The Lakers are trying to trade guard Sasha Vujacic along with a future first-round pick in order to get his salary off the books, according to sources.
Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers forward Lamar Odom is putting his differences with Matt Barnes in the past. Barnes will officially be introduced as a member of the Lakers on Tuesday.
"He's a teammate now," Odom said while in Las Vegas for USA Basketball training camp on Saturday. "That was an on-the-court issue and he has a Lakers jersey on now, so it will be no big thing."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They'll be fine.
Last year, Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom clashed when the Orlando Magic battled the Los Angeles Lakers during a regular season game in early March.
After the game, Odom told reporters Barnes behaved like 'an action figure' and 'monkey'. Barnes woke the next morning, read Odom's comments, and declared viral jihad on Mr. Khloe kardashian via twitter.
"Morning yall up early w/ the babies watchn Dora. Seems Lamar can't keep my name out his mouth maby I need 2 put my sons [expletive] diaper n it [sic]."
Of course, Barnes' intensity was a big reason the two-time defending champion Lakers signed him this summer. He'll defend. He'll hit the three. And he'll hold others accountable.
Like former Laker foe Ron Artest, he'll click with the guys. Chances are, him and Odom will get along.
-- Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Matt Barnes, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy terms of the contract were not released.
Barnes, a seven-year NBA veteran, appeared in 81 games (58 starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 8.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 25.9 minutes while posting five double-doubles and leading the Magic in scoring six times, in rebounds on four occasions and in assists twice.
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: If you want to join the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, challenge them.
Two years ago, Ron Artest - then the star of the Houston Rockets – sparred with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a classic Western Conference Semi-Final.
The Lakers prevailed in the series; however, Artest was the real winner, catching the eye of his foe and becoming a friend the following off-season when he inked a free agent pact with the purple-and-gold.
This year, Ron-Ron played a major role in the Lakers capturing their second consecutive NBA Title, and became a star with shout-outs to Queensbridge and his psychiatrist.
Flashback to the 2010 regular season, and Matt Barnes was a thorn in the Lakers` side. He battled. He defended. He talked smacked -declaring viral jihad against Lamar Odom, telling the forward on twitter he was going to put his child’s diaper in his mouth.
Naturally, Barnes signed with the Lakers this summer. Frankly, he’s perfect. The tough guy defends, hits the three, and, because he took a reduced salary, will keep the Lakers motivated in their quest for a third consecutive championship.
So Barnes got what he wanted. The defending champions got better. Sounds like the start of a beautiful friendship, which could end with a championship in June of 2011.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
According to a source with knowledge of his plan, Chris Paul has requested that the Hornets trade him to the Knicks, Magic or Lakers before the season begins.
"He wants out," the source told Ken Berger of CBS Sports. "He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron's model of teaming up with other great players."
Since losing Tony Allen to the Grizzlies, the Celtics have warmed to the idea of signing Matt Barnes, according to an NBA source.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Losing Tony Allen may be a positive for the Boston Celtics.
While Allen's defensive game improved during the playoffs and in the NBA Finals, he had limits on offense. Defenders would slough off the athletic swing and dare him to fire away from the perimeter.
Matt Barnes is Allen's equal as a lockdown defender, but also stretches defense with his three-point range and intimidates. For instance, Barnes averaged 9 points per game last year with Orlando, mostly on a steady diet of outside shots.
However, the Mohawk's greatest asset is his intensity. In 2007, he was an integral part of the Golden State Warriors improbable upset of the Dallas Mavericks. And last season he declared viral jihad via twitter against the Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom.
Barnes is reportedly announcing where he'll sign today. The mighty green-and-white is hoping he'll pick Boston and provide an upgrade on Allen.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
With Raja Bell choosing to sign with the Utah Jazz, guard Shannon Brown has moved closer to re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agent told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday night.
Lakers general manager “Mitch [Kupchak] and I have been talking and we’re getting there on something,” said Brown’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. Brown, 24, played 82 games for the Lakers, and averaged a career-high 8.1 points and 20 minutes last season.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He wasn't their first choice. He will, however, be their choice.
After chasing and losing free agent lockdown defender Raja Bell to the Utah Jazz, the Los Angeles Lakers have turned their attention to re-signing high-flying combo guard Shannon Brown.
While Brown lacks Bell's defensive pedigree, he energizes teammates and the Staples Center faithful with his high-flying antics. However, consistency was a problem, which forced the Lakers to consider other options.
Becoming steadier will be Brown's focus in 2011. And it looks like his season will be spent in LA.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Dwyane Wade isn't ready to buy into all the hype about the Heat, who added LeBron James and Chris Bosh last week.
Wade says the Lakers, who have won the NBA's last two championships, are the team to beat.
The Lakers are the champions and we know the Lakers are very good," Wade said Wednesday. "That's the team that everyone's shooting for and they should be. Not the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers."
HoopsVibe’s Very Call: You can’t fault Dwyane Wade for trying.
In fact, you have to admire the superstar’s failed attempts at running a little smokescreen interference and deferring public enemy number one status to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Yes, the purple-and-gold is still the team to beat. After all, to be the champs, you have to beat the champs.
No, the Miami Heat – with the controversial way The Big Three of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade were assembled - is the team everyone will be shooting for.
No doubt about it.
Everyone - your granny, pastor, milkman, and even dog - has an opinion on The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010, culminating in LeBron James breaking up with Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and state of Ohio on national television.
Very quickly, the Heat has become the NBA’s undisputed villain in a plot that’s part Shakespeare, part Vince McMahon WWE.
If Wade thought the attention was bad in 2007 following their NBA Title win, then he hasn’t seen anything yet.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
The Lakers agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the veteran guard, bringing back a steadying locker-room influence and one of their top clutch shooters of the last decade. The contract was believed to be worth about $10.5 million, including a player option in the third year.
