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Monday , Nov , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

West and Wafer make peace, laugh off Friday’s brawl

Delonte West and Von Wafer have moved on from their locker room fight on Friday and were laughing about it on Sunday.

"I'm competitive, he's competitive, as long as it's for the betterment of the team, there's nothing wrong with healthy competition and pushing each other to get better," West said. "Things went a little far, but at the same time, we were able to move past that. We're professionals."

Asked if he felt the two had patched things up, West added: "Oh yeah, no question. We laughed about it [Sunday]."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Boys will be boys, I guess.

Yesterday, Delonte West and Von Wafer laughed off Friday’s scuffle, saying their rumble in the jungle was due to both players’ competitive streak getting the better of them –and nothing more. 

This would fly if it was West and Wafer’s first confrontation; however, Friday’s tilt was The Rematch. These two reportedly went head-to-head earlier in the month.

On the one hand, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers must like his role players showing such intensity in training. After all, practices are the games for West and Wafer.

On the other hand, Rivers won’t like spare parts – West and Wafer – making national headlines and creating a distraction.

If there’s another incident, the Celtics, a patient organization, will take action against these two.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Oct , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Celtic teammates Delonte West and Von Wafer brawl at practice?

Celtics guards Delonte West and Von Waver were involved in a physical altercation, team president Danny Ainge confirmed to the Boston Herald. The two players were guarding each other in a game of three-on-three when West repeatedly fouled Wafer, leading to the incident.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: These things happen. During practice, teammates lose their cool.

No big deal, right?

Well, wrong. This incident is a big deal for Delonte West and Von Wafer –two troubled players who need to steer clear of drama if they want to keep their jobs.

West has had mental health issues, been in trouble with the law, and involved in a bizarre rumor he had ‘relations’ with a former superstar teammate’s mom.

Wafer is trying to resurrect his career after failing in Europe. In the NBA, he often rubbed coaches and teammates the wrong way.

So this donnybrook won’t help either player. Not one bit.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Oct , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Work In Progress: Bosh, James, Wade, and Heat struggle in game one loss to Celtics

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce scored 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics held off the new-look Miami Heat, 88-80, in arguably the most anticipated regular season opener in NBA history.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was supposed to be perfection. It was supposed to be poetry in motion. It was supposed to be unstoppable.

It is a work in progress.

This is the only way to describe the Miami Heat’s opening night loss against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday evening at TD Banknorth Garden.

The Heat, by their own admission, had an atrocious opening half, scoring 30 points. The second half was better; however, the Three Kings couldn’t complete the 19-point comeback because they ran out of energy against the well polished Celtics.

A few observations from game one:

•    The Heat ran too many high pick-and-rolls, a set that depends on chemistry and timing. Of course, the Heat haven’t played together long enough to develop chemistry and timing.

Conversely, the Celtics are an elite defensive squad. They’ve played together for years. And they have defensive chemistry and timing –especially when guarding the pick-and-roll.

•    The Heat need to improve spacing. Too often, they crowded each other. And too often, players were colliding.

•    Dwyane Wade looked off. To be fair, he’s injured. But his on-going custody battle has, understandably, taken a toll.

•    Eddie House, James Jones, and Mike Miller (when healthy) are living The Shooter’s Dream. With James and Wade, they only need to get open, catch the ball, and sink shots.

•    James was rolling in the second half, so why did Coach Erik Spoelstra pull him in the fourth quarter? This, along with a late Ray Allen three-pointer, allowed the Celtics to seal the game.

Game one for The Three Kings is in the books. It’s too early to draw conclusions, but every game, quarter, and possession will be under the microscope.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Oct , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Shaquille O’Neal becoming an ‘adult’ for Boston Celtics?

Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal isn't interested in potentially winning the Sixth Man of the Year award this season. "No," he said. "About four years ago, I gave up on the concept of winning individual awards. I'm focusing on the big one at the end of the year."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If I hadn`t seen his duet with preteen monstrosity Justin Beiber, I’d say Shaquille O’Neal is sounding like an adult.

