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March 10, 6:59 AM ET
Chat with J.A. Adande

Nadeem (Yuba City, California)

What is wrong with the Pistons? It seems as if they just gave away Billups and got nothing in return. Will this trade hurt them later on?

J.A. Adande
  (3:03 PM)

Hello everybody. This trade will help them later on when Allen Iverson's $21 million come off the books this summer and the Pistons have some financial flexibility. Will they be able to lure a top free agent to Detroit? Will they WANT to spend the money, or save some of it to compensate for the declining ticket-buyers. We'll see. But at least they'll have some options.

Jonathan (NY)

If Lebron gets his fourth consecutive triple double tonight, would that feat be as impressive as Kobe's 4 game run of 50 or more (65,50,60,50) in 06/07? Jason Kidd came close last year but no one has done it in a long time as far as I can tell.

J.A. Adande
  (3:06 PM)

I'm going to say more impressive, because mot of these top-level guys (Bron, Wade, Kobe) could get 50 if they shot every time down. You can't control other people making shots to get you the assists. You can't control where the ball comes off the rim. So to come up with 4 straight triple doubles would be remarkable.

J.A. Adande
  (3:06 PM)

Of course, not as remarkable as Oscar Robertson averaging a triple-double

mike (Akron)

Do you really think D-williams is better than Paul? you have to be joking. Thats like saying Paul Peirce is better than LeBron. Thats like saying Big Z is better then Dwight Howard!! C'mon JA, don't make me take you off my favorite columnists page.

J.A. Adande
  (3:08 PM)

Um, did I say D-Williams is better than Paul? Please read carefully. I said he's in the conversation. And I noted that his teams have gone farther than Paul's have. That's a fact, one that shouldn't be forgotten.

Jerry (Cleveland, OH)

Alot of people are talking about the the 2010 summer, but this summer is going to be interesting as well with free agents like Kobe, Artest, Nash, Odom, Boozer, etc. My question to you is, where do you think some of these players may end up at the end of this summer?

J.A. Adande
  (3:11 PM)

the reason this summer isn't going to generate as much excitement is there are only 3 teams set up to make big offers: Detroit, Memphis and OKC. It's hard to imagine players lining up to join those teams. So there won't be the open-market frenzy we're expecting in 2010. No one imagines Kobe leaving. It's possible Odom could be gone...but if there isn't a big contract out there, wouldn't he be better off staying with the Lakers for a little less? Boozer's going to be interesting. He might be in for a rude awakening.

Nick (Sandusky, OH)

Will players now think twice about doing a showboat dunk when Lebron is chasing them down?

J.A. Adande
  (3:12 PM)

How about not trying to do a 360 when ANYONE is within a step of you? That was unbelievably dumb by Richardson. Then Pavlovic hit a three at the other end, the Suns got a T...boom, six-point swing. Ballgame.

Dennis, New York

Do the Spurs have a puncher's chance against the Lakers? How much does that improve if Manu comes back healthy?

J.A. Adande
  (3:14 PM)

If Manu comes back 100% the Spurs have a puncher's chance, which would be an improvement over the no chance they'd have without him.

Ben (california)

Did you honestly think ariza was deserving of a flagrant 2 monday night making a play on the ball? Do you think the off the bench suspension rule need to be revised? And do you think dick bavetta needs to stop reffing? A little old in my opinion...

J.A. Adande
  (3:18 PM)

There was an almost identical play in another game (you'll have to forgive me, I've watched so much college and pro ball this week the details are escaping me) but because the guy going to the hoop was a lot stronger than Rudy Fernandez he didn't crash to the floor. I think there's so much reaction to the impact that we lose track of how egregious the foul actually was. And I think the leave-the-bench suspension rule has outlived its usefulness. Hand down big suspensions to guys who join in a skirmish and escalate it, but don't punish someone for walking a few feet onto the court.

Chris (Recession-land)

JA - Upcoming CBA negotiations will be tough. Here's an idea to float on player contracts. FA signs a multi year deal with a team. In year 2 (and each year hence) the team has the option of cutting the player's salary in half. If they do so the Player has the right to void the contract and hit the open market or accept the pay cut. Teams limit the effect of poor signings and players make market value. The market is also more open b/c other teams can reduce payroll by 'cutting' salaries on their roster so the threat of a player finding a better deal than the cut rate increases. Both teams and players loose a little leverage and the market is more efficient in making sure players get paid market rate. Comments?

J.A. Adande
  (3:19 PM)

I think that's a good idea and a good compromise.

Hania (Bloomfield Hills, MI)

Declining ticket buyers? Lure to Detroit? I understand Detroit is not New York City, but they are financially healthy, lead the league in attendance (and have for years) and are always in the playoffs. What more could a player ask for? Please don't say weather.

