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Saturday , Aug , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Delonte West`s Summer of Hell continues

Delonte West, who played last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been suspended without pay for ten games for pleading guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and wearing, carrying, and transporting a handgun, in violation of the law of the State of Maryland, the NBA announced today. West is currently a free agent. If he signs a contract to play again in the NBA, West’s suspension will begin with the first game of the NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: When it rains, it becomes a tropical hurricane for Delonte West.

Last spring, West’s former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers had the league’s top regular season record and were favoured to win the championship.

Then the mother of all rumors started: West was allegedly ‘knocking boots’ with a certain superstar teammate’s mom. Many players have confirmed the rumor, while the superstar in question never denied it.    

Of course, the final year in West’s contract wasn’t guaranteed, so the Cavaliers, following the fallout from The Decision, traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The T-Wolves then took advantage of the potential cap savings by buying out his $4.6 million salary for a measly half million bucks.

Let’s review West’s last few months: crappy playoffs, accused of sleeping with teammate’s mom, traded to Timberwolves, bought out by Timberwolves, $3.9 million poorer.

Ouch!

And then today the NBA suspended him ten games for various legal infractions. Whenever and wherever he signs, the combo guard will automatically miss a dime-pack of action.

Tragically, this isn’t West’s greatest battle. He suffers from various mental illnesses. Hopefully, he’s managing and gets his career on track soon.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: I would return to Cleveland

"I don't think he (Dan Gilbert) ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: 'You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You'll get a good sense of their character' Me and my family have seen the character of that man."

"It's not far, but it is far. And Clevelanders, because they were the bigger-city kids when we were growing up, looked down on us...So we didn't actually like Cleveland. We hated Cleveland growing up. There's a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day."  

"If there was an opportunity for me to return (to Cleveland) and those fans welcome me back, that'd be a great story."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Where do I begin?

1) There's no defending Dan Gilbert's web-letter slamming LeBron James after 'The Decision'. The Cleveland Cavaliers owner must model professionalism for players and employees to follow. 

However, it takes two sides to wreck a relationship. And James is acting like he did nothing wrong -like he didn't owe Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers a heads up before taking the air and announcing he was heading to 'South Beach'.

2) I get the Akron-Cleveland rivalry. It's a common dynamic between a small and big city. Now isn't the time for James to confess his feelings for Ohio's big city.

3) James doesn't get it. Cavalier-nation is mad. Furious, in fact. There's so much water under the bridge, the river is overflowing and flooding.

Fans will never forgive-and-forget because they feel James deserted them and rubbed their nose in it with The Decision.

Bottom line: James needs new PR people. Recently, he's made several missteps: the one hour ESPN special, the pulled ESPN article in Las Vegas, and now the GQ interview.

James doesn't realize the public is tired of him. He needs to go underground until training camp. No interviews. No magazine covers.

The only way to quell The Backlash is to handle his business on-court and win an NBA Title in 2011. James must remind folks he's a great basketball player first, and everything else - brand, icon, entrepreneur - second.

With all the people whispering in his ear, with all the hoopla over free agency, with all the yes-men in the posse, this has been lost.

So James should get in the gym, put in work, and deliver next season and playoff for Miami.

--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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Wednesday , Aug , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James is ‘taking notes of everyone taking shots at me’

Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James is taking notes, keeping score, and wants revenge on those who spoke out against ‘The Decision’ to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

Please. ‘The Backlash’ to ‘The Decision’ was avoidable.

Suppose James dispensed with the dog and pony show known as free agent wooing, privately broke up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and signed with the Miami Heat on July 1st.

Suppose he held a presser in South Beach, where he respectfully explained his choice to join the Heat and not re-sign with the Cavaliers. Suppose he thanked Cleveland, Akron, and Ohio.

Of course, there’d be some backlash. There’d be some talk of his diminished legacy. There’d be some talk of his shortcomings as a player. And there’d be some talk of him turning his back on the state that raised him.

Life would eventually go on, though. And the backlash wouldn’t become ‘The Backlash’.

By going on ESPN, by hiring Jim Gray, by playing with the hearts and minds of Cavalier fans, James instigated and asked for the criticism. 

