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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Phil Jackson: Kobe wants to pass Jordan on all-time scoring list

But not many believed him, including Phil Jackson. When I asked the former Lakers coach last season which player Bryant wants to pass on the scoring list the most, Jackson replied without hesitation, "Michael Jordan."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Pandora’s Box known as Kobe vs. Mike is once again open, courtesy of their former coach Phil Jackson.

'Zen-Master' Phil told the L.A. Times last season that Kobe Bryant, of the Lakers, desperately wants to pass Michael Jordan, the Hall of Fame guard with the Chicago Bulls, on the league's all-time scoring list.

Bryant's reason for setting this goal is obvious: he wants his legacy to be greater than Jordan's.

Forget the all-time scoring list. One statistic proves Bryant can never top Jordan. The 'Black Mamba' has lost twice in the NBA Finals, while 'His Airness' was a perfect 6-0 in the championship series.

When the chips were on-the-line, when it mattered most, nobody was greater than Jordan. This is beyond dispute and outweighs the all-time scoring list. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

The 2000 NBA Draft is the worst of all time.
Saturday , Jul , 16 , 2011 J.N.

The 2000 NBA Draft is the worst of all time.

It’s arguable to determine the greatest draft of all time with help from great pieces written by Paul Eide. Personally, the 1984 draft had the best first round of all time: Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, Alvin Robertson, Michael Cage, Otis Thorpe, Kevin Willis, Sam Perkins, and Jerome Kersey. That is 4 top 50 all time NBA players, 9 rings, 7 league MVP trophies, 8 Finals MVP trophies, 4 Defensive Player of the Year awards, 2 quadruple doubles, and 23 All NBA First Team selections. 

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Monday , Jul , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Yao: Hall of Fame Player or Hall of Fame Ambassador?

“No. 1 to me, he’s a Hall of Famer,” Van Gundy said. “Idon’t care if you put him in as player, as a contributor or put him in with his own heading. This guy definitely gets in for the greatness as a player when healthy or what he did as ambassador.” He then added a thought he would repeat often.“People forget,” Van Gundy said, “just how good he was.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He goes in as an ambassador –or not at all.

It's tempting to get caught-up and proclaim Yao Ming a Hall of Fame NBA player. After all, Yao is a nice fellow. His numbers were good. And for a very short time, he was the premier center in the NBA.

A pleasant demeanour, good statistics, and a short run as 'The Man in the Middle' doesn't mean Yao deserves basketball's greatest individual honour –at least as a player.

The crème de la crème of NBA players validate themselves by championships. Rings, more than individual statistics, are the measure of greatness.

This is fair. Unlike Major League Baseball, one NBA player can greatly influence a team. So team success is the best gauge of that player's impact.

Yao never won a championship. In fact, he never won a playoff round. Not one best-of- seven series.

Some Hall of Fame greats failed to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy. Charles Barkley at least made the NBA Finals. Karl Malone and John Stockton twice met Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls in the league's June extravaganza.

Barkley, Malone, and Stockton were the best at their position for a prolonged period. For instance, Barkley and Malone were Most Valuable Players; Stockton is still the league's all-time assists leader. Yao, injury or not, has no such achievement on his resume.

The Hall of Fame is exclusive. Coaches, players, fans and journalists shouldn't have to argue that a player deserves entry. The player's career should do that.

Yet, since word of his retirement broke, coaches, players, fans, and journalists have been arguing on behalf of Yao the player.

This is the greatest indicator that Yao is not a Hall of Fame player. 

He is, however, a Hall of Fame ambassador, functioning as the bridge between the NBA and the lucrative Chinese market. There's no disputing Yao's influence on the business of basketball.

For this, Yao the ambassador should have a place at the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts -just not in the players' section.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Luol Deng and South Sudan a reality-check for NBA players and owners

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Right now, NBA owners and players can't find a way to split $4 billion in annual revenues.

If this seems petty, it's because it is. Especially when compared to the plight of those participating in a basketball camp in South Sudan, the world's newest nation.

Fortunately, Luol Deng, a Sudanese immigrant and small forward for the Chicago Bulls, appears to have his head on straight. Perhaps, others associated with the NBA can return to reality –and soon.

Click the video provided by Yahoo, watch Deng in action as camp counsellor in South Sudan, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below. 


--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Jason Richardson to Chicago?

As a free agent, J-Rich has reached a critical point in his career: Does he sign with a team that can pay him the most money or take less to play with a contender?