"I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles," Fisher said in a statement. "While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this off-season, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin. . . ."
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Listen closely and you’ll hear Laker-nation – led by the great Kobe Bryant - letting out a massive sigh of relief.
After all, the purple-and-gold had to have Derek Fisher. The emphasis is on ‘had to’. It wasn’t optional.
The veteran is 36 years old, flops like he`s on the Italian national soccer team, has limits on both ends of the floor, and was surprisingly given the security of a three-year deal.
However, Fisher oozes leadership, has Robert Horry style skills down the stretch, and mediates like the UN when resident superstar Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson have a ‘tiff’.
Best of all, he can groom his replacement Steve Blake. Like Fisher, Blake is an assassin disguised as a nice guy.
Sure, the former University of Maryland star looks like he should be leading the Dungeons and Dragons club at the local comic shop instead of Jackson’s triple-post set or playing internet chess on Friday evenings instead of the cross-town Clippers.
Don’t get it twisted: Blake is a good guy off-court, but feisty as hell on it. In December of 2007, he sparked the Blazers’ turnaround by breaking chairs and fighting teammates at a now infamous practice. And he’s also known to dabble in mixed martial arts –for fun.
Look for Fisher to take to Blake. Look for Fisher to groom Blake. And this will cement Fisher’s legacy long after he’s gone.
This will be a great relief for Laker-nation.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Derek Fisher received an offer of the veteran's minimum from the Heat over the weekend, but he is likely to re-sign with the Lakers.
Fisher reportedly received a $2.5 million offer for next season from the Lakers. He has been seeking a two-year contract with a starting salary closer to the $5 million he made last season.
Lakers free agent point guard Derek Fisher has a meeting scheduled with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Saturday, according to a source close to the situation.
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Does he join Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the upstart Miami Heat or does he re-sign with Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers?
Yes, Derek Fisher has a dilemma.
However, negotiations between the veteran point guard and the Lakers are progressing because the club raised their initial offer of one-year at $2.5 million.
And Fisher, at 36 years of age, would be hesitant to uproot his young family from LA and bolt on the purple-and-gold.
Of course, Heat GM Pat Riley, also known as the walking oil slick in the front office, is on a roll with his ‘Three Kings’ line-up of Bosh, James, and Wade.
Seriously, it’s like ‘Riles’ has jumped in the Hot Tub Time Machine and turned back the clock to the mid-eighties when he was, coincidentally, the famous coach of the purple-and-gold.
So what would seem a courtesy meeting between Riley and Fisher on Saturday could easily become something more.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
The Spurs are the first choice of free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal, a source told FanHouse. O'Neal is looking to play two more seasons in the NBA. The source said that San Antonio and Atlanta are at the top of O'Neal's list and there is interest from both sides.
The Boston Celtics' new Big Three will stay together to try for a second NBA title. Ray Allen confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday night that he has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract to return to Boston.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Big Three is back in business, and returning to the Boston Celtics to complete the mission of winning a second NBA Title.
Of course, the green-and-white surprised the basketball world by advancing to the NBA Finals, where they lost a heartbreaking game seven to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Today, Allen inked a very fair two year deal for $20 million. Paul Pierce just re-upped for four seasons. Doc Rivers delayed retiring to Orlando. Kevin Garnett is under contract until July, 2012.
With their veterans returning, expect the Celtics to add blending pieces this off-season and take another run at a championship next spring.
-- Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
The Hawks have offered Shaquille O'Neal a two-year contract that starts at $5.8 million per season, according to NBA sources close to both the team and the player.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Is The Big Aristotle about to become The Big ATL?
Reports indicate Shaquille O'Neal is considering the Hawks' multi-year deal; however, it remains to be seen if this would be a fit for both player and team.
Shaq is desperate for another NBA Title. Unfortunately, good but not great Atlanta is hardly the spot for him to taste championship glory for the fifth time in his illustrious career.
Even if the Hawks signed the massive post, they wouldn't be better than the past two Eastern Conference champions: the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. And they'd struggle with the Cleveland Cavaliers -provided Lebron James does the expected and re-signs later this week.
Meanwhile, Atlanta needs bench help, and not an aging five-man who spends a minimum of twenty games per season on the bench rocking designer suits.
When O'Neal is fit, he would demand minutes and touches, which would likely alienate a young, talented, and temperamental frontline of Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams.
However, the biggest potential issue would be with rookie coach Larry Drew because O'Neal has clashed with almost every sideline boss he ever had.
For instance, after leaving the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, he publicly slammed Phil Jackson and Pat Riley -both of whom are in the Hall of Fame.
This brings us back to Drew. The former back-up point guard is a career assistant, who got the head gig in Atlanta for one reason: he was cheap.
So Drew has less credibility than former Phoenix Suns head coach Terry Porter, who O'Neal sabotaged, undercut, and compromised before he was replaced at mid-season by Alvin Gentry.
What would happen when Drew tells O'Neal to lose weight or defend the pick-and-roll?
Simply put, he can't. Frankly, Drew lacks the pedigree to truly hold O'Neal accountable. And this would surely become a problem for an impressionable team.
On the surface, this partnership sounds nice. Both O'Neal and Atlanta should take a pass, though. It's for the best.
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.
Steve Blake has agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers, according to a report from John Canzanao.
According to FanHouse, the deal is worth $16 million over four seasons.
"Count me in," Jackson said in a statement. "After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It'll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He couldn't pass on the possibility of a three-peat.
After much deliberation, thought, and posturing, Phil Jackson - the Hall of Fame sideline boss - will be back to coach the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Jackson's return had been complicated by a power struggle in the Lakers' front office and ownership's request he take a reduction on his $12 million per season contract.
