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Zach Lowe Muffs All-NBA Picks on Podcast, Gets Bailed Out by Bill Simmons

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You won’t believe what the ESPN analyst suggested with a straight face, or who came to a sensible rescue.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Washington Wizards Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

If a typhoid-ridden goose consumed a hunk of expired Limburger cheese, then passed it in a torrid shower of effluence into a waiting trash receptacle which was then dumped into the lowest pit of Hades only to be buried beneath a moldy heap of Persephone’s pomegranate seeds, that predigested expulsion would not be lower than ESPN podcaster Zach Lowe’s selections for All-NBA second team, spewed out in his latest podcast with former company-mate Bill Simmons. Simmons’ sanity and lancing rebuttals to Lowe’s tomfoolery saved both the show and the segment on second-team selections, in which Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard featured prominently.

Beginning at the 52:14 mark of the podcast, Simmons and Lowe began discussing guard nominations for the penultimate All-NBA team. Simmons named Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker. It was a brilliant pick, as Walker is averaging 23.5 per game while shooting a career-high .411 from the three-point arc, suiting up for an NBA Finals contender.

Simmons then made a daring move, opting for Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. He admitted that the selection violated a long-standing rule of his, not to nominate players from awful teams. In doing so he demonstrated courage and a subtle flexibility necessary for tough moments such as this.

The move evidently caught Lowe by surprise, as his only response was an incredulous, “Oh my God!”, violating sanctified rules of podcast hosting and at least one Biblical commandment in the same three words.

The pair then compared the merits of Beal, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, and Lillard, citing the poor records of the three teams they play for. Slipping under the influence of the nefarious Lowe, Simmons invoked the “s-word” profanity multiple times during this discussion, a slide he is less apt to make on more reputable shows.

At that point, the analysts got to the heart of the matter:

Simmons: So the case before the “Rip City Blog” writes another anti-Simmons piece for the Blazers fans...here’s why I have Beal over Lillard. I feel like Beal has maximized the potential of this horrible Washington roster. 8-17 is a miracle. That team should be, like, 3-30. Portland, they’re actually 11-16. That’s kind of crazy. I know they’ve had some injuries, but...

Lowe: They’ve had a lot of injuries. They signed Carmelo Anthony and he’s averaging 17 points a game for them.

Simmons: I know. But they have McCollum.

Lowe and Simmons then extolled the greatness of Kawhi Leonard, saying he’s one of the dominant players in the game and, by rule, can’t fall below second-team All-NBA. Continuing the debate on those same second-team nominations, they returned to Portland:

Lowe: My two guards are where we disagree. On both of them. I have Damian Lillard—so I expect the “Rip City blog”, or Blazer’s Edge, to write a fawning, 600-word post about me...

Simmons: That’s fine. You’re smarter than I am!

Lowe: Fawning. And this is where I cheated a little bit, although I don’t think it’s cheating. I put Paul George as my second-team guard.

Simmons: Oh. That’s a full cheat.

Lowe: Why?

Simmons: That’s terrible.

Simmons’ three-syllable summation was, of course, correct. Lowe’s selection of George crosses boundaries. What’s next? Joel Embid for Sixth Man of the Year?

Even die-hard Trail Blazers fans would admit that Lillard’s 26.5 points per game don’t stack up to 27.6 for Beal or 28.3 for Young. Gratuitous Lillard picks will not fly when dealing with the most sensible, balanced, and intelligent fan base in the league. Glad-handing may work in Sacramento, Mr. Lowe, but not here. Bravo to the astute Simmons for standing with heroic integrity.