The powers that be with the Boston Celtics must like the signs. The future Hall of Fame center is gelling with teammates, doesn’t care for individual awards, and will apparently sacrifice to win.

This represents progress for The Big Shamrock, right? Hold on folks. Proceed with caution. For every team, October is filled with promise and promises.

The proof will come in January when O’Neal plays limited minutes during a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat.

Or during the playoffs when Coach Doc Rivers plays the defensive Kendrick Perkins (if healthy) because he can guard the pick and roll.

O’Neal will be upset. The media will circle. The media will question. And the media won’t stop until they get their controversial quote.

O’Neal must respond carefully. One wrong move, one wrong statement, or one off-putting joke could compromise his time with the green-and-white.

The year will be an exercise in maturity. So O’Neal better do more than sound like an adult. He better be one.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq’s advice to Glen Davis: ‘Jambalaya, Barbecue Chicken, and Chimichangas’

After chipping in six points, three rebounds, and two assists over 13:38 in his first action since sitting out the past three preseason games, O'Neal retreated to the bench and cheered on fellow LSU big man Glen Davis. Those words of encouragement?

"Jambalaya, barbecue chicken, and chimichangas," O'Neal said with a straight face after the game. "It's an LSU thing. I can't tell you, it's all secret society code."


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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Move on people. Avoid the obvious zingers about two ‘larger than life’ posts using a buffet spread as their secret code.

The one-liners are too easy –like picking on a fat kid at a candy store (see what I mean). Here’s the important thing: Shaquille O’Neal and Glen Davis are clicking.

After all, chemistry is a fickle thing. Last year, the Boston Celtics had it, and rode their team-first, get-stops style to the seventh game of the NBA Finals.

With their championship window closing, the green-and-white signed O’Neal, an aging superstar who struggles when playing a role. Of  course, Davis – a talented, but temperamental youngster - recently complained about not knowing his role.

There was the potential for problems between these two –big, big problems.

 O’Neal and Davis have bonded. How they bonded is irrelevant. What matters is they have bonded.

The Celtics can breathe a little easier. Instead of clashing like heavyweight sumo wrestlers, O’Neal and Davis have formed their 'secret society'.

Who are we to judge, or mock, them?

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Delonte West on Rajon Rondo: ‘He’s the best point guard in the world’

He’s (Rajon Rondo) the best point guard in the world right now."

Forgive Delonte West if he might be seeing things through rose colored glasses. His nickname is Redz. He’s part African-American and part Piscataway Indian. He is wearing green again and his personality has a color all its own. There are a lot of colors to Delonte West. He also has a negative to put far into the rear view mirror.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s the NBA's best all-around point guard, but not the NBA’s best point guard.

Rajon Rondo is an excellent table-setter, capable of penetrating, distributing, defending, and leading. However, he’s not The Guy. He’s not the crème de la crème of lead guards. 

Rondo’s shooting and free throws need work. Too often, opposing defences dare him to fire him away from the outside. And the Utah Jazz’s Deron Williams is a more complete player.

Still, the University of Kentucky grad is the straw that stirs the Boston Celtics’ drink. The green-and-white will go as far as he takes them in 2011.

If Rondo’s Celtics win a championship next June, he’ll be worthy of the ‘best point guard’ title.

--Got thoughts?


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Saturday , Oct , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Riley wants Rivers to coach Bosh, LeBron, and Wade

Heat president Pat Riley has Celtics coach Doc Rivers at the top of his list of potential candidates to replace Erik Spoelstra should he decide to replace the young coach.

Rivers thought about leaving Boston to spend time with his family this summer and doesn't want to discuss his future.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s no surprise Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra is on shaky ground.

The Heat signed Three Kings Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade to win championships today, and can’t wait for a young coach like Spoelstra to continue developing.

If Spoelstra isn’t up to the task, he’ll be gone. No ifs, ands, or buts.

The surprising part is that Miami executive Pat Riley is considering hiring someone other than Pat Riley to coach the star-studded Heat.

After all, The Oil Slick may sit in the owner’s suite and not the sideline, but he still considers himself a star.