Of course, there are lingering issues for Jackson and the Buss clan, who own the Lakers, to settle. For instance, coach and ownership must agree on the size of his pay cut and whether free agents Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Derek Fisher will be re-signed.
Still, the chance to win three consecutive championships for the fourth time in his career was too much for The Zen to ignore.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
"The Raptors would like to get something in a sign-and-trade for Bosh, but they likely won’t deal him in the East. The Lakers are expected to offer Andrew Bynum, a legitimate low post center, and Lamar Odom, and take back Jarrett Jack, whom the Raptors would like to move."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: All they can do is make the best of a bad situation.
After all, franchise face Chris Bosh seems destined to leave the Toronto Raptors as a free agent when the market opens July 1st. Executive Bryan Colangelo admitted as much at a recent press conference.
There's no easy way to lose a 26 year old superstar. However, there's an easier way.
For instance, if Chris Bosh joins fellow free agents LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade in Miami or Chicago, he'll likely leave a year and $30 million on the table. And the Raptors will get nothing in return.
If Bosh inks a deal with the Raptors as part of a sign-and-trade, he can get the longest term and most money available. And the club can get something back, which is better than nothing.
Enter the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time defending champs are offering Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom for Bosh and Jarrett Jack.
Such a deal would achieve two things. First, Bynum is a legit five-man. His length, size, and ability to plug the middle would transform the Raptors into a more defensive side. And skilled post Andrea Bargnani could slide to the four-spot, his natural position.
Second, Bosh would be out west. He wouldn't be in the same conference. He wouldn't drop into Air Canada Centre several times a year with his new superstar teammates. He wouldn't win championships with the the Bulls or Heat. And all of this would allow the Raptors to save face.
Of course, the ball is in Bosh's court. As an unrestricted free agent, he holds most of the cards.
All Colangelo can do is offer a sign-and-trade. Joining Kobe Bryant and the NBA's best team may be enough for Bosh to re-consider his plans to partner with James and Wade, especially if he gets the maximum term and money.
This is the Raptors' only card, so Colangelo better do everything to play it.
With a few casual words, spaced between bites of his lunch, Kobe Bryant chalked up an assist in helping modern soccer’s greatest player achieve his full potential.
It was the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Bryant, just a few days short of leading basketball’s Team USA to the gold medal, spotted some members of the Argentina men’s soccer team huddled around a table in an athletes village food court.
“Where’s Messi?” Bryant demanded. “I want to see Lionel Messi.”
Soon enough, the Los Angeles Lakers star was locked in conversation with Messi, then 21 and with the soccer world at his feet, in Spanish.
Bryant was 29 and had long since established himself as a man of the world. Messi, already a superstar in his own sport with both his national team and Spanish club Barcelona, was more shy back then than he is today, even with millions in the bank and the chance to lead Argentina to an Olympic gold medal.
The American did most of the talking. And as he left with a handshake and a wave, Bryant turned over his shoulder and uttered words Messi has carried with him since.
“You’re the man, Messi,” Bryant said. “You’re the best. You’re not just good, you’re the best.”
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It seems Kobe Bryant, the world's greatest basketball player, is a pretty fair judge of talent when it comes to soccer.
After all, Lionel Messi is 'the best'. The jitter-bug forward has emerged as the superstar of the 2010 World Cup, dominating for his native Argentina. Before dazzling in South Africa, he led Barcelona to glory in the Champions League tournament in 2009.
Clearly, this is Messi's time.
Of course, this is a basketball website, but HoopsVibe News always recognizes and respects talent, so click the video below to discover what Bryant was talking about.
Was Bryant right? Is Messi the best?
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Boston Celtic fans may call her `the ugly sister`, but Khloe Kardashian knows how to reward hubsand Lamar Odom for winning an NBA Title with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Various websites are reporting that the reality television star bought Odom a white Rolls Royce Phantom as a victory present. Word is her little gift cost a cool four hundred thousand dollars.
Watch the clip below to see Lamar`s new ride, and get at us with your thoughts in the comment box.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Today, the world champion Los Angeles Lakers are holding their victory celebration.
Of course, HoopsVibe News will provide coverage and/or video if the purple-and-gold engage in memorable antics, so check back later in the day for an update.
However, we thought it prudent to first celebrate the top moments in championship parade history. Check out the clip below -if you dare.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In his now legendary interview following game-seven of the NBA Finals, Ron Artest told the world he'd be releasing a new hip hop single called Champion.
Well, the popular Los Angeles Laker didn`t waste any time.
Artest`s latest work is out, so take a listen - if you dare - to the 'Tru Warrier' and get at us with thoughts in the comment box.
Got thoughts? Get at us in the comment box below.
"No One ... And I mean NO ONE should ever com par kobe Bryant to my dad an say that he is anywhere near close to my dad."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Jordan's son - a member of Florida Central's University basketball team - was feeling sentimental because of Father's Day.
Of course, the younger Jordan is going to have his old man's back. However, he's wrong about not being able to make a comparison between the two greats.
Kobe has five championships, a gold medal, two playoff MVPs and a regular season MVP, while MJ has six championships, a gold medal, and 6 playoff MVPs to go with recognition as the game's best player during the regular season.
Sure, Bryant's numbers aren't superior to Jordan's, but - after the Lakers 2010 NBA Title - you can now have a legitimate conversation about who's better.
And while Jordan's extra championship and Defensive Player of the Year award gives him a slight edge, Bryant's career is far from over.
Got thoughts on Bryant vs. Jordan?
Kobe Bryant: "I got one more (championship) than Shaq. You can take that to the bank."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Old wounds haven't healed, especially when dealing with the World Wars between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.
No surprise here, though. All playoff Bryant pretended - somewhat convincingly - he hadn't given much consideration to what a fifth championship would mean for his legacy (O'Neal has four championships).
