Chat with J.A. Adande
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com NBA senior writer J.A. Adande will stop by to chat about the NBA hardwood.
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 your questions now and chat with Adande at 3 p.m. ET on Friday!
J.A. Adande (3:01 PM)
Welcome back. Let's get this out of the way: LeBron James should not have been awarded free throws at the end of the game last night. Good no-call. A reminder, please don't submit questions multiple times. It slows down the chat. And we're off...
Francisco (Detroit, MI.)
As a California bred, now resident of Detroit, I catch a lot of heat for my being a Laker fan. A lot of people around here think Boston is the team to beat, but I keep insisting that L.A. has yet to perform even close to their potential. What's your take?
J.A. Adande (3:03 PM)
Both sides are right. Boston is the class of the league right now, but the Lakers can get better, as they get Gasol back and Artest works into the team. So Boston better, Lakers more upside. I'm not sure the Celtics can get much better than they are now. Big Baby's return gives them depth, but how can the defense be any better than the way they're shutting down folks at the moment?
Mr. BIG (New England)
I'm a Celtics fan, and I've got them winning the East, but I think Miami could be a deep contender barring a Wade injury. P.S. How about that 40 point performance vs. the Wizards?
J.A. Adande (3:05 PM)
I spoke to someone who's played the Heat and he says they're for real. Jermaine O'Neal is the key. If he can maintain this start it changes everything for them, gives them an interior presence, makes Beasley more of a nice addition than an essential part
James C (Taipei)
J.A. my man why don't the big 3 Wade/Lebron/Bosh just accept the 1 year MLE (mid-level exception) from NY and then sign max deals after the Knicks obtain their Bird rights the following year?The extra multi-year endorsement opps from being part of the new Dream Team would overwhelm what salary they give up for 1 year.
J.A. Adande (3:06 PM)
Intriguing theory, but please find me an example anywhere in history of an athlete willingly giving up $10 or $15 million in the prime of his career.
Right or wrong: the decision to make Mo Williams an All-Star in 2008 over Vince Carter, Rajon Rondo et al. has been proven wrong. Being a good shooter and getting many shots alone should never be the sole reason for being an All-Star.
J.A. Adande (3:07 PM)
This season's play has nothing to do with last year's all-star team. Nor does Williams' disappointing play during the playoffs. Based on how Williams was playing at the middle of the season and the success of the Cavs, he deserved to be an All-Star.
J.A- Whats your take on the Jazz's win last night? Was that them finally living up to their potential and should I start to get excited again? Or wary like I have been the first 4 games?
J.A. Adande (3:09 PM)
In our live chat on Daily Dime last night all the Jazz fans kept waiting for the fourth-quarter collapse. I can't believe what's happened to that fan base...so pessimistic. But you saw how good that team can be, especially at home. Boozer looked comfortably, Deron Williams was his usual impact self, Wes Matthews was big...the team that played last night looked like a second-round playoff squad. Can they do it on the road?
J.A., A bit off-topic ... do you have any thoughts on the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs receiving H1N1 Vaccinations when there is a massive shortgage for the general public in Ontario, and only "high-risk" people were being given the vaccination from the start? They are getting a lot of bad press here now. A Government official in Alberta was fired due to getting these vaccinations to the Calgary Flames hockey team.
J.A. Adande (3:12 PM)
It's one thing for rich athletes to get all kinds of money and perks, it's another when people's health is at stake. This bothers me much more than athletes getting off the hook for a speeding ticket, or something. I'm glad the sycophant government worker was fired. This reminded me of a 30 Rock episode I saw on a recent flight, when there weren't enough flu shots for the "underlings", and Tina Fey tried to hold out as a sign of solidarity, but wound up getting one herself.
Paul (Trenton, NJ)
Do you think Brand is rusty from essentially two years of inactivity or is he simply not the player he once was anymore?
J.A. Adande (3:13 PM)
He's a little like Amare Stoudemire, still trying to work his way back into the game. Grant Hill, who knows something about missing time, says even catching passes can be difficult when you've been out for a while. From what little I've seen of Brand this year, the elevation isn't there, the jumper looks off...Maybe the latter will come back even if the former never does.
The Bulls don't use the pick and roll much. They do a little pick and pop with Rose and Miller. Who would be a good pick and roll partner with Rose?
