Bill Simmons may not be bigger than the Beatles. But for pro basketball fans, he's pretty damn close.
The ESPN sportswriter
was at the Borders Bookstore in Beaverton on Thursday night to sign copies of The Book of Basketball
, his tome on pro hoops. The suburban parking lot was full 45 minutes beforehand, and people were literally sprinting through the parking lot into the bookstore after they got off the bus.
Simmons appeared shortly before 7 pm wearing a black hoodie and a shirt featuring the mug of Jeff Bebe, lead signer of the fictional band Stillwater from the movie Almost Famous, which Simmons has praised
as his favorite flick of the past decade. Simmons talked with the crowd for a few minutes prior to the signing and delivered the same pop culture-savvy sports commentary that's made him so popular
. Some of the juicier nuggets:
-Simmons attended the Trail Blazers' game versus Detroit
on Wednesday . He polled the Borders crowd about the Blazers' three-guard system. Simmons felt the Blazers should play the best five regardless of their position.
-He also praised Portland for being the only city in the NBA that doesn't play hip hop music during the team introductions. "Ballroom Blitz?" he asked. "Do they do that for every game?"
-He apologized for low-balling the Blazers in his season predictions
, where he forecast the team would finish 41-41 when many predict they'll win more than 50 games. "There's a team every year [that underperforms]," Simmons said. "It was between Portland and New Orleans."
-All baby-toting fans were encouraged to cut in front of the line for an autograph. "I've been there, I know what that's like," he said.