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Top 5 Letdowns of 2012-13 NBA Season
Friday , May , 31 , 2013 Paul Eide

Top 5 Letdowns of 2012-13 NBA Season

After every NBA season, thanks to the gift of hindsight, it's easy to point out the biggest letdowns of the year.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: There are no shortage of candidates for this list. 

 

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NBA Injury Report:  Not the shortest list we’ve seen
Tuesday , Nov , 27 , 2012 Matt Formica

NBA Injury Report: Not the shortest list we’ve seen

Looking at the current NBA player injury report, it almost seems like every team is missing one (or in some unfortunate cases, a few) key players.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  Injuries certainly aren't ideal, but every team has to deal with them.

Here are few that are currently being dealt with:

Avery Bradley, shoulder, Boston Celtics

According to reports, Bradley will be out for another few weeks, at least until mid-December.  While he's currently traveling with the team and working on his jump shot during warmups, he is not participating in full contact drills.  The Celtics can't wait to get Bradley back, as he's earned a reputation for being an extremely talented perimeter defender.

Derrick Rose, knee, Chicago Bulls

After suffering that gruesome slash heartbreaking knee injury in the first round of the playoffs last year, (an injury that essentially took them out of NBA Finals contention), Rose is still in recovery mode.  He's set to return mid-January but due to the nature of his injury, will take more time to heal if necessary.  As much as the Bulls want their franchise player back in the lineup, they are not going to rush his recovery.  The good news is Rose just recently began cutting in practice.  The bad news is, with Rose out this season, the Bulls are below .500 at 6-7.

Kyrie Irving, finger, Cleveland Cavaliers

We all remember the freak accident that resulted in a broken hand for Irving earlier this preseason.  If you don't, he made an errant pass in a game, was mad at himself, and punched a wall.  We've all been there, right?  Well, unfortunately, a freak accident found him with a broken finger recently and will have him out until late December.  "Freak injury, minor setback but ill be back soon everybody, Love the support" Irving tweeted.

Dirk Nowitzki, knee, Dallas Mavericks

The three point shooting seven footer, who hasn't played in a game yet this season, will continue to be a spectator for another few weeks due to a knee injury.  Dirk is set to make his return to the lineup sometime in mid-December and Mavs owner Mark Cuban probably can't wait given the fact Nowitzki averaged more than 21 points per game last year.

Danny Granger, knee, Indiana Pacers

There's no question this injury hurts Indiana; Granger was the Pacers leading scorer before being sidelined after having an injection three weeks ago to treat patellar tendinosis.  The Pacers better get used to life without Granger, as he isn't scheduled to return until mid-February.

Chauncey Billups, achilles, Los Angeles Clippers

By the way the Clippers have been playing, you might not have even noticed they've been balling without Chauncey Billups in the lineup.  Chauncey is almost done rehabbing an injured achilles and is planning on being back in action mid-December which means the Clips are about to get even better.  I'm sure in the meantime, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will continue to have everything under control.

Steve Nash, leg, Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers probably didn't foresee Steve Nash getting injured within the first few games of the season when they traded for him a few months back.  Then again, the 38 year old is getting any younger.  Nash is set to return by mid-December and knowing how much the veteran point guard will help their team, the Lakers can't wait.  "When Steve comes back, things will change.  You have one of the greatest point guards of all times that you're missing out of the lineup.  It changes things," said superstar teammate Kobe Bryant.  Even new Lakers coach, Mike D'Antoni, who coached Nash for many years in Phoenix highlighted his importance in the lineup.  "In Phoenix, we couldn't win without him," D'Antoni admitted.

Shane Battier, knee, Miami Heat

While Battier might not be one of the most talked about players on the Miami Heat, no one doubts his immense contribution night in-night out.  Battier is an amazing defender and hits the open three.  Thankfully to his teammates, his recent knee injury will only have him missing a few games; Battier should be back early to mid-December.

Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy, Ricky Rubio, all knee injuries, Minnesota Timberwolves

At this point, it's almost as if you should be careful going to play in Minnesota because you might hurt your knee.  All three players, Budinger, Roy and Rubio are currently sidelined with versions of knee injuries.  Budinger will be out until March but thankfully, Roy and Rubio should return mid-December.  Let's hope.

Amare Stoudemire, Baron Davis, knee injuries, New York Knicks

It's pretty amazing how well the Knicks have been playing with Carmelo Anthony at the helm and Stoudemire and Davis both out with injuries.  Davis will unfortunately be out for the season but Stoudemire is set to return mid-December.  How will the Knicks work Stoudemire into the rotation when the team is 9-4 without him?  It will definitely be interesting to see what happens with Amare on the court.

Andrew Bynum, knee, Philadelphia 76ers

Just when I thought Bynum would go to Philadelphia and grow into the best center in the league, he injured his knee.  Again.  And then he went bowling, and got injured again.  He's got all of the talent in the world but can't seem to stay healthy.  Barring any further bowling incidents, a healthy Bynum will be in the lineup by the end of December.  Fingers crossed, Philadelphians.

John Wall, knee, Washington Wizards

If there's one team in the NBA who truly cannot afford an injury right now, it's the Wizards.  They are currently 0-12 and their star player, Wall, is sitting on the bench with knee injury.  The good news?  Wall is supposed to be back by the end of this month and there's only one way for the Wizards to go from here.

Anthony Davis, ankle, New Orleans Hornets

A stress fracture in Davis' ankle isn't helping the Hornets one bit.  The team is currently 3-9 on the season.  Davis played the first six games and put up huge numbers, averaging 16 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.  Pretty remarkable for a freshman.  What's also remarkable is how much of an impact he's had because the Hornets haven't won without him.  Since his injury, they are 0-6.  Davis is said to be out until mid-December.

 

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NBA Players Are Hurting Thanks To Injury Bug Epidemic
Wednesday , Nov , 21 , 2012 Paul Eide

NBA Players Are Hurting Thanks To Injury Bug Epidemic

If your favorite NBA team hasn't suffered a significant injury to one of its players recently, you have something to be "thankful" for.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: The injury bug is on the prowl, looking to strike an NBA player near you.

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NBA Free Agency Begins At 12:00 Tonight
Sunday , Jul , 01 , 2012 Paul Eide

NBA Free Agency Begins At 12:00 Tonight

Tonight at the stroke of midnight EST, the free agent feeding frenzy will begin.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: Some long running questions about some big names and their destination for next season will finally be answered.

- Where will Steve Nash finally end up?

For two years we've been hearing Nash's name in about every conceivable trade scenario; and nothing ever happened. The Suns drafting of Kendall Marshall this week says a lot about how interested the organization is in bringing Nash back. Also, their supposed interest in Eric Gordon is another nail in the coffin that was Nash's time in Phoenix

- Where will Deron WIlliams go?

No matter where he ends up, will he finally play for a title contender? Mired in both Utah and New Jersey in his career, D WIll has been one of the NBA's most productive PG's. But can he lead a winner? Or will he forever be a great individual talent on bad teams?

- Ray Allen to the Heat?

The most the Heat can offer is a midlevel exception; three years 9.7 million. After the Heat's amazing performance from beyond the arc in the Finals imagine adding the NBA's all time three point shooting leader into the Knicks. It will be really interesting to see what other teams enter into the mix for his services.

- Apparently, Brandon Roy's knee is fine

Strangely, he may be the most sought after of all available unrestricted free agents. After being regarded as an "also ran" for two years, there are at least five teams vying for his services. If we are to believe the chatter, the Pacers are willing to do just about anything to get him.

- Will we finally see the flurry of trades we were promised pre-draft?

As team's negotiate a way to sign players that can't afford, inevitably some trades will happen. Will the Lakers FINALLY deal Gasol? Will Houston finally deal Luis Scola?

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Is Brandon Roy Making an NBA Comeback?
Sunday , Jun , 17 , 2012 HoopsVibe News

Is Brandon Roy Making an NBA Comeback?

Is Brandon Roy Making a NBA Comeback?

