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February 1, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Hey Sportsnation. Thanks for coming into this little chat room about the NBA. Let's have some fun. Be Nice."...and this chick of yours makes her look like a pig".

Chris (Denver)

DT, What are the chances that melo becomes the next Antoine Walker? Do those chances increase if he moves to New York?

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

None.

Farley (Rochester, NY)

I've recently been sucked into watching the young clippers team (due to the excitement of Griffin & Gordon), but after watching last night's game, I can't help but ask How about that other young kid Jordan? Can he actually be a serviceable center in this league, or is he simply playing over his head? Looked promising for Clips fans last night.

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

He's always had the talent. Looks like he's rounding into a player.

Chris (Denver)

Thorpedo, what do you see Derrick Favors eventually becoming? Good Bench Player? Starter Quality Big? 2nd or 3rd option on a playoff team? All-star? Perennial All-star?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

Starter and possible all-star.

Nick (OB)

Would you trade Stephen Curry knowing he has more trade value than Monta and just build around Monta and Lee?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

I would not. I think Curry has a better future.

Chris (Denver)

Do you see Ty Lawson becoming a star or is he already near his potential?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Starter, yes. Star, no.

Shawn (Rochester, MN)

Wes Johnson has started to show more aspects to his game (post ups, mid-range shots) since coming off the bench. Rambis seems really high on him long-term, although that is the politically correct thing to say. What is your long range prediction?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Solid starter is his ceiling, I think.

Drew (Minny)

What Three Guards make West All Star. Nash, Williams, Westbrook, Parker, Manu, Ellis, Billups. Who gets left off that should make it. Thanks......

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Nash, Westbrook, Manu have to be in. Then D Will.

Phil (New York)

Thorpedoo! just read that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak might consider a trade, what type of player do you think he'll look for? any chance t-mac draws interest with his recent performances? the benefit of having mcgrady is high IQ. during crunch time, kobe won't have to take all shot, with t-mac..he can distribute the ball and stretch the floor and i believe this will take pressure off of kobe. your thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

I just saw TMaC in Miami. He's still got great passing skills. I think he could help LA.

Paul (Ann Arbor)

David, can Thabeet develop into a solid role player in the mold of Theo Ratliff?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

He could develop into almost anything he wanted to. Will he?

Drew (Minny)

What Five guys make it on West side for bigs? Dirk, Duncan, Klove, ZRandolph, L.A.,Blake, D West, Gay, Milsap, Al Jeff, Scola, Pau, Odom, Who gets left out that deserves it the most.

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

I'm writing about this for tomorrow's rookie report. Should Blake get in?

Matt (Chicagoland)

Hello Mr. Thorpe! You always emphasize that the NBA is a coaches league. Does Spoelstra have what it takes to get the Heat to the promised land? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Yes.

john (pittsburgh,pa)

are speights and spencer hawes the most inconsistent pair ever

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Not remotely.

Scooter, minny [via mobile]

Do u think the lakers r done?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

No. They have gone through periods like this every season.

Dale ((New Orleans))

Sorry I missed you when you came here. Did you get to see any singers/bands? Who are the people you love listening to?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

I didn't. Love the city though. Late at night I like Pavarotti. In my car it's all about the Boss. But lately I can't get enough of Jay-Z. His book is a must read for anyone working with young people from big cities. It's literally fantastic reading.

scott (chicago)

Tell me I am crazy that I could imagine D-Williams and D-Rose playing on the same NBA team and thriving. D-williams would allow D-Rose to be a scoring 2 guard as you think that he should be, and D-Willimas would be playing along side somone who would get HIM open looks. Just add a hint of Boozer and a dash of Noah and that sounds like a tasty team! Tell me this is a crazy idea, I dare you!

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Nope. Not gonna work. Both guys need to be primary ballhandlers.

Mark (Cleveland, Oh)

Any thoughts on Manny Harris and Christian Eyenga?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

Read my report. I'm not sold on either, but both bear watching.

