FanPost

An Interview With The Smartest Person At ESPN

[Editor's Note: It's not often that one of PtR's own gets an opportunity* like this, so I felt it necessary to move this to the front page. Enjoy. -jrw]

Hello, Pounders! I am pleased to bring this interview to you. The Spurs are surging as the season is winding itself up, and I thought it would be a real treat to let all of you hear from one of the most consistent and ardent pro-Spurs voices on ESPN.

***

SRJ: Now, I want to talk Spurs, but first I must say ... you got my attention about a month or so ago when ESPN was discussing a road loss by the Miami Heat, against the Utah Jazz, Jon Barry, Mike Wilbon and Magic Johnson were discussing the final play where LeBron James drew a double team and found a wide-open Udonis Haslem at the top of the key for the game-winner, but he missed. Now, Wilbon and Barry were unequivocal that LeBron should be the one to shoot that shot come what may, and Magic Johnson was almost embarrassed to admit that LeBron made the right play, saying "It was the right basketball play", suggesting with that emphasis that basketball wasn't the best rationale for turning down a low-percentage shot in favor of a wide-open look by a teammate. But you were the only one on that set that day strongly supporting LeBron's choice, and that just took me aback. Can you reiterate what you said that day?

Nobody:

Certainly. On the road, you want the best shot you can get, and a double-covered LeBron can't be a better option than a wide-open Haslem. That was a shot Haslem can make, and you certainly don't want to put a player out on the floor who isn't ready and capable of making that shot. It reminded me of Matt Bonner's first season as a Spur when the Spurs were in Minnesota. He wasn't playing much yet, but he was actually on the floor for the final play and he missed a game winning three. I suppose my ESPN colleagues thought Tim Duncan should have taken that three?

SRJ34:

Well, he did make that one back in '08...

Nobody:

True. But [Spurs head coach Gregg] Popovich knew that Bonner could really shoot, and he wasn't worried about the reputations of his stars. And Popovich trusted a 27-year old rookie [Gary Neal] to extend the 2011 season, and he delivered. If you've got teammates and they're on the floor with you, you have to trust them to do what they're capable of. LeBron did that night, and it was absolutely the right play.

SRJ34:

That's the way I saw it. Anyway, preparing for this interview, I noted that the Spurs are an eyelash away from the overall #1 seed right now. Unlike your ESPN colleagues, you predicted that the Spurs would win the Western Conference -

Nobody:

I did.

WEST CHAMPION

OKC Thunder

Marc Stein
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

J.A. Adande
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

John Hollinger
ESPN.com
LA Clippers

Chris Broussard
ESPN The Mag
OKC Thunder

Chad Ford
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

Chris Palmer
ESPN The Mag
OKC Thunder

Michael Wallace
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

Brian Windhorst
ESPN.com
Dallas Mavericks

Jalen Rose
ESPN
OKC Thunder

Larry Coon
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

Henry Abbott
TrueHoop
OKC Thunder

Kevin Arnovitz
TrueHoop
OKC Thunder

Scoop Jackson
ESPN.com P2
OKC Thunder

Justin Verrier
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

David Thorpe
Scouts Inc.
OKC Thunder

Maurice Brooks
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

Keith Lipscomb
ESPN Fantasy
OKC Thunder

Chris Ramsay
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

Tim MacMahon
ESPN Dallas
OKC Thunder

D. McMenamin
ESPN LA
OKC Thunder

Tom Haberstroh
ESPN.com
LA Lakers

Zach Harper
Daily Dime Live
OKC Thunder

R. Shelburne
ESPN LA
OKC Thunder

Chris Forsberg
ESPN Boston
LA Lakers

Nick Friedell
ESPN Chicago
OKC Thunder

Jon Barry
ESPN
OKC Thunder

Tim Legler
ESPN
OKC Thunder

Jeff Caplan
ESPN Dallas
OKC Thunder

A. Kamenetzky
ESPN LA
OKC Thunder

B. Kamenetzky
ESPN LA
Results: Oklahoma City Thunder (26 votes), Los Angeles Lakers (2 votes), Dallas Mavericks (1 vote), Los Angeles Clippers (1 vote).

SRJ34:

- and you also predicted that the Spurs would win the NBA title?

Nobody:

Yes.

NBA CHAMPION

Miami Heat

Marc Stein
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

J.A. Adande
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

John Hollinger
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

Chris Broussard
ESPN The Mag
Miami Heat

Chad Ford
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

Chris Palmer
ESPN The Mag
Miami Heat

Michael Wallace
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

Brian Windhorst
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

Jalen Rose
ESPN
Chicago Bulls

Larry Coon
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

Henry Abbott
TrueHoop
Miami Heat

Kevin Arnovitz
TrueHoop
Miami Heat

Scoop Jackson
ESPN.com P2
Miami Heat

Justin Verrier
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

David Thorpe
Scouts Inc.
Miami Heat

Maurice Brooks
ESPN.com
Miami Heat

Keith Lipscomb
ESPN Fantasy
Miami Heat

Chris Ramsay
ESPN.com
OKC Thunder

Tim MacMahon
ESPN Dallas
Miami Heat

D. McMenamin
ESPN LA
Miami Heat

Tom Haberstroh
ESPN.com
Chicago Bulls

Zach Harper
Daily Dime Live
Miami Heat

R. Shelburne
ESPN LA
Miami Heat

Chris Forsberg
ESPN Boston
Miami Heat

Nick Friedell
ESPN Chicago
Chicago Bulls

Jon Barry
ESPN
OKC Thunder

Tim Legler
ESPN
Miami Heat

Jeff Caplan
ESPN Dallas
Miami Heat

A. Kamenetzky
ESPN LA
Miami Heat

B. Kamenetzky
ESPN LA
Results: Miami Heat (25), Chicago Bulls (3), Oklahoma City Thunder (2).

SRJ34:

