chris-bosh
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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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Saturday , Jul , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Miami Heat will NOT sign Stephon Marbury

Stephon Marbury said Friday that he is looking for a place to play in China, but the Heat have showed interest in signing him.

"I'll wait and see what'll happen," Marbury said during an interview with the Chinese media.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The source, Stephon Marbury, isn't reliable.

For the sake of argument, we'll humour him, though. Perhaps, the Miami Heat had interest in Marbury before signing Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

The Three Kings changed things.

James and Marbury aren't friends, so landing the two-time MVP ended whatever shot Starbury had of returning to the NBA with the Heat.

Clearly, Marbury missed the memo. His recent comments also show that he missed Miami's signing of Carlos Arroyo, who will split minutes at point guard with Mario Chalmers and James.

With three table-setters on the roster, there'd be no room for the self proclaimed Starbury.

It's Europe or China for Marbury. There will be no NBA or Heat.

--Oly Sandor.


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Thursday , Jul , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jerry Stackhouse would come cheap for Miami Heat

Free-agent forward Jerry Stackhouse is interested in playing for the Heat.  Stackhouse played well for the Bucks last season.

"When you look at a situation with Miami now and having to try and fill their roster with minimum-type contracts," he said recently on NBA TV, "I would take one of those minimum contracts if they're available."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Unlike Penny Hardaway who recently lobbied the Miami Heat for a job, Jerry Stackhouse could contribute. 
 
Last year the veteran swing joined the Milwaukee Bucks at mid-season. Stackhouse - along with John Salmons who was acquired at the trade deadline - changed the Bucks' season by providing much-needed scoring.
 
The former All-Star is still capable, and could thrive as a bench piece supporting Three Kings Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
 
Best of all, he'd come cheap, and play for the minimum. So what does Heat GM Pat Riley have to lose?
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Tuesday , Jul , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Miami signs Juwan Howard to back-up Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent forward Juwan Howard.

“This is a great addition for us,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We feel that Juwan’s ability to play both the four and five spot will be complimentary to what we have put together. He also gives us incredible professionalism and is a perfect fit behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: History is repeating itself with Juwan Howard and the Miami Heat.

Only this time, they`ll be a happy ending.

In 1996, Pat Riley nearly signed Howard to a massive seven-year, $100 million contract, hoping he would star in South Beach. However, the deal fell through, and the power forward re-signed with the Washington Bullets/Wizards.

Today, Riley and the Heat officially landed Howard, except the circumstances and context are very different. The former All-Star inked a minimum contract and will back-up starters Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.

Howard is well equipped for a supporting role. Last year, he filled in admirably for the Portland Trail Blazers after Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla went down with injuries.

Expect him to defend, rebound, and practice hard in Miami. He’ll also provide a veteran sounding board for the Three Kings of Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade when things get rocky.

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

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James slams Cleveland Cavaliers, Delonte West, and Dan Gilbert … Literally

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They are the villains. No doubt about it.

Naturally, wrestling fans are comparing the Miami Heat’s Three Kings of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade to WWE’s New World Order of Scott Hall, Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Nash. 

In fact, in this video, James/Hogan is body slamming the Cleveland Cavaliers mascot, former teammate Delonte West, and former owner turned foe Dan Gilbert.

Of course, Commissioner David Stern assumes the role of corrupt referee, which NBA fans - especially supporters of the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings - will find slightly ironic.

Watch the video below and get at us with thoughts on the Three Kings/NWO.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Must have: Colangelo and Raptors can`t lose Barnes

Matt Barnes announced on Monday night that he is going to sign with the Raptors. However, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that Orlando's limited sign-and-trade options may scuttle the deal, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Before they sign the contract, before they shake hands, before they profess their love for each other in front of reporters, there is business to attend to.

Yesterday, Matt Barnes – a coveted free agent – announced via twitter he had signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.

His tweet omitted that Toronto and his old team, the Orlando Magic, have yet to work out a sign-and-trade. Unless Barnes restructures Toronto’s offer, a sign-and-trade is the best option because both teams have limited cap space.

