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The Chat House
Tony Kornheiser Mike Wilbon
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With Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon
Washington Post Sports Columnists

Monday, March 3, 2003; 1:30 pm ET

It's time for another edition of The Chat House!

Tony and Mike are here to talk about all things sports related. For example? The Caps, college hoops or anything else that strikes you fancy. So, come on into The Chat House.

The transcript of the discussion follows.

Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.

To read the most recent responses, click "Get New Responses"
or select "Automatically Update Page."

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Good afternoon everyone. We are here... well kind of. I haven't seen hide nor hair of Wilbon or TK. So give me a sec to track 'em down. Thanks. --Mary

Maryland and ACC: Did you see last night's Maryland game? Do you think NC State played their way into the NCAAs. Surely the ACC gets four teams in!

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Who won the game? Maryland won the game. And you're asking me if NC State played its way in by losing at home? No. NC State moves that much closer to being out of the tournament. Maryland went into that game with a record of 18-7, so NC State had to win that game at home. That loss might have been crippling for NC State. Right now, I only see three teams from the ACC getting in: Maryland, Duke and Wake. NC State is going to have to win both remaining games this week in the regular season AND perhaps as many as two games in the ACC tournament. Oh, and hi. --Mike

New York, N.Y.: Juan Dixon kind of blew it last night as compared to his game against the Bulls.

Tyronn Lue (who shows great hustle particularly on D) is pretty stinkeroo and seems to cause critical mistakes. Can Dixon step up his game, or will he succumb to frustration?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: You're treating this like it's an NFL season. A basketball season has much more nuance than that and Dixon is a rookie. And even really good rookies go for 27 one night and 2 the next night. That's the nature of being a rookie. The impressive thing is that he could get 27 in a home game that the Wizards had to win. Did you expect him to put up 20 last night against a Pat Riley coached defense? I knew he wouldn't get 20 last night. Now, the Wizards go back to Miami in a couple of weeks and Juan is a tough, smart, adaptable kid with a great learning curve and he may get 15 or 18 when they go back to Miami, but the kid has only started two or three games and he missed a bunch with his injury. So, he's 26, 27 games into his NBA career. So, don't go asking him to "step up." --Mike

McLean, Va.: Why does every other Post chat start on time except yours?

washingtonpost.com: TUNE IN AFTER THE FACT AND READ THE TRANSCRIPT. -- The management.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Because I have eight jobs. And I travel. How many other people doing Post chats travel? --Mike

None that I can think of. --Mary

People who sit at their desks 40 hours a week ought to be on time.... and I ought to be on time more frequently, but as long as I travel and fly redeyes and return flights on Mondays, then there are going to be some times when I'm late. I appreciate your indulgence.--Mike

Fairfax, Va.: Any thoughts on the recent Redskins signings?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Apparently it's a bonanza! I mean, my goodness. As Tony wrote this morning, it looks great on paper. The Redskins seemed to fill a bunch of holes in one weekend and we haven't even gotten to the draft yet. But, we've seen the Redskins do this before in the off-season, acquire a bunch of pieces, only to find that it doesn't make a puzzle. Too often with the Redskins in the last six years, the pieces have been mismatched, but this is really impressive for off-season work. --Mike

Arlington, Va.: Good afternoon gentlemen,

The Washington Times reported this morning that Brian Mitchell would be interested in returning to the Skins if the Skins were interested in him. Is he a fit for the Skins with their emphasis on speed and youth? What do you guys think?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Brian Mitchell just went to the New York Giants so keep that in mind when you're quoting who is reporting stuff. That's right, I just heard from an NFL player's union official that Mitchell just signed with the Giants. How about that? So, I guess he's not coming back to the Redskins as you might have read earlier. --Mike

Pennsylvania: You all probably don't care, but doesn't the thought of a land-locked country defending the America's Cup make you giggle?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: You're right. I don't care. There are two things I don't care about: The USOC and America's Cup. It's not possible for me to care less about them. --Mike

Topeka, Kan.: What do you think about Tiger's performance over the weekend? Do you think he would beat Els four out of five times?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I don't know what you are saying four out of five times. Majors vs. Player's Championship? I think that Els is to Tiger as Barkley, Ewing, Malone, Stockton, Drexler were to Michael Jordan. I think they are great and they are just going to finish second whenever this guy is healthy. What should frighten all of them is that Tiger is healthier this year than last year when he won two Majors. I mean, would Ernie Els beat Tiger four out of five times probably so? And Els is fabulous. I'm a big fan. I got to play a couple holes with him a few years ago here at his new course in Suburban Maryland and he's a gentleman and a great player. And he is just an inclusive who is trying to grow the game of golf. But no matter much I like him, he's not Tiger. Tiger is Jordan. He's the best. --Mike

