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Friday , Feb , 17 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Knicks sign J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith officially becomes Jeremy Lin's teammate today, that lucky gun of a son.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Do they need another scorer, especially one with a reputation for clashing with coaches and the organization?

Talent isn’t the issue with J.R. Smith. He’s a dynamic talent, capable of shooting the lights out from beyond the arc, while also aggressively attacking the basket.

Smith, who is confident and self-assured, will want minutes, touches, and shots, though. Superstar Carmelo Anthony, when he returns from injury, will want the same.

Then there’s Amar’e Stoudemire. Anthony’s shot-first mentality has turned the perennial All-Star into a $100 million blue-collar post who only rebounds and blocks shots.

Of course, Smith, Anthony, and Stoudemire have to fit next to NBA sensation Jeremy Lin, who has turned around the Knicks and captivated the basketball world.

Two large personalities, Anthony and Stoudemire, are enough -even in an up-and-down, all-you-can-shoot system like Mike D’Antoni’s.

So, why add Smith?

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Saturday , Feb , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Steve Nash and Suns open to trade?

Despite the Suns' struggles, Steve Nash has yet to express an interest in being traded, league sources said. But the organization will try to accommodate Nash's wishes if the 37-year-old foundation of the franchise decides he'd like a chance to compete for a championship with a contender. "It's really on him in terms of what he wants to do or not do," a person with knowledge of the situation said. Nash, who turns 38 next week, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps this is the first step in Steve Nash leaving the sad-sack Phoenix Suns before becoming a free agent at season’s end.

After all, the two-time MVP, perennial All-Star, and sure-fire Hall of Famer is deserving of so much better than playing for Robert Sarver’s thrifty team.

Sarver’s alligator arms have forced the Suns to give away draft picks, pass on free agents, and roll out the exit map for stars Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Bottom line: what was once one of the NBA’s premier teams is now irrelevant. And Nash has wasted some productive years toiling on that irrelevant team.

Of course, he knows this.

However, Nash is reluctant to request a trade, rightfully believing such a move would  wreck his legacy with the city of Phoenix and Suns-nation.

It would be different if the club traded Nash prior to the deadline, and attributed such a trade to needing an asset for their rebuilding project.

Hopefully, Nash is freed from Phoenix. His situation has become sad. And he needs to play meaningful basketball before it’s too late.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 

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Tuesday , Jan , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire for Dwight Howard?

Any questions ya'll have about my report on D-Howard/Amar'e/Chandler...please listen in to the show NOW! I will NOT keep repeating myself.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s no surprise the Orlando Magic tested the trade waters with the New York Knicks, proposing a Dwight Howard for Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire swap.

The Knicks, who believed they’d contend, have struggled early on. Superstars Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire aren’t clicking. Coach Mike D’Antoni is on the hot seat. And the Madison Square Gardens masses are restless.

Translation: the Knicks are vulnerable, especially without a wise, veteran executive in the front office to preach patience and/or give D’Antoni a vote of confidence.

Would the Knicks be better with Howard instead of Chandler and Stoudemire?

Well, perhaps. Problem is, they’d still have Carmelo Anthony firing away from the outside and refusing to facilitate for teammates.

Until Anthony’s game becomes more balanced, it won’t matter who the Knicks have at center or power forward.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jan , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Carmelo the problem in New York?

Carmelo very reflective tonight. Wondered aloud if he's shooting too much, or should pass more and whether he's to blame for losses.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has yet to make those around him better.

For all his offensive gifts, Carmelo Anthony lacks the one skill that truly defines greatness: he does not raise the play of teammates.

In fact, he never has.

Anthony struggled to find his game on-and-off court after a banner rookie year with the Denver Nuggets. Then he failed to mesh with Allen Iverson. Only with leader and Finals MVP Chauncey Billups did ‘Anthony’s Nuggets’ compete.

