detroit-pistons
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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Iverson ‘would accept any role’ with Celtics?

With Rajon Rondo locked in as the Celtics point guard and Ray Allen as the shooting guard, Iverson’s role would likely be as a scorer off the bench. In Detroit and Memphis, he created issues because he demanded to start.  “I think that is so overplayed,’’ Moore said. “He said it on more than one occasion. And I’ve always known that. I think it was taken out of context. Allen would accept any role. Anything he can do to help a ball team is what he will be able to do.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s sad. Really, it is.

Allen Iverson should have done this years ago. Instead of swallowing his pride and ego and playing a role for a contender, Iverson had to be ‘The Guy’.

He had to have shots. He had to have touches. He had to be option one. And he ran himself right out the NBA because he acted like 2009 was 1999.

The Philadelphia 76ers traded him. Same with the Denver Nuggets. The Detroit Pistons let him quit. The Memphis Grizzlies released him. And the 76ers allowed him to disappear after re-signing him.

This whirlwind of mediocrity could have been avoided if Iverson did  what he’s doing now: re-invent himself as a second-unit game-changer.

Once upon a time, this would have worked. ‘The Greatest Little Man Ever’ coming off the bench for a contender and lighting up reserves.

The San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, and other contenders would have had interest. Best of all, the end of Iverson’s career would have been spent playing meaningful basketball in May and June.

But he wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t put the collective before himself. Fair or not, right or wrong, he validated some of the accusations of being a selfish player.

Now Iverson’s people are reduced to begging. And it may be too late to rekindle what may have been.

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

The Greatest NBA Team of All Time Criteria
Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 J.N.

The Greatest NBA Team of All Time Criteria

We went through the NBA MVP Criteria and the GOAT player criteria. Those were easy to do, but this is the toughest to sift through. What are the greatest teams ever assembled besides the 1992 Olympic Dream Team? Where do we start? I am pretty sure that this has been done before by other writers and analysts, but I will keep it simple without the discussion devolving in to “playing era” talk. Punching numbers in to a system to calculate outcomes between great teams do not work. And basketball videogames are not the answer either.

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Wednesday , Sep , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

J.J. Barea: ‘My first option is going to be Dallas’

Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, a first-time free agent whenever the NBA lockout is lifted, strongly believes he will be back to defend the franchise’s first championship. “If you want to go by percentages, I think 75 percent I’ll be back in Dallas and 25 percent something else happens,” Barea said, now back home in Puerto Rico after a bid to qualify for the 2012 Olympics fell painfully short with a semifinals loss to host country Argentina at the FIBA Americas Tournament. “… My first option is going to be Dallas.”

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HoopsVibe’s very Quick Call: The Microwave 2.0 is pretty confident he’ll re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks.

Recently, J.J. Barea, also known as the reincarnation of Detroit great Vinnie Johnson, told ESPN he’s 75% sure he’ll re-up with Mark Cuban and the world champion Mavericks when the lockout ends.

This is huge.

Barea is a versatile scorer, capable of coming-off-bench and changing the flow of the game or serving as a spot-starter and creating mismatches in the backcourt.

Either way, the Mavericks will need Barea if they are to repeat as champions.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Russell Westbrook: point guard is ‘my natural position’

Dan asked if he was going to introduce him before the game, what position would he say. “You’d say at point guard,” Westbrook said. “That’s my natural position.”

Dan asked why Westbrook thought he was criticized so much last season for not being a true point guard. ’I really don’t know. That comes along with playing in this league,” Westbrook said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The great Chuck Daly believed the turning point for the Detroit Pistons was when Isiah Thomas decided he'd sacrifice his individual numbers for the collective good of the team.

Thomas could have easily averaged 25-30 points per game, however, his lofty scoring average made it difficult for the Pistons to climb the Eastern Conference standings.

The Pistons only evolved from good to great to two-time champion once Thomas scaled back his individual numbers and engaged his much-improved supporting cast.

Now Russell Westbrook is not Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard. And his Oklahoma City Thunder are not the Detroit Pistons of the late eighties.

Like Thomas, Westbrook, a score-first point guard, must decide if he too will sacrifice. After all, he looked for his own offence at the expense of teammates during last year's playoff, which led to coach Scott Brooks pulling him in key situations.

That said, it’s a positive that Westbrook considers point guard his 'natural' position, and hopefully he has decided to set-the-table for teammates.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat interested in McGrady –but not T-Mac?

