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Hater aiding broadcast

Just saw this, but I find it hilarious that Bill Simmons is calling the Heat-Warriors game on Friday, joining Dan Shulman and Mark Jackson on the broadcast.

Among the things Simmons has said either in ESPN.com or on his podcast or on Miami radio appearances is, first, the Heat will never work, then, the Heat will win several titles, then back to the Heat will never work.Simmons

After two games this season he went back, full-time it appears, to the "this will never work" assessment, among his arguments being that LeBron looks angry and the Heat appears joyless. I know Simmons knows basketball, and I agree with him on so many things, but I think he's trying too hard, and definitely too soon, to find reasons the Heat won't work. Maybe it's overcompensating for his lack of faith in the Celtics last postseason, when he said his C's would lose to the Heat in the first round.

From his Oct. 29 column:

That leads me to Epiphany No. 2 ...

Granted, I love overthinking this stuff. That's what I do. But I attended Miami's first two games and my biggest takeaway was the team's collective joylessness. Even during the Heat's first victory in Philly -- an infinitely easier game because the Sixers stink and their crowd was mostly catatonic -- nobody seemed happy except for James Jones, who was making open 3s like it was a pop-a-shot game. There was a distance between everyone. I noticed it. My father noticed it. My friends on Wednesday night noticed it. The vibe was undeniably weird. I thought the Heat would be as close-knit as Oklahoma City; instead, they acted like like they had been introduced 45 minutes before the game. And LeBron and Wade weren't "Kanye West and Mike Myers raising money for Katrina" level uncomfortable, but you would have never guessed they were buddies or even acquaintances.

So ... why?

The easy explanation: They're adjusting to that "everyone hates us, now it's us against the world" mentality and it's going to take some time.

The overthinking-it-but-maybe-I'm-right explanation: Maybe everyone slowly realized during the preseason, "Good God, LeBron is MUCH better than Dwyane. What do we do? How do we handle this? Do we wait for Dwyane to admit it? Do we ... wait, what do we do???"

Can't say for sure that I haven't missed a Simmons column in which he's changed his opinion again, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't swung back in the pro-Heat direction. Either way, it should all make for an interesting broadcast Friday, especially because you figure the Heat should not only handle the Warriors easily, giving the broadcasters plenty of time to chat, but also because the Heat should have plenty of fast break opportunities to look extra, extra good just for Simmons.


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