chicago-bulls
Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Adidas to give Derrick Rose $250 million shoe deal?

Lucrative is seriously underselling it based on the figures dribbling in to us.One industry source insisted to ESPN.com this week that Rose's new shoe deal with adidas will easily crack nine figures and could legitimately approach the $250 million range -- as in $25 million annually over a 10-year span -- in what is known in the shoe game as a "lifetime" deal.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Think it's good to be Derrick Rose?

He's the point guard and franchise face for his hometown Chicago Bulls. He's the 2011 NBA MVP, and the youngest player in league history to win the award. He has avoided the trappings of fame and maintained a clean image.

And for this the Bulls recently signed him to a long-term extension for $95 million. But that's a drop in the bucket compared to the contract Rose will reportedly receive from Adidas.

The European shoe maker is set to sign Rose to contract worth $250 million. You read correctly. A quarter of a billion dollars.

Yes, it's good to be Derrick Rose.

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

 

 

   

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Dec , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose on $95 million contract: the Bulls trust me

Derrick Rose has agreed to a five-year, $94.8 million contract extension, and the Bulls will make the formality official at a Wednesday news conference at the Berto Center, sources told the Tribune. "It's something big," Rose said without confirming the announcement. "I'm going to talk about it more with my family there. I don't think about money. The Bulls show they trust me. I just feel blessed."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who says the new CBA is all doom and gloom for the players?

Derrick Rose, the 2011 MVP and phenomenal point guard for the Chicago Bulls, has benefited from a new clause that rewards players for re-signing with their team.

For instance, Rose raked in an extra ten million or so because he outperformed expectations in his rookie contract and became the youngest player ever to win the MVP.

Clearly, re-upping makes sense for player and team.

Rose makes tons of cash, plies his trade in a major market, and Chicago stays positioned to challenge in the Eastern Conference for some time.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Rip Hamilton to join Bulls?

Sources with knowledge of the Bulls free-agency plans confirmed to CSNChicago.com Friday evening that the Bulls are targeting recently waived veteran shooting guard Rip Hamilton. The organization's pursuit of the longtime Piston was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This was long overdue.

Once upon a time, Rip Hamilton was an All-Star two-guard for the Detroit Pistons, however, his career went sideways once the team traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson.

At the time, GM Joe Dumars needed stability, so he extended Hamilton with a multi- year contract for well over $30 million.

This was a mistake. A bad signing for team and player. The two-guard couldn’t handle losing, feuding with coaches, teammates, and management.

For instance, Hamilton led the Pistons in rebelling against former coach John Kuester, which included boycotting practice and laughing when the sideline boss got ejected from a game. There were other transgressions.

Years back, Hamilton should have played out his contract, hit free agency, and joined a contender as a third or fourth scoring option -like the Chicago Bulls.

Hamilton will take the scoring pressure off 2011 MVP Derrick Rose and often-injured post Carlos Boozer. He’ll also hold his own defensively.

The only problem with this signing is that it’s happening too late.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Nov , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bulls to sign Vince Carter or Rip Haimlton?

"I think that the Bulls should be very busy, they should look at Rip Hamilton who may be released from Detroit," Gill said. "Vince Carter is an older player, but still has a lot left in the tank. The Bulls need an upgrade at 2-guard, which Vince Carter can fill."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Memo to the Chicago Bulls. Don’t sign Vince Carter -even if he’s available at a low wage.

Yes, the Chicago Bulls need a scorer to take pressure off 2011 MVP Derrick Rose, however, Carter is not the answer.

The former Slam Dunk Champ’ and All-Star is no longer Half-Man, Half Amazing. The days of Kenny Smith screaming ‘it’s ova’ have passed.

Remember, Carter flopped with Orlando, and lost his starting job to the solid-but-hardly spectacular Jared Dudely in Phoenix.

So, what could Carter offer Chicago?

Well, not much. The once athletic swing is too much of a perimeter player, often refusing to attack the basket and settling for low percentage fade-aways.