Silver Spring, Md.: Yesterday's article on widespread stimulant use in pro baseball painted a pathetic picture of overpaid pro athletes that "need" to use stimulant drugs to get through such a long season. What a joke! I'd take half the salary of some of these guys to go sit in the sun, sign autographs, etc. for seven months! How widespread is this problem?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I have no idea because I don't cover baseball. --Mike

Sit tight folks. Mike is just parking his car. Tony will be by for a bit at the end. --Mary

Herndon, Va.: Mr. Mike: with all due respect shouldn't you care about the USOC? They're the idiots peeing away who knows how much money (some of it from the taxpayers, as I recall) and continuously screwing the athletes who are supposed to be the FOCUS of the USOC!

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Thanks for the comment. --The Chat House

Appreciative Chat House Fan: OK, so the Chat House doesn't start right on time. Are you in some kind of a rush? Does your life revolve around this?

TK and MW don't have to do this and could just as easily stop. Honestly, I wouldn't blame them if they did. Too many chat members give them too much crap for being 20 minutes late. Get a life!

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Yes, apparently some people's lives revolve around The Chat House. Scary huh? --Mary

State College, Pa.: Geez, can we stop with the "Wilbon and Kornheiser are always late" comments? SO WHAT? You got a hot date you can't miss? Shouldn't you be working in the middle of the day ANYWAYS? I know I should be.

Be grateful they're doing this in the first place.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Thanks State College. --The Chat House

Houston, Tex.: My 9-year-old daughter asked me yesterday why football, baseball, and hockey were in a league, while the NBA was an association. I know this sounds trivial, but I had no idea. What's the answer and is there any meaningful difference?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: No, there is no meaningful difference. I mean you could call it the the National Basketball Group and who would care? You have a very curious 9-year-old. She's pondering questions I didn't get to until I was about 18. --Mike

Los Angeles, Calif.: Is their any way for the league to force Donal Sterling to sell the Clippers?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: There should be. That franchise will never be worth a damn until Donald Sterling doesn't own it. He can fire all the coaches he wants, but we know where the problem is... the same place it lies with the Arizona Cardinals and the Bengals, which is to say the owner. --Mike

Washington, D.C.: Do you think Jim Harrick will survive in Georgia? Also, he seems to be under a cloud everywhere he goes, shouldn't the NCAA come down hard on Georgia for hiring a suspected (known) cheat and the letting him cheat?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: No. Jim Harrick will have to leave Georgia. Sooner or later and I'm betting on sooner. And, the kid in question who took all the stuff appears to be a sleaze-ball in training. It seems like he and Harrick deserve each other. --Mike

Fairfax, Va.: Michael or Tony,

Out of all the signings/trades the Redskins have made so far, is there one you really like or dislike?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I'm not going to start judging these moves this early. Taken as a whole, it seems impressive. But, we've been down this path with the Redskins before, haven't we? I'm not going to waste one bit of energy judging it during mini-camp, or training camp or in the pre-season. When they start playing the games for real, it'll be time to evaluate. --Mike

Somewhere, USA: I think we can all agree that it is Toni Smith's right to voice her opinion of the policies of the United States but is the basketball court the proper forum? Personally, I feel she displayed a lot of guts but I wonder if she was prepared for the backlash. Your thoughts?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: What other forum does she have? Not only that, I don't think she was looking for a forum. I think she decided she wasn't going to honor the flag. The largeness of these issues is created by us in the media. People make decisions all the time about what they will or won't do in their lives and they amount to nothing if the decisions or actions are not made public. Something happened this weekend at the University of Virginia and few people know about it yet because it hasn't been widely reported yet.... apparently just in The Washington Post. And maybe this kid did want a forum. I don't know. --Mike

Falls Church, Va.: Do you think Pete Gillen for UVA is on his way out?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: You've got to win a post-season game at some point, either in the conference or the NIT or the NCAA. Virginia has serious basketball aspirations and they are not being realized. I don't know how long Gillen gets, but I know patience is starting to grow short from the Virginia people I talk to. --Mike

