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Saturday , Sep , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Erik Spoelstra undecided on who starts with James, Wade, and Bosh

James, Wade and Chris Bosh are the only set starters. ``I do want to make a point of being open minded going into camp,'' Spoelstra said. ``LeBron and Dwyane will be handling the ball quite often. Mario and Carlos will be handling the ball quite often. Mike Miller has a great skill set to be able to handle the ball. Whether LeBron starts [at point guard] or not, is not a high priority right now. I want to get into training camp and get a better feel for this team.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Three Kings run the show. Everybody else gets in where they fit in.

This is Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra’s philosophy before training camp starts in two weeks.  Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade will star; everybody else is interchangeable.

The Heat – after their summer overhaul - is a new team. Chemistry must develop. And teammates must have a chance to forge relationships on and off court.

Why would Spoelstra box himself in by naming his other two starters now?

He, instead, stated the obvious: LeBron and Wade will serve as primary ball handlers. Both will see time at point guard, while Bosh will establish a presence down low.

There are a few other givens. Shooters Eddie House and Mike Miller will figure into the mix to prevent defences from double-teaming Bosh, James, and Wade. A platoon of bigs will man the center spot, allowing ‘CB4’ to play power forward.

Miami will go as far as their Three Kings will take them, but the role players must also perform. And those role players will have to emerge.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stan Van Gundy on Pat Riley`s complaining: ‘I was kind of amused by it’

``I thought it was pretty typical. I was kind of amused by it, especially reading down through the interview,’’ Van Gundy said. ``He goes into Charles Barkley, me and Otis and then says he doesn’t worry about what people say. Wait, you called the press conference, you went off and everybody and you don’t care what people say? Clearly, he cares a great deal about what people say. I was laughing when I saw that.’’

Van Gundy wasn’t laughing when he read that Riley ripped him and Smith for questioning why James and Bosh would rather team together with Dwyane Wade in Miami rather than trying to win a championship on their own. Riley said the comment was ``an absolutely stupid remark,’’ but several former great players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Barkley reaffirmed that they would have never jumped ship on their teams simply as a way to chase a championship.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s safe to say the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic don’t like each other. Not one bit.

However, Pat Riley, the Heat’s lead executive, and Stan Van Gundy, the Magic’s coach, don’t just dislike each other –they hate each other.

Passionately.

Van Gundy was once Riley’s lead assistant on Miami’s bench. Back then, these two trusted each other. These two liked each other. And these two enjoyed a student-mentor relationship. 

When Riley retired from coaching, it was Van Gundy he picked as his successor. Of course, The Oil Slick couldn’t stay away from the spotlight, so he fired his former protégé one season after trading for Shaquille O’Neal.

Riley claimed the move was about helping the Heat win an NBA Title –which they did. Van Gundy claimed Riley put a knife in his back.

Whoever’s version you believe, their split was personal.

For a few years, Van Gundy held the edge over Riley because the Magic were Eastern Conference powers, advancing to the Finals in 2009.

The Three Kings changed the balance of power. Riley’s Heat now has momentum. And this, perhaps, prompted Magic GM Otis Smith and Van Gundy to publicly slag Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Riley.

So Riley responded. And Van Gundy, who never met a microphone he didn’t like, fired back.

The players will decide the battle of Florida on-court. Expect Riley and Van Gundy’s grudge match to extend well beyond 2011.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Sep , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Sep , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Isiah believes LeBron should have signed with Knicks

"I think -- and I honestly believe this -- it would've been interesting to see if he could have [won a title with the Knicks]," Thomas said. "The curiosity factor, the whole world would've been drawn to watch and see if he could do it. The whole LeBron Knick thing would've piqued everyone's curiosity.
 
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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Signing with the New York Knicks would have been a good business decision.

New York is the media capital of the world, so calling Madison Square Garden home would have allowed LeBron James to maximize his brand.

Each day, he could’ve spent a few hours on basketball. After practice or games, he could’ve jumped in his limo, rubbed shoulders with Fortune 500 CEOS, and furthered his business empire.

However, signing with the Miami Heat was a good basketball decision.

The Heat could, and did, attract three superstars because they had the cap space to offer three max contracts. The Knicks could only attract two superstars because they only had the cap space to offer two max contracts.

And that’s why James picked Miami over the New York. He wanted to play with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami. Not Bosh or Wade in New York.

More specifically: he wanted to win multiple championships with Bosh and Wade in Miami. Not contend for multiple championships with Bosh or Wade in New York.

