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February 10, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

Hello Sportsnation! Who's ready for this weekend? I have to say, not me. The Mrs. and I are stepping away for a bit so I won't be watching a thing-but you all can fill me in next week. Let's talk basketball today, however, and save the All-Star talk until then. Ok? But for all of you that plan on going or watching---"Toga...Toga...Toga...".

JOhn (Santa Barbara, CA)

One of your IMG colleagues on another chat said that Mareese Speights motivation for improvement on the defensive end would be his 'new contract' - that concerns me as a sixer fan - he has an amazing offensive game but seems disinterested on defense...can you assuage my fears?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

I'm not going to be training guys at IMG anymore, but my former colleague is dead on. As always. Speights has always suffered from focus issues. But he's crazy as a scorer.

Darren (Chicago)

What are the chances the Bulls get to the 5th seed and the Celtics stay in the 4th seed so we could see another classic first round series? That would be awesome!

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

I don't know, let's say 24.8%. Won't that be a great thing to root for?!

Bryan (Xenia)

Coach! Are you surprised by the huge improvements made by Dragic and RoLopez this year, after having had such miserable rookie seasons? Same for Jerryd Bayless.

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

I'm never surprised when young players get better. It's the norm.

Terry (Madison)

Who is your alltime favorite wrestler?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

Rocky Johnson. My brother Mike loved Pedro Morales. My dad liked Jack Briscoe, who just passed away. I've not watched wrestling in 30+ years, however.

Brad (Boston)

David, you're insane to rate Brook Lopez over Derrick Rose. If the Nets had Rose instead of Lopez, they would easily have three times as many wins right now. Lopez is no better than Chris Kaman . . . a high scoring center who doesn't affect the win total.

stringer (baltimore)

What is your beef with derrick rose? You always rank him lower than he should be, sometimes remarkably lower. Lopez has plenty of talent on his team and they still only have 4 wins. If you have them switch teams there is no chance the nets don't have 3 times the amount of wins they do right now and the bulls become one of the worst teams in the league

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

I'm sure I'll get a lot more than 2 "Rose hater" questions. Good think I didn't put him 3rd behind Gasol!! It mostly has to do with positions-finding a center like Lopez is just harder than finding a pg like Rose. Simple as that.

Justin (Minneapolis)

Hey Thorpe, I know you like Lawson better than Flynn, and while I would have just loved if the T-Wolves had just drafted Rubio Curry Lawson. I think it is a little unfair to say Lawson is the better player. Flynn is starting on a bad team, he's probably the 4th best player on the team. Lawson is coming off the bench on a stacked team backing up one of the best point guards in the NBA. Flynn has to play everyone's best point guard every night, when Lawson generally gets the back ups so they can rest the starters when Billups is out. I think Lawson was the best bench draft pick, but I think Flynn can be a starter on a NBA team. He might not be a starter on every team, but I think he'll turn into kind of a Jameer Nelson/Ray Felton type where he'll look just fine with the right team, but not be able to build a team around him

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

Justin, we're not as far apart as you think. Lawson has a special set of skills, as does Flynn. I think they will have similar careers, albeit in different ways.

Jrue Holiday (Philadlephia, PA)

What's my upside?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Really really high. More importantly, you have almost no downside. I was impressed with how you ran the team last night.

Mike (la)

The top 20 rookies and sophs. I noticed you left out Eric Gordon, easily the best 2 guard and George Hill, the most improved player. Both should be in the top 10. I feel like no one gives Eric Gordon the respects that he deserves. With players like Love, and Odem missing significant time, how do these players make the list? If picking players that never play, why isn?t Blake Griffin on the list. He has the most upside

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

The list was about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I love Gordon and Hill, but not better than the 20 I mentioned. Griffin will be evaluated as part of next years class, so I'll get to him then.

Charles de Gaul (NY)

Why no love for Jazz rookie Wesley Matthews?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

He's in my top 15 rooks. That's not love for an undrafted player?

warren (Florida)

Whats up Mr. Thorpe? Did you watch Dwade last night? How awesome is he!?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

Wow.

