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Thursday , May , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron and D-Wade embarrass Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Game two of the Eastern Conference semi-finals wasn’t good for the Boston Celtics.

First, they lost to the Miami Heat. And second, they got crossed-over, rejected, and embarrassed on several highlight reel plays by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Don’t believe me? Want proof? Check out the video clips below and get at us with your thoughts.

(Wade breaks Ray Allen’s ankles.)
  

(Wade tangles-up Garnett in the open-court.)

(James blocks Garnett’s shots.)

-Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mark Cuban Weighs in on Miami’s “Three Kings”

Our big brothers at CraveOnline caught up with the always interesting Mark Cuban at SXSW recently, and naturally it didn't take long before the conversation turned to hoops. Among other topics covering the NBA and more, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks dropped his thoughts on Miami Heat's acquisition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh over the summer.

 

Mark Cuban weighs in on the Miami Heat “Three Kings” fiasco:

Mark Cuban: I’m a believer in karma. You’ve just opened yourself to a big old whack across the head like they did, you typically get it. It was a unique opportunity. There was a lot of excitement. They were smart to try to extend the excitement throughout the community, but I just think they went a little overboard. They tried to make it like a rock concert. They tried to make it like the biggest event, the Super Bowl of player signings. It becomes very anticlimactic. That’s the challenge. You don’t want to shoot your wad before you even get in business. That’s basically what they might have done. So you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to understand, particularly in sports, at the start of the season, everybody’s undefeated, everybody’s excited about their team and you want to try to have a crescendo that builds through the season to hopefully something good at the end. It actually worked to the benefit of the league because instead of the Beatles, they were The Knack. They were the knockoff that so far hasn’t quite worked. Maybe it will but they became the villain. They were like the Oakland Raiders so that’s actually helped the league because people go watch them to boo ‘em. You always want a villain.

 

Head over to CraveOnline to read the rest of the interview.

Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?
Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?

Everything is set up perfectly for the Heatles to win it all. They made quick work of the Philadelphia Sixers. The Boston Celtics are falling down all over the place trying to guard LeBron and Wade. Their opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals will probably be quick work, too. This is what LeBron, Wade, and Bosh wanted. This is reality. They are making the 2011 playoffs look like an exhibition. It’s like that?  

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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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Sunday , May , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Doc Rivers on Chris Bosh: He’s a ‘Key Guy’ for Heat

“LeBron and Wade are going to be LeBron and Wade,” Doc Rivers said. “They were great before the series, they’ll be great during it and they’ll be great after it and this summer when you’re talking about it you’ll say LeBron and Wade are great players. That’s not going to chance. But when Bosh plays great, then their team plays great. He’s a key guy for them.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh has taken ‘heat’ for his play this year.

As LeBron James and Dwyane Wade meshed together seamlessly for Miami, Bosh often struggled to find his way on both ends of the court.
 
At times, the Three Kings looked more like Two Kings and a Baron. Or, in an ode to Charlie Sheen, Two and a half Kings.
 
Make no mistake about it, as Bosh goes so goes the Heat. A focused, active CB4 gives the Heat a third option. He establishes an inside-outside game and punishes defenses for cheating on James and Wade.
 
While an unfocused Bosh makes the Heat a predictable, two-horse squad. And it’s too much to expect James and Wade to carry the offense come playoff time.
 
Not surprisingly, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers has identified Bosh as the key. The green-and-white know they can’t stop James and Wade from ‘getting-theirs’, but the lanky left-hander is a different story.
 
The stakes are high. If Bosh plays well, the Heat likely win. If Bosh plays poorly, the Celtics likely win.
 
It’s not just about this year, though. If Bosh performs and the Heat advance, the Three Kings experiment will continue. If he does not perform and the Heat loses, he may be traded for cap space/depth.
 
