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January 26, 11:52 AM ET
Chat with J.A. Adande

J.A. Adande
  (3:00 PM)

Hi folks. The All-Star rosters are set, so now the government can get back to focusing on the economy. Oh, you still have some things to say about them? Okay then...

Dan (Bridgewater, NJ)

Was Melo the biggest snub?

J.A. Adande
  (3:02 PM)

The one that stands out to me is Mo Williams. Cleveland's had a great season and so many people give him credit for helping to change things. If the Lakers got 2 all-stars, the Celtics got 2 and Orlando got 3, Cleveland should have 2 as well. I would've taken Mo over Rashard Lewis.

Glenn (Memphis, TN)

Dear Mr. Adande: True or false. The NBA all-star game is more about entertainment but the competition events (3 pt, dunk and pt guard skills) is more about winning. Good or bad?

J.A. Adande
  (3:04 PM)

I wouldn't agree with that. People put varying degrees of effort into the dunk contest. Obviously Dwight Howard really wanted it last year. He even looked a little nervous. Some folks just don't care. And do you even remember who wins the skills comp? But if the AS game is close in the last two minutes, EVERYBODY on the court is trying to get that W. You saw it last year in New Orleans.

Greg Miami

Who gets moved and who will have the biggest impact on the playoffs?

J.A. Adande
  (3:06 PM)

I just talked with a GM who made a simple but smart point. The guys whose names you kept hearing last year - Jason Kidd, Shaq, etc. -- got traded. So he said I should expect to see the same with the guys whose names we hear this year: Shawn Marion, Jermaine O'Neal, Brad Miller. As for impact, it depends who goes where. I think Miller on the right team could make the biggest difference.

Adam (Anaheim, CA)

Do you think the Charlotte Bobcats will make the playoffs? , and do you like their new additions: Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, and Desagana Diop?

J.A. Adande
  (3:08 PM)

Bell and Diaw are flourishing under Larry Brown. But I think Gerald Wallace going down is too much for this young team to overcome. By the way, Bynum should have been suspended for that foul.

Jared (Minneapolis)

How can you NOT say that Al Jefferson was the biggest snub. He is by far the best low post player in the game. Nobody can stop him.

J.A. Adande
  (3:10 PM)

I agree with the prevailing theory that you should on winning teams. And yes, I know that didn't stop Granger from making.

Andrew (Boston, MA)

What do the Knicks do at the deadline? Would it make sense to sign Lee and Robinson to reasonable contracts, then use them as trade bait? It is risky for 2010, but at least they can get something back in the future next year.

J.A. Adande
  (3:12 PM)

NY Times had a good piece this week suggesting the Knicks might bring back Lee. But they'd want to do so at a moderate price. I think someone will wind up overpaying him so he'll leave

Josh (Cleveland)

First, I'll give credit where credit is due - nice win for Orlando last night. That said, I realized last night that the Magic's formula is better suited to win March Madness than the NBA Championship: they roll with four 3-point shooters and a center. I just don't see that winning a 7 game series against the Cavs or Celtics, do you?

J.A. Adande
  (3:14 PM)

Until they prove otherwise, I think the Magic's set up to win games, not series

Lisa, CA

Do you think maybe Bynum didn't get suspended because Larry Brown wasn't upset? I don't know all the details of course, but maybe it has to do with how the other team reacts? I just think if Larry Brown was pissed off about it, there definately wouldve been a suspension... your thoughts?

J.A. Adande
  (3:15 PM)

No, because we've seen times when a coach, GM or owner is furious and there's still no suspension. The only explanation I got from the league yesterday is that not every flagrant foul deserves a suspension

Steve (NY)

How many years until Bynum is a Starter for the all star team? how many years until Kobe is not a starter?

J.A. Adande
  (3:17 PM)

As long as Yao's around and there's Internet access in China, I think he's in the starting lineup. Interesting question with Kobe. I think the Iverson vote this year showed that fans will keep voting their favorites in even after they start slipping. In a related story, Kobe's jersey is the top seller at the NBA store this season...so it doesn't look like he's going anywhere for, I'd say, at least 6 years.

Noam (Jerusalem)

Is it just me or is the NBA talent pool much weaker than past years? I love Jameer Nelson, I really do, but I don't think he's an All-star as much as a MIP candidate. Devin Harris is playing great, but the whole team's playbook is based on him, he's avereging the same amount of assists and rebounds as last season, and shooting the same % with 3 more FGA. And their competition for the team is Ray Allen, who, while playing amazing this season is mostly just a shooter at this point in his career, Mo Williams, who spent the past 2 seasons tanking on defense in Milwaukee, and Rondo, who is the 4th best player on his team. Am I watching less basketball or are the All Stars really weaker?

