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Sunday , Jul , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers picking up post LeBron pieces with Josh Childress?

The Cavaliers are considering making an offer to Josh Childress, according to sources. Childress has until July 15th to opt out of his contract with Olympiakos.

Link:


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
So it begins.

Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers now begin the monumental task of winning an NBA championship before the ‘disloyal’, ‘cowardly’, ‘narcissistic’, and `self-anointed former king` known as LeBron James.

Word is the Cavaliers are chasing Josh Childress, who is looking to cross the Atlantic and return to the NBA after two years in Europe with Greek club Olympiakos.

Obviously, Childress isn’t a superstar –or even a star. However, he’s a solid rotation player; a versatile guy who stuffs the stat-sheet, can defend a couple of positions, and has no attitude.

This would be a nice beginning, but only the start of a long rebuilding process for the Cavaliers.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
The Death of LeBron James’ Legacy as The Chosen One.
Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 J.N.

The Death of LeBron James’ Legacy as The Chosen One.

We all saw LeBron James announce Miami. The moment will always be known as “The Decision.” To basketball purists, we might see this as “The Moment where LeBron threw everything away.” He had the NBA world at the palm of his hand and threw it in the trash. I knew he was going to leave, but LeBron didn’t have to do the state of Ohio dirty like that. Wow! Did this guy just do that? I’m flabbergasted. I am trying to understand this entire free agency period and the Big Network’s exploitation of Ohio.

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Friday , Jul , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Read and React to Dan Gilbert’s letter to LeBron

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Words can’t describe it.

Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers owner, has declared war on LeBron James, his former franchise face and superstar.

HoopsVibe News would like to humbly point out that Gilbert, not us, is responsible for the whacky font, use of caps-lock, and bolded section.

Yes, this is crazy, especially when considering it’s by an NBA owner. So read Gilbert’s letter to LeBron and get at us in the comment box below.

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE"

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....



Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers
.

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Friday , Jul , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dan Gilbert: LeBron ‘quit’ during playoffs

He has gotten a free pass," Gilbert said in a phone interview with The AP. "People have covered up for [James] for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is."

"He quit," Gilbert said. "Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar."

"It's not about him leaving," Gilbert said. "It's the disrespect. It's time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I've been holding this all in for a long time."

Link

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: I’m certain Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will be receiving a phone call from Commissioner David Stern telling him to cool it.

Sure, LeBron James showed zero class by announcing he was leaving Cleveland for Miami on national television, embarrassing an owner, organization, city, and, state that has showered him with adulation and love for seven years.

And sure, James mailed it in against the Boston Celtics in the 2010 playoffs and was pretty mediocre against the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.

So Gilbert has a point, a very good one, in fact.

However, owners don’t do this. Owners don’t act like jilted lovers when things don’t go their way. Owners don’t write nasty letters to fans, essentially hexing the face of the league –even if it’s totally justified.

Owners are supposed to model professionalism for fans, players, front office staff and, heck, even the guy pouring pints at Quicken Loans Arena.

By doing this, by stooping to James and Maverick Carter’s level of nonsense, Gilbert has made it harder to attract a star(s) to replace The King.

After all, players talk. And James and his posse will put out the word to the fraternity of ballers that Gilbert is a micromanager, tyrant, and jerk.

This may or may not be true. The NBA is like life, though. Perception is reality. And the gossip will overshadow Gilbert’s desire to win championships and his willingness to write multi-million dollar luxury tax cheques to achieve this end.

Right now, Gilbert, an Alpha Male billionaire, must do something out of character. He must turn the other cheek. He must take the high road.

If he can’t stay somewhat silent, if he can’t stay mum, then the businessman must immediately tone down the rhetoric and describe his frustration in a more appropriate and reasonable manner.

Gilbert is right: the people of Cleveland and Ohio deserved far better from James. Those same people also deserve far better from Gilbert, too.

-- Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Witness the Decision

I'm pretty sure I like LeBron James a lot less today than I did about two months ago. Back then, he was a player who everyone was sure could lead his team to a title and was probably the unquestioned best basketball player on Earth.

Today, he's an attention whore who wants us all to anxiously await the moment he "decides" what team he's going to suit up for next season.

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Wednesday , Jul , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Enlighten us: LeBron James to (thankfully) announce decision Thursday

LeBron James is planning to announce the team with which he will sign during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night, ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard has learned through independent sources.

