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February 5, 1:26 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Thanks for stopping by, everyone, on your way to a nice all-star break. Things are so quiet in the NBA today, I hope we can generate some interesting questions, considering how little there is to discuss. I think we'll be fine. I'm down at the PTC at IMG today, so there is no opera to help us muddle through. Sorry. "A week from Saturday, I turn in my amateur status and, uh, I go pro".

Joe (Medford)

From what you've seen so far, who has more potential to be a great center in the NBA: Bynum or Oden?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

If we took health risks out of it, I'd lean to Oden.

coolidge (Stanford)

how much more talent is available to the NBA arena now that smaller players are becoming more common and not all SG have to be 6'6 and not all PF have to be 6'10?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

What an insightful question. And you are correct. It's a little bit like the Moneyball effect. Production counts for more than size and look.

Brett (NJ)

Is it true that the Blazers have offered Aldridge, Raef, and Bayless for Amare? How come that deal is not done, yet? It seems like a no-brainer as the best deal so far. Are the Suns that worried about catapulting the Blazers to dynasty status?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

I've no clue on the veracity of that. But trading Amare to a rival like Portland has all sorts of risks.

ty(nc)

How do you feel about king james bing alittle over rated...not hating, but dont an outside scorer make you just that much better, and we all know thats his struggle

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Overrated? You mean, he's not in the top 3 in the world?

Laura (Austin, TX)

Hi Coach Thorpe, I was just wondering if you would ever consider a position in the NBA as a Head Coach? It seems clear that you know how to get players to trust and listen to you, and you are great at helping them get better. Coaches have been hired with far less experience at coaching pro's than you.

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Thanks Laura, and yes, I do think that I'll be in a position to accept a job like that. But no, it will not happen for at least 11 more years. I have one chance to be a great dad, and being a head coach would mean that I'd lose that chance. For me anyway. After that it's still unlikely, my wife deserves better than to have us together just for the summers.

Rocko (NY)

How amazing is it to see rookies like Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo be able to take over in the clutch? This draft class is so deep it's amazing.

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Amazing it is. Though BG reminded us about how good he is late in games.

Robert (San Bernardino, CA)

What are your Oscar pics?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

Slumdog was powerful and so artistically special.

Darryl (Oakland, CA)

How good would Miami have been if they took Brook Lopez instead of "the Beez"? Did they miss on him or what!

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

In hindsight, Lopez could have gone #1 and it would not have been a reach. He is very special.

Stranded NBA Fan (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Hey David! What are your thoughts on Linas Kleiza? Is he a piece that the Nuggets need to keep, or has he reached his ceiling?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

I think he is better than he has a chance to show most nights. He'd propel Toronto back into contention.

Adam (Oakland, CA)

In February, Tyrus Thomas is averaging 18 pts, 11 rebs, 2 blocks, in just under 40 min. You've worked with him in the past. Can he really put it together to be this good, or do you think he'll always show flashes before once again regressing to the inconsistent 20 ft jump shooter he sometimes insists on being?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

In reality, he's been playing at a high level since 12/1. Just getting more minutes now. Everyone misses jumpers-and at 22, he misses just a bit more. He'll get better.

deke (Istanbul)

will there be a public tar and feathering of Steve Kerr at All-Star break? will Steve Nash be freed from that mess? its a real NBA tragedy.

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

A tragedy that may draw interest from Broadway one day. "The Sinking Suns".

Jake (SF)

Anthony Randolph, how good can he be with the right coaching, meaning not don nelson?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I've consistently said, he's got all-star talent wrapped up in huge bust potential. The coach he has will make a huge difference.

D Miz (Breakin Down The Game)

Sup Thorpe. Chad Ford said there's an offer on the table for Amare that they're waiting until after the All-Star break (or let other offers trickle in). You know what it is?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Yes, I think I do, for the most part.

Matt (Carroll, Iowa)

Any chance that with so many teams said to be in the running to trade for Amare that the Suns could end up with a more impressive haul then most experts are thinking? When its all said and done what is your prediction on what the Suns end up with?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

I think they'll get less than people expect, but enough to keep Phoenix relevant going forward.

