Hi folks! Mike is running a tad late getting back from London. He will be on in approximately 20 minutes at 2:20 p.m. ET. Keep your questions coming!
Hello everybody...just walking into the PTI offices for the first time in a month, straight from the airport and straight from Heathrow, which I'm sure is an insane place by now...busiest day ever at the busiest airport in the world...which is why I avoided it and left at 7...seemed like at least 30 U.S. athletes (all in some kind of Team USA apparel) were on the flight...so now, just like that, it's back to preseason football, Rory-Tiger, pennant races, etc. But we're going to talk mostly Olympics since that's what I still care about for one more day...
Hi Michael. Thanks for the Olympic coverage. I wanted to get your take on Usain Bolt's comments regarding his loss of respect for Carl Lewis.
If you know anything about sprinters, particularly the best ones in history, they like to run their mouths...kinda like boxers...Carl went too far, in my opinion, when he talked about Jamaica's drug testing program and I don't blame Bolt for going right back at him. I'd have been surprised if Bolt DIDN'T go right back at him...I don't find it any big deal, really. I'm still too in awe of Bolt's performance in London--three gold medals in three events--to make beef between him and Lewis any kind of priority...
The nba guys seem to really like coach k. Is that an indication that he could be successful in the nba?
They LOVE Coach K. And that has zero to do with whether he'd be successful in the NBA. You're successful in the NBA if you have a couple of those players on the U.S. Olympic basketball team. And Coach K is, I would think, beyond the will-he-coach-in-the-NBA conversation now that he's right about mid-60s...Is he around 64 or 65? It's not old for a million things in real life, but to take a first job in the NBA? It's--how do I say this?--advanced. I do think had Coach K decided to do this 10, 15 20 years ago he could have been successful with the right team, just like anybody else coaching in that league, which is to say, with players. But yes your perception is correct. LeBron and Caremlo told me yesterday about how Coach K sat them down in 2006 and asked them to committ to rebuilding USA Basketball. And if they didn't trust him and respect him tremendously they wouldn't have said, yes.
Wow, the opening ceremonies looked pretty cool last night, but I bet you're super jealous that you weren't forced to watch Animal Practice instead.
I think you mean "closing ceremonies" and are you telling me the closing wasn't on NBC last night? is that true? Well, I could have watched them but opted not to; I have zero interest in closing ceremonies...Have never attended and never watched. When the Olympics end that Sunday afternoon, Winter or Summer, I'm done...I liked the opening ceremonies a lot, particularly the music, and wrote about the whole thing for ESPN.com...but closings don't grab me. I remember in 1984 flying a red eye out of Los Angeles, right over the Coliseum where Michael Jackson was performing. When the Games end, to me, it's time to go...
Wilbon, I know you are always the first person to anoint a major winner as the "Next Tiger" (sarcasm), but what Rory did yesterday was incredible. Any thoughts on the PGA Championship?
It's stupid to annoint people based on one or two results...You can legitimately marvel at the performance, at how great somebody can be at a young age...But for these morons to be crowing about how Rory is better than Tiger, when the score is 14-2, just really suggests now nobody values staying power in the culture anymore. Rory has won 2. He's a terrific young player who also is mercurial in that he misses cuts and at times seems disinterested. Maybe he'll get over that, maybe not. Let's see. But the notion that 2 allows him to replace Tiger or jack is beyond stupid, it's offensive...Let's see him string it together...I don't mean WIN all the time, but contend and sprinkle in some wins. He's got the talent, got the game...Let's see. That's the fun of sports, not declaring but seeing it happen.
Top 5 moments of Olympics?
Great question. For me it was 1) Bolt winning the 100. 2) Bolt winning the 200 3) Jessica Ennis winning the Heptathlon in her home country. 4) the Irish boxer Katie Taylor winning beating a game British boxer in a cauldron of a boxing arena, 5) Phelps winning the relay which gave him the record 6) Mo Farah winning the 5000m men's race, again in front of his countrymen... 7) Bolt winning the 4x100m relay...8)Katie Ladecky, the high school swimmer from my neighborhood in Bethesda, Md. nearly setting a world record and winning gold at 15 years old...or 16 maybe...impressive either way...
Can you please articulate on how good Pao Gasol really is and how he got squezzed last year with Bynum and Kobe?
Well, we were reminded yesterday just how great a player Pau Gasol is, with his 24-point, 7 assist performance against the U.S. What a great game that was, right up through about the 3-minute mark...Anyway, if the Lakers are going to actually beat out OKC and challenge Miami for the championship this season they're going to have to figure out how to better incorporate Gasol...I know he's sometimes the fourth option out there behind Kobe and Bynum and Steve Nash. BUT there's gotta be a way and I think Nash is the guy to figure it out. Gasol's too good to be a decoy or a guy who's incidental to a team's success...He's a world class player.
