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 1:30 p.m. ET!
mike wilbon (1:41 PM)
Hi Everybody...hard to get better than the last week of October, the only handful of days when you have all four professional sports in the U.S. of A. World Series, NFL, NBA, NHL...So we'll try to touch 'em all...or most of it, and that doesn't even count college football which had a pretty big weekend as well...
hi Michael, NBA time!! need 3 predictions; 1. NBA finals participants, 2. Biggest turnaround team 3. MVP thanks
mike wilbon (1:53 PM)
Okay, I KNOW I shouldn't start with the NBA on an NFL weekend BUT it is the first question in the que, so I'll jump on it briefly...I'll give you a prolonged single prediction. My final four: Clippers v. OKC in the Western Conference, Heat v. Bulls in the Eastern Conference...I waver every day on OKC or the Spurs...MVP: I'm leaning toward Kevin Durant...Biggest turnaround team: I'm trying to decide between the Cavaliers, Wizards, Pelicans...I hear everybody saying Cavaliers, I really do...And Kyrie is fabulous AND I like that Jarrett Jack is on that team...but I'm predicting the Wizards make the playoffs. I seem to be about the only person who thinks John Wall is going to have a great season...There's still a lot of skepticism about Wall so I'm going out on a limb there a little bit.
Deven (New York, NY)
Why won't you be on NBA Countdown anymore? I love you on that show!
mike wilbon (2:01 PM)
First, thanks. Second, my primary responsibility for ESPN is Pardon the Interruption. And I was spending more than 50 percent of my days AWAY from the PTI set, which absolutely none of the big bosses thought was a good idea so you can't both be on the Countdown set in Los Angeles AND in the PTI studios in Washington, D.C. And while I'm not a doddering old man (yet) I can't fly back-and-forth between the two on a daily basis...Soooo, I'm still covering the NBA, but going on assignments to cities (Chicago, NYC, Brooklyn, Philly, Boston, Indy, D.C., ATL, Miami for example) where I can get back to the D.C. studio without being away from it for a week. For starters: I'll be in Miami and Chicago this week covering basketball, but still in the PTI studio today and Friday...So, while I LOVE L.A. and LOVED my time on the Countdown set and all the opportunities that provided AND will greatly miss the guys, nobody can make the case it was a good thing for me to be away as much as I was from TK and my PTI family, without whom, I wouldn't even have a TV career!!! So, TMI, I know, but you dared to ask and that's the answer! AND, I can't wait to see Sage, Doug, Jalen and Bill on Countdown...AND, hey, there's satellite in the world; I might pop up every now and then, so you'll have to pay attention and see what's up...
Coop (Huntsville, AL)
LOVE PTI Wilbon and Korn are awesome.Alabama 11-0 @ Auburn 10-1 - you on the Gus Bus or you think our Cinderalla season ends with Satan (sorry Saban)?
mike wilbon (2:06 PM)
yeah, Auburn's next three games (@Arkansas, @Tennessee and home for Georgia) are all very winnable...So, they could be 10-1 going against Alabama which is at Jordan-Hare...Hmmm...I hadn't looked that far ahead until you mentioned it...Maybe...You know the big money will be on Alabama...Thanksgiving Saturday...Talk about a Turkey leftover special...That presumes Alabama beats LSU in Tuscaloosa in two weeks...Sets up a lot of intrigue...I have to say, I need some new reason to go against Alabama right now, to think anybody in the country will beat them this season...That's just me...
Ed (Queens Village)
I'm going with Heat-Rockets Finals and Heat winning. Have you ever seen endings to WS like the last two nights? Who wins the World Series? Most bizarre finish that you covered?
mike wilbon (2:19 PM)
Okay, let's flip the order and take the baseball first...OMG, these games are compelling...riveting. It's kind of Bad News Bears-like on some level, the way the games are being decided...overthrow of third base, obstruction, picked off first base...It's like watching the Cubs, though not the Cardinals...The games are just fabulous, tense...The tension is almost unbearable most of the time. I can't wait for tonight's Game 5, Lester v Wainright...It's a 2-TV kind of night for me, actually...rare the NFL gets relegated to the smaller of the two in the man cave, but again, the baseball is irresistible...Now, Heat-Rockets...Wow, hadn't considered the Rockets. I think the Clippers are a much more complete team at this point than the Rockets, deeper bench, been at it longer with mostly the same group...But I do think the Rockets will be a factor and a ton of fun to watch...
Deven (New York, NY)
Do you think the Finals loss will haunt San Antonio for the first few weeks of the regular season, or are they the same old Spurs?
mike wilbon (2:22 PM)
I am expecting the same old Spurs...to a point...meaning, for a long time...into the playoffs. I just don't know that they can play through it all again. And the Western Conference is better, stronger, deeper...Plus, teams like the Warriors and Rockets are better. The Mavericks will be better. I think the Spurs, given their personalities, character, professionalism and their head coach, will be true to who and what they are...but I do believe that sometimes the spirit takes a hit from which the body cannot recover in sports...even at the highest level with world-class athletes, and I believe at some point it's going to be really difficult to overcome...
