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 1 p.m. ET!
Adam (Herndon, VA)
Mr. Wilbon,Do you think Yesterday's performance in the Super Bowl moves Eli Manning Past Ben Roethlisberger among elite quarterbacks?Thanks and take care.
mike wilbon (1:09 PM)
Hi everybody...Happy Super Bowl Monday! We'll jump right into the many issues of the Super Bowl and hit some NBA after that...I don't know if Manning jumps past Big Ben, but 2=2 so he's definitely pulled even, right? I think Manning, with a pair of SB MVPs, sits at the table with anybody of note, the Big Boy Table...with Big Ben, with Brady, with his brother Peyton, with Drew Brees. Hell, Manning is one away from being equal with Brady in terms of championship victories. He can't be denied anything now, in terms of stature...
are you suprised there was no or very little mention of peyton manning last night?
mike wilbon (1:10 PM)
Great question...I think it must have been a conscious decision to not talk about him, right? I mean, there was no real reason to talk about him very much during the game; he'd already hi-jacked the entire Super Bowl week for folks who don't live in New England and greater NY/NJ...So, I bet the NBC folks (and talent) when they last met hashed out the Peyton issue pretty darn good and came up with a general guideline as to how much they'd mention Peyton...That's my bet...MW
Puerto Rico [via mobile]
Is ELI Manning Better thanTom Brady??
mike wilbon (1:14 PM)
Better? No. I don't see how you can say that. I don't know that any QB ever has been BETTER than Tom Brady. Since 1998 I've maintained that the best QB ever is John Elway, because he got to five SBs, because he was a one-man team the first three times and won his last two...But...Brady has now been to five, tying Elway, and he's won three, one more than Elway...If Brady had won he'd be on top of the mountain to me...As is, he's right there...and hell, he could get back again next year or the year after that. Eli, of course, has time, too. His professional history hasn't been written yet. Suppose he wins another to go 3-for-3, right there with Aikman? If Eli goes for another, or (stretching it a bit) a 4th...then yes, I'd put him with or ahead of Brady...But that's asking a whole lot!
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who's more to blame, Wes Welker or Tom Brady, for the key incompletion that cost NE the game?
mike wilbon (1:18 PM)
This is THE question of the day regarding the Super Bowl. And the answer is, definitely, Brady. The pass was late, behind Welker and high. I don't want to hear "he didn't want to lead his receiver into the safety." Hell, there was a window there...If Brady throws an average pass on time it's a touchdown. A mediocre pass is a catch and first-down. It was a bad pass, period. If we're going to praise Brady all the time, justifiable, for putting the ball "on the money" and "on the numbers" and talk about how perfect he is (which he is)...then we have to talk about him throwing a bad pass there...And two bad passes on the final sequence. It would have been a great twisting catch had Welker made it. I disagree with Collinsworth (fabulous as an analyst) who said Welker would make that catch 110 x out of 100. Maybe 65 or 70. Point is, it's a bad pass. Too much credit goes to great QBs and too little blame. Brady's got to shoulder this one. Shhhhh...don't tell The Missus.
Evan (Portland, OR)
Are you really going to make me sit through questions about football?
mike wilbon (1:18 PM)
Yep. It' the Super Bowl Dude. Get a life.
sedrick Baltimore [via mobile]
Do the patriots need receiver on better people on defense
mike wilbon (1:19 PM)
The Patriots played damn good defense Sunday, but they need defenders...people who are actually TRAINED to play defense, not guys who are converted from receiver...
Josh (Miami) [via mobile]
Can you blame Brady since so many recievers dropped easy passes? He lost but still the ever famous what if...
mike wilbon (1:20 PM)
There were a couple of drops, but I don't agree that there were a ton. Hernandez dropped that obvious one. But Brady threw behind receivers three or four times, including the Welker play...Look, that one play changes the game. A catch there and the Patriots win the game, plain and simple...Well, unless Eli comes down the field with under 2 mins left, which he might have done...
LJ [via mobile]
Your opinion, should the Lakers make a move?
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
Alright, I'm giving in...basketball...(though I'm happy to take more football questions since this is NOT an exclusively basketball chat and never will me, though I love it so...anyway, the Lakers need to make a move, yes, if the context of your question is them challenging for the Western Conference title. Yes, they need a guard and I don't know how you get a really good one without trading Gasol. As in, suppose the Nets had interest in dealing Deron Williams to the Lakers? They'd have to want Gasol, back, right? Just asking. I don't think the Nets would have any such interest...But I think the Lakers, in order to beat OKC or the Clippers, need a guard...
Gary, Philly !! [via mobile]
What do you think about the SIXERS !!! Getting into the PlayOffs ?
