to me.
RR has mastered the art of not saying anything despite talking for a long time.

He will make a good point and then go “but saying that….” And completely shit on the point he just made. It’s like listening to a one person debate class
 

nattysez

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I think I just need a break from the Simmons/Russilo dynamic--it's the same talking points every week.
Even Mike and the Mad Dog didn't try to talk about the same subject for four hours a pop without any guests. I don't think the series change enough game-to-game to support two dudes talking NBA for ~8 hours a week. I'd be curious how different things would sound if Simmons, Russillo, KOC and Verno did a four-man booth (or mixed-and-matched) occasionally instead of doing separate podcasts.
 

TomRicardo

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They actively avoid talking about the Celtics, and when they do it’s the same tired talking points. I swear they prefer talking about the Magic.

A Bill uninterested in the Celtics - a 64 win team! - isn’t what I’m looking for in his basketball podcast.
They are always looking for narratives especially West Coast Narratives. They try to stay somewhat parallel to ESPN, well the ESPN Nerds Lowe and Windhorst.

Bill think Tatum is boring and inconsistent. He doesn't appreciate his defense and thinks he is soft. Bill never gives Tatum any credit for the Gold Medal last Olympics. Orsillo is a bit of curmudgeon who doesn't want to jinx his team.

I will say it again I don't think Simmons is a fan of the current Celtics. He is way more invested in the Clippers and some of the younger players. Luka is starting to get old for him. Outside of Joker, LeBron, and much lesser extent Curry [Bill is really good about historical chats], Bill doesn't focus about any players over 25 in positive light. Sometimes he will get into White and Jrue because of his dad, but in reality he doesn't even talk about Giannis or Embiid anymore. It is all SGA, Wemby, and Ant.

I think Simmons hates the "everyone is friends" NBA. Tatum is the poster boy for that.
 

Auger34

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Even Mike and the Mad Dog didn't try to talk about the same subject for four hours a pop without any guests. I don't think the series change enough game-to-game to support two dudes talking NBA for ~8 hours a week. I'd be curious how different things would sound if Simmons, Russillo, KOC and Verno did a four-man booth (or mixed-and-matched) occasionally instead of doing separate podcasts.
This is probably the best idea. I think Verno and RR is a pretty good mix
 

tims4wins

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They are always looking for narratives especially West Coast Narratives. They try to stay somewhat parallel to ESPN, well the ESPN Nerds Lowe and Windhorst.

Bill think Tatum is boring and inconsistent. He doesn't appreciate his defense and thinks he is soft. Bill never gives Tatum any credit for the Gold Medal last Olympics. Orsillo is a bit of curmudgeon who doesn't want to jinx his team.

I will say it again I don't think Simmons is a fan of the current Celtics. He is way more invested in the Clippers and some of the younger players. Luka is starting to get old for him. Outside of Joker, LeBron, and much lesser extent Curry [Bill is really good about historical chats], Bill doesn't focus about any players over 25 in positive light. Sometimes he will get into White and Jrue because of his dad, but in reality he doesn't even talk about Giannis or Embiid anymore. It is all SGA, Wemby, and Ant.

I think Simmons hates the "everyone is friends" NBA. Tatum is the poster boy for that.
This is all true, and I know it because my brother-in-law listens to Simmons daily, and makes the exact same points. He's a parrot. Denver-Minnesota was the finals, the Celts are boring and only shoot 3s because it's a math problem to Joe, Ant is an ALPHA DOG, etc.
 

Auger34

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I think Bill likes Tatum but I think the weekly pods with RR have beaten that out of him.

Russillo definitely doesn't like the Celtics and definitely hasn't watched them much this year. Every single point he makes about them is a point someone would have made last year
 

Bozo Texino

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I enjoy Bill and Russillo together. It probably doesn't hurt that y'all know WAY more about the NBA than I do - so the stuff that drives some of you crazy doesn't register with me.