ESPN would only confirm that active discussions for the special are ongoing. But sources tell Broussard that representatives for James contacted the network, proposing that James makes his announcement during a 9 p.m. ET special.

Link

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel?

After years of speculation, gossip, drama, innuendo, and (frankly) nonsense, LeBron James will finally enlighten us with a one hour ESPN special announcing where he’ll play next. 

Thank you. Thank you so very much LeBron.

Expect the Cleveland Cavaliers to win these bizarre sweepstakes. Cleveland is James’ home. They can offer the most money and longest term.

Owner Dan Gilbert has likely promised to acquire Chris Paul - James’ best friend in the NBA - from the New Orleans Hornets. It’s one reason Gilbert hired Scott, the former sideline boss with Paul`s Hornets.

Most importantly, come Thursday James will have made his decision and we can get on with our lives.

-- Oly Sandor.


Where do you see King James signing? Get at us HoopsVibe News in the comment box with your prediction on Thursday night.

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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bosh considering sign-and-trade to join Cleveland and LeBron James?

Everything is set for Chris Bosh to join LeBron James in Cleveland. Everything, that is, except Bosh's approval.

The Toronto Raptors have told the Cleveland Cavaliers they will do a sign-and-trade with them for Bosh, according to several league sources.

The exact details of the potential trade have not been solidified, but Toronto likely would get Anderson Varejao and or J.J. Hickson, Delonte West, and perhaps Anthony Parker. A draft pick could be involved as well.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He’d get LeBron James. He’d get a maximum contract - six-years, $127 million. And he’d also get the city of Cleveland, which is the problem.

Chris Bosh wants to partner with James and score the most lucrative contract available in free agency; however, he was hoping to achieve both with the either Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, or Miami Heat -and not the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bosh would apparently prefer a larger market than Cleveland to maximize marketing opportunities. And this is why he hasn`t green-lighted the agreed upon sign-and-trade between the Raptors and Cavaliers.

However, Bosh`s concerns are puzzling because CB4 and The King would form a dynamic duo, capable of attracting both national and international attention.

Meanwhile, Toronto should be sure Anderson Varejao is part of any deal. Forget his affinity for flopping, the Brazilian ‘big’ would instantly improve the Raptors` defense and allow Andrea Bargnani to play his natural position, the four-spot.

This deal is still a go. All that’s left is Bosh’s approval. Of course, there`s also the little matter of James officially re-signing with Cleveland.

- O.Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Derrick Rose wanted Joe Johnson instead of LeBron James

Derrick Rose reportedly preferred the Bulls to sign Joe Johnson instead of LeBron James, according to multiple people that spoke with Brian Windhorst.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He's wrong, but not crazy.
 
Today, various scribes are reporting superstar Derrick Rose lobbied his Chicago Bulls to sign Joe Johnson instead of LeBron James.
 
That's right: Rose wanted 'good old Joe' . Not The King.
 
Clearly, the third year point guard is wrong. James is currently the game's greatest player, while Johnson is a perennial All-Star.
 
However, there are (somewhat) reasonable reasons for Rose's misguided preference. Don't declare him insane yet. It's not like he denies climate change, is a fan of river dancing, or participates in hot dog eating contests.   
 
Here's what Rose was probably thinking when he made his request to Chicago management:
 
1) The NBA is about alliances, and sometimes that loyalty is to the agent before the team. Rose and Johnson share representation, Arn Tellem. And Rose - to an extent - was probably playing good soldier for Tellem by promoting one of his clients.
 
2) James likes having the ball. He's at his best controlling the offense. And his point-forward game would take the rock out of Rose's hands and make him an off-the-ball player. Rose was probably not thrilled with this.
 
3) The Bulls and Cavaliers are heated rivals. They hate each other. For instance, Rose's teammate Joakim Noah even challenged James because he felt The King was turning Quickens Loans Arena into Soul Train with his celebratory dance moves last year. 
 
 
(Joakim and LBJ exchanging words last season.)
 
While Rose's opinion is wrong, it's (sort of) understandable how he arrived at such a conclusion.
 
-Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts. Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.    
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Monday , Jul , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Source on LeBron James’ future: ‘My gut tells me Cleveland’

The Bulls appeared to be the leading contender for LeBron James a week ago, but the Cavaliers are risen to the top of the leaderboard in recent days.

"My gut tells me Cleveland," an executive in the James chase told Yahoo! Sports. "From what I hear now, it his decision alone. No outside influences."

