I'm going to shock you with this bit of breaking news: Bill Simmons apparently doesn't like the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes the CEO of The Ringer and noted Boston sports homer -- who has spent his entire life hating the Lakers -- says he really dislikes this year's edition of the team. I apologize to everyone who just did a spit take all over their laptops and phones, feel free to send me the bill.
On his Monday podcast, Simmons railed against the Lakers and said they're really fun to "sports hate." His minute-long discussion of it was, in true Simmons fashion, pretty damn ridiculous.
Take a listen:
OK so to sum up, he hates the Lakers for doing things every other NBA team does.
I mean, he's mad the Lakers are heckling during opponents' free throws. Uh, Bill? Every team does that. Every. Damn. Team. You've sat courtside before, you know this goes on. Guys talk trash and heckle all the time and, yes, they do that during free throws.
He's also apparently ticked off that Dwight Howard is being physical with Nikola Jokic. He's a big man who comes off the bench, his job is to annoy the hell out of the other team, be physical and pick up fouls. Incidentally, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale spent years roughing up opposing players for Bill's beloved Celtics. Oh, and he's also not happy the Lakers complain about calls, as if every player in the NBA doesn't do the exact same thing.
Bill is also apparently also upset that J.R. Smith is cheerleading for his team during their potential run to a title because he's washed up. When the 2007-08 title winning Boston Celtics had washed up players like Scot Pollard, Brian Scalabrine and P.J. Brown on the bench cheering, Bill didn't seem to have an issue. Every team has those guys. Smith is doing what virtually every deep bench player in the league does. It's fine to not like Smith, but the fact that he's cheering on his teammates seems to be a ridiculous reason to hate the team.
Let's be real here, Simmons is hating the Lakers because he always hates the Lakers. This year's team is actually a good story. LeBron James has changed his game and had an MVP-caliber season as a point guard. Anthony Davis is finally getting a chance to shine on the big stage. Frank Vogel has redeemed his coaching career by building a ferocious defense in LA. Alex Caruso is a blast to watch. Rajon Rondo has turned back the clock and resurrected "Playoff Rondo." And that guy you hate, Dwight Howard? For the first time in his career he's bought in to the team concept, been an outstanding, supportive teammate and thrived in his role as a towel-waving member of the team's bench mob. His career resurrection has been incredible to watch.
Perhaps most importantly, these players have dedicated this season to the memory of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna who tragically died in January, on a day that devastated the world. The team was similarly devastated as an enormous hole was left in the heart of the franchise. It would be fitting if the Lakers won a title in his honor.
I don't care who you are, this Lakers team is a good story. Sorry Bill, as usual, you're just a hater.