That said, even with my layman's understanding of the league, it does feel like they're actively trying NOT to talk about the C's strengths too much. It's strange.
 

kenneycb

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Russillo has said multiple times he watches the Celtics more than other teams because his dad is a Celtics fan and that's one way he stays connected with him.
 

Auger34

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Russillo has said multiple times he watches the Celtics more than other teams because his dad is a Celtics fan and that's one way he stays connected with him.
I thought that he has said a few times that he has stopped talking with his dad about the Celtics because he doesn't find it enjoyable anymore. I think he's also said multiple times this year "I don't watch them nearly as much as you do" or some variety when talking to Bill
 

TomRicardo

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I enjoy Bill and Russillo together. It probably doesn't hurt that y'all know WAY more about the NBA than I do - so the stuff that drives some of you crazy doesn't register with me.

That said, even with my layman's understanding of the league, it does feel like they're actively trying NOT to talk about the C's strengths too much. It's strange.
I really like Bill and Russillo together as well. I am a fan of the Ringer in general but as a group they HATE the Celtics. Russillo and Bill default the rest of the team a lot on that. That said I don't really care if I have differing opinions from the host if they are entertaining. They have some really interesting conversations
 

Bozo Texino

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I really like Bill and Russillo together as well. I am a fan of the Ringer in general but as a group they HATE the Celtics. Russillo and Bill default the rest of the team a lot on that. That said I don't really care if I have differing opinions from the host if they are entertaining. They have some really interesting conversations
That's what it is for me. They're entertaining. They have a great back-and-forth. Russillo also has a great voice - his more than cancels out Simmons'.
 

Hal Waffid

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it does feel like they're actively trying NOT to talk about the C's strengths too much. It's strange.
I listen to Bomani. I think in last friday's show he said they haven't been talking about the Cs because they've been so good so far it hasn't been interesting to talk about. I bet it's probably like that for all the NBA guys - all the cool stuff is happening in every other series.
 

Auger34

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That's what it is for me. They're entertaining. They have a great back-and-forth. Russillo also has a great voice - his more than cancels out Simmons'.
Yeah, this is definitely true. He's got some great pipes for radio/podcasting
 

leetinsley38

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Both RR and especially BS (formerly BSG) get absolutely killed online incessantly for being Boston homers. For years. At some point that has to wear you down. They’ve over corrected now to the point of either ignoring, being dismissive or saying things like the Celtics would have no chance against Denver.
 

JCizzle

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I think Russillo and KOC fall into the same trap - to different degrees - where they need to prove to the world that they're not green teamers. As a result, mostly everything comes out as negative or dismissive. I do think Bill passionately loves the Celtics, but he's a glass half empty kinda fan (Pats aside). I'm not that far off honestly, I think a decent amount of fans are wired that way.
 

JCizzle

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I really like Bill and Russillo together as well. I am a fan of the Ringer in general but as a group they HATE the Celtics. Russillo and Bill default the rest of the team a lot on that. That said I don't really care if I have differing opinions from the host if they are entertaining. They have some really interesting conversations
I thought one of the more honest moments was in a recent pod where Bill started inventing some cool sounding, yet entirely unlikely trade, and RR piped in along the lines of, "well, we all know I'm about to shit all over this fake trade for the millionth time". I think controlling Bill's impulses in that way is a good match because RR tends to be super unimaginative about things like that.
 

TomRicardo

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I thought that he has said a few times that he has stopped talking with his dad about the Celtics because he doesn't find it enjoyable anymore. I think he's also said multiple times this year "I don't watch them nearly as much as you do" or some variety when talking to Bill
Yea he stopped. He finds Tatum and Brown too frustrating. He hates their 4th quarter offense. The Celtics are really really boring to these guys even when they are crushing teams.
 

CreightonGubanich

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I dunno, I think Russillo is generally a pretty rational NBA guy. He mentioned earlier this season that other media members would ask him straight up if Boston was actually good, and he would always respond that they're a juggernaut.

