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June 3, 12:27 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Finals week is here, at last. I thin k it's going to be a terrific series. And the draft talk is heating up too. I just stepped off the PTC court after a great Wednesday morning workout, so I'm juiced. Here we go. "Buckner".

steve battle creek, mi

thanks again for the best chat in the Biz! question: ben gordon or rip hamilton and why?

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

I think Rip has a better all-around game today, but BG is an incredibly dynamic one on one scorer. So it depends on team needs.

Glenn (Memphis, TN)

All of a sudden defence became important (somewhat) for Carmelo Anthony this year. Can the same happen for Rudy Gay?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

We spell defense with an S in America, including Memphis. But yes, of course Rudy can get better there. I think he will.

Rod in Orlando

Thorpedo- You know the Magic far better than most experts - since you've seen they play so often. Same here - but to me - it looks like the Lakers cancel out a lot of the matchup advantages the Magic have enjoyed most of the season. Can we overcome that?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Sure you can-the three point shot is the biggest game changer in the sport.

Mike (Chicago)

Hey Coach, I was suprised after the combine numbers came out that Earl Clark was that big. Do see him being a Chris Bosh like 4 at the next level?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Not at all. He's much more like Lamar Odom. Clark can be good, really good. But Bosh is exceptional.

Marc, Charlotte

Why is everyone so down on Ty Lawson. His numbers at the camps were nearly identical to Flynn and yet people are questioning his work ethic. The kid is a winner. Plain and simple.

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

It's weird like that sometimes, but when they can't watch them play, they have to find something to be critical about.

Mike Cleveland, Ohio

If you could get one player for the Cavs next year, who would it be?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Tough question until we know about Varejao. But a strong 5 would be good. How's Gortat?

Rod in Orlando

I like the optimism - so you're saying if the Magic hit their threes...that they win?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Not exactly. The Lakers can shoot them too.

Paul (Chicago)

Thorpe, I want you to admit that the only reason agents send players to you is because you are the most famous development coach out there. Do you really think you can get players better?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

I'd guess that no matter what I say, you'll find fault with it. In our minds, yes, we can help a player develop more quickly than he would through natural means.

Joe (CA)

Lebron James: Cry baby or tough competitor or both?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

He's not at all a crybaby. But he did make a big mistake. One easily corrected.

Matt (Westbrook, ME)

Coach Thorpe, what is Dwight Howard's ceiling if he develops one or two reliable offensive moves? Too bad there wasn't a HoF big man jump shooter on staff to teach him. Oh, wait . . .

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

I would not focus on "reliable moves". He has plenty of them.

Rocko (NY)

How good is Derrick Rose next year? All-star good?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Not yet.

Joe (CA)

Why can't anyone give the magic credit? All they talk about is "Matchup problems" isn't this just code in this case for "better team"?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

Relax Joe. They are in the Finals.

Dennis (ORLANDO FLORIDA)

Yeah a mistake easily corrected until he came out a day later to make it even worse. Prima donna.

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

perhaps. But that's not a crybaby. I do wonder though, as a dad, what he's teaching his children. Because that would not stand in the Thorpe house.

Eddie (Fresno)

Next Kings coach: the guy who best fits their plan or the guy who will work the cheapest?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

I rather like their patience.

Tim, Grass Valley CA

Who should Kings be looking at for the coaching job now that E Jordan is not available? Is Westphal or Rambis a good choice? Who else is available?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I'm leaning to Rambis-his defensive work this year has to carry weight.

Paul (Athens, OH)

Who has the tougher cross-match...Gasol guarding Lewis or Lewis guarding Gasol in the post?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Probably a bit tougher for Lewis, but D12 will handle Gasol some too.

Steve (Cleveland)

I love how the majority of anti-Lebron sentiments in chat rooms over the past couple of days has been accompanied with (Orlando, FL) in the title line.

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

He brought it on himself Steve.

Ken (pdx)

How does one project how good a guy can be on D? Some combo of athleticism, smarts, desire and speed?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

Exactly, but factor in size and length.

John (Santa Barbara, CA)

Mr Thrope, as much as I enjoy your chats, would you please admit to having a bias towards the evaluation of people who have worked out with you at IMG? Some people believe you're 'fair and balanced' on it, but they all seem to have no flaws when you discuss them.

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I'm certainly biased as a teacher. I feel like loving my players best helps me to inspire them to reach new levels. But being objective is not hard, because credibility is on the line. For example, I suggested all season that Tyrus takes too many jumpers. Because he did.

