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March 31, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Spring break is here!! I have kids running all over my house, so no Opera today. Just talking hoops with all of you. It's a great time of year to be a basketball fan. Let's get started."Sweet Ginger Brown".

Andris Biedrins (Oakland, CA)

It's Don Nelson's fault that, six years into my NBA career, I can't make a free throw (or anything else facing the basket from more than 2 feet), right?

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Possibly, if you have been working diligently on what he's asked of you. If not, then it's on you.

Ryan (Halifax)

If the Pistons don't land a top 4 pick could you see them potentially packaging that with maybe Tayshaun to pick up a big? I know im reaching but maybe someone like Al Jefferson? Thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

It sure sounds plausible.

Nick (Mars)

Will Kobe leave LA?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

I doubt it, but what do I know?

Saul (Oakland, CA)

T,Do you think Brian Shaw would be a good bet re taking over Warriors head coaching duties? I do, but what sayeth you? Happy Passover!

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

I really don't know. They'll love at the struggles in Minny and not come away as intrigued with a Jackson guy, I'm guessing. Thanks!!

B (PHX)

Can Utah still find an immediate impact player if the Knicks pick ends up in the 7-10 range?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Very doubtful, unless it's a shot blocker (Udoh, Alibi) or a shooter like Henry, I guess.

Jean (Seattle)

Mr. Thorpe, I'm a mom of three and we are all huge basketball fans. I wanted you to know that my kids and I loved your rookie article last week where you paired them up with a veteran to study. It was fascinating. All three of my kids play ball in high school, and we learned so much from your piece. Thanks for being so original.

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Thank you for reading it. Teaching players requires some imagination, but so does learning.

Chris (Fort Worth)

David, I enjoy your chats, especially your subtle wit. How do you see the rookie class of point guards rating in 5 years?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

I think it will end up being a very good class. Rubio, Holiday, Curry-all three could end up at the top of the list, and of course Jennings too. Evans will not be considered a pg (my guess).

Eric (Dallas)

Don't you think Carlisle should be able to find 20 minutes for Roddy Beaubois every night? I think he's earned it. Who would you take minutes from?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

I'd love to see him every night now.

Nick (Mars)

How was the movie last night? nap?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

We saw the Dragon flick on Imax 3-D (Nick is a Facebook friend I guess and that's how he knows). It was excellent. Great story for parents-kids have to tell their parents the truth and be transparent about everything, and parents have to be willing to listen.

Adnan (Chicago)

Last week you said Derrick Rose should work on his passing. He has had 3 straight games with 10+ assists. What do you have to say now?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

ESPN's reach has no boundaries!!

Raj (Philadelphia)

David- went to 76ers v Thunder last night and came away incredibly disappointed in the 76ers; very little effort on defense and quick shots on offense; is this a coaching issue or a personnel issue? I assume both, but similar set of personnel made the playoffs the last 2 years

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

This late in the year, it's hard to be effective when analyzing. Teams just don't have spirit.

George Karl (Denver)

By me being absent do I prove your theory that the NBA is a coaches league? Or is there another reason my team can't win anymore?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

I don't need any more evidence. It's in, and it's overwhelming. But losing Kenyon Martin is a big blow.

david (la)

hey david,is there any greater feeling than being in your city's central library, knowing every book known to man is at your fingerprints?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

Well, I'm pretty fond of being in an ice cream store with my kids after they get glowing report cards, knowing we can order whatever we want!!

John (Toronto)

Raptors are 1-2 against the Cavs this year, and one of those losses was in overtime.With the way they match up, any chance of an upset?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

None. Pray for one win.

paul (minnesota)

patterson,cousins and favors who do you think will be a superstar in the nba??

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

Patterson is Haslem to me, so not him (but he can be a champion), Cousins is missing the most important element-maturity, so Favors wins.

Brandon (Williams)

How come people are always insulting you?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I'm so handsome and I have lots of hair? Or perhaps people can just be mean sometimes when they are anonymous.

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Kidding about the handsome part, this ain't 1985 anymore.

Jake Klipp (Milwaukee, WI)

I know youre not the contract guy, but I'm pretty sure the Bucks have $26mil or so coming off the books in 2011. FA's avoid Milwaukee traditionally, but do you think the dough and playing with Jennings, Bogut, and the rest could entice a star? Or are we going to be trying to trade those contracts for someone? Thanks bud.

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

I think it's possible, yes. Other than the weather, I loved my visit there. It's a cool place with an rich and interesting basketball tradition.

Ron (NYC)

Would it shock you if the Knicks ended up with Boozer and nobody else?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

This summer, almost nothing would shock me.