The Bulls would be better off pouncing on Rip Hamilton once he’s waived by the Detroit Pistons as part of the amnesty provision in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Hamilton, provided he's happy, can score and is an upgrade over Carter on defense.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Nov , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Steve Kerr on Meeting Michael Jordan

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Before his broadcasting days and before he took over as GM of the Phoenix Suns, Steve Kerr was the sharpshooter who played next to Michael Jordan. 

Here’s a video of Kerr describing his first impressions of Jordan. As usual, watch the video and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.


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

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Nov , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan: A Hardline Hypocrite?

A group of between 10 and 14 owners, led by Michael Jordan, is promising to oppose any deal that gives players more than 50 percent of revenue. This group of owners wants the players' share of BRI not to exceed 47 percent and was upset when the NBA proposed a 50-50 split.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Jordan Rules live on.

Years ago, Sam Smith, the legendary beat writer for the Chicago Bulls, wrote a best-selling book called The Jordan Rules, detailing how Michael Jordan was, a hypocrite.

Yes, he was the greatest ever. And yes, he was the most recognized person in the world.

He had flaws, though. According to Smith, Jordan worried more about scoring than winning, struggled with teammates, and operated by his rules.

Smith’s view was reinforced during the lockout of 1998 when Jordan told Washington Wizards’ owner Abe Pollin to sell his team if he can’t profit.

Of course, Jordan became an owner a few years later -with Pollin’s Wizards, too!

Today, Jordan has a controlling share of the struggling Charlotte Bobcats. The man who told Pollin to sell if he can’t make money is the league’s greatest Hawk, refusing to compromise in negotiations.

Jordan is opposed to a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. He, and other small market owners, want a 53% share.

Why is Jordan such a hardliner? Like Pollin, he can’t profit.

However, Jordan the owner won’t listen to Jordan the player and sell. Different rules still exist when you're The Greatest of all Time.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
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.

Link

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.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Oct , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Phil Jackson to Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose needs Help

"...They still have to have some steady shooters from the outside to complement the penetration they have, and then (Carlos) Boozer has to have that post-up game that he was brought there to give them. They just can't be one-dimensional in that regard. They have to have those complementary pieces to assist Rose in his game."

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Phil Jackson retired last May. His mouth missed the memo.

The Zen-Master appeared on a Chicago-area radio show and declared that Bulls star and 2011 MVP Derrick Rose needed help.

It's common knowledge Rose's supporting cast must improve, especially at two-guard. The Zen-Master couldn't resist antagonizing, provoking, and causing controversy by saying that the Bulls should hang a 'Help Wanted' sign outside the stadium.

Here's the question: why would Jackson stir the pot?

Well, Jackson could be flexing his muscles. As the most successful coach in NBA history, he feels it's his duty to comment on all things NBA.

Remember, Jackson won six championships in The Windy City, so he has a connection to the team and city.

Perhaps he's keeping his name in the headlines in order to land one final coaching job before he really retires.

Chicago is unlikely. New York -with Carmelo Anthony, Amar's Stoudemire, and maybe Chris Paul - is a possibility.

One thing we do know: Jackson always has an agenda.

--Sandor.

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

 

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Oct , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: owners, not players, to blame for lockout

“It’s very sad, but everybody knows it’s not our fault,” the Chicago Bulls point guard and reigning NBA most valuable player said Saturday. “If it was up to us we’d be out there playing. I think that is wrong and I know they could easily take care of it.”

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I don’t think the players or their union get it. Fault doesn’t matter. Leverage does.

Currently, the owners have leverage in negotiations and intend on using it to right and correct the league’s habit of overpaying their middle class.

The list of mistakes is long and dubious. However, three stand out:

1) Eddy Curry. The puffy post received $33 million from the New York Knicks to play in just 33 games over the last three seasons.

2) Gilbert Arenas. Despite having few suitors, an eccentric personality, and creaky knees, The Hibachi was give a six-year, $111 million contract courtesy of the Washington Wizards.

It’s worth noting this was at least $20 million more than any other team was willing to pay and Arenas claims he left money on the table with the Wizards.

3) Rashard Lewis. Most teams would like a stretch four who can produce 12-15 points per game, however, they wouldn’t want to pay him over $20 million per season.

The Orlando Magic and they got one good season for Lewis before trading him to Washington for, wait for it, Arenas.

