breaking-down-the-nba
Garnett, Rondo, and Allen Feud Set To Explode
Monday , Oct , 01 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Garnett, Rondo, and Allen Feud Set To Explode

Garnett, Rondo, and Allen feud looks explosive.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: I predict a few flying elbows the first time Allen drives the lane in Bean Town.

Garnett struck first saying he no longer has former friend and teammate, Ray Allen's, phone number in his phone. Ouch, that doesn't sound like the type of lifelong friendships everyone in Boston was talking about just a few years ago when the Big Three hung another banner? Rondo followed suit in a similar interview stating he and Allen hadn't always gotten along. Rondo told Yahoo Sports "It's just life. If you look at your job, everyone doesn't always get along with every co-worker they work with. It's just part of life." Rondo also admitted to not having spoken to Allen since his decision to go to Boston's biggest rival in the East, the Miami Heat. 

Allen responded to Garnett's comments saying, "That's a shame ... I'm not really worried about it." Looks like these "friends" are now bitter enemies. Allen crossed a scared line in Garnett and Rondo's minds. It isn't simply that he left the Celtics. It's that he left the Celtics and went to their bitter rival. Boston and Miami met in the Eastern Conference Finals last year and although most people thought Boston was over-matched, it was still a hell of a battle.

This has all the makings of adding series kerosene the this already explosive fire. I predict the Celtics vs. Heat games this year will be especially chippy and look for Garnett, a noted hot-head and capable of a questionable cheap shot from time to time, to dish out at least a couple hard hits when Allen returns to Boston in a Heat uniform.

The only saving grace for Allen is he only drives to the basket these days if on one is on his half of the court. He's much more content to camp out behind the arch and wait for hit opportunity to show what a lifetime 40% 3-point shooter looks like in action.

Read More
Top 10 Reasons LA Won’t Win The Championship This Year
Friday , Sep , 21 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Top 10 Reasons LA Won’t Win The Championship This Year

Top 10 Reasons LA Won't Win the Championship This Year.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Even with Dwight and Nash many don't pick the Lakers to win this year. Here's why.

Below are the Top 10 reasons Los Angeles won't win the title this year. This is drawing from other teams of similar build as well as an analysis of their existing pieces. Los Angeles is loaded with talent, but talent doesn't always equal championship rings and these are the reasons why.

#10 Metta World Peace is wild.

World Peace is a solid defender, but his offense is sketchy and his ability to control himself in pressure situations is horrible. Look for him to have another incident this year as he continues to age and get more frustrated with his slowing body. It's not a matter of if, but simply when World Peace will go nuclear.

#9 Pau Gasol is weak.

Gasol simply doesn't pay with the heart of a champion. Now that he is the 3rd or 4th option in the offense it won't be as glaringly obvious, but having people on your team and on the court that lack desire is a killer to team moral. Look for Kobe to continue to get pissed with Pau.

#8 Dwight can't shoot free throws.

When the game is on the line Dwight can't touch the ball. This is the same problem the Clippers have with Blake Griffin. The Lakers can overcome this by simply having everything flow through Kobe and Nash, but having your key big man not able to touch the ball is a serious weakness.

#7 Nash's defense sucks.

Steve Nash is a wiz at no-look passes and floaters in the lane, but lateral movement and man-up defense isn't one of his strengths. This will be exploited when he is matched up with speedsters like Russell Westbrook. This will be a key matchup the Thunder will exploit. This is why the Thunder are still stronger than the Lakers out West.

#6 Dwight's attitude

Dwight is known as a happy-go-lucky guy. He has always been much stronger and more talented than his competition. Unfortunately, this has made him weak. Dwight is not tough. He does not have the heart of a lion like Kobe. He has the heart of a kitty like Pau. This lack of mental toughness will be spotlighted in the playoffs.

#5 Kobe pressing

Kobe want's his sixth championship more than anything. He knows time is running out on both his career and the Laker's ability to hold this squad of players together. Look for Kobe to up in Pau and Dwight's faces early in the season. This could backfire with Dwight who isn't used to being scolded publicly.