Last year was a write-off. Anthony made no secret of his desire for a trade to the big-market New York Knicks. Both teams were in a holding pattern for months, dealing with 24-7 trade rumors.

When those rumors became reality, the results surprised. The Nuggets, with balance and team-first play, impressed, while the superstar-laden Knicks disappointed.

And Anthony must take the blame. He’s in his much-desired glamour market, and has yet to deliver results.

He shoots too much. He won’t include others. Worst of all, his presence has turned Amar’e Stoudemire, a $100 million free agent signing in 2010, into a blue-collar post.

Something must give. Nine years into his career, the question is whether Anthony can change and embrace the bigger picture?

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jan , 19 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks to sign Steve Nash this summer?

The Knicks just need to look at the other bench tonight to see what their offense is supposed to look like. Nash, who ran D’Antoni’s system to perfection, was averaging an NBA-high 10.1 assists before last night’s 118-97 loss to the Bulls, even though he will turn 38 next month. That’s why The Post has reported the Knicks plan to target Nash (along with Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton) with this summer’s $5 million mid-level exception.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Nothing new here.

The New York Knicks are reportedly interested in Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash, and will try to sign the sure-fire Hall of Famer this summer when he becomes a free agent. 

After all, the Knicks are coached by Mike D'Antoni, Nash's old coach and mentor. And they need a reliable table-setter to deliver the ball to scorers Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. And Nash lives in New York during the summer, so the transition would be easy.

In fact, the only surprise is the Knicks waiting until summer. Why not pursue Nash now and enhance their chances of playoff run?

Well, the Suns and their two-time MVP are playing chess. Both sides know a parting of the ways is inevitable, but neither wants to make the first move.

Sun fans would never forgive owner Robert Sarver for dealing Nash. And they'd never see Nash in the same light if he requested a trade.

This, however, won't stop the Knicks from pursuing Nash. Not now, and not six months from now if he gets to free agency.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

 

 

   

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Sunday , Dec , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

D-Wade to Amar’e: ‘I got those hunting tips for you’

Dwyane Wade to Amarè Stoudemire: I got those "hunting" tips for you. Hit me on the cell L2MS.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s on.

Commissioner David Stern can say what he likes about achieving NFL-style parity between small and large markets.

Bottom line: he’s lying.

The NBA thrives when superstars are in major markets. And the NBA is at its best when superstars in major markets develop rivalries with other superstars in major markets.

So Amar’e Stoudemire and Dwyane Wade exchanging ‘hunting tips’ via twitter is great for the NBA, as it’s further proof the Knicks are once again relevant.

Will the Knicks challenge the Heat for supremacy in the Eastern Conference?

Probably not.

The Knicks are talented, and can score in bunches. However, I don’t think they’ll defend on a night-in, night-out basis to overtake the Heat. Not with offensive guru Mike D’Antoni on the sideline.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Dec , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Carmelo wants Knicks to sign Kenyon Martin?

The Knicks have one roster spot still open entering tomorrow’s season opener, and Carmelo Anthony hopes it eventually goes to his former Nuggets teammate Kenyon Martin, according to an NBA source.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kenyon Martin will help, but only if the New York Knicks are serious about becoming more of a defensive team.

Martin, who is currently trying to untangle himself from a complicated contract with a Chinese club, is a blue-collar four-man.

His rebounding, defense, and athleticism would help the Knicks transition from Seven Seconds Or Less to a more traditional get-stops squad.

Of course, with a frontline of Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Amar’e Stoudemire, Martin would get limited minutes off the bench. And there’s no telling if Martin, a confident and brash individual, would accept that.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Dec , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Knicks sign Tyson Chandler

The Knicks are nearing completion on a deal with Tyson Chandler worth $58 million over four seasons.After their efforts to trade for Chris Paul stalled, sources say the Knicks intensified their efforts to sign Chandler.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The NBA lockout and shortened season has created a tight window for free agents, so multiple scenarios are in play.

