Magic Johnson is candid in his remarks encouraging Dwight Howard to leave LA for Houston.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Everyone always talks about how great Howard is, but he manages to make every team he's on lose.
Even though the Lakers ended up making the playoffs (they secured the final 8th seed in the West only to get swept by San Antonio) they were pretty much a mess all season.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: The Houston Rockets seem to think Dwight Howard is going to leave LA and head to Texas.
Currently, the Lakers are in possession of the Western Conference's eighth seed by one game over the Utah Jazz.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: If the Lakers don't make it, they have at least five legitimate reasons why they failed.
Firing of Mike Brown, Hiring of Mike D'Antoni, Not Hiring Phil Jackson
After five games, the Lakers brass fired Mike Brown. But before he got fired, they forced him to employ the "Princeton Offense," an offense that never got properly instituted because of injuries to nearly every key player in the preseason. Brown was out, but who would replace him? For several days, Phil Jackson was going to be re-hired, it looked like a foregone conclusion. But under the cover of night, late on a Sunday evening, the Lakers announced they would hire D'Antoni instead. As the season has now almost completely played itself out, they couldn't have been any worse if they would've just retained Bernie Bickerstaff for the entire season, who won four of his five games as head coach.
Every significant player on the team was injured at some point this season. Steve Nash, Kobe, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol- and those are just the starters. The bench was equally ravaged. Robert Sacre, Devin Ebanks, Jordan Hill, Steve Blake; and that's the short list. No wonder they haven't had any chemistry all year.
Lack Of Pau Gasol
Gasol's head wasn't right all season. And yours wouldn't have been either if your name was Pau Gasol. No one has taken more of a beating for being "soft". But if he was soft, Gasol wouldn't have two rings and a slew of all-star appearances. So what does he get for his trouble? He gets benched for Earl Clark by D'Antoni, who was trying to assert his power to "motivate" Gasol. That was a "bass-akward" thing to do. To make it worse, D'Antoni did it when the Lakers rotation was being held together with duct tape. If he was healthy, the Lakers should've squeezed every last second out of him.
Where Was "Ron Ron" All Year?
I get that "Ron Ron" has decided to completely give up on scoring. I get that he fancies himself a lockdown one on one defender. But for a guy who has scored over 20+ ppg in his career, for him to not be more involved offensively (and I don't mean hoisting up three's from the corner, which has become his signature offensive move), I mean getting involved and productive when the team needed him. He didn't, so Kobe had to carry the squad, and still is, like always.
Dwight Howard Saga
I don't care what Howard's numbers are, or if Andrew Bynum missed the entire season- Howard killed the Lakers with his endless, me first drama. It started before he got traded to LA, then continued once he arrived because of "injuries" and a bunch of other excuses. Dwight Howard is a drama queen and softer than Pau Gasol- FACT.
Top 5 Most Overrated NBA Players of the 2012-2013 season.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: These guys are earning way too much money and it's just that simple.
This is the list of the overpayed and the underachievers. Some of these players are very good players, but that doesn't mean for a second they aren't getting way over paid for their production levels. This is the 2012-2013 top 5 most overrated players based on their performance and earnings this season.
#5 Danilo Gallinari: Gallinari almost didn't make the list playing for the over achieving Denver Nuggets who currently sit at 54-24 in the Western Conference. They've played above expectations all season. Yet, Gallinari is still taking home $9.4 million for producing 16.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG. Again, these numbers don't seem completely outrageous, but keep in mind Gallinari is a cherry picker. He's not creating a most of his offense. He's having it handed to him from drive penetration and kick-outs. He is essentially a very well paid jump shooter.
#4 Metta World Peace: MWP isn't a bad player, but his production this season is marginal with only 12.5 PPG and 5.0 RPG for the 42-37 Lakers. Plus, he's taking home $7.3 million for those numbers. I know he's supposed to be a defensive threat, but clearly that's no longer the case as the Lakers have one of the worst defenses in the league. MWP needs to save up his money because after this contract his take home dollars are going to drop to the floor.
#Jeremy Lin: Lin wisely cashed in on "Linsanity" last season to the tune of $8.3 million. Houston was hoping he would regain his insane form with the Knicks. He's had decent numbers with 13.2 PPG and 6.1 APG, but these certainly aren't 8 million dollar numbers. Harden's doing all the real heavy lifting in Houston.
