Chat with Michael Wilbon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, 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 Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:53 PM)
Hey all, Mike is traveling today and ran into a small delay. He'll be here at 2 p.m. ET to chat!
mike wilbon (2:14 PM)
Hi Everybody! Getting from Miami to Indianapolis on an off-day, even in 2014, is harder than it was in 1975, so I'm in a pit stop in Chicago to chat with you guys and do PTI before re-joining the gang for Game 5 tomorrow in Indy...here we go...
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
If the Thunder don't get past the Spurs, will this be the last series that Coach Brooks has with the team and if he is back next year how much of a "leash" does the org. give him?
mike wilbon (2:17 PM)
Scott Brooks is taking some pretty good criticism this post-season, for a guy whose team is still in the playoffs, in the conference finals, no less! I think its pretty hard to say to a guy: you have to beat the team with the best record in the league, the team with 4 championships in recent history, a team with probably the best coach in basketball, a team with three Hall of Famers...or you have to get out! I don't see Scott Brooks being fired. Hell, I can see OKC winning this series with the Spurs...IF Serge Ibaka is as healthy tonight as he was in Game 3...OKCs athleticism always gives the Spurs fits, and did in Game 3 w Ibaka back on the floor...So, you mean if OKC gets to the NBA Finals Brooks might still lose his job? No, I can't see that, don't see that...
Kevin Duong (GTA)
Pacers predictions? Vogel fired/retained? Lance let go/re-signed? Trades involving the starting five? How would you fix the situation?
mike wilbon (2:24 PM)
I was just asking some club executives this week about Lance Stephenson and what the Pacers should do with him this off-season since he's a free agent...And most people I talk to say the Pacers need something of a face-lift. The Stephenson issue is complex. He leads the NBA this season in triple-doubles BUT is an emotional liability...at times infuriates his teammates, isn't always dependable...You want to committ $60 million or $70 million or more to a guy who is as much problem as solution? Thing is, I like what Frank Vogel did, but don't like a lot of what Larry Bird has done in terms of personnel. Evan Turner doesn't play a lick (and probably shouldn't), the big boy from the Lakers/Philly never added anything and simply was a liability just being around the team...George Hill is a 6th or 7th man, a spot up shooter, and NOT a starting point guard on a championship team...Vogel has done a better job every year with a roster that's gotten worse and THAT's on Larry Joe Bird...
If you were Billy Donovan, would you take the Cavs job if offered? If I were him I'd take it. Only because at Florida, even with all his success, basketball will always play second fiddle to football.
mike wilbon (2:26 PM)
I think Billy Donovan, if he wants to be in the NBA, COULD take the Cavs job, which I think will function better now that David Griffin is the GM BUT there are clubs further along than the Cavaliers...But I'd want some assurances that Kyrie Irving will stick around and I don't know if that is forthcoming.
Mr. wilbon, who would you like to face the Heat in the finals ? (assuming the pacers are done)
mike wilbon (2:29 PM)
What I'm about to say has nothing to do with OKC...I'd like to see a rematch of last year, Spurs and Heat. I found last year's 7-game series irresistible...I still can't get over Games 6 and 7...I HATE rematch series as a rule...Boxing is the only sport where I like rematches...But this is the exception. I'm not saying OKC-Miami wouldn't be great; it probably would be...But I want the teams that have won 6 championships to play for a 7th...That's just me...I want one more dose of Duncan/Parker/Ginobili and Pop...There's time for OKC. I know there are people who think their window will close if they don't get back to the Finals this week...I don't believe that...I think OKC will stay together...But for me, and i think you ask a really good question, Spurs-Heat one more time is what I want to see. Let's run it back, as we used to say on the playground!
Davis (Boston )
Gregg Popovich has said when Tim Duncan retires, he will retire. Do you have that agreement with TK?
mike wilbon (2:31 PM)
Ha! Helll no. I'm 10 years younger than TK and I have a 6-year-old son, whose education alone will keep me working for quite awhile!!! LOL. TK could stop now and he's good. His 2 awesome children are grown and long out of the house...I ain't there, Davis...You'll see my mug for awhile...if somebody will continue to have me...
Sammy G (Punxsutawney, PA)
Do you think the Miami Heat will 3-Peat this year with all of the Spurs talent?
mike wilbon (2:34 PM)
I would very narrowly favor San Antonio in a series with Miami...very narrowly...but I'm not sure the Spurs can beat OKC with Ibaka in the lineup...
Can you rate how disgusting and appalling the Ray Rice situation is? He should be suspended for the entire year in my opinion.
mike wilbon (2:38 PM)
There's too much we don't KNOW for me to come to that conclusion. We haven't seen the entire tape to know what happened on that elevator...I don't mean PRESUME, I mean KNOW...we haven't SEEN it...It's so complex...These two people have gotten married since...have a child, right? NFL executives are experts on football, not marriage or domestic relationships. I want to hear from people who are experts in those areas because this is very confusing to me...appaling if Ray Rice struck her...But I don't want the "if" in play. I'd want to know everything possible, and have experts at the ready to consult before I did anything...And after THAT, there could be severe punishment as you suggest...or perhaps not...
With the sudden change in diagnosis for Ibaka, do you think they legitimately thought he was gone for long, or was there some gamesmanship in play there to help create the illusion of an unexpected return and lift the team?
mike wilbon (2:40 PM)
Good question! The Spurs NEVER believed Ibaka was out and said so publicly. I don't understand what OKC had to gain or thought it had to gain...I still need to hear an explanation for any attempt at gamesmanship...
