The Chat House with Michael Wilbon: NBA and NHL playoffs, Redskins and more
Monday, May 10, 2010; 1:30 PM
Welcome to another edition of The Chat House, where Post columnist Michael Wilbon was online Monday, May 10 to discuss the NBA and NHL playoffs, the Redskins, World Wide Wilbon (which is Not Just Another Sorry, No-Account Sports Blog), the latest sports news, his columns and anything else on your mind.
A transcript follows
Tucson, Ariz.: Why is there a higher percentage of competitive series in the first round, compared to the second round, of both the NBA and NHL playoffs? It seems as though this is the opposite trend we would expect and also opposite of what would be best for the leagues.
Michael Wilbon: Trend...or just something that happened this year? Hi everybody...glad to be home in D.C. for a rare spell of four or five days...that hasn't happened since the first week of March...When I left for March Madness/NBA travel there was snow on the ground...Anyway, I really don't know that it's a trend...Last year, the best series of the playoffs was probably the very first round, Chicago vs. Boston...it went 7 games and I think there were 3 that went to OT...Anybody who tells me they thought Phoenix-San Antonio was going to be over in four is a total knucklehead...I'm not surprised by Atlanta and Utah going out in four...Utah's worst nightmare of a matchup is the Lakers because of the size disadvantage...Atlanta is just pathetic. You KNEW they were going to go belly up, but this is pathetic even for them...Don't count out all the NHL series just yet...Vancouver won in Chicago last night to get that series to 3-2, but I know what you mean...I can't believe Detroit went out in give...Hell, I had Detroit getting to the Cup finals...Yeah, you're right about it being the case this year but I'm not ready to project, just yet, that this is some grand trend...
Falls Church, Va.: Do you think sportscasters on tv should make a point of explaining to viewers when a referee misses a call in the NBA playoffs or if they are calling an inconsistent game? Do you believe that there is any discussion by referees and NBA front office higher-ups as to how they should call a game? (Call it tighter on player X for example) I am not looking to start conspiracies and am very interested to hear your answers given how much access you have to the media and the game. Thank you.
Michael Wilbon: Announcers DO talk about that. Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy did this yesterday very effectively. They talked about certain calls without making it seem sinister. It's just something that cannot and should not be ignored. The best analysts do it seamlessly and in context and let it go, and I think that's the way it should be. I do wish referees were required to meet the press, which is to say the public. I know so, so many of the NBA referees and they're so good at what they do, and so good at talking about it privately, I think the product would be well-served if those guys answered questions about various things...These guys aren't lumps; they're in the vast majority of cases very bright men, very articulate...They love the game, what they do...
Cleveland: Hey Michael. It's becoming clear to even the die hard Cav fans that LBJ is flying out. What can our team do make ourselves relevant after this? Solutions?
Michael Wilbon: Wow, it's becoming CLEAR? I don't know that it's CLEAR...and I was just with LeBron Friday night trying to get a read...not just from him but his guys. I don't think he knows exactly what he's going to do yet. I think a lot will depend on what happens in the next few games and weeks, and a lot will depend on whether he wins it all now. I don't know what Plan B will be because it's hard to see him being involved in a sign-and-trade...I don't know if Cleveland is spending a lot of time on the worst-possible case scenario when they have to spend so much time and effort trying to keep him...Still, if I was a betting man (and I'm not) I'd bet he's staying in Cleveland...But, yes, there are all kinds of conversations buzzing around out there and I'm not going to repeat them here because it's just barber shop talk and I don't know how much of it I believe, even though locker rooms in the NBA are buzzing with some of it, too...Doesn't make it legit, not yet anyway.
Chicagoland, Ill.: Dallas Braden. A perfect game. Against the AL- leading Tampa Bay Rays. Survived Evan Longoria's bunt (another violation of those "unwritten rules"). 106 pitches. All on a Mother's Day. Should Braden's perfect game be the best out of them all? Or at least Top 5?
Michael Wilbon: No, why would would Braden's be the best? Randy Johnson had 13Ks in his. Koufax had 14Ks and beat the Cubs, 1-0, in his perfect game. Braden did do it against the team with the best record in baseball, so it's impressive. Tom Browning had his in a 1-0 game...I don't know that I would spend ten seconds (actually, I just did) trying to figure out what was more impressive about something that by definition and accomplishment is special...
