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Wednesday , Sep , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose on his three-point shot: ‘I am confident it’ll go in’

"It's something I've been working on over the summer with my trainer Rob (McClanaghan), and over here I stay after practice and take lots of reps shooting NBA threes," Rose said. "Now when I'm open or need to shoot it, I will because I am confident it'll go in."
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Derrick Rose will be a pick-your-poison player in 2011.

The Chicago Bulls’ table-setter has always been able to get to the hoop because of his quickness, size, and athleticism. Once at the hoop, Rose would score a lay-up or draw defenders and kick to a teammate.

Opposing point guards would react by backing off Rose and daring him to fire away from the outside. Sometimes this would slow the young star because his jump shot was mediocre.

An improved jump shot, especially from downtown, will change everything. Rose will continue blowing by tight coverage and he will also punish defenders by hitting from the outside when they slough off him.

In short: Rose will be unstoppable. And his Chicago Bulls should take a giant step in 2011.
   
--Oly Sandor.


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Tuesday , Aug , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Clippers and Nets leading Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes?

According to one report, the Nets are not willing to include Brook Lopez in an attempt to trade for Carmelo Anthony. But New Jersey's offer of Devin Harris, Derek Favors and draft picks may still give the Nuggets the best pieces in return for Anthony.

The Nuggets have had discussions with the Bulls that center around Luol Deng and Taj Gibson. The Warriors may offer Stephen Curry, Andris Biedrins and draft picks but are not sure that they will make Curry available. The Clippers are called a long shot with Chris Kaman and Eric Gordon the likely two targets whom Denver would look to acquire.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Going, going, not quite gone.

Reports indicate the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Jersey Nets have made offers to the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony.

Consider all the proposals: the Bulls are dangling Luol Deng and Taj Gibson; the Clippers have made Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman available; the Nets are willing to part with Derrick Favors and Devin Harris; and the Warriors are assembling a package around Andris Biedrins.
 
Two teams stand out: the Los Angeles Clippers and New Jersey Nets.
 
The Nuggets have to be intrigued by the Clips’ offer. Gordon would solve a hole at the two-spot, while Kaman would provide a much-needed seven-footer down low.

The Nets’ offer is also interesting. Favors is a spectacular blue-chip talent; Harris can play next to Chauncey Billups, learn the tricks of the trade from the veteran, and eventually replace him at the one-spot.

Also, Anthony would likely consider signing an extension with both the Clippers and Nets. Los Angeles is a major market. And New Jersey will soon be a major market when they cross the river to Brooklyn in a few years.

So expect the Clippers and Nets to be in play –if the Nuggets finally trade Anthony. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose on Chicago playing Miami: ‘my team is ready’

"Fear them (the Heat)? No. If anything, you want to play them. As a ballplayer, you want to play against the best. I know my team is ready to play."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Too often, the NBA resembles a friendly, afternoon pick-up run. Players hug before games. Players exchange pounds. And players laugh and smile.

It seems their union brotherhood takes precedence over winning the game, series, or championship, and it’s enough to make the league’s older generations burn their Chuck Taylors and Converse Weapons in disgust.

Bottom line: the NBA, like sports, needs rivalries, conflict, and heroes and villains.

So, point guard Derrick Rose’s comments are refreshing. He wants the Miami Heat. He wants Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. He wants ‘the best’.

Perhaps, he’s offended The Three Kings passed on signing with the Chicago Bulls this off-season as free agents. Perhaps, he’s competitive. Perhaps, it’s a bit of both.

Chicago-Miami was already must-see television this year. And Rose’s comments are only adding fuel to the fire. Chances are, there won’t be too many hugs, pounds, or smiles when these powers finally meet.

And the NBA will be better for it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade on not signing with Bulls: ‘it had nothing to do with Chicago’

"Whatever jersey I'm wearing, I'm still here," Wade said. "I'm still in the community, I think I'm doing something impactful and bigger than the game of basketball. It had nothing to do with Chicago. It had nothing to do with the Chicago Bulls. It had everything to do with Miami and what we had a chance to do down there."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and the Chicago Bulls would've been nice; however, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and the Miami Heat is better -at least for Dwyane Wade.

