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Wednesday , Feb , 22 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams wanted Revenge against Jeremy Lin

Williams added, “I don’t really watch SportsCenter, I don’t really watch too many games, but I do see Twitter. And every three lines was, ‘Jeremy Lin destroys Deron Williams’ in the first game. “And like I said, I had it circled.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In the words of James Brown, it was The Big Payback.

Deron Williams wasn’t happy Jeremy Lin pulled a little ‘Lin-sanity’ magic and led the New York Knicks to victory over the All-Star’s New Jersey Nets.

Williams was especially upset Lin’s play went viral, so he got revenge dropping 38 points on the NBA’s newest sensation last night.

It’s great Williams was motivated to play his best and have success. However, the source of his motivation, twitter, is interesting.

Williams didn’t like getting called out by Lin’s followers on the social media platform, and he was especially upset after reading some re-tweets.

So he got his revenge. And chances are, Williams will circle every meeting with Lin in the future.

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

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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.

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

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Thursday , Jan , 19 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams interested in Lakers?

With that deal long since scuttled by the NBA, would the Lakers ever make a play for Williams? Judging by the reaction that Williams admits to getting as he’s walked around Los Angeles the last couple of days, Lakers fans certainly hope so. “I’ve had that since I was in Utah, Laker fans wanting me to come here,” Williams said Monday. “It’s definitely flattering. I’ll address all that when the time is right.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Los Angeles Lakers proved anything is possible with the nixed Chris Paul trade.

After all, the Lakers are the ultimate have-franchise; they have money to burn, assets to deal, and are a massive market.

Most importantly, the purple-and-gold are ambitious. GM Mitch Kupchak and owner's son Jim Buss are constantly looking to improve -even if it appears that the club is in cost-cutting mode with the recent Lamar Odom trade.

So, Deron Williams, a free agent to be in July, is a possibility.

There's a complication: the New Jersey Nets, Williams' current team, will demand Andrew Bynum as part of any trade.

Bynum has been impressive of late. He also has a supporter in Jim Buss, who takes credit for drafting and developing the massive seven-footer.

Of course, the Lakers could offer Pau Gasol, not Bynum. Or, the Lakers could clear cap space and sign Williams as a free agent this summer.

Bottom line: anything is possible with the Lakers.

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

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Sunday , Jan , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets want OJ Mayo to appease Deron Williams?

The Grizzlies are again discussing whether to deal reserve guard O.J. Mayo. This time, Memphis has explored at least two trade scenarios with the New Jersey Nets over the past couple of weeks, according to two NBA sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is about appeasement.

The New Jersey Nets are trying to land OJ Mayo from the Memphis Grizzlies to keep franchise face Deron Williams happy.

After all, Williams can opt-out of his contract and leave the Nets and their soon to be built Brooklyn stadium as a free agent in July. Fortunately, club executives can spin a Mayo trade in many ways:

1) They can tell Williams they’ve been active, have upgraded his supporting cast, and are committed to winning now.

2) They can tell Williams they won’t qualify Mayo, and will use the available cap space to sign Dwight Howard -provided the Orlando Magic center opts-out this summer

3) They can tell Williams the Nets won’t wait for the summer for Howard, and that Mayo will be included in sign-and-trade offers for Superman.

There's one certainty: the Nets lose Williams if they do nothing. Expect a move -and soon.

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




 

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Friday , Jan , 13 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets want OJ Mayo?

Memphis and New Jersey have been engaged in trade talks centered on guard O.J. Mayo, but a deal appears unlikely, league sources tell Y!

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Desperate times, desperate measures.

The New Jersey Nets are considering acquiring OJ Mayo from the Memphis Grizzlies to appease franchise face Deron Williams.

Williams has said again-and-again he'll opt-out of his contract at season's end because he wants to sign with a contender. The Nets are 2-9. Do the math.

This, however, is bigger than a rebuilding franchise losing their superstar. Soon the Nets will swap the swampy marshes of Jersey for a shiny, new stadium in Brooklyn.

