Chat with J.A. Adande
Prior to working at ESPN, Adande was at the Los Angeles Times, where he started in 1997. He has been a frequent panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn." He has covered every major pro championship, every major college bowl game, the Final Four, the Masters, Wimbledon and the Olympics, and his work has appeared in the "Best American Sports Writing" series.
Send in your questions now and stop by to talk with Adande at 3 p.m. ET on Friday!
J.A. Adande (3:02 PM)
Hello everybody. There have been power outages in my neighborhood today, so I didn't want to risk losing internet service in the middle of the chat. That means I'm at a coffee place right now, listening to bad music...so if my answers seem kind o incoherent...
Pistons now the team to beat in the East?
J.A. Adande (3:04 PM)
Still gotta say the Celtics are the top dogs. Iverson gives them someone to go back at Rondo and a little extra scoring oomph, but how are they going to find enough minutes for him and Rip and Rodney? And who's AI going to guard?
How much of a stretch is it to say Thaddeus Young is a better player now and will be in the future than Kevin Durant. Its a small sample but it seems like he's a better shooter, rebounder and defender, plus he's younger and doing all this as the 3/4th option on a good team while durant is the 1st option on a bad team. Am I way off base or is it closer than people think and just don't know who Young is yet.
J.A. Adande (3:06 PM)
Wow...we've never seen Durant in that context. It was Durant/Oden, or something like that, never somebody like Thaddeus Young. Kind of like how Maurice Jones-Drew has had a better NFL career to date than Reggie Bush, when that was never supposed to be the debate. But right now Young does more things to help his team win. If you throw them all in the draft, I'm still taking Durant, because he's got a legit shot at getting you 30 points on any given night. Not a lot of those, while you can find other guys to play D, rebound, etc....and while we're talking about Philly....
Paul (Trenton, NJ)
Is it time to get nervous in Philly or do they just need more time? They are sloppy with the ball and look out of sync in general. Despite the addition of only one big impact guy, they look nothing like last year's squad, which is not good.
J.A. Adande (3:08 PM)
They might be one of those teams that mistakes the appetizer for the entire meal. Just because they made the playoffs and had a good showing against the Pistons, it doesn't mean they've arrived. And no, Elton hasn't quite fit in and they're not playing with the same sense of urgency they showed in the second half last season.
Marbury/Lee for Marion/Blount. Thoughts? Salaries match, Heat get a much needed veteran PG (with a huge expiring contract) and young talent in Lee. Knicks get Marion for D'Antoni's offense.. Why hasn't this trade happened yet?
J.A. Adande (3:10 PM)
Because I'm not sure any coach feels like dealing with Marbury. If he's too much for guys who have been around like Larry Brown and D'Antoni, would you really want to stick him with a first-year guy like Spoelstra?
J.A. Adande (3:11 PM)
folks, please send questions in only once. hitting it multiple times only makes it harder to go through the list to find other questions...and the more I see your question, the less likely I am to use it..thanks
Have you seen Derrick Rose play yet? What has impressed you the most about his game?
J.A. Adande (3:13 PM)
I like his fearlessness in going to the hoop, even against the Celtics. I think he can get to the bucket whenever he wants and knows this...now it's a matter of knowing when to do it and when to get his teammates involved.
Should I be worried about the Spurs? Outside of the Dallas loss, at least they competed in all of their games so far. I keep telling myself it will take time for Mason and Hill to gel in the system and for Bonner to calm down
J.A. Adande (3:14 PM)
Their schedule gives them a nice shot to get back to .500, then it's a matter of treading water until Ginobili comes back. I think they can be competitive...but there's a difference between that and competing for a ring. Just as good. I've spent entirely too much time in SA during the last few playoffs...even though they have a spot that makes the best guacamole in the world
JA, The Jazz have been decent without D-Will. How good will this team be with D-Will? Is it a three horse race to the title? Maybe five?
J.A. Adande (3:16 PM)
They're going to be heard from in the playoffs, but I can't see them getting past the re-armed Lakers with Bynum and Ariza. This Utah team might end up being like the Cleveland teams of the early 80s (Price, Nance, Daugherty, etc.) that were good but kept running into MJ and the Bulls
J.A. what do you think of the Kings Jason Thompson, real deal talent or pretender to the throne?
