Bill Simmons, AKA “The Sports Guys” is being considered for a spot on ESPN’s NBA pre-game show, NBA Countdown.
According to The Big Lead:
ESPN has been searching for the right combination on Countdown for years – it used to be called NBA Shootaround – and the network believes Simmons is the missing piece.
The show used to be set in Bristol, Connecticut, but was moved to Los Angeles last season. Simmons is based on the West Coast. Sources say ESPN tried to get Simmons to do the show last year, but he passed because Grantland was just getting off the ground. In addition, two ABC/ESPN NBA production personnel, Bob Rauscher and Mark Summer, have been re-assigned to a different sport.
I’m guessing this is ESPN’s response to TNT’s NBA pre-game show, Inside the NBA. Simmons would join a team that includes Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon, Jon Barry, and Chris Broussard. However, the Big Lead is also reporting that Simmons would take Broussard’s spot on the show.
Bill Simmons is one of the most knowledgeable minds on the game of basketball in the media today. He wrote the mammoth 900+ page Book of Basketball and also talked basketball with President Obama on his podcast. Simmons is originally from Massachusetts and is a huge Celtics fan, which could make for some great television with Magic.
However, I don’t think Simmons’ carries as strong a presence on camera as he does on the page. I was not all that impressed with his stint co-hosting Pardon the Interruption with Wilbon this summer. Maybe I keep expecting 2,000 word soliloquies when that’s really not possible on TV.
With some television practice, I think Simmons could make for some fun television.
Here’s part of his interview with President Obama…[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJj2ZqJfQls[/youtube]
Via The Big Lead