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 (3:05 PM)
Hi folks, I got so wrapped up in reading your questions that I forgot to start answering them. Some good ones in the box today, so let's go...
Josh Z (Denver)
When is the time going to come when Melo, and Bosh are both talked about the way LeBron, Kobe, and Dwade are talked about?
J.A. Adande (3:06 PM)
Carmelo has already entered "the conversation", as Scoop said, so cross him off the list. And when Bosh does damage in the playoffs we can talk about him as well. What do Bron Kobe and Wade have in common? they've all led their teams to the Finals. Carmelo got close last year....
What do you think the chances are of CP3 leaving NO are. Either through trade or when his contract runs out. (I know in a couple of years). Where do you think he could go?
J.A. Adande (3:07 PM)
Remember, when the Hornets were in Charlotte George Shinn let Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson go, and they were the early faces of the franchise. (Wow, do those Grandmama commercials seem like eons ago. Hard to believe LJ was once a nationally marketed guy). So I don't think Shinn would get sentimental over Paul if the finances weren't working.
Mike S (CT)
J.A., despite playing in an awful division, the Raptors are off to a woeful 7-13 start which included allowing 146 pts in a regulation drubbing to the Hawks. What's been the problem with Toronto and do you think that they will eventually turn things around?
J.A. Adande (3:08 PM)
I'll let Anthony in Toronto take this one...
JA, I hate to say it, but I think Toronto's defense would be last in the D-Leauge. What do you think of Bosh & CO. essentially pointing the finger at the coaches and their decisions? I think the players need to step up and be accountable and stop be so lazy.
J.A. Adande (3:09 PM)
Their defense is horrendous. (Or defence as they'd say north of the border). The only one I've seen taking some blame is Bryan Colangelo, who pointed the finger at himself. But what good would it do if the players did blame themselves. I heard the Nets players saying they need to take responsibility for their 0-17 start. And all they've done since then is continue to lose
Was it me or did AI's tears look a bit fake and scripted?
J.A. Adande (3:10 PM)
They were real, and that's what people love about A.I. The majority of response I've heard from that press conference was positive. I know I ate it up and can't wait to watch him Monday.
Hey J.A., I'll admit I havent seen AI play much over the last 2 years, but just by looking at the stats, it looks like even his last year in denver he was pretty much doing the same things as before. Could it be possible that his year in detroit is a case of a bad situation and the rumors of AI's demise are overblown?
J.A. Adande (3:13 PM)
He did average 26 a game in Denver in 07-08. People forget that. However, I did have an exec tell me that when it goes for guys like him, it goes quickly. We didn't get a chance to get a full look at him in Memphis, so we still don't know. I do think if that Detroit trade hadn't been so extreme -- him going to a guard-heavy team in decline, Denver getting Chauncey right when they were ready to take off -- Iverson wouldn't have looked so bad.
Which book should I buy - Bills Simmons', Peter King's, or Andre Agassi's???
J.A. Adande (3:13 PM)
Simmons -- it's so big you can use it as a stand for your flat-screen TV when you're done reading it.
Leroy Rogers (New Orleans)
J.A., I feel Shane Battier should be hailed as the most cerebral player in the league. Would an average team full of the "Battier Mentality" surpass one with raw talent?
J.A. Adande (3:15 PM)
A team of Battier clones could beat a team of "raw talent" (i.e. early Tyrus Thomas). But they can't beat smart talent (LeBron, Kobe, etc.)
Mark (Westchester NY)
when will we see top draft picks start refusing to play for the clippers? "i'm not a superstitious guy.... but man, you guys are cursed"
J.A. Adande (3:16 PM)
We've seen it back in the day. Research the start of Danny Ferry's career. Kiki V. was another guy who didn't go where he was drafted. No one talks about that, and they say today's athletes are whiny and spoiled. Another guy on that list: John Elway, who was drafted by the Baltimore Colts
Considering Orlando, Atlanta and Miami are pretty much locks for the playoffs and Charlotte and Washington looking better, what are the chances that the entire Southeast division makes the playoffs?