Like Bosh, James, and Wade, he loves the spotlight. He craves it. Always has since he, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Showtime Lakers took over the NBA in the 1980s.

So the expectation was that Riles would ‘Stan Van Gundy’ Spoelstra by planting a knife in his back for some trivial infraction and name himself bench-boss just in time for the Heat to win an NBA Title.

Hopefully, the Doc Rivers rumor is Riley’s way of admitting he’s done coaching. His final two seasons in Miami were disastrous; the players hated the five-hour practices, which resembled life at a work camp.

Rivers would be perfect for the Heat. He’s personable, yet demanding. He clicks with superstars. He has a championship. And Miami is close to his family home in Florida.

Problem is, Rivers is with the Boston Celtics. And maybe Riley is intentionally eyeing an unattainable coach, so he can justify his little comeback.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq The Big Unselfish for Boston Celtics?

Shaquille O’Neal practiced with Boston's first unit for the second straight day. Doc Rivers said the plan was to start Jermaine O’Neal at center, but nothing was set in stone.

“I think just watching what [Shaq’s] doing, he doesn’t care [whether he starts],’’ Rivers said. “He just wants to play and help the team. He really wants to prove that he can play still, No. 1. And I think he just wants to win, and you can see that.’’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Shaquille O’Neal really becoming The Big Unselfish?

Reports from Boston have the future Hall of Fame center switching in and out of the first and second units. Right now, he’s happy. Right now, he’s being a good teammate.

This can change. And fast.

Remember, these Celtics get stops. It’s who they are. Their defensive prowess – at home and on the road - gives them a chance in every game.

O’Neal has never been a committed defender. Even during the glory years with the L.A. Lakers, he was reluctant to guard the pick-and-roll.

Over the years, his pick-and-roll defense has gotten worse. Today, opponents run O’Neal through a steady diet of pick-and-roll sets to get easy hoops and draw cheap fouls on the big man.

Suppose O’Neal doesn’t improve his pick-and roll ‘D’. How long before coach Doc Rivers rotates in Glen Davis and/or Jermaine O’Neal? What happens when defensive star Kendrick Perkins returns from his knee injury?

Well, nobody knows exactly how minutes will be dispersed. However, Boston’s plethora of bigs will have to check their egos and put the team first.

This is where O’Neal could struggle. He’s always been the main attraction. Now he’s a supporting piece on a star-laden squad.

Being unselfish in October is easy. It’s much harder in May and June when you’re a former MVP and watching from the bench.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: Miami Heat will be good defensively

Through the first few days of training camp, Dwyane Wade has been impressed with Miami's defensive potential. "I know where we're going to be good, it's going to be defensively," said Wade.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Defense wins championships. It’s a constant in the modern era of the NBA.

The great Chicago Bulls –even with all-world offensive talents like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen – won six titles in eight years because they got stops.

The San Antonio Spurs became a quasi-dynasty because Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and David Robinson took care of their own end.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers won the last three championships by playing air-tight ‘D’.

So Dwyane Wade is right: the Miami Heat will win with defense. Not star power.

Fortunately, the Heat has the makings of a strong defensive team: Wade is an above average defender; LeBron James took major steps towards being a lockdown guy in 2010; Chris Bosh was a surprisingly decent banger for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics.

If the Three Kings defend, others will follow. Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem, two blue-collar posts, will have no trouble adjusting. Shooters Eddie House and Mike Miller will do their part. Mario Chalmers, an above average defender, and Carlos Arroyo will hold their own at the one-spot.

Forget the glamour. Forget the hype. If Miami collectively commits to playing defense, they will win. History is on their side.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Oct , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kyrpto-Nate Robinson welcomes Superman Shaq to Boston

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It took a few days, but Krypto-Nate has officially welcomed the original Superman to the Boston Celtics.

Nate Robinson – the joker, prankster, and entertainer – dunked on an unsuspecting Shaquille O’Neal during the opening moments of the green-and-white’s training camp.

