Kendrick Perkins NBA Countdown Screengrab: ESPN’s NBA Countdown

It’s been nearly a decade since ESPN elected not to replace Bill Simmons on NBA Countdown, but The Ringer founder’s ties to the show still run deep. In fact, Kendrick Perkins, who is currently part of ESPN’s integral NBA pregame coverage, remembers when the Boston Celtics superfan was “talking crazy about me” as the 39-year-old Perkins played in Beantown and won a championship with the C’s from 2003-2011.

But Simmons took what Perkins seemed to be another perceived shot. Their roles have long changed, but Simmons is still the critical analyst, whether he’s on ESPN or sharing screengrabs on social media from his TV.

In the lead-up to the NBA Playoffs, specifically the highly anticipated matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns, the cast and crew of NBA Countdown included Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews, Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael Wilbon, and Perkins, of course.

Notably, Wilbon and Perkins were pretty close to one another. With five people already on his screen, Simmons quipped that perhaps an entire starting five of analysts wasn’t enough and jokingly asked if there was enough room for a sixth.

Perkins didn’t take kindly to Simmons’ remark.

“I remember when you was in one those seats talking crazy about me. Man have times changed!!! Happy 420 and Carry on…”

ESPN’s studio shows have become known for their packed panels during the playoffs. While including journalists, analysts and former athletes provides a variety of viewpoints, it could dilute the viewing experience.

And that’s likely what Simmons was hinting at with so many cooks already in the kitchen. However, Perkins, known for his combative social media presence and his willingness to defend himself and the show from criticism, took issue with Simmons’ comments.

He fired back, implying that Simmons’ critique wasn’t insightful and was just another example of his ongoing negativity towards him, a pattern that stretches back to Perkins’ playing days.

This isn’t a fresh perspective from Simmons. It’s a recurring gripe – he adamantly dislikes the six-man studio format. Whether on social media or any of his shows on The Ringer, he consistently takes aim at it.

Perkins shouldn’t take this personally, even though their history suggests he might.

This is simply another recurring criticism from Simmons. While it’s a familiar topic for him, his point has some validity. However, the constant criticism, mainly directed at a show he once enjoyed, seems to have rubbed Perkins the wrong way.

[Bill Simmons, Kendrick Perkins on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.