Link
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Forget Michael Jordan's devastating double-pump jumper over Craig Ehlo in the NBA playoffs. Forget that those promising teams with Mark Price, Larry Nance, Ron Harper, and Brad Daugherty never fulfilled their potential. And forget the city's other sporting tragedies.
 
Cleveland would never recover from LeBron James leaving as a free agent to sign with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. The Cavaliers would spend years in the lottery, and free agents would avoid Dan Gilbert's club like celebrities avoid TMZ. 
 
James re-signing with his hometown squad would be a boon for the state of Ohio. And hopefully, the three-man recognizes he has unfinished business because his last two playoff performances haven't been good enough.
 
He struggled against the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, and imploded against the Boston Celtics' airtight defense in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
 
There's work to do in Cleveland. Ohio, James' home state, deserves better. After all, The King was supposed to bring championship glory to the Cavaliers. And that hasn't happened.
 
So James needs to hold his press conference. He needs to announce he's staying with Cleveland and sign on the dotted line. He needs to shake Gilbert's hand and smile for the cameras. And then he needs to recruit stars.
 
Most importantly, he needs to cut the nonsense and focus on his goal: winning an NBA Title with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Well, get at us in the comment box with thoughts.   
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Sunday , Jul , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The Cleveland Cavaliers secret weapon for re-signing LeBron James: Peter Griffin

The Cavaliers showed LeBron James a cartoon in the style of 'Family Guy' featuring him and his friends during their meeting on Saturday.

'Family Guy' is one of LeBron's favorite shows and the clip featured some inside jokes related to the Cavaliers.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Cleveland Cavaliers were smart to spoof 'Family Guy'.
 
The cartoon probably lightened the mood, and reminded LeBron James of his history with the Cavaliers. One thing James believes in is loyalty.
 
The superstar is loyal to the city of Akron, the state of Ohio, and his four best friends. All of which is connected to Cleveland, too.
 
James is expected to decide his future by the end of the week. If he re-ups with the Cavaliers, it could be because of Peter Griffin.
 
-- Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Jul , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dallas re-signs Dirk Nowitzki, interested in LeBron James and Chris Paul?

The Dallas Mavericks got the answer they were hoping for Saturday night: Dirk Nowitzki has pledged to re-sign with the only team he's ever played for.

The deal, sources said, is worth at least $80 million and includes a no-trade clause, with Nowitzki making good on a longstanding offer to Cuban to take less than the maximum $96.2 million he could have received over the next four seasons in exchange for assurances that the Mavericks will use that financial flexibility to ramp up their efforts to acquire a top-tier sidekick.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Player and team got it done.

Like Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics, Dirk Nowitzki re-signed with the only team he has ever played for, taking far less than the maximum available salary so the Dallas Mavericks could find him a co-star.

The former MVP will still earn a good wage: $20 million annually for each of the next four seasons. Best of all, he gets his no-trade clause.

With Nowitzki returning, the Mavericks will now focus on upgrading the roster. Mark Cuban will try and ultimately fail to work a sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Lebron James.

And despite the New Orleans Hornets' firm denials, Chris Paul is available. Expect Team Cuban to chase CP3.

However, Dallas had to have Nowitzki. He has been the franchise, and will be for years to come.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Byron Scott to coach Cleveland Cavaliers -with or without LeBron James

Byron Scott has reached agreement on a three-year contract to become the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The deal is expected to be finalized on Thursday.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's a big announcement, but not the one Cleveland Cavalier fans were hoping for.

Word is Cleveland owner and de facto GM Dan Gilbert will introduce Byron Scott as his bench-boss today, and the former sharpshooter is apparently excited to coach the Cavaliers -even if you-know-who, LeBron James, doesn't re-sign.

And perhaps he's right.

With James, Scott has a ready-built contender on his hand. Without him, Scott can take his time to reshape the roster -like he did with the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets.

Either way, in Gilbert, Scott has the rare owner willing to spend to compete. This is what drew him to the job.

Now Scott must wait to see how the situation unfolds in Cleveland.

Got thoughts? Get at O.Sandor and HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jun , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Knick fans accept Johnson and Stoudemire instead of Bosh and James?

Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni are seeking to arrange a meeting with Atlanta free agent Joe Johnson in Los Angeles Wednesday at midnight -- or 9 p.m. California time -- before flying to Ohio for the LeBron James' pow-wow. Even crazier, the Knicks are trying to fit in Amare' Stoudemire that evening, too, in either LA or Phoenix.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Not for a New York second.

Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire won’t satisfy hungry Knick fans who are thirsting for free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James to turn Madison Square Garden into a contender starting in October of 2010.

Consider Knick-nation’s plight: former prodigal son Stephon Marbury imploded before their very eyes; GM and coach Isiah Thomas shamed the organization with his dysfunctional ways and irresponsible spending; and for too long owner James Dolan did nothing, content to count his profits.

Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni were hired to turn things around, but - instead of immediately competing for the playoffs – they purged the roster of big ticket salaries, so they could sign James and other free agents this summer.

That decision was made years ago. And the Knicks have intentionally tanked it ever since.

Management got fans to buy-in by selling hope, specifically the hope that they’d ink James – one of the game’s greatest stars – to a multi-year contract.

Cap space alone won’t secure James’ services. The King wants to win, and rumour has it he likes the Chicago Bulls’ supporting cast of point guard Derrick Rose and big Joakim Noah better than the Knicks’ depleted roster.

Bosh, who also wants to win now, has allegedly decided to follow the two-time MVP and serve as his co-star in The Windy City.

Walsh isn’t stupid. He sees how the free agent dominoes are aligning. He gets that the club will likely have to settle for Johnson and Stoudemire.

This won’t cut it in New York, where some of the NBA’s most educated fans reside. After all, Johnson and Stoudemire are good, but Bosh and James are great.

Unless Walsh and D’Antoni deliver great this July, fans will wonder why they suffered through the pain, torture, and punishment.

Got thoughts?

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Sunday , Jun , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

NBA Executive: Bosh and James to Chicago is ‘a done deal’

An NBA executive told The New York Times that, based on discussions with other team officials, he believes that LeBron James and Chris Bosh have already decided to sign with the Bulls.

In that case, James' meetings with teams this coming week would be merely a formality.

"I think it's a done deal," the executive said about James departing Cleveland for Chicago and taking Bosh with him.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Chicago Bulls have recently surfaced as the favourite to sign superstar free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James.

After all, the Bulls have budding stars in blue-collar post Joakim Noah and point guard Derrick Rose; cap space to offer a pair of maximum contracts; and Chicago is a desirable place to live and a large market.

Being the favourite is different than having 'a done deal', though. Circumstances can quickly change. For instance:

1) There’s still time for other teams to pull a rabbit out of the hat and make a trade to increase their available cap space. 

2) And Bosh and/or James could decide they don’t want to leave money on the table, which would force Toronto and/or Cleveland to sign both to a six-year maximum contract and arrange a trade. This would complicate signing as a duo in one city.

3) Finally, Bosh and/or James could decide they like having their own franchise. This would mean re-signing and staying long-term with the Raptors and/or Cavaliers.

These circumstances are unlikely, especially with the July 1st deadline fast approaching. Time is running out. And after the Kirk Hinrich trade, Chicago is suddenly the team to watch.

Got thoughts?
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Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Memo to Danny Ferry: pass on the Portland Trail Blazers

Former Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry has emerged as one of the first front-office targets of the Trail Blazers after they abruptly fired Kevin Pritchard on draft night, according to sources with knowledge of Portland's thinking.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Danny, don't do it! Don't take the Portland Trail Blazers' front office job.

I know you're on the rebound after parting with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you're anxious to re-establish yourself as an NBA executive. And I know you're confident -even for a Duke guy.

We get it.

But notice the warning signs. They're redder than David Hasselholff's nose after a night on the town. And they're scarier than 'Hoff's' music videos.

For instance, executive Tom Penn was mysteriously fired by the Blazers. The club justified the move by leaking unsubstantiated rumors of Penn being involved in a human resources dispute.

More recently, GM Kevin Pritchard was fired moments before the NBA draft, but asked to participate in the war room.

Penn and Pritchard are highly respected by their peers around the league; however, they were treated with no respect.

None.

Danny, this could be you if you take the Blazers job. Owner Paul Allen is a Microsoft tyrant who will make your former boss, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, look tame.

Allen will scheme behind your back, too. He'll interfere. He'll meddle. And he'll interview candidates for your position while you're on the payroll. After all, Allen allegedly talked to Oklahoma City executive Sam Presti about replacing Pritchard -even though Pritchard was still on the job.

