Chat with Michael Wallace
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, NBA writer and blogger Michael Wallace stops by to chat about the latest news from around the league.
Send your questions now and join the chat Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Michael Wallace (2:05 PM)
Thanks for joining me for another chat. Let's get right to your questions.
OU Mike (Houston)
What are the odds Pat riley can convince Steph Curry to come to miami in 2014
Michael Wallace (2:06 PM)
Steph Curry recently signed a contract extension for the long-term in Golden State. So, I'd say that ain't happening.
wade garrett (portland)
Hey Michael. I was just wondering what your take is on the mess in the Seattle/Sacramento situation. I'm happy for Sacramento, but when does the NBA stop doing this to Seattle?
Michael Wallace (2:08 PM)
It's unfortunate for Seattle. That city deserves an NBA team. But it would have sent an awful message if the City of Sacramento did everything they could to keep the team, put a solid bid together and set in motion plans for a new arena and then lost their team. It's a shame how things went down in Seattle a few years ago in the move to Oklahoma City. But in this case, two wrongs can't make a right. Or at least it shouldn't.
I honestly think the Westbrook injury is slightly worse for the heat. I think the heat would rather see OKC than the other top west teams in the finals. Your thoughts?
Michael Wallace (2:12 PM)
I don't think OKC even believes that is the case.
What did you think of Chris Broussard's comments on OTL? He got a lot of flak for his opinion, but I found it odd that he had people calling for his firing. He was asked for his opinion and gave it in a way that wasn't belligerent. I found it concerning that so many people called for his job to be taken from him for sharing his opinion, and on a landmark day it was very odd to see those "advocating" for freedom and tolerance trying to condemn another man for his own (opposite) opinion.My point is that it's one thing to disagree with an opinion - America was founded on freedoms such as those - it's quite another to try and change the fabric of society to try and eradicate lines of thinking. Broussard has every right to think the way he does and keep his job, just as gay rights activists have every right to think the way they do and keep their jobs. I'd only have a problem if prejudices impacted hiring and workplace discrimination practices, but Broussard doesn't seem to be like that whatsoever. Thoughts?
Michael Wallace (2:14 PM)
I respect and like Chris and consider him a professional mentor. But the key thing about your post is that he was asked his opinion and he stated it. That show is a format for people with varying opinions to express themselves. His beliefs may not be shared by you or I, but they are his beliefs. We all have our own. If we can sit down and respectfully share them without growing violent or completely intolerant, then we've made progress and succeeded at dialog. At the end of the day, that's the first step toward bridging any gaps.
Jeff (West Palm Beach)
Did Jason Collins change the view on Gay Players in professional sports? Will more players come out after this or will they be even more afraid of their peers having a different view of their lifestyles?
Michael Wallace (2:16 PM)
Jason Collins turned the volume up on a discussion that was already being had on a major level for seveeral months now. Players shouldn't fear living their lives, or their lifestyles as long as they're not hurting anyone or breaking any laws. Let's just keep it that simple, if we can.
Do you think all the player injuries are just a result of aggressive play or do you think that some teams/players may be taking a que from the NFLs Saints and purposefully trying to hurt other teams thinking well, if you can't beat em... beat em...
Michael Wallace (2:19 PM)
A hard foul is a hard foul. Do I think what Pat Beverley did to Westbrook was a dirty play? No. But is a play that he absolutely had to make? Also no. Bottom line is this was a freak injury that resulted from a routine play that's made once or twice a game when a guy makes it clear that he's advancing the ball in order to call a timeout after he crosses midcourt. The Kobe Bryant situation is completely different. He had been playing on bad ankles and feet for some time and eventually something had to give for as much as he was compensating for the injuries.
If LAC dont advance past the grizzlies, and the Clippers decide to keep Del Negro, does Chris Paul resign? I dont see Del Negro as a particularly good coach. they need someone to take them to the next level, which isn't him. Yes the Clippers have youth and depth, but you can't win a championship without a quality coach.
