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View Full Version : Report: Bill Simmons pushed Magic Johnson out of ESPN NBA Countdown Booth



Sadds The Gr8
10-11-2013, 02:38 AM
So, why did Magic make his sudden announcement that he's leaving ESPN, less than three weeks before the NBA season begins? An announcement so sudden that the newest addition to NBA Countdown, Doris Burke, appeared to have had no idea it was going down?

ESPN sources tell us that Johnson's departure was the result of an old-fashioned power war, with one very clear winner: Bill Simmons. "It's Simmons's show now," said one source.

Magic apparently was not at all happy when ESPN told his buddy Michael Wilbon that his role on NBA Countdown would be diminished. He was "booted," according to one source. Another ESPN insider also said that Magic was "privately seething over the Wilbon thing and in general did not like that Simmons held all the power and influence." Magic didn't necessarily need the power, our sources explained; he just didn't feel like kowtowing to Simmons when he's, well, Magic Johnson.

"The bottom line is they turned that show over to Simmons," said our source. "That's why Doug Collins got hired and why Wilbon was out."

And that's a very large part of why Johnson decided to bolt the show at the 11th hour. ESPN announced the news this afternoon and said that Johnson informed the network of his decision today. Johnson said in a statement he was leaving "due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don't feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role."

Now, the show belongs entirely to Simmons. He's losing star power with Magic Johnson's departure, but he's not necessarily losing a key component of a studio show that had a much-improved but still uneven 2012-2013 season. ESPN said it's still "determining our NBA commentator roles for the upcoming season." Simmons will be able to get a proper host in for the show. He'll be able to shape it however he wants.

Such is his power now at ESPN. "The shadow president," a source called him.
http://deadspin.com/sources-magic-johnson-left-espn-because-of-bill-simmon-1443543687

Report seems fishy to me because I don't know how Bill Simmons would get the kind of power? I know he's one of their most popular guys but Magic Johnson is Magic Johnson and Wilbon has longevity over him and is on one of ESPN's top shows...

BirdIsTheWord
10-11-2013, 02:53 AM
Bill Simmons ‏@BillSimmons 7h
This is great. Go newspapers! http://lat.ms/19D7oCs Wait, so why is @magicjohnson coming on my podcast next week if we have a "rift"???

/thread

tredigs
10-11-2013, 03:16 AM
^ I was about to say, Bill was laughing about this earlier mentioning that it was the first time he had an outright lie of a news story come out concerning him. I tend to believe him.

beasted86
10-11-2013, 03:30 AM
http://deadspin.com/sources-magic-johnson-left-espn-because-of-bill-simmon-1443543687

Report seems fishy to me because I don't know how Bill Simmons would get the kind of power? I know he's one of their most popular guys but Magic Johnson is Magic Johnson and Wilbon has longevity over him and is on one of ESPN's top shows...

It's cause he's white.

amos1er
10-11-2013, 03:46 AM
Sounds like BS.

sunsfan88
10-11-2013, 05:00 AM
So does Magic replace Shaq on Inside the NBA since Shaq is leaving to Sacramento?

amos1er
10-11-2013, 05:02 AM
So does Magic replace Shaq on Inside the NBA since Shaq is leaving to Sacramento?

Shaq isn't going to be on Inside the NBA anymore?

Say it isn't so!!! :speechless:

Sportfan
10-11-2013, 05:24 AM
I hope it's true. Magic blowssss

amos1er
10-11-2013, 06:04 AM
I hope it's true. Magic blowssss

You should be ashamed. Magic is one of the best former athlete analysts in the business. Shouldn't be surprised though coming from a Celtic fan... Don't be mad just because there are no great former Celtic analysts. That and Magic crapped all over you guys in the 80's. Oh and think it's time to take down your 2013 Celtic playoff sig. Garnett and Pierce bailed on you guys... No need to have them in your sig anymore.

xxplayerxx23
10-11-2013, 06:43 AM
You should be ashamed. Magic is one of the best former athlete analysts in the business. Shouldn't be surprised though coming from a Celtic fan... Don't be mad just because there are no great former Celtic analysts. That and Magic crapped all over you guys in the 80's. Oh and think it's time to take down your 2013 Celtic playoff sig. Garnett and Pierce bailed on you guys... No need to have them in your sig anymore.

