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Wednesday , Dec , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers again chasing Chris Paul?

The Lakers are making another run at Chris Paul, who remains in limbo as the NBA league office has taken over negotiations on behalf of the Hornets.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol, it’s not over.

For months the Spanish post has been plagued by rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to trade him.

He had been linked to Kevin Love in Minnesota, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and twice nearly found a home in Houston as part of a three-team blockbuster for Chris Paul of New Orleans.

Of course, Commissioner Stern and the NBA, who own the Hornets, nixed both previous offers from the Lakers, citing the ever-mysterious ‘basketball reasons’.

Now the Lakers are apparently taking a third run at Paul, and Gasol is again the centerpiece of the purple-and-gold’s offer.

So the rumors will continue. And Gasol could still end up out of town.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Dec , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic will make Howard wait for trade?

When Dwight Howard asked to be traded, the Magic informed him that the team will not let his request dictate their timetable for a decision.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard will have to wait for his ticket out of Orlando.

Magic executives reportedly told their franchise-face, who formally asked for a trade, that they won't rush to satisfy his request for a change of scenery.

There are two sides to this approach. On the one hand, the Magic's future is at stake, so they must take their time and get what they can from potential suitors.

On the other hand, waiting means dealing with with 24/7 internet rumors and constant questioning from media. Such distractions could railroad their season.

There’s both good and bad to making Howard wait for what seems inevitable.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lakers to chase Dwight Howard, not Chris Paul

The Lakers have pulled out of Chris Paul trade talks and will trade Lamar Odom to the Mavericks for a traded player exception that was acquired for Tyson Chandler.Dallas will send unspecified draft considerations to the Lakers. "The Lakers are shifting toward trying to make a Dwight Howard deal."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We have closure on this saga. For now.

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially pulled out of the Chris Paul sweepstakes, and will instead focus on acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.

Perhaps the cost was too high. Perhaps dealing with NBA head office, who own the New Orleans Hornets, was too complicated. Or, perhaps they just prefer Howard.

Bottom line: the purple-and-gold have declared their intention to pursue Howard. And they usually get they want.

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

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Sunday , Dec , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard has asked Magic for trade

Magic GM Otis Smith told the media on Saturday that Dwight Howard has asked to be traded on two separate occasions this week.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: A trade is coming. And sooner rather than later, too.

Reports are surfacing that Dwight Howard twice formally asked the Orlando Magic for a trade this past week.

Now the Magic can talk all they like about re-upping with their franchise face and All-Star post, however, Howard has decided he wants out.

There’s still a remote chance Howard inks a long-term extension to stay, but the Magic would have to put together a strong, strong season.

And a winning season would be difficult - if not impossible - with Howard’s pending free agency hanging over the club like an ominous rain cloud.

Day-in, day-out the media would hound Howard, club officials, and teammates with pestering questions.

It would be wiser to give Howard the trade he seems to so desperately want.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando let Dwight Howard talk to three teams?

The marriage between the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard, for all intents and purposes, is now basically over. Just a matter of where the big man ends up. Reports SI: “Dwight Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, tells SI that the Magic gave Howard permission to have contact with several teams to explore his options. Fegan says report that Dwight could have been traded today was ‘inaccurate.’ Fegan says the Orlando gave Howard permission to talk to three teams. New Jersey was one of them.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the latest evidence that Dwight Howard is done with the Orlando Magic.

After all, the Magic 'reportedly' allowed Howard, their franchise face and perennial All-Star, to talk to three teams about a trade and extension.

Remember, Howard can and will opt-out of the final year of his contract next summer, meaning he can leave the Magic as a free agent.

And he won’t sign an extension with the Magic, so the club is letting Howard explore his options to help facilitate a trade.  

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

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Wednesday , Dec , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers want Dwight Howard and Chris Paul?

Hoping to pull off a pair of blockbuster moves that would rock the NBA, the Lakers are willing to trade anyone on their roster outside of Kobe Bryant to bring Howard and Paul to Los Angeles, two sources said.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: These are the Los Angeles Lakers. They go big. Or they don’t go.

It’s no surprise the storied purple-and-gold want to land both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. These are the Lakers; their arrogance and deep pockets make anything possible.

Remember, fifteen years ago they cleared a mountain of cap space and signed Shaquille O’Neal, while also swapping veteran center Vlade Divac for some kid called Kobe Bryant.

A few years ago they stole Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies and ended up with two consecutive Larry O’Brien trophies.

Of course, this scenario wasn’t supposed to happen anymore.

The lockout was supposedly about, in part, preventing major markets from landing all the league’s premier talent. The owners caved, failing to get franchise tags or a hard cap in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

So the Lakers will continue to chase the best talent. After all, there’s no system stopping them.