The cost of their new digs: one billion dollars.

The Nets, who lost Carmelo Anthony last winter to the cross-river Knicks, need Williams to establish a presence in New York.

Unfortunately, Williams has been complaining about the club's poor record, so management is panicking and feel compelled to make a move -even if its for perennial rumor mill fodder like Mayo.

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

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Tuesday , Jan , 10 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard: I’ll be with Magic through All-Star break

He told Yahoo! Sports he thinks there’s a “100 percent” chance the Magic won’t trade him before the Feb. 26 All-Star Game at the team’s Amway Center. Team officials still hope to convince Howard to commit to staying with the franchise for the long term. “I don’t think they are going to do anything right now because we’re winning,” Howard said after a 104-97 victory over the Sacramento Kings improved the Magic’s record to 6-3. “Even if this is the last season, let’s go out hard, regardless.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard's status with the Orlando Magic seems to change daily.

Howard now thinks he'll stay with the Magic through the All-Star break, despite executive Otis Smith telling reporters that the star hasn't rescinded his trade demand.

So things are in flux.

Usually these types of distractions are a recipe for disaster, however, the Magic have opened the season at 6-3. The more they win, the longer Howard stays.

This isn't a long-term solution, as the giant can opt-out of his contract at year's end and become a free agent.

Howard only signs an extension with the Magic if Smith pulls off the impossible and acquires Deron Williams from the New Jersey Nets. 

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

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando … with Deron Williams?

Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore has learned that Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard may be rethinking his trade request. In December, Howard told the Magic he would want to be traded to either the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers.Multiple NBA sources confirmed to Pingalore that Howard has been heavily recruiting New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams to play with him in Orlando. Pingalore has also learned the Magic are trying to trade for Williams. Pingalore's sources confirmed that Howard would rather stay in Orlando, and the sources said that it's an "80 percent" chance Howard stays.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will he stay? Will he go?

The Dwight Howard merry-go-round has again taken another turn, as the All-Star post is reconsidering his trade request and may sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

Forget the rumors involving the Lakers and Andrew Bynum and/or Pau Gasol.

Forget the gossip about the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.

And forget the speculation about Howard’s rift with Magic executive Otis Smith.

In the end, it may not matter because the former Slam Dunk champion is seriously considering staying in Orlando.

There’s a catch: Howard wants Deron Williams to join him. The muscular table-setter is unhappy with the Nets and, like Howard, can become a free agent in July.

This is a surprise. Most of us knew Howard and Williams had interest in partnering up, however, we assumed it would happen in a major market like Brooklyn, not Orlando.

After all, Brooklyn would allow both superstars to maximize marketing and business opportunities in New York, while Orlando is a smaller city tucked away in Florida.

So, Howard’s future remains up in the air. And the debate over whether he stays or goes will continue for some time.

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

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Thursday , Dec , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Deron Williams wants ‘top-tier’ guys (Dwight Howard) to stay with Nets?

“We need some more pieces,” he said. “There’s no secret about that. There’s not many starters on our team right now. We have a lot of great role players, a lot of guys who know their job, but in this league you need some top-tier guys so you can get the job done.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Deron Williams has leverage over the New Jersey Nets and isn’t afraid to use it.

Williams, a top point guard who can opt-out of his contract this summer and become an unrestricted free agent, will only re-sign with the Nets if they supply him with 'top-tier guys'.

Translation: he wants Dwight Howard, the NBA’s best center.

(Howard is in a similar predicament with the Orlando Magic. He too can opt-out of his contract this summer and walk on the Magic as an unrestricted free agent. And he also wants a superstar teammate.)

Howard reportedly has interest in joining a Williams led Nets squad, especially since they’re leaving the marshy swamps of Jersey for the borough of Brooklyn.

Howard, a magnanimous personality, loves the lights, stars, and marketing opportunities available in The Big Apple.

So, on paper, it all works. Williams is simply providing the Nets will a little urgency to make it happen.

He might as well. After all, he has leverage.