Great player but he doesn't really say many educated things. Sounds just like you to bring up something about the poster because you don't agree with him. Since you did it I'll do it lakers suck.

time4change
10-11-2013, 07:10 AM
Bill Simmons is a ****ing idiot!

mdm692
10-11-2013, 07:47 AM
Magic is a legend but come on as ann analyst he's garbage. There couldn't be anybody more biased than him (Maybe Bruce bowen). His *** says property of the Lakers and his mouth says property of Kobe. He needs to stay off tv and take shaq with him.

Delrayhc
10-11-2013, 08:12 AM
I hope it's true. Magic blowssss

You should be ashamed. Magic is one of the best former athlete analysts in the business. Shouldn't be surprised though coming from a Celtic fan... Don't be mad just because there are no great former Celtic analysts. That and Magic crapped all over you guys in the 80's. Oh and think it's time to take down your 2013 Celtic playoff sig. Garnett and Pierce bailed on you guys... No need to have them in your sig anymore.


What a whiney little crybaby

August 2010

mightybosstone
10-11-2013, 09:00 AM
If Simmons is claiming this is BS, I'm inclined to believe him before I'd believe Deadspin. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the higher ups at ESPN asked for Simmons' opinion and he said the same thing that any competent NBA fan would say: Magic is a horrible analyst. I loved Magic's game as a player, and he seems like a super nice guy, but he has no business in an analyst booth. He pauses like 10 seconds before everything he says and then just spews vague generalities that mean absolutely nothing. Collins will be a much, much better addition to the show that Magic ever was.

D-Leethal
10-11-2013, 09:32 AM
I'm sure you could have an off camera hoops conversation with Magic and he would tell you some of the most insightful **** from angles and perspectives you have never heard, but the dude never brings anything enlightening to the table on the air.

Simmons is a terrific writer but he sucks on TV too. Simmons brings interesting ideas/perspectives/insightfulness but puts you to sleep with his camera presence, Magic is all hype but tells you stuff that an 8 year old could come up with. They both should get the axe.

Doris Burke and Doug Collins will be great though. I hate Wilbon because he is such a Bulls homer but he was a great host, knows his hoops and also knows how to work the cameras and provide an entertaining TV presence.

b_russ
10-11-2013, 09:55 AM
If Simmons is claiming this is BS, I'm inclined to believe him before I'd believe Deadspin. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the higher ups at ESPN asked for Simmons' opinion and he said the same thing that any competent NBA fan would say: Magic is a horrible analyst. I loved Magic's game as a player, and he seems like a super nice guy, but he has no business in an analyst booth. He pauses like 10 seconds before everything he says and then just spews vague generalities that mean absolutely nothing. Collins will be a much, much better addition to the show that Magic ever was.

I'm not going to argue that Collins will be better than Magic, but I think I'm in the minority that can't stand Collins. "Right now Carmello's telling Amare to...." "Right now Kobe's thinking that Pau is thinking..." It's obnoxious.

lakerfan85
10-11-2013, 10:17 AM
Espn's countdown and halftime show sucks... Actually the whole damn network sucks...

TeamSeattle
10-11-2013, 11:54 AM
All I know is I'll enjoy NBA Countdown much more this year without everyone just drooling over the Heat.

Drummond#1
10-11-2013, 12:12 PM
Doris Burke and Doug Collins will be great though. I hate Wilbon because he is such a Bulls homer but he was a great host, knows his hoops and also knows how to work the cameras and provide an entertaining TV presence.

Are you ****ing serious! Doris Burke is the worst thing to ever happen to NBA broadcasting. Not to mention she throws everything out of wack for that crew. Before you had Magic (the looks), Wilbon (the brains), JRose (the muscle), and Simmons (the wild card). I like Doug Collins but no one wants to watch him talk to the useless chick for 30 minutes. At least pull in a female who knows basketball like Cheryl Miller.

