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December 23, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Happy Holidays everyone. One last chat before the festivities begin. Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus-all are welcomed here. Let's get going."I dedicate this house to the Griswold Family Christmas."

Tom (Toronto)

Merry Christmas Thorpedo!Has Marcus Banks become a tradeable commodity with his recent play backing up Jarret Jack in Jose Calderon's absence? He's been pretty solid this last week and a bit.

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

Good call. Let's keep watching for that.

Matt (Minneapolis, MN)

What do you think about Kevin Love so far this season. Ever since his return, the Wolves have been playing a lot better. Corey Brewer, Al Jefferson and Jonny Flynn all seem to be playing better since his return.

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Love is all man. Actually, the Wolves started improving as soon as Rambis played Gomes at 4. But yes, Love helps everyone, especially Brewer because of his speed and Love's outlet passing.

Richard (Columbia, MO)

Dave, I'm 25, 6 ft. and white. I can almost dunk, but not quite. What the best way to gain that last few inches I need? And how do i grip the ball better? (My hands ain't growin no more man)

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Keep running sprints and jumping a lot. Make sure your lean and in shape. And start squeezing tennis balls, that will strengthen your hands.

Dave (Los Angeles)

Thorpester, how about Okur for Big Z. Would he be a good fit on the CAVS?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Of course. But why would Utah do this?

Alex (Davie)

Thoughts on Michael Beasley? Over the past 15, he's averaged 18 and 8 on 48-49% shooting.

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

He's an offensive beast.

Mart (NYC)

Who in the NBA would run the fastest 100m and what do you think his time would be? Also Merry Christmas :)

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

Ellis, Barbosa, LeBron maybe. All would do sub 12 with training, maybe sub 11?

Thorpe hater (US of A)

Thorpe, bottom line, who's better Kobe or LBJ?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Interesting question. I've never seen that before. Hmmm...well you know what, I think we're posting something soon on that subject.

Tim (Columbia, MO)

David, what are the chances of the Thunder acquiring Amare in the offseason? Could they possibly pull off a deal for him before the deadline?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

I think Amare hopes to stay attached to Nash.

Brandon (Cleveland)

Dave, I really suprised by how good the rookies are thiis year! Who do you think will win the Rookie of the Year award this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

It's Evans to lose.

Marc (Charlotte)

Happy Holidays to you and your family David. Just wanted to say thanks for the weekly chat.

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

Thanks you Marc. Same to you.

Dave (OKC)

Coach Thorpe, If I send you a friend request on FBook, will you accept? I have to ask, because I just lost my girl and I fear getting rejected twice.

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Yes of course. I'm at David B. Thorpe on Facebook, and @coachthorpe on twitter. But I have to warn you, adding me will not help get her back. That's going to take some honesty from you, I'd guess, and something nice on Christmas under her tree from Santa.

Justin (Chicago)

Coach Thorpe,If the Kevin Love would've gone back for his sophomore year do you think he would've challenged Blake Griffin for 1st overall pick? Also how does the Love for Mayo and Miller trade look now? He sure seems to make everyone around him better.

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

No, his lack of athleticism would keep him below Blake. I think the trade worked for both parties.

Mark (POR)

Seriously, The Blazers entire strength and conditioning staff needs to be fired asap. Don't you agree? This just isn't normal for a team to lose over half of their roster to such serious injuries.

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

No, it's just bad luck.

Mike (Dallas)

Hey Thorpemeister, Do you believe the Mavericks are a legitimate title contender? Many argue they need one quality player via trade, any thoughts on who that could be? Thank you and Merry Christmas!

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

I think they are close, but still need a deal or two.

Ryan (Los Angeles)

David I know you watch the Bulls pretty regularly, how much of this debacle is a product of Vinny? Could a more experienced coach make this product better or is this roster totally flawed?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I'm a firm believer that this is a coaches league, so there you go. But he was not helped by losing BG. At all.

Mike (Oaktown)

My 6 year old is reading over my shoulder and swears that your picture is of me. Please assure him that it is not. Please also assure me I can make a facilitator out of him - he's a 1st grade chucker on a 2nd grade team. Or should I accept my World B fate?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Just be happy that he has such a dashingly handsome dad!! And don't panic, chuckers are made, not born.

Terry (Washington DC)

David, what's your take on OKC? Will they make the playoffs? And do you think up-and-down Sefolosha belongs to the starting five? Thx!

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

It will be close. I like Thabo for his defense, but Harden may have to get that spot soon.

AC (Bay Area)

Chances Chicago deals and lands LBJ next year?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

0.

Brandon (Bronx)

David, what do you think of Danilo Gallinari this season? I know you moved him up your rankings, but I was wondering if you could give some more info on that.