Once again, the Raptors’ plan has hit a snag.

Last week, they thought they had a deal to send often injured point guard Jose Calderon to the Charlotte Bobcats for forward Boris Diaw and center Tyson Chandler.

But Bobcats owner and executive Michael Jordan got cold feet. His Airness suddenly called off the trade, pulled out his blackberry, and took the Dallas Mavericks’ package for Chandler.

Now there’s a complication with Barnes.

Look for GM Bryan Colangelo to pull out all stops to complete a sign-and-trade with Orlando. After all, Barnes would inject the right quota of nasty into an all too docile Raptors squad.

For instance, last season no teammate stepped to the Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce after he dunked on and kneed franchise-face Chris Bosh. No teammate challenged Pierce, and, with Bosh on the ground in agony, Coach Jay Triano had to confront Pierce.
 
  
(Triano forced to play tough guy because no Raptor defended Bosh.)

This play surely influenced Bosh’s decision to depart the Great White North as a free agent for the warmer pastures of South Beach and the Miami Heat.

Consider what would have happened if Barnes was a Raptor last year. He would have gotten in Pierce’s grill; he would have taken revenge on the next Celtic to drive the lane; and - for good measure or, perhaps, his own enjoyment - he would have talked smack on-line.

Such an edge is rare. And Barnes developed his nasty streak floating on the fringes of the NBA for several years. As a result, he plays each game like it’s his last; nothing is taken for granted.        

So Colangeo and the Raptors can’t take for granted that they have Barnes. Too much is at stake not to. 
 
--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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Sunday , Jul , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Has Shaq burnt his bridges in Miami with Riley and D-Wade?

I can’t tell you how ugly it got in Shaq’s final weeks in South Florida. You can’t un-burn those types of bridges. Now, if the Heat was desperate for a man in the middle, it might have been a different story. But, clearly, Pat Riley sees plenty of workable non-Shaq options.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Sometimes, you can’t go home.

Shaquille O’Neal –the free agent Hall of Fame center – is learning this the hard way. The larger than life five-man burned his bridges with the Miami Heat halfway through the 2008 season, which led to him being traded to the Phoenix Suns.

On his way out the door, O’Neal insulted Heat coach and legend Pat Riley. There were also reports of a dispute with resident superstar Dwyane Wade.

So it’s no surprise ‘Riles’ went in a different direction this summer, signing four centers – Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jamaal Magloire, and Dexter Pittman – not named O’Neal.

After all, Miami has enough leaders: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Wade. They don’t need a fading veteran, O’Neal, who will demand first option touches, spotlight, and treatment.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Penny Hardaway wants to join Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade in Miami

Penny Hardaway, the man who inspired original Nike puppet in the late 90s "Lil Penny," announced he is interested in competing for a role with the Miami Heat Thursday on an internet radio show called "The Bottom Line Sports Show."

"Mentally I was retired and physically I was retired. I was playing recreational ball," Hardaway said. "But when the decision happened with Chris Bosh and LeBron, I felt like I could really be good in that system."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: At 39, what does he have left?

Reports indicate Anfernee Hardaway - a former All-Star with the Orlando Magic - is angling for a comeback with Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the revamped Miami Heat.

Sure, 'Penny' could fill a role as a practice player, and assume a permanent seat on Erik Spoelstra/Pat Riley's bench 82 nights a year.

Landing a spot in the rotation will be a challenge, though. After all, Hardaway had his struggles during a short comeback with the Heat in 2007.

And despite working out regularly and running in competitive pick-up games, playing consistent minutes in the NBA after a three year layoff will be tough, especially since he's middle-aged.

Best wishes to Hardaway on his comeback. He'll need it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Houston Rockets sign Luis Scola to five year, $47 million contract

The Rockets have agreed to terms with Luis Scola on a five-year, $47 million contract. Scola was a restricted free agent this summer and Houston was adamant that they would match any offer he received.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Open the dictionary, look up underrated, and you'll see a pic' of Houston Rocket Luis Scola.
 
