Chat with J.A. Adande
Prior to working at ESPN, Adande was at the Los Angeles Times, where he started in 1997. He has been a frequent panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn." He has covered every major pro championship, every major college bowl game, the Final Four, the Masters, Wimbledon and the Olympics, and his work has appeared in the "Best American Sports Writing" series.
Send in your questions now and stop by to talk with Adande at 3 p.m. ET on Friday!
J.A. Adande (3:01 PM)
Greetings chatheads. Today's chat is dedicated to Jack McCallum, who graced the pages of Sports Illustrated for close to three decades before taking a buyout this week. Great writer and a fun guy to be around. Also a shoutout to Mike Downey, one of the guys I read in the LA Times when I was younger, worked alongside for a while, who is leaving the Chicago Tribune this week. On with the chat
Jon V. (Cleveland, OH)
I've come up with a plan for LeBron to please the media. He can sign with the Knicks AND the Nets and then the Nets can agree to play their home games in MSG. LeBron will then agree to play games only in MSG and he will not travel to road games. When the Knicks play the Nets he will wear a reversible jersey and play only offense. Brilliant! Seriously, we are sick of the LeBron stories. Let these next two seasons play out. If the Cavs win the championship, there's no way he leaves to go play .500 ball with the Knicks or Nets.
J.A. Adande (3:05 PM)
So much of this is the NY media obsessed with LeBron and unable to comprehend why anyone wouldn't want to play in the Big Apple. News flash: plenty of NBA players haven't made it to NY. Sure, they all like the Garden and the big city. But they're not willing to give up money or W's to go there. Look at the list of people who DIDN'T wind up there: Shaq, Kobe, KG, Barkley, T-Mac, and on and on. If the Cavs are in better shape than the NY area teams talent wise in 2010, LeBron ain't going. I also heard the Nets are increasingly pessimistic about their chances of landing him because there's no way their new arena opens until 2011 at the earliest...and even that's far from certain. LeBron won't be playing in a swamp
Do you think D-will is soft for being out nearly 6 weeks with a sprained ankle, i've certainly lost a lot of respect for him and I'm surprised sloan isn't calling him out.
J.A. Adande (3:06 PM)
Let's get this straight: you'd rather have Deron Williams risk having this ankle problem linger on and potentially get worse by playing a few games now? Has D-Will ever disappeared in the playoffs for the Jazz? If not, then why are you questioning him?
JJ - I love what the Warriors did today. It gave them ANOTHER scorer. With the emergence of Morrow, and the trade, they can be patient with Monte and not rush him back! They might not be championship caliber, but they will sure be fun to watch!
J.A. Adande (3:07 PM)
It also gave them another guard. What happens when Monta does get back? And is Markus Williams beyond buried now? Don't you think this team could use a little more bulk up front? You saw what Greg Oden did to them.
Jad (Glendale Arizona)
Hey JA what's up...I am also a JA... Anyways, just wondering what your take on the rookies so far this season? Everyone keeps talking how deep this draft is, but to tell you the truth I am seeing a big decline in the depth of rosters...either aging players not playing well or the European Exodus! I am not sure but I really don't think this draft is that deep. Look at last year, the draft wasn't deep yet all the sophomores are getting playing time this year!!
J.A. Adande (3:09 PM)
This draft is big on guys who are doing surprisingly well. But I don't see it yielding multiple MVPs as the 84 and 96 drafts did. Just look at 96...beyond Iverson, Kobe and Nash (the MVPs), you had several players who were the best guys on their teams for years: Shareef, Ray Allen, Jermaine O'Neal for example. Not to mention guys like Peja Stojakovic. The more I think about it, the more insulted I am to hear this draft compared to 96 and 84.
J.A. Adande (3:10 PM)
Well, maybe I shouldn't be insulted...the guys in those drafts should be.
I think the celtics get away with too much such as pushing people off for rebounds, Moving screens, 3 sec violations and alot of hand checking .. Please comment
JA, what are your thoughts on Q-Rich's comments (threats?) about the Celtics? Isn't this the kind of talk Stern should step in and do something about?