I think the problem is that for a non-Boston fan, Celtics conversation just isn't very interesting. They're a great team with no glaring weaknesses if they're healthy. They also haven't faced great competition; that's not their fault, but we haven't really learned anything about them this postseason. They've already been to the Finals (some of them, at least). Until they actually win the whole thing, there just isn't a ton to talk about. They have to prove they can get it done, but for me, after years of them being sort of a fringe, maybe-if-everything-breaks-their-way contender, having them be in that "no excuses" zone of title contention is kinda refreshing.
 

chrisfont9

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Well, Simmons keeps caveating it with "as long as we have no idea what Boston will be getting out of Porzingis," which is a sneaky/lazy way of having it both ways.

I'm generally enjoying Simmons a lot less this year than in previous NBA postseasons, when I found his podcasts a reliable forum for digesting what had just happened on the court. This year, it feels like a lot more warmed-over conventional wisdom, a lot more predictable. I don't know if he's worse, if the games have been worse in terms of yielding good insights, or if its that I'm paying a bit more attention personally than in some previous years and so am unconsciously holding him to a higher standard.
Totally agree, it seemed like Russillo was just humoring him at times. Bill was bad Sunday. He said in the intro taped after the show that he was tired, and we all have bad days, especially later at night. But he does seem to be less on point regularly, and more doubling down on narratives.
 

johnmd20

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Totally agree, it seemed like Russillo was just humoring him at times. Bill was bad Sunday. He said in the intro taped after the show that he was tired, and we all have bad days, especially later at night. But he does seem to be less on point regularly, and more doubling down on narratives.
Simmons stopped writing, which means he stopped using his brain, so everything he says is just the last thing that happened. He's a prisoner of the moment. There are not a lot of deep dives.

Minnesota wins two games in Denver. "Minnesota is amazing and this is their time, Ant is Michael Jordan. RIP Nikola." Denver comes back. "I always said Jokic is just too good for his team to lose any series right now. They are going to be a tough matchup for the Celtics."

Minnesota wins the series. "Ant, look at what he does, he's just a winner, he doesn't even have to play well, he just wins, it's the Jordan piece. I always said that Minnesota was ready."

At least Rusillo is studied. I think he is significantly better than Simmons in all circumstances right now. He's also funny. And his voice really is perfect for radio. He got lucky there. Simmons' voice is tough, especially now that he doesn't have anything interesting to say.
 

kenneycb

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I thought that he has said a few times that he has stopped talking with his dad about the Celtics because he doesn't find it enjoyable anymore. I think he's also said multiple times this year "I don't watch them nearly as much as you do" or some variety when talking to Bill
All that quote really means is "Not every single (or close to it) Celtics game".
 

Euclis20

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This is for Simmons/Russillo, but could also apply to the media writ large for everyone putting the Celtics on even or lower ground than the remaining WC teams: If Boston ends up winning the title, absolutely everyone is going to act like it was inevitable. Historically great regular season team, tons of playoff experience for all the key players, 1st place in the east by record breaking margins, red carpet path to the finals, defending champ and best player knocked out by someone else, on and on. There will be 0 introspection to determine why everyone seemed so eager to write off Boston, and maybe there doesn't have to be. This is entertainment at the end of the day, and in the same way that an announcing crew will try to make a blowout interesting by talking up plays by the trailing team, everyone in sports entertainment is fighting for eyes and ears, and you don't get that by saying the obvious, boring thing.
 

Auger34

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Yea he stopped. He finds Tatum and Brown too frustrating. He hates their 4th quarter offense. The Celtics are really really boring to these guys even when they are crushing teams.
So this is what I noticed (especially with Brown).

I remember Brown had a stretch of games in the middle of the season where he was playing incredibly well and was noticeably better at attacking defenses/playmaking. Zach Lowe spoke about it on his pod.

