An open letter to Bill Simmons

Hey Bulls fans,
I've been traversing the blogosphere publishing this article, and the sportsblog nation is at the top of my list. This is actually the first basketball oriented site I'm posting on so tell me what you think.
Thanks for the well-placed criticism in advance,

THE Andrew Meyer

Dear Bill Simmons,

That's right, two can play this game. After spotting this story        

on at 3:36am, Gainesville time, on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 (a now historic date due to this correspondence) I constructed a rough outline of what Team USA's roster will look like.

    dwight    howard       
    chris    bosh       
    brad    miller       
lebron    james        elton    brand
carmelo    anthony        amare    stoudemire
bruce    bowen        antawn    jamison

dwyane    wade        chris    paul
gilbert    arenas        kirk    hinrich
shane    battier        joe    johnson
        Coach K!!!    CUT   
            SHAWN    MARION
            LUKE    RIDNOUR
            ADAM    MORRISON

And now, I will completely dissect it, Bill Simmons style. You see Bill, it's not that I can write exactly like you. It's that you write EXACTLY like me. Well, with way more movie references. I don't always feel like injecting a pop culture phrase that any jabroni can recognize. Do you smeeeeeeellllllllll what The Andrew Meyer is cooking?

(Heheheheh. Yeah, I laugh at my own jokes. And you know what else, "When this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour ... you're gonna see some serious shit."

Anyway, when your column finally appeared in ESPN the Magazine, I ended my subscription to Sports Illustrated forever. I had finally found a writer with MY voice, and I was amazed. Let me put it to you this way:

When I was a kid, I read the Miami Herald sports section daily, so the first voice of reason I discovered in sports journalism was Dan Le Batard, and as I'm sure you've seen for yourself on PTI, he can't quite fill Kornheiser or Wilbon's shoes. Kornheiser and Wilbon are the best. LeBatard, as much as I like him, just doesn't cut the mustard. The LeBatard corollary (as you would call it) definitely applies to Steve Rushin and Rick Reilly. Cut the mustard? Shit, they aren't fit to clean the dust mites in your keyboard with their tongues. Anyway, this is The Andrew Meyer's take on Team USA's current roster.

(And bear in mind, in the past year, I have called A) the Heat winning the championship BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED, both B) the Gator basketball team's early success and C) their successive romp through the tournament, including D) an exact 15 point margin of victory over `Nova. Andrew knows basketball. But more than that, I know MY teams. And the Heat and the Gators are definitely MY teams. Speaking of which, I also knew that Nick Saban would turn the Dolphins around, and that the Marlins would be sick this year.

{Wow, Andrew, you sure know a lot.}

Damn straight. Ask me what else I know.

{What else do you know Andrew?}

I know that the Marlins are the smartest team in baseball, and that Red Sox fans don't know shit. Trust me, I've met enough of the filthy bastards.)


As you've said before, Chris Paul is indeed the point guard of the future. But in my opinion, he is also the point guard of the present; the best in the world - right now. He simultaneously took a miserable Hornets team to the brink of the playoffs - in the West, no less - and opened up legendary miser George Shinn's legendarily miserly pocketbook. Coincidence? I think not. The kid is good, real good. Who around can tell him he's second best? (I'm with you Bill, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd are white and can't play defense).

Besides, there are two other white point guards out there better suited [read: Americans who don't kiss anything during free throws] for Team USA than both of them. No, not Jason Williams a.k.a. White Chocolate a.k.a. the man who started 10-10 from the field during the Heat's series-clinching Game 6 victory over that team from Detroit which was recently dismantled. (I may be a Heat fan, but I'm not a Heat fanatic. You see, real Heat fans - not those Johnny-come-lately bandwagon whores you saw in the arena - are pragmatists [read: mostly Jewish]. We knew from the start how special Dwyane Wade was...but we also know that J-Will can't cut the mustard on this squad.) No, the two white point guards of which I speak are Mike Bibby and Kirk Hinrich.

Hinrich, who's Bulls are now unquestionably the #2 team in the East, is a perfect, perfect, PERFECT fit for Team USA. He distributes the ball, attacks the basket, and PLAYS DEFENSE. And he can shoot! And he's white! Did I mention he fits this team perfectly?

Gilbert Arenas does not fit this team perfectly...until you change his position. Arenas is a shoot-first point guard, so Team USA will probably change his position and let him do what he does best: shoot first. To this end, Joe Johnson becomes the #3 point guard, and Arenas drops down into the next category.


And what an excellent category it is. But not because of Gilbert Arenas. He's only the second best at this spot. Do you know why? I'm sure you do, but let me clue you in anyway.

Before the 2003 NBA Draft, I remember reading a few blurbs about Dwyane Wade in the Herald, among other places. And do you know what I kept hearing? "He plays like a young MJ." What? A young Michael Jordan? Impossible. Why would a player like that not go in the top 3? I couldn't understand it then, but I do now. Dwyane Wade slipped to the Heat because most NBA general managers are fools, just like most MLB general managers, and most NFL general managers, and most Pizza Hut general managers, and most general managers in general.

