When word spread that Magic Johnson was leaving ESPN’s NBA Countdown, many were shocked. Magic is slightly better at basketball than your FishbowlNY editors, so his presence would seem to be a good thing. But nevertheless, he issued a statement that he was departing. Almost immediately, a report surfaced that Bill Simmons forced Johnson out in order to gain more power over the show. Simmons told Sports Illustrated that the rumor was completely false:
Those unnamed ‘sources’ are liars. Someone planted a fake story to try to make me look bad, and there’s a 99.3 percent chance it came from someone in Bristol (which presents its own set of concerns). I was upset; I can’t lie. Maybe this happens to people more often than I realize, and maybe it comes with the territory, but man … I can’t properly explain how fantastic it was to watch basketball with Magic for nine months.