The Chat House With Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon
Washington Post Sports Columnists
Monday, April 21, 2004; 1:30 pm ET
Welcome back to The Chat House!
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon joined you live to talk sports.
The transcript follows.
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Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Good afternoon everyone. Sorry we are late. We had some computer problems here in the Chat House. --Mary
Washington, D.C.: 2003-2004 Wizards Lineup/Youth Movement:
Starting 5: Lue, Stackhouse, Jeffries, Laettner, Haywood.
Next 5: Dixon, Hughes, Simmons, K.Brown, J.White. What do you think?
Any hope that the Wiz could get an impact player from the draft? I thought I read there were some promising Europeans along with Lebron....
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Why would you pick a starting lineup for a franchise that is going to have somewhere between four to seven new players? I have no idea who is going to start for the Wizards. The lineup could include: Elton Brand or Andre Miller or Corey Maggette. Suppose they finish third in the lottery and can draft Carmelo Anthony or Darko Milicek? It's pointless to speculate on their rooster when it's going to turn over so much. --Mike
Washington, D.C.: Mike and Tony,
I was as disappointed as Leonsis to see a partially filled arena yesterday, but his comments about fan support are misdirected. It's not that the fans don't support the Caps. It's that they don't support the Caps at those prices, on religious holidays, against a team with which they have no history or rivalry, in a series that that had all the hallmarks of an impending Caps collapse, with overpaid talent that has not produced all season.
There's a reason the Caps make season ticket holders put down a non-refundable deposit for renewal next year before the playoffs begin.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Then don't play on religious holidays. Easter Sunday is not a day I would be taking my kids to a game. In fact, I didn't go to the game because it was Easter Sunday. I had family obligations that were more important than a first round hockey game. I presume a lot of people felt the way I did. Now I agree that it's such a choking team year after year that a lot of people don't want to emotionally invest in it. And that has something to do with the attendance.... but, there's a lot of complex issues here. And I agree with Ted when he is critical of the available dates and thrown away by Abe. --Mike
Arlington, Va.: If Roy Williams going to UNC to justified or explained by his being an alum and NC native, having been an assistant, and staying 15 years at Kansas with much success -- even turing UNC down once, then what of Bill Self leaving Illinois? Self stayed only three years and doesn't have the connections to KU that Williams had to UNC (being an assistant for one year hardly matches), thereby certainly harming the Illini program as the kids from NJ and Dallas will now go elsewhere? Self abandons three returning kids who started as freshmen. Will the non-big six programs always be prevented from attaining that level if a good coach always leaves? (Kinda like NU football?)
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Let's get this straight: a coach doesn't need to justify it to you to take another job. You don't need to justify it to Bill Self if you leave your job to better your career or move to a new career. If I had gone to the Chicago Tribune four years ago, I would not have consulted with you or Bill Self. This just in: people change jobs. They change careers. Professors go from Indiana U to the University of Michigan. Roy Williams gave everything he had for 15 years to Kansas University. If he had decided to go and coach at DeVry Institute of Technology for 10 percent of what he made at Kansas, then good for him. --Mike
Bethesda, Md.: As a D.C. kid, and a student at Syracuse University, I've witnessed Carmelo Anthony play about 30 times. Is there any question about him leaving for the NBA this year? There can't be anything left to prove can there? As much as I'd love to see him stay, I believe the money is too much to pass up. This isn't just another case of a young kid leaving before his time. This kid is ready.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Mike, Carmelo is going to the NBA next year. Period. I can't see anyway around it and speaking from a financial standpoint only, because he's coming off the crowning achievement in college basketball, it would be a bad decision to return to school. And I'm a stay in school advocate 90 percent of the time. And, he's in that same boat with Magic and Isiah Thomas who led their schools to championships at sophomores. --Mike
Baltimore, Md.: Guys,
On "PTI" last week you guys said that the Wizards should not retire MJ's jersey because he was a rent a player. Then in your columns you talked about how the Wiz didn't do enough. What gives?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I didn't say that they should retire his jersey because he was a rent a player. --Mike
I said that. You bet. --Tony
