The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

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Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
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Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

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  • Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

    warning: a gratuitous Ron Artest bashing,

    compensated for by Ben Wallace bashing and high praise for Reggie Miller.

    By Bill Simmons
    Page 2

    Forget about the scoring explosion, the influx of likable young stars, even Kobe's Tony Montana-like demise in Los Angeles. The most entertaining subplot of the 2004-2005 season – at least for me – is a bona fide MVP race. Seriously, when was the last time you argued about a simple question like "Which NBA player means the most to his team?"

    The last memorable MVP debates occurred in 1993 and 1997, when Charles Barkley and Karl Malone won MVP awards thanks to the always-indefensible logic, "We're just tired of voting for Michael Jordan." But those were never really debates – true basketball fans knew better, and MJ proved them right by pulling a Keyzer Soze on the Suns and Jazz in the '93 and '97 Finals. The last genuine debate happened in 1987 – Magic, Larry or MJ – and to this day, you could make a case for any of the three. This year? You could make solid cases for six guys. But before we get to them, here's a look at some of the players who didn't make the cut (and where they finished in the top 425).

    So what if he killed the Pacers -- Ron reached "save until I delete" status on my TiVo.
    In reverse order ...

    425. Ron Artest
    Well, he charged into the stands at Detroit, inadvertently attacked the wrong culprit, triggered the scariest melee in the history of basketball, drew the biggest suspension in league history, single-handedly killed the title hopes of a potential 60-win team, overshadowed Reggie Miller's last season and disappointed the Basketball Jesus. That has to make him the NBA LVP (least valuable player) ... narrowly edging Mark Blount and Rick Brunson. On the bright side, it was the greatest TV night in years and gave us Artest's famous post-suspension quote, "I'm trying to be positive. I'm a big fan of the Nobel Peace Prize."

    417. Darko Milicic
    A quick recap of the 2003 Draft ...

    No. 1. – LeBron James
    No. 2. – Darko Milicic
    No. 3. – Carmelo Anthony
    No. 4. – Chris Bosh
    No. 5. – Dwyane Wade

    (That's like reaching into a brown paper bag filled with two checks for $100 million, two checks for $10 million, and a check for $10 ... and pulling out the check for 10 dollars. Ouch.)

    397. Zach Randolph
    The dreaded double whammy: He destroyed Portland's cap space AND killed its season. At least he's a good guy.

    375. Adonal Foyle
    Plays about 20 minutes a game, gives you 4 points and 5 rebounds a night, blocks 1 or 2 shots ... in other words, he's having a typically harmless Adonal Foyle season, only he's in year one of a $40 million contract. So here's the question: Has Chris Mullin ever come out and explained this? If you were a Warriors fan, wouldn't you want an answer? This was like the Korean guy on "Lost" becoming a free agent and ABC giving him $40 million to stay on the show through 2010.

    340. Vince Carter
    Note to Raptors season ticket holders: File a class-action suit against him. Seriously. Ask for reparations. You bought tickets under the assumption that the Toronto players would give their best effort; he signed a contract promising that he would give his best effort; and after watching his performance in Jersey over the past three months, that clearly wasn't the case. So why not sue him?

    (I'll even be a witness for the prosecution: "Yes, I went to a Clippers-Raptors game in early December ... no, he didn't seem that interested in the proceedings ... ")

    319. Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell (tie)
    Trading for an NBA player with baggage is like dating a girl with baggage – maybe you'll be happy for a few months, but there's a 95-percent chance it's going to end badly. (And I mean, BADLY, as in, "Why does it hurt when I pee?" or "I wonder who left 59 hang-ups on my answering machine?") In Minnesota's case, Spree and Sam helped KG win an MVP and nearly got Minny to the 2005 Finals before turning faster than a gallon of milk. Was it worth it? I would say yes. You only have three or four chances to win a title with a superstar, so you do what you need to do. And if this leads to Spree's retiring and filming a reality-show on his yacht, maybe it was for the best.