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

He's an incredible shooter and an underrated passer. That's a hell of a combo.

dominick (alabama)

What are the chances that the heat get Dwayne Wade and Lebron James next season?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Better than 35% I say.

Mark (Cleveland, OH)

Who is a better fit for the Cavaliers: Jamison or Troy Murphy?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

Murphy.

J.G. (OKC)

Thorpe, sure Harden continues to impress with his savvy drives and almost veteran like passing and scoring, but isn't the play of Serge Ibaka the most eye-opening and pleasantly unexpected surprise for the Thunder? From his rebounds to his blocks to his sweet jumper, how impressed are you by the young rookie?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I loved him this summer. My second favorite tweet was "Ibaka!!!". I'm doing a top 10 for December next week, and he's in the running.

Steve-o (Toronto)

How good would Gortat be with increased minutes (let's assume via a trade to a team in need of a center). He's the starting center on half the teams in the league, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

Close to it at least.

Jimmy (Ottawa)

Who will the Warriors trade? Randolph, Curry, Ellis or two out of the three?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

I don't know. But the talk of Randolph being worth 60 million, right now, seems silly to me, and I was touting him long before anyone else was.

Sachikevious (Greece)

Hi Coach, ho much do you think a coach/system can affect a player's potential? Steph Curry seemed to have great point guard potential but being in that system he's slowly turning into just another gunner, all coaching?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Read Malcolm Gladwell's "What the Dog Saw". he writes about how the system is more important than the talent in it. I think that's true to a large degree in the NBA as well.

John (Austin, TX)

Living in Texas, I don't get to see much of the Sixers. Can you give me your thoughts on Jrue Holiday's current performance and future propsects? Do you see him becoming a solid NBA starter? Future All-Star? Greatest Player in the History of the World? Thanks,

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Yes, maybe, definitely not.

Adam (Philly)

are the sixers the most poorly coached team in the league? eddie jordan's rotations are horrible, and the sixers defense is the worst ive ever seen it.

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

When they give up a 35 point second half lead against a bad road team who is a bottom five defensive team, let me know.

Will (Memphis)

Thoughts on Marc Gasol? Sincerely he is MUCH better than I expected. The 'Pau Trade' wasn't that lopsided after all.

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Not THAT lopsided, but still lopsided.

Wayne (Memphis)

No love for Memphis ?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I'm thrilled for them. They are coaching up those guys well.

Andrew (NJ)

When all is said and done what big name(s) do the Nets wind up signing in the off season with all their cap space?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

Nobody would be my guess. But in 2011, that's a different story.

Tony (L.A)

I'm not asking who the best player is so please don't attack me. I want to know who is the better scorer MJ or Kobe?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

MJ.

Eric (New York, NY)

Thorpedo! Happy Holidays to you and your family! I'm sending you a one-year membership in the jelly of the month club. It seems like there are three or four teams that are horrendous, three to five teams that are juggernauts, and 22-24 teams that are pretty much stuck in the middle. Agree? Disagree? Thoughts on how it affects competition and parity?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

Totally agree. The NFL has hit the NBA.

Andrew (Ocilla GA)

How much do you like the acquisition of Maynor for OKC?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

I love it. LOVE IT.

Larry (BR, NC)

Mr. Thorpe...since you did not answer my Tyson Chandler and B. Diaw (chance of them being traded)...should I assume that there is no interest in either aroung the league?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

No, assume that I have no idea.

Carl Landry (Houston)

Do I win the 6th man Award this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Maybe, but that cat Jamal Crawford is ice.

Adam (Philly)

if the sixers get john wall, will he and jrue holiday become the best backcourt in the NBA down the road?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Not at all. Jrue needs to be a 1.

Sachikevious (Greece)

Steph Curry is outperforming Ty Lawson statistically but you have Lawson ranked ahead of Curry, reason?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Actually, you have it backwards. Lawson is outperforming Curry. Stop looking at raw numbers.

Tesfay (Los Angeles)

In your opinion, who's the player of the decade? duncan, kobe, or shaq?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Tie between Kobe and TD.

J (Milwaukee)

Regarding the MJ or Kobe argument, I must have missed that night that MJ poured in 81 in a game or 62 in 3 quarters. For any one particular day, Kobe has to be regarded as the second best of all time.

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

2nd best shooting guard, probably.

Carl (Sacramento)

Heard you on radio out here last night. Dude, you should be on tv as an analyst. I learned more about our team in 5 minutes than I have all season watching every game we play on tv. I'm serious. Thanks for the smart insight and happy holidays Coach.

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

My pleasure, but I'll stick with my day jobs, thank you. But I'm glad you enjoyed my rookie talk out there.

Clark (Durham, NC)

Would the Jazz rather have Carlos Boozer or Kevin Martin? Who would help the team more?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

The better question is, would Sacto take Boozer knowing he might walk?

