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April 29, 6:41 AM ET
Chat with Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons
  (12:01 PM)

What's happening? I'm laying down one groundrule for today's chat - I'm only picking one out of every five questions that have to do with Doc Rivers's performance in Games 3 and 4 of the Hawks-Celtics series.

Bill Simmons
  (12:01 PM)

Let's get it started.

Shawn from Cape Cod

Bill, are you as surprised/disturbed as I am by the players Doc has chosen to have on the floor at key points in games 3 and 4? Sam Cassell is a terrible fit for this series - he can't score or defend against the bigger, faster and more athletic Hawks. Ray Allen clearly can't defend Joe Johnson, and Eddie House was in the game when we had a 10 pt lead and needed a player (Rondo) to play lock down D and take the ball to the basket. I was calling for some Tony Allen on Joe Johnson about halfway through game 3. Clearly, the team as a whole is to blame here, but I can't help but worry about what I'm seeing from Doc, a guy who I felt has been solid all season.

Bill Simmons
  (12:04 PM)

I'll say this: It took 72 hours to undo 84 games - they don't have a rotation anymore, every bench guy has lost his confidence except Posey, and everyone is looking for their own shot. What scares me is that they played hard in both games. By the way, I'm typing this chat with 2 broken hands - after Doc left Ray Allen on Joe Johnson for the entire fourth quarter, I sparred for 10 rounds with the wall next to my sofa.

Brian (New York)

Glad to see Doc panicking and blaming his players again---that's always fun for everyone.

Bill Simmons
  (12:05 PM)

Yeah, that's always a pleasure. My favorite part was last night when Mike Fratello told us that Leon Powe didn't play in the second half of Game 3 because he missed five defensive rotations. Gee, where would he get that info? And why is our head coach telling a TV announcer this? Doc has been manipulating the media for four years and that's why he gets a free pass for stinkbombs like last night. End of story.

Bill, Raleigh, NC

Can you explain Doc's decision to continue to let Ray Allen get abused time and time again by Joe Johnson? Is there a rule against double teaming on the catch? When is the NBA commericial airing that says, "Where Incompetency Happens" and flash pics of Doc, Avery Johnson, and Isiah?

Bill Simmons
  (12:07 PM)

I can't. I can't even hope to explain it. I could take the next 10 hours and not be able to explain it. Other than Sam Cassell, Ray Allen is the worst perimeter defender on the roster.

Bill Simmons
  (12:08 PM)

Why we didn't go small and put Posey on Johnson, Allen on Childress, Rondo on Bibby, KG on Horford and Pierce on Josh Smith is just baffling. It's perplexing. It's a move that was as simple as "The yellow light on my car is on, I need to get gas."

Justin (Morgantown, WV)

Was last night's David Stern interview during the game one of the most hilarious Stern interviews of all time? The following technicals made it all better. And by the way, don't you thinki he could have got better seats than that??

Bill Simmons
  (12:09 PM)

During the embroglio (love that word!), Stern had the same look on his face that Michael Corleone had when his wife was telling him about the abortion in Godfather 2. Classic stuff. They should have given us a slow-mo replay.

Tim. Royersford, PA

Can the Sixers pull it out? How about the fact that the Sixers and the Flyers will most likely go deepest into the playoffs of all the philly teams this year. I would have liked to seen the odds of that.

Bill Simmons
  (12:11 PM)

The Sixers blew their chance - they had Detroit in Game 4, it looked like the Pistons were imploding right before the half. Detroit is clearly a better team, it's just that they can't get themselves motivated for more than 1 game in a row. The Celts-Hawks series is different because the Celts played hard in game 3 and even harder in Game 4, and they still lost. They're going to win the series, but it's just an awful sign that a 66-win team lost 2 road playoff games when they were trying against a 37-win team. it's worse than awful.

Will (Boston)

First off, Bill is it true you called into WEEI last night after the game? Second, why is Mr. I hate Boston (Greenberg) on his soap box again pleading with the NBA to suspend KG? Do you think he will get suspended? Why was ZAZA not thrown out of the game for inciting a fight?

Bill Simmons
  (12:13 PM)

That's not true - i couldn't even talk to my Dad after last night's game, I was too pissed off. Look, neither guy should get suspended. And I loved Zaza standing up to KG, that was a great moment. As I wrote after game 2, everyone on that hawks team was peeing their pants except for Horford - I liked that they stood up for themselves in Games 3 and 4, I gained a lot of respect for those guys.

Bill Simmons
  (12:13 PM)

That's not true - i couldn't even talk to my Dad after last night's game, I was too pissed off. Look, neither guy should get suspended. And I loved Zaza standing up to KG, that was a great moment. As I wrote after game 2, everyone on that hawks team was peeing their pants except for Horford - I liked that they stood up for themselves in Games 3 and 4, I gained a lot of respect for those guys.

Dallas (Carrollton, TX

Avery Johnson has got to be fired right? He cancelled practice and threw a hissy fit and the players had their own meeting and practice. Let Paul Westpaul coach tonight instead of Avery "Lil Private" Johnson.

Bill Simmons
  (12:14 PM)

He's gone and I think D'Antoni is gone. It's time for both of them. Both are effective coaches, but they can only thrive with one type of roster and that's it - now they're coaching rosters that aren't in their wheelhouse and it's going about as well as the Miley Ray Cyrus photo shoot did.

kj, kent, oh

what a surprise! no cavs questions! hollinger took ONE question in his whole chat on the cavs/wiz series. glad to see ESPN is keeping up the hatred of all things LBJ. go on, pick the wiz again, genius!

Bill Simmons
  (12:16 PM)

My favorite thing about questions like this is that the people actually seem to believe what they're writing. You're right, ESPN needs to hype up LeBron more - we've been doing him a disservice. For the record, I cannot forgive myself for switching from "Cavs in 7" to "Wiz in 6" on the podcast because Joe "The Homer" House talked me into it. An appaling job by me. Wait, we need a Doc Rivers question.

C (boston, ma)

Defense!!! What is up with Tony Allen...I thought he was our shutdown defender...is he in the doghouse? I would have given him a shot last night

Bill Simmons
  (12:17 PM)

Come on, it's not like we wasted everybody's time playing him for the first 82 games of the season just so we wouldn't use him for the exact situation like last night. You're getting carried away.

derek, paris

what do you see happening with monta ellis, baron davis, and andris biedrins this offseason?

Bill Simmons
  (12:19 PM)

I think they're going to trade Davis. Just a gut feeling. He has some miles on him and he wore down in the final month of the season - not a good sign for the next few years - and they need that money to pay the other 2 guys. I don't see them going into next year with a $76 million payroll. The Clips seem like a natural fit for him - they have a high pick and could basically get it done if it's Livingston, Maggette (both expiring contracts) and the pick. I think I'd do that if I'm the Clips as long as the pick wasn't top-2.

Nick (Colorado)

Hey Bill, Do you see the Rockets beating the Jazz tonight and in a game 6 in Utah. I have a feeling that the Rockets can take both. Game 6 will have all the pressure on Utah, and I think the Rockets can capitalize on being the "underdog" as they did in game 3. T'mac's knee is a concern, but I think he's coming to play.

Bill Simmons
  (12:22 PM)

Very strange series - now that Rafer's back and Landry is giving them something, those teams are much closer than I thought. I think Houston wins tonight and I wouldn't be shocked to see them win Game 6. Utah lost a little luster for me not putting the Rockets away in Game 3 - title teams have to take care of business and they didn't. On the flip side, the Lakers are a great example of a contender taking care of business - that's how you do it. I was really impressed by them.

Brian Wayland MA

What's your fearless prediction for the Hawks-Celtics Series? Particularly Wednesday's game...

Bill Simmons
  (12:24 PM)

Depends on how injured Pierce is - that's the real problem here that nobody is mentioning. He hasn't been the same since he hurt his back in the first half of Game 2. If he was healthy, he would have been taking people to the hole last night - that's what he did on the road this year every time we needed points. Last night, he was like Antoine Walker. I think he's hurt. That's not an excuse because Atlanta played tougher and had the best guy on the court in game 3 (Smith) and Game 4 (Johnson). But it's hard to predict what will happen when PP looks like he's in pain.

Mark (weymouth,ma)

Bill what are your thoughts on all the fights going on in the playoffs. Do you think Stern is happy when Stevenson is throwing gang signs to opposing players. Or should Stern be happy because the NBA is back and we have a rookie bruiser who isn't afraid of anything?

Bill Simmons
  (12:25 PM)

The thing is, they're not fights - it's just a lot of posturing and glaring and shoving, nothing ever happens and nobody is ever going to throw a punch, with the possible exception of DeShawn Stevenson who has lost his mind.

Bill Simmons
  (12:26 PM)

When I was at Game 2 and KG was doing his Intimidation Routine and psyching out the Hawks, I remember the Jbug and I both wondered why the Hawks didn't stand up to him - really, was KG going to punch them out? Of course not. It made no sense. Nobody should ever be able to intimidate other players in a playoff series when you'd get suspended for 2 weeks for throwing a punch. I think the Hawks realized that between Game 2 and Game 3.

Dan (Chicago, Il)

Is game 5 a career defining game for Nash, D'antoni, et al.? Seems to me a win could make a season (career?) savagable for the Suns while a loss would change quite a bit.

Bill Simmons
  (12:29 PM)

Depends on how the game plays out - if they quit in the second half like Dallas did on Sunday night (how humiliating was that?), then yes, I'd agree. But this was a pretty flukey series. Phoenix choked away Game 1 three different times. They were right there in game 2, and then in Game 3, SA played the single best playoff game that anyone will play in this entire playoffs. If they played this series 10 times, I still think each team would win 4 times, then the other 2 times would come down to luck-breaks-bounces etc.

Bill Simmons
  (12:29 PM)

Anyway, if Phoenix just gives up tonight, I'd say that Mike D needs to go and they need to re-invent the team. Regardless, he should be coaching Toronto, that's the perfect team for him.

Jake - Asbury Park, NJ

The South Park - Belichek is a cheater episode...please, your comments?

Bill Simmons
  (12:30 PM)

I loved it. Two Hall of Fame episodes back to back (with the other being the Canada on Strike episode). Whoops, we need a Doc question.

Brez (Cleveland)

Loved Doc's reaction to Ray Allen getting lit up by Joe Johnson in the last two minutes "God [Darnit] Ray". Yeah Doc, Joe Johnson already had 15 points in the first 10 minutes of the 4th quarter, yet you decide to matchup a mediocre defender 1on1 for the final 2 minutes? Great decision Doc....Could it be Doc is getting exposed in the playoffs? Who saw that coming?