J.A. Adande (3:17 PM)
I've liked him ever since summer league. Big guy with a nice jump shot. Probably the only reason to watch the Kings now that there's no shot at a potential Ron-Ron meltdown.
Feels like all the Raptors need is a decent wing that can create his own shot to become one of the elite teams.. Any chance that they can acquire one via trade?
J.A. Adande (3:19 PM)
Al Harrington's out there and Toronto is among the teams the Warriors have talked to, but not very seriously. At least not yet. Would be worth a look, though, and I think there's some interest.
whats the latest on the al harrington situation?
J.A. Adande (3:20 PM)
It only got worse after his play in limited minutes against Denver the other night. It's gotten almost unworkable.
Are you surprised no one has tried to trade for Tinsley yet? Are the Pacers going to be able to get anything for him this season?
J.A. Adande (3:22 PM)
I am, because PGs are so valuable in this league now, and he can play the position. INdy might have to bite the bullet (no pun intend, Pacers fans) and take back some team's salary dump.
Mamula (Rep. of Georgia)
What are you listening to?
J.A. Adande (3:22 PM)
right now it's some folksy-country stuff. Overpriced drinks and bad music...no wonder this chain is closing stores.
MikeD. PDX, OR
Greg Oden - A fine piece of delicate China or a rough and tough guy with bad luck thus far?
J.A. Adande (3:23 PM)
At this point it can't be all luck, right? Isn't there a pattern here? Hurt in college, sick in summer league, hurt in the pros, hurt again in the pros. 13 minutes of NBA action so far. And you wonder at what point the injuries start compounding like interest...he hurts something because he's out of balance or because he's compensating for a different injury. Sad
Yao or Dwight?
J.A. Adande (3:24 PM)
Dwight. Yao's been regressing lately, not assertive. Iv'e seen him miss two dunks at point-blank range this season, where he couldn't get the ball over the rim. Not good.
I think I know what place your talking about with the guacamole. They make it tableside and the key ingredient is the orange they squeeze into it.
J.A. Adande (3:24 PM)
Yep. on the riverwalk. Boudro's
The NBA seems to always have teams that tend to be good, but can never progress to an elite status. Take the Wizards for example. Eddie has gotten them to the playoffs consistently and they have been good, but never great, and never feared. Is it a lack of a "true" big man, a sign that an undersized lineup really doesn't work, or bad player management by the GM?
J.A. Adande (3:27 PM)
It's the way the league is set up. If you're good enough to make the playoffs, you won't get in the lottery with a shot at No. 1. And if you have pretty good players that you want to keep, you won't have the salary space to get a superstar. The only answer is to blow up your team to create space, or have big injuries take you out of the playoffs for a year. I think Eddie and the Wiz management have done a good job with what they have. But it's almost impossible to win without a superstar, and even when Gilbert's healthy he's not in that elite category with Kobe and LeBron, etc.
Patty (LA, CA)
JA, Am I off-Base to say that guys like Al Harrington really tick me off? It's so frustrating as a fan to hear players talk as though they're some how owed guaranteed minutes and a prominant role, or they otherwise demand a trade. These prima-donas are a huge reason why fans get turned off by so many players, and Harrington is little more than an okay offensive player with lousy defense, to act as though he's some elite guy whose entitled to be gifted the role he envisions for himself. Just shut up, play and honor your contract!
J.A. Adande (3:29 PM)
People act like money eliminates every other factor in life. Name another field where you wouldn't be free to leave and seek employment somewhere else if you didn't like your boss. wouldn't you want to leave if you got demoted, or should you sit there and be happy because you've got a paycheck? He doesn't like Nellie. Nellie doesn't like him. They both need distance.
From the previous Jazz answer, isn't it a better comparison with the Jazz of 97-98, still can't get past Jorday?
J.A. Adande (3:30 PM)
No, because those Utah teams at least got to the Finals. I'd hate to get stuck in the playoffs, not able to make it to the Finals. That's the Cleveland squad of the 90s. At least the NY team from that era got a trip to the big show when Jordan went to play baseball.
Willy, Greenville, SC
Why can't a player like Lebron take a massive pay cut during free agency to join a team like the Lakers for a chance at rings, then sign for maxiumum extension. He gets so much $ from endrosements anyways.
J.A. Adande (3:32 PM)
Because this is a capitalist society, and the object is to get as much money as possible. Them's the rules. Maybe at the end of his career, like Malone and Payton did in '03. But not in the prime moneymaking days. He won't have anyone offering him $23 million a year when he's 50.