I thought and think his jersey should be hoisted. SERIOUSLY, who is going to wear 23 on the Wizards now? Just because we sit on the same set and share the same Chat House doesn't mean we have the same opinions. Not only that but Abe Pollin should have spoken to the crowd and have MJ speak to the crowd as happened in Miami and Philly. As wonderful as Pollin's gift to the 18 D.C. high schools is, it doesn't pay any tribute to Jordan's being here as a basketball player. There is no connection. Nothing personal about it. It didn't speak to the way Abe felt or feel about Jordan playing here and selling out the building for two years, even though I know Abe loves what happened during the two regular season financially and in terms of the increased visibility of the franchise. --Mike
Dunkirk, Md.: Your response to Arlington, Va., regarding Bill Self was unnecessarily acidic. Sure, coaches can change jobs. But when a guy like Self signs a five-year extension at Illinois, signaling to his players and recruits that he's going to be around for awhile, and then takes off as soon as a greener offer gets tossed his way, he can't avoid a certain degree of criticism.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: And people who are naive enough to think that a contract in sports is binding, like it is a tablet brought down from the mountain, are going to get a response from me that's acidic. What about when kids transfer or leave early to go the NBA? What does a coach do then? These aren't marriages. These kids understand what they getting into when they go to the schools and that coaches change jobs all the time and for all you know and for all I know, Self had a "out" clause in his contract that allowed him to go to certain schools and Kansas may have been one of them. Ben Howland at Pitt apparently had such a clause that would allow him to go to UCLA. Coaches aren't priests or nuns. A contract isn't a vow tying them to the school for their natural lifetime. They can be fired at a moment's notice and they damn better look out for themselves. --Mike
Clinton, Md.: Mike and Tony
It's too bad about the Capitals. It's too bad about the Wizards. It's too bad about the Redskins. It's too bad about D.C. United. It's too bad about the Washington Freedom.
What has this town come to? A city of losers? When will the great Sports Gods shine down on Washington again? Now I know what it feels like to live in Cincinnati.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: D.C. United won three championships. What are you talking about? The Freedom is 3-0 if I'm not mistaken. How much better would you like their record to be? The Redskins aren't owed anything by the sports gods. They've been in four Super Bowls since 1982 and won three of them. How many Super Bowls do you think the Seattle Seahawks or Minnesota Vikings have been in since then? The Wizards and Caps are dreadful on some level. But the Redskins have more titles than everybody except the Steelers, 49'ers and Cowboys. And you think that's the same as the Bengals? Dude, you better get a life. I guess Maryland didn't do well enough for you in basketball the last two years either, huh? --Mike
Washington, D.C.: I want to apologize to Ted Leonsis for spending time with my family on Easter Sunday and not going to see his Choking Dog of a team die a slow death yesterday. I understand he was heartbroken yet again. Well, Mr. Leonsis join the club. Do you think the Caps are more upset that they lost the series or it isn't exactly great golf weather here in D.C. yet?
Also, just a note to Jerry Stackhouse: You're right, things will be different next year. I hope you are very "relaxed" next year playing in front of 10,000 fans, most of whom will be booing you because you shoot 6 for 26, will lead your team to a 9-20 record by January and are not the greatest basketball player ever. You, Brendan Haywood and Larry Hughes are a LA Clippers trade away from being irrelevant.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Just posting some comments sent in. --The Chat House
Reston, Va.: Clinton, Md., is an idiot. The Freedom played in the championship game last year, and are 3-0 so far this year.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Thanks Reston. --The Chat House
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Hey folks, Mike had to bolt to do an interview. Tony is here and I'm hoping he'll jump in for a little bit shortly. So sit tight. Thanks. --Mary
Sterling, Va.: A brief note to Tony that "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" is coming out tomorrow on DVD, and well worth picking up.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Thanks. --Tony
Washington, D.C.: Kudos to the person who gave Jerry Stackhouse along with the rest of the "LIZARDS" a reality check. They were a bunch of babies who instead of showing people what they were capable of preferred to whine instead about how stunted their growth was. Perhaps it was but as professional basketball players no on should have the power to hold back talent for 82 games. Not even Michael Jordan.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Another comment. --The Chat House
Columbia, Md.: Tony, does the Post pay you extra for doing the Chat House? You've gotta be laughing all the way to the bank at how easy you make money.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: No, they don't pay me extra. I do it for free. I always have. I consider it part of my Post job. --Tony