Chris (OKC)

Would the lakers consider trading Kobe for Kevin Durant and spare parts. It gives the Lakers someone to build around for the future, and gives OKC a major attraction for the new team.

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

That's a lifetime ban, and you better look over your shoulder dude. That smoke you smell is from those torches behind you.

Harris (Athens, Greece)

Do you believe it would be better for Kosta Koufos be a starter in an average team or having just a small role in the Jazz?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

He needs pt. Has a chance to be really good.

Leigh (Charlottesville)

David, I noticed your rookie reports have not added anything new on Sean Singletary's report since his trade to Charlotte. Do you think he can have a meaningful career in the NBA or best suited to go to Europe?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I need to focus on him soon. Sorry. He's going to have tough time sticking, but he just might. This summer is huge for him.

Marty (Chicago, IL)

Would getting Amare make the Bulls better in the long run, or is this outburst from Tyrus Thomas for real? Thomas is a better defender and rebouder and is younger. You figure that if he improves on not turning the ball over you could get better production from him if he keeps this up.

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

To me, if the Bulls want to make a run now and next year, it's a no-brainer. You have to get Amare. if instead they have a 3 year window to progress with Rose, Thomas, Noah, Deng-all 24 or younger, then that dictates standing pat.

Johal (Gothenburg, Sweden)

At what point does D-wade get his name mentioned in the same sentence as Kobe and Lebron? You see a lot of publications which only list those 2. D-Wade has won a title already where LeBron hasn't, is playing great ball(equally as good as the other 2) I realise he's not winning as much, but he is doing a lot more with less.

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I have him in the top 3.

Justin (Boulder, CO)

In the latest ESPN the Mag Stuart Scott says the NCAA champs would take three or four out of ten against the NBA basement dwellers. I can't believe that would be true. Your take?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

It's the craziest thing ever written in the last 25 years. Are you sure he wasn't joking?

Eric (New York, NY)

Thorpezilla! Had a cool moment last Monday night - Kobe and Spike Lee came to my work (I'm an audio engineer in NY) to record a commentary track after that 61-point game; it was basically Kobe watching footage of himself playing against the Spurs and recording his thoughts. One of the things that was so interesting was that he had played the Spurs so many times, and watched so much film on them, that he knew exactly what all the Spurs players were going to do, all the plays they were going to run, and all their defensive rotations - ("Ok, now Bruce is gonna run out to the corner for that 3 - does that every time"). He also mentioned that unlike football, where teams try to disguise their play calls, NBA teams don't even bother, because it doesn't matter if the other team knows what play you're running as long as you execute it. Is that generally the case?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Yes, except for after timeouts. All actions have counters.

Travis (Bloomington, IN)

Hey David, you suck.

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

You are not alone in that assessment.

Eric Gordan (Los Angeles, CA)

How am I not in your top 5

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

This isn't last year.

ingrid (UMASS)

whats the most on court "non-basketball" technique that you teach your players and we might be a little surprised by?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

You mean that does not involve a ball? probably changing speeds and being crafty moving without the ball. Suckering guys into jogging back on defensse then quickly accelerating.

David Fairborn, OH

David, I've been slacking in the book department. I'm in the mood to read something modern, and I've been tending to be enjoying more british writers like Mark Haddon and Nick Hornby. Any suggestions?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

I love Hornby!! But I'm reading "Charlie Wilson's War" and am really enjoying it. On deck is "Ghost Wars".

Scott (San Antonio)

Hope your day is off to a good start. My question is; do you see Bonner maintaining this level of play? I was wondering if maybe you had heard any opinions scouts may have on him and what your opinion is on his abilities.

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

It is, thanks. I was praising Bonner coming out of college. He's the clasic case of a guy being on the right team and with the right coach. Very underrated guy.

Izzy Mandelbaum, NY

So grab your jock (if you need one) IT'S GO TIME!! Love the chats Thorpedo! How do you feel about the Blazers young core? Should they stand pat with what they have or should they inject a veteran into the mix by moving LaFrentz and change? And who would/should they target? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

I like their team as is, going forward.

Dylan (Alaska)

What do you think of J.R. Smith replacing rudy in the dunk contest? And i bet OJ wins the game of HORSE on saturday, who do u like in it?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

I have not watched either event in years, except for the occasional dunk.

