If you’ve engaged at all with Bill Simmons’s podcast or Twitter account over the last few weeks, you’ve been made well aware of the fact that he is fed up with all these dang NBA players doing things he doesn’t like. Fresh off his Feb. 13 podcast in which he proclaimed that Kyrie Irving needs to “shut up and play basketball,” Simmons spent Sunday being a weirdo about Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Simmons: LeBron, I wrote this down for you, I thought he spent all-star weekend acting like a divorced cougar at a wedding hitting on everyone else’s husband. What do you think of that?
Russillo: I like that. Scottsdale. Scottsdale LeBron?
Simmons: Like a 42-year-old, got divorced from her high school sweetheart two years ago, now at a wedding. Some married guys there, but hey who knows, everyone’s fair game. That’s how he was treating AD, Kyrie—
Russillo: Are you talking about what you saw? [Ed. note: good question!]
Simmons: No, I’m talking about, just he was in the mix with all these other players on other teams, that... it’s... you know there were these pictures of him. Like, here’s him and Anthony Davis shaking hands in the shoot around, and here’s him and Anthony Davis and Ben Simmons with a picture around each other. It’s like, what’s going on here? Is this the league we have now? Just guys basketball-flirting with guys on other teams? That’s just where we are?
Man, what? Set aside the argument about whether players trying to force trades and recruit guys from other teams is good or bad for the NBA—Simmons and Russillo decide that it is in fact bad later in the podcast, though manage to do so without every saying the words “no-trade clause”—and just marvel at this 2011-era Colin Cowherd complaint. There are fewer and fewer places in sports media where you can reliably find a white guy in his mid-40s raising his voice over things like NBA players deciding to exchange pleasantries at the all-star game, and yet Bill Simmons’s podcast is one of those places.