Danny, I know it's hard, but pass on Portland. Forget Brandon Roy. Forget LaMarcus Aldridge. And forget one of the NBA's most loyal fan bases.

None of that will matter when dealing with Allen. His true colors have been revealed these last few weeks.

Got thoughts?  

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Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Maverick Carter: LeBron James ‘isn’t going on a tour’

All the elaborate recruiting plans for LeBron James will have to change. James will not go on a recruiting tour, his longtime business manager Maverick Carter told ESPN.com Friday. LeBron is not going on a tour," Carter said. "He never planned to go on a tour and has not been a part of any team's plans for a recruiting trip."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The King is wisely making his suitors come to his Ohio court.

The LeBron James 24-hour news cycle hasn't helped his image. There has been a backlash because some feel the two-time MVP has milked and encouraged the headlines.

For instance, critics have argued his interview with CNN's Larry King shouldn't have aired during the NBA Finals because it took the spotlight off the league's showcase event.

Another concern was that James was going to make a spectacle of visiting each potential suitor, creating a sort of rock star inspired tour -even if he has little interest in signing with certain teams.

The good news is the New York Knicks' star-studded tour of Manhattan won't matter. Neither will the lure of South Beach. Or, the glamour of Hollywood.

James is focused on one thing: winning an NBA Title. Now to find the best place for that to happen. 

Got thoughts? 

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Friday , Jun , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

World Wide Wes: LeBron James ‘is going to Chicago and Chris Bosh is coming, too’

To listen to World Wide Wes, LeBron will never look back on Cleveland. “He’s up out of there,” is the way he tells it to people, but LeBron’s Akron crew has to tsk-tsk such public talk because they all live in Northeast Ohio, and maybe always will. "We're going to Chicago," WIlliam Wesley tells people," "and Chris Bosh is coming, too." 

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: 'World Wide Wes', one of the NBA's great power brokers, believes the Chicago Bulls are poised for a big off-season. And he's right.

After dealing Kirk Hinrich and their 17th pick in Thursday's draft and getting nothing but cap space back, the Bulls have the financial flexibility to tender two max' contracts.

So The Windy City could sign LeBron James and bring in Chris Bosh, too. 

Other clubs - the Miami Heat and New York Knicks - can also offer a pair of max contracts, but the Bulls distinguish themselves by already having a star point guard in Derrick Rose and an established four-man with Joakim Noah.

Such a supporting cast may be enough for James to turn his back on the Cleveland Cavaliers -even though they can offer the most money, longest term, and he grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio.  

Even if James gets sentimental and re-signs with the Cavaliers, the Bulls could turn to superstar Joe Johnson, which isn't a bad plan-B.

Bottom line: Chicago is the team to watch this summer. 

Got thoughts?

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Tuesday , Jun , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Portland trading for Cleveland’s Mo Williams?

Portland is showing strong interest in Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo WIlliams. The Blazers have been making calls to check on him.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Perhaps, Williams would fit in 'Rip CIty'.

After all, Cleveland's current table-setter is able to play both on-and-off the ball. He can handle the rock, run the offense, and use his jumpshot to prevent defenses from double-teaming stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.

Williams is also easy company. Teammates and coaches enjoy being around him, and he'd likely gel with an already close Blazer squad.

Of course, it's never that easy.

Williams is a sub par defender, who has a reputation for going MIA in the playoffs. He also two years and a player's option left on his contract for a total of $27 million. Worst of all, his presence might upset temperamental veteran Andre Miller.

Why are the Blazers really interested in Williams?

Executive Kevin Pritchard is on shaky ground and needs some headlines to solidify his standing with the organization. Remember, last year, Pritchard was willing to overpay free agents like David Lee, Lamar Odom, and Hedo Turkoglu -even though these forwards wouldn't have helped much.

This isn't the way to run a professional sports team, but issues have existed in the front office for some time.

For instance, Tom Penn, the Vice President of Basketball Operations, was mysteriously fired in June for reasons that remain unknown. And there are has always been rumors that Pritchard and Coach Nate McMillan don't get along.  

Maybe Portland acquires Williams. Maybe Portland goes in a different direction. One thing is certain: changes will take place in the Northwest.

Got thoughts on this?              

 

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Saturday , Jun , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cleveland gets Bosh and Calderon from Toronto for Hickson, Jamison, and Williams?