Cary, N.C.: Who do you think would be the BEST FIT as the Bulls' next coach?
Michael Wilbon: Depends on what A-list free agent the team signs. There are a lot of good coaches out there who are available, from Byron Scott, Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy to Doug Collins, to up-and-coming assistants to John Calipari, who might be interested if he could coach one of his recent former players (Derrick Rose, John Wall) or a mega free agent (Don't go there!) Problem is, the Bulls don't pay coaches, historically...They go to guys with little experience in many cases (Doug Collins, Phil Jackson, Vinny del Negro, Tim Floyd)...I just don't know if they'll try to do this on the cheap or not. It's my team; I'm dying to see what they do in this big window of opportunity...
Lubbock, Texas: So are the Mavs wondering which team that was who were swept out by Los Suns? What were Vegas odds of Suns winning by a sweep - kajillion-1?
Michael Wilbon: You can't find enough zeroes on your pocket calculator to determine those odds. Wow. I'm shocked and I LOVE the Suns, like their guys, love watching them play, think they've gotten so much better in defense, half-court offense, developing depth...But sweep the Spurs? No. No chance. And now, nobody is giving them any chance against the Lakers...I might go the other way this time. Maybe it's their time. They've got a wonderful relationship between the guys in the locker rooms. The Lakers are a LOT bigger, but the Suns have a resolve about them, and they can create their own matchup issues with quickness and skill and depth...I'm exciting about seeing that series.
Cabin John, Md.: I have agreed with you in the past that almost everything that takes place off the field, off the course really isn't important to me. I have rooted for Tiger the golfer, Jordan the basketball player, Clinton the president, etc. What do we do, however, when the off-the-court stuff no longer is simply between husband/wife -- but begins to actually affect their public persona/responsibilities? Clinton's presidency certainly suffered because of Monica. Is it reasonable to wonder whether Tiger the golfer is now suffering professionally because of his off-the-field stuff. If it is affecting his golf, isn't it then a concern to the average fan, and a subject for sportswriters? If it were a team sport and a star player wasn't performing because of personal issues, it would certainly be fair game. Is golf different because the only professional dealing with Tiger's problems is Tiger himself?
Michael Wilbon: Great question, and yes it was ALWAYS fair to wonder once it became an international spectacle, not just a guy getting caught by his wife...If you go back a month ago before The Masters you'll read where I said I thought there was no chance Tiger could go directly from turmoil of this magnitude to winning at Augusta. Because of his personal life hell he hadn't practiced, hadn't worked on his game...He just said it in his news conference; the injury might have resulted from him overdoing things, trying to win tournaments without being prepared. He just said it himself...It's what I wondered about all along, and YES the two are related. I don't believe it's anybody's business what happens between him and his wife, but it's a legit story when his game drops off the face of the earth the way it has...
Denver: I'm noticing a pattern. It seems white, privileged lacrosse players are involved in 'tragedies' or actions that sully their good 'reputations.' See the Duke situation as one example and the Yeardly Love as another. Yet, if these same acts were committed by a basketball player - the Baylor Basketball disaster or Lawrence Phillips at Nebraska, but two examples, - it seems to be passed off, almost portrayed as another ho-hum violent crime. Yet, we've been inundated with coverage of the U.Va. murder. What is your opinion of the apparent double standard between the way tragedies are covered in 'privileged sports' - tennis, lacrosse, golf versus tragedies in sports like basketball and football.
Michael Wilbon: I don't know that I'd put it as severely as you did, but I agree the coverage is different. It's less angry when whites are involved, less accusatory, less judgemental. I see that in the pieces that are written and reported. At times it bothers me to the point that I just stop reading...just stop. I'm not at this point here because my wife went to Virginia, and because I'm a lacrosse parent, of sorts, having been front-and-center for my Goddaughter Brittany's lacrosse career, and a booster of Northwestern University's program which is entering defense of the championship it has owned for five straight sasons...So, I'm a little defensive about lacrosse kids, mostly women...but I agree with you that the tone of the coverage of these violent incidents is at times very different...keep in mind, the Duke kids were wronged on a very real level, but there was stuff going on that needed to be examined. Both things were true...
