When we last left The People’s Starf-cker, Bill Simmons, he was patiently explaining to you, the little people, why Ryan Reynolds is NOT a movie star, despite Ryan Reynolds’ propensity for starring in, you know movies. Terrible movies, but movies nonetheless. But don’t worry. It didn’t turn into an “I hate Ryan Reynolds” rant. Ryan’s on Jimmy’s show a lot, and Bill would hate to upend that relationship. One day, Ryan may even be part of the Matthew McConaughey All Stars, and then perhaps he will be back in Bill’s good graces because he saw him on an airplane or something.
So what about this week? Will Bill take the NBA All Star analogy full circle? Is Bill still friends with William Goldman (SPOILER: HE IS!)? Does Bill still know more than you about everything? OH YES. In fact, join Bill as he solves the NBA lockout all on his own, only no one will listen to him, which is tragic because he is a GENIUS AND VICEPOPE OF COMMON SENSE AND GOD WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST LET HIM BE GM OF THE TIMBERWOLVES BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE HAD A TEEN WOLF NIGHT AT TARGET CENTER EVERY TUESDAY. Read on…
Greed in its rawest form. That’s the National Football League’s lockout.
…were like two billionaire drug cartels splitting up a massive cocaine shipment who got pissed off and just started shooting each other.
Yeah no, it’s nothing like that. But I’m glad you were able to talk about cocaine on an ESPN-financed website, because that’s crazy edgy.
Stubbornness in its rawest form. That’s the National Basketball Association’s lockout… You know what it reminds me of, actually?
Jeremy Renner’s career? Hilary Swank in “The Next Karate Kid”?
That scene in Dave…
Of course. It’s a “Dave”-themed column. That’s what showed up this week on Bill’s pop culture theme wheel, which includes the following spaces:
• Teen Wolf
• Teen Wolf
• Son of Teen Wolf
• Teen Wolf (MTV version)
• The Challenge
• The Wire
• (Mystery cliché!)
…after Bill Mitchell impersonator Dave Kovic (played by Kevin Kline) secretly takes over Mitchell’s presidency, when Dave gets his nerdy accountant buddy (played by Charles Grodin) to balance the budget so they can save the First Lady’s homeless program. They meet with the Cabinet, and Dave starts laying out Grodin’s ideas.
Ah yes, the “liberal wet dream” sequence.
What if we slashed this by $47 million? What if we cut this program, that’s another $50 million? Every decision is totally logical.
And if they can do it in a fictionalized movie which simplifies American budget issues to the point where Charles Grodin can figure it out, why can’t real life be the same way? DOES ANYONE HAVE AN ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS?
(NOTE: We regret to inform Kevin Kline that he is no longer a movie star. Sorry, bro. But you’re definitely a John Hurt All Star now, if that’s any consolation.)
Dave ends up finding the extra money in about six minutes, followed by the Cabinet applauding in disbelief. 2
2. Totally improbable scene … and yet, you feel like it’s totally probable as you’re watching it.
Unless you’re someone who understands that fiction differs from reality in that it isn’t actually real.
BECAUSE WILLIAM GOLDMAN TOLD ME IT WORKS.
Because Dave threw out everyone’s agendas and said, “This is extremely important to me, we’re not leaving this room until we figure it out.” Then he did it.
And that makes Dave the President of Common Sense. Why can’t America ALWAYS be run this way, with a superawesome guy who knows everything about everything (let’s call him, I dunno, Sill Bimmons) explaining patiently to all the bureaucrats and idiots how everything can easily be solved?
Let’s tackle the key (NBA lockout) issues and figure out how Dave (not David) would handle them.
Indeed. This whole thing could be solved in four seconds if we simply LISTENED TO THE MOVIES. I think you’d be surprised at how “The Contender” could help solve the whole nuclear fallout crisis in Japan.
In retrospect, making a huge deal about opening their books was the league’s smartest move of 2011, narrowly edging Stern’s forcing LeBron to throw the Finals so that Miami’s next season would be more compelling. 3
WHOA HEY WAIT THEY THREW THE FINALS?!
3. That was a joke.
Oh! Phew! Thank God there was a footnote there explaining that it was a joke! JOKES WORK BEST WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THEMSELVES. I’M WRITING IN ALL CAPS AS A KIND OF IRONIC SHOUTING DEVICE. I HOPE YOU LIKE IT.
The Players Association examined all 30 teams and flagged some creative accounting, with Billy Hunter even telling ESPN.com’s Henry Abbott, “If you don’t count interest and depreciation, you already lop off $250 [million] of the 370 million dollars.”4
4. I have no idea what this means, and frankly, I’m not sure Hunter does, either.
Because he’s black and he’s in charge of something! Don’t you think it’s funny when black guys are in charge of managing basketball teams and coaching NFL teams? Doc Rivers clearly has no clue what the fuck he’s doing out there.
