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March 17, 7:15 AM ET
Chat with J.A. Adande

J.A. Adande
  (3:01 PM)

hi folks...in the midst of the Madness, let's chat it up

Jay(philippines) [via mobile]

If the cavs lose their season series to the celts,wil they also lose the homecourt advantage even if they had the best record?

J.A. Adande
  (3:03 PM)

No, head-to-head record is only used as a tiebreaker. record comes first.

Megan (LA)

Hollinger stated that people who say "Kobe is better than Lebron" choose to believe what they want to regardless of the facts. Statistically, Lebron is beating Kobe in every meaningful category, including clutch stats. I'm sure you disagree?

J.A. Adande
  (3:06 PM)

You're sure? You know exactly what's in my mind. First let me state LeBron is closing in on the MVP, especially given his performance in OT last night vs. Kobe's back-to-back poor-shooting games (mitigated only by his jumper with 6.6 left vs. philly). But I feel much better about Kobe taking a jump shot than I do LeBron taking a jump shot, so that makes Kobe more of a threat. I was talking to a former NBA coach about that on Wednesday. You gotta shoot. The good news for LeBron is you can always work on your jumper...and he has. When it's as reliable as Kobe's he will surpass him.

Seth (Cleveland)

J.A. - Easiest to rile up...Cavs fans (LeBron leaving), Lakers fans (Kobe not the best in the league), Utah fans (Paul vs. Williams debate) or Orlando fans (Magic not among elite teams)?

J.A. Adande
  (3:08 PM)

Haha. I'd say 1. Laker fans w/Kobe (you can say he had an off night and they get offended), 2. Utah fans w. Deron Williams, 3. Cleveland fans (but they just seem to wallow in misery, not get angry at other people), and 4. Magic fans (not as passionate or not as many in number as the others)

Jeff, Toronto

JA amid all the gloom and doom personally I am quite happy with the state of the nba, especially as it concerns many star players. I have always been annoyed at the fact that many seem to think that you need to be in the headlines in all the wrong ways or otherwise you have no personality. Guys, like Wade, Paul, Howard show that you can be a top player, funny, high personality guy without making the news in only negative manner.

J.A. Adande
  (3:10 PM)

Excellent point. Look at the dominant news in baseball: the best players of our generation are accused or admitted steroid users. All of the felons in football. Basketball's product is very healthy, great players all over the place. But I think you won't see a boom like we had inthe 80s because of the economy. So many teams are going to be making financially-based decisions that they'll lose their fan bases (or fan bases will lose their teams, like in Seattle)

Justin (miami)

What are your thoughts on Beasley? I know a lot of people weren't talking about him at the beginning of the year because he wasn't playing big minutes and the other rookies were getting big minutes on bad teams and putting up nice numbers. Lately, the guy has been a force. In the 4th quarter of the Celtic game he was unstoppable. If the draft were held right now, would you take Beasley at # 1?

J.A. Adande
  (3:11 PM)

Was very impressed with Beasley vs. Boston. But I still would have taken Rose No. 1

Dylan (alaska)

Henry on Truehoop for ESPN, proposed that they cut down 1/5 of the teams in the League and disperse the players among the others. Among these teams were the Thunder, Pacers, Grizz, T-Wolves, What do you think Adande?

J.A. Adande
  (3:16 PM)

I'd love contraction. I'd also like a shorter season. Don't see you'll see the league or the union agree to those because it would mean lower revenues and fewer jobs. Now if a team just decided to fold I'd hope the league would just let it happen and not go for a bailout. But as I wrote about last year, there is virtual contraction when teams shed salaries and send good players to good teams (i.e. the Pau Gasol trade). I think it helps the league oeverall because it creates superteams in big markets. It just hurts the smaller markets.

John (NC)

Who gets the 8th spot in the east? Bulls have been playing well of late, but the Nets have too, even though they've lost a couple at the end.

J.A. Adande
  (3:17 PM)

I think Devin Harris' injury could be the final straw for NJ. They were on such thin ice already they couldn't afford to have him out.

Curtis and Harlem,NY

how come everyone is getting on President Obama for filling out a bracket? He is afterall the president should he not have at least 5 mins to relax and do something he enjoys. The economy can not get any worse than what it already is because he had 5 min to himself

J.A. Adande
  (3:20 PM)

Everyone needs to chill out, including Coach K. AFter 9/11, with the stock market nose diving, Bush went to a World Series game and threw out the first pitch and Rudy Giuliani did the opening for Saturday Night Live. I don't think filling out a bracket is going to impact the economy 1 way or another

Peter (Seattle)

Is AI's ego hurt? Did the Pistons handle this properly, and can we say for sure that Det's better with Stuck than AI?