Zach (Basel)

David, are you a Nene fan?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

Yes, he has really grown on me.

Theodore (Jacksonvile)

Do you think giving up Beasley for Amare is a good idea for the Heat?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I do. You hope Beasley gets to be as good as Amare is.

J.G. (OKC - Daily Thunder)

Have you ever seen a bench that has 3 rookies, Harden, Maynor and Ibaka turn a game like those 3 did last night against Portland? Maynor setting up Harden, Harden scoring 13 straight points to break the game open and Ibaka swatting 3 shots in a 6 minute span? Is that a little unprecedented in this league?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

No, but rare. Their future is bright for a reason.

Jeremy (SLC. UT )

Whats up DT when will Jerry Sloan win COY honors ESPN does not even have him on the COY watch list, personally I think it is a joke what do you think?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

When all is said and done, I bet he finishes in the top few. If they maintain.

DiehardNFFLbarnone (Newton)

What is the first thing you think Mikhail Prokhorov should do as soon as he is approved as the Nets' new owner? Please answer.

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

Convince Stan van Gundy to leave O-Town and take over the Nets.

Tom (Nashville)

Thorpe, I heard that you helped our boy Corey Brewer a great deal. What specifically did you do?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

I think a lot of people have been helping Corey. We just stressed shot selection, and improved his shooting mechanics. He was bending over at the waist too much, so when he shot, his head was flying backwards and that destroyed his balance and cut off his follow through.

Anthony (Cali)

Do you really think Kevin Martin NEEDS to be traded like people think? or is it a thing to where Reke and KMart are still trying to get comfy with each other's game?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

"Needs" is a strong word. I think it would be great for him, if he went to a contending team. It could be great for the Kings, if they got a starting big. Otherwise, I don't see it happening. His issues have very little to do with Reke.

Chip (Cleveland)

I'm skeptical how well Iguodala would fit next to Lebron. Can two 3's who both initiate the offense co-exist?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I think LBJ can play with anyone.

Ryan (Cleveland)

Thorpedo, love your stuff. Considering coaches usually shrink their playoff rotations to 7-8 guys, what do you see the Cavaliers rotation looking like since they are incredibly deep?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

To early to start looking at that.

Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)

Dear DavidCould you see the WNBA having a strict gun rule?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

Are you suggesting that only men carry guns?

Nadeem (Maple)

Where would you rank Chris Bosh, in terms of the other big men of the NBA, and where do you see him playing next year?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

He's a top 6 player-haven't I said that before? And it looks like they have things going in Toronto, so he certainly may end up there.

Brandon (NY)

Are the Bulls seriously going after Wade this summer? They do realize that he and Rose is not going to work i hope.

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

They can work all they want, he ain't coming.

Bill (Florida)

Should the East just start the playoffs with the top 4 teams (Cleveland, Orlando, Atlanta, Boston)? Do you really think a team like Toronto/Charlotte/Miami will upset one of the big boys in the first round?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

Hmm, let's see; Bosh, Wade, Larry Brown. Yep, upsets can be had.

Wolfmother (Crunch's House)

What is your assessment of the Al Jefferson/ Love situation? I think it could work with the right backcourt and bench (I.e. Rubio, Turner Brewer. With Alabi and Hollins coming off the bench) but it appears Rambis doesn't like starting both. And they are both too good to sit. Is a trade (hopefully Jefferson) inevitable?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

They need a shot-blocking center, of course. But for now, 3 guys can play those 2 spots quite well. Hard to trade a scoring machine like Al.

A (VA)

are you done training players at IMG, or are you done training all together?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

If no one comes to see me, then I won't be training players at all. But I'm hopeful that won't happen. Yet.

Omri Casspi (Sacramento)

I don't understand what happend to me. I mean, at the begining of 2010 I scored 23 pts at the Stapels center, and last sunday I scored only 3 pts against Toronto, not to mention the low % from 3. So what can I do to go back to those days, when I used to score 15 on my bad games?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

It's called the NBA roller coaster. Happens to everyone. But last night is a great example of why you are so good. 1 for 8 from 3, but u still had 18 and 9 boards.

