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March 2, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

Greetings sportsnation. Hope you are all ready for an amazing ride. Not this chat, but the 2nd half of the season. I only have about 40 mins, so let's go extra fast."They gonna give daddy the rain man suite, you dig that baby?"

Elton Brand (Philadelphia, PA)

What team will i play for next year after the sixers amnesty me?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

I do not expect that to happen.

Joseph (California)

Hey David. If any other player i.e. KD/Rose/Kobe was having the all around season LeBron is having on both ends of the court, do you think the media/league would have already handed them the MVP trophy?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Probably. But his Finals collapse is a doubt creator, and fairly so.

Confused Fan (Everywhere)

Why does everything turn into isos at the end of the game. Everyone knows what's going to be run, everyone knows who is going to run it on a given team, and can double team them easily. It seems to me that iso basketball is just an awful idea for good offense.

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Is this an alias, Mr. Henry Abbott?

Gregg (Chicago)

Hi Coach. I've got a coaching questions for you. I help coach a highschool Rugby team. Recently during an inter-squad scrimmage 2 of our players got into a fight. The head coach made both players run and sit out of the rest of scrimmage but didn't do much beyond that because the two players were brothers and "brothers fight". For some reason i've never thought much about it when skirmishes break out during a game, but a fight amongst teammates (even if they are brothers) has stuck with me more. What are your take on this situation and this type of situation in general?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

A fight once or twice a season is no big deal, if it's controlled during and after. Highly competitive practices sometimes lead to them.

dc (dc)

So John Wall is averaging 19pts, 9 assists, 5 boards, and shooting 48% the last month. Is it possible he's not as terrible as everyone has been making him out to be?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

He was playing terribly. But he was not a terrible player, get it? And it's nice to see him recover.

Franco (Brazil)

Millsap looks like an odd man out in the Jazz rotation. Which teams could be trade partners for him?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

Many teams could use him now and later.

John (St Paul)

Coach, do you see the Wolves doing some moves (not Pau).. DWill will be a good player but we have Love, and Wesley, Ellington are rotation players.. shouldnt we try to get a SG who can get some bucket on a daily baisis.. Maggette? Allen?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

I hate to break this to you, but Ellington and Johnson have not proved to be rotation players yet.

Isaac (Cleveland)

Tristan Thompson's arms are SO LONG. What does he need to work on to become a quality starter in the league?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

Timing. Strength. Knowledge. A more reliable shot. A better plan in the paint.

Cooper (carmel)

are the pacers the best team that could beat the bulls and the heat in the playoffs?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

No. That team does not exist in the east outside of Orlando.

Coach Phil (Wichita, KS)

Can you TEACH basketball IQ or is it just something you have or don't have?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Of course you can. Think every smart NBA player was that smart when they were 10, 15, 20?

Mike (Chicago)

3 years from now where do you see Noah ranked with the other Centers in the NBA? What about the Bulls as a whole? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

Noah is a second tier center, but the first tier has just two names. He's so unique that he ranks high on that second level. Bulls will be legit as long as Noah and Rose are together with that coach.

chauncey (teaneck)

Who are the top 5 players in the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

Bron. Wade. Paul. Howard. Durant.

Matt (Detroit)

Monroe: safe to say now he's clearly a top 3 player on a great team? (You thought it possible when we chatted earlier in the season).

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

I do indeed feel that way still.

Neil (Chicago, IL)

David, after so many years of reading and listening to you, and following the NBA as close as I do, it's obvious to me that you understand the game and its' players better than almost any exec I ever hear or read. I know how tough the business is, so I'm wondering if the league GM's hate you? You represent a real threat to them, like Tom Penn does.

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

I'm lucky to have friendships with a number of execs and GM's, who text me frequently during their games or call me afterwards. There are also a few GM's who are sure I'm as dumb as the chair I'm sitting on right now. My main goal is to prevent the first group from talking to the second group. Thank you for your kind words.

Jeremy (LA)

Should the Lakers pursue Monta Ellis? Lee and Ellis for Pau? We'd have Ellis/Kobe/Artest/Lee/Bynum.

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

No they should not.

Ej (Indiana)

Is Paul George an All Star in the Making?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

I think it's possible, not likely.

Clinton (Houston, TX)

Gun to your head, what new player is wearing a Rockets jersey on March 16th?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Clinton, you should know that I struggle to think clearly with a hypothetical gun to my head. Can I answer Marcus Morris?

Chip (Hanover, N.H.)

Tristan Thompson has put up some better numbers in the last couple of games. Is it just consistent playing time or do you see something specific in his game that has changed?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Playing time + confidence is a wonderful medicine.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

If OKC can only afford to keep Harden or Ibaka the correct choice is "the bearded one", right?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

Right.

John (Sacramento)

What do you think Jimmer Fredette's ceiling is and why has he been struggling this season?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I think he can be a starter at pg, but only if he remakes his game. He brought the BYU version to the NBA initially, and that was horrifying to watch.