But once the sports blogs started stirring things up…
Oh those naughty sports blogs, which don’t have names and are really all pretty much the same site compiled in my AOL reader.
…that led to (ESPN.com’s cap consigliore) Larry Coon’s concluding the NBA’s number was flimsy at best.
And thank God we had The Coon on the case, or else those unverified SPORTS BLOG claims never would have been made official, except that they had actual team documents. Those bloggy bloggers! They’re like Mysterion trying to steal The Coon’s act!
What Dave would tell the owners:
“Look owners, I can’t really help you because I’m a fictional character in a 90’s comedy that was enjoyable at first, but is revealed to be a fairly trite liberal screed if you watch it enough times on HBO. I think perhaps you’d best leave this sort of negotiation to a real president, like Andrew Shepherd from The American President.”
Baseball stars make more money only because there’s no salary cap in baseball. I get it. But given the NBA is such a star-driven league, why wouldn’t it reward its best players a little more smartly? Why not redistribute NBA salaries so they resemble more of a Hollywood star system? For instance, look at Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol:
NBA VP OF FINANCIALS: God dammit! Why didn’t anyone check Brad Bird’s salary demands before we went to the lockout stage?
Cruise is the “superstar,” Jeremy Renner is the secondary star…
But NOT a movie star.
…and Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Josh Holloway were the supporting stars.
But NOT McConaughey All Stars. I really hope John Krasinski joins that group one day, but for now, he’s 48% Brad Cooper at best.
If the NBA was funding that movie, Cruise would make $25 million, Renner would make $15 million (even though he would have done it for one-third that)
Because he NOT a star and should be happy to settle for relative scraps at the bargaining table. Don’t you see how Jeremy Renner IS Boris Diaw? WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICES THESE THINGS?!
Holloway would inexplicably make $9 million, then the other three would probably be overpaid something like $20 million combined. And that makes sense … how?
Don’t you see how my arbitrary and strained comparison between an NBA team and the production of a future shitty movie makes NO sense? What are you, fucking blind?
Did you follow that?
Are you still with me, little people? Because I know the whole Renner thing might have been way over your head, if you don’t know LA the way I do. Lotta people think Renner’s best work was in “The Town.” It wasn’t. It was in a small film called “The Hurt Locker,” which I saw but you probably didn’t because you don’t get Academy screeners.
All we did was redistribute our salary output a little: we pulled money from the middle class (where most salary mistakes are made, anyway) and gave it to the upper class; we made it harder for franchises to kill themselves with long-term deals; we made it easier for franchises to keep signature players; and we rewarded stars for sticking with their original teams. That doesn’t make sense … why?
This is the hallmark of pretty much any current Simmons column. The difference between Simmons and Peter King is that Peter King will spend 6,000 words giving no useful information of any kind. Whereas Simmons will spend 6,000 words giving you some useful information and then spend another 6,000 comparing it to something retarded like fucking MI:4, and then another 6,000 words expressing wonderment and marvel over his own conclusions. Did you follow that? Am I crazy or did that not make TOTAL SENSE?! HOW IS THIS NOT HAPPENING AS WE SPEAK? IT’S LIKE THE WORLD HATES GENIUSES.
16. I tried to leave the door open as wide as possible here for a snarky blogger to pick that entire section apart without trying to come up with a better alternative.
Oh, those snarky bloggers! They’re such little shits. I hate those people who go on the Internet and make snarky jokes! In other news, OMIGOD ISN’T JENNIFER ANISTON A DESPERATE WHORE THESE DAYS?!
Maybe any NBA franchise that allows an ex-player, a coach, a former scout, or basically anyone without genuine business and/or legal training to negotiate with some of the smartest legal/business minds in the entire world should be fined $10 million by the commissioner’s office.
So true. You NBA shitheads have spent way too long giving out basketball jobs to people who have a background in the game of basketball and often hire a lawyer to assist them with the actual negotiating process. You should be listening to the guy who’s imitating a fictional President from a Kevin Kline film. WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE SENSIBLE ENOUGH TO KNOW THIS SHIT?
Do you realize that agents laugh about this behind closed doors?
AGENT: God, wait until they actually let Simmons run the Nets… (jizzes in pants)
Issue No. 6: The NBA owners need to figure out revenue sharing before they can figure out a labor deal….
What Dave would tell the owners: “Let’s spend our energies on making sure the next season doesn’t get compromised or canceled. …You can’t create a revenue sharing plan before you know what you’re getting with a new labor deal. Makes no sense.”
ISSUE: You guys need revenue sharing right now.
FICSHUNAL PREZ SEZ: The fuck are you worrying about revenue sharing for? THAT MAKES NO SENSE. Haven’t you people looked at how they did the financials for “Cocktail”?!
