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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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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.

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

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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.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: President Obama crushed Rajon Rondo’s confidence

The next day Rondo shot the ball horribly. He stopped taking shots after that. He’s so sensitive. I think it was a real jolt to hear the outside perception of a basketball fan who happens to be the President of the United States. It messed with his mind. I’m sure of it.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The critics say President Obama has done nothing during his first term in office.

Well, they're wrong.

Last March, 'The Leader of the Free World' did something 29 NBA teams couldn't do: he destroyed Rajon Rondo, the All-Star point guard for the Boston Celtics.

Shaquille O'Neal claims Obama publicly joked that Ray Allen, the NBA's greatest three-point marksmen, needed to teach Rondo a thing or two about shooting when the Celtics met the president at a fund raiser.

Shaq, a former Celtic who signed with TNT as a broadcaster, believes the incident shattered Rondo's confidence. The Big Broadcaster says Rondo, from that day forward, shot the ball poorly and eventually stopped taking outside shots.

Obama, love him or hate him, has done something while in office: he wrecked the confidence of a top NBA point guard. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Wednesday , Aug , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Delonte West working at Home Depot during lockout?

It's official.. Pride 2 the side.. just filled out a application at Home Depot.. Lockout aint a game..

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: There's nothing wrong with working at the Home Depot, however, there's something wrong with Delonte West having to work at the big box reno' shop because of the lockout.

West is an active NBA player, and has earned $15 million plying his trade as a combo guard for the Boston Celtics, Seattle Super Sonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder), and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yet, West is (supposedly) broke because owners have shut the door on the players. So he's applying for a gig at The Dep'.

If true, this is unexcusable. West should have set money aside for the labour strife, which everyone could see on the horizon. 

Somebody should be looking after West's interests. Like his agent. Or the Players' Union. Remember, West has his issues.

Speaking of the union, West's situation isn't good for negotiations. If other players are living cheque-to-cheque, they may have to settle sooner than they'd like.

There's nothing wrong with working at Home Depot -unless you're West and the Players' Union, and are in the middle of a lockout!

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Ray Allen: Boston’s Big Three will be ready when lockout ends

But Allen doesn’t believe a lost season would end the Big Three era, even if he and Kevin Garnett have only one year left on their respective contracts. “I don’t think so,” Allen said yesterday before teeing off in his charity golf tournament at the TPC River Highlands.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ray Allen doesn’t know when the lockout will end. He does know the lockout won’t be the end of the Boston Celtics’ 'Big Three', though.

It’s hard to disagree. Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, the Celtics’ trio of veteran stars, can use the time off to rest, recuperate, and heal from many long NBA seasons.

The green-and-white had gone far in the last four playoffs, which, of course, added significant mileage to Allen, Garnett, and Pierce’s odometer.

So time off is good. Allen, Garnett, and Pierce will heal and return. There's precedence for this.

Years ago, Anaheim Ducks star Teemu Selanne used the NHL lockout to rest his wonky knee and returned to score a pile of goals and win a Stanley Cup.

Allen, Garnett, and Pierce could do the same. They’ll have Rajon Rondo and a rejuvenated Jeff Green. When the lockout ends, Executive Danny Ainge will find a post or two to protect the paint.

So a prolonged break won’t be the end of the Celtics’ Big Three. It could be the best thing to happen to them since winning the 2008 NBA championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Delonte West: Judge won’t let me play overseas

Delonte West via twitter: ‘Can’t even go get that overseas money. Judge said it’s a no go on leaving the country.'

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:  Well, Delonte West is one player who won’t be playing overseas.

West tweeted that a judge won’t let him leave the United States to play with a foreign team during the lockout because he’s still on probation.   

West, a reserve for the Boston Celtics, is finishing the final stages of a weapons case from 2008.

However, basketball should take a backseat to West’s health. The left-handed combo guard has a history of mental illness.

The Celtics knew, and were comfortable with, this when they re-signed him. They also established a support group for West, so he could succeed on and off court.

Bottom line: Coach Doc Rivers and GM Danny Ainge cared. Just like West’s teammates in Cleveland, who often shielded him from the media.

Would a European or Chinese team do the same? And how would West handle being abroad?

Perhaps the judge’s ruling is a blessing in disguise. Perhaps this, in a weird way, is best for West.

--Oly Sandor.

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