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
What are you, just landing in Philly on a spaceship? Of course, Phills leads the Atlantic Division and even though the Celtics will put together a run I expect Philly to win their division, yes.
mike wilbon (1:25 PM)
I don't see the Bulls trading for Dwight Howard, period. I could see Orlando calling the Bulls. I could envision discussion taking place. But a deal that would land Howard in Chicago? No? Don't see it, even if the Bulls have more assets to deal than the Nets or Lakers or Mavericks or Clippers.
anthony (long island )
Mike, im a die hard knicks fan and i know nothing about jeremy lin .. i know its only been one game but does this kid have real potential ?
mike wilbon (1:26 PM)
To come off the bench and help the Knicks, sure. To be a star? Doubtful. I know everybody in NYC has visions of the "next" John Starks, a guy who comes out of nowhere and becomes a quasi star...Nope, don't see that. I see a guy who could be a rotation player and help the team on some nights...
I know you have been a big supporter of the Sixers this year...what win impressed you more - the spanking of the Bulls or, after that horrible 4th quarter against the Heat on Friday, going down to the ATL the next night and putting it to the Hawks?
mike wilbon (1:28 PM)
The Sixers are a work in progress, a team without a star that has to learn how to win in certain situations. Also, like a lot of teams this year some losses that look inexplicable are easy to explain...They were tired...and without a couple of key players in a few losses (Hawes and Brand). The Sixers are a terrific team. They'll be fine. They should want to finish 3rd in the East though to get home court and (probably) a better matchup in the first round.
Andrew (Columbus, OH)
Just wanted to say Wilbon that you're a man of wisdom! Nobody agreed with me when I said it was Tom Brady's fault on the pass to Welker, thank you!!
mike wilbon (1:28 PM)
If the Lakers don't make a move for Howard, they'll likely be the 2nd best team in L.A. for MANY years. Why don't they just give up Gasol and Bynum for Howard already, worry about the PG situation next year. Howard got his Magic to the NBA finals and eastern conference finals on his own, don't you think they could contend with Howard AND Kobe? Not to mention, they'd probably get Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu with him. Not great, but how else will the Lakers compete with the Clippers without a major move like that?
mike wilbon (1:29 PM)
Okay, you said a lot...But suppose they traded Gasol for Deron Williams now? Wouldn't that attract D-12 over the summer? Then they could have Howard, Williams and Kobe. Talk about a Big 3!
Mike, sorry to be nitpicky but I think America needs to be corrected slightly. The Giants' plan at the end should not have been to take a knee and settle for a FG. It should have been to take a knee, kill NE's timeout, then punch it in for 6 on third down..then give Brady 50 seconds and no TO's, needing a TD. When you're behind, you never settle for a FG that could be botched. You take the six...however, you wait as long as you can to take it.
mike wilbon (1:30 PM)
Jeff LA [via mobile]
What do you think the Lakers have to offer to the Clippers for a Mo Williams acquisition? He loves LA and would surely rather start than scrape out 25 mpg behind CP3 and Chauncey. Plus he has played for Brown before... I think it would be a good fit for the Lakers, but what could the Clips possibly want??
mike wilbon (1:30 PM)
Why would the Clippers do ANYTHING to help the Lakers? What? Think about it...
you bailed on the sixers after the loss to the heat, will you jump back on the bandwagon after they beat the lakers tonight?
mike wilbon (1:31 PM)
Don't just lie. Don't just make shi__ up and try to run it through here. Don't lie and say I bailed on the Sixers after the loss to the Heat. That would make you a liar, plain and simple. Don't do that. What, you trying to play the tough guy, like I'm going to cower and let you tell me something I didn't say. Please, go away...Aaaah, that felt good.
Chuck (Chicago, IL)
If you're going to talk about basketball then you have to take a question on the Bulls right? Obviously their depth is a huge strength and in my opinion, early injuries are a blessing in disguise. Jimmy Butler, Ronnie Brewer, John Lucas, etc all getting nice minutes throughout the season. Depth could be the deciding factor in an ECF rematch right?
mike wilbon (1:34 PM)
Well, Rip Hamilton's play will be the deciding factor against the Heat, not depth. Depth will be the deciding factor in this crazy compressed regular season and in getting to the Eastern Conference Fianals, for the exact reasons you state. But in the ECF, if the Bulls and Heat get there (Indy scares me...Philly too, but Indy more) Hamilton has to be the guy who scores when Miami decides to jump all over Rose. Let me revise: Hamilton has to be the guy who makes the plays offensively when Miami jumps all over Rose. The Bulls don't need to play Rip Hamilton until the middle of March. Seriously, I want to see Hamilton chilling for another month, then be ready for the stretch run and the playoffs. Miami having to guard Rip is tough.