Silver Spring, Md.: I understand the sour grapes from Ted Leonsis -- I would want my playoff games sold out too, but this isn't a case of say, the Atlanta Braves who WIN lots of playoff games and still don't fill the seats. Non-hockey fans will not come out for a team that plays like [Tony's catch phrase deleted] in the playoffs year after year.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Another Caps comment. --The Chat House
Washington, D.C.: Tony, I know you buried it in 1998, but you have to bring it out one more time:
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: I'm going to write this tonight for tomorrow's paper. There is no question the franchise is filled through and through with choking dogs, but I'm not sure this choke is even in the top 5. They were not within one game of winning. So, it's sort of a run of the mill choke for them. --Tony
Annandale, Va.: Is Ted Leonsis now blaming the fans for the Caps latest choke job? Why should the fans shell out their hard earned cash when they expect the team to blow it? There were only a few players that showed up night in, night out. If the team won't show up, why should the fans?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Leonsis runs his yap all the time about making this team into the Atlanta Braves of the NHL through the Internet. But the net strategy hasn't worked. People don't come because there aren't a lot of hockey fans here. Leonsis spent a lot of money on Jagr who was a total dud and he has wonderful promotions for the team, but none of this overcomes the fact that the team underperforms more often than not. If I were Leonsis, I'd complain too because he's losing $$ hand over fist. No one told him to buy the team, he did that on his own to get the Bullets. ---Tony
Columbia, Md.: Tony, this is for you since you love Larry Brown as much as Wilbon loves MJ.
Why do you think Brown the GM has had such a hard time getting any offensive players for Brown the Coach? Up until he got Van Horn, Iverson had no help. Every year we hear how Brown has done such a good job with little to work with -- well he's the GM, so it's responsibility. He's gotten rid of Stackhouse, Hughes, Thomas, etc., and he always just gets some Tyrone Hill type of player in return.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Brown is not the GM. Billy King is the GM. They have constructed a team around Allen Iverson so there is no sense in bringing other big scorers in because Iverson wants to shoot it 35 times a game. The way Brown has built the 76ers is the only way you can build a team around Iverson. And the success is dramatic. They went to the finals of the NBA two years ago. You need role players around Iverson, but that's just a fact of the matter. --Tony
Herndon, Va.: Mr. Tony and Mr. Mike: What do you think about today's Post story on coaches' responsibility for their players' grades? I couldn't believe the father whose child had cut an algebra course enough to be booted off the team -- and blamed the coach. How much can the coach be expected to do?
washingtonpost.com: Making the Grade, (Post, April 21)
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Everybody blames everyone else all the time for everything. It's idiotic. Everybody thinks their kid is going to the pros all the time. It's idiotic. That's why I blame myself. --Tony
Laurel, Md.: Tony,
Did you see Hank Stuever's article today about "24" and stupid Kim?
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Yeah, it's about time that others picked up on the recurring theme of how STUPID this girl is. Most people don't get kidnapped once a day. This dope gets kidnapped three and four times a day. Virtually everyone she meets kidnaps her. The best shows are when she's not on it. I prayed the mountain lion would eat her. Sadly, it did not happen. She is a plague. --Tony
Logan Circle, Washington, D.C.: How about Leonsis directs some of that disappointment at the lobbyists and corporations that buy up the entire Club Level and then not only don't bother to go, but don't bother to give the tickets to people that will go. I went to the game last Tuesday and the place looked packed... EXCEPT for the middle level. It couldn't have been 1/10 full.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: Another comment. --The Chat House
Southwest Washington, D.C.: Tony, below are quoted excerpts from a 1993 interview with French composer Pierre Boulez, which appeared in The Paris New Music Review. Notice the many striking similarities across the two Boulez's. Any comments?
"I cannot solve the problems of a generation which is forty years younger than me, certainly not."
"I say always, every period is difficult. There is no easy period."
"We tend to relate value and style, especially when looking at the past. When you are in the present, that is not always the case, because some works that don't have an immense value nevertheless may have a kind of stylistic impulse which is necessary for this period."
"It was clumsy and unreliable. I cannot explain the frustration we had."
"It has to do with the audience: when the audience is confident that you can conduct all the pieces, they will follow you more; because they are confident that what you do is not simply absurd."
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon: On these notes... I must go. --Tony
Have a good week chatters. We'll see you next Monday. We'll try to go extra long to make up for being late today. --Mary
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