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Saturday , Apr , 07 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: LaMarcus Aldridge’s overtime game-winner Vs. Mavericks

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LaMarcus Aldridge continues to play at a high level -even though it has been a disastrous year for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Last night the post hit the game-winning shot in overtime against the world champion Dallas Mavericks.


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Saturday , Mar , 24 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant co-signs Jim Buss, but for how long?

We have a good relationship," Bryant told the "Mason & Ireland Show" on 710 ESPN on Thursday when asked about Jim Buss. "People misunderstand that relationship. We have a good time. We've had dinner together and things like that. He's a great guy and he wants to do the right thing and he wants to help us win a championship. The biggest thing, which was the same with his father, who he has learned from, is that he's not going to make rushed decisions. He's going to be patient and he's going to take his time."The one thing I will say about him and about the Lakers' organization is that it's one of those franchises that always seems to land on its feet. Always seems to make the right choices. Always seems to make the right decisions, even the tough ones."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant approves of Jim Buss … for now.

Bryant, the straw that stirs the drink for the Los Angeles Lakers, apparently likes the job Buss is doing in the owner-executive chair.

This is good for Buss. His survival, and the survival of the Lakers, depends on Bryant supporting management.

It doesn’t matter if the Buss family owns the team. Bryant - arguably, the greatest Laker ever and a once in a generation talent - is in charge.

Bryant’s comments are surprising, though. After all, the Lakers have made no secret of their desire to cut costs, which led to Lamar Odom getting sent to the Dallas Mavericks.

There were rumors Pau Gasol was getting traded. The chatter will resume this summer if the Lakers don’t win the west.

Still, all seems well in Laker-ville. Ramon Sessions is a terrific addition, adding speed and quickness on both ends of the floor.

This is just a moment, though. And moments change rather quickly with the NBA’s glamour team.

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

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Thursday , Mar , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kobe Bryant’s superb catch and reverse lay-up Vs. Mavericks

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Think he’s past it? Think he’s lost his edge? Think he’s no longer a crème de la crème superstar?

Well, Kobe Bryant is still first class. Watch Mr. Laker go backdoor on the Dallas Mavericks’ Jason Kidd, catch and hold an alley-oop pass in the air, draw the foul, and hit an unbelievable reverse lay-up.


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Sunday , Mar , 18 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Lamar Odom: I never wanted out of L.A

The Lakers initially tried to trade Odom to the New Orleans Hornets in a deal for Chris Paul in December. The proposed trade upset Odom, and after the NBA vetoed the deal, Lakers officials said Odom told them he wanted out of L.A. Odom now says the trade wasn’t his doing. “Everybody knows that,” he said. “It was something that they were willing to get done no matter what. I think it is OK for them to admit that.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom, get over it.

Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers, the franchise you loved, traded you -more than once, in fact.

After all, Commissioner David Stern and the NBA nixed a three team deal that would’ve sent you to the New Orleans Hornets for superstar Chris Paul.

Then things got fuzzy. You say the Lakers continued shopping you, while the Lakers say you refused to report after ‘Paul-Gate’ and demanded a trade.

Bottom line: you ended up on the world champion Dallas Mavericks.

There could be worse things than playing for Team Cuban. However, you've pouted, played poorly, taken a leave without permission, tried for a buyout, and had to apologize when you didn’t get a buyout.

Instead of focusing on the present, instead of doing everything to help your struggling Mavericks, you insult the Lakers in an interview.

Not surprisingly, your play has suffered. And so will the market for your services when you become a free agent in July.

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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard flip-flops, will not opt-in with Magic?

In a Wednesday night conference call with Orlando Magic officials before the team’s game in San Antonio, Dwight Howard told the Magic that he is not prepared to surrender the option to become a free agent at season’s end, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion… During the call, sources said, Howard told the Magic that staying in Orlando is his first choice. But he also made it clear that he was not prepared to relinquish the (Early Termination Option) ETO in his contract that allows him to become a free agent.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We thought we had closure -of some sorts. Well, we were wrong.

Reports Dwight Howard would opt-in and spend 2012-13 with the Orlando Magic are apparently false.

