amare-stoudemire
What happened to my power forwards and centers?
Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 J.N.

What happened to my power forwards and centers?

The stretch 4 business is serious business. Basketball purists have been complaining about the lack of quality at the center position for years now. They’re right. Look further down – the power forward position has also evolved in to this stretch 4 trend. What is a stretch 4, you ask? He’s a tall guy, usually 6-9 or taller, and plays from the perimeter. He barely posts up preferring to shoot instead of being a bruiser. 

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Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets want Dwight Howard?

Williams has made no firm promises about staying in New Jersey but has said he likes the direction of the franchise under new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The 27-year-old has likewise expressed optimism about the team's scheduled move to Brooklyn starting with the 2012-13 season and his potential role in luring other top players to the Nets. The Nets, sources said, intend to make a hard push for Howard in an attempt to convince Williams to commit long term.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Collective Bargaining Agreement may change, but the NBA will always be a star’s league.

Take Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets. The soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise mortgaged the farm to acquire Williams via trade, even though he can become a free agent in July of 2012.

Right now, Williams has leverage. Before signing a long-term extension with the Nets, he wants a co-star.

Enter Dwight Howard.

The massive five-man can also opt-out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. Howard, on paper, is the perfect running mate for Williams.

The two would form a lethal inside-outside combo, capable of rivalling most eastern foes. Their star power would match Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, who ply their trade with the crosstown New York Knicks.

Unfortunately, the Nets have competition. The Orlando Magic are desperate to keep their franchise face, while the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have both made plays for Howard.

Getting Howard won't be easy. So re-signing Williams won’t be easy. But both are a must for the Nets.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Swizz Beats, Amar’e, and Melo Perform Go-New York-Go remix

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, think New York is excited about being back in the playoffs?

Well, New York native, rapper, and producer, Swizz Beats has re-done the classic anthem ‘Go New York Go’ to celebrate the Knicks return to the second-season. And he gets help from the team's two superstars.

Watch the clip and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 --Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Feb , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nuggets want Felton in trade for Anthony?

Recent rumors indicate that the Nuggets would like the Knicks to include Raymond Felton in a package for Carmelo Anthony, with Chauncey Billups ending up in New York as part of the deal as well.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s no escape. It’s the beast of all rumors. Amar’e Stoudemire aside, every New York Knick has now been included in trade discussion for the Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony.
 
And it won’t stop. Not until the Nuggets and Knicks finally complete the inevitable and agree to terms on a deal to send Anthony east to Madison Square Garden.

The latest episode in the daily soap opera called As ‘Melo Turns has Ray Felton joining the Nuggets, while Billups would follow Anthony to the Knicks.

Just a thought: how would Stoudemire feel about Felton changing teams? Over the last few months, STAT and the former Charlotte Bobcat have developed into a formidable pick-and-roll tandem.

The two have an obvious chemistry. And this would be hard to replicate with Billups, even though Mr. Big Shot is still a steady table-setter.

Of course, Billups may not stick in New York. The veteran does not have a guaranteed contract for the 2012 season, so the Knicks could waive him and increase their cap space.

The rumors will continue until this blockbuster trade/marriage between Anthony and the Knicks is finally consummated.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Feb , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash on staying in Phoenix: ‘I’m old school’

Nash insisted again this week, as he lunched on five-bean soup and the healthiest of chopped salads at one of his go-to temples for food purity, that he won't be lobbying Suns owner Robert Sarver and new team president Lon Babby to send him to a contender. 

"Maybe I'm old school," Nash said, "but I signed a contract to play here and I want to honor it. I feel like I owe it to my teammates and the city and everybody to keep battling until they tell me it's time to go."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s forever the good soldier.

After all, how easy would it be for Steve Nash to walk into Robert Sarver’s office and demand a trade?

Nash is a beloved two-time MVP and a future member of the Hall of Fame. Sarver is the despised owner of the Phoenix Suns, who puts profits before championships.