‘The Decision’ created ‘The Backlash’. The sooner James realizes this, the better off we’ll all be.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will ‘Melo pull a ‘LeBron’ on Denver?

Carmelo Anthony may soon face the same predicament close friend LeBron James was in -- playing for a club good enough to compete but not to win a championship. We all know what choice LeBron made, and Anthony could make a similar decision next year. Anthony has been long rumored to favor the Knicks, who didn't waste their remaining salary cap money on lesser free agents, choosing to save the cash. The Nuggets stayed relatively quiet in the offseason besides the additions of Al Harrington and Shelden Williams, and they don't look dramatically different from the team that lost in the first round to Utah in May. Unless the Nuggets make some dramatic moves over the next 12 months, they risk losing Anthony for nothing.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It could happen.

Carmelo Anthony could leave as a free agent. The Nuggets could get nothing back. And the city of Denver could get angry with Anthony like Cleveland did with LeBron James.

However, two things work in the Nuggets' favour. First, there isn't a crew of superstars to lure him from Denver. The New York Knicks have cap space, Amar'e Stoudemire, and play in the media capital of the world.

They don't have a once in a generation swingman like Dwyane Wade, though.

Second, a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is coming next summer, likely before Anthony hits free agency. The new CBA will surely give teams' greater power in retaining top free agents because owners are frustrated with the leverage superstars have.

So Anthony may have to sacrifice significant money and/or term to leave Denver for the New York Knicks.

This could still happen. Anthony could also decide to take the most money available and re-sign with the Nuggets

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The business of Shaq will thrive with Boston Celtics

Shaquille O'Neal will only make $1.39 million with the Celtics next season, but the team's newest player is expected to cash in on endorsements.

O'Neal made $15 million through endorsements last year and some expect him to eclipse that market in Boston.

"Shaq is a marketing giant," said John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University. "He will benefit from the Hub's strong media presence, where there's money to be made on local endorsements."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He won’t be eating Macaroni and Cheese, using coupons at the check-out aisle, or taking public transport.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with KD, scoping up discounts at Costco, or riding the bus with characters. I regularly do all three.)

Shaquille O’Neal’s 2011 salary with the Boston Celtics is just $1.39 million. While this is nothing to sneeze at, it represents a massive reduction from the $20 million he earned with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010.

No need to shed tears for O’Neal.

The future Hall of Famer will still rake in an estimated $15 million from endorsements in 2011. After all, he gets love from Icy-Hot and has that silly television show on ABC.

Of course, Boston is a terrific market. There's a huge population base. And the Celtics are one of the game's glamour franchises.

O’Neal’s on-court game is in decline, but his off-court game, the business of Shaq, is very much thriving.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Aug , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Cleveland and Miami feeling The LeBron Effect

Edgardo Defortuna, head of Fortune International Realty, says the LeBron effect is real but hard to quantify. He says 49 units at Icon Brickell have sold since LeBron's announcement, and July sales for downtown were nearly double the number in June. "I've had friends from South America call and tell me they'll buy an apartment," he says, "but only if I can find them Heat tickets first."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Cleveland hates him. Miami loves him. Just not for the obvious reason.

Sure LeBron James’ migration from Ohio to Florida will impact the Cavaliers and Heat’s on-court fortunes. The Cavs’ are now rebuilding; the Heat are now contenders.

Forget wins and losses. Forget the standings, playoffs, and quest to dethrone the two-time world champion Los Angeles Lakers.

James’ greatest impact may be on the Cleveland and Miami economies. After all, The King guarantees a sold-out building, which also means busy restaurants and pubs, full hotels, and, most importantly, the national spotlight.

Cleveland lost all of that. Their loss is Miami’s gain.

The Heat have already filled their building for the year. South Beach is buzzing. And now there are reports the struggling Florida real estate market is heating (pardon the pun) up.

All of this magnifies the poor manner in which James handled his free agency. Cleveland and Miami will be feeling the impact - good or bad - of The Decision for years to come.

--Oly Sandor.

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Fans forget how Shaq Diesel used to be dominant.
Wednesday , Aug , 04 , 2010 J.N.

Fans forget how Shaq Diesel used to be dominant.