Frederick, Md.: Our local Frederick paper this morning devoted more space to the Orioles' spring training game than to the Caps' win. Is there something wrong with my manhood or my patriotism if I don't care about what is happening in baseball training camps right now, when my own grass is still covered in snow?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: No, you and I agree. There is nothing more USELESS than baseball spring training. And, the only people who care about it are baseball zealots who plan those fantasy baseball lunatics, half of whom ought to be thrown in jail. Or, sports editors who are old enough to think that baseball still matters to most Americans every single day, even in July. What they refuse to acknowledge is that baseball doesn't matter to most sports fans in March. It's just silly and the Baltimore media obsession with everything Orioles is so over the top, so overdone and groupie-ish and stalker-like, I just can't stand it. --Mike

Forestville, Md.: So who is the best #2 golfer in the world? I would vote for Els.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I would vote for Els right now, too. He's won three Majors and Phil, as we all know, has none. Duval sidetracked his own career with that stupid snowboarding accident and I guess the young guns like Charles Howell and Sergio and Adam Scott and Aaron Baddeley just aren't ready yet, though they may be later in this season. But yeah, I'm with Ernie for now. He's won in pressure situations. He knows how to hold a lead, he knows how to come back from a deficit and Els is like, what, 33? I want to see what Els does in The Masters. --Mike

Alexandria, Va.: Have you heard anything about whether Mike Sweetney will turn pro after this year?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: No, I haven't. And I know from talking to Coach Craig Esherick that he has told Sweetney to simply table the issue until the season is over. He told Sweetney that back in November, which I think was a smart move. In this day and time, when you have a season as good as Sweetney is having, the climate around college and pro basketball, and in your circle of family and friends, makes it almost impossible to come back for a fourth season. In a league where having a versatile power forward is essential, Sweetney has incredible value. He's started essentially every game for three years. He would have to be one of the first five players chosen. We are having a debate in here right now (at "PTI" headquarters) about guys who would go ahead of him in the draft..and we are having a hard time getting to a second college basketball player. --Mike

I think that TJ Ford is going to go ahead of him in the draft. --Tony

He can't score at all.--Mike

I think Collison is a better big man than Sweetney.--Tony

You are on drugs. I think you are crazy. --Mike

Sweetney is very good, very powerful and sort of mechanical. --Tony

Elkridge, Md.: I'm reading here on ESPN.COM that Alvin Gentry's been axed over in L.A. Was he the one to blame for their woes?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: The owner. No coach can coordinate a team that has seven free agents all playing for contracts. It's Donald Sterling's fault. ENTIRELY, 100 percent. He's nearly as bad an owner as Bill Bidwill.--Mike

Washington, D.C.: Gentlemen,

Since both of you are multi-media stars now, I have a question about popularity. With radio and television there are ratings and those are used to promote or remove talents. How does a newspaper know if a columnist has become less popular? Circulation stays the same regardless of columnist. So how does the management determine when someone has lost that zip?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Newspapers don't do that kind of research. That was a subject of one of my rants at a convention of sports editors last summer. I know it's costly, but newspapers don't do that kind of research and TV does. So, I don't know how they know. Yours is great question. --Mike

Rockville, Md.: Kwame -- is Doug Collins throwing in the towel? Ill-considered pick by the Wizards? Curse of Lez Boulez?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I was on record a year ago saying I would have never chosen him #1. The Wizards never should have taken him #1. Throwing in the towel would mean trading him and they haven't done that yet. But he doesn't practice the way pros have to practice. He doesn't concentrate the way pros have to concentrate. He's not ready to be a pro and this is no slight against him. Many of us knew this and Michael and Doug should have known this. I have a close friend who is a former college basketball coach who has told me for years that 18-year-old boys have enough problems figuring out how to adjust to dorm life, let alone being an adult and playing in a man's league and living life as a grown man. Yeah, you can get lucky, like Phoenix apparently did with Amare Stoudamire.... but he wasn't #1 either. I think he went #11. Kwame may be a fine player in three or four years, but he ain't close to ready now. --Mike

Springfield, Va.: Hi, This weekend we had Georgetown losing again in overtime and Maryland winning on a last second shot. I know that Tony has talked about this before, but what do you think Georgetown will do with Esherick after the season is over? Not only that, I think the big east made a big mistake by adding all those teams and splitting the conference in two. We lost all those rivalries that made the conference great.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: To... Steve Chandler who sent Tony the CD c/o me. He says thanks and he'll listen to it. --Mary

I can't imagine that they'd give Esherick an extension before the season is over. Georgetown loses every close game and loses them heartbreakingly at the end or in OT. GU plays very well against the best teams on its schedule and loses every one at the end-- often after holding big leads like they did against Syracuse. How do you commit extra years to Craig Esherick right now? --Tony