#2 Pau Gasol: Gasol is in the black hole that is the Lakers. His numbers are a paltry 13.5 PPG and 8.1 RPG which is impossible to justify at $19 million for the season. Gasol is so grossly over-compensated for his pay that it makes him impossible to trade. No one wants to absorb his price tag. This is the very definition of overrated.
#1 Dwight Howard: This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, including Dwight Howard. He came into LA as the savior. He was on the cover of every major basketball and sporting magazine talking about how many rings he was going to win and now he's looking like the worst NBA cancer since, well, he was in Orlando. Howard will make $19.5 million this season for producing 16.8 PPG, 12.4 RPG, and 2.4 BPG. Oh, did I forget to mention, the Lakers are only 42-37 and might not even make the playoffs. That's a lot of money to pay someone to self-destruct an organization that used to be known for greatness.
Cavs star Kyrie Irving will be sidelined for a month; while Pau Gasol's return could be right around the corner.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: The Lakers are in good position to make a playoff run; the Cavs probably wouldn't have made the postseason with Irving; they are definitely out now.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Phil Jackson opened up about everything from the game of basketball, his favorite tv shows, his future, and the current state of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: When the Zenmaster speaks, people listen.
Jackson has been relatively quiet with the media since Jim Buss and the organization made the decision to pass on him and hire Mike D'Antoni as their new head coach. But he had a lot to say to SI's Jack McCallum earlier this week, including; addressing what the Lakers have been doing wrong with superstar big man Dwight Howard.
"They don't put the ball in the post," Jackson said. "They'll use a screen-roll to get the guy in the post. But there's no consistent plan to do it. Yes, Kobe will go in there. But Dwight just doesn't get any touches. They've basically eliminated his assets."
But as much as Jackson admitted that the Lakers have been under-utilizing Howard, he also mentioned that Dwight hasn't fully recovered from his back injury and needs to improve in certain areas on his own.
"He is not where he needs to be physically because of the back surgery," the Zenmaster said of Howard. "He needs a year to recover from something like that ... He's a terrific athlete ... but his problem right now is turnovers. He's got to have a little better recognition, and that will help him gain the confidence of his teammates and coach, which he does not have now."
I'm sure Mike D'Antoni shook his head a little bit reading those words.
Jackson, who has 11 championship rings as a coach and two as a player, wasn't just critical of the purple and gold in the interview. When asked whether the Lakers have been improving, Jackson sounded hopeful saying, "Yes, I think they are finding a way to play. And that's nice to see."
McCallum's interview with Jackson was very well done as he asked the Hall of Famer a lot of things many of us have been waiting to hear. Jackson told SI that he enjoys watching sports on TV, even rugby (which he watched last weekend), and that Homeland is something he watches with fiance Jeannie Buss, daughter of the late Lakers owner Jim Buss, who passed away on Monday. (Due to the fact that the interview was conducted before Buss' death, McCallum and Jackson didn't speak about the legendary owner.)
As far as returning to the game of basketball, which is a question on many of our minds, Jackson said "I'm not coaching" but did say that he was open to a different role, such as Vice President of basketball operations.
When McCallum commented that Vice President "doesn't sound like a boss" Phil replied, ... "No, that guy would be the boss."
But what did Jackson say he misses the most about coaching? It's what he calls, in true Zenmaster form, the "spiritual quest."
"Forming a brotherhood and trying to move it forward. That's the part I miss."
The basketball community changed forever Monday with the passing of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Perhaps the greatest NBA owner in history left a lasting legacy behind.
Here are ten interesting facts about a man who was amongst the best the business has ever seen.
1.) Buss bought the Lakers, along the Los Angeles Kings Hockey team, The Forum, and a large ranch in Kern County, from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979 for $67.5 million. The team itself is now worth $1 billion.
2.) The Laker Girls was his idea.
3.) He has six children, who all have roles within the Lakers organization. Their names are Jim, Jeannie, Johnny, Joey, Jesse and Janie. Jim currently runs basketball operations and daughter, Jeannie, runs business operations.
4.) His daughter, Jeannie, is currently engaged to Hall of Fame coach and former player, Phil Jackson. And apparently, Jim Buss hasn't spoken to Jeannie since their engagement.
5.) Buss was an avid poker player, appearing on the shows High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark. He placed third in the 1991 World Series of Poker seven-card stud event.
6.) Buss is incredibly smart. In high school he was entrusted to teach his chemistry class senior year. He got his Bachelors degree from the University of Wyoming in 2.5 years, reportedly borrowing his friends books at the beginning of the semester because he didn't have enough money to buy his own. He would read the books, and return them halfway through the semester, with enough knowledge to pass the final exams.