#4 Mike Brown needs a spine

The Zen Master not only knew how to win, he knew how to let his leaders lead, but also how to keep them within his system. Mike Brown is no Phil Jackson and doesn't command the type of respect needed to keep massive egos in check. If things get bumpy early in the system look for Mike Brown to start catching some of the heat.

#3 No Toughness.

The toughest player on the Lakers is Kobe followed by Steve Nash. Where LA doesn't have grit is underneath. They lack the big men with muscle that are willing to both hit the floor and set a bone-crushing pick. Their big men are more pretty and gritty. Teams like San Antonio and Oklahoma City that don't suffer from this same prima donna mentality will exploit this lack of toughness.

#2 LA wants results.

Look for the temperature to be turned up as the Lakers struggle early in the season. They may even loose some early games to the Clippers and be threatened with losing the crown of their home town. Los Angeles has extrememly high expectations for the Lakers and if things start going south look for egos to get bruised and fingers to start pointing.

#1 First year together.

The Miami heat didn't win the first year their Big Three united in South Beach. The Lakers are no different. No matter how much talent a team has, it takes time for players to find their roles and fit together. The Lakers have the advantage of having winners already on the roster, but so did Miami. Look for the Lakers to win in year 2, but not their first year with this grouping of players. 

Read More
8 of the NBA’s most baller seven footers
Tuesday , Sep , 18 , 2012 Matt Formica

8 of the NBA’s most baller seven footers

Athletic seven footers in the NBA are some of the most coveted players in sports.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  Having said that, I was surprised to find that the most productive big men in the NBA measure under seven feet tall.

When I sat down to write an article today, I wanted to look at the tallest players in the league and compare their height to their on-the-court production.  So I looked at the best big men, meaning the most productive players from a stat sheet standpoint, that played as either forwards or centers.  What I found was that the majority of them stood in the 6'10" - 6'11" range.  (I purposely excluded the larger, more dominant guards that can play every position like Lebron and Durant.) 
For example:

Tim Duncan - 6'11"
Blake Griffin - 6'10"
Dwight Howard - 6'11"
Chris Bosh - 6'11"
Kevin Love - 6'10"
Amare Stoudemire - 6'11"

So what ballers in the NBA stand seven feet and post solid numbers??  Here's 8:

1.)  Brook Lopez - 7'0" - Center

Lopez was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 2008 after playing two seasons at Stanford.  He immediately made an impact as a rookie, averaging 13 points a game, and has only gotten better.  To some degree, Jay-Z's Nets, which are now Brooklyn's finest, have been built around the big man.  Last season, Lopez averaged 19.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.  Surprisingly, though, that he averaged under 4 rebounds per game at 7 feet tall.

2.)  Dirk Nowitzki - 7'0" - Forward

Nowitzki is the anomaly on this list only because he's seven foot tall forward that plays more like a guard.  But the Mavericks and Mark Cuban certainly haven't been complaining.  The big fella from Germany averaged 21.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game for Dallas last season.  Not to mention, he averaged just under 27 points per game in their first round playoff series loss against OKC.  Like him or not, the seven footer can ball.

3.)  Javale McGee - 7'0" - Center

While not the most impressive player on this list from a statistical standpoint, (he averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last year) I had to include McGee because I saw him play against the Lakers last season in the first round of the playoffs against Denver - and he was definitely impressive.  We couldn't figure out if it was because Bynum was pouting and Gasol was playing soft but regardless, he owned both of them that game.  (Sidenote: Bynum and Gasol are both on this list as you'll read below).  And while the Nuggets would eventually lose the series to LA, they won that game; and it was largely due to the fact that Javale McGee went for 21 points and 14 rebounds.  Homeboy was possessed.

4.)  Andrew Bynum - 7'0" - Center

Although he's been widely criticized for his attitude problems, there's no disputing Bynum's talent.  The youngest player ever to play in an NBA regular season game (at 18 years and 6 days old) finished last season with the Lakers having averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.  He was traded to Philadelphia this offseason, where I think he will be one of the greatest players to ever put on a 76ers uniform.  But that's TBD.

