12.14.2010

Highlights For Children

Hardcover edition:



Paperback edition:



Hmmmm....

Labels: ,

34 Comments:

At 12/14/2010 5:35 PM, Blogger C said...

Everything makes so much sense now that Simmons has explained that this is the irony of ironies!

Did he have to come up with a throwaway clause to add to the paragraph to balance out the deletion? Is that how publishing works?

 
At 12/14/2010 5:40 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

"Irony of ironies" was in the original and then deleted. I'm not sure why.

 
At 12/14/2010 7:51 PM, Blogger Billy Hatcher Cheats said...

Someone on HuffPo wrote that he got too much attention as a child. Makes sense, considering how poorly he takes criticism.

Remember his all-too-serious push to be an NBA GM? Holy crap that would be a disaster. He would make Isiah Thomas look like he has gator hide.

 
At 12/14/2010 8:13 PM, Blogger angel said...

if detroit would've drafted melo they would've had a dynasty and u guys are doing ur thing because he deleted the #shotsfired-esque comment.

 
At 12/14/2010 9:09 PM, Blogger DA said...

While I don't doubt that -- LBJ-like -- BS took mental notes of everyone "taking shots" at him, this isn't the Charles P. Pierce thing, where he deliberately removed it to spite the guy. It was probably a happy coincidence for him that he could pull the FD reference because it was one of the "extraneous jokes" he wanted to cut to keep the paperback to a reasonable size.

-- David A., RufusOnFire.com

 
At 12/14/2010 9:19 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Simmons doesn't like FD? Seems like it might be in his wheelhouse, what with the obsessive (in a good way) rehashing and revisiting of basketball through a peculiar, yet oddly salient, lens.

I have no problem with Simmons. I like his writing and think he's funny. FD is my New York Times. Simmons is my New York Post, to inelegantly borrow a turn of phrase from "Finding Forrester". There's room for both on my palate.

 
At 12/14/2010 9:32 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

DA, I'm not quite getting the distinction. Is it that Pierce didn't save him any space, while this did? Also, where did he say that the paperback had to be shorter? Seems to me that neither is any more or less deliberate than the other.

 
At 12/14/2010 9:58 PM, Blogger christo said...

Why the Free Darius / Free Darko edit? Is Simmons concerned with the free pub to a competitor in the niche market of hindsight basketball histories? Seems like an edit from a publisher.
Simmons and his editors did at least cut one semicolon which would have to marginally please Kurt Vonnegut.

 
At 12/14/2010 10:01 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

One of my several highly-visible offenses.

 
At 12/14/2010 10:10 PM, Blogger DA said...

http://sportsguy.blogspot.com/2010/11/me-and-hondo-in-prologue-for-book-of.html

"People keep asking if the paperback is dramatically different than the hardcover. The answer: no. But if I left it alone, because paperbacks run longer than hardcovers, it would have come in around 740 pages (a ridiculous length for a book that was already too long). So I re-tightened the prose as much as I could, shortened a few Pyramid and 'How the Hell' entries, chopped as many extraneous jokes/footnotes as I could find, dumped LeBron's section and most of Kobe's section, dumped two What Ifs, then added the additional material (including the Kobe/LeBron rewrites) and footnotes (50-55 in all). The hardcover was 704 pages; the paperback was 706. So... mission accomplished."

-- David A., RufusOnFire.com

 
At 12/14/2010 10:17 PM, Blogger DA said...

Basically, what I said before... while I don't doubt he was taking mental notes, I'd be hesitant to mind-read in this instance, given that he has a reasonable-sounding explanation for why most of these types of edits were made.

The Pierce thing is an exception, because it's not mind-reading to conclude that BS is being petty and trying to stick it to a critic instead of talking about why he made the authorial choices he did. Or just chalking it up to taste, like a thicker-skinned adult might.

 
At 12/14/2010 10:26 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Well, it's not like that was even much of a joke to begin with. It was a gratuitous mention of/shout-out to FD. It doesn't even make sense if you don't know what FD is. What does it mean if that is judged "extraneous"?

I guess he could have decided, with no malice, that he did a good thing for FD by mentioning us once, and thus could cut the sentence from the paperback and still go to heaven a good and kind person.

 
At 12/14/2010 11:53 PM, Blogger Spectator said...

