Bill Simmons caught a wave of criticism a few weeks ago after he emphatically stated "f--- Jalen Green" during a podcast discussion about Rookie of the Year voting. Simmons responded to that criticism by getting mad at the aggregators for not picking up on what he considered to be a clearly joking tone before misidentifying the aggregation site in question while accusing them of trying to drive subscriptions. It wasn't a great sequence of events for the Sports Guy, but such is life in the limelight of sports media.
Draymond Green clearly heard about it and decided to say something today. Green reposted a video on his Instagram story from a Rockets ClutchPoints account that pointed out how it is problematic that Simmons, a 52-year-old man, has beef with a 20-year-old while also having a say in the All-NBA voting. Green posted his own commentary as well:
"How is it that this guy has a voice in deciding if Jalen Green will qualify for a super max deal? He clearly says F Him, which sounds very personal btw. But he has a say in what someone else earns? What work has he done in his life that qualifies him to have a say in an NBA players salary? @nba"
If Simmons addressed this, he would certainly assert something along the lines of he was joking but even if he wasn't he wouldn't let such personal bias affect his voting when it comes to end-of-year awards. Which we'd sort of have to take him at his word for. And that's the problem Green is bringing up.
It is not a perfect system to have super-max contracts dictated by awards that are granted to players by media. Stuff like MVP and Defensive Player of the Year is pretty cut and dry, but the All-NBA teams can be dictated by one vote. Jayson Tatum, for example, lost out on over $30 million last year when he didn't make an All-NBA team, getting beat out by Jimmy Butler and Paul George for the final two forward slots on the third team. Did Tatum deserve a spot over those two? A good case could be made for both sides of that argument. Should that be decided by media members, some of whom will inevitably have their views swayed due to the teams they're tasked with watching? That is the big question, and there is no easy answer.
Having players vote on those awards comes with a different set of problems. Not tying super-max contracts to accolades does, too. Nobody will be happy with the final solution. The current system works well enough; there has yet to be a player who qualified for a massive deal despite not being deserving of it. It has evened out so far. But the players have a pretty good point in arguing that media shouldn't dictate their earning potential.