Monday, June 9, 2014

I hope you remember game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals (Part 1)

Because if you do, you'll certainly agree with me that that game was all about one thing: Bill Simmons.  Yes, that's right, I hope you're ready for yet another post about this self-obsessed blowhard who now seems to spend approximately 20% of each column writing about how he thought about how he would think about considering what he was watching as he witnessed the event in question when he looks back on it in ten years him him him him him.
You know when people are witnessing something historic, then claim they never realized the importance until after the fact? 

No.  What a worthless non-rhetorical rhetorical question to kick off this worthless article.

With Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, you knew. 

Bill knew.  BILL KNEW.  The rest of you idiots who didn't think a potential championship-clinching game would be that big of a deal as you were watching it are lucky he even bothers to explain to you how much he knew what he knew.

You knew the entire time. The first 47 minutes and 31.8 seconds had already earned Game 6 a lifetime of NBA TV replays.

Holy shit.  It was an NBA Finals game between two really good and evenly-matched teams, each of which featured one of the ten best players ever.  Way to dig deep and come up with analysis that literally no one else could have, Bill.  Bully for you.

But what happened next? That’s what made it stupendous.

Totally radical and tubular!

With Miami trailing by five points, LeBron James launched a desperation 3 from the top of the key, maybe two steps to the left, and sent the ball sailing over the rim. Actually, it was worse than that — it bounced off the bottom of the backboard like a freaking Super Ball. 

The basketball, a ball that is designed to be bouncy, bounced in a way that resembled... a ball that is designed to be bouncy.  Just masterful command of the English language there.

I watched the trajectory from our makeshift television set across the court, crammed behind San Antonio’s basket, so I could tell right away it was off.

ME!  ME ME ME ME ME I WAS THERRRRRRRRE!  I KNEW THE SHOT WAS GOING TO MISS BEFORE THE REST OF YOU MORONS WATCHING AT HOME KNEW!  Bill Simmons has a lot in common with Peter King, except that I'd be willing to say that King is actually a journalist.

That shot couldn’t have been a bigger brick; 

It was such a bad shot that it resembled a crumpled up ball of paper that someone shot towards a trash can but instead missed the trash can entirely.

LeBron should have just fired that thing with a T-shirt cannon. It also couldn’t have been a better break for Miami. One of the most famous sequences in NBA history was officially in motion.

Bill is a small child, who is convinced that the best/most important [X] is the [X] he most recently saw/learned about.  I'm pretty sure that if you had the misfortune of discussing movies with him, he'd insist that Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club are the three best movies ever made.  Was the end of game 6 crazy and awesome?  Of course.  Do crazy sequences late in NBA Finals elimination games happen pretty frequently?  They sure do, like in 2010 and 2005 and 1994 and 1993 and 1992 and 1988 and....

Waiting for the rebound in front of Miami’s basket, four different Spurs had boxed out three Heat players in a perfect square. Any basketball camp could show their alignment to campers with the note, This is how you box out as a group. If any Spur secured the rebound, San Antonio would bring home the title — the fifth for Duncan and Popovich, and probably the sweetest one too. But none of them expected the basketball to carom that quickly.

Of course it would be the sweetest one.  Of course.  It would be the most recent one, after all.

[a couple paragraphs describing the crazy nature of the rebound deleted]

Duncan and his nearly 16,000 career rebounds watched from afar. His three teammates tipped the ball toward Miami’s bench, right to Ray Allen, who immediately turned into Justin Bieber after five joints and 10 cups of sizzurp. 

It's brilliant and cutting pop culture references like this one that make Bill worth every penny he's paid.

The man lost all of his coordination. He whipped his left arm for the loose basketball, botched the catch and somehow redirected the ball backward toward San Antonio’s bench. LeBron’s brick had morphed into basketball’s version of the magic bullet. The same rebound had changed direction four times. Half the players on the court had already touched it.

