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Media Meltdowns

We Have To Shut Down New England Basketball Punditry Until We Figure Out What’s Going On

Bill Simmons
Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images/The New Yorker

You should know exactly what you are getting yourself into when you click play on a podcast featuring Ryen Russillo, Bill Simmons, and Jackie MacMullan, three of the most prominent members of what we’ll call the New England NBA Take Economy. You are going to get someone comparing LeBron James to Larry Bird, someone complaining about Vince Carter, and various thoughts about which NBA players have and have not earned the right to demand a trade (to be clear, all of these things happened on this podcast episode).

But it is also 2021, and so maybe you would not be prepared for these particular sports yakkers to veer into the sort of territory that has rarely been traversed since, say, 2013. You would maybe not, for example, be prepared for MacMullan to somehow get around to implying that NBA players are property, or to complain about Eric Bledsoe “grabbing his crotch.” Possibly you would not have been ready to listen to Simmons compare NBA players to his dogs.

Anyway, here are some things that were said on this podcast.

Bill Simmons explaining how NBA stars sometimes struggle to coexist as teammates, by comparing them to his dogs:

We got a puppy last month, and watching the dynamic of the puppies, competing for our attention, and our one dog Willy, who was kind of the apple of everyone’s eye, and this new puppy comes in, and he was just so resentful—not to compare NBA players to dogs

[Russillo interjects with: “Did you name the dog Kyrie?”]

[Simmons laughs]

It’s just funny with egos and resentment, it’s just human nature, it’s dog nature. And if you feel like this is always gonna be Curry’s team, he’s always going to be the apple of this coach’s eye, why am I here? I really do think that was a huge piece of the KD thing.

The Ryen Russillo Podcast

Jackie MacMullan on how she once had to explain to Kyrie Irving that NBA players are in fact property:

So I will tell you this, I was thinking about all the conversations I’ve had with Kyrie through the years, one of them I had, I don’t know, two years ago, we got into an argument about, you know, something.

And he’s like, “Well, there shouldn’t be an NBA draft. Players should be able to go wherever they want to go. We’re not, you know, someone’s property.”

And I’m like, “Yeah you are, dude. That’s the way it works. That’s why you get paid all these millions.”

The Ryen Russillo Podcast

Jackie MacMullan on why the Milwaukee Bucks should have kept Malcolm Brogdon instead of Eric Bledsoe:

Malcolm Brogdon, he should be on the Milwaukee Bucks right now, and Eric Bledsoe never should have been there. Don’t even get me started.

[Russillo makes the point that the Bucks probably let go of Brogdon because of his medical history]

Yeah, but they also had Eric Bledsoe in house, and they saw Eric Bledsoe on breakaway jams while they’re up by 30, grabbing his crotch and slamming the ball through. They saw the way he behaved in Phoenix. It’s not like he’s this model citizen. Brogdon’s nickname is “El Presidente.” I’ll take my chances with that kind of guy and his health history, as opposed to Bledsoe who just disappeared, evaporated into thin air in postseason after postseason. Come on, dude!

The Ryen Russillo Podcast

Okay then!