Consider the Argentine forward's achievements: in 2010 he averaged a solid 16 points and 8 rebounds; his intensity gave the Rockets an identity as a blue-collar squad; and he has never missed a game, playing in 246 consecutive contests for Houston.
 
And we haven't even mentioned Scola's international resume. He raises his game when representing Argentina in FIBA competitions.
 
So after the Rockets struck out on free agent power forward Chris Bosh, bringing back Scola was an easy decision. 
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: ‘LeBron James didn’t quit’ on Cleveland

"He's not a quitter," Wade said. "He didn't quit."

"LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, guys like that understand what Boston's defense was about," Wade said. "Their defense was built on not letting one player beat them. You either settle for the outside shot or you pass to your teammates. LeBron had one bad game in the playoffs. Other than that, he did what he could do with the defense all watching him."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call ... The Miami Heat's three superstars must do exactly this: they must have each others' back.

After their free agent coup, South Beach's basketball team will be public enemy number one, sporting a bulls-eye the size of North America all season on their black, red, and white uniforms.

So Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade have to support each other because the pressure will be intense. Night-in, night-out, the Heat will face a motivated and energetic opponent.

These three will also understand the scrutiny each will face in specific markets. For instance, Bosh and Wade will get the backlash LeBron will experience when Miami is in Cleveland. Both will face - to a small extent - something similar when Miami rolls into Toronto and Chicago.

Bosh, James, and Wade are close friends. They'll need this friendship next year.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Don`t Believe Hype: Shaq and Knicks flirting, but not serious

The Knicks have reportedly discussed a sign-and-trade with the Cavs for free agent Shaquille O'Neal.

Reports, however, have O'Neal headed to Atlanta for Marvin Williams. A Knicks source said, "I don't think it would work with us on all kinds of levels."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Big Diesel in The Big Apple would be The Big Disaster.

Simply put, Shaquille O’Neal isn’t right for the New York Knicks. And the New York Knicks aren’t right for Shaquille O’Neal.

Both sides can flirt with each other in the media. These antics are self-serving. Player and team are manipulating the headlines for their own purposes.

After all, Shaq wants to play for a contender. Well, the Knicks – after losing out on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade in free agency – will struggle to make the playoffs in 2010.

Shaq no longer has the Phoenix Suns’ outstanding trainers to keep his weight down and body spry. At 38, girth-filled, and injury prone, he’d struggle in Coach Mike D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds or Less system.

While not disastrous, the O’Neal-Amar’e Stoudemire pairing in Phoenix had challenges. If absolutely necessary, these two could play together.
 
It’s not something even the Knicks would choose to do -although they may be just crazy enough to rehire Isiah Thomas as GM, so who really knows what James Dolan and his lackies are capable of?

Well, why the rumors? 

Shaq is hoping the New York buzz prompts a competitive squad like the Atlanta Hawks and/or San Antonio Spurs to reconsider his services down the middle.
  
The Knicks, of course, must appear busy. They must appear to be doing everything possible to improve in hopes of distracting the masses from their failed attempts to sign Bosh, James, and Wade. In this respect, the publicity O’Neal generates can be useful.

So the rumors serve a purpose. Provided they don’t become reality.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , Jul , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwayne Wade: ‘everyone’s shooting for’ Lakers, not Heat

Dwyane Wade isn't ready to buy into all the hype about the Heat, who added LeBron James and Chris Bosh last week.

Wade says the Lakers, who have won the NBA's last two championships, are the team to beat.

The Lakers are the champions and we know the Lakers are very good," Wade said Wednesday. "That's the team that everyone's shooting for and they should be. Not the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Call: You can’t fault Dwyane Wade for trying.

In fact, you have to admire the superstar’s failed attempts at running a little smokescreen interference and deferring public enemy number one status to the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Yes, the purple-and-gold is still the team to beat. After all, to be the champs, you have to beat the champs.

No, the Miami Heat – with the controversial way The Big Three of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade were assembled - is the team everyone will be shooting for.