Nash is right: he’s old school. He’s also loyal to teammates, Phoenix, and, most importantly, his values, which means he plays out the last year and a half of the contract he signed.

It doesn’t matter that Sarver failed to keep superstar Amar’e Stoudemire and executive Steve Kerr. And it doesn’t matter that Sarver lacks the resources to build a winner.

For Nash, a deal is a deal. So he’s a Sun until July of 2012.

Sixteen months from now, Nash’s contract will expire. With his fitness regime and basketball IQ, the tiny table-setter will be in demand.  Look for Nash and his people to quickly sign with a contender

Nash, forever the good soldier and team-first point-guard, can finally think about himself.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Jan , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant calls Chris Bosh ‘a fake tough guy’

"I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his 2 cents into it. I'm a quiet guy, a laid-back guy, but I'm not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He's on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit," Durant said. "There's a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he's one of them," Durant added.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh isn’t exactly respected by his NBA peers.

Shaquille O’Neal once branded him the ‘RuPaul’ of big men. Amar’e Stoudemire boasted to the world that he was better than Bosh. Today, Kevin Durant called him a ‘fake tough guy’.

Durant’s comments came after his Oklahoma City Thunder dropped a close game to Bosh’s Miami Heat on national television. The lanky three-man missed a fade-away jumper in the closing seconds which would have sent the game to overtime.

However, the tough loss wasn’t the reason for Durant’s outburst. Earlier in the game, he and Bosh bumped into each other and exchanged words. Both were given technical fouls.

Clearly, Durant doesn’t believe Bosh can back-up the tough talk. And he isn’t the only one.  

--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below
2011 All-Star Starters Announced
Friday , Jan , 28 , 2011 Christopher Sells

2011 All-Star Starters Announced

 Your 2011 NBA All-Star Game starters, as voted by the fans and announced by the NBA are below. The game will be played in Los Angeles on February 20.

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Sunday , Jan , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor Amarè wants Knicks to pass on Carmelo?

"Right now, in New York we have a solid team," Stoudemire said. "We don't really need much. We're playing well. We feel like the team we have can be very successful if we keep improving individually and as a team on the defensive end."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Suddenly, Amar’e Stoudemire is singing a different tune.

When the Standing Tall and Talented Post signed with the New York Knicks, he promised he’d recruit two or three of his superstar buddies –like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and possibly Tony Parker.

Well, Paul isn’t leaving New Orleans in the near term, unless the Hornets franchise leaves New Orleans. Parker has re-signed with the rejuvenated San Antonio Spurs.

Knick-nation can probably cross Anthony off the list, too, which doesn’t bother Stoudemire. Not one bit. 

Winning has changed things. After years of dysfunction, disgust, and dreadful basketball, New York is relevant. There’s chemistry. And Stoudemire doesn’t want to blow things up for Anthony.

Anthony, as a volume shooter, has to get his. His demand for touches and shots would surely impact Stoudemire and his supporting cast of Wilson Chandler, Ray Felton, Danillo Gallineri, and the promising Landry Fields.

And that impact could be good or bad. So Stoudemire seems comfortable with the status-quo. Hopefully, that appeases New York and Knick-nation.

--Oly Sandor.


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

2010-2011 Top 10 Fantasy Ballers Power Forwards (5-1)
Thursday , Dec , 02 , 2010 J.N.

2010-2011 Top 10 Fantasy Ballers Power Forwards (5-1)

The top 5 are only reserved for the heavy hitters. This section is made up of fresh faces. Everyone is so wrapped up into the point guards and dying centers that not many are noticing the power forwards. What’s up with that? The position is filled with plenty of young talent making it almost as deep as the point guards. The only thing I noticed is the lack of good defensive power forwards. Stats are up to date as of December 2, 2010.