If the Heat cannot sign preferred choices Shane Battier, Grant Hill or Tayshaun Prince postlockout, Miami will consider Michael Redd and Tracy McGrady, among others.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Would the ‘Three Kings’ welcome a king turned pawn in Tracy McGrady to South Beach?  

Well, the Miami Heat may have interest in McGrady, but only if - and this is a massive if - he agrees to a supporting role next to Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

The former All-Star would have to accept that the ‘T-Mac’ era is done and become the player he was at the start of his career with the Toronto Raptors.

Up north he used athleticism, length, and quickness to complement Vince Carter, who was then the league’s fastest rising superstar.

Back then McGrady defended any and every situation. He locked opponents down; he helped teammates; and he pressed and trapped in the open court.

McGrady also stuffed the stat-sheet. He collected assists, rebounds, and steals; doing the all-important little things to help right the Raptors' fortunes.

Finally, McGrady can’t be ‘That Guy’. He can’t be the veteran malcontent that complained and bragged in Orlando and Houston, and was partly responsible for sabotaging Detroit’s 2010-11 season.

If he’s humble, if he’s hungry, and if he takes another contract for the minimum, then McGrady may land in Miami when the lockout ends.

The alternative is to keep clinging to the ‘T-Mac’ identity and finish his career playing meaningless basketball.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Would David Kahn and Larry Brown Fail in Minnesota?

After interviewing Rick Adelman and Don Nelson over the weekend, the Timberwolves intend to interview Larry Brown and possibly one or two others in this first phase to replace fired coach Kurt Rambis.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It makes some sense -more than hiring Don Nelson, at least.

Larry Brown is best when spreading his ‘Play The Right Way’ mantra amongst a young, impressionable group. After all, Brown considers himself a teacher of the game, and clearly he suffers for his students.

Well, the Minnesota Timberwolves are young and impressionable. They've won just 32 games since 2009, so Brown’s message would, at least initially, hold weight.

The on-court dynamic would be fine -for a while. The off-court end of things sounds dicey.

Yes, Wolves GM David Kahn has known Brown since their days at UCLA. In fact, Kahn considers Brown a mentor, who guided him as a young, impressionable reporter on the west coast.

This is a problem. Brown, to be effective on the sideline, needs a strong counterweight in the front office, who can laugh off his idiosyncrasies, worrying, and perfectionist nature.

There was the legendary Donnie Walsh in Indiana. There was the enthusiastic Pat Croce in Philadelphia. And there was Joe Dumars, who at the time still possessed his magical touch in Detroit.

This trio knew when to listen and when to ignore Brown. Not surprisingly, this formula worked in Indiana, Philadelphia, and Detroit.

Kahn is already a disaster. He would misread, misquote, and mishandle Brown, which, in turn, would have a negative impact on those young, impressionable, and talented players.

The nomad sideline boss isn’t right for the Wolves. But this is about Kahn's inadequacies, not Brown's.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Jul , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would Larry Brown burn the Celtics?

Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown has an interest in joining Doc Rivers’ Boston Celtics staff as an assistant coach, assuming Lawrence Frank accepts the Detroit Pistons' head coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Larry Brown has burned more bridges than a pyromaniac serving a five year bid at Sing, Sing prison in upstate New York.

Brown is the nomad coach. When the going gets tough, he gets going. Or when he thinks the grass is greener on the other side, he goes to the other side.

Just ask the Charlotte Bobcats and Los Angeles Clippers or the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks or the Philadelphia 76ers and those same Pistons.

Of course, this doesn't stop Brown from demanding his players 'Play The Right Way'. It doesn't matter that he's doing the opposite in front of them.

Despite the hypocrisy, Brown can teach youngsters. Unfortunately, the Boston Celtics are a veteran crew. Old heads like Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce won’t want to deal with the overbearing, impatient, and frustrating Brown.

Celtics head coach ‘Doc’ Rivers won’t be particularly enthused with Brown’s idiosyncrasies either -especially if he’s only using the defensive coordinator gig to showcase himself for a head coaching job.

Rivers and the Celtics should avoid Brown. He’ll burn them like he has so many other teams.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Iverson finally willing to come off-the-bench?