What I find interesting about that ... members of the media have drawn parallels between the New England Patriots and the San Antonio Spurs over the years, but analysts at ESPN were rather enthused about the Patriots' chances in 2011.

Nobody:

Oh, I wasn't the only one over there on the Patriots' bandwagon.

SRJ34:

Can you explain why your colleagues didn't have a problem with the Patriots, but seemed allergic to picking the Spurs?

Nobody:

On the whole, my colleagues do fine work. I think it's best that I make my case on the air, in the studio, every Sunday. And I always do.

SRJ34:

True. You know, most analysts are kind of skeptical about the Spurs because of their age. And what I'm getting at is, Tim Duncan is 35. Manu Ginobili is 34. Tony Parker is 29 with ten seasons behind him. But in 1998, Michael Jordan was 36, Scottie Pippen was 33, Dennis Rodman was 35, and back then you were saying that the Bulls' age was a big problem.

Nobody:

It seems I'm always at odds with my fellow analysts. These days, I don't believe that the Spurs' age is a big problem, and just as it was in 1998, my colleagues disagree.

SRJ34:

Do you think perhaps people don't take your predictions seriously because of your bias?

Nobody:

Excuse me??

SRJ34:

Let's not pretend you aren't a huge New Jersey Nets fan...

2012 Attendance Home Road Overall
RK TEAM GMS TOTAL AVG PCT GMS AVG PCT GMS AVG PCT
1 Bulls 28 618,365 22,084 105.6 28 18,001 94.0 56 20,042 100.0
2 Trail Blazers 29 594,546 20,501 102.6 27 17,188 90.4 56 18,904 96.9
3 Mavericks 30 609,754 20,325 105.9 26 17,395 91.9 56 18,964 99.4
4 Heat 26 519,095 19,965 101.9 28 19,305 99.3 54 19,622 100.6
5 NY Knicks 28 553,364 19,763 100.0 27 18,427 95.8 55 19,107 98.0
6 Jazz 28 538,805 19,243 96.6 28 16,705 88.2 56 17,974 92.5
7 Clippers 29 557,541 19,225 100.9 26 18,616 98.0 55 18,937 99.5
8 Lakers 29 550,913 18,997 99.7 27 19,282 100.6 56 19,134 100.1
9 Warriors 27 512,700 18,988 96.9 27 16,040 84.5 54 17,514 90.8
10 Magic 29 547,745 18,887 102.1 26 16,935 87.6 55 17,964 95.1
11 Celtics 28 521,472 18,624 100.0 26 18,444 94.7 54 18,537 97.4
12 Spurs 26 477,028 18,347 98.7 27 16,706 88.3 53 17,511 93.4
13 Thunder 28 509,684 18,203 100.0 27 18,189 95.9 55 18,196 98.0
14 Timberwolves 27 476,950 17,664 91.3 29 16,641 88.5 56 17,134 89.9
15 76ers 30 519,684 17,322 85.3 24 16,838 87.1 54 17,107 86.1
16 Nuggets 28 476,285 17,010 88.8 27 17,248 91.1 55 17,127 89.9
17 Raptors 29 487,837 16,821 85.0 27 17,083 87.9 56 16,948 86.4
18 Wizards 28 468,450 16,730 82.9 28 16,062 83.7 56 16,396 83.3
19 Cavaliers 27 429,276 15,899 77.3 26 16,989 88.1 53 16,433 82.4
20 Suns 27 418,593 15,503 84.2 28 17,799 94.4 55 16,672 89.4
21 Bobcats 24 370,104 15,421 80.8 29 16,412 85.1 53 15,963 83.2
22 Grizzlies 25 385,359 15,414 85.1 29 17,206 90.3 54 16,376 88.0
23 Rockets 28 422,472 15,088 83.6 27 17,584 92.1 55 16,313 87.9
24 Hawks 27 406,166 15,043 80.3 29 16,789 86.8 56 15,947 83.7
25 Hornets 27 398,706 14,766 86.4 28 16,894 88.6 55 15,849 87.6
26 Bucks 26 382,665 14,717 78.6 29 16,874 86.7 55 15,854 83.0
27 Pistons 27 389,138 14,412 65.3 28 16,482 85.7 55 15,466 75.0
28 Kings 28 399,336 14,262 82.4 27 16,813 86.7 55 15,514 84.6
29 Pacers 25 352,544 14,101 77.6 30 16,642 86.4 55 15,487 82.5
30 Nets 27 359,158 13,302 71.9 30 17,013 87.6 57 15,255 80.4

Nobody:

(rips out lapel microphone, slaps SRJ) That's it. I don't have to take this from you! THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER!!

*This is a work of fiction

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