J.A. Adande
  (3:20 PM)

Sorry, but...weather. Don't think that isn't a factor. Do you notice a common theme in all the cities where Shaq has played?

mark (chicago)

In years past it was evident that high profile free agents were reluctant to play for the Bulls. With the 2010 free agent market coming up, i was wondering if you think nba stars are now more willing to play in Chicago?

J.A. Adande
  (3:22 PM)

This gets at the next example I was going to make about free agents and weather. They haven't rushed to Chicago, and Chicago is a better city than Detroit. it just isn't far enough south. But if I were a FA looking at things strictly from a basketball perspective, I'd have questions about the Paxson/Del Negro tandem and wonder if they could keep me in the best position to win a championship

Jason (NYC)

Do you think it's unfair that people seem to want to dogpile JRich for attempting a 360 he's made a million times? Kobe's done them in the open floor as well. You know props to Bron for hustling back and breaking that up with a hard foul to the wrist, but that would have blown the lid off the arena if he'd hit that dunk. The NBA would be a poorer place if it was all substance and no style.

J.A. Adande
  (3:25 PM)

key words: open floor. That wasn't the case last night when JRich took off. In fact, there might not be such a thing as an open floor when LeBron's in the building. How many times have we seen LeBron come from nowhere to block a fast break shot? I'd even be looking over my shoulder if LeBron was on the bench.

Max (Memphis)

Do you feel that Melo gets held to a higher standard because of expectations as a result of his unprecedented success in leading a team to an NCAA title as a fresman? I feel that no one as good as him gets disrespected so much, and that many people not nearly as good receive much more praise.

J.A. Adande
  (3:26 PM)

His NCAA days have nothing to do with it. In the NBA, his classmates LeBron and DWade have led their teams to the Finals, while Melo hasn't been out of the first round. And LeBron and Wade haven't been suspended multiple times.

Jess (NYC)

But if you are on the East coast and in a cold city its all good? So the Midwest is just not desirable. You don't see this with NYC, Philly, Boston.

J.A. Adande
  (3:29 PM)

you did see it in Boston for years. In fact, Bob Ryan was convinced for a long time that the Celtics would never be relevant again because today's athlete's put a higher premium on location than on winning. Remember, the new Big 3 didn't come together from free agent signings, it was the Ray Allen trade, which made the Celts a more appealing destination for KG to agree to be traded there. And remember, he was coming from Minnesota, so it wasn't like KG had to leave the beach and buy a parka

mathieu (san francisco)

Maybe the leaving the bench issue should be addressed with the equivalent of yellow and red cards, let the league assess the level of the violation but if you prove to be a repeat bench leaver you will eventually lose a game. The spirit of the violation should be maintained but some perspective should be applied as well.

J.A. Adande
  (3:30 PM)

I'm against anything that would make basketball more like soccer. It's bad enough we have flopping.

Lance (New York, N.Y.)

It's official, the degrees of ineptitude in the NBA are now (each worse than the last) bad, horrible, Isiah Thomas, and now Mike Dunleavy (I never thought Isiah could be topped). After the latest debacle that happened with the Clippers against Cleveland, how can the franchise not make changes? It would probably be better financially as well to get rid of Dunleavy than to keep him as Donald Sterling did before. At least give the fans a reason to buy tickets with hope for the future as Donnie Walsh has done for the Knicks.

J.A. Adande
  (3:34 PM)

Here's the problem, there'd practically have to be a fan boycott of Clipper games to turn them into a financial disaster, so as long as they're getting some of the ATM that is Staples Center they'll continue to follow the path of least expenses. Does Sterling want to swallow about $10 million to get rid of Dunleavy, then have to spend on both a GM and a coach? Sterling is getting very frustrated. I dont see him as being that frustrated yet. If he does do anything, it'll be last-minute so he doesn't have to double-pay any longer than he has to.

Mike (North Carolina)

Are the bobcats only one piece away from becomine a team that can contend for a title?

J.A. Adande
  (3:35 PM)

Yeah....LeBron

Bryan (Anaheim, CA)

Hollinger argues that using championships instead of stats to compare CP3 and Magic is unfair because CP3 doesnt have the same talent around him, but isnt that what we as fans use to tell the difference between good players and legends? Do you think that if CP3 was to finish with better stats than Magic but never won anything that we'd ever mention him in the same breath as the all-time greats?

