Consider this an open thread for game 7 of the NBA Championship.

I’ve given up predicting what will happen.  As crushing as the Spurs lost was, I’m not of the mindset that they are broken beyond repair.  And as resilient as the Heat were, any number of things could have gone just slightly differently and ended their season.  Gun to my head, I take the Heat, but I’m not particularly confident.  I hope we’re in for a game as exciting as the last one, though that is a lot to ask for.  I’ll settle for something mirror game 1.  Regardless, this has been a great series (not necessarily great games, but a great series) that will have historical implications no matter the outcome: either Duncan and Pop earn their 5th ring together or LeBron cements a new dynasty in South Beach.

What’s everyone else think?


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.


    • Now, what I think you’re probably gonna see happen is this, is that the team that scores more points, well, that’s probably going to be the team that, er, wins the game, ifyaknowhatimean.

  1. LeBron channels his inner DMX with several “dawg” references in the pregame huddle. He is wearing the headband.

  2. I’d love to join in, but three nights of insomnia…I’m hoping for the long sleep this time.

    That may not have come out right.

    Anyway, go Spurs. Yeah, they’re from Texas, but Miamis both South and East Coast, which is, like, evil squared.

  3. You keep getting the sense that Miami is about the blow it open, but SA keeps hanging in. Still, there’s just this feeling that the old men on SA can’t keep this up for another 24 minutes.

    • Well said. Every time I look at the score, I’m shocked to see it within a handful of points.

      I’m not ready to count out the Spurs just yet, though. If Leonard pulls down another dozen rebounds, he’ll be a great source of energy.

      • Green needs to stop driving and shooting, and pass. It’s just not his thang.

        • As Van Gundy just said: “Green needs to stop putting the ball on the ground. Nothing good happens.”

          If bad things happen when you dribble… hmm…

  4. One other thing: Has there ever been a human being so lively, verbose, witty and insightful on the page and so “meh, he’s not terrible” on camera than Bill Simmons?

    • You like his writing? I thought he peaked a while ago and then just became a cariacture of himself and coasted on being really formulaic for a while. His BoB and Grantland writing has been much better, but I still have a sour taste in my mouth because of how pompous he was in the middle there.

      But I thought about writing something just now about how inane he is during his TV work. Zazzy always makes fun of his adopted California-speak. And his faux-Boston-persona (he went to prep school in CT) always grated me a bit.

      • I have more than a sneaking suspicion that Disney/ESPN’s increasing general hatred for creativity and honesty is a sizable chunk of both what happened to his writing in that middle period and his blandness on TV; Grantland’s semi-independence frees him up a bit on the writing front, but only enough to be an enjoyable read again, not enough to be nearly as fantastic as his early stuff. I suspect he’d be infinitely more enjoyable to watch on TNT, while his writing in Grantland would be better if it were affiliated with Sports Illustrated or Yahoo sports.

        • The way that his mailbags seemed to only select for college kids who emulated his writing style was a bit too self-congratulatory for me.

          He’s actually had several disputes with ESPN/Disney, which I think have led to either suspensions or self-imposed exile. That always seemed a bit like biting the hand that feeds him. He was a blogger (granted, one of the first) that got an audience on the biggest freaking sports site in the world and was mad that it came with certain limits.

          But your theory would explain his overall career arc.

          One of my struggles is that I came to know him during college, right when I was in his target demo (even though he’s a got 10-15 years my senior). Yet he didn’t seem to mature as a writer until he got to Grantland. So I felt I outgrew him in a weird way.

          • My sense is that the restrictions have gotten tighter over the years, which would be consistent with other complaints I’ve heard about leadership at the Mothership during the last decade or so.

          • I’m curious why he didn’t just go solely independent with Grantland.

      • He grew up in Marlboro & Brookline; went to BU; his dad’s a big Boston-Everythings fan too. He’s Boston, dude, not faux-Boston.

        • …BU for an MA, that is; Holy Cross for undergrad.

          • …Lived in Charlestown for eight years after BU; worked for the Herald & the Phoenix before getting hired at ESPN.

            Yes, I’m just riffing off the Wikipedia page right now.

          • …The Connecticut thing went like this:

            “Simmons was an only child and grew up in Marlboro and Brookline, Massachusetts before moving to Stamford, Connecticut to live with his mother after his parents divorced when he was 13.[2][7] He attended the Greenwich Country Day School[7] and then Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut for high school.[9]”

          • GCDS and Brunswick are about as far from the gritty Boston upbringing he often portrays for himself. I collaborate with teachers from both schools (even looked at working at GCDS) and they are both about as WASPy as it gets. This isn’t a bad thing, mind you. It just always irked me.

