dwight-howard
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Sunday , Jun , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Monta Ellis for Dwight Howard?

The Dwight Howard sweepstakes have begun. Golden State offered Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh. Unlikely that'll get it done.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

The Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic can deny rumors they’re considering swapping Monta Ellis for Dwight Howard. The evidence suggests otherwise, though.

New Warriors owner Joe Lacob, when he bought the club, didn’t give Ellis a ringing endorsement. While GM Larry Riley would only admit the team isn’t shopping their combo guard.

Lacob and rookie coach Mark Jackson want to change the losing culture surrounding the club. Right or wrong, fair or not, they may trade Ellis to achieve this.

Meanwhile, Howard has refused to sign an extension with the Magic. He wants to exercise a player’s option next July and become a free agent.

Howard knows Magic GM Otis Smith can’t let this occur. Not for a second. Smith, contrary to what he publicly claims, can’t risk his franchise face walking and getting nothing back.

So the clock is ticking. Like the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz with Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams, Smith has to cut a deal.  

It’s no shock the Warriors and Magic have talked trade. Here’s the real question: what happens next?

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Orlando Magic interested in Carlos Boozer?

I've talked to people who believe that Chicago will shop Boozer, but you have to keep in mind that his stock is at an all-time low right now. He disappeared in the playoffs and there's a reason Chicago is talking about moving less than a year after signing him. It'll be tough to move him for anything of substance, especially considering how much he's owed over the next four years. With that said, if he does become available, the Orlando Magic will certainly express some level of interest.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Carlos Boozer wouldn’t convince Dwight Howard to forgo free agency and sign a long-term extension with the Orlando Magic.

So the Magic should think carefully about trading for Boozer, and assuming the remaining 4-years and $65 million on his big-ticket contract.

Boozer would be the latest in expensive, overpaid players who couldn’t help superstar Dwight Howard achieve his goal of an NBA championship.

There was Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter. This duo were then swapped mid-season for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu in separate trades. All four failed miserably.

A frustrated Howard is now angling for a trade. If he doesn’t get it, the five-man will likely leave Orlando as a free agent in two seasons.

Howard would see Boozer for what he is -a talented but injury-prone player, who the Chicago Bulls dumped one season after signing him as a free agent.

It doesn't matter that Howard and Boozer are close, often hanging out together in the summer. Basketball is business. Friendship is personal.

Magic Executive Otis Smith should instead focus on Chris Paul. The New Orleans point guard, who can also become a free agent in July of 2012, is the type of talent that could convince Howard to stay.

Paul and Howard would form a terrific inside-outside duo. They’d attract other free agents, co-stars, and role players. They’d compete for years to come.

Almost every other player, including Boozer, won’t be enough for Howard to recommit to Orlando.

--Oly Sandor.

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


 
There is no best player in the NBA today
Saturday , Jun , 18 , 2011 J.N.

There is no best player in the NBA today

We are back to what the NBA was when Michael Jordan retired for the first time in 1993. There is no true ultimate dominator in this league who is head and shoulders above everyone. Remember that time? Malone, Stockton, Olajuwon, Shaq, Kidd, Miller, Barkley, Richmond, Pippen, Payton, and more became prominent when Jordan left. As of 2011, there is no one head and shoulders above anyone. We can make arguments for a few select, but they each have flaws whether it’s getting old, shrinking up, or whatever. 

 
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Friday , Jun , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard won’t sign extension with Magic, hoping for trade to Lakers?

While touring Italy, Dwight Howard told reporters, again, that he would not sign a contract extension with the Orlando Magic and planned to become a free agent after next season. Lakers, that's your cue. Lakers, do you need to have it dunked on your heads? Trade for Dwight Howard.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Read between the lines.

Dwight Howard claims he wants to stay with the Orlando Magic. He won’t, however, ink a long-term extension with the club, preferring to become a free agent in two seasons.

Howard has an explanation for such a mixed-message: he feels a loyalty to the city, but wants to wait to see how management will improve the roster.

Sounds fair, right? Sounds reasonable, right? Well, wrong.

Howard knows what he’s doing. He knows GM Otis Smith, despite what he says, can’t let him hit free agency. He knows the Los Angeles Lakers are interested. And he knows he’s forcing the Magic’s hand.

Many think a trade between the Magic and Lakers would be imminent if it weren’t for the coming lockout. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will alter the league’s financial landscape.