Sedrick baltimore [via mobile]
Will the Knicks make the playoffs
mike wilbon (1:37 PM)
7 or 8 seed maybe...Heat and Bulls finish 1-2, Sixers, Indy, Atlanta, Orlando...that's 1-6 in some order...So 7 and 8 are available...Celtics are 7...So that leaves the Knicks fighting it out with Cleveland for 8...Wow...can't believe I'm saying this, but how can you make the case the Knicks are going to finish higher than any of the above?
Kyle (New Jersey)
Wilbon, what do you make of all this chatter between Karl Malone and the Utah Jazz? Should Malone be quiet or does he raise any serious questions about the relationship between coaches, players, and the front office in the NBA?
mike wilbon (1:37 PM)
I love Karl, but sometimes he just, well, gets a little carried away...This seems to be one of those times and I make NOTHING of it. The Jazz are playing well...they look pretty good for a team that nobody had finishing higher than 8th in the west.
Between LMA, Love and Griffin....who is the more complete player and out of these three, who would you want to be on your team Mike? I think Aldridge will be an all-star this year and makes perfect sense for team USA.
mike wilbon (1:45 PM)
I love all 3. Kornheiser just ran into my office...I told him the question. He said he Blake and Love help him sell tickets if the team in question is bad, and Aldridge does not. Thing is, I think Aldridge sometimes has a bigger impact on the game than either of the other two. I'd take any of the three. Griffin is dependent on a point guard to set him up. Love isn't. Love can get a shot on his own. So can Aldridge...Aldridge is definitely the better defender. All three are All Stars, without a doubt. Look, the position is loaded. Guys like Garnett and Duncan, two first-ballot Hall of Famers, don't even get into the dicussion anymore at that position. Those three, to me, would be ahead of Dirk, if we're having a draft, though Dirk would be ahead of them if I have to win a game tonight and my life is on the line. It's a fun discussion, though...I might change my mind on the order of those three between now and the playoffs, especially if Love can carry the T-Wolves to the post-season.
Alex Tomalski (Darien/Illinois)
If you were the Bulls upper management would you take a chance on a player like JR Smith? Normally said to be a team killer, do you think the Bulls locker room & coaching staff could finally bring out his potential? Or will he chuck 3's for the rest of his career ?
mike wilbon (1:47 PM)
J.R. Smith? No. Not a chance. No. Wilson Chandler? yes, in a heartbeat. Kenyon Martin? yes, if the Clippers hadn't already pounced on him. But J.R. Smith, who would be really good for some teams, wouldn't for the Bulls. Whose minutes do you give him? Korver's? You'd get rid of Korver for him? I wouldn't. Part of it's chemistry, yes. Look, I've spent some time with these Bulls over the last two seasons. The players HATED that Keith Bogans was let go. They LOVE the guy. The love Kurt Thomas, too. Luckily, Gar and Pax didn't bring in somebody who was going to alter the room in any way...Smart move. You think J.R. wouldn't alter the room?
I say Spurs, you say...?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
what "won four championships..." What, you want me to say, "will finish 5th in the Western Conference this year, at best? Okay, I'll say it.
Wilbon - 2 games suspension for K Love. It seems too harsh to me, and the NBA owns our first round pick. Coincidence?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
He got two games. Way harsh. I wonder how and why it doesn't happen every game, what with bodies falling under the basket all the time.
mike wilbon (1:51 PM)
Would I what? Don't go there!!!! I'm a huge Madonna fan. Huge. Love her...Thought she sounded great Sunday (or whenever the track was taped) but she couldn't let loose with the dance moved anymore. Shaq once said to me of Michael Jordan returning to the Wizards, "Bro, I love MJ...but 39...it ain't 29." Well, 53...it ain't 33. Madonna used to clean up on those moves. I'm sure she still does in Hot Yoga, but not in 5-inch heels in a stadium on a slippery stage before 200 million people. Still, I just love seeing her. You realize that Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson were all born within a few weeks of each other (well, maybe a couple of months, but it's all close).... All 1958 babies...(Me too). That's old, Bro. And Madonna is still getting it done, vocally...she's gotta stop with the acrobatic dancing though. Those days are over.
Are all those critics saying Kyrie Irving isn't and elite athlete and couldn't be a franchise type player biting their tounges now? Imagine what he is going to be able to do when he gets a little help around him?
mike wilbon (1:53 PM)
Yep...I was going to be on that path until I asked Byron Scott about Irving last spring and he said, "You know me. I'm old school. I'm real slow to praise young players who haven't done anything...but I love this kid. He's going to be good right away." So, hearing that from B. Scott who I've known for years and years, I shut up and listened. Look, I was wrong on Rubio. Loud, stupid wrong...didn't want to get it wrong twice in one year. B. Scott, as usual, is right.
