Everyone remembers Kobe’s Lakers finally winning a title without Shaq in 2009. But why don’t they remember Orlando’s epic Game 4 collapse? Was this one of the biggest Finals meltdowns ever? Should the Magic have won the the series? How did those two missed free throws change Dwight Howard’s legacy? And just what the hell was Jameer Nelson doing? Bill breaks it down with The Ringer’s Kevin Clark and Joe House.
Dwight Howard was the league’s best center for five straight seasons. He even toppled LeBron in a conference finals to make the 2009 Finals. So what derailed him from being an all-time great? Was it injuries? Was he just kind of a jackass? Had the level of competition at center dipped so much that it made him seem better than he was? How do you explain his redemption with the 2019-20 Lakers? And why was Dwight the most properly rated NBA star ever? Bill breaks it all down with The Ringer’s...
Chapter 18: In December 2012, Kobe Bryant wasn’t even halfway through his last elite Lakers season, but he was putting more thought into the bigger picture than ever before. What was leadership all about, anyway? How could he use social media to advance his message? Would he rather be remembered as a winner or a great teammate? And what made him want to pick up the phone and call Bill Simmons out of the blue?
In 2015, Kobe Bryant joined Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose on the Grantland Basketball Hour to discuss the tail end of his NBA career, his partnership with Shaquille O’Neal, the state of basketball in 2015, and his upcoming basketball documentary, ‘Muse.’
Watch the video here
Was Larry Johnson’s 4-point shot the last truly great Knicks moment? Was he fouled in the first place? Why was basketball so BAD back then? Why did we still love it so much? And was it a coincidence that James Dolan took over the Knicks shortly thereafter and ruined all the fun? Bill breaks it all down with The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey and Jason Concepcion.
Chapter 7: Was Reggie Miller a superstar? Is he the best example of a player who was way ahead of his time? Did he save pro basketball in Indiana? What would he have been like during the advanced metrics era?
Chapter 6: What’s the second-best thing you can win if you never win a title? Critical acclaim! Bill made Hall of Famer Steve Nash rewatch Game 4 of the infamous 2007 Spurs-Suns series—when the Suns were derailed by suspensions, bad luck, and one terrible commissioner decision—before breaking it all down. Did the Suns get screwed? What would Nash do-over in that series? Were the Suns way ahead of their time or not ahead of their time enough? And did Phoenix’s front office sabotage that season...
Remembering the Game 7 when Kawhi Leonard became immortal, the Jimmy Butler era ended in Philly, Joel Embiid cried, the 2019 playoffs shifted gears, and Kawhi sank the greatest (and craziest) series-winning shot of all time. Would the NBA ever be the same? Was this one of the greatest performances ever? And why did Kawhi shoot 39 times while still obeying the Secret? Bill Simmons breaks it all down with The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo and Chris Ryan.
Cleveland won a championship? The Cavs rallied back from 3-1? LeBron delivered on his promise to Ohio? The Warriors blew a chance to become the greatest team ever? How did one dramatic Game 7 yield The Shot, The Block, AND The Stop? Why wasn’t Stephen Curry a bigger goat? Was this LeBron’s greatest performance ever? And did this nudge Kevin Durant to the Warriors and change the course of NBA history? Bill answers all of these questions and more as he breaks down Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals...
Chapter 5b: On the verge of blowing yet another playoff series, this time after building a 3-1 lead against San Antonio, the Mavs dig down deep in a classic Game 7. Was 2006 a wildly underrated NBA season? Has Dirk Nowitzki ever been better? Could that Spurs team have won five straight titles? Is Mark Cuban the first and only owner-chemist? And what the hell was Manu Ginobili doing? Bill breaks it all down with Marc Stein from The New York Times.
Chapter 5: How did the 2011 playoffs change Dirk’s destiny as a top-35 player? Would he have been even better in the current 3-point-happy era than the previous one? Is he the most popular Dallas athlete ever? And could Dirk crack the Pantheon in Bill’s 100-player Hall of Fame Pyramid? These questions and more are broken down in our fourth “Pyramid Podcast” with Marc Stein of ‘The New York Times.’