Not to step on Dave’s toes…
Not to override the fictional president I’m using as a proxy for my own voice in a device that somehow makes me seem even MORE arrogant and heavy-handed…
but why haven’t we heard the following ideas or strategies even discussed?:
Why haven’t you implemented ANY of my ideas? THIS IS MADNESS!!!!!!
Canceling the WNBA after this season.
Because they’re WOMEN! And women are evil WHORES who will take your money and ruin “Hoosiers”!
I get the reasons for having the WNBA — my 6-year-old daughter loves basketball and is begging me to take her to a Sparks game (putting us squarely in the demo)…
THE WNBA: WHERE WHINY SPORTSWRITERS GRUDGINGLY TAKE THEIR CHILDREN.
The Charlotte Bobcats never should have happened. You know how I know this?
Because Charlotte is NOT a star city in the US. There are 24 star cities in the US. William Goldman argues that there’s only one (Boston).
If the Bobcats break their stadium lease and move somewhere else, they’d have to pay the city of Charlotte $150 million. So it would make no sense to move them, unless … you know …
/anticipates idea that makes complete sense, because when has Bill Simmons ever had a bad idea?
Jordan moves them to Chicago (where he still lives), plays in the United Center (where he has a giant statue), ropes Oprah into being a minority owner, then quickly becomes a well-run version of the Clippers to the Bulls’ version of the Lakers. 
That’s a horrible idea.
20. If you’re wondering why the Bulls would agree to this, here’s my response: Has having a second NBA team in town hurt the Lakers these past 30 years?
No, because that second team is the Clippers.
Not only would they cover the $150 million pretty quickly, but that would give the league six teams in the three biggest TV markets. And that’s a bad thing … why?
And that doesn’t make perfect sense… how?
And that’s not a brilliant idea… because?
And everything I say ought not to be chiseled onto fucking stone tablets… why?
21. Jerry Reinsdorf just collapsed in front of his computer.
MY IDEA IS SO FUCKING GOOD IT JUST KILLED A MAN.
22. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 8 1/2 years.
I know this town inside and out. Too bad no one here has my FACKIN’ KICKASS BRAND OF HAUGHTY BAWSTON ATTITUDE! LAKAHS AHHH FAGS!!!!
I’m re-pitching my 2007 idea for the Entertaining As Hell Tournament… Imagine if we did it last year and landed a Friday Final Four of the Grizzlies, Clippers, Pacers and (in a feel-good story) the upstart Cavaliers. Would you have watched that night?
Of course you would have!
Wait, I said “no,” god dammit.
You definitely would have watched the Entertaining As Hell Tournament presented by Klondike.
STOP TELLING ME I’D DO THINGS I WOULDN’T DO.
Why won’t the NBA take a chance like this? I have no idea.
Here’s what we do: Anytime someone hits a shot in the three-point contest, we cut off the head of a WNBA player and jizz in her eye. TELL ME YOU WOULDN’T WATCH THIS. Why the fuck is the NBA not even CONSIDERING this?! I’m giving you people gold and what do I get for it? I GIVE UP ON SPORTS.
What Dave would tell the owners: “What he said.”
MY FICTIONAL PRESIDENT DOPPELGANGER AGREES WITH ME. WHAT ELSE COULD YOU POSSIBLY NEED TO KNOW?!
Bringing this full circle:
It call comes back to Ryan Reynolds, America.
Why does the NBA’s brain trust steadfastly refuse to brainstorm radical ideas…
on par with the ones I just mentioned…
Which are AWESOME.
or consider contraction, or really, do anything beyond whining about the $340 million?
I bet they hired some SNARKY SNARK BLOGGER to pick apart the whole plan! These bloggers are just like the nerdy nerd kid who likes Coen Brothers films and has a grudge against the cool and popular kids, or so I tell the people I send to comment at blogs!
As for us? We might lose a season because of their obstinance, which means we’ll miss out on Year 2 of “Yes We Did!”, Boston’s last run with Garnett, Pierce and Allen…
NOOOOOOO DON’T BREAK UP THE FACKIN’ C’S! THEY AHHH OW-AH BASKETBALL BRUINS!
…Duncan’s last decent Spurs season, Kobe’s trying to stay on top (and doing anything to do so), Durant and Westbrook continuing their Stringer/Avon plot…
I watch The Wire because I have good taste!
Sadly, this mess won’t end like the movie Dave did, with Dave Kovic fixing the country, turning things over to the vice-president and walking off into the sunset.
Sadly, the NBA refuses to listen to a political movie that has nothing to do with basketball or take orders from a fictional character (voiced by me) to solve this lockout. AM I MISSING SOMETHING? IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS PLAN THAT WOULD FAIL?