    278. Jamal Crawford
    If the NBA was a roto league, the other owners would have sent Isiah Thomas the "Hey, no offense, but maybe you should bring a partner next season" e-mail by now.

    238. Chris Andersen
    Hasn't received nearly enough acclaim for what happened since a potentially career-ending Slam Dunk Contest – not only is he playing crunch time for the lowly Hornets, he's even had a few double-doubles. This is like Carl Lewis bouncing back from the National Anthem disaster and singing a well-received duet at the 1993 Grammys with Mary J. Blige. There's really no precedent.

    215. Carlos Boozer
    That's what you get for screwing over a generous blind guy.

    It will be a dark day in Sport Guy World if Paul is ever out of the NBA.
    200. Paul Shirley
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one, but thanks to his ongoing blog on we could finally have an answer to the question, "What would it be like if one our friends was an NBA player and sent us e-mails about his life every few days?"

    One mitigating factor: David Stern, who could morph into the warden in Shawshank over this one. I could even see this exchange happening outside the commissioner's office one night ...

    – Stern: "So you're telling me that you're going to continue doing this blog, and you're going to continue to be as candid as possible?"

    – Shirley: "Yessir, that's all I ever wanted, just give me that chance."

    – Stern (taking one last puff from a cigarette): "That's what I thought."

    (He puts out his cigarette and walks away, then Shirley is quickly gunned down by Dick Bavetta from a fifth-story window.)

    181. Baron Davis
    Classic Warriors: They roll the dice on a former All-Star who ends up playing out of his mind, turning the team around and screwing up their top-four lottery spot. When next year rolls around, he'll probably blow out his knee before Halloween. We need to chip in $5 apiece and buy Warriors fans a new team – they make Clippers fans seem fortunate by comparison.

    161. Chris Webber
    Would anything be more entertaining than C-Webb's getting injured in the playoffs, followed by a Kings-Sixers Finals and the first-ever Double Ewing Theory? I think about these things.

    150. Andrei Kirilenko
    (Shaking head sadly.)

    135. Lamar Odom
    Remember the SNL sketch about the Time-Life series for videos of family dysfunction, when every vignette (Thanksgiving, Easter, birthday, etc.) ended with Will Ferrell suddenly flipping over the dinner table and screaming, "That's it, [bleep] this, I'm out of here!" From January to March, after watching Kobe go one-on-three one too many times, I kept waiting for Odom to do this – just flip over the press table and scream, "That's it, [bleep] this, I'm out of here!" Instead, he went on the DL with a fake injury. Wise move. I wouldn't want to be his bong right now.

    110. Freddie Jones
    Survived the random attack from Ben Wallace's brother, served as the go-to guy for the Pacers when half their team was missing, kept them competitive when everyone thought they were done ... and now he's settled into a productive bench role. I'm not saying that he deserves his own DVD or anything, but you have to hand it to him – he wasn't even their 10th man heading into the season.

    107. Andre Iguodala
    Officially replaced Kirilenko as "The Guy You Don't Want Guarding You Under Any Circumstances." And he's only a rookie. That reminds me, here's another idea for an All-Star Weekend Event: The Miller Lite Kapono-Iguodala Challenge. You have eight contestants, each of whom has to choose ones of two options:

    A. In five minutes, score as many baskets as possible against Andre Iguodala.

    or ...

    B. In 45 seconds, score as many baskets as possible against Jason Kapono.

    (Which option would they choose? Who would win? See, this is why I should be running All-Star Weekend.)

    92. Danny Fortson and Reggie Evans (tie)
    Remember my fantasy rule that Antonio Davis and Dale Davis should be combined into one roto monster: The Uber-Davis? We need to do the same thing with Fortson and Evans; as the great John Hollinger first pointed out, if you combine their per-minute numbers, they would be having like the 12th greatest rebounding season in the history of power forwards. So let's do make this a rule for next year – I want the chance to select Reganny Fortvans.