The new system could have a designated player tag, which would make it possible for the Magic to keep Howard beyond the two years left on his contract.

And the new system could include a hard cap, which would likely make it impossible for the Lakers to shed enough salary to add Howard.

With such uncertainty, the Magic and Lakers are staying put. They have to wait until the new CBA is settled. No matter what Howard says and actually wants.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Wednesday , Jun , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Dwight Howard does Haka with All Blacks rugby team

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The New Zealand All Blacks are rugby royalty. Their signature ‘Haka’ dance strikes fear into the hearts of opposing teams.

Recently, Dwight Howard caught up with the All Blacks. And the outgoing center for the Orlando Magic decided to give the ‘Haka’ a try.

In my mind, he holds his own. Anyway, watch the video, form an opinion, and get at  HoopsVibe News with thoughts on Howard’s dance moves in the comment box below.


--Oly Sandor.  

Is Kobe Bryant still a top 5 player today?
Friday , Jun , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Is Kobe Bryant still a top 5 player today?

It’s been a tough ride for Kobe Bryant and Laker Nation in 2011. They were dominated in the 2nd round of the playoffs against the Mavericks, Phil Jackson retired, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar disrespected, and Kobe looked old. Just going by numbers, the Black Mamba is not a top 5 fantasy player. Take notice that he is not being picked number one overall in many drafts. The trend picked up beginning in 2008 when Chris Paul and LeBron James started to take over.

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Be real – 2011 Kobe’s Lakers are in trouble even with Mike Brown.
Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 J.N.

Be real – 2011 Kobe’s Lakers are in trouble even with Mike Brown.

Laker haters unite! This is your time. Hate hate hate hate! Did anyone peep Sugar Shane Mosley’s wife during the Pacquiao fight? Johnny Gill’s song was all I heard in my mind “My My My You sure look good tonight.” She sure was. Her name is Bella Gonzalez. She was screaming passionately at Sugar Shane to fight. I know Laker fans were screaming at the Lakers to fight just like her. Oy dios mios! I still haven’t gotten over the sight of her. Wow!

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The Bulls have 99 problems and the Heat is just one.
Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 J.N.

The Bulls have 99 problems and the Heat is just one.

Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls have been eliminated from the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals at the hands of the Wade/LeBron-Bosh Miami Heat, 4-1. Chi-Town is fighting through some pain right now, but there shouldn’t be any. At the beginning of the season, there were not many people on the Bulls’ bandwagon. The hype grew as the wins piled up. The bandwagon grew yet many were not convinced. Rose won MVP and that’s when all hell broke loose. Tom Thibodeau received Coach of the Year. Beating Indiana and Atlanta were good. However, facing Miami caused the bandwagon to break. People keep saying that getting an upgrade at the shooting guard position over Keith Bogans is all that is needed to get the Bulls over the top to win it all.

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All-NBA Teams Announced; Let The Second Guessing Begin
Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Paul Eide

All-NBA Teams Announced; Let The Second Guessing Begin

 

On the first team, the only unanimous player selected by all 119 media writers and broadcasters was LeBron James. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard each received 118 votes, each shunned by one short sighted voter. D Rose is good enough to win the MVP but not be a unanimous selection? Must’ve been a Hawks or Pacers fan.
 
Word to Dwight Howard – Leave Orlando.
Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Word to Dwight Howard – Leave Orlando.

Yes, you read that correctly. Right now, it is time to leave the Orlando Magic organization. I know Mickey Mouse and the Funky Bunch are hurting right now and this one will send them over the edge, but lettuce be cereal. The current roster is terrible. The team regressed after the 2009 Finals. No regrets, no remorse. General Otis Smith had plenty of time to build a quality roster. He actually did that yet somehow messed everything up.

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Derrick Rose. The 2010-2011 MVP. Haters welcomed!
Tuesday , May , 03 , 2011 J.N.

Derrick Rose. The 2010-2011 MVP. Haters welcomed!

Derrick Rose is officially the youngest NBA MVP for anyone living in a cave kicking it with John Rambo. He earned it at 22 years old. Leading the team to the number one record is a tall order for anyone. The 2010-2011 season is historic mainly because of this. Basketball fans witnessed something amazing that we will not see again from any 22 year old NBA player. It was fun to see all of the games on DirecTV. Chicago’s offense and the opposing team’s defensive game plans truly revolved around the Poohdini of the Hardwood.

