Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

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

Buzzmaster
  (12:49 PM)

Michael will be here at 1:15 p.m. ET for your questions!

mike wilbon
  (1:17 PM)

What's up Everybody? We'll jump right into the big NFL weekend and take some NBA questions if people are into it...

Tom (Baltimore)

Last year Flacco outplayed Brady in the AFC championship game. This year he outplayed Manning in the divisional round. But through most of the year (and previous years) he's alternated between great and awful. What's your take on this guy?

mike wilbon
  (1:21 PM)

My take sounds like yours...Flacco is a big, strong behemoth of a QB whose best move is to throw the deep ball...He did alternate between great and awful in the regular season. Maybe that's just who he is, a guy who is going to give you extremes and who may not find a note of consistency...Question now is can he put together two more games like the last two...I think he may be one of those guys who is better as the underdog than when he's "expected" to win...That would work in his favor this Sunday night because there's no chance he'll be expected to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots...

CC (Atlanta)

NFC title is fascinating. ATL goes from one read option team to another. Except with Seattle the key is stopping Lynch. With SF, Kaep is the key which could open up the middle for Gore. I think the Falcons make this a tight game... they just saw how NOT to play the 49ers thanks to GB.

mike wilbon
  (1:29 PM)

To tell you the truth, I was torn between wanting to see the Falcons win so that they could get out from under the "choking dog" label, and wanting to see Seattle win so that the NFC title game would match Russell Wilson and Kaepernick...Wouldn't you think that preparing for Seattle also helps the Falcons prepare for the 49ers? I think the Falcons can hurt the Niners with THEIR offense, w Matt Ryan throwing it deep to Jones and White and working underneath to Tony Gonzalez...I'm not expecting some crazy blowout...although the Falcons better have something prepared for Kaepernick once he breaks contain. My God, the kid is a force of nature...

Mark (NYC)

Mike, as one who values your opinion, I have a "legacy" question for you, first off though, I hope you had a good-weekend, watching football. As much as I hate this conversation/topic, I think this weekend should finally quiet most critics, regarding Brady/Manning and legacy. Manning, has lost 7 or 8, first round matches (including a bye week), while Brady, (this is the scary part), in all seasons that he has played as a starter, is at a 50% rate, of MAKING the Super Bowl, and, if the Pats are able to win this weekend, Brady will be at 6 SuperBowls, in 11 Years as a starter (taking out his missed season, and Bledsoe year). If winning is the formula for greatness, I just don't see the comparison. Additionally, while losing 2-SuperBowls, both of the loses, came on MIRACLE catches by the Giants, and Brady could easily be 5-0, or 4-1, in SB. The two losses, unlike Manning, were NOT due to Brady, they were about the Giants Offense just stepping up, after Brady brought the Patriots up again, and making 2-insane catches, that 99% of the time, are drops. Mike, after reading the above, please let me know your thoughts, in history, between the two, as I am one, who appreciates what you say/write. Thanks.

mike wilbon
  (1:36 PM)

I think Peyton is 9-11 in the playoffs and has lost EIGHT times, as you suggest, in his first game of the post-season...And that's significant, at least it is to me. As great as Peyton is, he and his teams remind me of the Greg Maddux Braves teams which would always make it to the playoffs, then usually get stopped early. Brady's record, meanwhile, is 17-6 in the playoffs and he's lost his first-round game only twice. Brady just passed Elway and Montana for the most playoff wins ever...To me, it's not close. You can make the case easily that Brady is the greatest QB ever, right up there with Monana, Elway, Otto Graham, John Unitas...I can't make that case for Manning because the debate really centers on post-season success...Aaron Rodgers talked very eloquently about that last week, about QB legacies being tied, rightfully so, to post-season success...So Brady is at the top of the pyramid to me...Peyton Manning is a couple of rungs below...

Tim (KC)

Wilbon, what gets lost in all this hype about this being Ray Lewis' last playoff run is that Tony Gonzales is more that likely playing his last games as well. Which one of these guys has a better chance to win it all?

mike wilbon
  (1:47 PM)

GREAT point/question...The entire Manning-Lewis visit an hour after the game is something I find totally fascinating...And the Lewis-Gonzalez interaction could be interesting as well...Both are underdogs in their respective games, right? The Falcons are playing at home...But Lewis has won a playoff game in New England...So I don't know what to think...They're both going into the Hall of Fame, presumably on the first ballot...

CC (Atlanta)

What was Green Bay doing on defense? No doubt that SF offense (Kaep in particular) was on point but no NFL should get gashed like that. I can see Atlanta making some adjustments and this weekend being a tight game.

mike wilbon
  (1:52 PM)

The Packers defense is just awful, and until the address improving it they're going to waste Aaron Rodgers' time...I'm not going to make the case that defense wins championships any longer because the game has gone in a different direction which supresses defense...STILL, defense has to be a factor...And the Packers can't keep going to the post-season with these bad defenses...