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Comebacks are usually a bad idea and have more to do with players running out of money.

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Friday , Apr , 20 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Sources: Mitch Kupchak to interview with Blazers

Kupchak is one of the Blazers' top targets in their quest to land an executive with experience running a franchise's basketball operations, sources told ESPN.com.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mitch Kupchak, things are weird with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The owner’s son, Jim Buss, is your boss despite having no experience as a basketball executive. The superstar, Kobe Bryant, is a raging Alpha Male who can’t accept that the team is better with Andrew Bynum as the top option. Speaking of Bynum, his lack of maturity is obvious.

And we haven’t even mentioned Metta World Peace, Matt Barnes, coach Mike Brown‘s offense, the press, or the rapid fan base that demand a championship every year.

Still, the Lakers quirks are nothing when compared to the mayhem of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Blazers lost two of their top three players, Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, to injury. Long-time coach Nate McMillan was recently fired. The club is starting over.

Sadly, the on-court mess wouldn’t be the biggest challenge. That would be eccentric owner Paul Allen.

Remember, Allen fired executive Kevin Pritchard moments before the draft and casually told his former executive to stick around for the team's pick. The club spent months searching for Pritchard’s replacement. They supposedly had their man in Richie Cho, but fired him a year later for being too quiet.

There's a reason the Blazers haven't hired a replacement: no decent executive will take the gig. They don't want the mess, melodrama, and headache.

So Mitch, stick with the Lakers. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

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

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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Blazers fire Coach Nate McMillan

Nate McMillan has been fired by the Blazers, according to a source. McMillan has been the head coach of the Blazers since the 05-06 season.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Right or wrong, fair or not, Nate McMillan's time was up.

Reports out of Portland had the players tuning-out McMillan, which eventually happens to every coach. So the Blazers, who started rebuilding today with several trades, fired their longtime coach.

It's worth noting, McMillan held the Blazers together -even though Greg Oden has been a bust and Brandon Roy's career fell apart due to injuries.

McMilllan, an elite sideline boss, will get another gig this summer.

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

 

 

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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Blazers trade Marcus Camby to Rockets

Blazers trade center Marcus Camby to Houston Rockets, a source tells Y!

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Portland is having a fire sale.

The Trail Blazers are rebuidling, so every peice - other than Nicholas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge - can be had for some combination of draft picks and expiring contracts.

Earlier in the day, Gerald Wallace was sent to the New Jersey Nets. Now Marcus Camby is a Houston Rocket. Expect Jamal Crawford and perhaps Ray Felton to have new homes by the end of the day, too.

Much of this can traced to Greg Oden's injury and Brandon Roy retiring. Without these two pieces, Rip City has decided to rebuild.

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

 

 

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Wednesday , Nov , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Blazers to cut Brandon Roy?

Here's hoping Allen does. And that the longest look is into Roy's eyes. Brandon's out," a league executive told me Monday. "Don't know the exact details, but everyone around the league knows it's way, way done. Paul and Bert (Kolde) are calling the shots on this one."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Oh how the mighty has fallen.

Not long ago Brandon Roy was heading up a basketball renaissance for the Portland Trail Blazers. Zach Randolph and The Jail Blazer era was out, while Roy, the perimeter version of Tim Duncan, was in.

And the basketball-mad Rose City rejoiced, qualifying for the playoffs with a young crew  that was almost as talented as the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Blazers, who knew Roy had knee troubles, went ahead and signed him to a lucrative six-year contract for the league maximum.

At the time, it was the right move.

Knee surgeries have hampered Roy’s play. He fell out of favour with the coaching staff, lost his starting position, and spouted off to the media about his minutes during last year’s playoff.
 
Some inspired play during those same playoffs won’t be enough to save him.

The Blazers will likely take advantage of the amnesty clause in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and cut ties with their one-time franchise face.

This will be especially painful for Roy, a Northwest native. The talented swing will dust himself off and salvage his career, though.

He just won’t do it earning max’ money. Welcome to the new and cost-effective NBA.

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

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Blazers want Brandon Roy to retire?