J.A. Adande
  (3:21 PM)

I think the pool is pretty deep right now. And remember, it really didn't include guys like Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand, who have played at all-star levels in the past. There were several players who had legit cases to make the squad who were left out. That's a good sign for the league.

J.A. Adande
  (3:21 PM)

Now that being said, it's going to be a while before we see another team as loaded as, say, the 1987 East squad http://www.nba.com/history/allstar/boxscore_1987.html

Jake (MN)

Are the Wolves becoming the new Trailblazers? (A young team loaded with talent?) Could they make a run to make the playoffs next season?

J.A. Adande
  (3:24 PM)

The Wolves don't have a player like Brandon Roy, so they can't be the new Blazers

David (Kutte ki aulad, GA)

Why is Lebron James scared of participating in the Dunk Contest?? Is he scared of losing? It is VERY interesting that the winner of the last Dunk contest is the leading vote getter (out of nowhere). Given that it is established that Lebron's not particularly adept at selling his shoes, aren't you surprised that Nike hasn't asked him to appear in one?

J.A. Adande
  (3:27 PM)

While I wish LeBron would try it just once, at this point I don't see what he has to gain from being in the dunk contest. More exposure? We see more than enough of LeBron as it is. Dwight Howard used it to vault into more people's minds...now he's the top vote-getter. But I don't think LeBron would win over any new fans with a couple of dunks.

Keyan (DC)

JA big fan. Wondering what the in the world the Wizards direction is? Are they just hoping they land Blake Griffen? The signings of Jamison and Arenas make no sense to us in DC. Its not a secret you need quality big men to contend. With no cap space to sign one in the next few years is it time for us to cut our losses with Grunfield?

J.A. Adande
  (3:29 PM)

The Wizards maintain that you have to wait and see what the team looks like when Gilbert is back. I think we've already seen that story: a second-round playoff squad at best. Ernie's did a good job at his previous stops, so that should buy him a little time here...but not too much.

Joe (Philly)

Thanks for the link, J. A.! Seeing Hakeem's name reminded me -- is he possibly one of the most under-rated players ever? He won back-to-back championships on teams that had no one else but role-players. I know a lot of people criticize the slow-it-down, big-man oriented play of the 90s as being boring, but his foot-work in the post was amazing to watch.

J.A. Adande
  (3:31 PM)

Kareem won his championships with Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. Shaq won his with Kobe and Dwyane Wade. Hakeem did it with Kenny Smith and Sam Cassell -- two of my favorite people, but certainly not Hall of Famers. Not to mention Hakeem's multiple trips to the Final Four in college

Mike (Mpls)

Speaking of the Twolves and Brandon Roy...just imagine if they hadn't made that trade and Big Al and Roy were the Wolves 1-2 punch. Not a bad team. Thanks McFail.

J.A. Adande
  (3:32 PM)

I wasn't going to bring that up, because I figure Minny folks were already down enough about Al not making the squad

ANDRE IGUODALA (Philadelphia, PA)

Um..Dwights superman "dunk" wasnt really a dunk, he should have been DQ'd and I dont care if it looked cool, he also stole the behind the backboard dunks from me which I did years before he did, yet he gets all the credit...WHAT GIVES

J.A. Adande
  (3:33 PM)

It's not a straight steal if you add something to it...then it's a remix. It's like Jordan doing Dr. J's free-throw line dunk, but adding the leg action.

Bruce, Toronto

Why Shaq over Steve Nash? Makes no sense?

J.A. Adande
  (3:34 PM)

It makes complete sense. The Suns have made Shaq the focal point of their offense, and he's helped them win more games than they've lost. But this all-star game berth doesn't make up for the fact that Nash has 2 MVPs and Shaq has one. think about that.

Rob (University of Oregon)

If you're the Blazers and Bulls, would you trade Raef's expiring contract, Travis Outlaw and Sergio for Luol Deng and Hinrich...The core of the Blazers would be Roy,Rudy,Deng,Lamarcus and Oden (All players under 24)...While the Bulls get cap space and two young guys that can get up and down the court with Rose, while getting away from two long contracts...thoughts???

J.A. Adande
  (3:37 PM)

That doesn't really address either team's needs...they both need the same thing: people who can get easy baskets, and veterans who know how to win. this would be exchanging too many of the same things.

