Chat with Michael Wilbon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, 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, in addition to writing for ESPNChicago.com. 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 Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
All aboard the Wilbon Train! #BearsWontWinAnotherGame - Moving on, do you think Rip has enough in the tank to be a real difference-maker for the Bulls? Was this the ideal scenario for a solution to the 2-guard issue considering skills, price, and experience?
mike wilbon (2:20 PM)
Hi Everybody...Thanks for joining me at a later hour than usual...We'll jump right into NFL and NBA stuff, which goodness knows there is plenty of to talk about...Yes, the Bears season is over. Not officially...but in effect it is. The Bears are 0-3 without Jay Cutler, the defense having allowed a grand total of ONE TD in each game (at Oakland, Chiefs, at Denver) and I doubt they'll win another game because I don't think they can beat Seattle, which is coming on strong, and forget about Green Bay on Christmas Night. Yes, Chicago, it's time to move on to D-Rose and the Bulls and I do think Richard Hamilton, a.k.a. Rip Hamilton, has enough in the tank. Last year I was DRIVING the Rip-to-the-Bulls bandwagon and I jumped off it and onto the Jason Richardson bandwagon, which left the station sporting Orlando blue/black/white because J-Rich got $6 million more from Orlando than he could have gotten from the Bulls. I understand...BUT
mike wilbon (2:21 PM)
...(part 2 of Rip Hamilton answer)......BUT Hamilton, at 33, is quite possibly a better fit. He doesn't shoot the 3 as well but brings championship experience (two NBA Finals) and knows how to play off a great lead guard...The Bulls need age. They're losing Kurt Thomas (signed with Portland) and need old guys. Young guys don't do squat in the spring in the NBA. Old guys do. See Mavericks last June...Rip doesn't have to average 17, just 12-14 a game, play the defense he's always played...talk to the young bucks about when to take nap, when to stay home, when to calm down, when to be excited, when to throw an elbow, when not to...He would bring KNOW-how...I just hope it actually happens, I mean really HAPPENS, not almost, not should, not about to...I want to see it done...
John (Lakewood, CO)
Real Men of Genius - NOT starring Marion Barber. I'm beginning to think Tebow actually has a deal with the devil. Ponder's horrible INT at the end of the game last week. Barber's brainlock and fumble. EVIL things happening to teams playing the Broncos
mike wilbon (2:23 PM)
Ain't that the truth! Barber's running out of bounds is unforivably stupid. Seriouslys, people who know me know how often I make fun of the Cowboys for being brainless...What better (worse) example can you use as Exhibit A than Barber costing his team those 30 or so valuable seconds...And a season...And then to fumble! At this point I think there are only 2 defenses Tebow can't even solve for 13 points: Ravens and Steelers, in whatever order...But Tebow is something else, he's some kinda story...Well, there I go...THE BRONCOS are some kinda story.
Yesterday's Redskins v Patriots game may have set NFL officiating back a few decades.
mike wilbon (2:25 PM)
It was bad, stupid calls going both ways. Just remember, if you tackle Tom Brady it's 50-50 there's a penalty assessed....It's runing my enjoyment of pro football, seriously. As debatable as NBA officiating ALWAYS is, at least star treatment was built in from the start! And it's not based on legislating against a certain position or style of play. Someday a head linesman is going to simply say, "15 yards, on the defense, #91...tackling Tom Brady!"
Brett (St. Louis)
Hi Mike, love your stuff. I'm a Packers fan, and after seeing the success and undefeated season so far this year I got to thinking, why has there been so many undefeated teams this late in the season recently. The Colts, Saints, and Patriots have all reached double digit wins while being undefeated recently. I'm still very young, so I can't remember more than a decade or so back, but has this always been common in the NFL? If not, why do you think it is happening now? Is it because of the number of elite quarterbacks in the league combined with the rule changes favoring the pass?