Andy Ulm Germany

Thorpedo keep rocking you're the best chatter ever on espn. in 5 years,what are your thoughts about the debate who will the best player in the game,LBJ or KD,cause Kobe getting old,or someone other could be join it,and what his KD's ceiling,one of the great or someone who has the chance to be the greatest?THX

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

LBJ and KD, in that order, is definitely possible.

Jim (Connecticut)

Do you play music while you teach guys how to play basketball?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

No. And i turn my cell phone off, too.

Jesse (San Antonio)

Rebuilding around Amare? Not sure what fans are thinking. Sure he's young, but his knee isn't. Microfracture isn't a cure-all, it's meant as a temporary replacement. The replacement cartilage is not as durable as the real stuff.

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

How long since he's hurt it?

Robert Tennessee [via mobile]

what about those grizzlies?holding oponents to less than 30% shooting back to back for the first timein 50 years

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

Another example of how a coach can make a huge difference.

Sean (LA)

David - Thanks for taking my question last week! I wanted to say I told you so! The Lakers have obviously proved they are STILL without AB the best team in the NBA. People are saying in LA that was the best road trip in TEAM HISTORY! If LO plays like this the rest of the season with or without AB the Lakers are taking the TITLE!

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

So you're saying that you have to count on LO to win the title? Exactly.

Rocko (NY)

It's been 2 1/2 seasons since Amare had microfracture. He's in his 3rd now.

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

Right. And he's not re-injured it.

Johnny (Santa Barbara, California)

Will Ramon Sessions be a star in the league? Do you think Milwaukee will clear the space (i.e. Richard Jefferson) in order to resign him this off season?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Not sure about star. Starter seems clear.

Rob (Portland, OR)

If you like "Charlie Wilson's War" then I think you'll like "Killing Pablo" by Mark Bowden. Do you think Jordan Farmar has reached his ceiling, or is he still going to get better?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Cool. Thanks. No, far from his ceiling.

John (Chapel Hill)

How can you not even mention DJ Augustin in your top 20??? Have you seen what he has done in his 2 games back from the injury? Did you miss his entire first half of the season?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

2 games back is the reason. Give me another week or two with him back and healthy.

Keyan (Rockville)

Thorpedo, another great chat. Did you see the Blake Griffin dunk fest this past weekend? The guy is a more athletic competitive version of Beasley last year. I know Beasley can shoot the jumper and put it on the floor. But Griffin is the hardest worker on his team with a freakish inside game. Do you see him as a 100% stud in the league?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Starter seems certain. Not sure he'll score enough for more.

Mike (Jersey)

Dave, you are the Bulls GM, do you pull the trigger on Tyrus, Noah, Gooden, Sefolosha and draft pick for Amare? Yes or No?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

It's never as simple as that, especially in this economy. Financial decisons will play a big part.

ryan(NJ)

Is Miami a valid possible landing spot for Amare?

Julia: (Indianapolis)

Is Roy Hibbert our center of the future?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

Maybe. May not be a good enough rebounder to be the full time starter.

John (Dallas)

So you are still sticking with SA to win west over the Lakers? I'll take the Lakers in the west even without "counting on" LO.

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Yes I am.

Jay (Brooklyn)

"So you're saying that you have to count on LO to win the title? Exactly." Priceless. As always, great stuff DT.

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

I like it when they have it figured out themselves but don't realize it.

Blair (Chicago)

Thorpe - Your rookie ranking is a cop out. If your a GM, who are you taking?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

Lopez or Rose.

John (Los Angeles)

Why is everyone sleeping on the lakers? They went to the NBA finals without Bynum last year. This year they got more experience under their belt and a health ariza. Meanwhile the C's have lost posey and brown and the cavs according to espn is a 1 man team.

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Sleeping? Nobody. Spurs Lakers would be an amazing series. LA could absolutely win it all.

Robbie (Memphis, TN)

Do YOU think that Memphis could offer the best trade for Amare with Rudy Gay in the deal?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

I hadn't heard that deal. Very interesting.