“I just want to do whatever an organization wants me to do,” Iverson said. “Everybody made a big thing about me not wanting to come off the bench, but I said that at that point because it never happened to me in my life and it was something new to me, and obviously I didn’t know how to handle it. But to be back on the biggest stage is my whole thing and I feel like I have a couple more years left in my career and I want to play. I sat through and watched the whole season and it was tough for me. Now I just try to do what I have to do to be physically and mentally able to get back on the stage.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's hard to take Allen Iverson at his word. It's hard to believe he'd play a role.

Iverson refused to come off the bench and play behind Rip Hamilton, a long-time cog for some strong Detroit Pistons teams. Motown quickly became a fiasco.

Iverson, despite missing training camp with leg ailments, threw a fit when Memphis Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins didn't start him. The club released him one week into the 2009-10 season.

Iverson had an up-and-down second-stint with the Philadelphia 76ers. His run in Turkey was cut short by injuries. In both stops, there were reports of personal issues that have not been resolved.

So there's little or no evidence to suggest Iverson could handle being a reserve, could handle fluctuating minutes, could handle getting a few shots per night. Then there's his baggage.

Of course, one of the NBA's greatest little men deserved better. Iverson refused to transition gracefully. He refused to sign with a contender, say San Antonio or Boston, and become a second unit game-changer.

Instead, it was all about Iverson –even when his career was fading. His stubbornness, that intangible that once made him great, will likely cost Iverson a chance to show us he has changed.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would ‘T-Mac’ fit with Celtics?

If he was willing to accept a bench role, the Celtics could find minutes to utilize his skill set and really allow him to thrive without the weight of having to be pre-2007 McGrady.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Would he accept a role?

Tracy McGrady heading to the Boston Celtics sounds good, however, there's the risk the former superstar won't accept less minutes, less shots, and less touches with Doc Rivers' squad.

After all, McGrady still, to some extent, believes he's 'T-Mac', the seven-time All-Star and two-time scoring champ. Last year McGrady, despite being past-his-prime, acted like a spoiled first-option and undermined Detroit Pistons coach John Kuester.  

Such behaviour would never fly in Boston. He'd have to check his ego. He'd have to sit and watch his peers –veteran stars like Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce – play. And he'd have to come off-the-bench.

In short, he'd have to become a professional. Nothing else would be tolerated by Rivers and GM Danny Ainge.

Of course, there is an alternative. McGrady can sign with another rebuilding squad and try parlaying the extra minutes and extra shots into a final, decent-money contract.

That would mean more meaningless basketball, though. In fourteen seasons, McGrady has never made the second round –ever. There was the choke-job with Orlando; there were tears in Houston.

Hopefully, McGrady has pride. Hopefully, he considers Boston. Hopefully, he becomes a professional –if he signs. It's not too late to salvage what he can.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Breakdown of 2011 NBA Draft, Picks 1-10

Finally, the NBA Draft is here. The gossip, speculation, and home videos of mysterious Euro prospects is no more.

Below is how things officially unfolded in real time, with live analysis at the HoopsVibe News headquarters. So get at us with thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comment box below.

1) Kyrie Irving to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PG, 6-2, 181, Duke Blue Devils, Fr.

Pros: Irving is a good athlete, who uses his quickness and feel for the game to attack the basket. He’s smart, tough, and had little issue leading more experienced teammates during the NCAA tournament.

Cons:
While Irving is a good athlete, he isn’t explosive or big. And he missed much of his freshmen year with a toe injury. So the New Jersey native is a risk.

Fit: He'll be fine as long as he doesn't follow Baron Davis' training routine or try to replace that LeBron guy.

2) Derrick Williams to Minnesota Timberwolves.

Details: PF, 6-9, 248, Arizona Wildcats, So.

Pros:
He’s a pick-your-poison scorer. In his second season, Williams improved his ability to attack the basket, while also being able to knock down jump shots. This combination of skill and athleticism should make Williams a difficult match-up for opposing defenses.    

Cons:
Some feel Williams is a ‘tweener’, stuck between the 3 and 4 spots. And they’re unsure if his athleticism can compensate for his 6-9 height,   

Fit: Is there room for Kevin Love, Mike Beasley, and Williams in the frontcourt?

3) Enis Kanter to Utah Jazz.

Details: C, 6-10, 260, Turkey, 19 years of age.

Pros: Strong, skilled, and tough is how most describe Kanter. His polished game and physical tools should make a pretty good NBA player.

Cons: Kanter is undersized and not especially explosive for a five-man. And can his knee hold up to the grind of an NBA season?

Fit: His strong IQ and blue-collar approach makes him perfect for the Jazz.