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

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Sunday , Nov , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard, Paul, Williams still leaving Magic, Hornets, Nets?

Owners dropped their insistence on what would have been known as the Carmelo Anthony rule, preventing teams from executing extend-and-trade deals similar to the one that sent Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks last season. This means that if Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and Chris Paul want to leverage their way out of Orlando, New Jersey and New Orleans, they will still be eligible to sign three-year extensions with their current teams before being immediately traded elsewhere.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Weren’t owners, in part, fighting to prevent superstars from leaving less desirable markets?

Wasn’t the five-month long lockout about re-establishing a balance between smaller, have-not markets and larger, have markets?

The owners conceded by failing to end the extend-and-trade clause, which means superstars and pending 2012 free agents Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams have leverage over Orlando, New Orleans, and New Jersey in contract negotiations.

Howard, Paul, and Williams can sign lucrative four-year extensions for max’ money with the Magic, Hornets, and Nets as part of a trade - just like Carmelo Anthony did in 2011.

Remember Anthony held the Denver Nuggets hostage, signing an extension once he knew he'd be sent to the New York Knicks as part of a blockbuster deal.

Personally, I think Howard and Paul move on.

Howard wants a flashier, bigger city to maximize his off-court pursuits, while Paul is clearly frustrated with the Hornets' progress and wants to win now.

Williams could stay with the Nets. Ownership has deep pockets. The franchise will soon swap the swamps of Jersey for a trendy Brooklyn stadium. And the stocky point guard, if he re-signs, will be the face of a re-born franchise.

Of course, the Nets have been trending upward since Mikhail Prokhorov, also known as Russia’s richest man, bought the franchise.

If Howard and Paul do leave Orlando and New Orleans through the extend-and-trade, fans will again wonder what the lockout was really for.

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

NBA Lockout: Necessary Step For Evolution Of The Game
Thursday , Oct , 13 , 2011 Paul Eide

NBA Lockout: Necessary Step For Evolution Of The Game

With a new NBA player heading overseas seemingly every day as the NBA lockout gets closer and closer to eradicating the entire season, it’s interesting to consider how player movement affects the evolution of the game itself.

 

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Monday , Aug , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: New CBA to help Orlando keep Howard?

“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer says. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They have hope.

The speculation has been that Dwight Howard will opt-out of his contract next summer and walk on the Orlando Magic, sending the South Florida franchise back to the stone age.

Some expect Howard to join the Los Angeles Lakers, even though the purple-and-gold has post Andrew Bynum. Others expect Howard to partner with a top table-setter like the New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams.

Either way, Howard was thought to be gone. And Magic GM Otis Smith was getting ready to reserve his seat at the NBA’s annual draft lottery in the spring of 2013.

Until now.

Apparently, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will help teams retain their own stars by increasing the amount they can pay, and essentially outbid opponents for, their own free agents

Other clauses will make it difficult for stars to join forces. Salaries will be reduced; there could be a hard cap without a luxury tax or exemptions; there may even be revenue sharing. (Call it ‘The Miami Clause’.)

Expect the post lockout NBA to resemble the NFL. There will be greater parity. There will be greater balance. There will be less have-not franchises.

All of which should help Orlando keep Howard. This, it seems, is the best they can hope for. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Sunday , Aug , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum to ‘deliver’ Lakers Howard, Paul, or Williams?

Is Andrew Bynum the league's most intriguing and powerful trade chip? He's considered a top-10 center in a class led by Dwight Howard, but there's currently no more pivotal pivot than Bynum. He might be able to deliver 2012 prospective free agents Howard or Chris Paul or Deron Williams to L.A., compensation to those stars' respective teams and revive Kobe's title plans. Bynum's so valuable to the Lakers that his real value is in leaving them.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant aside, Andrew Bynum’s position is as safe and secure as any member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In short, a trade is unlikely. 

The Lakers fell back in love with the seven-footer after his impressive play during the second half of last season. Healthy and fit, Bynum was dominant on both ends and helped resuscitate the purple-and-gold.

