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Saturday , Jul , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron James dunks on child camper

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This, as they say, is not a good look.

Clearly, LeBron James got a little carried away while playing what was supposed to be a friendly game of bump with children at a basketball camp.

Rather than shoot a jumper, James, of course, opts to dunk the ball and accidentally knocks a pre-teen to the ground.

Give the little guy credit: he took a body check from a 6-8, 280-pound man-child and got up smiling. Unlike Derek Fisher or Manu Ginobili, there was no flopping or exaggerating the blow.

Give the big guy credit, too: James apologized and gave the camper a free pair of sneakers. Thankfully, there was no attempt by Nike to hide the video.

Perhaps James has grown a bit, after all.

--Oly Sandor.

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

The Miami Heat Big 3 = just big floppers?
Friday , Jun , 03 , 2011 J.N.

The Miami Heat Big 3 = just big floppers?

What is going on with the Miami Heat? I thought these guys were unstoppable. What the hell happened? That game 2 of the NBA Finals is what happened. Wow. What a choke job, man. Damn. LeBron and Wade all celebrating when they were up by 15 points. Someone should have told them that there was still a lot of time left to play; about 7 minutes right? That is a lifetime in the NBA. No matter how big the lead, it can evaporate quickly as proven in game 2. Wow.

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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mavericks complete sweep, what’s next for Kobe, Pau, and Lakers?

Jason Terry (32 points) nails nine 3-pointers and his teammates add 11 more as the Mavericks advance to the conference finals with a 122-86 thumping of the Lakers.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Kings are dead. The Kings are dead. Fourth quarter cheap shots aside, they went out with a whimper. Not a bang.

The Dallas Mavericks blew out the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the Western Conference semi-finals, sweeping the two-time defending champions out of the playoffs.

And it wasn’t close. The Mavericks won by 36 points. Team Cuban has to be favoured to emerge from the west.

Back to the soap opera known as the Lakers. This is supposedly Phil Jackson’s final game on the sideline. The Zen-Master is done, and he’ll retreat to his ranch in Montana, cabin in Belize, house boat in Alaska, or some other remote location for 'introspection'.

What about Pau Gasol? The Spanish post has been taking criticism from fans, TMZ, and, worst of all, the infamous and notorious Snoop Dogg. Something has to give.

There are questions about Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, and the Lakers’ bench. Andrew Bynum may be dangled as trade bait to land a certain post from the Orlando Magic, who is set to be a free agent in 2012.

Either way, changes are coming. Only Kobe Bryant is safe.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Mar , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mo Williams: Derek Fisher is the ‘Hines Ward of the NBA’

The Lakers defeated the Clippers by a 112-104 final on Friday night. On Saturday, Williams delivered a Tweet about Derek Fisher in obvious reference to the confrontation at the end of the game. "If yall didn't know, D Fish is the Hines Ward of the NBA," wrote Williams. "I don't know if that's a compliment or not. But don't let that nice guy fool u."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tough guy on the court. Nice guy off it.

This describes Derek Fisher, veteran guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. The same eloquent spokesperson for the Player’s Union used to scrap Kobe Bryant when both were rookies with the purple-and-gold playing one-on-one full court.

Yes, there’s plenty of bark to Fisher’s bite. Always has been, too.

This has helped him win five championships and even mediate the tension between Kobe and Shaq when their World Wars were front page news.

So Chris Kaman and Mo Williams shouldn’t be surprised and show such emotion over an incident in a regular season derby match between the Clippers and Lakers.

A few days back, Kaman felt Fisher led with an elbow on a screen. The seven-footer was ejected, but not before motioning to Fisher to meet him in the parking lot after the game for what can best be described as a ‘discussion’. 

(Kaman and Fisher ... 'Let's get ready to rumble'.)

Williams declared viral jihad on D-Fish, questioning his nice guy persona in a tweet. Perhaps Kaman and Williams were right. Perhaps they were wrong.

Elbows and flops are part of Fisher’s repertoire. It has helped him parlay a decent skill-set into a long and successful career.