It's simple when you think about it. The reason most GMs are bad at their jobs, despite being in such important public positions, is that they are human. And most humans, for the most part, are pretty stupid. We are not logical creatures and, for the most part, we don't make logical decisions. So, if most humans are illogical creatures making illogical decisions, does it come as any surprise that most sports teams are run illogically? Of course not! I would be shocked as hell if sports entering the equation actually DID make people smarter. The people who excel at sports are typically LESS intelligent than the average man, not more. So we have stupid athletes who eventually become stupid coaches who, if they work hard enough, can become stupid GMs. And you're surprised Isiah Thomas is an idiot? I'm surprised there aren't many more like him.

Fortunately, the man who makes decisions for my team is Pat Riley. And Pat Riley is no fool. Let me give you a quick history lesson: Pat Riley built the Miami Heat. He took our infant franchise, which had done exactly NOTHING before he got here, and made us into winners. He brought us Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, and FOUR STRAIGHT DIVISION TITLES. I repeat: Pat Riley MADE this franchise. If anything, he was screwed by Zo's kidney and Michael Jordan. Isn't it fitting then, for this man, who developed our infant franchise, to have a young MJ and a rejuvenated Zo dropped right in his lap? Isn't it fitting, that the franchise he previously coached to four NBA titles gave him the player he needed to win a championship with his new team? Yes, yes it is. So fitting, in fact, that I saw it coming a year away.

So why couldn't you, Bill? Too caught up in Riley's "bad karma," were you? No worries. You're still a great writer, and one of the few hard-core NBA fans left, right? So, I'm glad then, that you were here to tell everyone about how Dirk was the unstoppable player in the playoffs before his "choke-job", and how David Stern paid off the refs, or whatever it is you need to tell yourself to avoid acknowledging that you COMPLETELY OVERLOOKED THE BEST TEAM IN THE NBA. You and Marc Stein. (Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd be writing.)

Oh, and Shane Battier is an excellent defensive backup.


Carmelo Anthony is easily one of the top 20 players in the NBA. On this team, that makes him LeBron's understudy. Yes, King James is probably the best player in the NBA (but I'll still take Wade and a title, thank you very much.)

Oh, and Bruce Bowen is an excellent defensive backup.


As you saw first hand this season, Elton Brand has become easily one of the top 10 players in the NBA. He looks nigh-unstoppable, and he deserves to start at power forward for Team USA. But then again, doesn't deserving to start at power forward for Team USA basically mandate that you are nigh-unstoppable? Fun stuff.

Just like that microfracture surgery. Or am I the only one who noticed that Amare Stoudemire MADE THE TEAM? Where the hell did that come from? I need to hear more about this....Andy Katz, are you listening?

Oh, and Antawn Jamison is an excellent...Wizard.


Dwight Howard should start at center, with Chris Bosh and Brad Miller as his backups. If only we had a coach smart enough to recognize this....


Oh wait, we do! Now this is what gets me excited. The one, the only, Coach K. If I could have picked anyone to run this team, it would have been him. In fact, he's so special, so uniquely suited to run this team, that for Team USA purposes only, I think I'll call him Special K. Now that's the stuff.


Luke Ridnour and Adam Morrison were the last cuts according to this report. But make no mistake, Shawn Marion was cut too. He can cry injury all he wants, but Special K and I know the truth. Marion was the last big name to be cut - for his ex-injured teammate coming off microfracture surgery no less - and nobody wants to make headlines that way. So Special K, classy guy that he is, let Marion fake an injury. Everybody wins. Marion gets to save face, the media still get their story, and best of all, Team USA gets the best roster possible. Thanks Special K!


With Special K running the show, is it even in doubt? Gold, diamonds, platinum, whatever there is to win, the U.S. isn't losing in basketball for the next 4 years at least.

So Bill, with all that said, there's just one question left:  How exactly did you steal my style? The public schools plant devices in our heads when they "check for lice", don't they? DON'T THEY!?

Oh, and just for kicks, I decided to edit the second half of Andy Katz's excellent and thorough report:

Morrison's coach at Gonzaga, Mark Few, was in attendance and said the forward knew going in he would have a hard time making the squad.

In other news, fast food is unhealthy. Also, birds can fly and the sky is blue.

Ridnour told that while he hadn't been told he definitely wouldn't be going to Asia, he anticipates he'll receive the news. "I'm here for the experience, and if it doesn't happen this summer then I've got two more years,'' Ridnour said. "When they called me during the season they told me that there were a lot of veterans and it would be tough to make it. But I've got a bright future, and I'm excited about it.''

Well that makes one of us.

Ridnour is caught in a logjam at point. Chris Paul of New Orleans/Oklahoma City is expected to compete for starter's minutes. USA coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke also talked about Hinrich's ability to play pressure defense and finals MVP Dwyane Wade's ball handling skills.

Actually, this is getting pretty boring...END REPORT.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at
And The Andrew Meyer will be appearing soon on

Oh, and P.S. Bill -

If you ask me real nice, I'll tell you, and the entire Simmons flock all about what my friends have dubbed: The Meyer Scale. And remember, you may be The Sports Guy, but I'm

THE Andrew Meyer.

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