Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

December 30, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

One last chat for 2009. Let's make it memorable. It's been a great year for me and my family, thanks in part to many of you who take the time to read what I have written or listen to me when I'm on the air. Thanks to all of you. So let's get to this last chat."My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium. A master".

Bryan (Ohio)

What do you think the NBA potential is for DeMarcus Cousins? Who would you compare him to?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

I've not seen him yet. I'll start my draft blog next week, and will begin tuning in to the draftable guys then.

Patrick (Cleveland)

If you were Danny Ferry, would you be looking to make a move by the trade deadline or are you gonna stay with Cavs team that you currently have? If you are going to make a move who do you trade or trade for? Thanks Thorpedo your chats are the best.

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

I have said over and over again that I'd like to see them acquire a shooting big. I have no idea if they will. They did not like Rob Kurz at all, though he's shooting lights out in the D League (no shock there).

Chip (Cleveland)

There has been mixed reaction to Shaq at the center of the Cavs defense. The Cavs have seriously shut down the paint, but are more vulnerable to the pick and roll, and we saw what happened with Orlando. How do you see this going forward?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

I'm still not convinced they will match up well with Orlando, defensively. It's still a long season ahead, lots can change.

Nick (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

The Pistons look horrible. Should they blow it up and start over? How about trading Rip, Villanueva and Jerebko for T-Mac? Or Prince and Ben Wallace for Boozer? We'd get cap room and a better chance at John Wall, they'd get much better.

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

I would hope they would work out tweaks first before starting over. Maybe the Bulls would take BG now that they see how much they miss him. :)

Kevin Love (California Dreaming)

Don't we have to consider the fact that I am realistically the best sophomore?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

It's certainly possible that you will be the best by seasons end. Gasol and Lopez will have a lot to say about that though. I'm impressed with your 3 point shooting, it helps you a great deal.

Steven (PA)

Current who do you think is most deserving for MVP?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

It's still too early. The candidates are obvious, but we need to let the season carry on more first. Ask me again in March.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

Brad Miller, Jerome James and John Salmons for T-Mac. Who says no first?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

It leaves the Bulls a bit thin on the front line, but it could happen.

Mike (Utica, NY)

Is Kevin Durant the next Larry Bird or the next Iceman??

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

I'm not sure it proves anything, but I first said he's Gervin in November of his freshman season. But he'll be better than Gervin. He's not Bird though, never will be.

PJ (Boston)

How comes Marcus Williams doesn't play more? I think Memphis would improve further with his point guard play.

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

They are doing fine as is. Leave them be.

rumar spencer (south hill, virginia)

david if you give lebron the nod as the best player, cause of thechristmas day result, you're even stupid, and just naive at the same time.

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

I might be stupid. And naive. But I wrote the article before the game. I'm not dumb enough to think one game makes that much difference.

Michael (Australia)

vanessa (Sacramento)do you really think the kings are good as gone in sacramento?David Thorpe (12:06 PM)If they hire Westphal, yes.Do you still agree with this comment from May this year??

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Most likely, yes, but certainly not because of Westphal, who would win my coach of the first 2 months award. Who could have expected a guy who was sitting at home with no offers coming could be this good? But I don't see their arena issues getting cleared up. Do you?

Steven (PA)

Who do you think is better Kobe Bryant or Lebron "King" James...... i personally think Lebron is better because Kobe got 3 of his titles with Shaq and now Lebron has Shaq and they are winning like crazy......so Kobe or Lebron

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

You are kidding, right?

Jimbo (Sactown)

Who is the steal of last year's draft? I think it's Caspi!

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

I like his cousin, Casspi.

george (boston)

is rajon rondo an all star this year

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

Without doubt.

Steven (PA)

LEBRON IS THE KING!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Indeed.

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

Sorry for any delay, I'm not getting questions in my queue. Let me try to send one myself...

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

The test did not work-so keep sending them and perhaps they'll start appearing.

