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Bill Simmons Leaving ESPN Countdown, Launching 'The Grantland Basketball Show'

ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Season 11Bill Simmons is leaving ESPN NBA Countdown and launching his own NBA show – “The Grantland Basketball Show” — this Fall, two sources tell The Big Lead.

Simmons, who spent the last three years on NBA Countdown, will star on the show, which begins October 21st at 8 pm on ESPN. There will be 18 one-hour episodes that air throughout the NBA season and through the NBA Finals. Grantland contributors are expected to be featured prominently.

ESPN is expected to make an announcement later today. [UPDATE: ESPN has announced the move in a press release.]

It’s unclear who ESPN will replace Simmons with on NBA Countdown, but last year when Simmons nearly left the show, Stephen A. Smith lobbied for himself. It’s unclear how much recent events have hurt his chances.

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