Rob (PHX)

David love your chats. Long time reader and first time poster. Can you please tell people to stop sleeping on the Suns. They are playing some of, if not the best basketball in the NBA. With the way Amare is playing do you think the Suns have a legit shot at the 2 seed and possibly getting to the WCF?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Let them sleep. Amare is so focused, they could beat anybody.

Jeff (Chicago, IL)

Coach, I really respect your opinions so I have to ask, is this the year Luc Richard Mbah a Moute finally gets a single vote for the All Defensive team?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Finally? It's his second year!!

Tommy (Jacksonville, FL)

Amare has been beasting it lately; is it just a matter of playing harder once the trade deadline passed, or just that he has now fully recovered from all his injuries/not being in great shape?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

It's a combination of everything.

James (Waco)

Thorhighness! Help a fellow Gator alum out...I keep hearing that with the Lakers recent struggles, the West is wide open. Is it healthy enough for a healthy Spurs team?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I picked the Spurs back in October to win it, and I think they can pull an upset, but probably not over a few rounds.

Tim (Atlanta)

Coach Thorpe, do you have a fan page on Facebook? I can't seem to find it. I'm a player development coach outside Atlanta and I'd love to connect with other like minded guys, and since you are our Zeus, I figured your fan page would be the best place to connect.

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

I think it's a great idea, and would be happy to help any way that I can. We all can learn from each other. I steal anything I see that can work on a player, and my workouts are always open for any coach to come watch, take notes, or videotape. But no, I only have a regular page-David B. Thorpe.

Lc (Ny)

Top 5 mid rd sleepers?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

It's too early to tell for me-who's middle round?

Matt (CA)

Best Gator this decade: Noah, Horford, or....Bonner?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Don't forget Haslem, Miller, Brewer.

Brookes (Washington, DC)

Why aren't we hearing more about the potential of the Wizards to make a big splash this summer? There's a good chance that the Wiz could land Wall or Turner to pair with Arenas, Blatche is reaching his potential, Ted Leonsis is taking over, and the team has the third most cap room.

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Probably because people have no trust in management. Do you?

Kurtis (Houston, TX)

Rockets are going to be in the lottery this year for the first time in awhile. What do you see them doing this summer in the draft and any chance that they could land someone in this free agency?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

I think they are FA sleepers. Draft wise, getting a shot blocker would be great.

Terry (Madison)

Do you think the Mavs win over the Nuggets will change Hollinger's mind a little about the Mavs?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

It's not his mind, it's the computer. He's just reading into the data. I'd guess no, though, since Denver is not nearly whole.

ORSON (Philippines)

Who do you think will win in Duke v. West Virginia and Michigan State v. Butler?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I'm leaning Butler. But I love West Virginia.

Sam (Jacksonville, FL)

David, I read that Corey Brewer mentioned training with you this summer as being a big reason why he's so improved this year. What is it about your training that impacts so many players?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

Corey was just being nice. Lots of people have been helping him. As far as our training goes, maybe we do a good job of tailoring workouts to the player, and not making it cookie cutter so much. Plus, we try to teach each skill within a game context. Learning the game is more important than an individual skill.

Glenn (Memphis)

Who is the best all around forward you have seen in the NCAA Tournament this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

is Turner a 3? I like the Butler kid, tougher than he looks and very fluid and skilled.

"She Has Man Hands" ((Coffee Shop))

My roommate and I have recently been overdosing on Seinfeld. I am convinced it is the best TV show ever made. But on to basketball--how high is Wesley Matthews ceiling? Do you think it is higher than Ronnie Brewers? I personally think he's a better player, and he can actually shoot. I just want to know how a guy like Brewer was taken in the lottery and Matthews wasn't even drafted.

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

There is Seinfeld, and then the line begins. Though, I love The Office. Mathews is already pretty close to his ceiling, but of course he can tighten his handle and maybe shoot a bit better. He's more talented than he looks.

Nick (Earth)

Ty Thomas, I feel like he's my ex girlfriend. I liked him so much when he was here in chi, but now even seeing him affects me. Why couldn't he get it going in chi?

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

I think he's a tough nut to crack-it takes real experience and Vinny was just so inexperienced. Larry is the answer. 5 years from now, If Vinny is thriving, I bet they could get along well.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

I think people insult you b/c you come off like a jerk at times (banning, sarcasm, etc.) - the Internet isn't really conducive to dry humor. I'm sure you're not actually a jerk, though (in case you care). Either way, you're nowhere near as bad as some of the ESPN baseball writers. haha

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

Could be. Thanks for the offering.

Mikey (Waukesha, WI)

Will you ever forgive Phil Brody for the way he tried to cheat Jeff Willis out of his cabana boy earnings via a fixed game of gin that fateful summer of '84?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

Oh Mikey, you are the man!! "The Flamingo Kid" is easily a top 5 all-time sleeper movie.