Obviously, he would love to have the best of both worlds. He might be able to find that with the Chicago Bulls, who are in need of a quality starting shooting guard.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Jason Richardson the difference between the Chicago Bulls winning and losing the Eastern Conference?

The answer: at best, a maybe. Sure, Richardson is talented. Sure, he has range. Sure, he’s arguably the top free agent shooting-guard. And sure, the Bulls need a scorer.

Richardson is 31-years old, though. While still solid, he was deemed expendable by the Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats, and Phoenix Suns. His latest club, the Orlando Magic, have little interest in extending him.

A large part of this had to do with money. Charlotte and Phoenix, two smaller markets, had trouble swallowing Richardson’s big-ticket. For financial reasons, they cut ties.

A large part of this had to with skill. More and more, Richardson stopped using his athleticism to attack and defend, and seemed content on shooting three-pointers.

Who knows what role the off-court stuff played? Richardson was charged with Driving Under the Influence and reckless driving. Of course, there was also this.

Richardson is a risk. His value on the open market will be hard to gauge because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

Chicago should ask Richardson for a contender discount. If he refuses, they should look elsewhere for their difference-maker.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Pacers name Frank Vogel head coach

The Indiana Pacers have scheduled a press conference for Wednesday that will officially seal Frank Vogel's promotion to full-time coach according to NBA coaching sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’s no longer ‘The Temp’.

Today, the Indiana Pacers promoted former assistant and interim coach Frank Vogel to the full time position of head coach.

This is smart. The Pacers were 20-18 under Vogel after he replaced Jim O’Brien. They also squeaked into the playoffs as an eight-seed, but lost to the Chicago Bulls in five games.

So the Pacers have their coach. They have a nice, young core. They also have considerable cap space.

Things are looking up in the Hoosier state. Like the rest of us, they`re just waiting on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic interested in Carlos Boozer?

I've talked to people who believe that Chicago will shop Boozer, but you have to keep in mind that his stock is at an all-time low right now. He disappeared in the playoffs and there's a reason Chicago is talking about moving less than a year after signing him. It'll be tough to move him for anything of substance, especially considering how much he's owed over the next four years. With that said, if he does become available, the Orlando Magic will certainly express some level of interest.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carlos Boozer wouldn’t convince Dwight Howard to forgo free agency and sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

So the Magic should think carefully about trading for Boozer, and assuming the remaining 4-years and $65 million on his big-ticket contract.

Boozer would be the latest in expensive, overpaid players who couldn’t help superstar Dwight Howard achieve his goal of an NBA championship.

There was Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter. This duo were then swapped mid-season for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades. All four failed miserably.

A frustrated Howard is now angling for a trade. If he doesn’t get it, the five-man will likely leave Orlando as a free agent in two seasons.

Howard would see Boozer for what he is -a talented but injury-prone player, who the Chicago Bulls dumped one season after signing him as a free agent.

It doesn't matter that Howard and Boozer are close, often hanging out together in the summer. Basketball is business. Friendship is personal.

Magic Executive Otis Smith should instead focus on Chris Paul. The New Orleans point guard, who can also become a free agent in July of 2012, is the type of talent that could convince Howard to stay.

Paul and Howard would form a terrific inside-outside duo. They’d attract other free agents, co-stars, and role players. They’d compete for years to come.

Almost every other player, including Boozer, won’t be enough for Howard to recommit to Orlando.

--Oly Sandor.

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


 
Gar Forman- The Forgotten Bull
Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 Paul Eide

Gar Forman- The Forgotten Bull

The success the Bulls had this season is a quick study in turning a franchise completely around in one season. For all the hype that suddenly accumulated, you would’ve thought Chicago had been a championship contender for years, as evidenced by all four in studio TNT analysts picking them to beat the Heat and win the Eastern Conference. But, that has not been the case.

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: Bulls lost because of Boozer and Noah

"You can't have two of your top high-paid players sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter," Pippen said. "And that isn't just last night's game. We have seen this the whole season. So for us to think the Bulls are going to go farther when your high-priced players are not going to carry you and finish games for you ... you're not talking about a championship team.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One day after comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen went at Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

The Hall of Fame three-man blamed this duo for the Bulls loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, saying that no team wins a championship with their second and third best players on the bench during the fourth quarter.

Pippen is right. However, Noah is still young and gets a partial mulligan on his uneven play.

