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Monday , Dec , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David West signs with Pacers, not Celtics

A deal that would send David West to the Celtics via sign-and-trade is now dead. Boston was unable to find a taker for Jermaine O'Neal. West has agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Pacers.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: A Celtic legend has stolen a free agent big from his former team.

The Boston Celtics were unable to complete a sign-and-trade for David West because no team was willing to take often-injured Jermaine O’Neal and his handsome salary.

After waiting a few days, West turned his back on the green-and-white and took a two-year, $20 million pact from Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers.

West would have provided a scorer on the block for the Celtics, and the Pacers, specifically Danny Granger, will benefit from his plethora of post moves.

Look for the Pacers, who finally qualified for the playoffs last year, to take another step in 2012.

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Monday , Dec , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Grizzlies to match Rockets’ offer sheet to Marc Gasol?

The Grizzlies are expected to match the four-year, $55 million offer sheet that Marc Gasol has agreed to with the Rockets. Gasol is a restricted free agent and Memphis would have three days to match.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I get the sense new Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale wants to establish an inside presence.

Yao Ming retired this past summer, so McHale, a Hall of Fame post for the Boston Celtics, is looking for a replacement.

His search started and failed with the Gasol brothers. The Rockets twice attempted to acquire Pau Gasol from the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team deal for Chris Paul, but was denied by the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets.

McHale then turned his attention to signing Marc Gasol, Pau’s younger brother. Marc, a highly coveted restricted free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies, received a four-year, $55 million offer sheet from the Rockets.

However, the Grizzlies, not wanting to kill the momentum of last season’s playoff run, will likely match the offer.

So perhaps third times a charm for McHale and the Rockets. The only question is which post they'll go after next.

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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtics get David West in sign-and-trade?

David West is close to a three-year sign-and-trade deal just under $30 million with the Celtics.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Boston Celtics have quickly rebuilt their front-court.

Earlier today Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis was sent to the Orlando Magic for Brandon Bass as part of a sign-and-trade, and now they’ve shipped Jermaine O’Neal to the New Orleans Hornets for David West in another sign-and-trade.

Bass, West, and three-man Jeff Green give coach Doc Rivers plenty of options to complement and eventually fill in for the aging Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce.

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Friday , Dec , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtics shopping Rondo?

Donny Marshall — the former NBA player who covers the Celtics and does some color commentary for the team’s broadcasts — was on NBC’s SportsTalk today talking Rajon Rondo and saying the Celtics were open to moving Rajon Rondo more because of his personality than his game. “My sources tell me he’s started to wear his welcome out a little bit,” Marshall said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire.

That thing called the ‘World Wide Web’ has been reporting that the Boston Celtics were very willing to send Rajon Rondo to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul.

This wasn’t just about the Celtics acquiring Paul. This was also about cutting ties with Rondo.

After all, Rondo’s temper has, at times, alienated coaches, teammates, and fans. There’s also a theory his lack of offensive polish will be exposed once The Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce retire.

Unfortunately, Paul wasn’t interested in joining Boston. His heart is set on joining New York.

So the Celtics will have to deal with a jilted Rondo when training camp opens. Of course, GM Danny Ainge will blame the 24 hour news cycle, bloggers, and talk radio.

There may be some truth to Rondo getting moved. Maybe not. Either way, this is a storyline worth watching.

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Wednesday , Nov , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Glen Davis’ unique training regime

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NBA’s version of Shrek is always good for a laugh.

After an up-and-down run with the Boston Celtics, Glen ’Big Baby’ Davis will likely leave the Boston Celtics to sign elsewhere as a free agent.

With free agent money on the table, Davis employed some unique training methods to stay in shape during the lockout.