mike wilbon (2:29 PM)
Thanks...No, it never used to happen. And now it happens all the time and I have yet to hear a single reason, that makes any sense, as to why. Cyclical? Yeah, probably...But how about the winless teams as well. That didn't happen either. Now, we've had the Lions and Colts...how about that poor kid on the Colts, a backup QB, who was on the winless Lions as well...Goodness, is he scarred for life or what? I'mm not going to phony up a bunch of reasons because I haven't heard any good ones...I don't think the Packers will go 3-0 in the playoffs because I don't think their defense is good enough. I could see them losing to the Steelers or Ravens because they DO play defense...But the Packers are going undfeated in the regular season, book it! And even though I'm a lifelong Bears fan I find it hard to hate these Packers because the team has so many guys I've gotten to know personally a little bit, and like a lot, from Aaron Rodgers to Charles Woodson to Greg Jennings...Very likeable, professional people...
After yesterday's call against London Fletcher, the NFL should probably just go ahead an give Tom Brady a bright yellow no contact practice jersey, no?
mike wilbon (2:29 PM)
Yes. It's embarassing...I've been on this for three years. Glad others are joining me.
PTI Sports fans (everywhere)
Hey Wilbon, remind us again how many championships the Bears have won since you've been born...about the same as the Eagles right. We won't talk about the cubs
mike wilbon (2:34 PM)
Since I was born? 2...1963 and 1985. The Eagles have won how many in that time? I believe the correct answer, Know-it-all, is one, 1960. So that's two since the Eagles won an NFL Championship. And didn't the Blackhawks just dismiss the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010? And hasn't it been almost 30 years since your basketball team won? Please, go away now, slink away quietly...
David Stern needs to retire. Just get him out of here. Whoever approved letting the league control one of it's teams needs to leave as well. This uncontrollable bias is seriously starting to kill my passion for the NBA.
mike wilbon (2:36 PM)
Well-said...Really, I don't have much to add...Any disgust with David Stern's behavior recently, specifically this business of voiding the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers, is justifiable. The whole thing is foul and should be beneath a man as smart and as accomplished as David Stern. But I doubt seriously you'll see anything that suggests a little self-criticism...just more signs of a man whose ego as run amok...
The other day I was watching you discuss with your fellow NBA analysts and Magic mentioned KD being the best player in the league. You guys all asked, ?Better than Lebron/Wade/ Kobe ?Bean? Bryant?. Dirk was not mentioned once by any of you and he played better than all of those players without a fellow all star. My question is, in your eyes, what will it take to get Dirk at least in the conversation of ?best player in the league??
mike wilbon (2:38 PM)
Dirk doesn't need to be best player in the league. He's the leader of THE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM...That's what counts most, right? The guy is wearing the ring. His team was the last one standing! My all-pro preseason team in the NBA would be D-Rose and Kobe (or D-Wade) in the backcourt, LeBron, Durant and Dwight Howard in the front court. And guess what...They ALL want what Dirk now has...There are always two levels of observing the NBA, the one that focuses on individual and the one that focuses on team...Dirk's got the one that matters most to me.
How about that team that is on its third string qb, has been without its top wr for over half the year, without its top defensive player for most of the year, and keeps on winning? How about some love for the Houston Texans!!
mike wilbon (2:40 PM)
Love. There it is. They've earned it. Kudos to their scouts and executives for getting it right with T.J. Yates...as opposed to the Bears who got it dead ugly wrong with Caleb Hanie...Hey, Yates is probably the second-best QB the Texans have. Why wouldn't they feel pretty darned good going into the playoffs! To be missing the players they've had injured and keep trucking! Big ups!