Matt(Dallas)

My friend thinks Dirk is better than Larry Bird and that LBJ is ALREADY the best to ever play the game. Please tell him he is doubly wrong.

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

He is.

Jon (Miami)

You didn't answer the Amare-to-Heat question. I'm dying here!

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Not at all likely.

Tree (New York)

Doesn't Ramon Session's play warrant the question, what the heck is going on with NBA coaches and execs?? Fantasy players ALL know what he is capable of when he starts. Why don't coaches and GM's know this?? Is his defense so horrible that it overrides his offensive brilliance? These are questions I need answers to.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Yes it does. Hollinger and I laugh about this.

Monty (DC)

Do you think Amare for Dirk Nowitski makes sense? Suns need a player to spread the floor with Shaq in the paint and the Mavs need a future.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

No.

Bullins (Boston)

Do you actually answer more the 5 questions per chat or what? All these responses suck.

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Sorry man. But you havr the option of clicking that x in the corner and go back to your Home and Gardens homepage.

Steiny (NYC)

Jason Terry is out with a wrist injury. How big of a blow is this to the Dallas Maverick?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Knockout.

Steve (Ithaca)

Still ripping on Lamar, huh? When they had him mic'd up on Sunday, I was hoping he'd shout out "Who's Elaine now?!" I know it's only one game, but overall, I think +Ariza and -Posey are enough to put them over the top this year. Love the chats, keep up the good work.

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I picked them to beat Bsoton. I love LO's game. Just not when he's wearing a skirt.

Ryan (Toronto)

Hey David, what did you think of the water works from Rose last night, alittle over dramatic?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I don't pay attention to that stuff. He got cracked in the head. if he did cry, who cares?

Tim (Atlanta)

Thorpe, I'm 35 years old and play hoops 6 days a week. I grew a lot after high school, so I've never been coached, but I want to learn how to play. I read Henry's blog about your "Train Like a Pro" camp, but will you ever offer one for us peons?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Yep.. Got one coming in March. Find me on facebook and I'll fill you in.

Jeremy(Portland)

Do you think it would be wise to trade Aldridge and Bayless for Amare? i know Amere is good but Bayless and Aldridge have excellent potential...

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Again, do they want to win today?

Hannes (Malmö, Sweden)

As a response to "coolidge (Stanford)", how about: The introduction of the no handchecking-rule, which makes guards that much better, being allowed to drive to the basket without little resistance offered. Over to my question/statement: If the MJ of -93 played today, he would score like 45 per game, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Sounds about right. it would be unreal.

caleb (nc)

what kind of player will stephon curry be?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

It looks like he'll be a dynamic scorer and passer.

Jason (Chootiya, pa)

Why is Speights not getting more playing time? How do these imbeciles become coaches - I mean SERIOUSLY!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

He and Sessions should form their own union.

Scott (Los Angeles)

David, love your work and your chats. How impressive has the crop of rookies out of the Pac 10 been this year? Westbrook, Love, Mayo, Lopez, Anderson, et al.

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Wow.

Rich (VA)

David, why do you think NBA players complain about the officiating so much? I understand if there's a legitimately terrible call in a close game, but it seems like every foul is met with kvetching and screaming and eye-rolling. Do you think this turns off the casual/itinerant fan?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Not sure, but it is to me.

john (boston)

when Rondo plays well, the Celtics are quite impressive. When he doesn't, the offense is stagnant and becomes "give the ball to Paul Pierce and stand around." I know Pierce is capable of carrying the load, but that's not how we'll win. A lot of Rondo's problems are in his head with decisions and confidence - what would you do to help him maintain consistency in those two areas? thanks

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Making jumpers would be a huge burden lifted.

Phil (DC)

David, have you ever considered writing a full-length book?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Working on that with Henry Abbott.

Bill (indy)

Smits couldn't rebound and he was a pretty decent starter.

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Good point. And that's who I compare him to, to some degree.

Josh (Tampa, Fl)

What do you think of Courtney Lee in the long haul? Does he have the potential to be a solid scorer for the Magic? (He already has the defense)

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Hdoes. It's a tough fit there being the 5th option. He's not complaining.

Dave (MN)

Do you see the Spurs staying relevant in the next five years? What do they need to do personnel-wise to stay a championship contender?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Yes, if they keep Pop and RC.