Opponents can debate whether Fisher's a nice guy. However, there’s no debate that he's a winner.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Feb , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant ‘irritated’ at teammates after Cleveland loss

 On the other hand, Kobe Bryant looked incredibly irritated as he walked off the court, head down, all alone after the latest loss. He then ignored reporters for a second consecutive game, his second mini-boycott of the media this season. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson actually spent a full 2 1/2 minutes with reporters in the wake of Wednesday's debacle after providing five terse seconds of his time in Charlotte.

"I think they took the [All-Star] break before the game," he said, declining to name names though it wouldn't spoil anything to provide some clues (RonArtestLamarOdomAndrewBynum).

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last time they played, they won by 55. This time, they lost.

Yesterday, the two-time defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers were beaten by the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, who recently came within a whisper of setting the NBA record for most consecutive defeats.

Yes, the purple-and-gold has fallen. Yes, superstar Kobe Bryant is miffed. And yes, the world’s best player wants changes.

There’s no other way to interpret Bryant boycotting the media after the loss. Like Coach Phil Jackson, he believes his supporting cast isn’t pulling their weight and are in vacation mode.

Ron Artest’s play has to be particularly worrying for the Lakers’ brass. Last year, the three-man played with desire, despite struggling with Phil Jackson’s triple-post sets.

This year … well, the Lakers are still waiting for Artest to arrive. He’s averaging a career low 8 points per game and hasn’t played with his trademark defensive intensity.

Artest’s poor play has been compounded by Matt Barnes’ injury. Without Barnes' energy, the bench has been up and down, while the steady Derek Fisher continues to show his age.

Expect the Lakers to be buyers at the trade deadline. They have no choice -if they want to compete for a third straight championship.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Friday , Dec , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James on contraction: ‘It would be great for the league’

James had a couple of ideas in which teams could go and some players that would make other teams better right now.

"[Contraction] is not my job; I'm a player but that is why it the league was so great," James said.

"Imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team and you shrink the [league]. Looking at some of the teams that aren't that great, you take Brook Lopez or you take Devin Harris off these teams that aren't that good right now and you add him to a team that could be really good. Not saying let's take New Jersey and let's take Minnesota out of the league. But hey, you guys are not stupid, I'm not stupid, it would be great for the league."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Actually LeBron James, you’re right and you’re stupid.

You’re right to suggest the NBA has too many teams. You’re also right to suggest the league’s talent base is spread too thin amongst these many teams.

However, you’re stupid for saying this out loud.

LeBron, a work stoppage is coming July 1st, in part, because of your little free agent stunt known as The Decision.

You remember wearing the table-cloth you stole from The Olive Garden as a shirt, chatting needlessly with Jim Gray (the ‘reporter’ you hired), and then announcing you were taking your ‘talent to South Beach’ on live television, right?  

Well, with ‘Labour Armageddon’ on the horizon, the players and owners won’t appreciate your candour.

Fewer teams mean fewer jobs for the players, also known as your labour brethren. Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher, and the powers that be with the Players’ Union won’t go for that.

Their mandate is to make sure the Chucky Atkins, Brian Cardinals, and Matt Carrolls of this world stay gainfully employed earning millions of dollars sitting on benches.

Conversely, Glen Taylor, the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, won’t just toss Commissioner Stern the keys to the franchise and say ‘I’m out’.

Taylor and other owners would want compensation. They’ve invested hundreds of million of dollars in their teams, and would demand a payout from league head office.

Problem is, Stern and his lackeys in New York wouldn’t see a return on buying a team and folding it just so the remaining teams have a greater talent base.

Of course, LeBron would you put your money where your mouth is?

Contracting teams would mean less ticket sales, jersey money, and local television and radio revenue for owners and players to divvy up in what the current Collective Bargaining Agreement calls Basketball Related Income.

Less money in the BRI reduces the salary cap. Every player would then have their salary reduced. So LeBron: would you take a pay cut for contraction?

