Bill Simmons' Brain

Jan 31

Bieber the most recent addition to the Tyson Zone?

Q: It pains me to ask you this, because I consider you an inspiration to me. And to waste your time with Justin Bieber insults your writing and the use of my time. But has Bieber entered the Tyson Zone?
—Will Alisberg, New York

SG: Terrific question. I like that you managed to insult yourself and me. My quickie answer: OF COURSE! Are you kidding me? Name me a Bieber story that would surprise you right now. Bieber funded a dog-fighting ring? Bieber funded a cock-fighting ring? Bieber visited Aaron Hernandez in jail? Bieber fought Shia LaBeouf to the death … and won? Bieber staggered onto the field during the Super Bowl, covered in sizzurp, and got tackled by four security guards? Bieber hit on Cheryl Bernard in Sochi during the Olympics before getting knocked unconscious by a curling stone? Should I keep going?

There’s only one way Bieber can make Tyson Zone history: By dating someone who also happens to be in the Tyson Zone, which would then quadruple their Tyson Zone powers. It’s happened only one other time that I can remember: when Bobby Brown was married to Whitney Houston, ultimately producing a Tyson Zone daughter who recently announced that she is married to her adopted brother. Those are the stakes for Biebs. He needs to knock up Miley Cyrus pretty much tomorrow.

Simmons on the title of the inevitable 30 for 30 on the Seahawks PED use

Q: I was thinking of titles for the inevitable 30 for 30 in a couple years on the Seahawks after the whole organization gets suspended for a season due to PEDs. This was the best I could come up with: “The Space Needles”. Thoughts?
—Steve, Nashville

SG: I like The Space Needles slightly more than I like Guiltless in Seattle or The Greenie River, but not as much as I like The Real 12th Man.


Dec 13

Simmons on Dennis Schroeder aka “The German Rondo”

"Even if it’s not true, it’s still fun to think of a world with a German Rajon Rondo in it. I keep [sic] picture someone beating young kids in Connect Four while berating them in German."

Nov 22

Simmons on Kanye’s struggle

And you wonder why Kanye keeps flying off the handle. He’s not a lunatic, just someone driven to achieve that same universal respect. Kanye truly believes that he’s a musical genius, that he has a higher calling of sorts, that he’s repeatedly creating art that stands alone. Not everyone can see it. And he can’t believe it. He wants to be treated like Breaking Bad. He wants everyone to agree, “Holy shit, Kanye West is a genius!” and be done with it. When we don’t? That’s when he gets himself into trouble. I don’t think Kanye is crazy — not even close — but that unending frustration might drive him there. I imagine him reading something like the late Lou Reed’s review of Kanye’s latest album and yelling to an empty room, “SEE! SEE! THIS GUY GETS IT! WHY DOESN’T ANYONE ELSE GET IT?????” By bitching about his frustrations publicly, he just makes his situation worse.”

May 10

Simmons on the joy of pickup basketball

"Any pickup-basketball regular battles an ongoing dilemma: What’s it worth to keep playing for as long as possible? If it’s super-crowded and you want to stay on the court for a few games, you might suck it up and jump on a team with Pickup Carmelo or Pickup Kobe — a.k.a. a one-on-one guy who will shoot half your team’s shots, only he’s good enough that you might be able to ride him for two straight hours. But if it’s less crowded? You take your chances with people who are fun to play with — a.k.a. unselfish guys who run the floor, know how to pass and cut, keep the ball moving, don’t take stupid transition shots, and generally know what they’re doing.

And ideally, this is what happens: A few times per year, you’ll find the right four guys on a crowded day, everything will click, you’ll turn into the ‘77 Blazers, and you end up laying the smack down, 2013 Heat–style, for six or seven straight.

It’s just the best day you can have. It’s the greatest. You limp out of there beaming, and when your wife or girlfriend asks you later that night why you’re so damned happy, you can’t even properly explain it. How can you explain total bliss? I love playing basketball — even now, with my body breaking down and my game decaying to alarming degrees — if only because it’s one of the few places left on earth where you can connect with total strangers like that. Age doesn’t matter, backgrounds don’t matter, nothing matters. You have four teammates, they can be anybody, and you either know how to click with them or you don’t.”


Simmons’ advice to Paul George

By the way, I have some advice that will help Paul George become a household name. He should change his number immediately from no. 24 to no. 13. Here’s why … can you think of anyone being helped by a nickname more than Paul George suddenly becoming “PG-13?” Uh-oh, PG-13 is heating up! Warning, this game contains strong language, violence and a possible heat check! We might have to make this performance rated “R” — it’s too hot to handle! Let’s make this happen already.”

Apr 25


"[Lawson]’s one of the three fastest players in basketball, depending on how you feel about Russell Westbrook and LeBron James. (By the way, how much fun would a "94-Foot Sprint Sponsored by Sprint!" contest be at All-Star Weekend next season?)"

Apr 18

Simmons’ reader pondering how to jeer Enes Kanter

He also inspired this thought-provoking e-mail from Patrick in Memphis: “If you wanted to jeer Enes Kanter, are you going with the anus or penis pronunciation? I feel like it could go either way.”


Apr 07

Simmons’ top 10 Mitches of all time

Simmons’ top 10 Mitches of all time

Mar 29

Kevin Durant - the most unfortunately timed superstar

How efficient is Kevin Durant? He’s going to lead the league in scoring without leading his own team in field goal attempts. Can we get an old-school ECW-style “HO-LY SHIT! HO-LY SHIT!” chant going please? Here’s the point: Poor Durant’s MVP campaign wasn’t just overshadowed by LeBron and this Miami streak, it was steamrolled and left for dead. Too bad. As Whitlock would say, keep doing the damn thang, KD.