Deven (New York, NY)

Do you think that the Lakers season is more dramatic and scrutinized than Miami's or is it completely different?

mike wilbon
  (2:01 PM)

Oh, it's COMPLETELY different! Miami, for one, was NEVER 6 games under .500 as the Lakers were before beating the Cavaliers at home in L.A. last night...The Lakers are no where CLOSE to being where Miami was at a similar point of the season two years ago. Miami had players in their late 20s, while the Lakers have one star in his late 20s (Dwight Howard) and three who are Golden Oldies, Steve Nash (38 or 39 yrs old) Kobe (34 but with 17 years of wear and tear) and Ron Artest...Like Miami, the Lakers are trying to figure it out but ultimately the Heat were grounded in defense because their coach, Erik Spolstra, is a discipole of Pat Riley who believe in defense above all else...The Lakers don't have that in their coach, Mike D'Antoni...Ultimately, Miami wound up making the Finals that first year while the Lakers are going to be really and truly hard-pressed to make the playoffs, since they're now 11th in the Western Conference and haven't beaten a good team since, oh, Christmas Day...

Adam (Chicago)

How do you explain what's going on with the Bulls? They own the Knicks, they beat the Heat in Miami, yet they have loses to Charolette, Phoenix and New Orleans at home. I keep going back and forth between thinking they could be a real threat when Rose comes back and thhinking they are just a 2nd round exit waiting to happen.

mike wilbon
  (2:04 PM)

The Bulls are in a funk. Even when they go on the road and beat the Knicks or Miami, the Bulls are still in a funk...I think it's related, though nobody would admit it, to D. Rose and when he's going to return. The Bulls can't get themselves motivated unless its a team they would view as a threat WITH Rose. Okay, this is MY interpretation, nobody else's...But what else should we conclude? Suns/Bobcats/Wizards/Bucks/Hornets...but you beat Miami in Miami? I think the buzz around the Bulls at home ("When is Derrick coming back???") is so distracting...but there's nothing anybody can do about it...

Deven (New York, NY)

Michael, for that segment you guys did on NBA countdown Friday night about Jason Kidd, he clearly didn't look like himself in that Bulls game. No points, no assists, just a non-factor. Do you think the Knicks are overusing him? Should Pablo be playing more minutes until Raymond Felton gets back?

mike wilbon
  (2:05 PM)

Yes. I believe what your questions suggests you believe. Yes. The question about the Knicks roster, when I looked at it in October, was whether they'd have anything left by April...That question is a fair one...

Deven (New York, NY)

Michael, what are your views on the situation that is going on in Sacramento with the team possibly moving to Seattle? Why is this deal taking so long for the Maloofs to complete? Any chance they stay or bolt town?

mike wilbon
  (2:09 PM)

Deals of that magnitude take awhile to complete, plain and simple. It's not like buying a pair of shoes at the mall. The NBA seems very eager for the Kings to be in Seattle next season, and if appearances are accurate then it'll happen. I feel bad for the people of Sacramento because I've been in ARCO arena when that team was championship-caliber...The building crackled with enthusiasm and the fans are incredibly knowledgeable...But I also think the NBA NEEDS to be in Seattle...should never have left Seattle. A team in New Orleans/Toronto (and a second team in Charlotte) but not Seattle? I don't think that ever should have happened...

T Cell (Whitehorse, Yukon)

Is the Baseball HOF becoming irrelevant by not putting in guys like Bonds, Clemons, McGuire, Sosa, etc. As a casual baseball fan, those are the players I associate with most from the 90s...I mean didn't the home run race "save baseball" in 1998?

mike wilbon
  (2:11 PM)

Yeah...this is a legitimate problem. Personally, I think there are HOF worthy players the writers could have voted in, including Biggio and Raines and Jack Morris and Curt Schilling...I think they're all deserving...I'm at a loss when it comes to the players associated with steroids (McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Clemens, etc)...I think they'll get in at some point, but I'm okay with them not getting in right away...yet, there's no denying they were the face of baseball in the 1990s...There's no easy answer here, none.

Charles (San Jose)

Did you just call Ron Artest a star (and imply Pau Gasol isn't one)?

mike wilbon
  (2:12 PM)

My point was Artest is old, and Gasol (31, I think) IS a star but should still be in the prime of his career, as a big man...

ted (cape cod)

Does Golden State have enough pieces to make a run to the NBA Finals?

mike wilbon
  (2:20 PM)

Only if Andrew Bogut comes back and makes an impact. I root for Golden State. I love watching the Warriors. But they've got a ton of jump shooting and not enough going on closer to the basket...They need some power, they need some inside scoring and Bogut can give them that. But I can't see Golden State beating OKC or San Antonio, no...not thi syear...Heartbreak is critical in the NBA; you don't escape it...And the Warriors are just starting the process...But I love what Mark Jackson is doing with them...

Shawn (New York City,NY)

Is it fair to compare Big Ten basketball's depth to SEC Football?

mike wilbon
  (2:21 PM)

Yes...except Big Ten basketball, right now, is deeper than SEC football was THIS season. SEC football has been deeper in recent seasons, but Big Ten basketball has three teams that could win the whole thing: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State...and three more that could make the Final Four, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio State...did I miss anybody?

mike wilbon
  (2:22 PM)

Okay, gotta run and prepare for PTI...See you guys next week the day after we've got the Super Bowl teams all set...Thanks for chatting, see you then...