    69. Bobby Simmons
    Heart and soul of a Clippers team that could have won 45-50 games had they stayed healthy and/or Elgin Baylor realized you could make trades during the season. When they screw up and allow him to sign with a contender this summer – where he'll thrive, by the way, because he's a good guy and the ultimate fifth banana – I'm declaring war on Elgin, Donald Sterling and the entire Clippers franchise. I'm going to be like Stallone in "First Blood," when he has the knife to Brian Dennehy's throat: "You want a war? I'll give you a war you wouldn't believe."

    58. Dwight Howard
    Let's go to Harold Lederman's scorecard for the Okafor-Howard rivalry ...

    Oh-KAY, Bill ... I have the first round scored 10-9 for Howard over Okafor ... he stayed healthy, got better as the year went along, and lemme tell you something, this guy is a specimen! I'm prepared for anything with this guy – 30,000 points, 20 rebounds a game in one season, a 40-30 game, you name it! I just don't think Okafor has enough to stay with him! Back to you, Bill!

    Kobe the GM gets the anti-Executive of the Year award.
    42. Kobe Bryant
    My buddy House and I had a long argument about this one yesterday. House argued that, other than Artest, Kobe was the 2005 LVP because he single-handedly destroyed a Lakers dynasty that had 4-5 quality years left. My argument was that Kobe was the worst GM in the league (since we all know that he was the one making these moves) and deserves the blame for that, not his actual play. It's like when Eddie Murphy decided to direct "Harlem Nights," which should have been a funny movie and ended up being the film that sent his career spiralling into a free fall. You can't penalize Kobe The Player for being screwed over by Kobe The GM. Anyway, I'm sticking him here because it's my column. Screw you, House.

    35. Ricky Davis
    In three months, I went from thinking, "That guy will never, EVER get it" to "That guy is the most important player on a potential No. 3 seed." He's been an absolute revelation, especially since the Antoine trade – a throwback scorer who gets better when it matters. And he's only 25. Seriously, look it up. He's two years older than Tony Allen. Of course, that didn't stop NBC's announcers from taking shots at him for the entire Philly game on Sunday. Some guys just can't win.

    30. Jalen Rose
    Provided an insane amount of comedy over these past few months, including these classics:

    "There's always going to be criticism when your name is Jalen. You have to wear a bulletproof vest and be ready for it."
    – Jalen on himself

    "Was it for Richard Jefferson?"
    – Jalen after hearing that Carter had been traded to New Jersey

    "I'm a GM in fantasy basketball and I'm a GM on PlayStation, so on PlayStation I probably would have got a little more, but this is real life, so I don't know."
    – Jalen on the Vince Carter trade

    "He probably was a little tired from All-Star Weekend. While he was running up and down the court throwing it off the backboard, I was laying on the beach drinking a fruity drink with an umbrella. So I probably gave myself an unfair advantage on that one."
    – Jalen explaining why he outplayed Carter two days after the All-Star Game

    "I've got to stop this. My entourages are getting entourages."
    – Jalen on the trouble of finding tickets for everyone when he returns to Detroit

    (And my personal favorite ... )

    "Like I told the guys earlier, once he turns 21 and is able to drink, it's over."
    – Jalen after LeBron scored 56 on the Raptors

    25. Manu Ginobili
    If I could be any NBA player, I would probably choose Manu if it wasn't for the whole "There's a 90 percent chance my parents would get kidnapped" thing. Instead, I'll choose Mike Miller for the fifth straight year. I just want his jump shot for a week.

    20. Mike Bibby
    Winner of the "2005 Most Overlooked Good Player" Award. You're just not winning less than 30 games with a healthy Mike Bibby on your team. It's not happening.

    15. Ben Wallace
    Imagine if he won the MVP, then Stern had to present him with the trophy: "Ben, admittedly, this wasn't one of your better seasons, but you were a key player on the No. 2 seed in the East. More importantly, you started the Pacers brawl and kept escalating it until someone threw a beer on Ron Artest, leading to the inevitable demise of your biggest rival in the East. Ben Wallace, congratulations on being the 2005 MVP!"