So the superstar said thanks, but no thanks to his hometown. This is just another storyline in the developing rivalry between Chicago and Miami.

Both clubs competed for big-ticket free agents this summer. Miami won the battle landing the Three Kings, but Chicago with Carlos Boozer, Noah, and Rose could still win the war for Eastern Conference supremacy.

And Bulls fans will have plenty of chances to heckle Wade for picking Miami over his native Chicago.

--Oly Sandor.

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Why players like Tracy McGrady don’t get it
Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 J.N.

Why players like Tracy McGrady don’t get it

This is not about statistics. This is not about play style or comparisons. This is about psychoanalysis. *Yawn* right? No, I’m not going to sit you down on some couch and listen to you lament about regrets on sexual games you haven’t explored with a significant other or some petty crap about your desires to sniff Sharpies while wearing your sister’s clothes. No, I’m not going to do that. Gross. I’m not Sigmund Freud. Rather this is a breakdown of the mind of certain players such as Tracy McGrady. Some might call it “Allen Iverson territory.” I call it “the Rick Astley Syndrome.”

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Monday , Aug , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: ‘I am not worried about the Heat’

When speaking with the media, Rose was about a potential rivalry brewing with the Miami HEAT. ``I am not worried about the HEAT; I am just worried about the Bulls. I know that my team is ready.``

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The late John Wooden would have liked Derrick Rose.

Coach Wooden always told his UCLA teams not to worry about their opponents and to focus on playing, which is the approach Rose is taking with the Miami Heat.

Instead of worrying about Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, instead of worrying about the attention the Heat are getting, Rose is punching the clock, putting in work, and extending his three-point shot.

Of course, this will make him unstoppable.

Rose has always been able to get to the basket. Defenders have such respect for his athleticism they back off him and concede the jumper.

If Rose can consistently knock down three-pointers, defenders won`t be able to back off him,  which will make it easier to penetrate and create scoring opportunities.

The third year point guard should head into 2011 as a pick-your-poison player. And it will be because he took a ‘Wooden’ approach to this summer. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh on free agency: ‘I played with people’s emotions’

"If you think about how many times somebody asks you, 'How are you,' that's how many times I was asked, 'Where you going?'" Bosh told the Daily News on Wednesday.  "So it's like, well, in my case, I'm going to have fun with it. I'm going to play with people's emotions. I'm going to be high and low."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: There's no doubt about it.

Chris Bosh had a plan for July 1st. He knew what he was doing.

When free agency hit, the All-Star power forward was bolting on the Toronto Raptors and signing with the Miami Heat, joining fellow superstars and friends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

He executed his plan perfectly, using his rights as a free agent to sign with the team of his chosing. Fair enough. Just don't play 'with people's emotions' and don't brag about it afterwards.

Bosh should remember Karma is a mo-fu. For instance, Vince Carter kicked the Toronto Raptors after his trade to the New Jersey Nets, telling John Thompson he didn't always try and give a full effort.

Carter's career has never recovered. He stumbled with the Nets, and he struggled with the Orlando Magic in 2010.

If there's justice, Bosh will reap a touch of what he has recently sown.

--Oly Sandor.

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Give them the stink face when they diss Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.
Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 J.N.

Give them the stink face when they diss Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

I hate people who hate on Scottie Pippen. The douche bags who believe that they are the alpha males will view the “Scottie Pippen” tag as the kiss of death. His name has become English’s replacement of “sidekick,” “Robin,” and “assistant.” Try to look up the words and you’ll see Pippen’s face. That kind of legacy is kick ass. Ask Patrick Ewing if being Pippen is bad. He’ll probably dunk and stand over you.

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Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.
Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 J.N.

Miami Heat’s Three Am-Egos is a threat to Jordan’s Bulls 72-10.

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72],'' Jeff Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.” A long time friend brought to my attention regarding this comment about Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat. I’ve caught this awhile back and needed time to ponder about such a notion. You guys do realize that in order to break the record, the team can only lose nine games, right? Count that again – 9 games. Seriously.

