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Friday , Jul , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Yao Ming, the bridge between China and NBA, retires

Rockets' Yao Ming has decided to retire from the NBA, league sources tell Y! Sports. He informed the league office within past 48 hours.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mr. International is done.

Reports indicate that Yao Ming has retired from the NBA due to lingering foot problems. Sadly, the Chinese post barely got off injured-reserve the last few years.

In his prime, Yao could play. The first overall pick in the 2002 draft was a regular at the league’s mid-season classic, the All-Star game. While his Houston Rockets struggled in the playoffs, Yao always stuffed the stat-sheet with scoring averages of 20 points per game.

His legacy will always be China, though. Yao was the main reason the NBA penetrated and profited from the lucrative Chinese market.

Yao's greatest moment may have been an exhibition match between his Rockets and Yi's Milwaukee Bucks. Hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens watched this pre-season contest, confirming Commissioner David Stern's hunch that the league's future was in Asia. 

Other Chinese basketball players will follow Yao to the NBA. And the NBA will follow Yao back to China.

This bridge Yao created between China and the NBA will stand for years to come. His influence and legacy is only just starting.

Oly Sandor.

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2011 NBA Lockout – Players & Owners
Sunday , Jul , 03 , 2011 J.N.

2011 NBA Lockout – Players & Owners

The NBA has not missed any games for the upcoming season just yet. It’s still the summer after all. We’ll just have to see if the player’s union and owners can work out a new collective bargaining agreement in the upcoming months. The problem is they are too far apart on everything. Go ahead and head on over to the NBA’s main site to educate yourself on the terms and what they’re disagreeing on. The players and owners hate each other every day yet they cannot live without each other. 

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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stern’s June 21st Lockout Deadline not good enough

After a five-hour meeting between owners and players in New York on Friday, NBA commissioner David Stern warned that time was running short before the June 30 deadline, when owners will lock out the players without a new CBA.  "It’s just important because of the substance of our conversations today,” Stern said of Tuesday’s meeting, “and because time is running out, and because both parties still remain, at least to me, intent on doing the best they can to make a deal before June 30.”

Asked if a breakthrough was critical Tuesday, Stern said, “Yes, yes.” Asked if he would know by the end of that day whether a lockout was likely, he again answered in the affirmative.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shame on the owners. Shame on the players.

If either side were truly committed to finding a solution, if either side were truly interested to bridging the gap in negotiations, if either side were truly dedicated to crafting a new and fair financial landscape, Tuesday would not be the deadline.

No way. No how. No chance.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement expires June 30th. Tuesday is June 21st. Both sides have more than a week to find solutions.

If they can’t do it, fair enough. If labour strife lingers into the summer and beyond, fair enough. At least, they tried. At least, they exhausted all options.

Can both sides say they gave their all if they stopped talking on June 21st?

Fans, team employees, bar and restaurant owners, and those who support the NBA deserve better. They deserve to have Commissioner Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter talking well beyond June 21st.

Nothing else is good enough. Nothing else will do.

--Oly Sandor

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Tuesday , Jun , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James: my haters must get back to the real world

Q. Does it bother you that so many people are happy to see you fail? LeBRON JAMES: Absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where are his people?

Right now, somebody, anybody needs to gag LeBron James. The pressure is too intense. The spotlight is too hot. And the world is waiting for him to put his foot in his mouth -again.

Right or wrong, this has gotten out of control. And James is in full Charlie Sheen mode -only there aren’t any drugs, alcohol, or goddesses. And neither is ’winning’.

Perhaps Dru Joyce, his old high school coach, calls and tells him to disappear. Perhaps Maverick Carter hires an actual communications expert instead of employing one of their boys from Akron, Ohio.

Or, perhaps Commissioner Stern gets in contact and gives his league’s greatest asset some free advice: simmer down. After all, James’ image has been in a free-fall since ‘The Decision’.

Only a championship will stop the chatter, criticism, and hate. At a minimum, this is a year away. But James can weather the media storm by publicly humbling himself and saying the right things.

The real question is if James is capable of doing this? And can anyone reach him before his image completely self-destructs?

--Oly Sandor.

Agree or disagree? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

For the last time, the NBA Draft Lottery is not rigged.
Wednesday , Jun , 01 , 2011 J.N.

For the last time, the NBA Draft Lottery is not rigged.

This comes up before every lottery. What’s the big deal? Of course the blasted thing is rigged! Those men in nice suits sitting there behind podiums are spending millions of dollars each year to field the best team they can put on. They have to appear at the lottery knowing that whole thing is rigged, right? You’re going to cite the Patrick Ewing lottery, eh? Please do not. That has been done over and over. Realize that if your team is in the lottery, they suck and need help.