Then I listened to a pod with Russillo and Simmons and Russillo goes (something along the lines of) "Brown just way too often goes 1 on 1 and does his own thing". It was so egregious that I think even Bill kind of checked him on that and said that that hadn't been the case most of this year
 

Auger34

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I think Russillo and KOC fall into the same trap - to different degrees - where they need to prove to the world that they're not green teamers. As a result, mostly everything comes out as negative or dismissive. I do think Bill passionately loves the Celtics, but he's a glass half empty kinda fan (Pats aside). I'm not that far off honestly, I think a decent amount of fans are wired that way.
10000%.

KOC has overcorrected to a hilarious degree, as we all saw with his Celtics would be lucky to even win a game against Denver take
 

jmcc5400

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10000%.

KOC has overcorrected to a hilarious degree, as we all saw with his Celtics would be lucky to even win a game against Denver take
Sadly, I think that KOC has devolved into a hot take machine as that seems to generate the attention. He was a lot more thorough when he was starting out and Verno's common sense/human nature takes were a fun counter to KOC's stat/film nerd assertions.
 

Auger34

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Sadly, I think that KOC has devolved into a hot take machine as that seems to generate the attention. He was a lot more thorough when he was starting out and Verno's common sense/human nature takes were a fun counter to KOC's stat/film nerd assertions.
He seems like a good dude but man....between some of the shit he says (like about fasting) and the Elon love it's tough to be a KOC fan
 

8slim

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I know I'm in the minority here, but I enjoy Bill and Russillo together. It probably doesn't hurt that y'all know WAY more about the NBA than I do - so the stuff that drives some of you crazy doesn't register with me.

That said, even with my layman's understanding of the league, it does feel like they're actively trying NOT to talk about the C's strengths too much. It's strange.
I enjoy them too. I've been listening to nearly all of BS's pods with Russillo this NBA post-season. They produce an entertaining show, which is all I'm looking for.

My gripes are that Bill gets so fixated on his darlings that his takes become completely insane (see: Ant is lauded for going 6-24 in game 7), and that RR hems and haws his way into speaking gibberish sometimes.

I agree that they're probably trying to squeeze too much content out of these series. Spending 75 minutes on a random game 4 blowout is going to lead to inane takes, especially when Bill's whole schtick (which he's very good at, mind you) is lists and categories.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I think the Sal/Bill rotation works better during the NFL season with the shorter season and there are usually big games every week. But Ryen & Bill's weekly hit has a lot of relatively boring weeks during the basketball season.
 

riboflav

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Good lord don’t listen to bill and KOC postgame. They don’t even know that Tillman was out tonight. And they’re mad Horford played too long.
 

m0ckduck

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Good lord don’t listen to bill and KOC postgame. They don’t even know that Tillman was out tonight. And they’re mad Horford played too long.
I don't know. I've found Simmons pretty dismal lately, so my expectations were low esp. after reading your post. But I think the analysis was mostly good this time:
  • I appreciated KOC spotlighting how terrible the Haliburton hero-ball step-back 3 was towards the end of regulation after he'd blocked White from behind. I was so grateful that shot didn't go in that I immediately blacked it out afterwards.
  • Also a good point about how Siakam should have been on Tatum after Nesmith fouled out rather than Nembhard.
  • About Tillman, BS said, "I don't know if Tillman would have made a difference, defensively." I took this as more of a hypothetical about what was missing from the C's defense, rather than wrongly asserting he was available and CJM didn't play him.
  • There was a little too much relish in criticizing CJM and stumping for Bill's pet point about playing Tatum at the 5, but that's at least an interesting point to analyze.
  • They generally avoided sweeping false dichotomies. It can be true that Tatum and Brown were excellent, and also Indiana is also just a good team that isn't going to go down easily, and the result was a good, close-fought game. Sounds obvious, but most of the media seems to act like everyone's either great or terrible and only one team can be good at a time.

