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!
Buzzmaster (1:02 PM)
Hey folks, Mike's running a bit late today. He'll be here at 1:30 p.m. ET to start the chat!
mike wilbon (1:47 PM)
Good afternoon everybody! Sorry I'm starting so late today but it couldn't be helped; I flew back across the country (okay, 3/4 of the way) from Phoenix to Washington, D.C. and then lamely after I did get here forgot my password to log onto my own desktop because I've been traveling for two weeks...Okay, that's a whole lot better than "dog ate my homework." We'll jump right into the NCAAs and the NBA, where there's plenty to talk about...
ike (new jersey)
mike,derek rose's last two games have been unbelievable even by his standards. isn't it time to put him on the top 5 in the league list?
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
His last two games, particularly the finishes, have been phenomenal. He's turning into a big-time closer, which of course you really have to prove again in the playoffs...that's the one thing he hadn't done very well, is close. And now he is. And the assists total seems to be climbing, which I think is a function of having all the guys in the lineup for a few consecutive games. It's the rebuttal to the new excuse guys like Dan LeBatard try to make when arguing Rose is NOT the MVP, which I find absurd...
Conor Dirks (Atlanta, GA)
Hey Mike,Which NCAA prospect do you think fits best with Washington's "plans" for the future?
mike wilbon (1:58 PM)
Wow, the Wizards need everything, right? I mean EVERYTHING except a point guard...Derrick Williams from Arizona would be the guy I'd want to play with if I'm John Wall, a guy who can run and play the wing and can also finish like Blake Griffin level athleticism AND shoot the 3...I mean, seriously, what would you want more than this kid if you're the Wizards and specifically if you're Wall? Kemba and Jimmer aren't really a fit with Wall...But Marcus Morris wouldn't be a guy I'd run away from either with a pick...But Williams...that should keep Wizards fans awake dreaming...except that a lockout should send these kids running back to their respective campuses...
Late as always
mike wilbon (1:59 PM)
Apparently you are too...
Are you worried about the recent funk carlios boozer has been in since noah came back from that injury, it seems as tho, the bulls pace is up recently. And, boozer just can't play well with a faster pace, he needs to get established in the post early and often. DO you think he will get back to his usual 20-10 self in the playoffs?
mike wilbon (2:04 PM)
Great question...I don't think Boozer is going to put up those numbers this year...not because he can't, but because the Bulls don't need him to do that and Carlos isn't a guy who freaks out about his numbers. His rebound totals will be down because he has to share with multiple guys, with Noah, with Asik, with Kurt Thomas, even with Deng on some evenings. The Bulls are the No. 1 rebounding team in the league because they ALL rebound well. Now, they could very well need him to score more, particularly in the half court, where the Bulls are going to need a third source of consistent offense. This is why the Bulls got Booze in the first place. I shouldn't even say a "third" source, I should say a second source. But he's had quite a few 9 and 10 rebound games, just not the 14 and 16-rebound games we saw when Noah was out. And this, as far as I'm concerned, is a great thing for the team. Booze, and I have talked to him about this, is at the point of his career where he wants to contribute to winning...good for him and the Bulls.
Hey Wilbon, do Hollinger or LeBatard actually watch the games or just watch their stat sheets update?
mike wilbon (2:14 PM)
Ha! Thanks for that...I will never disparage Hollinger. I KNOW he is basketball obsessed and watches more games than just about anybody out there. LeBatard is a close enough friend that I can RIP him and wonder, like you, whether he watches these things. I kid (mostly) because I know LeBatard watches...I tease Dan all the time that he's a baseball guy who has no instincts for basketball...Dan wants to apply all these baseball metrics to basketall that, to me, don't fit at all. I literally, an hour ago, called and left Dan a message because I think he's about to write a column saying D-Rose is NOT the MVP. And I'm sure Dan will come up with some formula to make his case which I will call dumb and then ignore the column totally...We'll scream at each other and then go to dinner on Miami Beach, where LeBatard will settle up a bet we made in the NBA preseason...Dan bet me the Heat would win 70 games. I took the bet instantly, as Dan ranted that I was a fool and the final number would be 73, maybe 74 wins...The loser had to pay for the most expensive bottle of wine at Prime 112, which our dear friend Myles (the owner) tells us costs $4,300...So, if I keep making basketball bets with Dan LeBatard, I think I'll wind up just fine...or tipsy...
Jim (Los Angeles)
Why not? That's the question. Rose asked it before the season in reference to the MVP, and I'm asking it now in reference to the Championship. Celtics? Too old and the Bulls have a size advantage since they gave up Perkins. Heat? No one can seriously say that a team with that many flaws can go to the Finals, plus the Bulls swept them. Lakers? Great team, but the Bulls DID beat them this year. Why can't they win 4/7? I would be scared of the Bulls if I were a fan of any other team.
mike wilbon (2:19 PM)
Before you get carried away, the Bulls have already lost twice to the Celtics this season...both times in Boston, once in OT...Now, the Bulls did beat Boston in Chicago and get the Celtics there a week from Thursday for what could be a huge game, in terms of Eastern Conference seeding. It looks as if the Celtics are no longer paying attention to the seeding, and that they'll finish behind Miami in the No. 3 spot, giving home court to Miami in the second round...That, to me, is risky, even though the Celtics swept Miami this season...In terms of the original point of your question, yes, I have finally come around to the point where I actually think the Bulls can win the Eastern Conference this year. But don't do the silly thing and take the Celtics last 12 games or so as being an accurate barometer of how the Celtics will play in the post-season...They went 27-27 last year and still got to the Finals, right? Be careful about jumping to conclusions...The Bulls haven't won a single series yet, and it's tough to go from zero to championship. I'm just saying...There's more involved than the physical performance. Nerves are tested and poise is revealed in the post-season and it hasn't yet started...
Can we stop talking about how Queen James or derrick rose is MVP! It s pretty clear now that Tim Duncan is the MVP. The spurs ahve the best record and have really suffered without him in the lineup. Last I checked the MVP should go to the player who is most valuable to his team and it should go tot he best team. However, a lot of voters just want to kiss up to these stars and pad their resume.
mike wilbon (2:21 PM)
You're not really paying attention to the season at all, are you? Manu Ginobili and then Tony Parker have been the Spurs' best players this season. Duncan is having, wisely, career-lows in minutes played and points averaged...Duncan is still a great player and capable of being MVP of the playoffs or the Finals, but not an entire season...Go back to your television, please, and look a little closer at the Spurs.
Wilbon, can you give me a real reason why the Bulls cant win it all aside from the fact they havnt done it yet?
mike wilbon (2:27 PM)
Playoff inexperience. Go back through the history of the league and in all but a couple of cases the eventual champs have guys who have tons of playoff experience, and in most cases (not Magic) disappointment. People mention the Celtics of three years ago as the exception, and I'd say they proved to be the rule. Garnett, Allen and Pierce had all been in huge playoff series before the hooked up in Boston and they'd all lost crushing series, 7-gamers where they thought they'd be going to the Finals. Look, as a lifelong Bulls fan I'd love for this not to be the case; I just don't think it's reasonable to expect a team to go from no playoff series wins to four. It's learned, just like playing in the regular season, except there's less room for error and time for progression. Do I think it's possible for the Bulls to do it this year? Yes. Do I think it's likely or probable? No. Hey, maybe its their time and Rose is going to be as effective in the playoffs as he is now, November through March...But so many all-time great players had to go through these growing pains, including MJ 23, and I've been in those locker rooms and at courtside over the years for those games...I just have a big problem presuming it'll come that quickly.
Wilbon, how refreshing is it to have Mike Quade calling the shots on the Northside?
mike wilbon (2:33 PM)
I don't know yet. Nobody knows yet. I went to two Cubs spring training games last week (including one yesterday that they lost to the Rockies) and of course people are very excited about Quade continuing the momentum from last summer when the Cubs played so well for him down the stretch. But games in September when you're out of contention are not the same as playing with pressure. Look, every team and all its fans are excited at this time of year and convinced things are going to be great for their teams...I gotta see about 75 games before I start drawing conclusions...
Can you give me any reason why Kobe is not the MVP, he and rose have simmilar numbers and teams with same record? How does kobe only have 1 MVP? How?
mike wilbon (2:40 PM)
I do have a vote and right now I'm trying to figure out whether Kobe or Dwight Howard is second (to Rose) and I'm leaning toward Kobe...For me as a voter, and each of us has different ways of deciding these things, one of the things I look at what the team IS because of the player in question and what they'd be without him...AND what the player has to work with. And while I love what the Bulls are becoming, is anybody going to argue that the Bulls "other" players are as accomplished as Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher? Seriously, who's going to make that case? Doesn't Kobe have more to work with, more accomplished players who help the Lakers win? Of course they do...Now, I'm of the opinion that Kobe Bryant is one of the 10-12 greatest players in the history of the NBA and he's rising on that list all the time...BUT, Rose is the MVP this year. Kobe exerted himself, wisely I would add, for about 50 percent of this season. Rose has been great from Day 1, and without his second/third best players (Boozer and Noah) for about 50 games.
mike wilbon (2:41 PM)
Well, it looks now like the Bulls would have been a better place for LeBron, but what about the dynamic of LeBron and Rose? I don't presume that would have been great at all. In fact, I'm glad LeBron didn't join the Bulls; I don't think they'd be the team they are now because they'd still be trying to figure out some of the issues Miami had to sort through...
Sid (San Diego)
Wilbon,While Skip Bayless (who I love outside of the D.Rose argument) continues to think that a scoring point guard is just "not right" and he "hates them", didn't people think the same thing about a scoring champion not being able to win a championship? I think that turned out all right (6 for 6), don't you?
mike wilbon (2:44 PM)
I like Skip tons and tons...have worked with him, would be thrilled to work with him again and Skip is great at making cases every day and has been for oh, 35 years or so, first as a columnist in Dallas...HOWEVER, on basketball issues, I'm not going with Skip and Dan LeBatard, hardly ever. If they're saying Rose isn't the MVP of the NBA, I KNOW Rose truly is.
Lakers Fans (Everywhere)
Have all of these Bulls fans noticed that the Lakers are 15-1 since the all-star break? Perhaps THAT would be a reason that the Bulls can't win it all?
mike wilbon (2:51 PM)
No, they haven't noticed. And that 15-1 record is another reason Kobe Bryant is making a Zenyatta-like charge up the MVP leader board...The Bulls, by the way, are 28-6 in their last 34 and since the break the Bulls are 15-3 having lost at Toronto (bad loss, but Noah's first game back), at Atlanta (which they've avenged twice since, once by 33 at Atlanta...There's not a lot of difference there. But yes, if you ask me the Lakers would absolutely be a favorite in a Finals series, and so would Boston in a conference finals series, and while nobody wants to hear this...Miami would be a huge betting favorite against the Bulls in a conference finals series, as well, though I believe the Bulls are simply a better team than Miami at this point...
mike wilbon (2:52 PM)
Okay, gotta run and prepare for PTI now that TK is sitting six feet from me and glowering! Be well everybody, thanks for rolling with a later chat time...See you guys next week...thanks much. MW