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

When it comes to Bill Simmons’ basketball interests, the list appears to include the NBA, women’s college basketball and the Harvard-Westlake School.

And perhaps not in that order.

While The Sports Guy is most associated with his NBA fandom and has expressed an increasing interest in women’s college basketball thanks primarily to Caitlin Clark, followers of his on social media might have noticed his recent propensity for posting stories related to the Harvard-Westlake boys’ basketball team. Last month, Simmons called attention to an incident in which Matt Barnes was accused of berating a student announcer at a tournament in which his son’s team was facing Harvard-Westlake, which ultimately led to the former NBA forward being pulled from his Sacramento Kings broadcasting duties.

On Monday, The Ringer founder once again shared some information connected to the Wolverines, taking issue with star point guard Trent Perry’s recruiting ranking. Sharing an article from the Los Angeles Daily News regarding the four-star prospect’s 40-point performance in a narrow victory over Carlsbad in the CIF SoCal Regional Open Division semifinals, Simmons criticized not only the USC commit’s ranking, but the industry as a whole.

“Trent Perry not cracking the top-25 of any top-100 prospect list shows how stupid and political and useless those lists are,” Simmons posted to X (formerly Twitter). “He’s one of the best LA high school players since I’ve lived here. Leads, produces and wins. (Going to USC by the way.)”

I can’t speak to Perry’s game or where it fits into the big picture of the 2024 class, but Simmons is right that there is often a political aspect to these lists. I have personally witnessed recruiting analysts discuss how a prospect not attending their employer’s camp could affect the player’s ranking.

To Simmons’ point, Perry’s recruiting ranking is all over the place and ranges between 26 and and 57 depending on the site. But recruiting is also an inexact science — these are teenagers, after all — and it’s not necessarily surprising to see a variance across recruiting services the further down the rankings you go.

It’s also not a slight for a player to be ranked No. 26 in his class — or even 57th, for that matter. In going to USC, Perry should have plenty of opportunities to prove himself, at which point his recruiting ranking will be rendered irrelevant, for better or worse.

In other words, we’ll know where Simmons really stands on Perry’s prospects based on whether he’s campaigning for the Boston Celtics to draft him a year from now.

[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.