J.A. Adande (3:19 PM)
It Could happen -- and I would hate that. You shouldn't get a playoff spot for finishing last in your division, no matter how strong it is
Gary (Walpole, MA)
J.A., We all know Lebron is a free agent next year, but so are Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Is there any chance that the Akron Hammer will join KG in Beantown?
J.A. Adande (3:20 PM)
There has been ZERO talk of that floating around the league.
Enrique (Tustin, CA)
Once it is all said and done who has the better career Tyreke or Rose?
J.A. Adande (3:21 PM)
Paul Lam (O.C. California)
Hi good morning JA. A panel of "experts" says Kobe is the best player in the league by a landslide btw. Why is it that Hollinger's PER has been so unforgiven with Kobe? Or should we fans favor the math over the opinion of players, coaches and other basketball experts?
J.A. Adande (3:24 PM)
Kobe has traditionally taken a lot of shots to get his points, and the numbers frown on that. There's a non-statistical component to that as well, since you can't measure the impact on teammates' mood when one guy shoots so much. But when you talk to players, scouts, etc., they tend to favor Kobe. I'd say the results have as well over the past 2 seasons. Remember LeBron's horrendous shooting in the Celtics series in '08? And if we say great players make their teammates better, LeBron bears some responsibility for the way his guys vanished vs. Orlando last season.
Gordon Thomas (Cleveland)
Do you think the tension between Ilgausku and Mike Brown is anything serious, or soon to be water under the bridge?
J.A. Adande (3:25 PM)
As I said on ATH the other day, I don't think this will be an issue in April and May. Brown is still figuring out what to do with this team. And if he decides not to keep Z in his rotation, you don't need to worry about the attitude of a guy who isn't playing
Andre Miller.. who would want him? 2 years guaranteed at almost 7 million.. I can't think of any team he would really fit with.. Maybe the lakers but I don't think he's a great fit at point in that system.
J.A. Adande (3:27 PM)
Not the Lakers...but a GM I spoke to thinks there will be interest in Miller even with his contract. But his name is one that's popping up the most in trade chatter these days.
Greg (SoPo, Maine)
Was last nights win over the Spurs on the 3rd game of a 4 game road trip enough to sell you on the Celts? They seem to be building up steam.
J.A. Adande (3:28 PM)
I never needed to be sold on them. They're not going to fret about November games. Rasheed certainly isn't. But their defense is so good...there were times the Spurs had no chance of getting a clear look at the basket last night. that's why I still favor them to come out of the East.
I'm loving me some Oden this year. He's statistically Portland's best offensive player, as crazy as that sounds. You looking forward to a decade of Bynum/Oden playoff matchups?
J.A. Adande (3:29 PM)
don't forget about Kobe vs. Brandon Roy as well. I'd love for us to be making valid comparisons with Oden and Bynum and Howard. He hadn't even been in the discussion the past couple of years.
John R (Chicago)
What are your thoughts on the potential Tyrus Thomas for Al Harrington swap? How about a Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng for Tracy McGrady?
J.A. Adande (3:31 PM)
I'd like the old version of T-Mac better for the Bulls. that would give them 2 guys defenses have to focus on. Harrington could help, but you don't draw up ways to stop him. You'd have to do that for both T-Mac and Rose.
J.A. - when do you think Artest is going to show up as an upgrade over Ariza for this season? In the playoffs? I thought at the time that Ariza would be the better long-term investment, but that Artest would be better in the first year or two, but so far Artest hasn't provided much. Your thoughts?
J.A. Adande (3:33 PM)
Don't get caught up in Ariza's big scoring increase. He's shooting a bad fg% to get there. (although Artest at the line isn't much better). Artest's real value will show if the Lakers have to see LeBron or Paul Pierce in the Finals. Artest's been a part of the best record in the league. Don't see what the problem is.
Bigger moment; Iverson returning to Philly for the 1st time in another uni (DEN), or Iverson playing for Philly Monday night?
J.A. Adande (3:35 PM)
I think him coming back with Denver was more dramatic because it's not often you see Philly fans showing love like that for someone in a visiting uniform. This time he's one of their own; it's partially automatic. But that time with Denver was their way of letting him know how much they really valued him.