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Tuesday , May , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Atlanta Hawks help Jameer Nelson ‘catch’ Derrick Rose

Not many are giving the Hawks much of a chance against Chicago in the second round, but they’re definitely the funnier of the two teams in the matchup. Their PR man, Arthur Triche, explains the Jameer Nelson diss via Twitter: “Things that make me happy about this job. Taking a page out of Jerry Glanville’s book, I think I’ll follow through on Jameer’s request to catch Derrick Rose in the 2nd round.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Congratulations to the Atlanta Hawks for handling Jameer Nelson.

They didn’t overreact or spout off when the diminutive point guard pulled a Babe Ruth and called his team’s shot by telling the Chicago Bulls to prepare for a second round match-up.

They simply outplayed the heavily favoured Orlando Magic, eliminating the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference in six games.

The Hawks would’ve been forgiven for boasting. After all, Nelson wasn’t the only doubter, as many expected Nelson, Dwight Howard, and the Magic to advance to the second round.

Clearly, they were wrong.

The Hawks exposed the Magic’s lack of a supporting cast, essentially turning the 2009 Eastern Conference champions into a one-player pony.

Even now they have little to say, though. The Hawks’ actions are speaking louder than their words. And leaving Nelson tickets for their second round duel with the Bulls is perfect.

What else is there to say?

--Oly Sandor.

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

Will Dwight Howard ever win MVP?
Monday , May , 02 , 2011 J.N.

Will Dwight Howard ever win MVP?

Are you stuck on a computer all day trying to look up Dwight Howard’s defensive impact numbers to justify his superiority over Derrick Rose for the 2011 MVP award or looking for pictures of Osama Bin Laden's dead corpse?  Step up right in here, slim. No, I do not have any pictures of Osama, but I’m letting you know Derrick Rose got the MVP trophy locked up. What about next season? Let’s break down D-12 step by step right now to see if he has a good chance to win the coveted title in upcoming seasons. This is going to be a fun ride.

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Saturday , Apr , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Magic to deal Howard this summer?

"I would expect a Dwight trade this summer or before the next season starts, from what I'm hearing. Rose likes his core because it's the core he has. He's not opposed to the Bulls improving it." (Ric Bucher, ESPN)

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Teams who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

So the Orlando Magic must give serious consideration to trading Dwight Howard or they risk losing another once-in-a-generation-center via free agency.

In the late nineties, Shaquille O’Neal, the Magic’s franchise face and the game’s most dominating player, left Orlando to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

As a Laker, he won three straight championships. The Magic were forced to start over.

Howard, a free agent next summer, is rumored to be looking at bigger markets. He’s been linked to those same Lakers. He’s also been linked to the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets.

The Magic were in the mix to keep their smiling superstar until they blinked this year and changed their roster mid-season with a pair of questionable trades.

Hedo Turkoglu has been decent; however, GM Otis Smith’s gamble on Gilbert Arenas has failed. The Hibachi is out of propane, struggling with shot knees, high expectations that come with a big-ticket contract, and low confidence.

Smith has failed to find Howard a co-star. So Howard, if he wants a championship, will likely find his own co-stars elsewhere.

Smith, despite his denials, will have to be open to a trade. Unless he wants to repeat the past and lose Howard for nothing as a free agent.

--Oly Sandor.

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

The 2011 Hoopties
Friday , Apr , 15 , 2011 J.N.

The 2011 Hoopties

It’s that time again for the regular season end awards just like any other television sports show. It is time to pass out the awards. Rather than giving awards for the usual categories such as Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year….you get the picture…..let’s focus on categories that truly need to be highlighted – categories that I make up! Who cares about those other official awards anyway? They’re already locked up.
 

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Should the NBA MVP award be trashed?
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Should the NBA MVP award be trashed?

This is the most ridiculous thing I heard coming out from these arguments. Discrediting Derrick Rose is one thing, but to completely dismiss the award just because people do not agree with your assessments is another. This is flat out stupid. Why did people pick out this year to bring this up again? This was echoed with Steve Nash’s awards and probably with Allen Iverson’s. Is this what it has come down to?

