When the Sixers traded for Tobias Harris last season, one notable critic was Bill Simmons, the CEO of The Ringer and host of The Bill Simmons Podcast. Now Simmons is turning his ire toward his beloved Boston Celtics.
Simmons took to Twitter last night to react to the NBA draft night trade between the Celtics and the Sixers, which allowed Philadelphia to select Washington’s Matisse Thybulle.
“No! Just keep him! No trade! Void the trade!” an angry Simmons wrote, adding, “I hate this. Hate the Celtics draft so far. Hate it.”
On his post-draft podcast, Simmons said Thybulle was one of his favorite prospects, calling him an “absolute defensive menace" and the type of player who "always ends up on a playoff team.”
The Sixers trade wasn’t the only move the Celtics made that Simmons criticized. Four picks later, the Celtics used the No. 24 pick to select Virginia’s Ty Jerome — another one of Simmons’ pre-draft favorites — whom they swiftly dealt to the Phoenix Suns.
“Celts picked 2 of my 4 guys and then traded them,” Simmons wrote on Twitter.
The Celtics ended the night with Indiana’s Romeo Langford, Tennessee’s Grant Williams (who called new teammate Kyrie Irvin’s flat-Earth theory “scientifically not true”) and the Milwaukee Buck’s first round pick next season, which likely won’t be anywhere near the lottery. The only pick Simmons said he was excited about was Perdue’s Carsen Edwards, whom the Celtics took with the No. 33 pick.
“I don’t know what the hell is going on with this team,” Simmons said on his podcast. “I just want to also mention my dad is really upset after the draft. At one point he just texted me and said, ‘I’m going to bed.’ That was it. He was done with the night.”
Simmons’ discussion about the Celtics’ night begins around the 51:00 minute mark.
On Thursday, NBC touted the fact that Carrie Underwood would be filming a new Sunday Night Football opening, which will be filmed at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. According to a source, it’s not just new footage — it will also be a different song from last season.
But what NBC left out of the press release was the fact that both the network and Underwood are being sued for copyright infringement by Heidi Merrill and her songwriting team, who claim the popular singer and the network stole Merrill’s “Game On” and adapted it as the new Sunday Night Football opening without their permission.
According to the lawsuit, Merrill claims she pitched her song “Game On” to Mark Bright, one of Underwood’s producers, in August 2017. Merrill says Bright turned her down, but about a year later, Underwood’s new opening “Game On” (which features several Eagles players) appeared on NBC. In the lawsuit, Merrill calls Underwood’s song “substantially — even strikingly — similar, if not identical” to her own.
In total, there are nine defendants named in the lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York earlier this week. In addition to Underwood, Bright, and NBC, the lawsuit names six other defendants, including the NFL and Warner Music Group.
“We don’t comment on pending litigation," an NBC spokesperson told the Inquirer.
Here’s Merrill’s song, which she posted online back in March 2017:
And here’s Underwood’s version, which premiered last season:
• The best part of ESPN’s draft coverage last night were Marie Taylor’s engaging stage interviews with all the new NBA prospects. While Zion Williamson’s emotional interview has garnered the most attention, she had an equally-powerful moment with Thybulle, who spoke about his late mother:
• A shoutout to my colleague Sarah Todd, who had the team picking Matisse Thybulle in her mock draft. Todd’s story this morning focuses on what the Sixers should expect from Thybulle and second round pick Marial Shayok.
• Deadspin’s Gabe Fernandez wrote that Action Network’s Darren Rovell responded to a chuckle from Williamson over an upcoming shoe deal “with a laugh that could potentially haunt your dreams.” I’ll let you be the judge.