V-MAIL | July 13, 2005 | Send a V-Mail question
|The Memphis Grizzlies selected Syracuse forward Hakim Warrick at No. 19.|
Do you think Hakim Warrick will be a good NBA player? And where will he play, the three or four? — Hoops Fan (Syracuse, N.Y.)
VITALE: Warrick has to work a little more on his shot, but he should help out in Memphis, especially if the Grizzlies lose free agent Stromile Swift. Warrick will play both the three and the four, but ultimately he should play more at the three to take advantage of his quickness and explosiveness. He would have the edge in size at the three, but he'd have to work more on his face-up game. He was a good first-round choice for Memphis at No. 19.
Do you think Vermont's Taylor Coppenrath will catch on with an NBA team, and if so what team will he end up with? — Bob Walsh (Brandon, Vt.)
VITALE: Coppenrath has signed to play with the Celtics' summer-league team, and that is a positive. He has to be excited to be staying in New England. The Celtics have a lot of good young talent up front, but he will get a fair shot. He has to go to camp, bust his gut and hope things go his way. At least he's getting an opportunity. If things don't pan out, he should be able to get a contract with an international team.
I just want to know why Deron Williams was rated higher than Raymond Felton in draft analysis? Did anyone watch the national championship game? Felton is the primary reason the Heels were the champions, but because he doesn't hog the ball, Deron was ranked over him? — Justus (Raleigh, N.C.)
VITALE: Utah went with size and strength in picking Williams over Felton at No. 3. Williams is cut out for the Jerry Sloan system, and he will be a heck of a guard there. He is physical, strong, has great vision and great savvy, and can make shots. The Illinois guard has a great basketball IQ.
Regarding Coach K's ads, you said, "If another coach had been offered the American Express spot during March Madness, do you think he would have turned it down? Of course it added visibility in recruiting! Let me tell you, Coach K didn't force anyone to feature him in the commercial. The bottom line is, why should he have said no?" My question to you, Dick: Have you ever heard of ethics? — Eric (Maple Glen, Penn.)
VITALE: Any coach in America, if they were called to be part of an American Express commercial, would have jumped to it. There is a lot of envy out there and some people are upset, but he did nothing at all wrong, and other coaches would have done the same. American Express is a first-class company, and I saw nothing wrong with Coach K's messages about teamwork and leadership. Other coaches would have jumped to take the ads if given the opportunity.
What does it say about Shaquille O'Neal when he offers to pay for George Mikan's funeral service? Do you feel that we have begun to lose that type of character in professional sports? Shaq is truly a hero when you think about Shaq-a-claus, and this gesture to a friend sets a great example for kids about friendship. Don't we need more of this type of athlete and positive press in sports? — Christian (New Brunswick, N.J.)
VITALE: Shaq is a beautiful guy, and I have often said that he is one of my favorites from his days on the college level. He is very warm and caring. I'm not shocked at all about his generosity, or the fact that he pursued his degree both on the undergraduate and graduate level. He is a special, special guy.
How can basketball players use the argument that an age limit denies them a right to earn a living? Welcome to the real world. I was qualified for a job in environmental law enforcement working for the state, with an associate's degree, after two years of college, but I had to wait till I turned 21 to apply. Many jobs have age requirements. What makes basketball players special? A business should be able to set the limits it wants for employment to better itself. It's a business! — Michael Carter (Corbin, Ky.)
VITALE: I personally feel strongly that high school players should be allowed to move on if they have the desire. It would not be fair to hold back a phenom like a LeBron James. We have seen players like James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett prove they can make the transition. My problem is that once they enter college, they should not be allowed to leave for three years, a la similar rules in college baseball and football.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.