Click the video, watch Davis’ training routine, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Nov , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins on Boston trading him: ‘It still hurts’

“Hurt, surprised, I think it really still hasn’t hit me yet — not really,” he said later. “I think everything happened so fast, last year coming back from my ACL injury and getting traded to Oklahoma City where I had to be a leader. “It still hurts that I got traded, but then the city of Oklahoma has been great to me. They’ve embraced me with open arms, and I have no complaints about the city of Oklahoma and the whole organization.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kendrick Perkins reminds me of John Starks.

There are differences: Perkins is a center, Starks was a guard; Perkins is a defensive anchor, while Starks played both ends of the floor; Perkins won a championship with the Boston Celtics and Starks’ New York Knicks fell short in the NBA Finals.

However, Perkins and Starks are both fiery and have massive hearts.

Consider that the veteran-laden Celtics fell apart after Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last February. Part of this had to with the hole Perkins left down-low, but this was more about the hole he left in the locker room.

Rajon Rondo missed Perkins, his best friend. Kevin Garnett cried when told of the trade. And the green-and-white never recovered.

Yesterday Perkins received a massive ovation while at an exhibition game near Boston.

Starks, a real life Rocky, had a similar impact in New York. He played at several colleges, semi-pro leagues, and bagged groceries before sticking with the Knicks.

Fans could relate to Starks` blue-collar work ethic. Eventually, he became an All-Star and a key part of some rugged Knick teams.

He was immortalized with his dunk on THE GOAT and when the Beastie Boys declared 'I got heart like John Starks'.

The lockout has shown what’s wrong with the NBA. The league needs more players like Perkins and Starks.

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Thursday , Nov , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Allen Iverson: ‘I ain’t no damn mob boss’

"I'm as clean as the Board of Health man."Iverson denied playing any role in a 2009 bar fight at the South Beach Pizza Bar nightclub inside the Fisher Building. He said he hired bodyguards, including a pre-Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, to stay out of trouble."I get sued for stuff I don't got nothing to do with. I ain't involved with. Ain't nobody never said ... I touched them," Iverson, 36, said. "I don't do nothing to nobody, buddy."Lattimer had a quick reply."The head honcho ain't supposed to," he said. Iverson: "Yeah, I ain't no damn mob boss. I don't live my life like that. I got five kids. I don't put that on their head. That's a fairytale that y'all living in …"


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This won't help.

A few days ago, HoopsVibe News reported on Allen Iverson's desire to return to the NBA. Unlike past comeback attempts, Iverson's people claimed he'd accept a bench role and had matured.

This, according to Iverson's management, would make him an ideal second-unit game-changer for a contender -such as, say, the Boston Celtics.

Personable Celtics coach Doc Rivers has a track record of succeeding with troubled players (see Stephon Marbury and Nate Robinson).

Even a charismatic players' coach like Rivers would surely shy away from Iverson and his considerable issues. For instance, in a recent civil case, 'The Answer' announced that 'he ain't a mob boss' and was as 'clean as the board of the health'.

Good to know. But how would such a dominant personality play in a veteran locker room full of dominant personalities?

Simply put, Iverson is too great a risk for the Celtics. At the best of times, he's a distraction. At the worst of time, he saps all life from a team.

All this for a reserve who wouldn't see major minutes behind Rajon Rondo or Ray Allen in the backcourt.

The Celtics should pass. There will be plenty of bargains with far less baggage when the season finally begins.

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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Iverson ‘would accept any role’ with Celtics?

With Rajon Rondo locked in as the Celtics point guard and Ray Allen as the shooting guard, Iverson’s role would likely be as a scorer off the bench. In Detroit and Memphis, he created issues because he demanded to start.  “I think that is so overplayed,’’ Moore said. “He said it on more than one occasion. And I’ve always known that. I think it was taken out of context. Allen would accept any role. Anything he can do to help a ball team is what he will be able to do.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s sad. Really, it is.

Allen Iverson should have done this years ago. Instead of swallowing his pride and ego and playing a role for a contender, Iverson had to be ‘The Guy’.

He had to have shots. He had to have touches. He had to be option one. And he ran himself right out the NBA because he acted like 2009 was 1999.

