Chat with Ralph Wiley
Ralph Wiley (1:03 PM)
You are looking live at the NBA All-Star Weekend from Floston Paradise, better known as L.A. My flip side to the coin, Mr. Bill Simmons, is off trying to make Jimmy Kimmel look good, a full time job, but he wanted me to tell his legions who might be cynically tuned in that Isiah still sucks. As long as Marbury doesn't suck, guess we can live with that. OK Pilgrims. Have at it,.
Thomaz Alexandre (Rio De Janeiro, Brasil)
Hey R Dub, long time reader here Come april-may, will Yao be too tired to match up against, say, Shaq in a seven game series like he did in this week's game? Other than that, any news on Darko actually playing?
Ralph Wiley (1:07 PM)
Rio? There's a road trip I can live with. See if you can hook me up an expansion franchise, Thomaz. Did ya catch that Yao-Shaq melee Wednesday night. That was the goods. I don't think any team wants to see Houston in the first round of the playoffs. They are flawed, but they have Chairman Yao. He is incredible. Do NOT sleep on Chairman Yao, people. If not now, later. It's really just a matter of time.
David McCloskey (Paderborn, Germany)
Ralph Wiley (1:08 PM)
Wow. Deep, David. Hi. You need to get out more.
Jon - Houston, Tx
Read the last column on page 2 especially the part RE: Yao v. Shaq. There is another that outskilled the Diesel...The Dream.
Ralph Wiley (1:10 PM)
Good point. Except Dream didn't outskill this older, wiser, stronger, more mature version of the Deisel. That's my only out, and admittedly, it's a weak one. Score one for Jon, everybody. Jon 1, R-Dub 0.
R Dub, miss you in the chats but lovin' the words of the wise. Wanted to know your thoughts on Kobe's ability to shine on his own team. Do you think he has the drive and personality to uplift a franchise like MJ? You can tell that he really wants it.
Ralph Wiley (1:14 PM)
D from Oak-town, Kobe definitely has the stones and the ego and offensive game to try it. That's the challenge he wants. He might be able to score in the upper 30s per game; I believe he thinks he could score 40 a game but I don't know if that can be done. A lot of teams will come after him, including Phoenix & others, but for right now I'd say the smart money's on Memphis, maybe even Portland. Would Celtic fans accept Kobe Bean? Would they pursue him? Remember, he's got to beat his case first. I'd like to see what he could do with the total green light myself.
Mateo, Los Angeles, CA
As much hype as LeBron is bringin' to the league Ralph.. I gotta tell you if Kobe goes to my Clippers, this will be bigger than "us" landing on the moon for Clipper fans. Maybe "THE DON" Sterling can extend his short arms into those deep pockets and get Kobe to take the Clippers to the playoffs. Your thoughts on how many Laker fans will bandwagon to the afternoon games instead? THANK BRO
Ralph Wiley (1:17 PM)
Is this Djimon Hounsou's Mateo, or the one from "Anaconda?" The Clippers are a long shot for Kobe; it seems convenient on the face of it, but by next season, he may want to get away from LA entirely. A lot depends on, er, domestic malfunctions.
What's your take on the wolves? When Troy Hudson, Wally, and Olowakandi come back after the All Star break, do they have the pieces to make a run at the Championship, or do they need to add another piece of the puzzle? Personally, I think they need some help inside with rebounding and wouldn't mind seeing them trade Candiman or Troy to do that, even though I love Troy's game
Ralph Wiley (1:20 PM)
Mike, you must be psychic or something. Yes, if the Candy Man Won't, then the Wolves might fall just short. They need more muscle and length inside, but they've got the best perimeter team, with KG, Spree and ET Sam I Yam. Hudson's perfect as a second rotation 2, and Wally World is best suited on a team with other options that must be doubled, so he can just put his feet together and shoot it, bomb people out of zones if they dare play them. But the Wolves are almost ready to roll all the way; they have the best player in the game in KG. So I have to ask you, Mike. Are you not entertained?
two questions, first are you more interested in the allstar or young star game? second do you think Kobe should play in the allstar game?
