Posing the question no one else on earth with an ounce of taste or common sense would bother to ask, Bill Simmons begins his latest Page 2 entry with “What does Pearl Jam have to do with the 2006 NBA Playoffs?”

I’ve complained in the past about the NBA’s broadcast partners dissing the same product they’re supposed to be showcasing, but this really takes the cake. No matter what you might think of the Association circa 2006, comparing its post-season to the career of an overwrought Bad Company tribute band is just unfair.

Check out this precious excerpt :

Everyone knows about Pearl Jam’s ongoing problems with its record label and Ticketmaster, culminating in two recent albums that lacked the band’s usual energy and explosiveness. After parting ways with that same label and going on its own, the new album was deemed by none other than Eddie Vedder to be “the best work we’ve ever done,” leading some to believe that maybe, just maybe, the Pearl Jam guys were, um, saving themselves for their first post-Sony album. That’s right, they may have pulled a Vince Carter on us.

Well, what else is Ed Ved gonna say? “We’ve sucked from day one…and we’re still just as crummy”? I’m sure V.C. can afford a capable enough lawyer.

(Vince loves hanging out with The Hurricane, but grows tired of being asked to say “that’s why we don’t feed the dog people-food” all the time)

Says Joey from Straight Bangin,

It’s the perfect Simmons piece of shit–out-of-touch references; tired storylines; recycled jokes; and the worst hip-hop sense ever.

Indeed, Bill takes the bold step of advocating “old-school rap” like PE’s “He Got Game” (Stephen Stills, fucking-a!) and the Beastie Boys’ “Ch-Check It Out” in place of Rob Thomas for ABC’s playoff coverage.

I know, I know, let’s not be elitists about this. We can’t really expect Simmons to champion the unreleased Sadat X/Shannon Hoon recordings, I mean, that would be crazy. We’re just lucky enough to be blessed with the observations of a guy who is totally in touch with the cultural zeitgeist….of an average frathouse, circa 1994.