Also, why is there a SuperBowl halftime show? Is it for the people at the event ? I couldn't care less about Madonna or U2 or whatever other crap band they put up there.
mike wilbon (1:56 PM)
Yeah, I hear you...I used to be at EVERY Super Bowl, 20 straight. I was there for the first big entertainment extravaganza...Michael Jackson...like 20 years ago. It was electrifying. I was there for the wardrobe malfunction, too, standing right there and didn't see it. Damn. Anyway, as a viewer it's cool. It's over the top, but cool. Do you NEED it? you sound like a hard-core fan, so no YOU don't. But it's not some Week 13 game between the Rams and Cardinals. It's the biggest entertainment event of the year in America. Yeah, I think the EVENT needs it. I don't need the sorry, overrated commercials, but they won't go away. They just keep rollint out babies and dogs, a sure sign there's nothing left. Lame.
gentre (NEWPORT news) [via mobile]
Any hope for rockets fans landing a star player by the trade deadline or this summer
mike wilbon (1:56 PM)
Star player? By my definition of star, no.
What are your thoughts on the Love suspension. It appeared from the replay he tried to step over Scola, but then Scola threw up his hands and Love had to step down to keep in balance. So, it seems like two games was excessive (a fine or single game, was probably more appropriate). Your thoughts?
mike wilbon (1:56 PM)
I thought it was an accident. Clearly, the league thinks it's something else. Either way, it's harsh.
Peyton Manning is too classy to end his career as part of Stephen Ross' "circus of stars" in Miami. What do you think?
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
Won't Dan Snyder offer more money than anybody? He'll get Peyton and the Redskins will wind up finishing 7-9 anyway. Now THAT would be a sad ending.
Dave (South side )
These past 10 games or so it seems like Noah is really getting back in rhythm. If he continues to play like the Noah we know in love, do we really need to make a trade to get Howard? I think Noah is the second or third best center in the league.
mike wilbon (2:00 PM)
Look, I love Noah. And he is playing better...a lot better. Averaging something like 12 and 12 the last eight games. Second or third best center in the NBA? No. Howard, Bynum, this DeAndre Jordan kid is coming around, Nene...I'm sure I'm forgetting some people. Again, I'm a Noah fan, because he can defend, pass, block shots, play with energy, play off a superstar (which is huge)...orlando would require a lot more than Noah in return for D. Howard; my thing is I wouldn't want to disrupt the team in a season when they can win the championship. that might be shortsighted of me, but that's my view.
Are the Nuggets a serious contender in the West?
mike wilbon (2:02 PM)
Behind OKC and the Clippers...They're right there with anybody else in the West, but not OKC and the Clippers. Talked to George Karl a long time the other night and he LOVES his team. They can do a lot of things. They're deep, share the ball, defend...no closer, though, which is often needed in pro basketball. I love watching the Nuggets, who were supposed to be road kill after the Carmelo deal with the Knicks...only, Denver is something like 33-14 after the deal and the Knicks are something like 23-29...
It seemed as though Collinsworth was not being nearly critical enough of the QB play last night. He appeared to call out Gronkowski on the interception (woefully underthrown), Welker and also Manningham on a sideline route where Eli put it out of bounds by a two feet. He is usually pretty good about calling it straight up, but do you agree he was overly protective of the QBs?
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
Great observation. Look, there are some terrific analysts out there; Troy Aikman comes to mind. I think Colinsworth is an A-plus analyst, but I agree with you on this issue. Actually, I voiced this to the PTI producers last week; too much defending of QBs going on, usually by QBs, but in this case a former receiver. And yes, I think you're right. Brady had some BAD passes. Does he have to forfeit his God status? No, not to me. But it needs to be pointed out he missed. He missed Welker. Period.
Who would you give the NBA MVP to if the season ended right now? I know LeBron is having one of his best, of not the best year of his career, but CP3 has the Clippers from lottery team to #2 team in the West. If it were up to me, got to go with CP3.
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
LeBron. Wade has been out and Miami is a game behind the Bulls in the East. CP# would be right there, D-Rose behind him. The Bulls, again, have the best record in the East. Oh, Durant has to get some votes, right? OKC has the best record in the LEAGUE...I'd say Durant, some would say Westbook...But I'm still going with this right now: LeBron/CP3/Rose/Kobe/Durant
mike wilbon (2:06 PM)
Okay, I gotta run to prepare for PTI...Gotta get our Super Bowl ducks in a row. Thanks for chatting everybody...See you next Monday...Have a great week! MW
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