The Cavs happen to have a very attractive package to entice the Raptors with. They could package up Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, and J.J. Hickson for Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh, which would be a hard deal for anyone else in the league to top.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Cleveland would be pulling highway robbery if this rumor became reality.

Acquiring Chris Bosh would provide the Cavaliers with two options. First, with Bosh in the fold they'd be well positioned to re-sign LeBron James, their top priority this summer. Second, if King James did leave they could rebuild and regroup around CB4. 

For Cleveland, it's a no-lose situation. However, it makes little sense for Toronto -other than getting rid of Calderon's considerable contract.

Whatever happens this summer, whether Bosh stays or leaves, the Raptors must find an identity and stick with it.

When Bryan Colangelo first took over in the front office he acquired a skilled Euro from what seemed like every semi-autonomous region on the other side of the Atlantic  Ocean. The goal: become an offensive machine, the Phoenix Suns of the Eastern Conference.

This vision failed. And Colangelo had little choice but to try and make Toronto a more defensive-orientated club. Unfortunately, he had several players on the books - like Andrea Bargnani and Calderon - who were unable to fit the new gets-stops approach.

While Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams are talented, they wouldn't help the Raptors develop an identity. Neither is strong in their own end. And neither can carry a team.

Worst of all, both have long-term deals for big ticket money. Jamison is on the books for two years, $28 million, while Williams has two years plus a player's option for 2012-13 at $27 million. And this cost would neutralize any upside Hickson has.

Don't expect this proposed deal to materialize. Cleveland will likely have to do better if they want to acquire Bosh from Toronto via a sign-and-trade.

Got thoughts on this rumor?    

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Thursday , Jun , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Game-Seven Prediction: Lakers 95, Celtics 88.

The Lakers have the best player, but Boston's depth of big-time playmakers will prevail in a game like this. I count eight Celtics -- the four current or former All-Stars in their starting lineup, plus Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson’s and little-used Michael Finley, a three-point shooter with the potential to become this game's Steve Kerr -- who have it in them to make the big shot. The absence of Kendrick Perkins may create more offense for the Celtics, and they'll make up for his rebounding with a team effort led by Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Anticipate nothing less than a tightly wound classic played to a tempo that suits Boston.

Click here for Ian Thomsen's official game seven prediction and more analysis from the CNNSI crew.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call:
The Boston Celtics are deserving of respect.

Consider their road to the NBA Finals. First, they took out Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat -despite some questionable tactics from Kevin Garnett. They made the Cleveland Cavaliers – the NBA’s best team in the regular season – implode, which, unfortunately, gave us an extra month of The LeBron Watch. They then coolly took out the Orlando Magic, the reigning Eastern Conference champions, in six games.

This was a most improbable run for a club that was supposedly dead, gone, and over at mid-season. Clearly, they saved their best for last, though.

The green-and-white have now pushed the defending champion and heavily favoured Lakers to the limit. The secret to Boston’s success: inspired team play on the defensive end.

Look at the NBA Finals: they’ve mostly contained Ron Artest and Lamar Odom; they’ve battled superstar Pau Gasol; and they’ve made the immortal Kobe Bryant look surprisingly mortal.

Doc Rivers’ crew is an all-time great defensive team. They can hang with any of Phil Jackson’s Chicago teams that had notable defenders like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. And they hold their own against Detroit’s Bad Boys and any of Pat Riley’s squads in Los Angeles or New York.

Offensively, somebody different carries the load each night. For instance, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo have all had moments.

Of course, reserves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson – also known as Shrek and Donkey - won game four of the NBA Finals. And the defending Sprite Slam Dunk Champion went off in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals, too.

That said, the Lakers have the edge in the decisive game-seven. Here’s why:

1) Home-court matters: The purple-and-gold is a different team at home. They’re confident. They’re nasty. And they’re arrogant.     

2) No Perk’: The Celtics will miss Kendrick Perkins. They lack the size to win the paint, and contain Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

3) Kobe Bryant: He’s the best player on either team. He’s the best player in the NBA. And he understands tonight is a legacy game.

Bryant – if he wants to be considered an all-time great – can’t afford a loss. After all, five championships are far better than four. And two losses to the arch rival Celtics in the NBA Finals would be devastating.

Expect Bryant to drop a Jordan-like effort. And HoopsVibe News expects the Lakers to win.

Prediction for game-seven of the 2010 NBA Finals: Lakers 95, Boston 88.

Got thoughts? What is your prediction for game-seven of the NBA Finals?