Good afternoon! I must have the will power of Job because I'm currently chatting from outside of Five Guys Burgers & Fries. Who puts a gym next to a Five Guys?
Anyway, let's have some fun. quick plug: Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @jemelehill. I keep it lively, trust me. Who's up first?
I just wanted to tell you that you suck.
Whew. Glad we got that out of the way.
Jemele, are you a fan of NBA All-Star Saturday Night? If you are, do you feel DeMar DeRozan or Serge Ibaka were "robbed", or were Griffin and Mcgee THAT good?
I thought DeRozan and Ibaka both got robbed. The final fell flat to me. I wasn't that impressed with Blake jumping over the car. I realize David Stern would have had a heart attack, but wouldn't it have been cool to see him jump OVER the sun roof?
Which CBA do you think will get reached the fastest?
I hope Vegas has odds on this because this would be a great thing to bet on...you know, if you were into that sort of thing...Anywho, this all comes down to which set of players can survive the longest without a paycheck and that's easily the NBA guys. The NFL is making so much money that my assumption is that they'll find a way to work things out. It's the best sport in America, so why mess with perfection?
I loved all the ESPN 30 for 30's. Which were your favorite 30 for 30's? Is there one story not covered by 30 for 30 that you wished they could have covered?
Terrific question. And for what it's worth, I adore cheese.I keep flip-flopping my answer. This week: The Two Escobars. Last week, it may have been Reggie Miller versus the Knicks. The week before that it was probably Marcus Dupree.If I would have picked one that I wish I would have covered as a reporter, it would have been the Two Escobars. It had everything -- drug cartels, the story of a country, a dramatic end that left you with more questions than answers. It was just a stunning story.
This is totally an aside: But as I said, I'm sitting outside (I live in Florida, so this is how we roll) and I forgot today is President's Day, so all the kids are out of school. Man, teenagers have some filthy mouths. I just heard a teenage girl string together a combination of cuss words that would make Mike Epps blush. Wow.
Franchise tag for the NBA: good idea or bad idea?
Great idea. I'd be shocked if it ended up in the upcoming CBA, but I think it's a necessary measure if small markets want to have a prayer of keeping big time stars. The way things are shaping up, all the best players either want to be in Miami, LA, New York, New Jersey or Boston. I don't think that's good for the game. And while the players would hate a franchise tag, a sports league is only as good as its weakest link.
Do you think Miami will be able to beat Boston and make it to the finals
No, I don't. Chicago's better equipped to beat Boston than Miami. Miami lacks the size to beat the Celtics in a seven-game series. People also forget Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have been closing games for a long time. As long as the Celtics remain healthy, they should come out of the East.
Hello Pretty Woman, good to see you here. What are your thoughts on NBA contraction?
Yes, flattery gets you everywhere :)Contraction creates more problems than it solves. Things like a franchise tag and a hard salary cap would help to spread the talent out without contracting any teams.
You think Kobe took advantage of the lack of effort from other stars in the first half last night?
Hey Trisity!No, I think Kobe pretty much decided he was going to win the MVP. Kobe is one of those guys who is motivated by small slights, and I'm sure he wanted to use this opportunity to send a message to the younger guys in the league. And, as he even said, he knows that his time is winding down. He created his own send-off.
Hey, who are some young writers at ESPN.com aspiring people like me should be reading?
There's a ton (and don't forget about us old folks, either).Off the top of my head -- Adena Andrews, Andrea Adelson, Wright Thompson, Seth Wickersham, Bomani Jones, Vince Thomas, Patrick Hruby. Seriously folks, check out ESPNW. There are a lot of up and coming writers on there that are just wonderful to read.
Dear Jemele Hill - I'm trying to have the Deet's back and have begun a campaign to erect a statue of you - a true Michigan success story - rather than Robocop downtown. With respect to your well-known propensity for modesty, would you be down nonetheless?
A statue of me sounds like a serious contender to be the next wonder of the world #ImportedFromDetroit
Best sporting event you have attended?
Hands down, last year's World Cup. Great event, fans, and a compelling country. Spending 36 days in South Africa was the experience of a lifetime.
Yes, you are lively on Twitter :) Will our alma mater make the NCAA Tournament?
Thanks, Mike.I was pretty defeated after the loss at Iowa. I see a little bit more hope now. They really needed that win against Illinois. I thought Izzo had pretty much lost the team, but lately they've shown some signs of life. If they can just get to the tournament, I think they'll surprise some people.
Who are your top 5 players in the NBA right now?
This is interchangeable, but I'm going to say: LeBron, Kobe, Durant, Derrick Rose, and Dwight Howard. Just on the outside: Carmelo, Dwyane Wade, and Amare Stoudemire.
Favorite place to fine dine in Florida?
B B's! :) This is seriously a long list, though. In Orlando: Dexter's, Mr. Quick's, Stefano's Italian Grille, and the Ravenous Pig.
Who wins the NBA championship this year?
You are shameless. Lakers finish the three-peat.
Aside from #UncleRon, who are some of your favorite managers in the MLB?
Yeah, I'm a homer, so I'm going to say Jim Leyland. Tough, old-school guy who chain smokes like a son of a gun.
Jemele, tell me that Steve Kerr & I aren't the only people who think the Knicks wouldn't be any better if they traded away half the team for Carmelo and Chauncey Billups?
