Bill Simmons has found a lot of success as a sportswriter, podcaster, author, and CEO.
As a breaking news insider, well, he’s still a work in progress.
Simmons is taking plenty of heat on Friday after spending more than a week proclaiming that the Phoenix Suns were going to promote assistant coach Kevin Young to head coach, claiming that any talk around people like Nick Nurse, Doc Rivers, and Frank Vogel was merely conjecture or smokescreens. On Friday, the Suns hired Vogel, giving the former Los Angeles Lakers coach a massive five-year, $31 million deal that seems to imply they really wanted him.
Bill Simmons saying the Suns are going to hire Kevin Young: pic.twitter.com/gXiBRdWD1X
— Cage (@ridiculouscage) May 24, 2023
“Can I tell you who’s going to get the Suns job?” Simmons asked Kevin O’Conner on the May 24 episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast. “It’s gonna be Kevin Young.”
On the May 28th episode, Simmons continued to double down on his inside info, scoffing at those who don’t want to believe him.
“They didn’t jump on my Suns-Kevin Young thing,” Simmons said. “He’s getting the Suns job. That’s what I keep telling people on the podcast. He’s getting the job. It’s gonna be Kevin Young – he will be the next Suns’ coach. But don’t listen to me.”
The Ringer CEO later tripled down during a discussion with his dad on the May 30 episode, calling reports linking Phoenix to Nick Nurse “erroneous” before saying “Phoenix already has their coach, they’re going with Kevin Young.”
— Barstool Antifa (@comfrtblydumb) June 2, 2023
Friday, the Vogel news dropped and Simmons was quick to publicly hold himself accountable. But there, he claimed that he was correct in saying it “was Kevin Young for a couple weeks” but new Suns owner Mat Ishbia “decided he wanted someone splashier and more experienced and shifted gears.”
I’m taking the L. Was Kevin Young for a couple weeks, then Ishbia decided he wanted someone splashier and more experienced and shifted gears. What’s interesting is Booker was pushing hard for KY. But Vogel is an excellent coach. Can’t wait to find out what happened. https://t.co/l38s4UwOAb
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 2, 2023
Unfortunately for Bill, not too many people were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, especially when he had been so adamant that the decision was done.
Bill Simmons demolished – he was so confident in Young!
— The r/BillSimmons Podcast (@rBillSimmonsPod) June 2, 2023
Might be the first time Frank Vogel has ever been referred to as "splashier" https://t.co/bn9BxFsmwe
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) June 2, 2023
I believe Ishbia was always focused on a Championship caliber coach and that Vogel was the front runner since his interview last week. Book liked KY but the reports that he pushed for him are a little overexaggerated. https://t.co/Q68TOybBaT
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 2, 2023
— Subscribe to the You Know Ball Patreon (@TrillBroDude) June 2, 2023
It’s not impossible that Simmons is right in his claim that there was a decision made on Young and then it changed. But even if that’s the case, it’s a good reminder that insiders like Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Rapoport know how to couch the information they’re getting correctly to avoid just this, even if their source is telling them its a “done deal.”
As far as credibility in the insider realm goes, Simmons currently finds himself in the Dan Patrick Zone. There, he’s bound to get a few things right. But be careful when he reaches for the moon, because there’s a reason these media figures are known for other things than being news breakers.
Simmons said it himself, “he will be the next Suns’ coach…But don’t listen to me.”