Up above, Bill Simmons and the rest of the NBA Countdown crew discuss how Dwyane Wade transmogrified himself last night into an All-Star once again. Magic Johnson wonders if he could do it again for Game 5, and Michael Wilbon says he'll benefit from getting two off days.
"He could go to Germany again," Simmons says, which I guess is a reference to Kobe Bryant's unusual blood-spinning treatment.
That segment was taped, and at about 3 a.m., San Antonio time, ESPN2 aired an edition of SportsCenter that included this segment but not Simmons's Germany joke. And he was mad:
Wow, SportsCenter edited my joke out about Wade going to Germany before Game 4 - I should have just ripped people to shreds like SAS did.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 14, 2013
Five minutes later, still mad:
The rigidity of studio TV is really discouraging. Let's just say that A LOT makes sense after these past 8 months.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 14, 2013
It's almost heartbreaking to think about it: Simmons, sitting in his hotel room at 3:09 a.m., watching himself, waiting for the zinger that will never come.
He was certainly dedicated to the joke. On a live SportsCenter earlier in the night, Simmons said something similar: "Where was that Dwyane Wade? How did that suddenly show up for Game 4? Like, did he come back from Germany last night?"
So, why was this joke cut? Probably not because it was controversial. Along with Simmons's joke, more than 20 seconds of back-and-forth between Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon, and Simmons got tossed away.
The producers couldn't have been that disgusted with it, in any case. The video up above? That aired on SportsCenter this morning at 8:41 a.m., with the joke back in place. Down below is the video of the middle-of-the-night SportsCenter that wound up cutting the joke and getting Simmons all het up.
UPDATE, 4:08 p.m.: ESPN's statement on Simmons's tweets: "We’ve had conversations with Bill. Our focus is on Game 5 of the NBA Finals."