Bottom Line: LeBron you`re right about contraction. Being right and having the right to say something out loud are two separate things. Not knowing the difference makes you stupid.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Monday , Aug , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derek Fisher and Steve Blake perfect duo for Lakers

The Lakers signed guard Steve Blake this summer, an addition that will likely help give veteran Derek Fisher some rest. Andy Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes that the Lakers may have finally found an option to start over Fisher.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Lakers are expecting Derek Fisher to pass the baton to Steve Blake.
 
After all, Fisher is in his late thirties. Blake is an established pro, with a reputation for tenacity, intelligence, and feistiness.
 
Problem is, D-Fish' is a purple-and-gold cult hero, defying age with clutch shots and heady play.
 
For instance, Jordan Farmar and Javaris Crittenton were tabbed to replace the veteran. Both are with different teams, while Fisher - after much outcry - was re-signed this summer. 
 
Blake is a different breed, though. In December of 2007, he turned the Portland Trail Blazers' season around by participating in a practice that was more like Fight Club. He's also been known to train with MMA fighters.
 
Look for Blake to learn from and eventually replace Fisher. Like B.J. Armstrong replacing John Paxson, and Derek Fisher replacing Ron Harper, there will soon be a new lead guard in Phil Jackson's triple-post system.

And the world champion Lakers will only get stronger after this well-thought out transition.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jul , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Fisher on re-signing with Lakers: ‘let the hunt for six begin’

The Lakers agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the veteran guard, bringing back a steadying locker-room influence and one of their top clutch shooters of the last decade. The contract was believed to be worth about $10.5 million, including a player option in the third year.

"I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles," Fisher said in a statement. "While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this off-season, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin. . . ."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Listen closely and you’ll hear Laker-nation – led by the great Kobe Bryant - letting out a massive sigh of relief.

After all, the purple-and-gold had to have Derek Fisher. The emphasis is on ‘had to’. It wasn’t optional. 

The veteran is 36 years old, flops like he`s on the Italian national soccer team, has limits on both ends of the floor, and was surprisingly given the security of a three-year deal.

However, Fisher oozes leadership, has Robert Horry style skills down the stretch, and mediates like the UN when resident superstar Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson have a ‘tiff’.

Best of all, he can groom his replacement Steve Blake. Like Fisher, Blake is an assassin disguised as a nice guy.

Sure, the former University of Maryland star looks like he should be leading the Dungeons and Dragons club at the local comic shop instead of Jackson’s triple-post set or playing internet chess on Friday evenings instead of the cross-town Clippers.

Don’t get it twisted: Blake is a good guy off-court, but feisty as hell on it. In December of 2007, he sparked the Blazers’ turnaround by breaking chairs and fighting teammates at a now infamous practice. And he’s also known to dabble in mixed martial arts –for fun.

Look for Fisher to take to Blake. Look for Fisher to groom Blake. And this will cement Fisher’s legacy long after he’s gone.

This will be a great relief for Laker-nation.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No thanks Miami: Fisher expected to re-sign with LA Lakers

Derek Fisher received an offer of the veteran's minimum from the Heat over the weekend, but he is likely to re-sign with the Lakers.

Fisher reportedly received a $2.5 million offer for next season from the Lakers. He has been seeking a two-year contract with a starting salary closer to the $5 million he made last season.

 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Thanks, but no thanks.
 
This will likely be Derek Fisher's response to the star-studded Miami Heat putting the full court press on him over the weekend.
 
After all, oil slick GM and soon-to-be coach Pat Riley showered him with praise in their meeting. And LeBron James, in his first act as a member of the Heat, greeted him at the airport.
 
However, there's a problem: Miami has zero cap space. After their recent spending spree, they could only offer Fisher a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.
 
Of course, the veteran guard has a pretty nice offer in his backpocket. The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are offering a two-year, $5 million pact.
 
So why would Fisher leave the purple-and-gold and pass on a chance at three-peating? Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade aside, why would Fisher uproot his family from his home in California for less money and term?
 