This isn’t why he’s safe and secure, though.

Owners’s son and Chief Executive Meddler (CEM) Jim Buss views Bynum’s success as validation. Jim Buss has attached what little reputation he has as a hoops-man to his center.

The CEM claims to have drafted Bynum and urged GM Mitch Kupchak to stick with him when his play, health, and/or fitness faltered.

As Bynum’s stock rises, so does Jim Buss’. That’s the way the twisted CEM sees it. It explains why new coach Mike Brown, hired by the CEM, promptly promoted Bynum to co-superstar with Bryant.

Bynum is a symbol of the new power in Laker-nation. Jim Buss will be hesitant to trade him -even if it could fetch Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Does it matter if Kobe signs with Besiktas?

As confirmed exclusively to Sportando, the first meeting between Rob Pelinka, agent of Kobe Bryant and Besiktas was an acquainting one. Both sides presented their view's of the situation. Besiktas also made a first official proposal to Kobe Bryan but the offer, at the moment, is not at the level that Kobe and his agents will accept. In the next days, by the end of the week, there should be a second meeting where Besiktas will raise the proposal for the Lakers' star trying to convince him to land in Turkey and play along with Deron Williams. Kobe did not attend the meeting.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Kobe Bryant and Besiktas are getting what they want and need from these not-so subtle negotiations.

Bryant’s name stays front and center. The headlines help his brand, and allow him to charge mid-six figures for a night’s work abroad.

It also puts some pressure on the owners with respect to negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Buss clan, who own the big market Los Angeles Lakers, can’t be happy their veteran superstar is contemplating playing abroad in a second rate league with poor facilities and medical professionals.

Speaking of Besiktas, they couldn’t buy this publicity. The Turkish club is linked to arguably the game’s greatest player and a once-in-a-generation talent.

The mere chance Bryant would consider crossing the Atlantic and toiling for Besiktas helps soften the match-fixing scandal that plagued their soccer operations.

Bryant, like the signing of superstar point guard Deron Williams, gives an impression of legitimacy.

At this point, does it matter if Bryant and Besiktas' flirting becomes official with a formal contract?

--Oly Sandor.

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


 
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Tuesday , Jul , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard would ‘Never’ join LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, and Heat

Seems that a guy like Dwight Howard, nearly 7-feet tall and answering to "Superman," would be a perfect fit at Comic-Con, where he talked about both his budding career as a voice over actor and his basketball future. What about the Lakers? "That's everybody's question," he told the "Kick" audience. "I am wearing purple ... but that's Rock's outfit." The Heat? "Never."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be like the Greasers combining forces with the Socs', or the Capulets breaking bread with the Montagues, or Paris Hilton ‘re-friending’ Kim Kardashian.

Or, like a want-to-be-superhero telling the Comic-Con masses he’d never join the villains, the bad guys, the capped-out Miami Heat.

Give Howard credit. He can charm a crowd -even if that crowd spends weekends playing D&D, Call of Duty, and comparing the old Star Wars trilogy to the new Star Wars trilogy.

However, this is bigger than Comic-Con. Howard’s current team, the Orlando Magic, hate the cross-state Heat. They hate Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, known as the 'Three Kings'. And they hate arrogant Heat exec' Pat Riley.

There's little Howard can do. The NBA is locked-out. His Magic will lack the pieces, unless Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu rediscover their past form, to topple the Eastern Conference champion Heat.

Howard will opt-out of his contract next July and likely join another superstar. Perhaps something happens with the Lakers -if Jerry Buss falls out of love with Andrew Bynum. Perhaps he links up with Deron Williams and the Nets.

One thing is certain: Howard would 'never' join Miami.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: does Besiktas care if Kobe signs?

Turkish club Besiktas is in talks with Kobe Bryant's representatives about the possibility of the Los Angeles Lakers' star playing in Turkey during the NBA lockout. "It is a fact that Kobe Bryant's managers have contacted us," coach Ergin Ataman said Thursday, a week after Besiktas signed New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talk is cheap –except if your union needs leverage for the lockout or you’re a second-rate European squad looking to improve your image.
 