Terry (Madison)

Do you watch a lot of college basketball or mainly just NBA? How is your bracket doing?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

I rarely watch college games, just cut up tape. I've not done a bracket in years.

Anthony (NYC)

Is Toney Douglas better than J Flynn?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

At being a pg? Yes. In terms of overall value, my guess is Flynn will earn more.

noah r (miami, fl)

Love your chats! you answer soooo many questions!! Do you think miami will keep Wade and get amare/Boozer/Bosh ( one of course) or is wade leaving

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I think your first suggestion is the more likely one.

Chris (Cali)

I know Chad Ford talks up John Wall's athleticism, but I don't think he's a better athlete then D Rose. Your take coach?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I'm on Chad's side, but it's close and not that important. Both are jets.

keith ((MI))

At what age does a player past the "he can still develop" stage? 27?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

Never. I've had 30 year olds who thought there were done, but are now 34 and still earning crazy money overseas with improved shooting and even better athleticism at 31 and 32.

Adnan (Chicago)

Alvin Gentry said Kirk Hinrich is the best on ball defender at his position in the league. Do you agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

No. I like Thabo. But Kirk is very good.

T (Columbus)

True or False. Rondo is the best point guard in the NBA right now.

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

False, but he's in the elite group at the top.

Marc (Malden, MA)

What do you think of Omar Samhan as a pro?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

I covered this in my draft blog, publishing today I think. He needs time to adjust to bigger, longer, more athletic guys. If he can figure it out, he'll be a solid pro. If not, he'll be a solid pro, in Europe.

Paul ((LA))

Have you had the chance to see Nic Batum recently? He seems to play such a complete game. And he's only 20!

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

Yes, he is rapidly growing up.

Ryan (New Zealander in Toronto)

Hi Thorpedo, thanks for the facebook add.If you were LeBron, would you go to the Nets for 10 million per year starting salary if the had: John Wall, Brook Lopez, Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee, Chris Bosh (at 13 million per), and Yi Jianlian?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

No.

Brian (LA)

Thoughts on Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler for the league?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

I'm one of the few who like Smith better. I like quick guys who can really shoot.

Marturo Gotti (Chitown)

Thoughts on DWade this season and what he's done with so little around him?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

He's an incredibly special player.

pat (arlington tx)

i just wanted to know who has the higher upside wesley johnson or evan turner

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Turner.

Newman (Upper West Side)

Now if you could use that subtle wit to match up the rookies with which Seinfeld episode they should study...I think we'd really have something here.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

You mean like Earl Clark and the "Marine Biologist" episode, hoping he see's the importance of studying details? Even if it means finding a golf ball inside the blowhole?

Johan (Portland OR)

You picked the Spurs? Ha! You're worse than Hollinger and his fantasy rankings.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Indeed.

Adnan (Chicago)

If they re-did the 09 draft, would Beasley even be in the top 5?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Knowing what we know now? No.

Skinny Pete (Milwaukee)

How could anyone not vote for Brandon Jennings for ROY? He's on a team that lost 4 starters from last year, made everyone better, and has led his team to the 5th best record in the East.

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Because Evans has put up crazy numbers.

Dean (DC)

With all those turnovers, is Darren Collison a potential starter on another team?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Without doubt.

Bob (Chicago)

Who do you think Milwaukee would have an easier chance upsetting in round 1: Atlanta or Boston?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Atlanta.

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Unless PP is hurt.

Brendan (St. Louis)

Have you had a chance to watch Tiago Splitter much? If so, and assuming they can bring him over, what kind of impact could he have for the Spurs?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I think he would be in the rotation. He would definitely help.

dalvin ((KY) )

You think Demarcus Cousins is overweight and out of shape? He gets gassed very quickly from what i see...

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Yes. He's a big baby too.

Lee (Fargo)

What happened to the Sophomore rankings? Kevin Love looks really frustrated on the court lately, and he doesn't seem to get every rebound in his area like he was earlier. Should we be worried about the mental toll of a season like this?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

I'll be doing one next week. He's very frustrated, but next year will be back to normal.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

Should George Hill get some love for Most Improved Player this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Yes, but Brooks and Durant seem to be the top guys.

Phil Brody (The Pink Flamingo)

Was your opening quote from The Flamingo Kid? "Do you want something to drink kid?" No thanks Mr. Brody. Call me Phil. Gin Phil. Classic!

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

One of many classic lines.

Chris (NYC)

Galinari wants to become a great defender. Do you think he can learn to be a great defender or is something like that only available to natural defenders and elite players?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Defense starts with desire, so yes, he can learn to be great, or at least very good.

Ben (MN)

Thorpe, I gotta think the Wolves would pass on that Tayshawn + number 4 for Big Al trade...

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Pistons would need to add sweeteners anyway.