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Saturday , Oct , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Mike D’Antoni on Amar’e Stoudemire: ’I’m hoping he’s the MVP’

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni is touting forward Amar'e Stoudemire as an MVP candidate this season. "I'm hoping he's the MVP this year," D'Antoni said. "That's kind of what he should shoot for and I'm sure what he's trying to be."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You’d think the New York Knicks would have learned –hope is not a strategy.

The classic franchise spent three years wooing LeBron James. They cleared cap space. They promised him the world. And they hoped The King would be their saviour.

Well, James took his ‘talents to South Beach’, which left the Knicks giving Amar’e Stoudemire a 5-year, $100 million contract.

Now Coach Mike D’Antoni has to hope Stoudemire can be his saviour.

While Stoudemire has moments of greatness, he’s not an MVP. His offensive game is limited; he treats defense like a contagious disease; and he doesn’t make those around him better.

The Knicks will be better, though. Ray Felton is an upgrade at point guard. Danilo Gallinari should continue developing. And Stoudemire is a legit’ All-Star at the four-spot.

Most importantly, D’Antoni’s crew can finally play to win, not bide their time and hope for the best from The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.

Playing to win, not hoping, is the only way the Knicks succeed.

-Oly Sandor.

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


Where do the “New” New York Knicks finish with Amar’e?
Tuesday , Aug , 03 , 2010 J.N.

Where do the “New” New York Knicks finish with Amar’e?

Did anyone want to remember the past decade? It was full of LULZ and OMG! Those days are over. The scene was interesting to see Stephon Marbury shout “Dey scared now!” His interviews were nothing short of breathtaking. I miss seeing Zach Randolph dribble the ball like he was in an And-1 commercial. Isiah Thomas took the Knicks even deeper in to the abyss. Mike D’Antoni’s priceless expression when he didn’t land the number one pick to get Derrick Rose was hilarious.

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Friday , Jul , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: has Chris Paul to N.Y. Knicks been in the works for weeks?

The Knicks are willing to trade anyone aside from newly-signed forward Amar'e Stoudemire for Hornets guard Chris Paul, according to a league source.

Paul is scheduled to meet with New Orleans general manager Dell Demps, head coach Monty Williams and president Hugh Weber on Monday.

"Amar'e won't be traded, but everyone else is available," the executive said of New York.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Chris Paul to the New York Knicks has been in the works for weeks.

After all, Paul and the New Orleans Hornets couldn't possibly last. Not in today's polarized NBA, where a few big spenders dominate and the rest of the league gets the table scraps.

New Orleans as a market can't generate enough revenue to provide Paul with a supporting cast. And New Orleans' owner, George Shinn, either lacks the pockets or will to personally pay for talent.

So it wasn't a if, but a when. When would the point guard tire of small market New Orleans and demand a trade to a major market.

Enter the Knicks.

New York is the media capital of the world. They play in historic Madison Square Gardens. Owner James Dolan has no issue throwing money around like a multi-platinum rapper at the strip club.

And for some time, they’ve wanted Paul.

Consider the evidence. After signing a max contract with the Knicks, Amar'e Stoudemire announced he'd form his own super team in New York with Carmelo Anthony and Paul to rival the Miami Heat's Three Kings.

Unfortunately, his prospective co-stars both had contracts. Anthony has a year left on his deal with the Nuggets. Paul owes the Hornets two years. 

Unless STAT knew something we didn't. Where the wheels were already in motion?

Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni, New York's lead executive and coach, surely heard the rumblings that Paul wanted out of New Orleans. They probably promised Stoudemire they'd do everything possible to get C3P.  

The NBA is also a close fraternity. Players are buddy-buddy. Stoudemire and Paul have probably discussed balling together over bottles in the club or through text messages.

Then, this summer the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors, where they sent David Lee out west for Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, and Ronny Turiaf.

There's a feeling the Knicks specifically took back assets the Hornets would want. Turiaf makes sense as a back-up to Stoudemire, but Walsh likely picked Azubuike and Randolph because he knew their age and cheap salaries would appeal to New Orleans. 