The upcoming Heat-Celtics series could well define Bosh. Is he a superstar or a very good player? At least, we’ll get an answer.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Friday , Apr , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Joakim Noah: Derrick Rose is the NBA’s best closer

“We have the best closer in the world,” said Joakim Noah, who had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. “Everybody knows it. They know it. We know it. Their coach knows it. They all say it. They have no problems saying it. We all know it. That gives you confidence for your team.”

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Derrick Rose is many things.

He’s currently the game’s best point-guard. He’ll most likely win Most Valuable Player. He’s also the up-and-coming face of the league.
 
However, Rose isn’t the NBA’s top closer. Not yet at least. Not until he leads his Chicago Bulls to an NBA championship and hoists the Larry O’Brien trophy.
 
To be fair, this isn’t on Rose.
 
He has only played three seasons and hasn’t had an opportunity to lead his squad deep into the playoffs.
 
And he wasn’t bragging about being ‘The Man’ with the game on-line. It was teammate Joakim Noah, who has had a front row seat for his heroics all year.
 
For now, the NBA’s best closers are still Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and Dwyane Wade. They have the experience. They have the championships.
 
Of course, this could all change for Rose –and soon. His legend grows with every clutch basket against the Indiana Pacers.
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh ‘comfortable’ playing center for Miami

He's changed his tune thus far in the postseason. Because of Philadelphia's speed at the position, Bosh has played extended minutes at center. His role is expected to remain the same throughout the series. "It just took some time to get comfortable to it," Bosh said." At first, I was kind of frightened. I didn't really want to play the five. I know I've said that a bunch of times."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a saying. Winning changes everything, especially if there’s a chance to win a championship.

Case in point: Chris Bosh.

At the start of the season, Bosh wasn’t into playing center for the Miami Heat. After all, he labored at the position for the Toronto Raptors, even though he fancied himself a power forward with skills and a face-up game.

When he signed with the Heat as part of The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010, he was under the impression his days at the five were over.

Permanently.

Now Bosh is open to playing center. A playoff run and the possibility of hoisting a championship will do this.

The Heat is at their best with Bosh at center. This allows them to spread the floor with two shooters, and lets LeBron James and Dwyane Wade isolate against their man or run a pick-and-roll.

Only time will tell if Bosh playing out of position will pay off with a championship, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins
Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 J.N.

Examining Rose’s Bulls climb to 62 wins

The Chicago Bulls becoming the number one team, record wise, reveals a quantum leap this season and ramifications for the future. Not many people are examining the Bulls massive improvements – they practically flew over the Atlantic Ocean without breaking a sweat. Imagine predicting that the Bulls would be the number one team with the best defense before the season started. Imagine that. People laugh, mock, wants some weed that you smoked, and then label you a Bulls homer. That is why some of us should say, “We’ll see.”

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Sunday , Apr , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

DeMar DeRozan on improving 3-point shot: ‘it will come’

Hoops Hype: You had only attempted 46 three-pointers in the first 78 games. Is that the next part of your game that you want to expand?

Demar DeRozan: Oh yes, definitely. It will come through time. I really don’t stress about it. Because once it comes, that is another part of my game that will develop. Will work on that this summer a lot and come back ready next year.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.

The Toronto Raptors 2011 struggles can be tied to former franchise face Chris Bosh joining pals LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach.

Without Bosh, the Raptors had to rebuild. They already had a key piece in DeMar DeRozan -the second year man from USC, who looks more than capable of filling Bosh’s considerable shoes.

DeRozan is explosive, dynamic, and committed, and deserves greater consideration for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award after his terrific campaign.

However, to become an All-Star, to regularly attend David Stern’s February classic, he must extend his range. Currently, DeRozan is a solid mid-range shooter; he must become a three-point gunner.
 
Then DeRozan will be unstoppable. He’ll be able to go to the hoop at will or punish sagging defenders with his newfound stroke.

He’ll have help, too. There’s a crew of up-and-coming pieces in The Big Smoke: Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, James Johnson, and Sonny Weems.

The Raptors also have cap space, a trade exception from the Miami Heat, and an upcoming lottery pick. The future is looking up north of the border. It starts and ends with DeRozan taking the next step and developing his three-point shot.