Deven (New York, NY)
Other than Wade, who is the key player for Miami to go for the three-peat this year?
mike wilbon (2:27 PM)
Bosh and Birdman...I listened to LeBron and Wade two weeks ago talk about size and the need for size to be effective...so even though Wade's health (Knees) is hugely important. They're hoping, if not expecting, that Oden might be able to contribute down the road. What a bonus that would be if Miami can put a 7-foot guy with skills (even if rusty) in that lineup for 15-18 minutes a game...
A pinch runner that does exactly what he should not do????? If you are not aware of the situation how can you expect to keep playing?The games have been exiting, but they have not been played well.
mike wilbon (2:30 PM)
I didn't even understand why the Red Sox, with left-handed Carlos Beltran at the plate, were holding the pinch-runner on first! Why!?!?!?! Well, maybe the Red Sox knew he was loosey-goosey with his leads off first base...What an awful play. I think its the worst base-running error I've ever seen in the World Series and I've been watching for more than 40 years. My God, what a blunder. You can't make a dumber error...you can't. At least Beltran isn't a great post-season hitter...Oh, wait...he's GREAT and he's got the bat in his hand and he's a home with a chance to tie the game...Wow...
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi, Giants beat the Eagles, Cowboys & Redskins lose leaving the Cowboys at 4-4
mike wilbon (2:33 PM)
I know...the Giants, at 2-6, are just two games behind the 4-4 Cowboys...I know...I know...I got Giants fans, too many of them, who are my friends who woke up this morning giddy over the possibilities. I kinda admit, since I have no horse in this rare, to rooting for the Giants...If they can go 8-8...And look, going 0-6 means you're a bad team. It does...But, there's this golden chance in front of them to make up some ground and nobody in their division is any good...Wow.
Matt T (Boston, Ma)
If the Clippers falter this year with their new team, who will the blame be put on more: Doc, Chris Paul, or someone else?
mike wilbon (2:35 PM)
What, there's not enough blame you can spread around? You've got them failing already? I don't.
Deven (New York, NY)
Michael. Enough football talk. NBA season starts tomorrow and I want to know what your most looking forward to, other than the fact that Derrick Rose will be in the lineup?
mike wilbon (2:39 PM)
Okay, Rose...Miami's chance of three-peating...the Clippers with Doc Rivers as coach, whether Kobe can come back and be Kobe...whether the Warriors were a nice little story or ARE a potential powerhouse...Dwight's abilty to fit in with Houston...whether OKC still has a team with enough talent to be an elite team...I could go on-and-on, but I'll stop there...
I know you will probably accuse me of being young and going with the current flavor and I know Jerry Rice is without question the best receiver of all time. Having said that, is it physically possible to be better than Calvin Johnson is right now?
mike wilbon (2:42 PM)
Unlikely...I'm not going to jump on you. Calvin Johnson is a beast. I don't have him being as good as Jerry Rice, but Johnson is awfully, awfully good...
Don't understand how I keep hearing media (including chicago media, J hood) speak as though they have seen Drose try multiple times and fail against the Heat. It was ONE try and the games were quite close. Rose is now 2 years closer to his prime and has a much better team around him. Any calling for a Deng trade is out of there mind. Give this team a chance at it, it is Bulls or Miami and everyone else.
mike wilbon (2:52 PM)
I have it on as strong an authority as you can get that the Bulls will not be trading Deng this season...I can't convey that strongly enough. Will not. The Bulls whole deal is staying healthy, and the club has gone to extreme lengtghs (as management should) to try and do everything humanly possible to improve preventative health...The club has changed everything and I mean everything to help keep the players heaalthy. Anyway, Rose seemed like an almost different player to me yesterday when I spent time with him for the ESPN Conversation that aired (first part) on the network last night and is on-line for you to see now (part 2, I'm told, is running tonight and another part Friday night on NBA Countdown...at least that's the plan though of course these things can change)...Rose has changed his personal fitness, his diet, all his habits, the way he sees the game...I'm interested to see what he's going to be now...Thrilled to be courtside tomorrow night in Miami and Thursday night (vs Knicks) in Chicago...
Denver cruises, but why did the 'Skins stop running the ball? RGIII in the pocket is a sitting duck! They're gonna get him killed.
mike wilbon (2:54 PM)
I'm turning to resident Redskin expert Tony Kornheiser and asking him what you're asking me...I don't get the reason they didn't have Alfred Morris and Roy Helu AND RG3 run the ball more because it seemed to be working...Too much straight dropback for RG3 and he was trying to throw off his back foot, like a fadeaway jumper, and it was awful...I don't get the reason the Redskins don't committ more fully to the run...
mike wilbon (2:56 PM)
This note just in: over the last 3-plus seasons, the Cowboys have lost 11 times by 3 points or fewer. Only Miami, with 13, has more such losses. What does this mean about the Cowboys, other than what we already know, which is they're ALWAYS a flawed team, it seems. And that loss yesterday to Detroit must be heartbbreaking for Cowboys fans...
mike wilbon (2:57 PM)
Okay, gotta run and prepare for PTI...Talk to you guys next week, Monday, when we'll be nearly a week into the NBA season with big NFL games on deck. See you then...thanks for chatting. Have a great week...