The real issue is Boozer. Last summer, he signed a $75 million extension to be Derrick Rose’s running mate. The four-man was expected to be a second-in-command, a co-capo if you will.

Boozer has been a disappointment. Sure, he was injured for much of the season, but the real problem is that the Bulls offense revolves around Rose.

And for the Bulls to get past Miami in 2012, they need more from Boozer. Or they’ll have to find a new second star.

--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Scottie Pippen: LeBron is better than Michael Jordan

Scottie Pippen suggested, on ESPN Radio’s Mike And Mike In the Morning, that LeBron James, and not his former teammate, Michael Jordan, could end up being the greatest all-around player the league has ever seen.

“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play in the game, but I may go as far to say LeBron James is probably the greatest player to ever play the game,” Pippen said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Repeat.

While you’re meditating please remember Scottie Pippen didn’t totally go there. He didn’t say LeBron James was better than Michael Jordan.

Pippen sure came close, though.

He said James may be a greater all-around player because of athleticism and size. And he said James can a dominate game in more ways than Jordan.

Purists will be offended. After all, Jordan has six championship rings. James has none. Jordan transcended basketball. James gave basketball a bad name with The Decision.

Still, Pippen, in theory, may have a point. James’ rare combination of size, speed, skill, and power gives him a unique advantage over any player to ever grace an NBA floor.   

When it’s all said and done, James may eventually be in the same sentence as Jordan. Not now, though.

Here’s the reality: James lacks Jordan’s will and competitiveness. Remember, Jordan overcame the Detroit Pistons’ harsh tactics; upset Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals; handled Clyde the Glyde and Rip City; twice withstood the best John Stockton and Karl Malone, two Hall of Famers, could offer; and defeated Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the Seattle Sonics.

James has done nothing of the sort. Yet.

Let’s be fair: Jordan had help. It’s interesting his ‘help’ (Pippen) is so quick to deflect praise away from his former teammate and supposed friend towards others.

Maybe Pippen’s statement says more about the rivalry between him and Jordan, and less about James’ place in the game.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Who Picks Up Slack For Bulls?
Thursday , May , 26 , 2011 Paul Eide

Who Picks Up Slack For Bulls?

 

Derrick Rose can’t do it by himself, especially with LeBron James guarding him. That we know. We also know that seven foot sub Omer Asik is done after breaking a bone in his leg. Carlos Boozer, after being heavily criticized for not producing much offensively at first, has finally stepped up over the last two games.
 
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Monday , May , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Joakim Noah yells anti-gay slur at Heat fan

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Joakim Noah has to be better than this.

The Chicago Bulls post screamed an anti-gay slur at Miami Heat fans after getting into foul trouble in the first half.

To be fair, Noah apologized, saying he got ‘caught up’. He seemed genuine, but the NBA will levy a massive fine –and rightfully so.

Noah can’t yell at fans. And Noah can’t yell anti-gay slurs at fans.

Not after Kobe Bryant’s slip-up. Not after a Phoenix Suns executive recently came out. Not with the league running public service announcements denouncing homophobia at the Heat-Bulls game.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts on Noah in the comment box below. 


--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , May , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Luol Deng’s game two Hail Mary

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: In game one, Taj Gibson`s dunks sparked the Chicago Bulls.

In game two, Luol Deng`s three-quarter court buzzer beater was equally impressive, but didn`t have the same impact for the Bulls, who lost to the Heat.

Anyway, watch Deng`s Hail Mary shot and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , May , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat draw even with Bulls

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They say a playoff series doesn’t begin until the home team losses a game.

Well, the Chicago Bulls lost game two of the Eastern Conference Finals, so, suddenly, we have a series.

Tonight’s contest was a close affair; however, the Miami Heat pulled away down the stretch behind strong efforts from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Click the link for details on the Heat evening their series against the Bulls.

--Oly Sandor.

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

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real
Wednesday , May , 18 , 2011 J.N.

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real

Game 1 is in the books. The Chicago Bulls woke up a lot of critics, 103-82. Led by Derrick Rose's 28 points and 6 assists, his performance was fine considering that he out dueled Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Both men did not even dial in 20 points, but Chris Bosh poured in 30 points. Miami's supporting cast could not get anything going as usual. However, the talk of the night belongs to Taj Gibson's dunks. One was on Dwyane Wade. The other one, which was a nasty put back, probably destroyed a planet somewhere. Lawd have mercy, things got nasty. Heat fans and critics were shocked. Don't be. They have been doing the business all season.

