Smack / Jun 13, 2014 / 11:45 am

Bill Simmons Did Not Want To Wait His Turn Last Night

Sage Steele

Sage Steele ( Derick E. Hingle- USA TODAY Sports)

Even though the NBA Countdown show has been around for a few years now, the panel is still getting to know each other’s rhythms. This season, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon were replaced by Sage Steele and Doug Collins. Last night, a small moment gave us a glimpse into how ESPN/ABC team is still trying to fine-tune their chemistry.

In the post game segment, Bill Simmons voiced his displeasure at having to wait so long for his turn. As you can see below, Sage’s shade towards the camera says it all:

To be fair, the panel does seem to genuinely get along with each other, but the set-up for the segments and the limited time they have makes it very difficult for Sage to make sure all three analysts chime in with their thoughts in a concise manner.

A few months ago, Sage talked to Nina Mandell of USA TODAY about the challenges of being the host:

“I just try to feel my way throughout each segment and then jump in when I need to,” she said. “And most importantly follow up. Because these guys, they’re talking, if they say things and then it’s like ‘wait wait wait repeat what you said, clarify this here, are you crazy how could you say that?’”

The group, she said, is still learning.

“This is our first season together,” she pointed out. “And all four of us have very different personalities. What’s easier for me though is, I’m the host, I’m not the analyst so my opinion doesn’t really matter.”

She also told The Hollywood Reporter about managing Simmons, who is always eager to go beyond his allotted time:

“Bill is on the far end [of the desk], and he and I have established some sign language too, I always know when he has more to say as he lifts his head and chin up in a ‘what’s up’ kind of motion, then I look at his eyes and he looks back hard at me,” she explains. “I am proud of myself for mastering the art of sign language with Bill Simmons!”

“Sometimes the producer is just talking to just me, or sometimes he is talking to all four of us but I don’t know if he is,” explains Steele. “Then I will do the shake off to Bill so that he knows we’re going to break,” and has to stop talking!

The Countdown crew is still in the early stages of figuring each other out, and while TNT’s “Inside The NBA” remains the standard-bearer, there’s definitely time for Simmons and Co. to close the gap. But my favorite thing about them is probably their introduction video, which contains wonderful non sequitur moments including Sage Steele blowing on a pool cue, Simmons and Jalen Rose walking away from an explosion, and my favorite: Doug Collins for some reason coming out of a restaurant kitchen. It’s great.

What do you think?

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  • Hucklebuck

    Bill Simmons should not be on that show. What qualifications does he have to be an analyst?

  • UncheckedAggression

    I think he’s more vital than Sage. If she’s not handling/managing the time well, she’s at fault.

    Besides, I much prefer Bill’s insight to others on the myriad shows he’s been on. He isn’t afraid to criticize players when they deserve it, unlike a lot of ex-NBA players and coaches you see discussing games.

  • rayrayl

    He spouts random opinions that in no way can pass for analysis

  • Hucklebuck

    aside from Jalen and Collins, no one care what the other two say. Sage is okay, but is still trying to figure out to to delegate air time among the three others.
    Simmons to me is that kid in class that is always the last player picked because of his size and therefore tries to have the loudest voice and shout out stuff. He acts like a little brother trying to sound smart and override Rose and Collins at times.

  • Will

    Bill Simmons has done what? I have no idea why he even has the job. Kudos to his agent!