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 (1:26 PM)
Mike will be here to chat at 1:45 ET!
Well Wilbon, are you ready to eat a little crow regarding the Kirk Cousins pick? I remember you not being too fond of the selection at the time...
mike wilbon (2:06 PM)
Hi Everybody...sorry for starting this late but travel from Chicago to Washington today was a wee bit delayed...I left a city where the football team is crashing to a city where the football team is soaring, whether the QB is Cousins or RG3 and YES, I've been eating crow...No doubt. I HATED the pick, thought it was overkill, thought the Redskins should spend NO pick and hire a veteran QB to backup RG3...a modern day Steve DeBerg...And where Mike Shanahan is to be credited is for realizing very quickly (damn sure quicker than me) that there are no more of those QBs...that there aren't enough starting QBs to go around, much less veteran and capable backups to go around...But it's worked beautifully, wonderfully...It's not that I didn't think Cousins could play; I watched the kid in person beat (and lose to) my alma mater...I watch the Big Ten kids cause I'm a Big Ten kid...I just didn't like the idea of two rookie Qbs and I couldn't have been more wrong about it...Everything the Redskins touch is gold right now and the run seems to be just starting...
Do you think Amare is being honest when he says he's all right with being a 6th man?
mike wilbon (2:06 PM)
He needs to be...You want to mess with the Knicks lineup right now? Ah, no.
mitch (lanc pa)
Thoughts on Pats v Niners last night? Even in taking a L, Brady's legend grows. 4 TDs in 18 minutes against the best D in the NFL...pretty incredible!
mike wilbon (2:10 PM)
That was the best game, I think, of the entire regular season right? I can't come up with another one...Green Bay-Seattle had a more dramatic ending but wasn't as good a game...RG3 limping up to the line to lead the Redskins past Baltimore in OT w Cousins coming in as the closer...that was great...I'll take last night...At 31-3 I thought Brady could come all the way back, and essentially he did. What a game. To me, legend grows for a god like Brady only win he wins...I don't think of Elway's losses or Montana's losses or Favre's losses...just the wins. So I don't know about the legend, but goodness was that a great comeback...and a great finish by the 49ers...
I guess when you're 6'2" and in the sixth grade and every AAU coach who's job depends upon the success of middle schoolers is kissing your behind, you can become lazy and entitled like Dwight Howard. So Michael, who's your favorite big man of all time? Someone who never stopped competing and worked hard at his game even after he's had much success.
mike wilbon (2:17 PM)
I was 10 when Bill Russell retired so was too young to fully appreciate him. I hated Kareem as a young teenage fan because as a Miilwaukee Buck he always killed the Bulls...Hmmm, my favorite big man? I covered Patrick Ewing AND David Robinson for The Washington Post when they were in college and love 'em both, but I liked watching Hakeem better...I'm a HUGE Kevin McHale fan...I Kareem and Hakeem. There will never be anything like the Sky Hook...It's the most devastating basketball weapon in the history of the game and I got to watch it from UCLA to the Bucks to the Lakers...And Olajuwon and all the moves, the Dream Shake...got to see him at the University of Houston when he averaged 3 and 3...The one who awed me was young Kareem. The one I liked the most was Olajuwon...great question. Dwight Howard is neither...and its fair to wonder, with him playing far below 100 percent following back surgery, if he'll ever return to that kind of athletic dominance...or is he diminished forever...
Who has the edge in the NFC East race in your opinion?
mike wilbon (2:17 PM)
The Redskins...They get the sorry Eagles next week in Philly and then the Cowboys at home...while the Giants play the also-reeling Ravens, but in Baltimore...
should the Knicks trade Amare?
mike wilbon (2:18 PM)
only if they get something really, really tempting in the way of a rebounder, which Amare has never been great at doing...
JeremyB666 (Kewadin, MI)
The Detroit Lions performance against the Arizona Cardinals yesterday was pathetic to say the least. What needs to be done to help this team going forward. Personally, as a Lions fan I am DONE with all of the losing. I want it to stop NOW!!
mike wilbon (2:22 PM)
First, the coach has to go. Jim Schwartz has to go...The Lions are an undisciplined joke...they're bad actors on the field, off the field, underachievers all the way around, on both sides of the ball...Boo Lions. I picked 'em to make the playoffs again this year and they're possibly the most disappointing team in all the NFL...Clean house.
Wilbon, what is wrong with our Bears?
mike wilbon (2:24 PM)
They had 15 guys on the injured list yesterday and that didn't even count Urlacher. They're injured, older than prime-of-career in the NFL, have a bad offensive line and an awful offense, for which the offensive coordinator should be, well, looking for new work. That's a start...Wrote a column from Packers-Bears at Soldier Field yesterday in which I chronicle all this stuff...don't want to bore the other with our misery...
