Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 14, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Wilbon

Mike (Los Angeles)

Should the Lakers try to move Artest if there are suitors? He has played good defense lately but his offense is seriously hurting the Lakers. Bucher said the Bobcats had interest in Artest... how about an Artest for Jackson trade? I read that Jackson is available.

Michael Wilbon
  (1:23 PM)

Hi Everybody. We're officially in basketball season now--no football on the radar except for labor talks (ugggggh!) so we'll jump right into it and there's no better place to start than the Los Angeles Lakers, who despite yesterday's loss in Orlando, are playing pretty well on this Grammy Award's Road Trip...4-1 with winnable games against Charlotte and Cleveland...nonetheless, the Lakers would absolutely listen to offers for Ron Artest...but there haven't been any takers. None. And I know that whatever might have been discussed in recent weeks the Bobcats have NO interest in Artest now. That ain't happening. Jackson might be available, but not if you're talking Artest in return...

Spencer (Indy)

Michael, I have heard you say that Conseco Fieldhouse is the best arena in the NBA. While I do agree with you, why do you think so?

Michael Wilbon
  (1:28 PM)

It's hard to a Chicago kid to say anything in Indiana is THE BEST, but I think Canseco is the best arena in the NBA. Aesthetic appeal, sightlines, comfort...it's all subjective. I'm not saying it's my favorite place to go, not with the Pacers being so stinky this season (although they have been pretty darned good since Jim O'Brien was canned)...I'd rather go to Madison Square Garden than anywhere else, probably...well, except for the United Center, but I'm not about to make the case that UC is a great building; it's just so big...I still yearn for the days of the old Chicago Stadium, but that's another question-and-answer. Anyway, Canseco from the time you approach the facade to the time you get in the door, it's just a wow facility...Wish the places I go more often to cover games (Miami for starters) played in a Canseco clone...

matt (Germany)

which of the nba star players are going to play abroad in case there is a lockout?

Michael Wilbon
  (1:31 PM)

Really good question...Kobe talked about this the other night in MSG after the Knicks game. Depends on which ones need money and who would sign a contract that would keep him out of the NBA for a full season or two...Kobe didn't promise or guarantee he'd play, but he mentions that he grew up in Italy so it would only make sense if he misses playing. It's not like Kobe will need the money...But some guys will. And I'm interested to see if European teams will be aggressive about chasing down recognizable NBA guys they think can fill their buildings...

Tony (Texas)

Why doesn't ESPN produce a 30 for 30 on Jack Johnson? Frankly, he is one of the most compelling and mentally tough athletes who ever lived. It is one thing to be Mohammed Ali in the 1960s. It is another thing to be Ali in 1908.

Michael Wilbon
  (1:40 PM)

Okay, this is WAAAAAAY off the beaten path, but I love the question...love it. And you're TOTALLY right. To do the boldacious stuff Jack Johnson did, from knocking out Great White Hopes and taunting them in the ring to marrying a white woman to speaking as eloquently as he did (Johnson was also a wonderful writers; some of his letters have been published)...yes, it was so out there for the times. What Muhammad Ali did was of greater social significance, and because of the times and mass media it had a greater impact on more people. But Jackson Johnson is one of the under studied figure in the history of sports in America. The first race riots of the 20th century were brought about from Johnson's 4th of July KO in Reno...I can never get enough of reading about him...

Biju (New Hyde Park, NY)

Watching the 3rd Boston/Miami game has clearly shown Miami lacks a few things - 1. No one in Miami can stop Rajon Rondo 2. Miami has no bigs to stop the Celtic's bigs (KG, Perkins, Baby) and finally 3. Miami has no bench to compete with Boston. Your thoughts?

Michael Wilbon
  (1:44 PM)

Ah, yes Dr. Biju in New Hyde Park you have nailed it. Boom! That's it. And there's more. Miami, so far, can't beat the best teams in the league. Okay, they smacked the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas Day...Otherwise, nothing. Miami will get the Bulls in Chicago on the 24th of February, and if Jokim Noah is back on the floor for Miami it'll be interesting to see that game. Miami has zero half-court offense at the end of games against good defensive teams. Look, I picked Miami at the start of the season to reach the Finals. But in the middle of that season opener against Boston, I turned to Jon Barry and said, "Ooops!" Not because the Heat lost the game, but because of the deficiencies you point out, those exact weaknesses. And nothing that's happened since--certainly not running off a bunch of wins against bad teams--changes that. I don't believe Miami could win more than one game against Boston in the playoffs...

travis ( new york ny )

what player do you most likely seeing the Knicks acquiring at the trade deadline to help them with their run to the playoffs and hanging on to the 6 seed

Michael Wilbon
  (1:53 PM)

Carmelo would help them hold onto the 6th seed, but I don't think anybody else they'd get would have that impact. Remember, they're going after Carmelo in the off-season so they won't acquire anybody not in the last year of his contract...so I don't know who they could get on the cheap who would matter that much...The Knicks are going to have a hard time holding onto that spot regardless. Philly is much, much better and improving. Charlotte is playing so much better under Paul Silas, and Indy is playing better. The knicks had better be careful. Amare can't carry that team by himself all season. The Knicks do need a little added help, but they're not going to spend money that might cost them Carmelo in the off-season...

Terry (Detroit)

What's your thoughts on the pistons retiring Dennis Rodman's number #10 to the rafters on April 1st?

Michael Wilbon
  (1:57 PM)

My first thought is "Why wasn't Rodman's jersey retired already?" I know he played more minutes for the Bulls championship teams than the Pistons teams...STILL. Rodman was such a defensive force on a defense-first team. The question is whether they would have won either of those titles without him, and I say there's no chance given the Pistons went through the Celtics and then the Bulls, two teams that had offensive firepower like nobody's business...Rodman's jersey, legitimately, should be retired in two places, Detroit and Chicago...

Paul (DC)

Michael? This is Paul I met you on the set of PTI the other day. The guy Arizona/Chicago guy. Quick question- Do you see DePaul ever being relevant again in College Basketball and Chicago?

Michael Wilbon
  (1:59 PM)

Thanks for jumping in, Paul...I think the rejuvination of St. John's in New York is great news for DePaul...I know the coach of DePaul, Oliver Purnell, and think he's already on the right track. It's about rebuilding ties to high school coaches and muckety-mucks in and around the city. If DePaul and St. John's were to both be relevant again, that would be so cool...

Chris (Chicago)

Do you think the bulls make a move to get a shooting guard before the trade deadline?

michael wilbon
  (2:11 PM)

Don't know if you guys got the long answer I just tried to post...I do believe the Bulls should make a deal. That's just me. As much as I think Asik has improved dramatically every single week, I'd take Courtney Lee off Houston's bench in one second...A 6-foot-5 guy who is shooting 40 percent from 3 with NBA Finals experience? I'd take OJ Mayo, too, especially if I could get him at a discount rate because of his recent issues. But I realize Bulls decisions makes could justifiably say, "Why make a deal when we're 2 games out of first place in the East?" but I'm looking at the playoffs where you need reliable shooters, and more than one, to advance in the playoffs. Lee, to me, would fit the bill. 25 years old, plays defense, and has NBA Finals experience...Okay, I gotta run and prepare for PTI...thanks for chatting, and we'll do it next week after the All-Star game, approaching that NBA trade deadline so many people are curious about! Have a great week everybody!! MW

michael wilbon
  (2:12 PM)

Ohio State, period. yes...