Howard, reportedly, intends to opt-out of his contract in July, become an unrestricted free agent, and, in all likely-hood, leave the Magic to sign with the New Jersey Nets or Dallas Mavericks.

Here’s the bottom line: what Howard wants no longer matters. Who cares if he opts-in or opts-out?

This saga has gone too far and the Magic can‘t build around a player who allows his personal situation to overshadow, clutter, and take away from team goals.

Consider that Howard-gate 2012 has utterly hijacked the Magic’s season. Otis Smith, Alex Martin, or whoever is in charge must deal Howard -even if that means getting 90 cents on the dollar.

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

 

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Wednesday , Mar , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard to Magic: ‘Roll the dice’ and let me finish year in Orlando

Howard would not address the future beyond this year and said he understood there was some risk for the Magic, but hoped they’d roll the dice and keep him in Orlando.

“We’ve been talking for a while and I told them, I want to finish this season out and give our team and give our fans some hope for the future but I feel they have to roll that dice,” sad Howard. “It might be tough but I feel like we’ve got a great opportunity but they’ve got to roll it. “

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard ‘wants’ it both ways.

The All-Star center ‘wants’ to finish the season with the Orlando Magic, but doesn’t ‘want’ to sign a long-term extension.

In other words, Howard ‘wants’ the Magic to assume all the risk. He ‘wants’ his current team to play the odds, telling the front office to ‘roll the dice’ following the Magic’s win over the Heat.

Here’s the thing: well run organizations don’t ‘roll the dice’ or give their star employee what he `wants`, no matter how great he is.

Simply put, the Magic can’t allow Howard to finish the year without having his name on an extension.

`Rolling the dice` would result in Howard opting-out of his contract on July 1st and bolting as a free agent to the New Jersey Nets or Dallas Mavericks.

Under this scenario, the Magic get nothing back. And the Nets and Mavericks would have given up nothing but money to get him.

In fact, some, like NBATV analyst and former coach Sam Mitchell, believe this is why Howard asked to finish the season in Orlando. 

He has already decided to sign with the Nets, but doesn’t want to weaken his next team by having them give up assets in a trade.

In other words, Howard has half a foot in Orlando and a foot and a half in New Jersey. 

Bottom line: the Magic must cut a trade.

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

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Sunday , Mar , 11 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Thunder won’t trade Harden and Ibaka for Howard?

Oklahoma City is not in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Not giving up Harden/Ibaka. Not happening.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why break up a good thing?

The Oklahoma City Thunder were wise to kybosh the Orlando Magic’s offer of Dwight Howard for James Harden and Serge Ibaka.

After all, Harden and Ibaka are key components of a young Thunder squad that currently has the NBA`s best record and seem poised for greatness.

There’s no point in breaking up their core for the temperamental Howard, who has little interest in re-signing with small market Oklahoma City.

Howard wants a major market to maximize marketing opportunities. Like Los Angeles. Like New York. Maybe Dallas -if he can partner with Deron Williams.

Oklahoma City, even though their building an incredible legacy, isn’t right for Howard.

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

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Thursday , Mar , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

DeShawn Stevenson: LeBron wasn’t LeBron in NBA Finals

“I think we were just a better team than them,” Stevenson said. “And then obviously LeBron didn’t play like he should have played [in the Finals].” Stevenson had a lot to do with that, playing key defense on James and hitting several key shots of his own to help the Mavericks defeat the Heat in six games. James struggled mightily, extending the narrative that has dogged LeBron his entire career: he’s a great regular season player, but when the games matter most, or when the moment is there to be seized, he’s not the same guy.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: DeShawn Stevenson, we get it. You and your former team, the Dallas Mavericks, beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat in last year’s NBA Finals.

But it’s done. Over. Finished. No more. That was then, this is now.

Instead of reminiscing on the Mavs' 2011 championship, Stevenson needs to focus on helping this current team, the sad-sack New Jersey Nets.

After all, Stevenson’s insult came after the Heat beat his Nets by 30 points. And James had an impressive 21 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in just 30 minutes of work.