Was Lamar O really traded because of the Reality show with his wife?
mike wilbon (2:40 PM)
Why does Xavier coach Mack trot out Tu Holloway after the brawl for a post-game press conference?? You cannot let your players talk to the media when they are still fired up from the altercation.
mike wilbon (2:41 PM)
Well said. That was hideous, all of it. And there's plenty of blame to go around. The NCAA should tack on time to the school-imposed suspensions, but I do give Cincy credit for jumping right in and sitting guys down...
ted (cape cod)
With Sidney Crosby out indefinitely again, and Flyers Chris Pronger is too. Is it safe to say these two NHL superstars careers are done?
mike wilbon (2:43 PM)
Hold on now...We need to know more about Crosby...and Pronger...But in Crosby's case, we're talking about a guy who is, what, 24 years old? I admit, it's scary...remember when Paul Kariya was one of the best young players in the NHL, maybe the best...It was back in 1998...He suffered multiple head injuries and was never the same, and I think is retired now, which is unthinkable...I don't want to look too far ahead...I just hope Crosby is back this season and can stay healthy. It's so depressing to think otherwise. He's only the best player in the league. What sport has had this happen? Not the NBA, NFL or MLB that I can think of...
Skeeter (New Orleans)
Will Mike Ditka be the next Penn State coach ?
mike wilbon (2:44 PM)
What? I cannot imagine that.
Better chance: Dwight changing his mind and re-signing with Orlando or the Broncos Tebowing to the AFC Championship game?
mike wilbon (2:44 PM)
Tebow going to the AFC title game. Dwight's gone, Bro...Going, going...
Ian (Sandy Springs )
Will the Bears look to Brett to save the season ?
mike wilbon (2:44 PM)
The Bears season is done. Brett hasn't even played in more than a year. What makes you think he could do anything?
Dusty (St. Louis)
Was firing Todd Haley the right call? I'm a chiefs fan and I really liked Haley. Injuries have killed the team this year and if it was up to me Pioli would be the first one fired.
mike wilbon (2:46 PM)
That kinda surprised me, given what happened with your starting QB. Does that mean the Bears should fire Lovie Smith for what is about to be an 0-6 finish? I think that would be insane but it'll be discussed if the Bears lose-out after the Cutler injury, which should surprise nobody if it happens. No starting QB in the NFL usually spells doom. Ask the colts.
Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]
I understand that it was a tough loss for Chicago but what's with the sour grapes comment from Urlacher calling Tebow a good "running back"? just seems catty to me after the fact...
mike wilbon (2:47 PM)
Oh, wow, I didn't hear that...Well, pretty impressive for a running back to go 7-for-7 on the most important drive of the game, the one that produces the TD that wins the game. It's too much to ask the Bears defense to NEVER give up a TD simply because the QB is incompetent...But fact is, the Bears KNEW they couldn't allow Tebow to lead a TD drive and they couldn't stop him when it mattered.
mike wilbon (2:48 PM)
By the way, you sure Brian Urlacher wasn't being sarcastic?
Michael, I initially loved the response by Cincy's coach during the presser after the brawl. But the suspensions handed down by the universities after basically condone the hideous behavior by both sides. Gates punch and #13's stomp are the worst aspects but the statements made by Xavier in the press conference make me think, well, let's just say it ended when it did. Embarrassing. Anything bigger powers (NCAA) can do and isn't it time we start dragging these "gangsters" into court to face a real judge and jury? Thanks for the good work!
mike wilbon (2:49 PM)
I'll repeat, the NCAA ought to get involved with tougher suspensions and public warnings. So, I mostly agree with you...
Shayler Neal (Beech Grove,IN)
Do you think the Colts should trade their pick to Miami (2nd worst team) and get a couple defensive players to build up their defense or just draft Luck and let him have some knowledge from Manning. I know you probably get this ? a lot but i just want a good answer from a actual sports man
mike wilbon (2:51 PM)
I think I'd take Oliver Luck...I think I would. Thing is, Peyton is going to be, what, 37? If you could be assured of getting a great DE and a great CB, say the kids from Alabama and LSU, I might do it...especially if you study RGIII or Matt Barkley or one of the other QBs enough to think they'd do as well as Luck...It's a very, very tough call. I like RGIII for Heisman, but I think I like Luck better as a pro...But if RGIII turns out to be Drew Brees-like...and you could have gotten him and a defensive stud in the draft...