J.A. Adande
  (3:39 PM)

did you notice how the Lakers with Kareem never got close to a championship until Magic got there? Did you notice how they made it back to the Finals after Kareem was gone? (And this is coming from a guy who thinks Kareem doesn't get his just due in the all-time greats discussions). Bottom line is Magic is in the backcourt with Jordan in the all-time NBA starting lineup. No matter what the stats say, I don't think we'll be saying that about Chris Paul when it's over. (He still has work to do to get past Isiah and Stockton, too). Chris Paul is great. I just don't see him as being the all-time great.

Joey(SLC, UT)

I think us whiny Utah fans are grateful to you just for saying that D-WIll is "in the conversation" with Paul. I think what got us mad is when people were trying to say that Paul is FAR AND AWAY the better player, when it is just not true. Yippee, CP3 has a better PER because he gets more rebounds and steals. Whoopee! Paul is great, Deron is great, now let's just hope they meet in the 1st round of the playoffs.

J.A. Adande
  (3:40 PM)

man that would be fun. It would be the one and only first-round matchup I'd look forward too.

Evan (Boston)

I believe that right now dwyane wade is a better player than lebron james, would you agree with me on that or do you think im crazy?

J.A. Adande
  (3:41 PM)

I won't question your sanity. I'll even go so far as to say Wade is doing more things for his team than LeBron. But there are things LeBron can do that Wade can't. You can't say the reverse.

Jeremy New Orleans

The Hornets and Saints are among the top 40 in pro sports value (38 & 39 respectively). Also, N.O. and Pittsburgh were the only "small market" city to have two sports team that high. Are you journalist going to get off of our back saying we can't support them both??

J.A. Adande
  (3:45 PM)

I'll believe it when the Hornets don't have to dump salaries the way they tried to with Chandler...and which they very well could do again. The fact is, things were dicey for the Hornets franchise (and the Saints) even before Katrina. There aren't a lot of Fortune 500 companies down there to snap up the suites. Now the population has been decimated. I love New Orleans. I hope the Hornets are successful and make multiple trips to the Finals so I can stuff myself with all of that good food down there. they have a good team in place, good coach and GM. But I doubt they'll have the financial means to stick around the top of the league...and maybe not even enough to stay in N.O.

Dave ( NY)

Last night on TNT they guys talked about Lebron playing with Showtime back in all their primes that he would be just as good as Magic - thoughts?

J.A. Adande
  (3:48 PM)

LeBron has all of Magic's skills and 10X his athletic ability...but he doesn't have Magic's court sense (maybe Bird and Russell were the only ones who did) and LeBron doesn't have the same amount of, shall we say, clutchness as Magic.

Brian (Brooklyn)

The NBA's legacy tiers have been tarnished forever. If Nash is a two time MVP then you can put CP3 in the dicussion of best all time PG with Magic.

J.A. Adande
  (3:55 PM)

That was simply a function of multiple circumstances, kind of like Houston winning back-to-back championships in the mid 1990s. It was unbelievable to look at the players on the court in the recent Lakers-Suns game and think Nash had as many MVP awards as Shaq and Kobe combined. But you should only take that season into consideration for MVP voting, not worry about how it will alter history.

Sergio (Peachtree City, GA

It's the Eastern Conference Finals. A healthy Cavaliers club has the home court advantage against a healthy Celtics. Who wins?

J.A. Adande
  (3:56 PM)

In that scenario, the Cavs

Michael Miami,Florida

J.A. Adande = Lebron Homer

J.A. Adande
  (3:57 PM)

Unlike last week, when I was a Kobe homer, right?

Adrienne, Missouri

Please answer an Orlando Magic question! I am a hardcore Magic fan, but let's face it: Detroit has our number. Barring they do not meet Detroit in the first round, how far do you think they will go in the playoffs.

J.A. Adande
  (3:58 PM)

Second round. I don't think they get past Boston or Cleveland.

kj, kent, oh

when is this MYTH about LBJ and "clutchiness" gonna die?? LOOK UP THE STATS, adande! LBJ is the best in tight ball games by far the last few years. wayyyy better than kobe, for instance.

J.A. Adande
  (3:59 PM)

One of the reason I don't base my life on stats. Seriously, if you have to pick one guy to hit a shot to win it for you, you'd take LeBron over Kobe?

Steve (L.A.)

Are you a fan of the NBA at all, or just a journalist? I ask because you said there'd only be one first round matchup you'd look forward to. I' a huge basketball fan and my friends make fun of me for watching games like Grizz v Thunder, but I just enjoy watching the best basketball players in the world on any given night go at it. Thoughts?

J.A. Adande
  (4:02 PM)

Both the fan and the journalist in me want compelling matchups, and most of the first-rounders don't do much for me. We've seen Denver-San Antonio before. Same with Orlando-Detroit. Atlanta-Miami is mildly interesting. But the chance D-Will and Paul go head-to-head has me salivating

JT (Orlando)

I would pick R Horry over Lebron and Kobe.

