ESPN Insists Cropping Bill Simmons Out Of Video With Adam Silver Wasn’t Purposeful


Adam Silver’s comments about the happiness, or lack thereof, of NBA players today and how social media effects mental health at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference this week became a major topic of conversation.

Silver, speaking with The Ringer’s Bill Simmons, noted that he felt a lot of players in the league were truly unhappy, and that social media played a major role in that. This garnered a response from Charles Barkley, who insisted because NBA players were rich they didn’t have problems, which in turn caused Jay Williams to take issue with that this morning.

However, before that, ESPN’s Get Up! played the clip of Silver’s comments before discussing them. As many viewers noticed, the video zoomed way in on Silver, cropping out former ESPN employee Bill Simmons, and many felt this was a purposeful (and petty) choice.

It’s certainly a strange choice, but ESPN PR released a statement calling it a “non-story” after it was picked up by a number of outlets, pointing out other programs had run the full video with Simmons in it.

Now, to think there’s some ESPN directive from above to not show Simmons’ face on their programming is, well, ridiculous (especially considering he popped up on Jalen & Jacoby last year), but it’s hard not to think this was a conscious decision from someone in the production room, simply because it took effort to zoom in that way.

In any case, this isn’t a major deal, but ESPN wants to make sure no one thinks they are holding onto a grudge with Simmons by not showing him.