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Tuesday , Aug , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Jordan to present Scottie Pippen to Basketball Hall of Fame

Michael Jordan will present Scottie Pippen for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Each inductee is presented by a current Hall of Famer.

"I can't think of a better person to do it," Pippen said.

"Michael is someone I shared my career with, accomplishing most of what I have accomplished thus far. He was a great teammate, teacher and admirer. I'm excited to have an opportunity to be the first person that he has presented into the Hall of Fame. I figure if anyone deserves to be on the stage with me, it's him."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ah Scottie, do you really want Michael Jordan presenting you for induction?

On the one hand, Pippen's decision is perfect. He and Jordan were the NBA's greatest all-time duo. They were Batman and Robin, Riggs and Murtaugh, and Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

Together, they won six NBA championships in eight years with the Chicago Bulls. They set the single-season win mark with 72. And they were tremendous on both ends of the floor.

On the other hand, Jordan's previous appearance at the HOF offended some. For the record, I had no issue with MJ's controversial acceptance speech.

Sure, he took shots at foes like Isiah Thomas and his grade ten coach. However, that was Jordan. Always competing; never letting go of past slights.

Of course, it's Pippen's night. He can pick whoever he likes to present him. Let's hope Jordan remembers this, too.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chicago Bulls must keep Joakim Noah

Bulls center Joakim Noah wants a long-term deal with the team and hopes to have one in place by the start of the season. Noah says his agent, Donald Dell, has already begun discussing a possible contract extension with Chicago general manager Gar Forman.

"Of course that's the goal," Noah said. "I'm not really worried about it. I think everything's going to happen with time and at the end of the day, I'm really excited about the upcoming season."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Chicago Bulls must re-sign Joakim Noah.
 
Noah is the type of player championship teams need. He rebounds. He defends. He gets loose balls. And he even steps to a certain superstar for treating games like an episode of Soul Train
 
Of course, the Bulls can't overpay Noah, especially when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement will reduce salaries and give teams greater leverage and power over free agents.
 
The club learned this the hard way, giving Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich star salaries when they're just good players.
 
Noah, however, is different. He's a legit blue-collar star, the second-coming of Horace Grant.
 
Unlike Grant, the Bulls can't let Noah leave.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Sunday , Aug , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy: Heat will ‘break single-season win record’ of 72

"They will break the single-season win record [of 72]," Van Gundy said. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series. They will never lose two games in a row this year.

"They have put together a much better roster than anybody could ever have expected," Van Gundy added. "There is now no good way to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that they will score at will.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  The only thing that matters is winning the NBA championship.

The Chicago Bulls' single-season mark of 72 games and the L.A. Lakers' 33-game winning streak are meaningless if the Miami Heat fail to win the Larry O'Brien trophy come June.

Nothing else matters. Nothing else will do. The Heat's Big Three were assembled to win it all; the blending pieces were specifically signed because they could help achieve this goal.

Jeff Van Gundy is right on one thing, though: the Heat are indefensible. However, their own defense will determine their playoff success.

After all, the Boston Celtics and Lakers have again shown that getting stops, specifically on the road, is the most important tool in winning a championship.

So regular season records are nice. Championships and defence are what matters for Miami.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bogans in, Fernandez and McGrady out with Chicago Bulls?

The Bulls have reached agreement with Keith Bogans on a two-year contract. The second season will be partially guaranteed.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Adding Keith Bogans doesn’t mean the Chicago Bulls won’t get Rudy Fernandez or Tracy McGrady.

It does mean the club wants role players, not scorers. Translation: lockdown defenders, like Bogans, and shooters, like disgruntled Portland Trail Blazer Rudy Fernandez, get preference over Tracy McGrady.

Bogans can slow opponents’ top perimeter player, while Fernandez, if the Bulls successfully land him, could use his shot to punish defences for double-teaming Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer.

What role would McGrady play?

Rookie coach Tom Thibodeau must show T-Mac video of his time with the Toronto Raptors. Back then, he stuffed the stat-sheet, with points, blocks, steals, rebounds, and assists. Oh, and he defended, too.

Over the years, McGrady has become little more than a fragile scorer. And this doesn’t seem a fit for Chicago.