There are dozens of other mistakes. Of course, this, like Rose says, is on the owners for misjudging talent and empowering their executives to pay players like the money was endless.

It isn’t.

The economy has changed. Many - especially in smaller, have-not markets - feel the NBA isn’t worth their disposable income, so owners must have a full scale correction.

This means a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. This means a re-do of system issues. And this means the pendulum swings back in favour of the owners. 

Fault doesn’t matter in such a charged climate. Only leverage does. And the players, who have none, are learning this the hard way.

--O. Sandor.

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

 

Did Michael Jordan play in a watered down era?
Wednesday , Oct , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Did Michael Jordan play in a watered down era?

Recently, I noticed that fans are questioning if Michael Jordan played in a watered down era. The question has been posed time and time again. I do not understand why it gets brought up in the first place. Seriously? WTF? Dude. Stop it. I bet the question came up as a statement when Jordan was dominating the NBA. I would not be surprised if it came from an old timer during Bill Russell’s era. I am shaking my head at this garbage. Today, the question became a meme. Are you trying to discredit Michael with the question? 

Read More
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.

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Sep , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Derrick Rose is the Bull … Literally

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Click the video below and watch Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls’ superstar, become the Bull and dodge matadors in Spain.

I know. It sounds cheesy, but Adidas pulls it off and puts forward a great ad for the 2011 Most Valuable Player.


--O. Sandor.

Derrick Rose’s Bulls is not “one player away” from winning it all.
Monday , Sep , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Derrick Rose’s Bulls is not “one player away” from winning it all.

Who said that Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls were one player away from winning the title? Anyone saying this over and over again is wrong. What makes you think this? What makes you feel this? The Bulls lack a quality shooting guard. That is true, but that does not make them just one player away. When was the last time this was said about another team? Did LeBron in Cleveland need one more player? What about Dirk’s team or Kobe when the Lakers got Pau?

 

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Aug , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: Rose and Bulls ‘one player away’

“They met us in the Eastern Conference finals, and they were one player away from making it a very, very, very tough series,” Wade told ESPNChicago.com during an event for his “Wade’s World” charities. “Derrick Rose is evolving into a phenomenal player. You could look and see they’re one player away from being there every year.”

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwyane Wade thinks the Chicago Bulls aren’t far off.

Yesterday Wade declared that the Derrick Rose led Bulls are one player away from potentially beating his Miami Heat, who won the Eastern Conference championship in 2011.

Wade is correct when stating the Bulls need a shooting guard to take the offensive pressure off Rose, who too often had to create a scoring opportunity on every possession.

However, the Bulls' options could be limited by the new collective bargaining agreement, which would make it difficult, if not impossible, for an upgrade.

The club already has $61.5 million in guaranteed salary for 2011-12. They only have eleven players on the roster.

Now suppose the owners get their hard cap with no exceptions or loop holes.The Bulls will have to look in-house for another scorer, which means getting greater production from the highly paid Carlos Boozer.

Yes, Boozer. Remember him?

Boozer sustained a freak injury in training camp, missed significant parts of the regular season, and found himself on the bench for parts of the Bulls' playoff run.

Boozer has four years and $60 million left on his contract. No contender can get such weak production from such a big-ticket.

The Bulls will likely have little or no money for free agents. And Boozer may have to be the difference-maker Wade speaks of.   

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Aug , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: ‘I’m going to win multiple championships’

DR: It was great but I’m not satisfied. I won’t be satisfied until I win a championship. I’m not satisfied at all. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’m not going to win a championship. I’m going win multiple championships. It’s not a doubt in my mind.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's not the same. Not even close.

In an interview with Hoopshype, Derrick Rose, the 2011 MVP and rising superstar for the Chicago Bulls, admitted he wants to win multiple championships.

Such a declaration should sound familiar. LeBron James was, and still gets, roasted for making a similar statement last summer after taking his talent to South Beach.

There's a difference between Rose and James, though.

Rose was talking about what he wanted to achieve in his career, which is fair. All players, especially the creme de la creme of the NBA, should have lofty goals.