HoopsVibe News respectfully calls bullsh*t on this.
Bryant isn't the devil most see him as. And he isn't a saint, either. The truth, like most things, lies in the middle.
Bryant, in fact, is probably a somewhat normal person off the court. As such, he experiences normal emotions -like jealousy and anger. So on Thursday evening he couldn't resist taking a shot at his former partner turned rival in O'Neal.
A word to the wise: critics should be prepared for Bryant to win his sixth championship because it's coming -and soon.
Got thoughts on Kobe's post game attack on Shaq?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: From Tha Malice N' Tha Palace to charming the world with a sincere and honest interview following the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Title in a close game-seven against the upstart Boston Celtics.
Yes, it's been a wild ride for Ron Artest, the somewhat unstable, but good natured three-man for the world champion Lakers. Even his harshest critic had to smile after watching Queensbridge shout out his hood, give props to the club, thank his doctor and psychiatrist, and promote his new hip hop single in a quick conversation with ABC's stunned sideline reporter Doris Burke.
There's only question left for Artest: what on earth will he do next?
Is this the greatest interview ever? Watch Artest in the clip below and get at us with thoughts?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Was tonight your wedding anniversary and you had to 'go to dinner' instead of just doing drive-through twice with your significant other? Was there an emergency that forced you to the hospital? Was there a foul up of epic proportions at work that required you to stay late?
Or, did you girlfriend annex the remote and turn to her favorite reality drivel?
Bottom line: you missed an epic game-seven between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers and need a recap. Well, HoopsVibe News won't judge. Instead, we'll encourage you to click the video below and watch NBA.com's highlight package.
Go thoughts on this?
Beating Boston for the first time in a Game 7, the Lakers came up champions again after trailing in the last quarter of the last game of their season.
Kobe Bryant, the finals MVP, scored 23 points despite 6-of-24 shooting and the Lakers won their 16th NBA championship Thursday night, dramatically rallying to beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game 7 of the NBA finals.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In game-seven of the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers showed that defense wins championships.
After all, tonight’s game was supposed to be a dream match-up between the Celtics and Lakers, but – at least on the offensive end – it resembled a bit of nightmare.
Both teams couldn’t execute their offensive sets. Both teams couldn’t hit shots. So both teams dug-in, defended, and battled.
Take the victorious Lakers: Kobe Bryant, the Finals MVP, shot a horrendous 6-for-24 from the floor, but grabbed 15 huge rebounds; Pau Gasol pulled in 18 tough rebounds, which offset his missed chippies and free throws; and Ron Artest – who thanked his psychiatrist in a classic Ron-Ron post-game interview – hit clutch shots, however, his greatest contribution was battling Celtic superstar Paul Pierce.
As a group, the purple-and-gold overcame a 13-point second-half deficit and won their second consecutive championship by getting stops. For instance, they held the Celtics to just 79 points on 40% shooting from the floor.
Lamar Odom sparked the turnaround. The forward entered the game in the third quarter with the Lakers trailing 49-37 and looking desperate.
Odom used his considerable length and versatility to score, rebound, and most importantly, provide energy. And his contribution was far greater than his modest stat line of 7 points and 7 rebounds.
Boston led for most of the game and looked capable of pulling off the upset to win their second championship in three years.
Their offense went cold for long stretches of the second half. For instance, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ top scorers, were a combined 8-for-29 from the floor.
And the talented bench – which so often provided a lift when the starters struggled – had little impact. Of course, the reserves were short-handed with Rasheed Wallace replacing the injured Kendrick Perkins in the starting-five.
Tonight, Bryant’s Lakers defeated the Celtics for the first time in a game-seven duel, something greats like Jerry West and Magic Johnson failed to accomplish.
Winning back-to-back championships cements this team’s place in history. And their leader and best player, Bryant, keeps solidifying his standing as an all-time great.
And the Lakers, the NBA’s glamour team, achieved this feat with grimy, blue-collar defense.
Got thoughts on the Lakers winning game-seven and consecutive championships?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ron Artest is pure gold.
Who else would get Craig Sager to shoutout their home of Queensbridge, New York in a post-game interview after winning game-five of the Western Conference Finals? And who else would openly discuss their old neighbourhood with the media?
Well, Ron-Ron would.
However, the Lakers' resident tough guy isn't above some soft tactics, especially with a championship on the line. In game-five of the NBA Finals, Artest flopped to the ground - like the San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili - after getting 'shoved' by the Celtics' Rajon Rondo.
Artest weighs 270 pounds, while Rondo tips the scale at, perhaps, 190. Tale of the tape aside, Artest's actions are forgivable because his flop was rewarded with a technical foul being called on Rondo and drew the humorous rankling of broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy.
Watch the clip below and tell us if Artest's flop would make Queensbridge proud?
The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.
Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.
Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.
This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.
The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.
Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.
Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.
Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.
Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.
That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:
1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.
2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.
Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.
Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.
Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.
Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom is grabbing rebounds and bouncing a little when dribbling up-court. Ron Artest doesn't resemble a lost tourist in the triangle. Pau Gasol asserts his will in the paint. Instead of pacing the sideline and dropping quotes about collecting oneself, Phil Jackson is laying back in his throne -also known as The Ergonomically Correct Chair. Kobe Braynt is 'facilitating' rather than scoring. Sasha Vujacic, the self proclaimed machine, is knocking down three-pointers, alienating opponents, and styling his straight-outta-Slovenia do. And those celebs' rocking courtside seats at Staples Center are flashing their Hollywood smiles for ABC.
If you haven't guessed it, these are signs the Los Angeles Lakers are winning. However, there is a notable omission: Shannon Brown's highlight reel jams.