            A lot of Boston-area kids have a grittier-than-though mentality. One of my close friends grew up in a nice suburb about 45 minutes north of Boston, a place where none of the locals have the accent. Except he and all his friends adopted it because they were big Dropkick Murphys fans and that made them feel more authentic. Or something. It’s a weird dynamic.

            Simmons often writes of his childhood like he walked the mean streets of Southie and Dorchester and that he bleeds green. Then he moved to LA for a few years to work in Hollywood (on Jimmy Kimmel’s show) and vowed he’d never return east. I get a big poser vibe from him, which I find irritating. That may be petty but, hey, this is a guy who made up a fantasy league about reality TV personalities so, I don’t know that we need to be particularly mature in discussing him.

          • Also, he constantly shits on BC (my alma mater, which I’m not particularly fond of) as being full of exactly the type of Boston kids he hated… even though that was very much who he was. Always had a sour grapes vibe to me.

          • I think it’s pretty tough to call a guy from the Boston area who then had to move to Connecticut because of a divorce a poser for liking and writing about Boston sports and then moving to L.A., liking it, and continuing to like Boston sports. Like, at that point, who the F cares what the person making that judgement thinks anyway?

            And I’d like to see an example of these claims about walking around mean streets. I mean, he did live in Charlestown for eight years, but perhaps they were the wrong eight years. I haven’t read a lot of what he’s written, but what would be the point of doing that in the column anyway? I’m gonna say that’s probably mostly antipathy in your reading of him until I see what you’re talking about. I’m guessing you read things whose function was to just say ‘I know the city’ as a claim to be gritty because you’d decided not to like the guy.

            Lastly, WTH’s wrong with starting a reality TV fantasy league? Seems reasonable to me.

          • MD,

            My point is that often in his writing, he talks about what it means to be a “real” Boston person and all that… despite the fact that he violates many of his own claims. He’s a hypocrite, pretending to be something he’s not, and mocking people who are ultimately very much like him. His whole shtick is rooted in his supposed hardcore Boston roots (he was originally named the Boston Sports Guy), which I think are suspect and thus I find his shtick irritating at times. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy who should be drawn-and-quartered, only that he presents one persona via his writing (not just on this topic) which isn’t really accurate, and then bashes people with different personas based on the strength of that persona.

            I’m sure he’s not the only media member who does this. In fact, I’d be shocked if he was. But he’s one I’m particularly familiar with, one who I think draws particular adulation based on his supposed persona, and one who I think is largely undeserving of the lofty perch he has attained yet wholly takes that perch for granted.

            I mentioned the reality TV fantasy league not because I have a particular problem with it, but to point out that the guy writes a lot of silly, petty things. Which is cool… that’s his shtick. He’s got as much TMZ in him as he does real sportswriter. But since he makes a living picking people apart based on little things, I’m not going to feel bad doing the same to him.

            I’m not saying you have to dislike the guy. Only that I dislike the guy. And here are the reasons one, chief among them being that I think he misrepresents himself to gain a credibility he doesn’t really hold.

          • I’m with MD here – I’m just not seeing the misrepresentations here. I mean, dude’s pretty frequently referenced his experiences at Holy Cross. No one who does that is representing themselves as being from any kind of “mean streets.”

          • Kazzy,


            My point is that often in his writing, he talks about what it means to be a “real” Boston person and all that… despite the fact that he violates many of his own claims.

            is totally fair, but isn’t it also quite typical of the spirited provincialism of most major urban areas, with the Boston variety being particularly spirited variety? People just throw around these ‘not authentic’ charges almost like a sport, and while there are real distinctions being made – obviously, being from Brookline is different from being from Southie, and of course Southie pride is and should be very real as against Boston posing for someone from Brookline – it’s also done within a shared larger identity. IOW, I think you’re taking his claims about this (I actually took your initial faux-Boston claim to be talking about Simmons’ Boston-sports affisity, since I wasn’t really aware of the stuff you were referring to).