Chapter 4c: After becoming the spiritual leader of the Advanced Metrics Revolution, Daryl Morey spends the 2010s building a contender around James Harden and Chris Paul, only to watch his title dreams vanish in a gut-wrenching series against the defending champion Warriors. What inefficiencies did Morey first exploit last decade in Boston and Houston? What was the thinking behind the Harden trade? What could the 2018 Rockets have done differently? And why did the NBA take so long to move into...
Chapter 4b: Up 2-0 in the Western Finals and riding a 20-game winning streak, the seemingly invincible Spurs are demolished by Kevin Durant and a Thunder team that peaked at the perfect time. How did the series flip? Was this the best-played and most-loaded series of the decade? Was this OKC’s Apex Mountain? Why was the last minute of Game 6 so emotional? Were the 2012-14 Spurs historically underrated? And how the hell could OKC ever trade James Harden after Game 5? Bill breaks it all down...
Chapter 4: Is Harden the NBA’s best scorer since Michael Jordan? Was the Harden trade the NBA’s biggest “what if?” ever? How much should Harden’s playoff stumbles matter for him historically? Where does his beard rank among the NBA’s greatest facial hairstyles ever? And where does Harden rank on Bill’s 100-player Hall of Fame Pyramid? These questions and more are broken down in our third “Pyramid Podcast” with Bill’s former Grantland colleague, ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
Chapter 3b: With the Shaq/Kobe era crumbling against a hungry 2004 Pistons team, Shaquille O’Neal tried to save the day with a memorable throwback performance. It ended up being his last great Lakers game. What did that night say about Shaq, that bizarre Lakers season, and a now-underrated champion from Detroit that wouldn’t roll over? Bill breaks it down with his former ESPN colleague J.A. Adande.
Chapter 3: Was Shaquille O’Neal the one Pantheon player who could have been top five if he really wanted it? Would vintage Shaq have been better or worse in 2019? Were Shaq and Kobe always destined to turn on each other? Was 'Kazaam' better than 'Steel'? And where does Shaq rank on Bill’s 100-player Hall of Fame Pyramid? These questions and more are broken down in our second Pyramid Podcast, with Northwestern University’s director of sports journalism, J.A. Adande.
Chapter 2b: No 2010s NBA game unleashed more “what ifs” than Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference finals. It’s impossible to figure out Stephen Curry’s phenomenal decade without hashing through everything that happened that night. So what happened? In the pilot episode of TBOB Rewatchables, recorded earlier this year on 'The Bill Simmons Podcast,' Bill re-lives that historic night with The Ringer’s Chris Ryan and Joe House.
Chapter 2: Will we remember the 2010s for Curry or LeBron? Is Curry already the greatest shooter of all time? Has any modern superstar ever had more career-related “what ifs”? Is Curry STILL underrated? And where does he rank on Bill’s 100-player Hall of Fame Pyramid? These questions and more are broken down in our first Pyramid Podcast with The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo.
Chapter 1: Future Hall of Famer Steve Kerr joins Bill to discuss a quarter-century of learning “The Secret” in Chicago (with Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson), San Antonio (with Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich), and Phoenix (with Steve Nash), and then how Kerr watched it unfold during his historic run as the coach of the three-time champion Golden State Warriors. Were they the greatest team of all time? And why couldn’t it last? Does “The Secret” have a shelf life?
The Prologue: Bill Simmons remembers the day when he learned “The Secret” of basketball from Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, then built his New York Times no. 1 bestselling book around the premise in 2009. Only one problem: 10 years later, we’re in the middle of the player empowerment era and “The Secret” might not matter anymore.
Bill Simmons’s new podcast breaks down the NBA's most important games, players, and teams, extending and reinventing his New York Times no. 1 bestselling book from 2009. Playing off the NBA’s dramatic changes during the past decade, Bill uses new commentary and fresh interviews with players and top media members to determine how the league has evolved and where it’s headed.