5.)  Pau Gasol - 7'0" - Forward/Center

Pau gets a bad wrap for being soft, and maybe he is, but he puts up numbers.  He averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last season for the Los Angeles Lakers.  But even more than that, he has soft hands, is a great passer for his size and shoots over 78% from the free throw line, which compared to his seven-foot peers, is pretty astounding.

6.)  Marc Gasol - 7'1" - Center

Marc Gasol, the younger and taller brother of Pau, is a big baller as well.  Interestingly enough, Gasol was acquired by Memphis in 2007 from the Lakers in a package deal for his brother Pau.  In the past few seasons, he has been a big reason that the Grizzlies have turned into a contender and even made it to the playoffs the last two years in a row.  Marc averaged 14.6 points and 8.9 rebounds for the Grizz last season.

7.)  Roy Hibbert - 7'2" - Center

Hibbert, who played all four years and graduated from Georgetown, was drafted by Toronto in 2008 and immediately traded to the Pacers on draft night.  His best year with Indiana was his most recent, where he averaged 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on the season, and in game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Magic, Hibbert recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots.  Something tells me there's more games like that in Hibbert's bright future; the Pacers re-signed him to a 4-year $58 million deal in July.

8.)  Andrea Bargnani - 7'0" - Forward/Center

Probably the least known of the big men on this list, Bargnani became the first European to be selected with the number one overall pick in an NBA Draft when the Raptors picked him in 2006.  Bargnani was born in Rome, Italy and is nicknamed "Il Mago" aka "The Magician."  He played a few seasons in Italy before making it to the NBA and averaged an 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds for Toronto last season.


Questions or comments??  Let us know, Hoopsvibers.

For more news, info and updates follow us on twitter @hoopsvibe

Follow Matt @mformica

Image source:  AP Images

The Definitive Top 10 Shooting Guards Of All Time
Wednesday , Sep , 05 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

The Definitive Top 10 Shooting Guards Of All Time

The definitive Top 10 shooting guards of all time.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Some things are debatable, but these top 3 are a lock.

Off-guard, 2-guard, shooting-guard, no matter how you say it this is the position that has produced some of the most exciting players in NBA history. HoopsVibe sizes up the best of the best and put together this list of Top 10 shooting guards of all-time.

 

Read More
Six of the NBA’s Most Underpaid Players
Wednesday , Sep , 05 , 2012 Matt Formica

Six of the NBA’s Most Underpaid Players

Six of the NBA's Most Underpaid Players

It's true what they say:  There are more important things in life than money.

Hoopsvibe's Quick Call:  Plenty of players in the NBA are worth more than they're paid.

 

Read More
Attention Western Conference:  Take the Clippers Seriously
Thursday , Aug , 30 , 2012 Matt Formica

Attention Western Conference: Take the Clippers Seriously

Attn Western Conference:  Take the Clippers seriously

A healthy Los Angeles Clippers team could be a very tough one to beat.

Hoopsvibe's Quick Call:  They may be in a stacked Western conference, but don't sleep on the Clipshow this season.

Both Clippers superstars, point guard Chris Paul and center Blake Griffin, underwent surgeries this offseason.  Paul just had surgery on his thumb a few days ago and is said to be out eight weeks.  Regardless, he will be ready for the start of this upcoming season.

Griffin, who had knee surgery on July 16th after doctors discovered a meniscus tear in his knee that forced him to miss this summer's London Olympics, came out and said Tuesday that he is 100% healed and ready to go.

"I'm doing all my normal movements," Griffin said.  "I feel like I'm at 100 percent."

The Clippers All-Star center has been training and rehabbing hard all summer, after he signed a five-year contract extension with the franchise in July that could be worth up to $95 million.

Not being able to participate in the Olympics forced the 7-footer to work on areas of his game, mainly his jump shot and free throws, that needed to improve.  Griffin said he spent time "trying to become a more complete player, working on my shot and working on free throws."

Last season, Griffin shot an impressive 54.9% from the field but a not-so-impressive 52.1% from the free-throw line.