Nate (Los Angeles)
Why is Jennings on the field up 31 points? Run the ball and go completely vanilla with the offense. Shoot, Rodgers, should have been out as well, get Flynn some game time action. Your thoughts?
mike wilbon (2:52 PM)
My thought is your thought...And we're right. The proof is in the result.
javi (los angeles)
Is Dan Gilbert running the NBA? or is it Mark Cuban?
mike wilbon (2:52 PM)
The league would be a lot better off if Mark Cuban was running it. What the hell has Dan Gilbert ever done but own a team that couldn't get it right in 7 years with LeBron James? It's like, get over it already. Get a life. He left you. Move on. There are other fish in the sea. He's a pathetic little man.
Why would you take Durant over Dirk right now? I'm not talking future stuff, I'm talking this second. Dirk is wiser and proved he IS better. Durant's best game against Dallas in the playoffs, Dirk played BETTER that game. Nobody will answer why they don't considor Dirk. Is it because of the flashiness? Dirk is smarter and better... proof was given last year. If Durant does what Dirk did last year, all you analysts would have gone nuts over him. But it's a tall, boring, white guy so he doesn't count... right?
mike wilbon (2:55 PM)
Depends on whether you're asking would I draft Durant over Dirk right now? Yes. If I had to win a game tonight, which one would I take? Dirk. By the end of May? I think Durant. The great players eventually emerge in the NBA. And older players recede. Dirk also had a better, smarter, more unselfish team around him than Durant did. Dirk's guards know enough to get HIM the ball. Durant's did not.
Rob (San Antonio)
In your opinion have the 49ers come back down to earth?
mike wilbon (2:56 PM)
One loss, on the road, to a division rival that is finally playing like it should have been all season? That means the 49ers are crashing to earth? They've lost to Dallas in OT, at Baltimore and at Arizona. Sorry, a 12-4 finish for the Niners would still make for a remarkable season.
Will (Grand Rapids)
WHY DO YOU AND ESPN HATE PENN STATE
mike wilbon (3:00 PM)
I'm going to answer one of these questions because I find it difficult to believe sometimes that so many people can be such morons. If you know who I am I presume (though perhaps I shouldn't) you know I co-host PTI, a show where the two people on the set don't even have the same opinion. So, if you're smart enough to know that (perhaps leap) you should be smart enough to see that no two people on ESPN feel the same way about anything, or have the same opinion about anything. So I would presume you'd be smart enough to then know that people in a huge company like ESPN disagree on all kinds of things, including what they believe about something as complex as the Penn State situation. So, if you're are even the slightest bit literate, you and the people who think everybody who works for ESPN is of one mind, you'll know people have varying opinions on Penn State as well. So, you're screaming--and you aren't the only one--is a waste of time and ignorant of the facts. Just open your ears and listen to the difference of opinion even ON THE AIR from ESPN people about all elements of Penn State. The only thing we probably agree on is we feel for the victims and their parents. Other than that, please get a clue.
ted (cape cod)
I agree, Wilbon.It's sad to see but this is exactly the Eric Lindros situation all over again. Superstar talent which is going to be lost to concussion problems. Even though I'm enjoying this season watching Tim Thomas play goalie, Crosby really moves the casual fan needle for hockey.
mike wilbon (3:01 PM)
Thanks for pointing out the Lindros situation, which, yes, is another case of an NHL mega star not having the impact he could/should because of head injuries. The sport had best do something dramatic now...
Is it just me or is OKC a shoe-in to represent the West in the NBA Finals? (Barring major injury, of course) Dallas and LA's rosters are in-flux, SA's age, Memphis likely losing Gasol, Clippers probably still a year away even if they get CP3...
mike wilbon (3:02 PM)
You would think so, right? OKC has to be the fave, BUT is Russell Westbrook going to admit to himself Durant is the best player on that team? or is he going to spend the entire playoffs trying to make the point that he is? And remember, teams emerge, teams evolve, teams fall back...that's why they play the games!