One strong possibility: Tyson Chandler leaves the world champion Dallas Mavericks to sign a multi-year deal with the New York Knicks for between $50-60 million.

Then things would get awfully complicated.

The Knicks would first have to create cap space by waiving/trading point guard Chauncey Billups and/or post Ronny Turiaf. Inking Chandler would provide other options -like using Amar'e Stoudemire as trade bait.

Or, they could keep Stoudemire and partner him with Chandler and Carmelo Anthony. This would, perhaps, be the NBA's premier front-court.

Bottom line: signing Chandler is the first of many changes coming to New York.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Dec , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Chris Paul will reject Hornets to sign with Knicks?

Chris Paul’s agent informed New Orleans officials on Wednesday that his client will not sign a contract extension and wants to be traded to the New York Knicks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. As soon as the NBA lifts its lockout restrictions, Hornets general manager Dell Demps wants to meet with Paul and hear that directive from him.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s a when. Not an if.

Face it: Chris Paul will leave the New Orleans Hornets as a free agent in July of 2012 to most likely sign with the New York Knicks.

Everything else is a formality. Like the 2011 season. Like turning down extension offers from the New Orleans Hornets. Like informing management he’ll leave.

To be fair, this isn’t just about small markets vs. large markets. Or, playing in the bright lights of The Big Apple.

This, in fact, is fate. 

A few years ago, Paul attended Carmelo Anthony’s wedding where he toasted to playing alongside ‘Melo and Amar’e Stoudemire at Madison Square Gardens for the Knicks.

Two of the pieces are in place. Stoudemire signed with the Knicks as a free agent in the summer of 2010, while Anthony was traded to the NYC last February.

For months, they’ve been waiting for Paul to form a Big Three to rival the superstar trio in Miami.

When that happens the Knicks will take another step in the Eastern Conference. There’s no if about that.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Oct , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Phil Jackson to Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose needs Help

"...They still have to have some steady shooters from the outside to complement the penetration they have, and then (Carlos) Boozer has to have that post-up game that he was brought there to give them. They just can't be one-dimensional in that regard. They have to have those complementary pieces to assist Rose in his game."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Phil Jackson retired last May. His mouth missed the memo.

The Zen-Master appeared on a Chicago-area radio show and declared that Bulls star and 2011 MVP Derrick Rose needed help.

It's common knowledge Rose's supporting cast must improve, especially at two-guard. The Zen-Master couldn't resist antagonizing, provoking, and causing controversy by saying that the Bulls should hang a 'Help Wanted' sign outside the stadium.

Here's the question: why would Jackson stir the pot?

Well, Jackson could be flexing his muscles. As the most successful coach in NBA history, he feels it's his duty to comment on all things NBA.

Remember, Jackson won six championships in The Windy City, so he has a connection to the team and city.

Perhaps he's keeping his name in the headlines in order to land one final coaching job before he really retires.

Chicago is unlikely. New York -with Carmelo Anthony, Amar's Stoudemire, and maybe Chris Paul - is a possibility.

One thing we do know: Jackson always has an agenda.

--Sandor.

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Saturday , Oct , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e Stoudemire blames Robert Sarver for lockout

Amar'e Stoudemire believes he knows where to place the blame for the NBA's aggressive stance against the players' union: the owner of his former team, the Phoenix Suns. "[Robert] Sarver, for sure," Stoudemire said. "He's probably the main guy that's pushing for this lockout."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I didn’t think Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns, could look much worse.

After all, he single-handedly decimated the Suns, refusing to re-sign Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire and selling first round draft picks like action figures on E-Bay.

Well, I was wrong.

Fair or not, Sarver is seen as the hardline owner who held up the two sides agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement a few weeks back.

And his comments about wanting to take the mid level exception home in a handbag to his wife and sitting out the entire year were asinine and stupid.

The players are taking note. Starting with the Suns' former star in Stoudemire, who saw first hand how Sarver's nickel and dimming destroyed his chances of winning  a championship in Arizona.