Silver Spring, Md.: Mike, At the risk of dredging up very painful memories, as a Cubs fan can you give me (a Nats fan) advice on how to handle my ever growing optimism about Mr. Strasburg? Do I have a Prior or Wood in my future? Or can I confidently look forward to 15 years of the next Walter Johnson? (It could happen says the extreme optimist in me).
Michael Wilbon: I thought about this yesterday...I sure hope Strasburg doesn't have that awaiting him. I really, really hope this kids stays healthy and we get to see a full career in which he gets to realize his potential, whatever that is. But we don't know. Prior and Wood are proof that we don't know. So is Mark Fidrych, Wayne Simpson (who went 14-3 out of the box and just disappeared)...Tony K says there was a guy in the 1950s, a phenom for the Cardinals named Von McDaniel, younger brother of Lindy McDaniel, who pitched one year and was done...Let's hope that he doesn't join this list.
Celtics?: Michael, how do you see the Eastern Conference playing out from this point? It seems that it is the Celtics causing the Cavs more matchup problems, particularly Rondo. And would you say Orlando is now the best bet to face the Lakers?
Michael Wilbon: I would say that Orlando looks like the best team in the playoffs, so far, but maybe that's because they swept a playoff virgin in Charlotte and a total waste-of-time team in Atlanta. Orlando, good as they are, hasn't been pushed, not even challenged for more than a half by Atlanta...I think Cleveland will win this series, but it now looks like it'll take seven games, which isn't good for Cleveland...
Fairfax, Va.: Has Hanesworth forced Shanaghan's hand with his latest subversion? There's no way the Skins can keep him on the roster this year, right? And there's no way they can get fair value anymore either.
Michael Wilbon: Just suppose Hanesworth can play? Has anyody considered that? Last year, when he wasn't in any kind of shape, Haynesworth had games were he was the best defensive player on the field, either team. I know it was never sustained, never consistent...But why couldn't Shanahan, with a respected veteran like Donovan McNabb agitating, get the best out of Hayneworth for an exteded period of time? I don't think they should deal him. Hell, they just got him. That's the No. 1 thing wrong with this team; they change directions every six seconds. Just put the big lug on the field and let him play...
Big Al: I know you like to say that voluntary minicamps are just that, VOLUNTARY. However, do you think some heat on Haynesworth is deserved for not attending? Just because you can skip the minicamp doesn't mean it's a good idea. (Or, as Chris Rock has said, "Just because you can do something doesn't mean it's to be done.") As Philip Daniels points out, it might be one thing if this team had been good last year, but they stunk.
Michael Wilbon: My point is stop calling it voluntary. Nothing about my work is voluntary. Is yours? If somebody tells me I have to be there, it ain't voluntary. It's mandatory. My point is the NFL is a joke when it comes to this. Players, all of them, need a full off-season to recover and they don't get it.
Alexandria, Va.: I noticed on ESPN.com that there are already mock NFL drafts ... for 2011! What the heck? Who's reading these things?
On to more important things. Since it seems to be the only interesting second round series out there, what chance do you give the Celtics to pull out the Cleveland series?
Michael Wilbon: I give the Celtics a 30-40 percent chance to pull out the series...With Rondo playing the way he is? You HAVE to give them a decent chance. Hell, if they win Game 5 tomorrow night the chances will go up because Game 6 would be in Boston Thursday night...Rondo and Steve Nash, by the way, were totally brilliant yesterday...Rondo's now the best player the Celtics have. If Paul Pierce can come up with one big game tomorrow night, the Celtics can win.
Natinals Park: Is it too early to give some love to the Nats? 17-14 with Strasburg and Storen ready to make an impact in June. Plus, Zimmerman was out for a slew of games early on and is just getting into his groove. I'm not planning parade routes or anything, but it is not inconceivable to think that this team can stay competitive this year.
Michael Wilbon: It's totally appropriate for them to be shown some love at 17-14, the way they've played...The pitching of late has been terrific, the team battles back when behind. I've taken to watching some Nats game the last week and it's been very impressive.
Champaign, Ill.: Would adding Rutgers, U-Conn., and possibly Maryland water down the Big Ten? 'Cats and Illini fans have to wonder.
Michael Wilbon: Don't want any of them. None. Zero. Give me Notre Dame and that's it. And if we have to go to 14 teams, make it Notre Dame, Nebraska and Mizzou...I'd take them. We're the Midwest, not the east.
