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The Bill Simmons Podcast

Boston’s Gamble, the GOAT Blazer, Philly’s Future, and ‘The Idol’ Flames Out With Chris Ryan and Wesley Morris

Fri Jul 07 2023
NBAtrade rumorssummer leagueteam pressureslegacyJames Hardenpotential tradestournamentsscandalcelebrity careersTV showspsychological statesperformancesentertainment industry


The episode covers NBA trade rumors, summer league, team pressures, legacy of players like Clyde Drexler, uncertainty with James Harden, potential trades, tournaments, and insights on scandal and celebrity careers. It also touches on random topics, disappointing endings in shows, psychological states, great performances, and the uncertain future of the entertainment industry.


Ben Simmons Trade Rumors

Trade scenarios involving Portland, Miami, and Brooklyn are discussed. Rolling the dice with Ben Simmons as a distressed asset is explored.

Team Pressures and Trade Speculation

Teams like Milwaukee, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Clippers are under pressure to succeed. Potential trades for James Harden or Damian Lillard are discussed.

Concerns about Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder

There are concerns about coaching, defensive struggles, and key player losses for the Boston Celtics. The future of the Oklahoma City Thunder is uncertain.

Legacy of Clyde Drexler and Uncertainty with James Harden

Clyde Drexler's legacy as one of the greatest Blazers is discussed. Uncertainty surrounds James Harden's potential trade to the Philadelphia 76ers.

James Harden Trade Speculation and Potential Destinations

James Harden's prior history, trade demands, and potential destinations like the LA Clippers are discussed.

Sixers' Desperation and Potential Trades

The Philadelphia 76ers' desperation, potential trades involving James Harden, and the importance of advanced stats models are highlighted.

Trade Speculation and Uncertainty in the NBA

Trade speculation involving Miami, Boston Celtics, and the end season tournament is discussed. Uncertainty surrounds the top team in the East.

Tournaments and Anticipated Events

The significance and excitement of tournaments in basketball and other sports are explored. The Women's World Cup and upcoming World Cup and Olympic basketball are anticipated events.

Random Topics and Thoughts

Various random topics, including sports predictions, TV show analysis, and choreography in shows, are discussed.

Exploring Scandal and Celebrity Careers

The changing perception of scandal, its impact on celebrity careers, and missed opportunities in TV shows are explored.

Disappointing Ending and Missed Opportunities

The disappointing ending of a TV show, missed opportunities in storytelling, and the involvement of The Weeknd are discussed.

Psychological States and Uncertain Future

The exploration of psychological states, the impact of ego and id, and the uncertain future of TV shows are discussed.

Great Performances and Uncertain Industry

Praise for great performances in TV shows, the uncertain future of young actors, and the potential impact of AI on the entertainment industry are highlighted.


  1. NBA Trade Rumors and Summer League
  2. Trade Scenarios and Pressure on Teams
  3. Concerns about Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder
  4. Legacy of Clyde Drexler and Uncertainty with James Harden
  5. James Harden Trade Speculation and Potential Destinations
  6. Sixers' Desperation and Potential Trades
  7. Trade Speculation and Uncertainty in the NBA
  8. Tournaments and Anticipated Events
  9. Random Topics and Thoughts
  10. Exploring Scandal and Celebrity Careers
  11. Disappointing Ending and Missed Opportunities
  12. Psychological States and Uncertain Future
  13. Great Performances and Uncertain Industry
  14. Summary and Musical Outro

NBA Trade Rumors and Summer League

00:02 - 07:15

  • The podcast discusses the upcoming NBA summer league and its significance
  • Ben Simmons trade rumors are discussed, with potential trade scenarios involving Portland, Miami, and Brooklyn
  • The idea of rolling the dice with Ben Simmons as a distressed asset is explored
  • The importance of the trade for Portland's GM Joe Cronin is highlighted
  • Possible draft picks and players involved in the trade scenarios are mentioned
  • The phrase 'on the clock' is introduced as a topic for discussion

Trade Scenarios and Pressure on Teams

06:49 - 13:39

  • Ben Simmons is considered the least tradable contract in the NBA.
  • Mark Lazarus sold his share of the Bucks for 3.5 billion two years before Giannis became a free agent, which puts Milwaukee on the clock.
  • Dallas Mavericks have committed a significant amount of money to several players who are unlikely to make an All-Star team, putting them on the clock if things don't work out.
  • The Los Angeles Clippers, with their new arena opening soon, are under pressure to succeed and may be desperate to make moves like trading for James Harden or Damian Lillard.
  • Grant Williams was signed and traded by Dallas without the Celtics receiving anything in return, indicating potential issues with head coach Ime Udoka.
  • Udoka's job security may be at risk if there is a Miami sweep in the playoffs.