A recent Shaquille O’Neal rumor has him close to signing a deal with the Boston Celtics to go on another adventure of ring chasing. It’s sad to see the old man like this chasing these things when he already has four. He is also a shell of his former self. The new generation of fans will probably only remember Shaq within the past 4 years. The long time fans barely remember O’Neal during his Orlando Magic days. Please don’t forget – Shaq was the most physically dominant center in the last 30 years.

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Tuesday , Aug , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Heat play Cavs on December 2nd

TNT will televise the first return of LeBron James to Cleveland in the uniform of the Miami Heat. The game will take place on December 2nd. Miami will also travel to Cleveland on March 29th.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On December 2nd, The King will return to his former Kingdom. And it will be awkward.
 
In early December, the Cleveland Cavaliers will 'welcome' LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Remember, James played seven seasons with the Cavs' before announcing on ESPN he was signing with the Heat.
 
Expect a spectacle. Expect fireworks. Expect an outpouring of hate.
 
Of course, James didn't help matters when he took out an ad in an Akron paper to thank the city of Akron. There was no mention of Cleveland or the Cavaliers.
 
Ouch!
 
And the James saga will take another turn in four months when he re-appears at Quicken Loans Arena to face the Cavaliers.
 
--Oly Sandor. 
 
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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Zydrunas Ilgauskas shows Cleveland love

Although he has moved on to Miami in search of the NBA Championship that eluded him here, former Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas has not forgotten the fans or city that welcomed and supported him for the majority of his career.

In an ad published in today's Plain Dealer, Z thanks the fans and city for their support.  While saying that Cleveland will always be his home, Ilgauskas asks for understanding as he chases his dream of a ring.


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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The transplant passed. The native son failed.

On Sunday, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a European immigrant, thanked Cleveland for the last fourteen years by writing a letter to  fans in a local paper.

His words were genuine, sincere, and gracious.

Ilgauskas's letter couldn't have come at a better time.The Cavaliers, city of Cleveland, and state of Ohio are still reeling from local boy LeBron James signing with the Miami Heat, and breaking the news on ESPN.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jul , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jay-Z mad at LeBron James?

"Jay never expected LeBron to sign with the Nets. He knew that no 25-year-old kid with James' profile was going to spend years in Newark," the source tells Gatecrasher. "But he's ... at least disappointed, that LeBron didn't consult with him." Still, our source says, "I don't think it's going to affect their friendship."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The trail of jilted suitors grows.

Apparently, the 'Greatest Rapper of All Time' and 'The King' are at odds because New Jersey Nets minority owner Jay-Z felt friend LeBron James should have talked with him during free agency.

Jay-Z wasn't expecting to sign James, but did expect a phone call.

Of course, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and the state of Ohio didn't receive this courtesy, so why would Jay-Z?

Unlike Gilbert, Jay-Z isn't expected to release a scathing letter via the Nets' website. Would he, however, take a subtle dig or two at James on his next single?

Probably not, but getting Jay-Z's official side of the story would be interesting.

--Got thoughts?

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No More Machine? L.A. Lakers looking to trade Sasha Vujacic

The Lakers are trying to trade guard Sasha Vujacic along with a future first-round pick in order to get his salary off the books, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The self-proclaimed 'Machine' could be finished in La-La land.

Word is the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to get rambunctious combo guard Sasha Vujacic and his expiring contract off their roster.

Los Angeles nearly traded the Slovenian for Delonte West's non-guaranteed contract before Cleveland moved him to Minnesota. And the club is still looking to deal Vujacic for cap relief.

At times, Vujacic has contributed. His three-point shot stretches defenses. He can get under the skin of opponents. And he's tight with superstar Kobe Bryant.

However, Vujacic is terribly inconsistent. His hair style, love life, and nicknames have often taken precedence over his on-court play.

Perhaps a change of scenery would benefit all involved.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Jul , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Getting Over LeBron: Cavaliers get Sessions from T-Wolves for West

The Cleveland Cavaliers completed their first post- LeBron James personnel move on Monday night, trading troubled guard Delonte West and point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Minnesota Timberwolves for point guard Ramon Sessions, 7-footer Ryan Hollins and a future second-round pick.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The wait is over.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally completed their first transaction in the post LeBron James era, sending Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Ryan Hollins, Ramon Sessions, and a future second round draft pick.

