The Chat House
Sports News

Michael Wilbon
Washington Post Sports Columnist
Monday, April 7, 2008 1:15 PM

Welcome to another edition of The Chat House where Post columnist Michael Wilbon was online Monday, April 7 at 1:15 p.m. ET to take your questions and comments about the latest sports news and his recent columns.

The transcript follows.

Discussion Archive


Washington, DC: When is the last time we had an NCAA final with two teams that are so much fun to watch? I can't wait for tonight's game.

Michael Wilbon: Hi everybody...Sorry I'm so late but I was participating in an HBO project that, obviously, that ran long...Anyway, I do like tonight's matchup, but don't forget...we thought the Final Four had four great teams that would produce two great games, and it didn't happen that way. The games were just two more double-digit blowouts that weren't entertaining in the final three minutes...I hope tonight's different. This tournament has, by and large, bored me because it hasn't had tight buzzer beaters...


Arlington, Va.: Hey Mike -

I just saw the Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2008 was announced (big names include Ewing, Hakeem, Dickie-V, Adrian Dantley and Pat Riley). Any thoughts on the late-great Dennis Johnson not being included? Think he'll ever get in?


Michael Wilbon: Dennis Johnson didn't get in? That disappoints me greatly...He should be in, and he should have gotten in THIS year posthumously...Wow. I hate hearing that. Of course he belongs. He won a championship with really no other star players in Seattle, and led that team to the Finals twice...He was the best player on the team. And, Larry Bird has said for 15 years that DJ was the best teammate he ever had.


DC: Mike,

Do you think people gave Gilbert a pass for his grandstanding way of showing up for his first game back (not telling anyone, coming out after the game started, etc.). Everyone just brushed it aside as "Gilbert being Gilbert," but doesn't it show that he is is all about No. 1 and not about the team? Why didn't more people call him out on this? I agree with Tony that Gilbert is a bigger DC sports figure than Alex Ovechkin, but Ovie is a better team player anyday.

Michael Wilbon: Good question...Not everybody gave him a pass. I did...and I shouldn't have. Tony K. didn't give him a pass. Tony was very critical of Gilbert. I wasn't, and probably should have been more so. I wasn't actually at the game and didn't see the sequence. Your point, that it points to a certain selfish behavior, is totally legit to make. It undermined his coach, which isn't good for Eddie Jordan. I would play Gilbert of the bench, sixth man. And if he didn't want to do that, he could go on the inactive list. But I think he can help the Wizards, without question. I think if Antawn and Caron are healthy and Gil is coming off the bench the Wizards can beat Cleveland or Orlando in a first-round playoff series.


Silver Spring, MD: Hi Mike!

Hope you're excited about tonight's National Championship. Should be a doozy.

My question is: What do you know about Worldwide Wes, the basketball power broker with connections to everyone from MJ and Lebron to the AAU circuit?

The reason I ask is because he is also connected to the Memphis basketball program.

Michael Wilbon: Yes he is...I know Worldwide Wes, have had dinners with him and traveled with him and talk to him...Yep, I know Wes...And we don't have enough time here to go into his omnipresence. He's everywhere, from walking to the ring with Mike Tyson to being the first person to shake Dan Marino's hand (check the tape) when he came to the sideline for the last time in an NFL game...Now, you've got people in the Chat House going, "Who the hell are they talking about?" He's quite a character and I enjoy him immensely...


Phila, PA: First off, Michael, congratulations again on the newborn. I hope you're enjoying this adventure.

My question -- Tiger v. the Field at Augusta?

Michael Wilbon: Thank you...Matthew is doing fine. I'm having more fun than I thought possible for a sleep-challenged person. The adventure has started wonderfully...As for The Masters, I'm taking Eldrick Woods...Yep...No surprise there. Very predictable...I think this is his Babe Ruth 1927 year, his Joe DiMaggio/Ted Williams 1941, his Wilt 1962...This is it, the Big Bam Year for Tiger Woods and it starts in 72 hours...I can't wait until Thursday...


Washington: Is there any way Ovechkin won't be MVP? And how far do you think the Caps will go?

Michael Wilbon: I'm not going to start making predictions about the NHL...I haven't paid close enough attention to have an credibility...I hope the Caps go all the way and yes, I think Ovechkin will win the MVP.


Detroit, Mich.: Who is in more trouble, Detroit's Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick or the Tigers?

Michael Wilbon: The Tigers can recover...and might. The Mayor??? Not so likely.