Throw in Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom, and you get the sense Fisher will soon be re-upping with the Lakers.
 
Frankly, this is the way it should be, the way it should end for the 36 year old combo guard.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Jul , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Pat Riley and Derek Fisher meeting in Miami on Saturday

Lakers free agent point guard Derek Fisher has a meeting scheduled with Miami Heat president Pat Riley on Saturday, according to a source close to the situation.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call:  Does he join Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the upstart Miami Heat or does he re-sign with Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers?

Yes, Derek Fisher has a dilemma.

However, negotiations between the veteran point guard and the Lakers are progressing because the club raised their initial offer of one-year at $2.5 million.

And Fisher, at 36 years of age, would be hesitant to uproot his young family from LA and bolt on the purple-and-gold.

Of course, Heat GM Pat Riley, also known as the walking oil slick in the front office, is on a roll with his ‘Three Kings’ line-up of Bosh, James, and Wade.

Seriously, it’s like ‘Riles’ has jumped in the Hot Tub Time Machine and turned back the clock to the mid-eighties when he was, coincidentally, the famous coach of the purple-and-gold.

So what would seem a courtesy meeting between Riley and Fisher on Saturday could easily become something more.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Saturday , Jul , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Steve Blake or Derek Fisher?

Steve Blake has agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers, according to a report from John Canzanao.

According to FanHouse, the deal is worth $16 million over four seasons.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It shouldn't be one or the other, but it is.
 
Word is the Los Angeles Lakers have signed Steve Blake to replace longtime favourite Derek Fisher at point guard.
 
Blake is a solid addition. He's smart, can stretch defenses with his range, and rarely gets beat off the dribble. The classic table-setter has a mean streak, too: legend has it he smashed a chair and brawled with teammates at an infamous Trail Blazer's practice in December of 2007, which helped save Portland's season.
 
So Blake fits. Just not at the expense of Fisher.
 
Sure, 'D-Fish' has weaknesses. The veteran struggles with the grind of the regular season and can't keep point guards in front of him on defense.
 
However, experience matters. Fisher won game four of the 2010 NBA Finals with 16 points in the second half. His 22 points kept the purple-and-gold in game five of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns, setting up Ron Artest to play hero with his last second put-back.
 
Numbers and statistics don't do him justice, though. His greatest strength is leadership. After all, Fisher smoothed over the tension between Coach Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. And he mentors younger teammates.
 
There's no way to measure his contribution. Unfortunately, the Lakers are doing exactly that, and management is stuck on one number: Fisher's 2010 salary.
 
They'll have Fisher back for 2011, but only if he takes a 50% pay cut on his $5 million per year salary.
 
Coming off a championship, this is a no-no. In fact, it's an insult. And Fisher - a proud person - will interpret it as such.
 
This is unfortunate. The Lakers would best be served with Blake and Fisher, not Blake instead of Fisher.
 
-- Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts?  Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   
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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Zen to Stay: Phil Jackson will coach Lakers in 2011

"Count me in," Jackson said in a statement. "After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It'll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He couldn't pass on the possibility of a three-peat.

After much deliberation, thought, and posturing, Phil Jackson - the Hall of Fame sideline boss - will be back to coach the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackson's return had been complicated by a power struggle in the Lakers' front office and ownership's request he take a reduction on his $12 million per season contract.

Of course, there are lingering issues for Jackson and the Buss clan, who own the Lakers, to settle. For instance, coach and ownership must agree on the size of his pay cut and whether free agents Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, and Derek Fisher will be re-signed.    

Still, the chance to win three consecutive championships for the fourth time in his career was too much for The Zen to ignore.

-- O.Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jun , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Doc Rivers right? Is Derek Fisher a flopper?

Count Celtics coach Doc Rivers as one person who won't be marching in the Derek Fisher appreciation parade that commenced Tuesday after the 14-year veteran scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers to a 91-84 Game 3 victory in the Finals.

When asked how Fisher was able to be so successful drawing fouls while being screened, Rivers replied: "What? Besides flopping? He doesn't do a lot extra.

