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November 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

I'm here at the Thorpe Lab, ready to concoct a great chat session. No opera today, so it's up to us to make something of this hour."I've worked with better. But not many".

mike (atlanta)

is thabo sefalosha the best wing defender in the league?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

I think he's in the conversation. But good defenders need good helpers. It does look like OKC is making progress.

Pete (San Antonio)

DeJuan Blair has given you mad props for your help with his game at IMG-- I'm more interested in his plummet from 315 pounds to 260 (40 of which took less than a month on your watch). Any weight loss secrets for the rest of us?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

part of it was he had allowed himself to put on 10 pounds or so once his season ended, so taking that off was a "piece of cake". From there, it was pretty simple. Lots of working on the court, plus 30 mins of extra cardio, plus excellent strength training, plus smart eating choices.

Kevin (OH)

Who's the biggest surprise team/player so far?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

I need to think. What do all of you think?

Steve (Memphis, TN)

Coach, why does Reke Evans suck in the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

It's only been a week, so cool your jets. But one issue is that they are trying to make him a lead guard, which takes time. Another is they are featuring him in the post, but I typically like to see guys use their "booty game" when they get to their late 20's. It's a man's game down there, and he's still young and raw.

Brian (Seattle)

Chase Budinger = Brent Barry 2.0?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

That's an outstanding call. Maybe he's even got more upside as a dribbler.

Sarvesh (Los Angeles)

Would you agree that winning a championship starts by winning on draft night?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

Yes, of course. Though whom you draft may only be key in that they are part of a deal to acquire better talent.

Mike (Akron)

Hey Thorpedo, did you watch ESPN's 30 for 30 yesterday? About Len bias? One of the points that was brought up that i thought was significant was that the reason why Len's death was so significant was because Magic and Bird were to pass the torch to Jordan and Bias as the next great rivalry. Not to mention, Jordan may not have retired had he had some competition after his first 3-peat. My question to you is, do you think Len Bias had the talent/skill/killer instinct to compete with Jordan? Thanks Thorp!!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

I didn't, but I'll catch it on dvd. I really have no idea if LB could have stayed with MJ, but I'll say this;nowhere is it scripted that the NBA, blessed with such an amazing pair as Bird/Magic, would get similarly blessed in the short term. We may never see that kind of environment again.

Brian (Providence)

Ghostbusters 2. What's the word on Gasol's return? How much of an improvement from the Lakers do you forsee when they're back to full health?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

Nicely done. Are you asking if the Lakers should improve a good deal when they add one of the world's best pivot men back to the lineup? I hope not, because that's ban material.

Steve Nash (Teh Valley)

Rumors of my decline are greatly exaggerated.

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

We figured that out as soon as they changed coaches last year.

Walt (Ny)

Sheldon Williams is ranked 11 in PER (20.79) among all power forwards, and 4th on the Celtics (behind Pierce, House and Rondo). Who needs Big Baby?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

I've always contended that for playoff teams, role players are commodities.

Christopher (Germany)

Hi David! Good to have you back on a regular basis. About a year ago you answered my question and said that Shaq will be considered to be a better player than Kobe when both have finished their careers. Are you still sticking with your pick or are you about to jump on Mambas bandwagon right now. Love your work, insight and foremost your new photo!

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I still maintain that, for whatever it's worth, Shaq's run will be looked upon, by stat geeks, as the superior career.

Dirk (Dallas)

Which part of last night's game was a fluke: The first three quarters or the fourth?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

29 in the 4th? That's no fluke.

Jake (Portland, OR)

Dave, what is up with my Blazers? In our loss at home vs. the Hawks last night, we made rotation changes (I think) 6-8 times in the final four minutes. When will the tinkering stop? Amazing that Martell Webster and Andre Miller have affected the team's chemistry so much.

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Let's give Nate time to figure it out.

Arch Vanderbilt (DA BULLS)

Deng is back, Joakim is doing well, Can you please give us the key to unlock Tyrus's potential. How can you increase a player's IQ drastically, over the course of the season. We need Tyrus.

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

First of all, his hoops IQ is terrific. It's his instincts that are in question. He said so himself the other day-he still reacts as a perimeter player. I think he and his coach just do not see eye to eye, and he's losing that battle.