Manny (Jersey)

What current player will Wall be most most similar to?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

I need to see him more. Seems to be a Rose/Rondo hybrid.

Isaac (NYC)

What do you think Danilo Gallinari's ceiling is? Can he be better than Rashard Lewis?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Yes, but it's not likely.

matt (oakland)

thorpe, if, hypothetically of course, the bulls were to fire VDN, who do you think could implement a system to bring out the best in the roster? I am pulling for Byron Scott.

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I think he makes sense.

dj (chi)

David do you think a season like this will give Rose more assertiveness to take over like Kobe said?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

What's he waiting for? It's just going to take some time.

john (sac)

Are the kings a defensive 5 away from at least contending for the 8th spot? If so who's possible for them to get.

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

Put it this way, if they had pulled some draft night magic a few years ago, they'd have Noah and the Bulls would have Hawes.

scott (md)

who do u start an nba franchise with if u have the pick of the litter and why?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

LBJ, for obvious reasons.

Abe (Lincoln, NE)

Do you think Tyreke will be able to develop enough of a jumper that he can become an elite scorer?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

Probably.

Anthony (NYC)

David, can D Lee and Gallo be 2 starters on a contender?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Yes. How does John Wall, Wade, Gallo, Lee, and any tough minded, shot blocking 5 sound?

Steve (NYC)

Why is it unlikely for Danilo to be better than Rashard Lewis? Gallo is 21 and getting 15 a game and leading the league in 3s

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

Lewis is a 100 million dollar man. The odds of Gallo reaching that kind of status are not great, but it does not mean he won't be any good.

Tim (NY, NY)

Thorpe, I just read Chris Ballard's book "The Art of a Beautiful Game". Loved the chapter about training with you. I also saw that in the back, he wrote that everyone will be working for you one day. Are you hoping to take Stern's place?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

No. I think Chris was just being nice. He's a very, very nice man.

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

And a baller. And a great writer.

mark (gainsville)

david what is your evaluation of mareese speights so far, can he be a star in this league, he reminds me of amare stoudemire.

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Me too. Not sure he has the head for a star, but a starter, yes.

Sachikevious (Greece)

Should Don Nelson retire gracefully instead of hanging on to try to get the wins record?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

You know the answer.

Bill B. (Chicago)

Thorperoni, what do you make of our situation here. Was Rose overhyped?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

I gulped last year when everyone there (tv announcers, I'm talking to you) kept saying, almost cult like, that he was their best player. he wasn't last year, at all, and he's not now. Not even close. He is their best prospect going forwards, but he's a long way from being their best player.

John (Chicago)

Why won't Loul Deng take more threes?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

That's a great question. I don't know. But he needs to to reach another level.

Tyler (Orlando, FL)

Any chance the Magic get their hands on Nate from the Knicks?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I doubt it.

JD (Minny)

Kevin Love is a the definition of BEAST, there's no way he gets snubbed on the Soph Team, is there?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I'd think not.

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Not getting snubbed I mean.

Nathan (Redding)

Hey Mr. Thorpe! What do the Kings do with K-Mart? I think they should give him and Tyreke a little more time together. Also, what about F Garcia? he has a hard contract to trade, but I think he will ruin the chemistry they have.

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Yes, they need to let those two play together. I think it's a perfect match, as Kevin is not a ball stopper or dribble fiend. But my friend, Garcia is a fantastic teammate. He's no chemistry killer. Just the opposite.

Josh (Tampa)

How can LeBron even be in the conversation with Kobe. It's sickening how you media types annoint him without him even winning anything. Talk to me in June

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

I guess that means my article is up. And it also must mean that Karl Malone and Charles Barkely can not be compared to...Robert Horry. Or Kendrick Perkins.

Latimer (Newark, CA)

What do you think of the possibility that Grant Hill's FILA sneakers were the cause for most of his injuries? He seems fine now that he's running in Nikes.

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

I'm sure those questions have been asked and answered.

Patrick (Carlsbad)

Any thoughts on Josh Smith. I know he's a player you have called out in the past for effort and poor decision making. Do you think he's finally putting it all together?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

He's walking in the right direction.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

MJ >>>>>>>>>>>> Kobe > Lebron. How's that?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

For career to date, indeed.

Latimer (Newark, CA)

Do you think Spencer Hawes deserves more playing time? And if so, at the 4 or 5?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Not remotely.

Dan (NYC)

I wouldn't say Rose is a long way from being the Bulls best player. Deng has been their best so far but Rose has looked like a diffrent player in the past couple weeks since he's been healthy. 30 out of the 30 GMs would take Derrick over Lu.