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

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Saturday , Dec , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum ‘indifferent’ about possible Howard deal?

The source classified Bynum as “indifferent” to all the trade talk and willing to play wherever. This is the third time he’s been rumored to be the centerpiece of a package for an All-Star, previously being involved in discussions for Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Andrew Bynum has been through this before.

Remember the Los Angeles Lakers nearly dealt a teenage Bynum to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd. The speculation was ramped, with Laker great Kobe Bryant commenting on the trade rumors in a bizarre cell-phone video.

There had also been chatter of Bynum being dangled as bait for Kevin Garnett when The Big Ticket was looking to escape the Minnesota Timberwolves.

So it’s no surprise that Bynum isn’t bothered by the chatter of being sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for All-Star Dwight Howard.

In Orlando, he’d be the undisputed first option. There’d be no more playing in the shadow of Kobe Bryant.

However, there’s a strong chance the Lakers keep Bynum. He was, after all, the choice of Jim Buss, the new lead executive of the purple-and-gold and, most importantly, the owner’s son.

The younger Buss uses Bynum’s success to justify his position in the front office. Don’t think this doesn’t matter in the political world of the purple-and-gold.

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

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Wednesday , Nov , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Clippers want Dwight Howard?

But while the Clippers like Paul, sources say they like Dwight Howard even more. The Clippers have made it clear to executives throughout the league that they will do whatever it takes -- outside of trading Griffin -- to get Howard, who will become a free agent at the same time as Paul, either this season or next summer.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They can chase him but he will not sign.

Dwight Howard will not opt-out of his contract with the Orlando Magic to sign as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers in July, 2012.

Yes, the Clippers have Blake Griffin, the next face of the NBA. They also have Donald Sterling, the worst owner in the NBA and perhaps pro sports.

Why would Howard, who presumably wants to win an NBA championship, willingly sign with an owner who has gone to court for racist policies, been accused of sexual harassment, and has no issue watching his players shower while on a date?

Talk about creepy.

Then there’s his alligator arms. For years, Sterling was content to lose with cheap talent and make money off luxury tax payments from league head office.

Sometimes he doesn’t honour contracts -even when he’s fired an employee. Isn’t that right Mike Dunleavy?

Winning starts at the top. And if Howard wants to win he shouldn’t sign with the Clippers because they have a dysfunctional owner who won't spend money.

Of course, if Howard wants to leverage his brand then he may consider Los Angeles’ other team. 
And then he’ll just have to live with Sterling, warts and all.

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.


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.

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Saturday , Nov , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard, Pierce, Wade leading charge to decertify?

Ray Allen told the Globe last night that teammate Paul Pierce organized the call of dozens of players to discuss the possibility of breaking up the union if a deal is not reached soon. According to Allen, there were in fact two conference calls, the other on Thursday, in which Allen did not participate.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Are they prepared for the fallout?

Dwight Howard, Paul Pierce, and Dwyane Wade will be blamed if they lead 50 NBA players to decertify the union and take the owners to court in search of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Such a move would be messy. Such a move would be complicated. And such a move would have consequences like the league cancelling the entire 2011-12 season.

It wouldn’t matter that the owners negotiated in poor faith. It wouldn’t matter that the leader of  the players union have squabbled like children. It wouldn’t matter that the NBA’s well-to-do business model is out of touch with the current global economy.

The only thing that would matter is that there’s no basketball. After all, decertification means a cancelled season. And a cancelled season means angry fans.

Howard’s good guy days would end. For Pierce, a lifelong Celtic, everyday would be like playing the Lakers. And Wade better expect The ’Heattles’ treatment to continue. 

Hopefully, it doesn’t come to this. Hopefully, they find a solution.

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

Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Part Four
Friday , Sep , 23 , 2011 Paul Eide

Greatest Slam Dunk Champion Ever- Part Four

Read parts one, two and three of this series here. In ranking these champions, I want to completely exclude their overall skill as basketball players, and focus solely on their ability to dunk the basketball. Also, I think era in which they were dunking in is very significant, as is height. With those parameters laid out, let me throw the second five names at you, in no particular order. Of these five, I will rank them by reader comments via Hoopsvibe.com, Facebook and private emails.

Read More
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Thursday , Sep , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwight Howard busts a move with Mongolian children

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: And so Dwight Howard’s tour of randomness continues.

Today the Orlando Magic center is dancing with the children of Mongolia, and, after his planking session with fans, I have no idea what he’ll be doing next.

Click the video, watch Howard, and get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Sep , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwight Howard ‘posterizes’ a giraffe?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Hopefully, an animal rights group doesn’t see the video of Dwight Howard dunking on a giraffe hoop.

You can see it, though. Click the video below and watch the Orlando Magic center entertain the masses in Tokyo -even if some will claim cruelty to animals. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

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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.”


