Are my readers thinking again? This is getting harder for me. Probably Jordan, though that is a tough one. It's difficult for Woods because he has so many players to play against in an individual sport. It may have been more difficult for Jordan--as it is for Kobe at times--because of the lack of perfection of so many around him. It's difficult for me to compare a team sport to an individual sport (game?), though they were the most revered sports figures of their eras and turned on the most TVs. It did take Jordan longer, but when he retired and was coming back there never was anything like that and then that 72-win season. If Tiger gets the one season grand slam, perhaps he moves ahead.
Do you think if MJ is on the fence between Noah and Green, he would take Noah to keep him from the Bulls. Just a little gamesmanship with Paxson and Reinsdorf. --Ron Artz, Waynesboro, Va.
Michael's relationship is good with the Bulls now. He actually helped them last draft in the deal that eventually got them Khryapa as well as Thomas since by Jordan not letting it be known he'd take Morrison, Portland couldn't be sure and had to get ahead of him and give up something for No. 2. The Bulls would have taken Thomas No. 2 anyway, and it's too bad Skiles didn't like Khryapa because I felt it was a good deal and a clever way to get a player. I thought Michael helped facilitate it and see him as an ally, as much as he can be in his position, of the franchise.
Kobe not to the Bulls, but to the Blazers for the No. 1 pick (Oden) and perhaps some other players (Randolph, Jack, Rodriguez?). The Blazers get Kobe, and the young nucleus they have now with Roy and Aldridge. The Lakers get somebody who could be a superstar in the league and perhaps Jarrett Jack or Sergio Rodriguez to run point or Randolph to complement Bynum. And Paul Allen has the dough to make such a thing work. --Andrew PDX, Porltand, Ore.
A. I think that's the one deal the Lakers might make, but no one has ever given up a potential superstar center with the first pick in the draft. And no one is this season. And Kobe closer to Nike headquarters to get more free sneakers faster?
After listening to all the trade rumors over the past few weeks, I'm curious as to why Kirk Hinrich's name hasn't really been mentioned. I know he's the kind of guy that both Skiles and Paxon love, but he too is undersized, and unlike Gordon who even on bad nights seems to put up 15 or 20, Hinrich can really disappear from games. I also think he would be valued more by other teams than Gordon, and would bring more in return. -- Rob Beckwith, Athens, Ga.
A. His name has come up in Kobe connections as the Lakers like Kirk. The point for the Bulls is they're not about to deal Kirk unless they have another point guard, which Gordon isn't. It's unlikely they could draft Mike Conley at No. 9, and it's difficult to get a point guard. I expect Deng and Hinrich to be with the Bulls next season under any circumstance.
I don't write to entertain you with the usual trade proposals like getting Kobe Bryant for Chris Duhon, Martynas Andriuskevicius and thousands of photos of thankful Chicago fans. It will take them the entire franchise, not just the entire roster, to move to Los Angeles for Kobe to play for Chicago. He'll have no choice but to play for the Chicago Sky. I write to ask you this: Why Gasol Jr. is not considered as a possible Bulls player? Isn't his skill level and frame similar to those of his big brother? Looks like every big man Bulls tried out will be taken before they get to choose, so why not the Spanish giant? -- Val Lykholap, Odessa, Ukraine
Are you really the Ukrainian Seinfeld? I think he is, though the Bulls wouldn't want him at nine and would need to trade down some. He doesn't last until their later picks in the second, but I'm hearing he's in better shape and could move up in the draft.
So is the James era you declared open on June 2, now officially over? --Donovan Fechner, Lisle, Ill.
A. Yes, that was fast. Fun for one night, though, wasn't it?
It's early, but I'd lay a few dollars on a Dan Marino career rather than a Michael Jordan career for LeBron. --Mick, San Francisco
Hey, Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been carrying him for four years. Isn't that obvious?
I got a source that Kobe was with his wife here in Orange County a few days ago shopping. Few fans came up to get his autograph, which he nicely stopped and signed. One guy told him, "Kobe please don't leave. we want you to stay a Lakers for life." Kobe then responded with, "You must be joking, man, you must be joking. There's no way. We're moving to Chicago." That source is from a friend of mine who works at that place and is one of the BIGGEST Lakers fan I know. What do you think that means? Do you hear anything going on there in Chicago? --Ancel, Santa Ana, Calif.
There's a thing floating around on the internet of a fan who claims to have a cell phone video and audio of Kobe trashing his team and is trying to sell it to a media organization. What, that's news? You should have heard Jordan in the locker room. Or Bird trying to get McHale to work hard. It happens all the time. Kobe has made it clear he's not happy with his team. How many more times do we need to hear it? But your friend has it wrong. Kobe is a huge fan of the old Chicago Transit Authority band, which later became Chicago. He always says, "We're grooving to Chicago."
This will be the last Ask Sam of the season. For those of you on hold, hang in there and I'll get to you in October.