    12. Grant Hill
    Just because.

    11. Ben Gordon
    Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.


    It took 20 years, but we finally found the next Andrew Toney. That "35-point/23-minute/22-point fourth quarter" game at Charlotte ranks up there with the Sleepy Floyd Game, Tony Delk's 53-point game and Todd Day's 29-point half at the FleetCenter as one of the most random, incredible performances I've ever seen. He's an absolute assassin. Do you think anyone wants to play the Bulls in the playoffs with this guy? Do you remember what happened in the Sixers-Celtics series back in 1982, when a young Toney single-handedly destroyed the defending champs? Exactly. I couldn't be more excited about him. Everyone keeps trying to figure out these convoluted reasons for why scoring has jumped so dramatically this season, but it really comes down to three things:

    A. They don't allow hand-checking anymore.

    B. They don't call moving picks anymore. Nobody ever mentions this – why do you think Nash is an MVP candidate this season?

    C. This is a whole other column (and I think I've even written it before), but just look at the drafts of 1980-1985 (a harvest of All-Stars and Hall of Famers that saved the league), 1986-1994 (a legitimate drought that destroyed the league), 1995-1999 (a temporary boon that saved the league again), and 2003-2004 (another boon that pushed things to another level). When you blue-chippers keep entering the league, eventually, the product improves. This isn't rocket science. The more Ben Gordons, the better.

    Maybe all KG needs is Robin Williams bringing him into his office saying "It's not your fault KG. It's not your fault."
    10. Kevin Garnett
    I know, I know ... it's not his fault. And his knee could be worse than they're letting on. At the same time, if you're an alleged superstar in your prime and your team can't even make the playoffs ... well, did Kareem ever miss the playoffs? Did Larry ever miss the playoffs? What about Magic and MJ? Even Karl Malone's Utah teams won 50 games every year, right? If they miss the playoffs, and it turns out KG wasn't hurt, that absolutely changes his legacy and slides him into that Barkley-Iverson-Drexler/Spotty Superstars group. And only a title could pull him out.

    (Of course, if they pass the Grizzlies over the next two weeks, forget I mentioned it. )

    9. Jason Kidd
    First, they screwed him over by dismantling his team. Then his microfracture surgery didn't totally work out – maybe he isn't limping around like C-Webb or anything, but he looks a step slow for him. Then, he has to rebuild Vince's confidence and deal with Jefferson's season-ending injury. At one point, they were 12-24 and headed for the lottery. Three months later? They're 37-39 and battling for a playoff spot with a team so dreadful Nets fans actually said the words, "Oh my God, Jacque Vaughn is out for the season, what are we going to do?" last week. And J-Kidd keeps chugging along. One of the greats.

    8. Reggie Miller
    Held the Pacers together after The Melee, turned back the clock for some surreal shooting performances during their current (and improbable) playoff charge. There wasn't nearly enough made of the Pacers this season – throw away the whole "Worst melee in the history of American sports" part and their season was more inspiring than "Brian's Song."

    7. Tim Duncan
    Only because he missed 20 games.

    6. Steve Nash
    Put it this way: If Nash won the MVP, it would be ...

    A. The first time a table-setter won the award.

    B. The first time a non-franchise player won the award.

    C. The first time a complete liability on the defensive end won the award.

    I know he's been immensely fun to watch, and he's making everyone who ever cared about the point guard position proud. But an MVP? You're telling me that Bibby or Kidd wouldn't have been just as successful with Stoudemire, Marion, Johnson and Q on their team? Does anyone else find it depressing that the point guard position has fallen so dramatically over the years, it's practically cause for celebration when someone plays it correctly? I have a variety of methods for determining my MVP choice every year, and here's one: "If this were a pickup game, based on how everyone's playing this season, who would get picked first?" I don't see Steve Nash going ahead of any of the next five guys. Sorry.

    (And while we're on the subject, the late Ralph Wiley would have brought up the "Would everyone be making this big of a deal about Steve Nash if he were black?" card about three months ago. And had fun with it.)