This only happens about ten times per game, so give or take like 1200 times per NBA season?  MAGIC BULLET.  TRULY REMARKABLE.

Mike Miller touched it before everyone else — he inbounded the ball to LeBron, then floated toward the foul line for a possible rebound, failed to sneak past the doughier Diaw, watched the basketball get redirected three times, then chased down the loose ball after Allen’s rebounding spasm. Meanwhile, LeBron had remained behind the 3-point line, drifting near Miami’s bench, waiting for a second chance. Miller quickly shoveled the ball his way. LeBron buried it. 

He buried that shot like a hockey player scoring a goal into the back of a hockey net.

Two-point game.

The entire sequence took 8.1 seconds. Seven players touched the ball. Leonard, Miller and LeBron touched it twice. Incredibly, Miami was still alive. Timeout, San Antonio.

You can definitely not feel the drama after that totally overdetailed description of a pretty normal sequence of events.

I don’t remember much about Game 6. 


But I absolutely remember standing there in a medicated haze, thinking to myself, Wait a second … they aren’t gonna screw this up, are they?”


After I joined ESPN’s studio crew last season, my biggest fear was getting sick during the Finals. My immune system [rest of paragraph deleted]

No one cares.  We all get sick.  Get over yourself.

You can’t call in sick for television. You don’t have a choice; you have to keep going. Just keep sucking cough drops, popping Advils and staying hydrated and hope you don’t cough up a lung on live TV. 

Wait... he's on TV?  You'd think he would have mentioned this by now.

And so I wore my best suit and one of my favorite ties. 


They caked my face with makeup. They used drops to save my reddened eyes. You wouldn’t have known I was ill, even if I felt like I was heading for my own funeral. 

Bigger hero: Bill during this game, or Jordan during the "flu game?"  It's a push, because Jordan failed to be Larry Bird.

Right down to how my body had been prepared. And that’s how I watched one of the greatest basketball games ever — in a foggy haze. I remember Duncan dropped 25 points in the first half, torching Miami like he was 25 years old again. I remember discussing him at halftime, wondering if we’d remember it as the Duncan Game — 

And there it is again.  And had the Spurs won, no, no we would not have remembered it as the Duncan Game, because there isn't a "Magic Game" or a "Bird Game" or even a "Jordan Game," because you don't get games named after you if you have a bunch of rings.  You only get them if you had a one time amazing moment, like Willis Reed.  But don't expect Bill to make that connection--he's only written a best selling book about basketball.

his unexpected last chapter,

Yeah, he only averaged 18 and 10 those playoffs, with career playoff averages of 21 and 12.  Who could have seen him having a really good game that night?

the night that could cement his legacy as his generation’s defining player. 

Insert boring and played-out article from some dopey analyst about how NO ONE APPRECIATES THE SPURS OR DUNCAN here, even though everyone fully appreciates the Spurs and Duncan.  At the same time, much as Bill would not want to admit it, I think Kobe probably edges out Duncan as the "defining" player of the 00s, even if Duncan wins a title last year or this year, to the extent that title matters, which it does not.

I don’t remember much else.

If only he could have miraculously forgotten all that other shit he just said as well, we might have been spared the horrible experience of reading this article.


dewey the acolyte said...

Not to make this about me but I don't read Rick Reilly or Peter King or that other football dope. I come here to read LarB's work on Simmons. This is a nice restrained example of his oeuvre.

Anonymous said...

My favorite theme of this column is just how all over the place SG is -- STET all changes!

With Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, you knew.

You knew the entire time. The first 47 minutes and 31.8 seconds had already earned Game 6 a lifetime of NBA TV replays.

I don’t remember much about Game 6

I don’t remember much else.


Larry B said...


Anon said...

"It's a push, because Jordan failed to be white"

Fixed it for you.

SOB in TO said...

Yeah, Peter King is no journalist. KSK's been FJM'ing him for, well, when did Broadway Joe come on to Suzy?