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Sunday , Aug , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Durant scores 44 in Goodman-Drew League Clash

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The clash of all summer league clashes finally happened.

After much hype, hoopla, and antics, the Goodman League finally played the Drew League in a rather epic and entertaining pick-up battle.

Kevin Durant, the star of the lockout, had 44 points, however, you'll have to watch the video below to learn the final score. So, click the video, form an opinion, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box.

 --Oly Sandor. 

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Wednesday , Aug , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kobe Owns James Harden and The Drew League

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Challenge issued. Challenge met.

Yesterday Kobe Bryant dominated Los Angeles' famous Drew League, meeting the request of Dino Smiley, the league's commissioner, that he appear.

After all, Kevin Durant showed. Same with LeBron James. So why not Kobe?

However, Bryant did more than appear. He ran things; the Black Mamba scored 45 points, which included getting mobbed on-court by fans after hitting the game-winning jump shot over Oklahoma City Thunder swing James Harden.

The real excitement might have been outside the gym. Once word spread that Bryant was playing, hundreds looked through the window of the gym because the facility was at capacity for fans

Clearly, Bryant's Drew League appearance was a success. Watch the video of Bryant sinking the game-winning shot over Harden and get at us with thoughs in the comment box below.

--Oly Sandor.   

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Sunday , Aug , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can Thunder and NBA punish Kendrick Perkins for drunken, Fight Club antics?

EARLIER SATURDAY-KFDM has confirmed that NBA star Kendrick Perkins was booked and released early Saturday morning into the Jefferson County jail around 4:00a.m. on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct. The charges are a class C misdemeanor. Per Texas penal code 12.23, an individual guilty of a class C misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500. Perkins posted bond of $150 shortly after being booked and was released.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps he’s secretly a member of Fight Club (but he won‘t talk about it). Perhaps he just saw Patrick Swayze’s cult classic Roadhouse. Perhaps he’s practicing for an upcoming MMA bout with Shaq.

The truth: the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins was arrested for being drunk, belligerent, and causing a scene/brawl at a club in Beaumont, Texas.

Worst of all, Perkins had to cancel today’s charitable event in Beaumont -which he organized and was to feature fellow stars like Kevin Durant, Stephen Jackson, and Rajon Rondo.
 
Way to go Perk'!
 
The Thunder can’t be impressed. These incidents are never good, but are especially damaging when the player represents a small market like Oklahoma City.

What can be done? The team and league have no power to disciplin during the lockout. And the Thunder just signed Perkins to a 4-year, $32 million extension this spring.

Perkins will take a hit in the media. That, however, seems to be it.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Wednesday , Aug , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Would Durant to Besiktas change Clay Bennett’s hardline on lockout?

Agent Aaron Goodwin told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that he has met with officials from Turkish club Besiktas and has likewise begun exploring opportunities for Durant in Spain and Russia.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Slide over George Costanza. This is ‘The Summer of Kevin’.

Clearly, Kevin Durant is making the most of his time away from his day-gig with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A typical summer would see Durant train under the eye of OKC officials. This, however, has not been a typical summer because NBA players are locked-out.

The scoring champ’ has been free to live a Costanza inspired life of pick-up runs and you tube clips (all that’s missing is taking a bite of a hunk of cheese.)

The good press has made Durant the star of the lockout, which contributed to Besiktas floating him an offer to suit up for the Turkish club.

Here’s the question: how does Clay Bennett - the shrewd businessman and owner of the Thunder - feel about Durant heading abroad and generating revenue for another owner?

Bennett is one of the hardline owners who will sit the entire season to attain a hard cap and 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income.

Durant assuming wear-and-tear and risking injury in a second-rate league in Europe may frustrate Bennett enough to change his perspective. 

It’s one thing if his prize asset, Durant, is state-side. It’s another if he’s generating millions of dollars for another league.