            But just because someone from Southie will react to someone from Brookline a certain way doesn’t mean someone from Brookline can’t be contemptuous of kids from Connecticut affecting Boston accents at a Connecticut prep school. I’m a little confused exactly what we’re talking about here at this point – what he was saying about whom, when & where. Whether he’s really would seem to depend very much on exactly what he was calling out in whom, and I’m at a disadvantage for not knowing. It seems possible to me that he might have been making a narrow enough distinction between others’ behavior and his, rather than just between who they are and who he is, that just because there are similarities between who he is and who they are, that he’s therefore a hypocrite. And more broadly, I just think that people from places like this are constantly embroiled in these kinds of disputes, but that they’re for the most part good-spirited and part of sorting out what’s what & who’s who. It doesn’t seem so worthy of contempt (not to say drawing and quartering) to me, but rather part of a venerable tradition of urban life. I could be wrong, but I’m more glad that Simmons’ brought it into his writerly persona so that we could be spectators for some of it than had he left it alone entirely.

            There are, of course, some folks who really are from “real” wherever, are gritty, etc., but for the most part, everyone is from “someplace,” not “The Place.” I like that people from all over various urban conglomerations engage in this kind of back-and-forth more than that they abjure; I think it increases the richness of their culture. And just because someone from Someplace calls out someone from Someplace Else for violating some imagined code relating to how people from those places should act, doesn’t mean that the first person is claiming to be from “The Place” (i.e. Southie, or whatever). I guess I just find this stuff interesting, and don’t think it’s all that serious. It just seems like what people from metro areas do.

            What has Simmons said about kids at BC?

          • …sorry, taking them a bit too seriously, is I think what I was going to say in that sentence that trailed off.

          • Let me first say that I have a number of criticisms of Simmons, with his “posing” being one of the lesser among them.

            My biggest issue with him is that it seems he wants special treatment at ESPN. He has been afforded a remarkable opportunity at ESPN, one I’ll fully concede that he earned, which has given him further opportunities. He walked away from it once, to pursue other opportunities, and was fortunate to be able to return. However, since returning, he has acted a bit like a petulant child. ESPN, as subsidiary of Disney, protects its brand fiercely. They have strict rules for their employees. We can argue whether or not they should have those rules but the fact is they do and part of the deal of having their access and their audience and all that means playing by their rules. One such rule is not to criticize other ESPN personalities, a rule Simmons broke on Twitter, resulting in the company suspending his Twitter account temporarily. He responded by refusing to write columns. He objected when they told him not to appear on Carolla’s podcast, which I’m sure was frustrating given their friendship, but was also part of protecting their brand… the brand that allows him to do what he wants. There are other examples as well, but he strikes me as a guy who wants to have his cake and eat it too, who wants the audience ESPN offers him but the freedom his old blog allowed him. That’s simply not how it works when you are on the level he is and I think shows either an immaturity or a lack of professionalism on his part, something non-ESPN writers have taken him to task for, writers who’d KILL to write for ESPN and probably won’t ever but who have to watch this guy seemingly piss on the opportunity.

            My next biggest criticism would be of his writing style, which has gotten remarkably better since starting Grantland. For a long time, it seemed overly formulaic and self-congratulatory. He became a bit of a caricature of himself, which I’m sure had something to do with ESPN’s restraints, but which I would have liked to see him overcome because I do think he is a talented writer (sidenote: part of the reason I have such detailed criticisms of him is because I generally do like his stuff and read a lot of it).

            The poser thing is just a small bugaboo more than anything. It wouldn’t bother me so much if he didn’t make this “identity” such a function of his writing. And, again, I get that it is his shtick, but if he is going to make it such, he has to accept the criticism that comes along with it. If you’re going to hold yourself up as a hardcore Boston guy, one who criticizes people for being posers themselves, you better come hard with that. And I just don’t think he does. When he initially moved to LA, I read an article about it in which he made it seem as if the decision was forced upon him and one he did so reluctantly. Which might have been true! But then not long after, realizing how much he enjoyed SoCal (no fault there), when he wrote derisively about how he’d never return to Boston, it was odd. And I get that he might have changed his mind, which is totally cool… but there seemed to be a weird disjointedness in which he pretend like the former conversation never happened.

            Ultimately, it seems he’s worked really hard to craft a character for himself as a writer, which I find to be somewhat inauthentic. But because he wears that character so loudly and boastfully, using it to attack others, I find it unseemly when the hypocrisy is exposed.

            Honestly, this is probably more than needs to be written about Mr. Simmons. I don’t think he’s a bad dude, I don’t think he should be fired, I don’t think he’s a no talent hack. I like a lot of what he has brought to the field, including many of the writers he’s brought to prominence via Grantland. I just find certain aspects of him irksome, particularly so because I think they hold him back from being an even better writer.