Eli (T-Dot)

Coach,whats your take on DeRozan's future considering he's one of the youngest guys in the league. Is he a future legit starter on a contender or more likely to end up a bench guy?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

He reminds me of Gerald Green in some respects, though I think he's a better player than Green. He's holding his own, and will have every chance at being a long term starter.

Alex (Houston)

Do you see the Rockets taking on a long term deal in trading McGrady?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Yes, if he can really score.

Ian (Utah)

Do you feel that the current playoff system is fair considering the sub .500 records currently qualifying in the Eastern Conference and the plus .500 records not qualifying in the west?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Ian, what did your parents tell you about "fair"?

Jeff (New York)

David, why do you hold these chats for two word responses. Answer our questions by providing insight. Waste of time...

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Sorry Jeff, but that's how we roll. Read more slowly, maybe that will help.

Austin (Austin, TX)

Is Richard Jefferson a sunk cost in San Antonio?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

It's possible, but sometimes players just suddenly find traction and take off. See Carter, Vince in Orlando.

Tom (PHX)

A this stage, is it safe to assume Kenny Thomas will never be an impact player?

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

Yes, I think his tires are out of traction lines.

Kris (Simi, CA)

So, nobody's seen Animal House? "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

True, but it works for college.

Flounder (Animal House)

Any way the Spurs make it past the first round with the way they're playing?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

No. But there is time for growth.

Jeff (Toronto)

When are your ESPN brethren going to write *anything* about the Raptors. Second best record in the NBA over the past two months. 17-6 in their last 23, after a nightmare schedule (and 9 new players) to start the season. They might be a Marcus Camby away from winning a few playoff series.

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

I'll look into it. But this is what I expected all along.

John H (Orlando)

Is this trade possible under league rules - The Magic send Brandon Bass, JJ Redick and the Turkoglu trade exception to Utah for Carlos Boozer. Brandon gets a chance to start - Orlando moves Rashard to small forward his natural position, has a true power forward in Boozer with Carter, Howard and Jameer. Then your back-ups Anderson at PF, Barnes as SF and Pietrus as SG. The Magic would be a true force for the finals runs. What do ya think?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

Why would Utah do that?

Travis (Texas)

Any news on where Mcgrady is going?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

www.espn.com/stein

Tyson (Salt Lake City)

The Jazz are on a heater, "and you never walk away from a heater"... They've been great for 6 weeks. Will it last? Can they make a late playoff push? Should they make a trade? Should I get on anxiety medication?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Possibly. Yes. Yes. Probably.

Danny "Blood" Swathmore (LA)

Thorpe! Beasley, Iguodala, Hickson, KMart... which trade would be best for Suns to pursue? You're going to say stand pat, aren't you?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Beasley. Has the upside and the cheap deal.

LJ (LA)

Okay, coach, trust me when I say that I am most definitely NOT a Clippers fan, but Eric Gordon not listed in the top 10 of sophormore players? I don't care whether or not you like the kid as a player, but there is absolutely no way he is not in the top 10 of all 2nd year players. To omit him really makes you look less like a guy gauging the true talent talent of today's young players, and more like a guy who doesn't care about the talent, but is just ranking his own personal favs without regard to how good they actually are. There is just no excuse for Eric Gordon not being on that list. He's a stud on offense AND defense, and that's not something that is often said about the younger players.

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

Let's agree to disagree. But I doubt any GM's would rank him as highly as you do.

josh (french class)

who u think will win the dunk contest and 3 point shot out

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

It's fair to say that I have not watched the 3 pt contest since Bird won his last one, and I only see the dunk contest when highlights are played. I couldn't even tell you who is in them. I stick with the real stuff.

gp (minny)

Is everybody wrong about TT? Read today that the Bulls would have trouble trading him because NOBODY wants to deal with his attitude.

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

I think it takes a strong and experienced coach to get the best out of him. He'd be great for Jerry Sloan, Pop, Phil, etc.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Boozer for TT?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

If Utah keeps Kirilenko, do they really need TT?