Hopefully, Durant joining a foreign club pushes Bennett off his stance. Then ‘The Summer of Kevin’ would have been a success.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Monday , Aug , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Kobe to represent USA at 2012 Olympics

Kobe Bryant is a yes whatever happens, according to a source close to the 34-year-old; Bryant badly wants a second gold medal to go with the one he won in '08.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: If you’re starting a team, Kobe Bryant isn’t a bad place to start.

Reports indicate the Los Angeles Lakers superstar has already committed to being a part of the American national squad that will look to defend its gold medal at the 2012 Olympcs in London, England.

Bryant deserves credit for wanting to represent his country. The rest of the 2008 gold medal-winning squad from Beijing found an excuse not to participate in the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

(Bryant was badly injured. The young American squad still won in Turkey because of chemistry, discipline, and Kevin Durant’s fine play.)

This time around, Bryant is in. His age doesn’t matter; same with his battered, bruised body. And he doesn’t care if the NBA is still mired in an ugly labour dispute.

Bryant wants to play for the United States. Here's the question: do his superstar peers share his passion?

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Aug , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Durant Destroys ‘Baby LeBron’ heckler

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We already knew Kevin Durant was great. That didn’t stop the scoring champ` from providing further proof at the Nike Pro City run.

A small contingent of fans were heckling him. These brave, and stupid, souls called the All-Star ‘baby LeBron’ and even chanted ‘Russell Westbrook’.

Rather than overreact or become distracted, Durant became a stone-cold assassin.

He acknowledged the hecklers. He engaged them, ever-so slightly. He let them think, for a moment, they were winning. He then took over in spectacular fashion, hitting the game-tying and game-winning shot.

When it was over, when he had won, he gave a little thanks-for-trying wave. This was not overt or boastful, for Durant had merely done what he was supposed to do.

Others can learn from such a display. Rather than respond like an E-Thug on twitter or declare through the media he’d get revenge, Durant simply went about his business.

And boy was it refreshing!

(Watch the clip, form an opinion, and tell us about Durant in the comment box below. Thanks to Slamonline for the video.)

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Blake Griffin on lockout: ‘My first three seasons, I could play 82 games’

"I haven't stopped working out really since May," Griffin said. "It's been every day, sneaking it in whenever I can." Griffin says it's frustrating for him to think that the NBA games may be interrupted after his first season playing in the league. Griffin missed all of the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap after he had been the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma. "Now my first three seasons, I could play 82 games," Griffin said. "So, we'll see what happens."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year was overwhelmingly positive for the NBA.
 
The sporting world was galvanized by Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James joining forces and becoming the ‘Heatles’ in Miami.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd’s hard work was rewarded with an NBA championship, guaranteeing both immediate entry into the Hall of Fame when they retire.

Derrick Rose won the MVP award, leading the Chicago Bulls to the league’s best regular season record and a place in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder took another step winning two playoff series before falling to Nowitzki and Kidd’s Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

The Memphis Grizzlies made the playoffs and upset the San Antonio Spurs. After years of futility, the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers were relevant and entertaining.

There are other storylines I’m missing.

For instance, high on this list is the emergence of Blake Griffin, whose aerial antics reminded the world there’s a professional basketball squad in Los Angeles not called the Lakers.

(And this squad, the Clippers, can compete and delight despite being owned by the twisted and incompetent Donald Sterling.)

Suppose there’s a lockout. One that wipes out the entire season. Griffin, who missed 2009 with injury, will have played just eighty-two games in his first three seasons.

Fans would have to wait a year to see Griffin assault the rim. Fans would have to wonder what Griffin would do to defend his crown at the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest. And fans, the purists, would have to wait a year to see Griffin’s above average passing and skill-set develop.

This is tragic. And just another thing Commissioner David Stern, the owners, Union Head Billy Hunter, and the players are risking with their posturing and rhetoric.

I hope they know what they’re doing. Griffin missing another year should be a last resort.

--Oly Sandor.


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

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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Nick Young scores a Durant-like 60 in Drew League

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Anything Kevin Durant can do, Nick Young can do better.

Well, almost.