And once Paul and Griffin are fully healthy, they are going to be complimented by some strong new talent.  In addition to extending Griffin's contract, the Clippers re-signed Chauncey Billups, brought in Lamar Odom (who I think will be much better with the Clippers than he was with the Mavs), as well as Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Willie Green, Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins.  Keep in mind, they also have DeAndre Jordan, Kenyon Martin, Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe, all who have made an impact in the past.

"This year we want to take a step forward and I think the pieces that we've added, the guys we have returning and the work guys have put in this offseason have been tremendous.  We look to take that next step as a franchise," Griffin said.

Translation:  The Clippers aren't like they used to be.



Questions or comments??  Get at us Hoopsvibers!!

For more news and updates follow us on twitter @hoopsvibe

Follow Matt @mformica

Image source:  AP images

Report: Dwight Howard To Lakers Is Official!
Friday , Aug , 10 , 2012 Paul Eide

Report: Dwight Howard To Lakers Is Official!

Dwight Howard has officially been traded to the LA Lakers in a four team deal.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Are we dreaming? Did this deal actually, finally go down? I almost don't believe it.

Read More
Argentina Takes Cheap Shot At Carmelo Anthony
Wednesday , Aug , 08 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Argentina Takes Cheap Shot At Carmelo Anthony

Argentina's Campazzo cheap shots Carmelo Anthony and we got the video.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Careful what you ask for Argentina. Melo might just drop 37 points on you to shut you up.

The incident happened at the end of the 3rd quarter with the U.S. leading Argentina 102-76. The game was likely out of reach, although Argentina had come back from a 20 point deficit on the U.S. in an earlier game just weaks before to only lose by 4. 

Carmelo Anthony was squaring up to take a transition 3-pointer when Argentina's smallest player Facundo Campazzo, their feisty reserve point guard, decided to punch Anthony in the groin. Anthony immediately fell the to floor in pain. Note, the shot went it. Just goes to show you punching Melo in the family jewels won't throw off his shot. You'd have better luck simply talking trash about his inability to win a ring or play selfishly. (Just an idea)

The incident immediately resulted in a possible serious situation and team U.S.A. players came over to defend their attacked teammate and Argentine players ran over to make sure someone didn't decide to make tiny little Campazzo into a hood ornament on their Bentley. 

Mike Krzyzweski former-Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni both saw the cheap shot and erupted off the bench screaming at both the referee and the player, but the international refs somehow missed it. This is actually completely believable because these refs have managed to miss a lot of fouls. They appear to be watching more games than reffing them.

"He got hit in the groin," said coach K. ""That's why he buckled over. He wasn't celebrating the shot."

"We saw it all," said Anthony's Knick teammate, Tyson Chandler. "It was a cheap shot. He hit him in an area where you don't want to get hit. We all represent our countries. This is the Olympics. You never want to go like that."

After the game Campazzo insisted he didn't intentionally hit Anthony in the groin. Yeah, good luck selling that one. Oh, he made himself look even more innocent by then insisting Chris Paul had hit him earlier in the game. So then I guess you did intentionally hit Anthony. He can't have it both ways. He can't say, he didn't intentionally hit Anthony AND Chris Paul hit him earlier so it's justified.

Anyway, it was silly because the game meant nothing to either team's standing. Team U.S.A. were already a lock to finish their grouping in first place and team Argentina was locked to finish 3rd. These two teams could meat again and if they do, it should be a chippy affair.

For more info, gossip, and updates on punches to the groin follow @HoopsVibe.

Photo Credit: WENN

Michelle Obama Plays Dirty Politics To Guarantee Olympic Team Votes Obama
Monday , Jul , 30 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Michelle Obama Plays Dirty Politics To Guarantee Olympic Team Votes Obama

Michelle Obama plays dirty politics to make sure the U.S. Olympic team votes Obama

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Can we get in line too? We love hugs.

After the U.S. Basketball team defeated France 98-71, the team lined up for hugs in front of Michelle Obama. We don't know if there are any republicans in the bunch, but this group of ballers looked very excited to get a big old hug from the first lady. If they weren't voting Obama before the hug, they definitely are now.

