The answer to the question posed in the headline all depends on whether you believe the numbers of email respondents being circulated by the “Bill Simmons for Minnesota GM” fan group on Facebook, or the number that the team is admitting its received publicly.
(The next T-Wolves GM could be another Celtics fan.)
Either way, we know that Simmons — aka, ESPN’s “The Sports Guy” — has had more than 1,200 emails sent expressing support of his candidacy. And that’s a truly significant number for a team that averaged 27th in attendance last year, rarely drawing more than 15,000 fans per game.
Think about that for a second: If the reports about Simmons getting 15,000 emailers supporting him are correct, there would be more email supporters than fans at your average Minnesota game in 2008-09. Not hiring someone based on that fan backing would seem almost ludicrous from a financial planning and marketing standpoint.
Yet the Timberwolves seem uninterested in Simmons whatsoever, despite the legion of fans he brings with him. In fairness, there are a handful of reasons why Minnesota would be less than inclined to hand over the reins of the franchise to a guy who has made his living writing a satirical sports column and jokes for Jimmy Kimmel. Among them:
- He’s always railed on the organization under Kevin McHale, despite his hero worshipping the former Celtics big man.
- He’s never worked outside of a major media market, with his local-gone-national all inclusive sports dog-and-pony show relocating from Boston to L.A.
- He’s never worked within any kind of a professional organization without breeding significant discontent (he left the Herald without any strong personal allegiances, and continually challenges any authority above his level at ESPN).
- Did we mention he’s a comedian? And that’s he’s launching this campaign out of halfhearted pseudo-seriousness? Can we bring that up again?
Of course, none of these things can truly invalidate Simmons’ candidacy. After all, he can’t do any worse than McHale, who Simmons himself rightfully put at the head of his annual atrocious GM summit. And hey, it’d be, fun right? If Boston fans can get Lastings Milledge picked for the NL All-Star squad, should we really be surprised if they orchestrate a campaign to land Simmons as an NBA GM?