J.A. Adande (3:12 PM)
These two seemed to have a common thread...Yes, the Celtics do play physical, but the teams that have those reps seem to get away with it more. Guess what? it works for them. And it's hard to take what Richardson said as a literal threat. He was just saying he didn't think the Celtics would be so tough in a different scenario. He wasn't hanging out by the loading dock, waiting to jump somebody. I think Stern has bigger things to worry about
J.A. Adande (3:12 PM)
http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/extras/celtics_blog/2008/11/richardson_stir.html link to Q's comments.
J.A., are the Knicks gutting this team too fast? I like today's trade but if their goal is to get rid of all their good players to make salary cap room, why would Lebron or DWade be interesting in a team with nobody else there?
J.A. Adande (3:14 PM)
They're not gutting it too fast. They're getting right on schedule. there's no such thing as gutting too fast unless you prematurely break up a championship-caliber team (see the 2004 Lakers). The Knicks were surprisingly good, but they weren't going to win it all this year. No need to be sidetracked from the mster plan by a few early victories.
J.A. Adande (3:16 PM)
As for the second part of that question, that's the real intrigue. Just how appealing will these rosters be to someone like LeBron or Wade? And shouldn't they be tempted by a place like Portland, which could keep a core of Roy, Aldridge, Oden and Fernandez and still have salary cap room to make a run at the big boys
Rick Oakland CA
The Bulls don't seem interested in joining the 2010 freeagent sweepstakes. Any chance they can combine Larry Hughes' big contract that expires in 2010 with a player or two and get an NBA average starter at the 4 or 5?
J.A. Adande (3:17 PM)
No one around the league, even those who say they know John Paxson well, seems to have a sense of what the Bulls are doing. They lucked into the No. 1 pick and have a great asset in Rose, but what direction are they heading? will they shed salaries? Make a big move? Clearly what they need to do is get some post players.
I see a lot of the ESPN "experts" jumping on the Laker bandwagon once again. Bottom line, even with AB, they are too soft to beat Boston in the finals. They are just not going to get enough physical regular season games playing in the "no defense West" to get them prepared for the type of physical play that happens in the Playoffs. Amazing how many "experts" just do not understand this. Watch as the season progresses and see what the Lakers record is against the Top 5 of the East, that will show you exactly what I am talking about.
J.A. Adande (3:20 PM)
So far they're a big 0-1 against Detroit. And they weren't able to own the inside against R. Wallace and Kwame Brown. But I do think they're tougher than last year's squad, and they understand that's what it will take to win it. I'm really looking forward to the Xmas game against the Celtics. As it turned out, last year's regular season games really did tell us everything we needed to know about the Lakers-Celtics matchup, so I think this will be a true test
JA do you agree that the PIstons would have no chance against the Celtics if they met in the playoffs again because the bigger, tougher and more physical teams usually win??
J.A. Adande (3:22 PM)
If they get McDyess back it changes the equation..And also the Pistons will have had more time to get used to playing with Iverson. I still like the Celtics in that matchup, but don't rule out the Pistons yet.
Charles (Torrington, CT)
Hi JA, two quick questions. First, when is the media (ESPN) gonna let the Shaq/Kobe feud die? The headline today says "The Big Cactus and Kobe appear to have put their differences aside." Kobe hasn't said a negative thing about shaq since 03-04. Secondly, why is Kevin Garnett acting like he has multiple personalities all of a sudden. Is his ego so huge that he can't make one trip up the court without dropping "F" bombs on other players and calling them names? His "intensity" is becoming "obnoxious".
J.A. Adande (3:26 PM)
Just because Kobe hasn't said a negative thing in public doesn't mean he hasn't had negative thoughts. And did you see the way he went after Shaq's shots last night (he blocked 2 but they didn't count because fouls were called). There will always be a rivalry there. But they both -- especially Shaq -- have taken steps to make it more civil. And it was up to Shaq to make those steps because he's the one who kept it alive in the media. It would've died down if he didn't do that rap last summer. But as he likes to say, "marketing."