President and first lady Obama are known to be huge basketball fans, so it came as no surprise that Michelle wanted to catch the U.S. vs. France basketball game. What no one expected was the love she showed after the game. In all honesty, it looked like it all happened innocently enough with LeBron James coming over to Michelle to say thank you for watching the game. Michelle gave him a hug and before you could say "Mitt Romney got no jumper" the entire U.S. team was lined up for their own Michelle Obama hug. 

All the players were 100% composed and respectful of the first lady and some even seemed a bit overwhelmed. After the players got hugs, the coaches knew this was their best shot at a Obama hug too and jumped in line. With all the hugs doled out, the team went in the locker to analyze their destroying of the French team.

Read More
Andrei Kirilenko To Nets, Warriors Or T-Wolves
Wednesday , Jul , 25 , 2012 Paul Eide

Andrei Kirilenko To Nets, Warriors Or T-Wolves

Would AK-47 turn his back on Russia to rejoin the NBA? Fresh off being named the Euroleague's 2012 MVP,  he is reportedly considering a return to the NBA.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: It isn't a question of if or when he will return to the NBA, but how much money it will take to get him back.

At one time Kirilenko was one of the most well rounded, efficient players in the entire league. At 6-9 and as a former 1st team All-NBA defensive player, his career averages speak to his versatility: 12.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.0 bpg, 1.4 spg all while shooting 47% from the floor, 31% from three and 76% from the line made him a rare talent and defensive nightmare for opposing teams.

AK left the US to play in Russian prior to last season . Even though he has 10 years of NBA experience under his belt, he is just 31 years old and has plenty of good run left.

Today, Kirilenko told a group of reporters what his plans for the upcoming season potentially consisted of. "I want to decide my new team before the Olympics. There are several options in the NBA, but the final choice has not been made yet."

Kirilenko also told a Russian news outlet the following, further hyping his return: "I'll continue my career in the NBA. Which club in particular, we'll know in a day or two."

Rumors are swirling that the Brooklyn Nets would have an advantage seeing as how fellow countryman Mikhail Prokhorov owns teh squad. And in some capacity, PG Deron Williams is trying to convince Kirilenko that he is the missing piece for a championship run.

But would he really accept the veteran's minimum (which is all the Nets can offer) to play in Brooklyn? Even though the new NBA trend is for veteran stars in search of a ring to take lower money in hopes of corralling a championship, it sure seems unlikely, considering the money he can get from other interested teams, most notably the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors.

Read More
Rule Change Means Dwight Howard Will Wait For Free Agency
Monday , Jul , 23 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Rule Change Means Dwight Howard Will Wait For Free Agency

Rule change means Dwight Howard will wait for free agency.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard wouldn't think of signing a contract extension to help complete a trade.

Howard is under contract through the 2012-2012 season. If he is traded and signs an extension now, the maximum number of years that contract can be is for three years. 

Howard's agent recently explained why the new change in the labor agreement directly impacts Howard's decision. The new rule change affects players signing extensions before free agency and in Howard's case it makes no sense to sign an extension to help a trade. The new rule made it better for players to hit free agency, instead of extensions. This allows them to get more lucrative long-term deals. Signing now would likely cost Howard about $40 million.

Andrew Bynum is expected to follow the same painful path as Howard. Bynum could sign a three-year deal for $60 million or wait a year and sign a deal worth $100 million. Easy to see why under the new rules it's enticing to wait that extra year, hit free agency, and cash in.

It looks more and more like Dwight Howard will refuse to sign an extension to facilitate a trade. Orlando can't be blamed for wanting to get the best deal they can for Howard and Howard can't be blamed for wanting to cash in next year for $100 million. The problem is these two understandable issue make a Howard trade extremely difficult. 