Bill Simmons
  (12:34 PM)

I have mentioned this on the podcast a few times - I really like Ray Allen, I think he's been valuable off the court and his outside shooting has been really good since the All-Star Break. But he's a limited player. Mediocre defender, doesn't get to the line, surprisingly awful in transition (for such a wise player, I can't believe how many 3-on-1's and 2-on-1's he botched this season). But one thing's for sure - he can't guard anybody one on one, and he couldn't five years ago. So why was he covering a red-hot Joe Johnson last night without help? You got me.

Beau (New Orleans)

Did you see where Kenny Smith admitted on TNT that he may be talking to the Knicks about a front office position? I like Donnie Walsh (and Mark Jackson/Kenny Smith). However, Walsh is considering two guys with ZERO NBA coaching/front office experience to restore the NBA's marquee franchise? Your thoughts? It might just be crazy enough to work!

Bill Simmons
  (12:35 PM)

Come on, Kenny has experience - he just won the 2008 NBA Cares Celebrity Fantasy League!

The Steve

Why is there so much complaining about DeShawn Stevenson? He is adding a level of excitement and entertainment to the playoffs that nothing but GState last year comes close to. Plus this was already going to be a great series on the court, now it's even better off. Shut up and enjoy the entertainment, I know all those complainers watched Jay's rap on youtube.

Bill Simmons
  (12:37 PM)

I agree with you - I'd give the DeShawn Stevenson Experience an A for the season and an A-Plus for the playoffs. One of the regrettable things about the MJ Era was that everyone was so terrified of him except Riley's Knicks teams and Daly's Pistons teams, everyone else cowtowed to the guy and never pushed him to become great. It's been fun to see LeBron get tested, I've really enjoyed it.

Dazed & Confused

Can someone tell me why the Nuggets stink so bad? Two superstars - check. Great rebounder/shot blocker - check. Solid role players - check. Fat ugly coach - check.

Bill Simmons
  (12:38 PM)

Come on, the Nuggets had no heart all season. None of this was a surprise. When the going gets tough, they get going. In their defense, it's tough to get motivated to win a title when you've already broken the "Most tattooes on one team" record. How do you dip into the well and get fired up after that?

Mike (Manchester, NH)

Mandatory Doc Rivers Question: If the Celtics were to somehow blow this series (say in a fluky game 7 scenario) Doc would be fired right? If so, who should the Celtics target as coach/who is their ideal coach?

Bill Simmons
  (12:39 PM)

Well, he lost 18 games in a row last year and kept his job, so no, we can't say that with any certainty.

KG (Boston, Mass)

Shhh! I'm still the same guy that has never won anything and shrinks away from big moments. Don't tell anyone.

Bill Simmons
  (12:41 PM)

Here's the thing, KG - nobody on Atlanta can defend you near the basket. You could score 40 a game in this series if you wanted. In fact, that's precisely what Duncan would have done last night. At some point in your career (and you've only done it once, in Game 7 of the Kings series in 2004), you need to screw the "I'm unselfish" thing, get your ass in the low post and win the game for your team. That's what great players do - they win games that their teams probably wouldn't win unless they were on the team.

James L, Whitby ON

Any NFL 2008 draft thoughts worth mentioning?

Bill Simmons
  (12:42 PM)

When the Pats picked Jerod Mayo, I called my Dad and he started to say something and I interrupted him and said, "Hold on a second, hold on... I hope we don't get a 15-yard penalty next year for... holding the Mayo. Sorry dad, it had to be done!"

Craig (Orlando, FL)

Does Orlando get out of the NBA-NIT now? Or are they still going to a perennial 2nd place of nothing (a la Ohio State)?

Bill Simmons
  (12:44 PM)

Orlando is now out of the NBA NIT ... welcome to the 2008 NBA Playoffs, fellas! I'm a little intrigued by them because Dwight Howard seems to have realized that it's possible to play hard in 5 games in a row. They can hang with Detroit as long as Billups doesn't destroy them, which he should because they don't have anyone who can guard him. But Billups has looked pretty average in the playoffs so far. It's hard to tell if he's even awake.

LaShawn (Long Beach, CA)

how about those Lakers? how good are they actually? After making the 2nd best scoring team look as boring as a detroit-san antonio chess game its safe to say the Lakers look like they're headed to finals? do you agree? not many people remember this but Dallas was the top seed last year and they got humbled by the 8th seeded Warriors (who like Denver are an offensive powerhouse) Lakers handled them very well. how would a utah-lakers series play out?

Bill Simmons
  (12:45 PM)

I said it when the matchups were finalized - this worked out perfectly for them, they'd beat Denver 19 out of 20 teams, and Utah doesn't have anyone to defend Kobe. With that said, they took care of business and that's what great teams do. The Spurs are the only West team that can beat them.

Joppy (Newport Beach, CA)

At what time either Sunday or Monday do you think the nerdy looking guy with the Hawks jersey on top of his dress shirt decided he had heard enough about this NBA thing in town and needed to be involved in the Hawks' run (after not watching one minute of hoops all season) and had his assistant find him floor seats?

Bill Simmons
  (12:48 PM)

You know it's a new bandwagon experience when the fans haven't even figured out that everyone should wear the same color shirt yet. I'd do the Levels of Bandwagon NBA Playoff Fans like this...

Bill Simmons
  (12:48 PM)

Level 1 - Fans just showing up because it's something to do, then getting caught up in it (like Atlanta, Games 3 and 4) even though they can't name more than 3 guys on the team and think Bubbles from the Wire is playing small forward

Bill Simmons
  (12:49 PM)

Level 2 - Everyone agrees to wear shirts and jerseys that are the same color. (Like the DC fans wearing white in Games 3 and 4.)

Bill Simmons
  (12:49 PM)

Level 3 - Just like Level 2, except white hankies or towels are incorporated. (Like Orlando fans in Game 5 last night.)

Bill Simmons
  (12:51 PM)

Level 4 - bandwagon fans that have been around for a prolonged period of time, only you know they're bailing as soon as the team drops to 40 wins and under because they don't even get pissed that the team plays music during key possessions. (Hello, San Antonio!)

Bill Simmons
  (12:52 PM)

Level 5 - A team with great and loyal fans who get slowly pushed out by suits and 2-kid families once the team becomes successful, so it's an awkward balance between "true fan" and "total bandwagon" (hello, Golden State!)

Don (Rochester Hills, MI)

Mandatory Vegas question - give me your top three sports books. Mine are the Bay (good atmosphere, smokin hot chicks in and around the book), Bellagio (if only to see which poker pro's are playing that day), and Wynn (Johnny Avello runs it, comfy seats, smokin hot chick factor). Worst three - Luxor, Imperial Palace, Palms (still a huge disappointment to me).

Bill Simmons
  (12:53 PM)

Mandalay is first for me - it's huge, the poker room is right there, there's a ton of light and you feel somewhat human even after staying there for an entire afternoon.

Bill Simmons
  (12:54 PM)

I'd have Caesar's second ... I don't really have a third favorite. Palms and Hard Rock are the 2 worse - there's no excuse for either of them NOT to have a good sports book.

Zach (Winston-Salem, NC)

Can you explain to my why exactly almost every sports expert/writer was picking Dallas to win their series against the Hornets? What exactly is playoff experience? It seems to me like the only "playoff experience" the Mavs have recently is two bad chokes in their last two series (three assuming this one holds up.

Bill Simmons
  (12:56 PM)

I was one of those people ... I didn't think NO was deep enough to beat a good playoff team, and I thought they could be stopped easily over the course of a 7-game series because so much of what they do revolves around Chris Paul, and you can always trap a point guard or double team him. But the Hornets rose to the occasion and Dallas just completely fell apart ... I also think Julian Wright's sudden emergence gave NO a much more interesting bench, it seems like they're deep enough now, and they can win if Paul doesn't have a great game (with Game 4 being a good example). I have many, many, MANY regrets about that Dallas pick.

Sean (D.C.)

Bill, are you ready for the WNBA Tip-off on May 17th?

Bill Simmons
  (12:57 PM)

I don't think I've ever been this fired up!

Anthony

Random Question - Which C celebrity would you be amused to see make an appearance on the HBO Cathouse show?

Bill Simmons
  (12:58 PM)

Michael Rapaport

David (Boca Raton, FL)

Can I have some clarification as to what teams' fans started the whole wear one color t-shirt in the stands to intimidate the other team?

Bill Simmons
  (12:59 PM)

I'd love to know 2 things - when that started, and when the "MVP!" chant started. I am almost positive that the "MVP" chant started during the '84 East Finals when the Boston fans chanted it in Game 7 after Bird destroyed the Knicks (and everyone was making a big deal about "Bird vs. Bernard" that spring). Do we have evidence of an MVP chant before then?

shalomar, boston, ma

I'm certain you will be a responsible journalist and explain why ESPN management canceled your podcast with Obama. Did they decide that bringing in thousands of new readers (e.g., geeky politicos) to ESPN.com was something they did not support? Nice business model. Did your ensuing wrath mean that the Sports Gal had to duck flying middle school soccer trophies?

Bill Simmons
  (1:00 PM)

We made a decision as a company not to have any of the candidates on our platforms during the primaries - only after I landed Obama for the podcast did I become aware of that decision, so we had to cancel it, and that's when my drinking problem flared up again.

Ted from Richmond

Dude, I just saw the E60 commercial on ESPN about you being in Vegas. You look like one of the vampire extras from The Lost Boys. Please tell me that was how you looked AFTER your 48-hour no-sleep-having gamblefest, not before. I'll bet your mom is worried about you.

Bill Simmons
  (1:02 PM)

Note to self: Don't stay out the night before drinking/gambling/smoking when you have to film a TV piece the next morning that's shown in HD. That was almost as dumb of a move as the Celtics single-covering a red-hot Joe Johnson with Ray Allen for the entire 4th quarter last night.

david (Houston)

For clarification purposes, the NBA teams pass out all of those t shirts at the door. But I can't figure out why they pass out WHITE t shirts, which is by far the LEAST intimidating color they could have chosen. For future reference guys, GO WITH YOUR TEAMS ROAD UNI COLOR!!!!!!

Bill Simmons
  (1:04 PM)

The white is creepy - it's like an LSD party or something. I don't get it. I don't get anything that's happening with the NBA and their crowds right now - during Game 1 of the Spurs-Suns series, when Michael Finley's corpse hit the game-tying three, the Spurs were playing the theme from "Rocky" coming out of the timeout, only they played it during the entire possession. Really? That's acceptable?

Tom (Houston)

What is your favorite Charles Barkley moment so far this playoffs?

