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Washington Post Live With Ivan Carter: New Host, Talk Caps, Nats, Wizards, More

Ivan Carter
TV Host and Former Washington Post Sports Reporter
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 1:00 PM

Former Washington Post Wizards reporter and former contributor to Washington Post Live Ivan Carter was online Wednesday, May 6, at 1 p.m. ET to discusss his new role as host of the Comcast SportsNet program, his thoughts about the Caps (Video) and the Wizards' chances next year with new coach Flip Saunders.

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Ivan Carter: Welcome to the chat folks. I'm in a little different role than my days as Post beat writer covering the Wizards but I'm having fun here at Comcast. Let's get to it.

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New York, N.Y.: Ivan, Why is all the talk about the Wizards taking Rubio in the draft if it goes in order? Isn't what the Wizards need Thabeet, a center who actually plays defense and rebounds. Last time I checked the Wizards' D was close to non-existent. We already got the scorers!

Ivan Carter: Good point about the defense, I can't disagree with you but, I'll make two points about taking Rubio: 1) The GMS, scouts and other NBA folks I've spoke with are in agreement that he could be a super, duper star someday. Hard to pass on that. 2) What guarantee do we have that Gilbert Arenas is ever going to be the old Gilbert Arenas again? I wouldn't want to pass on Rubio and then find out a year from now that Gil's knee will never be the same. Just saying....

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Falls Church, Va.: Ivan,

What are your thoughts on the Nats' struggles to work out a deal with Stephen Strasburg? Do you think the MLB draft is flawed?

Ivan Carter: It's pretty simple actually: Boras is the kid's agent and Boras NEVER does anything until he's good and ready. Say what you want, but the guys squeezes every dime out of a team that he can. I see the Nats taking the kid simply because he is of the so-called "can't miss" nature. We'll see. I'm good with the MLB draft.

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Columbia, Md: Hey Ivan, congrats on your excursion into the TV world. Theoretically the Wiz should have the opportunity to draft Griffen or Rubio. Where would these two players fit in with the Wiz given that you have established players (esp with the glut of big men) at each of those spots. I'm not saying they should trade out. But how might they use those respective players (Griffen/Rubio)?

Ivan Carter: If they get Blake, Flip Saunders would have some serious options. He could slide Caron Butler to the two spot, and play Griffin and Jamison at forward in a big lineup that would have Arenas at PG and Haywood at C. That would be my first thought. As for Rubio, I would assume that given his age and build, he'd be best served coming off the benchto begin with. Again, I'm curious to know where exactly Arenas is going to be come training camp and the preseson.

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Arlington, Va.: I'm not a big, huge hockey fan (that's my better half), but what was Sidney Crosby thinking Monday night? It's Wednesday, and I'M STILL laughing about his complaint to the refs about the length of Ovechkin's hat trick celebration. I hope the Caps pound the Penguins tonight and Friday.

Ivan Carter: I felt the same way. Regardless of what Crosby intended, he came off looking like a pouty little kid. It just added fuel to what so many Caps fans think of the guy. Then again, Ovechkin did the same for Pens fans with his post-goal celebrations. Either way, I love it all. Rivalries are great.

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Washington, D.C.: I really enjoy watching you on the show. Where can I get those fly Steve Harvey looking suits that you wear on the show from?

Ivan Carter: Ha! That's funny. I have a few conversative suits but have mixed in a few with flavor from a guy I know in georgetown. It's all new to me folks. Just having fun.

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Kensington, Md.: What do you like better about reporting on television as opposed to print? Dislike?

Ivan Carter: After 10 years as a beat reporter working at newspapers, I've found the tv biz to be refreshing. It's fun to work with a crew every day putting together an hour-long live show and then see what happens. I do miss the writing however. It was a huge part of my life. I do not miss the travel associated with NBA beat life and for the first time in my life, I actually have weekends off. Naturally, I've been going to games.

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Falls Church, Va.: Ivan,

You get in on those Obama basketball games yet?