J.A. Adande
  (3:23 PM)

Detroit's recent skid shows it wasn't ALL Iverson's fault. Bt if I'm Detroit I wouldn't worry about AI's ego, since he doesn't fit in the long term plans. Better to develop Stuckey...or maybe find out if he isn't up to the task so they can make other plans

Anthony (New York City)

Why is your "tiebreaker" in the Kobe vs. Lebron question who has a better jumpshot? By that standard Dwight Howard would be one of the worst players in the league. Lebron is better than Kobe in almost every category (even defense for the first time) but shooting. Throw in the fact that Lebron has worse teammates and a better record and the debate should be over.

J.A. Adande
  (3:26 PM)

It just give Kobe more ways to beat you than LeBron. Kobe can drive too, although not as well as LeBron (and not as well as Kobe used to). Kobe can pass as well as anyone in the league when he wants to...that he doesn't want to makes him less fun to play ith than LeBron, but if I want to win a game (and not just on the last shot), I'd rather have Kobe on my side, even if it means my FGAs go down

John (New York)

If you look at the percentages there are just as many Basketball player getting in trouble as there are football player. You just had Williams from the Nets throw a Monitor against the wall in Denver. There are just more pro football players than basketball players.

J.A. Adande
  (3:28 PM)

And the NBA has more of a reputation as a "thug" league, even though it's clearly unfair. And the NFL has its share of divas as well, i.e. TO and Cutler. And, very seriously, tell me the last time an NBA player killed someone with his car. I can think of 2 NFL examples, the latest with Donte Stallworth. I can't recall this happening with an NB player in recent years, outside of a self-caused fatality in Houston.

Hilla (Akron, OH)

5. Boston fans, at the thought of any other team being in the same league as theirs. (Has there ever been a fan base with such a sense of entitlement?)

J.A. Adande
  (3:30 PM)

I don't mind the Boston fans' sense of entitlement...maybe because I'm used to that living among Laker fans, USC football fans, UCLA basketball fans...but at least Celtics fans understand the game and know exactly what they're talking about.

Joel(Michigan)

How good can OKC be in the future. They already have one of the best crowd in the nba, one of the best young players with the potential to be the best player in the league and loads of future picks and a smart GM. Do you think they should get rid of Jeff Green since he plays the same position as Duarnt? And if they dont get Griffin in the draft, who should they pick.

J.A. Adande
  (3:32 PM)

I wouldn't get rid of Green. It's hard to find players who are so good who are that willing to fit in with the team..and clearly Durant's going to be the top dog there. They need better big man and some veteran winners.

Jesse (Taipei)

NBA needs to implement challenges on bad calls and no-calls. Referees need protection from hecklers, but they already have unchecked power (at the time of play) to throw out technicals. The NBA needs to officiate truthful basketball and not to consider tempo of the game for profits. If there is a foul at the end of a critical game, you HAVE TO call it because you've been calling it all the way till the end.

J.A. Adande
  (3:35 PM)

Here's why you can't have challenges: you can find some type of violation on almost every play of the game. Aside from the clear violations (such as stepping out of bounds), refs have to make quick decisions all the time based on impact, not necessarily violation. If you can find Earl Strom's autobiography you'll get great insight into the refs' jobs. His rule of thumb was whether or not the outcome was affected. If there's contact but a shot isn't affected, why blow the whistle? You might not the arbitrary way that sounds, but would you really like the whistle blowing every time down the court?

Chris (St .Paul, MN)

Who is the best player since Jordan (Bulls not Wiz) retired ? I say Duncan.

J.A. Adande
  (3:39 PM)

Throwing that one in just because it's nice to see Duncan get some recognition. He's tied with Shaq with four rings. Although I've got to give Shaq a nod since he's been to the Finals with 3 franchises. That says something.

Jason (Phoenix)

Which prospect do you think will have the biggest impact in the nba next year?

J.A. Adande
  (3:40 PM)

I think it's Griffin and it's not even much of a debate. not a lot of impact guys in this draft...could be some solid contributors. But no game-changers.

Patty (LA)

Consistency is all fans ask for from refs. If a crew is calling a game a certain way, fine. The players need to adjust. It's when they don't call them the same ON BOTH ENDS OF THE COURT that fans go balistic. How many times do we see a love tap draw a whistle on one end, and then a hack go uncalled on the other? It's that which needs to be cleaned up. Consistency.