JD (Indianapolis)

Is Earl Clark (LVille) the next Shawne Williams (Memphis)? Long, athletic, 6'9ish, multi-talented....between the ears? Pacers can't afford to go down that path again. Thoughts?!

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I think that is the fear. Clark is an excellent follower, he'll do what the others around him do. On the right team, he'll be very good. On the wrong team, not so much. In our gym, for 3 weeks (which is not a long time) he was stellar.

Jon (San Francisco)

Longer answers today Thorpe, what's up?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

My bad.

Mark Melb Australia

Hey David.. Any chance you can share your thoughts on the Thunder and pick 3?? Who do they take and who should they use their cap space on? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

Seems impossible that they pass on Rubio. He's the best value there, and they can always trade it.

Barrack (DC)

Do you doubt my prophesizing? I also picked UNC to win it all. Take that!

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Yea, that was a brilliant call. Who saw that coming?

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

David, do coaches ever object to their players spendign time with you? Not that they don't like the way you teach, but just because they may have their own mindset of how they want that player to develope. On the flip side, do coaches send players to you for developement?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

Most coaches do not care-as long as the players come back looking great. That's why we always have to produce. The Bulls will send their player development coach down here to monitor Noah's progress. And we couldn't be happier about that.

Mike Utah

Marc Stein answered only 17 question in his chat monday, and that was an hour long, you managed to answer 17 questions in nearly 15 minutes, Why do you Rock so much?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I think Stein writes about 5000 more words than I do each day for espn.

Steve (Cleveland)

Thorpe = Kenny Banya. Hack.

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

That's gold Steve. Gold!

Sam, Mia FL

Hey Thorpido, Im tired of all the, LBJ is the best thing in the nba storys i see every day, Why not D-wade? Up to now you can say they have both done the same, but Wade has a ring. Both have scoring titles, same amount of Playoff time, and both have some sort of MVP. Why is wade still in the shadow?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

I'm the biggest Wade fan of them all. But LBJ edges him out. Accept it.

John (Santa Monica, ca)

If kobe did what LeBron did you guys (media) wouldn't give it a rest. Why does LeBron get a pass?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

I wasn't aware of the pass. I hear him getting grilled daily.

Patty (LA)

Thorpe = Awesome analyst ... even if he sometimes ticks me off!

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

I'm feeling a little ferklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic.

J.J.C. (Spring Lake, NC)

Who's Kenny Banya?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

That's a ban, my friend.

Ben (Chicago)

Can you tell me why Derrick Brown isn't higher on people's draft boards? Are there red flags I'm not aware of because I look at his athleticism, length, and the way he played at Xavier and see a Trevor Ariza type in the pros, so what gives?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

He didn't get much better this year, I think that's the issue.

Chris (Minneapolis, MN)

If you are the Wolves at No. 6, do you draft Curry or Holiday to be PG?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Either would be grand. Depends a bit on whether they prioritize scoring or defending.

Eddie Jordan

Thorpedo - How good can Marreese Speights be in my offense? Is he gonna be a stud?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

I think he'll be a step below that.

Freddy (So Cal)

Ford has the Lakers taking Toney Douglas in his mock draft. If they do this do you think it is an instant upgrade at the PG for them?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

No, of course not. But in time, yes.

paolo manila,philippines

hello thorpedo!!!love the chats.here in our country,size will always affect the way we play.(mainly because we're small) what advice can you give for us to improve our game in international competition??

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

Press, trap, deny every pass, scamble some on defense too, and shoot lots of three's.

Vince (Sacramento, CA)

Kevin Martin will be 27 next year, does his ceiling get any higher than what it is now? how good can he be next year with a fully healed ankle?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

He has the body of a 23 year old, and he's improved his 3 point shooting 5 consecutive years. He has some growth left, to be sure. His ankle feels ok but he's not at full speed yet.

Marc (Malden, MA)

The latest mock draft does not have Wayne Ellington doing in the 1st round. Any idea why?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

He may lack the requisite quickness to be a starting 2 for most teams. That's all I can think of.

Jesse (Memphis, TN)

Between Harden, Evans, and DeRozan, who will be the best SG in the NBA when their careers are over?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Harden probably, as Evans is more of a 1 and Derozan possibly a 3.

James (Tampa, FL)

I took a bet with a friend on Oden or Noah when they came out.I chose Noah and im still holding to it. agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Yep.

Donnie Walsh

Do I pick either Stephon Curry or Jrue Holliday at the 8th pick or should I try to move up to get Thabeet or Rubio?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

Moving up for Rubio makes more sense than Thabeet. It seems like the fans want Curry.