Ivan Carter: Working on it. Might have to call him out for that awkward left-handed J he has. Then again, I wouldn't want to hard foul the prez and end up in a cuban jail....

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Fairfax, Va.: People...Caps are in the playoffs! What's with the Wizards and Nats questions off the bat? Ivan, looks like they've solved the goaltending questions, how far do you think they'll go?

Ivan Carter: Varlamov has seriously altered my expectations for what this team is capable of doing. With Theodore, I figured the Caps could call a second-round loss acceptable and a trip to the conference finals outstanding. Now, the sky is the limit. Not sure if this team has enough to beat Detroit but when you've got a guy like that between the pipes and a monster like number 8, you can dream anything. I'm intrigued.....

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Washington, D.C.: I hate to ask this but is it just me or does LeBron James and the Cavs look really good in the playoffs? His team has stepped up this year and he doesn't seem as whiny lately. I hope ATL or Orlando is able to steal their shine, but I just don't know about it happening this year.....

Ivan Carter: That team is playing with a real swagger, no doubt. I'm very impressed. It's a much more cohesive and confident team than the one that got smacked by the Spurs in the Finals a few years ago.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm curious, is WSL a Comcast program with Washington Post guests, or is it a Washington Post program that airs on Comcast?

Ivan Carter: WPL is a Comcast program that is sponsored by the Post. Comcast has full control over content, style etc. We do, of course, lean heavily on Post reporters (brilliant people naturally). It's a great relationship.

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Anonymous: Ivan, I won't hate, but bro', you got to get a wardrobe sponsor! I know the deal from having four or five suits to becoming a daily suit wearer. It's a shock. You and that St. Paul pimp walk are worth watching the show alone. Anyway, go with basics, darks and neutrals. Set a precedent and drop the neck tie too.

Ivan Carter: More thoughts on style. Yeah, I'm working on it....

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Arlington, Va.: Sports Illustrated is saying Houston's strategy is to get into the bonus so Yao can win games at the free throw line. It would be a disaster for an attractive team like the Lakers to lose, but particularly to lose like THAT. It's time for Commissioner Stern to step up and pull one of his "LA 41 foul shots, Houston 3" specials.

Ivan Carter: I hear you but let's be real: the Lakers have to earn it. That front line got pushed around in Game 1 and where is Lamar Odom? Unlike Cleveland, that team has been cruising in the playoffs so far and if they aren't careful, they're gonna get bounced. I see Kobe going into "I gotta do this on my own" mode if it continues early on tonight in Game 2.

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Richmond, Va. : Great show sir. Do you find that you are now recognized more than when you wrote for the Post. I really thought you did a great job there and wish you nothing but continued success. Maybe you and your boy Michael can be the next Kornheiser and Wilbon.

Ivan Carter: Thanks. Having fun and we'll see where it goes.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Do you think the Cowboys will be better or worse this year without Terrell Owens? I am not a Cowboy fan, so I hope worst!

Ivan Carter: Much of that depends on Roy Williams. He talks and acts like a true number one wide receiver and not it's time that he shows it. Still, there is something institutional wrong with that franchise and it starts at the top.

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Ashburn, Va.: Ivan -

I unlike most do get excited at the prospect of us getting a true PG. Granted, Gil showed when he came back he could be a great distributor of the ball, but I would think agent zero is so much better suited for shooting daggers into opponents. Personally, I want to see the Gilbert that hit that shot in Chicago and is always willing to take the "last shot" even if that shot is mid-way through the third quarter.

Am I just crazy in my thinking? Maybe long term if Rubio develops like everyone says he might, he could ultimately end up being a better fit than Blake.

Ivan Carter: The problem is that Gilbert is pretty adamant about needing the ball in his hands. He'll play off the ball some, as he did when Larry Hughes was here, but he's most comfortable brining it up and initiating the offense. I don't see that changing....

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Falls Church, Va.: Now that you have weekends off have you and Gene Wang been tearing up the town?