Ralph Wiley (1:24 PM)
Good question, Cole. I'm interested in both games, and what's great is, we don't have to wait. By the time this chat ends, the rookie challenge will be 3 hours away. Doc Rivers says the sophs have the size, with Yao and Booze; iff the game turns into a exhibition, be fun watching 'Melo and Bron-Bron play together. The rookies' key is Bosh. He's got to be a man in there. But, once that's over, I want to see if Flip plays Yao, Shaq, Tim B. Dunkin, KG and Kobe at the same time on Sunday. That would be the biggest, most awesome lineup ever assembled, I think.
G. Halleck - Seatown
Sleepers awaken - LeBron is the new Kwisatz Haderach.
Ralph Wiley (1:27 PM)
If you're no fan of Frank Herbert's "Dune," you have no idea what Halleck and I are talking about here -- but I think you may be right, Halleck. T-Mac won't like it, but he can't drink the Water of Life. Of course, during football season, it may turn out that Vick is Maud'Dib. OK, back to freaking American English here..
Kobe in Boston? Could be a hard sell if the team game isn't his objective, 'cuz isn't that the positive part of the Green's legacy? He MAY be better than Pierce, but all that Nutella made him into one grumpy bastard. Can't see him getting along with jackass self-important Boston sports writers neither.
Ralph Wiley (1:28 PM)
What say ye, Beantown Legions and pilgrims? Is Kobe unacceptable? Why do I think I already know the answer?
Matt (Cleveland, OH)
R-Dub, just read the new one, great work. What do you think of the Nets recent streak? Obviously, Kidd feels like he's got something to prove since he's being blamed (and probably rightly so) for Scott's firing. When they ran over the Cavs the other night, though, they probably played the best TEAM defense/offense I've seen all year. Do you take them over Indiana?
Ralph Wiley (1:33 PM)
OHHHH! --Professor just threw up a lob for a jam by Helicopter in Street Ball! Where were we? Matt, K-Mart and Jeff let me down in the Finals. I predicted they'd take the Lakers to 7 and they kinda punked out on me. No question they are still the class of the East, unless the Pacers and Pistons prove otherwise, They bailed on Byron, but I don't have any sympathy for him. Either have a mustache or not -- cut that wispy thing off, or grow a real one in. It signified his wishy-washiness to me. Until nthe Knicks get Rasheed with the mid-level exception next year, the East still belongs to the Brookyln Netpoppers.
pierce vs. kobe, take your pick?
Ralph Wiley (1:33 PM)
Please. It ain't even a question.
luc besson, philly
r-dub, i'm getting sick and tired of sports writers comparing the NBA all-star game to alien planets featured in 1997 sci-fi movies. bill walton made the EXACT same analogy during the lakers game the other night! defend yourself! sike, great reference. you blow my mind. um... nba question... who's packing their bags first? AI or coach Ford?
Ralph Wiley (1:35 PM)
Don't be shocked if Philly eventually trades tough Alley I. They may have gone as far as they feel they can go with him.
Do you think Shaq will pass Yao the ball even once? I know the game is an exhibition but he can't be happy if Yao not only out-polls him but out-plays him too.
Ralph Wiley (1:36 PM)
Oh, I don't think Shaq is happy about it. But I don't think Shaq's a punk about it.
Mike (Ithaca, NY)
R-Dub, Hav eyou been to the Garden since the return of the Prodigal Son? Where do you see the Knicks ending up? And, what moves would you like to see them make before the trading deadline?
Ralph Wiley (1:40 PM)
Saw Stef & Penny (don't sleep on Penny as a big part of the trade) clean out the Sonics' sinuses ten games back. It was great to hear the Garden rocking again, feel Spike elbowing me in my ribs again, and cackling. Isiah wants an earth-mover for down low. That'd be about all they'd do at this point. I see them getting the six seed in East, maybe taking one playoff series. With Stef & Pen, they're gonna be a tough out. Kurt just costhem two games with the dumbass head-butting incident.