Chris (NYC)

How much does the mental/attitude affect a players draft and potential? especially now that we are seeing a few previous immature players blossom ie Z bo and Josh Smith

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

It took years in both cases. Some GM's don't have that long.

Chris (Cali)

Starting your franchise out of Paul, Melo, Howard...in what order?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Howard, Paul, Melo.

Joe (Cleveland)

David give me the percentage chance each of these contenders have for the NBA title: Cavs, Lakers, Magic, Mavs, Celtics, Someone else. Thanks.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Really Joe? How's, 30, 30, 30, 5, 5?

M. Jens (The 8-0-1)

Rank the following 8 players assuming all were coming out of college this year:Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Blake Griffin, Greg Oden, Kevin Durrant, John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Based on what we know now?Durant, Wall, Rose, Favors, Oden, Turner, Griffin, Beasley.

Harry (New York)

Was giving up Jordan Hill just to get rid of Jeffries contract worth it to the Knicks? - it just seems as though he has all the tools to be a big time contributor in Coach D's system

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

It probably was, but yes, I think he'd have ended up being a help.

Jerry (Texas)

Dont you see a little Rasheed Wallace when you see Cousins play, he argues every call like the refs are always against him?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

That, and he screams at his coach in the most important game of the season.

Dave (Mpls)

How long will it take Wall to adjust to the pro game? I see him eating a lot of his shots initially as he does not always finish strong at the rim.

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

I see him killing it.

MC Welk (SLC)

That was Janet Jones Gretzky in the Flamingo Kid? Wow.

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Mmm Hmm.

Erick (NJ)

Does Andy Rautins play in the NBA? He has a solid shot and plays really good defense. Which team do you think would take a chance on him?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

I don't like his chances, but he's a gutsy kid.

Jeff (Chicago, IL)

We know you don't care too much for solid defense, but will Luc Mbah a Moute be in your Top 15 sophomore list?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Doubt it, but he'll get consideration. It's a deep class.

Mitchell (Connecticut)

All Beard Team- Greg Oden, Pau Gasol, John Salmons, James Harden, Baron Davis. Anyone I missed?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Honestly, I don't notice facial hair.

Jon (ATL)

Is it fair to label Jeff Teague as "Acie Law V"?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Not at all.

Madrid (Laguna Beach)

If you had to play for one coach, be it NBA or NCAA currently who would it be and why?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

What's up Jim!! I'd go with Phil Jackson or SVG. Teachers.

Drew (OKC)

Thank you M. Jens for the most random question ever. Who do you think is a dark horse that could surprise everyone with his play in the playoffs this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Roddy Buckets.

Harry (New York)

Scott Skiles has had a solid track record in building very good teams for a 2-3 year period then fizzling out - Is there a shelf life to how long a team will buy into what a coach preaches?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Yes, and hopefully Skiles has changed his tunes a bit. I hear he has.

Coach (NYC)

What do you see as your biggest strength/weakness as a coach?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

They are the same thing-I fall in love with them and believe they can always figure things out. It's just not always the case.

Mike (Atl)

my questions are never chosen, are you intimidated by me?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Are you pressing "send"?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Or "enter"?

Chad Ford (Aloha, Hawaii)

Hi David, That Darko Milicic is sure looking great!

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

You know what is crazy? Even the players think he's amazingly talented.

Jason (Boston)

David, how can I improve my hands?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Play as many catching games as you can. One hand and two.

Josh (Knoxville, TN)

How often do guys with attitude problems get over them and shape up?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Rarely.

Entaie Cag (Dublin)

Drew, I thought M Jens had a very good questions. Interesting in comparing guys coming out of college the same year.Thorpe, Jazz question for you. Better fit for Utah: Cole Alrdich or Greg Monroe? Assuming, of course, we don't get lucky and are able to land Favors/Turner/Johnson.

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

I like Monroe better, but he may stay in school.

David (Gainesville)

What has happened to Michael Beasley this month? He is badly missing wide open jump shots and he looks lethargic on the court. Are his problems mosty mental?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

That would be my guess.

Christian (Chicago)

Who would you rank as #1 finisher at the basket? It's between Amare or LBJ right?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Probably.

LJ (LA)

Coach, according to John Hollinger's stats, the Cavs have played the 2nd easiest schedule of any team in the league, while other contenders have played far more difficult schedules. Do you think it matters if a team is challenged with tougher in-season competition in order to prepare for a playoff run, or do you subscribe that the easier route allows for rest and a better result? Thank you.

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Makes no difference in the NBA. Everyone plays a similar enough schedule.

Trey (New York)

Is Earl Clark a lost cause?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Not at all. Still young.

Jackson (chapel hill)

Is Amare just playing for a contract again, or is he really breaking into the top ranks?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

I think it's the latter.

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Gotta run. Thanks everyone. Enjoy the games this weekend. Be safe.