The Philadelphia 76ers traded him. Same with the Denver Nuggets. The Detroit Pistons let him quit. The Memphis Grizzlies released him. And the 76ers allowed him to disappear after re-signing him.

This whirlwind of mediocrity could have been avoided if Iverson did  what he’s doing now: re-invent himself as a second-unit game-changer.

Once upon a time, this would have worked. ‘The Greatest Little Man Ever’ coming off the bench for a contender and lighting up reserves.

The San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, and other contenders would have had interest. Best of all, the end of Iverson’s career would have been spent playing meaningful basketball in May and June.

But he wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t put the collective before himself. Fair or not, right or wrong, he validated some of the accusations of being a selfish player.

Now Iverson’s people are reduced to begging. And it may be too late to rekindle what may have been.

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Saturday , Oct , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat owner Micky Arison blames other owners for lockout

A random NBA fan wrote on Twitter a message directed at Heat owner Micky Arison. "Fans provide all the money you're fighting over," wrote the fan."Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner," replied Arison on his Twitter feed. Arison has been categorized by NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter as part of a group of owners eager to reach a deal with the players.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The players union may be splitting, but so are the owners.

Case in point: Micky Arison, the owner of the star-studded Miami Heat, who tweeted his frustration over the two sides not finding common ground on a new collective bargaining agreement.    

Arison wants to settle on a new CBA, so his Big Three can win a championship and he can maximize his investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
 
Clearly, Arison isn’t alone in wanting to settle. Other big-market, ‘have’ owners are comfortable in winning these negotiations with players and do not wish to extract blood.

Unfortunately, the Bulls, Celtics, Heat, Lakers, and Knicks are in the minority. The Blazers, Bobcats, Bucks, Suns, and eighteen other owners are determined to have total victory.

And so we continue to wait for basketball.

--Sandor.

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The Greatest NBA Team of All Time Criteria
Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 J.N.

The Greatest NBA Team of All Time Criteria

We went through the NBA MVP Criteria and the GOAT player criteria. Those were easy to do, but this is the toughest to sift through. What are the greatest teams ever assembled besides the 1992 Olympic Dream Team? Where do we start? I am pretty sure that this has been done before by other writers and analysts, but I will keep it simple without the discussion devolving in to “playing era” talk. Punching numbers in to a system to calculate outcomes between great teams do not work. And basketball videogames are not the answer either.

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Eliminating Dynasties
Monday , Oct , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Eliminating Dynasties

Dirk Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 NBA title dispatching the best the league has to offer is a great thing. In the same way that Tim Duncan’s Spurs and Hakeem’s Rockets won, a new team winning the title refreshes the competition instead of regulating to the same franchises consisting around the Lakers and Celtics. The matchup gets stale unless you are a Lakers or Celtic fan. The faces are different, but the same teams remain. Green is green. Yellow is yellow. It’s like watching a bad film going through several remakes. You just have to wonder why. 

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Friday , Sep , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe slams Shaq for not practicing

Kobe is out on a Nike-fueled tour of Italy right now and in a radio interview he was asked what was his issue with Shaq: “I like players who work out. I used to do that 6-7 hours per day. I cannot stand players who practice for 30 minutes. I need to say something to them”.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was a shot at on old foe.

Today Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant called out players who don’t practice. Translation: he’s talking about Shaquille O’Neal, also known as The Big Broadcaster.

Of course, Bryant and O’Neal have history.

They were teammates and rivals with the Lakers. Then they parted and were just rivals, slamming each other in the press and at open mic’ night.

Currently, there’s a détente between the two, which results in not-so subtle digs flying back and forth every few months.

Whatever the case, it's nice to see O'Neal, now a retired TNT broadcaster, getting a taste of his own medicine.

In July, he called out Chris Bosh, Recently, he bragged about warning Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge not to trade Kendrick Perkins.

And he made a career of jabbing, poking, and swiping his peers. For once, the shoe is on the other foot.