The purple-and-gold always seems to win when the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Gets On Up like Jodeci and rocks the rim for two points.
(Yes, HoopsVibe News is referencing the classically cheesy R&B group from the 1990s. And sadly, HoopsVibe News is old enough to legitimately do so.)
Consider game-six of the NBA Finals. First Brown rammed home a one-handed breakaway jam and then he rubbed his man off an Odom back-pick, grabbed an alley-oop toss and converted an amazing jam.
Both dunks inspired teammates and fans. Not surprisingly, the Lakers won game-six of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.
And they're hoping -at least in California - that Brown repeats his aerial antics in game-seven, even if it's got that Jodeci thing going on.
Got thoughts? Did Brown Get On Up like Jodeci.
"The Boston Celtics might go to Game 7 without center Kendrick Perkins.
He landed awkwardly trying to haul in an offensive rebound midway through the first quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night and suffered a right knee sprain.
Perkins was hopeful, saying: "I'm going to try to give it a go [on Thursday]." But a team source told ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan: "He's done."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Don't let his modest numbers deceive you. Kendrick Perkins could be the difference between the Boston Celtics winning and losing the championship.
The NBA Finals will be decided in the paint; the team that dominates down-low will host a victory celebration, while the team that gets dominated will spend their life wondering what could've been.
Perkins - despite his limited offensive skill and affinity for arguing fouls - is a throwback. He bangs. He competes. And he intimidates.
For instance, Perkins shut Pau Gasol down in game-five, which, not coincidentally, the Celtics won. In fact, Boston's five-man was so effective experts were again calling the Spaniard soft.
Gasol, however, was far more confident when Perkins left game-six with an injury. He ate the smaller Glen Davis up. Veterans Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace weren't much better, either.
And the Los Angeles Lakers, as a team, successfully attacked the basket, in large part, because Perkins wasn't there to deter them. Guards Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown were able to get to the hoop whenever they liked.
Right now, Perkins' status is unknown for game-seven. What isn't unknown is how important he is to Boston.
Got thoughts on this?
Tom Izzo is staying at Michigan State, turning down a chance to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers and and perhaps LeBron James.
"I'm pleased to say I am here for life at Michigan State," Izzo said in a statement released by the school on Tuesday night.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Tom Izzo made the right decision -not just for himself, but also for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The NBA is an adjustment. The game is different; the players are millionaire businessmen not teenagers. And many great college coaches have failed in the pros: John Calipari, Mike Montgomery, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian.
Then there was the tiny issue of LeBron James' pending free agency. Izzo would be in quite the quagmire if he accepted the Cavaliers job and James signed elsewhere.
In the end, the risk was too great. So Izzo decided to stay with Michigan State and become an all-time great in the college ranks.
Meanwhile, Cleveland will continue searching for a sideline boss. Byron Scott is the frontrunner; however, the former Hornets coach wants to replace Phil Jackson in LA -if the Zen-Master leaves.
Mike Woodson, who was recently fired by the Atlanta Hawks, is also under consideration. And this is where the musical chairs could occur. Suppose Cleveland hires Woodson and James leaves. The Cavaliers could replace James with Joe Johnson, another superstar free agent who Woodson coached in Atlanta.
The next few months will be interesting in Ohio and throughout the NBA.
Got thoughts on this?
"I haven't been sick all season … now I'm sick in the Finals," said Odom after the Lakers' 92-86 loss to the Celtics here in Game 5. "Had to put my hard hat on just to get out of bed. It was tough.
"We get to go home and I'll be in my own bed in my own house," he said. "And get to see my wife."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Lamar Odom missed the press conference where Kobe Bryant told his Laker teammates to 'man up and play'.
Complaining about the flu, wanting your own bed, and needing to see your wife doesn't exactly qualify as manning up. In fact, it's copping out.
This, however, is typical Odom.
At his best, he's a wonderful talent, capable of playing all five positions and stuffing every category in the box sheet. At his worst, he's a passenger, disappearing in the clutch and sometimes for entire games.
So Odom is a enigma, which is unfortunate for the Lakers because he's their barometer. When he plays well, they rarely lose. When he struggles, they become vulnerable.
And what Odom shows for game-six and seven will determine if the Lakers can come back against the Celtics.
Got thoughts on this?
"Speaking of Collison, the Pacers have reached out to New Orleans about the former UCLA point guard."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Indiana and New Orleans are two of the NBA’s smallest markets. Both have limited budgets. Yet, both are desperate to upgrade their roster.
And this is Corporal/Commissioner David Stern’s post recession problem: his league has become increasingly fractured and polarized into have and have-not franchises.
The have franchises – think Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York – will spend their summer trying to land big-ticket free agents.
No expense will be spared. Mayors, politicians, celebrities, rap icons and even a president have tried wooing the game’s elite player to their club of choice
The have-not franchises – think Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Memphis – will spend their summer scheming up creative and cost-effective ways to compete.
With this in mind, a Darren Collison deal would make some sense for the Pacers and Hornets.
Larry Bird’s club has to get better at point guard. TJ Ford – and his $8 million dollar salary – isn’t the answer. And Jamaal Tinsley’s $5 million pact is still on the books, even though he was released years ago.
Collison, a lightning quick table-setter, filled in admirably for injured superstar Chris Paul. Best of all, the UCLA alum has three years remaining on his rookie pact.
Meanwhile, reports that the Hornets and Paul were considering parting ways are false. Team and player are apparently committed to each other and sticking together.
However, New Orleans was always a poorer NBA market. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Then The Great Recession came. And now there’s the Gulf Coast oil spill.
All contributed to the city’s struggling economy, which means there’s less disposable income for citizens to spend on disposable goods –like NBA tickets and luxury boxes.