Michael Wallace (2:20 PM)
If the Clippers are bounced in the first round, I wouldn't rule anything out. There would have to be some major changes, either with that coaching staff or with the rotation. Let's put it this way, I wouldn't envy basketball diehard fans in L.A. with these impending decisions from Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.
Hey Michael, great chats! Do you think there's a remote possibility that Phil Jackson (best coach ever) will come across the border to be Raptors's President of Basketball Operations? It seems like a stretch...
Michael Wallace (2:22 PM)
I've heard Phil has some front-office/ownership connections with the Raptors already. So that gives this a bit of a chance. I also think there are a couple of other more realistic scenarios that could open up for Phil that we just don't see yet. Stay tuned.
A lot of people like to hate on the East as being a "weak" conference compared to the West. All things being equal in terms of health, I actually believe the East has more true contenders than the West does. Heat, Knicks, Chicago, and the Celtics (absolutely decimated by injuries this year) are all teams i consider championship caliber or with a champion's heart. The bubble teams include Brooklyn and Indiana. In the west, the true contenders are the Thunder, Spurs.... and that's really it. Denver, Memphis, and the Clippers all are very good teams who seem to be missing something. I don't think anyone truly believes these teams to be contenders - you may find some who think the Clippers are by virtue of Chris Paul, but that's about it. I'd put that list at Thunder and Spurs.The west has more overall competition, top to bottom, but I don't think its realistic contenders are as complete or as many as the East's contenders when healthy. Your thoughts?
Michael Wallace (2:24 PM)
You stated your case pretty well. But I think the West is by far the superior conference. In the East, there's the Heat. But if you had to draft the next three or four best teams, I'd go out west and take Oklahoma City, San Antonio and maybe even Memphis before I got to the Knicks, Bulls and Pacers.
Ashton (San Antonio)
True or False? Lakers would have lost to spurs even if all players were healthy for Lakers I mean out coached is out coached?
Michael Wallace (2:46 PM)
True. But I may have been the only person in the world who had it going seven games.
No Rose, Rondo, Kobe, Westbrook, Gallinari, Granger, David Lee etc., etc. With all of these decimated teams in the NBA, its becoming a bit unfair as to how the Heat will be able to coast throughout the playoffs. Thoughts?
Michael Wallace (2:47 PM)
How is that unfair? The playoffs have always been about the team that's the healthiest and playing the best basketball at the end. And it's not like the Heat haven't dealt with their share of injuries during playoff runs the past two seasons. All teams have to deal with those potential setbacks.
Paul (Portland, OR)
Hi Michael. When you put 2 and maybe 3 West teams ahead of the Knicks, Bulls and Pacers, are you considering the current Bulls, or even the Bulls with Rose?
Michael Wallace (2:50 PM)
I barely remember what the Bulls were like with Rose. I say that in jest, but I do hope he comes back and can be the player he was during that MVP run a couple of years ago. The more I see Chicago play without him and grind their way through all sorts of adversity, the more I believe Tom Thibodeau has been doing the best coaching job of anyone over the past two or three years.
If you're Dwight Howard, which team do you sign with Lakers, Houston, Atalanta or Spurs?
Michael Wallace (2:51 PM)
I can't turn down L.A. and $25 additional million. But if I could, I'd go to Houston among those teams. The Rockets have the brightest upside.
Are you surprised that Pacers/Hawks is turning out to be a series after all? Indy probably still advances, but they're getting more of a fight than it looks like they would have, initially.
Michael Wallace (2:56 PM)
Nope. Those are two of the most inconsistent teams in the league. Both have the talent to beat any of the top contenders, but also are bad enough on some nights to make you wonder why they even bothered to take up a playoff spot. I had that one going six or seven games as well.
Michael Wallace (3:00 PM)
Thanks for joining me for the chat this week. I apologize for some technical difficulties with my wireless connection in the arena. But I got to as many of your takes as I could. Thanks again, and we'll be right back at it next week for round two of the playoffs. Until then, take care and peace. MW