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Tuesday , May , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Best Facial: Chris Bosh on Carlos Boozer or Taj Gibson on Dwyane Wade?

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Forget Miami verses Chicago. Focus on the poster-jobs; specifically Chris Bosh`s battle against Taj Gibson.

Last night, Bosh threw down a thunderous dunk off a pick-on-roll, condemning Carlos Boozer to a life of snide comments and viral snickering on youtube.

However, Gibson, at a minimum, matched Bosh with an epic facial on a two-on-one, forcing Dwyane Wade to offer a little disclaimer to the media today.

Watch both videos below and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below. 

(Bosh on Boozer.) 

(Gibson's facial on D-Wade.)

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

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Sunday , May , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Joakim Noah: Chris Bosh wasn`t serious about Bulls

The Bulls center huddled with Chris Bosh inside Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower over the summer without any preconceived notions. He simply wanted the guy sitting across from him at Sixteen restaurant to show a fire and passion about joining the Bulls.

Bosh didn't. "He was a nice guy and all,'' Noah said of his recruitment of Bosh during the free-agent frenzy. "But Bosh was more into, 'Well it depends on what this guy does, what that guy does.'''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, Chris Bosh wasn’t serious about the Chicago Bulls.

The fix was in. It had been for years.

Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade knew they were signing with the Miami Heat last summer. They knew this since the Beijing Olympics, where they bonded as teammates.

Free agency was a charade. James and Wade’s recent comments about coming to Chicago should be taken with a grain of salt.

If James was serious about Chicago he’d have responded to Derrick Rose’s texts, where the table-setter tried welcoming him.

He didn’t, though. James knew what he was going to do: he was `taking his talent to South Beach’.

Fair enough. This was James` right as free agent. Same with Bosh and Wade.

They could pick where they played and with who. The problem was how –as in how they, specifically Bosh and James, handled the situation.

Bottom line: this is old news. The Heat has their Three Kings. The Bulls have Rose and a superb supporting cast.

As a result, fans should get an excellent Eastern Conference Finals.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Wade nearly joined Rose in Chicago

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade admitted they strongly considered signing with the Bulls. "It was two mornings," Wade said at Friday's practice of waking up during the summer of 2010 envisioning himself with Chicago. "I definitely had one or two mornings where I woke up thinking I'd be a Bull too, but ultimately I decided to come here," James said.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This would be the Three Kings. For real.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade seriously contemplated signing with the Chicago Bulls last summer during The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.
 
So imagine this: James and Wade with 2011 MVP Derrick Rose.
 
This trio would dominate the NBA for years, forcing Commissioner David Stern and league head office to make annual reservations for Chicago in June.
 
Perhaps scariest of all would be their athleticism. James, Wade, and Rose are freaks. They are quick. They are strong. They are agile. And they are the top finishers in the open court.
 
So imagine them running the break. Together. This would strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.
 
Some would worry about the fit. All three like the ball. And all three would have to spend significant time off the ball.
 
They`d make it work, though. Great, unselfish players can almost always play together.
 
Of course, this is just speculation. Wade re-signed with the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh followed him to South Beach. So did James. And Rose has Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah in Chicago.
 
And these superstars are set to clash in a potentially epic Eastern Conference Finals. Still, it`s nice to imagine what could have been.
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Against Heat, Bulls Front Court Needs To Produce
Friday , May , 13 , 2011 Paul Eide

Against Heat, Bulls Front Court Needs To Produce

 

 
Carlos Boozer has taken a lot of “heat” over the past couple weeks for his lack of production. But of all the injuries to play with turf toe is not something minor; though because it’s a toe injury (you have nine other ones that can carry the load, right?) it’s not seen as limiting as say a knee injury, or the shoulder injury Boozer dealt with earlier in the season.
 
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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Derrick Rose channels Tim Hardaway, crosses-up Jeff Teague and dunks

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tim Hardaway would’ve been proud of Derrick Rose’s crossover.

The 2011 MVP embarrassed the Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague on the perimeter, drove the lane aggressively, and threw down a powerful two-handed jam.

Oh yeah, he also dropped 44 points in the Chicago Bulls game three victory over the Hawks.

Watch the clip below and get at us with thoughts on D-Rose’s killa’ crossover. 


--Oly Sandor.