The Players: Did you see Robert Allenby's ball basically start to role in the cup and then suddenly go sidways on #17? Tim Clark's heart had to stop when it looked like it was going to drop in. Great win for Clark. Doesn't he live in Arizona?
Michael Wilbon: You know, I think he does...I think I ran into him a couple of weeks ago, but I have to ask to clear this up. I'll get back to you on this next week...
RE: Hawks: How can they be this bad? I mean, they did win a first-round series, even against the depleted Bucks.
Michael Wilbon: I like all their players invididually: Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, Al Horford...I like each one of those guys and would want him on my team. Collectively? Oh my God, no. Just look at what an underachieving team that is. They've been together for a bit now and still can't even come out and give full effort in playoff games? How could they give full effort and lost by an average of 27 to a team that's not the 1996 Bulls? Mike Woodson is a Big Ten guy and I was in school at the same time he was an Indiana, and I always root for Big Ten guys, but my goodness he and that team are an embarassment...
Donovan: Mike - it seems that in a very short period of time Skins fans have gone from slightly p.o'd that an Ealge came over to very glad that a real pro is at QB. Don't want to nose in on your relationship, but is he as pumped as we are?
Michael Wilbon: He's tremendously excited. Seriously, I'm not about to go within 50 miles of an NFL mini-camp but I've talked to Donovan a couple of times and he's jacked about it, yes. So you should be thrilled. And of course fans here were going to warm to him.
McLean, Va.: Mike,
How great is it to see the level that some of these point guards are playing at right now? It seems like just recently when people were wondering where the traditional point guard had gone and if the combo guard (ie Arenas) was here to stay. But these playoffs are proving that a true PG (Rondo, Nash, Williams) can affect not just a game, but an entire series. Rondo's game yesterday was a treat, and I feel lucky to be able to watch Nash and Williams play every other day. Just a great testament to team ball and good basketball in general.
Michael Wilbon: You said it very, very well. And I agree with you completely. I think that a combo guard can still lead a team. Deron Williams is kind of that...or maybe it's just because he can play it either way, shoot-first or set-up. But Rondo and Nash, which I mentioned earlier, were fabulous to watch. Rondo is averaging a triple-double again...He nearly did it over the full series against the Bulls last year. For that guy, at 6-foot-1, to grab 18 rebounds is astounding...
Bowie, Md.: Good afternoon and thanks for taking my question!!
What was more memorable from this weekends NBA playoffs: Rondos' triple-double or Nash playing with basically one good eye?
Michael Wilbon: I can't separate them. I won't even try. Day-night doubleheader. I loved them both. Fabulous.
You hit the nail on the head...Can he play. For years, Bruce Smith not only missed the voluntary workouts, he missed a lot of the mandatory ones including most of training camp. But it didn't matter, he played his heart out when he stepped on the field.
Michael Wilbon: Thank you...
New York, N.Y.: Hi Mike- Any word on Robin Lopez and his availability against the Lakers? It seems like without him the Suns will be in trouble.
Michael Wilbon: The Suns surely need Robin Lopez and his 7-feet to play against the Lakers and all that length they've got with 7-foot Andrew Bynum, 7-foot Paul Gasol and 6-10 Lamar Odom...But Lopez is a young guy who's been out nearly two months and I doubt he's going to be that effective after missing so much time. Still, the Lakers are so damn big the Suns might have to go to him and he does have eight days to get some scrimmage time in before the Western Conference Finals begin, next Monday...
Westminster, Md.: Do you always refer to "Magic" Johnson as Earvin? Just wondering. In the HBO special Larry Bird said he didn't like "Magic" the player. Instead he preferred Earvin the person.
Michael Wilbon: Because I've known Earvin since we were in college at the same time...I don't mean we were boys, but I was around, starting my career in locker rooms...He was Earvin then, and Magic is a guy who plays basketball. Earvin is the guy I sit with a watch games and eat pizza on Sundays, which by the way is a THRILL for me. And you know what, Earvin told somebody he knows exactly why I call him Earvin...It's about age, the length of the relationship (he's been explaining basketball to me as an observer for more than 30 years, all the time the last 25) and that I don't see him as some Showtime Showman...he's the guy from the Midwest who played at Michigan State and grew up much the same way I did. Sounds, from the stories we tell on Sundays, like his house was really, really a lot like mine except his family was much bigger...But he's Earvin to me. If he objected for one second I' call him Magic, but I know he doesn't...