Getting written out of his shitty book was a compliment. Bill Simmons is the Bob Hope of sports writing... The same tired gags over and over.

So yes, in a perfect world, the Pistons would have drafted Melo. Instead, Dumars drafting Darko was the cerebral choice (win a championship now, stash Darko on the bench for a few years) only to be undone by unforeseen circumstances (young kids from Serbia don't like to be human victory cigars) that Simmons somehow still can never grasp. Hey, we're all bound by our limitations, just like Simmons still thinks that writing lots of words means that you're being insightful.

 
At 12/15/2010 2:00 AM, Blogger Tom Doggett said...

Meanwhile, Melo is soft, and the court isn't big enough for him and Amare. When the Knicks start struggling to gel, it'll be some inverse "Ewing Theory" that Simmons will undoubtedly devote a paragraph to in an upcoming column.

 
At 12/15/2010 8:42 AM, Blogger d said...

This just seems like he's angry that a *gasp* BLOG wrote a book about basketball so close to his. Yours and his are next to each other in some bookstores, you know.

I loved FD's new book but you neglected to include your ideal lineup if martians landed and the fate of the planet rested on a basketball game. BS, who is getting crunch time numbers in such a situation????

 
At 12/15/2010 9:39 AM, Blogger spanish bombs said...

I believe that "extraneous" in this case means stupid and not funny. I agree with removing the joke, although really, the idea that 'Melo would not have helped the Pistons win that championship is preposterous, so the whole page should go.

 
At 12/15/2010 11:05 AM, Blogger aksen said...

far be it for me to defend simmons (i read his book, i enjoyed most of it, but i wouldn't call myself a fan as such), but really sounds like a massive over-reaction on your behalf, trying to create conflict where none appears (to me) to exist.

he had to remove stuff. he removed a reference a lot of people who read the book probably didn't exactly get. what you wrote in ny mag is no way near critical/harsh enough to warrant expunging from his book. it almost seems like you want it to be true to validate your own writing.

 
At 12/15/2010 11:15 AM, Blogger Quantavius Sturdivant said...

you could chalk it up to coincidence if not for this:

http://deadspin.com/5712872/

i wonder if the paperback is being retitled "the only book of basketball".

wv: suppike - the road that takes terrence williams from nj to houston.

 
At 12/15/2010 1:29 PM, OpenID CDS said...

Side note: I thought your idea that Michael Jordan "runs his life like the captain of his own nuclear sub named after himself" was brilliant.

 
At 12/15/2010 1:39 PM, Blogger Joe Friday said...

Shoals-

You have had a hard-on for Simmons bashing (both of the direct variety and the subtle backhanded swipe) for years, dating back to before his book was even published in hardback, complete with the FD 'shout-out.'

Some editing had to be done, he removed a reference that many who read the book didn't understand and/or would find extemporaneous. I doubt he was the slightest bit shocked or dismayed at the orgasmic joy that you and Craggs took in deconstructing his book in a 12-part nymag.com feature.

 
At 12/15/2010 2:27 PM, Blogger Aaron said...

I would hope that it was a simple edit and nothing personal. I agree with your take on Simmons in your review. His best work is in discussing basketball. I felt that he tried to convey too much in his book. I appreciate the effort but would have much rather had something more refined. Maybe he just discusses the Celtics of the 80's for example? It's like Michael Douglas's Grady Tripp character in Wonder Boys. He starts out with something and it becomes too much and is simple overwhelming in scope. I hope he takes a crack at something less ambiguous in the future. In the end though, who cares? You guys are doing a great job at Freedarko and it seems that the praise of your history piece is surpassing Simmons already.

 
At 12/15/2010 2:47 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

@aksen Where is the massive overreaction? This post? It took me 10 minutes to crop the page images and post them. I didn't even comment beyond "Hmmmm....", I intentionally left it open to interpretation. The Charlie Pierce incident suggests that he does this kind of shit out of spite, but maybe it was just cut for space. People were asking about it, so I thought I'd post the pages and let people decide for themselves.

@Joe Friday holy shit, you don't know what "extemporaneous" means? You also don't seem to know what "deconstruct" means, but neither do most people who use that word.

 
At 12/15/2010 2:51 PM, Blogger Lafayette said...

Uh, aksen, if you think it's a massive over-reaction to post two .jpegs, I'd hate for you to see me when I get the wrong condiments on my sandwich at the deli... (And you might wanna stay away from tumblr, too.)