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Of course they would. But not if they had to win a game today. He's going to be very good, but it will come in due time.

bbg (ny)

Gallo plays something resembling defense already. That puts him above the 0 Lewis plays.

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Are we speaking of Rashard Lewis, the starting 4 for the top defense in the league last year?

Ryan (San Francisco)

Hey Coach Thorpe. I'm a big Kings fan and I'm amazed by the poise I've seen from Tyreke Evans this early in his career. One of the only differences I see between him and some of the other great rookies to come out in the last few years is elite athleticism. Is this going to be an important factor in the years to come, or is he just so big and strong that he will be able to make adjustments to the rest of the league without it? If it is important, what kind of training and exercises could he do to improve it?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

I'd like him to add some athleticism. It can be done.

David (freeway 10)

Read your informal post regarding Kobe vs. Lebron. It was more like a boxing score instead of an analysis. My question is... a boxer can be leading in points, but lose a match due to a knockout. Kobe can knockout any player or team and bring a championship making him the better player, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Informal? Should I have written it wearing my tux?

Fred (San Diego)

Who's better at finishing at the rim, MJ or Lebron?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Great question. I don't know the answer. Not sure if they kept those stats then.

dave (oregon)

hey thorpe, great work, but you need to fix first paragraph in LBJ vs KOBE article, unless Lebron played for celts last year this is the first time they have faced off on xmas, build that up man!!

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

I didn't write that leading intro, and have not seen it. Sorry if it's wrong, but is it possible you are reading it wrong?

Chad (St. Paul)

I see Rubio's numbers in Euroball and I think I must be missing something if this guy is supposed to be the next Stockton. What about him makes this guy the Twolves future?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Did you check their record? Barco I mean.

Marc (Charlotte)

What are your thoughts on Marvin Williams? Is he too unselfish on a pretty talented Hawks team, or should he be more assertive?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

He's a sleeper for the playoffs. When teams take away JJ, he'll have to step up with Bibby and Horfy.

Roger (Morristown, NJ)

How does this sound for Kobe vs Lebron...Kobe's the best individual player in a team sport, Lebron's the better player in a 5 man game.

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Does it really matter how to phrase it? LBJ is better than Kobe is, period, today.

Alex (Harrisburg, PA)

Who will be the better point guard of the future? Bayless or Augustin?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Bayless, but where they end up will make the biggest difference.

Brandon Kornegay (goldsboro,nc)

When Tyrus Thomas returns from injury when do you think he gets traded and to what team?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

I expect him to be traded, but I have no idea where.

MarcAnthony (Thesifilonia)

So are you saying Ty Lawson will be a better player than Stephen Curry?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

No.

Leroy (Wabash, IA)

Why would anyone want to be a head coach in the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

It's the top job in our industry.

Justin (Ft. Lauderdale)

Do you agree with Spo not playing Beasley at the end of games?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

I agree with anything Coach Spo does. He's an excellent young coach.

Don (DC)

Happy Festivus for the rest of us! Did you see Carl landy last night vs. the Clippers?? This man is a warrior!

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

B-E-A-S-T

Brian (Eugene)

Your quote is from Christmas Vacation. What can the Blazers do to make the most of the few players they have left?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Wow Brian, you catch on fast. What gave it away?

Garrett (Chico)

Chances Ricky Rubio will be a King in the future?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Negative 1000.

charlie (LA)

david, which sophmore has impressed you the most, outside of brook lopez

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Gasol, Marc.

MarcAnthony (Thesifilonia)

Would you recommend Jeff Van GHundy to try and revive the Warriors?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Oh, no.

James (Los Angeles)

Kobe hater who won't post anything that supports Kobe with validity and you answer with blanket statements like "doesn't matter how you phrase it, Lebron is better" - Have some integrity

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Ah, James. My integrity is filled up in the 3800 words I filed on that subject.

Buzz (u Pitt)

Hi David, I was surprised to see that you didn't list D Blair as one of your top 10 surprises last week. I see on message boards that you always use your place at espn to take care of any players that you train, so why no love for Monster Blair?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Nothing could shoot me down faster than to lose my credibility. And that would happen fast if I just promoted my own students over the rest of the league. It's not hard to be objective-I've been evaluating players for 22 years.

Jim (Iowa Falls)

You're an idiot if you think LBJ is better than Kobe. Weak Coach. Weak. Their peers consistently say Kobe is the best in the world.

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

True, every player I know picks Kobe. But players rarely have the best eye for talent. One player told me this summer that Omri Casspi was "5 years away" from being an NBA player.

Ludwig Hasbauer (Germany)

wish you and your family the very best! merry christmas and a happy new year!

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Same to you and everyone else. Squeeze your loved ones a little tighter this weekend, they are the best presents you will get. Be safe everyone and enjoy the holiday. I'll be back next week to help countdown 2009.