Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ode to Simmons


The following passage is taken from here

4. Finally, a Word to Mr. Simmons

I like Bill Simmons. I am genuinely excited when he writes a new column on the nba. I will buy his new book the first day it comes out and probably enjoy it. But sometimes you need to call a spade a spade. Bill’s had a rough playoff run. He’s said things like:

• “I have been saying that for 2 months now. What we’re watching this spring is basically the 2006 Lakers, only with Gasol replacing Chris Mihm, Kobe being 15% worse, Bynum being 20% better and Ariza being a slight improvement over Ariza. It’s a limited team that lacks toughness and can be beaten.”
• “The ‘09 Cavs are the ‘91 Bulls reincarnated… everyone keeps underestimating them and nobody realizes that they are about the blow thru these last 2 rounds.”
• “The Magic just needed 7 games to beat a Celtics team that had 2 scorers with dead legs, Scalabrine/Marbury/House as their bench and actually ran a game-ending play for Glen Davis. Don’t start thinking Orlando is good please.”
• “Dwight Howard couldn’t score 40 points in a game if he was going against Yi Jianlian’s chair.”

These ironclad, can’t be otherwise predictions have proven not just wrong, but embarrassingly wrong. That would be okay given that he’s just a fan like the rest of us – we all are wrong and most of us didn’t see Orlando coming. But he has the hubris to persevere in omniscience. Whenever Simmons is wrong, he always follows the same pattern: (1) blame the failed team’s coach, and (2) use hindsight to tell us what the losing team should have done to win. Just admit you blew it, Bill. Admit that you misread Cleveland, Orlando, and LA. Admit that instead of blaming Cleveland’s loss on bad coaching and the failure of Cleveland’s role players you should have considered these facts before making your predictions – that Brown’s offensive lack of creativity and the playoff inexperience of Cleveland’s role players might be a problem after all. Monday morning quarterbacking doesn’t become front page espn writers.

While we know you have to undermine LA’s title as a Boston fan, do you really want to start comparing how our team was built with Boston’s current roster? Do you really want to talk about non-repeatable good fortune? Do you want me to list your quotes damning Doc and Ainge for openly tanking in 2007? Do you really believe that LA’s roster is some cosmic accident wholly unlike every other title team in history? Because if you do, I have some Paul Pierce 2002 FIBA World Championship cards I need to sell.

And, while you were quick to point out that LA didn’t have to play Boston in this years finals (which is assuming a lot), you failed to note that Boston was lucky not face Ariza or the one-legged Bynum. Do you have any idea how painful it was to watch Radmanovic guard Pierce as opposed to Ariza? I would gladly replay the 2008 and 2009 finals, both against Boston, with LA’s current team. Would you?

But, beyond that, Simmons most recent attack on Kobe is agenda-driven nonsense. We get it, Bill. We know you hate Kobe. We know you hate that he now has more titles than Bird. We know it eats away at you that the Celtics are probably a one and done band of mercenaries while the Lakers are built for the long haul. We know that the Lakers have won 9 titles and been to 15 finals in your lifetime compared to 4 and 6 for the Celtics. We know those 60s Celtic rings came in a different NBA — pre-expansion, salary cap, globalization, etc. We know that, as a Celtics fan, you have sworn a blood oath to discredit and undermine LA and Kobe at all costs – even if it infects the tone and quality of your writing. But, please, give us Laker fans the courtesy of relying on actual facts and evidence to support your arguments. Don’t rewatch the finals celebration a dozen times searching for one missed high five or false smile. Don’t read Phil’s mind. Use your army of researchers to give us something meaningful to actually chew on and think about. Because what I see when I study Kobe is the game’s preeminent player, leader, teammate, and winner.

Da Realist:

Got a meeting in a few, but wanted to say a couple of things.

Here is another Kobe guy that just compared him to MJ during the 2nd 3peat. O...k. He knocks off Jordan's performance in 93 because the league shot so much better overall (the pace and fg% argument) but doesn't credit Jordan for the slower pace and fg% of the 2nd 3peat years. So...ok, by that criteria Kobe does look Jordanesque.

96-98 was a different league defensively. Look at fg% of the players across the board then look at Jordan's. Now look at the Lakers fg% across the board and compare to Kobe. Hope you notice the difference.