Concerns about Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder

13:09 - 20:05

  • The Boston Celtics made some trades to help make Joe Missoula successful as a coach.
  • There is concern that Joe Missoula may not be a good coach and the team's moves could backfire.
  • The worst-case scenario for the team is if poor Zingas gets injured, the team struggles defensively, and Jaylin isn't happy with his contract extension.
  • The team had a strong defensive identity in 2022 but has lost key players like Marcus and Grant.
  • Scoot, a young player on the team, has potential and people should pay attention to him in Summer League.
  • Chet, another young player on the team, could have a big impact if he performs well.
  • There are concerns about the future of the Oklahoma City Thunder as they have valuable assets and may be targeted by other cities like Seattle.

Legacy of Clyde Drexler and Uncertainty with James Harden

19:38 - 26:45

  • The value of the OKC team in a small market versus a big market is an interesting question.
  • Someone could potentially offer $5 billion for the team and it's unclear what the NBA would do.
  • If someone was a rich billionaire, they might consider buying the OKC team.
  • There has been discussion about Damian Lillard being the greatest blazer of all time, but Bill Walton should also be considered.
  • Bill Walton was an incredible player and won a title with Portland.
  • Clyde Drexler should not be overlooked as one of the greatest blazers ever.
  • Drexler was an electric player who made two finals and had impressive stats throughout his career.
  • Although Drexler's teams struggled to win championships, he was still a superstar player.
  • Clyde Drexler's career was overshadowed by Michael Jordan and the Dream Team.
  • Drexler was constantly compared to Jordan and faced intense competition from him.
  • Drexler had some embarrassing moments, like playing with two left sneakers in practice.
  • People should do more research before declaring current players as the greatest ever.
  • Damian Lillard cannot be considered the best Trailblazer until he achieves more than Drexler did.
  • Drexler's legacy is often overlooked or misunderstood, suggesting that legacy may not matter as much as thought.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers are facing uncertainty with James Harden's potential trade to the team.
  • There is speculation about whether Harden will return to the Sixers despite his prior history of causing issues on other teams.

James Harden Trade Speculation and Potential Destinations

26:16 - 32:49

  • James Harden's prior history of tanking and torpedoing two different teams
  • Trade demands in the NBA are often more professional and business-like behind the scenes
  • Harden may come back to the Houston Rockets without any hard feelings
  • Kevin Durant also had a similar situation with the Brooklyn Nets last year
  • Damian Lillard's love for basketball may prevent him from demanding a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers
  • Aaron Goodman warns about trading for an unhappy player like Lillard
  • Nick Nurse's coaching style and innovation could be a factor in James Harden's potential success with the Philadelphia 76ers
  • Daryl Morey's stubbornness and media speculation play a role in this story
  • Harden made an impulsive decision to opt-in, possibly out of frustration with Houston
  • The longer this goes on, the more likely the LA Clippers become a potential destination for Harden
  • The Clippers may need to make changes if they want to compete against stronger Western Conference teams like the Lakers

Sixers' Desperation and Potential Trades

37:46 - 43:48

  • There is desperation with the Sixers and some on the clock stuff this year.
  • The fan base may accept year five as the year everything falls into place.
  • Paul George would be a great fit for the Clippers.
  • Trading James Harden for Terrence Mann and Norm Powell could work well for the Sixers.
  • Daryl Morey is focused on building a championship team and sentimental attachment to players is irrelevant.
  • Maxie's progress could make trading Harden for Powell and Mann acceptable to Sixers fans.
  • The Celtics' belief in Derek White was strengthened after getting rid of Marcus Smart.
  • Being around certain players like Kyrie Irving can change people's perception of them.
  • Sports fans tend to move on quickly from devastating losses and start believing in their teams again.
  • Advanced stats models consistently favor the Sixers, but they need to break up the Embiid-Harris combo soon or risk losing Embiid's loyalty.
  • The process officially started when Michael Carter-Williams was traded by the Sixers.
  • Tobias Harris is a valuable trade asset due to his salary flexibility.
  • San Antonio made smart moves in free agency by acquiring Reggie Bullock and SETI Osman using their cap space.
  • Being proactive with restricted free agents can be risky, as history has shown that overpaying rarely leads to success.

Trade Speculation and Uncertainty in the NBA

43:27 - 49:34

  • Philly is expected to stay the same.
  • Daryl Morey wants to keep the team as it is.
  • The Clippers are not expected to stay the same.
  • Miami is waiting on Damian Lillard and may be involved in a trade with Portland.
  • There might be stories about Kyle Lowry's dedication to Miami in October.
  • Miami will have a high payroll if they sign Lillard, Butler, and Adebayo to big contracts.
  • It's uncertain who will come out of the East as the top team.
  • Boston Celtics have made some moves but still need to finalize deals for Jaylen Brown and Jalen Suggs.
  • There is speculation about why the Celtics haven't signed Jaylen Brown's extension yet.
  • The end season tournament has been scheduled for December in Las Vegas.
  • Some people are excited about the tournament while others question its significance and stakes.
  • In Philly, people are more focused on football than basketball right now.

