For the majority, 2020 so far isn’t turning out to be the most vintage year, especially in the case of actual enjoyment.
For Bill Simmons however, it has been quite a bit sunnier for the most part, with the respected and well-known sports presenter, who broke onto the scene as ‘The Boston Sports Guy’ in the early 2000s, selling his publication The Ringer to Spotify for an eye-splintering $200million in February.
Founded by Simmons just four years ago, in 2016, The Ringer attracts a wide audience through its sports and pop culture content. The Ringer also has over 40 podcasts on its roster, covering a variety of topics, from cooking shows, political discussions, to Game of Thrones. The crème de la crème of this soundwave smorgasbord is the one presented and titled after The Ringer’s aforementioned creator, the most downloaded sports podcast of all time that generates a reported $7million in revenue for its host, every single year.
Bill invites informed and impassioned personalities for a jovial - but occasionally heated - sit down, usually revolving around the game of basketball, what’s taking place on and off the court.
Frequent collaborators, such as journalist Ryan Russilo (who also has his own show through the publication) and Zach Lowe join for bombastic and enthusiastic discussion, prominent athletes such as Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and the great Larry Bird have all been interviewed. In one notable episode with actor Matt Damon, the two Bostonians bonding over ball games is palpable.
The unapologetic, unabashed enthusiasm Simmons presents makes it a highly accessible listen, even for those not completely in tune with the goings-ons, character references, and quick speedy sobriquet.
From discussing with Damon which was the worst Ocean’s film, blurring the lines between athlete and actor with Adam Sandler and Kevin Garnett, and for those currently enamoured with Netflix’s weekly dose of Michael Jordan with the series ‘The Last Dance’, a recent episode ponders over how great the 1996 Chicago Bulls side actually were.
Simmons’ lofty place in the current sports sphere is unquestionable. A former writer for Jimmy Kimmel, he worked extensively for ESPN, including presenting the NBA Countdown pregame show, and went onto host his own show on HBO, Any Given Wednesday. In 2007, he was named the 12th-most influential person in online sports by the Sports Business Journal, the highest position on the list for a non-executive.
So if you were wondering who out of Jay-Z, Barack Obama or Michael Jordan would be able to procure the best table in a VIP nightclub, The Bill Simmons Podcast needs to be plugged into your ears.