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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

Is Yao Ming a Hall of Famer?
Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 J.N.

Is Yao Ming a Hall of Famer?

The Great Wall of Houston officially retired from the NBA. Most of us were waiting for the past three years now. Yao was obviously trying his hardest to get back, but the mind finally gave in. He finally accepted it after all this time. Houston moved on a long time ago, but we will never forget what Yao brought to the NBA (besides injuries) such as his skills and the gates opening up for China. 

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Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Memo to Dwight Howard: Win Something. Get Love and Respect.

“I really think we get no love at all, to be honest. But that’s ok. We want to be respected by the teams we play and that’s the only thing that matters. The media can pick whoever they want to win the title, but the team that wins the title is the team that plays. The media doesn’t play a game. I’m pretty sure nobody thought that the Dallas Mavericks were ever going to win the title this year. 

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's the latest sign, he's not ready.

Dwight Howard's complaints that the media don't show his Orlando Magic 'love' reveals much about his head space. He's still immature. He's still unfocused. He's still incapable of leading the Magic to a championship.

Howard shouldn't concern himself with the opinions of print guys, Net writers, radio shock-jocks, or TV crews. Such opinions are irrelevant and don't matter.

The opinions of teammates, coaches, and club executives are relevant and do matter. But Howard hasn't been overly concerned with the guys he goes to war with, speaking out about a lack of consultation on last year's in-season makeover.

However, Howard should know one thing about the media: we show 'love' to winners. Superstar who can't get out the first-round against a good but hardly Atlanta side receive little 'love' –and with good reason.

So Howard should win something. Then, if it still matters, the love, praise, and accolades will follow.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Jul , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

From Rupaul to The ‘Big 2′: Shaq vs. Bosh is very personal

“The Miami Heat, they’ve got a lot of great players, the `Big 2.’ They will be back,” O’Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. “LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he’s going to come back and have an MVP year this year.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: As a player, Shaquille O'Neal took personal shots at Chris Bosh –you remember the RuPaul scandal.

Today, Shaq put Bosh on notice that nothing will change now that he's a TNT analyst with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, and host Ernie Johnson.

While on-air as part of NBATV's preview of the 2011-12 schedule, 'The Big Broadcaster' referred to the Miami Heat as having the 'Big 2' of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Of course, the Heat is known for their Big 3 of Bosh, James, and Wade. So it's clear O'Neal was taking another run at the four-man.

Here's the question: why?

O'Neal needs to prove his worth to TNT. So he re-ignited an old beef with Bosh and generated publicity for the show and himself.

O'Neal has issues with other elite posts, too. The master-in-the-middle has battled Dwight Howard over more than the Superman emblem and has gone at Andrew Bynum since he was a teenager.

No doubt about it, Shaq planned today's attack on Bosh. And we, the media and fans, are giving him exactly what he wanted: headlines.

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. 
Can Derrick Rose repeat MVP?
Sunday , Jul , 17 , 2011 J.N.

Can Derrick Rose repeat MVP?

The big network has already raised the question and shot it down without much debate. Can Derrick Rose repeat as the league MVP in the new season after the lockout? Can the kid become the third point guard to do it? How? News flash – He earned the 2010-2011 MVP when everyone wrote him off. You guys are writing him off again? I get it. The 2011 playoffs were bad for him during the fourth quarter. He didn’t choke. Rose just did not shoot well.

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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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Thursday , Jul , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stephen Curry on Monta Ellis: ‘We Want Him With Our Team’

“I don’t know about the talks he had with the front office or where they ended before the lockout, but as of right now, he’s still a Warrior,” Curry said of Ellis. “We want him with our team. He makes us better. And I think with a fresh start and all the new faces with the organization that will help him forget about the past and not really affect what is going on right now.

“I know there has been a lot of turmoil with him and the organization in the past. I can’t speak for him, but I think the new look of our organization will help him make a difference.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would have been easy for Stephen Curry. Very easy.

Nearly two years ago, Monta Ellis ‘welcomed’ Curry to his first pro' training camp by telling reporters the two couldn’t form a backcourt for the Golden State Warriors.

Today, the Warriors have a new owner and coach. And today, they’re also shopping Ellis around the league.

Ellis has been linked to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic, Andre Iguodala and the Philadelphia 76ers, and Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers.

He recently grew tired of the rumors and requested a trade.

Now Curry could have extracted a little revenge and kicked Ellis when he’s down. Or, he could have offered a terse 'no comment' when asked about the situation

Instead, Curry had Ellis’ back. He explained how the Warriors’ core want him to return and are inviting him to training sessions during the lockout.

Such maturity is the difference between Curry and Ellis. And such maturity is the reason the Warriors prefer Curry over Ellis.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

What happened to my power forwards and centers?
Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 J.N.

What happened to my power forwards and centers?

