I’m actually not sure how many Simmons/Klosterman podcasts there have actually been, but Bill Simmons may want to think twice about having another one. Each time he has a podcast with Klosterman, he comes off like your local sports bar yokel, spouting off random ridiculous theories, and having the calm, knowledgeable friend talk him back down off the ledge.
If Simmons wasn’t so influential, it’d almost be funny.
As it was, this most recent podcast was incredibly sad. At times, it bordered on unlistenable due to how intellectually obstinate Simmons was, and how Chuck Klosterman had to keep backing off basically calling him an idiot.
A few of the stellar moments:
- Simmons insisting that Maya Moore 2.0 could play in the NBA, as a 15th man, to draw fans. Klosterman comparing that to Eddie Gaedel (which is actually a pretty apt comparison), and Simmons simply either not getting it or, quite frankly, just being obstinate.
- Simmons trying to come up with a way to keep college kids from jumping to the NBA, with Klosterman simply derailing each one with a single sentence.
- Simmons challenging Klosterman to describe how he would turn around a downtrodden NBA team, to which Klosterman replies (paraphrasing) “I would build a competitive team, since that’s all that matters in the long run”, leading Simmons to reply that he wouldn’t hire him, that he would bottom out and build a team the way Sam Presti did (i.e. exactly what Klosterman was saying), but while doing it, he would do something for the fans. Apparently, like hiring a token woman to ride the end of the bench.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoy reading Bill Simmons (for the most part). But, over the past few months, he has obviously been spread way too thin, and that has lead to some pretty poor columns (when he bothers to write them), some poor podcasts (though the quality of guests he gets makes them still required listening), and a seeming erosion of his talent.
Hopefully, his new sports site will allow him to do a little bit less of the heavy lifting for his brand, letting him be a curator of good stuff (something he is truly good at), and maybe letting him get his head back into his writing.
(As an aside, it took everything I had to not end that last sentence “get his head back into his writing and out of his own ass,” because he seems to have bought into his own hype a bit. I really enjoyed parts of his last book, The Big Book of Basketball, especially when you pulled out all of the complete douchebaggery about “the secret,” and his constant namedropping. But, I guess now I’ve written it here, so I probably just should have ended my sentence with it.)