Mike, did you ever think you'd live to see the day that I wasn't regarded as the greatest sprinter ever?
Great question...Yeah...Time marches on. Lewis replaced somebody who replaced somebody...Bolt's going to be overtaken in time. That's what happens in track and field. Very few people have records (Beamon, Jesse Owens) that last 540, 50 years...But I was there for Lewis' big races in the Olympics and it was just an honor to sit there and watch him, in Los Angeles, in Barcelona (where the schedule likely prevented him fromm winning a third straight gold in the 100m) and in Los Angeles where at 35 years old he won gold in the long jump...But without doubt Bolt has run right past Lewis and everybody else now...It's stunning, not in fact, but in seeing it, seeing how Bolt just runs away from people so spectacularly...
The next logical step after winning the gold for men's US basketball this year is to think about the next one. Who do you see as the starting 5 for team USA in 2016?
No idea...I think LeBron will come back and do it again, and I think Chris Paul will, so there would be two starters. Kevin Durant would make it three. Anthony Davis maybe. Somebody who is 23, 24 years old now that we're not even thinking of...And would Davis be on the team competing for gold in the Olympics in a 23-year-old and under format, or playing with the big squad in the Basketball World Cup tournament that will take the vets out of the Olympics? Just wondering.
Foget the olympics...how about Rory. He looked fantastic on Sunday. Should we start talking about him breaking Jack's Major record yet? Or too soon?
Were you one of the people who had Sergio as being the next big thing, too? What's the need to proclaim. Are you going to be rewarded because you said it now instead of after 4 majors? Do you know Rory's going to be better than Webb Simpson? Why and how would you know that? CAN YOU PEOPLE JUST PRAISE RORY IN A REASONABLE WAY AND NOT GO HISTORIC AFTER TWO MAJORS? By the way to all the people screaming, "Rory won is two majors before Tiger won two." Really. Tiger won five majors in his first 16, I am reminded by producers here at PTI. Rory has 2 in 16. I know most of you aren't math majors, but I think we know which one of those numbers is more eye-popping.
D Rose may have a say in that starting spot, just saying. . .
I just want D Rose to be in the Bulls starting 5 and resembling himself by the opening weekend of the 2103-14 season...That's what I want for D Rose...
Time for some football. Now that the Bears have Forte locked up and happy do you think they will make a run at the Packers this year for the division?
No, it's not actually. I'm not talking about football or baseball because I haven't been watching it. I would think many of you chatting today have been to Great Britain. If you have you should know they don't play/watch/give a damn about American baseball or football. It's not on BBC, not on Sky, not anywhere to be found. And when I'm watching/talking/writing Olympics for 15 hours a day I'm not inclined to sit and search for video highlights of any of it. When I'm gone--and maybe many of you aren't like this--I'm gone, I'm going to indulge the local customs and cultures...So, there's no NFL preseason to be found ANYWHERE in Europe and thank God for that. Same for baseball...Hell, in the pubs in London they didn't even watch the gold medal basketball game yesterday because Great Britain is about the only country in Europe in which pro basketball is non-existent. Seriously, they couldn't identify anybody other than Michael Jordan and Shaq. Nobody. They're clueless about pro basketball. World football is another story...and they still love boxing...and track & field...but I couldn't tell you what the hell is going on in the NFL, and for today and tomorrow, I'll be quite proud of it considering it doesn't matter worth a damn for another three-plus weeks.
This Tiger vs. Rory stuff is laughable. I would bet my next year's salary that Rory NEVER has a run where he wins 7 majors in 3 years. Come on people.
I'll let you say that...And YES, Great Britain is paying rapt attention to golf, even moreso than we do here.
Where does London rank among the Olympics you have attended?
Great question...I hadn't stopped to really assess it yet...may as well now. Barcelona is and always will be No. 1 for me...I have a hard time separating Sydney, Athens and London...I loved all 3...I might put Athens No. 2, London 3, Sydney 4...I've covered 10...and that number will not increase. But London was phenomenal in every way except ticket distribution, which was the worst ever...That's not something that concerned me, but I did hear the heart felt despair from Brits and non-Brits alike about the lack of a secondary market, which is the way most of the world acquires tickets, right? Some of the scalpers I know from games in D.C., Chicago, NYC, L.A., the Super Bowl, Final Four, Ryder Cup, whatever were right there at Wembley, but with less inventory for Olympic soccer. And that was too bad. Everything else about London was just letter-perfect, including the weather except a day or two in the 20 days I was there...
Okay, gotta run and prepare for PTI...I'm taking the next couple of Mondays off for vacation and will return to chat the Tuesday after Labor Day, by which time we'll have college football stuff and the beginning--the real beginning--of the pro football season. The regular season. The one that counts. Thans for chatting everybody...See you Labor Day Tuesday! MW