In other words, they were positioning themselves to get Paul.

They knew this was coming. They saw the sign -Paul leaving his long-time management company Octagon in early July to join LRMR services, owned by best friend LeBron James.   

Today's report clearly supports this belief. Apparently, the Hornets can ask for any player(s), other than Stoudemire, on the Knicks' roster. Azubuike and Randolph could easily be part of a blockbuster package.

So if Paul lands in New York, it's no accident and has been in the works for a long, long time.

--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Jul , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Don`t Believe Hype: Shaq and Knicks flirting, but not serious

The Knicks have reportedly discussed a sign-and-trade with the Cavs for free agent Shaquille O'Neal.

Reports, however, have O'Neal headed to Atlanta for Marvin Williams. A Knicks source said, "I don't think it would work with us on all kinds of levels."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Big Diesel in The Big Apple would be The Big Disaster.

Simply put, Shaquille O’Neal isn’t right for the New York Knicks. And the New York Knicks aren’t right for Shaquille O’Neal.

Both sides can flirt with each other in the media. These antics are self-serving. Player and team are manipulating the headlines for their own purposes.

After all, Shaq wants to play for a contender. Well, the Knicks – after losing out on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade in free agency – will struggle to make the playoffs in 2010.

Shaq no longer has the Phoenix Suns’ outstanding trainers to keep his weight down and body spry. At 38, girth-filled, and injury prone, he’d struggle in Coach Mike D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds or Less system.

While not disastrous, the O’Neal-Amar’e Stoudemire pairing in Phoenix had challenges. If absolutely necessary, these two could play together.
 
It’s not something even the Knicks would choose to do -although they may be just crazy enough to rehire Isiah Thomas as GM, so who really knows what James Dolan and his lackies are capable of?

Well, why the rumors? 

Shaq is hoping the New York buzz prompts a competitive squad like the Atlanta Hawks and/or San Antonio Spurs to reconsider his services down the middle.
  
The Knicks, of course, must appear busy. They must appear to be doing everything possible to improve in hopes of distracting the masses from their failed attempts to sign Bosh, James, and Wade. In this respect, the publicity O’Neal generates can be useful.

So the rumors serve a purpose. Provided they don’t become reality.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ray Felton and New York Knicks close to deal

Raymond Felton and the Knicks reached an agreement in principle Friday on the broad parameters of a contract. The length of the deal has not yet been agreed upon, but Felton will earn a starting salary in the $7 million range.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s the best of a not so great situation.

Sure, the New York Knicks were hoping for some combination of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and/or Dwyane Wade.

And sure, they ended up with Amar’e Stoudemire and more cap space then they wanted.

However, Raymond Felton would fit. He’s a solid, do-it-all point guard, who would gel in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun, Seven Seconds or Less system.

Best of all, he comes cheap: $7 million per year isn’t much for a starting table-setter -even in today’s point guard heavy NBA.
 
So the Knicks need to make this signing official.

 --Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , Jul , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Durant signs extension with Thunder, shames Bosh, James, Stoudemire, and Wade with his class

Kevin Durant has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Thunder, according to his official Twitter page. The terms of the deal are unclear, but the Thunder`s star can`t sign the deal until Thursday when the NBA`s moratorium is lifted.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: There was no celebrity pitch. There was no rock star tour. There was no discussion of filming a documentary. And there were no demands for a superstar teammate.

Once again, the Oklahoma City Thunder and their superstar Kevin Durant hit exactly the right note, quietly agreeing to terms Wednesday on what will surely be a maximum extension.

While Durant broke the news on twitter, he was, as usual, gracious, honest, and appreciative.

Kevin Durant: Exstension for 5 more years wit the #thunder.... God Is Great, me and my family came a long way...I love yall man forreal, this a blessing!


How novel?

An NBA superstar actually acknowledging he’s blessed, and not treating the negotiating process like an opportunity to manipulate fans.