Fortunately, he knows this. Fortunately, he’s a gym rat, who loves working on his game. Fortunately, he’s mature beyond his years. And fortunately, he wants his team to succeed.

So next year looks promising -or just better than 2011- because of DeRozan. Bottom line: there’s something for Raptor fans to look forward to.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat still thinking of trading Chris Bosh?

Do you think Miami trades bosh next year too improve overall? Ric Bucher: I've heard it's already been discussed.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Could ‘The Three Kings’ lose a member this summer?

According to ESPN’s Rich Bucher, the Miami Heat has already held discussions about trading Chris Bosh.

Of course, Bosh signed in South Beach last July as a free agent for two reasons: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. And the trio expected to waltz its way to multiple championships.

While the early returns weren’t awful, ‘The Three Kings’ first regular season together produced mostly mixed results. At times, they were brilliant. At times, they were mediocre.

The key is that it was the regular season. All will be forgotten -if the Heat captures the NBA championship, and then there'd be no major changes.

So Bosh will stay put provided the Heat win and his salary remains manageable under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The pressure is on. What did Bosh, James, and Wade expect when they joined forces?

Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Sunday , Apr , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jason Terry: Matt Barnes is ‘as soft as Charmin toilet paper’

"I call Barnes the Charminator," said Terry. "You know what that is? That is a guy that's soft as Charmin' toilet paper. It's not only that he's a Pac-10 guy and he's a [UCLA] Bruin, and so you know we hate those guys -- us [Arizona] Wildcats, we hate Bruins. I don't care who you are. Whenever you don that uniform, I can't stand you, other than Reggie Miller. Barnes, I remember you when you were at Golden State, you're a journeyman. You put on that Laker uniform and you turn into Jerry West, Kareem, and Worthy, and Magic. Those are the real Lakers, not Barnes."

Barnes smiled when he was relayed Terry's comments after practice on Saturday afternoon. "I'm not worried about what he's talking about," Barnes said. "In Golden State we showed how to beat Dallas. You take it right to their chin and they back down. I don't see that nothing's changed since then so hopefully we see them again."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In pro sports, there’s competitive hate between players and/or teams competing. This ends when the final buzzer sounds.

Then there’s personal hate, which is, well, personal. This doesn’t end when the final buzzer sounds. It carries over to the next game.  

Put Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks and Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Lakers hate in the latter.

Recently, insults have flown between the super-subs, which included references to toilet paper, journeyman status, being a fake Laker and past playoff upsets.

The trigger for this war of words was Thursday’s dust up between the purple-and-gold and Team Cuban. So Barnes went there: he brought up the Golden State Warriors 2007 upset of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Warriors, of course, were the eighth seed, who squeaked into the playoffs with an end of season rally. They were supposed to roll over in round one.

They didn’t, though.

Instead, they used an up-tempo approach to shock Terry's Mavericks, who were the heavily-favoured, first-seed. The series was highly entertaining –provided you weren’t a Mavericks fan.

The loss was especially harsh for Terry's team. In 2006, they held a two game lead in the NBA Finals –and lost the championship to Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat.

All of this adds context to a possible playoff battle between Dallas and LA. Sports are at their best when there are multiple storylines and plots.

It never hurts when there’s good old fashioned hate, either.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Mar , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Wade developing chemistry with pick-and-roll play

Wade is controlling the ball late in games, which lets LeBron James be used in a simple pick-and-roll. James has been accustomed to playing with the ball in his hands in crunch time, but it appears Wade and Erik Spoelstra have convinced him to try something new. “I think he's starting to see that this can open up his overall game, and he's going to want to do it more," Wade said last week.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talent isn’t enough in the NBA. Teams must also have chemistry.

Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat learned this the hard way, with their up-and-down year.

So have the New York Knicks, who broke up a squad with established chemistry to acquire the talented but sometimes difficult Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets.

Credit the Heat for trying new things, though. Against the Philadelphia 76ers, James acted as a screener and ran several pick-and-rolls with Wade.