Whatever your thoughts on how James left the Cleveland Cavaliers, you can’t fault him for signing with Miami and ignoring New York.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Team USA remains undefeated after thrashing Slovenia

The United States beat Slovenia 99-77 for its second lopsided victory in two games and Lithuania also went 2-0, while Angola and China bounced back from opening-day losses to win their first games at the basketball World Championship on Sunday.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s some surprise at how Team USA has fared in international play so far.

After all, Stars and Stripes’ biggest names –Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and others- all said thanks, but no thanks to the FIBA World Championship.

However, this group of youngsters defend, play together, and work hard. They also have budding superstar Kevin Durant, who could soon emerge as the world’s premier player.

On Sunday morning, USA’s air-tight defense got them through a few rough moments, as they cruised to an easy victory over Slovenia. Durant had 22 points before sitting the entire fourth quarter.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Miami Heat out of Rudy Fernandez and JR Smith sweepstakes

The Heat are unlikely to swing any trades from now until the start of the season, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  J.R. Smith and Rudy Fernandez are available on the NBA trade market. Winderman writes that the Heat don't have many trade chips.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: After a busy summer, the Miami Heat is catching their breath. Translation: Heat executive Pat Riley won’t be swinging a trade anytime soon for Rudy Fernandez or J.R. Smith.

The majority of Heat players are newly signed free agents, who can’t be moved until December 15th. Only Mario Chalmers and Dexter Pittman can be traded.

This could be a positive, though. After a summer of change, the Heat can build chemistry. They can block out rumour and speculation. They know where they`re playing.

For now, The Three Kings and their supporting have cast only have to focus on beating the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.

--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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Sunday , Aug , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Eddie House on Miami: ‘This is going to be Boston on steroids’

"I compare it to the year I went to Boston when the Big 3 got together in 2007," House said. "But this is going to be even bigger. This is going to be Boston on steroids."

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HoopsVibe's Very QUick Call: Eddie House, sharpshooter for hire, is in a unique position.

Three years ago, around this time, House signed a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics. His role was simple: hit jump-shots and punish opposing defenses for double-teaming superstars Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce.

Of course, the charismatic journeyman also witnessed the hoopla surrounding the green-and-white’s Big Three. Expectations were high; night-in, night-out, opponents got up for the Celtics.

House is right: the Miami Heat will face even greater pressure in 2010-11 than the Celtics of 2007-08. After all, South Beach pulled off the all-time free agent coup, re-signing superstar Dwyane Wade, while adding Chris Bosh and LeBron James.

Wade and James are two of the NBA’s top four players. Bosh is a perennial All-Star and legit’ 20-10 guy down low.

However, it’s not what they did, but how they did it. Resentment lingers at Miami’s Three Kings for how they handled free agency, especially James for turning ‘The Decision’ into a spectacle.

Now the Heat is public enemy number one. They’re controversial rock stars. Their every move will be chronicled. And many are hoping they fail.

So House’s steroid analogy works. This year should be awfully interesting.  

--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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Wednesday , Aug , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh: ‘Nobody wanted to make the playoffs more than me’ in Toronto

Chris Bosh has again insisted that he never quit on the Raptors during his time in Toronto. "Nobody wanted to make the playoffs more than me," Bosh told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

"Nobody else wanted to make it more than me, trust me. I put in the work to be successful. I had a turned ankle and I had a broken nose that I had to stay in the hospital for, and I played through it. I know what I put into that organization and what I put into it was everything I had every night."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh has said his piece. The Toronto Raptors have said their piece. All involved must move on.
 
Nothing is gained by Bosh repeating his stance that he never quit on the Raptors and played hurt. And nothing is gained by the Raptors repeating their stance that he didn't play through pain and had 'checked out'.
 
Both look petty. Both look bad. And both have bigger fish to fry in 2011.
 
Bosh is public enemy number one in Miami with fellow Kings LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while GM Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors must focus on fielding a competitive team.   
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Wednesday , Aug , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Donald Sterling on Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes: ‘I’ve never heard of these guys’

"You know, they told me if we built a new practice facility we'd attract all the top players in the game," Sterling adds. "I guess I should have doubled the size of this place."

He's no different than most Clippers fans. "I swear to you, I never heard of these guys," Sterling says, "but what if the coach says he wants them?"

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Just when you thought James Dolan and the New York Knicks hit a league-low with Isiah-gate, cross-coast cousin Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers set a new low for lameness.

Sterling and his Clippers have always been a laughingstock. And this is again demonstrated by Sterling’s W.P. Kinsella-like vision that ‘if he built his practice facility, he, as in elite free agents, would come’.

Seriously?

Did old man Sterling actually think Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade would line up to play for the Clippers like folks lined up at the end of Field of Dreams because he built a new place to practice?