4) Tristan Thompson to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PF, 6-9, 225, University of Texas, Fr.

Pros: Thompson should have a nice NBA career because of his wingspan, improving body, and lefty skill-set. His energy and work on the glass is also a plus.

Cons: Despite shedding baby fat, Thompson is still a little undersized to handle NBA power forwards. 

Fit: The Canadian can play, but going fourth overall was a surprise. He'll need time to develop his offensive game for the Cavs.

5) Jonas Valanciunas to Toronto Raptors

Details: PF, 6-10, 230, Lithuania, 18 years old.

Pros: Valanciunas is an energetic player, who is active on the offensive glass and gets his share of put-back points. At 18, some believe he has the most upside of any player in the draft.

Cons: He’s extremely raw and could take several years before making an impact.

Fit: Of course, GM Bryan Colangelo had to take a Euro. But the young Lithuanian has a chance to be real good.

6) Jan Vesely to Washington Wizards.

Details: PF, 6-11, 240, Czech Republic, 21 years old.

Pros: He’s not your typical Euro. Long, athletic, and explosive, Vesely loves to get up the floor and throw down monster jams. His length and versatility makes him a force on both ends of the floor.

Cons: Vesely needs to extend his offensive range beyond put-backs and highlight reel jams.

Fit: Strap up Washington. This kid is a walking highlight reel.

7) Bismack Biyombo to Sacramento Kings (picking for Charlotte Bobcats).

Details: PF, 6-9, 243, Congo, 19 years old.

Pros: He’s an athlete. Biyombo has scouts drooling with his frame, wingspan, leaping ability, and quickness.

Cons: But he’s raw. Many of those same scouts are worried about his lack of skill and age.

Fit: Some say he couldn't score if locked in a gym by himself. He also needs to negotiate a buyout with his FIBA club. But he’s an incredible athlete.

8) Brandon Knight to Detroit Pistons.

Details: PG/SG, 6-3, 177, Kentucky University, So.

Pros: Knight was always a terrific scorer, but showed he could involve others towards the end of his season at Kentucky. His athleticism and outside range makes him a strong prospect. 

Cons: Some feel he’s more of a shooting guard than a natural point guard.

Fit: Hopefully, he survives a Piston team that was highly dysfunctional in 2011.

9) Kemba Walker to Charlotte Bobcats.

Details: PG, 6-1, 172, University of Connecticut, Jr.

Pros: Walker has the ‘quicks’ to get to the basket and can also punish sagging defenders with his much-improved jumper. This made him unstoppable during his terrific 2011 season at UCONN.  
 
Cons: Well, size. Walker plays like a shooting guard, but has the body of a point guard.

Fit: Walker will bring leadership and confidence to Michael Jordan's Bobcats.

10) Jimmer Fredette to Sacramento Kings.

Details: PG, 6-2, 190, Bringham Young Unviersity, Sr.

Pros: He's a magical shooter with a cult-like following at Bringham Young University. 

Cons: Can he defend NBA point guards? Is he a point guard? 

Fit: Fredette`s range will mesh nicely with Tyreke Evans and the offensive-minded Kings.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , Jun , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Allen Iverson wants back in NBA?

"Just give me a training camp," he said. "Maybe I've rubbed people the wrong way as far as saying the things I've said in my life and in my career. But if any team needs me to help try and win a championship in any capacity, I'm waiting."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Allen Iverson is like the boxer who hung on past his prime.

Currently, Iverson is out the NBA and plying his trade in Turkey before injury ended his overseas experiment prematurely. While Europe is good, the NBA is better. And Iverson is positioning himself to get a training camp invite.

Here’s the problem: Iverson, if healthy and focused, won’t play a role.

He won’t come off the bench. He won’t serve as a reserve. And he won’t defer. It’s not in his nature. Instead, he’ll demand minutes. He’ll demand touches. And he’ll demand to start.

Like with the Detroit Pistons. And like with the Memphis Grizzlies.

This is, after all, Iverson. The combo guard is stuck in a time warp, believing he still resembles the player who won the regular season MVP a decade ago. This perception clashes with the reality that Iverson is no longer The Answer.         

He deserved a better ending. One of the game’s greatest little men of all time should be celebrated, not hanging on too long. 

