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February 11, 1:45 PM ET
Chat with Michael Wilbon

Andy (Chicago)

Is it just me or is the NBA really experiencing an offensive rennaissance this year? I love the way these teams are playing. I think that is the Lakers' biggest problem, their most athletic player is closer to 40 than 30

mike wilbon
  (1:48 PM)

Hi Everybody! Sitting here w/ an eye on Chip Kelly holding court in Philly...but having moved on, for the most part, to basketball, both college and NBA...and we'll start with this really smart question from Andy...I don't know about a full renaissance BUT the game is cleaner and more open...Offenses are much more functional and efficient now...I think its the players, in part, but also the rules. The NBA decided to get rid of several impediments to offense and it's opened the game, no question...I think there are a lot of people like you who've noticed this and who find it appealing. I think the college game needs to follow the NBA's lead because offense is SO AWFUL in college hoops right now...But yeah, the NBA, the actual game, seems more appealing now than it did 10 years ago...

Brian (Philly)

If you could make any changes you want to this weekend's All-Star events what would they be? I think an NFL Combine-esque competition would be pretty exciting with NBA players.

mike wilbon
  (1:56 PM)

Love this question. I'd get rid of the dunk contest...just put it on the shelf for awhile until there's a clamor for it...there would be, in five years or so...I'd have the game become the international players vs. the U.S. I might have two-on-two games after the three-point shooting contest, which I would keep...I don't think players would go for one-on-one, but imagine if you could have teammates like LeBron and D. Wade playing Kobe and...well...okay you get my drift...I think the weekend is in need of sprucing up, for sure.

Deven (New York, NY)

KG reached 25k career points for his career. Greatest ever right, even with all his nasty trash talk to big-time players?

mike wilbon
  (1:59 PM)

Greatest ever what? KG is a great, great, great player but I don't imagine he's the single greatest anything. Player to come to the NBA straight out of high school? No, that would be Kobe Bryant at the moment with LeBron James trying to surpass him...Greatest Celtic forward? Ah, no, that would be the #33 hanging from the rafters...Again, great, great, great player but greatest? No...Don't join the legion of people who think whatever happened last night is the greatest thing ever.

Doug (Atlanta)

Using the trade machine my idea is the Hawks can make a 3 team deal sending J Smoove to Brooklyn, ATL gets Al Jefferson, and the Jazz gets Marshon Brooks and Kris Humphries. With some picks thrown to Atlanta who says no?

mike wilbon
  (2:04 PM)

As these proposed trades go, I actually like this...I'm trying to think of who would object, but it meets some needs actually. I'm not a J-Smoove guy but I get he has value and the Nets are in need of what he can do...I think we're going to see almost nothing in the way of trades before the Feb. 21 deadline...We'll see shortly.

Dan (South Beach)

Eastern conference is Miami, Boston and Indiana? Western conference is San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Clippers?

mike wilbon
  (2:09 PM)

I'm not as sold on Boston as you are. They've done a great job, going 7-0, without Rondo...and the East is relatively weak, so maybe. You're discounting the Knicks in the East? I'd say Miami-Indy looks like the Finals in the East...unless somebody makes a huge move...my top four seeds would be Miami, Knicks, Indy and Bulls...but that depends largely on Derrick Rose and how healthy he is once he returns...The Celtics aren't going to get to the top four...BUT that doesn't really matter for them because that's a team that can win on the road...and the Cs can be the 6th seed and whip anybody, yes...Anyway, the West seems to be OKC, Spurs, Clippers and Denver w home-court in the first round...Watch out for the Nuggets...

Dan (South Beach)

Nash is playing shooting guard, Kobe is playing point guard, Gasol (when he could) is coming off the bench, and yet Howard wants more touches down low where his shots are easier? What part of team basketball doesn't he get?

mike wilbon
  (2:10 PM)

I don't think D-Howard doesn't understand team basketball...but I do think he isn't suited for the pressure greater Los Angeles puts on the Lakers to win every year...Kobe understands that...

Dan (South Beach)

If LeBron James, big as he is, plays in the Charles Barkley era, or even the Maurice Lucas era, do his high-wire dunks end up with him getting bounced out to the foul line (literally) instead of reaching the basket?

mike wilbon
  (2:15 PM)

There certainly would have been a lot more physicality. He'd have hit the deck a lot more often...just because that's the way the game was played. Yeah, it's great sitting around with guys who played in the 1970s, which I do sometimes,and watch their reaction to guys flying down the lane like acrobats play after play...Still, there was nobody quite like LeBron in the 1990s, although Shawn Kemp was close, wasn't he...not in terms of handling the ball like a freight train coming down the lane, but in terms of size and explosion...