To be fair, the three-man was not an unrestricted free agent, so he had significantly less leverage than the big names in this year’s free agent class.

Still, at 21, Durant may be the youngest of the NBA’s elite; however, the maturity with which he handled the process is something the current crop of greats - like Chris Bosh – can learn from.

If the small market Thunder can keep his supporting cast together, they should be rewarded with playoff success.

Let’s hope so. Right now, Durant is hard not to cheer for.

--O.Sandor

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

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Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Minnesota wants Rudy Gay?

David Kahn says he plans to call two agents at 11 o'clock Wednesday, when the NBA's free-agency negotiation period begins. I hear from a good league source that one of those two guys is Memphis forward Rudy Gay.I texted David Kahn for a confirmation or denial Monday evening and he did not respond.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This makes sense.

The lowly Minnesota Timberwolves should target Rudy Gay, the athletic swing with the Memphis Grizzlies. While young and talented, Gay has been overlooked because this year`s free agent class features superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Amar`e Stoudemire, and Dwyane Wade.

But Gay has the explosiveness to become an All-Star. And the Wolves are desperate for a small forward to complement their bevy of point guards and power forwards.

Best of all, Gay is ripe for the picking because Minnesota - which has just $25 million in committed salary for 2011 - can afford to float a big ticket offer, while small market Memphis may lack the resources to match.

So perhaps the Wolves make a splash in this summer`s free agent market.

Got thoughts?

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Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Steve Kerr’s departure hurt Suns’ chances of re-signing Amar’e Stoudemire?

"Steve Kerr says he won't return as general manager of the Phoenix Suns despite building a team that made a surprising run to the Western Conference finals.

Kerr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the decision was solely his and not the result of any disagreements with owner Robert Sarver. He said he is "exploring a couple of possibilities" to return to television work."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Publicly, Steve Kerr is saying the right things. Privately, the former sharpshooter was probably concerned owner Robert Sarver wouldn't dig into his pockets to re-sign posts Amar'e Stoudemire and Channing Frye.

After all, Sarver is about business. Always has been. He was the one who felt Joe Johnson wasn't worth a big ticket. And he was the one who instructed management to trade Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez because he didn't want to pay their rookie salaries.

Of course, that was before The Great Recession hit. And make no mistake about it, Sarver's real estate and bank holdings were certainly hit by the economic downturn.

Now Sarver - a guy who loves the publicity and headlines - is likely in charge of negotiations with superstar free agent Stoudemire. Unlike teammate Steve Nash, STAT won't give the Suns a significant hometown discount. And Frye, even in this buyer's market, deserves a raise.      

Much is at stake in Phoenix. And the wrong guy, Sarver, will be making the key decisions.

Got thoughts on this?

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Sunday , Jun , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Nike attend the free agent summit?

There are all kinds of people in that conversation. LeBron James has said he is the ringleader. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson ... it's a who's who of this year's free agent class. In terms of having a lot at stake, those players are at the top of the list with the owners, staffs and fans of the various teams.

But there is another interested party no one has mentioned: Nike, and its affiliated Jordan brand.

That is a giant corporation with a lot of branding tied up in basketball, and specifically the footwear of the best basketball players in the world, including James, Bosh, Wade and Johnson as well as Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki and dozens more who could change teams this year. Where they all end up will not just determine the fortunes of various NBA teams, but also the abilities of those players to inspire fans to buy shoes.

Link to article by Henry Abbott on ESPN Truehoop

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: While furthering The Swoosh may not be priority one, it will be a major priority.

Players like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade view themselves as brands and value their lucrative relationships with Nike.

These players have people whose job is to figure out the impact playing for a certain team will have on sponsors. For instance, fact or fiction, much has been speculated about Nike wanting James in the world’s largest media market, New York City.

Clearly, The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 is about the business of basketball, and not so much the game of basketball. 

Got thoughts on Nike’s role in the free agent summit?