Either you love Bill Simmons, hate Bill Simmons or have a complete indifference towards him. This topic may have your affections toward the ESPN writer steered towards the second variety.
It seems that Simmons who had made his vote that LeBron James should receive the MVP award was also betting that exact race. Prior to the NBA season starting, Bill Simmons had stated on a podcast that he placed a bet that James would be winning the MVP award. Some scream conflict of interest.
LeBron James is the best athlete in the NBA, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise anyone would make a monetary wager that he would win the MVP award. However, it’s the fact that Simmons has or rather had a vote that clouds the situation.
Business Insider has more on the subject:
As far as we can tell, Simmons had no plan to withdraw his ballot until we started asking ESPN what its policy towards betting is. ESPN said he withdrew his ballot this week. We started asking about it this week.
Here’s the official company line on the matter:
“Bill had never received a ballot before and didn’t find out he had one until two-thirds of the season had passed. By that time he had made multiple MVP bets, two of which he had discussed on podcasts. He ended up withdrawing his MVP vote to avoid the perception of any conflict.”