Sandman
10-11-2013, 12:23 PM
Are you ****ing serious! Doris Burke is the worst thing to ever happen to NBA broadcasting. Not to mention she throws everything out of wack for that crew. Before you had Magic (the looks), Simmons (the brains), Shaq (the muscle), and Charles (the wild card). I like Bill Simmons but no one wants to watch him talk to the useless chick for 30 minutes. At least pull in a female who knows basketball like Cheryl Miller.
well for one don't call Simmons the brains. He's OK in small doses though. Pretty annoying how he can take any subject and steer it to the Celtics.

2 - you just mixed two shows. Shaq and Charles are on TNT. So...

Sadds The Gr8
10-11-2013, 12:27 PM
Also agree that Magic sucks as an analyst. Just find this situation odd.

Drummond#1
10-11-2013, 12:29 PM
well for one don't call Simmons the brains. He's OK in small doses though. Pretty annoying how he can take any subject and steer it to the Celtics.

2 - you just mixed two shows. Shaq and Charles are on TNT. So...

Fixed. But my main concern is that Doris Burke is terrible. I've had to mute late night Thursday games when she is commentating. There is no reason for her to be on this show or any NBA program. I would rather see Starbury up there high on crack.

Chronz
10-11-2013, 12:41 PM
BS is better with media manipulation than Magic. When it comes to building an entertainment conglomerate, BS has proven to be on another level that ESPN has used as selling point in luring guys like Nate Silver away from high profile gigs. I hope BS gets Jalen or some totally unexpected former baller/coach/scout etc.. on board. Not a fan of Doug Collins, if I had my choice I would keep Magic over him or Burke but I guess its time for some fresh faces.

At least we never have to hear Broussard these days

Stinkyoutsider
10-11-2013, 12:43 PM
I like both Magic and Doug Collins so Doug coming into the show to replace Magic is ok for me, especially if Magic really has a time crunch with all of the other things he's involved in.

Doug may be just an ok coach but I think he's one of the best analysts in basketball. Good to see him get another opportunity.

I really would like Magic to take a look at joining TNT (I really enjoyed Inside the NBA when Magic was on there with Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley because he would bring a common sense approach that Barkley and Smith wouldn't give viewers). Don't get me wrong, Shaq is doing a solid job. But I think Magic on the show in his place would be better.

homestarunner93
10-11-2013, 12:44 PM
Doubt Bill pushed him out, but good on him if he did. Magic is an awful sports-caster.

Of course, so is Doris Burke, so I'm not sure the quality improves.

colinskik
10-11-2013, 12:53 PM
no one can honestly say that Magic is a good analyst, because he's not, he's terrible.

I like simmons but he wears the homer glasses. still, i appreciate his wit and his point of view.

i'm sick and tired of wilbon so not sad to see him go.

doug collins is a good addition, but not feeling doris burke. maybe i'll warm up to her.

b@llhog24
10-11-2013, 01:01 PM
Magic sucks. But Bill Simmons doesn't have that kind of pull.

Sadds The Gr8
10-11-2013, 01:07 PM
Doubt Bill pushed him out, but good on him if he did. Magic is an awful sports-caster.

Of course, so is Doris Burke, so I'm not sure the quality improves.

yea that's what I'm thinking. I've never heard him bad-talk Magic and on the BS report he always talked about how good friends they've become and ****

Drummond#1
10-11-2013, 01:29 PM
Doris Burke is just like Pooh Jeter. She tries really hard but is just not an NBA talent.

beasted86
10-11-2013, 01:36 PM
Magic and Doris Burke are good. I don't think you guys know what's bad.