J.A. Adande (3:27 PM)
As for KG, you must not have watched him in Minnesota. Any time he hit a big shot you could count on him unleashing a stream of expletives on his way back down the court. That used to be the best thing about watching those games, seeing how long they'd let the replay run before they realized "whoa! There are kids watching! Take camera 2! Take 2!"
thoughts on the suns, and in general, how important a system is v. actual talent? seeing that team last night makes one wonder if Nash is ever mvp without that coach, and moreover, makes you wonder how accurate PER and other measures are if you actually controlled for the system and teammates.
J.A. Adande (3:30 PM)
I think it's up to a coach to tailor his system to his talent. For example, Riley ran "Showtime" with the Lakers, then used that ugly "Force" basketball stuff with the Knicks. But he got that NY group to the Finals because he made the best use of that roster. Nash is trapped in this offense. Forget Freeing Darko. Free Nash!
Al Harrington from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jamal Crawford. Who got the better deal?
J.A. Adande (3:31 PM)
I give the Knicks the edge because they accomplished their prime objective: getting more cap space for 2010.
You should try watching me in Surround Sound son, you can hear all my F-Bombs
J.A. Adande (3:32 PM)
And I'm sure the HD broadcasts make it easier to read your lips
How do you like my Bill Walton beard?
J.A. Adande (3:34 PM)
It's better than Drew Gooden's medusa beard
In response to Eric, the Lakers lost to the Pistons because the Pistons didn't miss any shots for the first three quarters; not because of their physicality. They're leading the league in defensive efficiency, stop hating.
So far the iverson trade seems to be just what the pistons needed one day, and questionable the following game. Besides the back and forth play, what do you think the pistons need in order to be actual championship contention? Do you think this chemistry bounce will eventually work itself out?
J.A. Adande (3:37 PM)
The Pistons need to find a way to utilize Iverson without getting too far away from what made them successful: defense and offensive balance. Rasheed Wallace is the best fit for Iverson in AI's career...you have to protect the paint against AI's drives or guard Sheed beyond the arc...tough to do both. Pistons have to expoit that.
Merv (So Cal)
What are your thoughts on DWade so far this year?
J.A. Adande (3:39 PM)
The good news is he's capable of carrying a team again. The bad news is he has to do too much of it. They need 1-2 more guys who can create so the entire burden doesn't fall on him.
Horace (Flowery Branch, GA)
Another highest ceiling question: of the young centers in the league, who you got- Biedrins, Bynum or Oden?
J.A. Adande (3:40 PM)
I think Bynum has the shot at having the best overall game.
SportsNation J.A. Adande: (3:09 PM ET ) This draft is big on guys who are doing surprisingly well. But I don't see it yielding multiple MVPs as the 84 and 96 drafts did. Just look at 96...beyond Iverson, Kobe and Nash (the MVPs), you had several players who were the best guys on their teams for years: Shareef, Ray Allen, Jermaine O'Neal for example. Not to mention guys like Peja Stojakovic. The more I think about it, the more insulted I am to hear this draft compared to 96 and 84. A little premature don't you think? I mean back in 96'...3 weeks into the season nash and kobe werent even getting off their bench...let alone considered mvps.
J.A. Adande (3:42 PM)
I'll even give you O'Neal not getting off the bench that year either. But you could see Kobe was going to be special very early on...that he had Hall of Fame potential. I don't see anyone in this class lurking like that.
This has bothered me for a while now. There's no doubt that Lebron is a better player than Carmelo currently. But, there is no justification for Lebron winning the Rookie of the Year award, win Carmelo's team had the better record, Carmelo had a higher ppg, and Carmelo shot a better FG %. Sometimes, I think it is a conspiracy to always keep 'Melo down.
