Grantland.com, the new web project spearheaded by Bill Simmons, will launch June 8 at Noon ET.
Based on his The New York Times profile, Simmons has to be thrilled to finally get this project off the ground:
“Simmons sounded as if he was having some regrets about Grantland. “It hasn’t been as much as fun as I had thought,” he told me. “I’m not sure I would do it again.” Too much of his time was being spent in the office, dealing with administrative tasks, which was encroaching on his column.
Simmons’s literary persona suggests a slacker, a guy who would like nothing more than to spend his days drinking beer and watching sports. This image, enhanced by his loose, casual prose, is misleading. The real Simmons is hard-working and competitive. His rise to prominence has been punctuated by bouts of restlessness and frustration, even when things looked from the outside to be going his way. He’s still chafing over his publisher’s handling of his 2009 book, “The Book of Basketball,” a No. 1 New York Times best seller.
As far as Simmons has come since he first started searching for an audience, he wants to go much further, to create something more enduring than his column or even his books. But the drudgery of running his own publication is already intruding on the utopian world he has built for himself. And he knows that the only thing preventing him from becoming another overexposed hack, an ex-sportswriter who now gets paid to blather on TV, is his column, which can take days to research and write. “My biggest concern about the site is that I don’t want the column to just be one of the things I’m doing,” Simmons said.”
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