By Michael Donovan

The Lords of HBO are going to have to make an embarrassing decision one day soon.

Their investment in the truly awful Bill Simmons’ “Any Given Wednesday” was a mistake on the order of the New Coke 30 years ago or CBS’ decision to hire the untalented Phyllis George 40 years ago!

They should pull the plug now before Simmons plunges the Tiffany of Cable Networks into the ratings sewer.

Simmons has wasted great guests such as Charles Barkley by engaging in “debates” about whether LeBron James is one of the top three NBA players of all time. That’s sports talk radio 101 kind of stuff.

Even worse, Simmons is becoming the type of interviewer he rips: fawning, non-confrontational and more likely to kiss a guest’s ass than ask a tough question.

Remember when Simmons mocked ex-ESPN colleagues Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic for their softball interview with Louisville coach Rick Pitino?

Simmons is learning it’s a different story when it’s your show.

He gave Mavericks owner Mark Cuban the equivalent of a back massage by listing all the wonderful things he has done for his players. What a difference, cooed Simmons, from the other “old white guys” owning NBA teams.

“Not to blow smoke up your ass, but I don’t think you get enough credit,” Simmons told Cuban.

Not exactly a “60 Minutes” grilling there.

Simmons whiffed on asking Chris Bosh about his medical condition and Aaron Rodgers about his brother Jordan’s comments on ABC’s “The Bachelor” that there was a rift between the siblings.

Simmons later noted on his podcast that Bosh requested he not be asked about his medical condition. Simmons agreed, saying it would be “bad TV” to have Bosh mumble a no-comment. Wrong. It would have been good TV.

Isn’t that why Simmons mocked “Mike & Mike”? That they punked out with Pitino?

Look, there’s always a back-and-forth between stars and producers over what questions the stars will and won’t answer. Simmons the TV host should not duck topics Simmons the columnist would tackle for his readers.

If he’s not shying away from tough questions, Simmons is indulging his Malibu buddies like Ben Affleck. As one reviewer said, the ranting Affleck came off like the guy in the Tom Brady jersey at the end of the bar who won’t give it up.

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