Ivan Carter: The Ivan-Gene tandem has been a little hit and miss of late. I prefer U street. Geno's a virginia guy. Just say we're picking our spots....

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Gaithersburg, Md.: I lived in Montreal when the Expos were created out of the dregs of the other NL teams. During their first five years, there were several that were painful to watch. But the pitching and defense of this team is atrocious. I'd rather see them bring up some of their younger players and see if their promise has substance than continue to watch the retreads they're using out of the bullpen continue to blow games. Or, trade one or more of their corner outfielders for a centerfielder (Dukes appears lost there) and/or some pitching help.

Ivan Carter: The real shame is that this team has some real offensive power. Dunn is killing the ball, Zimmerman is hot, Dukes has been pretty solid and Guzman is getting on base. That lineup is pretty scary but, as you point, the bullpen has been nothing less than disasterous.

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Nixon and WH pickup hoops: Paraphrasing Nixon in Frost/Nixon as it relates to pickup hoop games with Obama at the WH, if Obama does it it is not a foul. Just a helpful hint to you if you get invited and get hacked by the president on the way to the hoop...

Ivan Carter: Good point. Maybe I'll just park myself by the three-point line....

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Falls Church, Va.: It's great that the Caps are in the playoffs! Or so I hear. I cannot actually watch them on TV because they are on a station I have never heard of and do not get on my cable. Glad I have baseball to watch...maybe that's why I'm no hockey fan.

Ivan Carter: C'mon, Verses is not that hard to find. And the good news is that we'll have games 4-7 so, that's good news. I do feel for folks who don't have Verses though. This series has me totally sucked in.....

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Ballston, Va.: Hi Ivan,

Congrats on the new gig -- I remember meeting you at summer league and I'm not surprised you've moved on to TV.

My question - Say the Wiz don't get a top 2 pick (Blake or Ricky) and want to trade out. Do you think they'd target a 2 guard? How about Jason Terry (not sure his salary, or how many years he has left). Seems like the type of guard Gil could really play with, can play the 1 or 2, or could come off the bench and light it up. Thoughts on Terry or any other vets you'd like to see the Wiz go after.

Ivan Carter: The 2-spot is a very interesting situation. How will DeShawn Stevenson's back be? What is Nick Young's ceiling? That's why I suggest shifting Butler to 2-guard if they land Griffin. If not, I use the pick to try to find one as you suggest. I personally love Jason Terry.

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Richmond, Va.: In your opinion, will JaVale be as good as Amare? If not, what will hold him back?

Ivan Carter: The sky is the limit for the kid. I really believe that. And to be honest, I don't even know who I'd compare him too. His skill set is that unique.

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Upper Marlboro, Md.: Hi Ivan,

Do you believe Juan Dixon is a Wizard next year? In addition to that would you, as GM, let Etan Thomas and Mike James fall off the books next season or make a trade or would that depend on the draft and who they select?

Ivan Carter: I don't see Juan being here next year. He's a free agent and this team is already looking at paying the tax. As for Thomas and James, Ernie Grunfeld could try to package one or both of them with the pick to land another player or, he could hold onto them and make a move at the trade deadline next season. Then again, he could sit on 'em both and let them come off the books after the season.

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Washington, D.C.: If I am a GM in the NBA, I am figuring out who the LeBron-Stoppers, or at least LeBron-Slowers in the league are, and how to get one on my team. The Wizards don't seem to have any -- there's hope for McGuire, I guess, but Butler doesn't seem to show any interest in the role.

Who are the LeBron-Slowers in the league, and who might the Wizards get?

Ivan Carter: Dom McGuire is your best hope given the team's salary and roster situation. He has the physical tools and in my opinion, mental makeup, to at least make LeBron work in a long a playoff series.

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Charlottesville, Va.: Do you plan to get UVA and college sports more time on the show?

Ivan Carter: Come college footballs season, I will be talking UVA fball. In fact, the great Shawn Moore (and pictures of his cheesy high-top fades from his playing days) will be involved breaking down the hoos. Don't worry.

