The highlight of this NBA preseason wasn’t an amazing dunk against a complacent starter too lazy to play defense when the game doesn’t even count. It wasn’t an incredible 4th quarter performance by the Cleveland Cavalier’s surprise #1 overall pick, Anthony Bennett. The best part of the preseason and entire month of October was Bill and Jalen’s NBA preview. The world’s most powerful Sports Columnist, Bill Simmons, teamed up with partner in crime and former NBA Journeyman, Jalen Rose, to deliver rankings of all 30 NBA teams. Each accompanied by a video of the two discussing how a given franchise might fare in the upcoming season.
Starting from the worst teams and moving towards the elite, I watched these videos religiously while eating my lunch during work each day. From the lowly Philadelphia 76ers to the unexpectedly top ranked Chicago Bulls, every video contained detailed analysis accompanied by the pop-culture references and photoshop gags that have made Grantland a powerhouse of sports journalism. Unfortunately, ranking the videos will be even more arbitrary than ranking teams, so for brevity’s sake I’ll only be including a bottom 7 and top 7. Here are my rankings of Bill and Jalen’s NBA rankings.
Part I – These videos are tanking for the draft lottery:
Bill and Jalen, you spent 3 minutes of the 12 you gave to my Golden State Warriors discussing an Eddie Murphy movie I haven’t seen. Bill doesn’t understand what Super Splash (smash) Bros is referencing. They also made Klay Thompson out to be some sort of pouty and unproven one dimensional basketball player. Just because it’s true doesn’t make it Ok. Klay is very sensitive. Additionally, we had to sift through 21 teams to find out what kind of trouble Jalen got in in Oakland, and all he has to talk about is one KMEL summer Jam in 1992?
Say The Heat are tired. Tell everyone how thirsty Derrick Rose is after taking a year off. Nobody puts baby (Lebron) in a corner.
Even Bill’s blatant and hilarious bias towards his home town Celtics couldn’t save this one. Leaving out this interview with Celtic’s player/human didgeridoo Gerald Wallace was unforgivable.
Jalen correctly predicted that James Harden would be traded a week before it happened, and Bill must remind us of this every thirty minutes. In this preview he claimed that Michael Jordan would return to play one game Bobcats and stood by it when questioned. Admit it’s a joke, Jalen!
Bill makes Jalen watch a clip from the Maple Leafs/Bruins playoff series which Jalen doesn’t care about. Jalen then explains how players straight up don’t want to play in Toronto because they get taxed in two countries. We do get a good story, however, about Jalen buying an international Vurtu phone because he was in the mood to buy something.
Bill talks non-stop about how Rudy Gay is a chucker and bad for the team last year and then all of the sudden their “window has closed” when they get rid of him? Clairvoyant Bill can predict the future but doesn’t remember the stuff he said in the past.
Jalen didn’t have any good stories about champaigning and campaigning in Portland. I think everyone would’ve liked to hear about a misadventure in America’s weirdest city.
Be sure to check back for Part II coming up later this week.