Thursday, June 28, 2007


It's tough to say because he probably entertains me more than any other writer out there. He loves Larry Bird, he's a huge basketball fan, he's into fantasy sports, he heavy into pop culture references, he knows his music...basically, just about everything that he writes about, I'm interested in.

But it doesn't always make him right.

The biggest issue I have stems from me being a coach of female athletes. I find them to be more willing to accept coaching, better grounded in fundamentals, more attuned to "team play," and generally easier to deal with on a day to day basis. It was a very deliberate and conscious decision to choose coaching women over men.

Simmons is a mysoginist, plain and simple. Any chance he has to denigrate women's athletics in general and basketball in particular, he goes for the jugular. He is condescending, sarcastic, mean-spirited, and over-the-top in his criticisms. Given his general popularity, it provides a further hinderance to the growth of our sport, and I'm not keen on that. BTW, that article I've linked is as polite as he gets on the subject. I was happy to see a bunch of readers respond to that column defending women's basketball in this country.

On a much smaller scale, he irritates me at times on other issues. Today, for example, makes me want to scream. For the past six months, he's been dogging Greg Oden and preaching the virtues of Kevin Durant. He's screaming for the Portland Trailblazers to take Durant with the #1 pick.

I can't begin to point out the number of ways that this is simply an idiotic argument.

The names that most frequently pop up when comparing Oden with other big men are Bill Russell (shot-blocking), Tim Duncan (work ethic and attention to fundamentals), David Robinson (general demeanor), Shaquille O'Neal (I don't see it, but OK) and Patrick Ewing (must be the defense). For Durant, I see the build of a Reggie Miller or George Gervin combined with some of the raw physical tools of Tracy McGrady and Scottie Pippen.

Run down those two lists of names. Then seriously tell me who you're going to take. Pippen played with Jordan; no one on that second list were the go-to players on championship teams. Pippen won six but none without MJ. Reggie went to one finals. Gervin didn't make the NBA Finals and McGrady's never gotten out of the first round. Meanwhile, those big men have combined to play on 18 NBA championship teams and even Ewing made two finals appearances.

Oden is considered suspect on offense, extremely raw on that end of the court.

(to be continued)