No doubt about it.

Everyone - your granny, pastor, milkman, and even dog - has an opinion on The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010, culminating in LeBron James breaking up with Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and state of Ohio on national television.

Very quickly, the Heat has become the NBA’s undisputed villain in a plot that’s part Shakespeare, part Vince McMahon WWE. 

If Wade thought the attention was bad in 2007 following their NBA Title win, then he hasn’t seen anything yet.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Zydrunas Ilgauskas following LeBron James to Miami

Zyrdunas Ilgauskas is following LeBron James to the Miami Heat.

The veteran center, who started playing for Cleveland in 1997 and has never suited up for another NBA team, expects to sign a two-year contract with the Heat later this week, agent Herb Rudoy said Tuesday. The two-year deal would come with a player option for the second season, Rudoy said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Today, the Miami Heat added an additional piece around The Big Three of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, signing long-time Cleveland Cavaliers centre Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

(No word on whether Cavalier owner Dan Gilbert will write a letter about Ilgauskas swapping the cold of Ohio for the sun of Florida.) 

This move makes sense for a few reasons:

1) Ilgauskas can still play. He’s massive. He’s skilled. And he can take opposing fives out on the perimeter with his range.

2) With a true centre like ‘Big Z’, Bosh will get significant minutes at the four-spot, his natural position. This will surely please ‘CB4’, who doesn’t want to battle the beasts of the Eastern Conference.

3) Ilgauskas has chemistry with James on-and-off-court. The veteran Euro will help ease the transition to Miami for his younger friend, especially with all the hoopla surrounding his free agency.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Making sense of the Toronto Raptors` makeover

While executives with the Raptors or the Charlotte Bobcats have yet to confirm the trade, multiple media outlets and even some of the players involved have said Toronto is putting together a multi-team deal that will see last year’s free agent signee-turned-disappoinment Hedo Turkoglu sent to the Phoenix Suns while Jose Calderon will be sent to the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Raptors would get guard Leandro Barbosa from the Suns, along with a traded player exception worth $2.7-million (all currency U.S.), while Charlotte is sending both Boris Diaw and center Tyson Chandler to Toronto.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is making moves like he’s on a home makeover show.

Except he’s changing centers, forwards, and guards. Not blinds, wall colors, and furniture.

In one week, Colangelo remodelled a Raptor squad that missed the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, and made a habit of imploding down the stretch.

Out is superstar Chris Bosh, 2009 free agent prize Hedo Turkoglu, and platoon point guard Jose Calderon; in are former Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa, defensive stud Tyson Chandler, and former Most Improved Player of the Year Boris Diaw.

Colangelo also drafted power forward Ed Davis, re-signed Amir Johnson, and tendered an offer to restricted free agent Linas Kleiza.

How the new parts fit together is unknown. However, the Raptors have improved in three areas: defense, attitude, and cap flexibility.

Chandler, Davis, and Johnson instantly add a get-stops attitude. Of course, this is also an addition by subtraction situation; Calderon is the NBA’s worst defensive point guard.

With better interior defenders, the skilled Andrea Bargnani can slide from centre to power forward, his natural position. This will help the Italian on both ends of the floor.

Turkoglu was a problem all year. He arrived out of shape, underperformed, and spent too much time socializing before requesting a trade. And now he`s gone.

Meanwhile, Bosh gave his all and, with the exception of the last ten days, behaved like a professional. However, the losing took a toll. He and the club both needed a change.

Best of all, the Raptors gained cap space. For instance, Turkgolu has four years and $40 million remaining on his deal, while Calderon is on the books for three years and over $30 million.

Coming back is Chandler’s expiring pact for $12 million, while Barbosa and Diaw each have two-year contracts for a combined $32 million. This financial flexibility can be used to sign free agents or retain in-house talent.

Toronto will certainly be different in 2011. But will Colangelo’s latest remodel job and improvements lead to more wins and a post-season birth in a revamped E»astern Conference?

-- Oly Sandor.


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