It’s not that Sarver doesn’t have a right to speak his mind. It’s that he lacks the credibility for anyone to listen.

The lockout has made that point even clearer.

-O.Sandor.

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Monday , Oct , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Did Isiah give Amar’e his ‘Renaissance Man’ nickname?

"I've been ordained the Renaissance Man," said Stoudemire on Twitter shortly after midnight Sunday morning. "This is now my new nickname. Renaissance Man. You like it, I love it. Its not going to change." Isiah Thomas referred to Stoudemire as a renaissance man in comments to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News on Saturday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Isiah Thomas strikes again.

The Hall of Fame point guard is again showing his influence over the New York Knicks by dubbing Amar’e Stoudemire 'The Renaissance Man'.

Thomas, who is the coach of Florida International University, doesn’t officially work for the Knicks, but finds time to ‘help’ with trades, free agent signings, and mediocre nicknames.

This isn’t good for the Knicks. They need a talented replacement for executive Donnie Walsh, and any worthwhile candidate won’t want to deal with Thomas’ constant meddling.

Of course, Thomas may be Walsh's replacement.

Despite being one of the worst GMs in league history, Knicks owner James Dolan has considered re-hiring Thomas because the two are friends.

And then Thomas would get the last laugh.

--O. Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 
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Saturday , Oct , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Isiah Thomas to help Knicks sign Chris Paul?

Thomas, who worked for the Knicks as president, GM or coach from December 2003 to April 2008, was reportedly involved in the recruitment of Carmelo Anthony last season. Now, he's expected to do the same with Paul, who is under contract for the 2011-2012 season but has a player option for 2012-13, during which he is scheduled to make $17.8 million. Many have speculated that New York is a potential destination for Paul. Current Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups, whom New York acquired in a three-team, 13-player deal last February, will be a free agent after 2011-2012.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If the New York Knicks had sense, they’d muzzle Isiah Thomas.

They don`t have any sense, so Thomas will keep talking. Loudly.

Remember, Thomas’ slash-and-burn philosophy turned the Knicks into the league‘s laughingstock, forcing Commissioner David Stern to suggest to owner James Dolan that he hire veteran executive Donnie Walsh.

Thomas got a massive cheque to leave and give his opinion when asked to by the front office.

But Thomas is friendly with Dolan, so he stayed active and involved with the Knicks even though he has a college coaching gig at Florida International University.

This clearly alienated Walsh, who is now the outgoing executive for the Knicks. He couldn’t have liked Thomas taking credit for the signing of Amar’e Stoudemire and acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. 

Whoever replaces Walsh won’t be pleased to hear Thomas insinuate that he’ll have a key role in the Knicks chasing point guard Chris Paul.

Paul, of course, is a free agent in July of 2012. He’ll likely leave the small market New Orleans Hornets -even if the new collective bargaining agreement fixes the disparity between small and big market teams.

Enter New York. Paul will surely find it difficult to turn down the lure of playing in Madison Square Garden with Stoudemire and Anthony.

This has nothing to do with Thomas. However, an opportunist never turns down or passes up an opportunity.

--O. Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Donnie Walsh: Knicks have championship core

We have a core of players we can build around to build a [championship-contending] team,” Walsh said. “We’re not finished. There’s more pieces. But I think we got some really good players that can lead a team and form a core of that team. What we have are the most important things.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Their core isn’t bad. It’s just not that good, either.
 
Executive Donnie Walsh is overestimating his New York Knicks if he believes Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Amar’e Stoudemire need only a few tweaks to win a championship.

There’s little evidence to suggest Anthony and Stoudemire can play together, while Billups is aging -and fast.

The Knicks, even if the stars align and do contend in the Eastern Conference, will be hard pressed to topple the Miami Heat and their core of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade in a best-of-seven series.

--O.Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Derek Fisher told players to be ‘physically prepared’ for season?