This is a welcome change from the Heat’s steady diet of predictable ‘iso’ plays and one-on-one attempts at the basket.

Doug Collins, the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, is right: this option will work. James as a four-man setting picks will be tough to prevent from rolling to the basket or slipping the screen.

Opposing defenses will be helpless. If defenders try to switch on the screen, James and/or Wade will have a clear mismatch, which should lead to a scoring opportunity.

If defenders try to show and adjust to the screen, James and/or Wade will have an advantage, which should also lead to a scoring opportunity.

The Heat would be wise to run more of these sets. Variety is important in basketball, and a two-man game involving their best players will upgrade their mediocre half-court offense.

After all, chemistry, not talent, is the key to winning in the NBA. It seems James and Wade are learning.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Video: Dwyane Wade ‘welcomes’ Kendrick Perkins to OKC Thunder

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Leave it Dwyane Wade to welcome Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Yesterday, the Heat’s superstar spun baseline and posterized Perkins, who happened to be playing in his second game as a member of the Thunder. Then Wade dropped some celebratory dance moves from the Kid N Play era.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Why LeBron James will not win MVP. Ever again.
Wednesday , Mar , 16 , 2011 J.N.

Why LeBron James will not win MVP. Ever again.

I come in peace, but I’ll talk about this. This has to be addressed. Welcome to LeBron’s new nightmare. The Miami Heat is getting $hi#$ed on by the full media blitz. It’s not over. It’s never going to be over with the public onslaught. There is more to come, but no one has mentioned this particular item. I write this with full sincerity - LBJ will not win MVP ever again. This is a bold claim, but there are many reasons to see why.

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Wednesday , Mar , 16 , 2011 Oly Sandor

LeBron James: the Heat are playing at a ‘high level’

LeBron James: ‘We envisioned us playing at a high level and that’s what we’re doing right now.’   

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Five consecutive losses do not make a season. Neither do two wins -even if they come against the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

So the Miami Heat should take a deep breath. They should avoid crying after tough losses on national television, and they should avoid over-enjoying their victories.

Bottom line: the Heat shouldn’t get too up or too down. Instead, they should focus on achieving a few things:

First, superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade must continue setting the pace on defense. Getting stops will give them a chance to win every game, and it takes pressure off their mediocre half-court offense.

Second, they must keep Bosh involved on offense. One frustrated superstar can contaminate an entire team.

Finally, no team wins a championship with three superstars, so the Heat’s role players must start contributing on a consistent basis.

Mike Bibby, Eddie House, and Mike Miller must start making shots. This will help Coach Erik Spoelstra settle on a more permanent rotation.

The Heat has been through a lot this year and the real action, the playoffs, haven't even started.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Saturday , Mar , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat to trade Chris Bosh this summer?

The most obvious candidate for subtraction from the Big Three is Chris Bosh, who hasn't been able to produce the kind of impact Miami could have gotten from two or three cheaper role players. Bosh also has complained recently about not getting the ball in the post enough. Whether he has a point, this sort of griping at a time when the Heat were in crisis mode won't make Riley any more eager to pay him $16 million next season -- especially if Miami falls far short of its championship goal in Year 1.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: So far, it hasn’t worked. Not like it was supposed to, at least.

Remember, the Miami Heat’s Three Kings of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade came together to win multiple championships. They were expected to waltz through the regular season and playoffs.

Will the Heat pull the plug and possibly deal Bosh this off-season, as reported by Ken Berger of CBSSportsline?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Much depends on how the Heat performs going forward. Say they win the majority of their last regular season games. Say they advance to the Eastern Conference or NBA Finals.

Oil slick executive Pat Riley would then be hesitant to break up his superstar trio. Instead, he’d look for ways to upgrade and improve their supporting cast.

However, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will factor into his decision. For instance, the Heat may not be able to afford three max salaries if the owners succeed in achieving their hard cap.

Or, the Heat may be able to keep three max salaries on their books, but can’t afford role players because loopholes like the mid level exception and veteran’s minimum no longer exist.

