At some point, you have to move on before people stop appreciating you. For one of ESPN’s most popular writers, it might be time to move on. Once upon a time, Bill Simmons was the hottest star of ESPN, and no amount of corporate suspensions could slow down his acerbic wit and his unwillingness to blink in the face of corporate pressure. Now he’s ready to take off for greener pastures, be it a traditional media company, another sports network, or something else entirely. Bill Simmons is leaving ESPN, the company that made him famous and that he made into a media powerhouse.
That’s not hyperbole. Prior to signing with ESPN and heading to Page 2, Simmons wrote for AOL Sports as the Boston Sports Guy, then just Sports Guy. After growing his audience, Simmons used his clout to launch Grantland, which replaced ESPN Page 2 as the place to go for interesting sports writing through the lens of pop culture. While with Grantland, he wrote the number one best-selling Book of Basketball. As if that wasn’t enough, he made regular appearances on ESPN’s NBA programming AND he was the mastermind behind the award-winning 30 For 30 series of sports documentaries. Oh yeah, he also hosts the incredibly popular and influential BS Report podcast, which has had an appearance from none other than President Barack Obama.
ESPN says they failed to find a compromise with Bill Simmons’ agents. It’s probably not just money, given Simmons’ desire for creative freedom and creative control over his words and his choices. Still, it’s going to be a loss for both parties.
Tags: sports, sports journalism, grantland, espn, bill simmons, bill simmons leaving espn, bill simmons is leaving espn, bill simmons leaving grantland, 30 for 30, the book of basketball, sports guy, bs report