D.C. vs. Philly: The Donovan question raised a larger point. Why is this area so much more supportive of Redskins players than the Philly area is with Eagles players. Are expectations here just that much lower? Is it something cultural? I'm not just talking Donovan either. Could you imagine if Haynesworth was in Philly? Remember what happened with TO?
Michael Wilbon: Great question...We're not Philly. We're a community constantly in transition and Washington never had the battling personality of Philly. We're different places. Thank God. No place else is Philly. If this was Philly, I wouldn't be living here, I can tell you that.
Washington, D.C.: Did you see that Pittsburgh Penguin's center Jordan Staal had a severed tendon in his right foot surgically re-attached and only missed 2 games. What's up with that?
Michael Wilbon: That's astounding. Really.
Washington, D.C.: Any chance the Wizards save some cap room and go after Durant next year?
Michael Wilbon: Yeah, they can go after Durant but it doesn't mean he'll come. It sounds, from everything we know, as if Durant LOVES where he is in Oklahoma City. All the reporting and quotes have indicated that. But yes, if you're the Wizards you avoid this summer and prepare for next summer, when another sorta-kinda local guy, Carmelo Anthony, becomes a free agent...I don't get the feeling Carmelo just HAS to live his whole life in Denver. I'm not sure coming back to Baltimore-Washington would be the best thing for his life, but I could see 'Melo going elsewhere...
Arlington, Va.: Your favorite 30 for 30 episode so far?
Michael Wilbon: I haven't seen the Mandela one yet. But I know that's going to be my favorite, and I've loved so many. Bias...Reggie Miller...Let's see, I haven't seen Ali and Holmes yet, either even though I have the DVD...
Washington, D.C.: I totally agree with on on Haynesworth. If he comes into the season, gets a couple of sacks and plugs a couple of holes, all the fans will (and rightly should!) stop complaining about his absenses.
Michael Wilbon: Thanks for that!
Chapel Hill, N.C.: The Suns' Euro-Guard:
When was the last time you saw a dazzling coming out party like that? What's his ceiling?
Michael Wilbon: You're talking about Goran Dragic, who is the Suns backup guard who also is athletic enough and a good enough shooter to play alongside Steve Nash. Dragic's only problem, besides being a kid, is that he's shy. Coach Alvin Gentry and Steve Nash are constantly screaming at him to shoot, to be aggressive. And when he doesn, boom! He did this during the regular season a couple of times, too. Did it at Oklahoma City when and beat the Thunder when Nash was out with a bad back. This is the first time the general public, on a national level, saw Dragic but the Suns believe he has big-time talent and they've finally found a third guard who can help them against major talents. I wouldn't look for another game like that in these playoffs, but if he can come off the bench once or twice and challenge the Lakers and score 8-12 points, it would help.
Washington, D.C.: Michael - I think the previous comment about the UVA murder situation contained several mischaracterizations. While I agree that there is a difference in media coverage when white & black athletes are involved that needs to be examined, in this particular instance I don't think anyone's upset that the male lacrosse player's "reputation" is being damaged. He allegedly committed a violent and heinous act and he is (I think rightly) being vilified for it; the same thing happened in the case of the Baylor basketball incident (which was similarly terrible). To tie those deaths to the Duke lacrosse incident strikes me as a lazy conflation of events. They just aren't the same thing at all.
Michael Wilbon: You're right, they aren't the same thing; they just involve kids who play one sport...and it's not like anything about the Virgnia case should be tied to the lacrosse team.
Arlington, Va.: Re: Lacrosse
The story has had a lot of local attention because UVA is close by, the alleged perpetrator is from Chevy Chase, and the victim is from the Baltimore area. If this took place at Stanford, the perpetrator were from San Jose, and the victim from San Francisco, it would still be covered here, but not to the extent of a local story.
And don't allege that the Baylor story and Lawrence Phillips were non-stories; they weren't. They both received loads of coverage. I'm from the midwest and lived through the coverage of Lawrence Phillips. To this day, the biggest criticism that I hear of Tom Osborne (perhaps one of the most upright men to walk this earth) is that he let Lawrence Phillips off too weakly. If people who aren't from Nebraska mention this some 15 years after the fact, I think it belies your claim that it didn't get covered.