Iverson has nobody to blame but himself for his current fate, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , May , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Pistons relieve Kuester of coaching duties and misery

John Kuester will not be returning to the Pistons as head coach, according to sources. Kuester has posted a 57-107 mark in his two years in Detroit. Kuester seemed to have a personality clash with Richard Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: John Kuester didn’t deserve to keep his job as coach of the Detroit Pistons. He did, however, deserve to be treated better.

After all, the players crapped on their sideline boss, viewing him as a career assistant who didn’t deserve to sit in the big chair.

From day one Kuester didn’t have their respect. Veteran Rip Hamilton chewed him out in front of the team. Several players boycotted practice. And many of those same players were caught laughing on camera when he got ejected from a game.

Kuester was part of the problem. Clearly, there were others.

It starts with GM Joe Dumars, who has lost his touch. The roster he assembled is flawed, dysfunctional, and overmatched.

Fortunately, the Pistons have new owners. So Kuester won’t be the only change.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers trying to land Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams?

According to the report, the Cavs would send their $14.5 million trade exception to the Pistons for the eighth pick and veteran shooting guard Richard Hamilton. They then would trade the fourth and eighth picks to Minnesota for the second pick. If the reported trade is executed, the Cavs would possess the top two picks -- and use them to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Arizona forward Derrick Williams. The report also said the Cavs would buy out the remainder of Hamilton's $25 million contract.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Give the Cleveland Cavaliers credit.

Clearly, Dan Gilbert has instructed his front office to be active –despite the unknown status of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and financial environment.

Landing Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams would effectively turn the page on The Decision and the tenure of LeBron James. Two blue-chip pieces would give the Cavs hope.

Such a move would be complicated, though. As the news article states, the Detroit Pistons are changing owners, so trades are difficult.

Also, teams know the Cavs’ must use their $14.5 million trade exception before the old CBA expires on July 1st. Under the new CBA, trade exceptions may no longer be valid.

So potential trading partners will surely play hardball with the Cavs’. They have leverage and will hold out for more compensation because Gilbert’s staff are on a deadline to use the trade exception.

At least, the Cavs’ are active. Eventually, they’ll swing a deal. Then they can truly move forward.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Tracy McGrady: ‘Bron is a star. MJ Best ever’

Tracy McGrady: 'Bron is a star!. Huge potential. MJ best ever.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tracy McGrady knows about being a star with 'huge potential'.

Once upon a time, he was a terrific scorer for the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets; however, he failed to lead either team past the first round of the playoffs.

Now he’s past his prime. Injuries have taken its toll. And he’s a problem.

For instance, McGrady led a players’ revolt in Detroit last year. And the veteran laughed when Coach John Kuester was ejected. Thankfully, his career is winding down.

His call on James is accurate, though. Right now, he can’t touch Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time. One day they may be in the same breath.

McGrady has had a mixed career, but this was one thing he got right.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Apr , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Dennis Rodman to the Hall of Fame?

Former Detroit Pistons Dennis Rodman has been elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The official announcement will be made Monday at the Final Four in Houston.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dennis Rodman’s shenanigans and tomfoolery made it easy to forget his talent.

The Worm was the greatest rebounder and defender of his generation. There was no keeping him off the glass, and he could guard any position -one through five.

No doubt about it, he's worthy of the Hall of Fame. Just like he deserved to have his jersey retired by the Detroit Pistons.

Remember, Rodman was an All-Star, a regular member of the All-Defensive team, won numerous Defensive Player of the Year awards, and captured even more rebounding titles.

His greatest accomplishment was winning five NBA Titles, though. Two were with those great Piston teams; three came with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the historic Chicago Bulls.

Hopefully, this is the start of better times for Rodman. Since retiring, he’s degraded himself too often on Celebrity Apprentice and Dr. Drew’s Rehab.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Mar , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Tracy McGrady: ‘I see myself playing five more years’

“I see myself playing five more years,’’ McGrady said. That might not be easy for McGrady, a 14-year veteran who turns 32 in May. He has a lot of wear and tear on his body, something he said came from all those years of having to carry the Magic and Rockets.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Tracy McGrady could easily float his way through the NBA for another five years.

He could bounce from irrelevant destination to irrelevant destination, getting minutes as a reserve and spot starter.

Hopefully, he’s learned from his experience with the Detroit Pistons. Hopefully, he’s learned playing for a mediocre franchise isn’t much fun. And hopefully, McGrady will sign on for the minimum with a contender and agree to play a role.

McGrady will never again be T-Mac, the 30 points per game superstar of the past. But he can still use his length, passing ability, and athleticism to facilitate and defend for teammates.