One league source claims that union president Derek Fisher text-messaged numerous players last week indicating that some progress had been made and imploring them to be physically prepared just in case the season started on time.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will they? Won’t they?

Currently, there’s a great deal of back-and-forth about whether the players and owners can get their you-know-what-together so there’s a season.

Every sign is being investigated and analyzed -like Roger Mason’s now infamous tweet that was intended for Amar’e Stoudemire, but became public.

Now there’s word Union President Derek Fisher sent a text to the players last week suggesting they be physically ready in case the season starts on time.

What to believe?

Regardless of what the owners and union are saying publicly, there appears to be progress. After all, both sides are bringing in their full staffs for the next negotiating session.

Hopefully, it results in another step towards a new collective bargaining agreement -and a season.

--Oly Sandor.


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Friday , Sep , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Roger Mason Tweets to Amar’e Stoudemire: ‘Looking like a season’

Stoudemire is in constant communication with Knicks guard Roger Mason Jr., who is on the negotiating committee.

Mason tweeted yesterday, “Looking like a season. How u.” The tweet got major play until Mason deleted it and claimed his Twitter account was hacked. However, speculation is he sent it as a private message and hit the wrong button.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Thank God for Twitter.

The social networking site has provided the basketball world with its greatest clue that players and owners may be moving towards a new collective bargaining agreement.

New York Knicks union rep Roger Mason tried to alert teammate Amar’e Stoudemire that a season could be on the horizon. Unfortunately, he hit the wrong button, making what was supposed to be a private tweet available to the public.

This prompted Stoudemire to tell reporters he’s hearing good things about upcoming labour negotiations.

Accident or not, we’ll take it. It’s a sign - a good sign that basketball is coming. For now, that’s enough.

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Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Phil Jackson to coach New York Knicks?

The first was undoubtedly whether Phil Jackson, on hand to usher his former long-time assistant Tex Winter and Rodman into the Class of 2011, will unretire in the future and return to the NBA sidelines to coach again. Maybe for the Knicks in 2012.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will Phil Jackson ride off into the sunset at his ranch in the Mid West? Or, will the most successful coach in NBA history un-retire and  take a seat on the New York Knicks’ bench?

Jackson didn’t close the door on a return to coaching at the NBA’s Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Instead, he left the door open ever-so slightly.

Remember, Jackson won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, which included a run of three and two consecutive championships.

Before that he won six championships with the Chicago Bulls, which included two separate runs of three consecutive championships.

Bottom line: Jackson’s a winner. So the Knicks should do everything possible to woo him out of retirement, or sabbatical, and onto the hallowed floor of Madison Square Gardens.

After all, Jackson played for some great Knick squads. His ego is grand enough that he’d handle, or even welcome, the bright lights, center stage, and headlines of Broadway. 

Of course, the Knicks have the money to easily meet P-Jax’s demand of an eight-figure annual salary to work his magic on Carmelo Anthony and Amar‘e Stoudemire.

Sounds perfect, right?

Well, here’s the problem: Knick owner James Dolan likes control. He’ll be reluctant to hire a free-thinking, counter-culturist like Jackson, who has the pedigree to say what he thinks without worrying about consequences.

Now Jackson, at 66, won’t want to deal with the Knicks’ meddling owner. For instance, he knows Executive Donnie Walsh left because he grew tired of Dolan.

Then again Dolan has hired high-profile coaches and general managers: Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. And Jackson has dealt with the soap opera in Laker-land known as the Buss clan.

So it’s possible. We’re talking about it too, which is exactly what Jackson, retired or not, wants. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers Targetting Chris Paul?

With the Lakersshowing more signs that their basketball mileage is catching up with them, they need to inject speed into their lineup. And with Mike Brown planning to abandon most of the triangle offense, they need a solid point guard. ... [Chris Paul] has the edge over [Deron Williams] because of his youth (26) and uncanny speed.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: With the 2012 season in limbo, many have turned to speculating on next year’s free agent class.