Simmons comes across all the time like he is unnatural and trying too hard to make outlandish remarks. Same thing that plagued Jon Barry and eventually saw his removal.

mdm692
10-11-2013, 01:40 PM
BS is better with media manipulation than Magic. When it comes to building an entertainment conglomerate, BS has proven to be on another level that ESPN has used as selling point in luring guys like Nate Silver away from high profile gigs. I hope BS gets Jalen or some totally unexpected former baller/coach/scout etc.. on board. Not a fan of Doug Collins, if I had my choice I would keep Magic over him or Burke but I guess its time for some fresh faces.

At least we never have to hear Broussard these days

Oh god please don't jinx us. *knock on wood*. If Doris AND Broussard join then I'm definitely muting the games, using my SAP or just watching on league pass.

Stunner
10-11-2013, 02:12 PM
Bill Simmons is awesome

tredigs
10-11-2013, 02:20 PM
Bill Simmons is awesome

He is. For the simple fact that in a lot of ways he's like a kid and asks questions that a kid (or juvenile adult sports fan, like half of us) wanna hear. And like a kid, he also struggles to take off the homer glasses and can get annoying in large doses, but he'll almost always make the show more entertaining.

Him and Jalen's chemistry is pretty solid right now too, that would be the best addition.

flea
10-11-2013, 02:21 PM
Great so now we get a middle-aged woman and some screaming people to go along with our middle-aged lesbian host.

COOLbeans
10-11-2013, 02:26 PM
no one can honestly say that Magic is a good analyst, because he's not, he's terrible.

I like simmons but he wears the homer glasses. still, i appreciate his wit and his point of view.

i'm sick and tired of wilbon so not sad to see him go.

doug collins is a good addition, but not feeling doris burke. maybe i'll warm up to her.

Pretty much this. But Simmons can be a bit unnatural like someone said.

DamnGoat
10-11-2013, 02:35 PM
I doubt this is the "power struggle" that deadspin's making it out to be, but I'm glad Magic & Wilbon are gone. The kind of analysis they bring is just as boring as most former players or old school writers that haven't evolved at all.

redsoxknicks
10-11-2013, 02:37 PM
Simmons is awful. Wish he were the one leaving. Agree that he is unnatural and forcing, like a child sometimes the way he interrupts and laughs at his own "jokes".

I really only like Wilbon, but Burke is OK. She isn't trying to push her self or make a "brand" like most of the others. So glad it isn't Broussard.

Stunner
10-11-2013, 02:41 PM
Simmons is awful. Wish he were the one leaving. Agree that he is unnatural and forcing, like a child sometimes the way he interrupts and laughs at his own "jokes".

I really only like Wilbon, but Burke is OK. She isn't trying to push her self or make a "brand" like most of the others. So glad it isn't Broussard.

Naw I disagree , bill brings flair to the crew . Wilbon is leaving the the crew anyway to go back to PTI . Collins was brought in to replace Wilbon not Magic . I would love to see A celeb of a sort on the crew or another HOF

Sadds The Gr8
10-11-2013, 03:24 PM
I like Wilbon but he sucked on that show. Him and Magic were all cliches...I want more in depth analysis like what Kenny Smith does.

mightybosstone
10-11-2013, 03:27 PM
I wish Kenny and Charles would join Bill and Jalen and create a super crew. As much as I enjoy the back and forth between Kenny and Charles and Bill and Jalen, I think Bill and Charles together would be even more entertaining.

Stunner
10-11-2013, 03:30 PM
The TNT crew >>> ESPN

redsoxknicks
10-11-2013, 03:44 PM
Naw I disagree , bill brings flair to the crew . Wilbon is leaving the the crew anyway to go back to PTI . Collins was brought in to replace Wilbon not Magic . I would love to see A celeb of a sort on the crew or another HOF

Flair is one thing, but I want analysis and discussion. These kind of shows are too time-limited so in that brief time I want to hear about the game and players, etc. I just don't think Simmons has the knowledge or focus in the Countdown setup.

Give me someone like Kenny Smith or sometimes Jalen Rose or Wilbon. They joke and have fun, but also give analysis and insight about the GAME. I like Charles, too, for the most part.

