NBA's 65 in 65: Chris Broussard
Welcome to SportsNation! On Sunday, we continue our 65 in 65. That's 65 NBA chats in 65 days. We will hold an NBA chat each day through the end of the NBA Finals. Sunday's guest is ESPN.com NBA Insider Chris Broussard.
Broussard grew up in the Midwest dreaming of being the next great tailback at USC. Instead, he became the next underachieving point guard ("I should have averaged 20'') at Oberlin College.
In 1990, he launched his sportswriting career at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Four years later, he started covering the NBA for the Akron Beacon Journal. He spent 2½ seasons as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat writer before going to the New York Times to cover the Nets (two years), the Knicks (three) and then the NBA (one). He joined ESPN The Magazine in September 2004.
Send in your questions now and then join Chris at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday!
Be sure to watch the NBA Finals on ABC.
Chris Broussard (7:44 PM)
Hey guys,Sorry I'm late. Technical difficulties. let's get started.Chris
Chris Broussard (7:47 PM)
Somehow I lost the question, but someone asked my opinion of HOllinger's take that the Lakers are the best franchise in NBA history.My opinion is that he's right on the money, and I think Boston's not that close of a second. Sure, the Celtics have the most titles (17 to LA's soon to be 15), but they've won just one in the last 23 years. The Lakers have had great teams throughout the 80s and 2000s, and very good teams in the 60s, 70s and 90s.
If Shaq to Cleveland gets done, when do you think it will happen?
Chris Broussard (7:48 PM)
No, it's far from done, but there's a good chance of it happening, so stay tuned. it makes great sense for both teams - financially for Phx, and basketball-wise as well as financially for Cavs.
What do the Bulls need to take them to the next level??
Chris Broussard (7:50 PM)
The must in this league to become an elite team is a great 4- or 5-man. The Bulls' perimeter guys are very good, but not good enough to win a title without a dominant big man. Only Jordan and the Isiah Thomas/Joe Dumars Pistons were able to win it without a great big, and the Pistons had some very good, rough bigs. I love Noah and Thomas is developing, but they need a star 4 or 5.
Chris do you think Allen Iverson will end his career as good player on a bunch of bad teams?
Chris Broussard (7:53 PM)
Man, the Iverson situation is intriguing. As much as I love A.I., I wouldn't touch him if I was any team in the NBA. If he were willing to come off the bench (a la Vinnie Johnson), he could settle in with a contender. But since he insists on starting, there's really not a good fit for him. A great team that's already a contender won't take him because he won't fit their system, and a bad team with young talent like Memphis won't take him because he'll stunt the development of their young players because he'll become the show. the only real scenario that fits is a terrible team that doesn't have great young talent (Sacramento) that might want him just to put fannies in the seats. But I'm not sure he's that big of a draw anymore, especially once the team starts losing. the best thing for AI is to humble himself and accept a lesser role, kind of like Tiny Archibald did, and go out with dignity while playing for a contender.
Danny (Los Angeles)
who is the better player - Ariza or Pietrus?
Chris Broussard (7:54 PM)
Wow, great question. It's really a toss-up, but I would probably say Pietrus right now. Although I think Ariza's still got a lot of room to grow and improve and he could be better in the long run
jon (north carolina)
hey chris do u agree with what jerry west said about kobe being the greatest laker ever
Chris Broussard (7:57 PM)
I wonder if Jerry was just trying to clean up his "LeBron has overtaken Kobe" remark. But Kobe's definitely in the conversation. To me, it's between Magic, Kareem and Kobe. I would probably lean toward Magic over Kareem since many of Kareem's years in LA were as an older player who was still 22 ppg but past his prime. I also lean toward Magic over Kobe, but Kobe winning a ring without Shaq is huge, in my eyes. If he gets another one (5) that might tip the scales in his favor, but I'd probably give Magic the edge. some would take Magic because as great as Kobe's been with soon-to-be four titles, one could argue that his fueding with Shaq cost the Lakers several more titles.
Lakers4ever (Air Force/Military) (Germany)
This answer goesto Jon (North Carolina)...West did not say he was the greatest Laker ever, he said Kobe was the most talented Laker player to ever wear the uniform
Chris Broussard (7:58 PM)
I didn't hear West's comment, so if it's true that he just said Kobe's the most talented Laker ever, then I definitely agree with that, though Wilt would have a serious argument
what are the chances of the cavs winning it all with shaq on the team?
Chris Broussard (7:59 PM)
If Cavs get Shaq, it doesn't make them the definite favorite in the East, but it puts them right there alongside Orlando. I think the Cavs would have beaten Boston this year, even with a healthy Garnett, but Boston would have beaten Orlando. So I think CAvs would have a great chance with Shaq, but it wouldn't be a foregone conclusion that they'd win it all. They still would need to add a long, rangy 2 man, like a Matt Barnes type.
Carlos from Coram, NY [via mobile]
Chris, love your work man! Why does Van Gundy insist on sitting Rafer aka "skip to my lou" on the bench? Without him the magic can't spread the floor. What is Van gundy doing Chris?
Chris Broussard (8:01 PM)
I think SVG's a good coach, but his handling of the point guard spot in htis series has been ridiculous. It's indefensible. you rarely seen ANYONE (Kobe, LeBron, whoever) play 18 1/2 straight minutes, and you give Jameer in his fourth game back from a 4 1/4 month layoff (when he has just 2 points and 3 assists) that kind of run! Crazy.
Manuel (Costa Rica)
Hello Chris, don't you think that Shaq and even Mr. Clutch himself were better Lakers than Kobe "this will only be my first ring as the best player on the team" Bryant?
Chris Broussard (8:04 PM)
Shaq would've been if he had stayed in LA longer. But I give Kobe the nod over Jerry West. West was obv tremendous and he actually has better numbers than Kobe (the Logo's numbers are sick!), but J West played 10 years with a healthy Elgin Baylor and four years with a healthy Wilt and still only won 1 ring. Granted, J West got to the Finals 9 times, but just 1 ring.
hey chris, is there any chance u would come back to cleveland and work for the akron beacon journal or plain dealer again?
Chris Broussard (8:05 PM)
I had great times there, but as we used to say in Ohio, heckkkyyy naaawww! I like Jersey (and ESPN too).
Chris do you think Anderson Varejao desereves $10 million a year?
Chris Broussard (8:06 PM)
No way. I like Andy's game a lot, but he's about $7 mill a year, $8 max
stanley chambers (mississippi)
why with Kobe's accomplishments in the NBA is he considered a second tier player subjectively?
Chris Broussard (8:08 PM)
I don't think Kobe's consdiered second-tier. He's considered second to Jordan, and that's how it should be. But after winning this title, Kobe has a spot alongside any other great perimeter player (Magic, Oscar, J West) besides Jordan. Kobe's top 10 all-time and the second-greatest 2-guard ever. But the gap between him and MJ is fairly sizeable.
Chris Broussard (8:09 PM)
Guys, thanks for all the great questions. Sorry I couldn't get to them all, but gotta get out to watch this game. Peace!