Chat with Michael Wilbon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN's Michael Wilbon stops by to chat and share his thoughts on the sports world.
Wilbon, a longtime Washington Post sports columnist, is co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, the popular weekday sports debate and discussion program, as well as an NBA studio analyst for both ESPN and ABC. A pioneer in sports journalism, Wilbon was one of the first sports writers to broaden his success beyond newspapers to include television, radio and other media.
Send your questions now and join Wilbon Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
mike wilbon (1:15 PM)
Hi everybody...just landed in New England after trip from Miami where I was for Game 3 last night of Bulls-Heat...Don't know if I've that internet service is strong enough here in Farmington, Conn. where I'm staying to chat for long...will try it, but if it fails perhaps we can line it up again at 1 p.m. tomorrow...sorry, but don't know any other way around it...
Heat fan (Bethesda, MD )
How much hating do you think Charles Barkley sends the Heat way and do you think he got some back last night from the Heat fans in MIA....Go Heat
mike wilbon (1:18 PM)
people need to get a life. Charles doesn't hate anybody...or anything. His job is to look at basketball, pro and now college, as a critic. Half the time people are so consumed in their fandom they're not smart enough--and I mean this literally--to understand that not everybody is there to love them and their team, whatever team that is. Charles is a critic, and a damn good one. And nobody outside the market in question really cares whether Charles LIKES the team he's talking about or not...He doesn't care about the Bulls or Miami on a personal level...He doesn't dislike LeBron, though he might dislike the way LeBron went about something or the way he played on a given night, or the way Rose played...That's his job, people, to praise and criticize. Get over it...
with the way the series has gone so far and the bulls losing the game in the 4th quarter gm2 n gm3. i feel like we have an advantage in the upcoming games with only one day off because our youth and bench. lbj and wade have been playing a lot of minutes can this little time off affect their production or am i being optimistic.
mike wilbon (1:24 PM)
Everybody, the internet connection just isn't good enough to try this today...Half my time is spent trying to keep the internet connection going...so we'll have to try it tomorrow when I'm somewhere with reliable service...probably at PTI headquarters tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1:30...Very, very sorry...hope you can join us. Hey, it's not the end of the world! (Get it?) I know, weak.
mike wilbon (1:36 PM)
Okay, Day II of Chat Attempt! I think since I'm sitting in my PTI office in Washington we should be able to proceed!
Eric K (Florida)
as of rite now who do u take in a best of 7 Miami or Dallas ?
mike wilbon (1:39 PM)
You know what, I just don't know. Because of where I grew up and what kind of basketball I have watched and traditionally valued, I tend to take the stronger defensive team in every sport...That would be Miami, in this case. BUT, Dallas is on such a roll, can win on the road, and has just as much experience dealing with the NBA Finals if not more (Dirk and Kidd and Terry vs. LeBron and Wade and Haslem)...I just don't know. I suppose I'd say Miami in 6 or 7 games, but let's see how the rest of this plays out. Last I checked, Miami is only up 2-1 and playing tonight against a team that hasn't lost three straight all season...so let's see this series conclude before we jump to that conclusion. I do think Dallas will clinch tomorrow night in Game 5.
Heat Fan (Bethesda, MA)
Thanks for answering my question, but I strongly disagree with your answer. It's one thing for Charles Barkley to dislike the way LeBron made his decision but that was almost a year ago. Charles never and I mean never talks about the millions of dollars LeBron and the Wade gave up to play for a chase to win. This day in age when sports players are always melee for just thinking about themselves and money, these three players were thinking about winning not just money. I strongly disagree, Charles has proving to be a heater and got what was coming to him from the fan in MIA.
mike wilbon (1:44 PM)
Reasonable people can disagree...But don't make it out that LeBron and Wade took $75,000 a year to play together. They're making $110 million or whatever the exact number is. Nobody's going to get the Nobel Prize for taking $110 instead of $121 million. And increasingly people like you have attitude because somebody doesn't like your team. Those of us who report/criticize/analyze aren't put on earth to give a damn about your team. And this can't be said strongly enough. Trust me, Charles doesn't spend any time snarling when the Heat is mentioned. People write me and say "You hate my team." Let me promise you, I don't think about your team, could care less about your team. You might or might not have a fully engaged life, but trust me most of the people covering sports do. We don't paint our faces and change our seats to guarantee good luck for the team. We do not care. If nothing else, whether, understand that. We care about the work put into leading the discussion or helping understand the game or the quality of the broadcast or column written. We do not care about your teams; we care about our work.