So Stevenson should move on because clearly James has.

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

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Saturday , Mar , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Will Lamar Odom or Mr. Khloe Kardashian return to Mavs?

Mavs decide they need Lamar Odom ASAP for tonight's game against Utah. D-League stint canceled. Story w/Jeff Caplan going up now.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mr. Khloe Kardashian will not have to 'lower' himself by reporting to the D-League, after all.

The Dallas Mavericks did send Lamar Odom to their minor league affiliate, the Texas Legends, for a conditioning stint after his return from personal leave.

The Mavericks, it turns out, need Odom for tonight's match against the Utah Jazz, so he's been recalled.

Here’s the question: is Odom ready to contribute?

He has spent months whining like a reality TV diva about his beloved Lakers including him in the nixed Chris Paul trade. Odom could have stayed with the purple-and-gold but forced a move to Team Cuban.

The versatile swing has had a reduced role in Rick Carlisle’s rotation. All his numbers are down.

Odom must improve to earn decent money next summer when the Mavericks buy out his contract to chase chase free agents Dwight Howard and/or Deron Williams.

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

 

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Sunday , Feb , 26 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic turned down Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard?

“I can tell you for a fact the Lakers offered Andrew Bynum and the Magic do not want him,” said a Western Conference executive.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Thanks but no thanks.

Reports indicate the Orlando Magic turned down the Los Angeles Lakers’ offer of emerging All-Star Andrew Bynum for established franchise-face Dwight Howard.

Perhaps the Magic were fearful of Bynum’s health. Perhaps the Magic were holding out for more. Or perhaps, the Magic were hoping Howard would sign an extension.

Bottom line: Magic executive Otis Smith screwed up.

Smith must cut his losses and trade Howard for the best possible offer. And Bynum, a terrific young five, is the best the Magic can get.

The alternative is to wait until summer when Howard opts-out of his contract and likely leaves Orlando as an unrestricted free agent.

Howard prefers Dallas, L.A., and New Jersey/Brooklyn to Orlando, and he has twice asked Smith for a trade.

The Magic braintrust must face reality and accept that Howard is gone. Then they should call the Lakers back and ask if Bynum is still available.

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

 

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Sunday , Feb , 05 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Kobe’s ego hurt the Lakers’ chances of getting Dwight Howard?

Howard stated that there was "no way" he would give up everything he has in Orlando to go to the Lakers and be the third option, a source close to the situation said. Howard certainly wouldn’t mind being a third piece on a star-studded team, similar to the situations in Miami and Boston. However, he was turned off by Bryant's presentation as it suggested something totally different.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard isn’t interested in being the Third Wheel for the Los Angeles Lakers behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

After all, Howard is the current franchise face and superstar for the Orlando Magic. Being the third amigo, the ‘Tyson Chandler’ of the purple-and-gold, wasn’t a selling point for the NBA‘s best center.

Howard was expecting co-star status when meeting Bryant this summer to discuss joining the Lakers. Instead Bryant told Howard he’d have to wait until he retired, which wasn’t especially appealing.

So Howard has turned his attention elsewhere. His initial wish list -which started with the Nets, Mavericks as well as the Lakers - has expanded to include the Bulls and Celtics.

And if Howard ends up elsewhere, Laker-nation may blame Bryant.

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Wednesday , Feb , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Rose: Who wouldn’t want to play with Dwight Howard?

“Me and Dwight definitely have a relationship, especially because of adidas. I know our market and the city speaks for itself, if someone was interested to come to the Chicago Bulls,” Rose said of the Magic’s All-Star center. “Dwight, he’s a great player. Who wouldn’t want to play with him, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard will have options. All he has to do is take a pay cut.

The All-Star center for the Orlando Magic can opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent July 1st.

Naturally, the rumor mill has been working overtime.

Howard was initially linked to the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey Nets. Then it was the Boston Celtics. Now it’s the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls are appealing because they have the 2011 Most Valuable Player in Derrick Rose, and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Problem is, they already have Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, who are slated to earn a combined $27 million per year.