James, however, was acting like he already won multiple championships when he boasted to fans at the Heat's pre-emptive victory parade. The glitter, glitz, and hype of that July day in 2010 was as grand as the L.A. Lakers' championship parade a month earlier in June.

Of course, the Heat hadn't won a thing yet -and wouldn't win a thing, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.

So, put the daggers down. Rose's comments pass the smell test, while James is struggling to move past last July's blunders.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Phil Jackson to coach New York Knicks?

The first was undoubtedly whether Phil Jackson, on hand to usher his former long-time assistant Tex Winter and Rodman into the Class of 2011, will unretire in the future and return to the NBA sidelines to coach again. Maybe for the Knicks in 2012.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will Phil Jackson ride off into the sunset at his ranch in the Mid West? Or, will the most successful coach in NBA history un-retire and  take a seat on the New York Knicks’ bench?

Jackson didn’t close the door on a return to coaching at the NBA’s Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Instead, he left the door open ever-so slightly.

Remember, Jackson won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, which included a run of three and two consecutive championships.

Before that he won six championships with the Chicago Bulls, which included two separate runs of three consecutive championships.

Bottom line: Jackson’s a winner. So the Knicks should do everything possible to woo him out of retirement, or sabbatical, and onto the hallowed floor of Madison Square Gardens.

After all, Jackson played for some great Knick squads. His ego is grand enough that he’d handle, or even welcome, the bright lights, center stage, and headlines of Broadway. 

Of course, the Knicks have the money to easily meet P-Jax’s demand of an eight-figure annual salary to work his magic on Carmelo Anthony and Amar‘e Stoudemire.

Sounds perfect, right?

Well, here’s the problem: Knick owner James Dolan likes control. He’ll be reluctant to hire a free-thinking, counter-culturist like Jackson, who has the pedigree to say what he thinks without worrying about consequences.

Now Jackson, at 66, won’t want to deal with the Knicks’ meddling owner. For instance, he knows Executive Donnie Walsh left because he grew tired of Dolan.

Then again Dolan has hired high-profile coaches and general managers: Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. And Jackson has dealt with the soap opera in Laker-land known as the Buss clan.

So it’s possible. We’re talking about it too, which is exactly what Jackson, retired or not, wants. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in lighter Eddy Curry?

Curry weighed 350 when he auditioned for Miami in March. Curry intrigues Pat Riley, who might offer him a minimum deal postlockout if he loses another 12 pounds or so. His skills “are there, no question,” Grover said.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Eddy Curry could soon become Pat Riley’s Greatest Reclamation Project.

Reports indicate Curry has dropped close to 40 pounds and, if his waist line continues to shrink, he may sign with the Miami Heat for the minimum when the lockout ends.

This is rather remarkable, especially when considering how low the skilled big had sunk.

Curry made $31 million to play in 30 games over the last three seasons. He blew most of that $31 million and, reportedly, took out high-interest loans from dubious characters. And then there was this.

Of course, Curry might not be best for South Beach. He was a finesse-five for the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, and the Heat need a defensive-minded banger down low.

Still, Curry won’t cost much, so, perhaps, he’s worth the risk -as it will appease the people behind Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Move over Rafer Alston, Derek Anderson, Ike Austin. Smush Parker, Antoine Walker, and all others. Eddy Curry may soon be coming. You’ll have competition for Riles’ Greatest Reclamation Project.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jerry Krause: David Kahn ‘Screwed’ Kurt Rambis

"When you take on the triangle, you have to have your whole organization geared toward it," said Krause. "It takes a very specific kind of player to play in it. I saw the Minnesota guy hire Rambis, after he took two players in the draft who couldn’t possibly ever run the triangle. I have no idea if Rambis is a good coach or not, but Kahn screwed him right off the bat." He's referring to Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn, who are not natural fits, in yet another public black eye for Kahn.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just the latest evidence Minnesota Timberwolves Executive David Kahn hasn't a clue.

At the Hall of Fame induction, Jerry Krause, the former Chicago Bulls GM, criticized Kahn for not giving former coach Kurt Rambis the players to run the Triple Post.

Rambis, of course, was recently fired by Kahn. Not before Kahn made him wait two months to hear his fate -even having Rambis submit a homework assignment before turfing him.