Gabriel (Bristol, CT)

Is a healthy Houston squad an actual contender, or are injuries just putting an asterisk on a season that would have ended in the first round anyway?

J.A. Adande
  (3:38 PM)

A healthy Houston could contend. But I'm starting to think "healthy Houston" is an oxymoron

Michael (Ottawa)

Does it bother you that Simmons started his chat at 12 ET and is still going? Can he outlast you?

J.A. Adande
  (3:38 PM)

He definitely can outlast me...he's set the all-time record. I think my best is about 2 hours, and i was feeling woozy

Paulius(Lithuania)

The Jazz's season is ruined?

J.A. Adande
  (3:42 PM)

I think so, but they're not panicking and they won't be making drastic deals for someone to plug the gaps while AK and Boozer are out. they're thinking about the long term. This is still a young team. AK and Boozer are only 27, and they're among the older players. This could actually help them long-term: Boozer's injury-plagued season doesn't give him incentive to opt out, nor does it drive up his price

Jude, State College, PA

How are Shaq and Kobe going to play together? Will it be like the old days or as awkward as the battle that the press has made between them?

J.A. Adande
  (3:44 PM)

I actually think they'll have fun with it. Even when their feud was driving toward its bitter end in 2004, Kobe still set Shaq up to be the MVP of the all-star game in LA.

Daniel Tx

No, Bynum should NOT have and dint get suspended for it, it was a flagrant thats all. There was no malice and he didn't hit him with his elbow. It was with the back of his bicept and the momentum was all created by Wallace. The floor caused his injury and last time I checked people hit the deck many times per game without suspensions.

J.A. Adande
  (3:48 PM)

Here's the thing: by upgrading to a flagrant 2 the league is saying he should have been ejected. So how is it that he won't wind up missing a minute of action for that foul? He didn't try to hurt him, but he didn't make a play on the ball at all.

Taylor London, Kentucky

Will this hurt Rajon Rondo's confidence not being put on the All Star team?

J.A. Adande
  (3:50 PM)

Relevant question, because his confidence does rise and fall. But he shouldn't think of himself as the guy who wasn't good enough to make the all-star team. He should think of himself as the PG who was good enough to be on a championship team.

Scott (Mobile, AL)

Can the Spurs beat the Lakers in the playoffs with their current roster? Are there any moves that they can make?

J.A. Adande
  (3:53 PM)

No they can't. As for making moves, none of the folks around the league that I've spoken to thinks the Spurs have enough to offer to get the other quality player they need. Looks like they'll have to wait and pull off another one of their shrewd draft choices

Grr (Orlando, FL)

Hakeem won with Kenny Smith and Sam Cassell....oh and that other guy in the 2nd championship. Forgot his name. Clyde Drexler???

J.A. Adande
  (3:54 PM)

I should have mentioned the Glide. But I still don't put him in the category of Oscar, Magic or Kobe

Steven

Cmon, take one thunder question. Is Kevin Durant going to reach superstar status or will he just be a really good player like a Lamar Odom?

J.A. Adande
  (3:56 PM)

He's already come closer to reaching his potential than Odom has.

Matt (New York)

JA, please help this Bulls fan off the ledge. I can't stand Gordon or Noah. What could a package of those two guys get us? Any chance its the low post scorer we've needed for 5 year now?

J.A. Adande
  (3:59 PM)

I love how people downgrade players on their team and then expect to trade them for all-stars. Most players worth having make 8-figure annual salaries, right? Since Gordon is a base-year comp player and Noah makes only $2.3 million this year, trading them can't get you a $10 million -plus layer in return.

Ryan (LA, CA)

The fact that Shaq only has one MVP in his career is the biggest joke in NBA History. They should create a Lifetime Achievement award for him. I mean that is pretty ridiculous right??

J.A. Adande
  (4:02 PM)

It's more a reflection on Shaq than the voters. He should have had more years like 2000, when he was the no-doubt-about-it MVP. There were too many other years when he missed too many games with injuries (he would have been MVP in 96-97 if he didn't get hurt) or didn't care enought throughout the season to get the Podoloff trophy. PHil challenged him to get another MVP award late in his stay and LA, and Shaq didn't answer the call.

Al(Virginia)

What do you think of jameer nelson for an MVP candidate

J.A. Adande
  (4:03 PM)

Easy, Romeo, let's not get carried away. First of all, you can't even take him over Dwight Howard as the MVP of that team.

