ESPN’s Bill Simmons doesn’t deserve his job. Yes, I’m making that claim as clearly as possible. Take a look at his article titled “Take a retro look at Game 2” in which he keeps a “Live Diary” of the fourth quarter of game 2 by re-watching it after it happened.
This man is being paid to write this garbage for ESPN, not the Orlando Magic website. If this were an Orlando blog, I might not give it a second thought. This is ESPN, though. Since when did ESPN allow its writers to take on complete (and stated) bias and clearly misrepresent game footage?
Bill- I’ve got bad news for you: you’re an outright liar. Lets look at a few of the finer points of the utter trash you’ve written to find out your shortcomings.
“11:30″ — You mention that we Laker fans will get flustered when others make fun of Bynum’s contract extension. I’m sorry to say it, but most of us are proud to have Andrew on the team. His injury wasn’t his fault (unfortunate accident), and we don’t hold it against him. Before the injury, the man was earning every penny of his contract. Sure he’s struggled getting into a rhythm since he came back, but all players do. Stop pretending Laker fans are upset and want to dump him. We don’t.
“4:47″ — You start your “Super-Dubious Foul Crunch-Time Scoreboard”. By the end of the game, you claim that the officials made 10 bad calls in the Lakers’ favor to only one in the Magic’s favor. Watch the game with an unbiased third party, Mr. Simmons. I believe your count is just a tad off (understatement of the century award).
“3:34″ — You mistakenly claim Kobe wasn’t fouled by Pietrus. I’ve watched the replay many times and Pietrus did clip Kobe’s arm. It was a small amount of contact, but contact was made. That call was inconsistent throughout the game, but you know deep down that the Magic got that same call in their favor a few times as well. Your scoreboard is off by one already.
“3:16″ — Everyone and their mother watched Hedo get away with that push-off on Ariza throughout the game. He decided to up the ante and push a little harder this time. Again, watch with an unbiased source and tell me there’s absolutely no foul there. Your scoreboard is off by 2 now.
“3:08″ — You claim Pietrus’ 6th foul was awful but you only saw it in real time from one angle. How can you claim with any certainty that it was a bad call? Your scoreboard is off by 3.
“2:40″ — Hedo’s legs get tangled with Kobe’s. A foul is called. It is consistently called like that in the NBA and always has been. Your scoreboard is off by 4. Check out the picture below. See how Hedo is holding Kobe’s foot? You’re right, no foul there.
“0:09″ — Wow you’re bitter. The Magic have gotten away with the exact same stuff and now you’re complaining because the game is on the line? You’re now off by 6 on your fake scoreboard. Lets not forget that you started your scoreboard in the last five minutes. Think about the start of the game when Dwight Howard was awarded a block for putting his hand up through the rim and net. No, that’s not goaltending- that’s a solid block right there, right?
“0:00″ — Don’t even bring up Gasol touching the rim on Courtney Lee’s missed layup at the end of regulation. If Dwight Howard gets a block earlier in the game for clearly affecting the shot, you can’t even mention it when Pau had no affect on the trajectory of the ball.
“3:56 (OT)” — You only seem to watch the Lakers on defense and nitpick their touch fouls. Why don’t you watch what Orlando is doing (the exact same thing)? It’s obvious your bias has you blinded. Your scoreboard is off by 7.
“1:53″ — Even YOU admit in your comment that the NBA always calls this a defensive foul. Sure it’s a stupid rule, but it’s the rule. Can you honestly tell me that Hedo was set and drew a charge? Your scoreboard is off by 8 now, by the way.
“0:22″ — I’ll give you the Fisher traveling call if you’ll admit that the out of bounds call at the end of the fourth quarter where Hedo slapped the ball out of bounds was wrong. The official pointed to his knee and awarded the ball to the Magic. Slow motion replay CLEARLY shows the ball never even coming near Kobe’s knee. That would have given the Lakers another posession in the fourth, and the Magic one less. Probably wouldn’t have even seen overtime. I’ll let you add that to your scoreboard, but you have to add the out of bounds call in favor of the Magic. How come this didn’t come up when you re-watched the tape and kept track of missed calls?
Final “dubious calls” score: 3-2 in favor of the Magic (unless of course you count the rest of the game, which was actually called quite nicely by Steve Javie and his crew).
Your conclusion invited Magic fans to Blame Redick, the refs, and SVG. You implore them not to blame Courtney Lee because it was, like, a really hard shot. I’m sorry, Mr. Simmons, but Courtney Lee gets paid an awful lot of money to play this sport. He is one of the best basketball players in the entire world. Yes, it’s a tough shot, but that’s what he gets paid to do- make tough shots. If making easy shots was all that the NBA required, no one would care to watch.
It’s incredible that Bill Simmons is published on a site like ESPN.com making these wild, unfounded accusations. The big story of the game was not the poor refereeing. The big stories were the missed shot by Lee and the meltdown of the Magic in overtime. For some reason, Mr. Simmons fails to recognize that the Lakers played well and won because they were the better team. Deal with it, Bill: your biased comments shouldn’t be published in anything besides a fan blog (like this one).