--O. Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Celtics looking for bargains to complement ‘Big Four’

If the NBA institutes a hard salary cap and eliminates the mid-level exception, the Celtics would likely to be forced to build around their Big Four with minimum-salaried players.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The new NBA will be different.

With the luxury tax likely replaced by a hard cap financial structure, have-franchises like the Boston Celtics will have a top heavy payroll.

Translation: the green and white will pay big-ticket salaries to Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo, and everyone else will earn the league minimum.

So GM Danny Ainge and the club’s front office are searching far and wide for bargains that can plug holes and fill roles next to their Big Four.

The green-and-white’s front office are scouting colleges, Europe, Asia, and anywhere else there's basketball.

This, of course, could be the new reality of the NBA, where a hard cap and revenue sharing creates some semblance of parity between big and small markets and have and have-not franchises.

In theory, an NFL style system sounds good, however, the NBA has always been a star driven league with high profile franchises. Think of the following for LeBron James and 'The Heatles' last season.

The NBA’s new and different financial system may kill the golden goose of showcasing players and teams.

--O. Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Perkins and Westbrook got beef?

After arriving from the Celtics last season and being looked at as the veteran leader Oklahoma City needed to take the next step to compete for a title, Perkins went hard at Westbrook with his verbal criticisms, often saying that the Thunder's playmaker couldn't match Rajon Rondo as a playmaker. Those words didn't sit well with Westbrook, who already had been criticized for shooting too much and was the subject of a benching heard-round-the-NBA when the Thunder played the Mavs in June.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chemistry matters. It can be the difference between a team competing and attending the Draft Lottery.

Such an intangible takes years to develop. So it’s surprising to hear that post Kendrick Perkins criticized point guard Russell Westbrook by comparing him to Rajon Rondo.

Perkins, who has acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder at the trade deadline, understands the importance of chemistry from his days with the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics were a nice balance of talent and chemistry, especially on the defensive end where their rotations and help were a thing of beauty.

However, Perkins and Rondo are best friends. And the blue-collar point post is known, and even respected for his temper, outbursts, and intensity.

Whatever the case, this will be another thing the young Thunder address when the season begins.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: I told Danny Ainge not to trade Kendrick Perkins

I even told (Boston General Manager) Danny Ainge not to do the Kendrick Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I’m definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they’ve got to do. I wasn’t surprised; I’ve seen it before. They say all that blah, blah, but you know it’s always going to be something different.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a problem with Shaquille O’Neal taking the I-told-you-so approach with GM Danny Ainge about the Kendrick Perkins trade.

The Perkins deal wasn’t done for 2011. Ainge, for whatever reason, decided the Boston Celtics weren’t getting past the Miami Heat in the playoffs and traded his defensive post to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green.

In time, Green will give the Celtics greater versatility and athleticism. He’ll be a large part of the rebuild whenever Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce call it a career.

Then there was Perkins. He was coming off a serious knee injury and demanded a big-ticket extension, something Ainge was weary of giving.

So Ainge cut ties. He got the best deal available, even if some felt it left the Celtics exposed down low and compromised what little chance they had of advancing deep in the playoffs last season.

And he was right to deal Perkins as it was in the best interests of the club -irrespective of Shaq’s health and commentary after the fact.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett: ‘I want to finish my career as a Celtic’

"I want to finish my career as a Celtic,” said Garnett, who joined Boston in a trade with Minnesota before the 2007-08 season. “This is it. I don’t plan on bouncing from team-to-team, that’s not really the plan. Hopefully God willing, I can finish my career out in the classy, elegant with a class-full organization as Boston. I don’t want to downgrade. I want to continue to be where I’m at. This is the first option and hopefully the only option.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why would he leave?

Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics seem a match made in heaven, and the future member of the Hall of Fame wants to finish his career with the storied green-and-white.

Garnett, who has a year left on his contract at $21 million, claims to have little interest in demeaning his legacy by bouncing from team-to-team, especially since he already won a championship.

