Suns coach Alvin Gentry inserted center Marcin Gortat and swingman Jared Dudley into the starting lineup, putting Gortat into the spot of Robin Lopez, who had been groomed as a future franchise center, and Dudley in place of guard Vince Carter, who likely won't be with the Suns next season.
Gortat, 27, has received minutes and produced the numbers as if he were a starter and embraces the idea of a bigger role in the future. Sunday was his first start as a Suns center after receiving one previous start at power forward alongside Lopez.
Not all the Lakers were upset with the league's decision. "I'm proud of him," Kobe Bryant said of Bynum. "He earned his stripes." Bynum will need to be careful the rest of the regular season if he wants to avoid further discipline. He will be automatically suspended for one game if he commits another flagrant foul, type 2, before the end of the regular season. The Lakers were hoping for leniency from the league. Bynum isn't known as a rough player with an angry demeanor.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If Andrew Bynum was worried about his flagrant foul on the Minnesota Timberwolves' Michael Beasley, he can stop.
Kobe Bryant has Bynum’s back. Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar and one of the game’s premier players, beamed like a proud parent when asked by reporters about Bynum’s foul and suspension.
Now Bryant obviously doesn’t want Beasley to get hurt. Other than that, he’s clearly thrilled with Bynum’s flagrant foul.
Consider the following: opposing teams will be hesitant to drive the lane against the Lakers; Bryant’s squad are finally playing their best with the playoffs fast approaching; Bynum is absolutely dominant in the paint.
It’s interesting to reflect on how far Bryant and Bynum have come. These two weren’t always tight.
In fact, Bynum often found himself on the wrong side of Bryant’s rage. Not long ago, the Black Mamba complained to two strangers outside a strip mall that the club didn't trade the seven-footer to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd.
Two championships have a way of changing things. With Bynum plugging the middle, the Lakers have to be favoured to win a third.
Now wonder Bryant has Bynum’s back.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
This could be it because it would be hard to come back after a lockout,” Kidd told Yahoo! Sports. “I would probably move on and join the next chapter of what I would be doing in life. But I hope that isn’t the case where it just ended without having one more season.”
Garnett has hinted he could be done if the lockout cancels next season while O’Neal told Yahoo! Sports in an e-mail he’ll likely try to keep playing. Regardless, the NBA could be waving farewell to a generation of stars sooner than expected.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Fans better enjoy Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd while they can.
Suppose a lockout between the owners and Player’s Association lasts for the entire 2012 season. Several well tenured players –for instance, like Garnett and Kidd- will call it a day and retire.
After all, missing a season in your mid to late thirties is a death sentence. Such a long layoff would likely make returning difficult, and most veterans would move into the next stage of their life.
Sadly, a work stoppage would likely mean the end for Garnett and Kidd, two of the best players of their generation. And these future members of the Hall of Fame won’t receive the grand send off they deserve.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
There have been rumors that the Nets might pursue point guard Chris Paul through a trade. Since they don't seem to be all that high on any of the players they are likely to get with the No. 3 pick, such as Georgia Tech`s Derrick Favors, Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins or Syracuse`s Wes Johnson, they could trade the pick to get an established player.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’ve been making nice.
Since being named coach of the New Jersey Nets, Avery Johnson and Devin Harris have praised each other publicly. Johnson has insisted he’s proud of Harris’ development, while Harris has insisted his development is because of Johnson’s teachings.
Can you feel the love?
Such a dog-and-pony show is necessary because these two had a tumultuous run together with the Dallas Mavericks.
Johnson was coaching a Maverick team that was expected to win a championship. As a former point guard he was particularly hard on Harris, a young table-setter with heaps of potential.
Something was off, though. Johnson quickly lost faith in Harris and signed off on a controversial trade that sent him to, ironically, the Nets for Jason Kidd.
But Kidd couldn’t put Dallas over the top. Johnson was promptly fired. Harris made the All-Star team in 2009, but struggled with injuries in 2010.
Yet, they are back together, insisting fences have been mended and Kumbaya has been sung. For now.
Reports indicate the Nets are dangling their 2010 draft pick in hopes of plucking Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. CP3 heading to The Swamps of Jersey/Borough of Brooklyn makes sense for three reasons:
First, New Orleans is a struggling market. With second year point guard Darren Collison in the wings, they could swap Paul and his max deal for cheap talent.
Second, New Jersey is now a have-market. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov - also known as Russia’s richest man with a net worth of $18 billion - wants to make headlines this off-season. Acquiring Paul, who is arguably the game’s best point guard when fit and healthy, would achieve this end.
Third, and most importantly, Paul is tight with LeBron James, the jewel of the 2010 free agent class. And Prokhorov would surely use Paul and rapper/minority owner Jay-Z to recruit James to the East Coast.
So the Nets are looking to upgrade the one-spot. If Paul is acquired, Harris would surely be dealt.
Before dismissing this rumor remember that Nets’ senior executive Rod Thorn admitted to reporters that Harris and center Brook Lopez do not have untouchable status and could be moved.
Maybe Harris` lovefest with Johnson shouldn`t be believed. And maybe New Jersey trades him.
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box.
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.
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.
The regular has ended some time ago and it’s time to touch on the players and moments that made this season memorable. The playoffs just started and it is going to take awhile to determine the champion, but I’d like take this time to look back at stuff that impacted the season and future to come. Hold up. There will be some moments that did not impact the season. It was just funny to point out. Dwight Howard wins another Defensive Player of the Year, Scott Brooks wins Coach of the Year, and Aaron Brooks won Most Improved Player. We can safely assume that LeBron James won Most Valuable Player.Read More