J.A. Adande
  (4:04 PM)

You know what? You'd probably get a championship ring or two. Or 7

Azaria (atl) [via mobile]

How soon is bynum coming back? Playoffs, before playoffs or not this year?

J.A. Adande
  (4:05 PM)

He's back on the treadmill, so that's a start.

Jeff (Ohio)

Career wise: LeBron James on game winning shots: 17 of 50 for 34%. Kobe Bryant: 14 of 56 for a sterling 26%. KOBE's CLUTCHNESS IS A MYTH! HE'S ACTUALLY WORSE THAN AVERAGE!!

J.A. Adande
  (4:08 PM)

You're right. Kobe isn't clutch. He's never hit jumpers to clincha division championship, or win playoff games or NBA Finals games. He never scored 8 points in overtime to win a Finals game after Shaq fouled out. I would take the typical NBA player over Kobe if there were 10 seconds left on the clock.

Danny Ainge, Boston

Why do people always forget that Paul Pierce has been, is now, and forever will be more clutch than Lebron and Kobe?? Look it up.

J.A. Adande
  (4:10 PM)

I'm not sure about more, but I'm glad you brought his name up. Good point. And speaking of adding to the argument (and good point...guards), how about...

chris (hartford, ct)

In terms of pure point, Rondo > D-Will. Just saying.

J.A. Adande
  (4:10 PM)

Have at it, Utah.

Nathan (Houston)

"...like Houston winning back-to-back Championships". I've always hated this "No Jordan" argument, which I'm assuming you are implying. Everyone that says this seems to forget there were 27? other teams in the NBA playing and had just as much a chance at winning a championship. Do we discredit all championships as a function of the post-Russell era?

J.A. Adande
  (4:12 PM)

Maybe the Rockets get one if Jordan had stuck around. But they're on the list of multiple champions, back-to-back champions, when, say the Sixers teams of the 1980s can't say that. But I'd rather have that squad than the 90s Rockets.

Preston (slc,ut)

Chris is insane!!!! Rondo is not better than D-Will! Deron gets his points and gets more assists, How is Rondo better? If rondo has all those superstars, shouldnt he be getting more assists?

Scott (Halifax, NS)

OK, Pax and Chachi have to go. But who do you replace them with?

J.A. Adande
  (4:15 PM)

I know one guy who'd love to coach the Bulls: Ron Harper. Might be worth a shot.

schwa (Utah)

Rondo is like the Smush Parker of PGs. And Smush had a jump shot. D Will has a J, cross over, behind the back/no look/you name it pass in his bag of tricks, and doesn't require three hall of famers. Give me a break.

J.A. Adande
  (4:17 PM)

I thought this was kind of funny, since Smush Parker was a PG. So is Mike Dunleavy the Mike Dunleavy of coaches?

Steve (SLC)

So as far as the Rondo better than Williams thing... Aren't "pure points" supposed to be the main person to orchestrate the offense? I tend to see Paul Pierce as the facilitator on Boston more than Rondo

James (Boston, MA)

Just to throw some gas on the fire, rondo has a better assist to turnover ratio than D-will, the most important stat for PG's.........

kj, kent, oh

wow, adande uses the super effective "I've seen kobe make some shots" argument against actual stats which are a PREDICTOR of likely outcomes. game, set and match to adande.

J.A. Adande
  (4:21 PM)

Actual stats: Zach Randolph 3p% .346. Kobe Bryant 3p% .340. So I'm sure Clipper fans had a right to feel much better about Zach Randolph taking that three at the end of the Cavs game than Laker fans had a right to feel about Kobe firing that three over Hill in San Antonio.

Mark (New York, NY)

Dwyane Wade is averaging more assists than all these guys while scoring 40 a night on nearly 60 percent shooting and hitting game winners and game tying shots left and right....how is he not the best player in the league right now and how can anyone be more clutch than him (remember '06 finals and olympics?)

J.A. Adande
  (4:23 PM)

If it were best player I'd go with Wade this season. But value, as it's come to be defined, has to do with team performance. And if you're talking about Olympics, it was Kobe getting it done when it was gold medal time.

Jordan (Los Angeles)

Rondo can't shoot. That's kind of important when you play basketball right? Last time I checked, DWill's got him beat by a mile in that category.

J.A. Adande
  (4:25 PM)

Okay folks, got a little more than we bargained for with Rondo in the mix. We can pick that up next week if yo'd like. Thanks, as always, for your questions. We'll talk some more NBA next week, even in the midst of March Madness.