JA, thoughts on Bynum and Kaman so far this season. Both All-Stars this year? Likely or unlikely?
J.A. Adande (3:36 PM)
Bynum definitely and Kaman got off to a good start but has cooled off lately. And if the Clippers have a horrible record it will be harder to send him to Dallas
Matt (Chicago, IL)
Watching the Tiger saga is like Kobe 2.0. take a premier athlete, and label them as the messiah. a well educated, well spoken, african-american athlete everyone looks up to. then, when we get tired of talking about how great they are, seize the moment to turn them into a villian. now, we have non-sports related media speaking about our athletes, stealing our stories, so we then direct our hate to the athletes. pathetic.
J.A. Adande (3:39 PM)
As Shaq once said (while in your town for national team camp) the media puts you up on a pedestal, then they take you down. It's overdone both ways. I try not to heap praise on athletes for anything other than their great play, because I've been around them enough to know that most aren't virtuous. I don't expect them to be. All I expect is for them to abide by the law. If you don't have high expectations for them, you won't feel let down. I don't feel let down by Tiger, and I don't feel he owes me or anyone outside his family an apology.
Everyone cries for San Antonio's injuries and excuse their poor start to that, yet no one feels bad for Dallas who seems to be winning anyway. What gives?
J.A. Adande (3:40 PM)
We don't think of Dallas as a championship-caliber team with a closing window, so their problems aren't as dramatic. Also it was out of character for the Spurs to spend so much money, and was taken as a clear sign that they're making one last run at a ring with Timmy. Dallas always spends money.
Why is the 2002 Nets vs. Pacers game 5 never considered to be one of the greatest? It went to 2 overtime, was coach great, and played even better.
J.A. Adande (3:41 PM)
Probably because it was first round.
In the admittedly unlikely event that t-mac comes back a.) healthy and b.) willing to incorporate himself into the team's system and style of play, then couldn't the Rockets be something of a threat to make a some real noise. They're a team of fantastic role players missing a star. If t-mac comes back focused, he's that guy. He won't have to dominate games (clearly, since the Rockets are doing pretty well without him), but he can take over during droughts and to close out games. What else are they missing (besides a center over 6-8)?
J.A. Adande (3:43 PM)
I get the sense that the Rockets don't believe they'd get either the a or b part of your scenario. Otherwise it doesn't make sense that they'd be reluctant to bring back the exact thing they need.
Mark (Westchester NY)
If the Knicks don't get Lebron, Wade, or Bosh... do they toss their money at the second tier free agents, alla Detroit? or do they save their money, suck for another year, and wait for 2011?
J.A. Adande (3:44 PM)
They have to bring in someone. You can't tell your faithful following to wait until 2010...then say, uh, check back next year. And there will be good secondary players out there. Joe Johnson. Amare maybe. From a basketball sense it won't be a complete bust if they don't LeBron. But from a marketing perspective....
Rondo over rated as a defender? I know he is a great rebounder gets lots of steals, but he seems to gamble a lot and allows penetration into the paint.
J.A. Adande (3:45 PM)
He can get away with allowing that penetration because he has KG and Perkins back there.
Dusty (Fort Worth)
I know its early, but the West is playing out a little differently than most experts predicted. As it currently stands, what teams at the top (Mavs, Denver, PHX, and Lakers) do you think will remain there? and what other teams will make a push?
J.A. Adande (3:47 PM)
You left the Spurs out of there. I think they'll be heard from. I wouldn't count out Portland. Utah (a team I had falling) seems resilient. Obviously Denver and the Lakers will be there...maybe Phoenix is the one that can't sustain their good start.
Sean (La La Land)
Does the Jason Kidd trade for Devin Harris now make cuban a Genius?
J.A. Adande (3:49 PM)
Not a genius...because I was in favor of it too and I sure don't feel any smarter now. I think they got what they wanted...a PG who could give them a shot at winning a playoff series or two for a couple of years. Kidd still had enough to get that done. And Devin Harris, as well as he played over the past year and a half, isn't going to be waving a fistful of rings in Cuban's face to make him feel bad
Any word on when Blake Griffin will return from injury
J.A. Adande (3:51 PM)
I watched him work out before the Clippers-Houston game and he still isn't jumping yet. Will probably need some more testing done as well. Maybe later this month.