J.A. Adande (3:43 PM)
Of all the conspiracy theories I've heard around the NBA this is the most out there. LeBron singlehandedly made that franchise relevant again. He had the burden of all those high expectations and he lived up to them.
watch derek rose
HOF potential. big and powerful with vision. and can get anywhere on the court
J.A. Adande (3:44 PM)
He was the No. 1 pick...that doesn't make him a lurker. Bryant was No. 13.
Man, by the time I become a free agent none of these oldies will be around. Does it even make sense for me to stay in Phoenix? I heard NY is clearing up some space. I could definitely get more public exposure and land big endorsement deals in the big apple
J.A. Adande (3:47 PM)
Everyone's so fixated on LeBron that no one is mentioning Amare, who also can be an FA in 2010. And he is someone who wants to be the focal point of a franchise...so if someone can do that for him, especially a team in a big market....
Popovich (San Antonio)
Do you think my beard makes me look more like Donald Sutherland or Lou Adler?
J.A. Adande (3:48 PM)
I'm going with Sutherland...although I might change my mind if you wore a hat. (Lou Adler is the guy that sits by Jack Nicholson at the Laker games)
D Miz (BreakinDownTheGame)
Add to that Dirk Nowitzki...no one's talkin about. Just LBJ, DWade, Amare, and Bosh...
J.A. Adande (3:49 PM)
Good point. It's just that Cuban is so infatuated with Dirk it's hard to imagine him letting him go.
Darryl (Warriors Fan)
Let me get this straight, we get the knicks best player for Al Harrington, a guy who comes off the bench? Awesome!!!!
J.A. Adande (3:50 PM)
But how much better does that make the Warriors? What weakness does it shore up?
Can you really call Shareef an addition to the draft class of '96. Don't you have to be on a winning team to be an asset?
J.A. Adande (3:51 PM)
He was still the best player on the team...even if the team was bad.
Cosmo (Anytown, USA)
Which is more likely - the Clips take revenge on Brand for leaving, or Brand sends a message to his old team with a monster game?
J.A. Adande (3:53 PM)
After watching the Clippers play this season it's hard to imagine them taking revenge on anyone. The only people seeking revenge should be the fans who re-upped their tickets.
WOW...no mention of Marbury from the 96 draft...Ray Allen?
J.A. Adande (3:54 PM)
I had Allen in there...and if I didn't I meant to. didn't have Marbury because KG was the best player in Minn when he was there...I guess Steph did have his days in NJ. but the teams always had their better seasons after he was gone.
Iverson is overrated. Teams developed better when he left them. He is like Marbury but does not get bashed. He shoots teams out of contention. When is the media going to to knock him for cancering teams? The Olympics, 76ers, Nuggets, and now the Pistons.
J.A. Adande (3:56 PM)
Was he a cancer when he took the 76ers to the Finals? He might have diminished the health of Larry Brown along the way, but he certainly didn't kill that team.
Ayo - i was impressed last week when you mentioned Enta Da Stage. Name some other favorites from that era?
J.A. Adande (3:57 PM)
I'm impressed that someone in Winnipeg knows about Black Moon. If we're going to stick to that style (90s hip-hop, not quite mainstream) I'll go with Brand Nubian and Gangstarr, for two
why isn't brandan wright getting any PT?
J.A. Adande (3:58 PM)
Please address all PT questions to one D. Nelson. Who knows what he's thinking?
D Miz (BreakinDownTheGame)
Dude, Iverson is overrated? JA, do a Thorpe and Ban him please. AI is STILL the quickest player in the league. AI is STILL pound for pound the best player in the league.
J.A. Adande (3:59 PM)
No banning here. We've had much more egregious comments. (You should see the ones I don't put up)
Who's better? LeBron vs. Kobe vs. Jordan vs. God. Seriously...is anyone else tired of this question? In 2 or 3 years we'll get another player in the mix and it'll be player X vs. LBJ vs. KB vs MJ vs G...
J.A. Adande (4:02 PM)
I'm not tired of it at all. To paraphrase Tony Kornheiser, without LeBron vs. Kobe, there wouldn't be a PTI. That's what sports talk should be all about. It's too bad we have to spend so much time dealing with arrests and lawsuits and franchises moving and gambling scandals, etc. I don't think anyone got tired of Bird vs. Magic. That was the height of the league
Marbury gave 1 million!!!
