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February 21, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to chat. Let's talk hoops."Shooter down...let's roll".

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Is Rick Carlisle a top 5 or top 3 coach in this league? The way he has dealt with so many new players and constantly making great halftime adjustments tells me that he can win with whomever Donnie Nelson provides for him.

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

It appears he is in the top 5. Cuban hired him for a reason and looks like he was right. Players improve under his coaching hand.

Tyler (Chicago) [via mobile]

D Rose is not one to court other players. Any truth to the report that he privately is lobbying for Gasol trade?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

That would surprise me.

Tom A (Sacramento)

Since Westphal's departure, I've noticed good changes in DeMarcus Cousins game and a moderate/little more maturity. If given the "royal jelly", what is his ceiling and could Cousins become a top 3 or 4 Center in this league (behind Howard and Bynum)?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Honestly, the Westphal reign may go down as one of the worst few seasons ever. Yes, Cousins seems better, and his talent ceiling is league MVP. He's that special. Needs to learn to play athletically now.

Bryan Okinawa Japan [via mobile]

I hope the lakers can play like they did last for the remainder of the season. They looked good on both ends. Charles Barkley said something that I think Pau Gasol should take to heart he said "when he played and rumors were going on around about him, every night he tried to destroy the other team" if Pau can get that mental mindset Lakers will win championship.

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

Title? No. Not without some guard and wing help.

marneo (Philippines)

Spurs fan here. Even with the 11 game winning streak I still dont think we are championship caliber with our front court. What trades can the spurs do to improve? Is Tyrus thomas really the answer?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

They are for real when healthy. And yes, TT would be excellent playing for that coach and franchise.

Dick Harris (Omaha)

Why no love for the Bobcats? T or F - the future looks bright w Biyombo in the mix?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

You're joking I know. I think Biyombo will improve greatly over time, if they hire the right coach.

SeaBass (.)

You successfully predicted where LBJ and Melo would end up. How about Dwight?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

J-e-r-s-e-y

Devon (Parma)

David I coach a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys team in which we only get 2 hours per week to practice what would be best to focus on in such little time? Thanks

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

Playing fast, ballhandling, passing, screening, layups on offense. Defending the ball, helping the drive, and helping the helper on d.

Rion (MN)

Who would be the ideal player fit (ignore contracts etc) to play with Rubio?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

Big time shooter/scorer that's not a high usage guy (so not M Ellis).

Raleigh (Arizona)

Why arent the coaches of John wall and Blake Griffin addressing their mechanical issues of shooting on the way down?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Most NBA coaches are not experts at teaching shooting.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

"Shooter down...let's roll". Hall Pass?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Winner!!

Julius (Atlanta)

David, big fan! Agree with you on the Lakers, my question is right now I see it as Thunder versus Heat. Do you agree presuming no major trade to another team?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

Yes I do.

Ahmad (Montreal)

So my question is not about the NBA, it is about your chats ... Why the irregularity? Hoping everything is OK and hoping that you chat EVERY week ... thanks in advance ...

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

I am doing so many other espn projects. Podcasts, skype stuff, etc. I hope you guys like the Truehoop TV stuff that Henry is doing-I think it's great except for when I'm on. Honestly, I seem so boring compared to the wit and wisdom of guys like Hollinger and Abbott.

Tom (Boston)

As a high school coach at the end of a good season what are the couple of things a team can work on, in practice, to continue to improve going into post-season play? Obviously the team isn't going to change its style, etc. So what did you focus on the last couple of weeks in practice?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Preparation for the opponent and for ourselves. Everyone knowing their role on every play. Including all subs. Free throws. Blocking out on free throws.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Shouldn't the question every Knicks fan should be asking is whether or not Jeremy Lin can fit with Carmelo Anthony? Don't get me wrong I like Lin but he has only been doing this for a few weeks. Melo has been Melo for years. I think we are asking the wrong question.

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

I thought the same before they won so many games. Now it's about "we" not "me". It's not about any of the individual players anymore.

