Rank #1: Dominant Warriors, Five LeBrons, Soccer Trolls, MLB Struggles, and Chappaquiddick With Chuck Klosterman | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 388)
HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Chuck Klosterman to discuss the Golden State Warriors acquiring DeMarcus Cousins and how long their dominance in the NBA can last (01:56). They also debate whether a starting five of all LeBron Jameses would be better than a starting five of any other player in NBA history (21:12). Then they talk about soccer trolls (52:30), the current and future state of MLB (54:28), and the Chappaquiddick scandal in light of it being turned into a movie (1:33:22).
Rank #2: Ep. 156: Holiday NFL/NBA + Basketball Unicorns With Joe House
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons brings on Joe House to discuss the best bets for NFL Week 16, Matt Barkley's friskiness (17:00), the best NBA Christmas Day games (24:00), LeBron's extended playing time (28:00), potential Nuggets trade options (32:00), Blake Griffin's injury history (36:00), NBA unicorns throughout history (47:00), Shaq and Wilt Chamberlain (1:02:00), Kareem's sky hook (1:05:00), George Gervin's finger roll (1:08:00), and the best college basketball class in decades (1:12:00).
Rank #3: Charles Oakley Tells MJ Stories, Explains Why LeBron Will Leave, and Remembers His Favorite Fights (And It's Amazing) | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 375)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by the toughest guy in NBA history, Charles Oakley, to talk Michael Jordan stories, the difference between old-school and today's NBA, the Pat Riley Knicks, why LeBron should leave the Cavs, his MSG ban, and a slew of his NBA beefs on and off the court.
Rank #4: Ep. 158: Friday Rollin' With Joe House
The Ringer's Bill Simmons and Joe House discuss George Karl's controversial new NBA book (and the anecdotes that surprised Bill the most when he read it) (2:35). Then they rattle off their NBA power rankings for December (33:50), measure Cleveland against Golden State (1:10:50), and pick Week 17's big Lions-Packers game (1:10:18).
Rank #5: Ep. 174: Kevin Durant
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Warriors forward Kevin Durant to discuss his favorite thing about his new team (6:00), LeBron-Barkley beef (12:00), James Harden's leap (19:00), Durant's rivalry with LeBron (29:00), and what Thunder teammate he misses the most (38:00). Then, Roc Nation Sports agent Rich Kleiman joins to talk the 2012 Finals (54:00), "Waiters Island" (61:00), and his most comparable player (68:00).
Rank #6: Jason Bateman on His Crazy Career, Plus Mallory Rubin on Football and 'Thrones' | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 404)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by the Mother of Dragons, Mallory Rubin, to discuss the anticipation of the final season of 'Game of Thrones,' future spinoffs, NCAA football, MLB, and rookie NFL quarterbacks (1:57). Then Bill sits down with actor Jason Bateman to talk L.A. Dodgers fandom, being a child actor, 'Ozark,' 'Arrested Development,' binge-watch television, sports movies, and more (27:13).
Rank #7: Gambling in Vegas, the Washed-ington Wizards, World Cup Odds, 2019 NBA Champions, and Tony Parker Leaves the Spurs | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 386)
HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Dave Chang, Joe House, and Cousin Sal to discuss their Las Vegas gambling experience (2:06). Then, Chris Ryan joins to talk World Cup betting (28:42) and 2019 NBA championship odds (37:37). Finally, Bill and Chris bring in Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion to react to Tony Parker's decision to sign with the Charlotte Hornets in the twilight of his career and other NBA free-agency news (57:47).
Rank #8: Finals MVP Kevin Durant (Ep. 225)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons reports live from Oakland with 2017 NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant to discuss the initial moment right after the confetti fell in Oracle (3:30), running the pick-and-roll with Curry (12:00), the shot in Game 3 (23:00), appreciating LeBron's journey (28:15), Curry's high-level play in the playoffs (33:30), Kyrie's "bag full of tricks" (34:00), Obama's congratulatory text (43:30), the Warriors free agents this offseason (49:30), building winning habits with the Warriors (58:00), the nonsense of comparing different eras (1:04:00), Rasheed Wallace's stretch five game (1:08:30), three-on-three in the Olympics (1:20:00), Iguodala's big Game 5 dunk (1:25:00), and Patrick McCaw's bright future (1:29:15).
Rank #9: Coach K's Secrets, Saving College Hoops, and the Pre-LeBron Generation, With Jay Williams | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 392)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by college basketball analyst Jay Williams to discuss his time in the NBA, how we evaluate college players, his 2001 NCAA national championship team, fixing college basketball, playing for Coach K, the pre-LeBron generation of NBA players, and more.
Rank #10: Mike Francesa on the 49ers' Franchise QB, Eli's Next Move, and Week 16 NFL Picks (Ep. 304)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by legendary New York sports radio host Mike Francesa to discuss Jimmy Garoppolo's setup in San Francisco (5:00), Eli Manning's offensive line problem (12:00), Matt Ryan's down year (19:00), picks for Week 16 (32:00), Detroit's quiet season (40:00), and Super Bowl odds (45:00).