    Edit: actually, at the end, they do bring up Tillman again and it does sound like they didn't realize he was out. Sigh...
 
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Auger34

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I'm only 10 minutes late but I think they have both been pretty fair thus far.

He just said that Al averaged “15-19 MPG in the regular season”….he averaged almost 27 MPG
 
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nattysez

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I think my biggest takeaway is that there is very little to learn from listening to Bill and KOC analyze a game as soon as it's over. It's all just quick-hit thoughts because that's all Bill does and KOC hasn't had time to re-watch the game. I'd argue that the SoSH game thread contains at least as many useful observations as this podcast.

I don't buy their insistence that it's malpractice by Joe Mazz to not have experimented with a small lineup in the Cavs series. It's the playoffs -- that's not when you start doing lineup experimentation. If you want to fault Joe Mazz for not toying with small lineups during the regular season (I have no idea whether he did this or not), that might be fair.

I also feel like they completely ignored the impact that playing small would have on the rebounding.
 

riboflav

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I don't know. I've found Simmons pretty dismal lately, so my expectations were low esp. after reading your post. But I think the analysis was mostly good this time:
  • I appreciated KOC spotlighting how terrible the Haliburton hero-ball step-back 3 was towards the end of regulation after he'd blocked White from behind. I was so grateful that shot didn't go in that I immediately blacked it out afterwards.
  • Also a good point about how Siakam should have been on Tatum after Nesmith fouled out rather than Nembhard.
  • About Tillman, BS said, "I don't know if Tillman would have made a difference, defensively." I took this as more of a hypothetical about what was missing from the C's defense, rather than wrongly asserting he was available and CJM didn't play him.
  • There was a little too much relish in criticizing CJM and stumping for Bill's pet point about playing Tatum at the 5, but that's at least an interesting point to analyze.
  • They generally avoided sweeping false dichotomies. It can be true that Tatum and Brown were excellent, and also Indiana is also just a good team that isn't going to go down easily, and the result was a good, close-fought game. Sounds obvious, but most of the media seems to act like everyone's either great or terrible and only one team can be good at a time.

    Edit: actually, at the end, they do bring up Tillman again and it does sound like they didn't realize he was out. Sigh...
My favorite take is when they said are we not sure that Halliburton is the best player on the floor?
 

jezza1918

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My favorite take is when they said are we not sure that Halliburton is the best player on the floor?
Wasn’t that more along the lines of the conversations that the media would be having if brown hadn’t hit the 3 and Tatum didn’t score 10 in OT? I didn’t get the impression they thought that take had merit.
 

8slim

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Wasn’t that more along the lines of the conversations that the media would be having if brown hadn’t hit the 3 and Tatum didn’t score 10 in OT? I didn’t get the impression they thought that take had merit.
Yeah that was Bill’s bit where he mocks the hot takes on ESPN. Which can be funny, but inevitably later in the pod he offers up a take that’s just as ridiculous as the ridiculous ones he mocks.
 

Auger34

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Yeah that was Bill’s bit where he mocks the hot takes on ESPN. Which can be funny, but inevitably later in the pod he offers up a take that’s just as ridiculous as the ridiculous ones he mocks.
THANK YOU for posting this. I know you're a Simmons fan which makes it even more meaningful.
 

Kliq

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Yeah, I didn't find anything too annoying in the Simmons/KOC bit, they were both fair and realistic about the results of the series. The funniest part to me was Bill talking at the beginning about how annoying the talking points would be if the Celtics lost, and how Tatum isn't as good as these other young players, completely oblivious to how his show with Russillo comes across!
 

Hal Waffid

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The funniest part to me was Bill talking at the beginning about how annoying the talking points would be if the Celtics lost, and how Tatum isn't as good as these other young players, completely oblivious to how his show with Russillo comes across!
This is the fun kind of hypocrisy.