Anibal (Peru)

Hello from Peru Coach!Everyone bashes LeBron for going to Miami, but dont dont you think that Miami was the best place to win?? So wouldnt that make Lebron someone who cares more about winning than about fame, money, etc??Some might say that he chose winning in the "easiest" way...but still his best chance is with Wade and Bosh right?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

He did not take the max, so no, it wasn't about money. I always felt that he just wanted ta super talented scoring partner. I love that MJ and Bird and Magic made fun of him, considering who they won their titles next to.

Bankston (Dallas)

Is Melo a liability to New York or do you believe that he will eventually adapt to the style of play they have?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I honestly do not know. Which is more telling than you'd think.

Cooper at Escondido, California [via mobile]

Did Kobe's statement make the Lakers better and more confident? Does Gasol get traded? Thank you

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I rarely look at the surface for answers. Below the surface is where the gold is. Nothing has happened there to make my think things are better.

ken (portland)

David-Love your evaluations of young players and their development. How to you rate coach McMillan's development of first and second year players? There is a lot of debate around here as to whether Nate stunts their development or makes it hard to know what we have with our young players with his perceived stubbornness to give any of them consistent time.

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

He's done ok in some areas, weaker in others. But many players have improved there.

dave (okc)

Have you ever made a more egregious error than ranking Brook Lopez over D Rose, Westbrook and Love? What possibly went into your thinking? Especially with him over in all star already in Rose at the time?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

I don't remember what kind of ranking that was. I do remember when Lopez was outplaying them both. Leave Vinny in Chicago, and put Tom T, in Jersey 2 seasons ago, and I'd bet we'd have a different conversation. One day, I hope, fans will learn the Jeremy Lin story is one that fits most players. Get it?

Mike (Chicago)

How can you say Lebron wasn't about money? He left a couple million on the table but still gets over 100M. If he took the min so they could sign other players I'd agree, but that's crazy talk.

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

He was getting that regardless. If my daughter is a great babysitter and has three families who all offer her big money to be their full-time babysitter, the family she ultimately chooses won't be chosen because of the money, right? Same story here.

Joe (Decatur, GA)

Kyrie Irving looks like he is going to win the ROY. But what are your thoughts on the Cavs other rookie, Tristan Thompson? I love his energy, but he doesn't seem to be that skilled yet. With some development, what kind of game can he develop?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

He's really talented. Wish they'd just play him a ton.

facebook buddy (NY)

Coach T, congrats on going undefeated as a coach for your son's team. My daughter is 9 and wants to play, should I coach her?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

Thanks. Lots of variables to consider. I wouldn't trade my time coaching my son for anything.

Michael Shemper (ATL)

Very disappointed that my Hawks - in need of a big man - decided to pick up a washed-up Erick Dampier instead of testing the waters for a younger big body who can bang and has room for improvement. Are there any remaining FA bigs who can still catch on with a team that might have an impact?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Teams keep doing that, which makes me laugh. Fesenko is a silly kid who can really help a team on defense.

Rion (MN)

Where is the best place for D Howard to land from a winning games/ titles perspective?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Orlando, because they'd make the necessary changes.

hunter (utah)

will alec burks become a legitimate starter?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

It's not likely, but it is possible.

Ryan (San Mateo, CA)

W's fan. I love Steph Curry. What are your thoughts on his game and potential. Do you think the organization and Marc Jackson are giving him enough royal jelly b/c I sure don't

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

I think he can be the closest thing to Nash we've seen. But probably won't be that there.

Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)

What does J.J. Hickson need to get him back on track? He's not contributing much of anything in Sacramento.

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

A new team is my guess.

Hugo (VA)

Are you saying the coach makes the player in most cases?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

No, but they do help him reach his potential, or they keep him from doing that.

Chris (Oregon)

Thorpe, what is your take on Greg Oden at this point?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

My guess is that there have been many medical mistakes over the years. Nothing is perfect including that profession. But I doubt he'll ever play.

Matt (Texas)

Bulls trade Boozer, Watson and Brewer for Gasol. Bulls get a versatile big man and the Lakers get a PG that they desperatley need and Boozer can replace Paul. Deal or no deal?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I don't think Booz is the best fit to Bynum. Need a better shooter/athlete.

