With nothing else to do last night, I decided to brave the traffic on highway 26 and head out to the Borders in Beaverton to experience the Bill Simmons book signing. Kudos to Borders for doing a great job of managing the event. It was difficult to estimate the number of people in attendance because everyone was so spread out, but it was a great turn out. I'd guess there was somewhere between 800 and 1,300 people.
Simmons came out before the signing to briefly address the crowd. He responded to some of the issues that he has heard recently from Blazer fans. A few of the things he addressed:
* He immediately acknowledged his mistake in predicting that the Blazers would go 41-41 this year. He said he had to decide between Portland and New Orleans as the team that might fall back a little this year and he chose wrong.
* He discussed his experience at the Blazers/Pistons game on Thursday (his first game at the Rose Garden), noting that we have what he believes to be the only arena in the league that doesn't play rap music during the intros.
* He questioned the three guard lineup and asked us if we liked it. I yelled, "No!" He said he's always been a "play your best five players" guy. I agree.
* He said he enjoyed the game, the atmosphere was good, it got tense when Steve Blake made "about 10 turnovers in the fourth quarter" before sinking the big three at the end.
* Someone yelled, "Drexler's Pistons!", bringing up the typo that was in his book. He said he thinks he had typed in Isiah Thomas' Pistons, wanted to change it to Drexler's Blazers and then he obviously failed to change the Pistons part.
He came off as very likeable. It was a fun event and he obliged when I asked him to write a special message in my book:
UPDATE: From Bill Simmons' twitter account following the signing: