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December 30, 6:51 AM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Happy new year everyone! Thanks for joining me before the festivities begin. I've got Meyerbeer's (a rival of Wagner) "Le Prophete" playing, and I'm enjoying the last bit of calm before over 20 kids and parents come over for a "Rock Band" competition between families tonight. "What? I thought we were in the trust tree. In the nest".

Clippers Nation (LA)

We may suck something awful, but at least Eric Gordon is looking like he belongs, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

Indeed you do. And indeed he does.

CC (Atlanta)

Hawks -- for real or pretender?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

In between. One scorer short of being special.

Eric, Redlands

David, Why do you think Kobe doesn't amass more assists, given his more unselfish play the last 1 1/2 seasons? I watch a lot of Laker games and he seems to find open teamates a lot. What's the deal?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

It's a great question, because I agree with you that he often finds guys impressively. I think he is just such a special scorer that he can always create a good shot.

Frank the Tank

Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time.

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

it gets better every time I see it.

Babu (New York)

Who do you think are the top five players that are going to be in the draft this year? of course Blake Griffin is first but im not sure who should be after him???

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

It's way too early to tell. But I'm not impressed with most of the projected lottery picks, as of today.

Dan (Portland, OR)

No offense, but your night makes me glad I'm not married. What would your rookie of the year ballot look like if the season ended today?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

Funny, I was thinking exactly the opposite. 10 kids and 20+ adults all rocking it together-should be a blast. 2. Rose 1. Mayo

Dunthorpe Rockefeller, New Hampshire

What is Durant's ceiling as a player?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Super special. That's all I'll say for now. But then again, I repeatedly argued that he should go #1.

Ethan (Philly)

"Don't blackball me, Mitch..I need this." The whole movie is comedic genius. David, tell me some feasible trade to help the Sixers?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

At the very least, acquiring JJ Redick and giving him extended minutes for a month would be a start. Some players need a change of scenery. Few need it as much as JJ.

Pierre (Sac)

Once D Wade develops a consistent Jump shot, He'll be the best in the league. My question is, if and when will he?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

Pierrre, you are banned. And I may extend it to a permanent one.

Michael (Montreal)

David i just got fired and having my question answered would be a great consolation: Rumor has it Ricky Rubio is not entering the draft. Is Brandon Jennings the first pg off the board next year? Thanks and Happy New Year to you and your family.

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Buck up Michael. Jennings or the UCLA kid, from what I've heard.

TD (Bay Area, CA)

Happy New Year Thorpodamus! Which team would be the best fit for Blake Griffin's skill set? I'd hate to see him go to a team that he couldn't make an impact on immediately

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Any team needing a starting 4.

Devin Harris, NJ

I think I should start on the All-Star team! Don't you think so to???

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Yes.

D Miz (Breakin Down The Game)

What'd you do on your favorite New Years Eve?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

Partied with my future wife and my brothers and friends at Church Street Station. 2 decades ago. Ouch.

David (Boston)

Did you get an invite to the Newmanium party?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

Yes, but I arrived a year late.

Ted, The SLC

Maybe we don't write off Fesenko just yet for the Jazz? Had a couple of decent games over the weekend, along with Koufos.

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

You are right.

Bill (Charlotte)

David, just wanted to let you know that my friends and I send each other the single funniest comment any of us have read all year to pick the funniest one. Simmons wins most years, but this year, it was you. Your liveblog comment during the finals of "Jordan Farmar is Robin to Kobe's Batman. Lamar Odom is Batgirl" won in a runaway. I submitted it and nobody else had seen it. When I first read it I literally gagged on my pork lo mein. Happy new year and keep up the great work.

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I'm no Bill Simmons, but I have to admit that I was laughing when I wrote that. I actually really love LO's game too, but he was just so soft that game.

Jordan (Toronto)

Thorpedo, time to call out Bryan Colangelo. Bargnani is reaching bust status, Kapono is overpaid & underutilized and he used up all the attractive assets and a pick to get Jermaine O'Neal to address rebounding and defense; they are last in the league. What gives?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Panic might be forthcoming.

B-RAD (Sacramento)

Do you think Brad Miller will be traded before the deadline? and who do you think will be involved?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

I don't think it's an automatic, like I once did. Playoff contenders are the likely place, if it happens.

P.J. (Indy)

Dave, what's up with my Pacers? They're so much improved, but we just can't hold leads, and now we're 10-21.

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

Partly bad luck. Keep the faith. They have a chance to make some noise.

Joel(Michigan)

sup dave. Pistons have been playing better with the big line up instead of the 3 guard small lineup. Do you think the pistons should trade RIP, if so who should they trade him for.

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

I actually thought Prince would be the better guy to move.

The guy who watches all (NYC)

I know you won't post it, but I'm always watching what the experts predict and how much they suck. You are the worst though. Twice you have predicted coaches of the year who have been fired during the season you predicted it. Seriously, how does espn keep you employed, or do you just hack into the system?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

You are right. I suck at predicting coach of the year. But on my list of duties here, that ranks dead last, just behind posting stupid questions on my chat. Thanks and happy new year.

Kyle (chicago)

Thorpe, big fan speaking. I get warm and fuzzy when your chats start. Question: is the ROY judged the same as MVP, where the rookie on the better team gets the nod? I've read rose is looking like the top candidate since he could carry the bulls into the playoffs but mayo has been the best rookie, so is team success a factor?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

There's no criteria to follow, to my knowledge. Individuals will set their own agenda. Either would be highly qualified to wear that crown.

David (Boston)

Thorpe how many critical, ignorant posts do you receive in a chat? Love your work man, don't change a thing!

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

Probably 10% of the total I get. Thanks!!

Alex (Orlando, FL)

Thorpedo, you might want to get the IT guys to change the heading for your chats. It currently reads "David Thorpe will stop by to discuss the tipoff of the NBA season." See anything wrong with that?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

It's the holidays.

Steiny (NYC)

What team do you think is going to sign Dikembe Mutombo?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

I'd bet my house it will be the Rockets.

Marco Belinelli (Bay Area)

Why is everyone sleeping on my game? Ever since Nellie gave me playing time, I've been how you Americans say, "styling."

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

No doubt.

D Miz (Breakin Down The Game)

Thorpe my man...Happy New Year to you, wifey, kids and Spalding. Shouldn't Roger Mason Jr be getting a bit more love in the MIP talk? Spurs are just awesome...from top down...getting a guy like that. Perfect fit.

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Thanks man. He's not in the running, but he certainly has been a difference maker.

Neal (Chicago)

Thorpe, gotta agree with David from Boston. Yours is the number one chat I look forward to every week. And, apologies to David, but i gotta ask again: the champs shouldn't be blaming one call in the first half for a 5 point loss, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

Right.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you think Mike D'Antoni was right for calling out David Lee for his poor defense?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

Yes-I don't second guess him.

Alex (Miami)

Hi Thorpe, you are the only person I've ever seen suggest that D Wade is the best player in the world. Until today, when your boy Adande did. Think other people will join the party you started?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

Without doubt. But I think LeBron is the BIW guy right now.

Courtney Lee (Orlando, FL)

Should I get a chance to start while Pietrus is out, or do you think I'm better of coming off the bench and providing a spark?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

I think it does not matter. Be prepared to play well no matter what. Be a pro.

mario chalmers (fl)

how come beasely is in the running for ROY when im by far having the better year on both sides of the ball!

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

Beasley is not in the running.

ME

Thorponator: Apparently Alex from Miami missed your earlier comment banning another guy for saying Wade could be the best in the world, as though you don't view that as possible.

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

I banned that guy for suggesting Wade needs to improve his jumper.

chas

A guy just asked who was going to sign Mutombo and you have a story saying Houston did. Thats prob why you bet your house.

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Yea. I won my house!

Brook Lopez (NJ)

Umm...aside from Rose and Mayo, the ROY line starts BEHIND me.

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Gasol has been good too on another improved team.

Dave (Cleveland)

If you're the GM of the Cavs, do you try and make a move before the deadline and possibly mess up team chemistry?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Yes-fear of failure rarely leads to success.

Dave (Philly)

I have followed your chats for a while, and it seems that you devote considerable attention to what might be considered mid-major players. I'm wondering if you think a team could be consistently successful in the nba without all stars? Could you compete with a bunch of guys all making under 10 million/year?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

No I don't. In fact, 3 stars is required. Yep, that'll do it.

Jordan (West Milton, PA)

Is the losing of 3 out of 4 by the celtics a sign of not being as good as we thought, or just a little bump in the road that all good teams go through. They lost to the warriors who were without Ellis, Crawford, and Maggette; and then again to the Blazers last night without Roy.

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

We don't know yet. But if they struggle some in 2009, we'll look back to this past week.

Aaron (NYC)

Why does Kobe get left out of MVP and BIW discussion just because he's taking a reduced role because of the surrounding talent? The Lakers on 2003-2005 featured him and nobody else. If he was ever the main star surrounded by good supporting players, he would have done just as well as Lebron and DWade now.

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

He's in the running for both. And hey, news flash: he won the MVP last year!!

matt (chicago)

Is there any way the Bulls can get rid of Larry Hughes. Every time he shoots a contested jumper I die a little inside. Thanks, Happy New Year!

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

You are not alone. And based on what he's been doing this year, your funeral may be coming soon.

Glenn (Memphis, TN)

Hey Thorp - do you think Rudy Gay can be a good leader for the Grizz, or do you think the players will find someone who works harder. What makes a better leader, talent or effort?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

A leader is one who inspires, and either type of guy can serve that role. Gay is special, but still so young.

Slew (Seattle)

3 Stars? Who are stars 2 & 3 in Cleveland???

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I have an amendment to my rule that reads "if a team has one of the 5 best players on earth, a 2nd or 3rd star may not be needed. See HEAT, Miami-2006".

Mike (LA)

Who will be the better SF long-term, Rudy Gay or Kevin Durant?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

Fantastic question. I'll lean to KD, but I definitely may be wrong.

Muru, Nashville

Hello David, D-Wade should be on top of the MVP race. He's got a rookie PG, rookie 6th man, & a rookie coach and he has them at 17-13 with impressive W's over the Lakers & Cavs this week. Thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

He's right there.

Fatboy (BayArea)

Seeing Marco play well and Wright producing once they started getting consistent minutes, isn't it time to get Randolph on the floor for more then 3 minutes a game and see what he has? If those 3 can play, and put them with Ellis and Biedrins, future is not so bleak in Warrior land, agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

He's got crazy talent, but Nellie demands more emotional stability.

Wayne (memphis)

Memphis needs to run there Offence thru Rudy Gay and post him up, then let him pass the ball out the post if the shots not there...what u think..I love OJ but I think he has the big head right now

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

It takes more than a few months to iron out a plan and system. Give them time.

Ray (MN)

What position should the Wolves address more PG (Foye) SG (Miller) SF (Brewer) or C (?) Meaning Rubio, Harden or Thabeet?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Didn't they just draft a center? Best available guy would be the wise choice.

Ryan (Chicago)

I am going throw a thesis out to you. New Orleans beats the teams it is supposed to beat and loses to the teams it is supposed to lose to. They never seem to beat a really good team unless that team is injured. If this is true to what do you attribute this? Coaching, youth, style of play?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

In general, I'd look at the coach. He's been awesome, of course, but in that scenario who else would you look at?

MC Welk (SLC)

Pretty deep rookie class for big men, eh? Seems like there are 10 who can play ?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

More.

Tyler (Seattle, WA)

Glad to see you finally give some love to Koufos in your big men report. The last few times I've watched I'm just shocked he's only 19. Scouting reports said he was a middling athlete, didn't like to play around the hoop, and struggled on defense. Right now all that stuff couldn't seem further off base.

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

I don't think he's a great athlete. But he plays so hard!!

Justin (miami)

Is it time to move Mario Chalmers up in the rookie rankings? Forget about his offense, this guy has to be considered for the all-defensive team. Last night he completely shut down Mo Williams after doing the same to some of the best PGs in the league over the course of the season. I cannot believe this guy fell to the 2nd round.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

I'll be studying him this week, to be sure.

Boring(boringsville Boreston)

Boring!

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Me, or your team?

Dunleavy the GM

Mr Thorpe, do you think I should pull the trigger on a Kaman deal to the Warriors for Jackson and a player? will this make Baron happy and want to stay?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Yes I do. I'd be on the phone with the Bulls daily.

Jackson (FL)

Do you think another team out there will drop a big enough contract on the Magic's Hedo for him to leave the team? And if so how do you think Dwight would do with another big if Hedo runs and the Magic land a PF/C and move Lewis to his original position?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

I don't.

Justin (Canton, GA)

When you say Hawks need another scorer, do you mean off the bench? Our starting back court is one of the highest scoring in the nba and the rest of the starters at least hold their own...

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I meant in crunch time, in the playoffs.

Fatboy (BayArea)

Just want to say thanks for having this chat on NYE day while we are stuck at work!! Making the morning bearable. Happy New Year to you and yours!!

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Back at ya broseph!

Scott Skiles (Milwaukee)

I've done a great job in Milwaukee...turning the club around...sure we had a rough start, but now we are looking good, heck, we just beat the spurs! Why doesn't anybody talk about us?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

He's a COY candidate. That good enough?

Nick (NJ)

Considering the positions they play, could Brook Lopez end up having a bigger impact in the NBA than Rose/Mayo? Obviously PG/SG are important, but how many great centers are there in the league on both ends of the floor?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

No. But he could be almost there with them. I love his game.

Ted, The SLC

Debate question: Better character actor who is the brother of a more famous actor - Brian Doyle Murray or Clint Howard?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Gotta go with Clint thanks to his Seinfeld performance.

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

it was better than Murrays' "Bubble Boy Father" role.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Care to comment on the Charles Barkley situation?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

No, other than to say this; everyone makes mistakes in life. I spend most of my time trying to avoid my own rather than focus on the mistakes of others.

Rock (Pgh, PA)

Will Pittsburgh ever get an NBA franchise?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Not bloody likely.

David Fairborn, OH

Granger seems to get no love.

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

MIP candidate.

Chris (Rowland Heights, CA)

10 seconds left in a game and your team is down by 1. Who would you rather have on your team in this situation, Wade or LeBron?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Wade.

Paul (Oak Park, IL, formerly Portland)

Happy New Year to everyone. How about Portland beating Boston last night without Roy. I had to rely on ESPN highlights but Oden looked pretty solid: 16 points, 11 boards, 3 assists. And didn't foul out.

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Monster!

Jacob (Los Angeles)

Happy New Year Thorpe! What are some of your favorite teams to watch, I like Lakers, Memphis, and Atlanta?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Lakers 20 years ago. Phoenix yesterday. San Antonio today. Maybe Portland tomorrow.

Shaq

I aint done yet! and I am still the MDE (Most Dominant Ever)

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Definitely the MDE.

Matt (St. Paul, MN)

David - I am one of the sorry few who follow and watch the Timberwolves. My belief is that there is actually a good amount of talent on the team and they just need to improve the culture (no small task given the past 4-5 years) and let the young players mature (hopefully with some veteran guidance). Am I out in left field? I have a feeling that guys like Randy Foye, Telfair, Brewer, Love are going to be contributors in the league - maybe in MN maybe elsewhere.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

You are right.

David (Santa Barbara)

Who's your top5 greatest ever? and who do you think will be replaced when you're making this list again in 15 years?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Jordan. Magic. Bird. Kareem. Duncan.

Goodie (Tampa)

Does Wade have a shot to make it in to the Magic, Jordan, Bird... Club that you and you created?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

He may earn an invitation to the banquet, but I doubt he'll be sitting at the head table.

Jason (NYC)

Scottie Pippen was a point guard. True or False?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

False, of course.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Duncan over Russell?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Easily.

Dan (Brooklyn, NY)

Mike Conley for Barbosa? - Nash gets an understudy, Mayo moves to the point...

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Interesting. Makes some sense.

Dave (MN)

Did you see Duncan's defense down the stretch on Christmas? Three straight clutch stops on Amar'e at the rim with five fouls. He is unbelievable.

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Unbelievable is right.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Is CP3 on pace for a HOF career?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Yes, but he's like in mile 4 of a marathon.

Will (seattle)

Who would you rather have, Rudy Fernandez or Wilson Chandler?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Rudy Rudy Rudy!!

Matty Katz (iowa)

Honestly, what makes Timmy a better player than a legend who has more rings than fingers?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Check out Bill's field goal %, for starters.

Dave (Vancouver, BC)

Hey David. 60% of the time, Bill Simmons is right all the time, but what do you think of his recent assessment that Steve Nash's 2 MVPs were undeserved? Sure, D'Antoni deserves a lot of the credit but what other player could have helped him revolutionize the NBA offense like Steve did?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

5-10 players in the league can be superstars in any system. The rest need the right coach, teammates, strategies and culture to be great. But it does not make their performances any less valuable.

David Fairborn, OH

Luke Walton > Bill Walton?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

In a one on one battle?

shaq

why not me over duncan? MDE you said it yourself. Is it the 5000 missed free throws? Maybe if i stared at the rim for 45 seconds per attempt my percentage would be closer to little timmy's

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Good point.

Justin (Canton, GA)

Joe Johnson: All-Star, Elite Player, or MVP Candidate

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Elite player.

Ted, The SLC

Is Kenny Natt the man to lead Sac-town, or does management go in a different direction?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

I like a lot of what he's been saying. Too early to tell now about the future.

Jason (NYC)

Check out the entire league's FG% at the time. in 65 when they won the title, the only Celtic who shot higher than Russell's 44% from the field was Sam Jones at 45% from the field. The league average was less than 43%. Different times. Different measurements.

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

So he should be rewarded for being just a little worse than all the other bad (and smaller) shooters?

Ben (San Francisco, CA)

Lots of people thought Marco Bellineli was a bust. He's looking a lot like Manu Ginobilli but on a bad Warriors team. How do you like him?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Really showing some shot-making skills. That's what we can't be so quick to judge guys.

Nick (NJ)

Two on Two: Marc and Pau vs. Brook and Robin - who you got?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Gasol's in a romp.

Mitch Kupchak, Los Angeles

MR. THORPE: Newsflash, Wade had Shaq in 2006, so he had a 2nd star. And before you say Shaq wasn't a star then, let me remind you of all the slack I took for trading a guy who most still considered the most dominant center at that time. Wade was not alone with just a bunch of scrubs.

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

What did Shaq average in the Finals?

Ray from the USA

Any chance of a Seinfeld movie?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

I've always expected that answer to be yes. It would break every record.

Brad (Chicago, IL)

Kaman to the Bulls for whom?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Noah, Thabo, Gooden?

Chad (Las Vegas)

Can Orlando compete with Boston and Cleveland for an East Finals spot?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Yes, but they'll have to shoot great from 3 in 4 of the games.

Will, LA

Thorpedo, 8 average men vs 1 greatest UFC fighter on a football field fighting for life. Who wins?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Ditka!!

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Gotta run everyone. Thanks for spending time with me. Please be safe tonight and make good decisions. Happy new year to everyone.