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20165: Who is The Real Mayor of D.C.? Portis, Arenas or Ovechkin? (I vote Ovechkin).

Ivan Carter: Right now it's Ovechkin and if he keeps this stuff up, he's going to own this town.

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Ballston Followup: I'd love to see Caron at the 2 as well -- besides that though, I think I don't care how Stevenson back is, nor care to wait around waiting on NYs ceiling.

You don't really think either of these guys are legit starting 2's in this league do you? Maybe descent guys off the bench, but starters? I'm not sure there is a worse starting 2 guard in the NBA.

Ivan Carter: I do like a healthy Stevenson next to a healthy Arenas. Remember, he was a perfect fit two years ago when this team was rolling. He plays defense, sticks the open J and makes good decisions. I like me some healthy DeShawn Stevenson but last year, he was nowhere near that.

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Houston, Tex.: SI is totally off base if they are saying that Houston's strategy is to send Yao to the free throw line. Yao is one of the worst officiated big men in the NBA, and even if Houston wanted to enact that strategy, the refs wouldn't call the fouls. If Houston wins that series, they will have earned it, fair and square.

Ivan Carter: Agreed. Again, Lamar Odom is going to be key. He's so up and down.

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Falls Church, Va.: Now that you don't cover the Wiz, do you have to pay for tickets now? Or are you calling up Mike Lee and Mike Jones to sneak you in?

Ivan Carter: I'm sure I'll be able to get in somehow. I'm pretty crafty...

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Not a Washington question but...: Want to hush the Brett Farve supporters and perhaps Mr. Farve? Tell him that if he wants to return to play for one more year for one more team, that's the team cap he'll wear if and when he goes into the Football Hall of Fame. Do you think he really wants to go in a Viking or a...

Ivan Carter: Favre wants to be a Vike for one reason and one reason only: to stick it to the Green Bay Packers. I'm not sure how much he has left in the 'ol tank but he can't be worse than Tavaris Rosenfels or Sage Jackson or whoever is up there now.

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New York, N.Y.: Regarding Rubio, his stats from the Spanish league are like 10 ppp. How is that dominance? I understand he's young but seriously. It's Spanish League! Plus, like you said, Gil won't play off the ball. If you bring him in Gil is gone. I'm not against bringing in Rubio, but what is it that GM's are so enamored with? Why would that be better than bringing in a dominant center and keeping the team intact?

Ivan Carter: Well, Rubio is young and GMs love his....wait for it....potential. Then again, Chris Paul and a few of the dream teamers who played againt the kid in the Olympics raved about him as well. As for Thabeet, are you that sure he's going to be a dominant center? Really? I see Theo Ratliff.

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Richmond, Va.: Does it really matter if the Caps have enough fire power to beat Detroit? Shouldn't the real question be whether they have enough muscle to outlast Anaheim?

Ivan Carter: The Ducks are rolling? Question: just how good is Chris Pronger? He helped take Edmonton to the Cup finals a couple of years ago and now he's helping Anaheim roll along. Makes you wonder just how close the Caps came to landing him this season at the deadline doesn't it? Then again, if they wanted Varlamov, it's a very good thing they didn't do it.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey at 19 Rubio just won Spanish League DPOY...

Ivan Carter: Love for Rubio.

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Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: Ivan -- I've been in D.C. my whole life and cannot remember an athlete in any sport that comes through for the home team the way Ovechkin is. He's just so much better than anything we've had...and he's only 23.

Ivan Carter: It's so hard to dominate a hockey game and yet the guys manages to do it. Nothing less than amazing. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I saw Gretzky live as a kid in Minny and I don't remember being wowed by him the way I was the first time I saw Ovechkin. Not saying that No. 8 is as good as No. 99 but he is eye-popping good.

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Ivan Carter: Thanks for stopping in folks! Please check out the show tonight at five and keep reading that Post!

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