No, I'm with you guys, too. I don't like the Knicks giving up so much for Carmelo. Look, Melo is a terrific player, but I really like the way the Knicks are putting a team together.I'd like to see the Knicks stop curbing to fan and media pressure and call Carmelo's bluff. There will be some great pieces available over the next couple summers that will allow them to build a real contender. For example, I believe Marc Gasol and Nene are available this summer. I've always loved their games, and imagine how well they'd work next to Amare.Felton is playing great ball. Wilson Chandler is really solid. They have a nice nucleus. They are giving up way too much.
How do you think Twitter has changed sports journalism? Speaking of twitter can I get a Shout Out/RT once in a while? @maceinthehole
Twitter has made our jobs easier and harder at the same time. Personally, I love athletes on Twitter. I think it gives them an opportunity to engage and show some of their personality. I've learned a lot about guys through Twitter and I'm for any channel that allows athletes to express themselves openly.I think athletes are, in general, tired of so much of their persona being controlled by the media. I get that. But I also believe that because they can see the fans react in real time, it unnerves them to some degree.
Top 5 sports blogs you read daily?
Another question that changes daily. But here goes:- The Big Lead- The Starting Five- Deadspin (got to make sure I haven't done anything stupid overnight)- Hoops Hype- And here's a non-sports plug: Check out Overthinking It, an entertaining, off-the-wall blog. They recently did a post analyzing the conviction rate on Law and Order. It was awesome.
Do you think joe dumars is the main reason for all the pistons problems?
The main reason? No. Has he made some mistakes? Obviously.The Pistons are still haunted by the Darko pick. Joe D has to accept responsibility for that, but the truth is, if the Pistons didn't take him, every team after Detroit, would have. I know that doesn't make Pistons fans feel any better and I won't lie, it stings that the Pistons whiffed in one of the greatest drafts ever. But hopefully, once the ownership situation is stabilized, the Pistons will be able to construct another championship team.
If lebron was in carmelo's position and you were the Knicks fm would you be willing to trade majority of your players for him??
Yes, but LeBron is a once-in-a-generation player. I'm not trying to hate, but Melo is not. He's an incredible offensive player. And that's the thing -- the Knicks don't exactly look like they're missing scoring. They need defensive toughness and rebounding...and now they're going to sellout to sign an offensive-minded player. Hmm.
You sometimes get a lot of hate directed toward you on Twitter. Do you think its because you're a woman or just general bitterness of some people?
Anyone who generates opinion for a living is going to get plenty of feedback, positive or negative. Some people indeed don't like the fact that I'm a woman with strong opinions. And if they disagree with me, they are quick to point out what my gender is.I chalk it up to being the nature of people. During an argument, people try to piss you off. Best way to do that is with a few gut punches.
How often do you and Michael Smith or Mike Hill get to hang? You seem like friends on twitter.
We are all friends. I've known Mike Smith since he was a cub reporter in Boston. Mike Hill adopted me as his cousin virtually since the day I set foot on ESPN's campus.Unfortunately, we don't get to hang as much as we'd like, but when we do...it's epic :)
Chances D.C. can become a premiere NBA city? Wall is a mighty nice starting piece and owner Ted Leonsis seems to have done a great job turning the Caps around.
The chances are good, IF the Wiz put some veteran teammates around Wall to teach him the ins and outs of the game. Andray Blatche and Javale McGee are talented, but undisciplined and still learning themselves.
First off, I love your comments on the show! Do you think NBA All-Star weekend would be better with something like a 1 on 1 competition?
Thanks.An even better idea for the NBA All Star game: They should do what the NHL did and let the captains pick their own teams. It'd go like this:The NBA's leading vote-getters from the East and West conference get to pick their own squads. They'd pick from the pool of players selected by the fans. Sure, you'd run some risk of favoritism, but if the fans have already chosen the pool of players, it wouldn't be too bad. It'd be interesting to see who Kobe picked first, or Dwight Howard, or LeBron. And also, who they picked last. That would add some drama, and perhaps some bitterness.
Going to answer questions until 1:10 to make up for my tardiness. Five minutes left!
Have you read Buzz Bissinger's NBA column on Business Indsier yet? If yes, what are your thoughts or reactions to it?
Yes, I did read it. Very provocative column. Buzz is a terrific writer and I thought a lot of things he said, were true.People may not want to admit their own biases, but I often hear some of the same things Buzz does about the NBA. People complain about the lack of defense, the "thuggery," etc. The NBA has had some blemishes (what league hasn't?), but I'm amazed by how the perception of the players and league is so negative.I love college basketball, but it's a lot harder for me to watch than the NBA. There are very few stars in the college game. What they consider good defense is really a lot of guys not being able to shoot, or being stifled by an offense that doesn't match their skill set. The average person doesn't realize how talented NBA players really are. They are so talented, in fact, that it does often look easy. But that doesn't mean they aren't trying or don't care. It's just that everyone is just THAT good.
Jemele, to be fair, the times I've strongly disagreed with you were not because of your gender but because you made a bad argument
That's fair. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. It'd be pretty boring if they did.
Who wins in a fight Reischea Canidate vs Mike Hill?
Actually, the question should be, who wins in a race between those two. Reischea used to run track, so you know who my money is on.
Thanks everyone for participating in the chat! I've got to get out of here before I break down and go nuts in this Five Guys. Take care. And remember, you can always follow me on Twitter @jemelehill