Shane (Louisvlle)

You think LBJ will get his ring this year, or another great regular season only to fade when playsoff come?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I think they are the best team, like I thought last year. Who knows how it will play out. These things are not scripted.

Matt (Detroit)

Knight: is he also down the line, with Monroe, a top 3 player on a great team?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I've always been very high on him. Still am.

Tim (Seattle)

What do you think of Simmons idea for a playoff for the eigth playoff seed?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

People have been suggesting that long before some of us at espn (including me) chimed in on it. I'd like to see lots of single elimination tournaments.

vk (md)

Has there ever been a bigger black hole than Nick Young?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Al Jefferson comes to mind.

mk (albuquerque)

re: wes johnson. one of the mpls star-trib columnists recently wrote that he's a step slow at this level. wrote a piece saying wolves made the mistake of choosing the high character guy over demarcus cousins and now they'stuck with a nice kid who can't play at this level. your thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Smart.

Dave (Orlando)

If Orlando sends Dwight to NJ, what kind of effect do you think SVG could have on Lopez, especially on defense?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

He'd have enormous impacts on every level of Lopez' game.

Jared (Alberta)

Hi David, I want to start by saying I really respect and admire how you conduct yourself from what I see on Facebook and Twitter. Good stuff. Anyhow, what sense do you get about the Lakers front office? Are they really committed to making the team better, or are they going to let the team spiral to save a few bucks (despite the massive new TV contract)?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Thx. LA Lakers one of the top brands on earth. I'd be shocked if they were focused on anything but winning and smart short term and long term solutions.

James (Hilton Head)

Who is the best fit for the Wizards in the draft to help with the repair?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Outside the top 3? I'd look at Barnes or Beal.

Mark (Cary NC)

Good Afternoon Coach,Your Opinion - who was the most FUNDAMENTALLY Sound player of these 3 Options 1) Jordan 2) Bird 3) Magic

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

It's a tie. Each was incredibly sound and so versatile.

Tim (Seattle)

If you had to rebuild any team under .500 (aside from t-wolves) which team would you pick? why?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

Kings-Cousins if coached and managed is an All-Star center. Not many of those guys around. He'd be the third tier one center.

Jay Ofsevit (Bethesda)

Hey David, I coach a group of 12 year old boys, I was wondering your thoughts not on teaching but on playing man vs. zone

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

You must team and play man first if you want them to ultimately be great. Then you can play zone, but only because even in zone, you have to know how to defend PEOPLE not space.

Bill (Cleveland)

Hey man, seriously, you have to have a lot of courage to agree to do all those Truehoop videos. Man you must have some ego. Ever hear the phrase "you have a face for radio?" because you do.

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Hold on Bill...

Dave (Orlando)

Thorpe, we are officially blood enemies. I have to hate you. First you have this amazing espn job. Then players seek your counsel. I see them before games in Orlando coming to you like you are Yoda. But now I see you on the court at the Rising Stars game and my longtime girlfriend says to me "who's that" and points to you like some schoolgirl with a crush. Obviously you made a deal with the devil. On second thought, can we be Facebook friends?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Bill, meet Dave.And yes, Dave, we can be Facebok friends. I'm at David B. Thorpe. All of you are welcome to friend me there. Except you, Bill.

Thomas (Hunstville)

I understand your opinion on players and championships but how can epsn compare Lebron to Bird, Magic, MJ, etc. Until he wins a championship.

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

The point of the 5 on 5 was; Bron is enjoying perhaps the best season in history. It wasn't like they asked us to compare Tyreke Evans or Kyrie Irving or even Durant.

Jacob (Boston)

The other Tier 1 Center is Marc Gasol, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

Today it's Howard and Bynum.

David (St. Louis)

Is it better to shoot a 3 pt shot with feet planted, or to get elevation on the shot?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Elevation as the shot is released.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Thorpedo, Is Lebron the most physically gifted athlete the NBA has ever seen? Wilt, Shaq, MJ, Dr. J are the only others I would even dare compare with him........

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

He's on a short list, to be sure. Westbrook too.

Krishna (New York)

Hello Mr. Thorpe. Now I'm hearing about how the Magic are going to keep Dwight Howard past the trading deadline. Is that a risk the Magic are willing to take and possibly get Shaq'd again?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Seems crazy but true.

Teddy (Mexico City)

Is James Harden leaving OKC at the end of the 2013 season? OKC can't afford to give out 3 max contracts, unless I am mistaken, and he is one of the best 25 players in the league (the 3rd best sg, even if there is a huge gap between him and Wade/Kobe). Even if he is restricted, won't some team pay more than OKC can afford?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I can't imagine any scenario where OKC loses Harden. Unless they are ringless still in 2015.