Stephon Marbury's career seems like an aberration. He is a black eye on the face of the Knicks organization, an example of what's wrong with the NBA and nobody has said a positive thing about him in years. Yet off the court he is one of the most generous players in the league, very involved in charity work, very sensitive to people's needs and if I remember right he gave 1 million to Katrina victims during Kenny Smith's money raising charity game when the buy in for players was only 10k. Classic example of big heart tiny head?
J.A. Adande (4:04 PM)
Thanks for reminding people of the good side of Steph. Don't forget going with the $14.99 (or whatever they cost) shoes. Honestly, there are good things to be said about Pacman Jones, Ron Artest, all kinds of people with bad reps. We tend to view athletes in only one dimension instead of seeing them in their entirety, the good and the bad
RC Buford (San Antonio)
To Knicks fans: 2010 we will have as much cap room as anyone else, an aged but still effective Tim Duncan on board, Tony Parker in his prime, one of the two most respected coaches in the league AND no state income tax.
J.A. Adande (4:07 PM)
But you will still be in San Antonio. It really is an issue. I was talking to a guy who was a GM in a smaller market and he said he had to convince his owner to pay big for the good players they had on their roster through trades and draft, because they weren't going to get any big names to come to their city. That's just how it is.
JA. love your columns and your ATH stuff. Seriously, why hasnt Randy Wittman been axed and when he does could a former coach named Flip be asked back to the bench in Minny?
J.A. Adande (4:09 PM)
You're talking about a franchise that has continued to employ Kevin McHale. I wouldn't start the countdown clock for Wittman yet.
KB (NY, NY)
Slowww down baby... don't forget EPMD
Wynton (New York)
Any NBA players jazz fans? Who has the best taste of music?
J.A. Adande (4:12 PM)
I've never heard any NBA players talking Jazz. But for musical tastes, I'm going with Rasheed Wallace. I have to show love for anyone who's singing A Tribe Called Quest's "Buggin Out" in the locker room, as Sheed was before the Laker game last week. He was also big on Redman back in his UNC days.
Will Andres Beidrins get his All Star respect even though he's on the Warriors?
J.A. Adande (4:14 PM)
He should. I've already heard players on other teams mention him as an All-star. Hopefully the coaches will think of him that way too
Clark (Durham, NC)
Who is your favorite 6th man so far? Kirilenko or Odom?
J.A. Adande (4:15 PM)
my favorite is Rudy Fernandez
Can you find out if that was Wynton Marsalis? He is a famous jazz trumpet player!!!
J.A. Adande (4:16 PM)
Calm down, folks. I really doubt that was Wynton. But I did get to meet Branford at the All-Star game last year.
Eugene (Sherman Oaks)
I hear Greg Oden saw Miles and Bird in person.
J.A. Adande (4:16 PM)
most clever Oden age joke I've seen yet.
Lance (New York, N.Y.)
What will it take to get the Atlanta Hawks to become a truly elite team? I feel as though they don't have an alpha dog such as KG that's too competitive to let them lose to the likes of New Jersey and Indiana. Who's available in the market that could take them to that level?
J.A. Adande (4:18 PM)
I think we've seen that they still need a superstar, that Joe Johnson is only a semi-superstar. A real superstar wouldn't have let his squad drop 4 straight like that, with or without Josh Smith.
TD (the bay, ca)
Waymon Tisdale became a jazz musician, you shoulda known that one JA
J.A. Adande (4:19 PM)
I do know that. Talked to him for a story about that last year (check the archives). But he's been out of the league for over a decade, so he wasn't included.
J.A. Adande (4:22 PM)
Gotta run. Thanks for dropping by. No chat next Friday for the holiday break. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. Even in these tough economic times we still should be grateful to live in the best country on the planet. And peace to everyone checking in from overseas as well. See you in two weeks.