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. 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!
The Packers are playing like a Superbowl team, do you think they carry that momentum to Soldier Field and beat the Bears by a large margin or do they still make it a close game?
mike wilbon (1:09 PM)
Happy MLK Holiday everybody! I'm in Chicago still, following yesterday's Bears-Seahawks game. It's a quieter Monday than usual because of the Holiday...But it's still a pretty busy sports Monday due to the weekend of games and the NBA games being played around the league this afternoon and tonight...But the only place to start, to me, today is the NFL...and since I'm a Chicagoan I care primarily about Packers-Bears, the oldest rivalry in the NFL but one that hasn't ever been showcased in the modern playoffs. The only time the two played in the post-season was 70 years ago..and even though the Bears slapped Seattle around yesterday, as they should have, there is legit worry about the Cheeseheads here in Chicago because of the momentum you speak of. Yeah, I think the Packers come to Chicago on a roll, but the two games the two played this season were close ones...Bears by 3 in the Solider Field game; Packers by seven in the Lambeau game...Why would I expect a blowout today? I don't. People who think offense automatically rules should simply turn back the clock 24 hours to the Patriots getting handled by the Jets defense yesterday...The Bears defense is every bit as good as the Jets' defense, and they know how to play Aaron Rodgers...I expect it to be just like the first two games, which is to say low-scoring and very, very close...
James Kim (Chicago)
what's up with Boozer?could this have been a bad long term trade for the Bulls?how does Chicago stand in the east without him?someone bring in Blake, you know the Clips are going to screw it up with him anyways.
mike wilbon (1:14 PM)
Carlos Boozer is not playing for the Bulls today in Memphis...a game that just tipped off. Boozer suffered a sprained ankle at the end of Saturday's Bulls-Heat game, so I have ZERO idea where the Bulls are going for scoring after D. Rose and Luol Deng. I think the signing of Boozer was necessary and the right move. Yes, he struggles against taller players (like Lamar Odom and Chris Bosh) but he also can score in bunches, and at a high percentage. He's had a ton of double-doubles already, several 30-point nights scoring. And the Bulls absolutely need scoring. The problem is, Boozer needs to play alongside a bonafide center, which Noah is. The Bulls can't really be judged this season until both are on the floor for an extended period. Boozer isn't a lockdown defender, but he rebounds and scores. The Bulls have to simply hold on until both those guys are back...They've managed to do it without one or the other...But both? Deng, who could be wearing down from playing so many minutes, is going to have to average 25 while Booz is out and Kyle Korver, who thinks he has discovered why he was in a slump, will have to pick it up as well...
mike wilbon (1:17 PM)
Udonis Haslem isn't overlooked. He's praised for his contributions all the time. Neither team was whole in that game. Miami should be better this season, but all I'm saying is that the Heat is 2 games better than the Bulls in the standings even though Miami has been so hot lately. Noah isn't anywhere as good as LeBron--we all know that--but Noah is as important to what the Bulls do as LeBron is to what the Heat does. Noah is the second most important player on the Bulls. His is the co-personality of the team, along with Derrick Rose. It wasn't a statement game as much as the Bulls simply needed to win, and did.
Joe Parker (Baltimore, MD)
Hey Mike. Do you think it's prudent for the Knicks to trade away Gallo-Fields-pick for Melo? I certainly do.
mike wilbon (1:23 PM)
Maybe...I'm undecided about this. A Melo-Stoudemire tag-team should be really, really good. But you have to fill in around them with players, which sometimes takes a couple of years. I LOVE Landry Fields...If you strip the Knicks down to get Carmelo they aren't going to challenge for anything this year anyway. So, the question is do you roll the dice and hope to sign Carmelo as a free agent in the off-season.I'm not going to sit here and tell you I know what's going to happen with the principle parties don't even know what's going to happen. If Carmelo doesn't know, it would be stupid to sit here and give you some blustery rant about what's going to happen. The Knicks and Nets and Carmelo's agent don't know. I will say that if I ran the Knicks I might just call Denver's bluff and try to get him in the summer and give up nothing. I think that Carmelo, having played in the Big East and therefore in Madison Square Garden, wants to play for the Knicks. Not the Nets, the Knicks. Going to New Jersey to play with Billups and Rip Hamilton? Hell, he's got a better team than that right now in Denver. Why go to New Jersey to get that? That team would finish 7th or 8th in the East this year and lose to Boston or Miami or Orlando...Look, I still think there's an outside outside chance Denver can make a playoff run and convince him to stay (though I really doubt it will happen). Clearly, for East Coast people this is the No. 1 NBA story line as we begin the second half of the season.