Then Riley has to contemplate changing his Three Kings formula. And Bosh, because of his up-and-down play, would be the first to go.

Last summer was interesting in South Beach. However, next summer could be almost as entertaining.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Wednesday , Mar , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron on Heat’s ‘Cry-Gate’ scandal: ‘We Stick Together’

When asked about the team mood, he said, "there's a couple guys crying in the locker room right now."  "We stay together," James said. "Spo is the captain of the ship and we're going to stay behind whatever Spo says. It doesn't matter. Spo can go out there and say whatever he wants about the team. We're going to stand by him."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They made their bed. Now they must lie in it.

Last summer the Miami Heat irked the NBA’s 29 other franchises by winning The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 and signing superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.  

Then they rubbed their nose in it by parading their ‘Three Kings’ in front of screaming of fans before playing a single game together.

Why would there be sympathy for the Heat?

Nobody cares if a few players were crying after a tough loss on Sunday to the Chicago Bulls. And nobody cares that they dropped four consecutive games.

These are the big, bad Heat. They are the team most fans love to hate. And they are the team most fans love to watch lose.

So James is right to declare that the players and coaching staff must stick together. But he has to say this. In fact, he has no choice.

It's the Heat and their fans against the world.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , Mar , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade calls the Heat’s struggles ‘growing pains’

 

“We’re going through these growing pains, and it sucks,” Wade said. “Of our 18 losses, I think 13, 14 of them we’ve had leads. “It’s mind-boggling.” This game meant something. Something awful? Yes. Something positive? Possibly, eventually, yes.But it doesn’t get much more painful than this. So it might be a while before that wears off entirely and we get the actual answer to that last question.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, that’s one way to describe the Miami Heat’s struggles.

Clearly, Dwayne Wade is putting as positive a spin as possible on the Heat blowing a 24 point lead to the New York Knicks and getting routed by the San Antonio Spurs.

Are these defeats more worrying than ‘growing pains’? Is team South Beach starting to doubt itself?

Consider the numbers: the Heat is 27-2 against teams with losing records, and 14-17 against teams with winning records. More troubling, they allow all teams -those with winning and losing records- back into games when ahead by a large margin.

Part of this could be about getting distracted. The Heat possesses three top flight superstars, and often get bored and lose focus with opponents.

Part of this could be about chemistry. With so many new faces, the Heat is still getting used to each other, especially on the offensive end where they run simple, basic sets.

For instance, Wade and James are still adjusting to each other. And both are learning to play with superstar post Chris Bosh.

Fortunately, they have some time to iron out the kinks. Unfortunately, they don’t have much time and today they face MVP candidate Derrick Rose and the upstart Chicago Bulls.

--Oly Sandor.


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

What do Chris Bosh and Charlie Sheen have in common?
Friday , Mar , 04 , 2011 J.N.

What do Chris Bosh and Charlie Sheen have in common?

Both are having historic meltdowns in grand fashion. Remember how Bosh treated the free agency in summer 2010 as some joke? Yeah, joke's on him. The Toronto fan base wasn’t even trying. During the final two years in Toronto, Bosh should have said, “No comment.” That would have shut up any worries because there was nothing to talk about. Instead, he kept the question lingering because he did not really answer the question. His play left more questions, too.

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The 2011 NBA MVP race is the weakest ever Vol. Stop Crying
Thursday , Mar , 03 , 2011 J.N.

The 2011 NBA MVP race is the weakest ever Vol. Stop Crying

That’s all I’ve been hearing lately. Blah, blah, blah, weak sauce, blah, blah. Why you mad, though? The major complaint is that no one really stands out from the pack. My thinking is “How the eff does that make the race weak?” My dude, you serious? Go watch Tommy Wiseau’s The Room if you think the race is the weakest then hit me back up or get slapped with a notice out of nowhere to give up the kids like Charlie Sheen. If you don’t like this season’s MVP race, you don’t like NBA basketball.

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