For more info, updates, and gossip follow @HoopsVibe

and Mike's babbling sports tips @MikeBrouillet

Photo Credit: AP NEWS

 

NBA Board Approves Changes to Uniforms, Gameplay
Friday , Jul , 20 , 2012 Matt Formica

NBA Board Approves Changes to Uniforms, Gameplay

NBA Board Approves Changes to Uniforms, Gameplay

The associated press announced late yesterday that the NBA Board of Governors has approved changes to both uniforms and game play for upcoming seasons.

Hoopsvibe's Quick Call:  The NBA is a business and business is good.

NBA commissioner David Stern said the league is looking to increase revenues by roughly $100 million by permitting small advertising patches to be sewn into uniforms beginning as early as the 2013-14 NBA season.

"The view is, that the teams would need a significant time; one, to sell the patch; and number two, for Adidas to manufacture the uniforms, because the patch that would be on the players' uniforms would also appear on the jerseys at retail," said Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, the man in charge of coordinating the change.

Essentially, in the very near future, we can all expect to see NBA uniforms beginning to look like European soccer jerseys, patched with company logos.  I wonder how the world will respond to this??

My guess is, with the popularity of the NBA on an international level growing exponentially every year, the world will at first be a little skeptical but then quickly embrace the change as it becomes the new norm. 

It will definitely be interesting to see how many people buy Miami Heat jerseys with Fiat logos patched on, for example.

The Board also announced that the competition committee has altered a few rules that come into effect in the final two minutes of the game.  Starting as early as next season, officials will now be able to utilize video replay in the final two minutes of the game to decide whether or not a defender was in the restricted area when they took a charge.  Additionally, replay will be used in the final minutes to determine whether or not a block was actually a goal tend.

In the fall, the NBA Board will also meet to discuss the penalty for flopping, which was a huge problem that plagued the NBA this season, especially in the playoffs.

"Our ratings are up 28 percent over the last decade, while television rating are down around 30 percent the last decade.  We are going to have our best year ever, both in gate and sponsorship this coming year," commissioner David Stern said.

Say what you want about David Stern but one thing is for certain:

The guy knows how to bring dollars to the game.



Questions or comments??  Get at us Hoopsvibers!

For more news, info and updates follow us on twitter @hoopsvibe

Image source:  AP Images.

Blake Griffin Could Be Having A Very Short Career
Wednesday , Jul , 18 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Blake Griffin Could Be Having A Very Short Career

Blake Griffin could have a very short career.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Thunderous dunks are fun, but so is having an NBA career more than 2 years long.

Blake Griffin is undeniably one of the most dynamic players in the NBA. His dunk highlight real is already the type of thing legends are made of. Unfortunately, the same thing that makes him so much fun to watch will also be the reason his NBA career is very short.

It is a little well known fact that players that soar through the air generally have short NBA careers. Yes, there are exceptions. I'm sure someone is going to write me talking about Jordan or Dominique's career. Like I said, with any general theory there are exception. Yet, ask any NBA GM and they'll all tell you the same thing. Players that make the majority of their buckets off of high-flying dunks are a liability due to the abuse their bodies and more specifically knees must endure. 

Someone like Blake Griffin is a textbook example of the type of dunk-machine GM's cringe at. Without his ability to jump over everyone on the floor, Griffin quickly becomes a marginal player. He has zero outside shot, zero mid-range game, and hardly a low-post game to speak of that doesn't involve simply jumping over his defender. If Griffin loses a few inches off his vertical he becomes a bench player at best.

The reason this is of so much interest right now is Griffin recently injured his knee during the U.S. Olympic teams preparations for the 2012 London Olympics. He had arthroscopic surgery on Monday and will spend his summer not collecting gold medals in London but recovering in LA. It remains to be seen if he will be ready for the Clippers training camp. This would be a crushing loss for a team the heavily relied on his 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. 

We wish Blake a speedy recovery and hope he has a long career, but flying through the air is dangerous.

For more info, updates, and gossip follow @HoopsVibe

and catch Mike's babble @MikeBrouillet.