Kirk hinrich (Chicago, IL)

what is Rose doing now that I didnt do when I was in the league my first few years? I averaged 16 and 7 and was the best defensive PG in the league...and still am

J.A. Adande
  (4:05 PM)

Rose gets to the basket at will. When guards can score that many points in the paint it's an invaluable asset.

joel (b'ham, al)

whats is wrong with th pistons? is curry using A.I the wrong way?

J.A. Adande
  (4:06 PM)

we learned from larry brown and the 01 sixers that the best way to use AI is to have everyone else defer to him. The Pistons don't operate that way. Rip wants his, Stuckey wants to keep growing and as a result they're upset and confused. Tough mix

Ray (Pocatello, Idaho)

J.A., name one better individual dunk contest performance than Carters in 00. Actually, I'll let you pick anyone from any year against Carter and only three of his dunks(360 wind, elbow in rim, off the floor between the legs). Don't even need the other two dunks.

J.A. Adande
  (4:07 PM)

He personally rescued the dunk contest that night. Breathed new life into the event after it had grown really stale.

Karl (Scarborough, ME)

Any chance Billups gives Melo the ultimate assist and "sprains" his ankle (no ankle insurance) leaving a spot open for Melo on the all-star roster, thereby restoring some confidence in the star player needed to get past the first round of the playoffs?

J.A. Adande
  (4:08 PM)

If you're a Nuggets fan, wouldn't you rather NOT have Melo play an extra game while he's coming back from injury?

fisherking (san jose, ca)

With Jameer making it to the All-Star game, is it safe to say dropping in the draft actually helped his career? I am thinking he is playing the way he is because he felt slighted on draft day and now plays with a chip on his shoulder (much like his teammate Lewis).

J.A. Adande
  (4:11 PM)

I think that lasts for a season or so, then that's it. Do you really think Randy Moss is still motivated by his drop in the NFL draft? I think, as Chris Broussard recently wrote in the magazine, that Nelson has found a better way to cope with his father's death, and he's also just decided to work harder to get better.

Spencer, Montana

Really the 87 East Squad over the 00 West Squad, I don't think so. I loved the 80's but 00 squad just too good.

J.A. Adande
  (4:14 PM)

I'm sticking with the 87 East squad, but you all can decide for yourselves. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_NBA_All-Star_Game

Rory (NY)

the 1990 east squad easily better 1987 and atleast they won their game by 17 points. I'll take reggie miller and dennis rodman over lambier and some guy ive never heard of before.

J.A. Adande
  (4:18 PM)

Pretty strong as well. For the record, I didn't say the 87 East squad was the best ever, that was just a game that popped in my head, in part because it might be the best All-Star game I've ever seen (that stretch when Magic and Isiah go back and forth in the 4th quarter might be the best couple of minutes in the game's history)

J.A. Adande
  (4:19 PM)

Also, the caliber of players who tried to block Rolando Blackmon's shot at the end of regulation: Bird, Jordan, Erving...it's like a wing of the Hall of Fame right there

J.A. Adande
  (4:19 PM)

Here's the 90 all-star box score http://www.nba.com/history/allstar/boxscore_1990.html

Chris (Los Angeles)

Are the Los Angeles Clippers going to make it to the playoffs once their whole squad is back and playing the way they were expected to? Are the Clippers nearing a trade?

J.A. Adande
  (4:22 PM)

I keep hearing they're in no rush to get rid of Kaman, the guy whose name pops up the most in trade rumors. They won't be a playoff team this year. But I'd like to see what a full season of Davis, Eric Gordon, Camby, Zach Randolph could do

Dee (NY, NY)

is Amare's game restricted by shaq's game the same way kobe's was? how come D-wade played well with shaq???

J.A. Adande
  (4:24 PM)

How, exactly, did Shaq restrict Kobe's game? Bryant won 3 championships and made several huge shots along the way. Stoudemire's game is restricted more by Terry Porter's offense...Amare flourished when Shaq got to Phoenix last year.

Kyle (Ottawa, ON)

I get the whole being on a winning team and stuff but isn't this game just entertainment. I mean it's an exhibition game. And I know Bill Simmons has said this before but wouldn't having a guy like Calderon play the point be more fun than Jameer Nelson or Allen Iverson?

J.A. Adande
  (4:29 PM)

Haven't you watched Iverson in the all-star game? He might be the best AS game player in this era.

J.A. Adande
  (4:30 PM)

I'm actually looking forward to Phoenix in a couple of weeks. That's a wrap for today. Thanks for so many questions. ISee you next week.