Anthony (Douglas, MA)

David, I absolutely believe that Rajon Rondo is a top 5 point guard. Anyone who knows Basketball knows he is the guy that makes the Celtics go. When they won the title 2 years ago, Phil Jackson said that Rondo was the best player on the court in the final game. Why is he not considered a top 5 point guard ? His credentials are phenomenal for someonmme as young as he is. Kidd and Nash played with great talent before and couldn't win a titile.

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

Anthony, there is no official "top 5 pg" list, that I'm aware of anyway. He could very well be a top 5 guy, right now.

Jake (Milwaukee)

How bad is Joe Alexander that the Bucks didn't pick up his option? Is he at all salvageable?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

It's really a sad situation. They insisted he spend most of his summer there, he did, and now they give up on him. There's a great lesson to be learned from this. And to be honest, I thought he made some strides the last few days in Vegas.

Rhett (Phoenix)

Steve Nash is a beacon of grace and truth. Sing his praises! Hallelujah! The Suns played zone last night with success - is it a good idea for high percentage perimter shooting teams like Phoenix to play zone and force the game into a shooting contest?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

I've seen more blatant zone this year than ever before, not just with Phoenix. It's a good idea for any team to mix things up.

Chris (California)

Hey David. I live in LA but have NBA league pass to watch all the games. One team I have been surprised by is the Sacramento Kings. They had bad losses in San Antonio and OK City, but lost admirably to the Hornets and fought hard to beat Memphis. I think they could be the surprise team of the year if they keep growing. Thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

I think they will be as good as their frontcourt allows them to be. Martin is poised to have a CBY, Evans will end up being good, but "Shock and Hawes" need to make big strides. Hawes was excellent against Memphis.

Dan Benedict (London)

Kevin Durant = Bernard King 2.0?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

he should be a better rebounder. But BK on the left wing was the ultimate weapon.

Danny (Dallas)

Thorpedo, Let's talk Rockets. I thought a 40 win season would be a good season for my team this year. The way they have started, do you think they can keep this up? Aaron Brooks is playing great, as are Scola, Ariza and Budinger!

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I still have doubts about how far they can go, as the season is just so long. I don't see their energy holding up. But wow, are they a great franchise.

Josh (Columbus)

Could you post your answer to the Lenny Bias question again since it didn't show?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

I didn't, but I'll catch it on dvd. I really have no idea if LB could have stayed with MJ, but I'll say this;nowhere is it scripted that the NBA, blessed with such an amazing pair as Bird/Magic, would get similarly blessed in the short term. We may never see that kind of environment again.

Sweet Jesus (Brooklyn)

Why couldn't nine other teams see what a player Brandon Jennings is before the draft? And did you foresee him being this good so early?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

I can't speak for the other teams, but he was sizzling in Vegas. I tweeted as much all week.

Kevin (NYC)

Coach - Respect your analysis. In watching Tyrus over the last few years, his instincts may be good, but he gets over-powered easily in the post, constantly has bigger guys beat him, and tries to make up for this with his juping/blocking ability. Do you ever see him settling in as a 4 if he puts on the lbs, or is he a 3 who likes to handle the rock too much for his own good?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

I have no doubt that he should be a terrific 4, if he bought in to that role. I think he'd be much better off playing in a system that required movement. I've seen the Bulls employ the Flex, which is smart, so maybe he'll do well in that offense.

Chris (Chicago)

If the Hornets feel the need to retool to keep CP3 happy, is West the one to go? If not, what type of move do they need to make?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

I'm lost on this. It's awful to see the best pg on the planet play without a real chance for success.

G (DC)

Only about 1/2 your answers being shown... can you yell at your bosses for us? This new chat client has been out for ages now and it still doesn't work as well as the old one.

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

I just did. Sorry.

Melissa (Akron)

What is the great lesson to be learned from the Joe Alexander situation? Don't trust the Milwaukee Bucks??

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

No. It's that a player should not worry about anything other than playing well, no amount of brownie points earned in the offseason means a damned thing if it's not backed up by solid play.

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

Also, I just got word that espn tech guys are trying to fix the chat issues.

