I've written two excessively long posts on Bill Simmons' love affair with Kevin Durant, both times noting how much I enjoyed the way he covers basketball. Should I take it all back?
Simmons has trashed Rick Barnes twice in one week now, first in his Monday blog entry, and then again in his Wednesday Page 2 column.
When Simmons first started proclaiming his Durant crush, I noted my ambivalence about it. I was happy to have the attention on Texas, but a little uncomfortable with an outsider gawking at us through the window. Now, come March, Simmons has officially overstayed his welcome.
At this point, he's quickly becoming like a friend who came over to your house to check out your new Porsche, stayed in your pool house for six months so he could drool over it incessantly, then reported on his website that "While being around this Porsche is simply amazing, the guy who owns it overcooked the salmon souffle last night by about a minute and a half. What a bum."
I've already outlined in great detail why Rick Barnes is a great coach, so I'll just reference you to that article rather than rehash the whole thing again. I just wonder why Simmons seems incapable of providing any semblance of balance in his columns on Rick Barnes and Texas. I pleaded with him to throw in a word or two about the countless Texas fans - here and elsewhere - who love the guy and wouldn't trade him for any coach in the country. I begged for him to write about Texas with the same intellectual vigor that he applies to his NBA columns.
It just looks like those efforts are wasted, that his fandom begins and ends with Durant, and that we should expect a running series of "Rick Barnes can't coach" jokes, from now until Durant departs for the NBA.
I will say this, though: Simmons had better be careful with his karma. Even before his blog entry today with his wife's picks, I was starting to think about it: he's setting himself up for a big, hard fall. With all the negative energy he's directing towards Rick Barnes, DJ Augustin, and Texas, and with each consecutive entry that he slams the man who brought the kid to Austin, one wonders whether David Stern may just reach for those sealed envelopes and - just to torture Simmons - carefully avoid selecting that Boston Celtics envelope that's been sitting in a freezer for six hours prior to the drawing.
And there won't be anyone in Austin weeping when the New York Knicks select Kevin Durant with the top pick of the draft.
I'm just sayin'. . .