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Thursday , Mar , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Re-united: Spurs get Stephen Jackson from Warriors for Richard Jefferson

Source: RJefferson for SJackson being discussed.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did the San Antonio Spurs win the 2012 Trade Deadline with the acquisition of a three-man who had been chained to Scott Skiles’ bench in Milwaukee?

The answer: a resounding yes.

For whatever reason, Richardson Jefferson hasn’t fit with the Spurs. Perhaps he’s too nice. Perhaps he’s too soft. Perhaps he’s to skilled and not gritty enough.

Well, Jefferson is no more. The former All-Star was sent to the Golden State Warriors for Stephen Jackson, who arrived in The Bay as part of the Andrew Bogut-Monta Ellis trade.

The Spurs, specifically coach Gregg Popovich, love Jackson. They love his toughness, defense, and ability to take and make big shots.

And the feeling is mutual. After all, Popovich and Jackson won a championship together.

Best of all, this trade saves the Spurs about $10 million - as Jefferson was scheduled to earn 22 million over the next two seasons, while Jackson is only on the books through 2013 for $10 million.

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

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Thursday , May , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron gives Thumbs Up to Lakers hiring Mike Brown

"I think the Lakers got them a great coach.” “Mike Brown was a great coach,” James said. “He gave us success that we hadn’t had before in that city. And it started with his defensive concepts. He brought in a defensive mind set that we didn’t have.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is the ultimate co-sign.

LeBron James, perhaps the NBA’s top player, endorsed the Los Angeles Lakers hiring Mike Brown to replace Phil Jackson on the sideline.

The Lakers passed over in-house candidates and long-time assistants Chuck Person and Brian Shaw to hire Brown.

But James is right: the Lakers got a great one in Brown. These two were together with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and combined forces to get the club to the NBA Finals.

Most importantly, the former Coach of the Year is what the purple-and-gold need. Here`s why:

First, Brown made his bones as a defensive coach. He learned under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs, and refined his get-stops philosophy as the head man with the Cavaliers.

Last year, the Lakers got lazy. They stopped defending. Brown will hold them accountable in their own end.

Second, Brown has a track record for succeeding with superstars. Again, he clicked with James, so he should be able to get the most out of Kobe Bryant.

No two players are the same. And no two superstars are the same. However, precedence is on Brown`s side.

Third, a change was necessary. The Lakers had grown stale and needed a new voice from outside the organization.

The players would have been too comfortable with Shaw, which is perhaps why they were lobbying management to hire him.

Now the hard part begins. Expectations in Laker-land will be huge.

Brown is up to it, though. Just ask LeBron.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Friday , May , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Tony Parker: Spurs’ championship window is over

Tony Parker says that age has finally caught up with the Spurs. "At the start of the season I said this was our last chance," he said. "Tim and Gino (Manu Ginobili) are getting old. It's going to be tough to regenerate ourselves.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Good. Just not great.

This is how Tony Parker sees his San Antonio Spurs, who, according to the lightning-quick table-setter, are now too old to win an NBA championship.

Parker thinks the Spurs are still relevant, though; however, their days of June victory parades along the San Antonio river-walk are no more.

Going forward, the Spurs` greatest challenge is identity -as in they lost theirs.

For years, Gregg Popovich`s crew were known for air-tight defence. Home or away, they were always competitive because they got-stops.

This season, they shifted to an up-tempo system to create easy hoops for the veterans. It worked during the regular season when games are open.

In the playoffs, the tempo slows. Teams get dirty, especially on defense. And the Spurs couldn`t adjust, which resulted in a, somewhat, surprising loss to the upstart Memphis Grizzlies.

So for the Spurs to stay competitive, they must rediscover their defensive chops. Or, The Alamo could continue falling in the Western Conference.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Spurs Early Exit Equals End Of An Era
Saturday , Apr , 30 , 2011 Paul Eide

Spurs Early Exit Equals End Of An Era

 

It was a dominating era but no one can escape the ravages of time. Since Gregg Popovich took over as head coach in 1997-98 14 seasons ago the Spurs have made the playoffs every year and averaged 57 wins a year.
 
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Friday , Apr , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Gary Neal saves the day, and season, for San Antonio Spurs

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They were down 3-1 in the series. And they were down 3 with seconds remaining.

So, who did the San Antonio Spurs turn to when their season was on-the-line? Tim Duncan? Manu Ginobili? Richard Jefferson? Or even Tony Parker?

No, Coach Gregg Popovich called on rookie Gary Neal to tie the game with a clutch three-pointer. The Spurs then won in overtime.

To be fair, this wasn't a complete shocker because Neal led all rookies in three-point percentage. However, most first year players would find the circumstances overwhelming.

Not Neal, though.

Watch the clip and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below. 

-Oly Sandor.

 
 

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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Foes to friends? Shaq to sign with San Antonio Spurs?

