ESPN columnist Bill Simmons joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the Celtics’ offseason, the rest of the NBA, Bill Belichick and the David Ortiz contract situation. Simmons isn't on board with picking up the $12.5 team option on the DH, who hit his 31st home run of the season in the Red Sox 6-1 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night.
"Why wouldn't they just not pick up his option and sign him for a lesser price? Or is that too logical?" asked Simmons, who noted that there was "no way" the Sox win the 2004 and 2007 World Series without Ortiz. "I wouldn't pick him up at $12.5, but is he worth $8 million? Yeah, why not?"
As for the Celtics, Simmons was initially "horrified" when the Celtics signed Shaquille O'Neal but has "talked himself" into the benefits of the move. As for Jermaine O'Neal, Simmons feels he's an upgrade from Rasheed Wallace but questions if O'Neal will be able to stay on the floor.
"Well, I think it's a little bit different because Rasheed just didn't care -- he wasn't in shape," said Simmons. "He played himself into shape in the playoffs, which I think is a little embarrassing if you are a professional athlete. Jermaine O'Neal, I think, his knees went on him. I do think he cares, I just don't think he has his knees anymore. I think he's a better character than Rasheed and I think getting someone off the team who intermittently cared is probably a good thing."
Does Simmons agree with Jeff Van Gundy's assertion that the Miami Heat will break the Bulls' 72-win record and win the NBA title?
"I totally disagree, I think they have a lot of questions," said Simmons, the author of the best-selling "The Book of Basketball." "I don't trust Dwyane Wade's ability to play 100 straight games -- he's had a lot of health problems over the years. To some degree he's been able to cruise through the season and take jump shots and it's going to be a totally different animal this year because every game they play is going to be the biggest game of the season for the other team. On top of that, defensively, Chris Bosh is a terrible defensive player. If he's going to play center for you you're in real trouble."
After the Week 2 loss to the Jets, Simmons has doubts about the Patriots' defense and wonders if the head coach has lost a step .
"Can we agree that our [Patriots] defense isn't good? It seems that anyone in the league can go down and go 80 yards on this defense," Simmons said. I wrote this last year and I took some heat for it, but I do wonder if with Belichick -- and just in general with NFL coaches -- if you hit a certain age if that starts to hurt your performance … I think this guy eight, nine years ago, this was a guy that was in the film room until 3:30 in the morning. How do you keep that going when you are 58?"
To hear the interview click on the Dennis and Callahan audio on demand page .