Bill Don’t Lie ran every Monday for nearly two and a half consecutive months way back in 2015. Unfortunately, when it was announced that Simmons’ contract would not be renewed by ESPN following some very public disagreements about podcast content, Simmons went radio silent and fans’ beloved BDL was dead. This post, which originally ran in 2015 and was updated in 2022, remembers the Bill Don’t Lie era.
On Bill Don't Lie, Bill Simmons and his cadre of guests touched on such subjects as the Boston Celtics, the NBA Playoffs, and, of course, the Boston Celtics. Here, with extreme testicular fortitude, are the Top 10 episodes in Bill Don’t Lie history. As always, these are actual podcasts from an actual podcaster. (All episodes could be found in the Grantland podcast archives back in 2015, but now they only exist on PodBean with some clips existing on the Sill Bimmons YouTube channel.)
10. Zach Lowe (4/6/15)
Right off the bat, I know what you’re thinking – Zach Lowe, Grantland’s premiere basketball writer, this… low? [smirks] This is a farce! Zach Lowe is a Hall of Fame Bill Don’t Lie guest. He was the first guest. He had the most appearances (3).
9. Tom Haberstroh & Marc Stein (3/23/15)
This was the first “official” episode of Bill Don’t Lie. Marketed as an all-NBA podcast, this episode is notable because Simmons and Stein discussed soccer for about 10 minutes. It’s that nugget that both makes it a Top 10 episode, yet also keeps it from making the Top 5.
8. Zach Lowe (4/27/15)
This is a classic. Remember when Simmons said something about Keyser Söze and Lowe was like, “I’ve never seen Interstellar.” How is this not higher!? Only one more episode of Bill Don’t Lie would ever be recorded.
7. Ryen Rusillo (3/16/15)
Simmons waited all the way until the second episode of Bill Don’t Lie to have a guest with Boston ties. The wait was worth it. Simmons opened the episode by announcing that the next episode would officially be titled “Bill Don’t Lie.” Fun Fact: Simmons also revealed that a rejected title for the all-NBA podcast was “NBA-holes.” #edgy
UPDATE: Who could have imagined Simmons would get Russillo to move to LA where they would regularly do this on a whole other podcast network?
6. Chris Ryan and Andrew Sharp (4/13/15)
Remember #SNL40? Compared to the star power on this podcast, Lorne Michaels’ little get-together earlier this year was a steaming pile of nothingness.
UPDATE: Many years later Chris Ryan is still working with Simmons at The Ringer while Andrew Sharp has gone on to work for other outlets and host his own subscription-based basketball podcast.
5. Joe House (3/30/15)
Possibly the most controversial episode of Bill Don’t Lie. Shortly after the episode aired it was noted that Simmons and his nefarious producers had cribbed the theme music from NBA TV’s The Starters. A blood feud developed and trust was lost. It was a tense week before the next episode.
4. Joe House and Sean Grande (4/20/15)
There’s a reason Joe House appears twice in the top 5. He was a pantheon-level Bill Don’t Lie guest. Only Zach Lowe had more career appearances on Bill Don’t Lie (3) than Joe House. Only one other man came close to matching his mark – Tom Haberstroh. In fact, Haberstroh came so close to matching his near-record he actually did match his near-record with 2 appearances. When the Bill Don’t Lie Mount Rushmore is constructed, expect to see House and Haberstroh’s faces up there next to the immortal Zach Lowe’s.
3. Zach Lowe (3/9/15)
The premiere episode. In early Spring 2015, Lowe and Simmons immediately developed a report that would lay the groundwork for Lowe to go on and have the most appearances in Bill Don’t Lie History. It was like they had been recording NBA-specific podcasts for years. This episode was technically an episode of The B.S. Report as the Bill Don’t Lie vertical didn’t “technically” exist.
2. Tom Haberstroh (5/6/15)
The final Bill Don’t Lie episode went out with a bang. Embedded footnotes will note that this was the only episode of Bill Don’t Lie to air on a Wednesday. Instead of BDL taping on Monday, a Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao edition of The B.S. Report was recorded and released. Some say that delaying Bill Don’t Lie two days was the final straw that made ESPN realize Simmons was too much trouble. Others point to the confusing branding that came with labeling some NBA-specific podcasts as B.S. Reports while there was a basketball-specific vertical. Either way, this was seminal.
1. The Lost Episode (??/??/??)
What’s your favorite lost Bill Don’t Lie Episode? The one about the Tom Brady suspension? Any of the hundred B.S. Report episodes that were all-NBA, but didn’t count as part of the Bill Don’t Lie vertical? I honestly couldn’t pick. I just know that when all the dust settles, our hero will start a new podcast with new theme music and guests of varying degrees of celebrity and access will join Simmons to talk about the Boston Celtics. Here’s to another 9 episodes!