What do you think the chances of Jerry West making a deal before the deadline. They could use a true center, possibly use JWilliams for trade bait?
Ralph Wiley (1:41 PM)
J-Will is going nowhere, kid.
hello. r dub is it? umm... i don't understand a word you are saying. is there a "translation" feature on my internet explorer that you know of? thanks!
Ralph Wiley (1:44 PM)
No. Go back to your Dr. Seuss Game Boy.
Ralph, i was reading the transcript from D.A.'s chat and in it he mentions that Eric Snow is on the block and possibly could be traded to Indiana. Who would Indiana give up for him? i can't see Indy making this trade b/c of anything, they could use another big man at center, not another pg.
Ralph Wiley (1:48 PM)
Actually, Patrick, that's smart on Bird's part. That would be a trade that would help Indy. I just don't think they can win it all with TInsley. Remember, a #15 seed, Hampton, beat his college team, #2 seed Iowa State in the NCAAs a few years ago.
Haden (Boulder, CO)
Why do I get the feeling Mike is lying about being from NYC?
Ralph Wiley (1:49 PM)
Because you're perceptive, Haden.
Bryan (Chiapas, Mexico)
Hey Ralph, I feel as though Manu Ginobili is a better player than Hedo and that he should start. He was producing when starting. Why did Pop all of a sudden put Manu on the bench?
Ralph Wiley (1:50 PM)
In the words of Master Sensei Wooden; it's not who starts, it's who finishes the games. And Manu is one of the best finishers out there. He's always on the floor at the end.
r-dub, show some love out here in the desert. you gotta like what the suns are doing. j johnson, amare, barbosa, and maybe lampe. whats your take?
Ralph Wiley (1:50 PM)
Lose Lampe, or be waiting awhile.
Sam (Carson City)
Ralph, have you been reading the Hollywood Jock articles on Page two. That guy is hilarious. Think you could get a cameo in his movie?
Ralph Wiley (1:51 PM)
I like Rob Ryder's stuff too, Sam. But I have my own pipe dreams in that area.
You Gotta Answer the Question.. PIERCE or KOBE?
Ralph Wiley (1:51 PM)
How about Pierce for Kobe? The only people in Boston who wouldn't like that are the ones who don't enjoy winning. By the way, Pierce is a cali guy.
Ralph Wiley (1:52 PM)
Hmmmm. . .good one. . .
What's up with sportwriters pretending to be experts at EVERY sport? Judging from your arrogant writing style I would guess you're a football scout(college and pro), a basketball scout(college and pro), and a boxing trainer. I know you don't watch all these sports. At least not enough to have strong opinions on every team.
Ralph Wiley (1:55 PM)
(Sigh) How old are you, SoCal? I crap bigger than you. Go back in the archive two columns ago, to the Gaining on a Legacy column. I've got 30 years in. That should explain it to you. Only not really. Listen, there's another chat you can join in on, where you'll feel less intimidated.
Tom, Dayton OH
Ralph - I've gotta confess: I'm not a great fan of how you write. But I enjoy reading your thoughts, even when I don't agree with them. Your article on the importance of total ownership was right on the money. I'm sure you're way beyond needing a middle-aged white man's encouragement, but keep on tellin' it like you see it.
Ralph Wiley (1:56 PM)
Tom, you just made my day. Thanks.
Hey Mr. Wiley, Two questions: Will your "Huck Finn" screenplay ever get made? And what do you think the T-Wolves chances are to advance past the first round of the playoffs?