Then, talk is good –real good.
 
Sure, Turkish club Besiktas and superstar Kobe Bryant are talking about a contract for 2011-12 in case the NBA lockout isn`t resolved.
 
Why would Bryant, the game’s greatest star, uproot his family, risk his career, and put up with second-class treatment from a second-rate pro’ team?
 
Besiktas has more issues than a celeb` on Dr. Phil’s Celebrity Rehab. Their soccer squad is in a match-fixing scandal; reports indicate their finances are frozen; a corporate sponsor had to guarantee Deron Williams $5 million pact.
 
Well, Bryant is doing his union brothers a solid by playing overseas and showing the owners the players have options. If something comes of his flirting with Besiktas, so be it. If not, he keeps touring Asia while negotiations on the new CBA continue.

For Besiktas, this is about headlines. They already shocked the basketball world with the signing of Williams, arguably the best point guard in the NBA.
 
Now those same pundits are wondering if ‘The King’ (sorry LeBron) will really cross the Atlantic and ply his trade on the crossroads of Europe and Asia for the princely sum of $1,000 000 per month.

Besiktas can’t buy this publicity. Blogs, print writers, radio hosts, and TV analysts are linking them to Bryant. They`re the buzz of basketball.
 
So Besiktas doesn`t care if Bryant signs. They`ve already won.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Jul , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard upset Magic didn’t consult him on Arenas trade?

Howard found out when the rest of us did: once the trades were completed. Turns out, Howard had a problem with that.

“I wanted to be more part of the process a little more,” Howard said in a radio interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta. “I had to step out on the court and I wanted to make sure that the people I played with wanted to go out and play hard every night. My only issue was the fact that I didn’t really have a chance to be involved, but I think with the guys that we brought in we still have an excellent chance of winning, but we all have to be on the same page.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: How much input should a top employee get from management? Well, some –if you're an NBA superstar.
 
Dwight Howard, the All-World center for Orlando, is frustrated Magic GM Otis Smith didn't consult him before swapping Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades.

Perhaps Howard has a point. Perhaps he should have received a heads-up from Smith. After his comments, he and the team are both at fault.

Smith knows better. He knows the culture of the NBA. And he knows he must appease his superstar and make the required phone call to Howard before changing the make-up of the team.

Howard knows better, too. Phone call or not, he gains nothing by commenting publicly on a situation that is done. It sounds like he isn't pleased with his new teammates. And it sounds like he wants a say in personnel matters.

Of course, looming over Orlando like an ominous rain cloud is Howard's free agency. Next July he can opt-out of his contract, hit free agency, and sign where he likes.
 
Smith's failure to provide a supporting cast may well lead to Howard leaving Disney World and partnering with a superstar in a major market. Like Deron Williams and the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets.
 
No doubt about it, this complicates everything.

It will take years for the Magic to recover if Howard leaves. Their shiny stadium will no longer be full and, similair to when Shaquille O`Neal left for the Lakers, the Magic will become a have-not franchise.

So the supporting cast is a touchy subject.  And Howard's comments won't help.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in comment box below. 
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Saturday , Jul , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams walks-the-walk, officially signs with Turkish club

Williams tweeted the signature on his one-year contract with Besiktas late Friday night from his verified Twitter account. "Just made it official, headed to Turkey ...signed with Besiktas & @BJK_Basketbol," he wrote.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Deron Williams talks-the-talk and walks-the-walk.

Two weeks ago, Williams announced he was 'taking his talent' to Turkey because of the NBA lockout. Today, Williams made it official, signing a one-year, $5 million contract with Besiktas, which includes an escape clause if the lockout is resolved.

There’s no being ‘open to’ or considering. Williams, a man of his word, is gone. But keeping his word is risky.

Suppose Williams gets injured in Turkey. The New Jersey Nets, Williams’ NBA team, could void the remaining two-years and $34 million on his contract.