John (Raleigh)

Why are so many bad teams so hesitant to make moves? It's obvious what they're doing isn't working (they'd be winning otherwise), yet many of these teams seem perfectly content to twiddle their thumbs to continue the same level of sub-standard play (in some cases, for years on end). It confuses me.

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Bill Simmons has been saying that for years.

Phil (Twin Cities)

Who got the better of the Love-Mayo trade in June 2008? Would either team TODAY be inclined to reverse that trade?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

It's called a win-win.

Dexter (Sacramento)

Hey Coach, what do you think of Donte Greene? He's been a pretty solid player recently and has really matured since last season. Do you think he's going to be a solid starter/core guy on the Kings for the long term?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

I like him a lot. Always have. He certainly could be a long term starter.

Jordan (Toronto)

What's your opinion on American Media perpetuating myths about having all this intimate knowledge of Chris Bosh leaving Toronto and guaranteeing he won't return to the Raptors, when local Toronto papers and CB himself saying he hasn't decided?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Go ahead, pile on us Americans. Everyone else is.

Justin (Minneapolis)

Thorpedo loco, I personally like your 1 sentence responses, you generally answer what we are looking for. So, once sentence response to this: Rubio, legit NBA point guard, legit NBA stud, or a guy that could turn a whole franchise around? European reports have been good.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Probably a legit NBA stud.

Aaron (Orlando)

I can only assume that you worked with Vince on his game Monday morning.

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Not remotely. But it does suggest that sometimes outside influences can make a difference. Lawrence Frank looks like the man here, and SVG for allowing it to happen.

Marc (Charlotte)

Coach Thorpe, sorry I'm late. Had to do some work. Is Jawad Williams growing on you yet?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Indeed he is.

Wayne (San Antonio, TX)

Richard Jefferson for Corey Maggette and Anthony Randolph?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I tweeted this summer that if AR played in San Antonio, he'd end up being a Hall of Famer.

Younger78 (Cali)

What do you think about Pop's comment on Pau being the best skilled big in the game?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Overall, he's right.

Adam (Indiana)

What kind of player can Courtney Lee develop into? Is being in New Jersey stunting his growth?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Actually he's been playing very well there for 6 weeks or so, just does not always get the ball much. He can be a 15-18 ppg guy, like Mayo is, and be a ball hawk on d.

martin (Munich)

In NBA games i see now and then that a player makes a layup with the "wrong" hand. What does a coach say about making a right-handed layup from the left side (and vice versa)? Why do NBA-players do this though it is in contradicition to sound fundamentals?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Read Chris Ballard's book-the chapter on Nash spells it out. Being crafty or unorthodox can be an advantage.

Warren (Florida)

What nickname do the in the biz people call Durrant....spiderman? or Larry Bird minus the rebounding and vision?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

I've been calling him "Iceman II" since college.

BOB (CA)

Could Rudy Gay be in Sactown next year?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

No.

Wayne (San Antonio, TX)

COY: Larry Brown, Nate McMillian, Jerry Sloan or Lionel Hollins?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Scotty Brooks!!

Me (Here)

Could Larry Brown Help TT? Could TT help the Bobcats? Or would Larry Brown break TT beyond all repair?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

TT is a huge basketball enthusiast. He knows the game and its' history. I think he'd love playing for Brown.

Josh (Tampa)

Does Dominique Jones look like a legit starting 2 guard in the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

No, but he has a chance to be a nice scorer off the bench.

Micheal (Clearwater, FL)

I one quick question on the Rankings.... I don't understand how you have Jennings ranked in front of Curry on the Top 20 rookies and sophs combined but have Curry Ranked in front of him on the Rookie Rankings... Can you please explain that to me?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

To date, Jennings has been better. But tomorrow, Curry has the slight edge.

Warren (Florida)

Nash reminds me of Cousy

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

A Cousy with a left hand dribble, right?

Daniel (Maryland )

Rose is a franchise player, Lopez is a 3rd option maybe a 2 on a contending team. Do you really believe that if any GM could take either player to start a franchise any would take Lopez over Rose??

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Yes, of course.