Ralph Wiley (2:00 PM)
Timberlake's handlers passed on title role. Woulda been like Ah-nold in "Terminator" in that JT wouldn't have had to act, But nooooo. Instead now he's going to play a "scandal-busting reporter" opp. Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey. Yeah right, I can see that. I'm not bitter. Not much. Script's still there, with its magnificent self. Maybe in 20 years or so. . .
do u really think kobe is better than pierce, than u r not watchin the same league i am kobe repeatedly gets burned on Defense, and is not the scorer pierce is as far as driving to the basket and gettin foul shots....and Pierce is the only guy on his team, dont think for a second that a kobe pierce choice is hands down kobe, i disagree....did u see my man vs the pacers where he buried a 3 like he said he was...wow
Ralph Wiley (2:01 PM)
Paul, I asked you not to post here.
Also, Is Bill Simmons your long lost twin brother?
Ralph Wiley (2:02 PM)
Much younger brother. In a weird way.
Dave in Providence
Hey again - can we start placing bets on the next terible move Ainge makes? My bet is Paul Pierce for Austin Croshere, straight-up. Your take?
Ralph Wiley (2:03 PM)
Bird would make that trade in a heartbeat.
Vinny B fron B-Town
RW, Please ask Bill Simmons, since I am on his fantasy basketball team, if he'll start paying me to play. Thanks
Ralph Wiley (2:03 PM)
Kirilinko or Melo?
Ralph Wiley (2:05 PM)
Hm. I like both. Kirilenko could be the second coming of DeBusschere. But, at the end of the day, I'd have to say 'Melo.
Brandon (Salt Lick)
Ralph, who would you rather have? Melo or AK-47?
Ralph Wiley (2:06 PM)
If you're around, I'll take the Russian rifle.
Greg, Ulsan, Korea
I'm teaching English over here and keep up on sports thanks to ESPN.com. I have also started reading the Dune books thanks to your references. What other books would you recommend?
Ralph Wiley (2:08 PM)
Too many to list. I'll keep dropping book references into the Page 2 columns from time 2 time. Good enough?
What does KG-MVP need to do to take the next step to become a "transcendent Superstar" in the league?
Ralph Wiley (2:08 PM)
I'lll speak slowly. WIN. . .IT. . .ALL.
MC Welk (SLC)
Hey Dawg, it's Friday the 13th. I hope you're down in the bunker with Cheney (Dick, not Don). Anyway, I would pay to see Artest and Kirilenko go 1-on-1 ? sort of like Apollo Creed (in his prime) vs. Ivan Drago. Your thoughts on the outcome?
Ralph Wiley (2:12 PM)
I just knew they could both play for me. But Artest only after a deep heart-to-heart.
What do you think was your best SI cover story?
Ralph Wiley (2:16 PM)
Hm. I;'d say either Tragedy In The Ring, Ray Mancini-Doo Ku Kim in August '82, or Superback! Randall Cunningham in 1990, or Rocket Man! Raghib Ismail in 1989, or Mr. Long Ball! Daryl, Doc and the Mets in 1988, or Which Way Bo? Bo Jackson or Raiders in 1989 or Black Athlete Revisited, Penny Hardaway & Prop 48, in 1991. Damn. Surprised I remembered that many so well. Thanks for asking. I guess my long-term memory is not as shot to hell as my short-term is.
La'ron (New Orleans)
Better shooter, Ray-Ray or Peja?
Ralph Wiley (2:16 PM)
Pega is radar. But he's not Larry Bird.
C'Mon, Wiley show a sista some luv!! Will LA be a shell of itself next season? Shaq may wanna chill on signing an extension!
Ralph Wiley (2:22 PM)
Cheryl, you are loved, but Shaq's already signed up. Phil and Kobe are in their walk years. If I had to have one of the three for the next 3 years, it would be Shaquille O'Neal. How bout trading Kobe fo A.I.. pilgirms? Do you like apples, Cheryl. Well then how do you like them apples?
Any chance of Yao ever leaving htown after his rookie contract? specifically any chance of him being a warrior?