In short, McGrady needs to hit up Classic ESPN and watch highlights of his time with the Toronto Raptors. Back then, he was a very good complementary player.

Of course, McGrady was willing to play a secondary role. And it remains to be seen if he’d do it again –even if it meant getting to play meaningful basketball for a contender.

--Oly Sandor

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Saturday , Mar , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jeff Van Gundy: ‘Tracy McGrady should be a Hall of Fame player’



“Tracy McGrady was 1,000 hours of practice,” Van Gundy said to laughter from the audience. “He should be a Hall of Fame player. His talent was other-worldly. He was given a great leg up in the race against other players. He’s as close as I’ve ever seen to someone with a perfect body and a good mind.”

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For Tracy McGrady, it was never about winning or about being the best he could for his team.

Not in Toronto. Not in Orlando. Not in Houston. Not in New York. And not in Detroit, either.

For McGrady, it has always been about one thing: getting his. Minutes, touches, and shots have always taken precedence over wins and losses.

Sadly, McGrady still could have salvaged something from his career this summer. He could have signed on as a reserve with a contender. He could have agreed to play a role; blocking shots, facilitating, and using his length on defense like he did with the Toronto Raptors. 

Instead, he’s part of the problem with the Detroit Pistons. No matter how much you hate your boss, there’s never an excuse for not appearing at practice like McGrady did last week.

Sadly, there was no punishment. After all, the Pistons are in flux; Coach John Kuester is a lame duck; Executive Joe Dumars is on shaky ground; and the roster has underachieved.

Change won’t occur until the team is sold, so McGrady got off scotch free for his no-show. Things could be different in a few months, though.

In July, McGrady becomes an unrestricted free agent. Teams will see his numbers:  9 points and 4 assists. Teams will remember his one-day boycott. And they`ll take a pass.

His career will be over with a whimper. Bottom line: the great McGrady will go down as a ‘should have’.

--Oly Sandor.


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Sunday , Feb , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Detroit fan to LeBron: ‘Is your mom going to Boston for Valentine’s Day?’

'Is your mom going to Boston for Valentine's Day?'” the heckler repeated, sounding both thrilled that he had an audience with LeBron and intimidated by the moment.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Those would be fighting words.

Yesterday, HoopsVibe News reported that Miami Heat superstar LeBron James warned a Detroit Pistons fan not to ‘be disrespectful’.

What the fan said to draw James’ ire was unknown. James, who has a fairly thick skin when on-court, was visibly shaken by by the incident.

Well, today we found out.

The fan referenced a rumor about James’ mother having an affair with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Delonte West, who now plays for the Boston Celtics.

This line isn’t new to James. It may or may not bother him. However, his kids where at The Palace in Auburn Hills and he didn’t want them hearing rumors about their grandmother and West. So he stepped up.

Fair enough.

(Audience discretion is advised.)

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Feb , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: watch Kevin Love get All-Star ‘love’

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love was caught off-guard.

Before last night’s game against the Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis invited the cameras into his locker room.

Rambis wanted to tell Love he was an All-Star. The NBA’s rebounding leader had been named as a replacement for injured center Yao Ming, who the fans voted in.

The personable Love was at a loss for words, which amused Bill Laimbeer, the former Detroit Pistons great who is currently an assistant coach with the Timberwolves.

Watch Love’s reaction and tell us if you think he should be an All-Star in the comment box below..


--Oly Sandor.  
 

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Sunday , Jan , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Iverson not returning to Turkey?

With a belief the injured Allen Iverson won't return this season, Besiktas of Turkey tried and failed to sign Sundiata Gaines, sources say.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is this his final answer?

Reports indicate Allen ‘The Answer’ Iverson won’t return to his Turkish club team this season because of a leg injury. Of course, next year has to be in doubt, too.

However, the real issue is whether Iverson retires or keeps trudging along, seeking a job overseas as a way to land one final audition with an NBA team.

The last few years have been tough on Iverson. There was his messy divorce with the Philadelphia 76ers; he and Carmelo Anthony never met expectations with the Denver Nuggets; Detroit and Memphis was a disaster; and his reunion with the 76ers was mixed.

Before getting injured, Iverson was having a mediocre season with a somewhat competitive Turkish squad.

Perhaps Iverson is at fault for the way his career is ending. But one of the greatest little men to ever play basketball deserves better than this.

--Oly Sandor.

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