    4. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James (tie)
    LeBron carried an atrocious Cavs team that didn't have a decent coach, GM, backcourt, outside shooter ... it was like watching some of those early Tom Hanks movies, where you spend most of the time just feeling bad for him that he's not in something better. And other than Iverson and KG, Wade has to be the fiercest competitor in the league – one of those guys who never takes a play off, someone who looks physically pained if he misses a game winner, like his whole week has just been ruined. He genuinely cares about stuff like, "How am I carrying myself?", "Are my teammates happy?" and "What will my legacy be down the road?" Before the playoffs, you can almost picture him watching MJ games on ESPN Classic to get fired up.

    (I'm not sure which one of them is better – I'm just happy to be having the conversation. And if you don't think there's some Bird-Magic potential here over the next 10-12 years, you're nuts.)

    3. Dirk Nowitzki
    One of the biggest surprises of the season: Dirk Nowitzki developing a nasty streak. Who knew? Has there ever been a tougher European player? Actually, let's rephrase that – has there ever been a TOUGH European player? Where did this come from? Did Cuban hypnotize him into thinking he was playing every Mavs game for the German national team? Even when Ashton Kutcher "Punk'd" him last week, you could tell Dirk wanted to kick his butt for a few seconds. Just stunning. Forget about the scoring explosions, or the fact that he's having a career year with shuffling coaches, eight new teammates and no point guards to help him out. Having a cocky, snarling 7-foot German guy with 25-foot range has to rank among the highlights of the season. Who's more fun to root against than Dirk Nowitzki?

    (In fact, I'll go this far: Last summer, I wrote that Dallas was crazy for not trying to trade Nowitzki for Shaq, since it would have guaranteed them 2-3 titles and all. Now? I still think they're crazy ... only not nearly as crazy. If that makes sense.)

    2. Allen Iverson
    Forget about the year he won the MVP – that was a good team with some blue-chippers on it. This year, they threw another new coach at him, six new teammates, stuck him back at point guard ... and he responded by playing 42-45 minutes a night, setting everyone up and throwing his body around like a pro wrestler. By the way, have I mentioned yet that his team sucks? I mean, really, REALLY sucks? It was like watching Stephanie persevere with that crummy Ulong Tribe on "Survivor," only for 82 games. Absolutely his finest season.

    Do the math, don't do the math -- there's no argument either way. Shaq is your MVP.
    (Also, with the pounding he takes game after game, AI is starting to move into my person pantheon for "Guys I Will Always Remember Watching." I mean, this has been going on for like 10 years – he keeps getting knocked down, keeps getting up, keeps ripping teams' hearts out. Throw in his insanely intense interviews and he's a solid No. 2 choice. Plus, he's the new Clubber Lang – I don't think he's cracked a smile in six years. Any time he's being interviewed by Stephen A. Smith, I always feel like the world is about to end or something.)

    1. Shaquille O'Neal
    Try to follow this equation:

    A. The Lakers won 57 games last year ... they're headed for 35 wins this year.

    B. The Heat won 42 games last year ... they're headed for 62 wins this year.

    I'm no John Hollinger, but even I can add that up: That's a 42-game swing, not to mention the balance of power shifting to the East. And yes, that should have been enough to win Shaq another MVP. But this year has been special in the sense that people get him now – he's had a breakout season, only in the personality sense. Now there isn't a more beloved, charismatic, entertaining athlete in any sport. When I think of the 2004-2005 season, I'm going to think of Shaq first ... and that's the very definition of an MVP. At least to me.

    Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!).

  • #2
    Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

    PacersTom thank you for the post, but could I ask you to tone down your avatar a bit. It's nice and all, but I look at PD at work sometimes and your avatar isn't exactly what you want your boss seeing over your shoulder.