O’Neal then chased Robinson for a few moments, which resembled something out of Lord of the Rings when the giant chases a tiny hobbit.

Anyway, check out the video and get at us with comments in the box below.


--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Oct , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo’s goal for 2011: prove he’s the NBA’s top PG

Rajon Rondo is eager to prove that he is the NBA's best point guard. “That I’m the best,’’ Rondo said. “Hands down. No speculation. ‘Oh, he may be top three, top five, top 10.’ No, I’m the best.’’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Rajon Rondo is getting his ‘Gordon Gecko’ on.

The Boston Celtics point guard is wisely following the mantra of Oliver Stone’s fictional Wall Street character, greedily stating he wants to be the premier table-setter in the NBA.

Not top five. Not top three. But number one. Like Gecko preached: ‘Greed is good’.

Rondo must continue to emerge because the Celtics are his team. Ray Allen, at 36, is a spot up shooter; Kevin Garnett has health issues; Paul Pierce is on the downside of his storied run with the mighty green-and-white.

Raising an eighteenth banner and avenging last year’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals rests mostly with Rondo. After years as a supporting piece, he’s now the straw that stirs the drink, the lead dog on a veteran squad

So the Celtics will go only as far as the ‘greedy’ Rondo takes them in 2011.  

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Sep , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Boston expects healthy Kevin Garnett in 2011

Kevin Garnett appears to be very healthy as the Celtics begin training camp.

"I think Kevin needed some rest, some time off, and he took it, but he's ready for camp," said Danny Ainge. "He's in much better shape than he was last year in training camp. I think that KG got better as the year went on last season and we saw him moving much better in the playoffs than in the regular season."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They need more from The Big Ticket.

For the past two years, Kevin Garnett has been a shade of his former self. He’s older. He’s slower. And he’s been weighed down by wear-and-tear and injuries.
 
Last year, the results were particularly tough. Garnett’s offensive numbers were off. The Celtics’ defensive anchor spent too many minutes on the bench in foul trouble for careless infractions.

A healthy Garnett would do a few things: the O’Neals - Jermaine and Shaquille - could ease into their new surroundings; Kendrick Perkins wouldn’t have to rush back from knee surgery; and the green-and-white would continue their reign as an elite defensive club.

Remember, the Celtics take their cues from Garnett. He’s a major part of their get-stops identity. They'll have to be at their best defensively to hold off the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, and get revenge on the Los Angeles Lakers for last season's defeat in the NBA Finals. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Sep , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Andrew Bynum to miss start of season?

Andrew Bynum's status for the start of the season is in question as he returns from offseason knee surgery. “We’re hopeful that he’ll be ready for the start of the season,” Lakers spokesman John Black said Wednesday. Black said there is “an outside chance” that Bynum will be able to take part in the team’s final exhibition games Oct. 21 and 22.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Here we go again.

The Los Angeles Lakers could be without star center Andrew Bynum for the start of the regular season, as the massive seven-footer hasn’t recovered from off-season knee surgery.

Without Bynum, the purple-and-gold is great. With him, they’re unstoppable.

Bynum’s frame and wingspan gives his team an edge down the middle over almost every squad in the NBA. For instance, the Celtics – even if Kendrick Perkins was healthy – would have no answer for a hobbling Bynum in the Finals.

So expect the Lakers’ trainers to do everything possible to get Bynum ready. His status could be the difference between winning and losing a third championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rondo left Team USA to ‘win another championship’

 "It was great to practice every day against the best young talent in the league, a veteran like Chauncey Billups and play for a Hall of Fame coach [Mike Krzyzewski]," Rondo said. "But some of these guys hadn't played since April. Lamar [Odom] and I had just got out of Game 7. And next season is right around the corner. I feel like I had to take advantage of the opportunity I have right now to win another championship. It's not often you get to play with four Hall of Famers. Another couple of years and I won't have that."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s hard to criticize Rajon Rondo’s decision to step away from Team USA.

Rondo hadn’t recovered from the Boston Celtics’ crushing seven-game loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. He was drained and needed rest.

