Again, Why Bill Simmons rocks UPDATED April 17, 2008Posted by Administrator in Idiots, Sports.
I haven’t been reading him as much lately. I dunno, maybe it’s because his writing has dropped off (I have not one iota of proof for that), or it’s because I’m directing a show and my leisure time has dropped into the negative regions, or maybe my tastes have just changed. I’ve given up on radio rock, listening only to classical, jazz and news from Northwest Public Radio, and this despite the fact that they play their idiotic series on “Climate Connections” every morning on Morning Sedition Edition.
Who the hell knows?
But anyway, Simmons gave his yearly column on the NBA MVP, LVP and ROY, and here’s part of what he had to say about the ROY, Oklahoma City (not YET, f***buckets) Seattle’s Kevin Durant:
Of all the cruel footnotes for the Sonics getting hijacked from Seattle by a group of guys who have been proven to be lying sleazeballs, losing the chance to follow a potential superduperstar pains Sonics fans nearly as much as losing their team. Despite impossible circumstances, Durant managed to forge a connection with a broken city that tried like hell not to care about him because it didn’t want to get too attached, yet ended up getting attached to him, anyway. Over everything else, that’s why he’s the 2007-08 Rookie of the Year. Keep your head up, Seattle. Life ain’t fair.
I’ve kept quiet about these asshats from the get-go. When Howard Schulz, the whining gasbag Starbuck’s gazillionaire, sold out to a bunch of Sooner jarheads, I feared that the Sonics were OKC-bound, despite the new owner’s claims that they would work in good faith to keep the team in Seattle.
That has proven to be a pile of horseapples, to no one’s surprise. Schulz is now trying to play CYA by suing the Sooner Hijackers (great name for the team if they move, don’t you think?) for ownership of the team, claiming that they hoodwinked Schulz.
That’s bullshit, of course. He KNEW what was about to happen. He was just tired of his NBA plaything and wanted out while making cash.
But, in the end, barring a miracle, the Sonics will become the OKC Hijackers. They won’t have the name, the colors or the retired numbers, but they will have Kevin Durant, damn them. And THAT part ain’t fair at all.
Here’s his commentary on the MVP. Now, I went in expecting to see LeBron up there. Simmons has him 4th. 4th.. WTF is up with that?
I feel for him for two reasons: That’s a 20-win team without him, and it’s hard to imagine any 24-year-old NBA player averaging a 30-8-7 and finishing fourth in the balloting. Alas, that’s where we are. He’s the most terrifying player in the league, the guy with the best chance of winning a playoff series by himself, a force of basketball nature unlike anything we’ve seen since Young Shaq, someone who spawned more debate, hope and general intrigue than any young player since Jordan. And he’s fourth. Incredible.
Well, OK, whatever. I skip to the MVP. Kevin Garnett. A man I have always highly respected, probably the best -bar absolutely none- NBA player to come straight out of high school.
Until LeBron. James is the ManChild of ALL TIME for the NBA.
But still. Garnett over James?
But, here’s Simmons’ defense:
But that’s not why I’m picking him. On May 22, 2007, professional basketball was effectively murdered in Boston. Garnett transformed every single facet of the franchise upon his arrival, from playing for the Celtics to coaching them to following them to owning them to working for them. What he did can’t be measured by statistics; it can’t even be measured in a few paragraphs like the section you’re reading right now. It would belittle what he did. He transformed the culture of the team. He taught everyone to care about defense, to care about practice, to care about being a professional, to care about leaving everything they had on the court, to stop caring about stats and start caring about wins. He single-handedly transformed the careers of three young players (Rajon Rondo, Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins), one veteran (Pierce) and one coach (Doc Rivers), all five of whom could have gone the other way. He played every exhibition game like it was the seventh game of the Finals. During blowouts, he stood on the sidelines and cheered on his teammates like it was a tight game; because of that, the bench guys did the same thing for the starters and basically turned into a bunch of giddy scrubs on a 14-seed in a March Madness upset during every game.
The best word for him would either be “contagious” or “selfless.” By Thanksgiving, the entire team was emulating him. Every time a young player got carried away with himself during a game — like the time Perkins started going for his own stats or the time Rondo snapped at his coach — KG was there to set him straight and scare the living hell out him. Every time one of his teammates was intimidated, KG had his back. Every time one of his teammates got knocked down, KG rushed over to pick him up; eventually, four teammates were rushing over to help that fifth guy up, and that’s just the way it goes with the team now. Every time an opponent kept going for a shot after a whistle, KG defiantly blocked the shot just out of principle. Eventually, everyone started doing it. No shots after the whistle against the Celtics. That was the rule. It was a series of little things, baby steps if you will, but they added up to something much bigger.
There’s more, much more. See for yourself why this guy is still one of the best around.