Bill Simmons Accused A Former Grantland Employee Of Stealing His Idea

Getty Image

Bill Simmons, the man who sabotaged Grantland and had a show on HBO loosely based on eating soup canceled after 17 episodes, decided to go to war with former colleague Jonah Keri over something so petty that it’s possible everyone is misinterpreting a joke.

(Note: Jonah is technically my boss over at Nerdist, so feel free to decide if this taints my opinion of this situation.)

Here’s the tweet that is making Simmons look very small.

What Simmons is mad about (or poorly joking about) is the fact that Jonah is doing an MLB trade value column at SI.com, something Simmons did for the NBA during his time at ESPN. Simmons asked him to do one during their time at Grantland and now Jonah still does it with SI.com. Jonah still goes out of his way for crediting Simmons with the idea in this very column. That, apparently, was not enough for Simmons.

Or maybe he’s joking! Simmons has proven himself humorless over the years, so the safe bet is he’s very mad about this column, which Jonah did last year for CBS as well with zero public objections from the guy who said Ryan Reynolds isn’t a movie star.

Money isn’t everything, but it’s important to note that Simmons reportedly got a three-year deal worth as much as $27 million from HBO to do like four months worth of work and who knows how many more millions to front The Ringer, and he’s still this petty. If you gave me $9 million to do my job, you could not only steal my work, but you could break into my home and steal one item per week, and you’d never hear a peep out of me. Punch me in the face on the way out my door with my microwave and I’d doff my cap and bid you fair morrow.