Pregame of the jets patriots, cbs showed tom brady sitting on the bench and huffing something out of a cup. What was it?
mike wilbon (1:26 PM)
Didn't see it because I was in the Bears locker room following the Chicago-Seattle game. Didn't see the opening. I joined that game in-progress in the second quarter. Are you suggesting The Golden Boy was sick and didn't tell anybody? Excuses would be really intolerable now, after the Patriots got their butts whipped. He looked fine to me, other than when he was wearing Jets defenders around his neck. Look, if you hit a QB in the mouth, even the great ones like Brady, they flinch. All of them. No exceptions. The Jets had to do that--it wasn't any secret--and did, early and often. The Giants did it in the Super Bowl. The Ravens did it last year. Not all defenses can get to him, but those in the business of Defense can and every now-and-then do.
The media is swooning over Aaron Rodgers playoff performance. But why is Jay Cutler still getting no love after his 2 pass and 2 rush touchdown performance? That performance was a historic achievement.
mike wilbon (1:32 PM)
Jay Cutler's getting plenty of love here, where he plays. He's not getting any nationally because the Bears beat a 7-9 team that didn't deserve to be in the playoffs. Look, you'll hear nothing but praise for Cutler today from me. He made, other than that one pass at the goal line, good decisions. He took a couple of sacks when he needed to, didn't turn the ball over, ran smartly...If Cutler plays that well again Sunday, the Bears will beat the Packers. Mark it down. The thing is, to be an elite QB you have to do it more than once a post-season. You have to string games together, at least once. Rodgers is looking to do that, too. Big Ben Roethlisberger, quite obviously, has done that in the post-season a couple of times already.
Austin (St. Louis)
hey mike, think we'll see either peyton manning or tom brady win another super bowl before retirement?
mike wilbon (1:36 PM)
Great question! I don't think so, actually. The Patriots have lost three straight playoff games, two at home and one neutral site. And the Colts apparently will have to re-tool. It's hard to get back there. The Niners did it, but Joe Montana was done and had given way to Steve Young by the time the rest of the team was ready in 1994 or whenever that was. Can the Colts get a Super Bowl-caliber team together in two years? Actually, John Elway's Denver teams did it in time for him to win twice at the end after he'd led teams there three times (losing all of them) as a player in his prime. I think Brady's got a better chance than Peyton, though I wonder if the disappointment of the last two post-seasons will sink the Patriots. And I wonder whether Bilichick will hang around for the long, long haul. He was so defeated yesterday, so bewildered looking after the game...
Do you think Dwayne Wade will ever get a good reception when he comes home to play the Bulls with all that happened this past offseason? Some even cheered when he hit the deck in the game the other night.
mike wilbon (1:38 PM)
Yeah, the cheering when he landed hard on the floor was tacky and classless; I don't care where he plays or what he decided or who in Chicago might have been disappointed. That was tasteless. I think it'll pass though, largely because Wade lives here in Chicago in the off-season. He's visible. He's involved in tons of charitable efforts, some of which he leads. And I know people are aware of that. Wade is a Chicagoan. He doesn't have to play here professionally to be treated accordingly, and I think the good relations will pay off, long-term.
Ibrahim (Copenhagen, Danmark)
Why didn't LeBron join the Clippers? It would have been the ultimate accomplishment to turn around one of the worst franchises in history and to take over L.A. from Kobe. And the Clippers with LeBron would be as good on paper as anyone.
mike wilbon (1:43 PM)
I thought that was a great place for LeBron to go and said so several times on PTI. Imagine LeBron on a team with Blake Griffin at the 4, Eric Gordon at the 2, Bledsoe or Baron Davis playing some at the point...and this Jordan kid is serviceable in the middle if Kamen (spelling?) is going to be injured all the time. But, yeah, I thought it might be a great fit...EXCEPT for the part that the owner, Donald Sterling, is the worst. His behavior is creepy, at best. I know good men like Elgin Baylor and Mike Dunleavy that have ultimately had big problems with Sterling...Bad ownership will never stay out of the way and it will undermine talent every single time. It's too bad because I heard that LeBron's folks checked out the Clippers thoroughly. But Sterling's track record would and should scare anybody. I wonder when Blake Griffin's advisers will start telling him he'll have to leave to have any kind of sustained professional success...
Maybe Chicago should have tried a little harder to beat GB and keep them out of the Playoffs in that last regular season game?
mike wilbon (1:44 PM)
The Bears played their starters the whole game and tried to win. What more would you have had them do. They played an even game in Green Bay and lost. You got no TV in Maryland?
Adam (east coast)
Who has more potential, D. Howard or K. Love?
mike wilbon (1:46 PM)
Howard...He's 6-10, clearly can hold is own at center...Kevin Love, great rebounder that he is, can't change the game the way Howard does, because if he could the T-Wolves wouldn't be one of the two worst teams in the West. Howard has a bigger impact on the game than Love...I said before the start of the NBA season that some team that's close should have tried to pry Love away from the T-Wolves before the season. Now, Minnesota would be plain dumb to trade kevin...