Bill Simmons
  (1:06 PM)

On Sunday night after the last game, he had a rambling, 90-second monologue that went in 12 different directions, and after it was over, nobody knew what to say and Ernie just kinda stared straight ahead looking for help from the producers. That was my favorite. I love the Chuck Wagon at the end of these doubleheaders after midnight when he's punchy. There's nothing better.

Jennifer (Sierra Vista, AZ)

On a scale of 1-100 how excited were you to see Raheim back on Paradise Hotel? And, on the same scale, how annoying was Myrna's voice?

Bill Simmons
  (1:08 PM)

100 for Rahiem, 100 for Myrna. That is the greatest show of this decade that nobody watched. I wish it would keep going and going for the next 5 years. It's incredible. I wish the NBA worked like Paradise Hotel - after every round, Stern could come out and say, "You thought the Lakers and Jazz were playing in Round 2? Well, we have a twist for you..." and then the entire Suns team would come out.

Ryan V (Huntington Beach, Ca)

I still don't get how you can watch last night's 4th quarter by Kobe and not see him as the MVP... when has KG ever done that? DROP YOUR BIAS FOR ONCE!

Bill Simmons
  (1:10 PM)

I still don't get the whole "You're biased for voting for KG for MVP" thing. I voted for him for the exact same reason that I voted for Shaq in 2005 - he made a franchise credible again and turned them from an also-ran to a contender. Nobody has a bigger regular season impact on his team. If it was the award for "Most Outstanding Player," I would have voted for Kobe first and Chris Paul second.

Bob, Glenburnie, ON

Who stays put in Toronto, TJ Ford or Jose "Ivan" Calderon?

Bill Simmons
  (1:11 PM)

TJ, pack your bags! Although I am secretly rooting for the first-ever deal that involves a coach - Jose Calderon (sign and trade) to Toronto for Boris Diaw, Mike D'Antoni and Phoenix's No. 15 pick.

Jim (Baltimore, MD)

So why doesn't she spell it "McKready"?

Bill Simmons
  (1:12 PM)

Hmmmm

JD (Stockton, CA)

1986 as a possible first date for the same color T-shirt thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Calgary_Flames#The_.22C_of_Red.22

Jason, Seattle, WA

Josh Howard played awful in Game 4. Do you think he would be better off smoking before Game 5 to relax his nerves? Or should he wait until the offseason (after the game in the locker room)?

Bill Simmons
  (1:14 PM)

I wrote this a few months ago, he's the new Ben Wallace - the totally underrated guy who's now become overrated because everyone spent too much time talking about how underrated he was. By the way, I thought of a great trade last night as Melo was doing everything but taking his clothes off like ned Braden during the second half of the Lakers game...

Bill Simmons
  (1:16 PM)

What about a trade with Melo and Howard as the principles? Obviously Dallas would have to throw in more because Melo has more value than Howard, but wouldn't that make sense for both teams? Dallas gets a much needed scorer to team with Dirk - Denver gets a much-needed intangibles guy who doesn't care if he gets the ball and also has some good weed connections. Everyone wins.

Mack (NY)

Will you ever go to North Dakota again?

Bill Simmons
  (1:17 PM)

Here's the thing that fascinated me about North Dakota: It's the only one of the 50 states that doesn't have a single tourist attraction or a professional sports team. In other words, literally, there's no reason for an outsider to go there unless they have family there or they love college hockey.

Bill Simmons
  (1:18 PM)

By the way, that Benson/Dakota piece from e60 is finally up on our site - we had some technical difficulties that have been solved. Boom tho.

Dan (New York)

You're not biased, but the Celtics invented the MVP chant? The KG for MVP thing is way off. He's no more valuable to his team than Kobe or Paul. Stop hiding behing the Outstanding/Valuable semantics.

Bill Simmons
  (1:19 PM)

I don't know if Boston invented it - that's just the earliest I can ever remember hearing it. If someone can top 1984, I'm all ears.

Brian, Santa Monica

I was at Game SIX of the '84 Celts/Knicks, and we were chanting "MVP" for BERNARD then.

Bill Simmons
  (1:19 PM)

I could buy that - it's possible the Knicks fans did it before the Boston fans in that series. That's the first series I remember hearing it.

Pete, Jersey City, NJ

Swept by the Rays. Maybe your podcast should have "How worried is The Sports Guy about the Red Sox?" Are you nervous?

Bill Simmons
  (1:21 PM)

Not worried, not nervous. A mediocre April was inevitable after the Japan trip and all the traveling this team did - JackO and I talked about this in my podcast for the entire month of March. The only thing I'm worried about is Big Papi.

Schroed (Peoria, IL)

We chanted MVP for Harold Baines in '83 at Comiskey Park.

RReebs (LA)

I was watching an early episode of 21 Jump Street and we all started yelling MVP for Mario Van Peebles

Robert, University of Florida

I wanted to thank you for having a chat during finals week. Seriously, it's not enough that the NBA playoffs are in full swing and Baseball is hitting its stride, buit you come along and kneecap my hopes of passing. Thanks

Bill Simmons
  (1:22 PM)

Come on, just use the internet to cheat like everyone else in your class.

Bill Simmons
  (1:22 PM)

Come on, just use the internet to cheat like everyone else in your class.

Mike, Chicago

Why are people still hiring Larry Brown? After that crap he pulled in Detroit, and the fact that he openly pines for jobs while they are still filled during the season is just disgusting. Take away all that great knowledge and experience he has, Brown is nothing more than a mercenary, no better than Tim Thomas during a contract year. He'll put the work in for a couple of years, then bolt Charlotte like he's always left his teams.

Bill Simmons
  (1:23 PM)

A fantastic question. The short answer would be that the Bobcats have no idea what they're doing, and they've completely antagonized the fans there, so this hiring fits right in. The long answer is that MJ has been Isiah 2.0 running NBA teams, only everyone refuses to acknowledge this, including me.

Ryan (Vancouver, BC)

As for who invented the towel waving, Roger Neilson, coach of the Vancouver Canucks in their 1982 Stanley Cup run, started it: <from wikipedia> As the Canucks coach during a 1982 playoff game against the Chicago Blackhawks, he felt his team was unfairly penalized on several occasions during the third period. He took a white trainer's towel and held it on a hockey stick, as if to wave a white flag. Three other Canucks players did the same thing, and all were ejected from the game. By doing this, Neilson inadvertently started an NHL tradition. Canucks fans waved white towels by the thousands at the next game, a playoff tradition that continues to this day and that is widely copied by other hockey teams and by other sports as well.

Sal, Toronto ON

If the Celtics can't guard Joe Johnson, is assassination the only answer for Lebron? Yes I will send this OVER and OVER and OVER until you respond.

Bill Simmons
  (1:24 PM)

The Celtics CAN guard Joe Johnson. The guy on the roster who can guard him is named James Posey. We just didn't use him in the fourth quarter.

Pat (Pittsburgh, PA)

What are the realistic chances of you returning to being a fan of the Bs next year and us actually getting hockey articles? The Habs/Bruins game 7 article didn't suck.

Bill Simmons
  (1:27 PM)

I think I figured out a loophole to get back in - I swore that I wouldn't follow them again until Jeremy Jacobs sold the team, but now that there's a salary cap, technically, every team has to spend the same amount of money. So there's no way he can screw us over by not spending enough money compared to the other contenders (like when Pittsburgh spent the extra money for Joey Mullen, Ron Francis, Bryan Trottier et all in '91 while we were still trotting out kids from the local Boston colleges as our 4th line) ... again, it's a loophole, but I think I can talk myself into it. I miss the B's. If Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith can remarry, then I can get rehitched with the B's. of course, they got divorced again.

Andrew (KC)

If the Celtics were to lose to the Hawks, would it be a bigger disappointment then the Mavs choking last year against the Warriors?

Bill Simmons
  (1:29 PM)

Any scenario where the Celtics don't make the Finals is a huge disappointment - they have the most talented team in the East BY FAR and they won 66 games. Dallas lost to G-State because of the styles, because their coach panicked and because their best guy got psyched out. Boston has no excuse against Atlanta. None. They have a much better team.

Luan (Seattle)

Just wanted to thank you for all your efforts in helping expose what a travesty the NBA situation is here in Seattle. Do you think the chance of the Sonics being ordered to be sold back to Starbucks is at least above 'slim &#x26; none'?

Bill Simmons
  (1:31 PM)

I'm intrigued by the latest round of "bennett was clearly angling for an Oklahoma move right after he bought the Sonics" e-mails. I just don't see how his case would hold up in court - clearly, he didn't have any intention of keeping the team in Seattle. The guy I'm disappointed in is Kevin Durant, who's just a kid, but still, it's clear that the Seattle connection meant something to him (as evidenced by his waving on the "Save our Sonics" chants in the last game), but he hasn't come out and said, "Look, we love this city, we don't want to leave." I think that would help the cause.

Adam, VA

Please introduce Ryan from Vancouver to the terrible towel, which has been waved at Steelers games since 1975.

Tim (Hoboken, NJ)

So, now that the B's are decent and have some promising young talent (lacking a legit netminder), you want to jump back on the bandwagon? Spare us...

Bill Simmons
  (1:33 PM)

No, I want to jump on the bandwagon because I could root for those young guys without worrying about them getting traded for 30 cents on the dollar and/or not getting help in the playoffs because the owner only wants to pay for a 12-man roster now that we have a salary cap.

Roger (Houston, TX)

Boy am I glad Chris Hanson wasn't around 20 years ago.

Tim (Brookings, SD)

Every time Dirk falls down and the refs don't blow the whistle I celebrate. I have watched every playoff (pretty much) and it amazes me how people can just fall down voluntarily... and the refs will call a foul. I think the best example was when Reggie Evans of the 76ers flopped provoking a technical and a foul on Sheed. I think part of the flopping is the players' faults and part of it is the league's fault for rewarding the players all season for falling down. Welcome to the NBA... where if you fall down, you get two free throws.

Bill Simmons
  (1:34 PM)

I would love it - repeat: LOVE IT - if they added a "flopping" foul to the NBA. It's time. If you flop, and the ref knows you flopped, that's a foul. I defy you to come up with a downside to a "flopping" rule.

Bill Simmons
  (1:34 PM)

I would love it - repeat: LOVE IT - if they added a "flopping" foul to the NBA. It's time. If you flop, and the ref knows you flopped, that's a foul. I defy you to come up with a downside to a "flopping" rule.

Trizz (Boston,MA)

How many more twists can the Clemens case take...I smell TV movie

Bill Simmons
  (1:36 PM)

John Travolta as Clemens, Andy Dick as Brian McNamee, Edie Falco as Debbie Clemens...

