Last night, the NBA on ESPN crew were hosting their postgame show after the Heat had won and were breaking down LeBron. The conversation was uneventful until Bill Simmons said, “I want to say about “the Decision.” Then the screen went black. The feed was hastily switched to Bristol where Jay Harris interviewed Kurt Rambis for an impromptu segment and a half.
THIS WAS NO COINCIDENCE. Except, it was probably a coincidence. ESPN wanted their crew on the ground to discuss Game 7, not Kurt Rambis. I doubt that ESPN pulled the plug on Simmons just because he was about to say something about the ESPN-aired “Decision.” But it’s fun to speculate, isn’t it? The feed was perfectly severed right after Simmons said the word “Decision” and ESPN likes to reserve its ridiculous opinion-making for First Take on ESPN2.
It was odd, but Simmons was back soon thereafter when ESPN sent it to Miami for an interview with LeBron.
ESPN rarely lets their talent appear on the Dan Patrick Show, for high school grudge reasons, mostly. But the night after the Heat won their second consecutive NBA championship, the most precious Mothership commodity appeared on Dan’s show. It was genial. Recently-freed ESPN talent have a history of doing their exit interviews with Dan, but I doubt Simmons is one of those. During the interview, Simmons and Dan both say that they wish he could be on the show more often, and with the amount of independence that Bill Simmons has carved out for himself – more than anyone else whose checks say ESPN – becoming a more frequent guest could be a possibility. Can’t we all just get along?