Doubt is what drives me, the nervousness that I don’t have it anymore. There’s nothing a coach or anyone can say to me that’s more powerful than my own fear that I can’t do it anymore.

NBA Rebuilding the Highlight Factory – ESPN

Atlanta is a sports town, just not one that resembles other major league cities. To understand Atlanta’s relationship with the Hawks, it’s necessary to understand that the common cultural heritage of the metropolitan area tends toward living in the suburbs and the tribalism of college football. To believe Atlanta is not a good sports town, it’s necessary to believe college football is not a sport.

NBA Rebuilding the Highlight Factory – ESPN

College vs. Pros: madness vs. superiority – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN

It’s become a cliché to announce a preference for NBA basketball because the level of play is superior. Every reasonable person knows that games are played better in the pros, so college fans tout the “exciting” aspects of upsets. Yes, the tourney is exciting. Yes, it’s fun to follow your bracket through a maze of unpredictability. But what makes the NBA a superior product, from my perspective, isn’t just that its play is superior – it’s that its system rewards superiority. In the NBA, great basketball is ultimately validated – not conspired against. Because of this, the results matter in a deeper way.

College vs. Pros: madness vs. superiority – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN

NBA Power Poll: The contenders – Bill Simmons – ESPN

Few things refresh like good sportswriting.

Orlando leads the league in “Guys Even Spectators Feel Like They Could Take Off The Dribble Or Post Up” (seven by my count).

And also:

A few years ago, I gave Steve Nash my 2007 MVP vote because that Suns roster was specifically tailored to him: it was an exquisite, ridiculously powerful race car that only one driver could have handled. This Spurs team was more like a beautiful, slightly broken-down sailboat sailing across the Atlantic — it needed a skipper who had done the trip a few times, understood his boat completely, could make a few on-the-fly fixes if anything happened, clicked with his crew completely, and wouldn’t panic if water ever started spurting from the deck.

NBA Power Poll: The contenders – Bill Simmons – ESPN

Bill Simmons: The non-contenders rule Part 1 of the NBA Power Poll – ESPN

On Grant Hill:

You realize Grant Hill quietly just had one of the most incredible seasons in the history of the league, right? He played 135 games total from 2000 to 2006; in the past three seasons, he’s played every game but three and averaged 30 minutes a night. This season, he tossed up 48-84-39 percentages for FG/FT/3FG, scored 13 a game, played the best perimeter defense of anyone other than Andre Iguodala and even wrote a takedown essay of Jalen Rose for The New York Times. He’s 38 years old! This shouldn’t be happening.

Bill Simmons: The non-contenders rule Part 1 of the NBA Power Poll – ESPN

There’s Blake flying up for an offensive rebound, soaring higher, and higher, and then a little bit higher … and we’re sitting there in awe, and we’re gasping for air … and right at the moment of truth, we realize one of the following four things:

A. Blake is about to make the single greatest highlight in the history of professional basketball.
B. Blake is about to give us the highlight of the night.
C. Blake can’t pull this off because the degree of difficulty is too high, but he’s trying anyway.
D. Blake is going to break his neck or land in a such a way that his leg flies off his body and lands in the fifth row.

Those are the four options EVERY time he goes in the air. Watching it unfold reminds me of watching my 3-year-old son, who’s equally fearless (and dangerous).

There’s Blake flying up for an offensive rebound, soaring higher, and higher, and then a little bit higher … and we’re sitting there in awe, and we’re gasping for air … and right at the moment of truth, we realize one of the following four things:

A. Blake is about to make the single greatest highlight in the history of professional basketball.
B. Blake is about to give us the highlight of the night.
C. Blake can’t pull this off because the degree of difficulty is too high, but he’s trying anyway.
D. Blake is going to break his neck or land in a such a way that his leg flies off his body and lands in the fifth row.

Those are the four options EVERY time he goes in the air. Watching it unfold reminds me of watching my 3-year-old son, who’s equally fearless (and dangerous).

Bill Simmons: World Cup’s 20 questions – ESPN

I love the Cup because it stripped away all the things about professional sports that I’ve come to despise. No sideline reporters. No JumboTron. No TV timeouts. No onslaught of replays after every half-decent play. No gimmicky team names like the “Heat” or the “Thunder.” (You know what the announcers call Germany? The Germans. I love this.) No announcers breathlessly overhyping everything or saying crazy things to get noticed. We don’t have to watch 82 mostly half-assed games to get to the playoffs. We don’t have 10 graphics on the screen at all times. We don’t have to sit there for four hours waiting for a winner because pitchers are taking 25 seconds to deliver a baseball.

Bill Simmons: World Cup’s 20 questions – ESPN