So the Hornets can't generate the revenue to sign high or even medium priced free agents. Their best and only option this summer is trading the young and inexpensive Collison for other young, and inexpensive players.
They've got lockdown defender Dahntay Jones, athletic swing Brandon Rush, and blue-collar bruiser Tyler Hansbrough.
All are young. All are cheap. And all could play a role in The Bayou. Perhaps, Bird, Indiana's head suit, lets New Orleans pick two of these three players.
That said, nothing is imminent between the Pacers and Hornets. Expect them to keep talking. As mentioned, in today’s NBA, their options are limited.
Get at us with thoughts on this deal?
We’ve regressed since Game 1,” Bryant confessed to Yahoo! Sports. “Our defense belongs on milk cartons in the last two games.”
“Just man up and play,” Bryant sniffed. “What’s the big deal? If I have to say something to them, then we don’t deserve to be champions.”
“Listen, if you told me at the beginning of the year that we’ve got two games at home to win a championship, yeah, I’ll take that [bleep].”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Kobe Bryant’s outburst a ploy to motivate teammates or is he legitimately feeling the pressure of the NBA Finals?
On the one hand, Bryant is the game’s greatest competitor. Losing isn’t acceptable. And he’s never had issue challenging his fellow Los Angeles Lakers.
On the other hand, the superstar knows the stakes are high. If his heavily favoured Lakers lose the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics, his standing as an all-time great player and with the purple-and-gold will forever be altered.
Whatever his motivation, whatever his reason, Bryant is clearly desperate. He needs someone, anyone to step up in game-six and seven.
Got thoughts on Kobe Bean’s comments?
It's looking a lot like 2008 again, with Paul Pierce carrying the Boston Celtics to victory in the NBA finals and leading them to the brink of yet another title.
Pierce scored 27 points -- his best performance of this year's finals -- and the Celtics withstood 38 points from Kobe Bryant to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 92-86 on Sunday night and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On Friday, Kobe Bryant told reporters he was miserable because of his poor play. Tonight, he'll be miserable for a different reason.
The Los Angeles Lakers' superstar raised his play, even scoring an astounding 19 points in the third quarter; however, his co-stars all had poor nights, which was the reason for the game-five loss.
For instance, Ron Artest struggled on both ends of the floor; Pau Gasol's 12 points and 12 rebounds won't cut it in the NBA Finals; Andrew Bynum - wonky knee or not - should've been better than 6 points and 1 rebound; and Lamar Odom was a non-factor.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics won with balance. The Big Four delivered: Paul Pierce found his touch and had a team-high 27 points; Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo combined for 36 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists; and Ray Allen had an efficient 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
While the bench didn't repeat their game four heroics, they still contributed. Tony Allen, Nate Robinson, and Rasheed Wallace hit some shots, played tough defense, and, best of all, brought energy.
And this was the difference in game five. As a group, the Celtics seemed determined. Other than Bryant, the Lakers seemed flustered.
In the second half, Tony Allen gave the Celtics a surge with his tremendous weak side block on Pau Gasol. Then, in the closing moments, the 6-3 Rondo leaped the 6-10 Odom for an improbable tip-in basket to seal the win.
With the exception of Bryant, no Laker had a momentum changing moment or timely play. The purple-and-gold had too many passengers on this night.
Despite trailing in the series, the Lakers still have home-court advantage with game-six and seven at Staples Center.
The Lakers must improve, though. Or the Celtics will win the NBA championship and Bryant will be more than miserable.
Got thoughts on game five? Get at us in the comment box below.
Bryant has averaged 28.3 points on 40.9 percent shooting in the four games. His points haven’t come easily, and in Thursday’s Game 4 loss he also committed seven turnovers, matching his most of the postseason. "That's just me playing like crap," Bryant said.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Good, but not great.
This is the best way to describe Kobe Bryant's play in the NBA Finals. He turned in solid performances through the first three games; however, he struggled down the stretch in Thursday's game four loss.
Bryant - who is his own harshest critic - will be the first to admit that good doesn't cut it in June.
To be fair, the Boston Celtics are an excellent defensive club. As a group, they're all about getting stops. And Tony Allen is making his bones as a lockdown defender in the NBA Finals against Bryant, successfully forcing the future Hall of Famer left and making him work especially hard for each and every point.
With the NBA Finals now a best-of-three affair, Bryant will step up. He understands his legacy at stake. Two losses in the NBA Finals to the Celtics would impact his standing both as an all-time great Laker and player.
Expect Bryant to be great, not good, for game 5, 6, and, if necessary, 7.
Got thought on Kobe's play so far?
Andrew Bynum said the swelling in right knee is the most it has been since he initially tore the cartilage April 30, but he is confident he will be back in action Sunday night for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. “It’s a little bit frustrating, but I’m going to play on Sunday, play hard on Sunday,” Bynum said after he played just 1:50 of the second half in the Lakers’ Game 4 loss to Boston.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I see the difference. You see the difference. The world sees the difference.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a different team with Andrew Bynum playing -even if he's nowhere near full health. The young seven-footer anchors the middle with his length and size, which allows Pau Gasol to play the four-spot, his natural position, and embarrass opponents with his creative post moves and wonderful skill-set.
Consider Bynum's impact in the NBA Finals. With Bynum, the Lakers physically dominate the Celtics. Without him, the opposite occurs -the Celtics assert their will on the Lakers, especially in the all-important paint.
For instance, Boston's Glen Davis, at 6-8, probably doesn't dominate game four if Bynum, at 7-1, is playing because he'd have challenged and contested every 'Big Baby' shot and putback.
For the Lakers, it's a positive that Bynum will try to play in game five. Like it or not, he's the difference in this championship series.
Got thoughts on Andrew Bynum?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They're getting the last laugh.