The emerging table-setter understands the championship window is closing on the green-and-white. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce – also known as The Big Three - are hitting the end of their careers.

Rondo knows he needs to be at full strength in 2011 and 2012 because opportunities to win championships are rare. Playing in the World Championship would be tiring.

Fortunately, Stars and Stripes had talented floor leaders in Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook. His departure wasn’t an issue and, in fact, eased the log-jam at point guard. 

Rondo’s choice may be a win-win for all involved.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Sep , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins on Celtics adding Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal: ‘we just got older’

"Well, I mean, we didn't do nothing spectacular. We got Shaq, we got Delonte [West], we got J.O. (Jermaine O'Neal). But it ain't like we signed no young Dwight Howards or anything like that. So if anything we just got older."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: ‘Dem could be fighting words’.

Instead of embracing new teammates, instead of saying the right things, instead of playing nice, Kendrick Perkins threw Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal under the bus.

Part of this is competition. Perkins had been the Boston Celtics’ starting center, but will miss months of 2011 with injury. And he’s probably fearful Shaq and J.O. will take his position.

However, calling them old – even if it’s true - isn’t good. 

The green-and-white needs its veteran posts to play their roles if they’re to hold off the Miami Heat and return to the NBA Finals.

Perkins slamming Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal won’t get these former stars to willingly accept lesser minutes and a bench role. And it won’t help team harmony.

Perhaps Perkins – a notoriously intense competitor – would be better served focusing on his rehab and getting back on-court.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaq on his beef with Pat Riley: ‘I wasn`t with five hour practices’

Question: While with the Miami Heat, you appeared to have a strained relationship with former Heat coach Pat Riley. What happened?

Shaquille O’Neal (answer): I wasn’t with the five-hour practices. Some people have different mentalities, but I was just coming off three out of four (NBA Finals MVP awards). With the Lakers, Phil (Jackson) treated us like men with 1 ½ -hour practices. I’m a businessman, and I don’t know how other men view me personally, nor do I care. I know what I do and what I have to do.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Once again, Shaquille O’Neal has stuffed his massive foot into his massive mouth. 

Currently, Pat Riley is the architect/lead executive for the Miami Heat. With Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade on the Heat roster, he may fire Coach Erik Spoelstra and return to the sideline.

As Stan Van Gundy can attest, Riles has `un-retired` from coaching once before.

Whatever Riley’s role with the Heat in 2011, O’Neal’s comments have provided The Oil Slick with extra motivation and incentive to defeat the Boston Celtics.

This isn’t wise. A rivalry is already brewing between the Heat and Celtics. And O’Neal is giving the green-and-white’s opponents extra clippings to put on their bulletin board.

So, why is Shaq re-hashing old wounds from his time with Riley in Miami?

If O’Neal really wants to help the Celtics, if he really wants to make an impact, he’ll button his big mouth and focus on filling-in effectively while Kendrick Perkins recovers from injury.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaquille O’Neal: Why was Mo (Williams) taking 15 shots, and I’m only taking four?

"I like that they play together and nobody really worries about shots, " O'Neal said. "When I was with Cleveland, guys who couldn't even play were worried about shots. Why was Mo (Williams) taking 15 shots, and I'm only taking four? If LeBron takes 20 shots, that's cool.

LInk

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’ll never learn.

At nearly 40, Shaquille O’Neal is still bad-mouthing former teammates and foes, expecting the NBA community to tolerate his questionable behaviour because he was once a superstar.

Well, Shaq doesn’t dominate. Not anymore. It’s been five years since The Big Diesel, The Big Aristotle, or The Most Dominant Ever co-starred for the championship winning Miami Heat.

Since 2006, he’s been injured, overweight, and a shade of his former self. This wouldn’t be an issue except O’Neal has gone on the offensive, routinely slamming his peers.

His latest victim: former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Mo Williams.

The optics of throwing Williams under the bus isn’t good, especially since O’Neal missed his usual quota of 31 games last season, with a variety of bumps, bruises, and injuries.