J.J.C. (Spring Lake, NC)

*After Googling Kenny Banya* My apologies...I never really followed Seinfeld. No soup for me, eh?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

JJC, now you know mission #1 for yourself this summer.

Tim (Katy, TX)

Would you like to see a Rubio/Mayo backcourt?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

Yes, but Rubio does not.

Shaq, Phoenix

Good Morning David. I need your help as I am very confused. I don't know who to root for to win the NBA championship. If Kobe wins, I'm doomed. Kobe can't win a title without me!!! If Stan Van Gundy wins all the things I said about him blows in my face. Please help?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Win or lose, you have stepped in it already.

Anthony (NYC)

Am I crazy in the thinking that Holiday could be a more skilled Rondo? (Maybe w less rebounding prowess).

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

He's already a much better shooter. But they play a very different game.

Alex (Auburn, AL)

Yo Thorpopylae: Who do you see having the top fundamentals in the NBA...all-stars and role players are eligible? (Duncan is one obvious example, so no soup for that one)

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

I like Billups a lot. Melo too.

Fred (Green Bay)

I couldn't believe it when I read that one of the teams Rubio would be willing to buy out his contract for is Sacramento. Did Geoff Petrie's early scouting in Europe buy him an in to the best talent there, no matter how hopeless the Kings look?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Not remotely. Everyone has been on this kid for a long time. But the Kings still get respect as an organization from agents.

Josh (Chicago)

David, why Noah over Oden? Safer? Better upside? Thanks.

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

His motor is world class as is his athleticism for a 7 footer.

Lamar Odom (LA)

Care for a twinkie? I do.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Never had one in my life.

James (SC)

kobe is the most fundamentally sound player of all time. Him and Jordan. Period.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Of course Kobe is special.

Joe (Jersey)

Do you see Kobe positioning himself more in the low post againstPietrus this series?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Yes, especially in early offense.

Mike. Philly

How do you think Eddie will do with us in philly

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

He'll do well. Good hire.

Mike (Riverside, CA)

Thorpedo, you never had a twinkie?!?!? you are missing out. i would also recommend the hostess cupcakes that have the baseball frosting design on top, The Best Thorpe! The Best!

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Yes, the cupcakes are another matter. Do they still make them?

Dac Biet (San Jose,CA)

Will we see Pau Gasol going out to the 3 point area to guard Rashard Lewis?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Yes, remember, he used to play the four and in Europe he defended many shooters.

Evan (Portland, OR)

Hey David. I was thinking that the best draft move Portland can do is take Calathes and see in a year who is better between him and Portland's other draftee Koponen. Sound good?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Yes, but I think they'll trade out.

Rocko (NY)

Dejuan Blair = Kendrick Perkins?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Would Perkins have been first team all-american as a 19 year old? Perkins is taller too.

Jerry (Grand Rapids, MI)

Do you think Lebron should work on his post game this summer?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Without doubt.

Jason (Bmore)

If you had a chance to work with Andrew Bynum, what would be the subject/skill you would stress the most for him?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Quickness in tight spaces. A second or third jump. Playing harder.

Sean (LA)

Thorpedo- Love your stuff. Same question to you that has been ignored all week by Stein and Ford. A title for Kobe this year has to get him in the top 10 all time. His resume would include at 30 ... 4 rings, 6 Western Conference Titles, 6 Finals appearances, 1 MVP, 2 Scoring Titles, 10+ All NBA 1st Teams and counting, multiple All NBA Defensive First Teams, Olympic Gold. He is no questions the second best 2 guard of all time right??

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

He and West, I'd say.

Terry (Portland)

If you had a chance to work with Greg Oden what would you tell him to work on?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

See my answer about Bynum.

Dan (lincoln, NE)

Huge Bird fan- but would his lack of food speed make him less of a player if he was playing today?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Not remotely. He'd use it to his advantage.

Mike (Chicago, IL)

Small rumor in Chicago is the Bulls trading Hinrich and the 26th to Minnesota for the 6th pick. Who gets the sour end on this trade?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

It's a good deal probably for both.

Sunil (NYC, NY)

Greetings my facebook friend, At #8, the knicks have a viable shot at almost all of pgs. Which one do you think would be a natural for D'antoni's offense. I'm thinking big minutes early on.

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

I've not seen Jennings. But Rubio, Holiday, or Curry all would be terrific.

Nate FC (Chicago, IL)

Thorpe! Who is the answer for the Bulls down low? Amare, Bosh, Blair? None of the above?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Amare if they could work it out, wth Bosh right there with him.

