As Bill Simmons has gotten more and more popular the past year, he’s slowly drifting away from doing what got him popular in the first place–his basketball articles. The man has embraced new-media and even newer fame to a level that calling him a sports writer doesn’t really fly anymore–dude’s a sports “personality”.
Throughout the NBA Finals, as his hometown Celtics and the Lakers took swings at each other, I kept expecting a long piece from him. It’s what he’s done every June. But I waited and waited.
Ray Allen hit eight threes! I bet he’s gonna write a piece about Jesus Shuttlesworth!
Okay, I’m sure he’ll have a piece out about Shrek and Donkey after they inexplicably carried the team to a must-win game 4!
Alright, on the eve of game 7, there has to be a piece from Simmons. HAS TO.
The finals came and gone without one piece of writing from The Sports Guy. Instead he sat courtside every game and held live chats over espn.com. He made a few tweets on the off days between games, but nothing close to his usual basketball ramblings.
No 800 word rundown of Glen Davis’s emergence. No running paragraph about Ron Artest’s craziness. Not a word about the Celtic’s gutsy wins in games 2 and 4. Nothing.
I’m not writing this to complain. I fully understand that Bill Simmons is a borderline celebrity now and I’m sure ESPN wanted him to run his live chats during games instead of writing articles the next day. I’m sure he refrain from tweeting his thoughts too much to save material for the chat. As one of the pioneering internet writer, it is only fitting he is moving on to new ventures now that everyone who’s got a slight passion for anything babbles their shit online.
But for me, an aspiring features writer hoping to one day write about basketball, I need someone to read. I need someone to follow.
Enter Adrian Wojnarowski. Dude’s not funny like Simmons, nor is he hip like Simmons. But he is currently the best basketball features writer around. He uses a combination of straight reporting, quotes, personal opinions, and a tad of color to make interesting read.
So yeah. Check him out here