Bill Simmons: Memphis Fans Get Down On Their Team Because Martin Luther King Was Shot There

05.30.13 5 years ago 26 Comments

Bill Simmons is one of the more polarizing guys at ESPN. He’s widely criticized as an unapologetic Boston homer who’s more obnoxious than engaging. Personally, I don’t mind him too much and enjoy his writing way more than his speaking even though I still catch every one of his podcasts. Plus, his book was a fun read if nothing else. So you can definitely count me among the group of people who find Simmons at the very least tolerable. Today, though, on his BS Report Podcast he made a jump in logic that was incredible even for him.

As Simmons and ESPN’s MVP Jalen Rose talked about their Memphis trip during the NBA Western Conference Finals, the conversation turned to the Lorraine Motel – the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated. And Simmons related the shooting to how fans in Memphis treat sports.

“I didn’t realize the effect [The MLK assassination] had on that city…I think from people we talk to and stuff we’ve read, the shooting kind of sets the tone with how the city thinks about stuff. We were at Game 3. Great crowd, they fall behind and the whole crowd got tense. They were like, ‘Oh no, something bad is going to happen.’ And it starts from that shooting.”

Here, just take a look at these GIFs as I gather my thoughts.

office glare

nicki gasp


president wrong

Like I said, I’m not one to pile on the Simmons hate, but sweet moonwalking Mephisto that was one of the dumbest leaps imaginable. Fans are upset when the Grizzlies start to lose games because of the King assassination almost 50 years ago? Can we agree on how ridiculous that is? I will bet all $5.32 in my bank account that if you ask 100 Grizzlies fans why they’re nervous during the third quarter that not a single one will mention the MLK assassination.

I can only imagine the shock a visitor feels when going to a Memphis Grizzlies games and asking the crowd why they’re not cheering while the other team is making a run.

“So, what’s with the sad faces?”

“Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“Well, he died here so whenever our team starts losing, we remember it and haz the sadz.”

Makes perfect sense, Bill. I bet Simmons will at some point wish he could take that one back.

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