Of course, Williams’ Cavaliers can’t hang with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics. However, the streaky gunner now has extra motivation to go off each time he faces O’Neal and the Celtics.

So what was the point in Shaq calling out Williams? Why provide him an incentive?

O’Neal must start living in the now. His mouth is talking smack that his game can no longer back-up.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Sep , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Mutually Beneficial: Delonte West and Boston Celtics a match

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent guard Delonte West. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

West, a 6’3” guard, has posted career averages of 10.0 points, 3.7 assists and has shot 37.3% from beyond the arc. Originally drafted by the Celtics with the 24th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, West posted a career-high 12.2 points during his last season with the Celtics in 2006-07.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a fit for player and team.

Those that love Delonte West and the Boston Celtics must be doing cartwheels, summersaults, and back flips after learning these two reached agreement on a new contract.

The troubled guard started his career with the Celtics, so this is familiar territory. His coach is the personable and friendly Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers. Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are old teammates. He’s lived in Boston before, which isn’t far from his home of Maryland.

So West knows the organization. And vice-versa.

Rivers and GM Danny Ainge will support West through his personal issues, and accept that the guard will miss the first ten games of the season due to an NBA imposed suspension for a firearms infraction last summer.

Also, the Celtics are a veteran-laden club with big personalities. There’s The Big Three: Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. Rondo is now an elite point guard. Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal have presence. Of course, there’s Glen Davis and Nate Robinson, also known as Shrek and Donkey.

This boisterous group can shield him from the media and spotlight. West only has regain the form he showed with the Celtics before getting traded in a package to the Seattle Super Sonics for Ray Allen.

The combo guard will provide scoring, intensity, and toughness off the bench. All it cost Boston was the league minimum for a sixth year player and a little faith.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Shaquille O’Neal now The Big Realist for Boston Celtics

"I'm much older now," he said. "This team is good with or without me. Sometimes, in order to win, you have to sacrifice. I don't mind sacrificing. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning."

"I'm going to do what I'm told to do. Whatever they need me to do. I'm not in a position to cause trouble or cause a ruckus. The reason why younger in my career I acted a fool is because they made me the CEO. If I'm the CEO and I'm getting all the blame, we're going to start doing it my way."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It seems age, weight, and getting engaged to a woman named Hoopz has turned Shaquille O’Neal into The Big Realist.

Instead of demanding minutes, instead of demanding adulation, instead of demanding to be the star or co-star, O’Neal realizes – and more importantly accepts - he’s a bit part for the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.

They’ve already got their Big Four. They’ve already established a formula for success.

However, O’Neal can still play an important role. Starting center Kendrick Perkins is out until mid season because of a knee injury sustained in game six of the NBA Finals.

While Perkins is recovering, O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal are expected to plug the middle. If Shaq can defend, rebound, and score, he’ll have fulfilled his role for the Celtics.

And maybe he’ll get rewarded with a fifth and final NBA Championship before finally retiring.
     
--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Boston Celtics considering Rudy Fernandez?

The Celtics have a roster spot open and are currently looking for a shooter, meaning Rudy Fernandez could be an option.

“We’re just continuing to explore available players and trade possibilities and see what sort of options are there,’’ said Danny Ainge. “There are some trade discussions that we’re having. I don’t know the likelihood of those happening, but we’ll continue to not rush into something unless it’s something that we’re really excited about.’’

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In theory, it’s a yes. Rudy Fernandez’s energy, youth, and sharp-shooting would greatly benefit a veteran-laden Boston Celtics’ squad.  

In reality, it’s a no. Fernandez has whined, complained, and moaned about being a reserve for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Spaniard wants to start, or he'll break his NBA contract and return to Europe.

With Boston, he’d back-up sure-fire Hall of Famers in Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. And the Celtics’ old school, collectivist approach wouldn’t stand for Fernandez’s diva tendencies.

For instance, if the super-intense Kevin Garnett can literally turn Glen Davis into a Big Baby, think what he’d do to Rudy?

Credit Boston executive Danny Ainge for exploring all possibilities. Fernandez, however, isn’t the right fit.

--Oly Sandor.

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