Joe (SLC)

David, Some Jazz fans think that Jerry Sloans "message" has run it's course. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but is it time for him to hang it up? I know, I know, he's earned the right to make that decision himself, but in your experience as a coach, is it tough to see that you need to make some changes within yourself and the way you coach?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

I did not think he had command of his team in New Orleans last month. But I also think they have some personnel issues.

Will (Baltimore)

Always knew Mike Miller had a sweet stroke, but I never watched the teams he played for previously enough to appreciate the rest of his game. Last night he was scrapping underneath for rebounds and sacrificed his body for a loose ball. How big an impact will he have for the Heat in the postseason, particularly their half-court offense?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

That's why I love him. He reinvented himself into a hustler.

Joe (Denver CO)

Hey David,Thanks for accepting my facebook request. We all think you have such a great job. (which you probably do) What is the other side of the coin, what makes your job difficult?Thanks

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Difficulty is always relative. But watching games every night, 7 nights a week can be challenging. As a coach, I always feel pressure to help my students succeed. And that means I fail frequently. Which is not fun. I'm at David B. Thorpe on Facebook and @coachthorpe on Twitter.

Chris (PA)

I just watched Austin Rivers play last night for the second time. He seems pretty impressive for a high schooler, but how do you think his career will play out?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

I have enough of a problem following 400 NBA players and 100 draft prospects. I would not recognize any high school player if he walked into my office.

Matt (Minny)

Jonny Flynn's ceiling? Can he become a quality starter or is he more of a backup?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

I always saw him as an excellent scoring pg off the bench. Still do.

Mike (NY)

Thorpedo...B Lopez seems to be playing a lot better over the last 3 weeks or so but why are his rebounding #'s so down?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I keep getting asked that and just have not studied it. Soon I will.

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I sound like Yoda.

Marc (Malden, MA)

She's Out of My League. Best line of the movie "underwear would be fine...if I were wearing any." That woman is hot.

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

Loved the movie far more than I expected to.

Matt (Northeast)

Jrue Holiday or Stephen Curry to build toward a championship?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

Either. Depends on who your wings are.

Eggsy (The end of the bar)

He started out with such promise, but what do you think the ceiling is for Thad Young now?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

He's an underrated guy. I like him a lot.

Rich (Columbia, MD)

Thorpe, I remember you talking about the kind of player Yi could be for us. I've seen that exact description in the last few games. How were you able to get a standstill jumpshooter to play defense like he does now? We need to play him so much more, doncha think?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

Let me put it this way: As I told Marc Stein last night, Jianlian is maybe the most coachable player I've had, in over 22 years of coaching. He's a sponge for knowledge, love, guidance, and respect. I absolutely adore that young man and am so happy he's finally getting a chance to show that his excellent performance in Turkey was not a fluke. The young man will do whatever is asked of him.

Johnny Hazeltine (Las Vegas)

I argued that when the Hawks drafted Jeff Teague, they simply drafted a right-handed version of Acie Law. Sound about right?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

No, he's much quicker.

tony (snowy illinois)

Any chance james johnsons short say in d league will get him into bulls rotation ?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I doubt it.

Danny (Anahiem, ca)

I know Blake Griffin is playing great for the Clippers and is the main reason why they are playing good now...But does anybody else see that he is slowly becoming the biggest prima donna in los angeles and maybe the league?...My best friend is a clippers fan and he told me to watch him during a game...All he does is whine and act like he is still in high school...I attended the Miami/Clippers game and he was out of control that night...Didnt run back on defense several times after he thought he was fouled (which was on every play he didnt score just about) and he doesnt listed or care what Vinny was saying on sidelines...Kid looks like a total punk...Makes Kobe look good out there...MY GOD!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

I was just telling Henry Abbott that I've noticed Blake taking defensive transition plays off. I don't see him being a prima donna, but I don't like seeing him not getting back on d.

Tom (Clearwater)

Coach, as a dad of a boy in the same little league you're coaching in with your son (my boy is younger), and as a big NBA fan, I'd like to tell your readers what a humble man you are on the fields. I saw you coach last year and I've never heard a man coach harder and be louder, yet at no time were you doing anything but helping your kids. My wife asked me to get our son on your team when he's old enough because he just wants to learn. I like that you move the guys around every inning instead of featuring just your best players. All us volunteers can learn from you.

