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Bill Simmons takes TV talents to HBO

Bill Simmons arrives at the world premiere of

Bill Simmons arrives at the world premiere of "Million Dollar Arm" at El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on May 6, 2014. Credit: AP

We cannot fully evaluate Bill Simmons' post-ESPN plans until we learn where he will take his written work - the skill that made him famous and where he still is at his best - now that HBO has landed his TV rights.

But at the very least, this should be interesting. Simmons is sure to test his new-found freedom in HBO's more freewheeling culture compared to that of Disney-owned ESPN.

One juicy subplot is Simmons working on documentaries for HBO, whose approach he criticized when he helped ESPN create its "30 for 30" series as a hipper alternative.

"I think it's consistently good, but I think it's really predictable," he said of HBO's docs when we chatted in 2009. "I think it's a bunch of older sports fans making decisions based on what maybe they think people in their age range want to see . . . People under 30 don't care about Ted Williams.''

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