Krause is right: the Triple Post works if you have players with specific skill-sets and strong basketball IQs.

For instance, Luc Longley, Will Purdue, and Bill Wennington weren’t flashy or talented, but were smart, resourceful, and could pass.

B.J. Armstrong, Steve Kerr, and John Paxson could knock down shots, play off the ball, and knew their limitations.

Unfortunately, the Wolves were full of youngsters, who struggled with the pro' game and were no match for the complicated, intricate Triple Post.

So, according to Krause, Kahn is lost. Well, the architect of the six-time champion Bulls has the pedigree to say what he likes.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers Targetting Chris Paul?

With the Lakersshowing more signs that their basketball mileage is catching up with them, they need to inject speed into their lineup. And with Mike Brown planning to abandon most of the triangle offense, they need a solid point guard. ... [Chris Paul] has the edge over [Deron Williams] because of his youth (26) and uncanny speed.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: With the 2012 season in limbo, many have turned to speculating on next year’s free agent class.

One rumour keeps making the rounds: Chris Paul walks on the New Orleans Hornets to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next July.

Before you roll your eyes at the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for not fixing the migration of stars to big markets, recognize that this makes sense for Paul.

The Lakers will have financial flexibility. They have $67 million in committed salary for the 2012-13 season, but the club holds options on $25 million for Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.

While they won’t walk on Bynum, the purple-and-gold will gladly bolt on the final $8 million on Odom’s pact. There are other ways to trim salary.

Regardless of the system - hard or soft cap - the Lakers will be able to make a competitive offer for Paul.

New coach Mike Brown will replace the Triple-Post with a drive-and-kick system that relies on the point guard penetrating and running pick-and-rolls.

Sounds perfect for Paul, right?

The New Orleans Hornets can’t afford Paul. The league owns the team and the city can't generate enough revenue to pay for a top supporting cast.

So it’s generally accepted that Paul will leave New Orleans and join Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in New York.

Not so fast.

Last I checked the Knicks played in the Eastern Conference. Each year, Paul would have to go through Miami’s Three Kings to reach the NBA Finals.

And when the Heat have a down year, Paul would likely face 2010 MVP Derrick Rose and his upstart Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, with their air-tight defense, are no pushovers.

So Paul’s best bet at championship glory may be out west with the Lakers.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Blake Griffin on lockout: ‘My first three seasons, I could play 82 games’

"I haven't stopped working out really since May," Griffin said. "It's been every day, sneaking it in whenever I can." Griffin says it's frustrating for him to think that the NBA games may be interrupted after his first season playing in the league. Griffin missed all of the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap after he had been the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma. "Now my first three seasons, I could play 82 games," Griffin said. "So, we'll see what happens."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year was overwhelmingly positive for the NBA.
 
The sporting world was galvanized by Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James joining forces and becoming the ‘Heatles’ in Miami.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd’s hard work was rewarded with an NBA championship, guaranteeing both immediate entry into the Hall of Fame when they retire.

Derrick Rose won the MVP award, leading the Chicago Bulls to the league’s best regular season record and a place in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder took another step winning two playoff series before falling to Nowitzki and Kidd’s Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

The Memphis Grizzlies made the playoffs and upset the San Antonio Spurs. After years of futility, the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers were relevant and entertaining.

There are other storylines I’m missing.

For instance, high on this list is the emergence of Blake Griffin, whose aerial antics reminded the world there’s a professional basketball squad in Los Angeles not called the Lakers.

(And this squad, the Clippers, can compete and delight despite being owned by the twisted and incompetent Donald Sterling.)

Suppose there’s a lockout. One that wipes out the entire season. Griffin, who missed 2009 with injury, will have played just eighty-two games in his first three seasons.

Fans would have to wait a year to see Griffin assault the rim. Fans would have to wonder what Griffin would do to defend his crown at the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest. And fans, the purists, would have to wait a year to see Griffin’s above average passing and skill-set develop.

This is tragic. And just another thing Commissioner David Stern, the owners, Union Head Billy Hunter, and the players are risking with their posturing and rhetoric.

I hope they know what they’re doing. Griffin missing another year should be a last resort.

--Oly Sandor.


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