Jeremy(Atlanta,Ga)

If the Lakers and Celtics were to meet in the NBA Finals. What is your prediction for that series?

Bill Simmons
  (1:36 PM)

In my podcast before the playoffs, I picked the Lakers in 6.

Pete( East Greenwich, RI)

Would a first-round playoff exit by the Celts be harder to handle than the Pats Superbowl loss?

Bill Simmons
  (1:36 PM)

Not even close.

Bill Simmons
  (1:37 PM)

I mean, the Pats thing was 10X harder.

Max (Boston, MA)

If you love the Bruins so much why did you completely jinx them (just like the Patriots)? They had all the momentum and of course you had to write an article about them winning. Way to crash the bandwagon.

Bill Simmons
  (1:38 PM)

Not sure if you know this, but I don't have the power to jinx teams. I am not a witch doctor. That column was about getting sucked back into a sport that I had written off. I write about my life, and watching those Bruins games had become part of my life, so I wrote about it.

Chris (Houston, Tx)

Have you seen the clip of John Daly playing golf with his shirt off, with no shoes and a heater in his mouth?Please share. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6HXfA__e14

Dave (SA)

In light of Duncan's 3 , and KG not torching a subpar hawks team Duncan has finally put that debate to rest right?

Bill Simmons
  (1:40 PM)

That debate was already hibernating. It's no contest. Duncan can carry his team down the stretch of a big game, he has a proven track record of doing so (most recently in Game 1 of the Suns series), and KG does not. That's the one difference between them and doesn't have anything to do with situations or teammates.

Shane (Prov., RI)

So do you think someone has actually TOLD Doc that he should think about maybe putting Posey on Joe Johnson? I'm serious, this needs to get fixed and i think someones is going to have to sit Doc down and tell him what to do. Can Heinson do it? Donnie Wahlberg? He needs this information!

Bill Simmons
  (1:41 PM)

I'd like to think that Donnie Wahlberg would have suggested this. Yes. When I called my Dad with 2 minutes to go to complain, he knew what I was going to say and basically hung up on me. This went well beyond, "Hey, I have an idea, what if Posey guards Joe Johnson?"

Mike (Chicago)

What is your take on the Artie Lange/Teddy Microphone fight?

Bill Simmons
  (1:42 PM)

I'm devastated. I think we all were.

Farhan, AL

How come when Dirk gets tapped on the cheek and doesn't retaliate, he's torn apart for being soft, but when KG gets punked out by ZAZA FREAKING PACHULIA, he's lauded for keeping his cool? Seriously, this is the 2nd or 3rd time KG's been punked out. Remember Anthony Peeler in the 2004 playoffs? Dirk's NOT soft....anyone that's watched this series will tell you he's the only Mav who's shown up.

Bill Simmons
  (1:43 PM)

Very good point and I can't think of a good counter. It's not Dirk's fault that Dallas is blowing this series... although they'd have a better chance with Harris and Diop against the Hornets, I will say that.

John (Chicago)

The '82 Brewers chanted MVP for Robin Yount throughout Sept. and Oct.

Bill Simmons
  (1:43 PM)

Hmmmm... can anyone top 1982?

Ken (Tarzana, CA)

Do you have any thoughts on how much better KG would have been had he spent a few years in college?

Bill Simmons
  (1:46 PM)

I've written about this before and talked about it in the Sean Grande podcast, but I do wonder how much of a disadvantage it's been for KG and T-Mac specifically not to have gotten those pressure college games under their belts, then gone to losing teams for the next few years. By the time they were playing in big games, they were in their mid-20's and had no experience whatsoever for the different level of pressure. Whereas Kobe went to the Lakers and immediately played for some good Lakers teams (remember when he tossed up the series-losing airball as a rookie in '97?) and got his feet wet, for lack of a better word. I'd love to see someone break down the data of all the high schoolers in this respect.

Paul (Poconos, PA)

Leaving for Vegas in 16hrs 15mins. Haven't been there since June. Anything new I need to be aware of? Thanks.

Bill Simmons
  (1:47 PM)

You mean, like the Pleasure Pit in Planet Hollywood that has go-go-dancers and dealers wearing lingerie as you play blackjack? Something like that?

Ryan (L.A.)

MVP chants for Babe Ruth in 1927! Top that suckas!

Bill Simmons
  (1:48 PM)

Good one

Brent (Atlanta, ga)

I think you can see the value of college experience when watching Al Horford in this series, no?

Bill Simmons
  (1:49 PM)

Absolutely. Horford was the key guy in this series - he's the only one who stood up to the Celtics in Game 2, and when he showed up Pierce at the end of Game 3, that was a huge "We're not afraid of you guys" moment. Love that guy. It's been hard to root against him in these playoffs, we need more Horfords in the NBA.

Dustan (new orleans, La)

I disagree... I believe utah can beat the lakers... infact I believe with utah's physical style, even if the lakers got past the jazz, I can see them limping to the conference finals

Bill Simmons
  (1:50 PM)

No way. Kobe will kill them - Kyle Korver basically can't play in that series, and harpring has no chance to guard Kobe, so you're looking at Ronnie Brewer and Kirilenko defending Kobe for 7 games. Thanks for coming.

John (Dracut, MA)

Pleasure Pit??? Lingere wearing dealers??? My head is spinning I don't think I could handle it.

Bill Simmons
  (1:52 PM)

Caesar's has a similar gimmick with their Pussycat Dolls section, although it's two-deck blackjack which sucks about as much as anything can suck short of Sam Cassell shooting every time he gets the ball and turning the Celtics into an I'm-getting-mine" playoff team.

Bill Simmons
  (1:54 PM)

By the way, Caesar's is back! We went there to shoot the e60 piece 2 weekends ago, they have the best location, one of the best clubs, a good sports book, more light in the casino (a huge prob in the 90's), a really good food court, and the new Augustus suite is as nice as anything in Vegas except for maybe The Hotel at Mandalay. Huge comeback for Caesar's. When you think about it, it SHOULD be the best casino because they have the history (so many great boxing matches especially) and the single best gimmick of any casino on the Strip.

Chuck (LA, CA)

Bill, do you just use Doc as your personal whipping boy when the Celts start to flounder? I mean who didn't see this coming...after digging into him all last season, then talking about him as a potential COY this year, then opening up this whole chat by throwing him back under the bus...why don't you ask your precious "MVP" for once why they can't beat a 37-win team?

Bill Simmons
  (1:58 PM)

it's a fair question. the thing I liked about Doc during the regular season was that he tried to coach the same way for 82 games - he did a relatively good job sticking to a rotation, he built up confidence in the bench guys and he did a great job of cutting down the minutes for KG, Allen and Pierce in the final 2 months. Then the playoffs started and he coached each game like it had no correlation to the previous game or the first 82 games. He froze and he panicked. There's no other way to say it. We had 82 games to figure out the best 9 guys on this team and when they should play... and now it's Game 5 and nobody has any clue who the best 9 guys are because there's been so much overreacting and yanking around. That's not the coach's fault?

Bill Simmons
  (1:59 PM)

On top of that, when Cassell was ballhogging it in game 2 (in the first half, I think he took 20-footers on 8 of 9 consecutive possessions), Doc didn't nip that in the bud and you could tell it was taking the team out of what it was doing. Cassell has been a car crash in these playoffs and never should have sniffed Game 4 - on top of that, now Eddie House is sulking.

Bill Simmons
  (1:59 PM)

So yeah, I'm concerned.

Bill Simmons
  (1:59 PM)

Especially with Pierce banged up.

Paolo (Philippines)

What is your opinion on Sam Cassell right now? I mean, from what I've seen so far in the series Cassell's role on the team is similar to Eddie House's. Was his arrival necessary / beneficial to the team, or do you think Rondo can do it on his own without the crafty veteran teaching him a thing or two?

Bill Simmons
  (2:00 PM)

Finished the regular season strong, turned into a selfish ballhog in the playoffs.

Michael (Kalamazoo, MI)

What is the correct reaction to the Josh Howard situation? Does he get suspended or sponsored by Taco Bell?

Bill Simmons
  (2:00 PM)

Both!

Joseph (Riverton, UT)

Hey Bill, how thrilled were you that Tottenham won the Carling Cup?

Bill Simmons
  (2:00 PM)

Delighted!

joe (nyc)

Bill, what kind of comps did Caesar's slip you for that plug?

Bill Simmons
  (2:02 PM)

I knew I'd get that one. Look, Vegas is cyclical - in the mid-90;s, everyone loved Rio. Then it was Mandalay. Then it was Hard Rock. Then it was the Wynn and Bellagio. Now it's Caesar's. 18 months later, it will be someone else. The casinos are always trying to one-up each other.

Mindy M, Tennessee State Penitentiary

In case you're curious, "You'll Never Know" was my tribute to his shrunken raisin-like testiculars.

Jim (Gigantic, Bosom)

I believe they were chanting MVP for Abraham Lincoln at the Ghettysburg address in 1863

Bill Simmons
  (2:03 PM)

Well, that tops everything.

Will (San Antonio, TX)

Ok, you need to stop answering the same questions over and over about Cassell, Doc, and the Celts. We get it. Give us your thoughts on Spygate 2.0 now that Walsh has a deal with the NFL to come up with what he knows.

Bill Simmons
  (2:03 PM)

Sorry, I was traumatized by the last 2 games. I'm now ready to move on.

Roger C. : Texas

What is the legal age of consent here in Texas?

Connor Saint Louis

Do you think it's strange thtat 2 of the 4 best players in the league were pruduced by Wake Forrest?

Bill Simmons
  (2:04 PM)

Wow - never thought of that. You're right, that's incredibly bizarre - especially when the other 2 guys were both high schoolers.

John (Kansas City)

Are we two hours into this and nothing on the draft? Seriously?

Bill Simmons
  (2:06 PM)

I was saving it for the third hour! How did the jets fans not chant "Spygate!" between the 31st and 32nd picks? I thought that was the biggest disappointment of the entire draft, and I'm a Pats fan.

Larry (Needham, MA)

I think Eve was the first to get a MVP chant.

Bill Simmons
  (2:07 PM)

Excellent point. Done and done.

Vik (Toronto, Canada)

Can we officially add Roger to the Tyson zone? I read the "hooked up with a 15 year old country singer" headline and wasnt even phased. I think the ceiling has officially been lifted.

Bill Simmons
  (2:09 PM)

That's a great question. You know what? I think we can. I didn't even budge an eyebrow at this whole Mindy McCready story, not even at the "They met when she was 15 and he was still playing for the Red Sox" part. Clemens could do or say anything at this point and/or any conceivable story could come out about him and I wouldn't be shocked. So yes, he's in the Tyson Zone.

