Bill Simmons in disbelief A screengrab of Spotify/The Ringer’s Bill Simmons in disbelief.

As his favorite team prepares to play in the NBA Finals, Bill Simmons is channeling his Celtic pride.

Taking to X on Wednesday, the Sports Guy was critical of a segment on ESPN’s Get Up discussing the dynamic between Boston Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown (or as Simmons affectionately calls them: ‘The J’s”). In the segment, host Mike Greenberg drew attention to the Celtics celebrating Brown being presented with the Eastern Conference Finals MVP Award — the Larry Bird Trophy — with panelist Udonis Haslem opining that Tatum didn’t seem as happy as the rest of his teammates.

“I think Jayson was just shocked,” Haslem, who is currently a member of the Miami Heat’s front office, said. “The last couple of games, he was the best player, but the series was turned around with that shot that Jaylen Brown made, make no mistake about it. And if we go back to everything that has happened, [Brown] has been the most consistent Celtic in the playoffs so far.”

Quote tweeting the clip, Simmons sarcastically replied: “Great segment Greeny. That might get us a million views online. Let’s try to keep the Tatum vs Brown storyline going heading into the Finals, Dave Roberts just texted me, he loves it!”

While it’s always possible Simmons was paying homage to the former Boston Red Sox outfielder-turned-Los Angeles Dodgers manager, it’s more likely the Dave Roberts being referenced is the ESPN head of event & studio production, who leads the network’s NBA and WNBA coverage. It’s not hard to read between the lines that Simmons is making a joke about ESPN’s NBA coverage being driven by off-court storylines, some of which don’t have much basis beyond giving its morning show hosts something to talk about.

Despite being a Celtics homer, Simmons has a point here, and making something out of how Tatum — who was smiling — celebrated Browns being named the Eastern Conference Finals MVP certainly seems a stretch. Still, when has anybody — including Simmons — let facts get in the way of a good narrative?

[Bill Simmons on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.