I think Nellie and Al both need to grow up.
J.A. Adande (3:33 PM)
Shouldn't you have sympathy after what you went through with Mike Dunleavy?
Paul (Champaign, IL)
Adande you are the usual moronic media types that are on the players side. That was a horrible answer to Patty's statement. He signed a mult-million contract! It's not about promotion or demotion but a CONTRACT that he signed to play basketball. Instead of trying to kiss all the players butts maybe you can be a real journalist someday.
J.A. Adande (3:34 PM)
You made my point. He signed a contract to play basketball. He's not playing as much basketball as he'd like to. If you signed a contract to make trash cans, wouldn't you want to make as many trash cans as you could?
JA, Boston's loss to Indiana made me a bit scared and frankly it was kind of shocking so I started getting worried. But then their next win against the Rockets was very convincing and the Oklahoma win was reassuring. What's your thought? Should we Celtic fans relax? And last, what's your reaction to the historic election? You don't have to answer this one if you don't want to. Thanks JA.
J.A. Adande (3:36 PM)
I think Celtic fans should not worry too much about the ups and downs of the season. They showed in the playoffs how good they can be, and they showed in games like Houston that they still have it. And I think Americans of all stripes should be proud of our country for what the voters did on Thursday.
J.A. Adande (3:36 PM)
I mean Tuesday
Yeah but these athletes make millions of dollars. It's not the same, and to make that argument is just wrong. When your paid that much, you shut your mouth and do your job. Period!
J.A. Adande (3:37 PM)
beware of the trap. If that's your argument -- that it's about the money -- than you can't be upset when players leave your favorite team to get paid more elsewhere.
Where do you think Antonio McDyess will end up when all is said and done?
J.A. Adande (3:38 PM)
I think it would make a lot of sense for him to be this year's P.J. Brown and wind up in Boston
Another AI question -- for some reason the question now is how will they find minutes for Stuckey, AI, and Rip? They found minutes for Stuckey, Rip, and Chauncey, didn't they??
J.A. Adande (3:42 PM)
When AI is on the floor the ball's going to be in his hands and not moving to the guys like Rip as often. In some ways Rip might as well no even be on the floor with him. One thing to be encouraged about in Detroit though: AI's field goal percentage in Denver was among the best of his career. If he's showing better shot selection, maybe he should shoot more.
Mike (Rocklin, CA)
Who would you rather have, Bosh or Amare?
J.A. Adande (3:44 PM)
John (San Antonio)
Tony Parker or Deron Williams?
J.A. Adande (3:45 PM)
Deron Williams. Although this question should get asked more often. Parker's name never comes up in the great PG discussions, even though he's the one with rings and an NBA Finals MVP, not D-Will or Chris Paul
MarkButter in SoCal
so if McCain had won, we couldn't be proud of our country? That's horrible JA
J.A. Adande (3:46 PM)
A vote for McCain in principle would not be bad sign for the country. A vote for that horribly managed campaign would be.
How much credit should we give to Shaq for Amare turning into a monster since Shaq got to Phx?
J.A. Adande (3:48 PM)
A lot, because now Amare doesn't have to worry about doing all of the banging. It's easy to forget he was the tallest Sun on the floor most of the time before Shaq got there. Shaq takes a lot of pressure off Amare, especially by reducing the risk of foul trouble. And let's give Shaq some credit for blending his game with Amare's pretty well
In regards to your answer on the Wizards earlier, hasn't Dumars found away around the NBA system through managing the salary cap and now by making a trade setting himself up to remain a good team and still give himself room to go after a superstar?
J.A. Adande (3:50 PM)
As I wrote earlier in the week, he did a good job taking a different tack and had a two-year breakthrough to the top (when the East wasn't particularly loaded with stars). But this trade was an acknowledgment that you can't be a top team without somehow landing a Hall of Fame player.
Did I make a mistake in leaving Phx to this hell hole? Or is this a bad nightmare and will be over soon?
J.A. Adande (3:51 PM)
If everyone can have patience, we'll have a better answer once we see what Walsh can do to the roster in a couple of years. In the meantime, If I'm Mike D' I'm not watching any Bulls games.
J.A. Adande (3:52 PM)
But he had to leave Phoenix. too much of a philosophical difference with Steve Kerr.