Bill Simmons
  (2:10 PM)

Quick plug: Don't forget to vote for the First Annual BS Report Awards! http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/ polling?event_id=3471

Nick (Boston)

Bill - while nobody works harder than Mel Kiper, what is the point of grading drafts the day afterwards? I feel like if you draft skill-position players that everyone knows, you're universally praised - and with the opposite, panned. The Lions had the greatest draft of the last ten years when they were able to land Charles Rogers and Kevin Jones in the first round a couple of years ago. Madness.

Bill Simmons
  (2:12 PM)

Put it this way: I don't even read post-draft grading columns anymore. It's ridiculous. KC traded their best defensive player for extra picks... OF COURSE they had the best draft on paper, but who the hell knows? With that said, I thought Jacksonville and Carolina had the 2 weirdest drafts ... Carolina especially.

P (Mars, PA)

Could espn have more coverage of the NFL? After I watched the schedule premiere show and the non-stop draft coverage, I wanted to kidnap the whole nfl live crew and stick them in a soundproof room in my basement for 24 years, a la crazy Austrian guy.

Bill Simmons
  (2:13 PM)

I really enjoy the actual draft but ignore everything else - the fact that McFadden fell to 4 and Dorsey went 5 is the perfect example of why it's a waste of time to read anything about what these teams "might" do or "will" do.

Bill Simmons
  (2:15 PM)

My one nitpick with the draft: Doesn't it kill the fun a little to tip so many of the picks with the cameras on the top-6 guys and all the Video Cam shots? That was like watching the Oscars, only if each winner was getting a congratulatory call one minute before the award was announced.

Neil (Southgate, MI)

Bill why wasnt the interview with Paul Shirley listed on the best of awards? How much is LeBron going to enjoy single coverage in round 2?

Bill Simmons
  (2:17 PM)

You're right, it was a big mistake. I couldn't remember everyone we had from May to November '07. My long-term memory is failing me.

Karl (The Post Office)

Since 1979, who's the league MVP that you'd LEAST want to take your team's game-tying shot in a big game 7? Ding ding ding! Kevin Garnett! Who else willingly accepted his role as the third option in crunch-time? Ding ding ding! Nobody! Most VALUABLE would be the player that can come up with plays when you need them most, IE, crunch time. That's not KG, is it?

Bill Simmons
  (2:18 PM)

I would put C-Webb 1, David Robinson 2 and Karl Malone 3 ... KG hasn't been in enough big games to qualify for that list yet. I actually thought he was great in the 4th quarter last night, it's just that he waited too long to take over.

Ben (Boston)

Can you comment on the shot clock buzzer being some janitor with an air horn. This is the NBA Playoffs.

Bill Simmons
  (2:18 PM)

Let's just say that Atlanta needs to step it up for Game 6.

Travis (Cape Coral, Fl)

Dakota Fanning better watch out Roger is on the loose.

Brendan (College Park, MD)

Bill - another thought on LeBron. Shouldn't someone as good as he is, and i refuse to admit how good he is, not be whining as much? I mean, the bitter beer face comes out any time he gets any sort of contact. He's 6'9 260, you would think he could take a hit. Oh, and another thing, whats with the Cavs flopping like the Italian National Soccer team? They are beyond Vlade Divac at this point, they are taking it to soccer level of flopping.

Bill Simmons
  (2:19 PM)

Totally agree.

JS McCredy (Chicago)

You've done a good job detailing the Sasha Vujacic-factor on the Lakers as of late (eg: "He's going to get himself punched sometime soon"). But how about his SELF-APPLIED nickname: The Machine?! Now I can just see Utah watching film of the Lakers with Vujacic running around doing punchable things when Kyle Korver chimes in, "Oh, he's a lover, man... definitely loves what he does for a living."

Bill Simmons
  (2:20 PM)

I wish he had gone with just "Machine" for the "8MM" homage.

Nick (Cambridge)

Can we get an official ruling as to whether Tim Donaghy is now the official game operations manager of the Hawks? But seriously, are you kidding me?

Zac (Richmond)

Where's Kevin Cott these days? Are you catching any good-natured buddy-buddy heat from him now that the Hawks have made it a series?

Bill Simmons
  (2:21 PM)

Absolutely - my former intern even sent me a trash-talking email that had the word "mofo" in it. I was excited for him.

Bill Simmons
  (2:22 PM)

Here's part of what he sent me today, I'm omitting the part where he asked for Doc's address because he wanted to send him a fruit basket:

Bill Simmons
  (2:22 PM)

"this series makes no sense. i was at both home games, and i'm still trying to process it. for instance, you know how teams gather in a circle before tip-off and hype themselves up around one guy yelling in the middle, be it 'sheed, kg, shaq, the bulls' "what time is it" chant, etc.? it's a storied tradition. so on saturday night i look down and see the hawks doing the same, and i'm feeling good ... only then i suddenly realize the guy in the middle is harry the hawk, going berserk and presumably yelling muffled profanities through his enormous beak. it was horrifying - i think i may have dropped my beer in slow-mo. at that point i would have laid down a million dollars on us getting swept. and then we reel off two of the most inspired playoff wins in team history. it's crazy."

Mike (Rhode Island)

Can the hornets take down the spurs? Seems like they might match up OK.

Bill Simmons
  (2:23 PM)

It's an absolutely fascinating matchup. On paper, they match up nicely except for the whole "nobody on the roster can guard Manu" thing. My biggest fear is that Bowen will trip Chris Paul, knock him out of the series and actually cause a riot during a New Orleans home game.

Brad (Detroit, MI)

Clemens 20K game on ESPN CLassic right now.

Bill Simmons
  (2:24 PM)

Mindy McCready was five during this game.

Sean (Seattle)

Have you ever seen a pitcher with King Felix stuff? People talk about all these Cain's, Hughes, Buchholz, etc, but Felix is so much more dominating than any of them. 97 FB, 94 2 seamer with serious movement, 84 changeup with great arm action, and a 78 curveball for a strike when he wants. He doesn't even throw his slider anymore, and that was always considered his best pitch. Thoughts?

Bill Simmons
  (2:26 PM)

Pedro in his prime had better stuff (at least of the guys in my lifetime that I watched), but you're right, Felix's "stuff" is significantly better than anyone else's "stuff." he's the only pitcher who makes me flick to his games if he's pitching to make sure he's not throwing a no-no.

Roger (Houston, TX)

Billy Ray Cyrus is refusing to take my calls.

Jeff, Hoboken

Probably a little late in this series, but aren't you surprised by how well Boris Diaw defended Tony Parker-Longoria in Game 4?

Bill Simmons
  (2:27 PM)

I love when Ric Bucher writes in under a fake name.

Crystal: (San Antonio, TX)

I bet my buddy ten dollars, a bag of hot cheetos, and a kiss that I could get on your chat and convince you to admit you were wrong about 1) Picking the Suns over the Spurs 2) thinking Tim Duncan was washed up 3) counting the Spurs out again - despite them having the best defense, the best chemistry, the best power forward of all time, and a 25 year old point guard who has Eva Longoria taking care of him. I told him you were a noble man. I defended your honor. His breath smells like a combination of vodka, fish tacos, and...hot cheetos, by the way. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, Bill - Don't let me down!

Bill Simmons
  (2:29 PM)

I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong. Although I never, EVER said Duncan was washed up, just that there were subtle signs of slippage during the regular season. But I'd be the first to admit that the Spurs rope-a-doped me, originally they had turned every NBA season into a 4-month season, but now they've mastered the art of not switching gears until April. Amazing. I still can't believe the way they played in Game 3 - no other team has an extra gear like that except for the lakers.

Mazouke (Chad)

I just learnt from Wikipedia that DJ Mbenga escaped from a jail in Sudan as a teenager after being imprisoned in the war between the Hutsi's and Tutsi's. Shouldn't that type of persistence earn him more playing time?

Fraser (New Zealand)

Even tho I'm 10,000km away, i still get pissed off that Chris Paul and Josh Smith don't play on the same team. Do you on some level feel that society has been robbed of something amazing by the crap front office at the Hawks?

Bill Simmons
  (2:31 PM)

You're right, it ranks right up there with Bird and Lenny Bias not getting a chance to play together. At trhe very least, we should have them play 1 exhibition game per year together.

DC (NYC)

are you ready for the max scherzer era?

Bill Simmons
  (2:32 PM)

I don't see him making it - bad name for a potentially dominant athlete. he sounds like he should be working for Rusty Hardin.

RC (Toronto)

Why do people talk about PLAYOFF performances when arguing the case for the REGULAR SEASON MVP?!? Like Dirk's collapse in the playoffs last year had nothing to do with the regular season and he still deserved that award. They have a separate MVP award for the playoffs!

Bill Simmons
  (2:33 PM)

You're right - although they don't have a Playoffs MVP Award (and they should)

Jason (Santa Monica)

do you really think nobody is getting suspended for last night's altercation/leaving the bench in the c's/hawks game?

Bill Simmons
  (2:34 PM)

Perkins and Williams will get suspended. That actually hurts the Hawks - Williams has been awful and the Celts would have to go small without Perkins, which is what they should have been doing anyway.

Paul (Ft Worth)

Isn't the playoffs MVP award the Finals MVP? Wel...i guess not really...it always goes to the biggest name

Bill Simmons
  (2:35 PM)

it's actually not - perfect example, Parker winning Finals MVP last year when Duncan was their Playoff MVP.

Scott, Knoxville, TN

Love you, love your stuff, I hate the Pats, so it's bittersweet to see Jerod Mayo going to you guys. I just hope you value a player as good and as smart as he is. Go Colts!!

Bill Simmons
  (2:36 PM)

I speak for every Pats fan: We're thrilled for the Jerod Mayo Era. It's going to be nice to watch an inside linebacker keep up speedwise with another team's running back.

Scott (Cleveland)

How come I feel like one of these times down the floor, Deshawn Stevenson is going to pull off a mask and reveal that he is really Freddie Mitchell?

Bish (Wallingford, CT)

What are the chances of Jason Kidd being on the receiving end of a "Parish forearm clubbing Laimbeer" type smackdown in the very near future? That foul was bullspit.

Bill Simmons
  (2:39 PM)

Everyone glossed over that Kidd foul when it was one of the most dangerous fouls ever - he threw Pargo down by his neck, and if pargo hadn't gotten his arms down in time, we would have had a major injury. I continue to be confused by the love that J-Kidd gets from the media and the TV guys. What did he do to deserve such adoration? it's perlexing. If kenyon martin or Brendan Haywood had done that, everyone would have demanded that he missed the rest of the series.