Jon (Baltimore)

24-20 from Deng last night. If he stays healthy can he equal his draft-mate Andre Iguodala in terms of production?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

I don't want to compare him to AI, but rather to himself. I always saw him as an 18 and 10 guy. I think he'll get there.

Jaycob (Denver) [via mobile]

I was watching a Spurs game the other day and Tim Duncan got fouled and I decided to go grab something to eat. By the time I came back he was still shooting his free throw. Why does Tim go through a daydream of watching Karl Malone shoot his free throw and the snap out of it to shoot his finally? What happened to the rule of not camping out on the foul line?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I think you saw him shooting a whole new set of ft's.

mendel (fl)

I trusted you when you kept saying beasely would be a beast this year, but wow could you have expected this defensive intensity hes bringing every night@!!!?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Yes.

Alex (Utah)

Response to biggest surprise player this year. Paul Pierce he's come out gunning and hasn't missed a step.

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

Excellent. Let me add this-PP and 'Melo look to be in fantastic shape. Here ended the lesson.

MC Welk (SLC)

I'm happy that Fes is actually showing a pulse. Can you get him to work with you again?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

He seems to be doing fine without me!! But I would not be surprised to see him in my gym this summer.

Corey (Boston)

Sheldon Williams has essentially replaced Leon Powe's minutes and has looked been playing surprisingly well. Are surprised by his early season play and have you noticed anything different about his game?THANKS

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

I've been a huge fan of his since day one. He just needed to be in the right place. Now, he is.

Andy (LSU)

Where do you see Marcu Thorton fitting into the Hornets gameplan?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Is he even dressing yet? I expected 15-20 mins a night off the bench.

Aaron (Richmond, VA)

Who should Detroit trade...Rip or Tay? And for whom? Or should they trade either?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

No one, for now.

Thom (Atlanta)

Hey Coach Thorpe, I loved your podcast with Rusillo. You said that some coaches and execs in the league respect you, and some don't. What separates them?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

Those that have been to my gym.

Jeff (Chicago, IL)

How do you see Michael Redd's absence and his ability to space the floor effecting Brandon Jennings?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

It will help BJ a great deal. Plus, just having that kind of vet leader with him will be great.

Larry (Seattle)

Can you add muscle and lose fat at the same time?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Yes. One helps with the other.

dave (Sacramento)

David, I've noticed a black wristband that Kevin Martin wears-and he never wore one before-I knw because I watch him like a hawk. It's like a Lance Armstrong one. What does it say?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

I created some bands that had messages we always use in our teaching. I'm thrilled that he wears them, and I've never asked which messages he is using.

Matt (Cleveland)

If LeBron stays in Cleveland is there much chance of Chris Bosh joining him?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

I suspect that the FA's will find a way to pair up. Who goes where is beyond me.

Isaac (Houston)

Thoughts on Budinger? And how long before the public realizes that Brooks/Lowry are dangerous men? And best movie of the year for you so far? I think mine is "UP".

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Check out my new rookie report. Yes indeed on Brooks/Lowry. "Up" is great, if you don't mind crying your eyes out at a cartoon.

mendel (fl)

you didnt answer my beasely question : (

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I did, chat software still buggy.Yes.

Yamzz, CA [via mobile]

What are your thoughts on Warriors F Anthony Randolph? What sort of step do you see this year and what is his ceiling?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

He could be an all-star, or a frustrated 20 min a night guy.

Alex (Ottawa)

Tell people to hit refresh if the answers aren't showing up. it straightens the problem up

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Thanks!!!

CO (New York)

Any chance Greg Oden can cut down his fouls?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

No, there is no chance of that. What? Of course he can. I like some of the progress he's making.

Coach (NYC)

Thorpe, starting a clinic for 6 and 7 year olds...any suggestions other than having fun?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Lots of passing and catching, do some dribbling, and very little shooting. Also, any shooting should be on an 8' rim. And teach them something about nutrition too. Enjoy!

Patty (Los Angeles)

Where's coach Thorpe? It's 12:40ET?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

We are here we are here we are here we are here!!!!!!!!

Jeremy (Keywest Florida)

Do you think Ray allen who go down as one of the greatest three point specialist in the game?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Without doubt.