    • #3
      Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

      Originally posted by pacertom
      2. Allen Iverson
      Forget about the year he won the MVP – that was a good team with some blue-chippers on it. This year, they threw another new coach at him, six new teammates, stuck him back at point guard ... and he responded by playing 42-45 minutes a night, setting everyone up and throwing his body around like a pro wrestler. By the way, have I mentioned yet that his team sucks? I mean, really, REALLY sucks? It was like watching Stephanie persevere with that crummy Ulong Tribe on "Survivor," only for 82 games. Absolutely his finest season.
      Ridiculous, is he trying to complement Iverson on his willingness to play nearly every minute of every game? The reason why he has so many new coaches is because he is uncoachable.

      In my books he will always be one of the least most valuable players as he drives any other talented players out of Philly, consistently eeks into the playoffs in a weak conference, and refuses to basketball in a team system that might actually win.
      House Name: Pacers

      House Sigil:

      House Words: "We Kneel To No King"


      • #4
        Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

        That was actually pretty hillarious.

        Aside from the fact that he said Fred Jones "wouldn't even be a 10th man" for us this year. Which is obviously bogus.

        I always love a good Ben Wallace bashing though.

        The David Stern Shawshank Redemption analogy, with Dick Bevetta as the sniper is just too funny.

        And some of those Jalen Rose quotes are priceless. I hadn't read the playstation one before...but that's genius.


        • #5
          Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

          Originally posted by rcarey
          Aside from the fact that he said Fred Jones "wouldn't even be a 10th man" for us this year. Which is obviously bogus.
          Well, he's right. Fred was projected to be the third-string shooting guard behind Reggie and Jack.

          That won't get you in the top ten.
          This space for rent.


          • #6
            Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

            417. Darko Milicic
            A quick recap of the 2003 Draft ...

            No. 1. – LeBron James
            No. 2. – Darko Milicic
            No. 3. – Carmelo Anthony
            No. 4. – Chris Bosh
            No. 5. – Dwyane Wade

            (That's like reaching into a brown paper bag filled with two checks for $100 million, two checks for $10 million, and a check for $10 ... and pulling out the check for 10 dollars. Ouch.)

            ...Actually it's like reaching in that bag of checks and the 10.00 check having a corner bent so you know it is the 10.00 check and STILL grabbing it....


            Note: Kstat should be here shortly
            Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.


            "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

            -John Wooden


            • #7
              Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

              Originally posted by Bball
              Note: Kstat should be here shortly
              I bet he mentions Bender....


              • #8
                Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                I love the shawshank reference.


                • #9
                  Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                  With quotes like that from Jalen..

                  How could we not miss him?

                  I guess we got that in Pollard now.
                  AKA Sactolover05


                  • #10
                    Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                    Originally posted by travmil
                    PacersTom thank you for the post, but could I ask you to tone down your avatar a bit. It's nice and all, but I look at PD at work sometimes and your avatar isn't exactly what you want your boss seeing over your shoulder.

                    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!).


                    • #11
                      Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                      Man lol at the quotes by Jalen


                      • #12
                        Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                        Originally posted by travmil
                        PacersTom thank you for the post, but could I ask you to tone down your avatar a bit. It's nice and all, but I look at PD at work sometimes and your avatar isn't exactly what you want your boss seeing over your shoulder.

                        I agree...and to prove it, I'm removing my gal from my sig....right,

                        (snif) It is done. (snif)
                        Ever notice how friendly folks are at a shootin' range??.


                        • #13
                          Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                          Originally posted by Anthem
                          Well, he's right. Fred was projected to be the third-string shooting guard behind Reggie and Jack.

                          That won't get you in the top ten.
                          I was going to say that he would get some time at backup SG when we moved Stephen to backup Ronnie at the 3 spot.

                          Then I remembered...Jonathan was supposed to play a full year


                          • #14
                            Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                            Originally posted by pacertom
                            Awesome avatar. I paid $50 to fill up my truck yesterday. It takes me 25 minutes to get to work, and I'm seriously thanking about biking it. Screw this crap.


                            • #15
                              Re: Sports Guy Bill Simmons on the NBA MVP

                              WoW Reggie... impressed