Chat with Michael Wilbon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's Michael Wilbon stops by to chat and share his thoughts on the sports world.
Wilbon, a longtime Washington Post sports columnist, is co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, the popular weekday sports debate and discussion program, as well as an NBA studio analyst for both ESPN and ABC, in addition to writing for ESPNChicago.com. A pioneer in sports journalism, Wilbon was one of the first sports writers to broaden his success beyond newspapers to include television, radio and other media.
Send your questions now and join Wilbon Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:37 PM)
We're checking with Mike now! Thanks for your patience!
Mike Wilbon (1:59 PM)
He Everybody...thanks for hanging in there with me today...Got a sick son at home and had to get him squared away before bolting...But let's jump in now to any number ot topics on this President's Day...
R Lank, MD [via mobile]
hey mike if u had 2 pick 5 people 4 mt rushmore whats ur 5. my 5 r mj, magic, hakeem, ducan and king james. the reason i bumped bird and took lebron is bcause i think lebron dominates 2dayz nba i dont hav bird dominating 2dayz game the way he did yesterdays game he and magic were loaded from top 2 bottom with no salary cap
Mike Wilbon (2:04 PM)
First of all, Mt. Rushmore, which everybody should see if at all possible because its truly a wonder, has four people. Not five. Four. That's it. Until somebody expands it, IT'S FOUR. And my four are Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Having said that, do I expect LeBron James to move somebody aside in four or five years? Yes. I can see putting LeBron on and taking Bird off. Yes, I can see doing that. If you ask me to pick a starting five all-time, I'm going Kareem at center, Russell at power forward (yeah, I'm taking liberties, so take me to court!) Bird at the other forward spot, Magic and Jordan...
Mr. Wilbon, if you had a team with Magic & Jordan as guards, Shaq or Kareem as center, Tim Duncan, B Russell or Kevin Machale as PF (all of them in their prime). Who would make more sense as SF for this particular team Bird or Lebron?
Mike Wilbon (2:07 PM)
Bird...shooting and rebounding. You don't need an additional playmaker if you've got Magic and jordan...You need a shooter/rebounder and LeBron, while a better all-around player, will never be the shooter Bird was and he doesn't rebound as prolificly because he's playing mostly on top of the floor as Miami's best playmaker, not along the baseeline and as close to the basket as Bird...But we're splitting hairs, aren't we. I'll have LeBron in my five greatest of all-time if he continues winning...meaning he's going to have to have at least four NBA Championships.
Ryan (San Antonio)
The Knicks have to make a move I just don't know how with their roster. Do you see a trade before the deadline?
Mike Wilbon (2:15 PM)
Is there a trade other than Carmelo that can help the Knicks...I don't buy for ONE SECOND the notion of dealing Tyson Chandler,Schumpert and Raymond Felton to OKC for Russell Westbrook and Perkins...I can't believe OKC would do that, not at all. I DO like the way Reggie Jackson plays, and I DO think OKC has fabulous flexibilty...but how much can you get back for Chandler/Schumpert? Can you get enough to improve the team? Well, Westbrook and Melo might be interesting, though can you imagine how frustrated Melo would get waiting for Westbrook to pass him the ball??? OMG.
It was great to see Noah out there at crunch time with Lebron, Melo, George and Kyrie. It showed how versatile he is and even though it was just the Allstar game, I think he made small statement for being the best center in the league. Also, Melo?s play confirmed what I have been thinking for awhile, he would be great with another star player (he also thrives with team USA). He is a very underrated catch and shoot player, compared to some other start who are more comfortable off the dribble. Thoughts?
Mike Wilbon (2:26 PM)
Your thoughts ARE my thoughts. Damn, is that all Chicagoans think alike??? LOL. It also underscores how great LeBron James is, that NEVER having been on the court WITH Noah they could work pick-and-roll and give-and-go like that. And Melo needs at least an ensemble to play with. He can't be "the star" in that traditional way. But if he was playing with, say, Noah, Carmelo would be so much more effective and have such a greater chance of winning a championship...
What did you make of Team USA's Men's Hockey shootout win over Russia?
Mike Wilbon (2:39 PM)
Shootout, my man, shootout. Goodness how fabulous was that? Unless you're Russian and you're rooting for the opposite outcome. How good a story is this kid Oshie? He goes from nobody knowing who he is other than hardcore NHL fans to being potentially an Olympic hero. I didn't wake up to watch it live because I forgot...but I think I wrote in this space last week the hockey competition is THE most artistic thing of the Winter Games and just the greatest competition to watch...
It seemed like Kevin Durant wanted to go one on one with Lebron but it seemed like Lebron really didn't want to or care to. What's the deal?
Mike Wilbon (2:46 PM)
I thought that same exact thing. I did. And I just asked TK about this. Neither of us believes for one-half of one second that Jordan in his prime, Bird in his prime or Magic in his prime would have walked away from that challenge. I'm not about to make the case that LeBron was scared of it; that would be preposterous. Maybe LeBron was taking the time-honored approach that the incumbent simply doesn't need to engage in that way. But I was a little surprised by it. You can't take the position that LeBron didn't know. Hell, we all knew. I was fired up by the prospect of it...and then LeBron just semed to say, "We don't need that." And that was that...Too bad.