--Oly Sandor?

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Derrick Rose’s Bulls featuring Carlos Boozer as the Chicago Jazz. Top 3 squad in the East?
Wednesday , Aug , 04 , 2010 J.N.

Derrick Rose’s Bulls featuring Carlos Boozer as the Chicago Jazz. Top 3 squad in the East?

The Bulls finally have an official legit All Star power forward. Carlos Boozer is the team’s best “back to the basket” low post scorer since Michael Jordan. That’s tragic because the drought has been 12 years. Chicago has been starving for low post stud and here he is. We still do not know Derrick Rose’s potential and the severity of Joakim Noah’s foot problems. Overall, The Bulls definitely made an answer in the 2010 offseason.

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Saturday , Jul , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should Chicago roll the dice on Rudy?

From what I've heard it's in Portland's hands now for what they want. I've heard the Bulls have a pretty good shot, but nothing matters until it's done. Let's not overstate Fernandez, who always has sounded better than he has performed. But he'd be an excellent addition, and as I wrote Monday the No. 1 guy I'd still pursue.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They're already contenders, so why risk it?

The Chicago Bulls have had a terrific summer, signing Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Kurt Thomas, and CJ Watson. The six-time world champions already had Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, and Derrick Rose.  

These new additions plus the old nucleus should position the club to compete in the Eastern Conference. Adding the wrong piece - like a talented but temperamental perimeter player - could be disastrous, though.

Why roll the dice on Rudy Fernandez, who performed and pouted through two up-and-down seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers?

Fernandez, a star in Europe, couldn't handle sitting behind All-Star Brandon Roy. It didn't matter that he was a key reserve on a promising squad. And it didn't matter that he was in a terrific market, either.

There wasn't enough shine in Portland, which led to Fernandez recently taking his trade requests public, something European publications had hinted at for months.

Chicago must tread carefully with Fernandez. The Spanish swing's athleticism and shooting could fit; however, he may struggle as a blending piece behind Boozer and Rose.

Unfortunately, they may not have a choice. The Eastern Conference is in arms-race mode, with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic outdoing each other with signings and trades.

To keep pace in the Eastern Conference, to have any chance of advancing to the NBA Finals, Chicago will have to take the risk and acquire Fernandez.

He better make it worth their while.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Sources: Chicago expected to sign McGrady this week

The Bulls are prepared to sign free-agent Tracy McGrady if he proves to be healthy and willing to accept a bench role, according to a source. McGrady is scheduled to workout for Chicago on Monday.

"Nothing is done until it's done, but I expect the Bulls to sign McGrady later this week," the source said. The length and value of the contract McGrady could sign is yet to be determined.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: His role must be clearly defined before both parties sign a contract.

In other words, the Chicago Bulls must politely tell Tracy McGrady he'll complement stars Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer, not vice-versa.

The Bulls should also call 'RaptorsTV' and ask for video of McGrady's final season in Toronto. They should then remind him how effective he was when using his length and athleticism to defend and facilitate for others.

If these expectations aren't laid out, McGrady and the Bulls could be a difficult pairing.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose on Chicago signing T-Mac: ‘he’ll help us’

I think that if he comes along he can help our team," Rose said Friday. "A player like him, with his experience and how he plays, I think he'll help us."

McGrady's effectiveness will depend on his left knee. He had microfracture surgery about a year and a half ago.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Derrick Rose is reminiscing on the old 'T-Mac'.

Yes, Tracy McGrady was once a superstar. His length, athleticism, and skill-set made him an All-NBA scorer for the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets.

Age, injury, and ego have ruined him.

Today, McGrady is past-his-prime. He's on the other side of thirty. His always brittle body has endured micro fracture surgery. Yet, he still demands first-option minutes, shots, and touches.

After missing nine months with knee problems, McGrady's desire for a significant role was an issue with the Houston Rockets last year.

So the club paid him to disappear, eventually trading their former franchise player to the New York Knicks at the trade deadline.

McGrady, of course, refused to change for the Knicks. Instead of using his length and basketball IQ to re-brand himself as a defender and facilitator, he tried being a scorer –and failed.

