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)
Hi folks. Just got to the hotel in Denver, where I'll check out the Nuggets and Lakers tonight. Remember, please don't submit questions multiple times. I'll see 'em, trust me, without you hitting send 100 times. Off we go...
Josh Fineberg (Portland, OR)
Should we still be worried about the Blazers? Or was it a little early to say the Blazers should be fearful with their losing record at the time? (2-3)
J.A. Adande (3:02 PM)
I never said write them off. I just said the Blazers had the most to be worried about of all the teams with slow starts. They had the most at stake with the least prior success to fall back on. It's good to see them getting it together. But sliding into December would have been disastrous
JA, did you see that Lebron is changing from #23 to #6? I think it is a good sign that he is staying in Cleveland. By switching numbers, the fans in Cleveland will buy new jersey and increase his bottom line.
J.A. Adande (3:04 PM)
It's funny, some people think it's a sign he's leaving, some think it means he's staying. I'll say this: if he was leaving he wouldn't have to submit a number change request to the league in advance. you only have to do that when you're going to be wearing the same jersey. So I'll actually put this as a plus for Cleveland.
ibrahim [via mobile]
Hey adande im a big fan of yours! Amare is having a slow start this season what do u think is the cause of that? He needs to play at a high level if the suns are going to be unstopable.....Also steve nash is having mvp numbers he needs amare to be aggressive, dats what gets the whole team going knowing there two best players are playing hard! Steve nash is doing his part amare needs to do his!
J.A. Adande (3:05 PM)
Remember: Amare had eye surgery and basically couldn't move while he was recovering. Yes he was horrendous last night, but overall he's been making good progress. More important for the long term in Phoenix, the Suns are loving his maturity..and even leadership. There used to be a lot of griping about his attitude but now they have nothing but good things to say about him.
Jordan (Chino Hills, CA)
D-Wade's dunk on Varejao has to be considered one of the nastiest dunks in NBA history
J.A. Adande (3:07 PM)
No. No way. I read about it before I saw it, and when I did see the clip I have to say I was let down. It wasn't even the best dunk in that arena...I'd put it third behind Vince over Zo and LeBron over Damon Jones. Wade loses a couple of points because he didn't dunk it cleanly...kind of rattled around.
The Jazz are starting to panic. How can they figure a way out of this crisis? Can a way even exist before Miles and Korver return? Or they will just implode before that happens?
J.A. Adande (3:08 PM)
I'd say it speeds up the timetable for shipping out Boozer. They'll have to take on long-term contracts but they need to get some more grit on that team. OH, and Deron Williams isn't playing tonight. This is just getting worse and worse.
Why isn't there any articles of Lebron staying in Cleveland, and players joining Cleveland. ie. Wade to Cleveland scenario instead, considering Shaq and Z could potentially be off the books.
J.A. Adande (3:10 PM)
That's definitely an option, but you never hear about it in part because you don't hear LeBron campaigning for players to come there. Instead he flirts with NY. Why would people line up to go to Cleveland if they're not 100 percent sure LeBron is staying there?
JA,I know it's sacrilege bit imo we are watching the greatest player of all time. He is dominating using only 50% of his repertoire. He (Kobe) has mastered EVERY move there is. Number of rings aside do you believe we are watching the most "skilled" player in the history of the game?
J.A. Adande (3:11 PM)
I've said before that Kobe's best is better than Jordan's best, but his worse is worst. For example, MJ never scored below 20 in a Finals game (as Kobe has) MJ never lost a Finals series. If I'm playing one game I want Jordan because I know at a bare minimum what I'm going to get. With Kobe the upside is higher, but the risk is greater.
Lebron needs to start studying up on his history cause Jordan wasn't the only great player in NBA history and that is a joke anyway to even think about retiring #23, you agree??
J.A. Adande (3:14 PM)
I actually appreciate LeBron wanting to pay homage to those who came before him. But Jordan doesn't deserve league-wide jersey retirement, because he didn't impact the NBA the way Jackie Robinson did baseball. Dr. J and Elgin Baylor paved the way for Jordan. Who paved the way for Jackie Robinson? Nobody. He was a pioneer. And there's no objective way to mark Jordan as the greatest ever. Kareem scored the most points, Russell had the most rings...
Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)
How important would it be for the Hawks to win (or at least be ultra competitive) in Boston tonight? Could it erase the blow outs handed to them by ORL (last preseason game) and LAL? Those were baa-aad, almost demoralizing loses.
J.A. Adande (3:16 PM)
The only thing worse than placing too much emphasis on a regular-season game is being concerned about the results of a preseason game. No need to erase that -- it's already been erased! Was never written in ink. The Hawks know they can beat the Celtics, in a playoff game no less, so they're not going to prove anything in November.