Right or wrong, fair or not, Glen Davis and Nate Robinson have taken their lumps. Just this year, Davis got heat for breaking his hand in a training camp fight with a college friend, while Robinson's animated antics wore thin in New York.
There was good reason for the criticism: 'Big Baby' and 'Kryptonite' had talent and, at their core, seemed like good people. Both had the potential to be impact players -exactly like they did to seal the win in game four of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
And both, while immature, love basketball. After all, these two described their game four play as being 'like Shrek and Donkey.'
Now is their moment to shine. Davis and Robinson are taking full advantage and - as the clip below demonstrates - getting the last laugh.
Watch the youtube video and get us with thoughts on this dynamic duos' post-game stand-up act and play in game four.
Backup Glen "Big Baby" Davis scored half of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Celtics bench as it pulled away from the Los Angeles Lakers to win 96-89 on Thursday night and even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
Game 5 is Sunday night in Boston. The Celtics' win guaranteed them a trip back to Los Angeles and averted a 3-1 deficit that has never been overcome in NBA history.
Kobe Bryant scored 33 points and Pau Gasol had 21 for the Lakers.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Down the stretch, the Boston Celtics needed a spark. And their bench answered the call, winning game four for the green-and-white.
With starters Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo struggling, coach Doc Rivers went with four reserves and first-stringer Ray Allen for most of the fourth quarter.
And this makeshift unit responded in the final frame: Glen Davis tallied 9 of his 18 points; Nate Robinson scored and set up others; Tony Allen forced Kobe Bryant left and made the game's best player work for every point; and Rasheed Wallace's length and physicality eventually wore on Pau Gasol.
Best of all, Ray Allen, Tony Allen, Davis, Robinson, and Wallace brought an energy that Boston was missing for most of the game.
The news gets worse for the Los Angeles Lakers: Andrew Bynum sat out the entire second half and only played 12 minutes because of his injured knee.
Bynum's numbers have been mediocre due to his poor health; however, his height and length has given the Celtics problems. Also, with Bynum on-court, Gasol can shift to the four-spot, his natural position.
However, give the Celtics credit. They capitalized on Bynum's absence. And their bench came through in the clutch.
Got thoughts on game four?
Count Celtics coach Doc Rivers as one person who won't be marching in the Derek Fisher appreciation parade that commenced Tuesday after the 14-year veteran scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers to a 91-84 Game 3 victory in the Finals.
When asked how Fisher was able to be so successful drawing fouls while being screened, Rivers replied: "What? Besides flopping? He doesn't do a lot extra.
"Maybe the best chant ever heard at a sporting event, to Lamar Odom at FT line: "UG-LY SIS-Ter"!. Clap-clap, clap-clap-clap."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Nothing is off limits in the NBA Finals, especially between the Celtics and Lakers.
Odom went 5-for-5 from the floor for 12 points to go with 5 rebounds. Best of all, he was active. He attacked the basket, avoided foul trouble, got into the open court, and played multiple positions.
In fact, this was the versatile forward's best game of the NBA Finals. Perhaps, the "UG-LY SIS-Ter" chant served as motivation.
Got thoughts on Boston calling Khloe Kardashian ugly? Get at us in the comment box below.
Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Derek Fisher added 16 to lead Los Angeles to a 91-84 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night and give the Lakers a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
Bryant had 25 points after three but did not score for the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. That's when Fisher took over, adding four key baskets after Boston winnowed a 17-point first-half lead to one point.
The Lakers regained home-court advantage they had lost when Boston took Game 2 in Los Angeles. Game 4 is Thursday night in Boston.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In basketball, there’s a saying that ‘you can’t teach the height’. In game three of the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics couldn’t beat the Los Angeles Lakers’ height.
It didn’t matter that Kevin Garnett turned back the clock with an inspired performance. It didn’t matter that Rajon Rondo was brilliant. It didn’t matter that the green-and-white’s bench had a big second half.
It also didn’t matter that Kobe Bryant had an off shooting night or that Ron Artest struggled with foul trouble.
On Tuesday evening, the Lakers were bigger and stronger and ultimately better. For instance, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom were especially effective in the middle, disrupting passing lanes and contesting shots with their length.
Size was one factor. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce’s poor play was another.
Allen, who hit an NBA Finals record 8-three pointers in game two, missed every shot he took in game three, while Pierce wasn’t much better, going 5-for 12 from the floor, and ending with a disappointing 15 points.
This was Pierce’s second consecutive sub par performance and it came on the heels of his claim the Celtics ‘ain’t going back to LA!’
Of course, one of the Lakers’ smallest players, Derek Fisher, played like a giant. The veteran went 6-for-12 with 16 points, which included a courageous 5-for-7 shooting display in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory.
Yes, height was the difference in game three. So was the size of Fisher’s heart.
Got thoughts on game four? Get at us in the comment box below.
Striking a similar tone as he did in Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals, Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce directed a bold prediction at Lakers fans in the final minutes of his team's victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
After Pau Gasol committed a hard foul on Kendrick Perkins with 1:12 remaining in Game 2 and the Celtics leading, 97-90, Pierce, as he helped his teammate off the floor along the baseline near the hoop was heard on video replays yelling, "We ain't coming back to LA!"
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Paul Pierce has reason to be confident.
Yes, his Boston Celtics looked solid in taking game two of the NBA Finals. And yes, the heavily favoured Los Angeles Lakers' struggled on Sunday evening.
Pierce's outburst was, in part, due to the championship series switching to a 2-3-2 game format, meaning the lower seeded team - the Celtics in this case - have the next three matches in Boston.
The league uses a 2-2-1-1-1 game format for the first three rounds of the playoffs and critics believe the 2-3-2 format of the NBA Finals gives the lower seed an unfair advantage.