Chuck (Los Angeles)
The way I see it, the Bulls blew the Heat out in one game, and played poorly in the next two but still had a shot to win it with 5 minutes to go... Are the obituaries for the Bulls a little premature?
mike wilbon (1:46 PM)
Yeah, I think so. Now, I also think it's clear that if the two teams play well Miami is better with Haslem and Mike Miller in the lineup. Miami is closer to a complete team with them than the Bulls are without a second scorer. Still, the Bulls are an incredibly well-coached team with great will and I'm not going to discount that going into Game 4 tonight in Miami. Proving people wrong seems to be a very, very strong motivator in sports these days, so the Bulls should feel they have plenty of ammo.
Calle Ocho (MIAMI)
Hey! It has been an interesting series, and Coach Spo has done a great job, despite that fact that he has three studs. However, he is not appreciated here in Miami as he is appreciated outside of Miami. --Your thought--also, Kyle Kover's road kill incident in game 3 by Lebron James is an epphanny of what Miami will eventually do to the Bulls (Thanks to Miami's Methodical Defense).
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
Coach Spo has done a very nice job, particularly in this series with defending Derrick Rose. Miami, when it comes to sports, is loaded with front-runners (I'm talking about fans, not players) so it'll be interesting to see how cocky you all are if the series is evened tonight. Again, Miami appears to be a better team at this point but I'm not calling for the crews to remove the road kill as you so confidently are.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
MW, as a transplanted Suns fan stationed in L.A., NBA post seasons have been tough to say the least. However, this post season I am firmly rooting for whoever can beat the Heat, which I hope is the Dallas Dirks! What LeBron did to Cleveland + colluding with Wade & Bosh to basically circumvent competition in the NBA is despicable! Do you think the Baby Bulls can bounce back or do you think its up to Dallas to keep the Heat away from a ring?
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
I don't find players determinng, by the rules, where they want to play to be the worst thing in the world. I reminded TK this morning on his radio show that Kareem did this in 1975 when he left Milwaukee and went to Los Angeles. So, it's okay for Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale as executives to determine where Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett should spend their careers, but it's not okay for those players to do it by the rules. You and everybody else who complains about this has lost me there.Now, having said that, I do have trouble understanding why great players would want to hook up with one another instead of beat one another, which was voiced quite strongly by the likes of Jordan/magic/Bird/Barkley and others...Still, I defend very passionately their RIGHT to do what they did. (cont'd)
mike wilbon (1:54 PM)
I understand why people outside of Miami want to see the Heat lose, and Dallas may or may not be able to do it. The Bulls have a shot if they win tonight, obviously. A team that embraces the role as villian is very, very good for the entire industry, especially the league and its television partners. But if you might have to get used to a whole lot of Miami Heat in the next six to eight years.
JoJo (Chicago) [via mobile]
Love your work Mr. Wilbon. Can you please tell me that the Bulls will scrap the pick and roll. The double team MIA brings with it kills our offense and basically takes Derrick Rose out of the game.
mike wilbon (1:55 PM)
I don't think they'll scrap it, but they need to set up Rose in one-on-one situations because Miami has nobody who can guard him in the open court; really, no teams does. Rose has said he wants more one-on-one situations and now its up to the coaches to create them. I would think they'd listen to the guy who provides them their best chance to win the series.
John Wall (dc)
Why can't I be better than Derrick Rose in 3 years?
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
Because you might have the instincts but might not...because you might have the capacity for work/practice but you might not, because you might be able to improve your jump shot but might not, because you might have the will and temperment but might not. All of this falls under the category of "We'll see."
Mike, What are your thoughts on Bulls rotation...I keep hearing that people feel Thomas should come off the bench, do you think that is a push or more of a risk because he can't really guard anyone on the Heat considering they aren't playing any bigs....n who do you think is getting the game ball tonight and why
mike wilbon (1:59 PM)
I think Kurt Thomas can play and can guard people, and also he can rebound and hit that jumper if the Bulls are going to run pick-and-roll. Asik doesn't have that in his arsenal yet. I'd play Thomas, and I'd play C.J. Watson with Rose more to free him up, same as I'd like to see Russell Westbrook paired with Eric Maynor in the Thunder backcourt sometimes.