Dave (MN)

I loved it a couple of years ago when they called a "T" for just looking at the ref. I wish the NBA would go back to that.

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Me too.

Blakeley (Edina, MN)

How does Love rate when compared to Horford? Who would you rather have?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Love may project a but higher, actually. I'd take either.

Chris (NJ)

Does Brook Lopez have a legit chance of being named R.O.Y or is it just a pipedream at this point?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Check out my latest rookie rankings.

Mike (Portland Oregon)

Nate is not the right coach for the Blazers, agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Mostly.

Jim (Michigan)

17-2 run in the last three minutes to blow a 10 point lead?!? How much worse can it get for a pistons fan?

brian (ma)

worst draft pick - kwame brown or greg oden?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Brown, Borwn, Brown.

Washington D.C.

Of all the attributes GMs try to predict from the college game to the pro game, it seems like attitude and ethic would translate most consistently. Instead, it seems like head cases in college like Beasley, Speights, and McGee are really working hard in the pros. What is so different about the two atmospheres that it can seemingly change a personality?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

Being surrounded by talented and professional guys makes a difference. It's called leadership.

Adam (Milwaukee)

Try being a Bucks fan. They were improving, starting to look decent again, and even in the playoff race. Then the injury monster decided to trample everything.

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Yo, I've been a Bucs fan for over 30 years. So spare me the tears.

Johnny (Santa Barbara, California)

How good can Jason Thompson be?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Good for sure. Not sure if he can be great.

Bizzle (St. Louis)

What are the chances that STL could eventually net an NBA team David? Thanks man!

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Do they have a state of the art arena available?

Ed (San Antonio)

Coach, I love that when you haven't had a chance to really check out a player yet, you just say so -- so many other chatters obviously BS by just blathering the conventional wisdom about players they don't know much about. On that note, have you seen much of Malik Hairston? The Spurs loved his D in training camp, and it seems like he developed enough offensive skills in the D League to give some production on that end, too. Do you think he will take most of Bowen & Udoka's minutes by the end of the season, or does his game still have a long way to go before we can say that? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

I liked him in the pre-draft camp and summer league. But I don't expect him to get pt over those vets.

Kevin (Williamsburg, VA)

David, on the basketball court and for the future, is giving up Tyrus Thomas for Amar'e Stoudemire a good idea? I know you mentioned financial considerations earlier, but if that wasn't an issue what would you do if you were Paxson?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

I'd probably do the trade-using an asset to acquire Amare is wise. See the Jefferson for KG deal. But it's a tough call either way, as Tyrus brings tons of energy and defense to the equation.

Josh (Toronto)

Has Bargnani turned a corner or is this just a flash in the pan?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

I've been very impressed when I've watched him.

Donnie (Sac)

You have to part with Jason Thompson or Spencer Hawes--who goes?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Keep Shock, part with Hawes.

jessica (NY)

DA- did you ever think we would witness the redemption of vince carter? how about his play with the nets this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

I've always loved Vince, since I first coached him some at a camp when he was 15. Nothing he does surprises me.

Jon (Fresno)

About 400 DTs on FB. How do we narrow it down?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Great question. Maybe use the Tampa Bay area?

Nat (Troy, NY)

Going off topic or maybe I should say "boss" topic, do you believe steroids has entered the game of professional basketball?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Not to my knowledge. Creatine, yes.

Rick (TX)

Alot of people hate the Spurs because they are "boring". Would you say that people who really know the game appreciate the Spurs?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Yes, a great deal. 3 superstars, boring? No way.

Jeff (Miami)

Do you think that Beasley will ever get "it?"

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Yes.

Steve

Luol Deng looked back on form since returning from injury but the last couple of games he's struggled and reverted to his early season self. What do you make of this..?

David Thorpe
  (1:02 PM)

When the Bulls don't move the ball, he gets shut out and ends up hunting shots too much. Hope it gets turned around. I think it will.

David Thorpe
  (1:03 PM)

Time to head into the gym. Got last year's top scorer in the Euroleague here for a week. Thanks for 1300+ questions, great stuff as always. See you soon! Be safe.