Kaden (Jennings Utah )

I think The ravens should keep Flacco

mike wilbon
  (2:16 PM)

I do, too...But Ozzie Newsome and Steve Bischotti (sp?) seem to really know what they're doing...They don't want to gut the team to pay Flacco and I get that...This decision could be tougher than people think...

Dan (South Beach)

Pau Gasol. Trade him while you can get something for him, or keep him as insurance against Howard leaving?

mike wilbon
  (2:17 PM)

You can't get full value for Pau while he's injured, can you? I'd keep him and trade Dwight Howard, but that's just me. I don't think Howard fits the Lakers or Los Angeles at all...not at all.

Colin (D.C.)

Hi Mike, Felix Hernandez just got paid an enormous amount. Sooner or later someone gets a bigger contract than his. Will it ever end ?

mike wilbon
  (2:19 PM)

No, of course not. Are sports about to end? Are superstar players in every sport going away? Then no. Why would it stop? You don't want it to stop...Are you paying King Felix? Is it coming out of your family's pocket? My point is, people thought Babe Ruth, when he first hit $100,000, made too much money and asked, "When will it stop?" What?

Matt (Orlando, FL)

Your Caps stink? What's the deal?!?!

mike wilbon
  (2:19 PM)

You don't think that 5-0 victory Saturday night over the Panthers jump starts their season?

Mike Casey (Charleston, South Carolina)

A few weeks ago there was a question asking who the best player in the NBA is when his team's down with a few seconds left. Having watched him since Kansas, I want to know where Paul Pierce ranks in this category.

mike wilbon
  (2:20 PM)

Yeah, he's gotta be up there, right...I still think Carmelo at the buzzer is so, so good. There are some numbers that support it...Durant, Kobe...Pierce could be above both...

seth (orlando)

Will D howard ever go to the Nets?

mike wilbon
  (2:21 PM)

Could...Yeah, could...I think Dallas will be in play, too, because Mark Cuban has flirted with Howard before...

Jeremy (NYC)

Is Tony Parker the second best point guard in the world right now? Obviously a future Hall of Famer, yet still one of the most underappreciated players of the last 15 years. Thoughts?

mike wilbon
  (2:29 PM)

No, probably not the second-best point guard...Well, wait, with Rose and Rondo out maybe...I'm going with Chris Paul No. 1 and I'll take Parker over Russell Westbrook every single day of the week. But you're point about Parker being underappreciated is absolutely on-point. Then again, so is everybody who plays in San Antonio, starting with Tim Duncan. Parker is so the perfect teammate for Duncan all these years...That game he had this weekend was sick, just sick. Scared he might hurt the Bulls tonight in Chicago...

Deven (New York, NY)

Who do you think has gotten the better end of the Rudy Gay trade, Michael?

mike wilbon
  (2:30 PM)

Toronto...I don't think the Raptors can do anything with him this season...but trading Gay is going to hurt the Grizzlies, in my opinion. They won't have that half-court player you can throw the ball to and expect him to score on his own if defenses are hanging on Gasol and Zack Randolph...

Deven (New York, NY)

With Pau out 6-8 weeks, how do you like the Lakers chances of making the playoffs now?

mike wilbon
  (2:31 PM)

I don't like the Lakers chances of making the playoffs, not at all w/out Gasol. Houston would have to totally collapse and I don't really see that. Plus, the Lakers just don't/can't play defense and to me that's on D'Antoni...They're not going to get any better on defense...

Deven (New York, NY)

How excited should Sonics fans be about possibly getting pro basketball back in Seattle?

mike wilbon
  (2:33 PM)

Very. They didn't deserve to lose their team anyway, so I'm glad they're getting a team back...I presume it will be called the Sonics and wear Sonics colors. It's a city the NBA simply should be in...should never have left. I'll be sad for Sacramento, which supported the hell out of that team over the years, but happy for Seattle...

Ryan (San Jose)

People always discount the Nuggets for not having a go to star, now that Melo is gone. Do you see them making a serious run in the western conference?

mike wilbon
  (2:36 PM)

Well, it's not just "people" who discount them...Even Andre Iguodola spoke to this a few days ago...and I've talked to George Karl about it...George is hoping one of the guys on his roster develops, evolves into being "that guy" but it doesn't seem to be happening. Faried is a force of nature, but you can't give the ball to him time after time in the fourth quarter in May...Look, I think Denver could really threaten OKC or San Antonio in a 7-game series, but I don't think Denver could beat both...But they're so much fun to watch, and they play so hard...and they're so deep and well coached...