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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Monday , Aug , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andrew Bynum on Dwight Howard trade rumors: ‘I like L.A.’

Q: How have you endured speculation you'll be traded, or replaced next year by free agent Dwight Howard?

A: It's good to know everybody wants me; that means I'll be in this game for some time. I like L.A., and don't want to go anywhere else. It'd be good to stay in one place your whole career, and the Lakers are the most storied franchise in the league, everyone knows who the Lakers are, and I appreciate the Lakers' love.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, he likes Los Angeles and wants to stay.

Andrew Bynum finally responded to rumours he’ll be traded to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard by stating he wants to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Why wouldn’t he want to stay?

The Lakers are the NBA’s ultimate have-franchise. Their market-size, wealthy owner, and desirable location means they’ll compete year-in, year-out.

Translation: in Los Angeles, Bynum contends, has a terrific supporting cast, gets invited to famous parties, and is linked to desirable singers.

(To be fair, Orlando is also a have-franchise. Like the NBA’s 29 other franchises, it can’t compete with the lure, hype, and glamour of Los Angeles.)

Bynum knows this. He’s also knows the reason he’ll likely stay in Los Angeles long-term is because of the internal politics of Laker-nation.

Bynum is Jim Buss’ guy. Jim Buss, the owner’s son and head of the Lakers, claims to have drafted and groomed Bynum.

And Jim Buss’ has hedged what little reputation he has as a basketball executive to Bynum’s success on-court. So Bynum will be given every opportunity with the Lakers.

For instance, Jim Buss forced coach Phil Jackson to leave, despite the Zen’s stellar record, and hired the defensive-minded Mike Brown.

Brown immediately promoted Bynum to co-superstar status, putting him - right or wrong, fair or not - on equal footing with Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant.

Bottom line: Bynum’s protected with the Lakers. How can the Magic possibly compete?

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Jason Terry Calls LeBron a Loser

The chorus is "win, win win, win win," but at the 40 second mark Terry starts singing "lose, lose lose," and then says to the camera, "I feel like LeBron right now."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not just media. It’s not just fans. Players are piling on, too.

During the last year, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has been criticized, and even mocked, by anyone and everyone associated with professional basketball.

Yesterday Dwight Howard teased James about his vanishing hairline. Today Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry insulted James in a revised, Jet-version of a soon-to-be released rap song.

Of course, Terry‘s Mavericks beat James’ Heat in the NBA Finals, so he holds bragging rights. The league’s top sixth-man called James a loser.

This, perhaps, is a touch harsh.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, we, along with James, can watch Terry's slight over-and-over again.

Watch the video of Terry getting at James and tell HoopsVibe News your thoughts in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwight Howard mocks LeBron … again

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What’s a shot about receding hairlines between friends?

Usually nothing.

Well, things are different when the guys taking and giving the shots are two of the NBA's biggest superstars. It becomes a must-see. This is the best description of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard mocking Miami Heat guard LeBron James for having ‘runways’ on his dome.

Howard, however, wasn't finished. Not by a long-shot, in fact.

He then dropped a decent impression of The King and again took a run at his pre-game ritual of tossing chalk in the air.

Watch the video below and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below with thoughts.


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Wednesday , Aug , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Greivis Vasquez: Marc Gasol will be better than Dwight Howard

Yes. Marc Gasol is a very key player on our team. He’s one of the best centers in the league and will end up being the best center in the NBA in 2-3 years.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s having a teammate’s back. Then there's stretching the truth for a teammate.

How do view Greivis Vasquez’s comment that fellow Memphis Grizzly Marc Gasol will soon be the NBA’s best center?

The younger Gasol has made strides. He’s already a top-ten center and, as the second half and playoff showed, there’s room for further growth.  

Could he honestly become the NBA’s best center?

Suppose Gasol reaches his potential. The Spaniard still wouldn't top the Olando Magic’s Dwight Howard, who is seen as ‘The Man in the Middle’.

Grizz’ executive Christopher Wallace (not that Christopher Wallace as my esteemed editor jokes) would take Howard over Gasol if given the choice.

Privately, behind closed doors, the Notorious GM (again, hat tip to my editor) would surely go with the rebounding champion.

Would Wallace take Gasol over Andrew Bynum, Al Horford, Nene, and Joakim Noah? How about the next group of fives with Andrew Bogut, Al Jefferson, Brook Lopez, and Emeka Okafor?

Howard and Bynum aside, Vasquez could argue Gasol is equal to or better than any of these players. There'd be a counter argument, though.

Vasquez is stretching the truth to suggest Gasol would ever be superior to Howard. At least his hyperbole is for a good cause: a teammate.

--Oly Sandor.

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


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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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."


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.