A source familiar with the situation said Thursday that Portland figures it must deal with Brandon Roy's future if it's truly going to rejoin the league's contenders. Retirement for Roy is among the options they're considering.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It seems premature.

Not long ago, Brandon Roy was the face of the Portland Trail Blazers. He was an All-Star. He was a terrific scorer. And he was a role model in the community.

Roy, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, seemed a blessing for a basketball mad city that suffered through the ‘Jail Blazers’.

All appeared good. So the Blazers handed Roy the keys to the Rose Garden, signing him to a six- year deal for maximum money.

The good times didn’t last, though.

Roy’s knee injuries became serious. He missed significant time. When he returned his game changed. He was a part-time player earning a star’s salary.

Coach Nate McMillan gave Roy’s minutes to others and the situation became a national crisis when the two-guard spoke out publicly during the playoffs. 

The scandal inspired Roy. His play improved. And he single-handedly won a playoff game for the Blazers by dropping 16 points in the fourth quarter on the Dallas Mavericks.

When healthy, Roy can still play. This may not be enough for the Blazers. 

Bottom line: the Blazers have a choice. They can hope Roy’s play justifies the remaining four-years and $68 million on his contract.

Or, they can do some research and search for an escape clause, which would mean buying Roy out or pushing retirement.

This is risky. Suppose the Blazers approach Roy about ending their relationship. Once the process begins, there’s no turning back. Things could get ugly.

Who would contact Roy about a buyout? And who would negotiate the terms of this buyout?

After all, owner Paul Allen fired Richie Cho –even though, he hired him less than a year ago- because he didn’t feel chemistry with the GM.

There’s no timeline to hire a new front office Tsar. And no self-respecting executive would take the gig knowing they had to deal with Allen’s meddling and buyout Roy.

The Blazers should step back and think carefully before initiating discussions with Roy. This has the potential to end badly.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , May , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Blazers again look foolish firing GM Richie Cho after 10 months

The Portland Trail Blazers have dismissed general manager Rich Cho after less than a year on the job. A statement released by the Blazers said the team and Cho had "parted ways." Chad Buchanan, the team's director of college scouting, will serve as acting general manager.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I’m not suggesting the two are connected. I’m suggesting the timing is, well, 'interesting'.

Yesterday, an anonymous source within the Portland Trail Blazers informed reporters that GM Richie Cho wanted to suspend Brandon Roy during the first round for complaining about his minutes.
 
Anyway, Cho is gone. He’s history. The Blazers just announced they parted ways with the young executive, saying he wasn’t a ‘fit’ for the organization.
 
Wasn't this the guy owner Paul Allen hand selected just ten months ago? Wasn't this the up-and-coming basketball genius, who was going to take the Blazers to the next level?
 
Apparently not.
 
The decision to fire Cho is a shock, as he held the job for less than a year. Cho, of course, replaced Kevin Pritchard, who was fired moments before the 2010 draft, but invited to hang out for the team’s picks by Allen.
 
The Pritchard affair caused a stir around the league. The Blazers looked unprofessional. Firing Cho doesn`t help. 
 
Right now, there are few answers. However, the city’s talented beat writers –those who cover the team on a day-to-day basis- will soon have details.
 
There’s one obvious conclusion: no star executive takes the gig after Allen`s treatment of Cho and Pritchard. Whoever the Blazers hire will be cautious, especially with an employer who leaks damaging information about an employee before firing him.    
 
This is not a suggestion, but a fact.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , May , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Portland GM Richie Cho wanted to suspend Brandon Roy

According to a well-placed source in the Blazers organization, an irritated Cho pushed for a suspension of three-time All-Star Brandon Roy for comments the guard made after Game 2 of Portland's eventual first-round playoff series loss to Dallas.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Portland Trail Blazers have two problems.

First, GM Richie Cho and Brandon Roy must have a sit-down to discuss reports Cho wanted to suspend Roy after he spoke out about his reduced role.
 
Roy struggled last season with injuries. The former All-Star missed a stretch of games and, as a result, his minutes were drastically cut.
 