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Thanks Tom. Please come introduce yourself to me next time you see me. As for coaching, I learned in my 20's that the best thing we can do for our kids is to coach the heck out of 'em. That means teaching, not screaming. Baseball is so easy for this because there are so many teaching points and breaks in the action.

Ben (NY)

ESPN's Kevin Arnowitz tweeted today that Toney Douglas is the NBA leader in "Unadjusted Defensive +/-." Can you please put that in layman's terms?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

That's the raw number of how his team does on defense when he's in the game and when he's not. Adjusted factors in many variables, including who else is in the game.

Matt (NE)

Do you prefer to coach guards, wing men, or bigs? It seems like you'd be teaching very different skill sets.

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Makes no difference. As a high school coach and then a small business owner that depended on kids getting better, I had to learn how to coach everyone.

steve from battle creek (battle creek Facebook)

your thought on austin daye, can he be a starter on championship level team? has an outstanding jumper

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

I was impressed with his desire to rebound in Miami. That alone can propel him far. Not sure yet about being a starter, but it's possible.

Russell (Philly)

You've always been a supporter of Jrue Holiday. What do you think of his recent play this season? He seems to have leveled out and is not making great strides in his progress.

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

It's very hard for players to "get better" week to week and month to month. They may be improving but their stats will bounce around. I still like what I see in him.

MB (PA)

Thorpe, you'd really choose the 17 guys you listed in front of Evan Turner on your rookie rankings ahead of him for your team? Am I misunderstanding what your rankings mean?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

The rankings are simply a scale measuring cumulative stats and recent play.

jay (philly)

2 question would it be better for the sixers to make the playoff for young turner holiday to get playoffs experience or to lose close games and get a qulity big in draft ex jujan johnson or morris brothers

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

I always prefer making the playoffs.

omar (bronx ny)

Hey David, in your opinion who is the most exciting player in the nba?? I think wade is the most electrifying player in the game with Blake a very close second

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

I have no issue with your choices.

Mark (Canada)

Hope your feeling better! I read that you see John Wall's ceiling higher than Blake Griffin. I thought Wall would be ROY but Blake is out of this world and seems to get better by the day. What do you see that has you so excited about Wall?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Thanks, I am, though I think I infected my house. :(Wall has the talent to literally control the entire game, a la CP3 and DWill.

Nis (Oakville)

Should Steve Nash be in the All Star Game?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

Probably.

Main Man Max (home sick w/ fever)

Hi Daddy. Is Blake Griffin going to make the all stars as a starter or on the bench? I love you.

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Sorry son for getting you sick. Blake can't be a starter, but he can make it as a reserve. I'm writing about that this week so you'll have to read my rookie report (or you can just ask me at dinner tonight). I love you too my beautiful boy. Hope you feel better and I'll see you in a few hours.

Tom A (Sacramento)

You think DeMarcus Cousins is starting to "get it" with A+ performances against both the Laker and Hornet bigs? He seems to be scratching the surface of unstoppability. I think another similar performance tonight vs. the Celts puts him at untradeable status.

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

He's been making progress all month. Already pretty untradeable now.

Chuck (Chicago, IL)

Does this trade work? Melo to the Bulls. Deng to the Clippers. Gibson, J. Johnson, Kaman, Bulls 1st (protected) to the Nuggets.

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

No-Clips don't want Deng's contract.

Gabe (Brooklyn)

Hi Coach Thorpe,why do you insist on having Lebron and Wade as your co-MVPs? Isn't the point of the award that it's an individual achievement? It's a slippery slope when you start changing the rules to cop out of a real answer. How about I see the San Antonio Spurs starting five are my co-MVPs? Or Rondo, Pierce, Allen, and Garnett are my co-MVPs? Pick one player!

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

They are the two best players in the game, so it's not as absurd as picking 5 guys from one team.

