The primary gift and curse of ESPN's coverage of this 2013 NBA draft has been the presence of Bill Simmons, one full year into his mid-career renaissance as a talking head/typing head combo pundit. Getting the world's most vocal Celtics fan to react in real time to the Celtics trading Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for picks and Gerald Wallace is certainly a gift.
But it's sad to see Simmons—who had taken the Celtics to task for their handling of Doc Rivers' departure earlier in the night—breaking down this trade with clear eyes. Simmons was using we to refer to the Celtics earlier in the evening; why couldn't he use a minute of ESPN's time to wax rhapsodic about KG and Pierce, instead of trying to give a standard pundit's take?
Simmons is compelling on television precisely because he comes across as the same person he is in his prose, with all the corny jokes and cockamamie ideas intact. And he's usually most compelling in print when he opens a vein to write about something important happening in Boston sports, because that's what he knows and cares about. This moment isn't that, and it's maybe much worse: This is Bill Simmons As Boston Sports Guy losing to Bill Simmons As ESPN Analyst.