In the least surprising turn of events in 2024 thus far, the Miami media is taking issue with Bill Simmons’s comments about the Miami Heat.

However, responses from multiple outlets diverged wildly. During a podcast with Ryen Russillo, Simmons, a self-proclaimed Boston Celtics superfan, sparked controversy by claiming the Heat’s success hinged solely on “****** luck,” not their efforts or culture.

Miami radio hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard of WQAM took strong offense to Simmons’ comments. Tobin, referring to Simmons as “fearful,” claimed Simmons recognizes the threat the Heat pose. That’s not totally unfounded, especially with Miami being victorious over Boston in three Eastern Conference Finals in the past 12 years.

Tobin’s initial “fearful” remark was just the tip of the iceberg. He escalated his criticism, labeling Simmons a “loser” who spends his time in his secluded NBA-obsessed space, baffled by the Heat’s success and the Celtics’ repeated struggles.

In a final jab, Tobin declared Simmons not just a hater but “an A-1 coward.”

While Tobin and Hoard took a fiery approach, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz adopted a calmer tone and used a bit less colorful language. Dan Le Batard surprisingly downplayed Simmons’ comments, stating they held less weight for him than the ensuing public response.

“On my phone yesterday, simultaneously, this is what I had happening,” explained Le Batard. “It was both delightful and unrelentingly annoying. Where I have Jeremy Taché, Mike Ryan, and Mike Schur, all of them just insane, arguing about what Bill Simmons said about the Miami Heat, where he said, ‘Heat culture is just lucky.’ And so I’ve got that argument going on, where I’m thinking to myself, ‘My God, over the 20 years we’ve been doing this, there is little that I have experienced that is dumber than fans having their allegiance to a team, getting infuriated when person says their team was lucky.’

“I understand that there is luck involved in almost any championship that is won. And I don’t think it’s a diminishment of merit that one person over there thinks you’re lucky because you won a championship. But Heat fans are starved for the kind of arguments they had 2010-2014, so if anybody says anything about their team that feels like diminishment, they will grab the disrespect of that.”

Le Batard revealed he was simultaneously pursuing an interview with Terry Rozier III for his show. However, his efforts were thwarted by the Miami Heat, who apparently took offense to Mike Ryan’s past comments about Rozier during his time with the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets.

While acknowledging Simmons’ recent claim about the Miami Heat being lucky, Le Batard downplayed its significance, jokingly stating that he “couldn’t possibly care less” about the accusation.

That opened the floor for Ryan to make his point.

“Well, Bill didn’t even go with the easy one, which is 2006 — you can question that championship,” Ryan said. “Basically he argues — as a fan — and he doesn’t hide that, is that Heat culture is really based on luck. To which I say, this very lucky franchise has picked in the top 10 twice. That’s impressive in any sport, especially in that one where it’s not really common knowledge, but contending windows are pretty short in that sport. Miami has had two top-10 picks and those top-10 picks were Michael Beasley and Justice Winslow. After Michael Beasley went, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love went. And also immediately after Justice Winslow went, Devin Booker went.

“His whole argument is that Bam [Adebayo] fell to No. 13; how does [Jaime] Jaquez [Jr.] fall to No. 18? I mean, this is the NBA Draft. It’s a crapshoot once you get that low. And he was just lamenting that Miami’s gotten lucky by these guys falling to them, which is really weird because they develop players — and better than anybody in the NBA. To the point you can trade for a Jimmy Butler with zero cap space because you have developed a Josh Richardson as an asset.”

Highlighting the irony, Taché countered that the real stroke of luck for the Celtics was acquiring a trove of first-round picks by trading away aging stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, a move Simmons previously criticized. These picks ultimately landed them future stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Interestingly, Tatum only became available because Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball were drafted ahead of him that year.

“So when you want to talk about who’s lucky in the way they construct their roster and the way they get back into championship contention,” said Taché, “after flailing and losing their Big 3, you might want to talk about the Boston Celtics.”

We don’t think Simmons will.

[Barrett Sports Media, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

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.