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David Stern Is Stressed Out
Friday , Apr , 08 , 2011 Paul Eide

David Stern Is Stressed Out

 

In the last week we’ve heard nonstop about the NFL labor issues as well as the government shutdown in Washington DC. One thing that has gone largely unnoticed is a filing by the National Basketball Referee’s Association against the NBA for allegedly engaging in “unfair labor practices” with the National Labor Relations Board. So, what does this mean? It means at this point David Stern would probably rather be Daniel Stern, star of the Home Alone movie series.
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Wednesday , Mar , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jay-Z to have ’99 problems’ with Commissioner Stern?

The NBA will investigate Jay-Z’s visit with the Kentucky basketball team after Sunday’s 76-69 win against North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament East Regional Final, reports CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I’m not sure if Jay-Z still has ‘99 problems’. However, the New Jersey Nets minority owner could soon have a problem with Commissioner David Stern and NBA head office.

Word is the rapper visited the Kentucky Wildcats after their recent victory over the North Carolina Tarheels to advance to the Final Four.

This is a no-no. The Wildcats have several players tabbed to be first round draft picks, and Jay-Z, because of his affiliation with the Nets, can’t be around such blue-chip prospects.

While the incident may have been innocent, ‘The Jigga Man’ and his Nets will still be fined and receive a call from Stern or one of his deputies.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Where the bodies are buried
Thursday , Mar , 24 , 2011 J.N.

Where the bodies are buried

Someone has been watching too much Godfather or Sopranos. Supposedly David Stern said the infamous “I know where the bodies are buried” somewhere during All Star weekend. Whoever reported this better be sure that this really happened. What did he mean? I know where bodies are buried, too. They’re usually in a cemetery, but what did Stern mean in his context? Derrick Rose was shocked enough to be quoted. Somebody tell me because Stern is trying to replicate Vito Corleone.

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“Hello NBA Fan. It’s me, The Lockout.”
Tuesday , Feb , 01 , 2011 Paul Eide

“Hello NBA Fan. It’s me, The Lockout.”

I’m standing right behind you like I have been all season. I know you are trying hard not to notice me, but I’m not going anywhere. Sure, it’s been pretty easy to forget about me for the time being because the league is doing well. The Knicks are good again which suddenly revitalizes the NBA’s largest media market. Regular season games are getting their highest ratings since 2004. Blake Griffin is a freak and is proving a year away was worth the wait.

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Sunday , Jan , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Donald Sterling to David Stern: ‘I would fire you’

Sterling: You don't want to hear what I have to say.

Stern. Yes, we do.

Sterling. No you don't.

Stern: Yes, we do.

Sterling: OK, I would fire you. You're great at marketing, but you're not tough enough with the union.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m defending Commissioner David Stern.

Reports indicate Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling told ‘The Commish’ he would fire him because he wasn’t tough enough on the Player’s Union.

Let’s consider the source: Sterling has no issue bashing his players from his courtside seats; Sterling (allegedly) has no issue watching the very same players shower; Sterling has been sued for sexual harassment and there’s ample evidence to suggest he’s racist.

The Clippers, like their owner, are a mess. Despite having some talent, they consistently underachieve. Some of their personnel decisions are flat-out laughable.

Ironically, Sterling has done quite well from the financial system Stern created. After all, The Don avoids the luxury tax and rakes in millions from having a team in a major market with a great stadium.

Conservative estimates have him making $75 million profit since moving to Staples Center. He may have made twice that amount.

So Sterling has nothing to complain about. In fact, Stern, the 29 other owners, and fans have every reason to try and fire him.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Jan , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Clippers owner Sterling and girlfriends watched players shower

"DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, 'Look at those beautiful black bodies.' I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ah Commissioner Stern, are you listening?

It’s officially time for you to move against Donald Sterling, the awful owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Under Sterling’s watch the Clippers have been the Siberia of the NBA. That, however, isn’t the issue. Sterling mistreats people: he’s been taken court for sexual harassment and accused of preferring to rent his many apartments to Caucasians instead of African-Americans and Mexicans.

But Stern couldn’t or wouldn’t use this to rid his league of Sterling. Watching players shower and then making insensitive and racially charged comments is a different matter.

Stern seems determined to make the new Collective Bargaining Agreement his last stand. Fair enough. The league’s financial house needs reworking.

Sterling has to go. Before the Clippers owner creates a mess of Isiah-like proportion.

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Oct , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stern and NBA won’t contract Jordan’s Bobcats

Stern didn't single out any franchises, but a Celtics team source told the Boston Globe that small-market cities like Charlotte, Memphis and New Orleans may be in danger of losing their teams.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a ploy. The owners and players are currently negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Commissioner David Stern will use this leverage to threaten the Player’s Union. They concede on salary rollbacks or he’ll ‘push’ to contract the Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Hornets.

Forget the CBA drama. Would contraction be so bad?

Memphis and New Orleans will always struggle to generate sufficient revenue –even with a new CBA. After all, Grizzly and Hornet owners Michael Heisley and George Shinn have been trying to sell their teams for years.
 
They can't.
 
There’s no interest. And there's no market.

However, Stern wouldn’t let Michael Jordan - the most popular NBA player of all time - buy the Bobcats if contraction was a real possibility in Charlotte.