Do you miss doing The Sports Reporters with the crew you guys had back in the day? I still watch today but it's not quite the same without you, TK, Dick Schapp and the other rotating guys.
mike wilbon (2:44 PM)
I LOVED doing that show with the great Dick Schapp, and Mike Lupica and Mitch and TK and Bill Rhoden and Bob Ryan and others...AND John Saunders...Loved those days in my life/career, love the friendships formed...And I miss Dick Schaap more than I can possibly tell you, the mentorship, his professionalism, his unequalled storytelling, the silliness we engaged in on Sunday mornings before the crack of dawn, the Saturday nights in NYC beforehand...Wow, I miss it just recounting it. Yes, I miss it...Yes...But life goes on and we write new chapters. The show is still going strong with John, but as we know THAT was the only real form of debate on the network for years and years and years, and now we have it all over the place because the network's execs, starting with Mark Shapiro, understood people would watch if offered it more than just Sunday mornings...So not only do I miss it, but I'm grateful for and to it...
John (Providence, RI)
Where do you stand on the greatest small foward of all time debate between Bird and Lebron? For me, it's Bird all the way. You know a guy is good, when he can tell his opponent the play called in the huddle and where he will shoot it, and the defender still couldn't do any thing to stop him. That is how good Bird was. Plus, Bird's competitive spirit far exceeds Lebron, who basically waved the white flag and fled to Miami.
mike wilbon (2:49 PM)
It's probably been Bird for the last 20 years, but LeBron is in the process right now of snatching the baton. There was nobody as good as Bird...But now there's nobody as good as LeBron. They were/are totally different players, Bird a more natural scorer and better rebounder...LeBron a slightly better playmaker (even if Bird passed with greater flair) and greater defender...Until this year, Bird was my No. 1 small forward...but again, LeBron is in the process of passing him...
Do you get the sense that the Hawks have just run out of gas? They played deep into June last season, had their well deserved bender which went well into the summer, and half the team traveled around the globe to play in the Olympics.
mike wilbon (2:51 PM)
It looked to me, in the first period of Game 2, like the Blackhawks were still working toward playing to their max...and BOOM! They fell apart in the third period and they can't get it back. Maybe they're just done. I won't count them out. They were down 3-1 to the Red Wings last year and forced, then won a Game 7 back here in Chicago, so I'm hoping...But they look like they just hit a wall, so I'm terrified about tomorrow night back here in Game 5...
Who would you rather have on your team for JUST the playoffs: harden or dwade?
mike wilbon (2:51 PM)
Wade and its not close to close.
Do Pacer fans even like Lance Stephenson? I am a Heat fan and obviously think he's a clown with his quotes and antics. Wondering what the rest of the world thinks of him.
mike wilbon (2:54 PM)
Not a lot of people out there standing with Lance Stephenson today...I'm fine with trash talk...I think the media hysteria over it is silly...BUT, you have to play if you talk and scoring your first basket with 5 1/2 minutes left in Game 4 is too lame...The problem with Lance is he's often more problem than solution, even though he's a very, very skilled player and the Pacers are facing a dilemma as to what in the world to do with him as a free agent.
Eddie m,Nairobi kenya [via mobile]
Whats your take on the on going stevenson/lebron feud?
mike wilbon (2:55 PM)
"Feud?" Players don't need to like each other...I don't see a feud...I saw a butt-kicking last night...
If I am Pop, I would consider starting Manu or Marco in place of green to maybe spark the Offense. It might be enough to change the momentum.
mike wilbon (2:55 PM)
The Spurs don't need to change anything; they need to play better...
How much are Reggie Miller and Kerr paid to compliment the Thunder?? It was a love fest going on! They could do no wrong and the Spurs were the ugly step sister! I miss the days of Bill Walton!
mike wilbon (2:57 PM)
You're representation of that broadcast is dead-wrong...you couldn't be further from the truth...Kerr and Miller, together or apart, are fabulous at what they do and their analysis reflects what's going on. Hell, OKC played great; what do you want Kerr and Miller to do, rip the Thunder for climbing back into the series? Get off your agenda, open your ears and listen to what they have to say...
Will OKC ever get a legitimate center? Geez how long do we have to endure Kendrick Perkins?
mike wilbon (2:59 PM)
Does Miami, having won two titles, have a "legitimate center" whatever that means anymore? The game evolves...maybe you have to evolve with it. There are fewer of those kinds of players than even as big men learn to pass, shoot from beyond 15 feet and handle the ball outside of the low-post...That's the real world of today's international basketball and NBA teams have to adjust to use big men as they exist today, not 20 years ago...
Can you elaborate your feelings on Mark Cuban's comments?
mike wilbon (3:00 PM)
Go back and get my tweet @Realmikewilbon which has an entire SportsCenter discussion about my feelings...it's too much to re-hash here...But I talked about Mark's interview at length...
Do you like the Heat over OKC? Or would OKC have to much speed for the heat?
mike wilbon (3:01 PM)
I like Miami over OKC, but the Spurs narrowly over Miami...
mike wilbon (3:03 PM)
Okay, gotta run and prepare for PTI. We're back today after the long Memorial Day Weekend...Goodness, we didn't get to Rory climbing back into the winner's circle, or that exciting Indy 500 win, or The French Open...But the NBA and NHL playoffs do dominate the discussion for some of us this last week in May. I'm hoping the Blackhawks are still alive and in the Stanley Cup Finals when we chat again Monday...Until then, everybody have a great week! Thanks for chatting. MW