ESPN’s popular online sports columnist, Bill Simmons, has long complained that his own network’s NBA studio show is inferior to TNT’s version, the one that features frequently sparring former NBA players Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, and that’s an opinion shared by most NBA fans.
Now, Simmons will have a chance to do something about it.
ESPN announced Thursday that Simmons will join the show, which is officially called KIA NBA Countdown, when the NBA season starts next month. Simmons and former NBA player Jalen Rose are both new to to the show, where they join Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Michael Wilbon. Countdown will air prior to NBA games both on ESPN and ABC.
Simmons, who began writing his “Sports Guy” column on ESPN.com in 2001, has since become a multimedia star, writing two bestselling books, hosting a popular podcast, spearheading the 30 For 30 documentary series, and launching and editing the online newsmagazine Grantland. But aside from a few stints guest hosting Pardon the Interruption, the NBA show is his first major on-camera assignment.