Justin (Los Angeles, CA)

But I doubt any GM's would rank him as highly as you do. Haha just goes to show you don't know what your talking about. It doesn't take long to fact check what opposing coaches have said about him. Also he was on the same AAU team as Rose, Oden, McRoberts and they all said Eric Gordon was the best player on the team.

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Aaagh, I see now. So we should base our projections on how players did when they were teenagers, and what opposing coaches say about them. Excellent arguments Justin. The bell just rang, time to get back to class.

Justin (Madison)

Does the addition of Rudy Gay and Evan Turner make my T-Wolves playoff contenders next year?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

So much for Corey Brewer's progress, eh Justin?

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

BAZINGA!

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

You stole my line!!! My wife and I love that show-it's the only one we watch together.

JB (PDX)

Durant = Durantula. What's your take on Jason Thompson's recent slump?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Solid. JT just plays too hyper. Once he settles down, if it happens, he'll be good.

Aaron (MUC)

I am confused about this fascination with Bosh. He has spent his whole career in the Weak-East, yet his team has only finished better than .500 one time, and he has led his team to exactly 3 playoff wins. Since when does this make someone a top-6 player. The guy is supremely over-rated,

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

You mean like KG was?

George Gervin (San Antonio)

Excuse me, David, but the Iceman nickname has been taken for a long time.

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

That's why I included the "II", your excellency.

Blair (Chicago)

Would you agree that Rose is the best athelete, at his position, in all of the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

No. But he could be. LBJ at the 3, Rondo at 1, Thomas at 4-all are top 1% guys. Westbrook too. Josh Smith?

John (Toronto)

Chris Bosh has told me he is staying in Toronto. What do you say to that?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Then it must be so.

Jesse (NY)

How likely will woods recover with the media

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

It's not the media he has to worry about.

Kevin (MN)

There is no reason Turner and Brewster couldn't play the 2 and the 3 together! It looks like Brewer's offensive strength will be Three and close-up baskets, while Turner has an excellent all-around offensive game.

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Agreed. But adding Rudy Gay changes the mix. I think Turner would be a great pick at 2.

Rob (Chicago)

Do the people that write into this chat actually watch basketball games? I'm from Chicago. I love Rose, but I totally understand ranking Lopez first. Scouts are already calling Wall a better prospect than Rose. It is much easier to find a player like Rose than it is to find a player like Lopez.

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Thanks Rob, but I would not write "much easier". It's more likely, that's all.

jay (LOST)

i love the 1 word or 1 sentence answers its quick and resume everything u want to say and we get the point....no need for long answers were not that ignorant and i dont like reading a lot so your chat are the BEST!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Thanks Jay, maybe now I'll have to give your show a chance. Heard it is good.

Evan (NYC)

What about a Gortat for Al Jefferson type deal? Obviously salaries don't match, but filler could be added.

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Very interesting, except why would Orlando want Al?

Jacob (Los Angeles)

Am I crazy to think the Lakers should try and trade Bynum for Noah and Hindrich?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Wow. That would mean Noah would be the first man to win back to back titles in college and in the NBA, since Bill.

Josh (Mpls, MN)

Thorpe, I'm putting a gun to your head!! Who has the better NBA career, John Wall or Evan Turner? you could almost replace those names with Derrick Rose and Brandon Roy in watching these 2.

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

I'm not ready to make that call yet.

Brian (Chicago)

Pau better than Zach Randolph?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Better bucket getter? No. More skilled overall? yes.

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Better bucket getter? No. More skilled overall? yes.

bill (san diego)

i asked you this on facebook last week and know that you're busy, thus no response. but what is your best guess as to the knicks' starting 5 to tip-off next season?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Sorry Bill-I answered a lot of Facebook questions this morning. I'll get to more soon. I have no clue at this point about what NY will have opening day. Way too early.

David Thorpe
  (1:02 PM)

Thanks everyone. And for all of you who are Facebookers, I'm at David B. Thorpe. Have a safe weekend, those of you in Dallas anyway. Let's hope for no more snow in NYC because we're headed that way. Be safe!!