And with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it might be difficult for the Bulls, or any team, to find the cap space to sign Howard or find a taker for Boozer and/or Noah.

Of course, the Magic can offer $30 million more than other teams, so Howard is free to leav Orlando - but he`ll have to take far less money.

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Sunday , Jan , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Orlando Magic daring Dwight Howard to leave?

Despite the daily chatter about Dwight Howard's trade demand, the Orlando Magic are seriously exploring the option now of calling his bluff, believing he can't walk away from the extra $28-$30 million in guaranteed money they can pay him — and no one else can — in his next contract.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s quite the haircut.

The Orlando Magic are tired of the rumors Dwight Howard will bolt as a free agent in July, so they’re pointing out the obvious: leaving will cost him $30 million.

The Magic can offer $30 million more in an extension than Howard’s top three choices of the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

Of course, money isn’t everything.

Howard may take a discounted salary with Dallas, L.A., and New Jersey -if he feels those squads improve his chances at a championship.

In L.A. and New Jersey/Brooklyn, he’d maximize sponsorships and transition into the entertainment industry, which would offset his ‘reduced’ salary.

The wildcard is Deron Williams, the soon-to-be free agent with the Nets. More and more, it appears Howard and Williams will follow other superstars' lead and partner-up.

But where?

Perhaps Howard takes less to stay with the Magic, but only if they sign Williams. This would finally give him an elite teammate to battle the rival Miami Heat.

And the rumors would have been for nothing.

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Friday , Jan , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Report: Al Horford out 3-4 months?

The Hawks say Al Horford will miss 3-4 months with a torn pectoral muscle suffered during last night’s 96-84 loss at Indiana.. Horford is to get a second opinion on whether to proceed with the surgery. Under the most most optimistic time frame, Horford would return in mid-April. Atlanta’s final regular-season game is scheduled for April 26.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Whatever slim shot the Atlanta Hawks had at acquiring Dwight Howard is likely gone.

After all, the Hawks were reportedly offering Al Horford and Joe Johnson to the Magic in exchange for Howard. Horford's injured pectoral muscle complicates things.

Of course, Howard, an Atlanta native, wouldn't sign an extension with the Hawks, as he prefers a bigger market to land lucrative sponsors and transition into the entertainment industry.

Think Los Angeles. Think New York. Maybe Dallas, if owner Mark Cuban works his magic. Not Atlanta, especially with Horford on the injured list for an extended period.

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love: I ‘believe’ I’m better than Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki

I believe I'm the best '4' in the league. I think you have to believe that you're the best. I think Mohammad Ali even said, 'I was the greatest before I knew I was.' I think everybody needs to have that mindset. That's part of winning the mind game from the very start. You have to believe it. You have to hold yourself accountable.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love, not yet.

Yes, Love collects double-doubles for the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves like a teenager collects friends on facebook.

Yes, Love is an emerging All-Star and superstar with a personality ESPN and companies love.

And yes, Love’s play and personality may be the biggest reason the Timberwolves transition from oddball outpost to relevant NBA franchise. (Of course, this depends on Love signing a long-term extension to stay in The Twin Cities.)

Right now: Dirk Nowitzki, not Kevin Love, is the world’s best power forward.

After all, Nowitzki is a former MVP, perennial All-Star, and led his Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship.

Don’t forget about Blake Griffin, the dynamic four-man who has made the Los Angeles Clippers competitive, relevant, and must-see television.

However, Love deserves credit for believing he’s the best, as such a mindset will help him grow, improve, and maybe one day become the NBA’s permier power forward.

Just not now.

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Slow Starting NBA Squads Can’t Be Counted Out… Yet
Thursday , Jan , 05 , 2012 Paul Eide

Slow Starting NBA Squads Can’t Be Counted Out… Yet

 

After the strike and being without a hint of basketball action since last June, it’s easy to overreact to what we see out of the chute. We were all so starved for so long it’s only natural to read too much into what transpired during the NBA’s first week of the season.
 
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Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Why Yi? Did Mavericks miss mark with Chinese star?