J.A. Adande (3:16 PM)
That's the problem with that roster....you can't really bring over a big man to try to get a mismatch switch on the pick-and-roll because the defense doesn't need to worry about Noah or Thomas shooting the jumper...so the big defender can just stay back, then recover. They're not the perfect roster to exploit Shaq and the Cavs...but they beat them anyway.
rob (laredo, tx)
J.A., if you ha a choice between eric gordon or oj mayo, who would you want for your team?
J.A. Adande (3:17 PM)
Eric Gordon. Quietly effective, don't have to worry about him wanting anything more than he gets.
Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)
J.A., be honest, Jamal Crawford has finally found his niche in Atlanta, right?
J.A. Adande (3:17 PM)
Great pickup for them...especially in that Portland game.
Adam Russo (Columbus, Ohio)
I was wondering when Mike Brown is going to realize that playing Z and Shaq together is not a good idea. Was also wondering when Danny Ferry is going to realize that Mike Brown is not a good coach. Was also wondering when Dan Gilbert is going to realize that Danny Ferry while although does give his best effort is not a very good GM. And was wondering why in the love of god did Mo Williams shoot a running one handed shot with 30 seconds lieft in the game last night?
J.A. Adande (3:19 PM)
That's a lot of realizing! But if you fire Brown mid-season you run the risk of bringing in a guy who LeBron doesn't like or who doesn't fit with him.
What do you predict for LBJ tonight?
J.A. Adande (3:20 PM)
What do you think of the Pacers? .500 team? I'm going to the game tonight, I think we'll be 2-3 after tonight...
J.A. Adande (3:21 PM)
Don't have a good feel for them yet. Saw them live in NY on Wed, but Dunleavy, Murphy and Hansbrough didn't play. The guys on the court did play really good defense, however. I think Knicks were 2-14 in fourth quarter, something like that.
Alex (Littleton, CO)
JA - Biggest surprise team so far this season, for better or worse?
J.A. Adande (3:22 PM)
Definitely the Rockets on the positive side. Their starting center is 6-6, yet they're tough every night.
Is Jennings going to have such a hold on the ROY race that when Griffin comes back hes not even gonna have a chance?
J.A. Adande (3:24 PM)
Awards like ROY and MVP are so subjective that once momentum builds it's hard to overcome. People make up their minds and move on. Remember, once Griffin comes back he probably won't even be starting for a while, especially with Chris Kaman playing so well. So, yeah, Jennings should get it over Griffin if he keeps this up
who wins the east this year?
J.A. Adande (3:25 PM)
Jordan Hill (MSG)
Why does Jared Jefferies get more run than me? You would think Coach would be trying to develop as much young talent as he possibly could to attract LBJ.
J.A. Adande (3:26 PM)
Knicks don't feel Hill has a grasp on everything they're doing yet, plus there are a lot of guys at that position eating minutes. To think they could've had Jennings.
D. Nelson (Oakland)
Mikki Moore over A. Randolph? Am I just daring GSW to fire me so I can retire? I will await your answer in the bar.
J.A. Adande (3:27 PM)
Not only is it defiant, it's an insult to the great Warriors fans who still pay and come out to watch that team. Randolph's one of the most fascinating players in the NBA. Give the people what they want, or get out.
Are the Hawks the real deal? Jamal Crawford is looking like the 6th man of the year, they had a nice win at Portland the other night, they have an interesting tilt with Denver going into Atlanta tomorrow night. Do they have any chance of getting higher than the 4 seed in the east?
J.A. Adande (3:29 PM)
Portland has a lot of issues right now, and the Hawks were outclassed by the Lakers last Friday. They don't have the look of an elite team and to hear Joe Johnson talk in the locker room afterward they sure didn't sound like one. He questioned their toughness and defensive commitment.
Freddy (Los Angeles)
Did Rudy Gay did the right thing by becoming a restricted free agent? How much could he command in the open market?
J.A. Adande (3:31 PM)
If he thought he'd be getting $12 million a year on the market he's in for an awakening. Just because a lot of teams have cap space it doesn't mean they're willing to use it all on a player like him.