Ralph Wiley (2:25 PM)
Luke, this is one of my pet peeves. The Warriors should have tried EVERYTHING to get Chairman Yao in draft two years ago. They had the 3rd pick. Could've made a pick-players combo offer the Rockets could not have refused. Yao would 've been a perfect fit in the Bay. Don't get me started, man. Please don't.
Kevin (Harrisburg, PA)
Am I the only one that sees Melo as a bigger version of Allan Houston (read: one-dimensional)?
Ralph Wiley (2:26 PM)
Shout out to Harrisburg! But Kev, 'Melo's got WAY more game than Allan. Allan's one of the premier shooters in the league but that's all he is -- a jump-shooter.
Mark (Idaho Falls)
RW, Love your style! You're a breath of fresh air in a very stagnant NBA chat room. OK, here's my question -- what's Isaiah's next move?
Ralph Wiley (2:27 PM)
Big earth-mover for the low post. And I got that from the horse's mouth.
Ethan Talmadge, Sao Paulo, Brazil
R-Dub, I love your style. You have a cult following--good for a movie of some sort. If head coaches took more advice from their asst. coaches (who often become successful), would they not lose their jobs?
Ralph Wiley (2:28 PM)
Actually, Ethan, I think they'd probably lose their jobs quicker!
Who is the Best Player turned GM? West? BirdMan? Zeke?
Ralph Wiley (2:29 PM)
All three are good, No question at this point, West has ALL the skins on the wall.
Who is the best coach in the league?
Ralph Wiley (2:31 PM)
I always liked Larry Brown, but time marches on. Phil's good, as you know. Lenny's good, as you know. Among the young guys, you'd have to say L-Frank's still undefeated, isn't he? I also like Doc Rivers, who has no job right now.
Do I have to kiss your ass like Mark to get my question posted?
Ralph Wiley (2:33 PM)
Definitely not! But, if you could convince your sister, that might help. . .
Brian (Dallas, TX)
Do the Mavs have a shot at the title this year?
Ralph Wiley (2:33 PM)
What about me?
Ralph Wiley (2:34 PM)
What about you? Just kidding, Jerry. Wait, no, I said I was sorry. Oof! Ow! Ouch!
if u cud assemble ur own team, who wud they be?
Ralph Wiley (2:36 PM)
My Six -- Yao @ 5, Shaq @ 4, Ducan @ 3, KG @ 2, Alley I. @ 1, Kobe off the bench, 6th man, Hondo-style. Ball game.
If you were assembling a spelling bee team, I'm guessing you wouldn't pick tangina!
Ralph Wiley (2:37 PM)
Get off Tangina, Brian. I managed to translate it.
Favorite Hemmingway read?
Ralph Wiley (2:38 PM)
A short story called "Fifty Grand." Although "The Son Also Rises" plays too.
jonathan (oberlin, oh)
seen any good movies lately?
Ralph Wiley (2:40 PM)
"House Of Sand & Fog," "21 Grams," "Lord of the Rings" was a visual fiesta. I'd like to see "Dune" done that way.
Why AI over kobe to start?
Ralph Wiley (2:40 PM)
Andrew Robinson Ontario Canada
Hey how come no one but me see's "Sheed dealt for reef" as a great headline. Or "New reefer in Atlanta." "There's a new Shareef in town." Man that's gold material
Ralph Wiley (2:43 PM)
Wouldn't happened to have just seen -- or been -- "Half-Baked," would you Andrew? OK, fifteen minutes left, pilgrims, you've been good -- let's close it out strong.
Dune would have been CLASSIC as a trilogy or even done in six parts! You can't translate a few thousand pages into 3-4 hours... Would you agree?
Ralph Wiley (2:44 PM)
Yep. If only Peter Jackson had read Dune first. It takes great passion for the material to accomplish what he did with "Rings."
If LeBron is Maud'Dib, does that make Melo Feyd Harkonnen?