Joe (Cincinnati)

Before we hand Lebron the MVP for his unbelivably efficient, and great season, shouldn't the degree of difficulty factor be considered in favor of Kobe Bryant. Kobe is scoring over 30 a game on a team without anyone else besides him, able to generate offense. Lebron get's about 6-8 points a game on transition baskets (Partly because he's faster than everyone), Kobe rarely gets any easy buckets, and really doesn't get credit for his passing (there isn't another player on the lakers you would consider a good shooter).

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

So now Pau and Bynum are scrubs?

Nick (CT)

David, How cheap was Wade's foul on Kobe?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

It was an accident.

Kory (Columbus)

Glad you're my Facebook friend! Your status updates are always enjoyable to read. My question is: what do you think Derrick Favors' probable prime year numbers will look like? 15 and 10??

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Yes he could do that. Still has lots to learn but his upside is considerable. No reason to give up hope yet.

Steve (Palo Alto)

Do you think the Nuggets losing streak before the break was at all George Karl's fault? I tend to think it was due to the fact we had 3 starters and a key reserve out for the whole time but people are calling into question Karl's lineups.

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

How would the Heat be doing without their two best players plus a few bench guys missing like Miller or Haslem? Because that's what happened to Denver.

Ermias (CA)

Hi David. What are your thoughts on Tyshawn Taylor's pro potential. I haven't seen any uprates on him since the beginning of the year and he seems like a completely different player. Will he get drafted or were his first 3.5 years too horrible to overlook?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

He has a chance. Likely draftted. Must play well in predraft workouts and summer league.

Jay Ofsevit (Bethesda)

We keep calling Kobe the best closer in the NBA, but at the same time he takes a ton of stupid shots. I know he's obsessed with winning but he also seems unwilling to pass the ball...ever.

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

The "closer" tag is absurd. It's a made up slogan. A team needs multiple guys to be able to knock down big shots late in games. Defenses decide where the shot is coming from, except for forced jumpers, which Kobe takes a lot of.

C (Charlotte)

Have you had a chance to watch Bismack Biyombo since he's been starting? Obviously he still has a lot to learn, but his defensive instincts are incredible and the offense seems like it's coming along.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Yes I have, and you are correct.

Rich (OKC)

What are your thoughts on Reggie Jackson? Do the Thunder need to trade for a more proven backup pg?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

Yes I do.

Chris (Chicago)

who says no- denver gets rondo, orlando gets andre miller, boston gets reddick, lawson, mozgov.

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Denver.

Rig (UT)

What moves would you make or not make if you were Kevin O'Connor?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I'd move Harris and Paul and Al, if possible. Collect picks and young players.

Alex (Canada)

I could be mistaken but you seem to have a negative outlook on Mr. Bryant. Does his personality rub you the wrong way like it does with many.

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

You could not be more wrong. He's amazing and I know he's a much better off-court teammate than most anyone realizes. But the idea that he's superman in the clutch is considered common sense and it's just wrong.

Ben (NC)

SWINGERS!!!!!! Are the Bobcats the worst team ever?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Correct!! and maybe.

Sam (Cincy)

Hi David: In three years, will Jeremy Lin be (a) a starter for an NBA team, (b) a bench/role player, or (c) out of the NBA entirely? Thanks.

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

In NY he may stick as a starter. At worst he's now someone who can lead the second group in scoring and be an excellent 6th man.

Alex (Utah)

Did you just say you'd trade Paul Milsap AND Jefferson? Isn't Milsap the kind of guy you keep around to teach the young guys how to work and succeed?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Who taught KD and RW?

LeAnne (Washington)

David, could you please tell me why the Spurs don't play Blair much after the 1st quarter? Also, do you think when the Spurs clinch that they will use him more once Duncan sits?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

I don't know. Being a bad shooter still is an issue.

Barry (Florida)

After Rose and Williams is Irving the 3rd best point guard in the East?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

You mean if Rondo is moved west?

Jordan (NYC)

No love for Tyson Chandler as a Tier 1 (or close) center?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Nope. Solidly in tier 2.

Josh (Chicago, IL)

The Wizards are reportedly trying to dump Andray Blatche for nothing. Would he not be a perfect fit in Orlando?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Correct, he would not be a perfect fit.

Shane (Louisville)

BTW, a healthy Manu is just as good as Harden, if not better.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Better to be sure.

Robert (Flagstaff, AZ)

Is there any chance Greg Oden can resume his NBA career?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Very unlikely.

Franco (Brazil)

Coach Thorpe! Who are the Tier 1 coaches in the league? In which tier does Ty Corbin fall?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

I'll try to name them quickly. Pop. SVG. TT.

Ryan (NJ)

if Dwight signs with NJ/Brooklyn in the offseason, are they immediate contenders without having to gut the roster in a trade?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

No, they'd need a roster overhaul too.

Tra Talley (Detroit)

Carlisle, Pop, THibs, Rivers,

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Carlisle just outside but maybe he deserves to be in. Rivers a small notch below.

Barry (Florida)

Does Pekovic or Gortat have the making of a Tier 1 center?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

No.

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

I have to run, so sorry. Hope you all have a great weekend. Be safe.