Tortured Knick Fan (NYC)
Hey J.A., over the summer we read about Eddy Curry having lost 30 pounds and how he was looking forward to the upcoming season. He comes into camp gets hurt and team officials say that he needs to come back in better shape. Is it possible that he regained the weight (not impossible) in btw his Summer dieting and preseason camp, somebody lied to us, or The Knicks just doesn't want anything to do deal with him anymore. Because lets be honest, no one is trading for him at this point, so I don't want to hear about 2010. Doesn't he understand that after he picks up his 2010 player option, no one is going to take him seriously going forward, even if he rededicates himself back to the game? Sorry, I had to vent.
J.A. Adande (3:33 PM)
It's funny how anguished Knick fans are. You'd think they could at least enjoy watching the Yankees win their 27th World Series this week. This guy near me at the Garden kept complaining about this or that, I pointed to the Yankees game on the TV monitor and told him to relax. Knicks fans are great though. I love going to the Garden
Mitch (SLC, UT)
So do the Jazz move Boozer?
J.A. Adande (3:33 PM)
Games like last night will make it easier.
Is the southeast conference the best? Magic, Heat, Hawks and Wizards...Who has a deeper collection of good teams?
J.A. Adande (3:34 PM)
As Mars Blackmon would say: nobody nobody nobody
Tim (@ Work)
JA - Pat(Rick)s verbatim question was answered in BOTH your and Hollinger's chat, but I can't get ONE in???Who doesn't do this deal: BOS trades Baby, Scal (expiring) and Giddens (expiring) to MIL for Mbah a Moute and Gadzuric. MIL gets a good young PF in Davis and Kohl saves a ton of dough on DG's deal, and the Cs get a great young defender. Thoughts?
J.A. Adande (3:38 PM)
Can't believe you invested time worrying about this trade, but since you did...why would Milwaukee want to get rid of an effective player like Luc Richard who's making less than $1 million
HAGOS (San Leandro)
It seems like the Cavs make all there offseason moves to better match up with the LAL... they brought in Shaq to help with the lakers bigs, Moon and Parker to deal with Kobe... etc. But what they forgot is they still can't stop Orlando in pick and roll situations or deal with Rashard at the 4. Seems like they were a little overconfident thinking they would make it out of the East automatically right?
J.A. Adande (3:39 PM)
I don't think they'll use the double-big lineup against Orlando, and with Dwight Howard you don't have to worry about him hitting jumpers off the pick-and-roll. That's what they had in mind. But I don't think they counted on Rasheed to the Celtics, and how that could affect the balance of power
Michael Jordan (Golfcourse Anywhere USA)
JA -- I didn't give up the money but didn't I play for less to let my team become a winner?
J.A. Adande (3:42 PM)
No, MJ signed a bad long-term contract that left him under-paid in his prime. He didn't reduce his salary. And when he had the chance to make amends he hit up the Bulls for over $30 million.
I'm not sure if you've read the article that asks us not to rule out a possible Lebron trade to the Lakers or not, but Sam Smith insists that he knows that Lebron is going to the Lakers in the first sentence of the article. What are your thoughts on the possible trade? Is it just more trade gossip for fans like I thought?
J.A. Adande (3:44 PM)
I've had a few questions on the Sam Smith story. Sam is one of the all-time great NBA reporters...and also has the most fertile trade imagination. He had Jordan coming to the Lakers many years ago. If he covered the league in the early 80s he would have had Magic traded for Bird.
JA - you think Stephen Jackson gets traded by December 15th? To the Cavs for Z?
J.A. Adande (3:46 PM)
It's more likely he gets traded AFTER Dec. 15, when free agents who signed this summer can be moved, thus creating more options.
Thoughts on Brandon Jennings thus far? And going back to his decision a year ago with going overseas to play for a year over college, how do you think that will impact future players. Alot of people were unsure how it would turn out, but both on and off the court this was a great choice and has really impacted him as a person and basketball player.
J.A. Adande (3:48 PM)
I'm not sure you can say the Europe move was a good choice for anyone but the Bucks. He didn't play a whole lot, didn't get lots of action against players comparable to the ones who would be in the draft and probably cost himself a few draft slots (and thus money).
J.A. Adande (3:49 PM)
I have to cut this a little short...need to return some phone calls for interviews. Thanks for your questions, as always.