Rank #11: Michael Rapaport on NBA Awards, the Knicks, 'True Romance,' and Being Banned From ESPN (Ep. 209)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons brings on Michael Rapaport to discuss the uninspiring NBA playoffs (5:00), the upcoming 'NBA Awards' show (11:00), Kelly Olynyk's man bun (17:00), Phil Jackson's problems in New York (26:00), overhyping 'Hamilton' (33:30), Chris Paul's overrated status (38:00), Ty Lue complaining (41:00), reporter questions for Popovich and Belichick (44:00), LeBron's ability to avoid injury (49:00), A-Rod's stickman status (52:00), beefing with Dan Le Batard (1:02:00), and shooting 'True Romance' scenes with Christian Slater (1:13:00).
Rank #12: NBA in the Twitter Era, the Future of Basketball, Legal Sports Betting, and Last Meal on Earth | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 387)
Live from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Chris Ryan, Jason Concepcion, Shea Serrano, Daryl Morey, Joe House, Haralabos Voulgaris, Cousin Sal, and Dave Chang to discuss how Twitter would react to historical NBA moments, the evolution of the NBA, the legalization of sports gambling, meals to eat on death row, and more.
Rank #13: Kevin Durant IV: Ask Kevin Anything Part 1 (Ep. 251)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by 2017 Finals MVP Kevin Durant for the first installment of a two-part series to discuss the shocking Kyrie Irving trade and to answer listeners' most pressing mailbag questions.
Rank #14: NBA Summer Winners and Losers With Ryen Russillo | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 393)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss the NBA roster changes this summer. They decide which teams got better, which teams got worse, and which teams are just treading water
Rank #15: The Kyrie Trade Saga, CFB, MLB, and 'Thrones' With Kevin O'Connor and Mallory Rubin (Ep. 254)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons gives his thoughts and theories on the bizarre Kyrie/Isaiah trade saga and why he still believes Kyrie Irving's ceiling is underrated (5:05), then brings on The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor to discuss Friday's press conference in Boston and the league's reaction to the deal (26:05). Then, The Ringer's Mallory Rubin previews the 2017 college football season and September's MLB pennant race before indulging Bill's primitive Game of Thrones thoughts (while longing for her days with The Maester, Jason Concepcion) (55:18).
Rank #16: Ep. 147: NBA Power Rankings With Kevin O'Connor
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons brings on Ringer NBA writer Kevin O'Connor to properly rank all 30 teams in the league, discuss the Mavs' tanking strategy (6:00), the Brandon Knight issue with the Suns (12:00), if the Timberwolves should tank (16:00), the struggling Magic (20:00), Justise Winslow vs. Stanley Johnson (25:00), Luke Walton's baby Lakers (29:00), teams to watch at the trade deadline (37:00), Boston and Boogie (44:00), the not-so-great Pacers (52:00), the Hawks with Dwight Howard and Dennis Schroder (1:02:00), pseudo contenders like the Celtics (1:05:00), Rockets and Raptors, and Warriors vs. Cavs: The Trilogy (1:12:00).
Rank #17: Jimmy Butler on the Bulls, Jordan, and L.A. Pick-up Games (Ep. 238)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons brings on NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler to give his thoughts on his exit from the Bulls (4:00), D-Wade's impact (11:00), tampering in the NBA offseason (18:00), idolizing the Jordan brand (26:00), Karl-Anthony Towns's unique skill set (31:00), his return to Chicago next season (37:00), Thibs's love for basketball (43:00), secret pick-up games in L.A. (53:00), and D-Rose's next destination (1:05:00). Then, The Ringer's Mallory Rubin joins to discuss the long-awaited return of 'Game of Thrones' (1:15:00).
Rank #18: NBA Summer Mailbag Special (Ep. 236)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons answers the most pressing NBA summer mailbag questions. Topics include: LeBron on the Lakers (4:00), the best championship parade moment (12:30), CP3's Ewing Theory potential (16:00), Rookie of the Year odds (20:30), Paul George's trade value (30:40), Jamal Crawford's decline (35:00), Sidney Crosby's connection with Tim Duncan (46:00), the famous Monte Carlo scrimmage (51:00), Rob Pelinka's rise (1:01:00), San Diego's attractiveness to the NBA (1:13:00), and Russell Westbrook's style of play changing next season (1:20:00).
Rank #19: Chuck Klosterman on the Death of Monoculture, NBA Superteams, and Tom Petty's Passing (Ep. 290)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by best-selling author and old buddy Chuck Klosterman to discuss switching to Sirius XM over the internet, the pop culture influence on politics, the lack of humor in media coverage, the potential of Ben Simmons, and the comedic genius of Jim Carrey.
Rank #20: NBA Trade Value, Foles Saves Philly, and Farewell Josh Gordon With Joe House and Bill's Dad | The Bill Simmons Podcast (Ep. 458)
HBO and The Ringer's Bill Simmons talks with a slightly tipsy Joe House about his brand-new NBA trade values piece on TheRinger.com and NFL million-dollar bets before Bill calls up his dad to talk about the end of Josh Gordon's NFL season, Patriots problems, a Boston Celtics check-in, and more.