Nick (Philadelphia, PA)
J.A. Please respond! I'm doing you a favor and combining two of the biggest NBA issues into one. Given their lack of speed and just overall talent at the wings, along with their inability to spend big bucks for talent, do you see a better fit anywhere in the league for Allen Iverson than the Hornets?
J.A. Adande (3:17 PM)
Why would you want to do anything that would keep the ball out of Chris Paul's hands as much as AI would?
Ricky Bobby (Shreveport)
My team is Phoenix, upbeat, fastpace, and flat out can score. The only thing is defence, allowing what, 106 points a game? 24rth in the league? Theres talk about LeBron in Miami with Dwayne Wade. Seriously, Lebron is one of the fastest players in the league if not the fastest. Would he fit much better with vetern point guard Steve Nash? And also bring a much needed spark to the Suns defence?
J.A. Adande (3:19 PM)
Alvin Gentry was funny last night when asked if he can win a championship with this system. He said give him Kobe, LeBRon, Tim Duncan, yeah he could win a championship with it. But LeBron to Phoenix wouldn't be the magical solution because he wouldn't help their interior defense, which was horrendous last night.
J.A. Adande (3:19 PM)
Sorry, I've used horrendous twice to describe Suns last night. But it fits.
Jacob (Houston) [via mobile]
Judging by they're start, in which you could easily say they could be 7-1 if not for blowing LEDs against the Mavs and Lakers, the Rockets look like a very good team. My question is how does this team go forward next year when Yao is back? Seems like he would not be able to withstand the uptempo play a la Shaq. How do they add him in to that style without him turning into Illguakus (shooting jump shots)?
J.A. Adande (3:21 PM)
As one NBA person I've talked to put it, what incentive is there for Rockets ownership to keep Yao around when they're winning with a much cheaper lineup. The only reason is the sponsorship revenue that comes in from China. finances aside, the Rockets still need someone they can go to in the halfcourt game. You saw what happened to them in the second half vs. Dallas.
Looking for an "objective" answer here: Was the officiating last night really as terrible as it seemed to a Suns fan? Seems like you can't touch Kobe without it being a foul, whereas Nash is getting pounded every time he gets in the lane.
J.A. Adande (3:23 PM)
Here's what I noticed most of all: Kobe got away with a lot of elbowing and wrestling in the post. And at one point he even shoved JRich to the floor while getting rebound position, and somehow Richardson was called for the foul. But as I'll say 99 percent of the time, officiating wasn't the reason the Suns lost that game.
Happy Friday J.A.! So what's wrong with Brand? Is he rusty, or is he done? Should Eddie Jordan give him more playing time, or less? Will Philly's mediocrity ever end?
J.A. Adande (3:26 PM)
Remember, Philly signed him to that big contract basicall sight unseen. He wasn't coming off a career year; he had an Achilles tendon injury. Now they're problem is they don't have enough great players to win while he works his way back (the way, say, the Lakers can with the injured Gasol) and he can't play "comfortable" minutes. But they're stuck with him. Can't see them moving that contract. That could be a cap-killer
Chances the Blazers continue their streak of double-digit wins tonight against the remnants of the once-mighty Hornets?
J.A. Adande (3:28 PM)
Very high. Somehow I don't see Jeff Bower and these Hornets getting off to an amazing start the way Lawrence Frank did with the Nets in '04
Brian (Orlando, FL)
Anything wrong with the Magic? Or is it more of a case of injuries/suspensions not letting this team hit it's stride?
J.A. Adande (3:31 PM)
I wouldn't worry about them. They didn't have Rashard Lewis vs. Cleveland, and he killed the Cavs in the playoffs last year. Plus Dwight got into immediate foul trouble. Only concern was Vince didn't look up to the moment vs. Cle.
J.A. Adande (3:31 PM)
But how cool was it to see Howard/Gortat and Shaq/Z all in the game at the same time?
Adande answer the question that all of sports nation wants to knowCeltics or Lakers who's the best RIGHT NOW.
J.A. Adande (3:34 PM)
I was saying Celtics early, but last night's Lakers-Phoenix game has me re-thinking. Phoenix won in Boston, but Lakers demolished the Suns in L.A. Main difference is Lakers play defense when they feel like it, Celtics play D as a habit. But could the Celtics play enough D to stop Kobe, Bynum, Odom and Gasol (when back)?
Andrew Bogut (Milwaukee, WI)
What do you say, mate? Can I finally start getting some respect?
J.A. Adande (3:35 PM)
Wow, a No. 1 overall pick is putting together some good games.
Ken (Golden State)
Why does Don Nelson still have a job? He single handedly brought this team from going to the playoffs to being a bottom dweller in the West. He's not helping the young guys get better, and he isn't on good terms with the vets either. Your thoughts?
J.A. Adande (3:36 PM)
Nothing to add but amen.
Carlos Romo (San Juan)
What about Roberto Clemente, does he deserve MLB wide jersey retirement?