Todd (Minnesota)

Give us your thoughts on E:60's handling of the Tejada situation. I hate Tejada and I still thought they way they chose to confront him was terrible.

Bill Simmons
  (2:41 PM)

I love working for the show and my e60 bosses have been great to me. With that said, I didn't agree with what we did - I don't think anyone can judge a poor kid from the DR who did what he had to do to improve his situation in life, and on top of that, there are dozens of guys who probably did the same thing. I'm not saying we were right or wrong, I just personally disagreed with it.

Zack (Evanston, IL)

I've got a hypothetical for you - if you could shoot one player on any team left in the playoffs, which team would be most improved? You'd probably say Cassell, is there anyone else?

Bill Simmons
  (2:43 PM)

Let's use "kidnap" instead of "shoot." But I'd say TJ Ford - it's weird, even though he played relatively well in that series, I still think thje Raps were better off when it was just Calderon playing big minutes.

Bill Simmons
  (2:43 PM)

TJ screwed them up. Which is why he'll be playing for the Knicks next season.

Horn (Topeka, KS)

Over three weeks have gone by, and I haven't heard a single mention of perhaps the greatest (definitely in recent memory) National Championship game. What gives, Simmons? I thought you were a basketball fan?

Bill Simmons
  (2:45 PM)

Sorry, I have had an insane schedule the past three weeks - had a question about that game that I was saving for the next mailbag, and also, I did mention the whole "microcosm" theory I had about that game in the last Links. So wait for the mailbag.

Zac (Phoenix)

If there was ever a team that could climb out of a 3-0 hole it is this Suns team. They've proven they can beat the spurs. They won the final three of the regular season. The series could very well be 2-2 right now if not for some miraculous plays at the end of game 1. The personnel on this team has REAL experience. Two-MVPs. 3 rookie of the years. An MIP. A sixth man. A COY. Not to mention that they've been deep in the playoffs before. At some point, an NBA team will come back from 3-0. Why can't it be this year? Why can't it be this team? Will your opinion change after they win in San Antonio tonight?

Bill Simmons
  (2:46 PM)

I think you're right - on paper, they can do it. The problem is that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for a team as good as the Spurs to blow 4 straight games unless someone got injured. They're just too good. That's why I threw up my hands after Phx blew Game 1 - you can't beat the Spurs 5 times in 7 games, it's too tough.

Bill Simmons
  (2:47 PM)

With that said, you need a crazy, borderline miraculous momentum shift to pull it off, that's what the Red Sox got with the Roberts Steal and all the heroics and crazy bounces/plays in Games 4 and 5, by the time it was over, it seemed conceivable that they could win. So I think the Suns need a dramatic, heartbreaking win tonight to shift Uncle Mo.

Bill Simmons
  (2:47 PM)

Something like: Trailing by 10 with 5 mins to go, they rally back and win

Eric (Catasauqua, PA)

You're Chris Wallace, you get the second pick in the lottery and Beasley goes 1, who do you take at 2 with an already crowded backcourt in Memphis?

Bill Simmons
  (2:49 PM)

I think he should auction off the pick. Rose only played at Memphis for 5 months, it's not like he's a hometown hero or anything. They should be turning that pick into one blue-chipper and/or using it to get Brian Cardinal off their cap.

Jared - Poconos, PA

I remember this whole season, you said Doc was doing a fine coaching job. How much do you regret saying that now?

Bill Simmons
  (2:50 PM)

I don't have any regrets, overall, he did a fine job during the regular season.

Dan ( Stamford, CT)

With Barry Zito being 0-6 and being demoted to the bullpen, does this officially give the Giants signing him the title of worst signing ever???

Bill Simmons
  (2:51 PM)

What's funny is that it had the title on the day they signed him. Although Mike Hampton's contract has to be 1B to Zito's 1A on that list.

Jon (Ottawa)

I see Chris Douglas-Roberts as a potential steal in this draft. How easy is it to see him as an integral glue-guy on a championship team 5 years from now?

Bill Simmons
  (2:52 PM)

Me, too. Will depend on the team. Unorthodox/quirky guys always do well in the NBA - CDR will get 12 a game some day just on that weird lefty crossover he has.

Alex

3 hours in and you have yet to mention Hank Steinbrenner? I think he just made a statement and said that you need to learn how to start writing like Peter King.

Bill Simmons
  (2:53 PM)

I'm playing hard to get - it drives Hank crazy when you ignore him.

Tim (Virginia Beach)

What are your thoughts on the "Real World: Hollywood"? Where do you think it ranks on the unintentional comedy scale?

Bill Simmons
  (2:54 PM)

I was out after 2 episodes - it's a writeoff along the lines of London and Boston.

Mike (Indianapolis)

How good do you think Eric Gordon can be in the NBA, and what lottery team do you think would be the best fit for him?

Bill Simmons
  (2:55 PM)

I don't totally see it with him - beautiful shot and not a lot of big-game production. best-case scenario, he finds the right team that gives him time and minutes to develop like Joe Johnson did on Phoenix. Worst-case scenario, he goes to the wrong team and gets asked to do too much too soon.

Austin, Bloomington

Ive been getting high everyday at least 3 times a day for the last 2 months. I sit in my room at school and watch nba videos on youtube all day long. I am about to fail 3 classes and I am real depressed. Could you please put me on your chat? it would make my day.

Bill Simmons
  (2:56 PM)

Put the bong down Austin!

Scott (Boston, MA)

Do you think Stephen Curry made a mistake not entering the draft this year? Will his nba stock ever be higher?

Bill Simmons
  (2:58 PM)

No, loved that he's staying - he needs to play PG for a year and get that experience. It's funny that having a rich NBA dad actually worked out for someone - if Curry was from a poor family, he'd have to come out and I'm not positive he's ready, although I love his chances to be really good.

The Chin (Hollywood)

If the Lakers win the championship this year with Kobe as their best player/finals MVP + likely regular season MVP, where does he rank in the Pantheon of NBA greats? Given how stacked the Lakers are right now, if they go on to win three straight titles, does he belong in the Magic/Larry/MJ conversation?

Bill Simmons
  (3:00 PM)

A title moves him into the West-Oscar range I think, not above those guys but right behind them. It's too early though, we need to see how his next 5 years go before we start thinking about him on the top tier. But yes, winning the title this year is a great start and jumps him a level historically.

Jen (Hartford, CT)

Do you really think that the Suns climbing back, even in the most dramatic way possible, is really comparable to the Sox overcoming the Yanks?

Bill Simmons
  (3:02 PM)

it's not only because those 2 teams don't have the same history. Still, I'm rooting against it because it's so much fun every time someone's down 0-3 and a TV announcer plays the '04 Red Sox card - really, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Todd (Toronto)

How about a post-mortem for the 'Truthers right off the top? What would you do if you were Bryan Colangelo? You've gotta sign Jose Calderon first, obviously, but what can you get for T.J. Ford, Joey Graham and Rasho Nesterovic's Expiring Contract? Does that add up to a swingman and a rebounder (any rebounder... please!)?

Bill Simmons
  (3:05 PM)

Keep Calderon, trade TJ Ford to the Knicks, spend your mid-level on a rebounder. I feel bad for the Raps fans because their future hinges on Bargnani, and he took such a step back that I'm not sure you can recover from that. he HAS to come through. You can't whiff on the 1st pick of the draft obviously. so that's more inmportant than anything Toronto does this summer other than bringing back Jose and getting Bosh healthy.

Aaron (phx)

It shouldn't be called a "flopping foul". We should have different degrees, such as: 1) A "Bowen Grade 1" if it's obvious to all the refs, every fan, every player, every coach, and every security guard in the arena that you flopped, but yet you still raise hell like there's no tomorrow. 2) A "Ginobili Grade 1" if the movement of the air caused by a defender running along side you makes you fly no less than 8 feet in a direction completely opposite to that which your momentum is carrying you. 3) A "Ginobili Grade 2" if you fall to the ground after no contact, but stay down there for 5-10 seconds while pretending to gather yourself. 4) A "Duncan Grade 1" if if you flop while you are the offensive player taking a shot, then after hearing that you aren't being rewarding for acting your eyes literally increase in size by a factor of 3, and you hold back tears. 5) An "Oberto Grade 1" if you start falling when the player you are guarding is still 3 feet away from you. 6) An "Oberto Grade 2" if you flop on a dead ball. 7) A "Parker Grade 1" if your wife told Vanity Fair that she gets worried when she sees you lying on the ground during a game because she doesn't know if you are really hurt, but then explains to vanity fair that you told her you have to stay on the ground to make it seem as though you were really hit hard so you get the call the next time. 8) A "Kristen" if the player flops onto their back.

Bill Simmons
  (3:06 PM)

That's the question of the day so far. Well done. I'd love to hear the announcers arguing whether it was a Ginobili Grade 1 or a Grade 2.

Ben (Omaha)

Could the Ghost of Antoine Walker be haunting the Celtics for the dreadful season he was forced to play in Atlanta? I would say this is comparable to Ruth haunting the Sox.

Bill Simmons
  (3:06 PM)

it's eerie!

Jason S. (Columbus, OH)

After listening to the Jack-O podcast a couple weeks ago I am convinced that we need an MTV classic! Like you wouldn't watch old Real Worlds, Road Rules, Remote Control, who knows maybe they could even devote an hour a day to playing some classic videos! At the very least we could make Aaron and Dominiq from LA sweat a little bit, Dom might even turn to the bottle again!

Bill Simmons
  (3:09 PM)

I have been poushing for MTV Classic for years. No idea why it hasn't happened yet - between the Real World, all the Awards shows, all the goofy specials they had in the 80's (remember John Mellencamp giving away a pink house?) and everything else, they'd have enough content, right?

Justin (Rochester)

How come Jack-o never knows it's you calling?

Bill Simmons
  (3:09 PM)

because we never tell him that we're calling...

J. Rivers (DC)

How come Tom Thibodeau received all of the praise for the Celtics defensive improvements (especially from you) this year but now Doc is getting all the blame for the defensive mistakes in the playoffs? I think Doc should definitely take some blame for last night's performance but you can't have it both ways.

Bill Simmons
  (3:11 PM)

That's a great point. I should be lumping Thibodeau into last night's mess, although Doc is the head coach and makes the final decisions on everything. But you're right, there's blood on Thibodeau's hands as well.

Brian, Santa Monica

Good question, Justin from Rochester. He's never busy? Taking a dump? On another call? It's like one of those suprise Makeover shows where the people never see the fleet of tv trucks pull up in their driveway.