The Dallas Mavericks are about to sign a player they've long coveted, reaching terms Saturday on a one-year contract with free-agent forward Yi Jianlian, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I like Yi. I, however, don't like him on the Dallas Mavericks.

The four-man is tall, skilled, and talented, which means he could be a rotation player for most teams.

But the Mavericks are different than most. The world champions do not need another skilled guy like Yi, as they recently added Vince Carter and Lamar Odom.

Here's what they do need: a grimy, blue-collar big to fill part of the void created by Tyson Chandler's departure to the New York Knicks.

Chandler brought an intensity, especially on the defensive end, that took the Mavericks from good to great. He was a one-man zone that solidified the back-end for Coach Rick Carlisle.

That's gone. And since they haven't replaced Chandler, so are the Mavericks' chances of repeating.

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Tuesday , Dec , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dirk Nowtizki: Dallas is ‘Old’, ‘Slow’ and ‘Out of Shape’

“We look old and slow and out of shape — a bad combination,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 20 points and sat out the entire fourth quarter for a second straight game, yet another indication of how bad things are going. “I still think this team has a lot of potential. But we have to turn the corner.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dirk Nowitzki is right. The Dallas Mavericks are old, slow, and out of shape.

This, however, is not their greatest problem. Their greatest problem is a lack of enthusiasm.

Tyson Chandler, for all his limits on the offensive end, is a terrific defensive player, who anchored and dominated the paint for Rick Carlisle’s squad. J.J. Barea was a spunky scorer, who changed the energy, flow, and feel of every game he played in. 

Both were key to the Mavericks winning the NBA Title. And both are gone.

Chandler inked a four year, $58 million pact with the New York Knicks, while Barea accepted the Minnesota Timberwolves multi-year pact for $19 million.

Their replacements: Vince Carter and Lamar Odom.

Carter and Odom are talented, but don’t bring the second effort or consistency that Chandler and Barea did.

For instance, Carter once admitted in an interview that he didn’t always give his all for the Toronto Raptors. Odom seems more interested in his career as a reality TV star than playing basketball.

So getting younger, faster, and in shape is only part of the solution for Dallas. They need true replacements for Chandler and Barea.

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Tuesday , Dec , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

George Karl: you can win without a superstar

It has nothing to do about individuality and basically screw all the guys out there that think you gotta have a superstar to win a championship. I’m just not into the hype. I’m into some of the things we did when we went 18-7 and I can take anyone who wants to come into our film [room].

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It sounds good, but isn’t accurate.

Veteran coach George Karl is trying to appease Nugget fans and the Denver marketplace by declaring a superstar isn’t necessary to win a championship.

Not surprisingly, Karl's Nuggets don't have a top-tier player. He’s wrong, though. A superstar is necessary.

Sure, Karl will mention the 2004 Detroit Pistons, but it was a different time when superstars weren’t concentrated in a few major markets.

To beat a trio of superstars, you must have superstar(s). For instance, the Dallas Mavericks beat CB4, LeBron, D-Wade and the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals with All-World Dirk Nowitzki and an exceptional supporting cast.

So Karl’s statement sounds good, but isn’t reality.

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Sunday , Dec , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard on Orlando: ‘I love this city’

During the player introductions Saturday, Howard received a standing ovation. He said that moment was special for him.

“It was emotional,” he said. “It was great to see their reaction. And like I’ve told you guys from day one, I love this city. … When I came here, everybody called our team the Orlando Tragic. I wanted to change it. Nobody says tragic anymore.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps there is hope.

Perhaps the fan support will influence Dwight Howard to rescind his trade demand, avoid opting-out of his contract next July, and sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

Such a scenario is unlikely.

Howard wants a larger market, superstar teammates, and a chance at winning a championship each year.

This means he must take flight for one of the NBA’s major markets. Think Los Angeles, but only if the Lakers give up Andrew Bynum, the golden boy in the organization. Think New Jersey, but only if the Nets re-sign point guard Deron Williams. Think Dallas, but only if the Mavericks can clear the necessary cap space.

Yesterday was positive. So there is hope for Orlando fans. Just not much of it.

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