But Roy’s play improved after he went public with his complaints. He could easily regain his star status. And fans supported him.
 
A showdown between Cho, the young GM, and Roy, the franchise face, is looming. 
 
These two must have a heart-to-heart to air things out. After all, neither is leaving. Cho is an up-and-coming executive, while Roy, when healthy, is a talented player with a long-term max’ contract.
 
Following their chat, Cho and Roy should issue a carefully crafted statement and agree to never address the issue again. This must happen or hard feelings will linger.
 
Second, they have a leak. Management must plug the leak or they’ll continue being undermined by an employee going public. Trust will be an issue in the work place.
 
Remember, Portland, while beautiful, is a smaller market. The team is a big deal. And local media will continue exploiting this source.
 
So Cho and Roy must settle their differences. Then the club has to settle their issues in the front office.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Serious Discussion: 2011 Brandon Roy vol. What the fuss?
Thursday , Apr , 21 , 2011 J.N.

Serious Discussion: 2011 Brandon Roy vol. What the fuss?

Courtesy of the Oregonlive.com - “There was a point in the first half, and I was thinking 'You better not cry,''' Roy said. “I mean, serious. I mean, there was a moment where I felt really sorry for myself. Then I was like, nah, you can't be sorry for yourself. I'm a grown man, but there was a moment there that I felt sorry for myself. Especially when I think I can still help.'' Troubles a’brewin’ up in Portland Trailblazer land. What’s up with Brandon Roy these days?

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Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011

The season is almost over. It is time to look back and reflect on the positives and negatives. The hype before tip-off was through the roof. There was a lot of anticipation on new rivalries and storylines to be played out. Will the South Beach trio work out? How will Blake Griffin play? Is Steve Nash’s window closed? Are the Lakers still the team to beat? Kevin Durant got the MVP? The Chicago Bulls are 4th seeders, right?

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Sunday , Mar , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Nicolas Batum pulls a ‘Big Shot Bob’ on Spurs

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talk about a feel good story.

Without Greg Oden and a healthy Brandon Roy, the Portland Trail Blazers have still had a successful season and are well positioned for the playoffs.

Much of the credit goes to LaMarcus Aldridge, who seamlessly became a first option while Roy has struggled with knee troubles. Don’t sleep on the supporting cast, though.

Nicolas Batum, Wes Matthews, and Andre Miller have been superb. Watch the clip of Batum making like Robert Horry and ‘Big-Shot Bobbing’ the league-leading San Antonio Spurs to seal the victory for the Blazers.


--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Mar , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Colangelo and Raptors finally open to trading Bargnani?

Despite Toronto losing Chris Bosh and making little progress this season, team president Bryan Colangelo is returning to run the team, according the several league sources. That could be good news for D'Antoni, whose offense has been a bad fit for Anthony.

D'Antoni, who worked under Colangelo in Phoenix, might be out of a job if Walsh leaves the Knicks at season's end. For now, the Raptors plan to bring back coach Jay Triano, despite their awful season. But if D'Antoni becomes available, Triano could be jettisoned. Whether it's D'Antoni or Triano, the Raptors want to build around rookie big-man Ed Davis and second-year guard DeMar DeRozan. They're said to be open to moving Andrea Bargnani, who has been anything but an impact player since entering the league in 2007 as the No. 1 overall pick.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would appear Toronto Raptors’ GM Bryan Colangelo is finally ‘being somewhat real’ about Andrea Bargnani.

Bargnani is a nice offensive player, with a skill-set that can create mismatches. That’s it, though.

Bargnani is not the next Dirk Nowitzki. Bargnani is not an All-Star. Bargnani is not, and never will be, a competent rebounder or defender. And Bargnani was not worth the first overall pick in the 2006 draft.

Face it: Colangelo’s experiment has failed. Miserably.

It’s only now with the cover of an extension that Toronto’s Former Golden Boy will admit making a mistake.

The Raptors gave Bargnani every chance to succeed. They had to. They had to justify drafting the Italian ahead of LaMarcus Aldridge or Brandon Roy –despite the swing’s recent injuries.