Drew (Minny)

Thoughts on these trades? LA- Scola, Beaz and Luke Houston- Gasol Minny- K Martin Should work for all parties and give them what they all want!OrAny way that Atlanta would trade Williams to Minny for Wes and there choice of Randolph, Darko or B Miller!

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

LA needs more than that.

Don (Staten Island)

Mr. Thorpe, not saying it's likely, but you have to give the Knicks a decent chance at beating the Heat or Bulls in a playoff series if they can stay healthy, agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

I do not think it likely.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

You know your voice sounds like Vince Vaughn, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

My wife and I hear that often. We don't get it, but we do hear it.

Adam (Indiana)

are you as sick of the Jeremy Lin coverage as I am

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

Not remotely. He's a shining example of what I do each year. Try to get players better.

bob (Denver)

How can you laugh at MJ's comments towards LeBron joining the Heat? The Bulls did a draft day trade to get Pippen, and even then people didn't know how good Pippen was going to turn out, and they also had two-three years where they couldn't get past the celtics and Detriot. I would agree if MJ just gave up and went to LA to play with Magic, but he didn't. He made everyone around him better, which Lebron doesn't.

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

You are funny Bob. Cleveland was just terrific last year huh?

Ryan (Texas) [via mobile]

Does it make sense for Houston to make any moves?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

If they had a legit center they'd be a legit contender.

Mark (Cleveland)

Any chance Cavs move Jamison? This would allow Tristan Thompson to finally start to hopefully get big minutes/develop.

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Exactly what the plan should be.

Jeremy (NYC)

While I know this would never happen, does a Martin/Scola for Blake trade make sense for both teams?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Blake who?

Inquisitive Mind (Chicago, IL)

Why does everyone forget about those teams that the Lakers/Celtics/Bulls etc had when they had Magic, Bird and MJ? How many HOF's were on those teams?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Loaded. Phil Jackson pretty special too.

Tommy (LA)

Lakers fan..but come on, you don't think NY has a shot against heat/bulls? Anthony can play lock down defense (kobe, western finals), amare and chandler down low, JR and Lin up top? Thats a sold line...

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Nope, not going there.

Dennis (Champaign, IL)

Coach, is there any serious argument to be made for anyone not named Lebron James to be MVP? I think we continually take for granted his consistent greatness.

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

It's his by a mile. But Kevin Love would be amongst the next group to finish.

Kerry (Twin Cities)

Hey David. What do think of Pekovic's production recently? Do you think the Wolves have found their starting center for the future? I'm personally a little concerned with his lack of length.

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Ironman is fantastic. Yes, he can continue to start, though i like pairing Love with a more athletic shot blocker.

Drew (Williamsport)

Jrue Holiday has failed to take the next step, do you have a reason why?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I don't, and I agree. On either end of the floor he's just fair to good.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Did the Wolves make a mistake by not offering Love a five year deal?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Of course they did.

Drew (Williamsport)

Does Kevin Durant have a chance at cracking the top 3 ever in scoring?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

I'd guess yes.

Nick Wagner (Palatine)

What is your honest opinion on Derrick Rose?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

He's become an absolutely brilliant scorer and an incredibly humble and hard working superstar who's also a terrific teammate.

Jordan (NYC)

Is Jeremy Lin continues to play at this level or close, has he locked up MIP award yet?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

He'll have to fight Pekovic for it.

Ash (Chicago)

Hey David! Would Durant/Westbrook vs. Wade/James be one of the greatest showdowns in finals history? Which duo overall is better? I mean Westbrook and Durant are very close athletically right?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Amazing theater if we get that. I like Miami's guys better, period. But RW is as elite an athlete as LBJ is.

Josh (Metz)

Simmons sounds sure that no matter what, even if Howard goes to the Nets, Dwill is going to Dallas at the end of the season. Do you agree or have you heard anything along these lines?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

No idea.

Mark (Knoxville, TN)

Impressed with McHale's first season in Houston thus far? Exceeding my expectations going in.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

I think he's helped create more attention to d, and next season he should have more impact with a full camp. But he's still green on the sidelines managing a game.