Durant obviously trumps Young, however, the Washington Wizards swing dropped a Durant-like 60 points in summer action with the Drew League.

(Quick aside: Durant had a mere 41 points yesterday at the Nike Pro City game.)

Anyway, click the link, watch the video, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Tuesday , Aug , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Durant catches fire and scores 66 at Rucker

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s nothing like playing at the world famous Rucker Park. Correction: there’s nothing like scoring 66 points at the world famous Rucker Park.

Yesterday Kevin Durant caught fire like a character off NBA Jam and scored 66 points at the great outdoor arena.

Click the video and get at us with thoughts in the comment box on Durant’s performance. 


--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Russell Westbrook: There’s no beef with Kevin Durant

Westbrook also argued with his coach, Scott Brooks, and his star teammate, Kevin Durant, on the court, leading to speculation that he was feuding with both. And when the Thunder were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks, Westbrook shouldered most of the blame. In the two months since, Westbrook hasn’t lost much sleep worrying about the criticism.

“I refuse to let myself do that,” Westbrook told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve been working too hard to get to the position we were in last season to worry about anything somebody else was saying.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Superstars need each other.

In today’s NBA, one superstar isn’t enough to win a title. The crème de la crème of talent know they must partner up to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in late June.

For instance, the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and San Antonio Spurs have a few premier players working towards a collective goal.

(The 2011 world champion Dallas Mavericks were, perhaps, the exception, surrounding their sole superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, with five or six very good players.)  

The Oklahoma City Thunder, if they are to join the ranks of legit contender, need Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook working together. Durant knows this. Westbrook knows this, too.

These two will never tell media or fans if there was tension over Westbrook’s questionable shot selection in the playoffs. They’ll keep it in-house, which shows they’re mature beyond their years.

However, coach Scott Brooks may want to clarify roles by reminding Westbrook that he is Robin and Durant is Batman. Not the other way around.

Brooks might also want to remind Westbrook he needs to focus on setting-the-table for teammates -as well as getting his own points.

Of course, this could be tricky. Once the lockout is settled, Westbrook and the Thunder will be ironing-out the details on a new, long-term extension.

Such declarations, if handled poorly, would do permanent damage to the Thunder‘s relationship with Westbrook.

All parties must proceed with caution. They need each other.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jul , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant and Goodman League vs. Brandon Jennings and Drew League on Aug 20th

This year, the two leagues are facing off in a showdown game (August 20 in Washington, D.C., and). Thursdays the rosters were announced — and it is on.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It could be the only basketball we get for months, so enjoy it.

The Goodman League out of Washington D.C. will take on The Drew League out of Los Angeles on August 20th in the nation’s capital.

What’s The Goodman League? What’s The Drew League? Well, these are the two best off-season pick-up runs in America.

For instance, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Tyreke Evans, Ty Law, and John Wall regularly represent for The Goodman squad, while DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, James Harden, JaVale McGee and Nick Young will ply their trade for The Drew team.

Fans can watch this epic battle by streaming it off the internet.

--Oly Sandor.

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

NBA stars who can possibly reach near MJ level
Tuesday , Jul , 05 , 2011 J.N.

NBA stars who can possibly reach near MJ level

No. This is not an attempt to compare any of these guys to Michael Jordan. Nope. That has been beaten, raped, and pillaged to hell and back. This is more of an examination of the talent today that might have a chance to reach Jordan’s status. They are obviously not him and will not surpass him either. The goal is ridiculous anyway. However, getting close to Jordan is possible. It’s not out of the question. 

Read More
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Saturday , Jul , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant: players ‘not going to give in’ to owners

Set to be locked out by the league at day's end, Durant pledged solidarity for the players' union Thursday even if it means sacrificing the first few months of the season to get a new deal done.

"We're going to stand up for what we have to do, no matter how long it's going to take," Durant told The Associated Press after the conclusion of his two-day youth basketball camp. "No matter how long the lockout's going to take, we're going to stand up. We're not going to give in."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the court, Kevin Durant has impeccable timing. Off-the-court, not so much.