Charlotte may still be angry because of the Hornets’ departure. Attendance may be mediocre. And Jordan may have bought the team for less than the expansion fee that original owner Bob Johnson paid.

North Carolina is a hoops hotbed. Basketball is a religion; years before they left Charlotte, the Hornets led the NBA in attendance.

Jordan used his money to buy the team. He’s too competitive to allow the Bobcats to languish. He’ll change the culture and environment.

Stern knows this.

While contraction may be the best option for Memphis and New Orleans, Charlotte should stay. Let Jordan stick out his trademark tongue, put in work, and fix things.

If number 23 can’t right the ship, nobody can.

--Oly Sandor.

 
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Sunday , Oct , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lamar Odom upset technical fouls will cost more

Lakers forward Lamar Odom isn't happy with the NBA's stricter rules on issuing technical fouls.

Players and coaches will now be docked $2,000 for each of their first five technical fouls. The cost rises to $3,000 for the next five, followed by $4,000 for Nos. 11-15. Starting at 16, players are suspended one game for every two technicals, along with a $5,000 fine for each.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Lamar Odom will live.

The Los Angeles Lakers forward earns $8 million per season, while his chubby-cheeked better half, Khloe Kardashian, is also a multi-millionaire because of her reality TV exploits.

Of course, Odom can afford to pay more for eve a technical foul. Like most NBA players, he’ll now think twice before challenging a referee’s call.

So chalk one up for Commissioner David Stern and the suits at NBA head office. Clearly, the powers that be want to limit players protesting each and every whistle like the Third Estate during the French Revolution.

Past efforts –like empowering referees to call more technical fouls - failed because there weren’t appropriate consequences and stiff deterrents. 

Now the players will pay. Literally. This is the best – and, perhaps, only - way to return power to referees.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Nenad Krstic goes chair crazy in Greece-Serbia brawl

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The headline says it all -Greece and Serbia in a bench-clearing, chair throwing brawl.

And somewhere, Commissioner David Stern is breathing a sigh of relief that this donnybrook occured outside of NBA confines and on FIBA turf.

After all, how many games would Corporal Stern give Oklahoma City Thunder post Nenad Krstic for making like a WWE manager and hitting the Greeks with a chair?   

Update: Krstic was arrested and released by Greek police for 'an infraction against the law of sports violence'. I didn't know there were laws to 'sports violence', but apparently there is, and Krstic went 'against' them.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Friday , Aug , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Gulf’ exists between owners and players on new CBA

The three-and-one-half-hour bargaining session between the players and league on Thursday surprisingly included the direct participation of the NBA's biggest stars.

"I think it’s important for all of us, as the faces of the NBA, to be involved in the negotiations and what’s going on," said Carmelo Anthony, one of the All-Stars who could most immediately be affected by a new collective bargaining agreement. Anthony can become a free agent next summer.

"Our future’s in jeopardy if we can’t come to a mutual agreement," Anthony said.

According to sources in attendance, the tone of the discussions was not as rancorous as in the previous meeting. The owners did not threaten a lockout as frequently.

At one point, David Stern proclaimed that "there’s a gulf, not a gap" between the players' and owners' respective positions.

The two sides vowed to meet again before training camp opens.

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Sunday , Aug , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Watch Video: Tyreke Evans arrested for reckless driving

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Call us crazy, but getting arrested is not good.

Getting arrested for reckless driving when you're the NBA's Rookie of the Year is really not good.

And getting arrested for reckless driving when you're the NBA's Rookie of the Year and discovering there's a video of the ordeal making the rounds on youtube is really, really not good.

Such is life for Tyreke Evans, David Stern's premier freshman in 2010.

Evans - who supposedly has a team of mentors and advisors - was arrested after getting spotted by a police plane racing a friend through Sacramento like he was the star of 2 Fast 2 Furious, and not an NBA team.

Evans only wishes this nightmare was a movie.

Click the video below and get at us with thoughts on Evans' arrest.  

--Oly Sandor.

  

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Tuesday , May , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stern: NBA Could Play Regular-Season Games in London

Commissioner David Stern, re-affirming a previous commitment to taking a regular-season game to London before the 2012 Olympics there, has put the NBA on a realistic course to play in the new arena on the banks of the Thames as soon as 2010-11.

“We’re looking,” Stern said Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena before the Lakers and Jazz played Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. “We have nothing hot, but it’s a subject under active consideration.” 

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Tuesday , May , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

David Stern Wants LeBron to stay with Cavs

NBA commissioner David Stern knows Cleveland fans are anxious about this summer and LeBron James' pending free agency. He is rooting for the same outcome as Cavaliers fans.

"Hopefully he'll stay," Stern said Monday before Game 2 between Cleveland and Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals. "That's the way the system is designed."

Stern helped negotiate the current collective bargaining agreement, which provides teams the ability to pay more and add an extra year for their own free agents. Stern is hopeful that will allow teams such as Cleveland to retain its stars.

"That's the way it should be," Stern said. "It allows teams to keep their own players." 

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