Bill Simmons Podcast JJ Reddick LeBron James Screen grab: ‘The Rewatchables’ on YouTube

LeBron James and JJ Redick’s Mind the Game podcast isn’t for everyone. And that apparently includes Bill Simmons.

On the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, the Sports Guy and Ryen Russillo handed out fake awards to celebrate the NBA regular season nearing its end. And when it came to the “Jem Coughlin Award” — for “you think you’re better than me?!” — Simmons couldn’t help but poke fun at James and Redick’s new venture.

“The JJ/LeBron podcast, I’m glad they’re doing it. But the first 15 minutes of the pod, when they were lecturing everybody that basketball discourse is so bad so they’re here to save the day, I was personally offended,” The Ringer founder said. “It was like, ‘Hey man, we’re trying. We’re trying to have some more basketball conversations.'”

“What was that day like for you?” Russillo asked.

“It was like, ‘Alright guys. Congrats.’ There’s a lot of smart people trying to have conversations about basketball. We’ve been trying to do this for the last 15-20 years on podcasts,” Simmons replied.

Simmons’ comments were playful — and perhaps even self-deprecating — but it was interesting to see him continue his semi-rivalry with Redick. This past December, the former NBA shooting guard said that The Ringer resisting video held back the success of his The Old Man and the Three podcast while it was under the company’s umbrella, comments that Simmons publicly took issue with, while insisting he remained a fan of Redick’s.

As for the substance of Simmons’ comments, he certainly isn’t the first person to accuse James and (especially) Redick of acting holier than thou in their attempt to pivot from the current basketball discourse in favor of Xs and Os. Three episodes in and the results for Mind the Game have been promising.  Although it’s worth noting that each episode has declined in YouTube viewership since the debut episode drew 3.5 million views.

If that trend continues, it will be interesting to see whether James and Redick stay the course in their attempt to revolutionize the way we talk about basketball or if the podcast turns to a more Simmons-like strategy that Redick knows works so well.

[The Bill Simmons Podcast]

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.