Williams has to consider the long-term. Next July, he can opt-out of his contract, hit the free agent market, and sign a multi-year deal for the maximum amount available.

Of course, an injury would change everything. Teams would think twice about tendering Williams an offer, especially since the new salary cap will be less forgiving of 'bad contracts'.

Williams deserves credit for taking the initiative to play basketball. Right now, few NBA superstars can say that.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jul , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard to China, not Europe?

Marca: If you play overseas, I have the hunch that you would choose China rather than Europe?

Dwight Howard: Yes, I think China has more options.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Forget his goofy grins, whacky imitations, and bad jokes. Dwight Howard is smart –smarter than most of his NBA brethren.

Instead of taking his talent to Europe during the NBA lockout, Howard has his eyes on the prize: China. Playing in the land of Yao, Howard would get a handsome salary and opportunity to promote his brand. 

There’s no guarantee Howard, or any NBA star, receives a cent in Europe. Owners in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain are known for not honouring player contracts -and this was before the financial crisis.

Bottom line: there’s no money for NBA stars in Europe. Plying their trade on the other side of the Atlantic isn’t so simple.

First, the money is scarce –even in Turkey. A sponsor, not the team, is paying Deron Williams’ $5 million salary, private driver, personal chef, and business assistant. This deal will not be available for other American superstars.

Second, the overseas game is different. In Europe, the coach and system matters more than players, while the NBA is, and always has been, a players’ league. As crazy as it sounds, an NBA superstar, like Howard, wouldn’t automatically dominate with a European club.

Third, Europe wouldn’t be a vacation. Training camp involves mountain running, weights, and multiple practices each day. Few, if any, NBA superstars would tolerate such rigours, especially if they’re returning once the lockout is settled.

Finally, European clubs won’t want American superstars. Suppose a club signs Howard. Suppose Howard plays for three months, only to return to the NBA in January when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed.

That club has used a roster spot on Howard. Signing a replacement for Howard would be complicated. And they’d have to mesh his replacement into their system-based approach.

China doesn’t have Europe’s complications: the world’s strongest economy is plush with money, so first-class salaries and perks are available; elites would be given a forum to shine on-and-off court in Shanghai or Beijing; China wouldn’t put its ‘guests’ through torturous training and there’d be an open-door policy.

Don’t let Howard’s outgoing nature fool you. He's wisely leaning towards China during the lockout. Others can learn from him.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

The players are leaving.
Thursday , Jul , 14 , 2011 J.N.

The players are leaving.

It’s not a mass exodus although notable players are taking off to become international ballers. As this is happening, some fans were saying that the NBA is in better shape than the NFL. Uh how so? Are you oblivious? The NFL is about to reach an agreement to end the lockout. Where is the NBA? I’m not even sure if they are even negotiating right now. The players and owners are too far apart. There are some owners against owners. As a result, the players are leaving. 

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Sunday , Jul , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deron Williams on Kobe Bryant: ‘He’s The Man’ in China

"I see him going to China or somewhere," said Williams, who teamed with Bryant to help the U.S. win the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "He's big in China. I was over there with him in Beijing. He's 'The Man' over there."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Deron Williams is right. It's China. Not Italy, Spain, Greece, or Turkey.

For personal and professional reasons, Kobe Bryant will head to China –if he plays basketball during the NBA lockout.

The lockout is an opportunity for basketball's greatest star and the world's greatest economy to further their love-money relationship. Bryant considers China his second home, while China considers Bryant one of their own, so they buy everything his name is on.

Bryant doesn't have these opportunities in Europe. Sure, he's a superstar but Greece, Italy, and Spain are on the verge of bankruptcy, so club owners and fans can't throw Euros at him.

Bryant expects five-star hotels, luxury cars, and private planes. The Chinese will give Bryant the first-class treatment he is used to. European owners, during strong economic times, are known for skimping on accommodation, buses, and flights.

What will European owners do when the European Union and World Bank are scheming on bailouts?

Bottom line: Bryant will pick China over Europe. In fact, it seems he already has.

--Oly Sandor.

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