J.A. Adande (3:38 PM)
I recognize what Clemente did for Latino players, and Latino players have been the story in baseball for the past decade or so. But Clemente doesn't happen without Jackie Robinson.
Jill (New York)
It's sooo presumptuous for Lebron to "bully" other players into retiring 23. That's their way of paying tribute to Jordan -- let everyone just do their own thing, jeez.
J.A. Adande (3:40 PM)
Remember: Ken Griffey Jr. was the guy who got the ball rolling for players throughout baseball to wear 42 on Jackie Robinson day a couple of years ago, so I don't mind a player taking the initiative. But there's this...
LeBron (I'm on a plane...)
"Now, if I'm not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it." - - could my ego be any bigger?
J.A. Adande (3:41 PM)
Um, LeBron, you dont determine where and when 23 begins and ends.
Coach Bower (Big Not So Easy)
What if we traded Peja for S Jax and Speedy Claxton? Maybe could also involve Armstrong and Turiaf? Hmmmm....
J.A. Adande (3:43 PM)
Peja's contract would hamper the W's plans to redo the roster but they might get so desperate to move S. Jax they'd have to do it. I'm hearing they want to move him ASAP now. But getting Turiaf too? That's greedy
Chris Baker (England)
Simple question, is there any chance the new and improved SSOL Suns can get past the big boys in the West, or is it all going to end the same way? I see minor defensive improvements under Gentry, but I don't see a deep playoff run.
J.A. Adande (3:44 PM)
As much as I'd like to see Phoenix win this way -- good guys, fun to watch -- I can't see them beating the Lakers in a 7-game series.
J.A. I agree on your point that MJ does not deserve league-wide jersey retirement, due to his historical context and him not being a pioneer...but while were still on the topic of M.J. can you name me any other player that has won a ring without a dominant big man?
J.A. Adande (3:45 PM)
Isiah and Co. Bill Laimbeer was a great rebounder, but not a great low-post option.
AI (Under a weeping willow)
Why don't I work for my release and go to beantown, if I come off the bench why not make it for a ring and give the C's the best second unit in the league?
J.A. Adande (3:47 PM)
Ainge did try to get AI a couple of years ago. But after just committing to Rondo there's no way they're going to scale back his minutes now. So Allen would still be coming off the bench, still be unhappy.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
I haven't seen anyone touch this aspect of the LeBron situation so I figured I'd ask. Let's say LeBron does go to New York or some other franchiese. What would the Cavaliers options? Is a sign-and-trade a possibility? They'd have about 100% cap flexibility with LeBron, Shaq and Z all off the books.
J.A. Adande (3:48 PM)
But they're not going to get a superstar to come to Cleveland without LeBron.
James (New York)
I'm really disappointed to see sports-writers championing MVP consideration for Steve Nash this early in the season. He didn't deserve his other two awards (which are as many as Kobe, Shaq, Wade combined) - and he certainly doesn't deserve mention now. I think it's a kind of subliminal racism going on here: people unconsciously perceive Nash as a "leader" partly because he's white. I don't think anything overt is going on, but his race definitely contributes to a certain aggrandizing of his significance around the league -- a league where the majority of the players were black and for years nearly every head coach was white. Agree or disagree?
J.A. Adande (3:51 PM)
Disagree. For one, you had black and white sportswriters voting for Nash as MVP. 2, we've seen plenty of black players in the NBA given credit for their leadership, going back to Bill Russell, who was even given the coaching duties for the Celtics. So no, I don't think this is a reverse Limbaugh/McNabb situation.
Brandon Jennings is the truth. That is all.
J.A. Adande (3:53 PM)
I'm just glad people in Milwaukee have something to be excited about. Welcome back to the NBA.
Chris Paul is saying he's not sure Scott needed to be fired, when it's obvious that Paul has been playing his part in Scott v. Kidd part II? Really Paul?
J.A. Adande (3:55 PM)
Chris Paul's averaging 26 and 9, shooting 60 percent. did he look like a player trying to get his coach fired?
Does the Cav's sweep of the Fla teams on a back to back show they are on the mend, or did they just run into two teams not playing defense?
J.A. Adande (3:56 PM)
It showed they are starting to figure out how to make all of these pieces fit. No one said it would happen immediately; now they've had some encouraging signs. And how about hickson?
How exactly is Kobe's best better than Jordan's best? I just don't see it.
J.A. Adande (4:00 PM)
this will help you:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfB3d1FjhCcNote I didn't say Kobe was better than Jordan. But Kobe could do things Jordan wasn't capable of...including those 2 shots against Portland.the game evolves. LeBron does stuff Magic couldn't dream of, but I'd still take Magic.
J.A. Adande (4:00 PM)
That'll do it for this week. Thanks again for all of your questions. See ya next week from back in Cali.