Photo Credit: AP NEWS

There’s Only One “Dream Team”, Sorry Kobe- Just Ask My Starting Lineup Figurines
Saturday , Jul , 14 , 2012 Paul Eide

There’s Only One “Dream Team”, Sorry Kobe- Just Ask My Starting Lineup Figurines

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since the original Dream Team dominated the 1992 Summer Olympics? It must've been that long if Kobe thinks this year's incarnation would have ANY SHOT against them.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: There will never be another Dream Team, in any sport.

Perhaps even more amazingly, can you believe that in all that time that I have maintained my collection of Starting Lineup Dream Team figurines in its original box, unopened and untouched by human hands? On a trip to a local Target with my step mother, I conned her into buying it for me; $100 when you're twelve feels like $1,000,000. It was the kind of gift you could only secure via guilt. It was the sort of reverse psychology that women have been employing on me ever since.
 
I remember one time in 8th grade during my 13th birthday party it was discovered by a party goer named Eric Hoffman who spent at least two hours prying me to open it. It was the ultimate peer pressure situation, but I held firm. It turns out I should’ve probably opened it because since then it’s appreciated roughly $20 in nearly 20 years. But every time I see it, I remember how special that team was, even though Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner, as late additions, were not included in the set.
 
Did you know that Laettner was actually selected over Shaquille O’Neal for the final spot? We all saw what Charles Barkley did to that Angolan; imagine what Shaq could’ve done. The Dream Team beat their opponents in the Olympics that year by an average score of 44 points a game and looked so cool doing it.
 
The closest margin of victory was a 32 point win over Croatia which included NBA players Toni Kukoc, Dino Radja, Drazen Petrovic, Stojko Vrankovic and Zan Tabak. Croatia won the Silver Medal and led by all that talent, ushered in a new era for the NBA where overseas players began to be viewed as valuable as their American counterparts. Today you can look at almost every NBA roster and find a player from another country, but in 1992 it was extremely rare.
 
Michael Jordan was the only player to start all eight games which really speaks to how great he was. Even surrounded by all those Alpha Males, there was no question who the top dog was. Jordan took 30 more shots than anyone else, but Barkley was the leading scorer putting up 18 ppg. Just in case anyone forgot, check out this roster; it would be akin to playing a game against the Hall of Fame as 11 of the players (minus Laettner) are actually in the Hall of Fame:
 
Michael Jordan- 14.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.8 apg
David Robinson- 9.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.9 apg
Patrick Ewing- 9.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg. 0.4 apg
Larry Bird- 8.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg
Scottie Pippen- 9.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 5.9 apg
Clyde Drexler- 10.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.6 apg
Karl Malone- 13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 apg
John Stockton- 2.8 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 2.0 apg
Chris Mullin- 12.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.6 apg
Charles Barkley- 18 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
Magic Johnson- 8.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 5.5 apg
Christian Laettner- 4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.4 apg
 
 
Since the original Dream Team won Gold, the rest of the world gradually caught up and no other US Olympic team was even close to being as dominant. In what can only be described as an affront to the supreme quality of the original (and only, in my mind) Dream Team is that each of the next two USA Olympic teams were also referred as the “Dream Team” though really, who are they fooling? A team with Steve Smith on it should never be referred to as a “Dream Team”. A more suitable moniker would be “Team of Guys Who Are Above Average NBA Players”.
 
The Dream Team wasn't just the greatest team ever assembled for the way it dominated on the court, but it actually furthered the development of the sport for the entire world.
 
Sorry, Kobe.
 
 

 

Blake Griffin Withdraws from Olympics and Makes Way for Anthony Davis
Saturday , Jul , 14 , 2012 Matt Formica

Blake Griffin Withdraws from Olympics and Makes Way for Anthony Davis

Blake Griffin Withdraws from Olympics and Makes Way for Anthony Davis

Dwight Howard.  Chris Bosh.  Derrick Rose.  Dwyane Wade.  And now, Blake Griffin.

Hoopsvibe's Quick Call:  The USA Men's Basketball team will still win gold at the London Olympics despite missing key players.

Blake Griffin is the latest player from the USA Men's basketball team to withdraw from this summer's Olympic games in London due to injury.  The LA Times reported yesterday that the Clippers star had torn his meniscus and returned to Los Angeles on Thursday for examination.

