Bill Simmons speaking about the NBA crowds.
"(I tweeted that the whole situation reminded me of Chris Rock's old joke, "I haven't seen white people that mad since they cancelled 'M.A.S.H.") Only Portland fans and Utah fans can make a casual observer feel like the officials are in actual danger. That's a good thing. In the old days, every crowd did that... (Best NBA crowd rankings for 2009-10: 1. Portland; 2. Utah; 3. Golden State; 4. New York ... then a big dropoff to the next group of cities. Biggest dropoff: Boston, a team that won 50 games but had a better road record than home record. In the defense of Boston fans, they spent the first half of the season waiting for KG to stop limping, then the second half arguing about who should charge the court, pull a Shane Stant on Rasheed and serve the mandatory prison sentence. They were distracted.) I know "Deron Williams or Chris Paul?" is a legitimate debate A big concession from the guy who once wrote that Williams was the Stone Temple Pilots to Paul's Pearl Jam. But Paul's knee injury combined with another stellar Williams season ... I mean, if you were picking one of them for the next 12 years, and your life depended on it, which one would you pick? Doesn't Williams seem like a safer bet to stay healthy and have Kidd-like longevity? Why does Paul's missing meniscus worry me so much? (Same for you, Brandon Roy. You already had bad knees.) In February's trade value column, I ranked Williams 10th, Derrick Rose 9th, Roy 8th and Rose 7th. Now? I think I'd go Roy 10th, then Paul, then Williams, then Rose (who's been playing out of his mind lately). Either way, R.I.P. for the Stone Temple Pilots joke. And for Paul's sake, let's hope this didn't turn into The Police (Paul) and U2 (Williams). (Important note: If Utah makes another Conference Finals this year, the debate swings in Williams' favor. I think it could have happened had Utah not lost the quietly rejuvenated Andrei Kirilenko down the stretch, which ended up costing them a No. 2-seed. Where does a Kirilenko injury swinging a conference finals prediction rank among the craziest things that happened this season? Above or below Kenyon Martin threatening everyone in Denver's locker room because JR Smith's chauffeur filled his Range Rover with buttered popcorn as an April Fool's prank? I swear to God, man, when I find out who did this, I'm gonna put my mothaf---in' hands on y'all! You're right, K-Mart was higher.)