Ralph Wiley (2:45 PM)
Actually, Brian, it pretty much does.
damn it i'm going across the board till i get a question you like. toss-up: elmore leonard books better in print or on the screen?
Ralph Wiley (2:47 PM)
No brainer. In print, for the most part.
what the hell are you people talking about?
Ralph Wiley (2:48 PM)
"Dune," mostly. It's a book, Steve. OK, looks like the Kings and the Wolves and the Lakers and the Spurs out West, and the Pacers and the Nets and the Pistons and the Hornets (maybe the Knicks can sneak in there) in the East. Those are your conference playoff final fours. Capice?
Glenn (GR, MI)
RW, care to disclose who "shake n bake" is and how he came about to hear LB call Darko "puke garbage"? C'mon you made that up.
Ralph Wiley (2:49 PM)
Call up Rick Reilly at SI and ask him if I made that up.
First Time Long Time, Is Payton asking himself "what the heck have i gotten myself into"
Ralph Wiley (2:50 PM)
You can see it all over his face, can't you?
Jon (Boston, MA)
1. I love the Chuckster too, as a player/author/talking head, but if he has a "natural sense of timing", then why is he constantly interrupting the Emmy-winning Ernie Johnson every damn night?!?! 2. I'm not sleeping on Houston, but if I was coaching a Western Conference team with a center or power forward who could bang on Yao at both ends of the court, and some guards who could keep Franchise and Cuttino from getting too many open looks, I would much rather face the Rockets in the first round than most of the other 7 playoff teams in the West. 3. KG is spectacular, but aren't you starting to feel that he is just destined to end up a mega-rich superstar without a ring (like the Chuckster, Stockton, etc.) due to a variety of factors?
Ralph Wiley (2:52 PM)
Jon -- Charles has a natural sense of timing when it's between two people. He was great on Leno. Houston is the sleeper in the bottom half of the seedings in the West. You'd much rather face Memphis or Denver than Houston, I'd think. KG has a real shot this year. Only he can overcome the Wolves' obvious lack of inside muscle.
Frank (Merrimack, NH)
What in the HELL is Danny Ainge doing to the Celtics? Is there any method to his madness?
Ralph Wiley (2:53 PM)
Only Danny knows. Five minutes, pilgrims.
How do the Celtics get Kobe? Where do we sign up for that? What can i do, as a fan to help get him here? Danny let's get moving on this thing right now. Usher in a new age of Celtics vs. Lakers. This needs to happen, Dub!
Ralph Wiley (2:54 PM)
I suggest a petition led by Simmons.
Mateo, Los Angeles, CA
Before my ol' Vieja (that's Spanish for your lady people) makes me get back to watchin' these borin-ass Spanish soap operas...Ralph let me ask you...Can Buck's GM Larry Harris move that 60 million Cream Puff they call TIM THOMAS before the deadline?
Ralph Wiley (2:55 PM)
Hard to get rid of guys like TT, Big Dog, Laettner, Webber -- would-be Superstars who didn't turn out and have it on cruise control. They are the NBA coach killers.
Vin (Hartford, CT)
Hey Ralph, you wanna go grab a beer after the chat?
Ralph Wiley (2:56 PM)
I'll be having a Becks mysel, Vinnie. But maybe you should hold off.
Peter (Ljungby, Sweden)
you're wayy rough on webber. maybe he'll give you a call from the parade in june.
Ralph Wiley (2:57 PM)
Then prove it to me, b****
does telfair go pro next year?
Ralph Wiley (2:58 PM)
Now if he wants to live. OK, last one. . .
Ralph Wiley (2:58 PM)
Actually, I mean to say NOT if he wants to live.The boy is barely 150 pounds. And he isn't an ex-footballer, like Alley I.
R-DUB WHERE AM i GOING
Ralph Wiley (3:00 PM)
Straight to the hole, A.L. And that's a wrap, pilgrims. See you next time. Oh, and by the way, this was the best chat ever. The pilgrims are my peeps, for real.