The stretch 4 business is serious business. Basketball purists have been complaining about the lack of quality at the center position for years now. They’re right. Look further down – the power forward position has also evolved in to this stretch 4 trend. What is a stretch 4, you ask? He’s a tall guy, usually 6-9 or taller, and plays from the perimeter. He barely posts up preferring to shoot instead of being a bruiser. 

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Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nets want Dwight Howard?

Williams has made no firm promises about staying in New Jersey but has said he likes the direction of the franchise under new owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The 27-year-old has likewise expressed optimism about the team's scheduled move to Brooklyn starting with the 2012-13 season and his potential role in luring other top players to the Nets. The Nets, sources said, intend to make a hard push for Howard in an attempt to convince Williams to commit long term.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Collective Bargaining Agreement may change, but the NBA will always be a star’s league.

Take Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets. The soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise mortgaged the farm to acquire Williams via trade, even though he can become a free agent in July of 2012.

Right now, Williams has leverage. Before signing a long-term extension with the Nets, he wants a co-star.

Enter Dwight Howard.

The massive five-man can also opt-out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. Howard, on paper, is the perfect running mate for Williams.

The two would form a lethal inside-outside combo, capable of rivalling most eastern foes. Their star power would match Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, who ply their trade with the crosstown New York Knicks.

Unfortunately, the Nets have competition. The Orlando Magic are desperate to keep their franchise face, while the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have both made plays for Howard.

Getting Howard won't be easy. So re-signing Williams won’t be easy. But both are a must for the Nets.

--Oly Sandor.

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

The NBA Lockout is here. Go planking!
Sunday , Jul , 03 , 2011 J.N.

The NBA Lockout is here. Go planking!

The time is here to be liberated from the NBA shackles. Some of us were waiting in anticipation to the excitement that the lockout brings. When July 1, 2011 arrived at midnight, did you have a party just like New Year’s Eve? Of course not. Shit was depressing. Countless hours of watching pro basketball might be eliminated when November rolls around. No free agency during the summer. No trades. No rookie summer league. Nothing. If you’re not a fan of Major League Baseball or any other sport then meh. 

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Monday , Jun , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard’s Off-Season: Cock Fighting and Curling in ‘Canada and Montreal’

"I'm not worried about the lockout," Howard said. "I have two jobs in place. One, I've been training a couple of chickens in my backyard. I have a miniature treadmill. I have some steroids for the chickens, and we're going to do cockfights. So I might do that. The other one is I've been also training for curling. So I'll be in Canada and Montreal with the curling team up there. So, yeah, I can't wait."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Dwight Howard has a plan if the players get locked out.

The Orlando Magic’s star wants to train chickens for cock fights and join curling teams in Canada and Montreal (for future reference, Montreal is in Canada).

It’s hard to knock a sense of humour. It’s harder to knock a star who cares -Howard made these comments at a fundraiser for his D12 Foundation.

Still, lockout or not, Howard’s main priority should be improving his somewhat raw offensive game.

After all, the Magic regressed in 2011. And he has already informed management that he’s opting-out of his contract next summer and becoming a free agent.

Howard must have the best year of his career in 2012. That, and nothing else, should be the plan. Even if there is a lockout.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Sunday , Jun , 26 , 2011 Wade Armstrong

Royce Reed of “Basketball Wives” (Dwight Howard’s Baby Mother)

 

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Saturday , Jun , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ellis has asked Warriors for trade

A few days ago, it appeared as if the Warriors had decided to keep (Monta) Ellis despite some very attractive propositions. However, late yesterday, they were back to giving serious thought to moving him if the pitch blew them away. Word has it Ellis' agent, Jeff Fried, who did not return my call, informed management his client wants to be dealt.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In today’s interconnected world of rumours and gossip, teams can’t explore trading stars without consequences.

The star will find out. He, or his people, will read it here, there, or everywhere online. He’ll read analysts’ opinions. He’ll read fans turning into E-Thugs and spewing venom in the comment section.

The relationship will break. The star and team will have to part. It’s inevitable. 

Take Monta Ellis and the Golden State Warriors. Ellis is a talent, who averaged 26 points per game on a bad Warriors squad in 2011.

New owner Joe Lacob has never been sold on Ellis, though. Lacob hired Mark Jackson to coach, who -surprise, surprise- isn’t sold on Ellis, either.

While publicly praising the combo guard’s skill, these two were privately shopping him. Of course, it didn’t stay private for long.

And the rumors became more intense. In fact, Ellis has been in more rumors than an infamous Hollywood actor, who believes he’s ‘winning’.

Talk radio, the internet, and even the more conservative print media has traded Ellis thousands of times. There was Ellis for Dwight Howard. There was Ellis for Lamar Odom. And there was also Ellis for Andre Iguodala.

Ellis, tired of the rumors, finally asked the Warriors to move him. Nobody knows what’s next for player or team, except the rumors will continue.

--Oly Sandor.

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