Bill Simmons
  (3:12 PM)

We've had times where we called JackO and he wasn't there, so we just called him back later. You just don't hear those. It's not compelling radio.

Brian (DC)

Am I the only Red Sox fan that thinks Ellsbury is remarkably overrated? Every Sox fan thinks this guy will hit .330 and steal 150 bases and the fact of the matter is he will never be as good as he was in the World Series.

Bill Simmons
  (3:12 PM)

HOW DARE YOU!?!?!?????

RC (toronto)

Who would the Raps get back from the Knicks if they traded TJ? Isiah isn't running the show and BC can't do another salary dump

Bill Simmons
  (3:14 PM)

I'd push hard for Crawford in that trade. I like Crawford. Actually makes sense for both teams.

Fred (State College, Pa)

It's nice that you Red Sox fans have the whole coming back from 3-0 thing, but the Giants, led by ELI MANNING, just ruined the greatest season in NFL history.

Bill Simmons
  (3:15 PM)

(keeling over)

CT (Boston)

Sports Guy, I am going to pepper your sauce if you don't post this!

scott (cleveland)

Do you think that Mrs. Cabrera was sitting at a keyboard when she named her son Asdrubel? ASDFGHJKL is awfully close to ASDRUBEL. I may be onto something.

Tony Eason

In the last three years, Tom Brady has been knocked out of the playoffs by the Manning brothers and Jake Plummer.

Bill Simmons
  (3:17 PM)

It's all true. I don't even have a comeback.

Anthony (Muncie)

How can you say that Boston has no excuse to lose right after listing the three reasons why Dallas lost to GS last year? From my point of view, it looks like A)Rivers panicked and went away from everything that worked, B) ATL's athletic ability and overwhelming energy are the exact kind of style that can frustrate Boston's control, tempo, and poise, and C)KG has already been punked and backed down from the challenge of taking over a game. Aren't those the same three things you said led to Dallas going down? Come on Simmons, defend yourself!

Bill Simmons
  (3:20 PM)

Huge difference: Dallas got crushed by G-State in two of the four wins (and maybe even 3, I can't remember off the top of my head). The Celtics blew Atlanta out twice, had the predictable stinker in Game 3 that was predordained once we saw the reffing crew (Bennett Salvatore, Violet Palmer and Tom Washington - here you, go Atlanta!), and then they had a 10-point lead in game 4 and blew it because their coach had the wrong guys on the floor down the stretch. If the Celtics don't win Game 5 by 15 points or more, I will be shocked. They have a better team.

Michael J C (Boca Raton, FL)

Regarding the Jazz-Lakers series, you're underestimating Deron guarding Kobe and doing better than you think. He's strong, deceptively quick, and used to lock down the best player on every team in college (including Chris Paul).

Bill Simmons
  (3:22 PM)

Intriguing. Do you really want to put those miles oN Williams on the defensive end when the whole offense runs through him though? In my opinion, Kirilenko has to be the guy... but how the hell can anyone trust Kirilenko at this point?

Andy (NY)

Deron isn't guarding Kobe unless he brings a gun and Bennett Salvatore.

Mike (Dolyestown, PA)

Maybe someone buried a 'Nique jersey under the TD Banknorth Garden.

Mike (Chicago)

I believe smallpox got an MVP chant from the Pilgrims.

Chris (Phoenix)

How have you not mentioned Benjamin Linus turning into Keyser Soze last week on Lost? He showed those men of will what true will really was!

Bill Simmons
  (3:24 PM)

I can't talk about TV shows becasue of the whole spoiler alert thing - people get really, really mad. It's unfortunate.

Ben(Baltimore)

Wow. One mention of Orlando in 3 and a half hours. Exactly how many 20/20s does Dwight Howard have to get before you'll give this team, or hell even just him, a little bit of credit?

Bill Simmons
  (3:25 PM)

I am waiting to see if he can do it against a team that has a forward who weighs more than 210 pounds. Believe me, he's on the radar screen.

Taylor, Las Vegas

Saw the sports book questions from earlier. Have you been to the one in Red Rock yet? Its not on the strip, but Red Rock is nicer than 3/4 of the strip casinos anyway. book is just as big as mandalays. Also, whats your Jared Allen trade thoughts?

Bill Simmons
  (3:26 PM)

Haven't been there, been dying to go. I've heard great things about Harry the sports book cashier.

Dave (Vancouver, BC)

Don't you know that half the people who would normally join this chat have taken the day off to play Grand Theft Auto IV??

Bill Simmons
  (3:27 PM)

Yeah, I realized that after we started the chat. Big mistake. Right now, half of my readership is running over pedestrians and killing cops in a video game.

Mark (not in Tampa)

How many years before the Tampa Bay Rays win their first AL East title? Three? Five? Twenty? Seems like they're loaded with young talent (Longoria, Kazmir, Crawford) and have a SWEET new ballpark on the horizon. No FL state income tax makes the team a desirable destination. And it looks like they're on the right track. So what's your best guess, and is there anything you would do as imaginary GM to accelerate the process?

Bill Simmons
  (3:28 PM)

I really like the Rays and particularly love the Percival signing - he's been lights-out for them (and my 2 roto teams). There's definitely a different "vibe" from them. The old vibe was more like, "We might be the first team to have a bench-clearing brawl that only involves 1 team."

Michael Moller (Eagan, MN)

It's a miracle, a Minnesota sports team finally traded for an impact player. What do you think of the new look Vikings now that they have Jared Allen in the fold? More importantly, are you excited to get him for 20 cents on the dollar in two years (as you do with all of our star Minnesota athletes)?

Bill Simmons
  (3:31 PM)

Loved the trade for them and he's already gotten his 2 DUI's out of the way, nornally that happens after the guy gets to Minnesota. I thought he was one of the best 5 defensive players in the league last year. But that contract... I mean... holy schnikes! Couldn't they have saved some of that cash to find a mediocre veteran QB?

Bill Simmons
  (3:34 PM)

By the way, I was thinking about it... can you imagine if Favre returned in Week 6 and signed with the Vikings? Would that be the most polarizing story in the history of sports? ESPN could just have 24-hour programming centered around sportswriters angrily arguing about whether he stabbed Green Bay in the back or not. Also, I think the entire state of Wisconsin would go into crisis mode ... work productivity would drop, alcoholism would rise, it would be complete chaos.

Bill Simmons
  (3:34 PM)

Everyone in Wisconsin just threw up on their computer keyboards. Sorry about that.

JC, Winnipeg

What's the big deal with this whole Clemens-McCready story. I mean, it wouldn't be a big deal if Josh Beckett hooked up with Hannah Montana today, would it? Oh, wait.....

John Hollinger (Reporting from Houston)

In my opinion Bill Simmons has to be the 2008 MVC (Most Valuable Chatter) and the numbers back it up. Based on my CER (Chatting Efficiency Ranking) which is a complex formula ((chats per month/questions per minute)*.60 + (Relevant sports questions/pop culture references)*2.578) adjusted for pace of chat, you can easily see that Simmons far and away outranks Marc Stein, David Thorpe and even Me. Don't even get me started on Chris Sheridan. Your thoughts?

Bill Simmons
  (3:35 PM)

Thank you John! I'm very excited about my CER rating as well as my Chat Win Shares.

Pete (Chicago, IL)

Speaking of DUIs, how is it that a player gets lambasted (and rightfully so)for driving drunk, but Tony LaRussa basically gets a free pass when he not only drove drunk, but FELL ASLEEP at a traffic light. At least he made up for it by being a big fan of steroids users and guys with pink soul patches. That's cool...

Bill Simmons
  (3:36 PM)

I think Tony got a little bit of a free pass because it's easier to fall asleep when you're wearing sunglasses and a wig at 1AM at night.

Jack (St. Paul)

I think the entire state of Wisconsin would go into crisis mode ... work productivity would drop, alcoholism would rise, it would be complete chaos. You ever been to Wisconsin, not sure it can get much worse

Bill Simmons
  (3:36 PM)

Come on, that's a cheap shot! I love Wisconsin!

Roger C. (Houston, Tx)

Why is a Dateline NBC truck parked outside my house?

D, SC

It's hour 3 and still no draft talk? Thanks for helping me get through another work day.

Bill Simmons
  (3:38 PM)

ive been waitring for some quality Draft questions - where are they? This seems like a good time to mention that my Dad, who watches every BC game, is convinced that Matt Ryan will be a bust because "he throws it up for grabs too much" (Dad's words). He's never been wrong about a BC player, ever. Warrants mentioning.

John Madden

What's the over under on how many times I blow my nose on Al Michaels blazer during the Brett Favre Retirement ceremony?

Jeff B Madison, WI

There is nothing worse than the prospect of Favre in purple. It is unfathomable. My brain does not let me picture that. That's an unspeakable offense and I might just be done reading the Sports Guy.

Bill Simmons
  (3:40 PM)

I apologize - should have given you more warning. but if Favre came back, wouldn't he come back to an NFC North team? I just don't see him leaving the division under any circumstances. it would be too weird.

Matt (Seattle)

I find it hard to believe the Pops picked Mattie Hasselbeck to be a Pro Bowl QB. Was he right on him???

Bill Simmons
  (3:41 PM)

Yeah, he really liked Hasselbeck. I take it back though - he was wrong on a BC guy once... Billy Curley. But that wasn't Dad's fault, he was getting old and kept confusing the guy for Dave Cowens.

Rex (Chicago)

You think the Bears not drafting a QB was not a clear sign they are banking on Favre coming out of retirement to play for them in Week 6?

Bill Simmons
  (3:42 PM)

I have to admit... it was a little fishy. What's the deal with Favre's contract though? Can he just switch teams? Is he still "owned" by Green Bay? How does that work? Somebody send me the answer

Matt (Columbus)

Are you more worried about the Magic, the Cavs, or the Pistons at this point? Detroit has obviously lost some mojo, and the other two squads seem to be peaking. Meanwhile Boston looks vulnerable to athleticism, and both the L-train and the D-train (how is Orlando not calling him this yet?) are looking pretty tough to stop...

Bill Simmons
  (3:42 PM)

I am most worried about LeBron and the Cavs now... as we saw last night, the Celts are vulnerable when they don't have the best guy on the court.

Josh (Troy, AL)

hey Bill, how did your football fantasy league go this past year? i read in one of your columns that you thought you may have had the chance to go undefeated, and didn't know if it had ever been done before. I myself was until the second to last week, the injuries and madness ensued... I was just wondering if you sealed the deal. Oh, and props to Leodis McKelvin going 11th overall, I thought your Pats were gonna get him....