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

I think it's a bit of both, and also a team chemistry thing. Luck plays a part, for sure, and as teams get lucky then their chemistry improves, which helps them even more at end of games.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Thorpe, How do the Lakers improve the bench with out going even further into a cap penalty?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Trades or just simply wait until they start coming around.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Isn't it a little late for A Christmas Story quotes? With that said, do you think the Cavs can keep up this defensive intensity with or without any new parts?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

That's a risk for a ban, Dan. It's never too late for Ralphie and the boys. Yes they can keep it up, they have done so for years. But their flaws will remain.

Ben (Minnesota)

Where do you think t-mac will end-up?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I have no clue, but I wouldn't rule out Chicago or NY.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Any chance somebody would take Morrison and Vujacic. I know this is asking to much. But expiring contract and 1 year left on another theres gotta be some takers? Or wishful thinking?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Wishful thinking, except if they are part of a bigger deal.

Steven (PA)

who is the best team current

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

I think I'd go with Boston and LA.

Mike (Mpls)

I know he's one of your guys, but for much of the early season Corey Brewer was simply atrocious. Could his recent improvement be a sign of things to come or will he always be primarily a good defender with a wildly inconsistent offensive game?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

I think he's starting to figure a lot out, and he's almost totally recovered from major knee surgery. December has been a career best month, so now he has something strong to build on.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

Ohhhh Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuddddddgggggeeeeee...Does troy murphy fit with what you think the Cavs could use?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

Um, YES!

Anthony (Cali)

Why is everyone thinking that Kevin Martin is going to get traded? Do they not pay attention the Kings at all?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Mostly not. I'd be shocked.

Ben (Minnesota)

Do you think he would endup with the 76ers or a team like that?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

I guess anything is possible. We're talking about T Mac, right?

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

Looking way ahead, maybe too far, but just for chatting sake. The Nets win the lottery and get the #1 pick. Any chance they make a draft day trade and trade Devin Harris, knowing they're picking John Wall? If not, can you see Harris and Wall coexisting on the same team?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

100% that they would take Wall. And try to move Harris.

Harry (Babylon)

Can LeBron win it all with a core of Gallo, Chandler & Lee?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

The core would be Lee and Gallo. Possibly, with an excellent bench.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)

Might have sent this already but I didn't get the "question submitted box". Does Troy Murphy fit the bill for a "shooting big" for the Cavs and what's the pricetag?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Yes!! Not sure what it would cost.

Bob (Phoenix, AZ)

David - love the chats. How about McGrady for Barbosa and Richardson. Festivus for the rest of us!

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

I don't like it for Phoenix.

Ed Hochuli (Chat Ref)

Sorry David, this is an emoticon free chat. That's 5 yards and repeat 1st down.

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

I don't have them as options. But didn't I include a :) already?

Marc (Charlotte)

Hope you had a good holiday Coach. Any chance the Bobcats make the playoffs?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

I did, thanks. Hope you did too. Sure they can, as we saw last year, Brown can rally the troops in a big way.

rtblues (prague)

Is V Del Negro out in Chicago? If so, when and who's in?ESPN & Broussard have stirred up a hornet's nest, so, David, what is REALITY?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

First of all, pro's like Broussard rarely do anything without strong background from great sources. Secondly, I didn't like what the Bulls brass had to say, if they are indeed backing him.

Dan (Niagara Falls, NY)

Thorpedo, the wife and I are having our first child in February, any words of advice?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

1. Enjoy your down time now.2. Spend extra time making your wife smile-she'll need it soon enough to get her through the tough days ahead.3. Make sure you keep an extra battery for your camcorder handy. Unlike someone I know who had to cut quick shots of the second twin to come because of low battery after the first baby. :)

Ben (Minnesota)

How about dalembert and williams/green for t-mac?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

That one is interesting.

Chris (Harlem, NY)

Gallo or Casspi? Now and later

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Gallo has the upside edge. But Casspi will fight him until death.

Ben (NYC)

David Lee - is he the real deal?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

He is as a rebounder, and his shot is coming along nicely.

Tyson (Iowa City)

What's the most creative effective strategy you've tried when training guys in the offseason? And the most creative ineffective strategy as well? Thanks and happy holidays!