To quote the great Allen Iverson, ‘we talkin’ bout practice’!  

Facilities play a part in signing the crème de la crème of free agent talent. Winning and sanity trump a shiny, new spot to run wind sprints and pump iron.

Unfortunately, the Clippers have done little winning, despite often having impressive talent. The reason: Sterling lacks sanity.

For instance, last spring, the Clippers’ patriarch fired executive Mike Dunleavy through an Internet letter to fans. Sterling didn’t tell Dunleavy before announcing his decision on the World Wide Web.

Instead of quietly moving forward, Sterling has refused to settle up with Dunleavy and provide an acceptable golden hand shake. The matter is now in court.

Screwing over executives is one thing, but showing up players takes things to a new level.

After all, how hard would it have been for Sterling to bite his tongue and spew out the company line on Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes? 

Sure, neither are superstars. Both can contribute, though. Foye is a legit double-digit scorer, the kind of combo guard every team can use; Gomes is a solid undersized forward, too.

Together, Foye and Gomes will solidify Coach Vinny Del Negro’s bench, giving the Clippers two decent reserve scorers. Best of all, Foye and Gomes took two and three year deals for less than the mid-level exception.

In other words, instead of overpaying free agents, the Clippers preserved cap space and got better.    

Of course, this very simple logic is beyond Sterling. 

--Oly Sandor.

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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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Thursday , Aug , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Charles Barkley on LeBron: ‘the one hour decision was a punk move’

``If Lebron is taking mental notes of everyone who is taking shots at him this summer, put me on top of your list!  I thought the one hour decision was a punk move.   I thought the dance in Miami was a punk move and I was very disappointed that he left Cleveland to join D.Wade's team."  (quote from Mike Greenberg`s ESPN morning show)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Charles Barkley, how do you really feel?

The TNT broadcaster and Hall of Fame power forward has been rather outspoken in his criticism of LeBron James. Barkley didn’t like that James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. He also didn’t like how he left.

The Round Mound of Rebound’s latest comments came in response to James tweeting that he’s taking ‘mental notes’ on all his enemies, and wants revenge.

Two points are worth noting.

First, Barkley, a former regular season MVP, is wrong to knock James for joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South beach.

James is at his best when facilitating instead of averaging 30 points per night. He’s more Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and Oscar Robertson than, say, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. As a facilitator, he needs great players like Wade and Bosh.

At least, James will sacrifice to win. Years ago, a certain four-man’s ego forced Pippen off Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston squad, and compromised the Rockets’ chances of winning another NBA Title.

Sound familiar Chuck?

That said, there’s no excuse for how James left Cleveland. There’s no justification for him treating the folks who raised, loved, and supported him so badly.

Second, this again proves that The Decision created The Backlash. The ‘heat’ James is taking is self-induced. His tweet about ‘taking mental notes’ forced Barkley to comment.

Just like The Decision - his hour long ESPN special where he broke up with Cleveland for Miami - prompted the state of Ohio to burn his jerseys, while the rest of America named him public enemy number one.

If The Decision doesn’t happen, The Backlash doesn’t happen.

Perhaps James should take his mental notes silently. Perhaps Barkley should just be silent. Unfortunately, there’s zero chance of either happening.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should shut up and take the high road

“People have to realize something is wrong with that organization and nobody wants to go there anymore,” he said in a phone interview from Turkey. “It’s not just the players who see this.”

Bryan Colangelo recently accused Chris Bosh of quitting on the team during the second half of the 09-10 season.

"It’s funny that people will talk behind your back,” Turkoglu said of Colangelo. “If he was feeling this way, why not have the guts to say it during the season? Why not say it to Chris? Now that Chris has left, it’s not nice to say those things.

“Chris has been a franchise player and he did a lot of good things for the Raptors. I don’t think Chris is the type of player to quit on his teammates.

“I just don’t understand why you would say these things,” he added. “Like I said, that organization has problems.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They've all moved on, so it's time for the high road.

This spring and summer, Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo and former players Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu have exchanged words through the media.

If you're keeping track, here's a recap:

After seven years in Toronto, Bosh signs as a free agent with Miami. The way he leaves, tweeting constantly and smiling on television, alienates Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.  

Colangelo unofficially suspends Turkoglu at the end of last season for unprofessional behaviour. Turkoglu requests and receives an off-season trade to Phoenix.
 
End of story, right? Wrong.

In late July, Colangelo tells the Fan 590 radio station that Bosh 'checked-out' on the Raptors after the All-Star game. Bosh responds angrily. Turkoglu slams Colangelo and the organization.

Got all that?

