Bill Simmons has never considered himself a reporter. That doesn’t mean he can’t report things though.
In recent years, with the explosion of the Simmons brand, the takeoff of Grantland and his NBA TV gig (not to be confused with NBAtv), Bill has become an insider whether he likes it or not. He talks with NBA execs and players, and he’s a television personality. He may still be just a fan, but he gets told more than the rest of us.
He also has a pretty vast knowledge of the NBA. And recently, Simmons apparently got a personal glimpse of NBA draft lottery hopeful Joel Embiid. Embiid has been compared to the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon or Serge Ibaka, which is pretty high, athletic praise. But there are many concerns about his back, which he injured during the college season.
No teams have publicly gotten him in for a physical, but Bill Simmons solved that problem. He gave him the ole’ eye test. “Embiid’s back is fine. I watched him work out last week…He moves around as effortlessly as a 7-foot Serge Ibaka; he’s such an athletic freak that he’s one of those ‘still going up as he’s finishing the dunk’ guys; his freakish wingspan might make Jay Bilas pass out … And again — his back seemed totally fine.”
So there you have it. Now, I’m pretty sure Simmons is not a doctor, but having a relatively-trained NBA eye watch him work out is not nothing, pardon the double negative.
If this is to be believed, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be, Embiid is once again in the running for the top spot in the NBA draft. Also, a healthy back means there is no way he falls past number two. That was the only knock on him entering the process.