Tom (MySpace)

Do you twitter yet? I hope not. I don't see the big deal about it anyway.

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Only facebook, but Henry Abbott has asked me to chime in during the Finals and he'll post them on his twitter feed.

Rhett (Toronto)

Thorpe, throw us Raps fans a bone (you usually do)! Who's a good fit for Toronto at 9?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

i don't think it will happen, but DeJuan Blair adds so much toughness and rebounding to a team. He'd be a culture changer, and his personality is electric.

Fred (Seattle WA)

In John Hollinger's last chat he intimated that he sometimes plays pick-up basketball. How true do you think this statement is? And if true, how good do you think Hollinger would be?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

I heard his PER last year was 11.4, but the average PER in those media pickup games is 3.6.

Steve, LA

Why is Dwight Howard allowed to camp in the paint on both ends of the court?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

It's not as bad as you sugggest.

Phil (Cleveland)

Speaking of Earl Clark finding the right spot. I really hope Cleveland can trade up to get him. You think he would be the perfect guy to come off the bench and be able to stop Turk or Lewis?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

You make an excellent point-I think Clark can be a terrific defender.

Jesse (Taipei)

Dooood... Do you see D-Wade winning another one or two titles?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Yes I do.

Fred (Seattle WA)

Wow, Hollinger's PER is greater than the total of the entire Cavs supporting cast.

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Excellent.

Jerry Buss

Any chance I can pry you away from Florida once Phil calls it a career?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

No, but the better question is, if Rambis heads north, who takes over?

German (San Juan, PR)

David, do you think the Lakers can/will re-sign BOTH Odom and Ariza? If not, who do they choose?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Yes, they can re-sign both.

Rocky(San Diego)

Hey David, I think if the bulls played Tyrus Thomas 35mpg and allowed him to play thru his mistakes instead of handcuffing him to the bench everytime he makes a mistake or misses a jumper he could be a 20ppg/10rpg/4bpg/2spg type player.

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

I'm not sure about 20 ppg, and I wish he'd rebound more. But yes, with consistent minutes he'd put up amazing numbers.

Matt (SLC)

Hey Thorpe. Chad has the Jazz picking Hansbrough. Is this the only market Tyler could actually succeed in? I would love to get rid of Boozer have Millsap starting and Psycho T coming off the bench.

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

I'm a fan, just not a huge one. But he has a place as an energy guy to be sure.

Gabe (Silver Spring)

Please give some analysis on Thabeet.

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

I question his offensive future, and his toughness, and is committment.

Vince (DC)

Best fit for Zards at 5? Or should they trade for AMARE?!

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Probably Harden.

Elijah W. (Hollywood, California)

Hey, I played a dude named Buckner in Hooligans.

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Does no one get that reference?

Charlie (Bored at work)

Chat's almost done. Has anyone guessed the movie quote yet? We might have a first on the "David Thorpe Chat" show... No one guessing that quote.

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

C'mon people. Think Boston.

Brian (Orlando)

Am I the only excited for the Morrison vs Reddick matchup of who can act more bored on the bench. My pick is Morrison.

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Great idea-I forgot about that matchup.

Ed Stefanski (Philly)

Would you trade Speights and the #17 to move up and get Stephen Curry?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Depends on what I got in return. I think Curry is more special than Speights.

Sean (MD)

Is Blair more athletic than he gets credit for? I get the impression people think he can't jump over a pencil.

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Yes he is.

Pahking The Cah (Boston)

Must be a slow day on movie quotes there, eh Thorpedo?!?!

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Nice. But we have a winner.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Was is that movie with Jimmy Fallon?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Yes. "Fever Pitch". His friends sitting next to him and Drew barrymore were telling her about all the famous Boston Red Sox bungles. As they were naming them, Fallon sighed "Buckner". Hysterical.

Amil (LA)

Thoughts on Conan's Late Night debut?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Did not watch it.

Rich (Jersey)

Wouldnt Blair be a perfect compliment to Lopez?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Yes, but the Nets should have a few good options there. This is a better draft than people realize.

Jimmie J. (TX)

Do you think this is Kobe's last "outstanding" year?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

No.

Matt (Chicago)

Why would the Bulls want #6? Who could they possibly want to pick at that spot?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

I'd guess they want a sg.

Steve (Sac-Town)

Chances Rubio ends up with the Kings?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

8.94% Time to go. Hope you all enjoy the games. Be safe and see you next week from Orlando.