          • Regarding BC, he has often used them as a bad punchline, harping on the points-shaving scandal that happened before most of his readers were even born. He talks about HC and BC as if they are rival schools, which might have been the case when he was in attendance, but is no longer the case (I attend BC a good 10-15 years after he attended HC); the teams don’t even play each other in most sports and BC is on another tier academically than HC (which is no doubt still a fine institution). This last part stands out because he has made references to BC kids bemoaning not getting into HC, which is certainly nothing I ever saw.

            In all honesty, it is not unlike the way BC kids talk about ND: we tend to imagine ourselves as their biggest rivals when they see us as a school they have a minor football rivalry with that has petered out recently and otherwise they have no interest in us.

            And I don’t object to these because I defend my alma mater… I’m a huge critic of BC for a number of reasons… but because they seem silly and petty and indicative of some of the things I mentioned above. It’s reached a point of just, “Get off it, man. You’re in your 40s and harping on a school whose current students never saw the two schools play each other in sports with your best joke being 30+ years old.”

  5. Okay… once and for all… am I supposed to know/care who Jesse Williams is?

  6. Ok – what the f**k is that Lucky Fun Night commercial for???!!!

    • It appears to be a show created by Conan O’Brien and Rebel Wilson that will be on ABC this fall (according to Wikipedia).

  7. It hasn’t been the most well played game, but they’ve pretty much been within a couple baskets of each other all game and it appears we’re heading towards an exciting finish.


  8. AHHHHH!!! This game is getting crazy. Sloppy, but crazy! DUNCAN!

    • If I didn’t look at the scoreboard, I’d think the Heat were dominating, but then I look at the scoreboard, and it is a 3 point game.

        • Indeed. The Heat have had a handful of lost possessions where they jack up a quick jumper.

          Also, the crowd makes everything they do seem that much bigger.

          • Which reminds me that there is no fan base less deserving of championships than Miami. That they have relatively recent titles in three sports angers me to no end. On the other hand, I would like to see the best basketball player since MJ get multiple championships. So….yeah.

          • Heh… the video of the early departing fans from game 6 was classic.

            But three sports? Heat… Marlins… do they have a hockey team?

          • I’m stretching it with that one, but the Panthers won the Stanley Cup in 1996.

  9. In case your TV lied to you, Leonard did NOT just hit that 3. He’s a choke artist… remember?

      • That was actually a pass. A passive pass.

        It just happened to go in.

  10. I’m just going to say the obvious here at the 1:39 mark: this series is AMAZING.

    • Like.

      This might be the best series of my adult lifetime. I think I was two drunk to remember the Celts/Lakers tilts of a few years back.

        • Yea, but I think this tops that.

          Pistons over Lakers was great from a schadenfraude perspective, but the series itself wasn’t special.

  11. Chalmers just got away with a travel in the final seconds. The refs were in the bag.

  12. Lebron played so well in this game, it should erase any doubts people have. It won’t, but it should.

    • Yea… he couldn’t even choke it away if he wanted to.

      Hasn’t he been following Jordan? Jordan has thrown away season after season in Charlotte.

    • Those doubts should have been erased a long time ago.

      Odd stat of the night: only five Miami players scored tonight. Chris Bosh wasn’t one of them. Wade and LBJ accounted for 2/3 of the points that were scored.

      • Bosh looked really good on the boards and on defense in the first quarter. I don’t remember even noticing him, except when he fouled someone, after that.

  13. LeBron has to be MVP, right?

    I know they won when Wade played well, but LeBron was the man on both ends, no?

    • Damn. 25-11-7 for the series. Yeah, that deserves MVP.

  14. Hey! My email shows Erik is commenting up a storm, but I don’t see them showing up here…?

    • They NEED to stop doing the White Stripes thing. When did that song come out? 2003? That is probably when most of these fans realized Miami had a team.

  15. NBA Rings
    Charles Barkley + Karl Malone + Patrick Ewing = 0
    Rashard Lewis = 1

      • I remember throwing up in my mouth a little when I saw Hideki Irabu celebrating a World Series victory and thinking, “Ted Williams never knew that feeling.”

          • Willie Mays only got one, in his second full season.

        • Hammerin’ Hank only got one, too, in his 4th season. Like I said, the world is an evil, evil place.

          • Both the 50s Braves and 60s Giants turned a tean full of stars into not much: Aaron, Matthews, Spahn, Schoendienst, Burdette, Antonelli and Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal, Perry respectively.

    • While he didn’t get to see Game 6 or 7, Game 1 was still pretty good and I’m glad this was the series Russell made his viewing debut with.

  16. Weird game. The team that couldn’t penetrate and had to settle for outside shots won.

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