Today, Durant had some interesting remarks with respect to the lockout, saying the players will not give in and will stay out as long as necessary.

Not the time. Not the place.

The public wants a solution and has no sympathy for millionaire players drawing a line in the sand. In this economy, such an approach rings hollow, offends, and undermines.

So Durant should think about what he says. Careless statements could haunt him when the NBA finally returns.

--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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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.

Read More
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Wednesday , May , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant on last play of regulation: ‘I didn’t know what else to do’

On the biggest play of the series, the final play of regulation, Kevin Durant caught the ball at halfcourt, but when he looked toward the basket, he saw three Mavs coming at him. So, he shot from at least 8 feet behind the three-point line. “I didn't know what else to do,” he said, the frustration obvious in his voice. “I didn't want to run into their defense and get another turnover.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If the Oklahoma City Thunder ever wants to win an NBA championship, they have to do better than a Kevin Durant prayer from eight feet behind the three-point line.

The game was tied. There was 6.5 seconds on the clock. And the Thunder had used a timeout to design a play.
 
In these situations, great teams get a basket or, at a minimum, a good shot. The Thunder wasted the possession, and the Dallas Mavericks won game four in overtime to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
 
The Thunder may have been reeling from surrendering a double-digit lead in the final stages of the fourth quarter. Perhaps the moment got to them.
 
They have to be better. It starts with superstar Kevin Durant.
 
Point blank: Durant has to know what to do in these situations. He has to exude confidence. Most importantly, he has to produce.
 
Anything else won’t do. Not if the Thunder are serious about winning a championship.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Dallas vs. OKC: Age Before Beauty
Tuesday , May , 24 , 2011 Paul Eide

Dallas vs. OKC: Age Before Beauty

 

 
It’s almost impossible to quantify in a tangible way, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The value of having experienced, battle tested veterans on an NBA roster during the playoffs is priceless and accounts for unexpected game and series victories every year.  
 
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Tuesday , May , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

OKC blows fourth quarter lead, Dallas takes 3-1 lead

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Choke job. This is the only way to describe the Oklahoma City Thunder squandering game four of the Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Thunder held a massive lead in the fourth quarter before losing 112-105 in overtime. Bottom line: they lost their focus.

For instance, the Thunder had the ball with 6.5 seconds remaining. The score was tied. However, all they got was a Kevin Durant heave off a broken play.

The Mavericks now lead the series 3-1, and are on the verge of returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2006.

Click the link to watch the video highlights of game four and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , May , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kendrick Perkins: Thunder ‘didn’t trust each other’

The Thunder has toyed with this disturbing trend throughout the playoffs. Oklahoma City has trailed after one quarter in 11 of its 15 games this postseason. But this was as bad as it's ever been. “Tonight, we didn't trust each other,” said Kendrick Perkins. “We just got to have trust in each other. That's the bottom line.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Kendrick Perkins a touch too assertive right now?

Yes, he has playoff experience. Yes, he has a championship. Yes, he has a tell-it-like-it-is personality.

Still, it's a bit harsh to publicly declare that the Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t trust each other in game three.

Perkins, after all, is new. He joined the Thunder at the trade deadline. He’s a valuable player, but hardly a superstar. That role belongs to Kevin Durant, who isn’t calling out teammates to reporters.

So why should Perkins?

Another question: why is Perkins calling a timeout early in the third quarter of game three? That's the coaching staff's job. Only a few great players can get away with calling for a stoppage in play.

To be fair: I like the burly center. I like the simplicity of his game. If healthy, he’s probably the difference between the Boston Celtics winning and losing game seven of the 2010 NBA Finals.

He just needs to take it down a notch.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

 
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Saturday , May , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Durant posterizes Brendan Haywood

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You’ve likely seen this. Still, Kevin Durant ‘posterizing’ Brendan Haywood in game two of the Western Conference Finals is worth another look.

So click the video and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below. 

--Oly Sandor.

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