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Tough to name one, but one thing I love to do is tell them to shoot with an "exaggerated arc". They do, then I tell them that in reality, that's what a great shot is supposed to look like. it normally helps. Also, I'll make shooters use the backboard from the 3 point line for awhile, then tell them to apply the same power, but instead put that extra energy into more arc. That works too.

Bryan (Xenia, OH)

How about Dragic for most improved? He's gone from worst player in the NBA at the start of last season to above average back up PG in one year.

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

He's gotten better, but not in Udrih's league right now as MIP.

Patrick (Sacramento)

Rondo would suck a lot more if he was on a mediocre team. True or false?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

False.

mike (springfield, ma)

what is ibaka's ceiling?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Tough to say at this point. But energy guy off the bench seems a strong possibility, on a good team.

John (Dallas)

Beaubois or Jennings?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

I don't know yet. Which may be a surprise, but Roddy Buckets is very good.

Shawn (Rochester, MN)

Hi David. Do you think either Jefferson or Love will ultimately have to be traded and replaced with a 7 footer with defensive skills?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Yes. I love them on offense, and that's it.

Chris (Chicago)

Speaking of Bulls brass...Will their inconsistent and odd behavior hurt the chances of a big signing in 2010 or does cash trump all else?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

In most cases, cash wins, but if enough teams have it, then culture and success count, and that could hurt Chicago.

Jason (IA)

C'mon Thorpe...you (and everyone at ESPN) have crowned the "KING", my question is...what does he rule? Playoff exits? Poor sportsmanship? Fancy words for traveling? No wonder he hasn't won anything...he doesn't need to, you guys have already annointed him.

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Kind of like MJ, huh, before the rings.

Bharadwaja (India)

I have been posting this a couple of times I guess it did not go througtWe have teams like Nets and other teams that are struggling to win over the years should NBA act like English Premieri League(EPL) in UK where last 3 teams are elminated from the TOP league and Division I top 3 teams get a year to play in EPL on the similar lines cant we have TOP teams from D League to play in NBA to make it more exciting over the periods to come?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

The lack of blue chippers on D-League teams would not let them be competitive. I think the NBA is doing fine as is.

Ariel (Albany, NY)

Is D'Antoni proving his worth by changing his style and getting the Knicks competitive? Can they make the playoffs?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Yes and yes. He's at the top, in my book.

Manny ((Queens, NY))

The D-league should be developed. Its the answer to the NCAA oligarchy, isnt it?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Yes. As I've written before, getting league minimum up to $75+k a year would do it.

matt (omaha ne)

If the Cavs did acquire Antawn Jamison in that rumored deal I feel that it will push them over the lakers and all the other elite teams without question. Do you agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

No, but they would be more competitive of course.

Stu Jackson (New York)

Where does Kobe rank in your list of Greatest to ever lace them up?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

He's up to #2 sg ever.

Carlos (Mexico)

Hello. Weren't you one of the ESPN guys that picked Zach Randolph as "worst newcomer" coming into the season ? Time to eat crow, don't you think?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Does not sound like me. Can someone check? If so, then heck yes it's crow time. Won't be my first or last helping either, I'm sure.

dave (UAlbany)

There seems to be a lot of life in Sacramento and the Blazers never seem to have all their chips together for a big push. Who's better in the next 2-3 yrs?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

The easiest improvement in the NBA is to go from the bottom to below average. As Portland knows, getting from below average to a contender is much much harder. Blazers still have the edge their.

mike (springfield, ma)

Speaking of the Grizz, OJ Mayo has not seen a great jump in his statistics this season but he is playing much more under control and better defense. What do you think?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

I totally agree.

Coach (Brooklyn)

Why are the Nets so bad! They seem to have some ncie young pieces with Harris, Lopez, Lee, and Yi. That should be enough for more than 2 wins.

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Lee and Yi were hurt a lot at the start. And 3 of those guys are young. I think that Lee, Yi, and Lopez could end up being a solid core, with an all-star 3 or 4. Harris does not want to wait, though.