One rumour keeps making the rounds: Chris Paul walks on the New Orleans Hornets to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next July.

Before you roll your eyes at the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for not fixing the migration of stars to big markets, recognize that this makes sense for Paul.

The Lakers will have financial flexibility. They have $67 million in committed salary for the 2012-13 season, but the club holds options on $25 million for Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.

While they won’t walk on Bynum, the purple-and-gold will gladly bolt on the final $8 million on Odom’s pact. There are other ways to trim salary.

Regardless of the system - hard or soft cap - the Lakers will be able to make a competitive offer for Paul.

New coach Mike Brown will replace the Triple-Post with a drive-and-kick system that relies on the point guard penetrating and running pick-and-rolls.

Sounds perfect for Paul, right?

The New Orleans Hornets can’t afford Paul. The league owns the team and the city can't generate enough revenue to pay for a top supporting cast.

So it’s generally accepted that Paul will leave New Orleans and join Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in New York.

Not so fast.

Last I checked the Knicks played in the Eastern Conference. Each year, Paul would have to go through Miami’s Three Kings to reach the NBA Finals.

And when the Heat have a down year, Paul would likely face 2010 MVP Derrick Rose and his upstart Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, with their air-tight defense, are no pushovers.

So Paul’s best bet at championship glory may be out west with the Lakers.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Friday , Jul , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Amar’e Stoudemire to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv?

While this would be a dream scenario for Maccabi and all Jewish basketball fans, Amare's agent, Happy Walters, doesn't see it happening.  "I don't think anyone is thinking about playing overseas at this point – certainly not Amar'e," he said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just a hunch. Amar’e Stoudemire likes attention.

He did give himself nicknames of ‘Standing Tall And Talented’ and 'Black Jesus'. There are his Craig Sager inspired outfits and demand to participate in The Great Free Agent Summit of 2010. And he's in the midst of a rather public relationship with Ciara, the pop singer.

More recently, Stoudemire has gone back-on-forth via twitter about whether to ‘take his talent’ abroad during the lockout or stay in America.

Each day brings something new. First, it was Europe, and then China, and then Israel. As expected, Stoudemire and/or his agent, Happy Walters, tell the world he’s sticking around New York.

Like most superstars, Stoudemire will stay state-side to see if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement gets done in the next month or so. This, as we know, is unlikely. Once the lockout drags, he’ll explore options overseas.

For now, we have Stoudemire’s tweets. At least, media and fans alike have some entertainment during the dog days of this senseless lockout.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Carmelo, Kobe, and Amar’e to pass on Europe?

With Nets superstar Deron Williams breaking the ice by agreeing to terms to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout lasts for a long time, will Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony follow suit? Highly doubtful.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There will not be a mass exodus of NBA superstars to Europe.

For a variety of reasons, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and/or Amar’e Stoudemire won’t follow Deron Williams to exotic locations like Turkey, Greece, Spain, and Italy.

This trio may listen to offers. Their people may publicly express interest in Europe. And we -the media and fans- will eat it up because there’s nothing to discuss during the lockout.

Bottom line: few, if any, superstars will join Williams.

These high-profile athletes need insurance against injuries. This isn’t cheap, and would negate much of the salary they earned for playing.

In some cases, the risk is too great. Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, has already said his client head won't risk the remaining $80 million on his NBA contract with the New York Knicks for a few games abroad.  

Italy, Spain, Greece, and/or Portugal are on the verge of bankruptcy, and need economic help from the European Union. Can these countries afford NBA superstars? And will their leveraged owners honor these big-ticket contracts?

Expect Kobe Bryant to instead head east –as in the Far East. Bryant will apparently headline a tour to basketball-mad China, where he'll market his brand, shoes, and everything else Kobe-related.

Superstars will use Europe to gain leverage in negotiations during the lockout. The game's biggest names will be reluctant to follow Williams overseas.

--Oly Sandor.

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