Nets have an extremely talented team, but the coach leaves A LOT to be desired. What are the chances Billy and Prok see through Avery's ability to sweet talk them, and get rid of him? I'm convinced if they brought in a Van Gundy bro or Sloan type (Sloan will never happen, for obvious reasons) they'd be a top team in the East.
mike wilbon (2:25 PM)
Just let the Nets be for awhile. I think Avery Johnson is a really GOOD coach, so we disagree. Just let them simmer for a bit. Not everybody is the Lakers, dumping a coach five games into the season...
Carla (New York)
The Giants were pummeled by the Falcons yesterday. I was shocked. Falcons this good or were the Giants that terrible?
mike wilbon (2:26 PM)
Wasn't that the most shocking result of the season in the NFL? Seriously, what's more stunning than the Falcons rising up like that and the Giants rolling over like dogs, all in the same game? Wow. I don't know what to make of it. The theme for this NFL season has been, "What? The Final score was what?"
tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]
Toughts on the NHL lockout? I seems crazy to me that just as they are getting attention in the US and just picked up a billion dollar Tv contract they may very well throw away the season. You can't even imagine what us Canadians think of this all. It's hard to explain how hockey crazy we are but it would be like having no NCAA National Championship this year.
mike wilbon (2:32 PM)
I was just talking with a friend from Toronto the other day about how this is getting so little news coverage in the U.S. but must be so critical to people's existence in Canada...I have enough Canadian friends who are full of anxiety right now to get a sense of it...it would be like having baseball shut down, which we've had...or the NFL go away, which we kinda had even though neither sport missed an entire season...Unreal that the NHL is on the brink of losing a second season in the last eight or whatever it is...
Just a quick follow up on Avery and the Nets, because I trust your judgment more than mine. What do you see in Avery that you love? His defense is great, but the offensive creativity - with 3 potential 20ppg scorers - includes one single play, an ISO for any of those 3 guys. That's all I see from game to game. Please tell me what I'm missing. Thanks.
mike wilbon (2:35 PM)
Oh, you're right on the money with that assessment. But Avery is fine with an assistant having big input with the offense...Avery played point guard, and was a distributing point guard so he's not so overbearing he won't hear input on the offense...and he IS a good defensive coach and he DOES have discipline and organization and the Nets are essentially a new team that needs all that...More than worrying about Avery Johnson, the Nets had better worry about Brook Lopez...They can win as long as that kid is on the court but really struggle without him.
Chris (Washington DC)
Thoughts on Rob Parker's comments?
mike wilbon (2:40 PM)
I'm gonna make this short and sweet: I love Rob Parker. He's my friend of 20-plus years. I hate what he said, hate it, find it really, really, really stupid. This notion that black people, as diverse as we are now in a million ways, have to live up to one model of something is destructive and dangerous and I find it deplorable. The notion that his blackness is less than it should be because of what Rob perceives is something I find objectionable, period. We all can have different opinions, we can be critical, we can even make really difficult observations...but this seemed to be out-of-bounds on a dozen levels...There are ways to have that conversation, about racial perceptions, about the complexities of being famous and black in what I call BlackWorld...but that wasn't it...wasn't even close...
Joel (Chapel Hill)
What are your thought about Brent being on the sidelines for the Cowboys?
mike wilbon (2:43 PM)
I find that deplorable...absolutely awful...For what. Just because you play on the same team (or work for the same company: see previous question/answer) doesn't mean you have to back that person on every single thing. You can support him without having him on the sideline...Also, it matters to me that Brent had a previous DUI...This wasn't his first time...That's just me...
Doug (Santa Barbara)
Could the Rams tying and then beating the 49rs qualify as a shocking result? The Rams, characteristic of a young team, alternate between great and horrible. Any thoughts on their future?
mike wilbon (2:45 PM)
Good question...I like what the Rams are doing, starting with their coach being Jeff Fisher and having him coach a really good defense...I think the Rams at 6-7-1 are pretty darn competitive right now. I had them winning that game with Minnesota yesterday but Adrian Peterson did what he's doing to everybody...I'm buying the Rams as a good team in the future...
knicks can't be picky with trying to get anything back for Amare. They should dump that contract. Who would give up much value for his knees? What about Magette and Villaneuva for Amare? Frees up money sooner for Knicks and Detroit gets some star power?
mike wilbon (2:48 PM)
Nobody's taking that contract back without giving one to the Knicks...And because of Amare's knees it can't be insured...It's difficult. jalen Rose always reminds me "It's a talent league" which means if you have somebody who can do certain things on the court at a high level you don't just give that guy away...Suppose Carmelo gets hurt and has to be out of the lineup for 10-12 games? Suppose he becomes a terrific scorer off the bench, playing with the second unit? I think Mike Woodson is a good enough coach to pull it off, getting production out of Amare off the bench. This might be his last chance to win something...I know Amare pretty darned well...I think he'll be fine as 6th man.