Hey Mike,What do you think will be the outcome of the AFC Championship? Do you think that the Jets talking trash against the Steelers will help their cause.
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
Are the jets going to talk trash to the Steelers? I don't really see that. The Jets don't hate the Steelers; the jets hate the Patriots. By the way, how did the Ravens talking trash help them against the Steelers? Exactly. I think that game is dead-even, but talk isn't going to take the Steelers out of their comfort zone. I think the Patriots were derailed a bit, the way Bilichick benched Welker, which was just a bad decision. I think the Patriots let the Jets get them out of character...I do think Belichick should have supported Welker, even though thats not the Patriots do. Welker stood up for his team, said nothing about football, but Belichick sandbagged him...that's the way it looked to me.
I know your a staunch CHI area fan, but i believe your recent article on the bulls (d rose particularly) was heavily biased. Rose was barely able to squeak out a victory against a heat team missing LBJ and losing CB4 for the final quarter. Call it what you will, but the heat would have beat the bulls handily if they were at full speed.
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
Of course my column was biased. Columns are opinions. Are you not aware of the difference between columns and news stories. News stories stick to the facts and strive to keep opinion and bias out. Columns are INTENDED to be biased. That's the point. Now, good columns present good arguments to support the bias...but I am surprised at how many people now don't seem to know the difference...It's one of the areas where the demise of the daily newspaper and in-school discussions about journalism hurt the entire news industry. I meant to put forth my opinion--that D. Rose is the MVP right now--and use various pieces of evidence to support my opinion. That was the point. Now, you can disagree with the point and make your case for Amare Stoudemire, LeBron, D. Wade, Rondo, whomever...but those opinions will express their own Bias. Part of being a good team is winning the games you ought to win. And when your opponent is weakened by injury, which happens in the NBA for every team at some point in a marathon season, you have to cash in. The Bulls should have beaten Miami and did.
Patrick (Buffalo, NY)
True of false? The NBA is more exciting today then in the 90's because of the balance of powers...there are atleast (4) legit contenders if not more and with the potential deal of Melo there could be a significant shift in powers. They have all the right teams playing well for the global marketability. No one was like watching MJ, but at the same time the finals seemed anti-climatic.
mike wilbon (1:57 PM)
Hmmm, I'm thinking about your point. If we're talking about the early 1990s, remember that the Lakers were still good, so was Portland, so was Phoenix. Other than the Knicks and Orlando, the East wasn't particular impressive, largely because the team that should have been positioned to be better--The Washington Bullets--kept goofing up in various ways. Anyway, I still named a half-dozen teams that were a serious threat, so I don't know it was any different. There are only five teams now that could actually win the whole thing: Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat Magic...That's it. So, is it really that different?
mike wilbon (1:58 PM)
Somebody ought to go after Carl Landry. I really like that guy because he's versatile, can play some defense, doesn't make ton of money, and was part of a team that had a little playoff success (Rockets with Yao Ming, the team that won 22 straight a few years back)...The Spurs aren' the only team that can use him of the playoff contenders.
kenneth(richmond,va) [via mobile]
where does d-rose rank amongst the games elite
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
Good question...There are so many good point guards. Deron Williams is the best of them to me, though Rondo, when healthy, is closing the gap quickly. Chris Paul isn't all the way back to his pre-injury form, but he's getting close. Steve Nash is clearly getting older and cannot control the game the way he did for a half-dozen years and certainly can't do it without Amare Stoudemire...Same goes for Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd at this point of their careers. They're still great players but I wouldn't take any of them over Rose, who just turned 22...I think Rose has had as good a season as any of the point guards this year so far, though Rondo was ahead before missing some games due to injury. Have I missed anybody? Rose has a way to go to pass Williams, in terms of doing it for multiple seasons...But I'll take Rose, right now, if you put them all on the board...Rondo is better for what Boston does, and Rondo could well work himself back into MVP position...But Rose stands shoulder-to-shoulder now with any of them...But he's got to have some post-season success to solidify that position, and certainly to pull clear of the pack.
Lebron James (Doctors Office)
Three losses and two sprained ankles later, should i mention the word Karma ever again?
mike wilbon (2:05 PM)
Ha! Touche...Thanks for that...
mike wilbon (2:07 PM)
Okay, I gotta run...Getting ready to travel back to Washington, D.C if the weather allows...Otherwise, I'll happily stay here in Chicago and soak up some of the atmosphere preceding Bears-Packers...Hope you all enjoy the rest of the Holiday and have a great week...We'll chat Monday, same time and same channel...Thanks, MW