(one of the more despicable persons in the world of sports media.  and on the right, Will Leitch)

ESPN has tapped Bill Simmons (above, left) to provide analysis during tonight’s telecast of Miami’s visit to Golden State, a scenario the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson finds curious given Simmons’ blatant Celtics bias and recent history of LeBron-baiting.  Not to worry, promises Bill, who describes a prior Heat-bashing sesion with Dan Le Batard as mere provocation between attention-addicts.

Simmons e-mailed Thursday, “There’s a big difference between calling a game and going on someone’s radio show or even writing about a team. Le Batard and I are friends and I go on there to stir stuff up. . . . I would never be anti-Heat calling the game. There is nothing worse than watching your team and being stuck with an announcer who is against them. . . . I’m just there to make the game more entertaining. Besides, the Heat look like they might be belatedly coming together. I’m not sure there is a lot to be pessimistic about right now.”

Simmons said he pitched the idea of calling Friday’s game because “I did four minutes of a game last year and it was really fun. So it’s been in the back of my head since.” ESPN was receptive because “Bill is a dedicated NBA fan who will provide a unique perspective,” spokesman Nate Smeltz said