Don't forget Eli Manning
J.A. Adande (3:52 PM)
Another one for our list of guys who didn't want to go where they were drafted. And of course it happens with Scott Boras clients in baseball all the time through him scaring teams away from drafting his players.
Mike (Irvine, CA)
your thoughts on Shannon Brown?? I like his energy and athleticism but he is always one of (if not the) worst laker in +/- and it gets worse as his PT goes up.
J.A. Adande (3:55 PM)
He's better in small doses. Another reason why all of the laker fans clamoring for Derek Fisher to sit should be careful what they wish for.
steve (san francisco)
Why are the Bulls so eager to get rid of Tyrus Thomas?
J.A. Adande (3:56 PM)
For one thing it's hard to have him and Noah in together and run screen-rolls with Rose if neither of the bigs are skilled scorers. Takes away the threat and other teams can just double Rose. The Bulls need to surround Rose with threats.
Should the Pistons had taken Lawson in the draft instead of Daye?
J.A. Adande (3:57 PM)
Don't they have enough guards already?
Tim (San Antonio TX)
J.A any thoughts on Spurs struggles against Boston?Did we have any business having a close that score considering all the sloppiness by the Spurs?Blair was a beast! BTW
J.A. Adande (3:59 PM)
Biggest issue is Jefferson's shooting. If he's not contributing they're just the same team they were last year, and that won't get it done even if Ginobli Duncan and Parker are all fine.
J.A., that doesn't make any sense. You should want the best 8 teams from each conference in the playoffs, regardless of which division they play in. The whole idea of divisions within a conference doesn't make any sense to begin with.
J.A. Adande (4:02 PM)
I like regional rivalries. And I think you should have to prove yourself against a group before you can take on the rest of the league. (Or maybe my thinking is altered from watching the World Cup draw this morning)
JA, I started paying some attention to the Lakers earlier this season when they drubbed my Hawks, but I've been disgustingly impressed by Kobe's improvement as a player. How can it be that after all these years in the league, the guy looks like a noticeably better player this season than last? It's mind boggling and I gotta say I really wish my team had a guy like that on it ... you know, who can't sleep unless he's getting better no matter how many years he has in the league.
J.A. Adande (4:02 PM)
I'm just trying to figure out what you mean by "disgustingly impressed"
Your gut feeling on Monta: Will he be gone before the year is out? I think it all depends on Curry's growth. Right now, there's no way the Warriors can let him go unless they get a really good player in return; Curry's not quite ready for prime-time yet.
J.A. Adande (4:04 PM)
But if they're not playing for this year, does it matter? Right now it seems they need to figure out what to do about their coach first. If Nelson can't go full-time shoudln't they establish their new coach so they can start developing a style to fit players into?
Mark (Westchester NY)
has anyone pointed out the shocking resemblance between Hornets coach Jeff Bower and the evil Dr. Robotnik from sonic the hedgehog?... would explain why he had an evil plot to steal tacos from the starving mouthes of Los Angeles Fans the other night...
J.A. Adande (4:06 PM)
I keep trying to figure out who Bower reminds me of...maybe I didn't play enough videogames.
A trade- Andre Miller for Hedo?
J.A. Adande (4:07 PM)
Would you really want Hedo after he left the Blazers hanging this summer. Why trade for a guy who clearly doesn't want to be in Portland?
Jorge ((Riverside Ca))
J.A. are you looking forward to World Cup?
J.A. Adande (4:08 PM)
Yes. i'm not a soccer fan but I'm a World Cup fan, the way people only care about skiing during the Winter Olympics
Ifeanyi (Loma Linda, Ca)
Is Kobe the front-runner for MVP right now?
J.A. Adande (4:10 PM)
No, Carmelo is. And the more the Lakers' success appears to be linked to the return of Gasol the worse Kobe's chances for MVP get.
J.A. Adande (4:10 PM)
Gotta run for this afternoon. Thanks for your questions. See ya next week.