I'm now actually kind of interested in whether the changes mean it'd be better to pick up the paperback or look for a copy of the original. Obviously I haven't been all that worked up to read the fucking thing, given that when it came out, Simmons' jokes were only slightly tired... Anybody here play around with both editions enough to steer a guy in a direction?

 
At 12/15/2010 2:56 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

I am actually really curious about whether the many, many casually misogynist jokes were cut from this edition. That would seem more prudent than taking out a perhaps extraneous mention of FreeDarko. The porn references and fantasies about singles bar hook ups made me throw the book across the room several times and then ultimately sell my (slightly dented) copy on Amazon.

 
At 12/15/2010 6:43 PM, Blogger tray said...

I think that Simmons is just a semi-gifted expounder of conventional sports journalist NBA wisdom. He's selling the same "basketball is a morality play in which we discover who has the biggest nuts and who is a fucking coward" crap that every columnist does, except unlike most he doesn't go so far as to confuse the big nuts with being a wonderful human being, and replaces that moralizing part of the equation with some lame humor and references to overrated films of the 70s-90s. And porn. In a way though, his vision of sport is even sillier than Rick Reilly's. A Reilly thinks we should worship Larry Bird because he was a saint of the Protestant work ethic; Simmons's ethic is just venerating athletes with big fucking nuts. It's kind of infantile and/or unconsciously queer (not that there's anything wrong with that!), which is perhaps why he feels the need to randomly remind us of how attracted he was to the pre-voting-age Lindsey Lohan all the time.

 
At 12/15/2010 7:02 PM, Blogger rs wells said...

"Is this a rivalry?" (Knicks-Celtics pregame related as well...)

 
At 12/15/2010 8:04 PM, Blogger aksen said...

@Brown Recluse, Esq. - apologies, my comment was more directed at shoals and his replies here (and i had noticed he had raised it on twitter). to be honest, i didn't even realise you had posted this - i just assumed it was BS.

"massive" was too much. i still think its an over-reaction from FD as a team.

 
At 12/15/2010 8:40 PM, Blogger RT said...

Gallinari!!!

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you will.

 
At 12/15/2010 8:42 PM, Blogger Chris said...

It just seems disrespectful and cowardly to just coincidentally delete a mention of a group blog where a writer - purely coincidentally of course - wrote a nuanced critique of that very work. It's too bad that Simmons is without the same kind of intellectual discipline that would let him realize his book is terrible for sooo many reasons.

Also, re: "Some editing had to be done, he removed a reference that many who read the book didn't understand and/or would find extemporaneous": it's called Googling, man, and why would he want people to seek out something that surpasses him and craps on it too? I hate to come across sycophantic, but for everything FD publishes that I disagree with, BS has made me cringe on like 30574 more levels.

Also, Gallinariiiii

 
At 12/15/2010 9:31 PM, Blogger World B Freaky said...

I'm a little bit upset that my regular check of FD wound up being the place where my eyes were exposed to BS. Anybody who defends him simply doesn't have a clue...

 
At 12/15/2010 10:16 PM, Blogger Teach said...

Whatever the intention behind the edit was, it doesn't make sense in terms of content. The edit itself makes the whole chain of what ifs seem less world shaking because Simmons left himself as the only person making commentary on the Melo/Darko decision, so in the end, even if unintended, everything for Simmons comes back to Simmons.


RT and Chris: Gallinari!!! Definitely one of the highlights of tonight.

 
At 12/16/2010 12:18 AM, Blogger Chris said...

The other highlight -- when the Knicks lost!! Just kidding, one of the best games of the year (if you live in New England or New York).

 
At 12/16/2010 9:50 AM, Blogger W2 said...

@ Chris. One of the best games of the year if you love basketball.

 
At 12/16/2010 10:22 AM, Blogger Yago Col├ís said...

Simmons is a tool -- the persona of the writer I mean, I don't know the dude. Reading the Book I felt like I was locked in a room with a buff, but slightly beer-rounded, ruddy frat boy wearing an A&F conch shell choker on a slightly drunken monologue. Once in a while he seemed to get lucky and make me laugh (1000 monkeys typing...etc.), mostly cringe. I don't really care about the deletion, and I don't think it means much that I didn't already know.

 

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