James (CT)

Will Zach Randolph play this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Soon I think.

Josh (Metz)

One of the best things that have happened to the NBA is the ability to now watch the 4th quarter of any game via the internet/league pass. There have been some many times this year where have been able to catch the end of 4 or 5 great games in one night and I feel like I am getting exposure to so many players in the league that I would otherwise wouldn't unless they were playing my team. I have been able to watch Rubio and Twolves, Linsanisty, and end of so many great games.

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

True!

Tom (Chicago)

Deng, Noah, Asik for Dwight Howard, if he agrees to an extention. Seem fair for both teams?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

On paper, yes.

Will (Washington D.C.)

Any players of the top of your head that the spurs/popovitch WOULDN'T be able to do wonders with?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

JaVale would be a challenge.

mackey (columbus)

Coach Thorpe - the team I coach is playing in our final 4 game this weekend and the team we played killed us on the boards last game? Any advice on how to improve in a week?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Drag ur guards inside to rebound. Play a softer man to man d. Face block their best rebounder.

Jack (OKC)

Can Scott Brooks lead the Thunder to a title?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Yes indeed.

Josh (Metz)

2 min left in the game, you can put the ball in the hands of any player to win a game for you team. All other things aside, who do you want taking over in the last 2 minutes?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

I want CP3 running actions for my team-I want the best shot possible by any good player, not a bad shot from my best player.

Josh S. (Philly)

Any love to Doug Collins for coach of the year?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

No. They are a good team, as they should be. Not elite.

jim c (Miami, FL)

has tony parker been the best point guard in the NBA this season?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

No but he's on a roll now.

Mike (San Diego)

I have no emotional attachment to Portland good or bad, but this Greg Oden thing sucks. You have to feel for the guy at this point.

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Absolutely correct.

Jeff (Philadelphia)

David, the Cavs decent last year was more then just LeBron. Mo Williams was hurt and then got traded for Baron Davis who missed half the games. Varajao played 20 games (I think we can agree that didn't help.) Shaq and Ilgauskas were gone up front and West was gone in the backcourt. Obviously losing James was a huge hit but let's not pretend like it was the same Cavs team - James. Alonzon Gee and Manny Harris were their starting wings for Pete's sake.

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

Correct. And with those new guys alongside LeBron they would have been a solid playoff team.

Tommy (LA)

which coach would you prefer, obama or gingrich?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

I'm no longer interested in politics. Just trying to be a good dad and hubby and son and brother and friend and coach and analyst. That takes all the time I have. My taxes may go up, or down, or up and down. Whatever dude. I got not time to play games anymore.

Will (Washington D.C.)

How do you feel about Yogurt?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

"May the Schwartz be with you".

Saumil (NY)

You and other have mentioned that Kobe has the best footwork in the league today (at least on offense). Which big (Center/ Power Forward) has the best footwork on offense and defense?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Al Jefferson in the post is a work of art.

Matt (PA)

Who is the best ESPN Anchor.. i say SVP no doubt

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

I never watch tv except for games, but yes, he's awesome.

Aaron (Cleveland)

Have you ever seen a player more out of place on a team than Chuck Hayes on Sacramanto?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Now, he went for the money. Can't blame him. But now he knows that money can't buy happiness.

Mark (Canada)

So Deron circled the NY game. Wouldn't the Nets be better if he played this hard every game?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Nicely done.

SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)

Does Wilson Chandler play in the NBA this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Yes.

Mike (Chicago)

If the Bulls traded Noah, Deng and Asik for Howard, then used the amnesty on Boozer in the offseason, will they have the cap room to sign Wilson Chander? If all those scenarios played out, I know a lot of what ifs, would the Bulls be in a great position to win and win for many years?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Rose, Howard, and Tom T is the triangle they need.

Mike (San Diego)

Who is your favorite TV guy? I think Breen and Marv are 1a and 1b.

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

I like Minny's tv guys. And Miami's. And the guys from Memphis.

lonestar (a galaxy far far away)

still waiting for Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Gotta run after that classic line. Be safe everyone. Enjoy the all-star weekend.