After losing James on national television, the Cavaliers came close, but failed to sign Matt Barnes and Kyle Lowry.

They got their man in Sessions, a young combo guard who will fit Coach Byron Scott's up-tempo system next to fellow combo guard Mo Williams.

Sessions, the Timberwolves' big free agent signing last summer, became the odd man out when the club signed signed Luke Ridnour to a four year pact last week.

He'll have something to prove with the Cavaliers. He'll play well.

Hollins is a long, athletic big man. As a former track star, he can rebound, defend, and block shots; however, he's raw offensively.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have already announced they'll waive West and pocket the salary cap savings. Telfair will serve as Ridnour's back-up while starter Jonny Flynn recovers from hip surgery.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jul , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Magic on LeBron: I wouldn’t have played with Bird or Jordan

Add Magic Johnson's voice to fellow Hall of Famer Michael Jordan's: Neither ever thought of combining forces the way LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh did earlier this month with the Miami Heat.

"We didn't think about it 'cause that's not what we were about," Johnson said at Baruch College in New York, according to Bloomberg News. "From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan 'didn't have to think about it' because they had help.

Loads of it.

Frankly, LeBron James doesn't leave Cleveland if he has Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish, or Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, or, like Magic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, A.C. Green, Byron Scott, and James Worthy.

Who did James have with the Cavaliers? Anderson Varejao? Candace Parker's brother? Last year there was the old and overweight Shaquille O'Neal, who may soon be out the NBA.

Worst of all for James, this would never change because no star would come to Cleveland.

The creme de la creme of NBA prefer palm trees to Ohio winters. They prefer Malibu and South Beach to parka jackets and winter boots. They prefer major markets to blue-collar cities.

But James allowed Bird, Johnson, and Jordan to omit, alter, and twist reality with his free agent drama. The Decision' made him a target. And his spectacular failure in the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics didn't help.

Now everyone is taking shots. Only championships will silence James' critics and even that may not be enough.

--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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Saturday , Jul , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Hail Mary’ or Anti-Christ? Knicks involved Thomas in LeBron negotiations

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni says Isiah Thomas' involvement in the team's recruitment of LeBron James was a last-ditch effort.

D'Antoni called the move a "Hail Mary." "We were sitting around and thinking what can we do to try and get it back and Isiah had an in with someone in [LeBron's] entourage," D'Antoni told the New York Daily News.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: No wonder they lost out on LeBron James.

After all, The King - self-proclaimed or not - turned his back on the Cleveland Cavaliers and took less money to sign with the Miami Heat because he wanted to win.

Capturing championships is all that mattered to James. Not shoe deals. Not off-court adulation. And this forced him to turn his back on his home state.

So how would it have appeared to Team LeBron when Isiah Thomas - the man who destroyed the New York Knicks and virtually burned the Mecca of basketball known as Madison Square Gardens - popped up during negotiations?

The Hall of Fame point guard's trades, signings, and draft picks turned this classic franchise into a laughingstock, and brought misery to the NYC.

Worst of all, Thomas' involvement surely complicated negotiations. James and his people must have had concerns about who was really in charge. Was it Thomas, the old head of basketball operations? Or Donnie Walsh, the executive who was brought in to clean up his mess?

The Knicks must make a decision. Either they permanently cut ties with Thomas or, crazy as it sounds, re-hire him.

Currently, they're stuck in the middle, a bizarre no-man's land,  which is the worst case scenario. Thomas, again, plays the villain, appearing at the worst possible time to foil plans and scare the locals.

Common sense would rule out bringing Thomas back to New York. Clearly, common sense is still in short supply, though. And this may be the greatest reason James ignored the Knicks and signed elsewhere. 

--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.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News 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.

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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

Jesse Jackson: Dan Gilbert ‘sees LeBron as a runaway slave’

``Jesse Jackson criticized Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday, saying Gilbert sees LeBron James as a "runaway slave" and that the owner's comments after the free-agent forward decided to join the Miami Heat put the player in danger.``

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