Los Angeles, Calif.: Will Anna K. ever win one, or is she all style and blond hair?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: You're years late on this one. YEARS. This question has been out there for years. She's not a tennis player. --Tony

San Jose, Calif.: It seems to me that the entire Toni Smith controversy has been blown out of proportion. The main lesson to be learned, I think, is that people are free to protest however they want (protest marches, turning away from the flag, burning the flag, etc.), but to promote your cause it's more beneficial to express yourself in a positive way, rather than act in a manner that is divisive and insulting to others. Do you thing this young woman should be considered a "hero" as some others have written, or perhaps more aptly, "young and naive"?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I don't think she's a hero, but she has the right to exercise this form of protest even in a public arena. Of course, the coach has a right to throw her off the team if he or she wants to. I don't think she's necessarily naive. If I say that, then I have to say that all the Vietnam war protestors were naive. I think she has a political point to make and she's savvy enough to do it when the cameras are rolling. --Tony

Just curious: Guys, on "PTI" the other day you both said that you really like Chris Webber. What is there that you like? Hasn't he cheated and/or choked at every opportunity since the Fab Five? Is it his personality, or what?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: We like him because he talks well and smiles great. And he's always willing to chat. Clearly, he has had troubles on and off the court. And now faces a jail term if convicted of lying to a grand jury. I like him because he gives me something to write about, but I also recognize that he's lied in his public statements many times. I suspect that lots of people who have been hurt by him along the way don't share my disposition to look kindly at him. --Tony

Mindless, Va.: So, is the NBA MVP: Duncan, Kidd, McGrady, Bryant or Garnett?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Garnett. --Tony

That's it? --Mary

That's it. --Tony

Ashburn, Va.: At the risk of getting an "I don't know or care" answer, what do you think of Ray Hudson's almost complete roll over of the D.C. United roster?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I haven't followed soccer as closely as you have. I met Hudson a couple of times. I found him totally charming. But you read our work. You know we don't know JACK about D.C. United. I won't tell you "I don't care," but you know that I have nothing intelligent to say about your question, so I hope you're happy that at least we posted it and put your name out there. --Tony

Somewhere, USA: Um, given the shortness of this chat, how about a moratorium on the "why are they late" questions, as well as the "we're not worthy to even breathe the same air as Princes TK and Wilbon."

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I'm not late. I'm never late. --Tony

It's true. He's always here. --Mary

You're worthy to breathe the same air I breathe. I have no airs here. We do this chat while we are preparing for our TV show. I would happily do this chat for a full hour on my own at 6 p.m. after the TV show, but nobody at The Post wants it that way. --Tony

Arlington, Va.: Tony -- excellent column in today's paper. I've been thinking exactly what you've been thinking in terms of the draft. Everyone knows The Danny likes to make splashy moves. Last year he wasn't content to draft Andre Gurode (the consensus "safe" pick). This year I just can't see him "settling" for a DT. What do you think it will take for The Danny to move up high enough to get either one of the top two WRs? And don't say Fred Smoot. Letting him go would severely weaken the secondary.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Fred Smoot is 60 percent talk and 40 percent walk. If you could trade him for Charles Rogers and you didn't do it, you'd been an idiot. I have no idea what "The Danny" will offer, but he's got to get Spurrier a fast wide receiver. The one thing we all learned from last year is that speed is what Spurrier's offense needs most. --Tony

Somewhere, USA: Hey Mary --

Any chance you can get a Washington Capital to do a chat?


washingtonpost.com: We've had:
Ted Leonsis
Bruce Cassidy
George McPhee
Segei Gonchar
Peter Bondra
Leonsis (second appearance)
Leonsis (first appearance)

among others.

All in the live online sports archives and the special events transcripts. Got suggestions? Send 'em in.

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: We have already thanks to the talented Live Online staff! Check it out. --Mary

McLean, Va.: Hi Tony and Mike. Love your writing, reporting, talking-head stuff. I'm happy for your success.

Re: Silver Spring’s comment about stimulant use in baseball.

Sitting in the sun and signing autographs isn’t the hard part about baseball. Playing 162 games is. Many professional athletes play every day with the kind of pain that would keep regular people laid up for days. Is anyone surprised that an athlete would take something to get him going for his 100th game of the season when his back is messed up, the fans are yelling at him because he’s in a slump and he just can’t get that fired up about playing the Brewers?

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Another comment on baseball and stimulants. Thanks McLean for writing in. We have to go. See you next week... We'll start around 1:30ish. Have a good one. --Mary


That wraps up today's show. Thanks to everyone who joined the discussion.

© Copyright 2003 The Washington Post Company