Jason Kalleti (Pittsburgh,PA)

Will we ever see an NBA team one day playing overseas like in Europe, possibly hawaii or alaska..or even in another continent of the world?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Ever is a long time, so I'll say yes.

Dan (Miami Beach)

Love your work as always, David!Gasol has politely said it many times - Kobe needs to facilitate the offense through three quarters and get the big men involved a lot more, then take the game over in the fourth if necessary. Do you agree, and as a coach, how do you modify a player like Kobe's behavior?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

I do agree, but it's very hard to change a player that has had so much success.

Pierre (New York)

Is it really hard to play basketball when your name is in trade rumors. Every player gives the same cliche answer of how the NBA is a business and their still focus on playing, but when you see them they don't play with that mentality. What do you think?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

A player's success starts with spirit, and confidence. If he thinks his team doe snot believe in him, his confidence can suffer.

CW (Long Beach, California)

Thorpe, My son is playing in a little hoops league for the first time. He is 6 years old. He seems to be having fun, but I can tell the other kids don't feel he is confident with the ball, so they don't often share or pass the ball to him. I am helping coach, and I have never coached before, so is there something we can do in practice to help build that trust? Like, strictly passing drills, no dribbling or shooting until five or six passes are made? We as coaches have tried to shy away from too much teaching, just been working on skills to be able to dribble pass and shoot, and are just trying to let them play, but the two or three best players are starting to dominate the ball, and not pass it to the other kids, and I don't like that mentality, thoughts, or suggestions?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

My bro in Miami coaches in a league that has a cool rule. Every time a player scores his first point of a game, he gets an extra point. So a team that has 8 guys scoring will earn 5 more points than a team with just 3 scorers. I love that.

Dror (Israel)

Hi David. In a chat a couple of years back you said that you'd "be shocked if Rose ever won an MVP". Take it back?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I probably should have said I'd be shocked if he was ever the best player in the league. I still feel that way. MVP is a made up award. I don't make him a favorite to earn the award, but I know he's a decent candidate. More importantly, he could be the MVP of a title series.

Jeff (Phoenix, AZ)

As someone who seems to understand the importance of treating others right and maintaining class and dignity, how can you any longer sing the praises of Kevin Garnett, who time and again confirms his reputation for dirty play, lack of sportsmanship, and utterly classless behavior? It's okay to admit that he is just a bad person.

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

"Bad person" is not a call we can make. I love his intensity.

Austen (AZ)

Is LeBron James enjoying the Cavs losing streak?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

My guess is, probably not.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Why is the Cleveland Caveliers are so bad without Lebron James?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Do you still not realize how good he is? Or how valuable Varejao is?

Jeff (New York)

Do you think the Bulls are legitimate title contenders this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

I do. Especially if they acquire a better 2.

Ben (NY)

Did you scout Landry Fields while he was playing at Stanford? What was your reaction to his being drafted #39, let alone at all?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

I did not.

Charlie (Bored at work)

Just wanna let you know that I'm bored at work. Steelers or Packers?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

No idea. I can name just 3 players for the 2 teams. Maybe 4. Doubt I'll watch it.

Jon (NJ)

If you had to pick from people currently on the show...who do you think will replace Michael Scott at the end of the season? I'm betting on Kelly.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Pam.

Steve (nyc)

WHat do you think it would tke for the Knicks to get Rose from the Bulls. Would Fields and a first round pick be enough?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

That's a ban Steve.

Steve (Euless, Tx)

What are your thoughts on Tyson Chandler? Do you think he can keep up his recent level of play in to the playoffs?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

I do, he's energized and focused.

Tom (Phoenix)

David, do you think that the young nucleus and promising play of Griffin-Gordon-Jordan is enough to counteract the negative stigma of Donald Sterling's ownership, and actually attract some quality free agents to L.A.'s bastard team?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

No. I think Blake being a superstar can.

Matt (Irvine, CA)

Raising Arizona or The Big Lebowski?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

The Dude.