7.) He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Southern California and worked in aerospace and real estate before becoming Lakers owner.
8.) He was raised in poverty in Wyoming. He first came to LA when he was 9, but moved back to Wyoming after his mother remarried. There he worked as a ditch-digger, a bellhop and a shoe shiner.
9.) Under his ownership the Lakers won 10 Championships; and have seen the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard, to name a few.
10.) There are many other interesting facts about Jerry Buss but my all-time favorite is this: Buss told ESPN in 2010 that he texted each of his six children every month the following question: "Do you have any idea how proud of you I am?"
In the words of Kobe Bryant, "His impact is felt worldwide."
I couldn't agree more.
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In a league full of physical specimens, these are the best.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: You won't find Kris Humphries on this list, or Big Baby.
10. Amare Stoudemire
Shirtless pics of Stoudemire are the rule, not the exception. And why not, he's earned it. Now working his way back to regular minutes after injury, Stoudemire will be back to full strength soon, with more pool photo shoots to follow.
9. Carlos Boozer
Boozer is great at staying under the radar for the most part. But in a year where the Bulls have needed him to step up and solidify the front court, the veteran has done that.
8. Kobe Bryant
Kobe's inclusion on this list may elicit a few boos, but the way he has transformed his body during his career warrants some respect. From entering the league as a skinny 18 year old, Kobe has put on a little more muscle every year and you can tell it has paid off by the way his game has become more physical, and less about put jumping defenders, over that time.
7. Ray Allen
Ray Allen has been ripped for years but doesn't really get the credit as such because he is a perimeter player who makes a living draining threes- a specialty which isn't often seen as being based on strength or physicality. I don't know about you, but I would be shirtless all the time if I was Ray Allen. Especially at his advancing age.
6. Blake Griffin
Griffin's leaping ability and athleticism grab most of the attention and highlights, but he is as strong as any front court player in the league. He gets criticized for "only being able to dunk" but the fact that he puts himself in that position time and time again even though every one knows it's coming show how strong he is.
5. Serge Ibaka
Pound for pound, maybe the strongest player in the league. Ibaka is built like a comic book hero, straight up. Anybody with an 8-pack and leads the league in blocks qualifies for this list.
4. Andre Iguodala
Speaking of comic book hero type bodies, Iguodala definitely fits into that category. The balance and symmetry of his physique lends itself to his game; balanced in all aspects, equally productive across the board. In addition, he always seems incredibly smooth and relaxed, just like his build.
3. Metta World Peace
"Ron Ron" is a beast. Just when you think he's mellowed out and forgotten how much of an intimidating force he can be, he deftly punches Detroit's Brandon Knight in the clinch. At 6-7, a jacked 240 pounds and with the potential to go off at any moment, it makes him seem even more ripped in my mind. But him being mental shouldn't detract from how much a physical specimen Ron Ron is is.
2. Dwight Howard
Love him or hate him, D Howard has arguably the most impressive physique in a league full of players with impressive physiques. While toughness is something Howard definitely lacks (especially of the mental variety), the width of his shoulders cannot be questioned; has there ever been a wider NBA player? And I don't mean "wide" like Oliver Miller.
1. LeBron James
Even if you don't think he is the most jacked player in the league, you have to acknowledge that he uses the strength of his body on the court better than any player in the league, maybe even ever. How many times do you see Bron Bron take a player attempting to guard him straight up from the top of the key right to the rim, with ease? It isn't that easy, he just makes it look like it is because he is so strong.
Image Credit: Creative Commons
Lakers filed an official complaint with the league for excessive hard fouls on Dwight Howard.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Is this going to turn into quarterbacks in football where no one is allowed to touch star players? This is ridiculous.
It's just amazing how poorly this has worked out.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: The Lakers are a trainwreck that keeps having new accidents.
Trade Rumor: Brooklyn Nets are making a play to get Howard using T-Wolves and Kevin Love.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This rumor sounds ridiculous, but with the Lakers playing horrible and continuing to make haphazard moves who knows.
Magic Johnson just made it clear (on National TV) that if he was Lakers CEO Jim Buss, he would trade Dwight Howard.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: It's very obvious that Magic isn't the biggest fan of this Lakers team. And rightfully so.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki is getting fed up with his team because he's now publicly expressing his discontent with the organization.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Dirk has a point. The Mavericks' management has failed to make any good moves in the past few years.