"He plays hard. He's been in the game long enough to understand. I thought he got away with a lot last night. I thought there was a lot of holding going on and a lot of flopping going on and he finally showed that last one."
 
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Doc Rivers is right.
 
Derek Fisher - while not an all-time great flopper like, say, Manu Ginobili or Vlade Divac - is known to embellish. However, Rivers doesn't care that Fisher could serve as an honorary member of the Italian national soccer; deep down, he respects the veteran combo guard.
 
The Celtics sideline boss is using the media to lobby the refs for calls in game four. It's the game within the game. Every coach does it.
 
And Fisher's fine play in game three and reputation for embellishing contact caught Rivers' eye. Nothing more.

Is Rivers right? Is D-Fish is a flopper? 
2010 NBA Finals Game 3 – Paul Pierce is going back to Los Angeles.
Thursday , Jun , 10 , 2010 J.N.

2010 NBA Finals Game 3 – Paul Pierce is going back to Los Angeles.

Paul Pierce should have never opened his mouth towards the end of game 2. The Celtics have to pull an LL Cool J by headin’ back to Cali stylin’ and profilin.’ The game was embarrassing for P-Squared. He was to be out done by Ray Allen. He was scorching hot in game 2. He played like a bumbling idiot in game 3. Ray Ray couldn’t hit any type of shot out there. 0-13? That’s bloody awful especially in the NBA Finals at home. I thought he was entering John Starks’ level. I was wrong. He went beyond that.  

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Wednesday , Jun , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Height and heart: how L.A. beat Boston in game three

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Derek Fisher added 16 to lead Los Angeles to a 91-84 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night and give the Lakers a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

Bryant had 25 points after three but did not score for the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. That's when Fisher took over, adding four key baskets after Boston winnowed a 17-point first-half lead to one point.

The Lakers regained home-court advantage they had lost when Boston took Game 2 in Los Angeles. Game 4 is Thursday night in Boston.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: In basketball, there’s a saying that ‘you can’t teach the height’. In game three of the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics couldn’t beat the Los Angeles Lakers’ height.

It didn’t matter that Kevin Garnett turned back the clock with an inspired performance. It didn’t matter that Rajon Rondo was brilliant. It didn’t matter that the green-and-white’s bench had a big second half.

It also didn’t matter that Kobe Bryant had an off shooting night or that Ron Artest struggled with foul trouble.

On Tuesday evening, the Lakers were bigger and stronger and ultimately better. For instance, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom were especially effective in the middle, disrupting passing lanes and contesting shots with their length.

Size was one factor. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce’s poor play was another.

Allen, who hit an NBA Finals record 8-three pointers in game two, missed every shot he took in game three, while Pierce wasn’t much better, going 5-for 12 from the floor, and ending with a disappointing 15 points.

This was Pierce’s second consecutive sub par performance and it came on the heels of his claim the Celtics ‘ain’t going back to LA!’

Of course, one of the Lakers’ smallest players, Derek Fisher, played like a giant. The veteran went 6-for-12 with 16 points, which included a courageous 5-for-7 shooting display in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory.

Yes, height was the difference in game three. So was the size of Fisher’s heart.

Got thoughts on game four? Get at us in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jun , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Lamar gone MIA? How the Lakers find Odom

These have been forgettable games for Lamar Odom, a sixth man gone asunder in the most important series of the season.

The Lakers aren't playing Phoenix any longer, as Odom could definitely attest, the 14 points and 11.8 rebounds he averaged in the Western Conference finals apparently a thing of the past now that the Lakers are playing Boston in the NBA Finals.

Odom had a five-point, five-foul debacle in Game 1 that somehow got worse Sunday in Game 2, when he finished with three points and five fouls in the Lakers' 103-94 loss.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He is the Los Angeles Lakers’ barometer.

When Lamar Odom has his A-game, the Lakers are unbeatable. No other team can bring a versatile, play all five positions type off the bench?