Michael Wilbon: Things get covered more locally. We're not talking about amount, we're talking about tone. I, specifically, am talking about the way the stories are covered, how the people are depicted. I'm not talking the amount of coverage, which will vary. If this had happened at Stanford there would be very little coverage, understandably...
Rondo: One thing that constantly baffles me with Rondo is that he was never a dominant player in college. It would make more sense if he was a big man, but it is hard to figure that a coach like Tubby Smith could not get more out of a player with Rondo's talent. He was a McDonald's All-American coming out of high school, so it's not like he was buried on UK's bench either. Plus, the Cats were not exactly Carolina during Rondo's two years on the team.
Michael Wilbon: There are always late bloomers, no matter size, although big men are more often late bloomers. And Rondo only played there for two years. I can't recall off the top of my head who was playing in front of Rondo, but this happens. If kids were only playing two years back in the 1980s you'd have never heard of Mark Jackson until he got to the NBA because he didn't play until late his sophomore year at St. John's. This happens all the time. But when a kid comes out early you say, "Whooooaaa, where the hell was he?" I'd have to go back and check Kentucky's roster and see who Rondo played behind those two years...
Chantilly, Va.: Rondo's game yesterday made me think: has there ever been a "double triple-double" game? That is, 20-20-20?
Michael Wilbon: I'll put this out there for researcher extraordinaire Lisa Brooks in Bristol, who I get to bug constantly during NBA season when working for ESPN and ABC. Perhaps Lis will have mercy on me and research this, though I doubt it's ever happened. I can't imagine it. Who could have done it besides Oscar and Magic. I'd like to know the closest anybody's ever come...We'll get back to this...
Annapolis, Md.: Completely agree with you on Braden but it was kinda cool that his Grandmom was there on the field for a hug on Mother's Day, especially since his Mom could only watch from above. I think his Grandmom shouud have run across the mound though, just for fun.
Michael Wilbon: Oh my goodness, that would have been great!
Don Larsen Might Object: Doing it in the World Series should count for something...
Michael Wilbon: Oooops, of course Don Larsen is the No. 1 perfect game. Of course. No discussion. No. 1 and one of the greatest achievement of all-time...This just in: Wilt 29 points, 36 rebounds, 13 assists against the Celtics in 1967 when his Philly team won it all...and Oscar's best game statistically in the playoffs was 32 points, 19 rebounds, 13 assists...Again, who else could have done this? Magic? Nobody else. Michael Jordan had a 69-point, 20-rebound game but didn't have double-digit assists...and that was regular season...It's so impressive what Rondo did...
Ernie Grunfeld's Desk: Who do I hope falls to me, Wesley Johnson or DeMarcus Cousins? Ford has the Sixers going with safety pick Cole Aldrich, do I take him and settle for the sure thing?
Michael Wilbon: I like Wesley Johnson 100 x more, and I'm completely afraid of Cousins' attitude. Wouldn't want him. I know, he could be Zack Randolph in a couple of years, a guy who averages 20 and 10 in his sleep...but it's risky.
LeBron: What is LBJ's greatest flaw on the court?
Michael Wilbon: Free throw shooting...Only average. Does too much sometimes, but that shouldn't be blamed on him. His coach has to convince him that less is more and a better offense (triangle?) would keep him from killing himself every single night.
St. Louis: Continuing on the 30 for 30 theme: What topic or sporting event would you make into a film?
Michael Wilbon: The death of Bison Dele, aka Brian Williams, who played at Maryland, played in the NBA including a championship stop with the Bulls, and died at sea, mysteriously with his brother, with whom he had a Cain and Able relationship...Actually, that's a movie. I should stop chatting now and get to work on that...Hey, seriously, gotta run and prepare for PTI...See you guys next Monday. Thanks for chatting. MW
LAX: I think there's a distinction to be drawn between men's and women's lacrosse, as with other sports, as well.
To cite one example: all of Geno Auriemma's players graduate (several as Dean's Listers), while the men's side is, um, a little less academically focused.
Michael Wilbon: Yes, at every school in America, not just U-Conn. ... Good observation. thanks for that.
Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.