"I'm disappointed I can't be with the guys in London," Griffin said.  "I want to wish them all the best in their pursuit of the gold medal."

Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman, commented, "Blake worked extremely hard in our training camp and certainly would have been a valuable contributor.  This is another unfortunate injury, but we have to continue to move on and we're very fortunate to have Anthony Davis available."

Anthony Davis, the Kentucky freshman who was just drafted #1 overall by the Hornets, will be taking Griffin's place on the roster.  In doing so, Davis becomes just the third player (since NBA players were first used in 1992) to play in the Olympics before playing in the pros.  Christian Laettner and Emeka Okafor are the others.

While many are now questioning whether or not it is wise for NBA stars to be playing in the Olympics (as it increases the risk of injury), I would argue that this is going to be a great opportunity for Davis to get ready for the upcoming season.  Despite Davis' size and talent, he has yet to play against any of the big stars in the league.  Playing in the Olympics will give him an opportunity to go up against the world's best and get banged around in training by some of the NBA's most talented players.

"Whatever Coach K wants me to do I am going to do...I am going to look forward to the challenges, and I'm looking forward to going overseas and my first time out of the United States," Davis said.  

And while Griffin's injury is a disappointment for fans and the Clippers organization, the 7-footer will undergo arthroscopic surgery and should be fully healthy to play in the upcoming season.

"We're relieved that this does not affect Blake's ability to be ready in time for training camp...We're glad we can get this fixed now and take advantage of the available time for him to fully recover," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.

I'm sure Blake is pretty relieved too.

Read More
Dwyane Wade’s Knee Surgery Successful
Monday , Jul , 09 , 2012 Matt Formica

Dwyane Wade’s Knee Surgery Successful

Dwyane Wade's Knee Surgery Successful

Just about an hour ago, Dwyane Wade, my favorite player in the NBA, took to his Twitter account to announce that the knee surgery he underwent this morning was a success.

Hoopsvibe's Quick Call:  Look out.  Dwyane Wade will be fully healthy and ready for another championship run next season.

Read More
Dallas Mavericks Falling Apart
Thursday , Jul , 05 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Dallas Mavericks Falling Apart

Dallas Mavericks are falling apart an Mark Cuban's to blame.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Apparently one ring was enough for this owner and now he wants his money back.

Read More
NBA Free Agency Begins At 12:00 Tonight
Sunday , Jul , 01 , 2012 Paul Eide

NBA Free Agency Begins At 12:00 Tonight

Tonight at the stroke of midnight EST, the free agent feeding frenzy will begin.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Some long running questions about some big names and their destination for next season will finally be answered.

- Where will Steve Nash finally end up?

For two years we've been hearing Nash's name in about every conceivable trade scenario; and nothing ever happened. The Suns drafting of Kendall Marshall this week says a lot about how interested the organization is in bringing Nash back. Also, their supposed interest in Eric Gordon is another nail in the coffin that was Nash's time in Phoenix

- Where will Deron WIlliams go?

No matter where he ends up, will he finally play for a title contender? Mired in both Utah and New Jersey in his career, D WIll has been one of the NBA's most productive PG's. But can he lead a winner? Or will he forever be a great individual talent on bad teams?

- Ray Allen to the Heat?

The most the Heat can offer is a midlevel exception; three years 9.7 million. After the Heat's amazing performance from beyond the arc in the Finals imagine adding the NBA's all time three point shooting leader into the Knicks. It will be really interesting to see what other teams enter into the mix for his services.

- Apparently, Brandon Roy's knee is fine

Strangely, he may be the most sought after of all available unrestricted free agents. After being regarded as an "also ran" for two years, there are at least five teams vying for his services. If we are to believe the chatter, the Pacers are willing to do just about anything to get him.

- Will we finally see the flurry of trades we were promised pre-draft?

As team's negotiate a way to sign players that can't afford, inevitably some trades will happen. Will the Lakers FINALLY deal Gasol? Will Houston finally deal Luis Scola?

Read More