Returns on Bargnani were mediocre, but Colangelo still rewarded him with a 5-year, $50 million extension in 2009, despite being a year away from free agency.

And Bargnani still started and logged heavy minutes, even though his finesse game wasn’t a fit in Coach Jay Triano’s system.

Bottom line: Bargnani isn’t an asset. He’s a liability. The team is far better developing Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, James Johnson, and franchise face in waiting DeMar DeRozan.

Bargnani’s isn’t a bust. His game is simply better suited to being a sixth-man than a superstar. Similar to Danilo Gallinari with the Denver Nuggets, he could excel as a scorer off the bench.

That can’t happen in Toronto, though. Expectations will always be sky high and unrealistic because of management.

Look for Colangelo, a master of the deal, to cover himself by finding a taker for Bargnani. And when that happens, he’ll again spin the situation in a well orchestrated press conference.

After all, Colangelo can’t be totally real in a media hot-bed such as Toronto. With three national sports channels, two national radio stations, five daily newspapers, and demanding fans, he can only concede so much.

Such is life in Toronto, especially with a mistake like Bargnani.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jan , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Brandon Roy is already finished? Vol. Grant Hill/Penny

Portland. You guys need a good night’s sleep. Sleep? You guys need an all expense paid trip to anywhere in the world preferably into Brandon Roy’s knees. No one can explain the pains that this franchise goes through. This is absolutely unexplainable. The Clippers have the karma because of David Sterling. Portland has a curse? Who did they screw over to get this dark voodoo? What was the organization in the past life? Were they the Raiders? Or Patriots? This is very unsettling for any outsider viewing what has transpired in Portland.

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Friday , Dec , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Camby and Knicks thinking reunion?

Marcus Camby wants to remain in Portland, but if the team does trade him he would prefer to be dealt to a contending team. A source says that the veteran will contemplate retirement if moved to a rebuilding club. The Knicks, however, are one team that Camby would approve.

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Hoops Vibe’s Very Quick Call: Marcus Camby may be willing to leave his current home of Portland, but only if he gets to go to a former home.

Camby, a veteran five-man, is always in demand because of his rebounding and defense; however, the Blazers’ recent stumbles have changed his circumstances.

Brandon Roy is having serious knee troubles; Greg Oden is out indefinitely; and the Blazers, a team that was supposed to contend, are struggling mightily in the Western Conference.

So Camby, who was heralded as a mentor for these young Blazers, may approve a trade to the right contender –like the New York Knicks.

Sure, the Knicks are competitive. And sure, playing meaningful basketball in a world class city is always preferable to battling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

For Camby, the real appeal of New York may be that it’s familiar. Camby spent four years with the Knicks and is comfortable with both the city and organization.

Since he’s nearing the end of his career, Camby is leery of getting traded. The right trade would be fine; the wrong trade would result in early retirement.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Oct , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: Brandon Roy toughest opponent to guard

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was asked on the John Thompson Show who he feels is the toughest opponent to guard in the NBA. Instead of picking Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Bryant went with Portland's Brandon Roy.

"Roy 365 days, seven days a week. Roy has no weaknesses in his game," Bryant said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No surprise here.

NBA fans shouldn’t be shocked Kobe Bryant picked perennial All-Star Brandon Roy as his toughest cover over Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

There’s no agenda here. There’s no subtle slight against the game’s more marketable superstars, either. 

Bryant was simply speaking his mind. Here’s why he was making sense:

1) Roy’s a fundamentally-sound, Tim Duncan-type in a two-man’s body.  He does everything well and uses his mind, not athleticism, to succeed.

2) Bryant is a student of the game. He spends hours in the video room, analyzing where to attack opponents like Durant, James, and Wade.

Bryant has probably spent a day or two watching Roy and has clearly concluded he has no weakness. There’s no Achilles heal to expose.

3) Roy’s Portland Trail Blazers have had some success against the Los Angeles Lakers, especially at home in The Rose Garden.

--Oly Sandor.

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