But Odom is somewhat of an enigma. Most of the time, he's brilliant. Some of the time, he disappears.

For instance, former coach and ABC broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy often calls the four-man a top thirty player in the NBA.

At times, such praise is warranted. Last year, he was brilliant as a sixth man for the purple-and-gold. And years ago, he looked like the second coming of Magic Johnson when he led an upstart Miami Heat squad to the second round.

Odom's reputation for going MIA prompted Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire to call his 19 point, 19 rebound performance in game one of the Western Conference Finals 'lucky'.

Unfortunately Odom has vanished through the first two games of the NBA Finals (he's averaging a sub par 4 points and 4 rebounds). This doesn’t bode well for the Lakers, so here’s how Coach Jackson fixes the situation:

1) Go to Odom early and often. The coaches must put him in the game no later than half way through the first quarter.

2) Get him involved. Derek Fisher or Kobe Bryant, the veteran leaders, should call a play or two for him in the half court set.

3) ‘Run, Lamar, Run’. Odom needs to use his length and athleticism to score easy points in transition.

4)  Get on the glass. Odom is at his best when grabbing rebounds. The other parts of his game follows suit. 

Got thoughts on how the Lakers get Odom going? 

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Wednesday , Jun , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Video: Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, and Phil Jackson talk NBA Finals

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: With several days lag time between the conference finals and championship series, it's understandable if fans are restless.

After all, you've watched numerous panel hits on TNT and NBATV; you've listened to analysts on satellite radio; you've read about match-ups on-line and in newspapers; and you've been tormented by the know-it-all at the office water cooler.

Well, the NBA Finals isn't quite here. However, HoopsVibe News has the next best thing: video of the Los Angeles Lakers talking about their upcoming series with the Boston Celtics.

As usual, watch the clip and get us with thoughts in the comment box below.  

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Friday , Apr , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derek Fisher Denies Reports of Waffle House Altercation

Lakers guard Derek Fisher strongly denied reports that he was involved in an altercation with a man at a Waffle House in Oklahoma City last week, when the Lakers were in town playing the Thunder in Games 3 and 4 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

"It has been brought to my attention that media in Oklahoma City is reporting I was in an altercation with a man last week while the team was in town for the playoffs. These reports are false," Fisher said. "I was not involved in any altercation and would have hoped that the media would check their sources and facts before reporting or insinuating that I was in any way violent."
 
[...]
 
"To be clear, over a year ago, I was a witness to an altercation at a Waffle House in Oklahoma City after a regular season game," Fisher said. "The police were called after a fight broke out between two patrons. I reported what I had seen, was thanked by the police for my assistance and returned to my hotel. I was an innocent bystander and simply assisted police that evening. I will not be making any further comment on the matter."
 
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Monday , Apr , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Derek Fisher Doesn’t Plan to Retire Yet

Derek Fisher is 35 and doesn't have a contract beyond this season with the Lakers.

Fisher's thoughts are on helping the Lakers win consecutive championships, on playing his best to help the cause.

"I put aside as far as me thinking this could be it in terms of my last postseason playing basketball," Fisher said. "I know for sure that's not true.

"This is the last year on my contract. I know I want to play basketball after this. I will play basketball as long as somebody is willing to offer me a job. But that doesn't mean that it's going to be on a team that can win a championship.

"So, from that perspective now is the only thing that matters. You can't think about next year. You can't think about the past. It's just about right now."
 
Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC
Sunday , Apr , 18 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC

I'll be taking quick notes as I watch the game here. Feel free to drop in your comments below. They update in real time.

- What is Andrew Bynum drinking? A pre-game shot shows him chugging a foaming red liquid from a water bottle.

- OKC tosses the ball to Durant for the first play.  He dribbles around for a few seconds before tossing up an awkward brick. Bad opening.

- Pau connects on a shot with so much arc the ball came down with snow on it.

- That red stuff is obviously working for Bynum, who connects on his first attempt.

- Durant botches an open layup. Let's hope that's a fumble and not a sign of the pressure getting to him.

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