Years back, the suits at league head office thought the 2-3-2 format was appropriate for the NBA finals because it reduced travel. Today, every team has their own luxurious, five-star plane, so travel isn't as great an issue.
With the next three games in Boston, the 2-3-2 format is an issue for the Lakers. And this has Pierce confident he "ain't coming back to LA!"
Will the Celtics finish the series at home? Is the 2-3-2 format fair? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: The only thing better than an original is a sequel. Not in all cases, but wasn`t game 2 of the NBA Finals far more competitive and entertaining than game one?
The good folks at NBA.com agree. They`ve made another mini-movie of game two highlights, so click the video below and relive this barn-burner between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
Lakers big man Pau Gasol said Celtics forward Kevin Garnett is not the player he used to be, but Boston coach Doc Rivers stressed on Friday that there is nothing physically wrong with KG.
The Lakers held Garnett to 16 points and only four rebounds in a 102-89 win in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
Danny Ferry is out as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, choosing not to re-sign his contract that was set to expire in June. The decision comes as a surprise but was made days ago, and complicates the most important offseason in team history.
Ferry's departure Friday after five seasons occurred two weeks after the club fired coach Mike Brown following the team's second-round loss to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs. It also comes as the team is making plans to try to re-sign two-time MVP LeBron James, who will be a free agent next month.
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: It's official. The inmate, LeBron James, is running the asylum -even if he has a foot out the free agent door.
Ferry's firing comes as a surprise because days ago reports indicated the retired forward and owner Dan Gilbert had essentially agreed on an extension.
Apparently, the stumbling block was authority. Ferry rightfully thought a GM needed control over basketball operations. He wasn't prepared to deal with Gilbert or James meddling in personnel decisions.
So he left.
Assistant GM Chris Grant will slide into the big chair in the executive suite. However, it remains to be seen how much authority Grant will have as the new GM.
Expect Gilbert to be very involved this summer. If James resigns, Gilbert and Grant will likely let the superstar pick the new coach and have a large say in all basketball related decisions.
This isn't the way to run a winning organization. For instance, Tim Duncan always defers to coach Gregg Popovich and executive R.C. Buford. The Los Angeles Lakers started winning when Kobe Bryant quit commenting to random fans outside of strip malls about swapping Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd and focused on basketball. And even the great Michael Jordan had little say in the happenings of the Chicago Bulls.
So Gilbert, who doesn't have James' name on a new deal, is taking a risk in re-structuring his entire organization to suit his free agent superstar.
Got thoughts on Ferry leaving the Cavaliers? Let us know in the comment box below.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He had nothing.
During a second half timeout in game one of the NBA Finals, comedian Chris Rock, who was lounging in courtside seats next to the Los Angeles Lakers' bench, tried talking smack to Kobe Bryant.
The shooting guard ignored him. It was like Rock - the loudmouth star of critically and commercially successful films like Death at a Funeral, Head of State, and Down to Earth - didn't even exist.
ABC broadcaster Mark Jackson suggested Bryant was able to tune-out the former Saturday Night Live star because of his incredible focus. And Bryant was certainly in Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight mode.
However, Bryant has a memory -a very long memory. And perhaps, he had seen Rock's notorious stand-up act (please use your discretion if clicking the link) and was keeping his emotions in check.
Get at us with thoughts in the comment box on Kobe vs. Chris?
So the Celtics want to play rough again? Kobe Bryant and the Lakers look ready this time around, and they barged into an early lead in the NBA finals.
Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and defending champion Los Angeles got tough in a 102-89 victory over Boston in the NBA finals opener Thursday night.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: After getting banged, bullied, and beaten in the 2008 championship series, the Los Angeles Lakers turned the tables on the Boston Celtics in game one of the 2010 NBA Finals.
The Lakers went inside early and often, using the size of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to grab a half-time lead. Then Kobe Bryant took over with a strong third and fourth quarter to seal an easy win.
However, this game was decided in the middle. The Lakers' bigs showed up. Other than Glen Davis, the Celtics' bigs did not.
For instance, on one sequence in the final frame, Kevin Garnett missed two point blank attempts. The purple-and-gold corralled the rebound, found Gasol on the elbow, who then threw a bullet pass to the lanky Lamar Odom for an easy hoop.
Boston better get physical on Sunday or they'll head home down 0-2.
Get at us in the comment box with thoughts on game one of the NBA Finals.
But just as we surmised, Nash is going to South Africa and will be working media there. Three days after Nash played coy, it was announced that Nash will post a series of eight videos to CBSSports.com and youtube.com/CBSSports, along with daily photos, iPhone vignettes, status updates and fan interaction on CBSSports.com's social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter. And if CBS is attached, can't we expect a return correspondent visit to The Late Show with David Letterman, as he did for the NBA Finals last summer?
"This project with CBSSports.com combines two of my passions off the basketball court -- the beautiful game known internationally as 'football' and video production," Nash said in a statement released by CBSSports.com. "I look forward to shooting some memorable pieces from South Africa and giving fans a unique and sometimes humorous look at World Cup."
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Well, at least he's keeping busy after the Phoenix Suns' heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conferece Finals.
Word is Steve Nash will drop a series of videos and work as a media reporter in South Africa to celebrate the upcoming World Cup. The HoopsVibe team, who are fans of his work on The Late Show and for Vitamin Water, are jacked to see what the goofy Canadian will come up with.
Re-visit these classics of Nash reporting on the NBA Finals for Letterman and his spoofs for Vitamin Water, then get at us in the comment box with thoughts on the possibility of Nash in South Africa.
(Steve and Dave.)
(Steve for Vitamin Water.)
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: It's here.
After a multiple day wait, game one of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers is finally here. To celebrate HoopsVibe News has a video preview to get you hyped (originally found on dimemag.com). Watch the clip and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.