Bill Simmons leaving NBA Countdown to start “Grantland Basketball Show”
ESPN’s Bill Simmons has left NBA Countdown and will be leading a different type of basketball show this fall. After three seasons on NBA Countdown, Simmons will now be able to promote his network along with having several Grantland commentators and contributors being rotated throughout each episode. The” Grantland Basketball Show” is expected to kick off Tuesday, October 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and be part of 18 episodes that will take place throughout the season, playoffs and NBA Finals.
Via ESPN Media Zone:
ESPN will debut the first Grantland-branded television series – The Grantland Basketball Show – featuring Grantland Editor-in-chief Bill Simmons, on Tuesday, October 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Grantland Basketball Show will feature lively discussion about a variety of NBA topics, facilitated by Simmons, with a rotating group of Grantland commentators and other contributors. Up to 18 one-hour, primetime episodes of The Grantland Basketball Show will air throughout the NBA season on ESPN, including eight during the regular-season and eight during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. Other episodes are planned for the NBA Draft and the NBA’s free agency period.
The show is expected to give the outspoken Simmons more freedom as he’ll be coming up with topics while being the star of the show. During his three years on NBA Countdown, Simmons took some heat for some of his actions. Last year, Simmons made an awkward comment after he felt ignored, while NBA legend Rick Barry called him a jerk. In addition, there was also the Magic Johnson rumor flying around about Simmons and Johnson having issues which resulted in Magic leaving ESPN Countdown.