The "wasn't #1 ranked defense in the league" argument means nothing when comparing teams from different leagues/eras. Phoenix was ranked nine compared to 1993 teams. Orlando is ranked #1 compared to 2009 teams. Orlando was not a great defensive team, historically speaking. Comparing that defense against the ones Jordan faced (even in 2nd 3peat) is misleading.

Gotta go.

Gangsta D:

It's amazing how people get emotionally invested in some things. Dude
said that you couldn't compare Kobe to 91-93 Jordan, because Jordan's
stats were off the charts. Just let it go man. Just let it go:)


I was more about the Simmons comments than the rest of the article :-). Which both of you passed on, lol.

And he did say no point in comparing 91-93 Jordan. And he also said at the bottom, that Kobe is not Jordan. So even with all the stats, he still said Jordan was better. Prbly should have left well alone and not stir the hornets' . Frankly Realist you should have been going more apeshit about the ;09 Cavs being compared to the '91 Bulls lol

Da Realist:

that wasn't apeshit. wow...i could put together something that would blister that kobe/jordan comparison pretty easily but i actually held back and gave a quick synopsis. lol


LOL why am I not shocked by that...

Da Realist:

I'm just as tired of it as you are. Youngins come to my youtube page spouting off about MJ all the time so I've heard just about every argument and have different ways of attacking them.

I'd actually rather see Kobe's performance compared to his peers like Paul Pierce last year (no comparison) or DWade in 2006 (DWade got him). It's easier to make these type comparisons. And more fair to both players.


If you wanted to (and I;m being careful when I say that), you could take Wade's 2006 Finals to compare to Airness. That's it. Pierce and Kobe did about the same, sans The truth's bootleg imitation of Willis Reed ala him being wheeled onto the court. It doesn't help when you watch the Finals postgame and Stuart Scott stupidly asks the panel, is Kobe better than Jordan? Why and where did that come from? Why can't he just ask is Kobe a top 10 player like the TNT crew did?

You should block the comments section on youtube just for that...I tried to argue on the comments page of a sports site a few years ago. I wish I hadn't. It hurts the brain and at the end of the day, the person or persons just went you're an effin A, you don't know shhh, meet me in the parking lot so I can show u my gangsta type foolishness. Is it that deep?

Da Realist: terms of impact, Kobe's trumps PP's last year very easily. DWade's was great, up there with the best in terms of overall impact. He did his thing. Duncan had a couple of all-world Finals and of course Shaq earlier this decade was ridiculous.

That's if we only count the Finals. Sometimes the conference championships provided better opposition so a Finals performance isn't always the most impressive playoff performance.


Can you write that to Simmons :-) ? And explain to him that very reason is why the 2008 Celtics are flawed...struggling to beat not one but two much inferior opponents (Hawks, Cavs) with 3 HOFers but yet get praised for being great for "destroying" LA in 6 games. They didn't beat one opponent in less than 5 games but I'm supposed to say they are great????

Da Realist:

Some dude forced me to massage the numbers a little bit more so I thought I'd email this to make my previous point more clear. Maybe you can email this to the Lakers blog?

Jordan 27.3 pts, 41%
Pippen 15.7 pts, 34%
Kukoc 13 pts, 42%

Jordan 32.3 pts, 46%
Pippen 20.0 pts, 42%
Kukoc 8 pts, 41%

Jordan 33.5 pts, 43%
Pippen 15.7 pts, 41%
Kukoc 15.2 pts, 50%

Bryant 32.4 pts, 43%
Gasol 18.6 pts, 60%
Odom 13.4 pts, 54%

This is why you can't compare Kobe's fg% to Jordan's. It was a different league. Despite Jordan's low fg%, he was still the best and most efficient player for the Bulls offensively. Kobe had two teammates break 50% and one of them gave the team 19 pts on 60%.

More numbers...

In 1996, MJ shot 41%. The rest of the Bulls shot 43%

In 1997, MJ shot 46%. The rest of the Bulls shot 42%

In 1998, MJ shot 43%. The rest of the Bulls shot 42%

In 2009, Kobe shot 43%. The rest of the Lakers shot 47%

You can't measure each person's fg% against the other without taking into account the differences presented to each player. The key is to measure how well they did against their opponent relative to their teammates and compare how they fared in each situation.

Even when Jordan shot poorly, he was still more efficient than the rest of his team combined for 2 of these 3 years. In Kobe's case, his poor shooting actually dragged the teams efficiency down and significantly so if compared to the next two biggest offensive contributors (Gasol and Odom).

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