Sean (West Los Angeles)

I realise Kobe has been ripping it up lately, yet why is it no mentions his horrible shooting %? I mean by god, chances are anyone willing to take 40% of the teams shots will score a lot of points!

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

People have mentioned it. It's one reason why he has a few game winners-he takes all of them and no one remember the misses.

Harry Cox (Paris, France)

You forget one category in your article when you were comparing LeBron and Kobe...championships. Why didn't you take that into account? There is no guarantee LeBron will win a championship at any point in his career. It's probable, but not guaranteed. That being said, how can you still say he's better than Kobe today?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

So you are saying that Kenny Smith was better than John Stockton and Steve Nash? Really?

Brett (WI)

I'm not sure if my last question went through or not....what is the best way to improve a players off-hand? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Lots of practice with it.

Harry (Babylon)

Are Joe Johnson & John Wall realistic pieces for the Nets next season?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Why would JJ leave?

Sachikevious (Greece)

Anthony Randolph played 19 minutes early had 6 points, 6 boards, 5 blocks, and 5 assists...but was benched nearly the entire second half, explanation?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

I have none.

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

By the way, I'm listening to Vivaldi's "Arsilda" for the first time and it's amazing.

D-Rose (Chi Town)

Is my ankle better yet?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Looked it last night.

Brett (WI)

What is your favorite drill to improve ball-handling/coordination/dexterity of a players off-hand?

ryan (dc)

David thank you for these chats. Could/Should ATL go all in and trade a future pick and expirings to NJ for Devin Harris. No guarantee NJ wins first pick in draft to draft Wall but they by far have the most cash and Lopez and China Endorsements with Yi connection.

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Very interesting thought. Atl just might take a chance, but Harris makes a lot of coin.

Aash (Nepal)

Thorpe don't answer questions without checking the facts. In response to Sean (West Los Angeles) statement about Kobe horrible shooting %? Go check out his last 5 games shooting %. He is shooting 48% from the floor. In whose book is that shooting % horrible??????

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Aash, we don't go just by last 5 games in this country.

Ryan Valentine (Long Beach, CA)

In your argument for Lebron over Kobe instead of using championships, why not have a column for experience which is vital in the NBA? It almost seems as if you manipulated what was being graded to favor it for Lebron's favor

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Truthfully, when I first did my scoring for each category, before studying hours of tape and pages of stats, I had Kobe winning by 2. So no, this was not a fixed idea.

John (Dallas)

David, I coach a little league team, and I have them play table tennis with their off-hands to increase coordination. It really works wonders.

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Excellent. Really, doing anything helps.

Chris (Harlem, NY)

Gotta say I was interested in the answer to off hand development.

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Lots of "hammering nails" dribbling, one handed passing and catching, etc.

Ariel (Albany, NY)

Did you know you should never start a sentence with "Truthfully"? It makes it feel like you have been lying the rest of the time.

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Excellent point. Honestly.

Christmas Story (Dallas)

"He wove a tapestry of obscenities that to this day still lingers in the house." Or something like that. CLASSIC. That's my mother's favorite line of the movie. My mom's cool... GO MAVS!!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Thanks for that.

Borgon (Minnesota)

David, do you see NO trading Paul this year? their owner is a cheapskate and their team is not going anywhere in the near future.

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

ESPN's best reporters say no way.

Nick (NY)

D Lee is an all-star right?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

He's a finalist for sure.

Sachikevious (Greece)

Hi Thorpey PLEASE put an end to this debate we've been having. ould you consider Andris Biedrins a top 10 center even though he doesn't have much offense

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Top 10 is a stretch.

mike (springfield, ma)

Rubio update please: how's he doing?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

I heard from a team exec recently that he was doing well. I think his team is top 2 in both the euro leage and the ACB. Remember, you can't compare his stats to any NBA rookie. The pg's there are asked to run the team, not score. Judge them by winning first and foremost.

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Time's up for today. Thanks to everyone. I'm at David B. Thorpe on facebook if you want updates to stories or radio/tv appearances. @coachthorpe for Twitter. Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone!!