J.A. Adande
  (3:42 PM)

Great point. that drives coaches crazy, too. But I do feel people refs should be conservatives at the end of games. Unless it's a blatant foul, let it go and let the players decide. I like to let players decide the game.

Danny (Cleveland)

Imagine you are David Stern, what matchup do you dream about more, Lakers vs. Celtics or Kobe vs. Lebron

J.A. Adande
  (3:45 PM)

Kobe vs. LeBron. You can tell just by the comments in this chat (and you've only seen 1/10th of them) that it inspires passionate arguments. Lakers-Celtics was good last year because it brought back a lot of nostalgic older fans (like me). But LeBron vs. Kobe is bout today, the younger fans, and the future. A producer at ESPN made a good point: they had kids working on old highlights who weren't even born for the 1984 Finals with Celts-Lakers. time for today's generation to have a rivalry it can call its own.

SV (Watertown, MA)

There is a flaw in the logic of there would be a whistle every time down. If the refs started calling fouls every time in a consisitent fashion players would change their behavior; that is, players would stop doing things that resut in a foul they could get away with before. Thus, fouls would not be called every time down in time.

J.A. Adande
  (3:47 PM)

That has happened with the hand checks on the perimeter. But when players drive to the basket, contact's almost inevitable, unless you want defenders to start backing off everyone who's attacking the hoop. We need to keep some provisions that protect the defense.

Ross (Orlando)

we actually have quite the passionate fan base and while we dont mind flying under the radar, we should be in the debate for contenders, plain and simple

J.A. Adande
  (3:49 PM)

Yes, your team isn't given its just due. But the fan base is not underrated. Put it this way: I've never left the O-rena (or whatever corporate name it has now) with a headache the way I have in, say, Utah or Sacramento. Never seen the crowd in Orlando really be a factor. And I was there when the team was playing in the conference finals.

AJ (Atlanta, GA)

So you think that being traded from team to team makes Shaq better than Timmy? Timmy has taken two very different teams to the championship. Wade really won the finals for the Heat. The Lakers no doubt were all Shaq when they were winning titles. He was a monster. Give Timmy some due!

J.A. Adande
  (3:54 PM)

the whole point of posting that other Q was to give Duncan some due. Note I said Shaq went to the finals with different franchises...I recognize that Duncan's last championship team was completely different from his first. Reason I didn't say Kobe or anyone else was that Shaq and Duncan pretty much split this decade. Balloting is just about closed, and Wade and LeBron don't have enough time to make this decade theirs. I'm not sure Kobe will have quite enough great years left in him to challenge LeBron for the title of next decade's superstars.

Jake Klipp (Milwaukee, WI)

I think it's more impressive to be your team's building block, and help them win 4 rings while riding your back than it is to jump ship when things are rough onto a ready title-contender (maybe being a little rough). My nod goes to Duncan.

Vincent: (Los Angeles)

One of my pet peeves watching the tourney, JA, is how much coaches get on players for mistakes RIGHT after they happen. While I understand how it's completely a human tendency, I see no value in doing so unless it's immediately instructive and useful. Micromanagement is fatal no?

J.A. Adande
  (3:57 PM)

More frustrating than that is how the players are so pre-programmed that they won't go away from the regular offense to take advantage of a matchup. Was talking to a guy who coached in college and pros who said the same thing...too many college coaches don't allow their kids to just feel the flow of a game

Jovan. Compton, California [via mobile]

What are the chances kobe options out of his contract if the lakers dont win the championship?

J.A. Adande
  (4:00 PM)

An agent explained to me that Kobe would be beter off just tacking on an extension to this contract, under the current CBA, than opting out of this one. He could lock into his money for more years by opting out now, but he won't have any exciting options to change teams.

wondahbap

Did Timmy go back to back to back? No. he is not the best player of the decade.

Don (NY)

Big Daddy Kane or Rakim?

J.A. Adande
  (4:02 PM)

Rakim

J.A. Adande
  (4:04 PM)

And the fans retreat into their suites and the sound dissipates into the rafters high above the court....Like Simmons' NFL stadium analysis, I've never seen an environment that became more intimidating in a new arena. Talked to Sixers assistant Jim Lynam about Philly's last game in the Spectrum...he said the young players who had never played there loved how much closer the fans were to the action than they are in the new Wachovia or whatever building.

J.A. Adande
  (4:06 PM)

With that, I'm out like the Spectrum. Thanks for your questions...I'm sure we'll be talking Kobe vs. LeBron all the way through June. Actually, I hope that's the No. 1 topic in June. Would be a lot of fun. see you next week