Dustin (Hiding at work)

I keep reading and seeing here and there for the last few years that pops says when tim retired he also is throwing in the towel. Both contracts are up next year- think they will walk away together?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

No. Still work to be done.

Kobe (clutch?)

I have one comment about the abbott article...Kobe shoots merely an average percentage during crunchtime. But that is with everyone in the entire world knowing he is taking it, and the defense adjusting accordingly. Who would you have taking a last second shot?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

You are making his point. Kobe should pass more when triple teamed. I've seen thousands of kids make clutch shots from high school to college to the pro's. But they need the ball.

Leland (Pittsburgh)

David, I am coaching 7th and 8th grade boys basketball. Granted our team is very talented, and almost always bigger than the competition. We are midway through the season, and our team is losing focus and just winning on talent alone, not execution and hustle. Have you ever had a team lose some of its dedication midway through the season? How did you get them to recommit themselves? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Team meeting-discuss goals. Is the goal to win every game or to get better so they can continue playing as they get older.

Jonathan (OKC)

Hey Thorpe, If you had to start a franchise ... would you take Kobe out of highschool or LBJ. Kobe for me all day. LBJ is better now but overall career I think Kobe is in a different altitude. Your thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

LBJ seems a bit easier to coach, but you can't go wrong with either.

Sri (Miami, FL)

David, i am shocked at this "I probably should have said I'd be shocked if he was ever the best player in the league. I still feel that way. MVP is a made up award". After all "Best Player" is the league is also a subjective title is it not? i am sure if you ask the Chicago fans they are likely to rate Rose just about there :)

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

We have much better metrics to measure best player status.

John (Dallas)

I don't see how anyone could say they'd want someone besides Dirk taking the last shot.

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

He's the best big shooter ever.

Andrew (Ocilla GA)

I figured Cole Aldrich would make more of an immediate impact for the Thunder this season. Your thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

It's hard to play much on a good team when you are a rook.

Nick (Cleveland)

Starting a franchise today: Wade and LBJ or Durant and Westbrook?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

The Miami boys.

Tom (UK)

Who is the best shooter ever, if Dirk is best big shooter? Nash? Kerr? Allen? Miller?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Probably Nash.

Andrew (Tdot)

Is there any good looking young talent on my raps? Derozen, Davis, and Bargnani aren't looking TERRIBLE to build around...

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Agree totally. Raps have a future.

brad (SLC)

Why do you think LBJ is easier to coach then Kobe? He complains about not wanting to be a point guard, even though he is much more of a Magic then a Jordan.. and he is physical more gifted then kobe, but kobe was able to create a low post game where lebron often looks lost down their.

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Kobe did not have much of a post game at the age LBJ is now.

Web (San Antonio)

"It's hard to play much on a good team when your a rook"???? Have you heard of the Spurs???

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Splitter and Neal are not rooks, except in the NBA.

Larry (NY)

how will the rockets do for the rest of the season?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Depends on if they can get someone who can play the 5 that is taller than some of my JV centers from the 80's.

Nick (OB)

Starting a franchise today: Rose and Noah or Durant and Westbrook

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Chicago boys, but it's a coin flip.

Mike Wilbon (Dallas)

You agree with me that the Blakeshow is not a true rookie ?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Going into this season, the last real game he had played was at Oklahoma. That's a rookie to me.

Andrew (Ocilla GA)

Have you been impressed with Aminu this season for the Clips? We've Griffin, Jordan, Aminu, Gordon, and Bledose, it looks like they have an amazing future.

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

I'm a little disappointed with Aminu, bit still high on him. Too dependent on his three ball.

Cody (North Dakota)

Spurs = most boring team in the NBA. Do you agree??

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Not remotely.

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Not remotely.

Terence (Chicago )

Is it safe to say that Tom Thibodeau has locked up Coach of The Year?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

He's 70% there.

Trent (LA)

Do you see the Clippers being able to compete with the elite teams in the west in a few years?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

If they coach the guys up and make some shrewd moves, without doubt. Blake is for real.

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Got to go check on my son. Give my wife a break. Hope you all have a great week. Be safe!!