Here, from Grantland, is a passage of astute and passionate basketball analysis by Bill Simmons, about the breakup of the Oklahoma City Thunder:
Harden's offer never included a hard-core assurance that Oklahoma City wouldn't use that "discount" against him by eventually trading that enhanced asset (a franchise player now making less than franchise money) for a collection of goodies. Remember when Boston talked Rajon Rondo into accepting a five-year, $55 million "discount" - $16 million less than he would have gotten on the open market the following summer - then dangled him for Chris Paul two years later? So much for "taking one for the team," right?
And here, from the same piece, is a passage of worthless stupidity from Bill Simmons:
Weren't these guys headed somewhere together? … Wasn't this like canceling a great TV series after one and a half seasons, like if Homeland just stopped right now and we never found out what happened to Brody and Carrie?
What is the point of the teevee-watchin'-doofus act here? What person would choose to read an analysis of how player and club leverage under the NBA's collective-bargaining rules produced the James Harden trade, only to think, Hey, wait, pause, I don't understand the significance of breaking up the best players from last year's Western Conference championship team, can you translate that into a hypothetical analogy about characters on a TV show?
Bill Simmons is no longer some dude bullshitting on the Internet about sports and movies and bro stuff and whatever. He's learned enough about basketball and risen high enough with it that only the non-sports part (and the sports-gambling part) is bullshit anymore. But he can't let go of the conceit that his bullshit is worth listening to, which is why he has to interrupt his own demonstration of mastery of the NBA to try to convince you he totally watches the correct television programs, too.
This is the problem of Bill Simmons: He's too smart to be as dumb as he used to be.