JB (DC)

Has any player ever played better than Lebron is playing right now? Not talking about career as a whole, simply one player at his peak. No player has impacted a game in as many ways as consistently as Lebron does at this moment.

mike wilbon
  (2:40 PM)

yes, players have had stretches where they've been even more impressive than LeBron. We have to run from this mentality that stuff that didn't happen last night didn't happen at all. Michael Jordan recorded 10 triple doubles in 11 games. I didn't say averaged 10 triple doubles, I said RECORDED 10 TRIPLE DOUBLES in 11 games...And the game he missed he had, I think 11 assists and seven rebounds to go with 40 points. Wilt scored 50 points 10 times in 11 games. I'm going to look for a Magic Johnson stretch (I think it happened in 1982) where he did something like average a triple-double for two weeks...trying to find it...the point here is this: LeBron's play is amazing. It's brilliant, it's complete, it's the best we've got today...It ain't the best stretch ever, not even close. Again, 10 triple doubles in 11 games. If somebody did that now Twitter would explode...

mike wilbon
  (2:40 PM)

yes, players have had stretches where they've been even more impressive than LeBron. We have to run from this mentality that stuff that didn't happen last night didn't happen at all. Michael Jordan recorded 10 triple doubles in 11 games. I didn't say averaged 10 triple doubles, I said RECORDED 10 TRIPLE DOUBLES in 11 games...And the game he missed he had, I think 11 assists and seven rebounds to go with 40 points. Wilt scored 50 points 10 times in 11 games. I'm going to look for a Magic Johnson stretch (I think it happened in 1982) where he did something like average a triple-double for two weeks...trying to find it...the point here is this: LeBron's play is amazing. It's brilliant, it's complete, it's the best we've got today...It ain't the best stretch ever, not even close. Again, 10 triple doubles in 11 games. If somebody did that now Twitter would explode...

Mo (Chicago)

Hey Wilby, did you like the rumor of Boozer for Bargnani for the Bulls?

mike wilbon
  (2:41 PM)

No. Boozer has averaged 19 and 10 since January first. Bargnani doesn't rebound, doesn't defend (not that Boozer does either) and doesn't score 19 a game...doesn't even pretend to play inside...So, no, not at all do I like such a deal.

Jeremy (NYC)

Mike, what's it like during the Sunday all-day NBA affairs with you, Magic, Simmons and Jalen? The days must be long but how enjoyable is it talking shop with some great basketball minds? Is there constant ribbing back and forth between you guys as diehard fans of major cities and teams. (Chicago, Boston, LA)?

mike wilbon
  (2:50 PM)

You seem to have a sense of it, yes! Sometimes Sundays are close to 12 hours, usually more than 8...but it has elements of any four guys sitting around talking basketball except WE HAVE MAGIC JOHNSON...I'm lucky. I've done this with Mark Jackson, with Scottie Pippen, with Bill Walton, with Jon Barry, with Tim Legler...I know I'm leaving out somebody...but anyway, it's the stories told that make the day...and Jalen played, remember, on the Fav Five team, for Larry Brown and Larry Bird and with Reggie Miller...the stories are just great...Even moreso, they know SOOOOo much about the game. The stuff Magic can draw up during a commercial break with plastic forks and knives in the war room (we have like a dozen monitors in our downtown L.A. studio)...I learned so much about basketball from Jon Barry in the years we've worked together, so much about how to think about the game, strategy, getting along in locker rooms...And again, Magic says stuff right before a play is run or a ball is thrown in-bounds that makes you shake your head...So it IS great fun...every week...I feel very, very fortunate...I've done this with Charles Barkley for years and years as well, sometimes at his house or in ATL sometimes in the Turner studios...he and Kenny Smith are encyclopedic...I'm going on too long. It's a great, great thing for a baskeball junkie like me to be able to do...(cont'd)

mike wilbon
  (2:57 PM)

...And the guys I've worked with who DIDN'T play pro basketball, like Chris Broussard and Bill Simmons, are in locker rooms for a living. We have access to the greatest resources in basketball, meaning, the people...conversations with the likes of Red Auerbach (Simmons was with Bill Russell recently) and Jerry Colangelo and Michael Jordan...I've had the pleasure of watching quite a few games with MJ as well...Again, I'm grateful...

Miek (Chicago)

Your thoughts on the blackhawks this season?

mike wilbon
  (3:01 PM)

I was flying all night from Los Angeles to D.C. Did the Blackhawks beat Nashville last night to stay undfeated in regulation games? I think they were up 2-0 when I hard to turn off my phone...They're at the very least 9-0-2, right? Patrick Kane is on fire...I'm taking my son to Blackhawks-Kings Sunday in Chicago...Hope they're still on this incredible streak! Okay, glad to get out on something that's uplifting to me...! LOL Thanks for chatting everybody...'Til next week! MW