The Spurs are the first choice of free-agent center Shaquille O'Neal, a source told FanHouse. O'Neal is looking to play two more seasons in the NBA. The source said that San Antonio and Atlanta are at the top of O'Neal's list and there is interest from both sides.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They are complete opposites –like night versus day, sport utility truck versus European race car, and country rock versus glam’ hip hop.

But these former foes are on the verge of becoming friends. And a partnership - however unlikely the possibility seemed, say, five years ago - would work for both sides.

After years of doing battle during the regular season and playoffs, after years of trading insults on-and-off court, Shaquille O’Neal – once the glitzy star of the Los Angeles Lakers - is contemplating signing with the low key San Antonio Spurs.

Three words for Shaq and the Spurs: get it done.

O’Neal needs to join a veteran-laden contender like San Antonio, where he’ll be held accountable by players and the coach.

What attitude could he cope Tim Duncan, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and possibly the greatest power forward of all-time?

How could he talk back to Gregg Popovich, the league’s resident tough guy on the bench and a former military man?

He couldn’t.

And O’Neal would even have to watch how he treats co-stars like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who have both won three NBA championships.

However, this isn’t a one-sided arrangement. O’Neal – if healthy and that’s a big if these days – can still draw double-teams down-low and kick for the Spurs.

Best of all, he would provide a moxie; a confidence that it’s his inherent right to play in May and June for the championship.

In other words, exactly what was missing from the Spurs’ line-up when they meekly bowed out to the Phoenix Suns, an opponent they used to own, in the first round of the 2010 post-season.

These two former rivals must join forces. They need each other.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Friday , Jun , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Dan Gilbert let LeBron replace Ferry as Cleveland’s de facto GM?

Danny Ferry is out as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, choosing not to re-sign his contract that was set to expire in June. The decision comes as a surprise but was made days ago, and complicates the most important offseason in team history.

Ferry's departure Friday after five seasons occurred two weeks after the club fired coach Mike Brown following the team's second-round loss to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs. It also comes as the team is making plans to try to re-sign two-time MVP LeBron James, who will be a free agent next month.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: It's official. The inmate, LeBron James, is running the asylum -even if he has a foot out the free agent door.

Ferry's firing comes as a surprise because days ago reports indicated the retired forward and owner Dan Gilbert had essentially agreed on an extension.

Apparently, the stumbling block was authority. Ferry rightfully thought a GM needed control over basketball operations. He wasn't prepared to deal with Gilbert or James meddling in personnel decisions.

So he left.

Assistant GM Chris Grant will slide into the big chair in the executive suite. However, it remains to be seen how much authority Grant will have as the new GM.

Expect Gilbert to be very involved this summer. If James resigns, Gilbert and Grant will likely let the superstar pick the new coach and have a large say in all basketball related decisions.

This isn't the way to run a winning organization. For instance, Tim Duncan always defers to coach Gregg Popovich and executive R.C. Buford. The Los Angeles Lakers started winning when Kobe Bryant quit commenting to random fans outside of strip malls about swapping Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd and focused on basketball. And even the great Michael Jordan had little say in the happenings of the Chicago Bulls.

So Gilbert, who doesn't have James' name on a new deal, is taking a risk in re-structuring his entire organization to suit his free agent superstar.

Got thoughts on Ferry leaving the Cavaliers? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Sunday , May , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Why Bosh, James, or Wade shouldn’t get to pick Clippers’ next coach?

Usually in professional sports, the coach is selling the free agent player on his team as a potential destination. The Los Angeles Clippers are prepared to take a different approach. As the only team without a coach that doesn't appear to be looking, reports say that the Clippers are prepared to offer big-name free agents something in addition to the maximum contract: pick your own coach. That's right, the plan in Los Angeles might be to use the coaching vacancy as an additional draw to free agents like Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and even Lebron James. They all know they will get the maximum salary, but where else can they pick their coach?

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HoopsVibe Call: It's why the Clippers are the Clippers. And it's why they'll remain a league laughingstock.

Despite having talented players, coaches, and executives, Los Angeles' other team can't get their act together. Allowing star free agents like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and even Dwyane Wade to pick their next coach is another example of their lunacy.

Good organizations don't let the inmates - regardless of how talented Bosh, James, and Wade are - run the asylum. For instance, in San Antonio, Tim Duncan has always deferred to coach Gregg Popovich, which forces his teammates to listen to the veteran sideline boss.

Across town, Kobe Bryant, like it or not, follows Laker coach Phil Jackson -even though he oftens seems more like the duplicitous Machiavelli than the peaceful Zen-Master. And Michael Jordan also followed Jackson when they won six NBA Titles with the Chicago Bulls.

Having a player - regardless of how great he is - select their next coach makes that coach a subordinate. And this is a recipe for disaster. Of course, leave it to the Clippers, one of the worst organizations in pro sport, to make this blunder.

Should Bosh, James, or Wade get to pick the Clippers' next coach? Should any player get to pick his coach? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.