Bill Simmons
  (3:43 PM)

Nah, I lost twice during the season - won the title though. It's impossible to go undefeated in a league with good owners. I am convinced.

Mike (Chicago)

did your dad have flutie becoming the pride of Canada?

Bill Simmons
  (3:45 PM)

The Simmons family still believes that Flutie could have been an NFL force had he skipped the USFL and landed on the right NFL team. Nobody really figured out how to use him until he went to Buffalo. Raymond Berry didn't have a clue - it was a chore for Berry to stand upright on the sidelines for 4 quarters.

Austin T (Madison, WI)

Enough talk about Favre and returning to rival NFC North teams. People are going to start rioting outside soon.

Joe, Denver

Green Bay still owns his rights as a retired player. The same thing happened when Denver traded Plummer to TB last summer. He proptly retired but they still controlled his rights and he couldn't come back for another team.

Bill Simmons
  (3:46 PM)

Good call. But what if the Bears or Vikes offered GB a conditional No. 1 pick in Week 6 for Favre?

Bill Simmons
  (3:46 PM)

That could work.

Jeremy (DC)

Remind Austin T that rioting usually requires some sprinting, not exactly a Wisconsin specialty...

Joe Borowski (Cleveland, OH)

"Oooohh my arm! I think it's broken!!"

Bryan Colangelo (T-Town)

Are you nuts!? You think I'm going to trade TJ Ford (a young, talented PG who has gotten better every year, PER = 20.37) for Jamal Crawford (an average aged swingman who is overpaid and does only one thing - score - and he doesn't even do it very well). I need to improve toughness, rebounding, and THEN scoring. We were one of the top offensive teams in the league when healthy this year. Also, what are the chances we get Lebron if I let all of our contracts expire and try to sign him after next season? I mean, Toronto would be his best chance at a championship, with Bosh, Calderon, whatever we get for Ford, good role players, and a couple of first rounders from this year and next. Heck, that could be a dynasty!

Bill Simmons
  (3:49 PM)

You're not getting a lot for Ford - he's overpaid and teams are terrified of his spinal problems. I would argue that Crawford is too much for Ford, at least I'm getting someone who can score and play 2 positions, and more importantly, plays 82 games a year. You breathe on Ford and he's out for 2 weeks.

Roger, Houston

R. Kelly just invited me to his myspace friends network.

TL (Hopedale, MA)

Wrap this chat up, I actually have some work to do!!!

Bill Simmons
  (3:50 PM)

Wrapping it up shortly... I need to eat lunch.

Victor Rivera (San Juan, PR)

By avoiding a sweep against the Spurs, did Shaq save himself the embarrasment of being the most swept player in NBA history? Why is it all or nothing with Shaq?

Bill Simmons
  (3:50 PM)

Funny, I was just thinking about that before Game 4 - hasn't he been swept like 6 times? Sorry Shaaq Fu, that's going on your resume.

Scott Proctor, Los Angeles

Can't I get away from Torre? CAN'T I!??!?!?!?

Erik (Richmond)

Here's your solid draft question: Why, after the draft, is Mel Kiper insisting that the Dolphins made a mistake by not picking Matt Ryan? Bust factor aside, what would be the point of drafting a franchise QB if you can't protect him? The Dolphins biggest need entering the draft was O-line. Seeing as how by the time the 'Fins 2nd pick came around, all of the quality OTs were gone, how could Kiper make this claim AFTER the draft? I know it's a question about the Dolphins, but it has to be answered.

Bill Simmons
  (3:52 PM)

I'm with you, and I'll add this one - how many times do we have to see a top-5 QB that everyone isn't totally sold on end up failing before people stop telling us that teams made a mistake not taking that top-5 QB?

Aaron (Olympia)

DRAFT QUESTION!!!!!! Why the hell did Pittsburgh draft Mendenhall? Parker is legit and they have a backup. Clearly they should have addressed the OL. If Mendenhall was such a great deal, couldnt they have dealt the pick for players / later picks???? (And yes, FWP is one of my keepers.)

Bill Simmons
  (3:54 PM)

I was just making fun of my friend Dameshek about this last Sunday - either you're with Fast Willie or you're not, you can't have 2 of anything if you're trying to win a title, it's the same reason why Philly's Kevin Kolb pick didn't make sense if they were also keeping McNabb. Dallas's move for Felix Jones made more sense to me because he's a 3rd down back and a returner, so he compliments Barber. How does Mendenhall compliment Parker unless you're making Fast Willie your new 3rd down back and kick returner? Same for Tennessee taking RB's in the top-50 for 3 straight years... what the hell are you doing?

Tom (Fitton Field)

Can you elaborate on why the Sixers have no chance to win this series? Flip Saunders would get outcoached by Norman Dale, Rasheed is due to blow up at a moment's notice and "Mr. big shot" is 3-79 (unfortunately so is Iggy). and plus, is there a more annoying and self-serving person in sports than the Pistons PA announcer? can we really take 2 more rounds of this guy?

Bill Simmons
  (3:56 PM)

Because every time Detroit wants to dominate, they do - they were bored of the series before it even started. Philly had the guys to make them pay for sleeping (the rebounders and the athletes), which is why I picked a close series with Detroit winning in 6 (one of my only good picks, by the way). But they won't fall asleep again. They need to save their ZZZZZ's for Game 1 in Round 2 when Orlando "upsets" them.

LeRoy, Fairless Hills

How much money has Andre Iguodola cost himself these playoffs? He is no longer considered a second banana type player. He is more along of the lines of a third amigo

Bill Simmons
  (3:58 PM)

He hasn't helped the cause - but Philly would kill its fans by letting him go for an extra 10 million. You're looking at Andre for five years, $70 million, making him overpaid by 20% and giving him something in common with half the league.

Aaron, Cheney

The NFL draft this year was one of the funniest drafts in a long time (ex's: the reaction from the Bengals fans with the selection of Keith Rivers, the awkwardness after Berman's 'holdin on da mayo' joke, my agruments for the Saints to draft the guy from the under armour commercials...and I haven't even mentioned any comments from what Keyshawn Johnson said or wore throughout the draft). What were your "highlights" of the draft?

Bill Simmons
  (4:01 PM)

And don't forget Branden Alberts and Chad Henne sulking on the Video Cam! I agree, it was an especially funny draft and the Jets-Giants fans never disappoint. The one mistake ESPN makes is not having someone funny interview NY fans in the stands between picks. I'd much rather see that over the same arguments we've been hearing for 2 months about different players.

Mel Kiper (baltimore, Md)

DRAFT OPINION!!! The steelers see the future and know that the NFL is now a two back league. The reality of day one of the draft is the Steelers got two top 15 talent guys in Mendenhall and Sweed( Heartbreak Ridge starring Clint Eastwood) with picks #23 and #53. A tremendous day for the black and gold.

Carl (Vancouver, WA)

Did the New York Jets finally make a good first round pick?

Bill Simmons
  (4:03 PM)

yeah I liked that one - although I was terrified that KC was going to pass on Dorsey. in my mind, Dorsey and the 2 Longs should have gone 1-2-3 in some order, those were the only sure things in the draft. but what do i know? in the old days, NYJ would have traded up for McFadden as the quick fix move to generate headlines and get the fans "excited," so I think they're going in a better direction. by the way, why can't there be an open bar at the Draft?

Matt (Pittsburgh)

How is it remotely fair that the Patriots, coming off the first 16 win regular season in history, are awarded the easiest schedule in the last decade? Are you excited to go 16-0 again but lose in the playoffs?

Bill Simmons
  (4:04 PM)

I have to be honest - the Draft was the first time in 10 weeks that I've read or thought about the NFL for more than about 10 seconds. I was traumatized by SB 42. And still am. This season could start 18 months from now and I'd be fine with it. I'm not ready to go back.

Tim (Jax, FL)

From the TMQ column: "The Pats sent San Diego a third-round choice in order to bank the Bolts' second-rounder in 2009. True, Bill Belichick has banked choices before. But putting an extra high selection on ice for next April might be smart if you knew what was next in Spygate II, and feared another draft-choice forfeiture." You fearing another forfeiture for the Pats?

Bill Simmons
  (4:05 PM)

I'm glad Easterbrook can get internet access in Roswell. Whoops, here comes another UFO!

DeShawn Stevenson (DC)

Bill Simmons is overrated.

Bill Simmons
  (4:05 PM)

That hurts, DeShawn.

Jonny (Summersville, WV)

It's more than just a nitpick, remind the folks at ESPN how cool it is to have the drama of not knowing a team's pick until the name is read. This is ruining the draft!!!

Bill Simmons
  (4:06 PM)

We covered this earlier in the chat but I'm mentioning it again.

Steve (Boston)

Bill...Does SB43 rank as the biggest punch to the gut you've ever felt in your life?

Bill Simmons
  (4:07 PM)

Sports-related, it was No. 3 behind game 6 '86 World Series and Game 4 of the '87 NBA Finals. The thing about the Pats loss is that we had 3 full hours to say, "Uh-oh, this doesn't feel right, this doesn't feel right" so the final drive was a huge stomach punch, but my stomach muscles were already flexed, if that makes sense.

Eddie Jordan (DC)

Why am I not hacking Ben Wallace everytime down the floor at the end of quarters when he is in the game?

Bill Simmons
  (4:08 PM)

A great question - it's weird that Popovich is the only one who embraces the power of Hack-A-Shaq. I hate Hack-A-Shaq, but you can't argue with the results.

Bill Simmons
  (4:10 PM)

technical difficulties

Bill Simmons
  (4:12 PM)

My podcast producer Joe Mead tells me that we updated the BS Report Awatds with audio for every nominee - even the longlost "Pedif Isle" podcast

Bill Simmons
  (4:12 PM)

http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/polling?event_id=3471

Bill Simmons
  (4:12 PM)

That's the link

Oliver (Los Angeles)

How can two players in Juan Pierre and Fatman Jones be so different, yet play the same position, and so grossly underachieve? The two of them combined make a average 80 million dollar player

Bill Simmons
  (4:13 PM)

They are really the Lennon and McCartney of Free Agent Busts. Every sports fan in LA is going crazy about how bad they are during the 3 minutes per day when they aren't complaining about how everyone hates Kobe.

Bill Simmons
  (4:14 PM)

By the way, I think my favorite Craig Sager moment of all-time was when he asked Kobe at halftime last night, ""Are you surprised you're getting so much love here in Denver?" Hey now!

Bill Simmons
  (4:15 PM)

All right, we're wrapping this up - sorry for all the Celtics questions/answers, you guys served as my support group this morning and I clearly needed one. Thanks to everyone who sent in a question, enjoy the rest of the day.