The above saga resembles a junior high tiff between tweenie Twilight fans, and not the inner workings of a professional sports organization or professional athletes.

The key word is professional. Professionals don’t initiate nonsense. Professionals don’t get caught up in nonsense. Professionals are busy with their jobs.

Perhaps Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should just remember the ancient law of Omerta, where to quote super agent Arie Gold 'silence is golden`.

All involved may not be familiar with The Godfather or Entourage, so we'll try another route. They should remember the saying: 'if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all'.

Their mud slinging has made a bad situation worse. Thankfully, Colangelo now gets this and had little response to Turkoglu's recent comment.
 
"I still consider hedo a friend in this business and wish him well again in Phoenix, " he said.
 
Unfortunately, the damage is done. All three have taken a hit.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Saturday , Jul , 31 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Heat sales team fired after Bosh, LeBron, and Wade sell out stadium

With the arrival of Lebron James, the Miami Heat rapidly sold out all their season tickets. That turned out to be bad news for the ticket-sales staff, which was fired Friday. In a statement, the Heat confirmed the dismissals Friday afternoon, saying that with an ``exhausted'' inventory of season-tickets ``we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets.'' Stephen Weber, vice president of sales, delivered the news to about 30 ticket sales people Friday morning, according to one of the staffers who asked not to be named because he is seeking another job in sports.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On the one hand, this hardly seems fair. The Miami Heat's sales staff gets rewarded for selling out the stadium with a pat on the back and a pink slip.

On the other hand, the fragile economy means teams must cut costs wherever possible, so extra staff - like the Heat’s sales team – is a thing of the past.

The optics of such a move isn’t good, though. The public will be disgusted.

They'll wonder how the Heat can afford max' contracts worth approximately $330 million for Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, but can't afford $30 thousand without benefits for some dude trying to make ends meet.

Of course, the Heat is already public  enemy number one, and pulling an Ebenezer Scrooge on their sales staff won’t help.

Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No ‘different': Bosh treated Toronto like Carter, McGrady, and Stoudamire

Bosh, who left for the Heat earlier this month, responded to allegations made by Colangelo on Toronto radio station FAN 590 that claimed the All-Star was "checked out" late last season and chose not to play some of the Raptors' final games.

"I play this game as hard as I can every time I step on the court," Bosh said. "On the back of my jersey it says 'Bosh' ... The Boshes are hard workers. We have a lot of pride in what we do, in our jobs and in life."

"Everybody thinks, 'Oh, he was gone as soon as the season was over,' " he said. "It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. As different as another country is, it was still home for me. I had been there for seven years."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: You'll forgive Toronto Raptor fans for rolling their eyes after reading Chris Bosh's latest comments.

Bosh tried to clarify a few things in an interview with ESPN: he denied GM Bryan Colangelo's claim he went Vince Carter on the Raptors and quit; he also denied accusations he was always going to leave as a free agent; and, most importantly, he swears nothing was meant by calling Toronto 'different'.

The power forward told ESPN he, like Toronto, was 'different'.  How could that be bad, right?

Raptor-nation will agree Bosh is 'different'. The tune he's now singing is indeed 'different' than the mood and attitude he projected in late June and early July.

A month ago, Bosh – like a kid on Christmas Eve - couldn't wait for free agency. He had no reservations, concerns, or second thoughts about ditching Toronto to join free agent buddies LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in a big American market.

For instance, his constant tweets, documentary film making aspirations, and regular television appearances with Wade and then James rubbed salt in a stinging wound for Raptor fans.

Only after his signing, only after the smoke had cleared and the backlash had begun, did Bosh reach out to the city that embraced him for seven years.

The most disappointing part is that Bosh was supposed to be 'different'. He was supposed to be 'different' than superstars Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Damon Stoudamire, who crapped on Toronto when leaving.

In the end, Bosh wasn't different'.  Sure, his words were 'different' than the tone VC, T-Mac, and Stoudamire struck when exiting, but his actions were, unfortunately, the same.

Aren't actions, not words, what really matter? Aren't actions what people should be judged by?
 
So forgive Raptor-nation for rightfully rolling their eyes at Bosh.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

New York heckles Chris Bosh

LeBron will hear worse, but Chris Bosh earned an earful Wednesday while at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell. Bosh, 26, who signed a six-year, $110 million deal with the Heat, rang the bell to promote his work with After-School All-Stars, which provides after-school activities to children across the US. ... But as Bosh toured the floor, one trader heckled him, "It would have been a madhouse in here had you signed with the Knicks." Another said, "Come back in 2016." Even a security guard got into the act, telling him: "Forget Miami, New York is where it's at." Bosh, who's finishing a week's visit here that included a trip to the Hamptons, told us, "About 600 people have told me I should have signed with the Knicks."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:  While visiting the New York Stock Exchange, Chris Bosh was expecting a pass on his decision to sign in South Beach instead of The Big Apple. After all, CB4 was promoting his charity.