I cannot listen to Shaq. I don't want mugging for the camera, or from Simmons all the child-like interrupting. I just want to hear about the game at hand from people who care and know what they are talking about while having a good time. For some reason, this is not easy to find.

bearadonisdna
10-11-2013, 03:55 PM
Good magic johnson was a clown. During the lockout season he was one of the ones saying the bulls looked better and faster with cjwatson instead of rose.

ManningToTyree
10-11-2013, 03:57 PM
Probably bs but Simmons is just horrible. Wish someone would push him out.

IKnowHoops
10-11-2013, 06:53 PM
Magic may have poor analysis but Bill Simmons does not project well on TV. I feel like Im watching a whinny version of the chucky doll. Magic will give your show higher ratings, and at the end of the day, he knows more about the game than 99.9% of fans watching the game so that enough seeing as his star power is infinity next to Bill Simmons.

Kashmir13579
10-11-2013, 07:10 PM
You should be ashamed. Magic is one of the best former athlete analysts in the business. Shouldn't be surprised though coming from a Celtic fan... Don't be mad just because there are no great former Celtic analysts. That and Magic crapped all over you guys in the 80's. Oh and think it's time to take down your 2013 Celtic playoff sig. Garnett and Pierce bailed on you guys... No need to have them in your sig anymore.
No he isn't. And how are you gonna play the Celtic fan card when you are a Laker fan? Doesn't work like that, bub.

J4KOP99
10-11-2013, 07:21 PM
The only person worse than magic at broadcasting is bill Simmons.

IversonIsKrazy
10-11-2013, 09:08 PM
Good. Magic was a dumbass honestly. He was not a smart announcer imo. Amazing, great player. But just not a good announcer.

ManRam
10-11-2013, 09:27 PM
Good work Bill! And less Wilbon too!!!

Magic Johnson never once said anything on TV that was thought provoking, informative or worthwhile. He's bland and uninteresting...and not insightful. Good riddance.

Though, I don't buy this...because by all accounts Bill and Magic get along great.

Now, if only we can get rid of Shaq...

BKLYNpigeon
10-11-2013, 09:41 PM
Magic is terrible on NBA countdown. sorry.

Chronz
10-11-2013, 09:56 PM
I take back what I said about Collins, he has his moments. Hes an upgrade for sure

John Walls Era
10-12-2013, 01:47 AM
Magic Johnson is pure *** as a commentator. As a studio analysis, he wasn't that bad. I doubt this is true, maybe Magic wants to get more involved with the Dodgers or other commitments.

Manimal
10-12-2013, 12:06 PM
NBA Countdown is terrible, with or without Magic, Wilbon, Jalen Rose and Simmons. It's just a terrible show that should be put down. ESPN should just pay TNT to let the Inside crew do the show for their network as well.

Aapox
10-12-2013, 12:25 PM
NBA Countdown is terrible, with or without Magic, Wilbon, Jalen Rose and Simmons. It's just a terrible show that should be put down. ESPN should just pay TNT to let the Inside crew do the show for their network as well.

+1.

I can't stand the ESPN guys. Jalen is okay at best. The rest suck. TNT is pure excellence from everyone, even if they aren't the brightest guys, they're hilarious.

BULLSFAN0810
10-12-2013, 02:20 PM
I dont always agree with the greats, but as a fan i would feel stupid saying Magic Johnson knows nothing about Basketball..or he is a homer... Sometimes i feel bias but i know really im just a short dude with hopes of being an athlete telling someone else who has actually played the game all his life, his TOTAL VIEW is wrong..... Sounds stupid.. IE..as much as i dislike Trump, i wouldnt follow his advice, but i wouldnt be dumb enough to tell him he doesnt know wtf he is talking about..esp if i never obtained what Trump has obtained...comes off kinda stupid and misinformed mixed with a lot of hating. And im no hater.

DR_1
10-12-2013, 03:54 PM
All I know is I'll enjoy NBA Countdown much more this year without everyone just drooling over the Heat.

This