Tournaments and Anticipated Events

49:10 - 55:03

  • The FA Cup in England is important because it's old, but the new tournament will take time to become cool.
  • Tournament basketball is fun and a final four for the NBA would be really cool.
  • The stakes of the tournament are not clear, but it would be more exciting if it was a shorter season.
  • There could be fascinating scenarios and injuries that add excitement to the tournament.
  • In England, entire countries participate in cups like this with young players in the opening rounds.
  • The Women's World Cup is wide open this year and Alyssa has a chance to become a top player.
  • The USMNT has introduced new players with speed and skill, shaking off the last era.
  • There is disagreement about certain players' roles on the team, but overall they seem good at soccer.
  • The next World Cup and Olympic basketball are also anticipated events.

Random Topics and Thoughts

54:34 - 1:01:40

  • Austin Reeb's gets 56. He's not as good as those guys.
  • We have the entire Georgia defense plus Devontae, like Jalen, like all the guys we have are entering their prime.
  • The over-under for wincer is 11 and a half.
  • The Giants got worse, but the Cowboys stayed the same.
  • We play the AFC East this year, so it's going to be a little bit of a go.
  • The show 'Idol' didn't work, but it took a big swing and that's okay.
  • Lily Rose-Dep was great on the show despite its flaws.
  • There were behind-the-scenes changes that affected the show's quality.
  • 'Idol' had one of the great first episodes of a television show with funny and sad moments.
  • The choreography in 'Idol' was sexy and contributed to a larger puzzle.

Exploring Scandal and Celebrity Careers

1:01:15 - 1:07:47

  • The show explores the changing perception of scandal and its impact on celebrity careers.
  • The leaked nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence did not ruin her career as it would have in the past.
  • The show initially seemed to be exploring the idea that scandal could actually benefit a celebrity's career.
  • Jane Adams' character suggests using a scandalous photo as an album cover, highlighting the normalization of scandals in today's society.
  • The show becomes confused about its satirical focus and fails to clearly indict anyone or make a point.
  • There is speculation that the character played by The Weeknd was inspired by Prince and his ability to captivate despite controversy.
  • The show could have explored the dynamic between two famous people, one with a dark side and one who falls under their influence.
  • Lily Rose's character starts off as vacant but shows potential for growth, which is ultimately not realized in the show.
  • The quality of subsequent episodes does not live up to the promising start of the first episode.
  • By the fifth episode, it becomes unclear what the purpose or point of the show is.

Disappointing Ending and Missed Opportunities

1:07:25 - 1:14:46

  • The show's ending was confusing and lacked a clear point or purpose.
  • The character development of the antagonist, played by The Weekend, was inconsistent and poorly executed.
  • The show missed opportunities to explore more interesting and dramatic storylines.
  • There may have been an episode missing from the final season, leading to a rushed and unsatisfying conclusion.
  • The involvement of The Weekend in the show seemed driven by his own personal interests rather than serving the story.
  • The performances of Chloe and Moses Sommenie were standout moments in an otherwise lackluster show.
  • Talent was portrayed as a redeeming factor for characters' questionable actions.
  • The show failed to capture the essence of movies like Purple Rain or A Star is Born.
  • Sam Levinson, the creator of Euphoria, may have faced similar challenges as Jocelyn in the show.

Psychological States and Uncertain Future

1:14:16 - 1:21:05

  • The show is about various psychological states, including ego and id.
  • There is a super ego layer that acts as a barrier against the ego running wild.
  • The show loses interest in what is compelling about Taedros.
  • The danger of the show is the audience being attracted to Prince but not to Tedros.
  • A suggestion is made for the show to end with the three characters realizing they were the villains all along.
  • The super ego is seen as a problem in entertainment and society, acting as a gatekeeper.
  • The show should have focused on a pop star on a bender instead of introducing moral obstacles like in Purple Rain.
  • The show may be forgotten and disappear from the app after some time.
  • Other shows like 'John from Cincinnati' and 'Yellow Jackets' also lost their way after promising starts.
  • 'Beef' had an interesting progression from comedy to capturing real-life experiences.

Great Performances and Uncertain Industry

1:20:44 - 1:27:37

  • The two lead actors in a show were praised for their performances.
  • Steve is considered a good actor and someone worth watching in future projects.
  • Ali Wong, known as a comedian, surprised with her excellent performance.
  • Good writing and directing can elevate a show and allow for creative tangents.
  • The show mentioned had a beautiful ending that moved the speaker emotionally.
  • The career prospects of young actors are uncertain due to the changing landscape of the industry.
  • The rise of AI may impact scriptwriting and production processes in the future.

Summary and Musical Outro

1:33:53 - 1:40:58

  • The podcast ends with a musical outro