Despite falling short in free agency, New York has no interest in re-signing him this summer.

McGrady could help the Chicago Bulls –if he accepted a role. The swing would be an ideal sixth-man, serving as a second-unit game-changer on both ends of the floor.

Problem is, McGrady won’t defer. Much like Allen Iverson with the Memphis Grizzlies, he wants to start. Not come off the bench.

And much like Iverson with the Grizzlies, he still wants star treatment. Not blend with point guard Rose and post scorer Carlos Boozer.

This is why Rose reminiscing is dangerous. His Bulls should pass on McGrady.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: ‘I’m never leaving’ the Chicago Bulls. ‘Never’

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has no plans of ever leaving Chicago. "I'm never [leaving]," he said, before punctuating that statement. "Never."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:  The theory sounds good. Staying with one team, swearing loyalty to the city you grew up in.

Derrick Rose knows his Chicago Bulls are on the verge of contending. He also knows his stock as a superstar is rising.

Chicago is his hometown; his native turf. His comments are endearing when compared to LeBron James leaving the state that raised him, Ohio, for the Miami Heat.

Now for reality: the NBA is a cold, heartless business. Players get traded, cut, and leave as free agents.

Rose should know this. Michael Jordan – the greatest basketball player of all time and a former Bull – left Chicago for the lowly Washington Wizards.

Sure, there were circumstances. Jordan had retired from pro basketball, became a part owner/executive with the Wiz’, and then un-retired when he realized his first overall pick Kwame Brown was a bust.

Still, Athletes should avoid ‘never’. It creates problems. It limits options. It reduces leverage in negotiations.  For instance, the Bulls could ask Rose for a hometown discount in contract negotiations.

Things change quickly in the ‘what-have-you-done-for-me –lately’, win-now world of pro sports. So Rose should keep his cards a little closer to his chest.

Even if we respect the theory and Rose`s intetions. The reality of the NBA is very different.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Jul , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: I’ll send Chicago and New York ‘gift baskets or something’

Wade said he will soon take time to thank the teams that interviewed him during free agency. "I'll send them all gift baskets or something," he said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He still has his sense of humour.

Clearly, Dwyane Wade isn’t troubled by the criticism, backlash, and negative publicity about how he handled free agency, or the conspiracy theorists claims that Bosh, James, and Wade had planned for years to play together with the Miami Heat.

Bottom line: this trio will have a giant bulls-eyes on their backs. They will be public enemy number one. They will be the team everybody loves to hate.

Instead of shying away from this, instead of downplaying, instead of worrying, Wade is embracing the situation.

Of course, he’ll be booed by fans of the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. They’ll reign down their frustration on Wade when Miami comes to the United Center or Madison Square Gardens.

Why worry about being the villain? Why not enjoy the situation and just win games?

Heck, send the damn gift baskets.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jordan on playing with Bird and Magic: ‘there’s no way’

Michael Jordan talked about the decision made by LeBron James to sign with the Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry (Bird), called up Magic (Johnson) and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,'" Jordan said on Sunday. "But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has finally said his piece.

Yesterday, Michael Jordan told the world he would never, ever have joined forces with fellow greats like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson because he wanted to beat them.

His feelings are fair, but unrealistic.

Jordan never had the options Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade had. After his rookie contract expired, MJ signed an eight year, $25 million contract that negated any chance of partnering with an all-time great.

And when he finally hit unrestricted free agency, Bird and Magic had both retired, so a partnership was impossible.

Jordan was also the game’s undisputed greatest player. There was no parity between superstars like today. In fact, his greatest challenge might have been from teammate, top 50 all time player, and Hall of Fame swing Scottie Pippen.

Then there’s the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old CBA allowed teams a massive advantage in signing their own free agents. For instance, Chicago inked Jordan to several one-year contracts for upwards of $30 million.

The culture of the NBA was different, too. Teams wanted to win now, and the notion of cutting cap space for three years to sign a trio of superstars was unheard of. In fact, it didn’t happen.   

Of course, Jordan has the right to say what he wants and thinks. It’s not necessarily accurate, though.

-- Oly Sandor.

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