One Sam gets in the league, what does he do if/when other players say inappropriate things to him. When does he let it slide of his back and when does he "report" it?
Mike Wilbon (2:52 PM)
We don't know. I could give you some phony answer but fact is we don't know, and chances are HE doesn't know. He's going to have a thick skin, but I suspect he already has had that and had to rely on it. Just because WE are only now learning of his sexuality doesn't mean its new to him. Hell, he's got to listen his Neanderthal father. But its not like there is some blueprint for this, or how to handle every case going forward because we don't know exactly how people are going to react. It's a developing story, not a predictable story...
Deven (New York, NY)
Do you think there will be big moves at the trading deadline, for the NBA?
Mike Wilbon (2:53 PM)
No, I don't think there will be any big moves. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. I don't see Carmelo being traded before the deadline, and that's the only "big" deal out there to be hand, I think. I expect almost silence at the deadline.
Deven (New York, NY)
Is Kevin Durant your MVP this year?
Mike Wilbon (2:55 PM)
Are you watching LeBron James play? it's a two-horse race. Paul George of Indy was probably the MVP at the one-quarter mark of the season but he's dropped back even though his team is atop the Eastern Conference. It's Durant and LeBron, it looks like, from here on out and damn if I'm going to try to declare some winner. I just want to watch it play out. I think it matters to both of them immensely.
Deven (New York, NY)
I hate the idea of having ads on jerseys in the NBA. Do you think Adam Silver will approve that?
Mike Wilbon (2:55 PM)
It' not up to Adam Silver alone, like he's a dictator...the owners will make that call and its likely. There's a lot of money involved here and I don't see the NBA turning it down forever.
You got Russell AND Kareem over Wilt? You lost me dog.
Mike Wilbon (2:57 PM)
Well you have to have Russell over Wilt, or you lost me...and all credibility. And Kareem won SIX championships, granted only one before Magic. But I can go with Wilt over Kareem...I'm torn over that one and could easily in some lawyerly way argue Wilt over Kareem, despite the six titles to two...But there's no arguing Russell. I don't want to hear it...
What in the world happened to the slam dunk competition? The format was absolutely atrocious and was the most boring competition I have ever seen
Mike Wilbon (3:01 PM)
I thought it was an improvement over some of the recent Slam Dunk contests. I think the Dunk Contest on to be put on hiatus for several years. Let people miss it, let there be a wider demand for it. Do I think it was inspired? No. But I liked that it moved quickly. I like that John Wall, who did the best dunk, was rewarded for doing so. I liked the kid from Sacramento, McLemore, jumping over the chair with Shaq in it and all the silliness that followed with Shaq crowning the kid and the cape and all that. This thing should be silly, it should be fun and Shaq delivered that...But still, it's not compelling anymore because there's so much more dunking in a game than there was in, say, 1977 when the Dunk Contest was such a huge event...Now, we've OD'd on dunking. SportsCenter shows you every meaningful dunk every night and there's video everywhere of every dunk from high school through the NBA...Enough already. THAT's what's wrong with the Dunk Contest, really through no fault of its own...
If you are Pax and Gar Forman would you give Melo max money this Summer and see if that additional, along with DRose hopefully healthy, gets you over the top? Or would you roll the dice with Mirotic?
Mike Wilbon (3:03 PM)
I would NOT give up Mirotic, even if it means bringing him over NEXT summer but if they can get Melo to play with Rose and Noah, then the Bulls, in my opinion, should do it. Now, if they can somehow roll with a free agent like Lance Stephenson and Mirotic, if Melo decides to stay put in New York, I could be excited about that as well... All of this, obviously, depends on hos healthy Rose is the next time around.
I loved what Doug McDermott did yesterday. After passing Bird in all-time college scoring, he immediately points out the lack of 3-pt line in Bird's time, plus Bird not staying all 4 years. Great moment of a young kid respecting history. Thoughts?
Mike Wilbon (3:05 PM)
My thought's the same as yours, that DM is either really observant or somebody prepped him really well, perhaps both. My goodness, the kid is a great scorer and shooter. I'm excited about seeing Creighton in the NCAA Tournament.
Hey being a chicago guy what is your favorite golf course in illinois?
Mike Wilbon (3:09 PM)
Great question. Medinah. I've been very fortunate to have been invited by members several times to play Medinah (No. 3, actually, the course that has hosted major championships including the PGA twice recently)...But there are so many I like, public and private. I know some people don't like the re-make of Cog Hill's Dub's Dread, but I do. Love it. My high school, St. Ignatius, holds its charity event at Cog Hill every June and I make it a point to participate. But there are so many great courses there. The only problem with golf in Illinois is it lasts about 4 months. Also, there are so many great courses in Wisconsin within a 3-hour drive of where I live in Chicago...You're getting me all hopeful for snow melting and 60 degree days...which we could get by, what, the middle of May?
Mike Wilbon (3:11 PM)
Okay, I gotta go...Must prepare for PTI. Love the questions today even more than usual...I see another half-dozen I'd like to jump into but can't because we're getting close to set-time around here...thanks for chatting everybody...See you guys next Monday, after I will have been to Cameron Indoor Stadium to see Syracuse-Duke...so we'll be sneaking up on Madness time...we'll be only a week away...