Terrible call on Collison last night. Definitely shifted the momentum Dallas' way in that game.
mike wilbon (2:01 PM)
What shifted the momentum was the Thunder players gagging. Stop making excuses. They were terrible down the stretch of that game, historically terrible, all of them starting with their best player, Kevin Durant. Stop. Don't dare even bring the officials into it. When you have a 15-point lead at home with 5 minutes to play an official's call doesn't mean jack. Close the game or take the blame for failing to do so.
Fay (Paterson nj)
Hey mike I was wondering with the way the series has gone so far and the bulls losing the game in the 4th quarter gm2 n gm3. i feel like we have an advantage in the upcoming games with only one day off because our youth and bench. lbj and wade have been playing a lot of minutes can this little time off affect their production or am i being optimistic as a bulls fan.
mike wilbon (2:03 PM)
You're being, understandably, optimistic. The Bulls don't seem to have many advantages right now over Miami, not even defensively because Miami has several guys who have always played great defense (Wade, LeBron, Miller, Haslem) who understand they're not going to beat the Bulls unless they play great two-way basketball...and they're doing it. The Bulls are going to have to find some consistent offense. Can they? Yes, I think they can, at least for tonight...But Miami is now a clear favorite in this series, no matter who you're rooting for. One game changes that, yes, but it's hard to get.
I really regret turning off the Mavs - OKC in the fourth quarter last night.
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
You should! Did you watch Mavs-TrailBlazers in the game Portland was down 23 and came back to win? It was a rousing second half...so was last night. And why, unless you have to wake up early the next morning and many do, would you turn off Dirk the way he's going right now? He alone is worth keeping the TV on...
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Does how the OKC-Dallas playoff series has gone so far demonstrate how much better Dirk is than KD? Everyone knows Dirk is the Mavs #1 option, and he is able to get the ball and make shots...Durant does not seem to demand the ball in this same way..is this a player issue or a coaching problem?
mike wilbon (2:08 PM)
The primary difference at this point is that Dirk is a 12-year veteran who knows all the tricks, and while he's on the back-9 physically he's at the point where his mind and physical abilities are close to their peak...Durant isn't at that point yet; he's 22 years old. Durant and Rose have really gotten closer to a championship than one would have thought reasonable possible, given that the NBA is a league that old guys rule. Remember, Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka are all 22 and 21 years of age, respectively. Dirk is in his 13th year. Jason Kidd is in his 17th year and Shawn Marion his 12th, as (I believe) is Jason Terry...An NBA head coach texted me last night in the fourth quarter with about four minutes left. It was a one-word text: "Experience."
Josh ((Deerfield, IL))
Mike. from everything that the bulls have done do you think this series could easily be 3-0?
mike wilbon (2:09 PM)
3-0 which way? I know what you're getting at, and no. Miami completely outplayed the Bulls in Game 3 even if the Bulls were able to keep the game close. Now, the 2-1 score is exactly as it should be.
Nick (New York)
If the Mavs get there, can Dirk take it to ANOTHER level for the Finals?
mike wilbon (2:11 PM)
Great question. I don't know that it's reasonable to expect he has another level. I think Kidd and Terry and Marion have to take it to another level against Miami, particularly, if the Heat advanaces. But what's another level for Dirk? 50? Triple-doubles every night? He's playing at an absurd level almost every game right now. If the NBA had a playoff MVP as the NHL does, my vote would go to Dirk.
The little 5 second candid PTI bits during commercial breaks are the most captivating thing on television today. Who's idea was it to air those? They deserve a raise/promotion.
mike wilbon (2:14 PM)
Tony and I, whenever we get the chance, mention our very, very smart producers. Hell, their geniuses...and they make the two of us look very good. The "nuggets" as they're called around here, are probably some collaborative effort by the producers. We know they're doing this every day, but in tne moment forget and are sometimes surprised to hear our friends or whomever mention we were singing or talking about something silly...It's all to keep people from completely fast forwading with TiVo past the commercials that pay the bills...
mike wilbon (2:18 PM)
Okay, we have some early work (speaking of producers) I'm told has to be done ASAP so I have to run and prepare for PTI...Thanks for moving to another day and with next week being Memorial Day I think Tuesday is a safe bet...And, for those of us hoping the Bulls recover in this series, it would be the day after a Game 7 in Chicago and a good time, whoever is playing, to look at the NBA Finals as basketball enters it's bell lap...