Washington, DC: I think Kansas proved it was the better team against UNC, but I don't think they are that much more talented. Have you ever seen a big-time team get its doors blown off to start a game like that? And it came down largely to hustle: Kansas got every loose ball, rebound, steal, etc. Do you think they took that whole "Hansborough works harder than everyone" storyline personally? Because it looked to me like Kansas took something personally.

Michael Wilbon: Ain't that the truth...But it's happened before. I'm thinking specifically of Georgetown just hammering Kentucky in the semifinal in 1984. And UNLV, in the championship game, beat Duke by 30 in 1990. The next year, by the way, Duke came back and beat the same UNLV team but it was closer...Good question. I think Kansas knew it had to come out that way and just crush Carolina...put them on their heels...And players know who can play at a certain level and who can be vulnerable in certain situations...All that "Hansbrough plays harder than anybody" stuff does annoy question.


Baltimore: Mike, were you able to catch the Sunday Conversation with Tiger and Scott Van Pelt? Wow, I've never seen TW laugh so much! Looked like he was really having fun and appears to be at total peace with himself and where he is. Also, give SVP credit - seems like he always manages to bring out the best in TW.

Michael Wilbon: Yes, I watched it and enjoyed it greatly...Tiger and Scott are good friends and the comfort level showed...It's a glimpse into Tiger's personality you don't often see and credit to Scott for getting Tiger to that point ON CAMERA...Very nice job...I'd like to see more of that piece because I bet another 10 minutes are on the edit floor...You can have all the off-season pro football junk you want; I'd watch Van Pelt talk to Tiger 100 times out of 100 if given the option.


Reston Va.: Why would Dick Vitale make the Hall of Fame? No offense to Dicky V, but I think the Hall could have waited on him to allow DJ in first.

But how about some props to Adrian Dantley lest we forget he was a local Dematha product.

Michael Wilbon: The Hall of Fame spot didn't come down to Dick Vitale or Dennis Johnson. Both could have been elected, as far as I know. And Dick deserves to be in because of what he's done for college basketball. Look at the profile of the sport and how he helped it grow in the 1980s...Yes to Vitale. Yes to Dennis Johnson.


New York, NY: Wilbon,

Who is the best choice for the Knicks to be head coach once Isiah is thrown out?

Michael Wilbon: Good question...Which former Knicks star would you rather have: Patrick Ewing or Mark Jackson? I'm impressed with what they've both done in retirement...Hard to picture Ewing, a 7-footer, coaching a team because how many 7-footers do it in the NBA? Not many. I'd try to hire either...


Washington: Mike, it's been 20 years since the Wizards(Bullets), Capitals, and Redskins all made the playoffs in the same season. Let us DC folks enjoy the moment and realize how spoiled we are.

Michael Wilbon: Thank you for that!


Nashville, TN: Do you see Pat Summitt ever leaving Tennessee for the WNBA or a Men's team pro or college?

Michael Wilbon: No...I've asked Pat both those questions and the answer, over a number of years, has been no. Coaching men? Definitely not. She could have coached the Mystics and didn't...No, she loved what she does and I mean LOVES it.


Hi everybody...Sorry I'm so late but I was participating in an HBO project that, obviously, that ran long: John Adams?

Michael Wilbon: Ha...I like that...Was the John Adams series any good? I TiVo'd it and plan to watch it this week. Waste of time?


Reston, Va.: C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS!! C'mon Wilbon, you and Tony have been attempting to talk hockey lately, but you need to step it up and grab Ovechkin for 5 good minutes this week!

Michael Wilbon: You know, that's an interesting point to consider. I don't know that it will happen because the general sports population, in other words the people who watch our show, don't watch a lot of hockey...look at the TV ratings. And Ovechkin is simply not recognized outside of D.C. BUT, he could be a star...Problem is, his English isn't great and I don't see much a personality in TV interviews I've seen done locally...Gotta check into that more...


Washington, D.C.: How many NBA GMs of lottery teams this year, if any, do you think would take Derrick Rose over Michael Beasley if they have the first pick in the draft?

Michael Wilbon: Like this tossup: To quote Reali, "It's growing." If you're Miami and you win the lottery? D. Wade (Chicago's own) is said to covet Rose. If Memphis, and you just drafted a point guard (Mike Conley) but this guy played college ball in your town, what do you do? The Knicks? I don't know. Blazers? Rose in a heartbeat. Bulls? Rose (Chicago's own)...It's complex...

Okay, I've got to run...Jay Bilas up on the board for our Five Good Mins.


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