Knicks fan (New York)
A good rebounder? I would trade amare for a warm six pack then sign Kenyon Martin because he's a good rebounder and wouldn't hurt team chemistry because of what he has in common with the rest of the Knicks (back problems, social security checks, etc.)
mike wilbon (2:49 PM)
I love Kenyon Martin but his knees are shot. Doesn't it tell you something that he's not actually in the league right now. Seriously, I'm a K-Mart guy, LOVE him...one of my favorite go-to guys for basketball talk since he was in college. I'm still hoping he can rest up and come back to contribute to a winning team...But the Knicks need to be creative with Amare and find a way to get something out of him.
Wilbon, is it fair to say Lin has reached his full potential? Yea I know he's only 24, but seems like he just isnt that good. Then every time he goes and has one big game (like his 38 in San ANtonio last week). All his lovers jump all over the bandwagon and push the hype machine out of control again.
mike wilbon (2:53 PM)
Yeah, I'm kinda with you...he's such a nice kid and so easy to root for...Isn't there a Tebow-like crusade among the people who WANT him to be a more important player than he is? I think the one place we could be wrong is that maybe Lin is in the wrong system for him, after the trade for Harden. Lin needs the ball and Harden needs the ball and guess who we'd rather have the ball? harden, of course.
everyone in (dc)
Why is Ernie Grunfield still employed?
mike wilbon (2:54 PM)
I don't know...Really...I don't. What's the stat? One all-star in like 10 years drafted?
JeremyB666 (Kewadin, MI)
fired Schwarz?! Clean house?! Wow I was bot expecting that answer. If they do that who do they hire as coach next? Wade Phillips? Andy Reid?
mike wilbon (2:58 PM)
What re-treads are the only thing you can think of? Fortunately, there are people who make a living in football who know of young bright energetic assistants...like Mike Tomlin...I think Detroit's executives, who've done a good job reviving the franchise
mike wilbon (3:00 PM)
ooops...(cont'd) will find the right coach this time around for a very, very talented group of players who need to play with some discipline...because they don't now...None.
I hate to say it, but, I bet Kyle Shanahan would do a nice job with Stafford/Megatron.....
mike wilbon (3:01 PM)
You think he's ready? would a kid that young, a first-time coach, be able to tame that group? That's a tough first-time assignment.
Brian (New Orleans)
What are you getting your son for Christmas?
mike wilbon (3:07 PM)
I've gotten him his first foosball table...an RG3 jersey, his first pair of Air Jordans, some books appropriate for a kid in pre-K, a couple of educational toys he'll understand better than I do in two weeks...a Kobe jersey (no, it won't be signed), a Chris Paul jersey, his first blue blazer (Brooks Brothers)...that's WAAAAY too much stuff, way too much. But it's the first Christmas I think he really gets, and I certainly feel guilt for being away on Christmas Day (Los Angeles, in studio for 13 hours)...it's way too indulgent...I'm probably not even done yet...it won't happen again...Okay, maybe next year, but not beyond that. I'm most excited about the fooseball table...I'll never let him win...never...
agreed on cleaning house in Detroit. the talent on the roster should attract a lot of HCs. maybe enough to pull Gruden out of the booth ...
mike wilbon (3:08 PM)
Tell you what, if Gruden wants to go somewhere with a roster that's most of the way there, why not Detroit? I don't think Gruden's going anywhere but the booth, but I'm just saying. As a Bears fan I do NOT want to see Gruden coaching Detroit.
Ted Phillips has tabbed you to find a replacement for Lovie, what do you do?
mike wilbon (3:09 PM)
I'm going to see if the Bears make the playoffs and win a game, in which case I'd simply make him fire Mike Tice and replace him with Norv Turner...and if the Bears miss the playoffs I'd probably start over...column on ESPNChicago.com now...check it out...how self-promotional is that?
To Jeremy in Kewadin....how about Perry Fewell? Defense, defense, defense then find a guy to fix Stafford and the one-dimensional offense.
mike wilbon (3:09 PM)
Like that...Like that a lot.
How about Chan Gailey? The guy has to go correct?
mike wilbon (3:09 PM)
Yeah, I think so...
What is the Ravens biggest problem? Should they sign Flacco to a long term deal?
mike wilbon (3:10 PM)
Off what we've seen lately? No.
mike wilbon (3:11 PM)
Okay, gotta roll to prepare for PTI...Thanks for chatting...We'll talk next week, same time and same channell...have a great week...MW