As they say in New York: 'forget about it'.

Brokers and traders took a moment off from robbing third world nations and/or selling financial instruments that could ruin markets to heckle Bosh.

This shows the heat (pun intended) The Three Kings and Miami will face in 2011. They'll be public enemy number one. They'll be the bad guys. And they'll be targets.

Night-in, night-out, the opposition will get amped to face Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. There will be no passes from anyone.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dirk Nowitzki had interest in joining LeBron and D-Wade in Miami

“It would already have to be an unbelievable situation to go somewhere, for instance with LeBron or Wade just to play in Miami,” Dirk said (in the Gooogle-translated version). “I would only be changed if it was an incredible situation that would have been offered. (Had LeBron and Wade asked), that would have been a situation where I would have to consider.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Suppose LeBron James and Dwyane Wade call. Suppose they suggest becoming teammates. Suppose they suggest doing this in the tropical and exotic location of South Beach.

What would you say?

Credit Dirk Nowitzki for being honest and admitting he’d have had interest. However, the German MVP would have likely stayed with the Dallas Mavericks.

Nowitzki is loyal. He wouldn’t turn his back on friend and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He wouldn’t have left Dallas, where he has played his entire career.

Miami would have been an awkward fit, too. In the 2006 NBA Finals, Nowitzki and the Mavericks lost to Wade and the Heat -despite leading the series 2-0.

There’s no guarantee Nowitzki, a natural scorer, would gel with James and Wade. Chris Bosh, Miami’s third superstar, will be a better fit on-and-off court with The King and Flash.

Expect Nowitzki to continue leading a competitive Dallas squad. Perhaps his loyalty to the Mavericks will eventually be rewarded with an NBA championship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bryan Colangelo: Chris Bosh ‘checked out’ on Toronto Raptors

When it came to a Monday radio interview, Bryan Colangelo "chose his words carefully," but didn't leave many bullets left in his pistol. Colangelo intoned that Bosh took a long time to return from injury even though he had been medically cleared and that he started thinking ahead to his future at the expense of the Raptors. "Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit for six more games ... I'm not even questioning Chris' injury. I'm telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn't there and he chose not to play," Colangelo said. ... Colangelo went on to elaborate: "Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn't quite into it down the stretch, he wasn't the same guy. I think everybody saw that, but no one wanted to acknowledge it."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo may be right.

Perhaps Chris Bosh checked out on the club during the second half of the 2010 season. Perhaps he had already decided to partner with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach. And perhaps, he should have played through the pain.

Colangelo, however, was wrong to trash Bosh. Dead wrong.

Good organizations don't insult former players who left three weeks ago. They move on. They replace them. They sell fans on the coming season.

The two-time Executive of the Year knows better. He was schooled by his father, a well tenured NBA executive and minority owner who now runs USA Basketball.

Colangelo's perspective was understandable, though. Bosh showed Toronto no respect during free agency. His constant tweets and film making alienated Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.

His confidence and self-assured smirk must have had Raptor fans wondering what happened to the humble kid they embraced seven years ago.

So Colangelo may have been right. He should have resisted temptation and continued with the high road.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Jul , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rajon Rondo on Miami Heat: ‘they ain’t done nothing yet’

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo doesn't agree with those that are already handing the 2011 NBA Title to the Heat. "They should be good, but they ain't done nothing yet," Rondo said recently. "They ain't done nothing."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He's right.

While training with USA Basketball in Las Vegas, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo wondered why the Miami Heat has been handed the 2011 NBA championship.

Miami will be good, very good.

Rondo correctly points out that the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are still the team to beat. The Lakers have balance, chemistry, and defense. The Heat does not. It will take time to establish these components.

On-paper, South Beach does look good. They have their Three Kings: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. They have their supporting pieces: Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Mike Miller.

But Haslem and Wade are the only strong defensive players on the roster, so the Heat may struggle to advance out the Eastern Conference.

For instance: how will Miami's star-studded roster match-up against Boston`s tough guys?

The Heat will take those meaningless games in the regular season. The outcome could be different in the playoffs when the best defensive team wins. Bottom line: the Heat isn’t a better defensive squad than the Celtics.

Last year, the green-and-white used their get-stops mentality to take out the highly favoured Cavaliers and Magic in the playoffs. And their grinding style nearly beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Rondo is right. For now, we should hold off anointing the Heat NBA champions.

--Oly Sandor.

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