Leaving is easier said than done. Garnett’s passion for basketball may keep him in an NBA uniform into his late thirties.

If so, it’s unlikely Garnett retires with the Celtics as GM Danny Ainge won't prolong rebuilding around Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Sep , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett: ‘I was pretty close’ to joining Kobe and Lakers

“I was pretty close, to be honest….Kob[e Bryant] and Phil [Jackson] at the time were at each other pretty bad. The situation was full of uncertainty. It wasn’t something I wanted to get into… It was my choice not to go to the Lakers.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Apparently, Kevin Garnett nearly joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007.

The Big Ticket instead picked the Boston Celtics because he was concerned about the uncertainty of Kobe Bryant’s relationship with former coach Phil Jackson.

Garnett joined the storied green-and-white, beat those same Lakers he passed in 2008 to win a championship, and then lost a championship in 2010 to Kobe and company.

Suppose Garnett did join the purple-and-gold. There are a few points worth considering:

If healthy, Garnett would have teamed with Andrew Bynum to create an absolute fortress in the middle. The Staples Centre would have been on lock-down.

It’s reasonable to assume Garnett would have won at least one championship, as he’s Pau Gasol’s equal.

Bryant and Garnett would have been the most intense and competitive duo in league history. They would have straight bullied teams.

However, it was not to be. Garnett made his decision to join the Celtics, which re-ignited the club's rivalry with the Lakers.  

--Oly Sandor.


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Comparisons. Vol. Next Bird
Friday , Aug , 26 , 2011 J.N.

Comparisons. Vol. Next Bird

Penny. Kobe. Vince Carter. LeBron. Grant Hill. T-Mac. Kidd. These guys were labeled as the next Jordan or Magic Johnson at one point until their careers played out and we had to resort to this: “Let them be themselves.” It makes sense, but why do the comparisons come up in the first place? I know these discussions are brought up sometimes and people will dismiss them. Understandably so, the debates grow tiresome and repetitive. The search will continue, but not many people question why the issue even arises. 

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Wednesday , Aug , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Green: Joining Celtics was ‘Tough’

“They’ve been together for a number of years,” Green said of the Celtics. “They’ve already won a championship, they’ve already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team. “It was tough to go into that situation.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Three future members of the Hall of Fame. One All-Star point guard. One championship. One NBA Finals appearance. And a heap of pressure on a young forward to replace the team's heart-and-soul.

Welcome to Jeff Green's world last February.

The Boston Celtics acquired Green from the Oklahoma City Thunder at the trade deadline. The green-and-white gave up Kendrick Perkins, their burly center, in the deal. 

It didn't matter that Perkins was coming off knee surgery or that his contract demands were impossible to meet.

Trading Perk' didn't go over well. Kevin Garnett cried, Rajon Rondo went into a funk, and the team lost their tough, blue-collar identity.

Worst of all, fans and players felt GM Danny Ainge had given up on 2011 to prepare for the future.

All of this impacted Green, who came into an impossible situation. The expectations were sky-high, while fans and teammates were slow to embrace him.

The Celtics, however, will make every effort to re-sign Green, a restricted free agent. In time, this trade could work out.

After all, Green has talent. He can guard multiple positions, score, and stuffs the stat-sheet with the all-important little things.

For now, things are tough, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Delonte West to work at Sam’s Club during lockout?

I actually might have work with Sam’s [Club], BJ’s, selling knives,” West said. “That’s pretty cool too. I get a microphone and everything.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Delonte West hasn’t heard back from Home Depot. So he’s thinking about Sam’s Club.

West, the combo guard who has made over $15 million plying his trade for several NBA teams, is looking for work during the lockout.

Last week, he applied to Home Depot. However, he hasn’t heard back. Now West is looking to earn a little side cash by working at Wal-Mart.

Who knows what this is really about?

It’s worth noting that West is without a contract for 2012, and may be keeping his name in the news to create interest when the lockout is settled.

--Oly Sandor.

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