Mike (Toronto)

How can I learn to jump high, I currently have a 24" vertical, but want to be able to dunk, what can I do?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

1. Stop eating donuts2. Lower the rim3. Next time, give me lots more information, like how tall you are and how old you are.

Jordan (Oakland)

Would you start Stephen Jackson at Power Forward ahead of Anthony Randolph?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

No.

Ray (San Antonio)

Is AI ever going to get it?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

No.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

No.

Martin (Los Angeles)

Coach Thrope, Have you seen Blake Griffin's workout video with the weighted vests out on the beach. Do you think this is an effective workout method? and if so why dont more NBA players use it?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

There are lots of ways to train. It works for him. I'm not smart enough to use props. Just give me a ball and a basket and I'm good to go.

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Sorry for the delay-the chat room locked me out.

Charley (Connecticut)

What do you think of the rookie point gaurds? Johnny Flynn, Stephan Curry, Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, who has the biggest upside?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

That's the focus of my rook report.

Eric (Indy)

U must really hate the Pacers huh! I ask a really good question about them and here you are answering stupid questions like the AI one! Your chats are a big joke!

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Relax Eric, you are just 0-3, not 0-30.

Taylor Johnson (Sacramento CA)

Do you think Kevin Martin has a chance at being an allstar this year? Even with the likes of Kobe and Brandon Roy at the same position as Martin.

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Sure he has a shot-he needs to stay healthy, play great, win more games than people expect. Getting the entire nation of Indonesia to vote for him would help, too.

Ariel ((albany, ny))

How did Renaldo Balkman score a 3 year extension when he never gets on the court?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

It was a cheap deal. Smart on both sides.

Randy (St. Paul)

Tell that guy to get the weighted shoes, Jimmy shoots, Jimmy scores, Jimmy's DOWN!

Ariel ((albany, ny))

Tyrus Thomas is built for the Mike D'Antoni system. Can you see a D Lee for TYrus Thomas trade happening?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

I don't think the Bulls like an all Florida Gator frontline of Noah and Lee.

Kamau (NY)

What's your take on Ersan Ilyasova and Omri Casspi's future in the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

I'm high on both.

Pete (Atlanta)

What do you think Ryan Anderson's ceiling is?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Very good player, starter on a playoff team.

Joe (Davis)

David, do you think the Hornet are going to make a desperation trade for a player like Stephan Jackson? Their wings are killing them.

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

What asset can they offer?

Kris (Jackson)

Can the 4-0 Suns be true contenders for a title? Why or why not?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

I'd guess no, not enough inside. But they will be fun to watch and of course, are already a big surprise.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Why doesn't Jordan Hill play more minutes?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

I don't know. But Brandon Jennings in that offense would be fun to watch.

Ariel (albany, ny)

Is Gallo the sidekick, or the guy who needs a sidekick?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

I hate all that "he's not a #1 guy" talk. Was PP a

Paul (Toronto)

Would you do a Calderon and Bargnani for CP3?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

If I was the Raps? Of course.

Steve (Syracuse)

Any diet pointers for us athletes out there Dave?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Yes, avoid chocolate cake for breakfast.

Tom (SF)

Why doesn't Nellie think Randolph and Biedrins can play together?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

I'm guessing that he does not like that neither guy can shoot.

Jeff (Chicago, IL)

Earlier, you said that Brandon Jennings will gain a great deal by not having Michael Redd out on the court. Could you please explain why this would be?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

I said just the opposite.

Nate Dawg (Evanston, IL)

What's wrong with Derrick Rose? Ankle, conditioning, or regression?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Lack of pt this past month. He'll be fine.

Mike (CT)

Paul Pierce answer about Gallo got cut off because you used a number sign in your answer. It messes up the chat.

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Sorry.I hate all that "he's not a number 1 guy" talk. Was PP a number 1 guy, when they were getting crushed nightly? Was KG in Minny, losing game after game. With just 2 or 3 exceptions, great teams need 2-3 great players, then the role players, and always a great coaching job.

Sam (San Diego) (San Diego)

What do you think of Jordan Farmar's future?

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Could be in Poland next year if he does not make progress. I like him, and expect him to recover.

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Time to run. Sorry for the problems. Hope to see all of you next week. Be safe.