By Kaleb Page
When it comes to talking sports, whether it is with friends or here in this blog, there comes times when we say things that are shock value type statements. These statements typical are a little on the extreme side and yet we all make them. While for us who aren’t in the spotlight these comments only receive a good “are you serious” or “c’mon man.” For those in the spotlight these comments receive way more.
Bill Simmons is a contributor, analyst and personality on ESPN covering the NBA. His style of analysis is one that catches fire from others in the industry. However for me I think sometimes his personal touch on the topics, which he has a massive knowledge for, is something I look for because it breaks up the cookie cutter mundane reading we get from certain columnists.
On Wednesday of last week, Simmons went on to Colin Cowherd’s radio show. On the show Colin and Bill got on the topic of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and what Bill thought so far. Simmons gave his assessment and further stirred the pot with his comments on LeBron James. Before making his comments Simmons did drop the disclaimer of it is still way too early to make big assumptions. Simmons comments were:
“I don’t know if he’s hurt, I don’t know if the big weight loss has affected his game or whatever. This is not a jump-to-conclusions thing. I have been watching this Cavs team since the preseason games started, and he does not look the same.”
Also Simmons made the comparison of the LeBron move to Cleveland to the Albert Pujols move to the Angles a few years ago. Saying that this could play out to that but he still was holding out on fully committing to that thought.
Now keep in mind that even though Simmons was making these statements that would seem pretty far out there; he did provide solid reasoning and said he was not jumping to this conclusion. Merely he was wondering, with the basketball knowledge he has and what he has seen so far, what is going on with this super-team?
While you keep that in mind, Simmons’s colleagues at ESPN ripped his comments apart and even cut it to not have his disclaimer about not wanting to jump to this conclusion fully. The colleagues in particular are Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg of the Mike and Mike show. The snippet of the segment between Greenberg and Golic can be seen below.
This brings up a key word or phrase that if you watch sports more and more you will pick up on a whole lot. That key word or phrase is “context or taken out of context.” This is a clear showing that when you cut out the important parts said before Simmons’s comments you lose a big piece. Obviously if you frame what Simmons said in the way Mike and Mike did; he will sound like someone who has no idea what he is talking about.
Shots were fired by Mike and Mike but Bill didn’t hesitate to get his in too. Thursday Simmons took to Twitter going on a rant about how he lost respect for the show. He even further went on to say:
“For an ESPN Radio show to pull an interview out of context from another ESPN Radio show, then play the moral authority card, is disgusting.”
There are multiple tweets and things said by Simmons in response to what has happened. Personally, I side with Simmons in that it almost seemed like an attack on his comments. If they really had a problem with his comments, why not have him on to discuss it himself? Instead you just throw it out there to fill air-time and really frame the words said into your favor. Definitely the wrong move by Mike and Mike in my opinion.
It will be interesting to see, since this isn’t the first time Simmons has been at with ESPN or colleagues there, if Simmons will soon leave the organization. It would be tough since he is tied heavily with the organization and it is one of the biggest sports followed networks in the world.
If Bill does leave ESPN, I hope he doesn’t change his ways and he continues on to be the witty, smart and candid sports personality so many of us like to listen to.