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Imagine Dwight Howard leaving the Orlando Magic
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Imagine Dwight Howard leaving the Orlando Magic

This is scary for the Orlando Magic organization. Some diehard Magic fans are already discussing this. Don’t write this off by saying, “No. He’s not going anywhere.” General manager Otis Smith has made bad moves leading the team to regress. This does not look good. The trade at the deadline was desperation, wasn’t it? I have to pull a John Lennon and try to imagine a scenario where Howard leaves. As I thought about it, the chances of this actually happening increased. Wow.

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6-4 Guards and under will always have a hard time getting NBA MVP.
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

6-4 Guards and under will always have a hard time getting NBA MVP.

I thought I was done talking about Derrick Rose’s MVP candidacy. No, really. I thought I was finished. I can’t wait until the ordeal is over. I explored why people truly despise the kid as one of the best in this article noting that. I understand the hate even when the reasons are illogical. People have to start giving the kid his earned props. He doesn’t deserve it. Instead, Rose earned it. He is showing us that hard work pays off.

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Saturday , Apr , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Smith and Magic will say ‘No’ to offers for Howard

With Dwight Howard in the final year of his contract next season, Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith is fully prepared to receive a host of offers for the All Star center.

"To say it hasn't happened before is crazy, so, yes, I expect it to happen," Smith said Friday. "And the answer will be the same as it always is: No."

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To quote Nancy Reagan, Otis Smith will just say ‘No’.

Of course, the Orlando Magic GM won’t be turning down drugs, but trade offers for Dwight Howard, his franchise face and superstar five-man.

Smith has no choice but to say this. And he has no choice but to justify his ‘No’ with public declarations that Howard, who can become a free agent in July of 2012, will re-sign in Orlando.

This may or may not happen.

Howard may re-sign because he’s loyal. Or he’s comfortable. Or he likes having his own team. Or the new Collective Bargaining Agreement might have a franchise tag clause, which may mean he has to stay.

The opposite is also true. Howard, for any number of reasons, may leave.

He may desire a change of scenery; he may leave for a bigger market to maximize marketing opportunities; he may leave to join a fellow superstar or two and enhance his chances at winning a championship.

The last scenario would be on Smith. He has tendered several big ticket contracts and swung many blockbuster trades, but has failed to surround Howard with a legit co-superstar.

After all, Smith signed Rashard Lewis to a mammoth pact and then swapped him for Gilbert Arenas, who has a longer contract for more money.

Both players underperformed. Ditto for Vince Carter. Smith acquired ‘VC’ from the New Jersey Nets before sending him to the Phoenix Suns for Hedo Turkoglu –another expensive, underachieving player.

So Smith has backed himself into a corner. His fate, like the Magic’s, hinges on Howard re-signing.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard for Anthony or Stoudemire?

It wouldn’t be shocking at all if the New York Knicks make a play for Dwight Howard next season, perhaps offering either Amare Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony at trade deadline.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did you enjoy Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire battling Dwight Howard last night?

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the main characters in yesterday’s epic battle between the Knicks and Magic could switch places. Reports indicate the Magic would consider sending Howard to the Knicks for Anthony or Stoudemire.

A few thoughts:

1) The Howard rumors will continue to fly because he can opt-out of his contract at the end of 2012 and become an unrestricted free agent.

No matter how much Howard tries to defuse rumors, the feeling is he wants to bolt Orlando for a larger market. Like Los Angeles. Or New York.

The Magic have a dilemma. They could try re-signing Howard and risk having their top player as an unrestricted free agent without compensation.

(This would decimate the franchise. See the Cleveland Cavaliers. See the Toronto Raptors.)  

Or the Magic could concede that re-signing Howard would be tough in today’s era of super-teams and move him. Cutting their losses would bring back some assets.

(See the Denver Nuggets. See the Utah Jazz.)   

2) Anthony and Stoudemire are an awkward pairing. Their partnership doesn’t seem natural. Given time, things will improve. The supporting cast will be upgraded; a training camp together will make a difference.

Here’s the question for Knick fans: would Howard with Anthony or Stoudemire be superior to Anthony and Stoudemire?

3) The new Collective Bargaining Agreement to be negotiated between players and owners this summer could sideswipe all plans.

Small market owners may try to eliminate the super-team trend that’s permeating the NBA. They could gain the ability to keep star players by using an NFL-style franchise tag.

So the Magic could hang onto Howard –whether he likes it or not- by slapping him with the franchise player tag.

--Oly Sandor.

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